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Jammu And Kashmir State History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

1. The total area of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state (prior to 1947) comprised 2,22,236 square kilometers of which as of now Pakistan occupies about 35 percent, besides illegally ceding 2.5 percent area to China. China grabbed 17 percent of the area in 1962 leaving only 45.5 percent territory with India. [1] 

2. Located between the Shivaliks and the outer ranges of the Great Himalayas – the region has been of immense attraction. Part of Jammu and Kashmir, presently with India extends approximately 1,38,832 square kilometers. This can be divided into three broad regions:-

(a) Ladakh Region. Largest region extending over an area of approximately 96,701 square kilometers with sparse population mainly comprising Ladakhis who are Buddists and some Shia Muslims in Kargil districts. However this region has only four seats in the State Assembly.

(b) Jammu Region. Covering an area of approximately 26,293 square kilometers, it comprises the districts of Jammu, Doda, Udhampur, Akhnur Rajauri and Poonch. Of these Doda, Rajauri and Poonch are affected by terrorism. This area is represented by 37 members in the State Assembly.

(c) Kashmir Region. 15,838 square kilometers of the valley houses approximately 55 percent of the population. It is represented by 46 members in a 87 member State Assembly. This region can be further subdivided into the mountainous sector and plains sector:-

(i) Mountainous Sector. Enclosed by the Greater Himalayas to the North and East, Shamsabari range to the North and West and Pir Panjal to the south, the height in the region varies from 2000 to 4500 meters. Rugged terrain and poor communication network facilitates infiltration and establishment of hideouts.

(ii) Plains Sector. The alluvial plains in the valley are served by a number of rivers, irrigation channels and lakes. The region has major population centres and a good network of roads and tracks.

3. Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Extending over an area of approximately 77,783 square kilometers, it comprises what Pakistan calls `Azad Kashmir’ and Northern Areas with districts of Gilgit and Hunza to the North and Muzaffarabad to the West. River Jhelum is joined by River Kishanganga (Neelam) at Muzaffarabad. It is politically the most important town of the region with headquarters of large number of militant groups and training camps in its vicinity.

4. Analysis. An analysis of para 2 above highlights the following facts:- [2] 

(a) Almost 89 percent of the area of Jammu and Kashmir, comprising

Ladakh and Jammu accounts for only 45 percent of the population, whereas the remaining 11 percent of the area namely the valley accounts for almost 55 percent of the population.

(b) Since the concentration of the population is in the valley, it enjoys a major say in the affairs of the state.

(c) Border areas of Jammu region namely Poonch, Rajouri and Doda have a larger Muslim population resulting in greater affinity with the people of Kashmir region.

5. Demographic Structure. The state has a population of over nine million. Of these approximately 64 percent are Muslims, 32 percent Hindus and remainder four percent includes Sikhs, Buddists, Christians and others. Literacy rate is approximately 40 percent among small and 20 percent among females.

Pre Independence History

6. It shall be appropriate to take a brief stock of significant events in the history of Jammu and Kashmir as the past has relevance to the present. Earliest reference to Kashmir can be found in the chinese documents of 541 AD, referring the valley as Ku-Shih-mi. [3] The presence of Naga worshippers before and even after the Buddhist period testifies that the first residents in the valley were aborigines, who later spread over India. Subsequently the Aryans invaded from the north-east and mixed with the local aborigines. The physical features and ethnic culture, distinct from the surrounding races has given rise to several conjectures – one of them connecting the people of valley even with the Jews. It can therefore be said that Kashmiri race is a mix of aborigines, majority of Aryans, Jews and some other races.

7. It has a long and chequered history. Several invasions bear testimony to the significance of Jammu and Kashmir which attracted the attention of invaders. The pre-independence history of the region can be covered broadly under the following periods:-

(a) Pre Islamic Period (upto 1320 AD).

(b) Early Muslim Period (1320-1586).

(c) Mughal Period (1586-1752).

(d) Afghan Period (1752-1819).

(e) Sikh Period (1819-1846).

(f) Dogra period (1846-1947).

