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The Kashmir conflict refers to the territorial dispute over Kashmirmarker, the northwesternmost region of South Asia . The parties to the dispute are Indiamarker, Pakistanmarker, Chinamarker and the people of Kashmirmarker.

India claims the entire former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir and presently administers approximately 43% of the region including most of Jammu, Kashmir Valleymarker, Ladakhmarker and the Siachen Glaciermarker. India's claim is contested by Pakistan which controls approximately 37% of Kashmir, mainly Azad Kashmirmarker and the northern areas of Gilgitmarker and Baltistan. In addition, China controls 20% of Kashmir including Aksai Chinmarker which it occupied following the brief Sino-Indian War of 1962 and the Trans-Karakoram Tract, also known as the Shaksam Valley, that was ceded to it by Pakistan in 1963.

India's official position is that Kashmir is an "integral part" of India. Pakistan's official position is that Kashmir is a disputed territory whose final status must be determined by the people of Kashmir. Certain Kashmiri independence groups believe that Kashmir should be independent of both India and Pakistan.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Kashmir: in 1947, 1965, and 1999. India and China have clashed once, in 1962 over Aksai Chinmarker as well as the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradeshmarker. India and Pakistan have also been involved in several skirmishes over Siachen Glacier. Since after 1987 disputed rigged Sate elections resulted in some of the 'states legislative assembly' 'formed militant wings' later on after the election forming and creating the catalyst for the insuegency [197333],[197334] ,[197335]; the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmirmarker has been in stife from the confrontation between the Indian Armed Forces ,militants and separatists .Furthermore India alleges these militants are supported by Pakistan .This turmoil in Jammu and Kashmir has resulted in thousands of deaths.,however the insurgency over the past two decades has died down said by the Indian government .On the other hand there has been a 'purely indigenous, purely Kashmiri' 'Ghandi style' peaceful protest movement in Indian Administered Kashmir since 1989. The movement was created for the same reason as the insurgency ;the disputed rigged elections in 1987 ,Kashmir dispute and grievances with the Indian government specifically the Indian Military .


Partition and dispute

A map of undivided India showing Kashmir and Jammu princely state.
Before Independence from British in 1947 from 1820, Kashmir was governed by the Maharaja of Kashmir who was Hindu although the majority of the population were Muslim, except the Jammu region. On partition Pakistan expected Kashmir to be annexed to it.

In 1947, British rule in India ended with the creation of two new nations: the Union of India and the Dominion of Pakistan while British suzerainty over the 562 Indian princely states ended. According to the Indian Independence Act 1947, "the suzerainty of His Majesty over the Indian States lapses, and with it, all treaties and agreements in force at the date of the passing of this Act between His Majesty and the rulers of Indian States", so the states were left to choose whether to join India or Pakistan or to remain independent. Jammu and Kashmirmarker had a predominantly Muslim population but a Hindu ruler and was the largest of the princely states. Its ruler was the Dogra King (or Maharaja) Hari Singh.

In October 1947, Pakistani tribals from Dirmarker entered Kashmir intending to liberate it from Dogra rule. Unable to withstand the invasion, the Maharaja signed The Instrument of Accession that was accepted by the Government of India on October 27, 1947.

Indo-Pakistani War of 1947

The irregular Pakistani tribals made rapid advances into Kashmirmarker (Baramullamarker sector) after the rumours that the Maharaja was going to decide for the union with India. Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir asked the Government of India to intervene. However, the Government of India pointed out that India and Pakistan had signed an agreement of non-intervention (maintenance of the status quo) in Jammu and Kashmirmarker; and although tribal fighters from Pakistan had entered Jammu and Kashmir, there was, until then, no iron-clad legal evidence to unequivocally prove that the Government of Pakistan was officially involved. It would have been illegal for India to unilaterally intervene (in an open, official capacity) unless Jammu and Kashmir officially joined the Union of Indiamarker, at which point it would be possible to send in its forces and occupy the remaining parts.

The Maharaja desperately needed the Indian military's help when the Pathan tribals reached the outskirts of Srinagarmarker. Before their arrival into Srinagarmarker, India argues that Maharaja Hari Singh completed negotiations for acceding Jammu and Kashmir to India in exchange for receiving military aid. The agreement which ceded Jammu and Kashmir to India was signed by the Maharaja and Lord Mountbatten of Burma.

The resulting war over Kashmir, the First Kashmir War, lasted until 1948, when India moved the issue to the UN Security Council. The UN previously had passed resolutions setting up for the monitoring of the conflict in Kashmir. The committee it set up was called the United Nations Committee for India and Pakistan. Following the set up of the UNCIP the UN Security Council passed Resolution 47 on April 21, 1948. The resolution imposed that an immediate cease-fire take place and said that Pakistan should withdraw all presence and had no say in Jammu and Kashmir politics. It stated that India should retain a minimum military presence and stated "that the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations". The cease fire took place December 31, 1948.

