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Kashmir For Dummies

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    Kashmir For Dummies

    Hello everyone,

    Could someone please explain to me without getting emotional or taking sides on what the problem in Kashmir is and how/what other nations, international bodies could do to help Pakistan and India resolve the issue.

    Pretend that I am not a Pakistani but a gora friend who you are trying to explain what the whole problem in Kasmir is. Once again try to be as bi-partisan as possible.

    If I get good responses I will share my results with the world. And hopefully we can be an inch closer to solving the whole issue.



    OK ladlaone no time to write this all myself sorry I don’t have the dates or resolution numbers.
    (my simple in a nutshell explanation) India gained control of Kashmir because the maharaja gave it to India. However, the maharaja was not allowed to do so because the British wanted the "people" of each Indian state to decide and the Kashmiri people had voted to secede to Pakistan. Pakistan continues its claim Kashmir because the basis of Pakistan is a Muslim country for Muslims. Kashmir should have gone to Pakistan, they were geographically attached, religiously similar and they had that right. Many UN resolutions call for resolution of the issue and India agrees but does not follow through. After India gained control of Kashmir they refused to allow a people’s vote which was the UN said they should do. This is because they know that Kashmir would go free. India knows if it allows Kashmir freedom it will have to allow Punjab and Tamil people to go free. Then India would fall apart.

    Now with the end of the cold war the big world powers have no need for India or Pakistan so the issue of Kashmir is not that important. Also Muslim countries can say they support their Muslim brothers but politically they will do nothing.

    Sorry i sound so depressing. I don't think that Kashmiris have any political clout to push their point. Yes its not fair, yes its not right but so what? worse happens. we have no oil, we have no gold, we've just got mountains and snow.

    Now I don’t understand where Hydrabad and Kashmir were supposed to be traded off.. someone wrote that in a previous thread.

    What India is doing to Kashmir (Not me)
    On the one hand, India claims that Kashmir is an integral part of the Indian Union. On the other hand India has signed two agreements (Tashkent 1966, Shimla 1972) with Pakistan, in which India agreed to resolve the Kashmiri dispute through bilateral and peaceful means. Further, India is still party to numerous UN resolutions which proclaim Kashmir to be a disputed territory. More recently, India has increased her role as an oppressor in Kashmir. The deployment of 500,000 troops to silence the voices of the Kashmiri people is seen as the only solution by the Indian government, resulting in gross violations of human rights. These crimes have been carried out as a matter of routine and some are well documented by the various Human Rights agencies.
    The US State department, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have recorded varying categories of human rights violations in Kashmir. These include:
    · Political and extra judicial killings
    · Disappearances
    · Rape
    · Torture and custodial abuse
    · Arbitrary arrest and detention
    · Willful destruction of property
    · Denial of fair trial
    · Arbitrary interference into privacy, family, home and correspondence
    · Use of excessive force and violations of humanitarian law
    · Suppression of freedom of speech and press
    · Suppression of freedom of peaceful assembly and association
    · Suppression of religious freedom

    Due to these excesses, more than 50,000 Kashmiris have been killed since 1990, with a lot more unaccounted for. Thousands of elpless Muslim Kashmiris have fled across the Line-of-Control to Azad Kashmir and are now living in refugee camps. The Hindu Pandit population has not been immune to the recent unrest either. They have also fled the valley in their thousands and are now living in refugee camps in Jammu and India

    (Not me)
    These events serve to highlight the disputed status of Kashmir by focusing on the fraudulent nature of the Instrument of Accession which was ‘signed’ by the Maharajah of Kashmir on 26th October 1947. The Indians claim that the Instrument of Accession was signed by Maharajah Hari Singh on 26th October 1947, in which the Maharajah agreed to accede to India in return for military assistance to put down the popular rebellion against him, seen at that time as an invasion by tribesmen from neighboring Pakistan. The details of the accession were worked out between the Kashmiri Prime Minister, MC Mahajan and the Indian official, VP Menon, in Delhi. However, there are serious doubts about the signing of the document. Alastair Lamb (in his book, Kashmir - A disputed legacy 1846-1990) points out that the Instrument of Accession could not have been signed by the Maharajah on 26th October as he was traveling by road to Jammu (a distance of over 350 Km). Some Indian troops had already arrived and secured Srinagar airfield during the middle of October 1947. On 26th October 1947, a further massive airlift brought thousands of Indian troops to Kashmir - BEFORE the signing of the Accession. Therefore, this situation begs the question: would the Maharajah have signed the Instrument of Accession had the Indian troops not been on Kashmiri soil?

    No satisfactory original of the Instrument of Accession has ever been produced in an international forum; a published form has always been shown. Further, the document was not presented to Pakistan or to the UN. In the summer of 1995, the Indian authorities reported the original document as lost or stolen. This sheds further doubt on whether the Maharajah actually signed the Instrument of Accession. The Governor-General of India at the time, Lord Mountbatten, stipulated that the permanent accession of Kashmir to the Indian Union will only be accepted once the people of Kashmir had been consulted. He noted in a letter to the Maharajah, "the question of the states’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people". Furthermore, when the Kashmir crisis broke out in October 1947, the principle of reference to the people through plebiscite was already established as similar disputes in some other states had been resolved this way. (Think hydrabad they wanted to go to Pakistan but the state was Hindu so…)

    Hope this helps

    Also after Palestine gained its freedom (so called) Kashmir ( Indiana occupied Kashmir) became the oldest occupied nation in the World.

