The ongoing conflict between the two arch-rivals India and Pakistan, after the worst ever attack a CRPF Convoy in Pulwama resulting in the death of more than 4o soldiers brought the two nations at the brink of war. The escalating tensions created fear in all the parts of Jammu and Kashmir, as residents of the state started storing food and other basic needs.
The present circumstances are not new but are a continuation of the consequences of Partition of India in 1947, which resulted in the creation of Pakistan. However, the Maharaja of Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of Kashmir was unable to decide which nation Kashmir should join, so he chose to remain independent. But his hopes were quashed when Pakistan launched a tribal attack on Srinagar, which forced Maharaja to take help from India, and ultimately ceding Kashmir to India on 26 October 1947. Unfortunately, some part of the valley was held by Pakistan and the rest(65%) remained with India. So whatever is happening inside and outside the two nations is oKashmirause of the “kashmir issue”, which dates back to 1947.
Kashmir often referred to as ‘paradise on earth’ turned into a bloody conflict zone since it took help from the Indian government right after partition and signed the Instrument of Accession.
Kashmir was one of the largest princely states and because of its location, Kashmir could choose to join either India or Pak. Maharaja Hari Singh,the ruler of Kashmir was Hindu while most of his subjects were Muslims. He was unable to decide which nation Kashmir should join, so he chose to remain neutral but his hopes of remaining independent were squashed in October 1947, when Pakistan sent in Muslim tribesmen who started wreaking havoc in the valley.
Hari Singh appealed to the Government of India for military support, against Pakistan. The Government which had ulterior motives sent the troops in the valley. India and Pak thus fought their first war over Kashmir in 1947 -1948.
India referred the matter to the United Nations on January 1, 1948. The UN asked Pakistan to remove it’s troops, after which India was also asked to withdraw the majority of its forces. Once the forces retreated, a “free and fair” plebiscite was to be held to allow the people of Kashmir to decide their future.
India, was confident of winning the plebiscite, since the most influential Kashmiri mass leader, Sheikh Abdullah was backing India’s stance. An emergency Government was formed on October 30, 1948, with Sheikh Abdullah as the Prime Minister.
On 1 January 1949, a ceasefire was agreed with 65% of the Territory under Indian territory and remaining with Pakistan. The cease-fire was not permanent in nature, but the Line Of Control became the de facto border between the two countries.
India in October 1947 gave Kashmir greater autonomy, wherein the Centre controlled only defense, foreign affairs, and the telecommunications, while the Kashmir government formed its own constitution and flag. Gradually, the autonomy was subsumed by the Indian Government and remained only on paper. In 1953, India jailed Sheikh Abdullah, after he gave a speech suggesting the possibility of an independent Kashmir. In the following decades, India started violating the legal status of Kashmir and ignored the democratic rights of its people.
Sheikh remained in jail for around 20 years. When he was released, he was forced to enter a compromise with the Indian government where he had to give up the demand for a plebiscite that the UNO had recommended. Sheikh agreed to the arrangement and spent the remaining years of his life being in power. Interestingly, the duration of his tenure was relatively peaceful.
The Kashmiri people were always aware of the fact that the government of India is draining their wealth. Just after the death of Sheikh, Indian army increased atrocities on the innocent Kashmiris. Rapes, murders, disappearances, friskings, crackdowns, and fake encounters were at a peak.
Everyday, Kashmiris are being killed . According to the several reports lakhs of people have been killed. Many are still missing, thousands of women have been raped. To prove their political might, both Indian and Pakistani politicians are exploiting the people of Kashmir.
The Kashmiris as of now wish to be free from the dirty power play, and atrocities committed by both the countries.
Both the nation fought four wars on Kashmir issue, and yet a peaceful solution seems like a distant dream.