Today in 1947, The Kashmir conflict started between India & Pakistan, two months after the partition. Even after the deaths of thousands of innocent people and the passing of seventy-three years gone, the issue remains heated, disputed, and unresolved.
The conflict started after the partition of India in 1947 as both India and Pakistan claimed the entirety of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan recognizing Chinese sovereignty over the Trans-Karakoram Tract and Aksai Chin since 1963.
It is a dispute over the region that escalated into three wars between India and Pakistan and several other armed skirmishes. India controls approximately 55% of the land area of the region that includes Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, most of Ladakh, the Siachen Glacier, and 70% of its population, Pakistan controls approximately 30% of the land area that includes Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan while China controls the remaining 15% of the land area that includes the Aksai Chin region, the mostly uninhabited Trans-Karakoram Tract, and part of the Demchok sector.
After the partition of India and a rebellion in the western districts of the state, Pakistani tribal militias invaded Kashmir, leading the Hindu ruler of Jammu and Kashmir to join India and starting the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 which ended with an UN-mediated ceasefire along a line that was eventually named the Line of Control. After further fighting in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the Simla Agreement formally established the Line of Control between the two nations' controlled territories. In 1999, armed conflict between India and Pakistan broke out again in the Kargil War over the Kargil district.
Since 1989, Kashmiri protest movements were created to voice Kashmir's disputes and grievances with the Indian government in the Indian-controlled Kashmir Valley, with some Kashmiri separatists in armed conflict with the Indian government based on the demand for self-determination.
The 2010s were marked by further unrest erupting within the Kashmir Valley. The 2010 Kashmir unrest began after an alleged fake encounter between local youth and security forces. Thousands of youths pelted security forces with rocks, burned government offices, and attacked railway stations and official vehicles in steadily intensifying violence.
The Indian government blamed separatists and Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based militant group, for stoking the 2010 protests. The 2016 Kashmir unrest erupted after the killing of a Hizbul Mujahideen militant, Burhan Wani, by Indian security forces. Further unrest in the region erupted after the 2019 Pulwama attack.
Indian forces have committed many human rights cases of abuse and acts of terror against the Kashmiri civilian population including extrajudicial killing, rape, torture, and enforced disappearances.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has vowed to challenge India's actions at the UN security council, and take the matter to the International Criminal Court. In an ominous warning, he said: "If the world does not act today... (if) the developed world does not uphold its laws, then things will go to a place that we will not be responsible for."
On August 5, India decided to take a long-considered move using article 370 of its constitution to change the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Although this has long been a part of the platform of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the overwhelming majority of parliamentarians across all parties supported the decision—with 351 votes for and 72 against. Even the general secretary of the opposition Congress Party expressed his approval. This has been a move long in the making, with the backing of a wide swath of Indian political actors.
India believes that the accession of Jammu and Kashmir is final, and any unfinished business regarding partition of the greater Kashmir region only concerns areas occupied by Pakistan. Reorganizing Jammu and Kashmir made no territorial changes, but sought to more closely integrate the state with the rest of India. Therefore, for India, the dispute between India and Pakistan remains unchanged.
The heated rhetoric and rising tensions over Kashmir are causing concern worldwide. Two countries that spend large sums on military preparation and periodic confrontation might end up clashing again, losing yet more blood and treasure in the process. Both states have hundreds of nuclear weapons, making Kashmir one of the most dangerous places on the planet.