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The Kashmir region is show outlined in red. Click to see more details.

Kashmir (Urdu: کشمیر, Kashmiri: کٔشِیر), also known as Cashmere, is a region in South-central Asia or is part of the Greater Middle East regional conflict. The term Kashmir historically was described as the valley just to the south of the western end of the Himalayan mountain range. Today, Kashmir refers to a much larger area that includes the regions of Kashmir Valley, Jammu region and Ladakh. The main "Valley of Kashmir" is a low fertile area surrounded by mountains and fed by many rivers. People like it for its natural beauty and simple lifestyle. Kashmir is also a Disputed Territory. Pakistan, India and China hold parts of this region.

Economy[change | change source]

Agriculture[change | change source]

The economy of the region is focused on agriculture. People grow rice there. In the Indian part they also grow corn, such as wheat and barley. Its climate is different from that of most of the Indian subcontinent: It is milder. Therefore, crops like artichoke, cauliflower, cabbage and certain kinds of beans are also grown.

Cashmere wool is well-known almost anywhere in the world. Cashmere wool is wool from Cashmere goats. Because of conflicts over the territory however, most Cashmere wool no longer comes from Kashmir.

Kashmir is home to the finest saffron in the world.

Tourism[change | change source]

Nanga Parbat, the 9th highest peak in the world and one of the most dangerous for climbers, is in the Northern Areas of the Kashmir Region, in Pakistan.

Tourism has been important in Kashmir for many years. Many people call the region Paradise on Earth. Tourists visit Kashmir from all over the world irrespective of nationality and religion. In spite of a drop in footfalls due to terrorism in the last decade, Kashmir still remains one of the most sought after tourist destinations.

State symbols of the disputed territory of Kashmir
State animal Kashmir stag Cervus cashmeerianus Smit.jpg
State bird Black-necked Crane Stavenn Grus nigricollis 00.jpg
State tree Chinar tree Platanus orientalis tree.JPG
State flower Rhododendron ponticum Rhododendron pontica-1.jpg
State sport Polo Polo game, Pakistan.jpeg
State language Urdu پاک کشمیری اردو

Current conflict[change | change source]

A map of Kashmir showing the lines of control in more detail. Indian-controlled territory is yellow/light brown; Pakistan-controlled territory is green; China-controlled territory is darker brown. The triangle in White/Green/Yellow is the Siachen glacier, controlled by India.

What is known as the Kashmir conflict has existed since India and Pakistan became independent states. On October 20, 1947, tribesmen backed by Pakistan invaded Kashmir. The Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir initially fought back but on 27 October appealed for assistance to the Governor-General Louis Mountbatten, who agreed on the condition that the ruler accede to India. Once the papers of accession to India were signed, Indian soldiers entered Kashmir with orders to stop any further occupation, but they were not allowed to expel anyone from the state. India took the matter to the United Nations. The UN resolution asked Pakistan to vacate the areas it has occupied and asked India to assist the U.N. Plebiscite Commission to organize a plebiscite to determine the will of the people. Pakistan refused to vacate the occupied areas.

Today Kashmir is split, as follows:

Lines of conflict[change | change source]

Red dotted line is AGPL, right of which is Siachen Glacier controlled by Indian army.

India and Pakistan have fought several wars over Kashmir. In 1949 and 1972 they agreed on a border for most of the Territories (except for the Siachen Glacier). This demarcation line which marks the border between India and Pakistan is known as Line of Control. It is guarded by Indian and Pakistani troops.

The border between Aksai Chin, held by China, and Jammu and Kashmir, held by India is known as Line of Actual Control.

The Kashmir border between the Punjab (Pakistan) and Indian-administered Kashmir is called the Working boundary, not recognised by Pakistan it is fenced up by the Indian Kashmir barrier.

The Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) refers to the current position that divides Indian and Pakistani troops in the Siachen Glacier region. The line extends from the northernmost point of the LOC (Line of Control) to Indira Col.

The Siachen Glacier and the bordering Saltoro Range first saw military action in 1984 when the Indian Army occupied the glacier and the Saltoro range to pre-empt a Pakistani action to do the same. This operation was codenamed Operation Meghdoot (Divine Messenger of the clouds). There have been several minor changes to the held positions, however the Indian Armed forces have held onto the heights of the Saltoro range.