8. Pre Islamic Period. During this period, the valley was ruled by Brahmins, Buddhists and certain Non-Brahmins as well. Prominent amongst them were the Gonandas, the Damodarans, the Pandus, the Mauryas, the Kushiaras, the White Hans, the Karkotas and the Loharas. Rule of King Ashoka (272-231 BC) of Maurya dynasty stands out predominantly. A staunch follower of Buddhism, he preached the philosophy of religious tolerance. This influenced the Kashmir culture immensely. The last dynasty of pre-Islamic period was the Lohara dynasty. The end of Hindu rule in Kashmir can be attributed to the indifference and clashes between the Brahmins and Buddhists and lack of security of the frontiers. This period can also be described as a period of great learning and cultural activities.

9. Early Muslim Period. Islam made its entry into Kashmir by gradual conversions, for which the influx of foreign adventurers, both from south and Central Asia had made the ground.When Turks, Afghans and Mughals dominated North India, the upper class of Hindu and Muslims in the valley came closer. Sultan Sadr ud-din or Rinchana was the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir. He was originally a Buddhist from West Tibet, who converted to Islam. Sheikh Nur-ud-din was an influential personality of the period whose tomb at Charar-e-Sahrif, about 26 kilometers southwest of Srinagar is visited by thousands of people even today.

10. The Mughal Period. The Mughal rule ushered in an era of stability and cultural activities. Kashmiri artisans touched heights of excellence, the administration improved and trade and industry grew to enviable proportions. Exquisite gardens, laid out during the Mughal era, bear testimony to their love for nature.

11. The Afghan Period. In 1752 Ahmed Shah Durrani, the Afghan ruler annexed Kashmir and made it part of the Afghan empire. They ruled through governors. In 1810 when strife and struggle erupted between various claimants of the throne, Atta Mulla Khan, the then governor of Kashmir declared his independence. In 1814, Maharaja Ranjit Singh invaded Kashmir and by 1819, Kashmir came under the Sikh rule.

12. The Sikh period. The Sikh contact with Kashmir can be linked with the visit of Guru Nanak to the valley. Maharaja Ranjit Singh captured Kashmir in 1819. This period lasted only 27 years during which the governors were harsh on Kashmiris.

13. The Dogra Period. Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu extended his rule to Kashmir in 1846. The Dogras ruled till October 1947. With a view to curb the power and spirit of the Sikhs and in order to cutdown the Lahore Kingdom to size, the British signed two treaties with Raja Gulab Singh. By the first treaty the state of Kashmir was handed over to the British on indemnity equivalent to one crore rupees. By the second treaty signed seven days later, the British handed over to Gulab Singh, all the hilly and mountain areas lying between Ravi and Indus for a sum of Rs 75 lakhs. The amount which Gulab Singh agreed to pay was actually the indemnity of a crore of rupees imposed on the Sikh government. The Sikhs were unable to pay the indemnity and consequently agreed to handover Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh and Baltistan to the British. The British retained the possession of trans-Beas portion only including Manali and Nurpur, giving remainder to Gulab Singh. He extended his territory to include Basholi, Bhadarwah, Kistwar, Bhimbar, Rajouri and Skardu covering an area of approximately 84,471 square miles. This period saw a spate of famines, epidemics, earthquake and destruction. However it ushered in an era of modern age to include establishment of road and rail communications as well as telephone communications.

14. Analysis. Despite two major communities namely Muslims and Hindus in the valley, there has been a peculiar mutual affinity and respect for each other. There is a lot of tolerance giving rise to Kashmiriat culture in which both communities lived in peace and love. It has imbibed best of Islam and Hinduism. But the common binding of Kashmiris led to a feeling of opposition to Non-Kashmiris.

Post Independence Conflicts

15. While inheriting the newly constituted nations in 1947 anti-communal feelings were also inherited, which later manifested themselves in Indo-Pak conflicts. Since independence, there have been several conflicts between the two nations in which Jammu and Kashmir was involved. The main conflicts were the wars of 1947-48, 1965, 1971 and the Kargil crisis of 1999.

