Kashmir conflict | Wikipedia audio article

Kashmir conflict | Wikipedia audio article


The Kashmir conflict is a territorial conflict
primarily between India and Pakistan, having started just after the partition of India
in 1947. China has at times played a minor role. India and Pakistan have fought three
wars over Kashmir, including the Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1947 and 1965, as well as the Kargil
War of 1999. The two countries have also been involved in several skirmishes over control
of the Siachen Glacier. India claims the entire princely state of
Jammu and Kashmir, and, as of 2010, administers approximately 43% of the region. It controls
Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, and the Siachen Glacier. India’s claims are contested
by Pakistan, which administers approximately 37% of the region, namely Azad Kashmir and
Gilgit-Baltistan. China currently administers the remaining 20% mostly uninhabited areas,
the Shaksgam Valley, and the Aksai Chin region. The present conflict is in Kashmir Valley.
The root of conflict between the Kashmiri insurgents and the Indian government is tied
to a dispute over local autonomy and based on the demand for self-determination. Democratic
development was limited in Kashmir until the late 1970s, and by 1988, many of the democratic
reforms introduced by the Indian Government had been reversed. Non-violent channels for
expressing discontent were thereafter limited and caused a dramatic increase in support
for insurgents advocating violent secession from India. In 1987, a disputed state election
created a catalyst for the insurgency when it resulted in some of the state’s legislative
assembly members forming armed insurgent groups. In July 1988 a series of demonstrations, strikes
and attacks on the Indian Government began the Kashmir Insurgency.
Although thousands of people have died as a result of the turmoil in Jammu and Kashmir,
the conflict has become less deadly in recent years. Protest movements created to voice
Kashmir’s disputes and grievances with the Indian government, specifically the Indian
Military, have been active in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989. Elections held in 2008 were generally
regarded as fair by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and had a high voter
turnout in spite of calls by separatist militants for a boycott. The election resulted in the
creation of the pro-India Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, which then formed a government
in the state. According to Voice of America, many analysts have interpreted the high voter
turnout in this election as a sign that the people of Kashmir endorsed Indian rule in
the state. But in 2010 unrest erupted after alleged fake encounter of local youth with
security force. Thousands of youths pelted security forces with rocks, burned government
offices and attacked railway stations and official vehicles in steadily intensifying
violence. The Indian government blamed separatists and Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based militant
group for stoking the 2010 protests.Elections held in 2014 saw highest voters turnout in
26 years of history in Jammu and Kashmir. However, analysts explain that the high voter
turnout in Kashmir is not an endorsement of Indian rule by the Kashmiri population, rather
most people vote for daily issues such as food and electricity. An opinion poll conducted
by the Chatham House international affairs think tank found that in the Kashmir valley
– the mainly Muslim area in Indian Kashmir at the centre of the insurgency – support
for independence varies between 74% to 95% in its various districts. Support for remaining
with India was, however, extremely high in predominantly Hindu Jammu and Buddhist Ladakh.
According to scholars, Indian forces have committed many human rights abuses and acts
of terror against Kashmiri civilian population including extrajudicial killing, rape, torture
and enforced disappearances. Crimes by militants have also happened but are not comparable
in scale with the crimes of Indian forces. According to Amnesty International, as of
June 2015, no member of the Indian military deployed in Jammu and Kashmir has been tried
for human rights violations in a civilian court, although there have been military court
martials held. Amnesty International welcomed this move but cautioned that justice should
be consistently delivered and prosecutions of security forces personnel be held in civilian
courts. Amnesty International has also accused the Indian government of refusing to prosecute
perpetrators of abuses in the region.Kashmir’s accession to India was provisional, and conditional
on a plebiscite, and for this reason had a different constitutional status to other Indian
states. In October 2015 Jammu and Kashmir High Court said that article 370 is “permanent”
and Jammu and Kashmir did not merge with India the way other princely states merged but retained
special status and limited sovereignty under Indian constitution.In 2016 (8 July 2016 – present)
unrest erupted after killing of a Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani by Indian security forces.==India–Pakistan conflict=====
Early history===According to the mid-12th century text Rajatarangini
the Kashmir Valley was formerly a lake. Hindu mythology relates that the lake was drained
by the sage Kashyapa, by cutting a gap in the hills at Baramulla (Varaha-mula), and
invited Brahmans to settle there. This remains the local tradition and Kashyapa is connected
with the draining of the lake in traditional histories. The chief town or collection of
dwellings in the valley is called Kashyapa-pura, which has been identified as Ancient Greek:
Κασπάπυρος Kaspapyros in Hecataeus (Apud Stephanus of Byzantium) and the Kaspatyros
of Herodotus (3.102, 4.44). Kashmir is also believed to be the country indicated by Ptolemy’s
Kaspeiria.The Pashtun Durrani Empire ruled Kashmir in the 18th century until its 1819
conquest by the Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh. The Raja of Jammu Gulab Singh, who was a vassal
of the Sikh Empire and an influential noble in the Sikh court, sent expeditions to various
border kingdoms and ended up encircling Kashmir by 1840. Following the First Anglo-Sikh War
(1845–1846), Kashmir was ceded under the Treaty of Lahore to the East India Company,
which transferred it to Gulab Singh through the Treaty of Amritsar, in return for the
payment of indemnity owed by the Sikh empire. Gulab Singh took the title of the Maharaja
of Jammu and Kashmir. From then until the 1947 Partition of India, Kashmir was ruled
by the Maharajas of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu. According to the 1941 census,
the state’s population was 77 percent Muslim, 20 percent Hindu and 3 percent others (Sikhs
and Buddhists). Despite its Muslim majority, the princely rule was an overwhelmingly Hindu
state. The Muslim majority suffered under Hindu rule with high taxes and discrimination.===Partition and invasion===
British rule in the Indian subcontinent ended in 1947 with the creation of new states: the
Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India, as the successor states to British India.
The British Paramountcy 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”. States were thereafter left to choose
whether to join India or Pakistan or to remain independent. Jammu and Kashmir, the largest
of the princely states, had a predominantly Muslim population ruled by the Hindu Maharaja
Hari Singh. He decided to stay independent because he expected that the State’s Muslims
would be unhappy with accession to India, and the Hindus and Sikhs would become vulnerable
if he joined Pakistan. On 11 August, the Maharaja dismissed his prime minister Ram Chandra Kak,
who had advocated independence. Observers and scholars interpret this action as a tilt
towards accession to India. Pakistanis decided to preempt this possibility by wresting Kashmir
by force if necessary.Pakistan made various efforts to persuade the Maharaja of Kashmir
to join Pakistan. In July 1947, Mohammad Ali Jinnah is believed to have written to the
Maharaja promising “every sort of favourable treatment,” followed by the lobbying of the
State’s Prime Minister by leaders of Jinnah’s Muslim League party. Faced with the Maharaja’s
indecision on accession, the Muslim League agents clandestinely worked in Poonch to encourage
the local Muslims to an armed revolt, exploiting an internal unrest regarding economic grievances.
The authorities in Pakistani Punjab waged a ‘private war’ by obstructing supplies of
fuel and essential commodities to the State. Later in September, Muslim League officials
in the Northwest Frontier Province, including the Chief Minister Abdul Qayyum Khan, assisted
and possibly organized a large-scale invasion of Kashmir by Pathan tribesmen. Several sources
indicate that the plans were finalised on 12 September by the Prime Minister Liaquat
Ali Khan, based on proposals prepared by Colonel Akbar Khan and Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan.
One plan called for organising an armed insurgency in the western districts of the state and
the other for organising a Pushtoon tribal invasion. Both were set in motion.The Jammu
division of the state got caught up in the Partition violence. Large numbers of Hindus
and Sikhs from Rawalpindi and Sialkot started arriving in March 1947, bringing “harrowing
stories of Muslim atrocities.” This provoked counter-violence on Jammu Muslims, which had
“many parallels with that in Sialkot.” According to scholar Ilyas Chattha. The violence in
the eastern districts of Jammu that started in September, developed into a widespread
‘massacre’ of Muslims around the October, organised by the Hindu Dogra troops of the
State and perpetrated by the local Hindus, including members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh, and the Hindus and Sikhs displaced from the neighbouring areas of West Pakistan.
The Maharaja himself was implicated in some instances. A large number of Muslims were
killed. Huge number of Muslims have fled to West Pakistan, some of whom made their way
to the western districts of Poonch and Mirpur, which were undergoing rebellion. Many of these
Muslims believed that the Maharaja ordered the killings in Jammu and instigated the Muslims
in West Pakistan to join the uprising in Poonch and help in the formation of the Azad Kashmir
government.The rebel forces in the western districts of Jammu got organised under the
leadership of Sardar Ibrahim, a Muslim Conference leader. They took control of most of the western
parts of the State by 22 October. On 24 October, they formed a provisional Azad Kashmir (free
Kashmir) government based in Palandri.===Accession===Justice Mehr Chand Mahajan, the Maharaja’s
nominee for his next prime minister, visited Nehru and Patel in Delhi on 19 September,
requesting essential supplies which had been blockaded by Pakistan since the beginning
of September. He communicated the Maharaja’s willingness to accede to India. Nehru, however,
demanded that the jailed political leader, Sheikh Abdullah, be released from prison and
involved in the state government. Only then would he allow the state to accede. The Maharaja
released Sheikh Abdullah on 29 September. Before any further reforms were implemented,
the Pakistani tribal invasion brought the matters to a head.
Maharaja’s troops, heavily outnumbered and outgunned and facing internal rebellions from
Muslim troops, had no chance of withstanding the attack. The Maharaja made an urgent plea
to Delhi for military assistance. Upon the Governor General Lord Mountbatten’s insistence,
India required the Maharaja to accede before it could send troops. Accordingly, the Maharaja
signed an instrument of accession on 26 October 1947, which was accepted by the Governor General
the next day. While the Government of India accepted the accession, it added the proviso
that it would be submitted to a “reference to the people” after the state is cleared
of the invaders, since “only the people, not the Maharaja, could decide where Kashmiris
wanted to live.” It was a provisional accession.National Conference, the largest political party in
the State and headed by Sheikh Abdullah, endorsed the accession. In the words of the National
Conference leader Syed Mir Qasim, India had the “legal” as well as “moral” justification
to send in the army through the Maharaja’s accession and the people’s support of it.The
Indian troops, which were air lifted in the early hours of 27 October, secured the Srinagar
airport. The city of Srinagar was being patrolled by the National Conference volunteers with
Hindus and Sikhs moving about freely among Muslims, an “incredible sight” to visiting
journalists. The National Conference also worked with the Indian Army to secure the
city.In the north of the state lay the Gilgit Agency, which had been leased by British India
but returned to the Maharaja shortly before Independence. Gilgit’s population did not
favour the State’s accession to India. Sensing their discontent, Major William Brown, the
Maharaja’s commander of the Gilgit Scouts, mutinied on 1 November 1947, overthrowing
the Governor Ghansara Singh. The bloodless coup d’etat was planned by Brown to the last
detail under the code name ‘Datta Khel’. Local leaders in Gilgit formed a provisional government
(Aburi Hakoomat), naming Raja Shah Rais Khan as the president and Mirza Hassan Khan as
the commander-in-chief. But, Major Brown had already telegraphed Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan
asking Pakistan to take over. According to historian Yaqoob Khan Bangash, the provisional
government lacked sway over the population which had intense pro-Pakistan sentiments.
Pakistan’s Political Agent, Khan Mohammad Alam Khan, arrived on 16 November and took
over the administration of Gilgit. According to various scholars, the people of Gilgit
as well as those of Chilas, Koh Ghizr, Ishkoman, Yasin, Punial, Hunza and Nagar joined Pakistan
by choice.===Indo-Pakistani War of 1947===Rebel forces from the western districts of
the State and the Pakistani Pakhtoon tribesmen made rapid advances into the Baramulla sector.
In the Kashmir valley, National Conference volunteers worked with the Indian Army to
drive out the ‘raiders’. The resulting First Kashmir War lasted until
the end of 1948. The Pakistan army made available arms, ammunition
and supplies to the rebel forces who were dubbed the ‘Azad Army’. Pakistani army officers
‘conveniently’ on leave and the former officers of the Indian National Army were recruited
to command the forces. In May 1948, the Pakistani army officially entered the conflict, in theory
to defend the Pakistan borders, but it made plans to push towards Jammu and cut the lines
of communications of the Indian forces in the Mendhar valley. C. Christine Fair notes
that this was the beginning of Pakistan using irregular forces and ‘asymmetric warfare’
to ensure plausible deniability, which has continued ever since.On 1 November 1947, Mountbatten
flew to Lahore for a conference with Jinnah, proposing that, in all the princely States
where the ruler did not accede to a Dominion corresponding to the majority population (which
would have included Junagadh, Hyderabad as well as Kashmir), the accession should be
decided by an ‘impartial reference to the will of the people’. Jinnah rejected the offer.
According to Indian scholar A. G. Noorani Jinnah ended up squandering his leverage.According
to Jinnah, India acquired the accession through “fraud and violence.” A plebiscite was unnecessary
and states should accede according to their majority population. He was willing to urge
Junagadh to accede to India in return for Kashmir. For a plebiscite, Jinnah demanded
simultaneous troop withdrawal for he felt that ‘the average Muslim would never have
the courage to vote for Pakistan’ in the presence of Indian troops and with Sheikh Abdullah
in power. When Mountbatten countered that the plebiscite could be conducted by the United
Nations, Jinnah, hoping that the invasion would succeed and Pakistan might lose a plebiscite,
again rejected the proposal, stating that the Governors Generals should conduct it instead.
Mountbatten noted that it was untenable given his constitutional position and India did
not accept Jinnah’s demand of removing Sheikh Abdullah.Prime Ministers Nehru and Liaquat
Ali Khan met again in December, when Nehru informed Khan of India’s intention to refer
the dispute to the United Nations under article 35 of the UN Charter, which allows the member
states to bring to the Security Council attention situations ‘likely to endanger the maintenance
of international peace’.Nehru and other Indian leaders were afraid since 1947 that the “temporary”
accession to India might act as an irritant to the bulk of the Muslims of Kashmir. Secretary
in Patel’s Ministry of States, V.P. Menon, admitted in an interview in 1964 that India
had been absolutely dishonest on the issue of plebiscite. A.G. Noorani blames many Indian
and Pakistani leaders for the misery of Kashmiri people but says that Nehru was the main culprit.===UN mediation===India sought resolution of the issue at the
UN Security Council, despite Sheikh Abdullah’s opposition to it. Following the set-up of
the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP), the UN Security Council
passed Resolution 47 on 21 April 1948. The measure called for an immediate cease-fire
and called on the Government of Pakistan ‘to secure the withdrawal from the state of Jammu
and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered
the state for the purpose of fighting.’ It also asked Government of India to reduce its
forces to minimum strength, after which the circumstances for holding a plebiscite should
be put into effect ‘on the question of Accession of the state to India or Pakistan.’ However,
it was not until 1 January 1949 that the ceasefire could be put into effect, signed by General
Douglas Gracey on behalf of Pakistan and General Roy Bucher on behalf of India. However, both
India and Pakistan failed to arrive at a truce agreement due to differences over interpretation
of the procedure for and the extent of demilitarisation. One sticking point was whether the Azad Kashmiri
army was to be disbanded during the truce stage or at the plebiscite stage.The UNCIP
made three visits to the subcontinent between 1948 and 1949, trying to find a solution agreeable
to both India and Pakistan. It reported to the Security Council in August 1948 that “the
presence of troops of Pakistan” inside Kashmir represented a “material change” in the situation.
