Since the nineties Pakistan’s Kashmir policy can be described as a compellence strategy pegged to the diplomacy of violence. Given India’s refusal to accept that there is a dispute over Kashmir and honour its earlier commitment to a plebiscite under United Nations Security Council resolutions, Pakistan chose to exploit and sustain the insurgency. That burst out in December 1989, following decades of Indian misrule in the state.
Initially, Islamabad was happy to support indigenous Kashmiri insurgent groups, allowing them to set up bases in Azad Kashmir – technically not Pakistani territory – and their cadres to travel to Afghanistan for training and arms. At the same time it used the unrest to launch a diplomatic offensive on New Delhi, pointing out Indian excesses at various international fora and lobbying friendly governments to force India to concede mediation.