It is well – known that the State of Kashmir has always been a bone of contention, a perennial problem ever since India and Pakistan achieved their independence. The issue of Kashmir is one of the major problems which has stymied the world for so long, eventuating in horrendous loss of life and negative impact on the development of Kashmir. The history of being of Kashmirian nation is full of distress and suffering. The life of this nation is associated with poverty and oppression; therefore, this cannot be wished away and needs to be thoroughly discussed analyzing the origins of conflict of Kashmir and defining possible solutions.
Kashmir is a beautiful region of South Asia, nestled between Pakistan, India, and China. The vast majority of the region’s 13 million inhabitants live between the Himalayan Mountains and the Pir Panjal Mountains in the Kashmir Valley. Kashmir has two important water supplies that flow through it – the headwaters of the Indus River and the Jhelum. The climate and fertile lands of Kashmir are convenient for farming that produce rich procurements of corn, wheat, rice, fruit and vegetables. Another feature of Kashmir is that approximately 80% of Kashmir’s population is Muslims.
It is believed that these two factors of Kashmir are the main cause of conflict between India and Pakistan. Therefore, let’s keep this in order and consider everything step by step. The Region of Kashmir has changed significantly over the last sixty years, largely due to actions of humans and the redrawing of its political borders. In 1947 Britain withdrew from India leaving behind a partitioned subcontinent. Two Independent states, India and Pakistan, had come into being. Jammu and Kashmir were one of the states that had existed under the British control.
At that time, all the princely states had two choices: accede to Pakistan or India. Meanwhile all the states did the needful, the State of Kashmir took a unique turn, an eventful and an unprecedented turn. On October 26th, 1947 Raja Hari Singh signed an “Instrument of Accession” to India. This action violated the rights and hopes of 77% Muslim population of Kashmir to join Pakistan that has resulted in at least four major wars. Besides loss of liberty for 10 million people, it has entailed loss of lives, which was more than 102, 000, in the form of executions, bombardment and disappearances, terrible tortures, injuries, exual discriminations, destruction of property and business. The governments of India promised the people of Kashmir that they would be able to vote for their future sovereignty, but this never happened. Both Pakistan and India have claim to the Region of Kashmir over the past six decades. Pakistan has laid two major interests to the region. The first one is the Indus River, which begins in Kashmir. The Indus River plays a crucial role for Pakistan, because it is one of the main sources of water.
Secondly, as it was written, Pakistan keeps on trying to unite Muslim population of Kashmir with Muslim brothers and sisters from Pakistan. Whereas, India claims that Kashmir is an integral part of their territory and will not relinquish its control of the region. Turning to the possible solutions, it is often reported that many efforts were undertaken by both India and Pakistan. Furthermore, The United Nations have tried to regulate these tensions and reach a compromise which would be convenient for both sides. Unfortunately, all these steps did not succeed.
For instance, there were a proposal to accept a boundary which would divide Kashmir into two parts, with one side administrated by India and another side by Pakistan. Current border, namely the Line of Control, divides Kashmir into Pakistani Kashmir and Indian Kashmir. According to the statistical data, this boundary is secured by 650,000 Indian soldiers, while a total army consists of 1,3 million soldiers. I am completely sure, that this the worst way to remedy a situation since the vast majority of Muslim residents would have had to stay with India.
In my view, The United Nations must take a stronger role in this conflict. The U. N. must require that India and Pakistan allow the people of Kashmir to decide their sovereignty. People of Kashmir should be given the rights to choose whether they want to accede to India or Pakistan. It is extremely important that Kashmir must not be divided by cultural differences, which may create an area of internal conflict in the future. There must be organized special elections under the control of the U. N. and other political observers.
However, I strongly believe, that the needs and interests of Pakistan and India have to be taken into account as well. It implies that Pakistan should be given the assurance that some part of the important water source, Indus River, will be available for Pakistan whatever happens next. India’s needs should not be ignorant though. Of course, there should be fixed limitations for consuming the wealth of Kashmir by India and Pakistan. Obviously, these all would motivate both sides to resolve an issue in a short time. Second solution for the Conflict of Kashmir is giving an independence to whole Kashmir Region.
First thing which can come to one’s mind is that none of the countries will accept this way. The cause of this is that neither of sides are willing to give away the land which is very beneficial and profitable. Nevertheless, this difficulty can be overcome easily. In my opinion, the U. N. could exert pressure upon both Pakistan and India in order to force them to acknowledge the State of Kashmir as an independent area. If to consider Kashmir as an independent region, it is certain that Kashmir is comprehensively weak and will not be able to exist without any help from the outside.
So, in this situation both Pakistan and India could render assistance and support to Kashmir to build an economics and ensure a gradual development, but with compensation. In simple terms, India and Pakistan could have a bargain with Kashmir. For instance, these countries are able to ensure the safety of Kashmir – allocate small part of their military in Kashmir. Moreover, both India and Pakistan can give the help to Kashmir with integration to the Organisation of United Nations. Also, they could establish some kind of institutions in order to stimulate the economics of independent Kashmir.
In return for this, Kashmir could allow Pakistan and India to consume finite part of natural resources. In my point of view, it would be much better if all the sides signed a declaration of alliance and interaction. In conclusion, it must be said that we cannot remain oblivious to these heinous crimes, nor can the international community. We must pay more attention to this conflict and to the ways how this issue can be resolved. Every move leads to the serious outcome, as in 1947 if Raja Hari Singh had chosen more sensible decision , so war would have been avoided and people of Kashmir would not have suffered.
Unfortunately, humankind cannot go back to that time and try to prevent this conflict.
Bibliography: 1. Global Conflict: Kashmir. BJ Basinski CIM/CAM; 11-23-99. 2. The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. Columbia University Press. 3. The interview of Sumantra Bose to Fathom – “The conflict in Kashmir. ” Sumantra Bose; 2001. 4. The official website of BBC News channel – (special reports): “The future of Kashmir? ” (http://news. bbc. co. uk/2/shared/spl/hi/south_asia/03/kashmir_future/html/) 5. The Kashmir Issue: Some Options Towards Solution. Dr. Misbah Islam.
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