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Kashmir crisis

Alternative meanings: Jammu and Kashmir, Azad Kashmir, Aksai Chin

Kashmir is a region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. The term Kashmir historically described the valley just to the south of the westernmost end of the Himalayan range. Politically, however, the term 'Kashmir' describes a much larger area which includes the regions of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh.

The region is currently divided amongst three countries: Pakistan controls the northwest portion (Northern Areas, Pakistan and Azad Kashmir), India controls the central and southern portion (Jammu and Kashmir), and the People's Republic of China controls the northeastern portion (Aksai Chin). Though these regions are in practice administered by their respective claimants, India has never formally recognized the accession of the areas claimed by Pakistan and China. Pakistan views the entire Kashmir region as disputed territory, and does not consider India's claim to it to be valid.

Kashmir is a beautiful valley of about 7,200 square kilometers (2,800 square miles) at an elevation of 1,675 meters (5,500 feet). It has a very ancient history and it was for a long time one of the centers of Sanskrit culture. Kashmiri literature, sculpture, music, dance, painting, and architecture have had a profound influence in Asia.

 

The events of partition

In 1947, India gained independence from British rule. It was decided that two countries would be formed, Pakistan and India, where Pakistan would have a majority Muslim population, and India a majority Hindu population. It had been agreed that autonomous regions like Kashmir, could decide to either join India or Pakistan.

Kashmir, which had a predominantly Muslim population, was one of these autonomous states, ruled by Maharaja Hari Singh, who was a Hindu. After partition, he delayed his decision whether to join India or Pakistan, hoping to somehow keep his kingdom independent. Not long after partition, Pakistan invaded Kashmir using tribal Islamic guerillas and Pakistani army regulars disguised as tribals. The reasoning behind this invasion seems to be due to Pakistan's fears of Singh joining India or a Pakistani desire to take Kashmir before India was able to reinforce it. Whatever the case, the invading irregular Pakistani forces made great gains into Kashmir, but some of them stopped before reaching Srinagar. According to some reports, there they engaged in massive rape and pillage of native Kashmiris, particularly the non-Muslims. However, what really occurred is up for debate and this ambiguity is symbolic of the larger issues behind Kashmir.

At this stage, the Maharaja realizing his dream of independent Kashmir was crushed, asked for the aid of the Indian army. India promised aid if the Maharaja were to sign the instrument of accession to India, which he did. This ceded Kashmir over to India.

The resulting war lasted until 1948, when India moved the issue to United Nations to ask Pakistan to vacate the occupied Kashmir. Thus a cease-fire was negotiated by the UN, dividing Kashmir between Indian-held and Pakistani-held territory. The United Nations pressed for a plebiscite among the entire Kashmiri population, which was denied by India for various reasons, including Pakistan's refusal to completely vacate Kashmir.

In 1962 the People's Republic of China attacked India in the Sino-Indian War, and the resulting land it took and continues to occupy is called Aksai Chin. In addition the land taken by the PLA, some of the land composing this area was ceded to China by Pakistan in 1963 as part of a pact. [1]

In 1965 and 1971, heavy fighting again broke out between India-Pakistan. The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 resulted in a defeat of Pakistan in East Pakistan (Bangladesh, and the capturing of many soldiers by India in that region. However, in Kashmir and West Pakistan, the nations fought to another draw. This lead to the Simla Accord in 1972 between India and Pakistan. In this accord, both countries agreed to settle all issues by peaceful means and mutual discussions, and India returned captured Pakistani territory in Kashmir and 90,000 Pakistani prisoners as a gesture of good will.

 

Recent developments

India continues to assert its sovereignty over the entire region of Kashmir and refuses to acknowledge the "disputed nature" of the issue, and Pakistan is calling for "Kashmiri self-determination." These have been the respective stands of the countries for long, and have seen no significant change over the years. As a result, all efforts to solve the conflict have been futile so far.