At that time, the Indian and Pakistani governments agreed to hold the plebiscite but Pakistan did not withdraw its troops from Kashmir thus violating the condition for holding the plebiscite. Over the next several years, the UN Security Council passed four new resolutions, revising the terms of Resolution 47 to include a synchronous withdrawal of both Indian and Pakistani troops from the region, per the recommendations of General Andrew McNaughton. To this end, UN arbitrators put forward 11 different proposals for the demilitarization of the region - every one of which was accepted by Pakistan, but rejected by the Indian government. The resolutions were passed by United Nations Security Council under Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter. Resolutions passed under Chapter VI of UN charter are considered non binding and have no mandatory enforceability as opposed to the resolutions passed under Chapter VII.

Sino-Indian War

In 1962, troops from the People's Republic of Chinamarker and India clashed in territory claimed by both. China won a swift victory in the war, resulting in the Chinese administration of the region called Aksai Chinmarker, which continues to date. In addition to these lands, another smaller area, the Trans-Karakoram, was demarcated as the line of control between China and Pakistan, although parts on the Chinese side are claimed by India to be parts of Kashmir. The line that separates India from China in this region is known as the Line of Actual Control. [197336]

1965 and 1971 wars

In 1965 and 1971, heavy fighting again broke out between India and Pakistan. The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 resulted in the defeat of Pakistan and Pakistan Military's surrender in East Pakistan (Bangladeshmarker). The Simla Agreement was signed in 1972 between India and Pakistan. By this treaty, both countries agreed to settle all issues by peaceful means and mutual discussions in the framework of the UN Charter.


In 1989, a widespread armed insurgency started in Kashmir, Since after 1987 disputed rigged Sate elections resulted in some of the 'states legislative assembly' 'formed militant wings' later on after the election forming and creating the catalyst for the insurgency which continues to this day furthermore 'in part' fueled by Afghan Mujahadeen in 1989 Timeline of the conflict. India contends that this was largely started by the large number of Afghan mujahideen who entered the Kashmir valley following the end of the Soviet-Afghan War, though Pakistan and Kashmiri nationalists argue that Afghan mujahideen did not leave Afghanistan in large numbers until 1992, three years after the insurgency began. Yasin Malik, a leader of one faction of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front,along with Ashfaq Majid Wani and Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karatay, was one of the Kashmiris to organize militancy in Kashmir. However since 1995, Malik has renounced the use of violence and calls for strictly peaceful methods to resolve the dispute. He developed differences with one of the senior leader Farooq Papa for shunning the demand for independent Kashmir and trying to cut a deal with Indian Prime Minister resulting in spilt in which Bitta Karatay, Salim Nanhaji and other senior comrades joined Farooq Papa. Pakistanmarker claims these insurgents are Jammu and Kashmir citizens, and they are rising up against the Indian Army in an independence movement. It also says the Indian Army is committing serious human rights violations to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir. It denies that it is giving armed help to the insurgents.

India claims these insurgents are Islamic terrorist groups from Pakistan-administered Kashmir and Afghanistan, fighting to make Jammu and Kashmir part of Pakistan. It believes Pakistan is giving armed help to the terrorists, and training them in Pakistan. It also says the terrorists have been killing many citizens in Kashmir, and committing human rights violations, while denying that its own armed forces are responsible for the human rights abuses. On a visit to Pakistan in 2006 current Chief Minister of Kashmir Omar Abdullah remarked that foreign militants, who had nothing to do with Kashmir, were engaged in reckless killings and mayhem in the name of religion. Also US Intelligence agencies believe that Al-Qaeda and Taliban are helping organize a terror campaign in Kashmir to foment conflict between India and Pakistan. A 2001 report 'Pakistan's Role in the Kashmir Insurgency' of US Think tank RAND corporation noted that 'More intrinsically, the nature of the Kashmir conflict has been transformed from what was originally a secular, locally- based struggle (conducted via the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front - JKLF) to one that is now largely carried out by foreign militants and rationalised in pan-Islamic religious terms.' In July 2006 Al-Qaeda stated that it had established a wing in Kashmir.Indian government has said militancy is now on the decline..

The Pakistani government calls these insurgents, "Kashmiri freedom fighters", and claims that it gives only moral and diplomatic support to these insurgents, though India believes they are Pakistan-supported terrorists from Pakistan Administered Kashmir. In October 2008 President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistanmarker called the Kashmir separatists Terrorists in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, these comments by Zardari sparked outrage amongs many Kashmiris, some of whom defied a curfew by the Indian army to burn his effigy.

