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Kashmir Conflict

By Sunny

Kashmir Conflict

The Kashmir issue is an ongoing territorial conflict between India and Pakistan, having started just after the partition of India in 1947. India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Kashmir in 1947,1965, as well as the Kargil War in 1999. India claims the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, and, as of now administers approximately 43% of the region. It controls Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, and the Siachen Glacier. India's claims are contested by Pakistan, which administers approximately 37% of Kashmir, namely Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan also known as POK. China has also played a minor role and currently administers Demchok district, the Shaksgam Valley, and the Aksai Chin region. China's claim over these territories has been disputed by India since China took Aksai Chin during the Sino-Indian War of 1962.

The story of Kashmir is not much different from the rest of ancient India and followed the same pattern. Until the 14th century, various Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms ruled the region. From about 1350-1580 it came under Islamic rule after attack from the Turkish & Afghan warriors. In this period, Islam spread through the region much faster than in rest of India as the rulers actively promoted.
The Pashtun Durrani Empire ruled Kashmir in the 18th century until its 1819 conquest by the Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh. After First Anglo-Sikh War (1845–1846), Kashmir was ceded under the Treaty of Lahore to the East India Company, which transferred it to Gulab Singh through the Treaty of Amritsar, in return for the payment of 75 Lac Rupees. Gulab Singh was a Dogra Chieftain and an influential noble in the Sikh court and he was also loyal to the Britishers. From 1846 to 1947, the Dogra descendents of Gulab Singh ruled the state.

Kashmir Conflict

On 15 August 1947 the Partition of India was the partition of the British Indian Empire that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India. "Partition" here refers not only to the division of the Bengal province of British India into East Pakistan and West Bengal (India), and the similar partition of the Punjab Province into West Punjab (West Pakistan) and East Punjab (now Punjab), but also to the respective divisions of other assets, including the British Indian Army, the Indian Civil Service and other administrative services, the railways, and the central treasury.

Before partition there were 11 major provinces and 562 Princely states in India some big ones like Hyderabad (as large as Italy) and Kashmir with a population of 14 million.The predominantly Hindu and Sikh areas of British India were assigned to the new India and predominantly Muslim areas to the new nation of Pakistan, all of it was done by the voting in provincial assembleys of respective provinces.
The Princely States were thereafter left to choose whether to join India or Pakistan or to remain independent. Between May 1947 and the transfer of power on 15 August 1947, the vast majority of states signed Instruments of Accession. The biggest problems, however, arose with a few border states, such as Jodhpur, which tried to negotiate better deals with Pakistan, with Junagadh, which actually did accede to Pakistan, and with Hyderabad and Kashmir, which declared that they intended to remain independent.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was the designated head of state for Pakistan was keen to attract some of the larger border states, hoping thereby to attract other states to Pakistan and compensate for the loss of half of Bengal and Punjab. He offered to permit Jodhpur and Jaisalmer to accede to Pakistan on any terms they chose, giving their rulers blank sheets of paper and asking them to write down their terms, which he would sign.
However, the atmosphere in Jodhpur was in general hostile to accession to Pakistan. Mountbatten also pointed out that the accession of a predominantly Hindu state to Pakistan would violate the principle of the two-nation theory on which Partition was based, and was likely to cause communal violence in the State. The ruler of Jodhpur Hanuwant Singh was persuaded by these arguments, and somewhat reluctantly agreed to accede to India.
Although the states were in theory free to choose whether they wished to accede to India or Pakistan, Mountbatten had pointed out a term "geographic compulsions" meant that most of them must choose India. In effect, he took the position that only the states that shared a border with Pakistan could choose to accede to it. The Nawab of Junagadh, a princely state located on the south-western end of Gujarat and having no common border with Pakistan, chose to accede to Pakistan ignoring Mountbatten's views, arguing that it could be reached from Pakistan by sea. The Indian government pointed out that the state was 80% Hindu, and called for a plebiscite to decide the question of accession. A plebiscite was conducted in February 1948, which went almost unanimously in favour of accession to India.

Kashmir Conflict

Jammu and Kashmir, the largest of the princely states, had a predominantly Muslim population ruled by the Hindu Maharaja Hari Singh. Because of its location, Kashmir could choose to join either India or Pakistan. Maharaja Hari Singh chose to remain neutral. Pakistan made various efforts to persuade the Maharaja of Kashmir to join Pakistan. In July 1947, Mohammad Ali Jinnah is believed to have written to the Maharaja promising "every sort of favourable treatment," followed by Muslim League leaders lobbying with the Prime Minister of the State of Jammu & Kashmir. In the British census of India of 1941, Kashmir registered a Muslim majority population of 77%, a Hindu population of 20% and a sparse population of Buddhists and Sikhs comprising the remaining 3%. Because of it's Muslim majority Jinnah wants it to be the part of Pakistan and he wanted to aquire it in same way India aquire Junagadh and Hyderabad.

