Frontline World

Kashmir: The Road to Peace?
a FRONTLINE/World Fellows project

Kashmir: The Road to Peace - By Sachi Cunningham and Jigar Mehta
Mountains with barb wire in front

Sachi Cunningham and Jigar Mehta

Sachi Cunningham is a second year student in documentary film at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She has an undergraduate degree in history from Brown University, and has worked in the film industry in Asia and the U.S.

Jigar Mehta is also a second year documentary student at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley. He received an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Berkeley. Mehta worked as a cameraman on the Sundance award-winning film, My Flesh and Blood.

Kashmir is a divided land. India controls one part, Pakistan controls the other. It has been this way since 1947. Pakistan and India have fought two wars over this beautiful, tragic highland, and for the past fifteen years, the Indian army in Kashmir has battled a pro-independence movement. For Muslim militants it has become a jihad or holy war.

When we arrived in Kashmir, we saw soldiers everywhere, peering from the tops of balconies and peeking out of bunkers on street corners. There are nearly 600,000 Indian security forces in the Indian-occupied part of Kashmir, home to some 8.5 million people. It is the highest soldier-to-civilian ratio in the world.

Go to the StoryWe came here because there is, at long last, talk of peace. India and Pakistan, both nuclear powers, signed a cease-fire agreement in November 2003 and pledged to go forward with twelve "confidence-building" measures. For the first time in fourteen years, the two countries played a cricket match last spring, and it went off peacefully. Now they are proposing the re-opening of Kashmir's main highway, which is currently blocked at the Line of Control which divides India- and Pakistan-held Kashmir.

We decided to take a road trip as far as we could go on this Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Road -- to see what life is like in the legendary valley of Kashmir and to ask people what they thought about the prospects for peace.


Read a discussion about Kashmir with FRONTLINE/World Fellows Jigar Mehta and Sachi Cunningham on

back to top

FRONTLINE/World Fellows
Part of the Web-exclusive FRONTLINE/World Fellowship program. FRONTLINE/World is exploring partnerships with some of the leading graduate schools of journalism around the United States with the goal of identifying and developing the best of an emerging generation of journalists. The FRONTLINE/World Fellowship program is supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Read more about the program.