The peacful protest movement has been a 'purely indigenous, purely Kashmiri'(Quoted by Washington post from Mirwaiz Farooq a Kashmiri party leader) 'Ghandi style' (stated by Wall Street Journal) peaceful protest movement in Indian Administered Kashmir since 1989. The movement was created for the same reason as the insurgency ;the disputed rigged elections in 1987 ,Kashmir dispute and grievances with the Indian government specifically the Indian Military that has committed human rights violations .This reinforced by the United Nations that has said India has committed Human rights violations ..

Conflict in Kargil

Location of conflict.
In mid-1999 insurgents and Pakistani soldiers from Pakistani Kashmirmarker infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmirmarker. During the winter season, Indian forces regularly move down to lower altitudes as severe climatic conditions makes it almost impossible for them to guard the high peaks near the Line of Controlmarker. The insurgents took advantage of this and occupied vacant mountain peaks of the Kargil range overlooking the highway in Indian Kashmir, connecting Srinagarmarker and Lehmarker. By blocking the highway, they wanted to cut off the only link between the Kashmir Valley and Ladakhmarker. This resulted in a high-scale conflict between the Indian Army and the Pakistan Army.

At the same time, fears of the Kargil War turning into a nuclear war provoked the then-USmarker President Bill Clinton to pressure Pakistan to retreat. Faced with mounting losses of personnel and posts, Pakistan Army withdrew the remaining troops from the area ending the conflict. India reclaimed control of the peaks which they now patrol and monitor all year long.

Reasons behind the dispute

The Kashmir Conflict arises from the Partition of India in 1947 into modern Indiamarker and Pakistanmarker. Both the countries have made claims to Kashmir, based on historical developments and religious affiliations of the Kashmiri people. The state of Jammu and Kashmirmarker, which lies strategically in the Northwest of the subcontinent, bordering Chinamarker and the former Soviet Unionmarker, was a princely state ruled by Maharaja Hari Singh, under the paramountcy of British India. In geographical and legal terms, the Maharaja could have joined either of the two new Dominions. Although urged by the Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, to determine the future of his state before the transfer of power took place, Hari Singh demurred. In October 1947, incursions and counter-incursions by Pakistan and India have taken place leading to a war, as a result of which the state of Jammu and Kashmirmarker remains divided between the two countries.

Administered by Area Population % Muslim % Hindu % Buddhist % Other
Indiamarker Kashmir valley ~4 million 95% 4%*
Jammu ~3 million 30% 66% 4%
Ladakh ~0.25 million 46% (Shia) 50% 3%
Pakistanmarker Northern Areas ~1 million 99%
Azad Kashmir ~2.6 million 100%
China Aksai Chin

Two-thirds of the former princely state (known as the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmirmarker), comprising Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, and the sparsely populated Buddhist area of Ladakhmarker are controlled by Indiamarker; one-third is administered by Pakistanmarker. The latter includes a narrow strip of land called Azad Kashmirmarker and the Northern Areas compromising the Gilgit Agency, Baltistan and the former kingdoms of Hunza and Nagar. Attempts to resolve the dispute through political discussions were unsuccessful. In September 1965, war broke out again between Pakistanmarker and Indiamarker. The United Nations called for a yet another cease-fire, and peace was restored once again following the Tashkent Declaration in 1966, by which both nations returned to their original positions along the demarcated line. After the 1971 war and the creation of independent Bangladeshmarker, under the terms of the 1972 Simla Agreement between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of Indiamarker and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of Pakistanmarker, it was agreed that neither country would seek to alter the cease-fire line in Kashmir, which was renamed as the Line of Controlmarker, "unilaterally, irrespective of mutual differences and legal interpretations".

Numerous violations of the Line of Control have occurred, including the infamous incursions by insurgents and Pakistani armed forces at Kargil leading to the Kargil war. There are also sporadic clashes on the Siachen Glaciermarker, where the Line of Control is not demarcated and both countries maintain forces at altitudes rising to .

Indian view

Indian viewpoint is succinctly summarized by Ministry of External affairs, Government of India —

  • India holds that the Instrument of Accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India, signed by the Maharaja Hari Singh (erstwhile ruler of the State) on 26 October, 1947, was completely valid in terms of the Government of India Act (1935), Indian Independence Act (1947) and international law and was total and irrevocable.

  • The Constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir had unanimously ratified the Maharaja's Instrument of Accession to India and had adopted a constitution for the state that called for a perpetual merger of the state with the Union of India. India claims that this body was a representative one, and that its views were those of the Kashmiri people at the time.

  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1172 tacitly accepts India's stand regarding all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan and urges the need to resolve the dispute through mutual dialogue and does not call for a plebiscite.

  • India does not accept the two-nation theory that forms the basis of Pakistan and argues that Kashmir, despite being a Muslim-majority state, is in many ways an "integral part" of secular India.

