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Kashmir often called the cradle of Indian civilization, is a diverse and opportune land. Although after 1947, Kashmir became home to bloody conflicts between 2 competing powers. This conflict originates from the very fracture of the Indian subcontinent and the formation of India and Pakistan. Following the independence of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, the princely states had the choice whether to join India or Pakistan.
For Jammu and Kashmir, the largest of the these states, Lord Mountbatten, who was the governor of India, advised that “consistently with their policy that in the case of any State where the issue of accession has been the subject of dispute, the question of accession should be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people of the State, it is my Government’s wish that as soon as law and order have been restored in Kashmir and her soil cleared of the invader the question of the State’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people.”
However, Jammu and Kashmir had a complex demographic. They had a majority Muslim population with a sizeable Hindu and Sikh population as well. The Maharaja decided to remain neutral because he knew the Muslims would be unhappy with a decision to join India and the Hindus and Sikhs would be unhappy with a decision to Pakistan. Despite Maharaja Hari Singh’s invocation to stay neutral, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the Prime minister of Pakistan, wrote to the Maharaja several times as a way of persuading him to join Pakistan. Jinnah promised, “every sort of favorable treatment” for the Hindus and Sikhs living in Jammu & Kashmir. However, the Maharaja remained firm on his stance to remain neutral. On September 12th, 1947, the tribesman from the Pathan region of Pakistan led an insurgency against the Jammu region of Kashmir. The Hindus and Sikhs absconded with harrowing stories of Muslim atrocities. This act instigated tremendous amounts of counter violence against the Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir.
The conflict escalated to such a degree that the Indo Pakistani War of 1947 commenced. The Indian national army gathered and the Pakistani army officially entered the conflict in May 1948. In the middle of the war Lord Mountbatten flew to India on 1 November 1947, Mountbatten flew to Lahore for a conference with Jinnah, proposing that, in all the princely States where the ruler did not accede to a Dominion corresponding to the majority population, the accession should be decided by an ‘impartial reference to the will of the people’. Jinnah rejected the offer.
Prime Ministers Nehru and Liaquat Ali Khan met again in December when Nehru informed Khan of India’s intention to refer the dispute to the United Nations under article 35 of the UN Charter, which allows the member states to bring to the Security Council attention situations “likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace.” Prime Ministers Nehru and Liaquat Ali Khan met again in December when Nehru informed Khan of India’s intention to refer the dispute to the United Nations under article 35 of the UN Charter, which allows the member states to bring to the Security Council attention situations ‘likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace.”
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