CSS 2016 Solved Pakistan Affairs Past Papers | Discuss the Kashmir problem in its Entirety; Throwing Light on its Background and Prospects of Possible Solutions to this Core Issue between India and Pakistan.
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The examiner demands to elaborate on the Kashmir Issue by shedding light on its historical background and presenting the possible solutions to the issue between India and Pakistan.
2- Kashmir problem in its entirety: Past, Present and Future of Kashmir
- ✓ Understanding the background of the Kashmir dispute
- 3rd June plan by Lord Mount Batten- Partition of the United India
- Legacy of the partition of the sub-continent-1947
- Right of independent decision for 562 princely states
- Ponch revolt against Hari Singh
- Hari Singh’s decision to join India- the spark of the fire
- Ponch revolt (June 19 1947)-An indigenous struggle by Kashmiri people against Maharaja
- Stand Still Agreement (August 12 1947)
- Maharaja Hari Singh signed it after the initiation of the revolt in Kashmir
- Pakistan tribesmen invasion in Kashmir
- Instrument of accession by Hari Singh
- Maharaja Call for Indian military help- formal accession with India
- 3rd June plan by Lord Mount Batten- Partition of the United India
- ✓ Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan
- Invalid stance of India’s opponent
- India claims Kashmir on the basis of the instrument of accession
- India claims Pakistan violated Stand Still Agreement
- Valid stance of Pakistan- the claimant
- Lord Mountbatten added provision in the instrument of accession
- Indian’s Prime Minister Pendant Nehru’s November 2 1947 speech
- Invalid stance of India’s opponent
- ✓A bird’s eye view of the current situation in Kashmir
- Recent illegal revocation of the special status of Kashmir
- Abrogation of Article-37 and 35A by India in Kashmir
- An illegal act of India violating bilateral and international laws
- Recent illegal revocation of the special status of Kashmir
- ✓ Prospects of Possible solutions to the Kashmir issue between Pakistan and India
- Change in the current ruling government in India
- China replacing the USA as a superpower
- Initiation of economic integration between both the two countries
- Taking the issue to the International Court of Justice (ICJ)
- The partition option Dixon formula
- The Irish model
- The Chenab formula
3- Critical Analysis
Answer to the question
Kashmir, where heaven touches the Earth, is known as the place burning like hell, consequent of its background that dates back to the British withdrawal from United India. In fact, after the partition of the subcontinent in 1947, the Kashmir issue has been a bone of contention and a source of acrimony between India and Pakistan. Indeed, as per the 3rd June plan for all the princely states to join either India or Pakistan based on their religion, culture and geography, Hari Singh- a Hindu ruler of Kashmir- opted for accession to India. As a result, the people of Kashmir started the ponch revolt against his decision, and Pashtun tribesmen invaded Kashmir to help the common people against Maharaja’s army. Hence, it has prompted Maharaja Hari Singh to seek Indian assistance, and India has seized this opportunity to take control over Kashmir. Conversely, Pakistan rejected it, and both countries have fought three wars on the Kashmir issue since then. However, the recent illegal revocation of Articles 37 and 35A in Kashmir by India has added fuel to the fire once again, and the solution to the issue has become a need of the hour. In a nutshell, the dispute is rooted in historical and political factors, and meaningful bilateral negotiations between India and Pakistan with international intercession are crucial for finding a peaceful and sustainable solution to the issue.
“No Asian conflict has proved more deadly, costly, or intractable than which continues to divide India and Pakistan over Kashmir”Stanley Wolpert, India and Pakistan: Continued Conflict or cooperation?
Kashmir problem in its entirety: Past, Present and Future of Kashmir
A- Understanding the background of the Kashmir dispute
- ✓3rd June plan by Lord Mount Batten- Partition of the United India
The then Viceroy of British India, Lord Mount Batten, came up with the 3rd June plan for the partition of the subcontinent. Therefore, the Kashmir issue began after the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. As per the Indian Independence Act of 1947, the rulers of princely states were given an option to join either India or Pakistan based on the religion, culture and geographical proximity of their states.
- ✓Ponch revolt against Hari Singh
Because of the Muslim population and geographical location, Kashmir must have joined Pakistan, as decided in the 3rd June plan. However, the ruler of Kashmir at that time was Hari Singh, and he was a Hindu ruler, while most of his subjects were Muslim. He delayed the annexation with the aim of continuously ruling the territory as an independent prince with the assistance of India. But, his hopes were dashed when Muslims on the Western border of his state started the Ponch revolt against his efforts to access India.