  • India points to the recent state-assembly elections held in phases in November–December 2008. High turnouts were seen in spite of calls for boycott by Kashmiri separatists. The pro-India National Conference party emerged as the winner.

Additional Indian viewpoint regarding the broader debate over the Kashmir conflict include:

  • India believes that the insurgency and terrorism in Kashmir is deliberately being fueled by Pakistan to create instability in the region. The Government of India has repeatedly asked the international community to declare Pakistan as a sponsor of terrorism.

  • Pakistan is trying to raise anti-India sentiment among the people of Kashmir by spreading false propaganda against India. According to the state government of Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistani radio and television channels deliberately spread "hate and venom" against India to alter Kashmiri opinion.

  • In a diverse country like India, disaffection and discontent are not uncommon. Indian democracy has the necessary resilience to accommodate genuine grievances within the framework of our sovereignty, unity and integrity. Government of India has expressed its willingness to accommodate the legitimate political demands of the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmirmarker.

  • India points out at various reports by human rights organizations condemning Pakistan for the lack civic liberties in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. According to India, most regions of Pakistani Kashmir, especially Northern Areas, continue to suffer from lack of political recognition, economic development and basic fundamental rights.

  • All differences between India and Pakistan including Kashmir need to be settled through bilateral negotiations as agreed to by the two countries when they signed the Simla Agreement on July 2, 1972.

Pakistani view

Map of Kashmir as drawn by the Government of Pakistan.
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 also maintains that the Maharaja used brute force to suppress the population. Pakistan also accuses India of hypocrisy, as it refused to recognize the accession of Junagadhmarker to Pakistan and Hyderabad's independence, on the grounds that those two states had Hindu majorities (in fact, India occupied and forcibly integrated those two territories). Furthermore, as he had fled Kashmir due to Pakistani invasion, Pakistan asserts that the Maharaja held no authority in determining Kashmir's future. Additionally, Pakistan argues that even if the Maharaja had any authority in determining the plight of Kashmir, he signed the Instrument of Accession under duress, thus invalidating the legitimacy of his actions.

Pakistan also claims that Indian forces were in Kashmir before the Instrument of Accession was signed with India, and that therefore Indian troops were in Kashmir in violation of the Standstill Agreement, which was designed to maintain the status quo in Kashmir (although India was not signatory to the Agreement, signed between Pakistan and the Hindu ruler of Jammu and Kashmir).

From 1990 to 1999 some organizations report that Indian Armed Forces, its paramilitary groups, and counter-insurgent militias have been responsible for the deaths 4,501 of Kashmiri civilians. Also from 1990 to 1999, there are records of 4,242 women between the ages of 7-70 that have been raped.. Similar allegations were also made by some human rights organizations.

In short, Pakistan holds that:
  • The popular Kashmiri insurgency demonstrates that the Kashmiri people no longer wish to remain within India. Pakistan suggests that this means that either Kashmir wants to be with Pakistan or independent.

  • According to the two-nation theory which is one of the theories that is cited for the partition that created India and Pakistan, Kashmir should have been with Pakistan, because it has a Muslim majority.
  • India has shown disregard to the resolutions of the UN Security Council, and the United Nations Commission in India and Pakistan by failing to hold a plebiscite to determine the future allegiance of the entire state.
  • The Kashmiri people have now been forced by the circumstances to rise against the alleged repression of the Indian army and uphold their right of self-determination through militancy. Pakistan claims to give the Kashmiri insurgents moral, ethical and military support (see 1999 Kargil Conflict).
  • Recent protests in Indian administered Kashmir show a large number of people showing increased anger over Indian rule with massive rallies taking place to oppose Indian control of the state.
  • Pakistan also points to the violence that accompanies elections in Indian Kashmir and the anti Indian sentiments expressed by some people in the state.
  • Pakistan has noted the wide spread use of extrajudicial killings in Indian-administered Kashmirmarker carried out by Indian security forces while claiming they were caught up in encounters with militants. These fake encounters are common place in Indian-administered Kashmir and the perpetrators are spared criminal prosecution. These fake encounters go largely uninvestigated by the authorities.
  • Pakistan points towards reports from the United Nations which condemn India for its human rights violations against kashmiri people.
  • Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari stated in October 2008 that Kashmiri 'freedom fighters' were terrorists. However his remarks met with widespread condemnation across Pakistan and Kashmir, including prominent politicians.
  • The Chenab formula - This was proposed in 1960's, in which Kashmir valley and other Muslim dominated areas north of Chenab rivermarker will go to Pakistan, and Jammu and other Hindu dominated region will go to India.
  • It is widely known that the disputed rigged election of 1987 had caused the catalyst for the insurgency in Indian Kashmir and yearning for Independence from India or joining Pakistan. {}

Cross-border troubles

The border and the Line of Controlmarker separating Indian and Pakistani Kashmir passes through some exceptionally difficult terrain. The world's highest battleground, the Siachen Glaciermarker is a part of this difficult-to-man boundary. Even with 200,000 military personnel, [197337] India maintains that it is infeasible to place enough men to guard all sections of the border throughout the various seasons of the year. Pakistan has indirectly acquiesced its role in failing to prevent "cross border terrorism" when it agreed to curb such activities [197338] after intense pressure from the Bush administration in mid 2002.

