Kashmir Conflict

April 30, 1958

Report Outline
Indian-Pakistan Quarrel Over Kashmir
Attempts to Settle Kashmir Conflict
Consequences of Kashmir Controversy

Indian-Pakistan Quarrel Over Kashmir

Duration and Depth of Post-Partition Dispute

After a decade's effort by the United Nations to bring India and Pakistan to agreement on Kashmir, the status of that province at the western end of the great Himalayan mountain range is still in dispute. Around half of Kashmir has been virtually annexed by India and the remainder by Pakistan, but neither country will relinquish claim to the whole territory. When Frank P. Graham, U.N. mediator, recently proposed resumption of negotiations under his auspices, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru would have none of it. On April 3 he called the Graham proposal “totally and absolutely unacceptable” because it took no note of India's charge that Pakistan had been guilty of aggression against India in 1947 and 1948.

Nehru was critical also of Graham's suggestion that a U.N. emergency force be stationed in the Pakistan-held area of Kashmir pending Indian-Pakistan agreement. “When the time comes to deal with Pakistan,” Nehru said, “we will deal with them directly.” Until then, the Kashmir problem almost certainly will continue to plague relations between the two countries and to divide and dangerously weaken the entire subcontinent.

The Indian government insists that Kashmir, famed in legend as “a garden of eternal spring,” is an integral part of the Indian Union. It contends that the ruling maharaja's accession to India at the time of the partition, following raids by Pakistani tribesmen, was lawful, and that elections in 1951 and 1957 confirmed Kashmir's status as an Indian state and made a once-promised plebiscite unnecessary. Pakistan's occupation of the western part of the province is viewed by India as a case of direct aggression.

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