Kashmir, officially known as Jammu and Kashmir, is a region in northwest India and northeast Pakistan covering 86,000 square miles. Earlier, Kashmir was referred to as an earthly paradise due to its captivating beauty. It had been highly disputed since 1947 when the Indian subcontinent gained independence from the Britain by India and Pakistan. The ruler of Kashmir, Hindu by faith, was torn between which countries to join due to religion disparities as his population was dominated by Muslims. He opted to sign a standstill agreement with Pakistan to avoid any state interruptions, but India didnt participate in the accord. India and Pakistan have eyed to control it leading to multiple and recurring disputes only to worsen the situation rather than make it better. Currently, the part has been divided into two by a boundary, the Line of Control, so India and Pakistan have control as solid solutions are sought to help end the disputes. Different solutions have been provided to end the disputes over somewhere some have been short term while others worsened the situation therefore, need to understand thoroughly the primary cause of problems to build best solutions.
The conflict over Kashmir remains unsolved over decades due to its strong background and supporting blocks. The primary cause of conflict is the struggle between India and Pakistan all aiming to take full control of the area after the partition in 1947. The partition gave India two third coverage and Pakistan a third. The part under India leadership was predominantly Muslim who rebelled against the India leadership only for India to fight the rebellion. Pakistan invaded the area by sending Muslim tribesmen only to break war in Kashmirs capital, Srinagar. The war deteriorated law and order, and Hari Singh sought armed aid from India who responded quickly and the state acceded to India. India was to extend its jurisdiction to external affairs, defense and communication on the terms of the Instrument of Accession. Prime Minister to India sent a representative to sign the Instrument of Accession and troops were airlifted to restore stability in Kashmir. This brought up controversy as news came up that Sigh was not in the state the time when the Instrument of Accession was said to be signed. Pakistan regarded this as India conspiracy to control third terming this as bad faith and therefore, the Instrument of Accession was twisted by India conspiracy. The dispute between the two states worsened again as they sought Kashmirs control until in 1949 cease-fire when United Nations intervened and brought referendum resolution. Kashmir people had to decide their future.
The Kashmir-Taliban connection has been closely associated with the conflicts endangering life and existence of many persons. During Pakistans Dictator Muhammad Zia tenure, Islamic radicalization was on the rise. Zia had won United States favor after successful conquer in Afghanistan therefore, was handling arms and weaponry for them. He successfully managed to use the items to equip Pakistans nuclear-weapons and radicalize young Muslims, who fought India. India since then blames Pakistan for the militants attacks while Pakistan blames it for violation of Kashmirs citizens Human Rights. Consequently, the region has become open to other militant, especially from Afghanistan, as their fighting ground after International Security Assistant Force (ISAF) withdrawal in Afghanistan. The conflict deteriorates every day as the two countries seek superiority.
Internal challenges and opportunities in Kashmir have added up to the conflicts. The estranged youth have engaged in armed militancy losing lives, but those left continue fighting back. The religious line worsens the situation as the majority Muslims challenges India, who in return fights Pakistan and the youth also. Recurring attacks even after long talks occur and when any peace-advocating movement forms, there is no public or political goodwill leading to their disappearance. The condition at the political level is stale. Despite many consultancies and engagement by New Delhi and Islamabad and other parties, all the work has been ignored. The meetings have brought up mixed reactions, and no concrete outcomes are given. Jammu and Kashmir remain in pieces as religious, cultural, ethnic and regional diversity expand, while the conflict between India and Pakistan intensify.
It has been almost 68 years since the Kashmir dispute and the issues still remain complex and worse than ever before. New Delhi and Islamabad governments are not willing to make compromises and give concessions to each other despite the many and different solutions at their disposal. However, for the conflict to end, India and Pakistan need to come to a mutual trust agreement and intergovernmental cooperation for lasting solutions and regional peace. India and Pakistan have lately offered room for dialogue giving up some of their past stands facilitating trade and infrastructure in the region. All stakeholders have provided many solutions during the talks and conferences that could help build regional stability.
The United Nations Plebiscite and Trustee Option are solution options offered by United Nations (UN) to end the disputes. India had asked for help from the United Nations who came up with a platform where the Kashmirs residents could decide their future under the Plebiscite program. It was a practical solution, but lack of cooperation from India and Pakistan failed it. Years later UN seeks its implementation but a line is drawn as its resolution is accession with either of the states which could lack acceptance by the other state that lost in the voting. For it to be fully practical and acceptable by Kashmirs residents, the option of independence need to be included in the proposal. UN also provided the Trustee Option where it would take charge of Kashmir for a period of 10-15 years while its residents make up their own decisions and verdict for their states future. However, India and Pakistan have to withdraw all their military engagement from Kashmir and refrain from putting pressure on the residents. This has faced opposition as both parties refuse to vacate and Indias stubbornness on third party involvement. The option seems impractical given the present situation.
Kashmirs Independence is an option to the unending dispute over the country. It was proposed for a long period starting with Sheikh Abdulla in 1953 though Nehru dismissed him. Most of the Muslims have favored the idea while the minority Hindus chooses to join India. Human rights violation, election leakages and political manipulations have made the Kashmir population defiant to the rules and assertive looking forward to their independence. However, political, militants, regional and religious backgrounds disparities have caused division on the option. Some political parties advocate for independence, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and Hurriyat Conference (Mir Wais Group), while others demands accession with Pakistan, Hurriyat Conference (Ali Gillian Group) and Hizbul-Mujahideen (militant group). This different point of view makes independence option hard to implement.
The Kashmir dispute can and will only be solved when all involved parties are willing to make compromises and come to a consensus. However Kashmirs independence is the best option to end this conflict. There would be no accession to either of the states therefore, no aftermath on the choices for instance India fighting Pakistan upon Kashmir choice to join India. Upon independence, it can choose its leaders; make decisions and laws that would govern without any pressure or incitement. No need for approval from either India or Pakistan will be required when undertaking its state operations and businesses. Kashmir will be able to make economic, constitutional and democratic progress like any other countries regaining peace and stability.
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