Tons have already been written about the alienation between India and Pakistan. In a nutshell: The British left in a rush and did not plan things out. “Partition”:http://sacw.insaf.net/partition/ led to a mass migration (about 10 million people) and more than a million deaths. You can imagine the amount of bad blood that left.
On top of that, Kashmir’s Raja signed his state over to India. It was a majority muslim state and the British had originally given it to Pakistan. The Kashmiri’s and Pakistan was expecting it to be part of Pakistan, and it was a last minute suprise that the Raja handed it over to Nehru. This point has had a lot on discussion, but the consensus seems to be that Nehru was sleeping with Lord Mountbatten’s wife and heavily influenced the new map of the subcontinent. Other Muslim states were also given over to India or annexed by force later on.
Regardless, the Indian army occupied 2/3 of Kashmir and the Pakistan army got the other third. While all else is forgotten or can be forgiven, we’ve been at each other’s throats for the last -56- 57 years about Kashmir. There are virulent claims from both sides, with both vowing that Kashmir is theirs.
It makes for good political ratings on both sides, and so things have remained. We’ve had a few UN resolutions passed regarding Kashmir, and Pakistan has been demanding a plesbicite there for the last 56 years in the UN, but no go.
There needs to be a strong third party involved else things will never move forward. It’s a bit like the palestine-israel issue where both sides can hardly bear to talk to each other. As things stand now, since there is already a defacto border (the line of control) they should just declare that the border. That leaves the Kashmiri’s in a bind, as their state remains divided, but it has been divided for the last 57 years anyways. Neither country is ever going to hand over its bit of Kashmir to the other. If relations are normalized, then Kashmir could have an open border for Kashmiris. Anything would be better than the current situation, with over 700,000 Indian army troops in Occupied Kashmir. On the Pakistan side it’s mostly mountains, also the army presence is a lot smaller. Still, they keep on shelling each other (it’s practically a game for them) and end up killing a few civilians every now and then. _there is a ceasefire is place currently._
On both sides, there are strong vested interests in not normalizing relations. The Pakistan army would have no purpose left, and it doesn’t want that. The BJP, India’s ruling party, also bases it’s politics mainly on hate, nationalism and the patriotism trump card. Here in Pakistan, when we do have a democratic govt. they are busy denouncing the previous govt. and looting to actually get around to governing.
bq.. […]both Indian and Pakistani governments used the Kashmir issue to deflect attention from domestic concerns.
“When we talk about the Indo-Pakistan or Kashmir problem, we are assuming they are problems and that people are searching for solutions,” she said.
“I don’t think this is the case. I think that for the governments of both Pakistan and India, Kashmir is the solution – it is the rabbit they pull out of the hat every time they face domestic problems.”
>> “Arundhati Roy”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/2195698.stm
p. Regards the “nukes”:http://www.ratical.org/ratville/nukes/endOfImagine.html, on both sides of the border there are a number of fanatics ever ready to launch the bomb. Since most of the population on either side is illiterate, they do not understand/comprehend what a nuke is. As shown by America in 1945, it’s not that hard for even a supposedly humanitarian government to convince itself to use the bomb, so the Pak-Indian govt. hydra should be able to do it in a heartbeat.
Just before Eid, Jamali “declared a ceasefire”:http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/south/11/23/pakistan.kashmir/ along the LOC or the AGPL as India calls it and India responded positively. So things are slowly improving, for Musharraf seems to be genuinely pushing for peace. Indian politicians however are suspicious of just about all his actions and are moving very slowly. They keep getting stuck on ‘cross-border terrorism/infilitration’ by jihadis into Indian Kashmir. This is just a delaying tactic packaged in today’s favourite scapegoat for just about everything, terrorism. Sure people cross over, but there are now more thn 700,000 Indian soldiers along the LOC. The entire border is fenced with barbed wire and has posts in sight of each other along the entire border. There are high tech detection systems made by the Israelis in place. The Indians have a spy satellite in space. If they can’t stop people slipping through, neither can the Pakistani’s. A few die hards will slip through, but I doubt there is anyway they can be stopped. The Israeli Army cannot stop people from slipping into Palestine, so a truly determined person is always going to be able to slip through. The only way forward is to stop making impossible demands which they know can’t be met, and instead start talking about jointly patrolling the border, and other initiatives. Blame is a poison, as you dish it out, it slowly kills all chances of a normal relationship. After 56 years, there is still hope.
Suprisingly, the current “cease-fire”:http://www.itv.com/news/1001418.html has been going strong so far, and there are chances it might even be made “permenant”:http://www.hipakistan.com/en/detail.php?newsId=en49324&F_catID=&f_type=source. Musharraf’s shenanigans in the past month “have paid off”:http://www.dawn.com/2004/01/02/top1.htm, and it puts him in a strong position. _for now._ The upcoming “Saarc”:http://www.saarc-sec.org/ “summit”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3362329.stm is going to be very interesting.
* “BBC In Depth: Kashmir Flashpoint”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/south_asia/2002/kashmir_flashpoint/
* “BBC Timeline: A guide to the troubled relations between India and Pakistan”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/south_asia/2002/india_pakistan/timeline/default.stm
* “BBC: The Future of Kashmir”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/south_asia/03/kashmir_future/html/default.stm :: BBC News Online looks at possible solutions for Kashmir.
* “A Kahmiri’s personal experience of Partition”:http://www.zackvision.com/weblog/archives/entry/000527.html
_Google will return more than a million links to Kashmir. Be wary, for many of those are hate filled rubbish trashing either India and Pakistan. It’s not suprising, considered the “distorted education”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/books/2003_11/history_of_the_indian_subcontinent.html people receive in public schools in both countries._