Kashmir In The Shadow Of War

Kashmir’s dispute is the most important and unsolved problem. Kashmir is the natural part of Pakistan because at the time of partition, 85% of the Kashmir’s total population was Muslim. India and Pakistan have fought at least three wars over Kashmir, including the Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1947, 1965 and 1999. Since 1984 the two countries have also been involved in several skirmishes over control of the Siachen Glacier. Thousands of people have died as a result of the turmoil in Jammu and Kashmir. The Hindu Dogra rule, which was secretly with the Government of India, declared Kashmir as a part of India. Pakistan has continuously insisted that Kashmir receive their right of self-determination, but due to non-cooperation of India, Kashmir issue still remains unsolved. Kashmir is the largest princely state in the Sub-continent, and contours to Pakistan, China, Tibet and Afghanistan. The British Government sold the whole area of the state to a Dogra Raja, Ghulab Singh for just Rs: 75 lac (75,000$) in the year 1846. The Raja and his successors, played havoc with the Muslims of the state. The Raja did everything to crush the freedom movement of The Kashmir people. He forced slaughtered 2 lac Kashmiris but the movement got momentum with the passage of time. Being unable to handle the situation in Kashmir, the Raja requested India to come to his rescue. Indian Government offered help on the condition to get the Raja’s signature on the document of annexation, though the Raja utterly refused and the Indian Government prepared a fake document of annexation in which the state Jammu and Kashmir had annexed with India.

In mid-1999, 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. 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. 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 reclaimed control of the peaks, which they now patrol and monitor all year long.

The Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan has been accused by India of supporting and training mujahideen, to fight in Jammu and Kashmir. According to official figures released in Jammu and Kashmir assembly, there were 3,400 disappearance cases and the conflict has left more than 47,000 people dead as of July 2009. However, the numbers of insurgency related deaths in the state have fallen sharply since the start of a slow-moving peace process between India and Pakistan.

After the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union, Mujahideen fighters, with the aid of Pakistan, slowly infiltrated Kashmir with the goal of spreading a radical Islamist ideology.

India became frightened of the Kashmiris freedom frenzy, when the situation became tense on the line of control. The Indian Government sought to assist the security council of the United Nations. The Security Council intervened and passed two resolutions, the Kashmiri freedom fighters co-operated with the Security Council to bring about peace.

The Armed struggle stopped in Kashmir on Security Council’s promise of holding a plebiscite, but unfortunately the Security Council could do nothing in face of the interests of the major powers. The plebiscite could not be held and Kashmir is deprived of their basic rights. This tyranny led to two wars between India and Pakistan. The wars resulted in nothing but blind bloodshed. The Security Council passed more resolutions but nothing was done practically.

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. US officials believed that Al-Qaeda was helping to 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. In 2006 Al-Qaeda claimed they had established a wing in Kashmir, which worried the Indian government. While on a visit to Pakistan in January 2010, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, stated that Al-Qaeda was seeking to destab destabilize the region and planning to provoke a nuclear war between India and Pakistan.

The dispute of Kashmir has not been resolved for many decades. India has sent large numbers of army personnel into the valley of Kashmir who are writing chapters of tyranny on the annals of their history. The problem of Kashmir is still pending on the agenda of the United Nations. Every now and then, a number of resolutions are passed but these resolutions proved nothing but lip service.

Scotland referendum was on Sep 18, 2014. If they can have it, why can’t Kashmir?






Photo credit : Splendid Travel


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