Kashmir – An Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy Project
Kashmir – An Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy Project IMTD has been involved with Kashmir since 1995, when two retired Lieutenant Generals, from India and Pakistan respectively, visited Ambassador McDonald and asked him to “solve the Kashmir conflict”. Ambassador McDonald immediately realized that “solving” the Kashmir conflict was an enormous task that was well beyond the capabilities of one organization, but he knew that IMTD could help the people of Kashmir.
In 2000, in collaboration with a politically inclusive NGO in Pakistan, the Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR), IMTD began to train politicians at the local and ministerial level in Pakistan-administered Azad (Free) Kashmir in conflict resolution skills and methods of collaborative communication and negotiation.
Three years later, in July 2003, IMTD completed its fourth Azad Kashmir Diplomatic Training in Washington DC, entitled “Improving Communication, Negotiation, and Conflict Management Skills.” IMTD has now prepared a core of cooperative-minded leaders with diplomatic and communication skills to affect positive change within their respective parties, and within the Azad Kashmir parliament.
In August 2004 Dr. Eileen Borris, Director of Training and developments designed a conflict resolution training program to address specific issues of the Kashmiri conflict. IMTD, with the Center for Public Policy Studies, launched a Kashmir Conflict Transformation Workshop in Katmandu, Nepal. This groundbreaking dialogue and conflict-resolution training brought together twenty local government officials, activists, and professionals representing both sides of the Line of Control. Considerable mistrust and tension characterized the opening day of the workshop, yet by week’s end friendships had been created and participants exchanged long embraces at the conclusion of training.
In March of 2006 Dr. Borris developed and IMTD hosted a second, five-day inter-Kashmir dialogue and conflict resolution training in the Maldive Islands to strengthen understanding among the people of Azad Kashmir and Jammu & Kashmir. Participants agreed to write a shared history and to write a report on the economy of Kashmir.
IMTD is presently seeking funding for its third Inter-Kashmir Conflict Transformation Workshop, given the success of the 2006 session in the Maldives. This historic project would be hosted in two parts: one session in Srinagar and the other in Muzaffarabad, using the People’s Bus to cross the Line of Control.