The Kashmir Crisis – The Importance Relationship Between India and Pakistan

Category: Crisis, India
Last Updated: 07 Dec 2022
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Kashmir Conflict has been around since 1947. It is also the key point or the reasons why India and Pakistan did not get along well. Because of this, the diplomatic relationships between the two countries are on the fire and both countries has been witnesses few war to fought over Kashmir. Behind this conflicts, we can find a lot of other historical events that happen due to this among this is a country name Bangladesh was born from East Pakistan.

This article is designed to help explain the situation in the region and the significance of Kashmir to India and Pakistan. To accomplish this goal we will first discuss the genesis of the conflict and the benefit of Kashmir interns of resources, people, location etc. Second, we will look at some into the political dynamic of India and Pakistan on the dispute of Kashmir and what is the indication to both parties. Finally, we present the armed race by India and Pakistan and why are they so determine.

Kashmir is a unique place where it is likely the center of three countries where it borders include India where Kashmir is a region located in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. It includes the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir as well as the Pakistani states of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. The Chinese regions of Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram are also included in Kashmir. Currently, the United Nations refers to this region as Jammu and Kashmir. India and Pakistan have their own reasons by wanting Kashmir. The definite reason and most important one is Kashmir is the strategic location for military purposes due to the common boundaries between India, Pakistan and China which currently among the main actor in Asia.

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The state of Kashmir was the largest princely state in India among 562. It’s area was 222, 870 sq. Km that more or less double the area of the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Luxemburg all together.

Historical Background

Many historian believe that the pre-historic Kashmir was a mountain near Varahmulla. According to legend a great saint named Kashyap and rescue the people from a demon called Jalod Bowa, who tortured and devoured the people, who lived nea r mountain slopes. After performing penance for a long time, the saint was blessed, and he was able to cut the mountain which blocked the water of the lake from flowing into the plains below. The lake was drained, the land appeared, and the demon was killed. The saint encouraged people from India to settle in the valley. The people named the valley as Kashyap-Mar and Kashyap-Pura. The name Kashmir also implies land desicated from water: "ka" (the water ) and shimeera (to desicate).

Since then Kashmir was occupied by Brahmin Hindus, Buddhist missionaries arrived around 274 BC. Hindu Dynasties continued to rule Kashmir. In 1001 AD the Muslims arrive to Kashmir. By the late 16th century the ruling Muslim Dynasty had managed to remove the power of the Hindu ruler and Kashmir was a Muslim-dominated state ever since one hundreds of years later. The British Empire has colonized the Indian subcontinent. In 1846 the British defined Kashmir’s boarders to create a safeguard between the Indian Commonwealth and the Russian and Chinese empires.

Specific border locations were difficult to define due to sparse population and rugged terrain. When the UK granted India sovereignty in 1947 the region's Muslim population decided to form their own country, in what is now Pakistan. At this time Kashmir was a mutually agreed upon neutral state, and Pakistan thought they would receive control, since it was predominantly Muslim. Kashmir’s ruler instead granted India ruling authority. Thus began conflict over Kashmir.

The People of Kashmir

The population living in the Valley of Kashmir is primarily homogeneous, despite the religious divide between Muslims (94%), Hindus (4%), and Sikhs (2%). The people of theValley, share common ethnicity, culture, language and customs, which is no doubt the basis of "Kashmiriyat". The ethnic diversity of the state mirrors its geographical diversity to a large extent. In the eastern part of Ladakh-Baltistan-Gilgit, the regional people are by and large of Tibetan stock and are Buddhists or Muslims by religious persuasion. Muslims are divided into Shias (predominant in Purik and Baltistan); Ismaelis, another sect of Shia Islam (predominant in northern Gilgit and Ghizer district); and Sunnis (predominant in the southwest in Chilas and Astore). The main Gilgit town and surrounding valleys are thickly populated with Shias, while Buddhists tend to reside in Central Ladakh in the Indus Valley and surrounding areas.

