The valley of Jammu and Kashmir which covers an area of 84,471 square miles has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan. Geographically, politically and economically Kashmir is closer to Pakistan than India.
The Kashmir dispute originated on 26th October, 1947, when Hari Singh, the Maharaja of Kashmir, against all his commitments and wishes of the majority of people signed Instrument of Accession in favour of India.
Consequently, Indian troops entered the valley and full scale war started. The Pakistani troops and the frontier tribesmen aided by Kashmir people fought bravely and succeeded in liberating a sizeable portion (Azad Kashmir) from India. Sensing defeat, India approached United Nations for a ceasefire. As a result, the security Council passed a resolution on 17 January, 1948 and asked both the countries to observe cease-fire. However, the fighting continued and the UN appointed United Nations Commission on India and Pakistan (UNCIP) to investigate and propose solution to the problem. The Commission passed a resolution on 13th August 1948, I which it asked both countries to observe ceasefire and directed Pakistan to withdraw its troops from the valley. The commission adopted another resolution on April 21, 1948, in which it spelled in clear language that the future of the valley would be decided through plebiscite. In the meantime, India and Pakistan signed a ceasefire which came into effect on January 1st, 1949.
India’s Reluctance To Abide By UN Resolutions:
Ever since the partition of the sub-continent on 14th August, 1947, India has been flouting the provisions of the instrument of Accession and resolutions of the UNO regarding the Kashmir issue.
a) Plebiscite Administrator:
The UN Secretary-General appointed Admiral Fleet Chester Nimitz (USA) as the plebiscite Administrator in the Kashmir on March, 1949. Pakistan accepted the arbitration of C.W Nimitz but India failed to do so. Thus, this move failed to bring any result.
b) Sir Owen Dixon’s Report:
In March, 1950, the UN Security Council disbanded UNCIP and designated Sir Owen Dixon, an Australian judge, to arrange the demilitarization in the valley. Sir Owen visited India and Pakistan and submitted his report in September, 1950, but India’s negative attitude proved a hindrance in the way of a solution.
c) Frank Graham’s Report:
In March, 1951, the UN Security Council appointed Frank Graham (USA) as the UN representative of Kashmir. He visited India and Pakistan and submitted his report on 19th October, 1951, in which he recommended the demilitarization of Kashmir. Again, in May 1952, he visited India and Pakistan but as before Indian intransigence o accept any mediation prevented the peaceful solution.
d) Geneva Talks:
In February 1953, India and Pakistan held discussion in Geneva to resolve Kashmir issue. However, India refused to accept all proposals aimed at holding plebiscite in the valley.
e) Bogra-Nehru Talks:
In 1953, Pakistan Premier Mohammad Ail Bogra and Indian Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru discussed the Kashmir issue in their meetings held in London, Karachi and Delhi. They could not achieve any result due to Nehru’s delaying tactics in order to buy time.
f) Nehru’s Statement In Lok Sabha:
In 1956, Nehru in an address in Lok Sabha sounded a changed Indian policy on Kashmir by declaring that the question of plebiscite on Kashmir was out of date because of American military assistance of Pakistan, economic development of Kashmir, creation of the Constituent Assembly in the valley and Pakistan’s membership of CENTO and SEATO.
g) Gunner Jarring Proposals:
In February, 1957, UN Security Council appointed Gunner Jarring President of the Council to submit a report on Kashmir. He visited India and Pakistan and submitted his report on 29th April, 1957. Pakistan accepted his proposals but India rejected them with its traditional obduracy.
1965 War Of India-Pakistan Over Kashmir:
India flouting all canons of International Law attacked Pakistan on 6th September 1965. Thus full scale war started between India and Pakistan. Within days war spread from Kashmir front in the North to Rann of Kutch in the South and East Pakistan in the East. The valiant forces of Pakistan fought bravely and frustrated enemy designs at Sialkot, Lahore, Fazilka and Rajasthan. The war continued for 17 days till a UN sponsored ceasefire took effect on 23rd September, 1965. Later on, in January 1966 India and Pakistan signed the Tashkent Declaration in which the two countries declared to withdraw their troops from the valley in pre 15 August, 1965 position and resumed their normal diplomatic relations.
Nuclear Test-Kargil Clashes And Kashmir Issue:
In 1998, the two arch-rivals in South Asia conducted their own nuclear tests, since then, the international community especially the great powers are really concerned about the security of the region. The resolution of the Kashmir issue is earnestly felt, as it can trigger nuclear debacle in the region. The Kargil clashes further intensified the apprehension and need to resolve the issue. The military stand-off between India and Pakistan in the wake of terrorist attacks on Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001, further increased the fear of nuclear war in the region. Since then, the role of international community in resolving the Kashmir issue has come to the face.
Agra Summit 2001:
In July, 2001, Agra Summit between PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and President Pervez Musharraf started with great hopes and expectations. Pervez Musharraf visited India on the call of Vajpayee with confidence to resolve all the impeding issues to improve relations between the two arch-rivals of South Asia. Unfortunately, the summit ended abruptly without bringing any fruitful development for the peace I the region.
Kashmir Issue After 9/11:
The events of 9/11 brought overwhelming consequences for both the global and the regional politics. Its impacts on Kashmir are not ignorable. The whole international community agreed on a one-point agenda to combat terrorism in its all forms and manifestations, everywhere in the world. The world is no more ready to tolerate any type of insurgency in the name of self-determination and freedom. Terrorists and freedom fighters are no more distinguishable to the world. In such circumstances Kashmir freedom fighters cannot maintain the status of their domestic insurgency against India as a legitimate freedom struggle. Most the Kashmir Jihadi groups are outlawed and declared as terrorists groups creating restlessness in Kashmir.