A two-part process was proposed for the withdrawal of forces. In the first part, Pakistan was
to withdraw its forces as well as other Pakistani nationals from the state. In the second part,
“when the Commission shall have notified the Government of India” that Pakistani withdrawal
has been completed, India was to withdraw the bulk of its forces. After both the withdrawals
were completed, a plebiscite would be held. The resolution was accepted by India but effectively
rejected by Pakistan.The Indian government considered itself to be under legal possession
of Jammu and Kashmir by virtue of the accession of the state. The assistance given by Pakistan
to the rebel forces and the Pakhtoon tribes was held to be a hostile act and the further
involvement of the Pakistan army was taken to be an invasion of Indian territory. From
the Indian perspective, the plebiscite was meant to confirm the accession, which was
in all respects already complete, and Pakistan could not aspire to an equal footing with
India in the contest.The Pakistan government held that the state of Jammu and Kashmir had
executed a Standstill Agreement with Pakistan which precluded it from entering into agreements
with other countries. It also held that the Maharaja had no authority left to execute
accession because his people had revolted and he had to flee the capital. It believed
that the Azad Kashmir movement as well as the tribal incursions were indigenous and
spontaneous, and Pakistan’s assistance to them was not open to criticism.In short, India
required an asymmetric treatment of the two countries in the withdrawal arrangements,
regarding Pakistan as an ‘aggressor’, whereas Pakistan insisted on parity. The UN mediators
tended towards parity, which was not to India’s satisfaction. In the end, no withdrawal was
ever carried out, India insisting that Pakistan had to withdraw first, and Pakistan contending
that there was no guarantee that India would withdraw afterwards. No agreement could be
reached between the two countries on the process of demilitarisation.Cold War historian Robert
J. McMahon states that American officials increasingly blamed India for rejecting various
UNCIP truce proposals under various dubious legal technicalities just to avoid a plebiscite.
McMahon adds that they were ‘right’ since a Muslim majority made a vote to join Pakistan
the ‘most likely outcome’ and postponing the plebiscite would serve India’s interests.Scholars
have commented that the failure of the Security Council efforts of mediation owed to the fact
that the Council regarded the issue as a purely political dispute without investigating its
legal underpinnings. Declassified British papers indicate that Britain and US had let
their Cold War calculations influence their policy in the UN, disregarding the merits
of the case.===Dixon Plan===The UNCIP appointed its successor, Sir Owen
Dixon, to implement demilitarization prior to a statewide plebiscite on the basis of
General McNaughton’s scheme, and to recommend solutions to the two governments. Dixon’s
efforts for a statewide plebiscite came to naught due to India’s constant rejection of
the various alternative demilitarisation proposals, for which Dixon rebuked India harshly.Dixon
then offered an alternative proposal, widely known as the Dixon plan. Dixon did not view
the state of Jammu and Kashmir as one homogeneous unit and therefore proposed that a plebiscite
be limited to the Valley. Dixon agreed that people in Jammu and Ladakh were clearly in
favour of India; equally clearly, those in Azad Kashmir and the Northern Areas wanted
to be part of Pakistan. This left the Kashmir Valley and ‘perhaps some adjacent country’
around Muzaffarabad in uncertain political terrain. Pakistan did not accept this plan
because it believed that India’s commitment to a plebiscite for the whole state should
not be abandoned.Dixon also had concerns that the Kashmiris, not being high-spirited people,
may vote under fear or improper influences. Following Pakistan’s objections, he proposed
that Sheikh Abdullah administration should be held in “commission” (in abeyance) while
the plebiscite was held. This was not acceptable to India which rejected the Dixon plan. Another
grounds for India’s rejection of the limited plebiscite was that it wanted Indian troops
to remain in Kashmir for “security purposes”, but would not allow Pakistani troops the same.
However, Dixon’s plan had encapsulated a withdrawal by both sides. Dixon had believed a neutral
administration would be essential for a fair plebiscite.Dixon came to the conclusion that
India would never agree to conditions and a demilitarization which would ensure a free
and fair plebiscite. Dixon’s failure also compounded American ambassador Loy Henderson’s
misgivings about Indian sincerity and he advised the US to maintain a distance from the Kashmir
dispute, which the US subsequently did, and leave the matter for Commonwealth nations
to intervene in.===1950 military standoff===
The convening of the Constituent Assembly in Indian Kashmir in July 1950 proved contentious.
Pakistan protested to the Security Council which informed India that this development
conflicted with the parties’ commitments. The National Conference rejected this resolution
and Nehru supported this by telling Dr Graham that he would receive no help in implementing
the Resolution. A month later Nehru adopted a more conciliatory attitude, telling a press
conference that the Assembly’s actions would not affect India’s plebiscite commitment.
The delay caused frustration in Pakistan and Zafrullah Khan went on to say that Pakistan
was not keeping a warlike mentality but did not know what Indian intransigence would lead
Pakistan and its people to. India accused Pakistan of ceasefire violations and Nehru
complained of ‘warmongering propaganda’ in Pakistan. On 15 July 1951 the Pakistani Prime
Minister complained that the bulk of the Indian Army was concentrated on the Indo-Pakistan
border.The prime ministers of the two countries exchanged telegrams accusing each other of
bad intentions. Liaquat Ali Khan rejected Nehru’s charge of warmongering propaganda.
Khan called it a distortion of the Pakistani press’ discontent with India over its persistence
in not holding a plebiscite and a misrepresentation of the desire to liberate Kashmir as an anti-Indian
war. Khan also accused India of raising its defence budget in the past two years, a charge
which Nehru rejected while expressing surprise at Khan’s dismissal of the ‘virulent’ anti-Indian
propaganda. Khan and Nehru also disagreed on the details of the no-war declarations.
Khan then submitted a peace plan calling for a withdrawal of troops, settlement in Kashmir
by plebiscite, renouncing the use of force, end to war propaganda and the signing of a
no-war pact. Nehru did not accept the second and third components of this peace plan. The
peace plan failed. While an opposition leader in Pakistan did call for war, leaders in both
India and Pakistan did urge calm to avert disaster.The Commonwealth had taken up the
Kashmir issue in January 1951. Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies suggested that
a Commonwealth force be stationed in Kashmir; that a joint Indo-Pakistani force be stationed
in Kashmir and the plebiscite administrator be entitled to raise local troops while the
plebiscite would be held. Pakistan accepted these proposals but India rejected them because
it did not want Pakistan, who was in India’s eyes the ‘aggressor’, to have an equal footing.
The UN Security Council called on India and Pakistan to honour the resolutions of plebiscite
both had accepted in 1948 and 1949. The United States and Britain proposed that if the two
could not reach an agreement then arbitration would be considered. Pakistan agreed but Nehru
said he would not allow a third person to decide the fate of four million people. Korbel
criticised India’s stance towards a ″valid″ and ″recommended technique of international
co-operation.″However, the peace was short-lived. Later by 1953, Sheikh Abdullah, who was by
then in favour of resolving Kashmir by a plebiscite, an idea which was “anametha” to the Indian
government according to historian Zutshi, fell out with the Indian government. He was
dismissed and imprisoned in August 1953. His former deputy, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad was
appointed as the prime minister, and Indian security forces were deployed in the Valley
to control the streets.===Nehru’s plebiscite offer===
Soon after the election of Bogra as Prime Minister in Pakistan he met Nehru in London.
A second meeting followed in Delhi in the backdrop of unrest in Kashmir following Sheikh
Abdullah’s arrest. The two sides agreed to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir. Scholar Noorani
says the agreement Nehru reached with Bogra was only an act to quench the Kashmiri unrest
although Raghavan disagrees.They also agreed informally to not retain the UN-appointed
plebiscite administrator Nimitz because India felt a pro-Pakistan bias on America’s part.
An outcry in Pakistan’s press against agreeing to India’s demand was ignored by both Bogra
and Nehru who kept the negotiations on track.The USA in February 1954 announced that it wanted
to provide military aid to Pakistan. The USA signed a military pact with Pakistan in May
by which Pakistan would receive military equipment and training. The US President tried to alleviate
India’s concerns by offering similar weaponry to India. This was an unsuccessful attempt.
Nehru’s misgivings about the US-Pakistan pact made him hostile to a plebiscite. Consequently,
when the pact was concluded in May 1954, Nehru withdrew the plebiscite offer and declared
that the status quo was the only remaining option.Nehru’s withdrawal from the plebiscite
option came a major blow to all concerned. Scholars have suggested that India was never
seriously intent on holding a plebiscite, and the withdrawal came to signify a vindication
of their belief.Indian writer Nirad C. Chaudhuri has observed that Pakistan’s acceptance of
Western support ensured its survival. He believed that India intended to invade Pakistan twice
or thrice during the period 1947–1954. For scholar Wayne Wilcox, Pakistan was able to
find external support to counter “Hindu superiority”, returning to the group security position of
the early 20th century.===Sino-Indian War===In 1962, troops from the People’s Republic
of China and India clashed in territory claimed by both. China won a swift victory in the
war. Aksai Chin, part of which was under Chinese jurisdiction before the war, remained under
Chinese control since then. Another smaller area, the Trans-Karakoram, was demarcated
as the Line of Control (LOC) between China and Pakistan, although some of the territory
on the Chinese side is claimed by India to be part of Kashmir. The line that separates
India from China in this region is known as the “Line of Actual Control”.===Operation Gibraltar and 1965 Indo-Pakistani
war===Following its failure to seize Kashmir in
1947, Pakistan supported numerous ‘covert cells’ in Kashmir using operatives based in
its New Delhi embassy. After its military pact with the United States in the 1950s,
it intensively studied guerrilla warfare through engagement with the US military. In 1965,
it decided that the conditions were ripe for a successful guerilla war in Kashmir. Code
named ‘Operation Gibraltar’, companies were dispatched into Indian-administered Kashmir,
the majority of whose members were razakars (volunteers) and mujahideen recruited from
Pakitan-administered Kashmir and trained by the Army. These irregular forces were supported
by officers and men from the paramilitary Northern Light Infantry and Azad Kashmir Rifles
as well as commandos from the Special Services Group. About 30,000 infiltrators are estimated
to have been dispatched in August 1965 as part of the ‘Operation Gibraltar’.The plan
was for the infiltrators to mingle with the local populace and incite them to rebellion.
Meanwhile, guerilla warfare would commence, destroying bridges, tunnels and highways,
as well as Indian Army installations and airfields, creating conditions for an ‘armed insurrection’
in Kashmir. If the attempt failed, Pakistan hoped to have raised international attention
to the Kashmir issue. Using the newly acquired sophisticated weapons through the American
arms aid, Pakistan believed that it could achieve tactical victories in a quick limited
war.However, the ‘Operation Gibraltar’ ended in failure as the Kashmiris did not revolt.
Instead, they turned in infiltrators to the Indian authorities in substantial numbers,
and the Indian Army ended up fighting the Pakistani Army regulars. Pakistan claimed
that the captured men were Kashmiri ‘freedom fighters’, a claim contradicted by the international
media. On 1 September, Pakistan launched an attack
across the Cease Fire Line, targeting Akhnoor in an effort to cut Indian communications
into Kashmir. In response, India broadened the war by launching an attack on Pakistani
Punjab across the international border. The war lasted until 23 September, ending in a
stalemate. Following the Tashkent Agreement, both the sides withdrew to their pre-conflict
positions, and agreed not to interfere in each other’s internal affairs.===1971 Indo-Pakistani war and Simla Agreement
===The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 led to a loss
for Pakistan and a military surrender in East Pakistan. Bangladesh got created as a separate
state with India’s support and India emerged as a clear regional power in South Asia.A
bilateral summit was held at Simla as a follow-up to the war, where India pushed for peace in
South Asia. At stake were 5,139 square miles of Pakistan’s territory captured by India
during the conflict, and over 90,000 prisoners of war held in Bangladesh. India was ready
to return them in exchange for a “durable solution” to the Kashmir issue. Diplomat J.
N. Dixit states that the negotiations at Simla were painful and tortuous, and almost broke
down. The deadlock was broken in a personal meeting between the Prime Ministers Zulfikar
Ali Bhutto and Indira Gandhi, where Bhutto acknowledged that the Kashmir issue should
be finally resolved and removed as a hurdle in India-Pakistan relations; that the cease-fire
line, to be renamed the Line of Control, could be gradually converted into a de jure border
between India and Pakistan; and that he would take steps to integrate the Pakistani-controlled
portions of Jammu and Kashmir into the federal territories of Pakistan. However, he requested
that the formal declaration of the Agreement should not include a final settlement of the
Kashmir dispute as it would endanger his fledgling civilian government and bring in military
and other hardline elements into power in Pakistan.Accordingly, the Simla Agreement
was formulated and signed by the two countries, whereby the countries resolved to settle their
differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations and to maintain the sanctity
of the Line of Control. Multilateral negotiations were not ruled out, but they were conditional
upon both sides agreeing to them. To India, this meant an end to the UN or other multilateral
negotiations. However Pakistan reinterpreted the wording in the light of a reference to
the “UN charter” in the agreement, and maintained that it could still approach the UN. The United
States, United Kingdom and most Western governments agree with India’s interpretation.The Simla
Agreement also stated that the two sides would meet again for establishing durable peace.
Reportedly Bhutto asked for time to prepare the people of Pakistan and the National Assembly
for a final settlement. Indian commentators state that he reneged on the promise. Bhutto
told the National Assembly on 14 July that he forged an equal agreement from an unequal
beginning and that he did not compromise on the right of self-determination for Jammu
and Kashmir. The envisioned meeting never occurred.==Internal conflict=====
Political movements during the Dogra rule===Political movements in the princely state
of Jammu and Kashmir started in 1932, earlier than in any other princely state of India.
In that year, Sheikh Abdullah, a Kashmiri, and Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas, a Jammuite, led
the founding of the All-Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference in order to agitate for
the rights of Muslims in the state. In 1938, they renamed the party National Conference
in order to make it representative of all Kashmiris independent of religion. The move
brought Abdullah closer to Jawaharlal Nehru, the rising leader of the Congress party. The
National Conference eventually became a leading member of the All-India States Peoples’ Conference,
a Congress-sponsored confederation of the political movements in the princely states.
Three years later, rifts developed within the Conference owing to political, regional
and ideological differences. A faction of the party’s leadership grew disenchanted with
Abdullah’s leanings towards Nehru and the Congress, and his secularisation of Kashmiri
politics. Consequently, Abbas broke away from the National Conference and revived the old
Muslim Conference in 1941, in collaboration with Mirwaiz Yusuf Shah. These developments
indicated fissures between the ethnic Kashmiris and Jammuites, as well as between the Hindus
and Muslims of Jammu. Muslims in the Jammu region were Punjabi-speaking and felt closer
affinity to Punjabi Muslims than with the Valley Kashmiris. In due course, the Muslim
Conference started aligning itself ideologically with the All-India Muslim League, and supported
its call for an independent ‘Pakistan’. The Muslim Conference derived popular support
among the Muslims of the Jammu region, and some from the Valley. Conversely, Abdullah’s
National Conference enjoyed influence in the Valley. Chitralekha Zutshi states that the
political loyalties of Valley Kashmiris were divided in 1947, but the Muslim Conference
failed to capitalise on it due its fractiousness and the lack of a distinct political programme.In
1946, the National Conference launched the ‘Quit Kashmir’ movement, asking the Maharaja
to hand the power over to the people. The movement came under criticism from the Muslim
Conference, who charged that Abdullah was doing it to boost his own popularity, waning
because of his pro-India stance. Instead, the Muslim Conference launched a ‘campaign
of action’ similar to Muslim League’s programme in British India. Both Abdullah and Abbas
were imprisoned. By 22 July 1947, the Muslim Conference started calling for the state’s
accession to Pakistan.The Dogra Hindus of Jammu were originally organised under the
banner of All Jammu and Kashmir Rajya Hindu Sabha, with Prem Nath Dogra as a leading member.