The languages spoken in this region are Balti, Bodhi, Borushaski, Chitrali, Hindko, and Shina. In Jammu and to its immediate east, the population is predominantly Hindu, while the western parts of Jammu are predominantly Muslim. The languages spoken in this region are Dogri, Gujari, Pahari, Pothwari, and Punjabi. In addition, the eastern section of Jammu houses pockets of Pogli-Kashtawari (Kashmiri) and Bhadrawahi, as well as sub-pockets of Siraji and Rambani. Residents of the Valley are Kashmiri-speaking and primarily Muslim, either Sunni or Shia, though a small percentage are also Hindu, Sikh, or Christian. Straddling the Kashmir Valley and the foothills of Jammu is the abode of the Gujjar/Bakarwal tribes, the shepherd community of the state who speak Gujari, a kin of Rajasthani Hindi. They are generally Muslim.

The Land Area

Kashmir is divided among Pakistan, India and China. Pakistan controls the northwestern part, while India controls the central and southern portions and China controls its northeastern areas. India controls the largest portion of land at 39,127 square miles (101,338 sq km) while Pakistan controls an area of 33,145 square miles (85,846 sq km) and China 14,500 square miles (37,555 sq km). The Kashmir region has a total area of about 86,772 square miles (224,739 sq km) and much of it is undeveloped and dominated by large mountain ranges such as the Himalayan and Karakoram ranges.

The Vale of Kashmir is located between mountain ranges and there are also several large rivers in the region. The most populated areas are Jammu and Azad Kashmir. The main cities in Kashmir are Mirpur, Dadayal, Kotli, Bhimber Jammu, Muzaffrarabad and Rawalakot. Kashmir has a varied climate but in its lower elevations, summers are hot, humid and dominated monsoonal weather patterns, while winters are cold and often wet. In the higher elevations, summers are cool and short, and winters are very long and very cold. No wonder many people called it the Switzerland of the East.

Economic Resources

Kashmir's economy is mostly made up of agriculture that takes place in its fertile valley areas. Rice, corn, wheat, barley, fruits and vegetables are the main crops grown in Kashmir while lumber, and the raising of livestock also play a role in its economy. In addition, small-scale handicrafts and tourism are important to the area.

Overview of the Kashmir Conflict

The Kashmir Conflict between India and Pakistan stars ages ago. Both India and Pakistan has fought few war on possession of Kashmir. The conflicts start in 1947 after the British Colonial. As a British controlled states that also called British-India, the two states we divided as India and Pakistan. The Indian portion of Kashmir is called Jammu and Kashmir and its capital is Srinagar. The Pakistani controlled part of the region is called Azad Kashmir and its capital is Muzaffarabad. This creation of the two state were resulted due to the religious lines, Hindus and Muslims.

Kashmir it’s a unique state. Because of its location, Kashmir can choose either to be with India or with Pakistan. However, Maharaja Hari Singh which is the ruler of Kashmir at that time unable to decide which state to choose so Kashmir remains neutral as it is. Since then, Kashmir has been violently disputed by India and Pakistan.

Maharaja Hari Singh is Hindu while the majority of people in Kashmir are Muslims. So he taught that remains neutral will make the state safe from any trouble with India and Pakistan. Unfortunately, his decision to remain neutral was making Pakistan dissatisfied. Pakistan decided to use the hard and brutal way to get Kashmir, that is sending it’s tribesmen and their army to invade Kashmir on October 1947. The reason is to overthrow Maharaja Hari Singh.

The invasion by Pakistan are describe to be aggressive, brutal and cruel. This tragic history were get worst and worst when raiders that supported by Pakistani Government also take part in invasion of Kashmir. The raiders abducted women, girls raped them, kills thousand of people and massacred children. Mostly Hindus and Sikhs but sadly the Muslims too. They even dishonored Al-Quran and turns the mosques into prostitution house. A lot of devastation happening in Kashmir due to that. House are ruin, the crops are burns and lands are scorched. Estimated killings were more than 2 millions.

Due to the cruelty and terrible things happen in the invasion, Maharaja Hari Singh was unable to do anything to help the people of Kashmir and turn to India for help. Maharaja Hari Singh asked India for Military assistance but to give that kind of assistance, India has put a condition to it. Maharaja has to sign a Instrument of Accession, ceding Kashmir to India on October 26, 1947. After that, India has agreed to sent its military assistance to Maharaja Hari Singh that spark the first war for India and Pakistan over possession of Kashmir.