Effects Of Mumbai Attacks on Kashmir:
The attacks which took place in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 carry severe implications for the Kashmir issue. After the attacks, the peace process between India and Pakistan suffered a setback. Although no direct link is established between the terrorists operating in Kashmir with those who carried out Mumbai attack, a case has been made by India that eventually all jihadi groups are bound by a commo Islamist Philosophy.
Following steps are suggested to evolve an effective policy on Kashmir to achieve the desired solutions.
i) Efforts to bring about a united Islamic stand.
ii) Holding international conference on Kashmir in the major capitals of the world where pro-Kashmiri international personalities be invited to address.
iii) Supporting overseas Pakistanis and students in foreign universities of stage demonstrations and influence the elected members of houses of government.
iv) Evolve a “think tank” for formulating coherent guidelines on Kashmir.
v) Start a national Fund on Kashmir.
vi) Most important of all, we should take advantage of the revival of Kashmir issue at the United Nations through a united move by the Muslim Ummah and Organisation of Islamic Conference.
vii) Approaching International Court of Justice by Pakistan, for the issue of a “cease and desist” order to the Indian forces in Kashmir who are ruthlessly persecuting, the Kashmir Muslims and are violating the human rights.
For resolving Kashmir issue it is the time that international community must differentiate between the terrorism and freedom movement. The process of peace for normalisation of relations between the two neighbouring countries through negotiations and talks for resolving all outstanding issues, irritants and problems and lingering issues have gained boost recently. Musharraf repeatedly asserted that Pakistan is against war. “we are for peace; we are for deescalating; we are for reduction of tension.” However, the reduction of tensions between the two neighbouring countries could have been achieved only if the confidence building measures agreed upon earlier would have been followed. In this regard, there is a positive response from Pakistan but unfortunately a negligible one from India.
If even now Kashmir conflict is left unresolved through the international efforts, then to borrow Iqbal’s symbolism, “the time has come when the desperate sparrow will pounce upon the mighty falcon and overpower it”.
Solution of the problem requires a change in the position adopted by all the three parties involving-India, Pakistan and Kashmiris themselves.
Certain developments at regional and global levels augur well for the peaceful solution to the Kashmir problem. Pakistan must exploit the situation with a pragmatic policy on Kashmir. Plebiscite as the basic solution is not possible as evidenced in the past years. Pakistan must pressurise India and bring United States to a mechanism to solve the Kashmir issue.
It is therefore essential that first step is to keep alive sustained dialogue between the leaders of the two countries. Step two is acceptance of Kashmir as issue that must be resolved.
Step three would be to look at all possible solutions and agreed on which ones could be mutually discarded as unworkable. The fourth step would be to go on to further discussion in involving the people of Kashmir from both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) with a view to arriving at some reasonable solution acceptance to all parties concerned.
The following notes on the Kashmir issue have been taken from Idea of Pakistan by Stephen Cohen.
Kashmir was a Muslim – majority state ruled by a Hindu maharaja.
After partition, the ruler was faced with an invasion of tribal warriors sent from the NWFP. He invited the Indian army to repel the invaders—but India first demanded his accession, which he provided. Thus Kashmir became the only Muslim majority state in India.
Pakistani attitudes hardened when India reversed its pledge to the United Nations to allow a plebiscite in which Kashmiris could choose between India and Pakistan.
It was done without Jinnah’s knowledge.
India had also demonstrated its bad intentions by invading Junagadh, a princely state that had acceded to Pakistan, and by its reluctance to give Pakistan a fair share of assets from British India.
India’s reluctance to permit Kashmiri self-determination seemed to demonstrate both the correctness and justice of the two-nation theory, and to demonstrate the continued antagonism toward all of Pakistan and the cruelty toward its own Muslim citizens.
Kashmir seemed to confirm the core rationale for Pakistan—that Muslims could not live peacefully or safely in a Hindu-dominated India.
For years, Kashmir seemed to be a no-lose position. If Kashmiris failed to achieve their freedom, then it was because they were insufficiently motivated, despite their just grievances against Indian perfidy. If Kashmiris are successful, then this can only be to Pakistan’s advantage—it would validate the two-nation theory.
There has thus been no serious civilian thinking about the actual strategic consequences of an independent Kashmir— how it would affect Pakistan’s relations with Central Asia, Russia, Afghanistan, China, and India, and possibly other potential new states carved out of India or Pakistan, or how it would affect separatist demands from Sindhis or Baluch.
Pakistan has had a military strategy for Kashmir but not a political one, except to try to embarrass India in international forums.
It has tried to wrest Kashmir away from India by force several times, and more recently it has used proxy war and militants to force India to come to the negotiating table.
These policies have not worked, and Pakistanis have yet to examine carefully the kind of compromise settlement on Kashmir that they would be willing to accept.
Pakistan’s Solution to Kashmir Issue:
Influenced by the United States, Pakistan undertook a detailed study of guerrilla warfare and people’s war. The American objective was primarily to suppress such a war, but Pakistanis studied it in terms of launching a people’s war against India, or developing a people’s army as a second line of defense.
Guerrilla warfare was a “strategic weapon,” a “slow but sure and relatively inexpensive” strategy that was “fast overshadowing regular warfare.” Maoist military doctrine was particularly attractive to many Pakistani officers because of Pakistan’s close connection to China and that doctrine’s apparent relevance to Kashmir.
The prerequisites for people’s war seemed to exist: a worthy cause; difficult terrain; a determined, warlike people (the Pakistanis); a sympathetic local population (the Kashmiris); the availability of weapons and equipment; and “a high degree of leadership and discipline to prevent (the guerrillas) from degenerating into banditry.
For complete Pakistan Affairs notes click here.