KASHMIR “THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE IN THE WORLD”
CAUSES OF THE CONFLICT • India was still under control of Britain in the early 1940s. • In 1945 the attempt by the British Government to hand over power to a united India failed when the Muslim League (formed in 1906 to protect the interests of Muslims in a predominantly Hindu India) insisted on a partition of the country. • Violence broke out between the two religious groups and Britain. • In 1947, Lord Mountbatten handed over power to two separate states – India and Pakistan. • When the partition took place, millions of Hindus were trapped in Muslim Pakistan and millions of Muslims were trapped in Hindu India
Hindus and Muslims were killed alike. Approximately 600 000 people were killed in total • Relations between the two states got off to a bad start and have since worsened. • The refugee problem was not the only issue that aggravated the problem. • The two states quarrelled over the area of Kashmir. • Both laid claim to the area: under its Hindu leader it became part of India, but Pakistan claimed the area belonged to her because the population was/is largely Muslim. • On 1st January 1948, India referred the issue of aggression in the Kashmir region to the United Nations Security Council.
The UNSC passed a resolution containing the following conditions: 1. Both parties had to cease their hostilities in the region 2. Armed forces of both parties had to withdraw from the region, leaving only a few components of the Indian army to maintain peace and order 3. When the above two clauses were fulfilled, a plebiscite could be held where the people of the region will decide upon whether Kashmir should cede to India or Pakistan. • The first two conditions of the resolution were never fulfilled. • In 1965, the dispute led to open war between the two countries when Pakistan tried to militarily annex the Indian part of Kashmir. • In 1971 the second Indian-Pakistan war broke out. This resulted in the loss of Pakistan’s east wing (now Bangladesh) and 90 000 Pakistani military personnel were taken as prisoners of war.
There are several groups pursuing the rival claims to Kashmir. • Not all are armed, but since Muslim insurgency began in 1989, the • number of armed separatists has grown from hundreds to • thousands. • The most prominent are the pro-Pakistani Hizbul Mujahideen. • Islamabad denies providing them and others with logistical and • material support. • The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) was the largest • pro-independence group, but its influence is thought to have • waned. • Other groups have joined under the umbrella of the Hurriyat • (Freedom) Conference, which campaigns peacefully for an end to • India's presence in Kashmir.