The Government of Pakistan has repeatedly claimed that by constructing a fence along the line of control, India is violating the Shimla Accord. However, India claims the construction of the fence has helped decrease armed infiltration into Indian-administered Kashmirmarker.

In 2002 Pakistani President and Army Chief General Pervez Musharraf promised to check infiltration into Jammu and Kashmirmarker.

Water dispute

Another reason behind the dispute over Kashmir is water. Kashmir is the origin point for many rivers and tributaries of the Indus Rivermarker basin. They include Jhelummarker and Chenabmarker which primarily flow into Pakistan while other branches - the Ravimarker, Beas and the Sutlejmarker irrigate northern India. Pakistan has been apprehensive that in a dire need, India (under whose portion of Kashmir lies the origins and passage of the said rivers) would use its strategic advantage and withhold the flow and thus choke the agrarian economy of Pakistan. The Boundary Award of 1947 meant that the headwaters of Pakistani irrigation systems were in Indian Territory.The Indus Waters Treaty signed in 1960 resolved most of these disputes over the sharing of water, calling for mutual cooperation in this regard. But this treaty faced issues raised by Pakistan over the construction of dams on the Indian side which limit water to the Pakistani side.

Human rights abuse

Claims of human rights abuses have been made against the Indian Armed Forces and the armed militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir.[197339] A 2005 study conducted by Médecins Sans Frontières found that Kashmiri women are among the worst sufferers of sexual violence in the world, with 11.6% of respondents reporting that they had been victims of sexual abuse. Some surveys have found that in the Kashmir region itself (where the bulk of separatist and Indian military activity is concentrated), popular perception holds that the Indian Armed Forces are more to blame for human rights violations than the separatist groups. According to the MORI survey of 2002, in Kashmir only 2% of respondents believed that the militant groups were guilty of widespread human rights abuses, while 64% believed that Indian troops were guilty of the same. This trend was reversed however in other parts of the state.Off late Amnesty International has called on India to "unequivocally condemn enforced disappearances" and to ensure that impartial investigation is conducted on reality of mass graves in its controlled Kashmir region. As the Indian state police confirms as many as 331 deaths while in custody and 111 enforced disappearances since 1989 [197340].

Map issues

As with other disputed territories, each government issues maps depicting their claims in Kashmir as part of their territory, regardless of actual control. It is illegal in India to exclude all or part of Kashmir in a map. It is also illegal in Pakistanmarker not to include the state of Jammu and Kashmirmarker as disputed territory, as permitted by the United Nations. Non-participants often use the Line of Controlmarker and the Line of Actual Control as the depicted boundaries, as is done in the CIA World Factbook, and the region is often marked out in hashmarks, although the Indian government strictly opposes such practices . When Microsoft released a map in Windows 95 and MapPoint 2002, a controversy was raised because it did not show all of Kashmir as part of India as per Indian claim. However, all the neutral and Pakistani companies claim to follow UN's map and over 90% of all maps containing the territory of Kashmir show it as disputed territory.[197341]

Sources from:

UN: The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on the map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.Dotted line represents approximately the Line of Controlmarker of Jammu and Kashmirmarker agreed upon by the Republic of Indiamarker and the Government of Pakistan since 1972. Both the parties have not yet agreed upon the final status of the region and nothing significant has been implemented since the peace process began in 2004.

Islamabadmarker: The Government of Pakistan maintains un-provisionally and unconditionally stating that the informal "Accession of Jammu and Kashmir" to Pakistan or even to the Republic of Indiamarker remains to be decided by UN plebiscite. It accepts UN's map of the territory. Also the designations and the presentation of the Kashmirmarker's regional map based on UNO practice, do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Commonwealth Secretariat or the publishers concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. There is no intention to define the status Jammu and/or Kashmir, which has not yet been agreed upon by the parties.

New Delhimarker: The Government of India states that "the external artificial boundaries of Indiamarker, especially concerning the Kashmir regionmarker under its jurisdiction created by a foreign body are neither correct nor authenticated".