16. 1947-48 war. At the time of independence, the future of Jammu and Kashmir hung fire due to the indecisiveness of Maharaja Hari Singh. He had lost the support of muslim – majority areas and some of the state force personnel had started defecting. Finding the Maharaja vacillating between joining one of the dominions and desire to continue with his own rule, Pakistan launched a tribal invasion and codenamed it Operation GULMARG. On 20 October 1947 Pakistan sponsored tribals invaded Jammu and Kashmir. On 26 October 1947, Instrument of Accession was signed and the following day Indian Army landed in Srinagar to save it from the clutches of Pakistan. The tribal invaders had wasted three days in Baramulla in rape, arson and loot, which delayed their arrival in Srinagar thus giving Indian Army an air head. The operation in Gilgit, Skardu and Baltisan went Pakistan’s way. India could save Poonch, Rajouri, Valley and such adjoining areas. However the summer offensive of 1949 to liberate remaining part of Jammu and Kashmir did not materialise. Nehru abruptly ordered “no further advance” and decided to approach the UNO. This war can be described as “a war where each side threw the advantages gained to the winds”.

17. Instrument of Accession. Following clauses of the Instrument of Accession merit attention, as these prevented amalgamation of the state fully into India:-

(a) Clause 6. Indian dominion legislature could not make any law for the state authorising the compulsory acquisition of land for any purpose.

(b) Clause 7. Acceptance of the constitution of India was not obligatory and the ruler could exercise his discretion to enter into any arrangements with the Government of India under such constitution.

(c) Clause 8. Continuance of the ruler’s sovereignty over his state was not to be affected in any manner.

18. 1965 War. Kashmir continued to be an obsession with Pakistan. It was impatient to decide the Jammu and Kashmir issue through military action, before India could acquire substantial qualitative edge over it. It launched Operation GIBRALTAR supported by Operation GRAND SLAM in July 1965. Pakistan’s political aim was to create large scale disturbance in Jammu and Kashmir and compel India to take major political and military steps and thus to place it in a dilemma whether to restrict its response to Jammu and Kashmir only or escalate the situation, where the superpowers would step in, which in turn would bring the Jammu and Kashmir problem to the international forum. Within this overall aim Pakistan military plan evolved around certain salient factors like – creation of a situation of crisis in Jammu and Kashmir by resorting to guerilla operations (OPERATION GIBRALTER) and in case the clandestine operations failed, to have a contingency plan to capture Akhnur, in the Line of Control (LC) environment. Operation GIBRALTER had failed. Then Pakistan decided to launch Operation GRAND SLAM along the Chhamb – Akhnur axis, so as to capture some Indian territory for bargaining later. Chhamb offensive launched on 01 September 1965 had to be called off when India launched its counter-offensive in Lahore and Sialkot sectors. The Pakistani troops in Chhamb Sector had to be diverted to save Lahore and Sialkot. Pakistan failed to internationalize the Kashmir issue. Status-quo was restored under the Tashkent Agreement of January 1966 and the strategic Haji Pir pass was returned to Pakistan, which did not help India’s short term and long term interests.

19. 1971 War. Brief analysis of 1971 war, though not related to Kashmir issue can be highlighted here. One of the articles in Simla Agreement records:- [4] 

“In Jammu and Kashmir, the line of control from cease fire of 17 September 1971 shall be respected by both sides without prejudice to the recognized position of either side. Neither side shall seek to alter it unilaterally, irrespective of mutual differences and local interpretations. Both sides undertake to refrain from threats or use of force in violation of this line”.

20. Pakistan suffered a great humiliation when 90,000 defence personnel surrendered to the Indian Army. This gave rise to resolve for a revenge. Like the breakup of East Pakistan, they started dreaming of break-up of India, namely in Punjab, in North East and in Kashmir and thus started in proxy war. Pakistan attempted to grab a portion of Jammu and Kashmir in Siachen Glacier of Ladakh Sector. However it was foiled when Indian troops occupied the pass by a heliborne operation. Ever since frequent fire fight on the LC/international border has continued.

21. Kargil Crisis. Yet another attempt to internationalize the Jammu and Kashmir issue was made in May 99 when in the garb of Mujahideen, Pakistan made intrusions in Batalik, Kaksar, Dras and Mushko sub sectors of Kargil. Their military aim was based on:-

(a) Exploitation of large gaps in the defences.

(b) Intrusions would enable them to secure dominating heights from where National Highway 1A could be interdicted at a number of places.

(c) Intrusion would also draw in and tie down Indian Army reserves.

(d) It would enable Pakistan to negotiate from position of strength.

(e) The intrusion would irrevocably alter the status of the LC.

