The Kashmir Conflict: The 14.5 Million People Question

Most of you probably heard of territorial disputes. Territorial disputes, in the context of what I’m talking about, are disagreements between countries on borders. One of the most prominent territorial disputes that you may heard about is the Kashmir conflict, a region which is partly administered by Pakistan and partly by India. Although both claim the entire region, half of Kashmir is administered by Pakistan and the other by India. The Pakistan controlled area has 4.

5 million people and the Indian side had 10 million. Kashmir’s economy is largely agricultural. Cashmere wool originated in Kashmir as well, and is also a major exported item. Indian controlled Kashmir is thought to have hydrocarbon rich stones. However, Kashmir has very little economic value. Before Pakistan and India seceded from Britain in 1947, Kashmir was an independent princely state.

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Later that October, tribesmen from Pakistan attacked northern Kashmir, which spurred an invasion by India which is claimed to be ‘illegitimate’ by Pakistan. Pakistan got ? of the territory while India got the other ?. The two countries fought wars over the territory in 1947-47 and in 1965. In 1972, both countries came to an agreement and created a ceasefire line, which is now the ‘official’ border between the two parts of Kashmir. In 1989, a Pakistan funded insurgency complicated the problem even worse. Other clashes came in 1999 and in 2002, both of which almost led to war.

Pakistan continually tries to wrest Kashmir out of Indian hands. It claims that Kashmir valley -which is 90% Muslim- should be under it’s control. Kashmir was never sought out for economic gain, it is just two Asian super powers trying to best themselves in a battle of cultures and religions, Muslim against Hindu. Neither India, Pakistan, or the Kashmir people are satisfied with the current situation. So the 14.5 million people question is, what will happen next?