In mid-1999, Islamic guerillas and according to some reports, Pakistani troops in plain clothes infiltrated and took command of Himalayan mountain tops and ridges near the town of Kargil in Kashmir. Their objective was to sever the main Srinagar-Leh road which runs north-south in Indian Kashmir. Had they succeeded, they would have effectively cut Kashmir in two. Pakistani forces made great gains initially. However, a massive Indian response combined with orders to retreat due to American pressure lead Pakistan to lose as many men as India had. The conflict ended when US President Bill Clinton asked Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to withdraw his forces. A few months after the end of the war, Sharif was overthrown by the Pakistani Army in a coup led by General Pervez Musharraf (now President of Pakistan). Many believe that Musharraf was the brains behind the entire Kargil Conflict, and that Nawaz Sharif was forced to go along due to the power of the Pakistani Army.

In early 2002, India and Pakistan escalated their threats towards one another, driven by their territorial dispute and recent terrorist attacks in India, which has led to fears of nuclear war in the subcontinent.

After intensive diplomatic efforts by other countries, India and Pakistan toned down their aggressive rhetoric towards one another on June 10, 2002, and are hoped to be preparing to make conciliatory moves towards one another.

Effective November 26, 2003, India and Pakistan have agreed to maintain a ceasefire along the undisputed International Border, the disputed Line Of Control, and along the Siachen glacier. This is the first such "total ceasefire" declared by both the nations in nearly 15 years.

 

Claims to Kashmir

The Pakistani claim to Kashmir is based on the fact that the majority of Kashmir's population is Muslim. Since Pakistan was created as a nation for the Muslims of India, the leadership of that nation has always felt that Kashmir rightfully belongs to Pakistan. The Pakistani claim is also based on a belief that most Kashmiris would vote to join Pakistan, although this has never been proven nor disproven.

The Indian claim centers on the agreement of the Maharaja to sign over Kashmir to India through the Instrument of Accession. Likewise, India feels that the majority of the Kashmiri people would vote to remain with India, and it now considers Kashmir an integral part of India. Therefore, it sees the Pakistani held territories as land illegally taken by Pakistan. The fact that Nehru's family came from Kashmir made the issue important to him on a personal level, and he also hoped that Kashmir would serve as an example of fully secular India (being the only Muslim majority state in the nation).

Kashmiri literature

Kashmiri literature has a history of at least 2,500 years, going back to its glory days of Sanskrit. Early names include Patanjali, the author of the Mahabhashya commentary on Panini's grammar and the Yogasutra and Dridhbala who revised the Charaka Samhita of Ayurveda.

In medieval times the great philosophical school of Kashmir Shaivism arose. Its great masters include Vasugupta (c. 800), Utpala (c. 925), Abhinavagupta and Kshemaraja. In the theory of aesthetics one can list the Anandavardhana and Abhinavagupta.

The use of the Kashmiri language began with the poet Lalleshvari (14th century),who wrote mystical verses. Later, came Habba Khatun (16th century) with her lol style. Other major names are Rupa Bhavani (1621-1721), Arnimal (d. 1800), Mahmud Gami (1765-1855), Rasul Mir (d. 1870), Paramananda (1791-1864), Ghulam Ahmad Mahjur (1885-1952), Abdul Ahad Azad (1903-1948), and Zinda Kaul (1884-1965).

In contemporary times, Hindi, Urdu, and English have become the languages of literary expression. Amongst these authors are Shaikh Abdullah and Ram Nath Kak who have written autobiography. Other authors of Kashmiri ancestry include Salman Rushdie and M.J. Akbar.

 
Devnagari Script for Kashmiri:
A Study in its Necessity, Feasibility and Practicality
- Dr. R. L. Shant

Kshir Bhawani Times
Kashmiri Pandit Sabha, Jammu
August 1997

1. Kashmiri Language and Scripts Used
1.1 Background
Kashmiri is an Indo-Aryan language. Even the opponents of this linguistic classification of this language, grouped it with Dardi, Shrinya, Khowar dialects, which are spoken in the areas adjacent to the valley in its north and north- west. Language historians and linguists have often, however, concurred on the theory that the above-mentioned dialects fall in the category of languages that bear resemblance to the Indo-Aryan as well as to the Indo-Iranian languages.

