Libmonster ID: U.S.-1461
Author(s) of the publication: R. K. PRIBYLSKY
Educational Institution \ Organization: Lomonosov Moscow State University

Keywords: India, Pakistan, Kashmir, conflict, article 370

The Kashmir region is one of the most problematic on the world map and a source of tension in relations between India and Pakistan. Clashes and skirmishes regularly occur on the border of the Indian and Pakistani parts of Kashmir, and both sides accuse each other of creating tension and organizing provocations. It seems that it is necessary to understand the origins of the conflict and consider the situation that has developed over the past year both in the internal political life of India and Pakistan, and in Kashmir itself.

The problem of determining the status of Jammu and Kashmir (or, as it is called in another way, the "Kashmir problem") dates back to 1947-from the moment of the collapse of a united British India. As you know, during the formation of two independent states-India and Pakistan, the question arose about how their borders would be drawn and which territories of the former British India would become part of the two new subjects of international relations.


According to the plan of the last Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, each principality and territory (it should be noted that by 1947 there were more than 562 Indian principalities) had the right to self-determination: either to join India or Pakistan,or to declare their own independence. 1

Eventually, the status of many princedoms and territories was determined, which led to the so - called "great migration": Hindus, once on the territory of Pakistan, rushed to India, Muslims-to Pakistan.

At the same time, this process was accompanied by massive human casualties, which, subsequently, will affect not only the relations between India and Pakistan, but also the relations between Muslims and Hindus. Undecided by the time of the declaration of independence of India and Pakistan was the principality of Jammu and Kashmir, where the Hindu Maharaja Gary Singh was in power, and the overwhelming majority of the population was Muslim. The Maharaja hesitated to determine the status of the principality, apparently wanting to maintain neutrality and not spoil relations with the two states.

The uncertain status of Kashmir led to the first Indo-Pakistani war of 1947-1948, as a result of which Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two parts: the state of Jammu and Kashmir as part of India and the Pakistani "Azad Kashmir" (free Kashmir). Justifying the entry of Indian troops into Kashmir in October 1947, the Indian leadership points to the Act of Annexation of Jammu and Kashmir to India signed by G. Singh on October 26.2 According to the Act, Mr. Singh agreed with the entry of-

On the map - the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

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Kashmir became part of the Indian Union, which allowed the Indian leadership to send troops there. It is worth noting that the decision of the Maharaja was influenced by the invasion of the territory of the principality by militants supported by Pakistan.3

In 1948, the UN made an attempt to help resolve the crisis, which was reflected in the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 38, which called on the parties to withdraw their troops from the territory of Kashmir and hold a plebiscite on the future status of the principality. However, the plebiscite was never held, and Indian and Pakistani troops maintained their presence in Kashmir. Subsequently, it is the unresolved Kashmir issue that will cause a confrontation between India and Pakistan and lead to a series of armed clashes in 1965, 1971 and 1999.


Thus, the Kashmir factor continues to play an important role in Indo-Pakistani relations. It is the Kashmir issue and the uncompromising position of the countries that do not allow these relations to get out of the crisis. New Delhi continues to accuse the Pakistani authorities of trying to destabilize the situation inside Jammu and Kashmir, insists on holding a plebiscite provided for by the UN Security Council resolution 1948.

In 2003, the Indian Government called for a compromise solution to the Kashmir issue; in response, Pakistani President P. Musharraf called on the Indian authorities to take the first step. Diplomatic contacts between the two countries were resumed at the level of ambassadors, and air traffic was also resumed. Musharraf said that he would do everything possible to prevent militants from entering the territory of Jammu and Kashmir, but he could not guarantee full security for the region.

In January 2004, the 12th SAARC-South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Conference* was held in Islamabad, where Indian Prime Minister A. Vajpayee met personally with P. Musharraf and Pakistani Prime Minister M. Z. H. Jamali. The parties agreed to restore railway communication, trade relations, etc. It was decided to start "comprehensive" negotiations, which would also discuss the Kashira problem 4.

The Indian National Congress (INC) government, led by Manmohan Singh, which came to power in 2004, announced its intention to continue negotiations with Pakistan. In October 2004, a meeting was held in New York between M. Singh and P. Musharraf, who paid a visit to Delhi in April 2005.5

In December 2005, Musharraf issued a statement that Pakistan was ready to give up its claim to Kashmir if India agreed to the plan he had developed, which included granting Kashmir the right to broad autonomy and self-government. The plan contained 4 points: 1. Gradual withdrawal of troops from the territory of Jammu and Kashmir; 2. Granting the right to local self-government; 3. Inviolability of Kashmir's borders; 4. Establishment by India, Pakistan and Kashmir of a joint mechanism to monitor the situation in Kashmir 6.

However, Musharraf's plan was met with criticism from the Pakistani opposition. Musharraf was accused of refusing to demand that India implement the 1948 UN Security Council resolution. At the same time, Jammu and Kashmir itself was quite critical of these proposals. The Musharraf plan was supported by European countries and the United States, while India considered the implementation of a number of the above provisions unacceptable for itself.