Recent developments

India continues to assert their sovereignty or rights over the entire region of Kashmir, while Pakistan maintains that it is a disputed territory. Pakistan argues that the status quo cannot be considered as a solution. Pakistan insists on a UN sponsored plebiscite . Unofficially, the Pakistani leadership has indicated that they would be willing to accept alternatives such as a demilitarized Kashmir, if sovereignty of Azad Kashmir was to be extended over the Kashmir valley, or the ‘Chenab’ formula, by which India would retain parts of Kashmir on its side of the Chenab river, and Pakistan the other side - effectively re-partioning Kashmir on communal lines. The problem however is that the Population of Pakistan Administered portion of Kashmir is both ethnically and linguistically and culturally different from that in Kashmir Valley India. The Azad Kashmir population being on the most part ethnic Punjabis. Therefore a Partition on the Chenab formula is opposed by most Kashmiri politicians from all spectrums, though some, such as Sajjad Lone, have in recent months suggested that non-Muslim part of Jammu and Kashmir be separated from Kashmir and handed to India. Some political analysts say that the Pakistan terrorist state policy shift and mellowing down of its aggressive stance may have to do with its total failure in the Kargil War and the subsequent 9/11 attacks that put pressure on Pakistan to alter its terrorist position. Further many neutral parties to the dispute have noted that UN resolution on Kashmir is no longer relevant. Even the European Union has viewed that the plebiscite is not in Kashmiris' interest. The report also notes, that the UN-laiddown conditions for such a plebiscite have not been, and can no longer be, met byPakistan. Even the Hurriyat Conference observed in 2003, that "Plebiscite no longer an option" Besides the popular factions that support either parties, there is a third faction which supports independence and withdrawal of both India and Pakistan. These have been the respective stands of the parties for long, and there have been no significant change over the years. As a result, all efforts to solve the conflict have been futile so far.

The Freedom in the World 2006 report categorized the Indian-administered Kashmirmarker as "partly free", and Pakistan-administered Kashmirmarker as well as the country of Pakistanmarker "not free". [197342] India claims that contrary to popular belief, a large proportion of the Jammu and Kashmir populace wish to remain with India. A MORI survey found that within the Kashmir Valley, 9% of respondents said they felt they would be better off as Indian citizens, with 78% saying that they did not know, and the remaining 13% favouring Pakistani citizenship. According to a 2007 poll conducted by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, 87% of respondents in the Kashmir Valley prefer independence over union with India or Pakistan.

The 2005 Kashmir earthquake, which killed over 80,000 people, led to India and Pakistan finalizing negotiations for the opening of a road for disaster relief through Kashmir.

Efforts to end the crisis

The 9/11 attacks on the US resulted in the US government wanting to restrain militancy in the world, including Pakistan. US urged Islamabadmarker to cease infiltrations, which continue to this day, by Islamist militants into Indian-administered Kashmir. In December 2001, a terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament linked to Pakistan resulted in war threats, massive deployment and international fears of nuclear war in the subcontinent.

After intensive diplomatic efforts by other countries, India and Pakistan began to withdraw troops from the international border June 10, 2002, and negotiations began again. Effective November 26, 2003, India and Pakistan have agreed to maintain a ceasefire along the undisputed International Border, the disputed Line of Controlmarker, and the Siachenmarker glacier. This is the first such "total ceasefire" declared by both nuclear powers in nearly 15 years. In February 2004, Pakistan further increased pressure on Pakistanis fighting in Indian-administered Kashmir to adhere to the ceasefire. The nuclear-armed neighbours also launched several other mutual confidence building measures. Restarting the bus service between the Indian- and Pakistani- administered Kashmir has helped defuse the tensions between the countries. Both India and Pakistan have also decided to cooperate on economic fronts.

On Dec. 5, 2006, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf told an Indian TV channel that Pakistan would give up its claim on Kashmir if India accepted some of his peace proposals, including a phased withdrawal of troops, self-governance for locals, no changes in the borders of Kashmir, and a joint supervision mechanism involving India, Pakistan and Kashmir, the BBC reported. Musharraf also stated that he was ready to give up the United Nations' resolutions regarding Kashmir .

2008 Militant attacks

In the week of March 10 2008, 17 people were wounded when a blast hit the region's only highway overpass located near the Civil Secretariat Indian-controlled Kashmir's seat of government and the region's high court. A gun battle between security forces and militants fighting against Indianmarker rule left five people dead and two others injured March 23 2008. The battle began when security forces raided a house on the outskirts of the capital city of Srinagarmarker. The Indian Army has been carrying out cordon-and-search operations against militants in Indian-administered Kashmir since the current armed violence broke out here in 1989. While the authorities here say 43,000 persons have been killed in the violence, various rights groups and non-governmental organizations have put the figure at twice that number.