In 1942, Balraj Madhok arrived in the state as a pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh (RSS). He established branches of the RSS in Jammu and later in the Kashmir Valley.
Prem Nath Dogra was also the chairman (sanghchalak) of the RSS in Jammu.
In May 1947, following the Partition plan, the Hindu Sabha threw in its support to whatever
the Maharaja might decide regarding the state’s status, which in effect meant support for
the state’s independence. However, following the communal upheaval of the Partition and
the tribal invasion, its position changed to supporting the accession of the state to
India and, subsequently, full integration of Jammu with India.
In November 1947, shortly after the state’s accession to India, the Hindu leaders launched
the Jammu Praja Parishad with the objective of achieving the “full integration” of Jammu
and Kashmir with India, opposing the “communist-dominated anti-Dogra government of Sheikh Abdullah.”===Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir
=======Autonomy and plebiscite conundrum (1947–1953)
====Article 370 was drafted in the Indian constitution
granting special autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, as per Instrument
of Accession. This article specifies that the State must concur in the application of
laws by Indian parliament, except those that pertain to Communications, Defence and Foreign
Affairs. Central Government could not exercise its power to interfere in any other areas
of governance of the state. Sheikh Abdullah took oath as Prime Minister
of the state on 17 March 1948. In 1949, the Indian government obliged Hari Singh to leave
Jammu and Kashmir and yield the government to Sheikh Abdullah. Karan Singh, the son of
the erstwhile Maharajah Hari Singh was made the Sadr-i-Riyasat (Constitutional Head of
State) and the Governor of the state. Elections were held for the Constituent Assembly
of Jammu and Kashmir in 1951, with 75 seats allocated for the Indian administered part
of Kashmir, and 25 seats left reserved for the Pakistan administered part. Sheikh Abdullah’s
National Conference won all 75 seats in a rigged election. In October 1951, Jammu & Kashmir
National Conference under the leadership of Sheikh Abdullah formed the Constituent Assembly
of Jammu and Kashmir to formulate the Constitution of the state. Sheikh initially wanted the
Constituent Assembly to decide the State’s accession. But this was not agreed to by Nehru,
who stated that such “underhand dealing” would be very bad, as the matter was being decided
by the UN.Sheikh Abdullah was said to have ruled the state in an undemocratic and authoritarian
manner during this period.According to historian Zutshi, in the late 1940s, most Kashmiri Muslims
in Indian Kashmir were still debating the value of the state’s association with India
or Pakistan. By the 1950s, she says, the National Conference government’s repressive measures
and the Indian state’s seeming determination to settle the state’s accession to India without
a reference to the people of the state brought Kashmiri Muslims to extol the virtues of Pakistan
and condemn India’s high-handedness in its occupation of the territory, and even those
who had been in India’s favour began to speak in terms of the state’s association with Pakistan.In
early 1949, an agitation was started by Jammu Praja Parishad, a Hindu nationalist party
which was active in the Jammu region, over the ruling National Conference’s policies.
The government swiftly suppressed it by arresting as many as 294 members of the Praja Parishad
including Prem Nath Dogra, its president. Though Sheikh’s land reforms were said to
have benefited the people of rural areas, Praja Parishad opposed the ‘Landed Estates
Abolition Act’, saying it was against the Indian Constitutional rights, for implementing
land acquisition without compensation. Praja Parishad also called for the full integration
with the rest of India, directly clashing with the demands of National Conference for
complete autonomy of the state. On 15 January 1952, students staged a demonstration against
the hoisting of the state flag alongside the Indian Union flag. They were penalised, giving
rise to a big procession on 8 February. The military was called out and a 72-hour curfew
imposed. N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar, the Indian Central Cabinet minister in charge of Kashmir
affairs, came down to broker peace, which was resented by Sheikh Abdullah.In order to
break the constitutional deadlock, Nehru invited the National Conference to send a delegation
to Delhi. The ‘1952 Delhi Agreement’ was formulated to settle the extent of applicability of the
Indian Constitution to the Jammu and Kashmir and the relation between the State and Centre.
It was reached between Nehru and Abdullah on 24 July 1952. Following this, the Constituent
Assembly abolished the monarchy in Kashmir, and adopted an elected Head of State (Sadr-i
Riyasat). However, the Assembly was reluctant to implement the remaining measures agreed
to in the Delhi Agreement.In 1952, Sheikh Abdullah drifted from his previous position
of endorsing accession to India to insisting on the self-determination of Kashmiris.The
Praja Parishad undertook a civil disobedience campaign for a third time in November 1952,
which again led to repression by the state government. The Parishad accused Abdullah
of communalism (sectarianism), favouring the Muslim interests in the state and sacrificing
the interests of the others. The Jana Sangh joined hands with the Hindu Mahasabha and
Ram Rajya Parishad to launch a parallel agitation in Delhi. In May 1953, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee,
a prominent Indian leader of the time and the founder of Hindu nationalist party Bharatiya
Jana Sangh (later evolved as BJP), made a bid to enter Jammu and Kashmir after denying
to take a permit, citing his rights as an Indian citizen to visit any part of the country.
Abdullah prohibited his entry and promptly arrested him when he attempted. An estimated
10,000 activists were imprisoned in Jammu, Punjab and Delhi, including Members of Parliament.
Unfortunately, Mukherjee died in detention on 23 June 1953, leading to an uproar in whole
India and precipitating a crisis that went out of control.Observers state that Abdullah
became upset, as he felt, his “absolute power” was being compromised in India.Meanwhile,
Nehru’s pledge of a referendum to people of Kashmir did not come into action. Sheikh Abdullah
advocated complete independence and had allegedly joined hands with US to conspire against India.On
8 August 1953, Sheikh Abdullah was dismissed as Prime Minister by the Sadr-i-Riyasat Karan
Singh on the charge that he had lost the confidence of his cabinet. He was denied the opportunity
to prove his majority on the floor of the house. He was also jailed in 1953 while Sheikh’s
dissident deputy, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad was appointed as the new Prime Minister of the
state.====Period of integration and rise of Kashmiri
nationalism (1954–1974)====From all the information I have, 95 per cent
of Kashmir Muslims do not wish to be or remain Indian citizens. I doubt therefore the wisdom
of trying to keep people by force where they do not wish to stay. This cannot but have
serious long-term political consequences, though immediately it may suit policy and
please public opinion. Bakshi Mohammad implemented all the measures
of the ‘1952 Delhi Agreement’. In May 1954, as a subsequent to the Delhi agreement, The
Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954, is issued by the President of
India under Article 370, with the concurrence of the Government of the State of Jammu and
Kashmir. In that order, the Article 35A is added to the Constitution of India to empower
the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the
state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents.On 15 February
1954, under the leadership of Bakshi Mohammad, the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir
ratified the state’s accession to India. On 17 November 1956, the Constitution of Jammu
and Kashmir was adopted by the Assembly and it came into full effect on 26 January 1957.
On 24 January 1957, the UN passed a resolution stating that the decisions of the Constituent
Assembly would not constitute a final disposition of the State, which needs to be carried out
by a free and impartial plebiscite.After the overthrow of Sheikh Abdullah, his lieutenant
Mirza Afzal Beg formed the Plebiscite Front on 9 August 1955 to fight for the plebiscite
demand and the unconditional release of Sheikh Abdullah. The activities of the Plebiscite
Front eventually led to the institution of the infamous Kashmir Conspiracy Case in 1958
and two other cases. On 8 August 1958, Abdullah was arrested on the charges of these cases.India’s
Home Minister, Pandit Govind Ballabh Pant, during his visit to Srinagar in 1956, declared
that the State of Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India and there could be
no question of a plebiscite to determine its status afresh, hinting that India would resist
plebiscite efforts from then on.After the mass unrest due to missing of holy relic from
the Hazratbal Shrine on 27 December 1963, the State Government dropped all charges in
the Kashmir Conspiracy Case as a diplomatic decision, on 8 April 1964. Sheikh Abdullah
was released and returned to Srinagar where he was accorded a great welcome by the people
of the valley. After his release he was reconciled with Nehru. Nehru requested Sheikh Abdullah
to act as a bridge between India and Pakistan and make President Ayub to agree to come to
New Delhi for the talks for a final solution of the Kashmir problem. President Ayub Khan
also sent telegrams to Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah with the message that as Pakistan too was
a party to the Kashmir dispute any resolution of the conflict without its participation
would not be acceptable to Pakistan. Sheikh Abdullah went to Pakistan in the spring of
1964. President Ayub Khan of Pakistan held extensive talks with him to explore various
avenues for solving the Kashmir problem and agreed to come to Delhi in mid June for talks
with Nehru as suggested by him. Even the date of his proposed visit was fixed and communicated
to New Delhi. However, while Abdullah was still in Pakistan, news came of the sudden
death of Nehru on 27 May 1964. The peace initiative died with Nehru.After Nehru’s death in 1964,
Abdullah was interned from 1965 to 1968 and exiled from Kashmir in 1971 for 18 months.
The Plebiscite Front was also banned. This was allegedly done to prevent him and the
Plebiscite Front which was supported by him, from taking part in elections in Kashmir.On
21 November 1964, the Articles 356 and 357 of the Indian Constitution were extended to
the state, by virtue of which the Central Government can assume the government of the
State and exercise its legislative powers. On 24 November 1964, the Jammu and Kashmir
Assembly passed a constitutional amendment changing the elected post of Sadr-i-Riyasat
to a centrally-nominated post of “Governor” and renaming “Prime Minister” to “Chief Minister”,
which is regarded as the “end of the road” for the Article 370, and the Constitutional
autonomy guaranteed by it. On 3 January 1965, prior to 1967 Assembly elections, the Jammu
and Kashmir National Conference dissolved itself and merged into the Indian National
Congress, as a marked centralising strategy.After Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Kashmiri nationalists
Amanullah Khan and Maqbool Bhat, along with Hashim Qureshi, in 1966, formed another Plebiscite
Front in Azad Kashmir with an armed wing called the National Liberation Front (NLF), with
the objective of freeing Kashmir from Indian occupation and then liberating the whole of
Jammu and Kashmir. Later in 1976, Maqbool Bhat is arrested on his return to the Valley.
Amanullah Khan moved to England and there NLF was renamed Jammu and Kashmir Liberation
Front (JKLF). Shortly after 1965 war, Kashmiri Pandit activist
and writer, Prem Nath Bazaz wrote that the overwhelming majority of Kashmir’s Muslims
were unfriendly to India and wanted to get rid of the political setup, but did not want
to use violence for this purpose. He added : “It would take another quarter century of
repression and generation turnover for the pacifist approach to yield decisively as armed
struggle, qualifying Kashmiris as ‘reluctant secessionists’.”In 1966 the Indian opposition
leader Jayaprakash wrote to Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that India rules Kashmir by
force.====Revival of National Conference (1975–1983)
====In 1971, the declaration of Bangladesh’s independence
was proclaimed on 26 March by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and subsequently the Bangladesh Liberation
War broke out in erstwhile East Pakistan between Pakistan and Bangladesh which was later joined
by India, and subsequently war broke out on the western border of India between India
and Pakistan, both of which culminated in the creation of Bangladesh.
It is said that, Sheikh Abdullah, watching the alarming turn of events in the subcontinent,
realized that for the survival of the region, there was an urgent need to stop pursuing
confrontational politics and promoting solution of issues by a process of reconciliation and
dialogue. Critics of Sheikh hold the view that he gave up the cherished goal of plebiscite
for gaining Chief Minister’s chair. He started talks with the then Prime Minister Indira
Gandhi for normalizing the situation in the region and came to an accord with her, called
1975 Indira-Sheikh accord, by giving up the demand for a plebiscite in lieu of the people
being given the right to self-rule by a democratically elected Government (as envisaged under article
370 of the Constitution of India), rather than the “puppet government” which is said
to have ruled the state until then. Sheikh Abdullah revived the National Conference,
and Mirza Afzal Beg’s Plebiscite Front was dissolved in the NC. Sheikh assumed the position
of Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir again after 11 years. Later in 1977, the Central
Government and the ruling Congress Party withdrew its support so that the State Assembly had
to be dissolved and mid term elections called. Sheikh’s party National Conference won a majority
(47 out of 74 seats) in the subsequent elections, on the pledge to restore Jammu and Kashmir’s
autonomy, and Sheikh Abdullah was re-elected as Chief Minister. The 1977 Assembly election
is regarded as the first “free and fair” election in the Jammu and Kashmir state.He remained
as Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir until his death in 1982. Later his eldest son Farooq
Abdullah succeeded him as the Chief Minister of the state.
During the 1983 Assembly elections, Indira Gandhi campaigned aggressively, raising the
bogey of a ‘Muslim invasion’ in the Jammu region because of the Resettlement Bill, passed
by the then NC government, which gave Kashmiris who left for Pakistan between 1947 and 1954
the right to return, reclaim their properties and resettle. On the other hand, Farooq Abdullah
allied with the Mirwaiz Maulvi Mohammed Farooq for the elections and charged that the state’s
autonomy had been eroded by successive Congress Party governments. The strategies yielded
dividends and the Congress won 26 seats, while the NC secured 46. Barring an odd constituency,
all victories of the Congress were in the Jammu and Ladakh regions, while NC swept the
Kashmir Valley. This election is said to have cemented the political polarization on religious
lines in the Jammu and Kashmir state.After the results of the 1983 election, the Hindu
nationalists in the state were demanding stricter central government control over the state
whereas Kashmir’s Muslims wanted to preserve the state’s autonomy. Islamic fundamentalist
groups clamoured for a plebiscite. Maulvi Farooq challenged the contention that there
was no longer a dispute on Kashmir. He said that the people’s movement for plebiscite
would not die even though India thought it did when Sheikh Abdullah died.In 1983, learned
men of Kashmiri politics testified that Kashmiris had always wanted to be independent. But the
more serious-minded among them also realised that this is not possible, considering Kashmir’s
size and borders.According to professor Mridu Rai, for three decades Delhi’s handpicked
politicians in Kashmir had supported the State’s accession to India in return for generous
disbursements from Delhi. Rai states that the state elections were conducted in Jammu
and Kashmir, but except for the 1977 and 1983 elections no state election was fair.Kashmiri
Pandit activist Prem Nath Bazaz wrote that if free elections were held, the majority
of seats would be won by those not friendly to India.====Rise of the separatist movement and Islamism
(1984–1986)====Increasing anti-Indian protests took place
in Kashmir in the 1980s. The Soviet-Afghan jihad and the Islamic Revolution in Iran were
becoming sources of inspiration for large numbers of Kashmiri Muslim youth. The state
authorities responded with increasing use of brute force to simple economic demands.
