Kashmir has been considered one of the longest-running and most intractable conflicts of the modern world. How does one make sense of the issue and look to the future?
In The Kashmir Conundrum, former Indian Army chief General N.C. Vij ‰ÛÒ who himself hails from the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir ‰ÛÒ gives the complete picture. Starting with a history of Kashmir and its people, he covers the invasion and accession of the kingdom, the wars India and Pakistan have fought, the Pulwama attack of 2019, India's surgical strike at Balakot, and the various formulae that have been tried to settle the issue, right up to the controversial abrogation of the state's special status. In doing so, he draws on his own experience of dealing with the subject closely ‰ÛÒ as DGMO during the Kargil war; as vice chief of the army during the Parliament attack of 2001; and then as the chief at a time when Pakistan-sponsored infiltration was at its peak.
Informed by a field expert's astute perspective, this is a comprehensive and up-to-date account of Kashmir from an army man who has engaged with it at the highest levels.
'A well-researched book. General N.C. Vij is one of the few authors who have clearly grasped the tri-regional nature of the state and each region's separate aspirations. He makes a number of valuable suggestions with regard to the security, strategic, diplomatic and political challenges that we face in Jammu and Kashmir. Coming as they do from a former Chief of Army Staff who hails from the state, all those concerned with the situation there, particularly those in positions of authority, would do well to take these suggestions seriously. I commend General Vij for writing this book, which will be of great interest not only to Indian readers but to those around the world who are interested in the vexed and, in many ways, tragic history of the beautiful but troubled state.'
- Dr Karan Singh, the first Sadr-i-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir, former Union minister and Member of Parliament