The Jammu Kashmir conflict history

kashmir issueThe events that took place in India after World War II prompted London to grant her independence earlier than 1948 when it was scheduled. The bill “on granting self-rule to India” based on “Mountbatten Plan” was adopted on June 3, 1947. The country was divided into two parts with dominion status as required by the bill. The bill offered The Indian Union and plentiful territories either to join one of the dominions or to declare independence under supreme British authority. The latter option meant retaining relations with Britain. The Act on Indian independence was implemented on August 15, 1947, after it was officially approved in the British parliament. After the country was divided into two i.e Indian and Pakistan, Hindu Muslim relations worsened to genocidal proportions.

According to the “Mountbatten Plan”, Kashmir, with large Muslim population became a state of the border of India and newly formed Pakistan on August 15, 1947. But violent smashes over Kashmir began between India and Pakistan on October 22, 1947. Maharaja of Kashmir officially requested India for military assistance and declared his desire to join the Indian Union. The Act on the amalgamation of Kashmir with India was signed on October 27, 1947.

The Indian government requested the UN Security Council to prevent Pakistani “aggression”. But the Kashmir question could not find a permanent solution in the Security Council. The majority of Security Council members supported Pakistan. But USSR defended India. Since it was located near the southern borders of USSR, Western powers desired to see Kashmir as a part of west-oriented Pakistan. The war over Kashmir between India and Pakistan began in April 1948 and continued till January 1, 1949.

A treaty on the provisional military demarcation of boundary dividing Kashmir into two sections was signed on July 27, 1949, after seven months-long negotiations between India and Pakistan in Karachi. In July of 1952, the Delhi treaty between the Indian Republic and Kashmir was signed. Kashmir was included in India as a separate state in accordance with the treaty. The constitution adopted by Kashmir founders Assembly declared Kashmir as an Indian constituency.

Indo Pak relations were always tense though there were no full-scale military clashes from 1949 to 1965. Indo Pak relations worsened over Kashmir in the middle of 1960s. India also faced a conflict with China in October-November of 1962 over a territory of 125,000 Playing on the conflict between China and India, the Pakistani government initiated negotiations with India in order to benefits in the issue over Kashmir in 1963. However, no solution to the problem could be arrived at and a new war began in 1965. Pakistani troops invaded Rann of Kutch. Even the agreement signed by the mediation of Britain to cease-fire could not stop it.

People of the Republic of China actively supported Pakistan and condemned Indian aggression against Pakistan in its declaration and seriously aggravated the situation by locating troops near the Indian boundary.

Worrying about further broadening of conflict near the southern borders of USSR, Soviet Prime Minister government Ankosygin expressed his concern about the events to Pakistani president Ayyub Khan and Indian prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. He proposed both to meet in Tashkent. The invitation was positively received by both sides. The Tashkent meeting was held on January 4, 1966. A declaration including 5 clauses was signed by both India and Pakistan on January 10, 1966. The declaration reflected accords on a retreat of troops to positions of August 5, 1965; non-interference into each other’s internal affairs, maintaining close neighbor relations.

kashmir conflictPakistan faced a political crisis again at the end of the 1960s. President Ayyub Khan was forced to yield the power to supreme Army commander, General Yahya Khan in March 1969. The political crisis was further coupled with an economic crisis. As a result, the situation deteriorated extremely. Moreover, a new state called Bangladesh emerged in East Pakistan in April 1971. Pakistani military regime considered Indian stand toward events in East Pakistan as gross interference in its internal affairs and began warlike preparations. Yaha khan declared full-scale war on December 4, 1971. India acknowledged the Bangladesh Republic December 6 and began to conduct military operations together with newly created “Mukti Bahini” in East Pakistan. The Pakistani troops attempted to seize Kashmir in the Western front, but they failed. The chief commander of the defeated East Pakistani army surrendered along with 93000 soldiers on December 6.

Thus, Bangladesh was born in erstwhile East Pakistan and in western front, Indian army seized vast territories in Kashmir and Punjab regions. Yaha Khan had to resign after the loss of East Pakistan and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto came to power. In summer of 1972 Bhutto negotiated with Mrs. Indira Gandhi in the Indian city of Shimla and an accord was signed on July 2 as the result of the negotiations. Both parties acknowledged the new life of actual control, established after cease-fire of December 16,1971 as the boundary line in Kashmir. This agreement entered into force on August 4, 1972, after both the parties agreed. The tension between Pakistan and India started to decrease gradually after this agreement. Diplomatic relations were restored in 1976.

However, this peace was not destined to be permanent. The situation in Kashmir started to aggravate again in early 1990. Local Islamists in Kashmir aspired either to gain independence or to join Pakistan. Caution approach of Prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s government to Kashmir question and clashes in Sindh provoked dissatisfaction in the country and Benazir Bhutto was impeached by President’s order on 1990.

Benazir Bhutto was elected Prime minister again in 1993. She tried to concentrate the attention of Muslim countries on Kashmir problem in the Morocco summit of Organization of Islamic Conference and used resources of this influential organization in solving the problem. Although various attempts to settle the Kashmir problem by military means had been made, none of them succeeded. The Indian government, referring to the agreement with Kashmir signed in 1947 and Delhi accords of 1952, considers that Kashmir question has already been legally settled, and regards Pakistan’s pretensions as interference into internal Indian affairs. But Pakistan maintains that Kashmir, which had proclaimed independence in 1947, was illegally seized by India and plays the role of defender of a Muslim population of Kashmir.

The constant tension between both the countries has lasted for over 60 years. The settlement of the Kashmir problem, which provokes periodic clashes and wars, is the matter of great importance for both countries. Large expenditures on accelerated militarization from state budget cause serious impediments for these countries. There is no doubt that allocation of these finances for other important problems would be more expedient.




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