Kashmir - World's Longest Unresolved International Dispute

The dispute over Kashmir between India and Pakistan is now seventy years old and resolution is nowhere in sight. Will it remain unresolved till 2047 when it will be 100 years since the dispute developed.
Kashmir - World's Longest Unresolved International Dispute
Source - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kargil.map.gif

The Kashmir dispute is unresolved right from India's independence in 1947. The partition of British India resulted in creation of Pakistan and a few months later gave birth to the Kashmir problem. It is now more than seventy years and the problem can go on perhaps forever.

What is the problem?. When the British decided to give India independence, they decided that they would return the kingdoms to the rulers from whom they had acquired in whatever way during the colonial era. Also they announced the creation of a Muslim centric country of Pakistan. Thus on August 15, 1947, there were the

two independent countries of India and Pakistan and nearly 520 small and big independent kingdoms. The rulers of these kingdoms were given the right to either merge with India or Pakistan or they could choose to remain independent. One main condition was that the kingdoms must have a contagious land border with the country they wanted to merge with or they should have a sea outlet. There was no mention of religion as a basis and the right to decide was to be exercised by the ruler only.

Pakistan was formed as a country for Indian Muslims as it was felt by many that in free India they would receive second class treatment. The kingdom of Jammu & Kashmir was a Muslim majority state and its ruler was a Hindu Maharaja. It also had a contagious land border with Pakistan. It was assumed by Pakistan that based on these two favorable aspects, J&K would automatically accede to them.

The Maharaja was unable to take a decision to either merge with  Pakistan or India. He chose to continue to remain independent and even signed a standstill agreement with Pakistan. However Pakistan lost patience and decided to force the issue. They encouraged the Pathan tribals to  cross into J&K and create mayhem. These leaderless and ferocious tribals let lose a reign of terror on all Kashmiris irrespective of religion and resorted to loot, murder and rape. Soon they were followed by regular Pakistani troops in

guise of tribals. It was invasion of the kingdom by Pakistan.

The hapless Maharaja was left with no option but to request India for armed assistance to save his kingdom and  subjects from the marauding Pakistanis. India however stated that the Maharaja must sign the instrument of accession which would legitimize the entry of Indian troops into J&K. The Maharaja exercised his option and signed the instrument of accession in late 1947.

Immediately the Indian troops entered into the war torn kingdom and pushed the Pakistanis, from five miles near Srinagar to the present cease fire line also known as Line of Control or LOC. In the process Pakistan has 40% and India has 60% of the erstwhile J&K princely state.

Ever since Pakistan has been trying to grab the remaining part of the state which is now part of India. It has fought three wars and lost them. Now it is supporting terror groups who send terrorists from Pakistan held Kashmir into J&K to create disturbances. There are many small groups in Kashmir who want  Kashmir to go to Pakistan. There are some groups who want a referendum to be held to decide which country the people want the state to merge with. There are some who want it to become independent.

India says it is an integral part of India and is non negotiable. Pakistan says it is a disputed territory and should be discussed. In order that the issue does not remain silent Pakistan helps to keep the pot boiling militarily, financially and diplomatically. It is the people of J&K who are suffering. Every day someone or the other from civilians, terrorists or security forces is getting killed.

The longest unresolved international dispute thus carries on without a solution in sight.

Article Written By vks1000

Am a retired professional who is now into education of International Business and management topics. I enjoy writing and like reading on politics,economics,management and films. I take life as it comes and try to keep myself busy with a variety of activities.

Last updated on 13-11-2017 95 8

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  • raghubirs  18-11-2017
    It is not a conflict but self inflicted wound which is not allowed to heal. When J&K had legally acceded to India and therefater Indian troops were chasing on the run Pak troops in civvis/Kabailis -where was the need for ceasefire and involving UN ? This single act is great betrayal of India. Then after 1971 war India was in bargaining position to settle this issue while repatriating 93000 POW's but we ended up with damp sqib of Simla Agreement.While Pak is unable to control Balochistan, Sindh, Karachi, FATA it still wants to get Kashmir by stoking religion and terror in the valley. More than the separatists, the mainstream political parties have been exploiting J&K unrest. They dream of separate independent country where they would be kings?
    reply 0
    • vks1000  18-11-2017
      It is a difficult problem which only an environment of trust on both sides can help.
  • claramerriman  15-11-2017
    It is not the Dispute I think It is a pre-formatted concept of poor ideology only Governments take it and always keep alive to gain the political values. Like at Present in India the Government will solving all the disputes, but if new Government comes, then other things comes.. The people of India should take a step ahead to get it solve ASAP.
    reply 0
    • vks1000  18-11-2017
      does not seem possible till Pakistan keeps supporting terrorist groups.
  • vpaulose  13-11-2017
    Informative. Thank you.
    reply 0
  • goldstay  13-11-2017
    I hope conflict in that area will soon be resolved. If only Mahatma Gandhi still lives today, he would try every non-violent but peaceful way of solving the problem. Let peace reign in every man's heart.
    reply 0
    • vks1000  18-11-2017
      Todays leaders have forgotten Gandhi.
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