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Kashmir History

It is hard to imagine that Kashmir, one of the most beautiful places on earth and inhabited by a peaceful populace, could be the bone of contention between India and Pakistan. The peaceful land of Kashmiris was invaded and illegally occupied by Indian at the time of British Maharajah departure from Indo-Pak Sub-continent. Unlike similar disputed territories around the world, the main reason that Kashmir is at the center of strife has more to do with political reasons than with Indian hegemony and stubbornness to occupied this stolen land for Geo-strategic position with only land linkage to the economic lucrative CAR Central Asia Republic, despite the fact that has been a melting pot of different religious faiths Kashmiris lived in perfect harmony until Indian forces landed on 27th October 1947 and started their illegal occupation.

Geo-Political and Geographical location

​Kashmir, a 222,236 sq km region in the northwestern Indian subcontinent, is surrounded by China in the northeast, the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab in the south, by Pakistan in the west, and by Afghanistan in the northwest. The region has been dubbed "disputed territory" between India and Pakistan since the partition of India in 1947. The southern and southeastern parts of the region make up the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, while the northern and western parts are called Azad kashmri independent kashmir. A border, called the Line of Control (agreed to in 1972) divides the two parts. The eastern area of Kashmir, comprising the northeastern part of the region (Aksai Chin) has been under the control of China since 1962 after the Indian defeat in the Sino-Indo war of 1962. The predominant religion in the Jammu area is Hinduism in the east and Islam in the west. Islam is also the main religion in the Kashmir valley.

Kashmir and her immense beauty

The splendor and salubriousness of the Kashmir valley are legendary, In the words of the greatest of the Sanskrit poet Kalidas, Kashmir is "more beautiful than the heaven and is the benefactor of supreme bliss and happiness." Kashmir's greatest historian Kalhan called it the "best place in the Himalayas"--"a country where the sun shines mildly…" The 19th century British historian Sir Walter Lawrence wrote about it: "The valley is an emerald set in pearls; a land of lakes, clear streams, green turf, magnificent trees and mighty mountains where the air is cool, and the water sweet, where men are strong, and women vie with the soil in fruitfulness.

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The Origin of Kashmir Conflict

After the British withdrew from the Indian subcontinent in 1947, territorial disputes over Kashmir started brewing. When India and Pakistan were partitioned, the ruler of the princely state of Kashmir was given the right to decide on whether to merge with either Pakistan or India or remain independent with certain reservations.

After a few months of dilemma, Maharaja Hari Singh, the Hindu ruler of a predominantly Muslim state, decided to sign an Instrument of standstill agreement with both India and Paskitan in October 1947. This enraged the Indian leaders. India attacked Jammu & Kashmir and landed her forces with the help of Royal Imperial British Air-force on 27th October 1947, and since than illegally occupying the peaceful land of Kashmir people. .

Indian PM Nehru took the case to UNSC for her intervention as the kashmiri resist the Indian occupation and civil war breaks out in the valley

The UNSC after listening to the complaint from Indian and issued a UNSC Resolution 47 of 1948 S726, which stated clearly "The question of accession of the state of Jammu & Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through the democratic method of free and impartial plebiscite". This referendum had been denied since and Indian government circumventing it by sham and forces elections and people demanding a promised plebiscite.