Philologists believe that like the earliest Naga inhabitants of the mountains of Kashmir having been cut off from the mainstream Aryans like their counterparts (viz. the Ghandarvas, the Yakshas, the Kinnaras etc.), their language took time to accept influences and merge with the main Aryan languages. The Naga language developed of its own and underwent changes natural to any language. All the same it maintained its peculiar vowel system and when it surfaced in the 8th-9th century AD, it had passed through all the stages of the Prakrits and Apabhramshas like other modern Indian languages, the earliest available evidence of the Kashmiri language belongs to this period.

1.2 Sharada script and the Kashmiri Pandits
The earliest available Kashmiri scripts (MSS) are written in the Sharada script, Sharada is an indigenous writing system that evolved from the original Brahmi in the same chronological order and around the same time as the Nagari, Gurumukhi and other North Indian scripts did. This script was widely used by scholars, rulers, common people of all religious denominations (including the Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists alike). Among Hindus it was used for transcribing Sanskrit texts as well as compositions in Kashmiri. MSS of the compositions of Kashmiri poets, Lal Dyad, Nund Reshi, Roopa Bhawani and a host of other Bhakti poets was in Sharada and are preserved in individual collections and libraries till date. (Many have definitely been destroyed by the militants or other anti-social elements during the last six years of Kashmiri Pandits' forced exodus, when they left their treasures of books behind.) With the valley going Muslim over the last six centuries, the Persian script imported by Muslim rulers both local and foreign, replaced the Sharada in official and private use. The shrinking number of Kashmiri Hindus (those who care to be called Pandits, for their Brahmanic connections alone survived, the rest having been converted), nevertheless mastered Persian (and Arabic) languages and script and used it widely in official and private communication. This relegated Sharada to the background, being limited to religious and devotional texts. For the practicing Brahmins, Sharada continued to be the script for writing and calculating astrological and ritual formulations. Today this group (now depleting fast) alone preserves it religiously. For the rest learning the script or using it is of no practical utility.

1.3 Persian and Roman Scripts
As Persian gained status in the Muslim courts followed by English/Dogra Durbar, KP officials (the clerk, mudarris, revenue official, the serf or the landlord) did not lag behind anyone. They mastered the Roman script and the English language too, with exemplary wisdom. One can say without fear of contradiction that KP functionaries must have played a pivotal role in moulding the Persian script to suit Kashmiri language in a similar manner as they adopted the Roman script for Kashmiri texts in the fourth and fifth decades of twentieth century.

2. Nagari and the Intercultural Connection
The history of the adoption and modification of the Nagari script for Kashmiri has not been documented authentically. But the very fact that the script was used freely by eminent western linguists like Grierson and Temple in their profound works and treatises on Kashmiri language and literature is ample proof of its having been standardized over the decades in the 19th century. Kashmiri Pandits maintained live contact with the North-Indian cultural epicenter, i.e. the Indo-Gangetic plains, which incidentally is the Hindi heartland too. Devanagari had assumed prime importance in the areas of inter- cultural and inter-lingual communication in north-western and eastern Indian states. This universally acceptable writing system came handy to the intelligent and descerning community of Kashmiri Pandits, for whom the Indian connection has always been primary. Benefiting from the experience of this enlightened community, the western research scholars like Grierson, Buhlar, Temple, Stein etc. associated renowned scholars of their time like Mukund Ram Shastri and Ishwar Koul with their work and modified the Devanagari of Kashmiri, as against the Persian script, even though the latter had a wider appeal and acceptability. The qualities of better phonetic representation inherent in the Nagari seems to have weighed more with these discerning scholars.