This line runs across the edge of the Saltoro range which is a mountainous plateau with peaks which have heights in excess of 8,000 meters. The Indian soldiers hold onto the heights on the plateau, preventing the Pakistani soldiers from climbing up the Saltoro range. The current position of the AGPL follows the general line:

Indira Col - Sia La pass - Saltoro Kangri 1 - Bilafond La pass - K12 - Gyong La pass - NJ9842[1]

Water dispute[change | change source]

Another reason behind the dispute over Kashmir is water. Many rivers start in Kashmir. Some of them are tributaries of the Indus River basin, such as the Jhelum and Chenab River. These flow into Pakistan. Other rivers like the Ravi, Beas River and the Sutlej irrigate northern India. Pakistan has been apprehensive that in a dire need India under whose portion of Kashmir lies the origins and passage of the said rivers, would use its strategic advantage and withhold the flow and thus choke the agrarian economy of Pakistan.

One of the origins of the conflict is that with the Boundary Award of 1947, many of the Pakistani irrigation systems can be controlled from India, because some of them are now located in Indian territory. The Indus Waters Treaty signed in 1960 resolved most of these disputes over the sharing of water. It called both parties to co-operate in this regard. The treaty faced issues because India has since constructed dams which limit the water flow to the Pakistani side.

Map issues[change | change source]

As with other disputed territories, each government issues maps depicting their claims in Kashmir as part of their territory, regardless of actual control. It is illegal in India to exclude all or part of Kashmir in a map. It is also illegal in Pakistan not to include the state of Jammu and Kashmir as disputed territory, as permitted by the U.N. 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, and the region is often marked out in hashmarks, although the Indian government strictly opposes such practices. When Microsoft released a map in Windows 95 and MapPoint 2002, a controversy was raised because it did not show all of Kashmir as part of India as per Indian claim. However, all the neutral and Pakistani companies claim to follow UN's map and over 90% of all maps containing the territory of Kashmir show it as disputed territory.[1]

International responses[change | change source]

Governments Policy statement's
Flag of the United Nations.svg UN: The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on the map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.

Dotted line represents approximately the Line of Control of Jammu and Kashmir agreed upon by the Republic of India and the Government of Pakistan since 1972. Both the parties have not yet agreed upon the final status of the region and nothing significant has been implemented since the peace process began in 2004. See UN map of Jammu and Kashmir, accepted by most countries of the world

Flag of Pakistan.svg Islamabad: The Government of Pakistan maintains un-provisionally and unconditionally stating that the informal "Accession of Jammu and Kashmir" to Pakistan or even to the Republic of India remains to be decided by UN plebiscite. It accepts UN's map of the territory. It also states that the designations and the presentation on the Kashmir's regional map based on UNO practice, do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Commonwealth Secretariat or the publishers concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. There is no intention to define the status of Jammu and Kashmir, which has not yet been agreed upon by the parties. It further says that boundaries must be based on religious, cultural, racial, historical, geographical and not political orientated. However it claims that this is not an endorsement of territorial claims by either side in the dispute.
Flag of India.svg New Delhi: The Government of India states that "the external artificial boundaries of the Republic of India, especially concerning the international borders under its jurisdiction created by a foreign body are neither correct nor authenticated".
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Beijing: The Communist government of the People's Republic Of China maintains it's control over what is known as the Chinese Kashmir, it is claimed and disputed by the Republic of India; China states that Aksai Chin is a part of Chinese provincial region Tibet Autonomous Region and does not recognise the addition of Aksai Chin to the Kashmir region.[source?]
  • China did not accept the boundaries of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu, north of the Aksai Chin and the Karakoram that were proposed by the British.[2]
  • China settled its border disputes with Pakistan in the Trans-Karakoram Tract in 1963 with the provision that the settlement was subject to the final solution of the Kashmir dispute.[3] However recognized by Pakistan as part of China as it is claimed, stating that the Line of Actual Control is not demarcated or boundary undefined, the frontier is yet to be finalised, between Islamabad and Beijing as part of the Sino-Pak agreement of 1963.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Manning the Siachen Glacier". Bharat Rakshak Monitor. 2003. http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/MONITOR/ISSUE6-1/Siachen.html. Retrieved 2011=01-27.
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named britannica1.
  3. "Factbox: all about India, China's border dispute". IBN Live. 8 November 2009. http://ibnlive.in.com/news/factbox-all-about-india-chinas-border-dispute/104799-3.html. Retrieved 13 April 2010.

Other pages[change | change source]