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© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. When people say Kashmir, they are generally referring to Jammu and Kashmir, a province located on the borders of India, Pakistan, and China.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. Between 1846 and 1947, Kashmir was one of more than 500 semi-independent, or princely, states in British India.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. When the British colonists left India in 1947, it was divided, or partitioned, into two countries: the secular but Hindu-dominated state of India and the new Islamic state of Pakistan (which was divided into east and west regions).
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. Like India’s other princely states, Kashmir was given the choice of joining India or Pakistan.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. Kashmir’s leader at the time, Maharaja Hari Singh, couldn’t make up his mind. Singh himself was a Hindu, but most Kashmiris were Muslims.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. In 1947, Pakistani tribesmen invaded Kashmir, prompting Maharaja Singh to request military aid from India. The British viceroy Lord Louis Mountbatten—acting on behalf of the Indian government—sent in Indian troops, after Singh had allowed India to incorporate Kashmir.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. During the fighting, Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, a Kashmiri, became Kashmir’s prime minister. Abdullah refused to recognize Singh’s decision to make Kashmir part of India, arguing that the Kashmiri people should have the right to determine their own fate.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. The first Indo-Pakistani war ended on New Year’s Day A cease-fire called for a plebiscite, or popular vote, to determine once and for all whether Kashmir (center) should be independent or part of India (left) or Pakistan (right).
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. But Indian and Pakistani troops remained in Kashmir on either side of the Line of Control (the barrier roughly corresponding to where the two sides had stopped fighting). With India and Pakistan now effectively governing all of Kashmir, it was practically impossible for the Kashmiri people to hold a free and fair plebiscite.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. In any case, the Indian government resisted the very idea of a plebiscite, declaring in 1954 that Kashmir was an integral and permanent part of India.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. Pakistan continued to hold out for a plebiscite and, in 1965, sent troops into an Indian-administered part of Kashmir. Indian forces responded by marching toward the Pakistani city of Lahore.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. Hostilities ended in 1966, with both sides withdrawing to their pre-war positions and committing to resolve their differences over Kashmir peacefully.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. In 1971, a third Indo-Pakistani war broke out, this one over East Pakistan (today the independent state of Bangladesh). In peace talks, the Indian and Pakistani governments committed to resolving the Kashmiri question without outside mediation.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. Things remained fairly calm in Kashmir until 1987, when India rigged Kashmiri elections against the Muslim United Front (MUF). Outraged, Kashmiri separatists—supporters of independence or unification with Pakistan—took up arms against their Indian occupiers.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. The Kashmiri separatists, with support from Islamist elements in Pakistan, grew increasingly powerful.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. In 1999, armed separatists under the supervision of a powerful Pakistani general infiltrated Kargil, a town in Indian-administered Kashmir. India retaliated with air strikes and artillery bombardment. All-out war was averted only when U.S. president Bill Clinton persuaded Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif to remove all Pakistani troops from Kargil.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. Prospects for peace looked bleak in 1999, when the Pakistani general who had led the attack on Kargil seized power in a bloodless coup. The general’s name was Pervez Musharraf.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. But Musharraf, as Pakistan’s president, proved more conciliatory. He declared during the months following the 9/11 attacks on the United States that he would not allow terrorists, including violent Kashmiri separatists, to operate on Pakistani soil.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. Several months after Musharraf’s declaration, elections were held in Kashmir. They produced a shocking result: defeat for the powerful pro-India National Conference Party (NCP) and victory for an Islamic party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The PDP supported dialogue with separatist Kashmiri groups long shunned by the NCP.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. On assuming the office of Kashmiri chief minister, PDP leader Mohammed Sayeed (left) promised to bring a “healing touch” to Kashmir. This hopeful sentiment was echoed by the Pakistani and Indian leaders (right).
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. While separatist violence, much of it provoking harsh retaliation from Indian troops, did not go away, the key political figures and many ordinary Kashmiris continued to push for peace.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. Their efforts paid off late in 2003, when the Indian and Pakistani governments announced that their armies would observe a cease-fire in Kashmir. Meanwhile, air, bus, and rail links between the two countries resumed, and full sporting ties were restored.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. During the next few months, both the Pakistani and Indian governments offered hope to Kashmir’s suffering people by tentatively making major concessions:
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. President Musharraf implied that Pakistan would back off its longstanding demand for a plebiscite, and Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh hinted he would consider redrawing the boundaries of India-administered Kashmir.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. The relative good will between the two sides was on display late in 2005, when India helped in the reconstruction of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, large sections of which had been devastated by a powerful earthquake.
© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. Still, there is no agreement. And, with India and Pakistan both possessing nuclear weapons, the inability to resolve Kashmir’s troubled status has implications that far transcend the region.
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