Brief History : By Suddhan Sadaf Shareef

Save Kashmir, Save Humanity: Hold Promised Plebiscite in Kashmir


The Indian Independence Act and the partition plan of 3 June, 1947, envisaged the division of the Indian sub-continent into two sovereign states of Pakistan and India. There were more than five hundred princely states in India at the time of partition ruled by the native rulers who enjoyed autonomy in running the affairs of their states. These states were given the option to join any of the two dominions keeping in view the demographic realities and their geographical proximity. Ruler of Hyderabad who was a Muslim wanted to join Pakistan, but the Indian government annexed the state using its military might on the plea that since majority of the population of Hyderabad was Hindu it could not accede to Pakistan. Kashmir having 87 percent Muslim population was ruled by a Sikh ruler.The sikh ruler of Kashmir was not able to form a decision so he wanted to take time to make a final decision and for that extent he signed standstill agreement with the Government of Pakistan. He then wanted to sign the standstill agreement with india as well but india refused to do so which alarmed the establishment of Pakistan. The people of Kashmir were desirous of joining Pakistan due to its geographical proximity and their historic, religious and cultural bonds with the people of Pakistan. However the Indian government coerced the Sikh ruler to join the Indian dominion. That was a classic example of the Indian double standards and its betrayal of the principles enshrined in the partition plan and negation of the reasons it employed to capture Hyderabad.The muslims of Jammu area were killed by the Dogra army with the help of Hindus and Sikhs. it is said that more than 4 lakh muslims were killed at that point of juncture. Later Pashtun Muslims invaded kashmir because they wanted to save the Muslims of Jammu & Kashmir and wanted to make kashmir as the part of Pakistan. The sikh ruler sought india's help to fight the Pashtun tribals and indian army landed into Kashmir. The sikh ruler signed the instrument of accession with india but it was made conditional. Kashmiri people were promised that they will be will given chance to decide their future as soon as the situation gets normal. The presence of Indian Army in kashmir fueled the conflagration and eventually led to war between Pakistan and India. The Indian government approached the UN on 1 January, 1948, for help in the matter. A number of resolutions were adopted by the UN emphasizing the need for immediate cessation of hostilities, demarcation of the ceasefire line, demilitarization of the territory and deciding the question of accession through a plebiscite under the auspices of UN.


With the passing of the resolutions, a ceasefire came into effect and a demarcation line was also drawn which partitioned Kashmir into Azad Kashmir and Indian-held Kashmir. On the question of demilitarisation of the valley, no headway could be made due to the Indian intransigence. The head of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan Sir Oven Dixon, an eminent Australian jurist, quit his job in protest against non-cooperation by India. However, the Indian leader Jawahar Lal Nehru in the correspondence exchanged with Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his statements in the Indian parliament kept reiterating his commitment to abide by the UN resolutions and allow the people of Kashmir to settle the question of accession through their free will.


Kashmir's right of self-determination and is intact ,genuine and legal in the eyes of international law. There is striking resemblance between UN Resolutions of 13 August 1948 and in Text of Mountbatten's conditional acceptance of doubtful instrument of Accession of Hari Singh.


Resolution of 13th August 1948 said that the "future status of the state shall be determined in accordance with the will of the people. The letter of Mountbatten dated 26 October says - special circumstances mentioned by your Highness my Government have decided to accept the accession of Kashmir State to the Dominion of India. Consistently with their policy that in the case of any State where the issue of accession has been the subject of dispute, the question if accession should be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people of the State.


The more likely outcome is that Kashmir will become independent, if this option is available. In a recent poll, almost 75% of Kashmiris, including Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists, favored independence. There is no reason why Kashmir, like India before it, could not opt for secularism, thus protecting all three religions equally.

Kashmir is waiting for plebiscite promised to them by the international society in 1948 and have laid uncountable sacrifices for their right to self determination.



In the wake of 1971 war, India and Pakistan signed Simla Agreement committing themselves to resolve all disputes including Kashmir through bilateral negotiations. Under the Simla Pact ceasefire, the line was changed into line of control. It does not say Kashmir dispute is solved or self-determination kept on hold. A further clause of Simla agreement says - That the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations shall govern the relations between India and Pakistan . This keeps UN resolutions on Kashmir live. But unfortunately the Indians never responded positively to Pakistan’s overtures for peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute. Frustrated by this continued stalemate, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front launched an armed struggle against the Indian occupation of Kashmir in 1989. India responded by inducting more than seven Lac troops, who let loose a reign of terror in the valley. The international community which initially recognized the move as a freedom struggle has shown criminal indifference to the cause of Kashmiris after 9/11.

Especially Since 1989, Indian forces are committing heinous crimes against Innocent kashmiris. Kashmir is the most militrilized zone in the world.


It is for all these reasons, the Kashmir people deserve a referendum. The people of Kashmir have made it obvious that they want freedom. There have been daily protests resulting in the loss of many lives. In order to stop the bloodshed, a robust political solution is required. They should have the right to vote on their own independence and freedom

KOUNSAR NAG: Between legends & reality, lake pics on left

Nature has indeed endowed the valley of Kashmir & the neighbouring mountains with an abundance of fine springs including the one named “Kounsar Nag”. (The ancient geography of ancient Kashmir (1899) by M A Stein, pages 32, 72) It is a two miles long & ½ mile wide beautiful lake lying above Kongwattan village in Pir Panchal mountainous range of Kashmir’s Kulgam district’s Noorabad area. The lake is at an elevation of 4000 meters/13,000 ft above sea level. It is one of the most picturesque & pristine pure lakes of the valley with small icebergs floating in its powder blue melt water of snow beds & glaciers of the surrounding high peak mountains of the area. It has motor-able road up to Aharbal, while real arduous trek starts from Aharbal to it: Kaunsar Nag proper. The nomadic Gujjars from Reassi would often during midsummer travel through Kounsar Nag & hold it sacred. “Kounsar” is a Quranic word which means holy water of paradise & “nag” means spring. So, “Kounsar Nag” means spring of sacred water of paradise.