According to Govt. of India Home Ministry, 2008 marks the lowest civilian casualties in 20 years with 89 deaths, compared to highest of 1,413 in 1996. 85 security personnel died in 2008 compared to 613 in 2001, while 102 militants killed. Human right situation improved with only 1 custodial death and no custodial disappearance.

2008 Kashmir protests

Massive demonstrations occurred after plans by the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir state government to transfer of land to a trust which runs the Hindu Amarnath shrinemarker in the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley.. This land was to be used to build a shelter to house Hindu pilgrims temporarily during their annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath templemarker.

Indian security forces and the Indian army responded quickly to keep order. More than 40 unarmed protesters were killed and at least 300 were detained. The largest protests saw more than a half million people waving Pakistani flags and crying for freedom at a single rally according to Time magazine. Pro-Independent Kashmir Leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq warned that the peaceful uprising could lead to violent upsurge if India's heavy-handed crackdown on protests were not restrained. The United Nations expressed concern on India's response to peaceful protests and urged to investigate and bring to justice Indian security personnel who had taken part in the crackdown.

Separatists and workers of a political party were believed to be behind stone pelting incidents which led to retaliatory fire by the police. Autorickshaw laden with stones meant for distribution was seized by the police in March 2009.

2008 Kashmir elections

State Elections were held in Indian held Kashmir in seven phases starting November 17 and finishing on December 24, 2008. In spite of calls by separatists for a boycott an unusually high turnout of almost 50% was recorded. The National Conference party which was founded by Sheikh Abdullah and regarded as pro Indiamarker emerged with maximum seats and will form government in coalition with Indian National Congress.

2008 marks the lowest civilian casualties in 20 years with 89 deaths, compared to highest of 1,413 in 1996. 85 security personnel died in 2008 compared to 613 in 2001, while 102 militants were killed. Many analysts say Pakistan's preoccupation with jihadis within its own borders explains the relative calm.

2008 marked the greatest number of anti India protests since 1980 due to the Amarnath land transfer controversy with several hundred thousand protesters spilling out onto the streets of Indian-administered Kashmirmarker demanding freedom from India the protests were suppressed by the Indian army with attacks on protesters leading to the deaths of 40 unarmed civilians. However the elections which were held subsequently led to almost half of the Kashmiris ignoring the boycott call by separatists and voting Pro Indiamarker party National Conference into power.Separatists insist that this was so because people were looking towards their well being and voting for whatever could get them 'bread and clothing',and the turnout did not necessarily reflect the feelings of the Kashmiris towards India.On 30 December Congress and the National Conference agreed to form a coalition government, with Omar Abdullah as Chief Minister. On January 5, 2009 Omar Abdullah was sworn in as 11th Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmirmarker. In March 2009 Omar Abdullah stated that only 800 militants were active in the state and out of these only 30% were Kashmiris.

Obama on Kashmir Conflict

In an interview with Joe Klien of Time magazine in October 2008 Barack Obama expressed his intention to try to work with India and Pakistan to resolve this crisis in a serious way. He said he had talked to Bill Clinton about it ( being a mediator). In an editorial in The Washington Times, Selig S Harrison, director of Asia Programme at the Center for International Policy and a senior scholar of the Woodrow Wilson International called it Obama's first foreign policy mistake. The Australian in an editorial called Obama's Idea to appoint a presidential negotiator "a very stupid and dangerous move indeed" In an editorial in Forbes, Reihan Salam associate editor for The Atlantic noted "The smartest thing President Obama could do on Kashmir is probably nothing. We have to hope that India and Pakistan can work out their differences on Kashmir on their own". The Boston Globe in an editorial called the idea of appointing Bill Clinton as an envoy to Kashmir "a mistake". India has long regarded Kashmir as an Integral part of India and resisted outside intervention considering Kashmir to be an integral part of India and the conflict a bilateral matter between India and Pakistan. President Obama appointed Richard Holbrooke as special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan. President Asif Ali Zardari had hoped that Holbrooke would help mediate to resolve Kashmir issue. Subsequently Kashmir was removed from the mandate of Richard Holbrooke . “Eliminating … Kashmir from his job description … is seen as a significant diplomatic concession to India that reflects increasingly warm ties between the country and the United States,” The Washington Post noted in a report. Brajesh Mishra, India's former national security adviser, was quoted in the same report as saying in reference to the territory's Indian-administered sector "No matter what government is in place, India is not going to relinquish control of Jammu and Kashmir," "That is written in stone and cannot be changed." According to The Financial Times India has warned US President Barack Obama that he risks “barking up the wrong tree” if he seeks to broker a settlement between Pakistan and India over the disputed territory of Kashmir.