Both the pro-Independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and the pro-Pakistan
Islamist groups including JIJK mobilised the fast growing anti-Indian sentiments among
the Kashmiri population. 1984 saw a pronounced rise in terrorist violence in Kashmir. When
Kashmir Liberation Front militant Maqbool Bhat was executed in February 1984, strikes
and protests by Kashmiri nationalists broke out in the region. Large numbers of Kashmiri
youth participated in widespread anti India demonstrations, which faced heavy handed reprisals
by Indian state forces. Critics of the then Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah, charged that
Abdullah was losing control. His visit to Pakistan administered Kashmir became an embarrassment,
where according to Hashim Qureshi, he shared a platform with Kashmir Liberation Front.
Though Abdullah asserted that he went on behalf of Indira Gandhi and his father, so that sentiments
there could “be known first hand”, few people believed him. There were also allegations
that he had allowed Khalistan terrorist groups to train in Jammu province, although those
allegations were never proved. On July 2, 1984, Ghulam Mohammad Shah, who had support
from Indira Gandhi, replaced his brother-in-law Farooq Abdullah and became the chief minister
of Jammu and Kashmir, after Abdullah was dismissed, in what was termed as a political “coup”.In
1986 some members of the JKLF crossed over to Pakistan to receive arms training but the
Jamaat Islami Jammu Kashmir, which saw Kashmiri nationalism as contradicting Islamic universalism
and its own desire for merging with Pakistan, did not support the JKLF movement. As late
as that year, Jamaat member Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who later became a supporter of Kashmir’s
armed revolt, urged that the solution for the Kashmir issue be arrived at through peaceful
and democratic means. To achieve its goal of self-determination for the people of Jammu
and Kashmir the Jamaat e Islami’s stated position was that the Kashmir issues be resolved through
constitutional means and dialogue.Shah’s administration, which did not have the people’s mandate, turned
to Islamists and opponents of India, notably the Molvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, Mohammad
Shafi Qureshi and Mohinuddin Salati, to gain some legitimacy through religious sentiments.
This gave political space to Islamists who previously lost overwhelmingly, allegedly
due to massive rigging, in the 1983 state elections. In 1986, Shah decided to construct
a mosque within the premises of an ancient Hindu temple inside the New Civil Secretariat
area in Jammu to be made available to the Muslim employees for ‘Namaz’. People of Jammu
took to streets to protest against this decision, which led to a Hindu-Muslim clash. On his
return to Kashmir valley in February 1986, Gul Shah retaliated and incited the Kashmiri
Muslims by saying Islam khatrey mein hey (trans. Islam is in danger). As a result, communal
violence gripped the region, in which Hindus were targeted, especially the Kashmiri pandits,
who later in the year 1990, fled the valley in large numbers. During the Anantnag riot
in February 1986, although no Hindu was killed, many houses and other properties belonging
to Hindus were looted, burnt or damaged.An investigation of Anantnag riots revealed that
members of the ‘secular parties’ in the state, rather than the Islamists, had played a key
role in organising the violence to gain political mileage through religious sentiments. Shah
called in the army to curb the violence, but it had little effect. His government was dismissed
on March 12, 1986, by the then Governor Jagmohan following communal riots in south Kashmir.
This led Jagmohan to rule the state directly. Jagmohan is said to have failed to distinguish
between the secular forms and Islamist expressions of Kashmiri identity, and hence saw that identity
as a threat. This failure was exploited by the Islamists of the valley, who defied the
‘Hindu nationalist’ policies implemented during Jagmohan’s tenure, and thereby gained momentum.
The political fight was hence being portrayed as a conflict between “Hindu” New Delhi (Central
Government), and its efforts to impose its will in the state, and “Muslim” Kashmir, represented
by political Islamists and clerics. Jagmohan’s pro-Hindu bias in the administration led to
an increase in the appeal of the Muslim United Front.==Post-1987 insurgency in Indian administered
Kashmir=====1987 state elections===An alliance of Islamic parties organized into
Muslim United Front (MUF) to contest the 1987 state elections.
Culturally, the growing emphasis on secularism led to a backlash with Islamic parties becoming
more popular. MUF’s election manifesto stressed the need
to solve all outstanding issues according to the Simla agreement, work for Islamic unity
and against political interference from the centre. Their slogan was wanting the law of
the Quran in the Assembly.There was highest recorded participation in this election. Eighty
per cent of the people in the Valley voted. MUF received victory in only 4 of the contested
43 electoral constituencies despite its high vote share of 31 per cent (this means that
its official vote in the Valley was larger than one-third). The elections were widespreadly
believed to have been rigged by the ruling party National Conference, allied with the
Indian National Congress. In the absence of rigging, commentators believe that the MUF
could have won fifteen to twenty seats, a contention admitted by the National Conference
leader Farooq Abdullah. Scholar Sumantra Bose, on the other hand. opines that the MUF would
have won most of the constituencies in the Kashmir Valley.
BBC reported that Khem Lata Wukhloo, who was a leader of the Congress party at the time,
admitted the widespread rigging in Kashmir. He stated: “I remember that there was a massive
rigging in 1987 elections. The losing candidates were declared winners. It shook the ordinary
people’s faith in the elections and the democratic process.”===1989 popular insurgency and militancy
===In the years since 1990, the Kashmiri Muslims
and the Indian government have conspired to abolish the complexities of Kashmiri civilization.
The world it inhabited has vanished: the state government and the political class, the rule
of law, almost all the Hindu inhabitants of the valley, alcohol, cinemas, cricket matches,
picnics by moonlight in the saffron fields, schools, universities, an independent press,
tourists and banks. In this reduction of civilian reality, the sights of Kashmir are redefined:
not the lakes and Mogul gardens, or the storied triumphs of Kashmiri agriculture, handicrafts
and cookery, but two entities that confront each other without intermediary: the mosque
and the army camp. In 1989, a widespread popular and armed insurgency
started in Kashmir. After the 1987 state legislative assembly election, some of the results were
disputed. This resulted in the formation of militant wings and marked the beginning of
the Mujahadeen insurgency, which continues to this day. India contends that the insurgency
was largely started by Afghan mujahadeen who entered the Kashmir valley following the end
of the Soviet–Afghan War. Yasin Malik, a leader of one faction of the Jammu Kashmir
Liberation Front, was one of the Kashmiris to organise militancy in Kashmir, along with
Ashfaq Majeed Wani, Javaid Ahmad Mir, and Abdul Hamid Sheikh. Since 1995, Malik has
renounced the use of violence and calls for strictly peaceful methods to resolve the dispute.
Malik developed differences with one of the senior leaders, Farooq Siddiqui (alias Farooq
Papa), for shunning demands for an independent Kashmir and trying to cut a deal with the
Indian Prime Minister. This resulted in a split in which Bitta Karate, Salim Nanhaji,
and other senior comrades joined Farooq Papa. Pakistan claims these insurgents are Jammu
and Kashmir citizens, and are rising up against the Indian army as part of an independence
movement. Amnesty International has accused security forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir
of exploiting an Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act that enables them to “hold prisoners without
trial”. The group argues that the law, which allows security forces to detain individuals
for up to two years without presenting charges violates prisoners’ human rights. In 2011,
the state humans right commission said it had evidence that 2,156 bodies had been buried
in 40 graves over the last 20 years. The authorities deny such accusations. The security forces
say the unidentified dead are militants who may have originally come from outside India.
They also say that many of the missing people have crossed into Pakistan-administered Kashmir
to engage in militancy. However, according to the state human rights commission, among
the identified bodies 574 were those of “disappeared locals”, and according to Amnesty International’s
annual human rights report (2012) it was sufficient for “belying the security forces’ claim that
they were militants”.India claims these insurgents are Islamic terrorist groups from Pakistan-administered
Kashmir and Afghanistan, fighting to make Jammu and Kashmir a part of Pakistan. They
claim Pakistan supplies munitions to the terrorists and trains them in Pakistan. India states
that the terrorists have killed many citizens in Kashmir and committed human rights violations
whilst denying that their own armed forces are responsible for human rights abuses. On
a visit to Pakistan in 2006, former Chief Minister of Kashmir Omar Abdullah remarked
that foreign militants were engaged in reckless killings and mayhem in the name of religion.
The Indian government has said militancy is now on the decline.The Pakistani government
calls these insurgents “Kashmiri freedom fighters”, and claims that it provides them only moral
and diplomatic support, although India believes they are Pakistan-supported terrorists from
Pakistan Administered Kashmir. In October 2008, President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan
called the Kashmir separatists “terrorists” in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
These comments sparked outrage amongst many Kashmiris, some of whom defied a curfew imposed
by the Indian army to burn him in effigy.In 2008, pro-separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq
told the Washington Post that there has been a “purely indigenous, purely Kashmiri” peaceful
protest movement alongside the insurgency in Indian-administered Kashmir since 1989.
The movement was created for the same reason as the insurgency and began after the disputed
election of 1987. According to the United Nations, the Kashmiris have grievances with
the Indian government, specifically the Indian military, which has committed human rights
violations.In 1994, the NGO International Commission of Jurists sent a fact finding
mission to Kashmir. The ICJ mission concluded that the right of self-determination to which
the peoples of Jammu and Kashmir became entitled as part of the process of partition had neither
been exercised nor abandoned, and thus remained exercisable. It further stated that as the
people of Kashmir had a right of self-determination, it followed that their insurgency was legitimate.
It, however, did not follow that Pakistan had a right to provide support for the militants.===1999 Conflict in Kargil===In mid-1999, alleged insurgents and Pakistani
soldiers from Pakistani Kashmir infiltrated Jammu and Kashmir. 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 Control. This
practice is followed by both India and Pakistan Army. The terrain makes it difficult for both
sides to maintain a strict border control over Line of Control. The insurgents took
advantage of this and occupied vacant mountain peaks in the Kargil range overlooking the
highway in Indian Kashmir that connects Srinagar and Leh. By blocking the highway, they could
cut off the only link between the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh. This resulted in a large-scale
conflict between the Indian and Pakistani armies. The final stage involved major battles
by Indian and Pakistani forces resulting in India recapturing most of the territories
held by Pakistani forces. Fears of the Kargil War turning into a nuclear
war provoked the then-United States President Bill Clinton to pressure Pakistan to retreat.
The Pakistan Army withdrew their remaining troops from the area, ending the conflict.
India regained control of the Kargil peaks, which they now patrol and monitor all year
long.===2000s Al-Qaeda involvement===In a ‘Letter to American People’ written by
Osama bin Laden in 2002, he stated that one of the reasons he was fighting America was
because of its support for India on the Kashmir issue. While on a trip to Delhi in 2002, US
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld suggested that Al-Qaeda was active in Kashmir, though
he did not have any hard evidence. An investigation by a Christian Science Monitor reporter in
2002 claimed to have unearthed evidence that Al-Qaeda and its affiliates were prospering
in Pakistan-administered Kashmir with tacit approval of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence
agency (ISI). In 2002, a team comprising Special Air Service and Delta Force personnel was
sent into Indian-administered Kashmir to hunt for Osama bin Laden after reports that he
was being sheltered by the Kashmiri militant group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. US officials believed
that Al-Qaeda was helping organise a campaign of terror in Kashmir to provoke conflict between
India and Pakistan. Their strategy was to force Pakistan to move its troops to the border
with India, thereby relieving pressure on Al-Qaeda elements hiding in northwestern Pakistan.
US intelligence analysts say Al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives in Pakistan-administered
Kashmir are helping terrorists trained in Afghanistan to infiltrate Indian-administered
Kashmir. Fazlur Rehman Khalil, the leader of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, signed al-Qaeda’s
1998 declaration of holy war, which called on Muslims to attack all Americans and their
allies. In 2006 Al-Qaeda claim they have established a wing in Kashmir, which worried the Indian
government. Indian Army Lieutenant General H.S. Panag, GOC-in-C Northern Command, told
reporters that the army has ruled out the presence of Al-Qaeda in Indian-administered
Jammu and Kashmir. He said that there no evidence to verify media reports of an Al-Qaeda presence
in the state. He ruled out Al-Qaeda ties with the militant groups in Kashmir including Lashkar-e-Taiba
and Jaish-e-Mohammed. However, he stated that they had information about Al Qaeda’s strong
ties with Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed operations in Pakistan. While on a visit to
Pakistan in January 2010, US Defense secretary Robert Gates stated that Al-Qaeda was seeking
to destabilise the region and planning to provoke a nuclear war between India and Pakistan.In
June 2011, a US Drone strike killed Ilyas Kashmiri, chief of Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami,
a Kashmiri militant group associated with Al-Qaeda. Kashmiri was described by Bruce
Riedel as a ‘prominent’ Al-Qaeda member, while others described him as the head of military
operations for Al-Qaeda. Waziristan had by then become the new battlefield for Kashmiri
militants fighting NATO in support of Al-Qaeda. Ilyas Kashmiri was charged by the US in a
plot against Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper at the center of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad
cartoons controversy. In April 2012, Farman Ali Shinwari a former member of Kashmiri separatist
groups Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, was appointed chief of al-Qaeda
in Pakistan.==Reasons behind the dispute==
The Kashmir Conflict arose from the Partition of British India in 1947 into modern India
and Pakistan. Both countries subsequently made claims to Kashmir, based on the history
and religious affiliations of the Kashmiri people. The princely state of Jammu and Kashmir,
which lies strategically in the north-west of the subcontinent bordering Afghanistan
and China, was formerly 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 countries. Although urged by the Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, to determine the
future of his state before the transfer of power took place, Singh demurred. In October
1947, incursions by Pakistan took place leading to a war, as a result of which the state of
Jammu and Kashmir remains divided between India and Pakistan. Two-thirds of the former princely state of
Jammu and Kashmir, comprising Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, and the sparsely populated Buddhist
area of Ladakh are controlled by India while one-third is administered by Pakistan. The
latter includes a narrow strip of land called Azad Kashmir and the Northern Areas, comprising
the Gilgit Agency, Baltistan, and the former kingdoms of Hunza and Nagar. Attempts to resolve
the dispute through political discussions have been unsuccessful. In September 1965,
war again broke out between Pakistan and India. The United Nations called for another cease-fire,
and peace was restored 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 Bangladesh under the terms of the 1972 Simla Agreement between
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan, it was agreed
that neither country would seek to alter the cease-fire line in Kashmir, which was renamed
as the Line of Control, “unilaterally, irrespective of mutual differences and legal interpretations”.
Numerous violations of the Line of Control have occurred, including incursions by insurgents
and Pakistani armed forces at Kargil leading to the Kargil war. There have also been sporadic
clashes on the Siachen Glacier, where the Line of Control is not demarcated and both
countries maintain forces at altitudes rising to 20,000 ft (6,100 m), with the Indian forces
serving at higher altitudes.===Indian view===India has officially stated that it believes
that Kashmir to be an integral part of India, though the then Prime Minister of India, Manmohan
Singh, stated after the 2010 Kashmir Unrest that his government was willing to grant autonomy
to the region within the purview of Indian constitution if there was consensus among
political parties on this issue. The Indian viewpoint is succinctly summarised by Ministry
of External affairs, Government of India — India holds that the Instrument of Accession
of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India, signed by Maharaja Hari Singh (erstwhile
ruler of the State) on 25 October 1947 and executed on 27 October 1947 between the ruler
of Kashmir and the Governor General of India was a legal act and completely valid in terms
of the Government of India Act (1935), Indian Independence Act (1947) as well as under international
law and as such was total and irrevocable. The Constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir
had unanimously ratified the Maharaja’s Instrument of Accession to India and adopted a constitution
for the state that called for a perpetual merger of Jammu and Kashmir with the Union
of India. India claims that the constituent assembly 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 without the need for a plebiscite in the framework of UN Charter.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 47 cannot be implemented since Pakistan failed
to withdraw its forces from Kashmir, which was the first step in implementing the resolution.