22. The international pressure especially from USA on Mr Nawaz Sharif forced Pakistan for a withdrawal. However before that could be affected the Indian Army and Air Force got into action and restored the situation by pushing back the intruders.

23. Ground for Proxy War. Short term steps taken by the Central Government and vested petty political interests alienated the local population and gave rise to the separatist forces. Corruption crept in badly in the governance in the state. Pakistan started exploiting the ground set by India, to its advantage by fomenting

terrorism in the state. The action plan was based on five major steps:-

(a) Exploitation of religious sensitivity.

(b) Enrolment of Kashmiri Youth.

(c) Supply of Arms and Equipment.

(d) Funding.

(e) Internationalizing the Jammu and Kashmir issue.

24. The infiltration and induction of arms and ammunition from Pakistan/POK into Jammu and Kashmir had really commenced in 1965 when Pakistan made an abortive attempt to grab Jammu and Kashmir. [5] The unused arms and ammunition left behind in 1965 were stored in hidden and well guarded caches. However movement picked up considerably after 1985 when proxy war was conceived and launched. By end of 1989 militants had established small and big camps in the forest areas. Communication centres were developed at Srinagar, Kupwara, Baramulla, Sopore, Gulmarg and Anantnag. By December 1989 stage was set for the militants due to the neglect, drift and Government’s approach being indifferent. The state government having moved down to its winter capital at Jammu was not in intimate touch with the worsening situation.

25. Insurgency Since 1989. Attack on CRPF post, killing of Justice NK Ganjoo, kidnapping of Dr Rubaiya Sayeed , daughter of then the Home Minister and her release in exchange for five hard crore militants are some of the terrorist activities with which it all started in the valley. Kidnapping of swedish engineer from Uri Hydel Project, Mr K Doraiswamy, an Indian Oil Corporation executive in June 1991 and such atrocities continued to rise. In 1992 itself 202 cases of terrorism occurred in the state . Strike by the state police, followed by 72 day strike by IAS officers of the state further worsened the situation. Hazratbal crisis in 1993 could be resolved by the mature and patient handling by the government and security forces. Militant buildup in holy shrine of Charar-E-Sharif had started in end 1994. As the initial intelligence reports were not considered in all seriousness, it led to the burning of the shrine and the operations could be completed only by 15 May 1995. Kidnapping of five foreign tourists and not releasing them despite protracted negotiations brought the terrorists under strong international criticism. Parliamentary elections followed by assembly elections were successfully completed in 1996. Killing of innocent civilians, ambush of security personnel, abduction and killings continued. 1997 and 98 saw heavy exchange of fire including artillery fire resulting in heavy damage to the civil population and their assets. Simultaneously with the bus diplomacy of Indian prime Minister, preparations for ‘covert’ open conflict was on in Pakistan.

26. Withdrawal from the heights of Kargil was followed by a bloodless coup by General Parvez Musharraf. However there has been no change in Pakistan’s approach towards fomenting terrorism in the state. Militant’s attack on the headquarters of 15 Corps and Special Operations Group of police shows their desperation. Hijacking of Indian Airlines flight IC814 on 24 December 1999 has again highlighted their desperate attitude and approach towards annexation of Jammu and Kashmir. Having studied the geography, demography and historical background of the state, let us now examine the causes of terrorism.

CAUSES OF TERRORISM

1. In the valley the Pro Indian mood evident till 1950, changed first into sullenness and indifference and then to nexious anti India complex. The Delhi Agreement of 1952 and the Kashmir Accord of 1975 highlighted the differences between the Government of India and Sheikh Abdullah. The Sheikh was arrested in 1953 and later deposed. He was reinstated in 1975. His arrest and dismissal gave rise to the separatist forces. The people in the valley also felt let down by India. The pro-Pakistan elements who were dormant till then surfaced. The blunders by the Indian government, especially from the mid fifties to the mid eighties and frequent change of the Chief Ministers further alienated the public. By then corruption had seeped so deep in the state system that major chunk of the liberal money allotted by the centre found its way into pockets of a few influential families only. Ironically, the ground was set by India for Pakistan to exploit. Pakistan with heavy doses of pan – Islamic support fomented the seed of separatist movement in the state.