3. The Imperfect Persian Script
Urdu became the official and court language in the Dogra rule and this strengthened the Persio-Arabic base for Kashmiri script. The Nagari-knowing sections did not stay away in isolation. They studied the method used by the Persian knowing scholars and found them incomplete and imperfect. In fact no organized attempt to use some diacritical mark in the Persian script was made. Only the HAMZA mark was placed arbitrarily over the letters, without following a uniform pattern. It betrayed the cavalier attitude of the concerned writers on the one hand and showed the popularity of the script on the other, that made diacritical mark redundant. The readers read the text by making their own guess.

4. The Modified 'Nagari Kashmiri'
During the first decades of the 20th century, KPs using Nagari for their private use, never discontinued the practice even when there seemed to be no public recognition coming from any quarters. It is a tribute to the far-sightedness of such people who continued with literary endeavour and preserved their cultural treasures in Nagari manuscripts in the face of, not only official negligence and slander but also the contempt and frown of those of their own community who enjoyed official patronage and took ostensible pride in jettisoning links with their own cultural traditions. Against this background, the endeavour of scholars like Pt. Durga Prasad Kachru, Pt. Jia Lal Kaul Jalali, Professor S. K. Toshkhani, Professor P. N. Pushp, to name a few, towards modifying sets of distinct marks for distinct phonetic representation, deserves special mention. Some Hindi journals, published in pre-independence days, carried sizeable matter in 'Nagari Kashmiri', which proves the point beyond doubt.

5. Official Discrimination
After the establishment of the first popular government in the state, the Arabic script was officially sought to be used for Kashmiri, to be followed by the Persian script in its present form. The reasons for the latter are not far to seek. Popularity of the script made it acceptable to all. Kashmiri Pandits, writers and intellectuals, welcomed the step without reservations. But there was an underlying dissatisfaction among them over the fact that while the Persian script had been allowed to be used alternatively for the Dogri, Nagari was not given the alternative status for Kashmiri. There was many times more Kashmiri literature preserved in the Nagari than the Dogri preserved in the Persian script. It was a clear communal discrimination against the KPs as against the special consideration shown to the minorities in the Dogri speaking areas. While prominent Kashmiri Pandit scholars worked on the Persian- script committees and others owned it without reservation, they were dubbed communal if they talked of the Pan-Indian utility of the Nagari script. However, the tradition of using marks devised by linguists and Nagari protagonists in the pre-independent days continued unabated.

6. Genuine urge for Nagari
During the four decades prior to the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley, dozens of books and anthologies were published and circulated by individual poets and religious organizations in which the Nagari script was used. The publications had a ready market among the devoted. The trend continues till today, even when the organizations, ashrams and peeths have recognized themselves in Jammu, Delhi and other centres of India, wherefrom their publications keep coming out. Genuine urge helps overcome difficulties in the process of learning. The users' urge to use Nagari did not take much cognizance of their ignorance of the phonetic properties of Hindi or the correspondence between the phonemes and their respective graphemes. Literature was prolifically produced.

7. Trans-State Experimentation
At the trans-state level Kashmiri sections of community magazines at Jammu, Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Mumbai, Lucknow, Calcutta, etc. used some or the other diacritical marks to indicate vowels peculiar to the language. This presents a variegated picture, for such efforts were independent and undertaken without any co-ordination. The Koshur Samachar (KS) of Delhi assumed central importance. It voiced the concerns of the displaced people and also the cultural longings of those settled in the Indian cities over the centuries of continuous exodus from Kashmir. Those Kashmiri writers who till now were not quite interested in Kashmiri literature published in the KS in the Nagari script joined hands with others of the ilk and made valuable contribution to the, now known as the, "literature of displacement" or the "literature in exile". The KS used a set of diacritical marks, albeit not with morphophonemic precision, in the absence of a well laid out policy. The two symbols used were the ardhachandra and the apostrophe. Both of these were modifiers and not independent symbols for Kashmiri vowels.

