Status Quo Side: India
Non-Status Quo Side: Pakistan
Region: South Asia & SW Asia
Conflict Type: Interstate
Issues in Dispute: Ethnic, Governance, Territory
When Great Britain granted independence to India, and Pakistan was subsequently created, the British offered the Hindu Maharajah of the predominantly Muslim "princely state" Jammu and Kashmir a choice of joining either India or Pakistan. No final decision was made by August 15 when British authority ceased.
Groups of the Muslim "Free Kashmir" movement along with Pathan tribesmen invaded Kashmir. The Maharajah was assured of Indian aid in return for the formal accession of Kashmir to India, subject to a plebiscite when law and order allowed.
Indian Army units entered Kashmir and penetrated deeply. On January 20 1948 the UNSC formed a Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) to restore peace and order, followed by a plebiscite. Its delayed arrival prompted Pakistan to seek a more favorable cease-fire line by committing regular forces. The eventual result was military stalemate with India in control of Jammu and Pakistan of northern Kashmir.
India and Pakistan agreed to a cease-fire. India rejected a UN arbitration plan and ignored the UNSC's demands for a plebiscite.
The conflict continued with sporadic outbursts over the following decades. In June, 1997 the two prime ministers, meeting in Islamabad, agreed to hold talks on Kashmir. Relations deteriorated with installation of the radical nationalist BJP party in India in 1996, but there was renewed talk of negotiations over Kashmir following nuclear weapons tests by both countries in May, 1998 which produced an international uproar. [see INP and BAN]
Copyright © 1999 Lincoln P. Bloomfield and Allen Moulton