India is also of the view that Resolution 47 is obsolete, since the geography and demographics
of the region have permanently altered since it adoption. The resolution was passed by
United Nations Security Council under Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter and as such
is non-binding with no mandatory enforceability, as opposed to resolutions passed under Chapter
VII. India does not accept the two-nation theory
that forms the basis of Pakistan’s claims and considers that Kashmir, despite being
a Muslim-majority state, is in many ways an “integral part” of secular India.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir was provided with significant autonomy under Article 370
of the Constitution of India. All differences between India and Pakistan,
including Kashmir, need to be settled through bilateral negotiations as agreed to by the
two countries under the Simla Agreement signed on 2 July 1972.Additional Indian viewpoints
regarding the broader debate over the Kashmir conflict include – 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 India’s sovereignty, unity, and integrity.
The Government of India has expressed its willingness to accommodate the legitimate
political demands of the people of the state of Kashmir.
Insurgency and terrorism in Kashmir is deliberately fuelled by Pakistan to create instability
in the region. The Government of India has repeatedly accused Pakistan of waging a proxy
war in Kashmir by providing weapons and financial assistance to terrorist groups in the region.
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. India has asked the United Nations not to
leave unchallenged or unaddressed the claims of moral, political, and diplomatic support
for terrorism, which were clearly in contravention of United Nations Security Council Resolution
1373. This is a Chapter VII resolution that makes it mandatory for member states to not
provide active or passive support to terrorist organisations. Specifically, it has pointed
out that the Pakistani government continues to support various terrorist organisations,
such as Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba, in direct violation of this resolution.
India points out reports by human rights organisations condemning Pakistan for the lack of 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.
Karan Singh, the son of the last ruler of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu, has
said that the Instrument of Accession signed by his father was the same as signed by other
states. He opined that Kashmir was therefore a part of India, and that its special status
granted by Article 370 of the Indian Constitution stemmed from the fact that it had its own
constitution.According to a poll in an Indian newspaper Indians were keener to keep control
of Kashmir than Pakistanis. 67% of urban Indians want New Delhi to be in full control of Kashmir.Michigan
State University scholar Baljit Singh, interviewing Indian foreign policy experts in 1965, found
that 77 percent of them favoured discussions with Pakistan on all outstanding problems
including the Kashmir dispute. However, only 17 percent were supportive of holding a plebiscite
in Kashmir. The remaining 60 percent were pessimistic of a solution due to a distrust
of Pakistan or a perception of threats to India’s internal institutions. They contended
that India’s secularism was far from stable and the possibility of Kashmir separating
from India or joining Pakistan would endanger Hindu–Muslim relations in India.In 2008,
the death toll from the last 20 years was estimated by Indian authorities to be over
47,000.In 2017 India’s Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, demanded that Pakistan desist
from demanding a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir, saying: ‘If at all a referendum is required,
it is needed in Pakistan, where people should be asked whether they want to continue in
Pakistan or are demanding the country’s merger with India’.===Pakistani view===Pakistan maintains that Kashmir is the “jugular
vein of Pakistan” and a currently disputed territory whose final status must be determined
by the people of Kashmir. 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 maintains
that the Maharaja used brute force to suppress the population.Pakistan 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, which was signed between Pakistan and the Hindu ruler of Jammu and
Kashmir).From 1990 to 1999, some organisations reported that the Indian Armed Forces, its
paramilitary groups, and counter-insurgent militias were responsible for the deaths of
4,501 Kashmiri civilians. During the same period, there were records of 4,242 women
between the ages of 7–70 being raped. Similar allegations were also made by some human rights
organisations.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 Kashmir either wants to be with Pakistan or independent.
According to the two-nation theory, one of the principles 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 for 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 state.
The reason for India’s disregard of the resolutions of the UN Security Council was given by India’s
Defense Minister, Kirshnan Menon, who said: “Kashmir would vote to join Pakistan and no
Indian Government responsible for agreeing to plebiscite would survive.”
Pakistan was of the view that the Maharaja of Kashmir had no right to call in the Indian
Army, because it held that the Maharaja of Kashmir was not a hereditary ruler and was
merely a British appointee, after the British defeated Ranjit Singh who ruled the area before
the British conquest. Pakistan has noted the widespread use of extrajudicial
killings in Indian-administered Kashmir carried out by Indian security forces while claiming
they were caught up in encounters with militants. These encounters are commonplace in Indian-administered
Kashmir. The encounters go largely uninvestigated by the authorities, and the perpetrators are
spared criminal prosecution. Pakistan disputes claims by India with reference
to the Simla Agreement that UN resolutions on Kashmir have lost their relevance. It argues
that legally and politically, UN Resolutions cannot be superseded without the UN Security
Council adopting a resolution to that effect. It also maintains the Simla Agreement emphasised
exploring a peaceful bilateral outcome, without excluding the role of UN and other negotiations.
This is based on its interpretation of Article 1(i) stating “the principles and purposes
of the Charter of the United Nations shall govern the relations between the two countries”.Human
rights organisations have strongly condemned Indian troops for widespread rape and murder
of innocent civilians while accusing these civilians of being militants.
The Chenab formula was a compromise proposed in the 1960s, in which the Kashmir valley
and other Muslim-dominated areas north of the Chenab river would go to Pakistan, and
Jammu and other Hindu-dominated regions would go to India.A poll by an Indian newspaper
shows 48% of Pakistanis want Islamabad “to take full control” of Kashmir. 47% of Pakistanis
support Kashmiri independence.Former Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf on 16 October
2014 said that Pakistan needs to incite those fighting in Kashmir, “We have source (in Kashmir)
besides the (Pakistan) army…People in Kashmir are fighting against (India). We just need
to incite them,” Musharraf told a TV channel.In 2015 Pakistan’s outgoing National Security
Advisor Sartaj Aziz said that Pakistan wished to have third party mediation on Kashmir,
but it was unlikely to happen unless by international pressure. “Under Shimla Accord it was decided
that India and Pakistan would resolve their disputes bilaterally,” Aziz said. “Such bilateral
talks have not yielded any results for the last 40 years. So then what is the solution?”===Chinese view===China states that Aksai Chin is an integral
part of China and does not recognise the inclusion of Aksai Chin as part of the Kashmir region.
China did not accept the boundaries of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu, north
of Aksai Chin and the Karakoram as proposed by the British.
China settled its border disputes with Pakistan under the 1963 Trans Karakoram Tract with
the provision that the settlement was subject to the final solution of the Kashmir dispute.===Kashmiri views===
Scholar Andrew Whitehead states that Kashmiris view Kashmir as having been ruled by their
own in 1586. Since then, they believe, it has been ruled in succession by the Mughals,
Afghans, Sikhs, Dogras and, lately, the Indian government. Whitehead states that this is
only partly true: the Mughals lavished much affection and resources on Kashmir, the Dogras
made Srinagar their capital next only to their native Jammu city, and through much of the
post-independence India, Kashmiri Muslims headed the state government. Yet Kashmiris
bear an ‘acute sense of grievance’ that they were not in control of their own fate for
centuries. A. G. Noorani, a constitutional expert, says
the people of Kashmir are ‘very much’ a party to the dispute.
According to an opinion poll conducted by Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
in 2007, 87% of people in mainly Muslim Srinagar want independence, whereas 95% of the people
in the mainly Hindu Jammu city think the state should be part of India. The Kashmir Valley
is the only region of the former princely state where the majority of the population
is unhappy with its current status. The Hindus of Jammu and Buddhists of Ladakh are content
under Indian administration. Muslims of Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas are content under
Pakistani administration. Kashmir Valley’s Muslims want to change their national status
to independence. Scholar A.G. Noorani testifies that Kashmiris
want a plebiscite to achieve freedom. Zutshi states the people of Poonch and Gilgit may
have had a chance to determine their future but the Kashmiri was lost in the process.
Since the 1947 accession of Kashmir to India was provisional and conditional on the wishes
of the people, the Kashmiris’ right to determine their future was recognised. Noorani notes
that state elections do not satisfy this requirement. Kashmiris assert that except for 1977 and
1983 elections, no state election has been fair. According to scholar Sumantra Bose,
India was determined to stop fair elections since that would have meant that elections
would be won by those unfriendly to India. The Kashmiri people have still not been able
to exercise the right to self-determination and this was the conclusion of the International
Commission of Jurists in 1994. Ayesha Parvez writes in The Hindu that high
voter turnout in Kashmir cannot be interpreted as a sign of acceptance of Indian rule. Voters
vote due to varying factors such as development, effective local governance and economy.
The Hurriyat parties do not want to participate in elections under the framework of the Indian
Constitution. Elections held by India are seen as a diversion from the main issue of
self-determination. Kashmiri opponents to Indian rule maintain
that India has stationed 600,000 Indian troops in what is the highest ratio of troops to
civilian density in the world. Kashmiri scholars say that India’s military
occupation inflicts violence and humiliation on Kashmiris. Indian forces are responsible
for human rights abuses and terror against the local population and have killed tens
of thousands of civilians. India’s state forces have used rape as a cultural weapon of war
against Kashmiris and rape has extraordinarily high incidence in Kashmir as compared to other
conflict zones of the world. Militants are also guilty of crimes but their crimes cannot
be compared with the scale of abuses by Indian forces for which justice is yet to be delivered.
Kashmiri scholars say that India’s reneging on promise of plebiscite, violations of constitutional
provisions of Kashmir’s autonomy and subversion of the democratic process led to the rebellion
of 1989–1990. According to scholar Mridu Rai, the majority
of Kashmiri Muslims believe they are scarcely better off under Indian rule than the 101
years of Dogra rule. According to lawyer and human rights activist
K. Balagopal, Kashmiris have a distinct sense of identity and this identity is certainly
not irreligious, as Islam is very much a part of the identity that Kashmiris feel strongly
for. He opined that if only non-religious identities deserve support, then no national
self-determination movement can be supported, because there is no national identity – at
least in the Third World – devoid of the religious dimension. Balagopal says that if
India and Pakistan cannot guarantee existence and peaceful development of independent Kashmir
then Kashmiris may well choose Pakistan because of religious affinity and social and economic
links. But if both can guarantee existence and peaceful development then most Kashmiris
would prefer independent Kashmir.==Cross-border troubles==The border and the Line of Control separating
Indian and Pakistani Kashmir passes through some exceptionally difficult terrain. The
world’s highest battleground, the Siachen Glacier, is a part of this difficult-to-man
boundary. Even with 200,000 military personnel, 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 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. India claims the construction of the fence has helped decrease armed infiltration
into Indian-administered Kashmir. In 2002, Pakistani President and Army Chief
General Pervez Musharraf promised to check infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir.==Pakistan’s relation with militants==
India has furnished documentary evidence to the United Nations that Pakistan supports
Kashmiri militants, leading to a ban on some terrorist organisations, which Pakistan has
yet to enforce. Former President of Pakistan and the ex-chief of the Pakistan military
Pervez Musharraf, stated in an interview in London, that the Pakistani government indeed
helped to form underground militant groups and “turned a blind eye” towards their existence
because they wanted India to discuss Kashmir.According to former Indian Prime-minister Manmohan Singh,
one of the main reasons behind the conflict was Pakistan’s “terror-induced coercion”.
He further stated at a Joint Press Conference with United States President Barack Obama
in New Delhi that India is not afraid of resolving all the issues with Pakistan including that
of Kashmir “but it is our request that you cannot simultaneously be talking and at the
same time the terror machine is as active as ever before. Once Pakistan moves away from
this terror-induced coercion, we will be very happy to engage productively with Pakistan
to resolve all outstanding issues.”In 2009, the President of Pakistan Asif Zardari asserted
at a conference in Islamabad that Pakistan had indeed created Islamic militant groups
as a strategic tool for use in its geostrategic agenda and “to attack Indian forces in Jammu
and Kashmir”. Former President of Pakistan and the ex-chief of the Pakistan military
Pervez Musharraf also stated in an interview that Pakistani government helped to form underground
militant groups to fight against Indian troops in Jammu and Kashmir and “turned a blind eye”
towards their existence because they wanted India to discuss Kashmir. The British Government
have formally accepted that there is a clear connection between Pakistan’s Inter-Services
Intelligence (ISI) and three major militant outfits operating in Jammu and Kashmir, Lashkar-e-Tayiba,
Jaish-e-Mohammed and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. The militants are provided with “weapons,
training, advice and planning assistance” in Punjab and Kashmir by the ISI which is
“coordinating the shipment of arms from the Pakistani side of Kashmir to the Indian side,
where Muslim insurgents are waging a protracted war”.Throughout the 1990s, the ISI maintained
its relationship with extremist networks and militants that it had established during the
Afghan war to utilise in its campaign against Indian forces in Kashmir. Joint Intelligence/North
(JIN) has been accused of conducting operations in Jammu and Kashmir and also Afghanistan.
The Joint Signal Intelligence Bureau (JSIB) provide communications support to groups in
Kashmir. According to Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, both former members of the National
Security Council, the ISI acted as a “kind of terrorist conveyor belt” radicalising young
men in the Madrassas of Pakistan and delivering them to training camps affiliated with or
run by Al-Qaeda and from there moving them into Jammu and Kashmir to launch attacks.Reportedly,
about Rs. 24 million are paid out per month by the ISI to fund its activities in Jammu
and Kashmir. Pro-Pakistani groups were reportedly favoured over other militant groups. Creation
of six militant groups in Kashmir, which included Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), was aided by the ISI.
According to American Intelligence officials, ISI is still providing protection and help
to LeT. The Pakistan Army and ISI also LeT volunteers to surreptitiously penetrate from
Pakistan Administrated Kashmir to Jammu and Kashmir.In the past, Indian authorities have
alleged several times that Pakistan has been involved in training and arming underground
militant groups to fight Indian forces in Kashmir.==Water dispute==
Another reason for the dispute over Kashmir is water. Kashmir is the source of many rivers
and tributaries in the Indus River basin. This basin is divided between Pakistan, which
has about 60 percent of the catchment area, India with about 20 percent, Afghanistan with
5 percent and around 15 percent in China (Tibet autonomous region). The river tributaries
are the Jhelum and Chenab rivers, which primarily flow into Pakistan, while other branches—the
Ravi, Beas, and the Sutlej—irrigate northern India.
The Indus is a river system that sustains communities in India and Pakistan. Both have
extensively dammed the Indus River for irrigation of their crops and hydro-electricity systems.
In arbitrating the conflict in 1947, Sir Cyril Radcliffe, decided to demarcate the territories
as he was unable to give to one or the other the control over the river as it was a main
economic resource for both areas. The Line of Control (LoC) was recognised as an international
border establishing that India would have control over the upper riparian and Pakistan
over the lower riparian of the Indus and its tributaries. Despite appearing to be separate
issues, the Kashmir dispute and the dispute over the water control are in reality related
and the fight over the water remains one of the main problems in establishing good relations
between the two countries. In 1948, Eugene Black, then president of the
World Bank, offered his services to solve the tension over water control. In the early
days of independence, the fact that India was able to shut off the Central Bari Doab
Canals at the time of the sowing season, causing significant damage to Pakistan’s crops. Nevertheless,
military and political clashes over Kashmir in the early years of independence appear
to have been more about ideology and sovereignty rather than over the sharing of water resources.
