Kashmir Issue : Different Views and Conflict of Interests

by Vipul Mayank

KASHMIR – The flash point of conflict between India and Pakistan ever since the two countries got independence. Why is it so?

Well this all started when Indian sub-continent got independence from the British and criterias for division of the subcontinent were set by them. They decided that the regions with Hindu majority population will merge as India and those with Muslim majority population will go with Pakistan and princely states which were indirectly ruled by British through Maharajas or Nawabs were free to choose either India or Pakistan. But there were two main complex situations in Hyderabad and Jammu and Kashmir. Hyderabad was a Hindu majority state ruled by a Muslim nawab and Jammu and Kashmir a Muslim majority state under the rule of the Hindu Maharaja.

Hyderabad was taken under Indian control after a brief war, while Jammu and Kashmir decided to remain independent. Anoxious to take Kashmir under its control Pakistan sent its army men as kabayalis(tribal people) to take down Srinagar. Maharaja who initially wanted to remain independent to remain in power asked for Indian help. India decided to send him help in return for signing the instrument of accession to join Indian union to which he agreed to. Then  India sent their troops and the first Indo-Pak war was fought, which resulted in two third of Jammu and Kashmir under India and one third of Jammu and Kashmir under Pakistan before UN intervened and the line of control was established. So now question arises: whether Kashmir belongs to India or Pakistan or does it have the right to remain independent. Well, there is no single answer but different views to look at the situation. First of all, what people of Kashmir want being Muslim majority state –  initially they wanted to go with Pakistan, but now they want Independence from both India and Pakistan. Nehru had promised them a plebesite that they will be given a chance to decide whether to remain independent or merge with either India or Pakistan but that never happened because India knew what will be the outcome. India has its own interest in Kashmir as it is the gateway to the central asia. Major rivers pass through it and most important of all if Kashmir gets independence, this will encourage other states fighting for the self rule for the same and it is not something india would want.

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