|A look into Indian-Pakistan Conflict over the Kashmir Territory|
- Introduction: an overview of Kashmir Conflict
- Prehistory of the conflict: a preview of historical developments on Kashmir conflict
- Causes of the Conflict
- India-Pakistan Conflict and Partition from the British Indian Empire
- The Current State of Affairs
The Kashmir issue is a conflict of territory between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir region. The Kashmir region is located in the northwest part of South Asia. The Kashmir issue is unresolved to date. The two countries; India and Pakistan, have gone to war in 1947, 1965 and 1999 over control of the Kashmir region. The conflict in Kashmir has come to symbolize a long-standing difference that exists in the founding of the two nations, one Hindu and another Muslim; India and Pakistan.
Pre-history of the conflict
Conflict of interest arose between militant groups of Kashmir, Indian Armed Forces and separatist movements on who should control Kashmir. India believed the militants involved in the conflict on control of Kashmir received support from Pakistan. Recent years have seen the Kashmir conflict fading away. Although India claims ownership of the entire Kashmir and Jammu state from the year 2010, it only controlled about 43% of that region including most of Jammu while Pakistan controlled 37% of Kashmir. China controlled 20% of Kashmir it occupied after going to war with India in 1962 (Sino-Indian War) and claims the Aksai Chin and part of the 20% of Kashmir ownership belongs to China and doesn’t recognize its addition to Kashmir territory. Pakistan said the Kashmir people must determine Kashmir ownership. Some independent parties wanted Kashmir to be free of both India and Pakistan. India administered Kashmir was actively conflicted between the Indian military and Kashmir people or inhabitants who are Muslim majority. In 2008, elections were held in Kashmir which led to the formation of pro-India government in Kashmir state. In 2001, an American think tank by the name RAND Corporation believed Pakistan was fuelling the conflict in Kashmir by sponsoring Islamic militants with the help of its Intelligence agencies with the aim of gaining more stakes in Kashmir region. It is the belief of the Indians that Kashmir is part of their territory, but some occurring unrest has caused India to lessen this stance. Pakistan believes Kashmir should be part of its territory because the majority of its inhabitants are Muslims just like Pakistanis, a Muslim nation. (Reynolds, “Jammu-Kashmir Conflict”).
Causes of the conflict
In Ancient times before the Kashmir issue began, people of religious diversity including Islam, Hindu, Sikhs, and Buddhist who lived together in an environment of tolerance for one another inhabited the beautiful valley. But in the modern geopolitical era, things changed, to an era of warfare mainly between the Hindu and Muslims. The conflict took center stage in the late 1980s when insurgency broke out in Kashmir. The once beautiful valley was in the verge of being torn apart, even bringing the rest of the world to war because of Kashmir Issue. Kashmir state was formed in the year 1846 as Jammu and Kashmir. Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu bought Kashmir for Rs. 75000000 from East India Company and added it to his rule that included Jammu and Ladakh. (Raman, “Understanding Kashmir: A chronology of the conflict). The majority of people in Kashmir are Muslims. In 1947 when India Subcontinent became free, it was a requirement that princely states cede power to either India or Pakistan based on factors that included the people’s wish, and geographical continuity. Kashmir rulers signed a standstill agreement with Pakistan, a majority Muslim nation. The aim of signing the Standstill agreement was to delay the ceding of power to either India or Pakistan with the intention of finally Kashmir remaining independent. (Raman, “Understanding Kashmir: A chronology of the conflict”). Kashmir was expected to cede power to Pakistan because it was contiguous to Pakistan and inhabited by the majority Muslim population. Contrary to expectations, the Hindu ruler ceded power to India, and that is how the Kashmir issue started (Raman, “Understanding Kashmir: A chronology of the conflict”). A Hindu leader ruled over the majority of Muslims in Kashmir and imposed oppressive taxation schemes. When Muslims in Kashmir started protesting, they were fired upon by Hindu forces resulting to the death of innocent Muslim people. An organized rebellion by Muslims against Hindu in Kashmir started over in August of 1948 where Hindus and Sikhs were killed. Armed groups of Hindus and Sikhs with the aid of state authorities retaliated the attack by massacring Muslims in September the same year.
India-Pakistan Conflict and Partition from the British Indian Empire
The Kashmir issue that exists to date between India and Pakistan is a religious-inspired political rivalry between these two countries. The Kashmir issue is believed to have started in the beginning of year 1900when Indian Hindus were seen not to represent interests of Indian Muslims. The conflict put a wide rift between the two communities. Independence from the British Empire was approaching and it seemed not possible for the two communities to form a single nation. Muslims feared being ruled by the majority Hindu thus the partition of colonial India into India and Pakistan. The two countries are still in conflict, the focal issue being the territory of Kashmir. (Nosotro, “Hindu-Muslim Conflict and the Partition of India”).
Current State of Affairs
India has lessened its stance on the Kashmir issue on what began as a high profile national interest on the issue it had long been attached. The factors that explain the change of tone of India about Kashmir include its Partial success of economic liberation during the 1990s, the significant success India has made towards the position of world power and India sees the Kashmir issue as partially settled. The pursuit against armed militancy of Muslims in Kashmir by India is something India is accustomed to and the majority of Muslim population sees as oppression. (Reynolds, “Jammu-Kashmir Conflict”).
AkhilaRaman. “Understanding Kashmir: A chronology of the conflict”. June 2002. India Together. Web. 17 June. 2011.
Nathalene Reynolds. “Jammu-Kashmir Conflict”. August 2009. Exploring Geopolitics. Web. 18 June. 2011
Rit Nosotro. “Hindu-Muslim Conflict and the Partition of India”. 2000. Hyper History. Web. 20 June. 2011.
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