The war has given Indian forces has success in thwarted the incursion by Pakistan troops and ready to invade Pakistan. On the other hand, instead of going into further war with Pakistan, Prime Minister of India at that time, Jawaharlal Nehru took the matter to United Nation and referred the issue as a dispute for Kashmir to accede to India on 1st January 1948. The United Nations response to the dispute in a resolution dated August 13th 1948. United Nations ordered Pakistan to withdraw its troops from Kashmir which India also to remove its troops. However Pakistan declined that order. The war continued for several months until a ceasefire was a agreed on January 1st 1949 with 65 percent territory under control by India and the remaining 35 percent to Pakistan. It’s not easy for India to made Kashmir incorporation official. India has gone to United Nations regarding the resolution several times.

Kashmir was officially incorporated to India on 1957. He official settlement was not solve the problem between these two countries. The war broke out again in 1965 due to the Pakistan frustration in India attempts to integrate Kashmir into its federation. The Pakistanis came up with a plan called “Operation Gibraltar” to take back Kashmir. Same as in 1947, Pakistan sent it guerillas into Kashmir in August 1965 with hope that Muslims in Kashmir would rebel against India. Even so, the guerillas were captured and handed over to the Indian authorities.

The situation was quickly worsened. The Pakistanis launched an attack on Kashmir on September 1st 1965. When the war getting more serious, United Nations supported by the United States, Britain, and the USSR, called for an immediate cease-fire, which India and Pakistan accepted on September 6. Even though the war was in a short period of time but the bitter still impacted the people and land of Kashmir.

The war seems endless in Kashmir. In 1971 Kashmir witness another war. This time India and Pakistan fought over the independence of Bangladesh were Kashmir was only the issue related to it. Thankfully, in July 2nd 1972, India Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi has signed Simla agreement with Pakistan President later became Prime Minister, Mr Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Under this agreement, India and Pakistan, among others, committed themselves to “settling their differences through bilateral negotiations or by any other peaceful means mutually agreed upon between them,” and that the “basic issues and causes which bedeviled the relations between the two countries for the last 25 years shall be resolved by peaceful means.” They also agreed that in “Jammu and Kashmir, the Line of Control (LOC) resulting from the cease-fire of December 17, 1971, shall be respected by both sides without prejudice to the recognized position of either side."

Kashmir again on war in 1999. The Kargil War seems to be a war on the contrary in Kashmir were it involved the Kashmiri Militants and Pakistan. The 1999 Kargil War took place between May 8, when Pakistani forces and Kashmiri militants were detected atop the Kargil ridges and July 14 when both sides had essentially ceased their military operations. It is believed that the planning for the operation, by Pakistan, may have occurred about as early as the autumn of 1998. By 30 June 1999 Indian forces were prepared for a major high-altitude offensive against Pakistani posts along the border in the disputed Kashmir region. It was on June 15 that the then US President Bill Clinton asked the then Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to pull out from Kargil..

On July 4, After a long battle,Indian Army took control of Dras on July 5, Sharif ordered withdrawal of Pakistani Army from Kargil. Then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared Operation Vijay (Kargil War) a success and by July 26, Kargil War officially came to an end as Indian Army announced complete eviction of Pakistani intruders.

The Significance of Kashmir to India and Pakistan

Many have opinion and argument about why is Kashmir is so important to India and Pakistan but many maybe agree that Kashmir is a strategic area for military purposes. Kashmir has a link to its border that goes into 3 countries which is China, India and Pakistan. Kashmir is gifted with strategic leverages for emerging nations. That’s why, it’s is a vale of caged aspirations. The current geo strategic position for Kashmir is dictated by three emerging nations, which are bred with Secular, Islamic and Communist ideologies. Neighboring to the most diversified people and culture, shares a numerous of international borders.

By the north side of Kashmir is Sinkiang of China which a common border in about 650 km. Its border tamper with Tibet in the east for about 720 km. In the south, the border then through along the side of India for about 560 km and Pakistan for about 1100 km. Furthermore, its boundary touches Afghanistan with which the common border was about 160 km. A short trip of Afghanistan territory known as Wakhan separated from Russia.

Within Kashmir itself has its own importance that control a major mountain gateway. Kashmir has served as a military based that across Karakoram and Hindukush ranges thus making it the principal invasion route to India. The importance of Kashmir to the defence and economy of the region lies in the fertile soil and extensive plains.

