In July of that year, India and Pakistan defined a cease-fire line—the line of control—that divided the administration of the territory. Regarded at the time as a temporary expedient, the partition along that line still exists. Although there was a clear Muslim majority in Kashmir before the partition, and its economic, cultural, and geographic contiguity with the Muslim-majority area of the Punjab could be convincingly demonstrated, the political developments during and after the partition resulted in a division of the region.
Pakistan was left with territory that, although basically Muslim in character, was thinly populated, relatively inaccessible, and economically underdeveloped. The largest Muslim group, situated in the Vale of Kashmir and estimated to number more than half the population of the entire region, lay in Indian-administered territory, with its former outlets via the Jhelum valley route blocked. Many proposals were subsequently made to end the dispute over Kashmir, but tensions mounted between the two countries following the Chinese incursion into Ladakh in , and warfare broke out between India and Pakistan in A cease-fire was established in September, followed by an agreement signed by the two sides at Tashkent Uzbekistan in early January , in which they resolved to try to end the dispute by peaceful means.
A brief history of the Kashmir conflict - Telegraph
Fighting again flared up between the two in as part of the India-Pakistan war that resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. An accord signed in the Indian city of Shimla in expressed the hope that henceforth the countries in the region would be able to live in peace with each other. It was widely believed that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto , then prime minister of Pakistan, might have tacitly accepted the line of control as the de facto border, although he later denied this.
After Bhutto was arrested in and executed in , the Kashmir issue once again became the leading cause of conflict between India and Pakistan.
India and Pakistan still need to resolve two important issues, former US ambassador says
A number of movements have variously sought a merger of Kashmir with Pakistan, independence for the region from both India and Pakistan, or the granting of Indian union territory status to Buddhist Ladakh. To contend with these movements, confront Pakistani forces along the cease-fire line, and support the administrative structure of Jammu and Kashmir state, the Indian union government has maintained a strong military presence there, especially since the end of the s. Disillusioned with lack of progress through the democratic process, militant organizations began to pop up in the region in the late s.
Their purpose was to resist control from the Indian union government. By the early s the militancy had evolved into an insurgency, and India engaged in a crackdown campaign. The rigour of the fighting died down in the mids, though occasional violence continued to take place. The Kargil area of western Ladakh has often been the site of border conflicts, including a serious incident in In May of that year Pakistan intensified artillery shelling of the Kargil sector. Meanwhile, the Indian army discovered that militants had infiltrated the Indian zone from the Pakistan side and had established positions within and west of the Kargil area.
Intense fighting ensued between the infiltrators and the Indian army and lasted more than two months. The Indian army managed to reclaim most of the area on the India side of the line of control that had been occupied by the infiltrators. Hostilities finally ended when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan gave his assurance that the infiltrators would retreat. However, shelling across the line of control continued intermittently into the early 21st century, until a cease-fire agreement was reached in Tensions in the region subsequently diminished, and India and Pakistan sought more cordial relations in general and greater regional cooperation.
Limited passenger bus service began in between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad on either side of the frontier, and, after the devastating earthquake in the region later that year, India and Pakistan allowed survivors and trucks carrying relief supplies to cross at several points along the line of control.
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In addition, in both countries opened cross-border trade links through the Kashmir region for the first time since the partition; trucks carrying locally produced goods and manufactures began operating between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad and between Rawalkot, Pakistan, and Punch, India.
Despite these advances, tensions have continued to erupt periodically in the region. Prolonged violent protests flared up over control of a piece of land used by Hindu pilgrims visiting the Amarnath cave shrine east of Srinagar in and again in after Indian soldiers killed three Pakistani villagers who they claimed were militants trying to infiltrate across the line of control. A subsequent investigation revealed that the soldiers had in fact lured the men to the area and murdered them in cold blood. The growing tensions erupted into rioting in July after the commander of an Islamic militant group was killed in an operation by Indian security forces.
Kashmir experienced its greatest show of force in decades in February Pakistan denied the claim, saying that the jets had struck an empty field. The next day, Pakistan shot down two Indian jets in its airspace and captured a pilot. Yet, despite the aggravation, many analysts believed that both India and Pakistan intended to avoid escalation. China had never accepted the British-negotiated boundary agreements in northeastern Kashmir. This remained the case following the communist takeover in China in , although the new government did ask India—without success—to open negotiations regarding the border.
After Chinese authority was established in Tibet and reasserted in Xinjiang, Chinese forces penetrated into the northeastern parts of Ladakh. This was done mainly because it allowed them to build a military road through the Aksai Chin plateau area completed in —57 to provide better communication between Xinjiang and western Tibet; it also gave the Chinese control of passes in the region between India and Tibet. China has occupied the northeastern part of Ladakh since the conflict. India refused to negotiate with China on the alignment of the Ladakhi boundary in this area, and the incident contributed significantly to a diplomatic rift between the two countries that began to heal only in the late s.
In the following decades, China worked to improve its relations with India, but there has been no resolution to the disputed Ladakh frontier. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval. Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able to accommodate all contributions. Our editors will review what you've submitted, and if it meets our criteria, we'll add it to the article.
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Mutual suspicions, hatred and anger have almost obliterated the longstanding agreement between the Governments of India and Pakistan that the fate of Kashmir is to be decided by the democratic process of plebiscite. But in the last few months the dispute has taken on a new and ominous character. As India persists with increased vehemence in a course of policy independent of the power struggle between the forces of democracy and Communism, and as Pakistan sees her national security better served by doing her share in strengthening the exposed area of South Asia and the Middle East, the dispute over Kashmir has become even more inflammable.
The quarrel has now been projected into the arena of the global East-West struggle, turning Kashmir into one of the real danger spots of the world. If the free world has only now begun to realize.