- ✓Stand Still Agreement (August 12 1947)
In October 1947, Pashtun tribesmen entered Kashmir’s territory to help the Kashmiris against the Maharaja’s cruelty and to overthrow the Maharaja Hari Singh. Consequently, following tribal incursions and an uprising in the region, Maharaja Hari Singh sought military assistance from India. Therefore, in return for India’s assistance, the Maharaja signed a Standstill Agreement with India. However, this agreement essentially maintained the pre-existing arrangements and services between the princely state and India. Additionally, it aimed to ensure that no one, either Pakistan or India, would be allowed to enter Kashmir unless the decision of Kashmir is pending.
- ✓Instrument of accession by Hari Singh
After that, the Standstill Agreement was intended to be a temporary measure while the future status of the princely state was being decided. However, the situation escalated quickly when Pashtun tribesmen invaded Kashmir and fought with Maharaja’s army, winning one-third part of Kashmir, known as Azad Kashmir today. Eventually, the situation led to the signing of the Instrument of Accession by Maharaja Hari Singh, officially integrating Jammu and Kashmir into the Dominion of India on October 26. Hence, India took control of Kashmir on October 27 1947. However, Pakistan rejected the agreement by calling it fraudulent, and both countries had their first war on Kashmir in 1947. However, India took this issue to the United Nations, and it has become an international issue. Hence, the ongoing conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir has been a major geopolitical issue in the region for decades.
B- Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan
- ✓In the valid stance of India’s opponent
- First, India claims that Kashmir is its part, as Maharaja had signed the instrument of accession with India and Lord Mount Batten had also accepted it.
- Second, the violation of the Stand Still Agreement by Pakistani-backed tribesmen led to an Indian invasion of Kashmir.
- Third, India has considered it an internal issue and denies third-party mediation in the Kashmir issue.
- ✓Valid stance of Pakistan- the claimant
Contrarily, Pakistan claims that Maharaja added the provision in the instrument of accession to approve it. The provision was to know the will of the Kashmiri people before deciding their future. Additionally, India’s claim was totally against the 3rd June partition plan for princely state division based on the majority of the population’s religion. Indian’s Prime Minister Pendant Nehru’s November 2 1947, speech emphasized the need for a plebiscite in Kashmir to determine the future of the region.
“We do not want to win people against their will and with the help of armed forces; and, if the people of Jammu and Kashmir State wish to Part Company with us, they can go their way, and we shall go ours. We want no forced marriages, no forced unions”Jawaharlal Nehru, August 7, 1952
According to the Resolution of the UN, “All the tribesmen and Indian Army will retreat from Kashmir”. India was involved as a state while a few tribesmen, on their own, were involved in Kashmir, having no back from the Pakistan Army. It nullifies the claim for violation of the Stand Still Agreement. Till now, 17 UN resolutions have been passed on Kashmir, and India still has this invalid claim for Kashmir as its internal matter.
C- A bird’s eye view on current situation in Kashmir
On August 5 2019, the Prime Minister of India ended the special status of Kashmir by the revocation of Articles 37 and 35A. It was to change the demographic character of the Muslim-majority region by allowing non-Kashmiris to buy land there. Additionally, Kashmir will no longer have its separate constitution but will have to abide by the Indian constitution. Contrarily, the people of Kashmir did not accept it and protested against this discussion. Consequently, the people of the valley suffered isolation from the whole world for more than three years during the lockdown imposed by India. Moreover, human rights violation, communicational blackouts, military deluge, and forced detentions is not a new thing in Kashmir by Indian forces, unfortunately. This is illegal as it is a violation of India’s own constitution, where India can only abrogate the special status of Kashmir by the confidence of the two-thirds majority of the Kashmir assembly.
“Kashmir is a burning issue; its solution is indispensable for durable peace”Stanley Wolpert
Prospects of Possible solution to Kashmir issue between Pakistan and India
The Kashmir issue is a complex and sensitive matter, but there have been various proposed prospects and solutions to address the dispute between India and Pakistan
- ✓Pakistan needs to better its Foreign Policy
Currently, India is among the top five economies of the world, with a strong foreign policy aiming for its national interest. On the other hand, due to the economic crisis, Pakistan is facing the hardest time. Additionally, the flaws in Pakistan’s foreign policy make it difficult to ally the world’s super economies towards itself, which ultimately fails all the efforts of Pakistan to solve the Kashmir dispute.