Nevertheless, the process launched in 2004 can be confidently called a breakthrough in relations between the two countries, but at the same time, it should be noted that the parties have not yet changed their positions on the Kashmir issue.

For Pakistan, normalization of relations with Delhi is possible only if the Kashmir issue is finally resolved; in addition, Pakistan continues to accuse India of violating human rights in Kashmir. According to India's position, normalization of relations is possible if Pakistan refuses to support a number of terrorist groups trying to enter the territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It is the problem of cross-border terrorism and the activity of terrorist organizations that is one of the major obstacles to resolving the Kashmir crisis.

Moreover, Delhi believes that the Kashmir problem does not exist.-

South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation was established in December 1985. Currently, it includes 8 South Asian States: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. SAARC is engaged in the development of trade and investment, expansion of cooperation between member countries in issues related to the environment, culture, energy, biotechnology, agriculture, etc .

page 54

This position is based on the 1947 Act of Accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India.

SAARC, according to the point of view of the Indian leadership, proves the fact of voluntary annexation of the former principality into the country. New Delhi also opposes attempts to internationalize the Kashmir issue, believing that its solution is possible only through bilateral negotiations. The Indian side attaches particular importance to the Simla Agreement of 1972 and the Lahore Declaration of 1999*, since, according to New Delhi, negotiations can and should be based on them.

A new round of negotiations took place in May 2008 in Islamabad, where a change of leadership took place in February - a civilian government led by Yusuf Reza Gilani, a representative of the Pakistan People's Party and Muslim League of Pakistan coalition, came to power. Pakistan has maintained its previous position, emphasizing that the resolution of the Kashmir crisis is directly linked to the normalization of relations between India and Pakistan7. However, the talks were overshadowed by the terrorist attack in the Indian city of Jaipur, which was blamed on pro-Pakistan forces. Later, in November 2008, Bombay experienced an equally tragic event: a series of bombings, an attack on the city's police stations and two hotels. About 200 people were killed and hundreds were injured.8 A number of political forces in India again accused Pakistan of trying to destabilize the internal situation in the country with the help of terrorists.

Analyzing the state of Indo-Pakistani relations today, we can come to the conclusion that so far the parties have not abandoned the accusatory rhetoric against each other, limiting themselves only to declarative statements about the desire to find a political solution to the crisis.

It should be noted that although the situation around Kashmir, in general, has become less tense, however, units of the Indian army continue to be present in the state. India has attempted to stabilize the situation in Kashmir through negotiations with opposition forces within the State itself: three roundtables were held in February and May 2006 and April 2007, attended by representatives of major political parties in the State.

Such actions by the Indian authorities mean that Delhi is striving to restore peace and order in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as to take into account the views of various political forces in the state, including those taking opposite positions on developing ways to solve the Kashmir problem. For example, the Indian leadership agreed to demands by Kashmiri nationalists for permission to travel to the Pakistani part of Kashmir in 2005, where they met with a number of Pakistani officials.9

In addition to dialogue with the opposition, Delhi also needs to address a number of socio-economic problems of the state. If the Indian leadership succeeds in eliminating the serious economic inequality among various segments of the Kashmiri population, as well as strengthening their confidence in both the center and local authorities, this will greatly contribute to resolving the internal political crisis and combating the separatist movement in Kashmir. In such a case, all the accusations of Pakistan's human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir and its illegal annexation will be groundless.


According to Article 370 of the Constitution of India, Jammu and Kashmir is the only state with a special status in the country that has its own constitution.10 In the country, a number of political forces, mainly Hindu nationalists11 under the leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), are in favor of abolishing the special status for Jammu and Kashmir. The BJP believes that the state is already fully integrated into India, and the presence of a number of privileges for it is dangerous for the entire federal structure of the country, i.e. it serves to encourage separatist sentiments in the multi-religious Indian society.

BJP leader Narendra Modi, who won the May 2014 election, was also an outspoken opponent of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.Back in late 2013, at a mass event, he called for a public debate on the abolition of this Article 12.

In this regard, a number of political analysts suggested that with the victory of N. Modi, the official policy of Delhi on the Kashmir issue will be changed, and the state will be deprived of special status. However, after two visits to Kashmir in July and August 2014, he stated that article 370 isolates the state from the rest of India, thereby making it more difficult for the state to maintain its independence.-

* Simla Agreement-signed in 1972, according to which India and Pakistan undertake to resolve their differences peacefully and only on a bilateral basis. Lahore Declaration-signed in February 1999 by the heads of Government of India and Pakistan, the countries expressed their readiness to develop a mechanism for preventing nuclear tests, continue negotiations on the settlement of the Kashmir problem and increase confidence-building measures on the Indo-Pakistani border.

page 55

preventing the free movement of capital and people 13.

