USA, Russia, China, Turkey, and UN secretaries-general have all offered mediation on the Kashmir issue over the last 20 years.

India repeatedly refuses third-party mediation and insists that the Kashmir issue is "bilateral":

On the other hand, Pakistan seems keen on involving a third party:

However, they can't because they signed the Shimla Agreement in 1972, which says that any issue between India and Pakistan should be solved bilaterally.

Why can't Pakistan abandon the Shimla Agreement?

1 Answer 1


Because India.

You can't involve a third party as a meditor without the consent of the second.

To expand a little, Pakistan entered the accord because the alternative was worse. The Simla accord is essentially a peace treaty. Pakistan agreed, because the alternative was more war, and likely defeat. If Pakistan were to withdraw from the accord completely, it would lose the protection that the accord offers.

If Pakistan were to withdraw partially, only from the clauses that require a bilateral solution, it still couldn't force India to engage with a mediator. Mediation is only ever possible if both parties agree. Now Pakistan could force India to accept mediation by force. If a third country were to commit troops and invade Indian Controlled Kashmir, then that third country could claim the right to sit at the table and mediate.

But your implied notion that Pakistan could simply say "We withdraw" and then India will have to say "Okay, what mediator do you want" is not how mediation works.


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