Kashmir, which is termed the paradise on earth, lies in the north of India, a region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir, a Muslim majority state, are bifurcated in three parts controlled by India, Pakistan, and China, with Pakistan and India claiming the whole state as their territory. Before the independence of India and Pakistan, this state was an independent nation with no association either with Pakistan or India.
The bifurcation of India and Pakistan in 1947 was wholly based on religion with Pakistan emerging as a Muslim country and India as a Hindu country. The state of Jammu and Kashmir being a Muslim majority region was attacked by Pakistan rebels mainly Pashtun Tribal, in order to join it with Pakistan. Maharaja Hari Singh, the then ruler of this princely state, failed to stop this Pashtun aggression which had annexed this state up to the Baramulla town sought India’s intervention to fight these rebels. India’s Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru refused to help, stating that its troops cannot fight for other nation unless it is part of India. Helpless Maharaja signed a truce with Indian PM resulting in the temporary accession of this princely state with the Republic of India with India promising that in future the people will be given a chance (Referendum) to decide their fate.
It was only after the accession that India’s troops were airlifted to Srinagar on October 26, 1947, to fight the Pashtun Tribals. Later in 1948, the army of Pakistan entered the war resulting in the gradual solidification of fronts, thus creating a line of control after a ceasefire agreement came into effect from January 1, 1949. By then, Pakistan had taken control of the northern districts of Kashmir, the part now termed Azad (free) Kashmir.
This was the first war between India and Pakistan popularly known as the Indo-Pakistani war of 1947 – 1949 or the first Kashmir war. This was an inconclusive war as Pakistan has annexed one-thirds of this princely state, and on the other hand, India was able to defend the rest two thirds. It is since then the State of Jammu and Kashmir has turned into a conflict zone for the two nuclear-powered nations of India and Pakistan with both claiming whole of it as their territory.
The two nations had already fought three full-fledged wars over this region till date. The think tanks and experts worldwide had time and again warned that the conflict is a grave threat not only for these two nations but for whole South Asia and even the entire world with some experts presuming that this conflict could lead to a full-fledged world war in the near future.
By Arsalan Mushtaq
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