Deterrence in the Twenty-first Century

Deterrence in the twenty-first century - Air University Press


Kashmir and Conflict

The dispute over the future of the former princely state of

Kashmir, currently divided among India, Pakistan, and China,

is largely, though not wholly, responsible for Indo-Pakistani

tensions. In the past, this has led to wars and conflicts between

the two countries.

The partition of British India in August 1947 was conducted

on the basis of demography and geography, whereby predominantly

Muslim contiguous areas went to Pakistan and the rest

to India. 1 The princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, however,

stood out with a Hindu ruling family governing a predominantly

Muslim population in an area bordering both India and Pakistan.

The only politically viable option for Kashmir was to opt

for either India or Pakistan but not seek independence. India’s

claim over Kashmir rests on the Hindu ruler’s accession to India

on 26 October 1947 for fear of being overthrown by a pro-

Pakistan Muslim tribal rebellion. Pakistan hotly contests this

accession and claims that Kashmir is theirs on the basis of its

Muslim-majority population. 2

This led to the first India-Pakistan war from 26 October 1947

until the United Nations–mandated cease-fire on 1 January 1949,

which left India with two-thirds and Pakistan the remainder of

Kashmir. The cease-fire line (CFL) divided the Indian- and

Pakistan-controlled parts of Kashmir. But following China’s

occupation of Aksai Chin—comprising a fifth of the princely

state of Kashmir—during the 1962 Sino-Indian war, Pakistan

ceded a portion of its own Kashmir-administered area to China

the following year, thereby involving China in any final resolution

of the Kashmir dispute.

The second Indo-Pakistani war from 1 to 23 September 1965

also took place over the Kashmir dispute. Pakistan’s conventional

attack across the CFL led to two weeks of bitter land and

air warfare and culminated in a military stalemate. Following

the UN-mandated cease-fire on 22 September 1965, the peace

agreement at Tashkent in the erstwhile Soviet Union the following

year led to both sides agreeing to exchange the territories

captured by either side across the CFL, thereby restoring

the status quo ante. 31


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