Can there be a Solution to Kashmir Problem?
Kashmir is the Northernmost state of India and the only Muslim majority as well. It has 3 distinct regions namely the valley( 95% Muslim), Jammu(80% Hindu) and Ladakh (75% Buddhist). The ruler of this state at the time of independence in 1947 was Hari Singh. In 1947 he signed the instrument of accession to India. He was forced to sign this document as there was every chance that he would be overthrown as tribal raiders supported by officers and units of the Pakistan army had almost reached Srinagar.
The Indian army then moved in and threw the invaders out. Perhaps if the war had gone on for another 3/4 months, the entire Kashmir would have been liberated. Unfortunately the Indian prime minister for unknown reasons agreed for a UN sponsored cease fire. He also in his zeal to show that he was a great man, accepted 2 conditions suggested to him by Lord Mountbatton. He agreed for a plebicite in Kashmir to ascertain the wishes of the people. In addition he amended the constitution and incorporated Article 370, which granted special status to Kashmir. Thus the seeds of a perpetual conflict were sown.
Over the years a lot has happened. The Indians helped create the state of Bangladesh, breaking Pakistan into two distinct parts. This is the one single event that has acted like a red rag to a bull to the Pakistan army. It was a colossal defeat and 100,000 soldiers surrendered in 1971. Though 4 decades have elapsed, this defeat rankles the Pakistan army and the political leadership.
The one refrain now as confirmed by General Roy Choudhary, former Indian Army chief is revenge for breaking up Pakistan. This is the beacon on which Pakistan acts and as part of the plan, the aim is to break Kashmir from India. Thus terror groups and gangs are regularly sent across into Indian Kashmir. The Indian case is weakened by Nehru who agreed Kashmir is disputed territory. Article 370 and seperate flag and constitution for Kashmir has not helped the Indian cause.
What next? No amount of talks or confidence building measures can succeed. The reason is the Pakistan army desire for revenge. So is there any solution to the Kashmir problem? This is a tricky question, but there is no answer. Pakistan will never give up claim on Kashmir and that is something one must realize. I do not visualize any solution, unless there is a war and Pakistan breaks up. These are harsh thoughts, but better to call a spade a spade.
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