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India Violated Security Council Resolution
After the cease-fire line was drawn (see Partition, 1947-49) and unsuccessful negotiations to reach a lasting settlement on the status of Kashmir were held, India and Pakistan continued to claim that they supported the holding of a plebiscite to determine the wishes of the people of Kashmir. However, India held elections to choose members for the Kashmir legislative assembly in spite of an earlier Security Council resolution saying that such an election would violate previous agreements.

Sheik Mohammed Abdullah’s Kashmir National Conference party won all 75 seats in an uncontested election. In July 1952, Jawharlal Nehru and Abdullah signed an agreement whereby India gave Kashmir special rights not given to any other Indian territory. The Indian government then pressed Abdullah to ensure that the Kashmir legislative assembly ratified accession of Kashmir to India. When the assembly failed to ratify the accession document, India arrested Abdullah and appointed his chief deputy, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed, as prime minister of Kashmir.

Under Mohammed's leadership, the Kashmir legislative assembly met again. By a unanimous vote of those present, the assembly voted to ratify the accession agreement. The vote probably was unanimous because eleven members were absent from the vote. Six of the eleven assembly members who were absent from the vote had been jailed by the Indian government. Pakistan protested the vote, but India assured Pakistan that India was still pledged to holding a plebiscite in the future.

Cold War Complicated Plans for Plebiscite
During the mid-1950s, cold war tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union complicated diplomacy in South Asia. When Pakistan signed an agreement establishing closer military and economic ties with the United States, India quickly moved to develop friendly relations with the Soviet Union, and in turn, pulled away from its promises to hold a plebiscite. Relations between China and India deteriorated, and tensions along their common border arose as each claimed territory the other occupied.

Further attempts by Pakistan to negotiate a satisfactory settlement with India over Kashmir took place in 1959-60 and again in 1962, but each time talks broke down.

Tensions Led to Second India-Pakistan War
In December 1963 a sacred relic, allegedly a hair of the Prophet Mohammed, who was the founder of Islam, was reported stolen from the Hazratbal Shrine in Srinagar. This alleged theft resulted in numerous demonstrations and riots by Muslims in Kashmir, Pakistan, and India.

India released Sheik Mohammed Abdullah from prison with the hope that he would calm the Muslim population. Jawharlal Nehru died a short time later, and Lal Bahadur Shastri became India's new prime minister. Shastri soon tried to tighten Indian control over Kashmir by ending its special constitutional status. Shastri imprisoned Abdullah again when Abdullah made comments critical of India and expressed hope that Kashmir would gain independence.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, an aggressive young Pakistani politician, was appointed Pakistan's foreign minister in January 1963. He spoke out on the Kashmir question in order to build up his reputation, to gain support for his party among the electorate, and ultimately to ensure the reelection of his mentor Ayub Khan as president.

As tensions (both political and religious) arose along the border, various skirmishes in 1965 led to the second full-scale war between India and Pakistan. The second India-Pakistan War lasted only 17 days, after which the two sides agreed to a cease-fire. The Soviet Union mediated a peace agreement that restored the prewar borderline, which was originally set in 1949 according to the UN Cease-Fire Line.

In spite of initial successes, the Pakistani military did not do well in this conflict and was not able to achieve any of its hopes concerning Kashmir. Ayub Khan was blamed for Pakistan's defeat and lost the presidency to General Yahya Khan. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was not blamed for the defeat during the 1965 war, remained the most prominent politician in West Pakistan.

The Third India-Pakistan War Broke Out
The third India-Pakistan war broke out in 1971 in response to West Pakistan's attempt to suppress demands for autonomy and/or independence by the eastern half of its country. During this brief war, fighting mainly occurred in East Pakistan, but some skirmishes did occur along the western border, especially in Kashmir.

As a result of the war, Pakistan lost half of its population and 15% of its territory when East Pakistan achieved its independence with India's help. East Pakistan became the independent country Bangladesh, and Mujibur Rahman, who was the founder of the Awami League, became its first leader

General Yahya Khan and the military rule were discredited, and Bhutto became prime minister of Pakistan.

Pakistan Regarded India More Cautiously
Since the India-Pakistan War of 1971, Pakistan has adopted a more cautious approach toward India than it had in the past. Pakistan and India reached a settlement on their border in the Simla Accord. According to the accord, the UN Cease-Fire Line in Kashmir was converted into a line of control, and both India and Pakistan agreed not to use force to settle the Kashmir dispute.

India released Sheik Mohammed Abdullah from prison again in 1974 and made him chief minister of Kashmir in return for his willingness to work within India's constitutional framework and to support India's territorial integrity. New elections in 1977 brought victory to Abdullah and his Kashmir National Conference, and he ruled successfully until his death. Abdullah's son, Farooq, took over his father's position until he was ousted in 1984 by Indira Gandhi, who was the prime minister of India. The prime minister, according to the Indian constitution, could dismiss elected state officials and impose central government control over the state government. The border and the state of Kashmir remained peaceful until 1989.

 






 


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Kashmir and Its People..| History of Kashmir..|..Partition, 1947-49 ..|..Kashmir, 1949-89..|..Terrorism and Repression in Kashmir..|..Kashmir's Future
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