Kashmir Region Conflict By Marin Schiffman, Giselle Caruso, and Ema Kaunas

Who is it between?

The conflict is between India and Pakistan. The nations are fighting over the Kashmir region between the Himalayan mountains. Both nations have equally important reasons for seeking sovereignty over the region, such as environmental issues and religious affairs.

Kashmir's geographical location.

Why?

Both nations are fighting over the region because it is rich with resources. The Pakistanis believe they should have control over the region since Kashmir's inhabitants are mostly Muslim, the main religion of Pakistan, whereas India's main religion is Hinduism. Besides mineral resources, both countries rely on the Indus River for water, electricity, and for agricultural purposes. If Kashmir is taken over by India, Pakistan's water supply would nearly be depleted, imploring them to seek action against their eastern neighbor. India's reason for having Kashmir is that the region was founded by a Hindu prince, thus allowing them to take it back. Also, the region is wealthy in mineral deposits and lies in a lush passing of the river. This means the land is fertile, which would help lessen the threat of nationwide hunger.

How Did the Conflict Start?

During the colonial era, most of South Asia was under British rule. Once certain states declared independence, Kashmir was left neutral. Due to its relatively close location to both India and Pakistan, they had the choice to be annexed by either nation. The Kashmir region had a ruler by the name of Maharaja Hari Singh, who was Hindu. While India faced gaining their independence, Maharaja chose to sign the Standstill Agreement with Pakistan. He then increased tensions by delaying whether to turn the region to Pakistan or India, but was later forced to due to inner turmoil and mass killings of minorities. He then agreed to place Kashmir under the care of India when he signed the Instrument of Accession. This allowed India to send in forces to deter the Pakistani advances. India had said it was a temporary move to keep Pakistan away until the Kashmir residents could decide for themselves who they should be ruled by.

This never happened, and India continued to rule over Kashmir. This is how the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 began. In 1948, India requested the UN Security Council to become involved, and a solution was presented. The UN called for a ceasefire and that Pakistan take all their military personnel out. The resolution also stated that India could keep minimal security and that Pakistan would have no part in deciding Kashmir's fate, saying the region would decide which country it wanted to be placed under democratically. The ceasefire was put into place on December 31, 1948, but Pakistan did not take back their troops, allowing for more conflict between India and Pakistan over the region.

Since this war, the Kashmir conflict has been ongoing for over 6 decades. To this day, talks of peace and resolving the issue of whose sovereignty the region of Kashmir falls under have occurred between India and Pakistan, but since Pakistan has not taken back its troops, India declares they are violating the ceasefire. Kashmir's citizens, however, are torn between following one nation, as certain areas in Kashmir oppose being under the rule of the other country.

"Pro- India" Kashmir residents protest the Pakistani soldiers that have occupied their territory.

Credits:

Created with images by maxos_dim - "kashmir indus river himalaya"

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