Apart from the international strategic importance of Kashmir, It has its own importance to India and Pakistan. Began with India. India as we know it, today is among the top player in Asia besides China. It’s country is nearly as big as China and have the high population. The central position of Kashmir is in the tip of India, makes it look like a crown in the utmost north of India. According to its location, Kashmir is vital importance to the security and international contacts of India. The security of Kashmir must be preserve which it depend on internal tranquility and the existence of stable government, is crucial to India own security especially since part of the southern boundary of Kashmir and India common. To India preserving the peace in Kashmir is an responsibility of national interest to it.

From the view of Pakistan, it also has reasons to claiming Kashmir state as their own. Kashmir is also great strategic importance too. Same as India, Kashmir is crucial to Pakistan for its security. It’s a vital necessity to Pakistan survival. If the Kashmir is like a crown in India Map, also same with Pakistan, Kashmir is like a cap to Pakistan head. Kashmir is no doubt have power of possession that can dominate Pakistan military and will be a position to directly threaten the rail and road connection running inside Pakistan in close range of the border. Kashmir is also has full control over the upper reaches of Sind, Jhelum and Chenab rivers on which the lifeline of Pakistan agriculture and economy. By depending on Kashmir, the economy and agriculture of Pakistan could cripple. For Pakistan, Kashmir is about the matter of life and death to them.

The Political Dynamic of Kashmir to India and Pakistan

The Kashmir Conflict has been around for a while now, starting from 1947. The people of Kashmir has gone through a lot of pain and suffering. Unfortunately, the pain and suffering of the people has not gain any attention from both India and Pakistan. It is not too far by saying this conflict was only a political dynamic for India and Pakistan. These matter only given a hidden benefit in their hidden agenda. We will discuss further on this issue.

As far as India concern, the transformation of the political order from the extraordinary political leadership of Mohandas Gandhi, the Indian National Congress was transformed from an upper-middle-class, Anglicized organization into a broad-based mass political party. After independence, several factors strengthened and expanded on Gandhi's legacy. But still, legacy change and the Kashmir conflict was not solve and it been twisted around as their political benefit. The crisis in Kashmir is the display of an greater version of political eternalize and accelerating political mobilization.

The early decay of political institutions in Kashmir, which the government in New Delhi did little to foreground and the dramatic pace of political mobilization proved to be a combustible mix. Since the Northern area of Kashmir has not favor the entire of Kashmir going incorporated with India. Nevertheless, India still wants recognition as a power which matters on the world stage - but there seems to be no clear path carved out to achieve this. Obviously strong economic growth, preferably in double digits, is an important part of a country's power status in the new world order.

Pakistan has consistently favoured this as the best solution for them. In view of the state's majority Muslim population, the hope that Kashmir would vote to become part of Pakistan. However a single plebiscite held in a region which comprises peoples that are culturally, religiously and ethnically diverse, would create disaffected minorities. The Hindus of Jammu, and the Buddhists of Ladakh have never shown any desire to join Pakistan and would protest at the outcome. Same as the northern area of Kashmir that doesn’t want to become into India.

A lot of factor of fear that coming into Kashmiri’s mind if they become into Pakistan, judging from bad experience back in the day where Pakistan damages their people and land. Pakistan feels that if they take over Kashmir, they water issue is solve. Pakistan has raised the water issue at every track two channel diplomacy meeting that has taken place since 1999. It has called for World Bank arbitration on one disputed dam and taken another that is being built in Kashmir to the International Court of Arbitration at the Hague. Under the circumstances, if Pakistan really pull off the dispute on Kashmir, the political will up rises and strengthen within Pakistan.

The India and Pakistan Arms Raced

India and Pakistan has spent a lot of country budget on nuclear since the country its not a developed and wealthy. Mind as well spent it for internal facilities, development and so on but yet, both spent a lot it. Both sides have spent huge amounts on developing a nuclear bomb over the past three decades. The question is, why? Kashmir conflict is also one of the reason or the beginning of the struggle. Starting from that, India and Pakistan has been in a race ever since. Still being on arms race under a few reason that is terrorism, the status of Kashmir, disputed natural resources, and nuclear weapons.

As Pakistan attack India in Mumbai in November 2008 so it is consider a strong reason why India has to develop their nuclear weapon, it is for precautions. India, which is the conventionally stronger military power, is seen to favour keeping the nuclear dialogue separate and insulated from other developments. Pakistan, on the other hand, views nuclear and conventional military issues as directly tied together. An argument in favour of separating the two is that should another crisis erupt, communication between the nations on atomic issues would not be cut off, thus lessening the chances of a costly miscalculation. The world concern now for these arms races is that Pakistan policy towards it. Apparently Pakistan using the ‘first-use-policy’ which Pakistan would likely to use their nuclear weapons to vanish India off the Maps whenever any serious matter arising.

