Kashmir Question

November 3, 1965

Report Outline
Indian-Pakistani Clash Over Kashmir
Age-Old Competition for Kashmir
Kashmir Question in World Politics

Indian-Pakistani Clash Over Kashmir

The Kashmir question, key to the stability of the Indian subcontinent, seems further from solution than ever following the brief, undeclared war in late summer between India and Pakistan. The cease-fire to which the combatants agreed on Sept. 22 has been violated repeatedly. And neither New Delhi nor Rawalpindi seems prepared to make the concessions needed for a lasting settlement.

Kashmir, situated at the western end of the great Himalayan mountain range, has poisoned Indian-Pakistani relations since the two countries became independent in 1947; about two-thirds of Kashmir has been virtually annexed by India, the remainder by Pakistan. But neither country will relinquish claim to the whole territory. Almost two decades of bilateral negotiation and United Nations intervention have been unavailing. Now, the U.N. Security Council plans again to “consider…what steps could be taken to assist toward a settlement of the political problem underlying the [Kashmir] conflict.” Its task has been complicated by Pakistan's threat, Sept. 28, to withdraw from the United Nations unless the Council orders a plebiscite in Kashmir. Indian Prime Minister Lai Bahadur Shastri told Secretary General U Thant the preceding day that he would not allow a United Nations peacekeeping force on Indian territory.

Outbreak of Hostilities in Mountainous State

Since the original cease-fire line was drawn across Kashmir between Indian and Pakistani forces 16 years ago, skirmishes have occurred in its vicinity with almost monotonous frequency, but until last August war between India and Pakistan seemed only a remote possibility. On Aug. 7, however, the Indian Defense Ministry charged that Pakistan had sent armed infiltrators into Indian-held Kashmir to start a guerrilla war. Pakistan denied the allegation; India, it said, was trying to cover up an internal revolt.

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