However, the minister of Pakistan has stated the opposite.The Indus Waters Treaty was signed
by both countries in September 1960, giving exclusive rights over the three western rivers
of the Indus river system (Jhelum, Chenab and Indus) to Pakistan, and over the three
eastern rivers (Sutlej, Ravi and Beas) to India, as long as this does not reduce or
delay the supply to Pakistan. India therefore maintains that they are not willing to break
the established regulations and they see no more problems with this issue.==Human rights abuses=====
Indian administered Kashmir===Human rights abuses such as extrajudicial
killings and rapes have been committed by Indian forces in Kashmir. Militants have also
committed crimes but their crimes pale in comparison to the crimes of Indian forces.
Crimes by state forces are done inside Kashmir Valley which is the location of the present
conflict.The 2010 Chatham House opinion poll of the people of Indian administered Jammu
and Kashmir found that overall concern, in the entire state, over human rights abuses
was 43%. In the surveyed districts of the Muslim majority Kashmir Valley, where the
desire for Independence is strongest, there was a high rate of concern over human rights
abuses. (88% in Baramulla, 87% in Srinagar, 73% in Anantnag and 55% in Badgam). However,
in the Hindu majority and Buddhist majority areas of the state, where pro-India sentiment
is extremely strong, concern over human rights abuses was low (only 3% in Jammu expressed
concerns over human rights abuses).According to Hon. Edolphus Towns of the American House
of Representatives, around 90,000 Kashmiri Muslims have been killed by the Indian government
since 1988. Human Rights Watch says armed militant organizations in Kashmir have also
targeted civilians, although not to the same extent as the Indian security forces. Since
1989, over 50,000 people are claimed to have died during the conflict. Data released in
2011 by Jammu and Kashmir government stated that, in the last 21 years, 43,460 people
have been killed in the Kashmir insurgency. Of these, 21,323 are militants, 13,226 civilians
killed by militants, 3,642 civilians killed by security forces, and 5,369 policemen killed
by militants, according to the Jammu and Kashmir government data. Jammu and Kashmir Coalition
of Civil Society says there have been 70,000 plus killings, a majority committed by the
Indian armed forces. Several international agencies and the UN
have reported human rights violations in Indian-administered Kashmir. In a 2008 press release the OHCHR
spokesmen stated “The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is concerned about the recent
violent protests in Indian-administered Kashmir that have reportedly led to civilian casualties
as well as restrictions to the right to freedom of assembly and expression.” A 1996 Human
Rights Watch report accuses the Indian military and Indian-government backed paramilitaries
of “committ[ing] serious and widespread human rights violations in Kashmir.” Jammu and Kashmir
Coalition of Civil Society labels the happenings in Kashmir as war crimes and genocide and
have issued a statement that those responsible should be tried in court of law. Some of the
massacres by security forces include Gawakadal massacre, Zakoora and Tengpora massacre and
Handwara massacre. Another such alleged massacre occurred on 6 January 1993 in the town of
Sopore. TIME Magazine described the incident as such: “In retaliation for the killing of
one soldier, paramilitary forces rampaged through Sopore’s market, setting buildings
ablaze and shooting bystanders. The Indian government pronounced the event ‘unfortunate’
and claimed that an ammunition dump had been hit by gunfire, setting off fires that killed
most of the victims.” A state government inquiry into the 22 October 1993 Bijbehara killings,
in which the Indian military fired on a procession and killed 40 people and injured 150, found
out that the firing by the forces was ‘unprovoked’ and the claim of the military that it was
in retaliation was ‘concocted and baseless’. However, the accused are still to be punished.
In its report of September 2006, Human Rights Watch stated: Indian security forces claim
they are fighting to protect Kashmiris from militants and Islamic extremists, while militants
claim they are fighting for Kashmiri independence and to defend Muslim Kashmiris from an abusive
Indian army. In reality, both sides have committed widespread and numerous human rights abuses
and violations of international humanitarian law (or the laws of war).Many human rights
organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have condemned
human rights abuses in Kashmir by Indians such as “extra-judicial executions”, “disappearances”,
and torture. The “Armed Forces Special Powers Act” grants the military, wide powers of arrest,
the right to shoot to kill, and to occupy or destroy property in counterinsurgency operations.
Indian officials claim that troops need such powers because the army is only deployed when
national security is at serious risk from armed combatants. Such circumstances, they
say, call for extraordinary measures. Human rights organisations have also asked the Indian
government to repeal the Public Safety Act, since “a detainee may be held in administrative
detention for a maximum of two years without a court order.” A 2008 report by the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees determined that Indian Administered Kashmir was only
‘partly free’. A recent report by Amnesty International stated that up to 20,000 people
have been detained under a law called AFSPA in Indian-administered Kashmir.Some human
rights organisations have alleged that Indian Security forces have killed hundreds of Kashmiris
through the indiscriminate use of force and torture, firing on demonstrations, custodial
killings, encounters and detentions. The government of India denied that torture was widespread
and stated that some custodial crimes may have taken place but that “these are few and
far between”. According to cables leaked by the WikiLeaks website, US diplomats in 2005
were informed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) about the use of torture
and sexual humiliation against hundreds of Kashmiri detainees by the security forces.
The cable said Indian security forces relied on torture for confessions and that the human
right abuses are believed to be condoned by the Indian government. SHRC also accused Indian
army of forced labour.There have been claims of disappearances by the police or the army
in Kashmir by several human rights organisations. Human rights groups in Kashmir have documented
more than three hundred cases of “disappearances” since 1990 but lawyers believe the number
to be far higher because many relatives of disappeared people fear reprisal if they contact
a lawyer. In 2016 Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society said there are more than
8000 forced disappearances. State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has found 2,730 bodies buried
into unmarked graves, scattered in three districts — Bandipora, Baramulla, and Kupwara — of
North Kashmir, believed to contain the remains of victims of unlawful killings and enforced
disappearances by Indian security forces. SHRC stated that about 574 of these bodies
have already been identified as those of disappeared locals. In 2012, the Jammu and Kashmir State
government stripped its State Information Commission (SIC) department of most powers
after the commission asked the government to disclose information about the unmarked
graves. This state action was reportedly denounced by the former National Chief Information Commissioner.
Amnesty International has called on India to “unequivocally condemn enforced disappearances”
and to ensure that impartial investigations are conducted into mass graves in its Kashmir
region. The Indian state police confirms as many as 331 deaths while in custody and 111
enforced disappearances since 1989. A report from the Indian Central Bureau of
Investigation (CBI) claimed that the seven people killed in 2000 by the Indian military,
were innocent civilians. The Indian Army has decided to try the accused in the General
Court Martial. It was also reported that the killings that were allegedly committed in
“cold-blood” by the Army, were actually in retaliation for the murder of 36 civilians
[Sikhs] by militants at Chattisingpora in 2000. The official stance of the Indian Army
was that, according to its own investigation, 97% of the reports about human rights abuses
have been found to be “fake or motivated”. However, there have been at least one case
where civilians have been killed in ‘fake encounters’ by Indian army personnel for cash
rewards. According to a report by Human Rights Watch,Indian security forces have assaulted
civilians during search operations, tortured and summarily executed detainees in custody
and murdered civilians in reprisal attacks. Rape most often occurs during crackdowns,
cordon-and-search operations during which men are held for identification in parks or
schoolyards while security forces search their homes. In these situations, the security forces
frequently engage in collective punishment against the civilian population, most frequently
by beating or otherwise assaulting residents, and burning their homes. Rape is used as a
means of targetting women whom the security forces accuse of being militant sympathizers;
in raping them, the security forces are attempting to punish and humiliate the entire community.
The allegation of mass rape incidents as well as forced disappearances are reflected in
a Kashmiri short documentary film by an Independent Kashmiri film-maker, the Ocean of Tears produced
by a non-governmental non-profit organisation called the Public Service Broadcasting Trust
of India and approved by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (India). The film depicts
mass rape incidents in Kunan Poshpora and Shopian as facts and alleges that Indian Security
Forces were responsible.Médecins Sans Frontières conducted a research survey in 2005 that found
11.6% of the interviewees who took part had been victims of sexual abuse since 1989. This
empirical study found that witnesses to rape in Kashmir was comparatively far higher than
the other conflict zones such as Sierra Lone and Sri Lanka. 63% of people had heard of
rape and 13% of the people had witnessed a rape. Dr Seema Kazi holds the security forces
more responsible for raping than militants due to rape by the former being larger in
scale and frequency. In areas of militant activity the security forces use rape to destroy
morale of Kashmiri resistance. Dr Seema Kazi says these rapes cannot be ignored as rare
occurrences nor should be ignored the documented acknowledgement of individual soldiers that
they were ordered to rape. Kazi explains rape in Kashmir as a cultural weapon of war: In
the particular context of Kashmir where an ethnic Muslim minority population is subject
to the repressive dominance of a predominantly Hindu State, the sexual appropriation of Kashmiri
women by State security forces exploits the cultural logic of rape whereby the sexual
dishonour of individual women is coterminous with the subjection and subordination of Kashmiri
men and the community at large.Former Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court noted
in his report on human rights in Kashmir: ”It is hard to escape the conclusion that
the security forces who are overwhelmingly Hindu and Sikh, see it as their duty to beat
an alien population into submission.”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. Amnesty International criticized the Indian Military regarding an
incident on 22 April 1996, when several armed forces personnel forcibly entered the house
of a 32-year-old woman in the village of Wawoosa in the Rangreth district of Jammu and Kashmir.
They reportedly molested her 12-year-old daughter and raped her other three daughters, aged
14, 16, and 18. When another woman attempted to prevent the soldiers from attacking her
two daughters, she was beaten. Soldiers reportedly told her 17-year-old daughter to remove her
clothes so that they could check whether she was hiding a gun. They molested her before
leaving the house. According to an op-ed published in a BBC journal,
the emphasis of the movement after 1989, ″soon shifted from nationalism to Islam.″ It also
claimed that the minority community of Kashmiri Pandits, who have lived in Kashmir for centuries,
were forced to leave their homeland. Reports by the Indian government state 219 Kashmiri
pandits were killed and around 140,000 migrated due to millitancy while over 3000 remained
in the valley. The local organisation of Pandits in Kashmir, Kashmir Pandit Sangharsh Samiti
claimed that 399 Kashmiri Pandits were killed by insurgents. Al Jazeera states that 650
Pandits were murdered by militants. Human Rights Watch also blamed Pakistan for supporting
militants in Kashmir, in same 2006 report it says, “There is considerable evidence that
over many years Pakistan has provided Kashmiri militants with training, weapons, funding
and sanctuary. Pakistan remains accountable for abuses committed by militants that it
has armed and trained.”Our people were killed. I saw a girl tortured with cigarette butts.
Another man had his eyes pulled out and his body hung on a tree. The armed separatists
used a chainsaw to cut our bodies into pieces. It wasn’t just the killing but the way they
tortured and killed. The violence was condemned and labelled as
ethnic cleansing in a 2006 resolution passed by the United States Congress. It stated that
the Islamic terrorists infiltrated the region in 1989 and began an ethnic cleansing campaign
to convert Kashmir into a Muslim state. According to the same resolution, since then nearly
400,000 Pandits were either murdered or forced to leave their ancestral homes.According to
a Hindu American Foundation report, the rights and religious freedom of Kashmiri Hindus have
been severely curtailed since 1989, when there was an organised and systematic campaign by
Islamist militants to cleanse Hindus from Kashmir. Less than 4,000 Kashmiri Hindus remain
in the valley, reportedly living with daily threats of violence and terrorism. Sanjay
Tickoo, who heads the KPSS, an organisation which looks after Pandits who remain in the
Valley, says the situation is complex. On one hand the community did face intimidation
and violence but on the other hand he says there was no genocide or mass murder as suggested
by Pandits who are based outside of Kashmir.The displaced Pandits, many of whom continue to
live in temporary refugee camps in Jammu and Delhi, are still unable to safely return to
their homeland. The lead in this act of ethnic cleansing was initially taken by the Jammu
& Kashmir Liberation Front and the Hizbul Mujahideen. According to Indian media, all
this happened at the instigation of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) by a group
of Kashmiri terrorist elements who were trained, armed and motivated by the ISI. Reportedly,
organisations trained and armed by the ISI continued this ethnic cleansing until practically
all the Kashmiri Pandits were driven out after having been subjected to numerous indignities
and brutalities such as rape of their women, torture, forcible seizure of property etc.The
separatists in Kashmir deny these allegations. The Indian government is also trying to reinstate
the displaced Pandits in Kashmir. Tahir, the district commander of a separatist Islamic
group in Kashmir, stated: “We want the Kashmiri Pandits to come back. They are our brothers.