In July 2009 US Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake, Jr. stated categorically that United States had no plans of appointing any special envoy to settle the long standing dispute of Kashmir between India and Pakistan calling it an issue which needs to be sorted out bilaterally by the two neighboring states. According to Dawn in Pakistan this will be interpreted as an endorsement of India’s position on Kashmir that no outside power has any role in this dispute.

See also

Further reading

  • Drew, Federic. 1877. “The Northern Barrier of India: a popular account of the Jammoo and Kashmir Territories with Illustrations.&;#8221; 1st edition: Edward Stanford, London. Reprint: Light & Life Publishers, Jammu. 1971.
  • Dr. Ijaz Hussain, 1998, Kashmir Dispute: An International Law Perspective, National Institute of Pakistan Studies
  • Alastair Lamb, Kashmir: A Disputed Legacy 1846-1990 (Hertingfordbury, Herts: Roxford Books, 1991)
  • Kashmir Study Group, 1947-1997, the Kashmir dispute at fifty : charting paths to peace (New York, 1997)
  • Jaspreet Singh, Seventeen Tomatoes an unprecedented look inside the world of an army camp in Kashmir (Vehicle Press; Montreal, Canada, 2004)
  • Navnita Behera, State, identity and violence : Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh (New Delhi: Manohar, 2000)
  • Sumit Ganguly, The Crisis in Kashmir (Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press; Cambridge : Cambridge U.P., 1997)
  • Sumantra Bose, The challenge in Kashmir : democracy, self-determination and a just peace (New Delhi: Sage, 1997)
  • Robert Johnson, 'A Region in Turmoil' (London and New York, Reaktion, 2005)
  • Hans Köchler, The Kashmir Problem between Law and Realpolitik. Reflections on a Negotiated Settlement. Keynote speech delivered at the "Global Discourse on Kashmir 2008." European Parliamentmarker, Brussels, 1 April 2008.
  • Prem Shankar Jha, Kashmir, 1947: rival versions of history (New Delhi : Oxford University Press, 1996)
  • Manoj Joshi, The Lost Rebellion (New Delhi: Penguin India, 1999)
  • Alexander Evans, Why Peace Won't Come to Kashmir, Current History (Vol 100, No 645) April 2001 p170-175.
  • Younghusband, Francis and Molyneux, E. 1917. Kashmir. A. & C. Black, London.
  • Victoria Schofield, Kashmir in Conflict I.B. Tauris, London.
  • Victoria Schofield, Kashmir in the Crossfire, I.B. Tauris, London.
  • Andrew Whitehead, A Mission in Kashmir, Penguin India, 2007
  • Muhammad Ayub, An Army; Its Role & Rule (A History of the Pakistan Army from Independence to Kargil 1947-1999). Rosedog Books,Pittsburgh,pennsylvnia USA.2005.ISBN 0-8059-9594-3
  • Kashmir Conflict, Homepage Washington Post.


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  32. COMMENTARY: Qualifying as a terrorist state, Asia Times, 2002-02-05
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  47. Conflict Rape Victims: Abandoned And Forgotten By Syed Junaid Hashmi
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  62. EU: Plebiscite not in Kashmiris’ interest - November 30, 2006, Pak Observer
  63. REPORT on Kashmir: present situation and future prospects Committee on Foreign Affairs Rapporteur: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne
  64. Plebiscite no longer an option; Kashmir row must be resolved within two years' — — Hurriyat Conference Chairman, Mr Abdul Gani Bhat,The Hindu, 2003-07-01
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  81. Level of violence in Kashmir dips
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  84. Omar Abdullah sworn in, Tara Chand to be deputy CM,, 2009-01-05
  85. 800 ultras active in state: Omar, The Tribune, 2009-03-02
  86. The full Obama Interview, TIME
  87. SELIG S. HARRISON, director of the Asia Program at the Center for International Policy
  88. Kashmir issue leading Obama into first 'tar pit', The Washington Times, 2009-01-06
  89. Asia's Islamism engine, The Australian, 2008-12-04
  90. What Should Obama Do On Kashmir, Forbes, 2008-12-01
  91. A wrong role for Bill Clinton, The Boston Globe, 2008-12-28
  92. Holbrooke Plans First Trip as Afghanistan-Pakistan Envoy, Voice of America
  93. Partnering With Pakistan,The Washington Post, 2009-01-28
  94. Will Kashmir Be an Obama Foreign Policy Focus?, TIME 2009-01-28
  95. Kashmir taken out of Holbrooke’s brief, says report, DAWN, 2009-01-31
  96. U.S. Removes Kashmir From Envoy's Mandate; India Exults, The Washington Post, 2009-01-30
  97. India warns Obama over Kashmir, The Financial Times, 2009-02-03
  98. US has no plans to appoint special envoy on Kashmir: Blake, The News International, 2009-07-16
  99. US to sign $20 billion defence accords with India, Dawn , 2009-07-17

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