Does Jammu & Kashmir belong to India or Pakistan?

Mudassir Ali
Dec 19, 2019 03:13 PM 0 Answers
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Does Jammu & Kashmir belong to India or Pakistan?

Mudassir Ali
- Dec 19, 2019 03:14 PM

Depends on who you ask.

Pakistanis would say that the principle behind the 1947 partition of British India was that Muslim majority states should go to Pakistan and Hindu majority states should go to India. Kashmir, in 1947, had a majority of Muslims (headed by a Hindu ruler) and should have gone to Pakistan. The accession to India by Kashmir was not in accordance with the principle of partition. After the stalemate of 1948 war between Pakistan and India over Kashmir, UN resolved that a plebiscite should be held on where should Kashmir go. The plebiscite was never held. At one level, it is the obligation of Muslims to wage a jihad to liberate Kashmir from Hindu India. At another level, it is fair that the wishes of Kashmiri people be heard on where they should be.

India would say that Kashmir was not part of British India and was an independent province under British suzerainty. Partition does not govern where Kashmir belongs. Accession is a matter to be decided by each Princely state. In 1948 when Pakistan attempted to annex Kashmir, the Hindu ruler of Kashmir signed up to accede with India to get India’s protection. He was supported by Sheikh Abdullah, the Muslim leader of Kashmir’s popular political party. India has conducted several elections in Kashmir where Muslim leaders were elected as CMs to rule the state of Kashmir for more than three decades. The voice of the people was already heard. The UN plebiscite was to be held only after Pakistan vacates all of Kashmir. Pakistan has not done so. Technically (sic) the plebiscite is not yet due. Under terrorist pressure the Hindu pandits have been driven out of Kashmir. Any plebiscite held now will not be fair. The UN plebisicite is therefore irrelevant. Pakistan has lost the claim to be the country of all Muslim majority provinces in British India after the separation of Bangladesh. The secessionist pressure in Kashmir stems more from state sponsored terrorism initiatives from Pakistan. Secession based on religion is not an acceptable principle in a secular India.

Kashmiris would say that the future of Kashmir should be determined by Kashmiris. Not by India. Not by Pakistan. Some may want to join Pakistan. Some may want to remain in India. Some may want to be independent.

In reality:

1. Both India and Pakistan are nuclear powers. It is not easy for the political super powers to adjudicate on this matter and force either India or Pakistan to do what the political super powers think is fair.
2. Public opinion in both India and Pakistan are so entrenched that any politician who cedes Kashmir away will never get re-elected. Kashmir can be taken away only by force. Such force against a nuclear power is not easy; not available.

Therefore the LOC is likely to remain a de facto international border splitting Kashmir unfortunately into two: one under Pakistan control and one under Indian control.

Such a beautiful land and such a wonderful people caught in such a mileu of politics.

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