Brief History of the Conflict In the late 1940s, when the two competing nationalist for India andPakistani failed to reach accommodation, Britain decided to partition itsIndian empire. The role of dividing the empire was on the hands of a Britishrepresentative-Viceroy Lord Mountbatten. He facilitated creation of a Muslimsubcontinent, Pakistani. The state of Pakistani was formed with two flanks(eastern and western) separated by 1500 miles of the new states of India.
Themain aim was to establish a region to be occupied by Muslims in the BritishIndia. The origins of Indo-Pakistani conflict over the disputed territory ofJammu and Kashmir are complex, rooted in the process of British colonialwithdrawal from the sub-continent. Kashmir posed a distinct problem and from thetime it was established there have been serial conflicts. Itcontains a severe disagreement between at least two sides, where their demandscannot be met by the same resources at the same time. This is an incompatibility.Incompatibility appears to be a key to the existence of conflict.
Kashmir situation was more complex because it had a Muslim majority(about 80 percent), a border with Pakistani, and a Hindu ruler. They had tochoose to accede to one of the two countries depending on their geographicalposition and their religious composition. India was created as a democratic andsecular state and Prime minister insisted that minorities in particularreligious communities had to be protected. He was personally committed tosecularism and felt that Kashmir had to be part of India as demonstration ofIndia’s commitment to its secularist and diverse identity. For Pakistani,partition would be considered incomplete without the rallying of this Muslimmajority in a territory next to Pakistani.
On the other hand, the Hindu monarchof Jammu and Kashmir-Maharaja Hari Sighn did not wish to join either India orPakistani; he wanted to remain independent. He feared that the democratic primeminister in India would fire him from powers. He could not also join Pakistanibecause during his rule he did nothing to make the lives of Muslims better. Thecollision of these two visions led to the first Kashmir war, also known asIndo-Pakistan war of 1947. In late 1947, the newly created states of India and Pakistan went to warover the valley of Kashmir. The United Nations brokered ceasefire divided thestate into Indian and Pakistani controlled territories, and resolved that areferendum would be held in which the people of Kashmir would be able to chooseto join either country. The referendum has not been held to this day. Indiagranted its portion of Kashmir a special status within its constitution,allowing for a great degree of self-autonomy.
However, successive Kashmirigovernments have been dissolved by the government of India, and elections haveonly been held in the presence of its armed forces. In 1965, Pakistan and Indiawaged a second indecisive war over Kashmir. In the 1980s, resistance withinKashmir itself against the Indian government took on a violent nature, withguerilla attacks against Indian army bases.
India responded with heavy armyclampdowns, and since then the situation has only escalated and get worse. Itis estimated that well over 34,000 people have died within the valley, and therelations between the two countries have become increasingly acrimonious. Indiablames Pakistan for the militant uprising, claiming Islamabad is supportingcross border terrorism.
Pakistan responds that it merely provides diplomaticand moral support arguing, furthermore, that India’s history of human rightsabuses in the valley is to blame. With both countries now in possession ofnuclear arms; the recent war in Cargill and the increasing number of civiliandeaths, refugees, and other human rights issues within Kashmir, the conflictseems to be taking on a more serious nature. In this paper I will discuss theKashmir conflict in some depth, examining the problem in its historical contextand assessing whether there is sufficient political will at present to resolvethe dispute. 2. The Disputants and TheirViews of the Conflict The truth is that as an international issue Kashmir hascome to the fore because of two reasons: one, because it involves two nuclearstates and two, because of the ground situation in the disputed Kashmir region.The Indian leadership can’t walk away from this reality.
India can’t hope tocontinue repression in Kashmir and yet pursue dialogue over Kashmir withPakistan.India’s political aims in Kashmir may be served better by patientlystrengthening the current political and military leadership in Pakistan in itsfight against all forms of religious extremism than by pushing it to the entirewell. The fight against extremisms and bigotry, and their terroristmanifestations, is a common Pakistan India venture. Pakistan, ever since its inception,has been proclaiming a right on the territory of Kashmir.
Indeed Jinnah arguedthat “the new nation would be incomplete without Kashmir…and the ‘K’ inPakistan stood for Kashmir,” While we hear Pakistan’s commitment to help thepoor Kashmir, time and again and how the Pakistani side want self determinationfor the people of Kashmir, however Pakistan doesn’t seem to hold a very fixedand coherent approach as to how to tackle the problem. Every ruling party seemsto reiterate the same passionate diatribes done before by the previous parties;the only difference is that every party has a different way to approach thisissue and present it to the emotional masses. The Kashmir policy suffers fromsystematic flaws and has almost a chaotic, erratic feel about it. There hasbeen no visible structured Pakistani policy to work out a resolution for thiscause. The decision to use certain religious groups as proxy to handle theinterests of the Kashmir people has done more chaos than anything for theirbenefit. Thomas P. Thornton elaborates, “The Taliban, for its part, hadessentially been created and brought to power by Pakistan and other Jihadremnants…were supplying many of the shock troops of the Islamist rebellionwithin Indian-held Kashmir.” It seemed like a brilliant plan, as the PakistaniArmy saw it.