We will try to protect them.” But the majority of the Pandits, who have been living in pitiable
conditions in Jammu, believe that, until insurgency ceases to exist, return is not possible. Mustafa
Kamal, brother of Union Minister Farooq Abdullah, blamed security forces, former Jammu and Kashmir
governor Jagmohan and PDP leader Mufti Sayeed for forcing the migration of Kashmiri Pandits
from the Valley. Jagmohan denies these allegations. Pro-India politician Abdul Rashid says Pandits
forced the migration on themselves so Muslims can be killed. He says the plan was to leave
Muslims alone and bulldoze them freely. The CIA has reported that at least 506,000
people from Indian Administered Kashmir are internally displaced, about half of who are
Hindu Pandits. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCR) reports that there
are roughly 1.5 million refugees from Indian-administered Kashmir, the bulk of who arrived in Pakistan-administered
Kashmir and in Pakistan after the situation on the Indian side worsened in 1989 insurgency.===Pakistan administered Kashmir=======Azad Kashmir====Harvardian Mehboob Makhdoomi writes that human
rights violations in Pakistani administered part of Kashmir are not comparable with human
rights violations in Indian administered Kashmir. The 2010 Chatham House opinion poll of Azad
Kashmir’s people found that overall concerns about human rights abuses in ‘Azad Kashmir’
was 19%. The district where concern over human rights abuses was greatest was Bhimber where
32% of people expressed concern over human rights abuses. The lowest was in the district
of Sudanhoti where concern over human rights abuses was a mere 5%.Claims of religious discrimination
and restrictions on religious freedom in Azad Kashmir have been made against Pakistan. The
country is also accused of systemic suppression of free speech and demonstrations against
the government. UNHCR reported that a number of Islamist militant groups, including al-Qaeda,
operate from bases in Pakistani-administered Kashmir with the tacit permission of ISI There
have also been several allegations of human rights abuse.In 2006, Human Rights Watch accused
ISI and the military of systemic torture with the purpose of “punishing” errant politicians,
political activists and journalists in Azad Kashmir. According to Brad Adams, the Asia
director at Human Rights Watch, the problems of human rights abuses in Azad Kashmir were
not “rampant” but they needed to be addressed, and that the severity of human rights issues
in Indian-administered Kashmir were “much, much, much greater”. A report titled “Kashmir:
Present Situation and Future Prospects”, submitted to the European Parliament by Emma Nicholson,
was critical of the lack of human rights, justice, democracy, and Kashmiri representation
in the Pakistan National Assembly. According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan,
Pakistan’s ISI operates in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and is accused of involvement in extensive
surveillance, arbitrary arrests, torture, and murder. The 2008 report by the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees determined that Pakistan-administered Kashmir was ‘not
free’. According to Shaukat Ali, chairman of the International Kashmir Alliance, “On
one hand Pakistan claims to be the champion of the right of self-determination of the
Kashmiri people, but she has denied the same rights under its controlled parts of Kashmir
and Gilgit-Baltistan”.After the 2011 elections, Azad Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Attique
Ahmad Khan stated that there were mistakes in the voters list which have raised questions
about the credibility of the elections.In December 1993, the blasphemy laws of Pakistan
were extended to Pakistan Administered Kashmir. The area is ruled directly through a chief
executive Lt. Gen. Mohammed Shafiq, appointed by Islamabad with a 26-member Northern Areas
Council.UNCR reports that the status of women in Pakistani-administered Kashmir is similar
to that of women in Pakistan. They are not granted equal rights under the law, and their
educational opportunities and choice of marriage partner remain “circumscribed”. Domestic violence,
forced marriage, and other forms of abuse continue to be issues of concern. In May 2007,
the United Nations and other aid agencies temporarily suspended their work after suspected
Islamists mounted an arson attack on the home of two aid workers after the organisations
had received warnings against hiring women. However, honour killings and rape occur less
frequently than in other areas of Pakistan.Scholar Sumantra Bose comments that the uprising remained
restricted to the Indian side and did not spill over into Pakistani-administered Kashmir
despite a lack of democratic freedoms on the Pakistani side. Bose offers a number of possible
explanations for this. Azad Kashmir’s strong pro-Pakistan allegiances and a relatively
smaller population are suggested as reasons. But Bose believes that a stronger explanation
was that Pakistan had itself been a military-bureaucratic state for most of its history without stable
democratic institutions. According to Bose, the Kashmiri Muslims had higher expectations
from India which turned out to be a “moderately successful” democracy and it was in this context
that Kashmiri Muslim rage spilled over after the rigging of the elections in 1987. The
residents of Azad Kashmir are also mostly Punjabi, differing in ethnicity from Kashmiris
in the Indian administered section of the state.====Gilgit-Baltistan====
The main demand of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan is constitutional status for the region as
a fifth province of Pakistan. However, Pakistan claims that Gilgit-Baltistan cannot be given
constitutional status due to Pakistan’s commitment to the 1948 UN resolution. In 2007, the International
Crisis Group stated that “Almost six decades after Pakistan’s independence, the constitutional
status of the Federally Administered Northern Areas (Gilgit and Baltistan), once part of
the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir and now under Pakistani control, remains undetermined,
with political autonomy a distant dream. The region’s inhabitants are embittered by Islamabad’s
unwillingness to devolve powers in real terms to its elected representatives, and a nationalist
movement, which seeks independence, is gaining ground. The rise of sectarian extremism is
an alarming consequence of this denial of basic political rights”. A two-day conference
on Gilgit-Baltistan was held on 8–9 April2008 at the European Parliament in Brussels under
the auspices of the International Kashmir Alliance. Several members of the European
Parliament expressed concern over human rights violations in Gilgit-Baltistan and urged the
government of Pakistan to establish democratic institutions and the rule of law in the area.In
2009, the Pakistani government implemented an autonomy package for Gilgit-Baltistan,
which entails rights similar to those of Pakistan’s other provinces. Gilgit-Baltistan thus gains
province-like status without actually being conferred such status constitutionally. Direct
rule by Islamabad has been replaced by an elected legislative assembly under a chief
minister. The 2009 reform has not satisfied locals who demand citizenship rights and it
has continued to leave Gilgit Baltistan’s constitutional status within Pakistan undefined;
although it has added to the self-identification of the territory. According to Antia Mato
Bouzas, the PPP-led Pakistani government had attempted a compromise between its official
position on Kashmir and the demands of a population where the majority may have pro-Pakistan sentiments.There
has been criticism and opposition to this move in Pakistan, India, and Pakistan-administered
Kashmir. The move has been dubbed a cover-up to hide the real mechanics of power, which
allegedly are under the direct control of the Pakistani federal government. The package
was opposed by Pakistani Kashmiri politicians who claimed that the integration of Gilgit-Baltistan
into Pakistan would undermine their case for the independence of Kashmir from India. 300
activists from Kashmiri groups protested during the first Gilgit-Baltistan legislative assembly
elections, with some carrying banners reading “Pakistan’s expansionist designs in Gilgit-Baltistan
are unacceptable” In December 2009, activists from nationalist Kashmiri groups staged a
protest in Muzaffarabad to condemn the alleged rigging of elections and the killing of an
18-year-old student.==Map issues==As with other disputed territories, each government
issues maps depicting their claims in Kashmir territory, regardless of actual control. Due
to India’s Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1961, it is illegal in India to exclude all or part
of Kashmir from a map (or to publish any map that differs from those of the Survey of India).
It is illegal in Pakistan not to include the state of Jammu and Kashmir as disputed territory,
as permitted by the United Nations. Non-participants often use the Line of Control and the Line
of Actual Control as the depicted boundaries, as is done in the CIA World Factbook, while
the region is often marked out in hashmarks. When Microsoft released a map in Windows 95
and MapPoint 2002, a controversy arose because it did not show all of Kashmir as part of
India as per the Indian claim. All neutral and Pakistani companies claim to follow the
UN’s map and over 90% of all maps containing the territory of Kashmir show it as disputed
territory.==Recent developments==India continues to assert its 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 and
further insists on a UN-sponsored plebiscite. Unofficially, the Pakistani leadership has
indicated that they would be willing to accept alternatives such as a demilitarised 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-partitioning Kashmir on communal lines. The problem with
the proposal is that the population of the Pakistan-administered portion of Kashmir is
for the most part ethnically, linguistically, and culturally different from the Valley of
Kashmir, a part of Indian-administered Kashmir. Partition based on the Chenab formula is opposed
by some Kashmiri politicians, although others, including Sajjad Lone, have suggested that
the non-Muslim part of Jammu and Kashmir be separated from Kashmir and handed to India.
Some political analysts say that the Pakistan state policy shift and mellowing of its aggressive
stance may have to do with its total failure in the Kargil War and the subsequent 9/11
attacks. These events put pressure on Pakistan to alter its position on terrorism. Many neutral
parties to the dispute have noted that the UN resolution on Kashmir is no longer relevant.
The European Union holds the view that the plebiscite is not in Kashmiris’ interest.
The report notes that the UN conditions for such a plebiscite have not been, and can no
longer be, met by Pakistan. The Hurriyat Conference observed
in 2003 that a “plebiscite [is] no longer an option”. Besides the popular factions that
support one or other of the 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 a long while, and there have been no significant changes over the years. As
a result, all efforts to solve the conflict have so far proved futile.
Revelations made on 24 September 2013 by the former Indian army chief General V. K. Singh
claim that the state politicians of Jammu and Kashmir are funded by the army secret
service to keep the general public calm and that this activity has been going on since
Partition.In a 2001 report entitled “Pakistan’s Role in the Kashmir Insurgency” from the American
RAND Corporation, the think tank noted that “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 rationalized in pan-Islamic religious terms.” The majority of militant
organisations are composed of foreign mercenaries, mostly from the Pakistani Punjab. In 2010,
with the support of its intelligence agencies, Pakistan again ‘boosted’ Kashmir militants,
and recruitment of mujahideen in the Pakistani state of Punjab has increased. In 2011, the
FBI revealed that Pakistan’s spy agency ISI paid millions of dollars into a United States-based
non-governmental organisation to influence politicians and opinion-makers on the Kashmir
issue and arrested Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai.The Freedom in the World 2006 report categorised
Indian-administered Kashmir as “partly free”, and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, as well
as the country of Pakistan, as “not free”. India claims that contrary to popular belief,
a large proportion of the Jammu and Kashmir populace wishes to remain with India. A MORI
survey found that within Indian-administered Kashmir, 61% of respondents said they felt
they would be better off as Indian citizens, with 33% saying that they did not know, and
the remaining 6% favouring Pakistani citizenship. However, this support for India was mainly
in the Ladakh and Jammu regions, not the Kashmir Valley, where only 9% of the respondents said
that they would be better off with India. 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. However, a survey by Chatham
House in both Indian and Pakistani administered Kashmir found that support for independence
stood at 43% and 44% respectively.The 2005 Kashmir earthquake, which killed over 80,000
people, led to India and Pakistan finalising negotiations for the opening of a road for
disaster relief through Kashmir.===Efforts to end the crisis===
The 9/11 attacks on the United States resulted in the US government wanting to restrain militancy
in the world, including Pakistan. They urged Islamabad 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 troop deployments,
and international fears of a nuclear war in the subcontinent.
After intensive diplomatic efforts by other countries, India and Pakistan began to withdraw
troops from the international border on 10 June 2002, and negotiations restarted. From
26 November 2003, India and Pakistan agreed to maintain a ceasefire along the undisputed
international border, the disputed Line of Control, and Actual Ground Position Line near
the Siachen glacier. This was the first such “total ceasefire” declared by both powers
in nearly 15 years. In February 2004, Pakistan increased pressure on Pakistanis fighting
in Indian-administered Kashmir to adhere to the ceasefire. Their neighbours launched several
other mutual confidence-building measures. Restarting the bus service between the Indian-
and Pakistani- administered Kashmir has helped defuse tensions between the countries while
both India and Pakistan have decided to co-operate on economic fronts.
In 2005, General Musharraf as well as other Pakistani leaders sought to resolve the Kashmir
issue through the Chenab Formula road map. Based on the ‘Dixon Plan’, the Chenab Formula
assigns Ladakh to India, Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) to Pakistan, proposes a plebiscite in
the Kashmir Valley and splits Jammu into two-halves. On 5 December 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. Musharraf stated
that he was ready to give up the United Nations’ resolutions regarding Kashmir.===2008 militant attacks===
In the week of 10 March 2008, 17 people were wounded when a blast hit the region’s only
highway overpass located near the civil secretariat—the seat of government of Indian-controlled Kashmir—and
the region’s high court. A gun battle between security forces and militants fighting against
Indian rule left five people dead and two others injured on 23 March 2008. The battle
began when security forces raided a house on the outskirts of the capital city of Srinagar
housing militants. The Indian Army has been carrying out cordon-and-search operations
against militants in Indian-administered Kashmir since the violence broke out in 1989. While
the authorities say 43,000 people have been killed in the violence, various human rights
groups and non-governmental organisations have put the figure at twice that number.According
to the Government of India Home Ministry, 2008 was the year with the lowest civilian
casualties in 20 years, with 89 deaths, compared to a high of 1,413 in 1996. In 2008, 85 security
personnel died compared to 613 in 2001, while 102 militants were killed. The human rights
situation improved, with only one custodial death, and no custodial disappearances. Many
analysts say Pakistan’s preoccupation with jihadis within its own borders explains the
relative calm.===2008 Kashmir protests===Massive demonstrations occurred after plans
by the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir state government to transfer 100 acres (0.40
km2) of land to a trust which runs the Hindu Amarnath shrine 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 temple. Such demonstrations have been aloof
of the fact that the India government very regularly undertakes activities for upliftment
of Muslim community (as a secular government)and very regularly donates lands and other properties
to the systemized Waqf Boards.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 rally on 18 August, according to Time magazine. Pro-independence
Kashmiri leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq warned that the peaceful uprising could lead to an
upsurge in violence if India’s heavy-handed crackdown on protests was not restrained.
The United Nations expressed concern at India’s response to peaceful protests and urged investigations
be launched against Indian security personnel who had taken part in the crackdown.Separatists
and political party workers were believed to be behind stone-throwing incidents, which
have led to retaliatory fire from the police. An autorickshaw laden with stones meant for
distribution was seized by the police in March 2009. Following the unrest in 2008, secessionist
movements got a boost.===2008 Kashmir elections===State elections were held in Indian administered
Kashmir in seven phases, starting on 17 November and finishing on 24 December 2008. In spite
of calls by separatists for a boycott, an unusually high turnout of more than 60% was
recorded. The National Conference party, which was founded by Sheikh Abdullah and is regarded
as pro-India, emerged with a majority of the seats. On 30 December, the Congress Party
and the National Conference agreed to form a coalition government, with Omar Abdullah
as Chief Minister. On 5 January 2009, Abdullah was sworn in as the eleventh Chief Minister
of Jammu and Kashmir.In March 2009, Abdullah stated that only 800 militants were active
in the state and out of these only 30% were Kashmiris.===2009 Kashmir protests===
In 2009, protests started over the alleged rape and murder of two young women in Shopian
in South Kashmir. Suspicion pointed towards the police as the perpetrators. A judicial
enquiry by a retired High Court official confirmed the suspicion, but a CBI enquiry reversed
their conclusion. This gave fresh impetus to popular agitation against India. Significantly,
the unity between the separatist parties was lacking this time.===2010 Kashmir Unrest===The 2010 Kashmir unrest was series of protests
in the Muslim majority Kashmir Valley in Jammu and Kashmir which started in June 2010. These
protests involved the ‘Quit Jammu Kashmir Movement’ launched by the Hurriyat Conference
led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who had called for the complete demilitarisation
of Jammu and Kashmir. The All Parties Hurriyat Conference made this call to protest, citing
human rights abuses by Indian troops. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah attributed the
2010 unrest to the fake encounter staged by the military in Machil. Protesters shouted
pro-independence slogans, defied curfews, attacked security forces with stones and burnt
police vehicles and government buildings. The Jammu and Kashmir Police and Indian para-military
forces fired live ammunition on the protesters, resulting in 112 deaths, including many teenagers.
The protests subsided after the Indian government announced a package of measures aimed at defusing
the tensions in September 2010.===2014 Jammu and Kashmir Elections===The Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly
election, 2014 was held in Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir in five phases from 25 November
– 20 December 2014. Despite repeated boycott calls by separarist Hurriyat leaders, elections
recorded highest voters turnout in last 25 years, that is more than 65% which is more
than usual voting percentage in other states of India.Phase wise voting percentage is as
follow: The European Parliament, on the behalf of
European Union, welcomed the smooth conduct of the State Legislative Elections in the
Jammu and Kashmir. The EU in its message said: “The high voter turnout figure proves that
democracy is firmly rooted in India. The EU would like to congratulate India and its democratic
system for conduct of fair elections, unmarred by violence, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir”.
The European Parliament also takes cognizance of the fact that a large number of Kashmiri
voters turned out despite calls for the boycott of elections by certain separatist forces.===October 2014===
In October 2014, Indian and Pakistani troops traded gunfire over their border in the divided
Himalayan region of Kashmir, killing at least four civilians and worsening tensions between
the longtime rivals, officials on both sides have said. The small-arms and mortar exchanges
– which Indian officials called the worst violation of a 2003 ceasefire – left 18
civilians wounded in India and another three in Pakistan.
Tens of thousands of people fled their homes on both sides after the violence erupted on
5 October. Official reports state that nine civilians in Pakistan and seven in India were
killed in three nights of fighting.===July 2016===On 8 July 2016, a popular militant leader
Burhan Muzaffar Wani was cornered by the security forces and killed. Following his death, protests
and demonstrations have taken root leading to an “amplified instability” in the Kashmir
valley. Curfews have been imposed in all 10 districts of Kashmir and over 40 civilians
died and over 2000 injured in clashes with the police. More than 600 have pellet injuries
who may lose their eyesight. To prevent volatile rumours, cellphone and internet services have
been blocked, and newspapers have also been restricted in many parts of the state.===September 2016===An attack by four militants on an Indian Army
base on 18 September 2016, also known as the 2016 Uri attack, resulted in the death of
19 soldiers as well as the militants themselves. Although no-one claimed responsibility for
the attack, the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed was suspected of involvement by the Indian
authorities.The Indians were particularly shaken by the event which they blamed on Islamabad.
