Academic journal article Journal of Political Studies

The Indo-Pak Rivalry and the Kashmir Issue: A Historical Analysis in the Security Context of the South Asia

Academic journal article Journal of Political Studies

The Indo-Pak Rivalry and the Kashmir Issue: A Historical Analysis in the Security Context of the South Asia

Article excerpt


South Asia is considered the most militarized zone of the globe where two nuclear rivals, Pakistan and India, are competing over arm race. The development and economic prosperity of South Asia is traumatized by Indo-Pak rivalry which is deeply rooted in South Asia due to structural asymmetry resulted from faulty distribution of boundaries. Kashmir dispute is the pivotal point of Indo-Pak rivalry which has further aggravated the complex strategic environment of South Asia. The rift in bilateral relations between India and Pakistan is determined by Kashmir issue which remained the cause of several crises between two states either directly or indirectly. Kashmiris right of self-determination is under Indian heal since the time of partition and the political efforts by Pakistan to solve this issue has not yielded significant results. India's repudiation to conduct fair plebiscite in Kashmir, noncompliance to the United Nations Security Council resolutions, human right violation in Kashmir by Indian security Forces and indecisive bilateral dialogue process transformed this single dimensional issue to multidimensional. Now, the right of Kashmiris selfdetermination needs multilateral approaches which may reduce the rift between India and Pakistan.

Although plenty of literature is available on Kashmir dispute, but there is lack of such literature which chronologically explore the lethal aspects of this issue. The objective of this article is to inspect the root causes of Kashmir disputes and its associated fallouts over the Indo-Pak rivalry and regional security. The first section of this study illuminated the political conditions in Kashmiri's right before the partition. The next sections demonstrated the role of India, Pakistan and United Nations in Kashmir. Finally, deteriorated relations of India and Pakistan in context of Kashmir and its impact on South Asian region were discussed.

Pre-Partition Political Context of Kashmir

The state of Jammu and Kashmir was owned by Gulab Singh, founder of Dogra dynasty, from East India Company under the Treaty of Amritsar on 16th March 1846. The Dogra reign was characterized by autocracy and sectarianism which denied the freedom of expression and speech.

In 1932, All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference was established, and Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was its first president. In 1939, Muslim conference was converted into National conference to ensure the joining of non-Muslim Kashmiris. Early politics of Kashmir in mid-1940 was full of controversies and contestations due to enhanced ties of Sheikh Abdullah with Congress.

The popularity of National Conference was diminishing among the Muslims because it was the time when the Hindu Muslim identities were at their peaks. Muhammad Ali Jinnah recommended Sheikh Abdullah to dissolve National Conference into Muslim conference and terminate the ally with Congress, but Sheikh Abdullah strongly criticized this decision. At that time, Nehru was devoting his time to Kashmir affair and visited the valley along with Muslim leaders to improve the image of Congress as national party supported by many enlightened Muslims.

"Quit Kashmir Movement" was led by Sheikh Abdullah in 1946 that challenged the ethical and political validity of "Amritsar Treaty". This movement was criticized by congress leaders and mainstream of Kashmiri Pandits associated with National Conference (Bhat, 2017). However, Nehru defended the case of Sheikh Abdullah by interfering in the internal affairs of Jammu and Kashmir state and was arrested while attempting to enter the Kashmir through Rawalpindi, on 19th of June 1946 (Chandel, 2017). Meanwhile Jinnah advised the Muslim Conference to keep away from this movement and declared its as "foreign inspired" which portrayed the Jinnah as antiKashmiris and damaged its stance as the only Muslims representor.

National Conference drafted an economic and social plan known as "Naya Kashmir" and submitted to Maharaja Hari Singh, in 1944. …

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