The state of Jammu and Kashmir is considered as the crown of India. With beautiful Himalayan Mountains and Pir Panjal Mountains, unspoiled forests and other natural beauty, this place acts as a magnet and attracts many tourists to this valley. But, since the valley has been facing many different kinds of problems, like political disturbance, the problem of terrorism, army marching on the streets, etc. people do not feel safe to visit this valley.
The natural beauty of this valley is always covered with the smoke of bullets, grenades and bombs. The valley does not have a proper governance to tackle these problems. Political disturbance and uncertainty is adding fuel to this fire. This turmoil has been a part of Kashmir since independence but with the removal of special status from the state of Jammu and Kashmir the government is in the opinion that this situation will come under control.
Political History of Kashmir
Kashmir was mentioned in Mahabharata and was also ruled by Mughals from 1587 to 1752. The valley was also ruled by both the Afghan rulers and the Muslim rulers. The Muslim period lasted for 500 and came to an end when the valley was annexed by the Sikh rulers from Punjab. The valley also became a part of Hindu Dogra Kingdom and various Maharajas ruled this kingdom.
When the Britishers left India, and India and Pakistan was partitioned under the British policy of Divide and Rule and the support of Jinnah, the Kashmir issue started to gain fire. Three options were available for the states, first, they could join India, second, they could join Pakistan and third, they could remain independent.
Kashmir wanted to remain independent but later joined India. Kashmir was given special status under the provision of Article 370 of the Constitution of India, which allowed the state to his own legislature, flag, and various other reliefs. Both, India and Pakistan wants Kashmir to be a part of their country and due to this both the countries have indulged into several wars.
Conflict over Kashmir
The conflict over Kashmir is one of the oldest unresolved international conflicts. Even before partition and independence of India and Pakistan, the area of Kashmir was hotly in debate. According to the plan of partition, the state of Jammu and Kashmir was free to join either India or Pakistan or could become an independent country. Kashmir wanted to be an independent state and refused to join either of the two countries.
At that time, the valley was ruled by a local ruler name Maharaja Hari Singh. Though the ruler wanted Kashmir to be an independent state but in the month of October 1947 he chose to join India. It was a certain kind of bargain or barter system because the Maharaja promised to join India, but in return he wanted an assurance that the state should be given protection from invasion of tribesman from Pakistan. They were not tribesmen but Pakistani army dresses as tribesmen.
Pakistan always wanted the Kingdom of Kashmir to join Pakistan. But the ruler was affirming to remain independent and later joined India. The Pakistani army dressed as tribesmen looted and harmed the state and this compelled the Maharaja to rush to India for help and in return the Indian Army stopped the Pakistani army for inflicting more destruction and pushed them back to their country. At that time, India controlled around two third of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the rest was controlled by Pakistan.
Wars between India and Pakistan
1. 1965: In the year 1965, Pakistan planned a surprise attack over Kashmir. The aim of the attack was to capture the remaining area which was under the control of India. A war initiated between two countries and both the country was pressurised by the USA and the USA to stop the war. Ceasefire was declared after 17 days and India was in a powerful position as it reached the outskirts of Lahore after the war ended.
2. 1971: In the year 1971, a conflict raised between West and West Pakistan over who would become the Prime Minister. The army of East Pakistan mercilessly raped and slaughtered the citizens of West Pakistan and India helped the citizen of West Pakistan and made it an independent country, Bangladesh. It was a big defeat for Pakistan as it lost its territory and people. This made Pakistan angry and it attacked India’s western border. India retaliated and captured 15,010 km of Pakistani land including Kashmir. India returned all the land which it captured during the war but Pakistan did not learn anything from this kind gesture of India.
3. 1999: In the year, 1999, Pakistani army tried to capture the Kargil Mountain in Kashmir. But the Indian armed forces recaptured the ridge and Pakistani forces were forced to withdraw. After this war, Pakistan was drown in embarrassment and refused to take back the bodies of their martyred soldiers.
Therefore, after this it can be understood that Kashmir has been one of the issues of the war. Capturing and recapturing, fighting wars, has been a part of Kashmir. For the residents of Kashmir, it is difficult to live a fearless live. Uncertainty of life is also a part of this beautiful valley.
The United Nation intervened between the two countries and resolved the matter in which the portion of Jammu and Kashmir is still under the occupation of the Pakistani Government which is known as the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
Pakistan Occupied Kashmir
Pakistan occupied Kashmir or PoK is that part of Jammu and Kashmir which war occupied by Pakistan in the year 1947. This area is further divided into two parts namely, Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan. In local language it is also known as Azad Kashmir.
Pakistan claims that, PoK is a self governing body but in reality, it is under the control of Pakistan. PoK is a part of former Jammu and Kashmir whose borders touches the Indian state- Punjab. This land is governed by Pakistan’s President and the Indian Prime Minister has no official say to any events happening in this part of the state.
The land which is left with India remains continuously under threat and the government is not much successful in handling the situation in the valley. The development of the valley is stopped because of regular military insurgencies and counter attacks.
Terrorist activities have been expanded in the valley. Even children are taught to handle gun and if not gun then they are instructed to throw stones over administrative personnel.
The leaders of various political parties are concerned about increasing violence and terrorist activities which are aided by Pakistan and are taking place in the valley. The residents of the valley requested the government of India to eliminate the use of pellet guns against the stone throwers.
The valley needs a single leader which could gain popularity and support from the people. Everyone in the valley is forming their own group to handle the problem and to take on the security forces. Even the Chief Minister of Kashmir supported the separatist movements which is a loss for the Indian Government.
Kashmir needs a political solution and the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India is a step ahead in removing the insurgencies from the valley.
Abrogation of Article 370 and 35A
When the Constitution was being framed, many leaders including B. R. Ambedkar, was against the Article 370 and refused to draft the same but Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru was in the opinion of giving special status to the valley.
On 5th August, 2019, Article 370 which gave special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir and Article 35A which gave unique privileges to the residents of the state of Jammu and Kashmir were abrogated. The state of Jammu and Kashmir is now a part of India without any special status.
After the abrogation, the valley encountered only few minor incidents of stone pelting. There is a geographical and political change in the valley which will bring peace in coming days. The valley is divided into two Union Territories as assented by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind. The Union territory shall have a Lieutenant Governor.
Kashmir is stuck in the middle of the countries in dispute. Both the countries should keep the needs of the residents of valley on the top and find the solution accordingly. Guns and bombs are no solution, a permanent solution is needed which is beyond all physical pain and which fulfils all the desires of the people.
Development is valley should be the foremost motto of the government and the residents should be given their dues. Law and order should be brought back. People should be allowed to live in the manner they want with reasonable restrictions. The Union Territory do not want to home terrorist neither they want blood stains on this valley which is filled with natural beauty but want a land in which peace and harmony exists.