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Lecturrete Topic 117 - Kashmir Issue


The Kashmir conflict is a territorial conflict over the Kashmir region, primarily between India and Pakistan, with China playing a third-party role. 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. 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 35% of the land area that includes Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan; and China controls the remaining 20% 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. The resulting Indo-Pakistani War ended with a UN-mediated ceasefire along a line that was eventually named the Line of Control. After further fighting in the wars of 1965 and 1971, the Simla Agreement formally established the Line of Control between the two nations' controlled territories. In 1999, an armed conflict between India and Pakistan broke out again in Kargil with no effect on the status quo.

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 killing of a 

Hizbul Mujahideen militant, Burhan Wani, by Indian security forces.Further unrest in the region erupted after the 2019 Pulwama attack.

According to scholars, Indian forces have committed many human rights abuses and acts of terror against the Kashmiri civilian population, including extrajudicial killing, rape, torture, and enforced disappearances. According to Amnesty International, no member of the Indian military deployed in Jammu and Kashmir has been tried for human rights violations in a civilian court as of June 2015, although military courts-martial have been held. Amnesty International has also accused the Indian government of refusing to prosecute perpetrators of abuses in the region


  •  For India, the question of Kashmir, is not merely one of retaining a small part of its territory; it impinges on the very basic character of the Indian state and society. If Kashmir seceded from India on grounds of religion, the two-nation theory would seem to have been vindicated. It would strengthen the Hindu communal forces and pose a serious threat to millions of Muslims, whose number in India is larger than even that in Pakistan, making their position in India quite untenable.

  • Since Kashmir is predominantly Muslim, Pakistan believes it should belong to them. Moreover, Kashmir has to be won to justify the religious moral significance of Pakistan's nationhood.

Political causes

India and Pakistan both believe that they have a rightful claim to Kashmir. (See the previous section)

 Economic Causes

  • Even while militancy was in decline and a free and fair electoral system in place since 2002, the governance deficit remained large. Economic growth in the state almost consistently lagged behind the national growth figures.

  •  Widespread unemployment and lack of new job avenues

  •  Disintegration of traditional handicrafts

  • Poor industrial setup

  •  Declining tourism due to terror attacks

  • Loss of crops due to floods, cloudburst etc.

  • • Issues in rehabilitation of flood victims etc

Social causes: 

Poor education and health system, allegations of penetration of radical Islam in the majorly Sufi Islam region, wounds of 1980's insurgency and indoctrination of youth by radical leaders has further contributed to their despair.

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