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Kashmir Issue

Kashmir Issue

A Summary

“The history of liberty is a history of resistance.”(Former US President Woodrow Wilson)

Location

Located in the heart of Asia, with historical links to both South and Central Asia, Kashmir shares borders with India, Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and with a small stripe of 27 miles with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. It is the only nation in the world which shares its borders with three nuclear powers – India, Pakistan and China.

Area

86,000 square miles, more than three times the size of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg combined. Larger than 103 sovereign countries.

It is also larger in size than the following 35 members countries of the United Nations combined: Antigua & Barbuda; Bahamas; Bahrain; Barbados; Brunei Darussalam; Cape Verde; Comoros; Cyprus; Dominica; Gambia; Grenada; Holy See; Jamaica; Kosovo; Lebanon; Luxemburg; Maldives; Malta; Mauritius; Micronesia; Monaco; Montenegro; Qatar; Saint Kitts & Nevis; Saint Lucas; Saint Vincent & the Grenadines; Samoa; San Marino; Sao Tome & Principe; Seychelles; Singapore; Tonga; Trinidad & Tobago; Tuvalu; and Vanuatu.

Population

20 million (estimate) including 2.0 million refugees in Pakistan and 2.3 million expatriates. Bigger than 129 independent nations.

Status

Historically independent, except in the anarchical conditions of late 18th and the first half of the 19th centuries, and when incorporated in the vast empires set up by the Mauryas (3rd century BC), the Mughals (16th to 18th centuries), and the British (mid-19th to mid‑20th centuries). All these empires included not only present‑day India and Pakistan, but other countries as well. Under the British raj, Kashmir had internal autonomy.

Cause of Dispute

India’s claim that Kashmir is its territory is based on nothing more than an Instrument of Accession that is said to be signed by the Maharajah in order to obtain India’s military help against a popular insurgency. This accession was conditional on a reference to a popular vote (not yet held) under impartial auspices. The Indian claim is rejected by the people of Kashmir. It has never been accepted by the United Nations, never legally validated.

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