Kashmir Introduction
  Introduction :
  Kashmir Geography:
 

Kashmir History:

  Kashmir Conflict :
  UN Resolution:
  The Brink of War 2001:
  Kargil Conflict 1999:
  Kashmir Insurgency 1989:
  Kashmir War 1947-1948:
  Independent Kashmir:
  Kashmir Future?:
  A Smaller Indep. Kashmir:

Kashmir Conflict

On 15 August, 1947 when the British relinquished their paramountcy over India, the Maharaja of Kashmir Hari Singh Dogra wanted to preserve the integrity of the state and therefore did not accede to either dominion.  Maharaja Hari Singh's decision not to join either country, or rather his indecision since he was far from being a decisive ruler, was a fateful one. Kashmir is predominantly Muslim so on the basis of religion it should clearly have gone to Pakistan. Geographically it is also more closely aligned to Pakistan than India.
When the Pakistanis realised that Hari Singh, a Hindu was still undecided they organised an unofficial take-over bid. Pathan tribesmen from the north-west Frontier region moved into Kashmir and internal revolts soon had Hari Singh's army in tatters. He turned to India for assistance but the price was an obvious one - Hari Singh opted for India. Had not Pathans been so busy looting along their way to capturing Srinagar, it might have been too late for India troops to save Kashmir. As it was, the Pathans had still not reached Srinagar when the first India troops were flown in and confronted them in Baramula. Nevertheless a full-scale war between India and Pakistan was soon underway and was not halted until a United Nations cease-fire came into effect on 1 January 1949. A substantial part of Kashmir was in Pakistan hand but the Vale of Kashmir was firmly under India control.


The cease-fire line runs from Akhnoor northwards to near keran on the Kishanganga - a rugged dry sparsely populated strip 25 km wide and 250 km long. From keran the line turns east and passes through Minimarg in the Gurais Valley and ends in the snow of the Karakoram Range. Gilgit, Hunza and Baltistan are north of the line and under the control of the Pakistanis.
Initially Kashmir was run as an autonomous region with its own government and president. Karan Singh, the Maharaja's son, was the first to hold this office. Then in 1957 Kashmir was formally made part of the India union. Despite Pakistani protests. Pakistan has repeatedly requested that a referendum be held in Kashmir and although India agreed to eventually hold such a referendum there have always been reasons why it has not been conducted.Subsequent UN efforts to secure troop withdrawals and develop a plebiscitary plan satisfactory to both sides were unsuccessful. Heavy border fighting broke out in 1965 and again in 1971, and led to the "line of control" that has since formed the boundary between the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled sections of Kashmir. China began conducting military maneuvers in the border areas of eastern Kashmir in the 1950s. Since the Sino-Indian war of October 1962, the northeastern part of Ladakh, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, has been occupied by China. The Chinese authorities have since built a strategic road throughout the disputed territory, connecting Xinjiang Uygur with Tibet.
Unrest in the state of Jammu and Kashmir increased after 1988 as Kashmiri fighters began guerrilla attacks against Indian officials and troops deployed in the state. India responded by increasing its troop deployment in the region. Tensions increased sharply beginning in early 1990, with violent clashes between Indian troops and pro-independence demonstrators. President's Rule was imposed by the Indian government in Jammu and Kashmir in July 1990. Clashes between the Kashmiri fighters and Indian troops continued throughout the early 1990s. The situation further strained relations between India and Pakistan; Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto gave public support to the Kashmiri fighters. In January 1994 the two governments held talks concerning Kashmir, but no significant progress was made. In 1994 and in the first half of 1995 there was a new upsurge in guerrilla activity. Peace talks stalled.

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