What is the Kashmir Conflict?
Today, there are many problems in Islamic geography waiting to be solved. One of them is the Kashmir Conflict which has been causing hot conflicts in the region for many years. South Asia is the region where states have a conflict with each other due to strategic location. Pakistan and India faced conflict about Kashmir in 1947. Kashmir has been away from peace and stability since 1947, the beginning of the Cold War.
1.The Geography and Strategic Location Of Kashmir
Jammu-Kashmir, is located in the north of Pakistan, is a region with a surface area of 138 thousand km2. It is adjacent to Afghanistan and China in the North, to Pakistan in the south and west, and to India in the East and South and its capital is Srinagar. (Turk, 2013: 107).
Kashmir is one of the most populated regions in the world. As well, the K2 Goodwin Austin the second-highest mountain in the world, the Baltoro one of the tallest glaciers in the world, and much natural beauty are located in Kashmir. The Kashmir Valley has occurred by snow melting in the mountains surrounding it and there are numerous water resource and the lakes which has healing effects. That’s why Kashmir is also known as Paradise Valley. On the other hand, thanks to its natural beauties and fertile lands, it is also likened to Switzerland. (Nas, 2014; 8)
The Kashmir Valley is an agricultural region. Wheat, barley, corn, rice, tobacco, etc. agricultural products and fruit; sheep, goats, horses, cattle breeding, and silk insect husbandry in Highlands are the main sources of livelihoods in the region. Kashmir has copper, iron, bauxite, zinc, marble, and anthracite deposits. As well Kashmir is one of the richest areas in the world in terms of gold, emerald, and ruby mines. (Yasar,1993;40)
As a result, Kashmir is a very important region with its geographical characteristics, natural beauties, and productivity of agricultural lands. As a result, Kashmir is a very important region thanks to its geographical characteristics, natural beauties, and productivity of agricultural lands. Kashmir is drawn attention by virtue of her strategic location, fertile land, and underground treasure.
2.The History Of Kashmir
After the Second World War, many regional problems that threaten international peace and security have emerged in the world. The Kashmir Conflict is one of them and it caused deaths, migrations, and hot conflicts in the region. The fact that both countries were different blocks during the Cold War period and the strategic importance of the region were the elements that made it difficult for the solution of the problem. India and Pakistan assert their own sovereignty over Kashmir. India’s response to the plebiscite demands was to declare Kashmir an integral part of the country in December 1964(Armanoglu, 2012: 662).
In 1925, the Hindu Mihrana Cemmu Hari Singh passed to the Principality of the Indian state of Kashmir and in 1935 the “India Government Agreement” was enacted by the United Kingdom Parliament. On July 18, 1947, the United Kingdom declared that “India has accepted the Independence Treaty and India, took control of the country on August 15, 1947. When the British were withdrawn from South Asia in 1947, the land it ruled was divided into two states. India is the largest Indian population; Pakistan was founded in the regions where the Muslim population was predominant. The fact that the division criteria do not have a complete clarity has brought with it some territorial disputes, especially Kashmir (Turk, 2013; 108).
The Kashmir Administration, which was in the hands of Hindus after the British Invasion, was considering independence rather than choosing one of Pakistan or India. The majority of the Muslim population was a proponent of joining Pakistan. The Sikh-Hindu attacks on Muslim villages in Jammu and the lack of a negative response to Muslims ‘ expectations for integration with Pakistan have sparked the Muslim population. Muslims in the cities of Punjab and Mirpur revolted against the Hindu administration. Some Pakistani groups also intervened to help Kashmiri Muslims. As a result of the uprising 24 October 1947 “Azad Kashmir Islamic Republic” was established (dunyabulteni.net)
As a result, there were two major wars between Pakistan and India due to the Kashmir problem. However, with the end of the Second World War, India and Pakistan were divided based on Islamic and Hindu identities following the end of the United Kingdom’s presence in the Indian subcontinent in 1947, leaving the United States at the forefront of the international arena. In the meantime, at least one million people have lost their lives in wars. Between India and Pakistan in 1965 and 1971 there were two more wars. The 1971 war broke out with the support of India’s separatists in Eastern Pakistan (Bangladesh) and resulted in Bangladesh leaving Pakistan. In the following period, the tension continued especially through the Kashmir problem. Pakistan is divided from India according to the criteria established based on Islamic identity (Ozev, 2012; 153).
The Kashmir problem began with India and Pakistan declaring their independence in 1947, following the end of British colonization. Kashmir, 90% of its population is Muslim, today 45% is ruled by India, 35% by Pakistan, and 20% by is e China. It has established two autonomous regions named Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan in the region under Pakistani control(ankasa.org)
One of the oldest unsolved conflicts in the history of the United Nations is the Kashmir problem. In 1948, the UN Security Council adopted six resolutions on Kashmir but failed to achieve peace. The UN has asked for a referendum for the Kashmir people to determine their own destiny, but this has never happened. Finding a definitive solution to the Kashmir problem will be a big step not only for South Asia but also for the entire world to attain peace and security.
Turk, Bengu (2013). “Uluslarasi Sistemde Kronik Bir Sorun: Kesmir”, Asya’da Guvenlik Sorunlari ve Yansimalari, Istanbul, Bilgesam Yayinlari.
Nas,Ilgin (2014). Kesmir Sorunu, Robert Koleji Dergisi, p.11.
Ozev, Muharrem Hilmi (2012), “Democratization Efforts of Pakistan in the Face of Global and Regional Challenges”, Journal of Security Strategies, p.16.
Yasar, İhsan (1993), “Hint-Çin Kiskacindaki Bir İslam Ulkesi”, Altinoluk Dergisi, İstanbul, p.89
Armaoglu, Fahir (2012), 20. Yuzyil Siyasi Tarihi, 13. Baski, İstanbul: Alkim Yayinevi.
Image: (bianet.org/, 17.09.2020).