Why do both Pakistan and India want Kashmir? • Control of Indus River • Headwaters are in Kashmir • Religious sites • Strategic location • Buffer zone • Route of invasion?
Origins of the current conflict - 1947 • India & Pakistan won independence from British • Individual states voted which to join or choose independence • Ruler of Kashmir (“Maharaja”) was Hindu, but majority of pop. is Muslim • wanted independence • Pakistan invaded Kashmir to claim it • Maharaja asked for India’s help against Pakistan, in exchange for saying Kashmir will be part of India
Origins of the current conflict - 1947 • Need to hold a vote (“plebiscite”) to make Kashmir officially part of India • India never let Kashmir hold the vote • Fear that majority will want to join Pakistan, because Muslim • Pakistan won’t accept that Kashmir is “Indian” b/c no vote
Kashmir divided – 1947 and 1965 • UN helped arrange ceasefire • Pakistan controlled western 1/3 of Kashmir • “Azad” or “Free Kashmir” • India controlled eastern 2/3 • “Jammu & Kashmir” • 1965: another war & ceasefire • “Line of Control” officially established (LOC)
Each side’s argument India says… Pakistan says… Most Kashmiris are Muslim and so are Pakistanis India is oppressing Muslims in Kashmir Let people vote, and if don’t want to be Pakistani, we’ll leave • We’re a secular nation and so can encompass all religious communities • Millions of Muslims live here too • We’re a democracy, and Kashmiris have a right to that • Pakistan must withdraw troops before a vote
Tensions escalate – 1980s • 1980s – rebellion in Indian-controlled Kashmir against Indian rule • Pakistan says: shows that Muslims want Indian rule to end • India says: the Pakistanis are purposefully organizing this and just want to snatch the land
The nuclear and fundamentalist elements… • As of 1998, both India and Pakistan had tested nuclear weapons • 1999 – “Kargil War” breaks out in Kashmir • 2001-2 tensions escalate, but another ceasefire in 2004 • Now, more Islamic fundamentalists are using Kashmir as a base to attack India
Scary! We have a much stronger military! Sure, but we’re not afraid to use a nuclear weapon If you pull that, we will destroy you with our own nukes.
So! We need to come up with some scenarios to resolve the future of Kashmir… … and we’re going to have to listen to the Kashmiris to figure it out and make it work in the long-term (sustainably)!