Sir G T Vegne has, as early as 1840s, penned similar lines of description about the lake in these words: “The Musalmans on account of its extent & height have given this lake name of Kounsar, one of the rivers in paradise, whose waters are whiter than milk & silver, and more odoriferous than musk, ……by which righteous are refreshed after passing the bridge of Al-Sirat” (Travels in Kashmir, volume 1, (Second edition, 1844 London) pages 295-296) Gazetteer of Kashmir (1890) too uses the name of Kounsar Nag for the lake. It further states that there are many legends & superstitions about it. One of such Kashmiri-Pandit-legends was that “the lake was created by Vishnu Pad (foot of mythical God Vishnu) that he put on the mountains surroundings it. Hence, the ancient name of it was Kysur”, according to their version. (Supra Vigne) The mountains surrounding it have long been known by the name of the Fathi Pansu, or the Ridge of Victory. The name was not given on account of any recent event. (Gazetteer of Kashmir (1890), pages 511-513)

Being a rare gift of nature to Kashmir, the Kashmiris have always stressed on preservation of its pristine purity at all costs without any human interference. But, in recent past, “some” Kashmiri Pandits backed by some “vested interests” had tried to invent new religious pilgrimage, “Kysur Yatra”, to the Kounsar Nag. As a matter of fact, a few people had been coming to the lake for ablutions using the traditional route via Reassi, (Vigne, supra), but that would not mean that there was any organised religious pilgrimage ever made to this lake in the history of Kashmir. However, in the recent past (2014) it was attempted by resorting to what is called the doctrine of “invention of new traditions”.

During the months of July-August, 2014, the district administrations of Reassi & Kulgam together with security forces had announced that they would provide logistic support to “Kysur Yatra” that had started from Reassi via Kulgam to the lake. When “Kysur Yatra” reached Kakran village they were stopped from proceeding ahead with the Yatra by the local villagers who had formed Kounsar Nag Bachao Front to put resistance against “new tradition”. There were valley-wide protests against “invention of new tradition” of traveling to the glacial body, thereby, greatly endangering its related ecology. Fearing that the events might take an ugly turn like that of Amarnath land row of 2008, the State government ultimately had to cancel the yatra. This is history now.

But here a question may be raised. If, once name of this lake as “Kounsar Nag” (Lawrence the valley of Kashmir page 16) has been in use since centuries, and if, there was never any organised pilgrimage made to this lake by local Pandits in history, then, what is the logic behind the action of these Pandit-groups to go on rampage of ecosystem of entire valley by inventing this kind of new Yatras to glacial bodies. Seemingly, such move or attempt will only threaten very survival of all Kashmiri people whose lives entirely depend on un-polluted fragile ecosystem of the mountains surrounding the valley. Some say that such an attempt was aimed at reclaiming “lost ancient land” of Kashmir-Pandits. But this argument does not seem to be convincing since the land belonged to none other than pre-Islamic ancestors of 96% Muslims population of the valley. “The experts have warned against such moves saying that by human intervention ecological set up would be disturbed. Moreover, experts and the majority political players are of the opinion that the glacial water bodies are only tourist spots and don’t have any religious significance”. (Kashmir Life, 02-08-2014).

Irony is that while good number of sensible Kashmir Pandits appreciate & share with Muslim majority the grave eco-risks in undertaking “religious yatras” to glacial bodies like Kounsar Nag, “some” reactionary groups do not understand the dangers laden in such eco-unfriendly-yatras. However, one feels pleased to note that finally better sense prevailed upon these Pandit groups & any possible catastrophe that was likely to be caused to the valley by any kind of human pollution & meddling with this serene glacial body has been kept at bay. If understood in proper spectrum of sensitive ecosystem of the valley, it is & was obviously in the interests of all its inhabitants.

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