8. Deliberation over the Nagari and the Kashyap Samachar
In October 1994, the Kashyap Samachar (Kp.S) Jammu was revived and published with fervent enthusiasm on monthly basis. The editors used only one modifier (viz. the apostrophe) placed on different short and long Hindi matras to indicate short and long Kashmiri sounds. For some time this proved to be a successful venture as Kashmiri writers, by and large, picked up the script and used it in transcribing or even direct composition of their ideas. Jammu having emerged as the biggest settlement of the displaced KPs, the circulation of the Kp.S showed encouraging signs. But the editors declared from time to time that they were open on the question of striking uniformity between the marks used in the two premier magazines (viz. the Kp.S and the KS) of the Kashmiri speaking people outside the valley. A discussion ensued in both the journals and many a specialist on scriptology participated in it. The intention was clear. All desired that uniformity in the marks used be evolved and accepted by all concerned.

9. The Committee Accord
In December 1995 a committee consisting of the two aforesaid editors, the Hindi editor of the KS and the secretary of the Vikalp Delhi, met and after discussions agreed on adopting these symbols i.e. ardhachandra, apostrophe (') and avagraha (s) for three pairs of Kashmiri vowels, in the following fashion:

(Editor's note: Modified text due to unavailability of Nagari script)
avagraha (s): eye, half, log, tail, mouth, eight, safety
ardhachandra: and, cooked rice, kicks, eighth, cold, how many
apostrophe ('): to me, to you, eat, flame, half, fat, handle/tail
Obviously these marks are but modifiers of the Hindi vowels and the Hindi long matras have been used to lengthen the Kashmiri sounds. Hence these symbols also cannot be termed as the best or the most suited for Kashmiri. The happiest situation would be that where all the vowel sounds are represented by independent easy to use and better known diacritical marks. That is why the best available marks (on the computer and the laser printer) having been identified as these above mentioned symbols do not solve the issue permanently. There are still voices of dissent among some notable scriptologists, which cannot be rejected outright. However, these three symbols are quite sufficient and phonetically sound for the Kashmiri script for the present and a lot of literature has already come out in it.

10. Need for a Fresh and Final Initiative
It would be in the best interest of those Kashmiri speaking people outside the Valley of Kashmir, who are all for the Nagari script that a fresh attempt be made to involve more scholars and a set of six symbols be agreed upon. As of now, not more than the above mentioned three are available. Hence any additional attempt can bear fruit only when changes in the typewriter, the manual rotary press, the computer and the laser printer are possible to be effected. This would require some investment too. But the investment will be rewarding subsequently. The undermentioned publications need to be taken up immediately:

1. A primer/reader for new learners. The book shall have to be distributed all over the country and in some centres overseas, free of cost.

2. A book for developing the skills of understanding Kashmiri texts, evolved solely for advanced learners, who wish to read more to establish linguistic rapport with the native speakers.

3. Series of introductory monographs on

a. Shaiva strain in Kashmiri life and letters
b. Laleshwari, the yogini
c. Nund Reshi, the synthesizer
d. Love lyricists and folk traditions
e. Bhakti poets (at least five) and the essential Kashmiri phenomenon
f. Modern Kashmiri writers (at least 10) and the search for the moorings, alongwith annexures containing selected writings of the writers included
11. Nagari, the Cultural Identifier
There is a craving in the minds of Kashmiris, whose children no longer speak or use their father-language, to keep abreast with the cultural development of their compatriots back home. Those who live abroad are in no worse situation than those who are scattered all over India for the last hundreds of years. They would like to identify with their roots which have been pulled out many a time to render them non-entities. They would like to know of their distinct literary and cultural traditions which bear the stamps of admiration and esteem given by discerning and accomplished men of eminence all over the world. They desire to know the versatility of their ancestral language that carries the history and culture of the last five thousand years of their forefathers. They would like to disseminate the pride and consciousness of their great past and their ethnic uniqueness to their children. In short they would like to stay alive like proud Kashmiris, anywhere in the world. While Hindi helps them mantain contact with India in general, Kashmiri will inculcate in them sense of belonging to their fatherland. With Nagari their wishes are realizable.