- ✓China replacing the USA as a superpower
In another scenario, the Kashmir issue can only be resolved by the mediation of a superpower. In the present situation, India is one of the major allies of the US, and the US uses it against China to halt the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Contrarily, China replacing the US as a superpower will be beneficial to solving this dispute, as the success of BRI depends on the peace of the South Asian region as well.
- ✓Initiation of economic integration between both the two countries
Creating economic incentives for both sides could help build common interests and provide a foundation for cooperation. Cross-border trade, joint economic projects, and shared infrastructure could contribute to stability, leading towards meaningful bilateral talks on the Kashmir issue.
- ✓Taking the issue to the International Court of Justice (ICJ)
Ironically, almost all the resolutions of the UN on the solution for Kashmir involving retreat and referendum have not been accepted by India. However, according to Article 65 of the UN, any dispute can be referred to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by any organ of the UN for a legal opinion. As the Israel and Palestine dispute is being referred to ICJ, the Kashmir issue should also be discussed there for a possible solution.
- ✓Current ruling government in India
Currently, the extremist government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rules India. It has already annulled the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by revoking Articles 370 and 35A. Therefore, it has clearly shown no interest in solving the issue through negotiation. Moreover, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said,
“If there is talk with Pakistan, then it will be on Azad Kashmir.”
However, the situation can get better with the change of government or the change of the present government’s attitude.
- ✓The partition option Dixon formula
It is a regional partition of Kashmir considering four regions and envisaging the plebiscite in these regions, including Ladakh, the Northern areas and Azad Kashmir, splitting Jammu and Kashmir separately into Jammu and Kashmir Valley. It was given by a UN representative in the 1950s. Pakistan agreed to it, but India stepped back, disagreeing with minor conditions. Therefore, chances are still there to use it as a solution.
- ✓The Irish model -Good Friday Agreement
The Good Friday Agreement included provisions for a referendum on the constitutional status of Northern Ireland. A similar approach could involve allowing the people of Kashmir to express their preferences through a fair and transparent process. This model has ended the 30-year disputes. If sincere efforts are made, the idea of possible solutions can be made from this model to solve the 70-year dispute of Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
- ✓The Chenab formula
The Chenab formula in the early 1960s had toyed with the thought of dividing Jammu and Kashmir along the river Chenab. It was granting all areas north and west of the river to Pakistan and the three districts south and east of the river to India. Muslim majority areas should make part of Pakistan, and non-muslin majority areas should make a part of India on the basis of division along the line of River Chenab. This shows a lot of compromising strategies of Pakistan to solve this dispute, as it is not only a matter of territory for Pakistan but a matter of Kashmiri people who deserve to live in peace.
All the previous solutions for resolving the Kashmir dispute involving United Nations Organization (UNO) resolutions, the independence option, status quo option, referendum option, and plebiscite option have not worked due to the stubbornness and cold attitude of India towards this issue. However, with Pakistan’s strong foreign policy, efficient and practicable strategies for meaningful bilateral negotiations with India are inevitable to come up with a common solution for the peace of South Asia. Thus, any potential solution would require significant political will, trust-building measures, and compromise from both India and Pakistan.
“Kashmir is the most important single conflict in the subcontinent, not only just because its territory and population are concerned, but because the larger issue of national identity and regional power balances are embedded in it. “Solving” the Kashmir dispute means addressing these larger concerns, and they cannot be addressed without new thinking on Kashmir and Kashmiris”Stephen P. Colon, The idea of Pakistan
In a nutshell, the situation in Kashmir is complex and multifaceted, influenced by historical, political, social, and security-related factors. Over the years, the Kashmir issue has remained a constant source of tension between India and Pakistan, resulting in multiple wars between the two nuclear powers. Undoubtedly, various attempts at diplomacy and negotiations have been made over the years, including international mediation efforts, but a comprehensive resolution has not yet been achieved. However, the changing modern world dynamics aid in the new prospects of solutions for Kashmir. Hence, only a minor compromise from both countries on this issue can bring long-awaited peace for the people of Kashmir, especially for the region of South Asia as a whole.
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