India and Pakistan have always been the centre of attraction, whenever the word Kashmir has been uttered anywhere around the world. The state is amongst one of the most disputed and fought upon matters in the world. The tension between the two nations, which were formerly only one nation, has been rising ever since the partition has taken place. The matter is the annexation of the state of Kashmir to the involved countries. The history of Kashmir Conflict dates back in October 1947, when the agitation about the Kashmir Valley came to light after the partition of the state. Here are the timeline and a brief history of why, how and when has Kashmir been the matter of dispute between the two nuclear powers of South Asia.
Partition of India | British India
With the wake of 15th August 1947, India and Pakistan woke up as two different independent nations. The two nations which were earlier one under British rule were divided to form separate nations where India would be a Hindu majority nation whereas Pakistan would be a Muslim majority nation. This was the result of a partition which took place under the last rites performed by India’s Last British Viceroy Lord Mount Batten.
This caused great chaos in both the nations and resulted in one of the biggest and most chaotic migrations of human history. Millions of people had to leave their home from India to move to Pakistan and millions of Hindu & Sikh people had to move from their homeland which was now going to become a new country, Pakistan.
The Britishers ruled over 562 princely states in India which were then given the option to either merge into India or Pakistan or remain independent. J&K was one of the biggest states. It was ruled by Hindu ruler Raja Hari Singh. However, the state’s major population was of Muslim. Hence, the King thought it appropriate to stay independent, to justify his religion as well as his people’s religion.
However, he was approached multiple times by Mohommad Ali Jinnah, as well as Jawahar Lal Nehru to annex their territory with respective nations. However, even after several attempts, Raja Hari Singh was not ready for the annexure and wanted to stay Independent. However, this put Kashmiri Muslim Majority Population in doubt that Hari Singh might annexe to India. Thus, a large number of tribals from the west Kashmir, supported by Pakistani troops & tribals started a revolution.
As a result, aggressive forces started to move ahead strategically and started capturing the small parts of the then J&K. Amid the chaotic violence of Partition that had already captured the whereabouts of Jammu & Kashmir, Kashmiri Muslims and Pandits were severely frustrated and riots were a usual thing everywhere. During, this time, Pakistani forces had started slowly moving ahead in the state in September 1947 and had captured a major part of West Kashmir. These forces had cut down a large number of supplies from the west side to put pressure on the state’s king to compel them to annex to Pakistan.
As a result, Raja Hari Singh finally sent a diplomat to seek help from India by sending his consent to accept the dominion of Union of India and accede Kashmir to the nation. He was ready to accept every condition of India government in return for military assistance from India because his armed forces were not enough to withstand Pakistani troops.
Glimpses from Partition of India
1st Indo-Pak War 1947
The Indian troops were soon airlifted after to be sent to the west Kashmir to control the situation. Thus, the situation resulted in a war between Pakistani forces accompanied by Kashmiri Muslim Tribals and Indian Army Troops supported by Kashmiri forces of Raja Hari Singh. The war triggered a global outrage among people and it was a matter of United Nation Soon.
UN Resolution 1949
On 28th April 1948, United Nation passed Resolution 47, asking the two nations to put an end to the war and ordered ceasefire. With this resolution, the UN asked the two nations to maintain peace by triggering a 3 step plan. For this, Pakistan had to retaliate their forces from POK as step 1, followed by step 2 where India will call it’s troop back, leaving only the necessary forces in the state, which is necessary to maintain administration. After this, Plebiscite (a free election) would be held in Kashmir, where Kashmiris would vote to choose which nation they want to merge with.
However, the resolution was to be followed step by step. Pakistan never fell back with its troops, neither did India, hence no election could be conducted there. This divided Raja Hari Singh’s Kashmir into 2 parts viz Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) & India Annexed Kashmir (as voluntarily given away by the ruler of Kashmir Province). POK is formerly referred to as Azad Kashmir by Pakistan & many other supported who believe that Kashmir belongs to Pakistan. This gave birth to Cease-fire line which later went on to become LOC (Line of Control).
Article 370 was introduced in the constitution of India. It came into force on 7th November 1952, Article 370 was inserted in the constitution to determine provisions that entitled India to take decisions regarding communication, security and foreign affairs of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The article stated that J&K is an undisputed part of India. However, a clause was also inserted in this article which stated that Indian Government can take decisions for J&K, however, the same decisions shall apply to the state, only after getting approval from state’s legislative assembly. This was for matters other than those stated above.
Apart from this, the article mandated several things which gave special status to the infrastructure, land and citizens of the state. Various matters such as marrying Kashmiri citizens, buying land in the state, citizenship of the Kashmiri citizens and much more.
Sino India War 1962 or Aksai-chin War
With the start of the 1950s decade, China had slowly started to capture small parts of eastern Kashmir’s. In 1962, Chinese & and Indian troops indulged in a war in the eastern part of the state. The republic of China bagged an easy victory in the war, earning back its control over Aksai-chin. This part was already under Chinese jurisdiction before the war as a result of their slow and silent infiltration since 1950.
However, trans-Karakoram area AKA Shaksgam Valley which was captured by Pakistan during the first war was demarcated by Pakistan. Thus, in 1963, the control of Shaksgam Valley was handed over to China as a gesture of initiating friendly relations. India was able to annex some of the Chinese territories in this war, however, the war ended with yet another line being drawn in the state separating Aksai-chin from India. This line is known as Line of Actual Control (LAC).
