What is the story behind Pakistan Administered Kashmir? What is the real story behind Kashmir? Who does it belong to; …

Mudassir Ali
Dec 19, 2019 03:20 PM 0 Answers
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What is the story behind Pakistan Administered Kashmir? What is the real story behind Kashmir? Who does it belong to; India or Pakistan? Is India right in claiming Kashmir to be its part? What is the Line of Control between these two countries?

Mudassir Ali
- Dec 19, 2019 03:20 PM

Some historical background…

In 1947, it was decided that the areas with majority of Muslim population would fall under Pakistan. For princely states, it was decided that the rulers of those states will decide whether they want to annex with India or Pakistan. The state of Jammu and Kashmir was the largest such state.

Pakistan expected the Raja, Hari Singh, of Jammu and Kashmir to consider the overwhelming desire of its people to become a part of Pakistan. Hari Singh however wanted to delay his decision so that he could announce an independent state of Kashmir. Meanwhile, the Muslim population of Kashmir was getting anxious. Unofficially, the Pakistani Pashtun tribesmen from western border started entering Jammu and Kashmir and with the help of locals they took over what is now part of Azad Jammu and Kashmir in Pakistan. The Raja was quickly losing ground and could not get any help from either India or Pakistan. India would only provide support under the condition Hari Singh acceded Kashmir to Indian dominion. Under pressure Hari Singh eventually signed the Instrument of Accession with India. After which Indian forces marched into Kashmir through district of Gurdaspur where they were already deployed and ready to take action. This resulted in the first Indo-Pak war.

Take note previously Lord Mountbatten in a conspiracy with Jawaharlal Nehru has given Gurdaspur (another Muslim majority area), a district in Punjab, to India. This provided India the only feasible direct by road access to Jammu and Kashmir.

Why is Kashmir important to Pakistan?

Kashmir can easily be used to strangulate Pakistan’s water supply. There is not a single reason India would need Kashmir . Geographically, almost all major rivers of Pakistan start in China flow through Kashmir all the way ito Pakistan. While Indus Water Treaty partly solved the dispute but now after India has built dozens of dams on its side of Kashmir – water flow to Pakistan can easily be tempered with. Had Kashmir been with Pakistan, this issue would not even exist in the first place. Furthermore, there is no saying if during times of war India could potentially cut-off our water supply or flood Pakistan. Take note in 1948 India (the upper riparian state) did choke the water flow towards Pakistan. See that small square in the image below, that signifies how Kashmir gives India so much unfair strategic advantage over Pakistan. Every nation wants to be in control of their resources – water above all else!

Also, Indian-occupied Kashmir has given India the only road to access Siachen (another disputed region) which has opened up another front.

A solution to the problem which was thrown in by General Musharraf – to establish a sovereign state of Kashmir. India can easily influence that state not to play in the hands of Pakistan by lobbying, investment, and intimidation. Pakistan can do the same. A free trade zone can be built in Kashmir. People of Kashmir can travel to India and Pakistan without visa.

Resolving Kashmir issue to the satisfaction of both nations will easily remove the thorns in our relationship. Imagine a world without any Indo-Pak conflicts or tensions. Contrary to popular belief, India is not a natural enemy of Pakistan. We have a lot more similarities than differences. India, however, doesn’t even want to talk about Kashmir issue because the status quo favors them.

What Kashmiris want?

This is a question not even discussed by the general Indian public or Indian government. Though Kashmiris can speak for themselves but I believe what they would want most of all is an end to this power struggle between India and Pakistan for which they are paying the price in life and property.

Given that far far less killings, rapes, abductions have taken place in Azad Kashmir by the hands of Pakistani forces than in Jammu & Kashmir by Indian forces. What would they want?

In Azad Kashmir:
1) There aren’t any curfews, no mass civil riots.
2) There is no media ban contrary to popular belief.
3) Pakistani military hasn’t committed any rapes, extrajudicial killings.
4) Pakistani military doesn’t have troops deployed inside towns and cities. (India needs 600,000 troops to maintain control in Jammu & Kashmir. That is equal to the size of entire Pakistan Army)

Simply speaking, Kashmiris in PoK are much more happy and content compared to Kashmiris in IoK. Azad Kashmir has more autonomy than the rest of Pakistan. They have their own head of state, their own constitution, and their own courts.

UN has rejected Indian contention that people of Kashmir have already exercised their right of self-determination. There was a 0.2% turn out during the in the 1989 Kashmir elections. Numerous other polls have been conducted in Indian Kashmir and every one of these had a similar result. Some Kashmiris want an independent Kashmir. Some, arguably fewer, want to join Pakistan. Almost none at all want to stay with India. The few who do want to stay with India are recent arrivals, primarily Hindus, who do not have long heredity links to Kashmir.

I will end this with my opinion that the people of Kashmir should have the right to select which country they want to be a part of. That is the democratic way of resolving this issue – which India proudly claims to be the largest model of. The voices of the Kashmiri people should be heard because they atleast have the right to choose who governs them – if not themselves!

Edit: India once again threatens to divert 3 rivers away from Pakistan

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