Letter: Kashmir dispute

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The Independent Culture
Sir: You suggest ("The subcontinent needs EU mediation", 12 August) that the European Union might be a suitable mediator in the dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.

If mediation is desired, is not the Commonwealth a more obvious candidate? Both countries belong to the Commonwealth, and the mediation could be led by countries with experience of having been colonies, rather than colonisers.

Whether negotiations take place directly or through a mediator, some settlement which would satisfy India, Pakistan and the Kashmiris themselves has to be found. There seems to be strong support among Kashmiris for the idea of an independent Kashmir, but both India and Pakistan might have understandable reservations about that.

The basis for a constitutional settlement in Northern Ireland might be for it to become a largely self-governing province of both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Would a similar solution work for Kashmir?

STEPHEN PLOWDEN

London NW1

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