2nd Indo-Pak War 1965
After this, in 1965, the cease-fire was broken by Pakistan, which triggered the 2nd war between India and Pakistan. Pakistan initiated an operation in the name of Operation Gibraltar with intent to infiltrate Jammu & Kashmir and start a rebellion in the state amongst the residents to oppose Indian Sovereign. They sent 30,000 infiltrators and aimed to make them mingle with Kashmiris and manipulate them to start the revolt. They aimed to start a war by waging the infiltrators and the revolutionists with US aided arms. The plan was to cause structural damage in Kashmir to make Indian Army fall back.
This plan was not at all successful because Kashmiris did not revolt at all. Kashmiris rendered those infiltrators to Indian Army and as a result, 2nd war got triggered between the two nations. The war ended in 1966 after the two nations signed a peace-agreement by retaliating forces to their respective pre-war positions. This treaty was named as Takshant Agreement.
Simla Agreement, Formation of Bangladesh 1971-72
In 1947, when Indira Gandhi was PM of India, East Pakistan and India indulged into yet another war. With India, winning the war, Eas-Pakistan was converted to Bangladesh. India initiated for a peaceful compromise and a durable solution for Kashmir issue in return to 90,000 prisoners of War and 5,139 Sq Kms of land.
A summit was held at Simla PMs of two nations Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Indira Gandhi signed a peace treaty, known as Simla Agreement. This agreement was in line to resolve Kashmir through negotiations. The war converted Cease-fire line into Line of Control, which went to become a rightful border between two countries.
This bilateral agreement was to maintain the sanctity of the LOC. To India, the agreement ruled out the space for multilateral negotiations & UN shall have no interfere from this point ahead. However, Pakistan interpreted the same in a different manner and future went to plea to Un for yet another peaceful settlement. India’s interpretation of the agreement is more favoured by UN member nations.
Siachen War (1984 – 2003)
India started operation Meghdoot in Kashmir Valley to capture Siachen Glacier. The area captured by India was around 1000 sq miles situated amidst Karakoram Mountain Range. It is the highest battleground in the whole world at a height of 6,000 Mtr (20,000 Feet) above sea level where Indian soldiers guard the ground day and night. The Siachen war lasted long while Pakistan followed several attempts to capture the glacier. However, in 2003, the war ended with a cease-fire. However, the advent of the Siachen War gave rise to Insurgency.
Begining of Insurgencies in the 1980s
Insurgencies started to take place in J&K with pro-independence motives. The main blame of these insurgencies was put upon Pakistan for waging fighter across LOC in the state.
Escalation of Insurgencies in the 1990s
The insurgencies started to escalate as the Kashmiri Militants (Mujahidin’s) were given training in Pakistan based camps. The agitated militants caused chaos. To maintain discipline in the valley, the Indian army even killed some demonstrators and an increased number of armed forces in the area. The violence started to spread wide, consuming and converting a great number of people in the valley against Indian Governance. This lead to several people’s inclination towards terrorist camps. As a result, terrorist activities started to take place in the valley.
1999 Kargil War
In the winters it becomes almost impossible for both the armies to guard the high peaks of Kashmir Valley. As a result, both armies retreat from the valley in the winters to return the guarding points after the fall. However, in 1999, the Pakistani Army, Pakistani Infiltrators & Kashmiri Militants took advantage of the situation and started moving forward in the valley to capture the points of the Indian Army.
As soon as the Indian army got to know about the infiltration, they initiated their efforts to recover the valley. As a result, the 3rd big war broke out between the two nations which killed many soldiers of both the armies. The war grew to an extent that the world feared of the war turning into nuclear warfare. As a result, America asked Pakistan to retreat to the former positions and War ended with Indian Army recovering most of the parts of the valley.
The advent of the 21st Century
Since the advent of the 21st Century, both governments have developed a lot of hatred and security against each other. It is always being reported that there are a lot of terrorist camps which are based in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir which operate from POK. The main aim of these terror groups is to spread terror in India with an ideology to capture Kashmir. They have a tendency that the Kashmir which is annexed with India is an enslaved by Indian government whereas POK is referred to as Azad Kashmir (Independent Kashmir) by them.
Apart from Kashmir related wars, there have been several terrorist attacks in India since the past 3 decades for which, the blame is to be given to Pakistan based terrorist agencies including ISI, Jaish-E-Mohommad (JEM), Lashkar-E-Toiba (LET) and many more. Many international criminals and terrorists have been reported to be housed by Pakistan including Osama Bin Laden, Dawood Ibrahim and many more.
Surgical Strikes by India 2016 & 2019
After the terror attacks in URI & Pulwana, Indian Army & Indian Air force took the responsibility to avenge the death of martyred soldiers. As a result, two surgical strikes were conducted in Pakistan to destroy the Pakistan based terror camps. This was the first time that India initiated the insurgency into the foreign nation without following the international border protocol.
The first strike took place on 29th September 2016 & the second one took place on 26th February 2019. No soldiers were harmed, killed or captured in the first strike. However, one Air Plane went down in the 2nd strike, resulting in capturing of one IAF pilot. However, he was returned to India after interrogation and following the requisite protocol by Pakistan.
The Year of 2019.
Central Elections took place in early 2019. The political party, Bhartiya Janta Party won the elections and formed government in the centre. Union Home Minister Amit Shah proposed in Lok Sabha on 5th August 2019 to modify article 370 from the Indian constitution to revoke the special status given to the state. The minister also proposed to divide the state into two parts Viz Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. The former being a Union territory with the legislature, whereas the latter being a UT without legislature. This was signed by the President of India and was applicable with immediate effect.
This was the story so far between India and Pakistan about the Kashmir Matter. However, the tensions between the two nations seem to have risen up, especially from Pakistan’s side as many dramatic statements followed from the country’s PM Irfan Khan. However, there has been no serious activity in the state or country up till now regarding the same.