India and Pakistan are listed among countries that have had complicated relationships for a very long time in history. The two countries gained their sovereignty from Britain simultaneously in 1947. This independence marked a separation of the former British India into two major countries, India and Pakistan.
Essay on A Brief History of the Conflict between India and Pakistan
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According to the separation agreement, Pakistan was to cover an area occupied by approximately 75% of Muslims while the rest of the population was to occupy the remaining area, currently known as India (Indurthy 2). Nevertheless, the separation was not to be a source of peace as the two countries fought over Kashmir, with history recording three major battles in 1947, 1965 and 1999.
Despite numerous efforts that have been engaged to settle the matter, tension has remained high between the two countries. This fight for territorial occupation can be compared to that between Israel and Palestine, which have continuously fought over Gaza.
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This essay gives a brief history of the conflict between India and Pakistan, with special coverage on the genesis of the conflict, historical wars and efforts, which have been witnessed in finding a lasting solution in the region.
The genesis of the India-Pakistan conflict dates back in 1947 when Hari Singh, resisted the decision to have Kashmir join either India or Pakistan with the hope of gaining state independence or recognition from the two nations. In his attempts to waste time, Singh signed two standstill agreements with both sides although they never materialized (Indurthy 2).
There was violence that erupted after India and Pakistan declared their independence. This violence involved Muslims, Sikhs and the Hindus and in September the same year, riots extended to Kashmir as the war was considered to be a resistance against Muslims. As a result, West Kashmir Muslims fell out with Maharaja and formed an independent government of Kashmir.
On October 22, 1979, Kashmir was invaded by Pathan-armed tribes who were mainly from the Northwest Frontier Province, extending beyond fifteen kilometers from the country’s headquarters (Malik et al. 28).
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Sigh sought the intervention of India, which refused until Maharaja ratified the instrument of occasion which had been signed by other princely states edubirdie.com reviews. After a deal was reached, Indian troops responded in Kashmir on 27 th October to repel the intruders (Indurthy 3).
The Indian intervention angered General Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who ordered Pakistani regular troops to be dispatched in Kashmir, a command that was resisted by Field Marshall Auchinleck, who persuaded the governor to withdraw the decree (Malik et al. reviews.io 28).
However, in November, Jinnah agreed to supply the invaders with military equipment before sending ‘volunteer’ troops to Kashmir in 1948. Despite Pakistan’s involvement, Jinnah denied his country’s direct participation in the conflict in Kashmir until mid 1948 (Indurthy 3). Due to this involvement, India considered lodging a complaint with the UN Security Council.
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The aim of this complaint was to invoke articles 34 and 35 of the charter which recommended peaceful settlement of the conflict between India and Pakistan.
The UN Security Council responded on January 20, 1948 by establishing a commission that was mandated to investigate the events and situation in Kashmir. This commission was later expanded to have five members in April that year and was given the responsibility of organizing for a plebiscite after the departure of all the tribal troops in the region.
A ceasefire was later agreed upon in July 1948 after which tribal troops left Kashmir. This agreement was effected early January 1949, a time when one-third of the state was still under the control of Pakistan. The Line of Ceasefire was monitored by both India and Pakistan under UN directives.
After the appointment of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz to act as the administrator of the plebiscite, the two sides objected the implementation of the Karachi agreement, based on their different interpretations of the UNCIP on demilitarization. General A. G. L. McNaughton led the demilitarization agreement starting December 1949 even though India objected it after citing legal and moral concerns (Indurthy 4).
Between 1951 and 1953, efforts to have the two countries reduce their military presence in Kashmir fell on deaf ears. The two countries withdrew the conflict from UN’s hands and decided to handle it following a meeting between Nehru and Ali Bogra during a Commonwealth conference in June 1953. Nehru’s efforts to conduct plebiscites in Kashmir were thwarted by political interests of General Ayub Khan, who wanted to oust him.
The U.S.-led Baghdad Pact of April 1954 and the SEATO of September 1956 forced Nehru to change his mind arguing that Pakistan’s alliance with the U.S. had nullified the plebiscite agreement (Indurthy 6).
The 1954 States Constituent Assembly’s resolution to recognize the accession of Kashmir to India was final, a stance that was rejected by Pakistan and the UN Security Council, reaffirming its position on a plebiscite in 1957. When a proposal to refer the issue to arbitration was put forward in April 1957, only Pakistan accepted.
After mediation and arbitration efforts by the United Nations had failed, the two countries fought over Kashmir in 1965. It is believed that the war begun after Pakistan became frustrated following continuous integration of Kashmir by India. Having had victory over India before, it planned to launch “Operation Gibraltar”, whose aim was to repossess Kashmir.
The war ended after the intervention of the United Nations, which pushed for peaceful negotiations and ceasefire. The two sides further fought in 1971, an encounter whose main outcome was the birth of Bangladesh, a region that was located to the East of Pakistan (Indurthy 6).
In 1974, India ignited its nuclear device in preparation for fierce protection of its territory. With tension still high in the two regions, separatists begun in Indian Kashmir with Pakistan carrying the blame of providing arms to Islamist militants (Haider 1).
The two countries engaged in a brief battle in 1999 at the Line of Control, before a summit that brought together Vajpayee of India and General Pervez Musharraf in July 2001 failed. In December 2001, Indian parliament was attacked by militants resulting into a harsh blame by India on Pakistan.
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Moreover, the two sides started mobilizing more than a million troops, a plan that was drooped in 2002. In an attempt to find a solution to their conflict, India and Pakistan agreed to end fighting on the Line of Control in 2003 before establishing a formal peace finding process in 2004 (Haider 1).
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After an attack by Pakistan’s militants on Mumbai in November 2008 that killed 166 people, India resolved to break the peace talks. Pakistan admitted its involvement in 2009 after an investigation had been carried out (Haider 1).
Consequently, India insisted on removal of militant groups in Pakistan before resuming peace talks. After talks and consultations, Prime Minister Sigh considered the resumption of the “composite dialogue” that had been pushed for by Islamabad.
In January 2010, there were series of fire exchange on the border, raising tension and alarm before India invited Pakistan for fresh peace talks in February, as the duo agreed to conduct them at the high diplomatic level (Haider 1).
From the above summary of historic events between India and Pakistan, clearly the possibility of finding a lifetime solution lies squarely in the hands of Indian and Pakistani leaders. However, the international community through the UN Security Council has a role to play in promoting peace efforts. Nevertheless, nuclear war between the two states cannot be ignored as both sides have tested their devices before.
Haider, Zeeshan. “ Timeline-Flashpoints and flare-ups in India-Pakistan ties .” Nuclear Age Peace Foundation , 2010. Web.
Indurthy, Rathnam. “Kashmir between India and Pakistan: An Intractable Conflict, 1947 to Present.” Appalachian State University , 2011. Web.
Malik et al. Government and politics in South Asia . Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 2008. Print.