After centuries of Hindu and Buddhist rule, Muslim Moghul emperors took control of Kashmir in the 15th century, converted to population to Islam and incorporated it into the Moghul empire. Islamic Moghul rule should not be confused with modern forms of authoritarian Islamic regimes. The Moghul empire, characterized by the likes of Akbar the Great (1542-1605) embodied Enlightenment ideals of tolerance and pluralism a century before the rise of the European Enlightenment. (Moghuls left their mark on the subsequent Sufi-inspired form of Islam that dominated the subcontinent in India and Pakistan, before the rise of more jihadist-inspired Islamist mullahs.) Afghan invaders followed the Moghuls in the 18th century, who were themselves driven out by Sikhs from Punjab. Britain invaded in the 19th century and sold the entire Kashmir Valley for half a million rupees (or three rupees per Kashmiri) to the brutal repressive ruler of Jammu, the Hindu Gulab Singh. It was under Singh that the Kashmir Valley became part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. PARTITION & DISPUTE:
In 1947, British rule in India ended with the creation of two new nations: the Union of India and the Dominion of Pakistan, while British suzerainty over the 562 Indian princely states ended. According to the Indian Independence Act 1947, "the suzerainty of His Majesty over the Indian States lapses, and with it, all treaties and agreements in force at the date of the passing of this Act between His Majesty and the rulers of Indian States", so the states were left to choose whether to join India or Pakistan or to remain independent. Jammu and Kashmir, the largest of the princely states, had a predominantly Muslim population, while having a Hindu ruler (Maharaja Hari Singh.) On partition Pakistan expected Kashmir to be annexed to it. In October 1947, Muslim revolutionaries in western Kashmir and Pakistani tribals from Dir entered Kashmir, intending to liberate it from Dogra rule. Unable to withstand the invasion, the Maharaja signed the Instrument of Accession on 25 October 1947 that was accepted by the government of India on 27 October 1947. Kashmir Today
According to a Congressional Research Service report, "Relations between Pakistan and India remain deadlocked on the issue of Kashmiri sovereignty, and a separatist rebellion has been underway in the region since 1989. Tensions were extremely high in the wake of the Kargil conflict of 1999, when an incursion by Pakistani soldiers led to a bloody six-week-long battle." Tensions over Kashmir rose dangerously in fall 2001, forcing then-Secretary of State Colin Powell to de-escalate tensions in person. When a bomb exploded in the Indian Jammu and Kashmir state assembly and an armed band assaulted the Indian Parliament in New Delhi later that year, India mobilized 700,000 troops, threatened war, and provoked Pakistan into mobilizing its forces. American intervention compelled then-Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who had been particularly instrumental in further militarizing Kashmir, provoking the Kargil war there in 1999, and facilitating Islamist terrorism subsequently, in January 2002 vowed to end the presence of terrorist entities on Pakistani soil. He promised to ban and eliminate terrorist organizations, including Jemaah Islamiyah, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed. Musharraf's pledges, as always, proved empty. Violence in Kashmir continued. In May 2002, an attack on an Indian army base at Kolchak killed 34, most of them women and children. The attack again brought Pakistan and India to the brink of war. Like the Arab-Israeli conflict, the conflict over Kashmir remains unresolved. And like the Arab-Israeli conflict, it is the source, and perhaps the key, to peace in regions far greater than the territory in dispute CAN KASHMIR PUT AT BACK BURNER?
No, it can’t be put at backburner for the improvement of relations between India and Pakistan due to following reasons: Kashmir is the...