    [This message has been edited by kashmirigirl (edited December 18, 1998).]




        Thanks kashmirigirl.

        Thanks for helping me out. I have visited many web pages about Kashmir but they are so partisan that it is hard to determine what is real and what is propaganda. You cleared up a few questions I had.

        If anyone has any other input please share. My goal is to create a web page, a neutral one, that focuses on getting the issue resolved and not just another Pakistan or India bashing site like the ones I have visited.

        Thanks again.

        --ladlaone (a kashmiriguy)


          Glad to be of help ladlaone.

          so are you and your family from kashmir or of Kashmiri decent?

          You know I've never met so many kashmiris until i got on guppshupp.



            Yup..from Panjeri. I think it is near Mirpur. Very distant cousins live in my great-grandparents house but if I ever wanted to drop by and spend the night I could.

            I reason I was asking the above question is cuz I am putting together a automating letter electronic petition page. I will make the URL available to you and I guess everyone on gupshup. My goal is to have a webpage that will mail many peace organizations and the persons rep in congress depended on info entered into web form. I might be done by the beginning of the year.

            I am not very knowledgable about Kashmir so I wanted to get info from GupShuppers. My goal is to make the letter writing campaign a neutral on that both sides could participate in but will see what happens.

            If you are interested in writing some of the wording of the petition let me know.




              we've got braderi from near mirpur also. But, we're from near KOtli.

              its beautiful up there, you should visit with you fiancee/wife one day.

              If you need any help. let me know.
              Don't know how great i'll be but i'll try.

              take care


                I have some relatives in Mirpur Khas, been there once for my uncles marrige! I forgot the guys name who is the girls father but he is quiet famous in that area he's like the chairman or something!


                  This is an article from "Dawn" which could be of interest.

                  Mediation may prove disastrous

                  With A.A. Salaria

                  Time and again, the top-notchers in Pakistan, including the prime minister, dealing with the official Kashmir policy, are making fervent appeals to foreign powers to mediate in the Kashmir dispute dragging on tediously between India and Pakistan. It is argued that, without intercession by a third party, no headway is likely to be made in the on-going bilateral talks.

                  These appeals have now become a routine, and almost every country, from Japan to Nepal and from US, UK to the United Nations, has been requested to act as a mediator to resolve the deadlock. This is being done without considering the consequences which are likely to prove disastrous and unacceptable to all the parties, India, Pakistan and Kashmir, involved in the dispute. The award, when announced by the mediator, will probably be rejected by all the three parties.

                  GIVE AND TAKE: Mediation by a neutral third party will inevitably lead to arbitration which, in turn, has to be based on the principle of 'give and take'. The mediator will probably turn down the claims and demands of both India and Pakistan, as well as the Kashmiris, and steer a middle course. India's claim of Kashmir being an 'Atoot-Ang' of India will be rejected and Pakistan's demand for holding a plebiscite or Kashmiris' demand for 'independence' will also probably be cold-shouldered. The most likely formula evolved would be based upon the existing ground realities, probably suggesting a partition of the state to be effected in relevance to the present position.

                  Unfortunately, half a century of bickering, three bloody wars and the vicious propaganda carried on by the concerned parties have inflated this dispute into an alarmingly emotional and highly explosive issue, which has acquired international importance following the nuclearization of the region. So, while the world in general is keen to get it resolved, the governments concerned are reluctant to relax their rigid stances for fear of violent public reaction. As such, either government which accepts a rational solution faces public wrath and may lose its seat of power.

                  INDIA'S STANCE: India, which is in occupation of the bulk of the State, has a very weak case and as such is extremely averse to mediation and has repeatedly ruled out any participation of a third party in the talks. Offers of mediation made by several countries, including USA, UK and UN, have been turned down by it. There is no chance of India accepting mediation as long as the BJP remains in office.

                  Though officially the BJP's stand is the recovery and integration of the entire state with India, including Azad Kashmir, Northern areas and the strip which is under control of China, off and on, its leaders have let it be known that it might relax its stance and let the status quo continue with some modifications and adjustments in the existing position.

                  Earlier this year, Mr K.L. Advani, the Indian Minister for Interior and Kashmir Affairs, spelled out the outlines of India's 'national agenda' for Kashmir in a press conference held at Amritsar. Rejecting outright the demand for a plebiscite, he expressed his party's willingness to implement some of the provisions of the Simla Accord, on the basis of bilateral negotiations, for the restoration of peace and amity in the sub-continent. Elaborating India's stand on Kashmir, he enumerated the conditions which must be fulfilled for this purpose.