It should be said that the position of the Kashmiri government itself on the BJP's demands was completely opposite. Particularly noteworthy is the statement of the state's Chief Minister, Abdullah Omar, at the end of May 2014, in which he stressed that the existence of Article 370 is "the only constitutional link between Jammu and Kashmir and India... Either this article will remain or the state will not be part of India. " 14

According to some researchers, the abolition of Article 370 is also unprofitable for Pakistan: after all, if it is lifted, the issue of Kashmir will be "closed", and, accordingly, such a step may mean that India will stop all negotiations with Pakistan on Kashmir problems15.

A number of Indian legal experts emphasize that the cancellation or revision of certain provisions of the article can create a dangerous situation and lead to an even greater aggravation of the internal political situation in the state. It is also emphasized that the process of integrating the state into the economic and political life of the country was very different from similar processes in relation to other Indian states, so the cancellation of the article may lead to extremely unfavorable consequences. 16

Thus, according to constitutional law expert Rajiv Dhawan, the rejection of Article 370 may call into question the very fact of the state's incorporation into India; at the same time, he claims that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.17 In addition to the controversy over the repeal of the article, there are also discussions about whether Article 370 is a basic part of the Constitution of India, and whether it can be revised at all.

It is also important to touch upon the domestic political developments in Pakistan, where Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted in a military coup in 1999, returned to power in 2013. His visit to India for the inauguration of Narendra Modi on May 26, 201418 was historic, which suggested that relations between the two countries could reach a turning point, and the process of resolving the Kashmir crisis will be launched.

At the end of December 2014, there were changes in the internal political life of Jammu and Kashmir. As a result of the state parliamentary elections, Chief Minister Abdullah Omar was forced to resign due to the fact that the BJP and The People's Democratic Party coalition won 53 seats out of 83,19, and the INC and Jammu and Kashmir National Conference coalition, the leader of which was A. Omar, was defeated. Omar was replaced by 78-year-old Mufti Mohammed Said, who had already headed the state government in 2002-2005.

As you can see, the balance of power in Jammu and Kashmir has changed in favor of the BJP, which means that this may give it the opportunity to raise the issue of changing or revising the status of the state, no longer fearing opposition from the opposition both in India and in Kashmir itself.

However, in October 2014, 60 Indian border guards posts and 90 villages were shelled by Pakistani border guards along the line of control.20 After the incident, Sharif was quick to state that Pakistan is not interested in a war with India and is ready to take measures to de-escalate tensions between the two countries.21 However, this fact suggests that the Pakistani side has not stopped using provocations, and it is possible that the new government of Pakistan does not yet have full control over the army, and the decision to hold such an action was made by the army command independently.

* * *

Analyzing the situation in Kashmir over the past year, we can conclude that the changed balance of domestic political forces in the state may help the BJP to remove the special status from the state. But, at the same time, the question arises about the feasibility of such a step: will it find support both in India and among the population of Kashmir?

The change of governments in India and Pakistan has not changed much over the past year: both sides continue to confine themselves to declarative statements about the desire to find a way out of the long-standing crisis. Moreover, clashes continue to occur on the line of control between India and Pakistan, which does not allow us to talk about the establishment of a lasting peace on the Kashmir border.

It is clear that Indo-Pakistani relations need to be renewed, which, with the consent and desire of both countries to work out a new political solution, will lead to the end of the long-standing Kashmir crisis, which has cost tens of thousands of lives.

Shaumyan T. L. 1 The problem of Jammu and Kashmir: origins, nature and prospects of settlement // Tishkov V. A., Shnirelman V. A. Ethnicity and religion in modern conflicts. Moscow, 2012, Nauka (Shaumyan T. L. 2012. Problema Jammu i Kashmira: istoki, kharacter i perspektivy uregulirovaniya// Tishkov V.A., Shnirelman V.A. Etnichnost i religiya v sovremennykh konfliktakh. M.) (in Russian)

Racine J. - L. 2 Le conflict du Cachemerie // Jaffrelot C. L'lnde contemporaine : de 1950 a nos jours. Fayard Ceri. 2006, p. 349.

3 Ibid., p. 349.

Shaumyan T. L. 4 Decree. Op.

Sheela Bhatt. 5 PM to offer Kashmir Plan to Musharraf. April 14,2005 -

Shaumyan T. L. 6 Decree. Op.

7 Issue to be Agenda No. 1 in Talks with India -



Noorani A.G. 10 Article 370. A constitutional history of Jammu and Kashmir. Oxford 2011, p. 1.

Belokrenitsky V. Ya 11 Kashmir - the awakening volcano? // Russian Council for International Affairs. 19.09.2014. (Belokrenitskiy V.Ya. 2014. Kashmir - prosipayushchiysya vulkan? // Rossiyskiy sovet po mezhdunarodnym delam) (in Russian)


Belokrenitsky V. Ya 13 Decree. op.


Belokrenitsky V. Ya 15 Decree. op.

16 474895-3-245.html

17 Ibidem.




21 Ibidem.


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