|Indo-Pakistani War, First (1947–1949). In 1947 Kashmir’s Hindu maharajah tried to avoid a choice of association with either predominantly Hindu India or Muslim Pakistan, but fighting broke out between Muslim tribes from the north and the Hindus of Jammu. Fearing a Pakistani takeover, the maharajah asked for aid from India, which agreed on condition Kashmir accept sovereign association. Mountbatten agreed but asked India to hold a plebiscite on self-determination once order was restored. In Pakistan, Ali Jinnah ordered the army to intervene to support the mountain tribes. When his British commanding officer, General Gracey, refused to obey, Pakistan broke openly with Britain and large-scale fighting ensued in Kashmir. Neither side prevailed. India brought the matter before the Security Council in January 1948, after Gandhi’s intervention and final fast. Pakistan countered with an accusation of genocide. A United Nations commission investigated and brokered a cease-fire in January 1949. That left one-third of Kashmir with Pakistan and the rest with India, with UN observers in place between them, but with neither side accepting the outcome as final.|
|Indo-Pakistani War, Second (1965). The war was preceded by an incident in the isolated and sparsely populated Rann of Kutch border region, where Indian and Pakistani patrols clashed repeatedly. In a brief encounter, Pakistani forces enjoyed quick, though merely local, victory along the border, using American-made tanks and artillery. Pakistan emerged from this engagement overconfident of its martial prowess and India was left seeking revenge. In August, Ayub Khan sent guerrilla fighters into Kashmir. India countered by occupying several mountain passes. On September 1st, Khan raised the stakes by sending troops and tanks across the 1949 cease-fire line. Five days later India widened the war by attacking deep into West Pakistan. Indian tanks rolled toward Lahore, smashing Pakistan’s weaker formations. The war ended when both sides ran low on replacement parts and ammunition—the United States, which supplied both sides, early on imposed an arms embargo—and |
because India exercised restraint. Mediation by Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin, at a conference in Tashkent, brought a formal agreement, and peace (of a kind) was restored. The problem of Kashmir had been merely set aside, not resolved.