Pervez Hoodbhoy narrates it as “The strategy now was to wage warby proxy…Low cost way to win Kashmir by bleeding India.” But this allowed thestruggle of the people of the Kashmir to be termed as something extremist-like, dangerous to India and it also gave a chance to India to label KashmiriMovement as a threat to its defense and thus, its right to prevent any suchfuture incidents. India did intensify its firings on the villages of Kashmir byjustifying how it was trying to prevent Pakistan trained militants from takingover Kashmir and entering its territory. Pakistan claims Kashmir to be part ofits territory but the fact that the Kashmiri militants are seen as extremistsand rebels are putting the Kashmiri cause behind the scene since theinternational community has been projected with the image that the KashmiriMovement is dangerous and needs to be smothered, thus the peaceful image of theinnocent Kashmiri people being slaughtered in cold blood with their strugglefor freedom has been projected in a more violent, vile way and has littlesympathy from the International front.
Jonah Blank puts it into simple words asto what the two nations view regarding Kashmir: “Politicians in both capitalssee only the Kashmir they desire to see: for Pakistanis, a Muslim land piningto join its Islamic neighbor and welcoming the intervention of mujahedeen; forIndians, a state ravaged by terrorism and sedition but now largely broughtunder control. Both visions are clouded by self-delusion.” Withthe decades old conflict still unresolved, both the countries have spent ampleamount of their finances and resources over this.3. Attempts for Resolving the Conflict andthe Mechanism for Resolution of the ConflictThe record of the international mediation(Third Party role), or meditative interventions in regard to the Kashmirdispute are clearly mixed: These interventions achieved both some successes andsome failures. Among the successes were the cease-fire and truce agreements,arranged by UNCIP in 1948 and 1949.The cease-fire agreement did not hold forlong and peacekeeping operation thatemerged from it failed in large measure to keep the peace. But that failure canhardly be charged exclusively against the United Nations.
Among the UN’sfailures were the several attempts to mediate the Kashmir dispute by UNrepresentatives between 1950 and 1958. Since the latter date, in no case has mediationbeen applied specially and explicitly to the Kashmir dispute. British mediationof the 1965 Ran of Kutch crisis between Pakistan and India brought about acease-fire agreement on 30 June 1965.
However, that agreement, which wasfollowed in February 1968 by the successful international arbitration of theSind-Kutch boundary, applied only to a dispute stretch of the Internationalborder between India and Pakistan. In January 1966, the Soviet Unionsuccessfully mediated an indo-Pakistan agreement (The Tashkent Declaration) oncease-fire and restoration of peaceful relations, thus providing a formalending to the 1965 war. This agreement provided for little more, however thanrestoration of the territorial status quo ante.
It stated that Kashmir disputehas been discussed and that each side had set forth its respective position inregard to this dispute, but there were no provisions for its amelioration.From the beginning of the Kashmir conflict,international involvement has been looked upon with a certain amount ofsuspicion by both Pakistan and India. Pakistan, in particular, had very littleto show for their reliance on world sympathies save for a rather diluted andambiguous international commitment to the “self-determination” ofKashmir.
Nevertheless, it has long been clear that Pakistan government, theholder of the weaker hand in the Kashmir conflict, has been far more willingthan its India to gamble on international involvement. Third party mediation is what is being referred toincreasingly in this connection and the state that is being cited, as the thirdparty mediator is of course the United States of America. Yet this is anon-starter. India will not concede to direct US intervention on Kashmir sinceit sees itself as a contending great power. Even from the Pakistaniperspective, the US is not a suitable third partymediator because it has its own strategic interests in this region and India isbecoming critical to these interestsUnited Nations made to reconcile the conflict betweenIndia and Pakistan, its successes and failures, the causes behind the failures,and the prospects for the future.
I will attempt to show that the UN failed tobring about a lasting solution to the problem because the UN has very limitedabilities when the parties to a conflict have very differing views and areunwilling to compromise on their positions. Even diplomatic efforts underChapter VI of the UN Charter by majorpowers interested in the conflict’s resolutions are insufficient in cases wherethe powers are unable and/or unwilling to exert a lot of pressure on bothparties to give and take. The UN has more powers under Chapter VII, but suchinvolvement requires a level of commitment on the part of major players in theUN which is rarely seen, and in the case of military middle powers such asPakistan and India, the use of brute force is never really an option. Under UNmediation, a ceasefire was agreed upon on January 1 1949. It is important tonote here that the original petitioner to the UN was India. However, the laterdelaying tactics and disregard to the UN process may lead to the conclusionthat India used the Security Council apparatus to obtain a temporary respite inthe military campaign that was not going according to her liking, and once itsmilitary forces were firmly established in the region, it saw little need tocontinue a serious debate over the Kashmir issue at the UN.