2. Pakistan’s continued efforts to annex Kashmir since 1947-48 and its repeated failure in 1947-48, 1965 and 1999 has resulted in extreme frustration as a

nation to Pakistan. It views Kashmir in the light of the two nation theory based on

the religious alignment. However it shall be apt to discuss the reasons which set ground for Pakistan to exploit. It could be broadly grouped under internal and external factors. Article 370 of the Indian constitution needs to be kept in mind while discussing the causes of terrorism. This article accords special status to Jammu and Kashmir, aiming at protecting the legal, cultural, regional and demographic rights of its people.

Internal Factors

3. The Chief Executive of Pakistan, General Parvez Musharraf in an interview conveyed about terrorism in the valley that “fish cannot survive in dirty-water” indicating that support of the local population for terrorism does exist. Not withstanding the patriotic sentiments and the determination with which terrorism is to be crushed, there is a need to look at our own house and set the blunders right even at this stage. These could be studied under political, social and economic factors.

4. Political Factors. Alliance between National conference and Congress (I) led to a political vacuum in the state. This alliance resulted in unprecedented interference by the centre in state administration. High level rigging of elections in 1987 alienated the masses resulting in loss of faith in the political system in the state. Article 370 has also prevented integration of the state into national mainstream fully. Inability of state and central governments to handle the worsening situation in the valley, frequent changes of chief ministers and overnors and number of agencies dealing with the state are an indicator of lack of clear policy and strategy on the subject at political level.

5. Social Factors. Society in Kashmir can be clearly divided as the `haves’ who are very well off, staying in urban and semi urban areas and the `have nots’ who are much larger in number, generally rural, belonging to peasent class. Due to lack of education and basic facilities with prevalent social injustice, these minds could be easily subverted. Corruption and nepotism further alienated the masses. Religious fundamentalists found the existing environment just appropriate for the proxy war.

6. Economic Factors. Lack of basic infrastructure, over dependence of the state on grants and subsidies, poor management of state economy with no clearcut economic policies topped with rampant corruption had brought the state economy to almost a collapse. Increasing unemployment and disparity in the society made the youth disillusioned with the state. This youth was easily available to Pakistan for a `Jehad’.

External Factors

7. Resurgence of Islamic Fundamentalism. Rise of islamic fundamentalism affected the complete human civilization all over the world in this period. Muslims from various countries spread to all troubled spots world over to include Central Asia, Bosnia and Kashmir to fight a `Jehad’. Religious fanaticism and intolerance was propagated in the garb of spreading Islamic rule all over the world. The effect could be noticed in the western world as well.

8. Afghanistan crisis. With an aim to counter the Soviet troops and their influence, huge quantity of arms came into Afghanistan for the Mujahideens. After the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, the Mujahideens were diverted to the fertile ground in Jammu and Kashmir ushering in the culture of Kalashnikov.

9. The Pakistan Factor. Repeated failure on part of Pakistan to annex Kashmir from India, its continued commitment of providing support to the Mujahideens and its own weak establishment as a nation state has forced Pakistan to keep the pot boiling in the valley. Their aim in promoting insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir is to annex the valley and other muslim dominated areas of Jammu and Kashmir. It wants to tie down a large component of the Indian army in the valley and adjoining areas. It is of the belief that such acts will continue to protect its interest in Pak Occupied Kashmir (POK). To achieve this aim, General Zia had started giving material support to secession in Kashmir since 1986 and master minded OP TOPAC in 1988.

10. Role of ISI. The overall game plan of Pakistan was masterminded and implemented by the ISI. Having lured the local youth, indoctrinated and trained them, ISI pushed them back into the valley to propagate terrorism. In due course of time as the Kashmiri youth started getting disillusioned, ISI began induction of foreign mercenaries including Afghan Mujahideens who were fanatics and ruthless. ISI was also responsible for the following:-

(a) Provide financial support to the militants.

(b) Provide media support and propaganda for the Pro Pakistan outfits.

(c) Induct foreign militants at a stage when support from the local youth was dying down.

(d) Coordinate the activities of various Pro-Pakistan outfits.

(e) Neutralise the pro independence outfits.

11. Narco-terrorism. The golden crescent of Pakistan – Afghanistan – Myanmar facilitated the availability of illegal funds from trade in narcotics. This so called ‘easy money’ provided adequate funds for spread of terrorism in the valley.


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