Response took various forms, including the postponement of the 19th SAARC summit, asking
the Russian government to call off a joint military exercise with Pakistan, and the Indian
Motion Picture Producers Association decision to suspend work with Pakistan.
On the Pakistani side, military alertness was raised and some Pakistan International
Airlines flights suspended. The Pakistani government “denied any role in cross-border
terrorism, and called on the United Nations and the international community to investigate
atrocities it alleged have been committed by the security forces in Indian-ruled Kashmir”.==United States positions on the Kashmir
conflict==In an interview with Joe Klein of Time magazine
in October 2008, Barack Obama expressed his intention to try to work with India and Pakistan
to resolve the crisis. He said he had talked to Bill Clinton about it, as Clinton has experience
as a mediator. In an editorial in The Washington Times, Selig S Harrison, director of the Asia
Programme at the Center for International Policy and a senior scholar of the Woodrow
Wilson International Center for Scholars called it Obama’s first foreign policy mistake. In
an editorial, The Australian 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 called the idea of appointing Bill Clinton
as an envoy to Kashmir “a mistake”. President Obama subsequently appointed Richard Holbrooke
as special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan. President Asif Ali Zardari hoped that Holbrooke
would help mediate to resolve the Kashmir issue. Kashmir was later removed from Holbrooke’s
mandate. “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 that “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 Obama that he risks “barking up the wrong tree” if he seeks to broker a settlement
between Pakistan and India over Kashmir.In July 2009, US Assistant Secretary of State
Robert O. Blake, Jr. stated that the United States had no plans to appoint any special
envoy to settle the dispute, calling it an issue which needed to be sorted out bilaterally
by India and Pakistan. According to Dawn this will be interpreted in Pakistan as an endorsement
of India’s position on Kashmir that no outside power has any role in this dispute.
In 2002, former US President, Bill Clinton described Kashmir as “the most dangerous place
in the world.” He averted a nuclear war between India and Pakistan over the issue of Kashmir
according to former US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott. Talbott reveals in his
book Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy and the Bomb that India and Pakistan came
very close to a nuclear war in 1999. According to Talbott, before Clinton met with Prime
Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif in 1999 to discuss the issue, US national security
adviser Sandy Berger told Clinton that he could be heading into “the single most important
meeting with a foreign leader of his entire presidency”.India and Pakistan conducted nuclear
tests in 1998 and the two countries each hold significant numbers of nuclear warheads. India
and Pakistan fought two wars over the issue of Kashmir in 1947 and 1965. These two neighbours
came dangerously close to a third war during the Kargil conflict in 1999.==Issues surrounding plebiscite=====UN Resolution===
The United Nations Security Council Resolution 47 was passed by United Nations Security Council
under chapter VI of UN 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. On 24 January 1957 the UN Security Council
reaffirmed the 1948 resolution.The Security Council, reaffirming its previous resolution
to the effect, “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 United Nations,” further
declared that any action taken by the Constituent Assembly formed in Kashmir ” would not constitute
disposition of the state in accordance with the above principles.”
In March 2001, the then Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan during his
visit to India and Pakistan, remarked that Kashmir resolutions are only advisory recommendations
and comparing with those on East Timor and Iraq was like comparing apples and oranges,
since those resolutions were passed under chapter VII, which make it enforceable by
UNSC. In 2003, then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said Pakistan was willing to consider
alternative bilateral options to resolve the dispute other than solely UN resolutions.
In 2010, United States Ambassador to India, Timothy J. Roemer said that Kashmir is an
‘internal’ issue of India and not to be discussed on international level rather it should be
solved by bilateral talks between India and Pakistan. He said, “The (US) President ( Barack
Obama), I think was very articulate on this issue of Kashmir. This is an internal issue
for India.” India alleges that Pakistan failed to fulfill the pre-conditions by withdrawing
its troops from the Kashmir region as was required under the same U.N. resolution of
13 August 1948 which discussed the plebiscite. Separatist Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani
said: “First of all when they say Kashmir is an internal issue, it is against the reality.
The issue of Jammu and Kashmir is an international issue and it should be solved. As long as
promises made to us are not fulfilled, this issue will remain unsolved.”===
Instrument of Accession===The Instrument of Accession of the State of
Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India was signed by Maharaja Hari Singh, erstwhile ruler,
on 25 October 1947 and executed on 27 October 1947 between the ruler of Kashmir and the
Governor-General of India. This was a legal act and completely valid in terms of the Government
of India Act 1935, Indian Independence Act 1947 and under international law. Hence the
accession of the Jammu and Kashmir state was total and irrevocable.
The Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir had unanimously ratified the Instrument of
Accession to India duly adopting a constitution for the state endorsing perpetual merger of
Jammu and Kashmir with the Union of India. The Constituent assembly lawfully represented
wish of Kashmiri people at that time. Indian authorities claim that the 65% voter turnout
in Kashmir elections is an endorsement of the “Instrument of Accession” and Indian democracy.
Alastair Lamb writes that there is no dispute on the fact that the Instrument of Accession
was presented to the world as provisional and conditional on the wishes of the people
of the state. Therefore, if the people of Kashmir were to vote for not staying with
India then any document relating to accession signed by the Maharajah would become null
and void. Indian commentators have endeavored to argue
that the plebiscite proposal was personal to Mountbatten (the plebiscite proposal was
not personal to Mountbatten since he was explicitly acting on behalf of his Government), that
it was ex gratia and not binding on the subsequent Indian administrations. The actual fact was
that the plebiscite policy had long been established before the crisis in Kashmir and was an inherent
part of the process by which British India had been partitioned into the Dominions of
India and Pakistan. A.G. Noorani also writes that the accession
of Kashmir to India was strictly conditional. He says that Kashmiri rights for self-determination
are not derived from the UN Resolutions but their right is actually engrafted as a condition
on the Instrument of Accession. He writes that state elections do not fulfill this condition
since Mountbatten mentioned a reference to the people of the state and not ‘elections
to the Assembly’. According to a 1994 report by the International
Commission of Jurists the people of Jammu and Kashmir still have not been able to exercise
their right to self-determination which became available to them at partition.===Article 370===
Article 370 of the Indian constitution is a provision that grants special autonomous
status to Jammu and Kashmir. The article is drafted in Part XXI of the Constitution, which
relates to Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions.
Article 370 is the only link that connects Jammu and Kashmir to India.
To implement a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir one has to amend or abolish the article 370,
which is very complex procedure. The leaders of Kashmir oppose any such measure. Chief
Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Muhammad Sayeed said, “Even Indian Parliament does
not have power to scrap Article 370, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir
under Indian constitution.” The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir has ruled
that the Article 370 cannot be “abrogated, repealed or even amended.” It explained that
the clause (3) of the Article conferred power to the State’s Constituent Assembly to recommend
to the President on the matter of the repeal of the Article. Since the Constituent Assembly
did not make such a recommendation before its dissolution in 1957, the Article 370 has
taken on the features of a “permanent provision” despite being titled a temporary provision
in the Constitution. Article 370 has emerged as the biggest obstacle
in front of plebiscite because of its complex procedure of amendment and opposition from
the leaders of Jammu and Kashmir. Article 370 allows its own death by permitting
plebiscite. Article 370 was drafted while negotiations with Pakistan were still on.
When Pakistan objected to Article 370 at the UN Commission Girija Shankar Bajpai, who was
secretary general of Ministry of External Affairs, wrote to UNCIP in 1949 that Article
370 did not preclude plebiscite. Krishna Menon said to the UN Security Council in 1957 that
if people of Kashmir voted to not stay with India then India’s duty at that time would
be to adopt those constitutional procedures which would enable separation of Kashmir from
India. That procedure is contained in clause 3 of Article 370, a presidential order to
declare that the Article 370 will cease to be operative.
A G Noorani argues that it is perfectly acceptable for a Kashmiri to contest the elections and
recognise the Constitution while remaining committed to plebiscite and Independence and
the reason for this is that the Constitution itself leaves the disposition of Kashmir open.===”Nehru’s Promise”===
After accession of Kashmir to India in October 1947 then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal
Nehru made some statements in media and in various telegrams regarding plebiscite in
Kashmir.In telegram No.413 dated 28 October 1947 addressed to Prime Minister of Pakistan,
Nehru wrote,”That Government of India and Pakistan should make a joint request to U.N.O.
to undertake a plebiscite in Kashmir at the earliest possible date.”
Nehru’s statement in the Indian Parliament, 26 June 1952,”I want to stress that it is
only the people of Kashmir who can decide the future of Kashmir. It is not that we have
merely said that to the United Nations and to the people of Kashmir; it is our conviction
and one that is borne out by the policy that we have pursued, not only in Kashmir but every
where. “I started with the presumption that it is
for the people of Kashmir to decide their own future. We will not compel them. In that
sense, the people of Kashmir are sovereign.” In his statement in the Lok Sabha on 31 March
1955 as published in Hindustan Times New Delhi on Ist April, 1955, Pandit Nehru said, “Kashmir
is perhaps the most difficult of all these problems between India and Pakistan. We should
also remember that Kashmir is not a thing to be bandied between India and Pakistan but
it has a soul of its own and an individuality of its own. Nothing can be done without the
goodwill and consent of the people of Kashmir.” There was also a White Paper on Kashmir published
by Indian government regarding plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir in 1948. There are many such instances where Nehru
made such remarks regarding plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan and separatist
Hurriyat leaders repeatedly demand that Indian Government should fulfill “Nehru’s Promise”.
Position of the Indian authorities on “Nehru’s Promise”: the Indian government takes the
position that Nehru himself backed off from his promise in the late 1950s. Although he
was Prime Minister for 17 years, he made no serious attempt for a plebiscite. His promises
have been taken as a ‘good political move’. The reason for not holding plebiscite was
given by India’s Defense Minister, Krishnan Menon, who said: “Kashmir would vote to join
Pakistan and no Indian Government responsible for agreeing to plebiscite would survive.”
Indian authorities say that Nehru’s telegrams and speeches have no legal importance, nor
it is compulsory to apply them as they were never passed by the Parliament of India. The
white paper on Kashmir also does not have any legal importance as it was published in
1948 while the Constitution of India came into force into 1950 and defined Kashmir as
an integral part of India as well as protecting the ‘unity and integrity’ of India. Constitution
of India doesn’t has any provision for plebiscite and 1948 white paper was against Constitution
of India so it automatically got abolished. Indian authorities also say that, Nehru is
not current Prime Minister of India, and policies are made on the basis of views of current
Prime Minister and his cabinet which must get nod by both houses of Parliament of India.
Any Prime Minister of India can’t make decision of plebiscite unilaterally, bill of plebiscite
must be passed in both houses of Parliament of India with a massive 2/3rd majority, then
it requires assent by President of India, and if that decision is against Basic structure
of Indian Constitution then Supreme Court of India can outlaw or abolish that decision.
Preamble and article 3 of part 2 of Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir says ‘Jammu and Kashmir
is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India’. This constitution has been adopted
by elected Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly in 1956 when Nehru was Prime Minister of India.
Daughter of Nehru, Indira Gandhi and his grandson Rajiv Gandhi were Prime Ministers of India
but they themselves never did any attempt to implement their forefather’s ‘Promise’.
Instead Indira Gandhi made 1975 Indira–Sheikh accord with Sheikh Abdullah which vanished
all possibilities of plebiscite.===Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir===
Preamble of Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir is as written in box.
Article 3 of part 2 of Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir also says that ‘Jammu and Kashmir
is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India’.
Ram Jethmalani, prominent lawyer, former union minister and chairman of Kashmir Committee
said in Nov 2014: “The constitution of this state(Jammu and Kashmir) was not formulated
by the Constituent Assembly of India, but by its Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir.
That was a plebiscite. It is the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir which incorporated
some provisions of the Indian Constitution. You(Kashmiris) are not living under the constitution
of India but under the constitution which was framed by the Constituent Assembly(of
Jammu and Kashmir) which has willingly accepted a part of the Indian constitution, and in
a way, enjoyed a plebiscite.” However, the resolutions 91 and 122 passed by United Nations,
state that the formation of Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly, or its activities, would
not be considered to be a substitute for a free and impartial plebiscite, which is required
for a final disposition of the state.===Outlook Survey===
In 1995 the first ever opinion poll was conducted in the Kashmir Valley by MODE which had been
commissioned by Outlook. Altogether 504 adults (337 men, 176 women) were interviewed in Srinagar,
Sopore, Baramulla, Bandipora, and Anantnag areas.
72% of respondents favoured independence, 19% favoured Pakistan and only 7% favoured
a solution within Indian sovereignty. 80% of respondents said that a free and fair
election would definitely not help solve the Kashmir problem while only 4% said that a
free and fair election could help resolve the Kashmir conflict.===Private Survey===
London based leading think tank Royal Institute of International Affairs also known as Chatham
House, conducted a survey both in Pakistan administered Kashmir and Indian administered
Kashimir and released it in its report Kashmir:Paths to Peace in May 2010.
It found that 50% of people in Pakistan’s side of Kashmir favoured the accession of
the entire state to Pakistan, 44% of people favoured independence, 1% wanted the accession
of the entire state to accede to India while 1% favoured the status quo.
In the Indian side of Kashmir, 28% of people expressed a desire for the entire state to
accede to India, 19% favoured the status quo, 43% wanted independence while 2% said they
wanted the entire state to join Pakistan. The survey showed that only 2% of the respondents
on the Indian side favoured joining Pakistan and most such views were confined to Srinagar
and Budgam districts. In six of the districts surveyed late last year by researchers, not
a single person favoured annexation with Pakistan, a notion that remains the bedrock for the
hardline separatist campaign in Kashmir. The survey also showed that only 1% of the
respondents on the Pakistani side favoured joining India. In four of the seven surveyed
districts of Pakistani Kashmir, the option of merging with India found no support while
this option had a support rate of only 1–3% in the remaining three districts.
However, views are highly poralised in each region. The main area of unrest has always
been the predominantly Muslim majority Kashmir Valley, where the support level for Independence
varies between 74% to 95% as found by the survey while support for accession with India
varies between 2% to 22%. However, Hindu majority Jammu and Buddhist majority Ladakh express
high levels of satisfaction with Indian rule. This 2010 survey too demonstrated that trend,
with more than half the respondents on Indian side saying the elections had improved chances
for peace(later in 2014, Jammu and Kashmir elections recorded highest percentage of voters
turnout). Survey said – “These results support the
already widespread view that the plebiscite options are likely to offer no solution to
the dispute.” “The results aren’t surprising at all. I feel
they re-emphasize the need to look beyond traditional positions and evaluate the contours
of a solution grounded in today’s realities,” said Sajjad Lone on this survey, a former
ally of the Hurriyat who unsuccessfully contested the 2009 Indian general elections but won
in 2014 Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections.==See also==History of Jammu and Kashmir
United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan
Indian White Paper on Jammu and Kashmir All Parties Hurriyat Conference
Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir India–Pakistan relations
Indo-Pakistani wars and conflicts==Notes

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