Of course, theIndian side accuses Pakistan of using the US to cut its own military losses.The fact of the matter remains that the perception of both sides is that the UNwas a mechanism used to further their own narrow national interests, and thatthe other side was playing the same gameIn 1950, the UNCIP-a body whose members often could notagree among themselves was replaced by a single UN Representative, the first ofwhom was an Australian, Owen Dixon. Dixon soon concluded that there was littlehope of reaching agreement on demilitarization of the entire state. Hetherefore took a new approach in his report, submitted to the Security Councilin 1950 that of holding regional plebiscites.
Dixon put forward two mainproposals: 1) holding a plebiscite through the entire state, one region at atime, or 2) only holding a plebiscite in regions which were doubtful those thatwould definitely vote for accession to India or Pakistan would be allocatedto those countries without a vote. The latter plan, in effect, confined aplebiscite to just the Vale of Kashmir. Confident that Sheikh Abdullah couldsecure the Valley for India, Nehru favored thesecond plan; for the same reason Pakistan rejected it (though officially theclaimed it was because the State should be considered as a whole; it could notbe partitioned). Following Dixon’s failure,the UN tried twice more to get India and Pakistan to agree on conditions forholding a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir.
Frank Graham was appointed UNrepresentative in 1951, he stayed in the post until 1953__and Gunnar jarring in1957. Both were unsuccessfulThe 1965 armed conflict between India and Pakistan wasformally brought to an end by signing theDeclaration at Tashkent, the capital of the Republic of Uzbekistan in theSoviet Union. Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and President Ayub Khan signedit on behalf of their respective countries in the presence of the SovietPremier Alexi Kosygin who mediated between them Even before hostilities hadstarted, on 20 August 1965, Kosygin offered to act as mediator in negotiationsbetween Pakistan and India. At the time both the parties had rejected thisoffer. However. When it was repeated on 17 September with Tashkent suggested asa possible meeting place, Shastri accepted almost immediately, and Ayub Khansome months later (on 25 November).
Talks between Kosygin, Shastri and AyubKhan were scheduled to start in Tashkent on 3 January 1966.Initially, andindeed until virtually the last moment there was little hope of the talksgenerating any kind of agreement- the two both parties’ positions were simplytoo far apart. However both India and Pakistan perhaps realized that failure inTashkent could result in renewed hostilities, with unpredictable consequences.Hence on 10 January they did sign an agreement the Tashkent Declaration. Thiswas less an agreement ending the Kashmir dispute, as one allowing it to bepushed to one side so that the two countries could resume relatively normalrelationsThePrime Minister of India and the President of Pakistan have agreed that allarmed personnel of the two countries shall be withdrawn not later than 25February 1966 to the positions they held prior to 5 August 1965, and both sidesshall observe the cease-fire terms on the cease-fire. The Tashkent Declarationfaced domestic opposition in both India and Pakistan. Despite domesticopposition, both sides did respect the terms of the Declaration at least as faras practical measures were concerned.
Prisoners-of-war were repatriated and by25 February 1966 their forces had withdrawn to their pre-5 August. However,respecting the ‘spirit’ of the Declaration (resolvingdisputes peacefully, promoting friendly relations) proved more difficultPakistan welcomes mediation, pressure, facilitation,encouragement or any such other role of the United States and the rest of the internationalcommunity in resolving the Kashmir issue, Khurshid M Kasuri, the Pakistaniforeign minister. But always opposed the US’ role as mediator, because Indiawill not concede to direct US intervention on Kashmir since it sees itself as acontending great power. 4. Conclusion As we see the record of the mediation on the Kashmir issue, we conclude thatPakistan has always been seeking for the Third-party involvement (mediation)over Kashmir issue with India. That weconclude that from the certain statements of Pakistani’s leaders, like ThePakistan President, Pervez Musharraf, started his official working visit to theUnited States by saying that to have peace in South Asia, it was critical forthe Kashmir issue to be resolved; and that it could not be done unless therewas third-party mediation or facilitation. Bilateralism has failed and,therefore, there is a requirement for mediation or facilitation in resolvingthe disputes between India and Pakistan.
Khurshid M Kasuri, the Pakistaniforeign minister, said Pakistan welcomes mediation, pressure, facilitation,encouragement or any such other role of the United States and the rest of the internationalcommunity in resolving the Kashmir issue. India will not concede to direct US interventionon Kashmir since it sees itself as a contending great power and also saysmediation onKashmir dispute as degrading India’ independence while as the same timejeopardizing its integrity. India itself considers as “Tiger of Asia”and “regional superpower of the South Asia”.
She is in good positionto negotiate on the bilateral channel. India did not want to expose the KashmirDispute on the international arena but rather saw it the internal affair ofher. She always has been violating the Human Rights of the people of Kashmirand not employs the UN’s resolution of “self-determination” andplebiscite in the Kashmir. I concludedthat the role of Third-party or mediation is much required in this time.Pakistan, being the frontline state in the war against terrorism state, it isthe heydays that Pakistan should be persuadedthe international community and especially to the USA to mediate and will playthe role of the Third-Party over the Kashmir Issue with India.