 

Azad Kashmir

Pakistan infobox
region = Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK)





capital = Muzaffarabad
latd = 34.22
longd = 73.28
pop_year = 2008
population = 4,567,982 (estimate)
languages= Urdu (official)
Hindko
Mirpuri
Pahari
Gojri
Pashto
density_km2 = 306
area_km2 = 13,297
status = self-governing state under Pakistani control
districts = 8
towns = 19
unions = 182
established = 1948
governor = President Raja Zulqarnain Khan
minister = Prime Minister Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan
legislature = Legislative Assembly
seats = 49
website = http://www.ajk.gov.pk/main/index.html
website_title = Government of Azad Kashmir
footnotes =

The Azad State of Jammu and Kashmir, usually shortened to Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) or, simply, Azad Kashmir (literally, "free Kashmir") is the southernmost political entity within the Pakistani-controlled part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. It borders the present-day Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir to the east (separated from it by the Line of Control), the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan to the west, the Federally Administered Northern Areas (FANA) to the north, and the Punjab Province of Pakistan to the south. With its capital at Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir covers an area of 13,297 km² (5,134 mi²) and has an estimated population of about four million. According to Pakistan's constitution, Azad Kashmir is not part of Pakistan, and its inhabitants have never had any representation in Pakistan's parliament. As far as the United Nations is concerned, the entire area of the former princely state of Kashmir and Jammu, including Azad Kashmir, remains a disputed territory still awaiting resolution of the long-standing dispute between India and Pakistan. In 1950, the government of India, ignoring a United Nations resolution on Kashmir, abandoned its pledge to hold a plebiscite and, in 1956, unilaterally annexed that portion of the former state that was under its control, thereby making that portion an integral part of India. The government of Pakistan, on the other hand, continues to this day to regard the entire area of the former state as "territory in dispute" to be resolved by a plebiscite to be held at some future date, in order to determine the entire area's accession to either India or Pakistan. While continuing to call for that plebiscite, however, the government of Pakistan has, so far, been unwilling to entertain the idea of a third option for the plebiscite, i.e., a choice of independence for the entire former state. Today, Azad Kashmir is still referred to by India as part of "Pakistan-occupied Kashmir" (POK) and, conversely, the present Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir is referred to by Pakistan as "Indian-occupied Kashmir."

Azad Kashmir's financial matters, i.e., budget and tax affairs, are dealt with by the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council, instead of by Pakistan's Central Board of Revenue. The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council is a supreme body consisting of 11 members, six from the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and five from the government of Pakistan. Its chairman/chief executive is the president of Pakistan. Other members of the council are the president and the prime minister of Azad Kashmir and a few other AJK ministers.

History

After the partition of British India in 1947, the princely states were given the option of joining either India or Pakistan. However, Hari Singh, the maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, wanted Jammu and Kashmir to remain independent. In order to buy some time, he signed a stand-still agreement, which side-stepped the agreement that each princely state would join either India or Pakistan. [http://www.indiatogether.org/peace/kashmir/intro.htm] As the maharaja hesitated, calls for union with Pakistan grew, particularly within Azad Kashmir. That development led to days of civil unrest and demonstrations that the maharaja tried to put down but which, instead, triggered a war between India and Pakistan. Nehru's government knew, although it never publicly admitted it, that there had been a fairly spontaneous revolt in the Jhelum valley and in other parts of what is now Azad Kashmir against the maharaja's purported decision to have his state accede to India.Fact|date=August 2008 That revolt is said to have occurred well before the raiders from the North-West Frontier Province and the Tribal Areas, who were backed by the Pakistani army, entered Kashmiri territory. [ [http://www.southasianmedia.net/magazine/journal/grasping_nettle.htm South Asian Journal ] ] The people of Azad Kashmir are known for their strong martial spirit and have resisted invaders down through the ages, including the Sikhs, the British, and the Dogras. Leaders such as Raja Sultan Khan of Bhimber are etched into the memories of the Azad Kashmiri people, as are the famous rebellions of the Gakkhars of Mirpur and the Mangral Rajputs of Kotli. [http://www.kashmiraffairs.org/interview_krishan%20dev%20sethi.html] The British used the town of Mirpur as a recruiting ground for the British Indian army. [ [http://www.world66.com/asia/southasia/pakistan/azad_kashmir/mirpur/history/prof_suresh_chand_2 Mirpur History - Prof. Suresh Chander ] ]