The dilemma then for the India and Pakistan continue and down to the nuclear flow without coming into contact with one another, all the while maintaining a safe distance. India knows the dangers of coming into contact with Pakistan, and therefore has been proposing confidence and security building measures long before opening the nuclearisation. Pakistan has also been extraordinarily transparent unlike India about the measures it has taken to secure its nuclear weapons against internal and external destabilisation, but instead of being appreciated by the community, it has been ridiculed with ifs and buts about its ‘competency’ to manage a highly stable nuclear command and control system.

India and Pakistan are indeed racing toward their respective national security objectives, but they are running on different tracks and chasing vastly different goals. Pakistan is building weapons systems to deter India from conventional military operations below the nuclear threshold. India is developing systems primarily to strengthen its strategic deterrent against China, meaning this dynamic is not confined to the subcontinent. Government policies that aim to change the trajectory of the South Asian security competition need to take these complexities into account. Both states may be racing, but they are running on different tracks and chasing vastly different goals.

The Deterrence Theory

Extracting the Deterrence Theory from Post-Cold War Conflict Deterrence, Naval Studies Board, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, 1997, Deterrence Theory is commonly thought about in terms of convincing opponents that a particular action would elicit a response resulting in unacceptable damage that would outweigh any likely benefit. Rather than a simple cost/benefits calculation, however, deterrence is more usefully thought of in terms of a dynamic process with provisions for continuous feedback.

The process initially involves determining who shall attempt to deter whom from doing what, and by what means. Several important assumptions underlie most thinking about deterrence. Practitioners tend to assume, for example, that states are unitary actors, and logical according to Western concepts of rationality. Deterrence also assumes that we can adequately understand the calculations of an opponent. One of the most important assumptions during the Cold War was that nuclear weapons were the most effective deterrent to war between the states of the East and the West.

This assumption, carried into the post-Cold War era, however, may promote nuclear proliferation. Indeed, some authors suggest that the spread of nuclear weapons would deter more states from going to war against one another. The weapons would, it is argued, provide weaker states with more security against attacks by stronger neighbors. Of course, this view is also predicated on the assumption that every state actor's rationality will work against the use of such weapons, and that nuclear arms races will therefore not end in nuclear warfare.

In this terms of India and Pakistan conflicts over Kashmir, it is felt appropriate of using Deterrence Theory in explaining the situation that happen previously and currently. India for that matter using the issue of Kashmir as definite reason which Kashmir is likely to be a great military based and also as an ego showing weapon to his rivalry country, Pakistan. In this matter, if India wins over the dispute, that means they one step further from Pakistan and more likely to win in other battle with Pakistan, by using the media warfare and propaganda of course.

In response to that, Pakistan on the other hand, with a stable diplomatic relationship with China, felt that they are also one step closer to win over Kashmir because of the support from one of the world super power nations. It is making India feel intimidated by it and starting its own arms race to cater China. By using the strong relationship with China, Pakistan felt that they dispute over Kashmir are much likely to excel.

Using the Deterrence Theory, it is showed that both India and Pakistan are convincing opponents that a particular action would elicit a response resulting in unacceptable damage that would outweigh any likely benefit.


From 1947 Kashmir is under military occupation, it is highly militarized zone in the world with more than 9 Million Security force. Indian elites have developed such a obsession with Kashmir that India spend billions on military occupation of Kashmir which also paves way for the big defense scams. In-fact Kashmir dispute has become a big industry for some in Indian defense to loot Indian resources and they will not let this conflict to be solved.

No matter what, both India and Pakistan put religion in one side and sensible and enlighten people for both countries should ask their policy makers to stop this nonsense and let Kashmir’s choose their future as promised by India in UN when it occupied an independent country (JK) in 1947. But no matter which parties that get Kashmir, the suffering of the people was not getting any better. But on my opinion, it is better that Kashmir would stand alone be granted the independence. The people of Kashmir has faced a lot of suffering since the dispute. It is time for them to stand on their feet. Let Kashmir in peace after so long in pain.

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The Kashmir Crisis – The Importance Relationship Between India and Pakistan. (2016, Jul 05). Retrieved from

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