                  He said that since the 50-year-old UN resolution on Kashmir is now time-barred and the Kashmiris have ratified the State's accession to India through numerous elections, the demand for holding a plebiscite has become irrelevant. In the interest of peace, India might consider foregoing its claim on the territories held by Pakistan. As such, the only practicable alternative is the conversion of the existing Line of Control into an international border. India would be prepared to agree to this solution on certain conditions:-

                  (a) Pakistan should acknowledge India's suzerainty over Kashmir which has since become an integral part of India.

                  (b) Pakistan should call a halt to terrorism in Kashmir and stop its proxy war against India. It should withdraw its terrorists from Kashmir and setup special posts on the border to stop their infiltration into the Indian territory.

                  (c) Pakistan should officially recognize the province of Laddakh, including Siachen, as an integral part of India. In return, India will recognize Pakistan's control over Azad Kashmir.

                  BALKANIZATION: Barring another Indo-Pakistan war, which would be nuclear and dreadfully disastrous, the inevitable peaceful solution of the dispute, which can be concluded through mediation or arbitration, is partition of Kashmir with minor adjustments of the present positions. This maintenance of the virtual status-quo might be acceptable to India but cannot be accepted either by Pakistan for obvious reasons or by Kashmiris who are averse to any Balkanization of the State.

                  Similarly if the Third Option is exercised, a very awkward situation would develop for Pakistan. In case the entire Kashmir State is declared 'independent', Pakistan will be required to vacate Azad Kashmir and the Northern Areas and entrust their control to a weak and suspect administration. It would imply not only the surrender of the control of Mangla Dam, which would jeopardize the irrigation of vast areas in the Punjab, but also shrinking of the borders of Pakistan down to the G.T. Road in Punjab and cutting off the link of Pakistan with China in the North, available at present through the Northern areas. Even China may be required to vacate the strip of Kashmir territory which is under its control.

                  Because of these grim options, Pakistan would be well advised not to insist on mediation. On the other hand, it should demand the presence of a third party as an observer to monitor the talks to ensure that they are making satisfactory progress.

                  There has been a fatal omission in the format of the talks which is bound to affect their end-result and probably doom them to a failure. The party most intimately concerned, the Kashmiris, are not being associated with the negotiations. In fact it is the Kashmiris who, by their tremendous sacrifices, have created the present crisis and forced the holding of talks. The APHC and other Kashmiri organizations have repeatedly declared that they will not be bound by any decision taken in the on-going talks, unless they are associated with them. So, it is imperative that the Kashmiris' representatives should participate in the exercise.



                    [This message has been edited by Rubiya Nur (edited July 30, 2000).]



                      I am starting an automated email based petition to help Kashmir. If any of you out there have ever wanted to help out here is your chance. The petition will be sent to US officials and other world leaders and peace organizations. I am looking for letters that are no longer than a page or two. If you want to help out email your letter to me or post it to Gup Shup and let me know that you want me to use your letter. Try to make the letter concise and to the point. State your concern and describe why the concern is important and what action the recipient should take. The goal is to have five or six letters that users will be able to select and then have automatically emailed leaders and peace organizations.

                      Hopefully we can take advantage of the power of the Internet and bring attention to the problems in Kashmir.

                      The interface to the automated email petition is below. It is still in the beta phase and I hope to have it completed soon.


                      [email protected]

                      [This message has been edited by ladlaone (edited December 28, 1998).]


                        Sorry, I haven't had a chance to write u yet.

                        I was wondering, How you wanted to word these letters and exactly who your audience will be?

                        Also… I don’t know how successful a letter of complaint about the horrible situation in Kashmir will be. Maybe its because I know a ton Kashmiries who've spoken at the UN and written letters of protest. I also have cousins and friends in England and Pakistan who’ve done speeches and letters of protest. It really does nothing to change the actual situation.

                        My attitude is a little pessimistic because one of my professors was the U.S. advisor to the president from the national security counsel on India, Pakistan and Kashmir. His class really emphasized the global economy and that each country is looking out for themselves( which makes sense). He told me there was no reason to resolve the issue as long as the animosity between the two countries didn't effect U.S. economy. Also most Muslim countries have no reason to actually get involved, they have their own internal conflicts as well as separatist groups. (Turkey -kurds)
                        We actually played war games. He wouldn’t let me Pakistan. L But I realized that each country has to think of internal issues as well as external issues before they make a decision to get involved in external conflicts. They also have to look at who else is on which side and who their allies are and what they are doing. Politics and diplomacy is crazy. By the way my other Bachelors is in international studies with a focus on the Middle east.

                        Please don't take offense, its just that no country especially the US will go in and force another country to make a decision on pure diplomatic or humanistic reasons when India is such a strong economic market to get into. Think China. It maybe more appropriate to push for resolution of the issue because how it effects the stability of governments which effects their ability to make computers programs for the US and so on.

                        Does that make sense?

                        No pushing to save the Kashmiri but a push to resolve the issues.

                        Let me know

                        [This message has been edited by kashmirigirl (edited January 02, 1999).]


                          Kashmir Internet Based Letter Writing Campaign


                          If you feel like it check it out.