Kashmir : Indo - Pak Relations Category : Secondary School Level

Kashmir : Indo - Pak Relations

Category : Secondary School Level

The present conflict and consequent tense relations between India and Pakistan over Kashmir started in 1947 when the British left. The partition of India is not only a turning point in the history of the Indian subcontinent, but a signal event in world history as well. Preceding partition, India was directly under Crown rule. The British in order to perpetuate their rule, had divided the Indian society on religious grounds. They put Muslims against Hindus and instilled in them the demand for a separate land for themselves, and thus Pakistan was created. With the passing of Indian Independence Act 1947 by the British Parliament, all princely states including Kashmir were released from their obligations to the Crown; the Instrument of Accession was an integral part of that mechanism. Kashmir was thus free to accede to India or Pakistan.


To complicate matters, the Maharaja of Kashmir, at first, refused to hand over Kashmir to either country. An enraged Pakistan pushed tribesmen duly backed and supported by military forces to attack Kashmir and annex it by force. Maharaja then signed accession to India, in October 1947, and sought military aid from India to counter Pakistani aggression. India swiftly moved in, fought the battle in 1947-48, and saved about two-third of the territory when ceasefire was declared and Line of Control (LOC) was established in January 1949; the other side of it to be Pakistani Azad Kashmir and this side Indian Jammu & Kashmir.


The issue which was left unresolved by the British remained to be the cause of edgy Indo-Pak relations and led to two (1947-48 and 1965) of the three wars (the third being 1971) over the Kashmir problem, with continued strife. In both the attempts to capture Kashmir by military action, Pakistan was squarely defeated by India. Having failed to get Kashmir by military means, Pakistan planned a low-cost proxy war in Kashmir to wear down India under 'Operation Topac’. The proxy war still goes on. The Kargil war (1999) was a desperate attempt in which Pakistan was defeated militarily and humiliated diplomatically.


The Indo-Pak relations have been either 'low’ or 'not too low' since the partition. Although the accession of


Kashmir to India was in strict adherence to the Instrument of Accession, yet the same British Government did not accept it and advised the USA not to accept the legality and constitutionality of it. This breach of faith by both UK and USA, for over sixty years has been at the root of the dispute and strained Indo-Pak relations. These relations deteriorated further because of their military adventures; and the neighbouring country's support to terrorism.


Pakistan has not done enough to keep their promise of permanently ending the infiltration of terrorists from across the border. Such actions by Pakistan foil the Indian initiatives for improved Indo-Pak relations. The importance and need for better relations, understanding and restraint is more now than ever before as both the countries have acquired nuclear capabilities and have thus assumed potentially dangerous destructive capability. The arms race has entered a stage where it can not be sustained.


Only the liberation of Indo-Pak relation from the captivity of hostility, strengthened by mutual trust and cooperation, can help to overcome historically rooted Kashmir dispute and thus paving the way for better affable relations between the two countries.


The crux of the matter is that there can not be a new beginning for Kashmir! without good Indo-Pak relations and it is only the two of them viz. India and Pakistan who can resolve this imbroglio.


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