In October 1947 Pakistan army invaded Kashmir in disguise of Muslim Pathan tribesmen from the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan crossed the border and entered Kashmir.The invaders made rapid progress towards Srinagar. Maharaja's troops, heavily outnumbered and outgunned, had no chance of withstanding the attack. The Maharaja made an urgent plea to Delhi for military assistance. Upon the Governor General Lord Mountbatten's insistence, India required the Maharaja to accede before it could send troops and also setting up an interim government headed by Sheikh Abdullah in return. Accordingly, the Maharaja signed an instrument of accession on 26 October 1947, which was accepted by the Governor General the next day.

Indian and Pakistani forces thus fought their first war over Kashmir in 1947-48. India referred the dispute to the United Nations on 1 January. In a resolution dated August 13, 1948, the UN asked Pakistan to remove its troops, after which India was also to withdraw the bulk of its forces. Once this happened, a "free and fair" plebiscite was to be held to allow the Kashmiri people to decide their future. India, having taken the issue to the UN, was confident of winning a plebiscite, since the most influential Kashmiri mass leader, Sheikh Abdullah, was firmly on its side.

Kashmir Conflict

On 1 November 1947, Mountbatten flew to Lahore for a conference with Jinnah, proposing that, in all the princely States where the ruler did not accede to a Dominion corresponding to the majority population (which would have included Junagadh,Hyderabad as well Kashmir), the accession should be decided by an `impartial reference to the will of the people'. Jinnah rejected the offer. According to Jinnah, India acquired the accession through "fraud and violence."A plebiscite was unnecessary and states should accede according to their majority population.

For a plebiscite, Jinnah felt that 'the average Muslim would never have the courage to vote for Pakistan' in the presence of Indian troops and with Sheikh Abdullah in power. After some time An emergency government was formed on October 30, 1948 with Sheikh Abdullah as the Prime Minister. Pakistan ignored the UN mandate and continued fighting, holding on to the portion of Kashmir under its control. On January 1, 1949, a ceasefire was agreed, with 65 per cent of the territory under Indian control and the remainder with Pakistan. The ceasefire was intended to be temporary but the Line of Control remains the de facto border between the two countries.

In 1957, Kashmir was formally incorporated into the Indian Union. It was granted a special status under Article 370 of India's constitution, which ensures, among other things, that non-Kashmiri Indians cannot buy property there. It is the only state of India which has it's own constitution and flag. All in all Guys India holds that the Instrument of Accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India, signed by Maharaja Hari Singh between the ruler of Kashmir and the Governor General of India was a legal act and completely valid in terms of the Government of India Act (1935), Indian Independence Act (1947) as well as under international law. Where as Pakistan maintains that Kashmir is the "jugular vein of Pakistan" and a currently disputed territory whose final status must be determined by the people of Kashmir. Pakistan's claims to the disputed region are based on the rejection of Indian claims to Kashmir, namely the Instrument of Accession. Pakistan insists that the Maharaja was not a popular leader, and was regarded as a tyrant by most Kashmiris. Pakistan maintains that the Maharaja used brute force to suppress the population. In addition to this, According to the two-nation theory, one of the principles that is cited for the partition that created India and Pakistan, Kashmir should have been with Pakistan, because it has a Muslim majority.

In the end guys I also want to add one more thing that Kashmir is the integral part of India and United Nations considered India to be under legal possession of Jammu and Kashmir by virtue of the accession of the state but Pakistan is always trying to disturb the peace in the state of Jammu & Kashmir by terrorist activities or by provide funding to the anti-social groups and wants to demonstrate the popular Kashmiri insurgency that the Kashmiri people no longer wish to remain within India. Pakistan suggests that this means that Kashmir either wants to be with Pakistan or independent. Guys it is the oldest unresolved international conflict which is still on the United Nation's agenda, I hope I was able to help you to understand the Kashmir conflict. That's all guys, If you like the video then please feel free to give it a thumbs up and do subscribe for more videos every week. If you guys have any thoughts regarding this topic please let me know in the comment section down below.

Kashmir Conflict

October, 1947

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