History of the Indian-Pakistan Conflict

Conflict Analysis 2nd assignment: Choose one conflict from the UCDP data. Identify and map the different historical stages and periods of the conflict using the conflict cycle. How did battle deaths and other forms casualties (one-sided violence) change during the conflict cycle? What kind of pattern do you observe over time?

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For this essay I have chosen to write about the Indian-Pakistan Conflict over the Kashmir which is a strategically placed region in the north west of the subcontinent, bordering China and the former Soviet Union. The main issue is that both countries are claiming this territory, based on religious reasons according to Pakistan considering the majority of population being Muslim and governmental reasons according to India because a Hindu Maharajah is ruling the area.

The British India has been split up into three countries, Pakistan, India and East Pakistan. They have been divided by the population who were mainly Muslim in the north west and north east side of the subcontinent the Hindu in the central side. This partition caused a large human migration and from this point many violence have taken place across the region.

The years 1946-1946 are the pre-conflict phase of this major conflict because after the partition of the British India, Kashmir had to choose whether they want to accede to Pakistan, India or to become Independent.

The escalation to the First Kashmir War is taking place along the 1947 because Pakistan did not want Kashmir to accede to India therefore Lashkar tribesmen invaded the area so the ruler was forced to ask help from the Indian armed forces because he was facing internal revolts because the “Muslim peasants refused to pay their taxes to the Hindu landlords” (Stanley Wolpert, India and Pakistan, p22) and an external invasion because Pakistan wanted to “liberate Kashmir from Hindu control” (Stanley Wolpert, India and Pakistan, p22).

The crisis phase during the First Kashmir War reaches the top between 1948 and 1949 when the Indian government responded with massive fighting against the Pakistan army, but then based on the aggression that came from Pakistan, India asked for the United Nations intervention in order to mediate the war.

The intervention of the United Nations builds up the outcome of the war because both countries were forced to withdraw the troops and the tribal invaders. The Kashmir area had been split up in two territories by the ceasefire line and basically the north-western side of the region will be administered by Pakistan and the central, north-eastern side of Kashmir will be administered by India. The ceasefire line has been drawn based on the lawyers’ conclusions within the United Nations Security Council, which were based on the population wishes which showed that most of those who are living in the north-western part seemed to favour Pakistan and in the central and north-eastern part Hindu and Buddhists are majoritarian. The final decision has been taken in 1964 but until that, all the period was an “exacerbating Cold War”. (Stanley Wolpert, India and Pakistan, p27).

Starting with the second decade of 1964 and the beginning of the 1965 the tensions are increasing because the United Nations ceasefire line could not stop the invaders to cross the border into the Indian administered Kashmir. This invasion took place because the Pakistani army general has been angry when India announced that the implementation of a constitution in Kashmir made the state part of the Indian Union.

The confrontations rich the top and transform into a crisis when the Indian troops crossed the international border line to Lahore even if this was not the truest Indian intension. They only did that because the Pakistani army general dared the Indian army general to attack the defenceless capital but he actually didn’t believe that actually India could do that. After all these happened, the Pakistani general begged the US presidency to set a ceasefire line with India.

At the very beginning of the 1966 as an outcome the Tashkent Agreement has been signed in Uzbekistan between both parties because each of the war actors were holding a territory from the other actor. This agreement has been signed under the following idea “Instead of fighting each other, fight against the poverty, disease and ignorance”. (Stanley Wolpert, India and Pakistan, p34). The situation is still quite tense because this outcome is still in a crisis moment when any spark could start the war again.

Many revolts are taking place in Pakistan between 1966 and 1969. The student’s dormitories have been assaulted by the riots and most of the population in Lahore wanted to change the government. In both West and East Pakistan the martial law has been implemented by Ayub in the early 1969. Based on the martial law in Dhaka, the capital of East Pakistan most of the prisons have been filled up with political prisoners because the country wanted to become independent. Because of fast spread of the issues in both countries at the very beginning of 1971 the third war begins in East Pakistan and that is actually the transformation of East Pakistan into Bangladesh.

The reason of this war is that the West Pakistan government did not accept the elected premier in East Pakistan to start his premiership.

Basically the violence increases, reaching a top crisis when the West Pakistani air forces launched an attack over the north-western Indian airfields. After the actions India involves directly into the war and organizes an air, land and sea attach against the eastern Pakistani because most of the West Pakistani army was there. In March 1971 the western Pakistan army become war prisoners in Dhaka and the Bangladesh become independent, “reincarnated from the East Pakistan”. (Stanley Wolpert, India and Pakistan, p41).

Right after that, in 1972 an outcome is on the way. Both Prime Ministers of Pakistan and India, meet in the Indian town of Shimla to sign an agreements where both parties promise to end up fighting and to start the promotion of a harmonious relationship and to establish a durable peace in the area. This agreement also transforms the ceasefire line into the Line of Control between these two countries. Following in the 1974, India’s state government affirms that Kashmir is part of the Indian Union but the Pakistan’s government rejects an accord that both countries had to sign in respects of the sharing region. In May the same year, India organizes the underground detonation of a nuclear bomb on its territory in order to show the nuclear power that the country has.

1988 is a very interesting year because reaches the lowest rate of violence since the whole conflict started and both sides signed an agreement which says that none of them will attack the nuclear facilities of the other’s. However, in 1989 a sharp rise of deaths transforms Kashmir again into a crisis because a resistance against the Indian rule began in the valley. Actually this resistance is happening because the Muslim Parties in the region accused the Indian government of intervention on the 1987 state’s legislative elections. At the same time India accuses Pakistan of providing weapons and training to the protestors in the valley but the Pakistani government denies everything. In 1990 the situation has still a crisis character because of the protests in Kashmir but in 1991 even if the tensions are still high rated, both countries manage to sign another agreement where they decide to provide advance notification regarding any military movement in order to protect the airspace violation and in 1992 they sign a non-nuclear aggression agreement which prohibits both countries to use chemical weapons against each other.

Between 1996-1999 there is an escalation because of several clashes between the military officers at the Line of Control. In 1998 begins a nuclear race between India and Pakistan because of the detonation responses between them but happily they end up being sanctioned by the international rule.

Sadly in 1999 the confrontations transform into a crisis again because the Pakistan forces are taking strategic positions on the Indian side of the Line of Control. As a counter offensive Indian forces fights and manage to move the Pakistan army back on their side. This conflict is called Cargill war because of the location where took place and is the first one that happened right after both countries showed their nuclear power creating a worldwide fear of the possibility that one of both countries could use the nuclear bomb.

In 2000 and 2001 the tensions in Kashmir valley are still very high plus the administrative leader of the region of India to start a military operation against the Pakistani training camps, but in July 2001 both Prime Ministers meet in a Summit in order to discuss about the core issue in Kashmir but they couldn’t come to an agreement. In December the same year the situation is still in a massive crisis because the Indian Parliament has been attacked and they continued to fight along the Line of Control until happily the war has ended thank to the international intervention.

In 2002 both sides try to define an outcome despise the risky tensions and in 2003 they decide to stop fighting, following a quiet period until 2004 when both Prime Ministers meet within another Summit and decide to withdraw the troops from the Line of Control because the situation has been improved in the area.

At the moment the conflict is still blurry an in outcome stage because during 2010 and 2011 minor bomb attacks happened in New Delhi but obviously the number of deaths decreased drastically bellow 100.

As a conclusion what I would say is that, this is a quite complicated and long conflict with a very dynamic pattern. Despite of the several signed agreements both parties just couldn’t stop fighting from what it is considered to be theirs and as you can clearly see the conflict is still debated even if there is no crisis situation.