Kashmir, the blaze point between India and Pakistan is the British legacy in the Indo-Pak subcontinent. Being and unfinished agenda of the partition of India, the future of the intact south Asia depends on the future of Kashmir. Paradise like Kashmir, which is also called the Switzerland of Indo-Pak subcontinent, is surrounded by India, Pakistan, and the People Republic of China.
Historical Background of Kashmir
Area of Kashmir
The total area of Kashmir is 84741 square miles, which is equal to 135586 kilometers.
Kashmir Liberation Movement
When the Kashmir’s Muslims realized that their ruler, Hari Singh was not going to honor the wish of majority of Kashmiris, they rose against him. First of all the Muslims of Poonch came to the street against Maharaja and his government.
Response of Maharaja
Although, Maharaja applied his full state force to crush the movement of the Muslims at Poonch, he not only failed, his force also had to vacate the districts of Poonch and Mirpur. As a result, the freedom fighters under the leadership of Sardar Ibrahim Khan constituted their own government, called Azad Kashmir government. Racing to this the Hindus, predominantly, those who had migrated from the west Punjab started killing and assaulting the Muslims in Jammu and surrounded rural areas as well, this plunged Kashmir into civil war.
Civil War in Kashmir
During the power struggle between the Kashmiri freedom fighters and the maharaja forces, on October 22, 1947 some brave tribes’ brave fighters of Pakistan entered Kashmir to help their Kashmiri brothers. On October 26, 1947, Hari Singh, who had lost confidence of the majority of Kashmiris , run away from Jammu and found a safe place at Srinagar. On the next day, Hari Singh, decided to accede to India and sought military assistance from Lord Mountbatten. While accepting the request of Hari Singh conditionally permitted army to enter into Kashmir but made it clear in a letter to Singh that future of Kashmir is remain in the hands of Kashmiris. In such circumstance, Pakistan had no option to respond India militarily in Kashmir. As a result, Quaid-e-Azam ordered commander-in-chief of Pakistan army to check the Indian endeavors. Being disappointed from the war theater in Kashmir, pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, prime minister of India took the Kashmir dispute to the security council of UNO on January 1, 1948.
Role of UNO
Uno established cease-fire line in Kashmir and for the resolution of dispute appointed the un commission for India and Pakistan. The commission passed two resolutions on august 13, 1948 and January 5, 1949, which granted the right of self-determination to the Kashmiris in principle ____that they were entitled to determine the final destiny of their land, Kashmir. However, unfortunately, the UNO failed to implement the resolutions of its commission well in time, which resulted in war between India and Pakistan in 1965.
UNO and the Kashmir Dispute
From 1948 to 1971, the security council of United Nations Organization and the UN Commission for the India and Pakistan has adopted 18 and 2 resolutions, respectively, regarding the Kashmir dispute. However, so far the UN has not succeeded in holding a plebiscite (vote of all citizens) in Kashmir, which was promised to Kashmiris.
Great Powers and the Kashmir Dispute
Kashmir is not an attractive land like Kuwait and East Timur. Great powers like USA, Britain and others maintain that both India and Pakistan should resolve the Kashmir dispute bilaterally. This perception of great powers is in fact, endorsement of the Indian position (bilateralism).
Muslim World and the Kashmir Dispute
Despite the fact that the Muslims have the highest number (57) in the UN General Assembly, the Muslim world has no decisive say in resolving the Kashmir issue in accordance with the wishes of the kashmiris. OIC, being a subservient body to UNO can only pass ceremonial resolutions, regarding Kashmir issue.
Kashmir and the Kashmiris
Unfortunately, today the Kashmiris are having divergent perceptions about the Kashmir issue. They have only two options; to join India or Pakistan but they are divided into more than thirty-six political parties and fractions. Apart from this, some Kashmiri leaders are of the view that the Third Opinion; neither with India nor with Pakistan, is the only possible solution to the Kashmir dispute. One thing is clear, unless and until Kashmiris are united, it is nearly impossible they would succeed in liberating their motherland.