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The Kashmir Question
This refers to the disputed status of the erstwhile Princely State of Jammu & Kashmir, the cause of three of the four wars fought between India and Pakistan since independance.

In 1948, just after the Partition of British India into modern day India and Pakistan, the princely states of the subcontinent which, until then, had been autonomous to the rest of the British land holdings in the subcontinent and nominally independant. With the creation of the two new dominions, the states were all given a choice: Go to India, go to Pakistan, or be independant. The third option was often a false choice, since most of the 600 or so princely states were too small to sustain themselves without the support of the British or the new native-ruled central governments. As such, these states mostly went quietly. Of the rest, most joined out of genuine interest in bringing forth India and Pakistan into reality and gave up their realms willingly even if they could have survived on their own. The rest however, for a variety of reasons, decided to hold out. One of these was Kashmir.

The Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir came into existance in the 19th century, at the defeat of the Sikh Empire to the British. The Dogra clan, which had been essential to this victory, were handed over the northern territories of the former Sikh Empire by the British to govern. At the time it didn't matter, with the British controlling everything, one Maharaja was as good as another. However, when it became clear that they were going to quit India in 1947, the Maharaja of Kashmir at the time, Hari Singh, was faced with a dilemma: the clan he was head of, the Dogras, were Hindu...but their subjects were mostly Muslim. In lieu of the rising poltical temprature with the Pakistan Movement, his own population began demanding he accede to Pakistan. The problem with this was, as a Hindu ruler, his family would be left out of the political loop entirely (unlike in other princely states, where the princes often served as the first governors of the area or as part of the Parliaments of either India or Pakistan), and would perhaps be forced to give up their personal assets as well. However, to join India would have earned revolution, and he'd lose there too.

So instead, he decided that Kashmir would be an independant state. And as a strategically located entity of considerable size and economy, Kashmir could pull it off. Less than a year later however, this independance was put to the test. Afghan tribal armies known as 'lashkars' began an assault on the Kashmir State Forces in North-West Kashmir, near the city of Gilgit. Almost at once, the garrison protecting Gilgit, the Gilgit Scouts, revolted and proclaimed loyalty to Pakistan, which was believed to have supported these lashkars.Soon, the nearby vassal states of Hunza and Nagar independantly pledged their loyalty to Pakistan as well, and soon it became clear that the Maharaja's forces were about to be routed. In desperation, Maharaja Hari Singh appeals to India to step in and assist. Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, in Magnificent Bastard mode, agreed on the condition that Kashmir accede to India. Having little choice in the matter, Hari Singh agreed and soon his State Forces were officially absorbed into India and New Delhi joined the fight. So began the First Kashmir War. This ended early in 1948 in a ceasefire that divided Kashmir in two, with a large chunk of northern Kashmir in Pakistani hands along with a smaller, but more populated sliver of the western edge of the princely state. This ceasefire line has remained in place since then with little variation.

The second war would not occur until 1965, when Pakistan's military dictator, Field Marshal Ayub Khan, believed a surprise attack would germinate into a local Kashmiri revolution, which together would then create enough instant momentum to catch the Indians by surprise and drive them out of Kashmir before they can fight back. Part of this idea came from India's performance in the 1962 Sino-Indian War, in which the Indians were overwhelmed by the Chinese surprise attack that only ended when China withdrew of its own accord...but not without taking a portion of Kashmir for itself, this time in the eastern edge of the state. Considering this as proof that India would be just as badly off, Khan went ahead with the plan. Unfortunately for him and Pakistan, the Kashmiri Revolution that was supposed to get kicked off with the surprise attack never happened. Indeed, the locals helped the Indian army in getting proof that it was Pakistan trying to instigate something. So began the 1965 war in pushing them back out...and nearly capturing the major Pakistani city of Lahore in the process. This too ended in stalemate, though it's political ramifications would be felt far and wide. It ended Ayub Khan's career, who then transferred his role of military dictator to the next man down in the ruling junta's ranks: General Yahya Khan.

The war also proved to the Bengalis of East Pakistan once and for all that they were not seen as important to Pakistan (hardly anything was dedicated to its defense during the war, with the military taking the doctrine of "the Defense of the East lies in the West". This, along with various other problems including language and ethnicity, set them off into a seperatist conflict with Islamabad, leading to a crackdown, Indian involvement leading to the Bangladeshi Liberation War, better known as the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. While this conflict had nothing to do with Kashmir, fighting occured there as a matter of course, in the belief that India would sue for peace if its portion of Kashmir was taken. India instead held out long enough to liberate Bangladesh and won the war, forcing Pakistan back to the status quo ante bellum.

The stakes in the conflict in Kashmir were heightened when India got the Atomic Bomb in 1974. Then the Indian Army took over Siachen Glacier area of Kashmir in 1984 (the area having not been resolved in the previous ceasefires and thus not technically illegal). In the 1990s, Pakistan used terrorists in Kashmir to once again try to start a revolution, with very mild success. In 1998, both sides tested nuclear weapons, ending any possibility of a war.

Enter General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's future dictator. He became the mastermind of the 1999 Kargil War.

Should not be confused with the Revolution episode "Kashmir". Should not be confused with the Led Zeppelin song "Kashmir".
The Indo-Pakistan ConflictUsefulNotes/India    
Marvin HeemeyerSandbox/Orphaned PagesDasaria

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