W.B.C.S. Main 2018 Question Answer – Political Science- Importance Of The Kashmir Foctor In Indo-Pak Relations.
1)Examine the importance of the Kashmir foctor in Indo-Pak relations.
Since independence in 1947 of India and Pakistan, Kashmir has remained a subject of issue between India and Pakistan. They have fought three wars so far on the dispute and continue to be a source of irritant in their relations. It is also a flash point between the two nuclear powers of South Asia. The relations between Pakistan and India are easy to describe but difficult to explain. The two states of South Asia share historic, cultural, geographic and economic links but their relationship has been filled with hostility and doubt. This is a politico-religious conflict reflecting elements of secession, self rule and greater economic control. Its effects are not only across the border but also global, with its potential to lead to war between two nuclear weapon states. This book is a must read for anyone who wishes to learn about India Pakistan relation in context to Kashmir.Continue Reading W.B.C.S. Main 2018 Question Answer – Political Science- Importance Of The Kashmir Foctor In Indo-Pak Relations.
In order to understand the current situation in Kashmir, it is necessary to understand the history of the region. The British sold Kashmir to Maharajah Ghulab Singh in 1846. Subsequently, Maharajah Ghulab Singh established himself as the independent princely ruler of Kashmir. This was done through the famous treaty of Amritsar4. After Ghulab Singh’s death, his kingdom passed on to his successors and was ultimately ruled by Maharajah Hari Singh until 1949. These rulers were known to be tyrannical and oppressive. In 1931, there was even a revolt and general unrest amongst the majority Muslim population.
In 1947, the South Asian portion of the British Empire was divided between India and Pakistan. Maharajah Hari Singh was advised to consider contiguous dominion, religious and ethnic issues when deciding which territory to accede to. Both India and Pakistan applied pressure to get Hari Singh to accede to them respectively. However, Maharajah Hari Singh remained neutral and did not accede to either dominion. As a result, Pakistan attempted to annex Kashmir and sent large number of ‘tribesmen’ and Pakistani army regulars to overthrow Hari Singh, and make Kashmir a part of Pakistan. At this point, the Maharajah made an offer to accede to the Indian union in exchange for protection by Indian forces. India agreed and sent its troops to Kashmir, sparking off the first war between the two countries. This invasion by Pakistan and the subsequent war in 1948 lead to the creation of a highly unstable and dangerous rivalry in the Indian subcontinent.
In 1948, Indian forces successfully thwarted the incursion by Pakistan and were even ready to invade Mirpur and Muzaffarabad (now in Pakistan). However, Nehru, the Prime Minister of India, recalled his forces and took the issue to the UN Security Council. The UN Security Council passed a resolution saying that Pakistan must withdraw all Pakistani citizens and tribesmen from the area and that a plebiscite be held to decide the future of the state3. However, due to a lack of interest from the international community neither objective of the resolution was achieved.
Meanwhile, Kashmir has in effect been divided into Azad Kashmir controlled by Pakistan (also known as Pakistan occupied Kashmir in India) and Jammu & Kashmir (A part of the Indian Union, also known as India occupied Kashmir in Pakistan). The de facto border between these two regions was called the LoC (Line of Control). This division stands today and is unofficially accepted as the border between the two countries. However, both countries still lay claim to the entire Kashmir valley. This has lead to a dangerous dispute between the two neighboring nuclear powers, India and Pakistan, and has led to several wars and border skirmishes since 1948.
Analysis of terrorism in Kashmir and the India-Pakistan dispute
All these reasons have caused numerous wars and untold death and destruction for both India and Pakistan. However, the biggest fallout of the above factors has been rampant terrorism and the related proxy war between Pakistan and India since 1988. Terrorism has ravaged the valley and its people. This terrorism is not aimed at directly gaining any strategic advantage or territory from India. Rather, it is aimed at terrorizing and exterminating innocent and moderate Kashmiris to convert Kashmir into a radical Islamist region . Such a region would automatically be at odds with a secular, passive and Hindu dominated country like India. The region would therefore, naturally secede from India and possibly join Pakistan. This proxy war which employs the technique of terrorism rather than direct military action has completely changed the face of the Kashmir problem. It has converted the territorial dispute into a multifaceted social, economic, political, military and religious problem that must be resolved before Kashmir can ever experience peace and security.
This war is far more sophisticated and organized than the genocide in Congo and conflict in the Gaza strip. During the late eighties and early nineties, the Pakistani government and army, through the I.S.I. (Inter Services Intelligence), helped set up an entire terrorist network in Kashmir. Reports suggest that the I.S.I. had setup a war council consisting of approximately seventy hardcore terrorists 4. The I.S.I. has worked in conjunction with this terrorist network to achieve two major objectives. The first objective is the removal of all non-Mulims from the Kashmir valley, and the severing of all connections to the central government . By doing so, it hopes to change the demographics of Kashmir to make it more natural for Kashmir to become a part of Pakistan. In essence, they want to convert Kashmir from being a part of secular India into an Islamic nation. The second objective is to neutralize a large part of the Indian military forces by keeping them occupied and making them less potent in the event of a confrontation with Pakistan.
Potential steps towards a peaceful solution
It is quite evident that the Kashmir issue has evolved over time. I t has changed from a relatively simple territorial dispute to a far more complex cultural, religious and political issue having global implications. Any solution simply resolving the territorial dispute would be inadequate. Therefore, it is necessary that the problem also be dealt with on its religious, cultural and social fronts if there is to be any hope of peace in the valley.
The first step to a solution must involve the cessation of violence in Kashmir. In order to achieve this, there has to be action by all parties. On the Pakistani side there must be an end to all support for terrorism in Kashmir. To achieve this, international pressure is very important as it could put an end to the training camps and monetary assistance that terrorist organizations have ample access to in Pakistan. There must also be a change in the local mood in Pakistan and Kashmir that is seeking the establishment of Islamic rule in Kashmir and the destruction of India rather than the betterment of the people of Kashmir. This would restrict the popularity of these groups in Pakistan and would be instrumental in putting an end to violence in Kashmir. This can only be brought about by promoting education and secularism in Kashmir and in Pakistan. These concepts are sadly quite contrary to the reality that governs Pakistan today.
Similarly, there must also be a change in Indian foreign policy. India must attempt to resolve border disputes, and develop a friendly relationship with China before it can set about resolving the Kashmir issue. As long as Pakistan and China remain allies and have India as their common adversary, the strategic importance of Kashmir will not allow any solution to the issue.
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