Kashmir conflict

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Kashmir Conflict)
Jump to: navigation, search
UN map of Kashmir

The Kashmir conflict (Hindi: कश्मीर विवाद, Urdu: مسئلہ کشمیر) is a dispute over the territory of Kashmir. The dispute is between India and Pakistan. India claims all of the region that was once a princely state. It currently controls about 43% of the territory, including most of Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, and the Siachen Glacier. India's claims are disputed by Pakistan, which controls about 37% of Kashmir, including Azad Kashmir and the northern areas of Gilgit and Baltistan. Pakistan says there should be a referendum in Kashmir on whether the people want to join India or Pakistan, or become independent.

History[change | edit source]

The conflict started during the Partition of India (1947–48). 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.

In 1947-8 India and Pakistan fought their first war over Jammu and Kashmir. Under United Nations' supervision, they agreed to a ceasefire along a line which left one-third of the state - comprising what Pakistan calls Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and the Northern Areas administered by Pakistan and two-thirds, Jammu, Ladakh and the Kashmir Valley, controlled by India. In 1972, under the terms of the Simla agreement, the ceasefire line was renamed the Line of Control.

Although India claims that the entire state is part of India, it has been prepared to accept the Line of Control as the international border, with some possible modifications. Both the US and the UK have also favoured turning the Line of Control into an internationally-recognised frontier.

But Pakistan has consistently refused to accept the Line of Control as the border since the predominantly Muslim Kashmir Valley would remain as part of India. Formalising the status quo also does not take account of the aspirations of those Kashmiris who have been fighting since 1989 for independence for the whole or part of the state.

Current status[change | edit source]

Today Kashmir is split, as follows:

Kashmir has been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan for more than 60 years. Currently a boundary - the Line of Control - divides the region in two, with one part military occupied by India and one administered by Pakistan. India would like to formalise this status quo and make it the accepted international boundary. But Pakistan and Kashmiri activists reject this plan because they both want greater control over the region.