Azad Kashmir was awash with battle-hardened troops who had returned to their families after serving in the British army during the Second World War. In a series of pitched battles, the Dogra forces were practically wiped out due to the superior quality of the Azad Kashmir forces, and entire districts of Azad Kashmir such as Mirpur, Kotli, and Muzaffarabad were freed from Dogra rule. Upon hearing news of the fighting in Azad Kashmir and the plan to take the fight to Srinagar, tribal Pathan fighters from what is now known as the NWFP and FATA came to help their brethren. Having no need to head into Azad Kashmir, the tribal armies entered the Kashmir valley along with Pakistani forces to oversee operations. Upon their arrival in the valley, they were met by Indian troops. Contrary to the popular belief that once the raiders had arrived, Indian troops were only then flown in, Alastair Lamb, an eminent historian and author of a series of books on Kashmir, has uncovered evidence based on declassified military papers that India had Patalia gunners at the Sringar airport by October 17, 1947, and has scoffed at the Indian apologists who have said that India’s invasion of Kashmir was a triumph of improvisation. Instead, he states that India had troops mobilized for an invasion of Kashmir by October 25th, meaning that the Indian army was in Kashmir in advance of the maharaja's decision. With the Indian army already in Kashmir, it is obvious why the maharaja handed over his state to India. The Indian troops managed to push the irregular forces back but were then engaged by the intruding Pakistani army. Fighting continued, and the front managed to stabilise at points near what is known today as the "Line of Control." However, Pakistani forces held a great deal of the higher ground and key points, and the Indian armed forces were spread dangerously thin and were running short of supplies. The battle of Beri Pattan illustrates just how precarious the position of the Indian armed forces was among a hostile population. [ [http://www.pakdef.info/pakmilitary/army/war/1948war.html Pakistan Military Consortium :: www.PakDef.info ] ]

As that point, Jawaharlal Nehru, the prime minister of India, went to the U.N. for a cease-fire, which was agreed to by Pakistan. There was the promise of a referendum or plebiscite giving the people of Kashmir the right of self-determination. When it signed the ceasefire in 1948, India promised to offer the Kashmiris a plebiscite wherein they could decide whether to join India or Pakistan. In his own words on October 31, 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru wired Liaquat Ali Khan, Pakistan's prime minister, that his promise was "not merely a pledge to your government but also to the people of Kashmir and to the world." On November 2nd and 3rd, Nehru used the words "referendum under U.N. auspices." [ [http://www.hindu.com/fline/fl2120/stories/20041008000307600.htm Nehru's legacy to India ] ]

The matter was brought up in the U.N., and resolutions were passed to hold a plebiscite with regard to Kashmir's future. Unfortunately, neither India nor Pakistan has ever undertaken a plebiscite in its respective area of control in Kashmir due to the violation of the second part of the UN resolution. [ [http://www.indianembassy.org/policy/Kashmir/uncip(s1100).htm UNCIP Resolution of August 13, 1948 (S/1100) - Embassy of India, Washington, DC ] ] . The legal requirement for the holding of a plebiscite was the withdrawal of the Indian and Pakistani armies from the parts of Kashmir that were under their respective control--a withdrawal that never did take place. In 1949, a cease-fire line separating the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts of Kashmir was formally put into effect. After the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971, that line changed significantly in a few areas, and the new line, which was formally agreed to in 1972, was designated as the "Line of Control," separating the Indian and Pakistani forces and the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled parts of the former princely state.

