One of the most intractable and long standing conflicts in the world is the conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. This conflict started in 1947, on the day after India and Pakistan simultaneously became independent. After a brief war in 1947-48, Kashmir was divided between Pakistan and India administered territories. A ceasefire line was agreed under UN supervision, which has since been renamed the “Line of Control”. Around one third of the territory has since been administered by Pakistan, with the remainder administered by India, including Kashmir Valley, which has a strong Muslim majority. Further wars have broken out between India and Pakistan in Kashmir in 1965 and 1999, whilst there is also a Kashmir separatist movement. To further complicate matters in the region, the border with China is also disputed. India does not recognize the border established after war between India and China in 1962. China has traditionally diplomatically favored Pakistan though relations with India have improved in recent years. Given the apparently irreconcilable territorial claims in Kashmir, there is no immediate end in sight to this conflict. Now that both India and Pakistan are in possession of nuclear weapons, the stakes in this conflict are of global significance. In this difficult context, local peace builders work to diffuse tensions. This work is vital when the potential for local violence to spark larger conflicts carries such huge dangers. Indian view on Kashmir conflict: India claims that as the Maharaja Hari Singh (the last ruling Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in India) signed the Instrument of Accession in October 1947, handing control of the Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir over to India, the region is theirs, having been validated by the Indian Independence Act and the departing British Empire. India accused Pakistan of funding military groups in the region to create instability, and accuses Pakistan of...
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