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Kashmir: the paradise that became hell

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Kashmir: the paradise that became hell

On the occasion of India's decision to revoke the special regime in force in Kashmir, we make a brief account of the events and why the region has been considered a war zone for decades.

The problems for the region actually started in 1947, when the Indian subcontinent was separated after its independence from the British. Two states were formed: India and Pakistan. In view of the new data that emerged, Kashmir Maharaja Hari Singh had to choose based on the proximity of the area whether Kashmir would be a territory of Pakistan or India. He was a Hindu leader of a predominantly Muslim area. At first he tried to maintain a neutral stance, and not to choose between the two sides, but then Pakistan sent Muslims, who approached the capital Srinagar. Thus, the Maharaja turned to India in order to receive military aid. In return, it signed the Act of Accession, granting Kashmir to that country

During the period 1947-1948 there was a war between India and Pakistan. India has appealed to the United Nations (UN) to resolve its dispute with Pakistan. On August 13, 1948, a UN resolution called on Pakistan to withdraw its forces from Kashmir, and after that, India was to withdraw most of its forces. Following this, the plan included holding a referendum so that the people of Kashmir could decide on their future. However, Pakistan continued the war, defying the UN mandate. Finally, in 1949 the two sides agreed on a ceasefire, with India occupying 65% of Kashmir and the rest being under Pakistani rule. UN draws up Line of Control between Indian and Pakistani Kashmir

In August 1965, Pakistan launched a covert attack on the Indian part of Kashmir, then India retaliated, crossing the international border into East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), and attacking the area. The war led to a stalemate, with each force having conquered parts of the other's territory. Following pressure from international powers, the two countries agreed to end the war and start negotiations.

In 1999, India launched airstrikes against militants who had infiltrated mountains in the Kargil region of the Indian suburb of Kashmir. The state then accused Pakistan of supporting terrorist organizations while the latter country refused any support. In response to the bombings, Pakistan put its armed forces on alert, creating the conditions for a new conflict.

In 2016, there was a resurgence of tensions between the two countries. More specifically, on September 18, 2016, the Indian part of Kashmir was attacked, during which 16 soldiers were killed.

Today Kashmir belongs to three different states. Its northwestern part – the so-called Northern Territories and Kashmir – belongs to Pakistan, its central and southern parts belong to India, while China controls the northeastern part. A large part of the people of Kashmir province do not want to belong administratively in India, preferring either independence or union with Pakistan. This is explained by the fact that the populations of Kashmir and Jammu are over 60% Muslim . This state is the only region in all of India where Muslims make up the majority of the population.

Source: politis.com.cy

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