The Line of Control has remained unchanged [ [http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/missions/unmogip/ UNMOGIP: United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan ] ] since the 1972 Simla pact which bound the two countries "to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations." Some political experts claim that, in view of that pact, the only solution to the issue is mutual negotiation between the two countries without involving a third party, such as the U.N.

Following the 1949 cease-fire agreement, the government of Pakistan divided the northern and western parts of Kashmir which it held into the following two separately-controlled political entities:
# Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) - the narrow southern part, 250 miles (400 km) long, with a width varying from 10 to 40 miles (15 to 65 km).
# Federally Administered Northern Areas (FANA) - the much larger area to the north of AJK, 72,496 km² (27,991 mi² ), directly administered by Pakistan as a "de facto" dependent territory, i.e., a non-self-governing territory.

An area of Kashmir that was once under Pakistani control, but is no longer, is the trans-Karakoram tract--a small region along the northeastern border of the Northern Areas that was provisionally ceded by Pakistan to the People's Republic of China in 1963 and which now forms part of China's Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang.

Government

Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) is a self-governing state under Pakistani control but is not constitutionally part of Pakistan. It has its own elected president, prime minister, legislature, high court, and official flag. The government of Pakistan has not yet allowed the state to issue its own postage stamps, however, and Pakistani stamps are used, instead. The state is administratively divided into two divisions which, in turn, are divided into eight districts.

Demographics

Azad Kashmir is predominantly Muslim. The majority of the population is culturally, linguistically, and ethnically related to the people of northern Punjab. The population of Azad Kashmir includes the following tribes:

Languages

Urdu is the national language of Azad Kashmir but is only spoken by a minority. The dominant language spoken in AJK is Pahari. It is very similar to Pothwari and Hindko.

Economy

In the latter part of 2006, billions of dollars for development were mooted by international aid agencies for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of earthquake-hit zones in Azad Kashmir, though much of those funds were sunsequently lost in bureaucratic channels, leading to delay in help reaching the most needy, and hundreds of people are still living in tents. [ [http://www.dawn.com/2006/10/01/nat9.htm Rs1.25 trillion to be spent in Azad Kashmir: Reconstruction in quake-hit zone - Dawn Pakistan] ] A land-use plan for Muzaffarabad city was prepared by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Gallery

Notable Pakistani Kashmiris

*Lord Nazir Ahmed, member of House of Lords
*Karam Hussain, mayor of Kirklees, UK
*Ghulam Ahmad, author, educator and philanthropist
*Khawaja Zafar Iqbal, journalist
*Dr. Ali Adnan Ibrahim, scholar, lawyer and professional
*Saira Khan, BBC presenter
*Mian Muhammad Bakhsh, sufi saint
*Khalid Mahmood, member of parliament, UK
*Sheikh Younas Azam, kashmiri journalist (deceased)
*Shamas Rehman, activist
*Baba Shadi Shaheed, sufi saint
*Tassadaq Hussain Khan, former Chief of the Army
*Muhammad Aziz Khan, Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee, Pakistan Military
*Sardar Muhammad Anwar Khan, Vice Chief of General Staff
*Sardar Sabir Hussain Sabir, International Award winning Author, poet & prose writer.
*Tasnim Aslam, ambassador of Pakistan to Italy.
*Sardar Masood Khan, ambassador of Pakistan to the United Nations
*General(Retd)Muhammad Rahim Khan, former Chairman Pakistan International Airlines & Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence
*Major General(Retd)Muhammad Hayat Khan, former President of Azad Jammu & Kashmir

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