The troubled history between India and Pakistan can be traced back to the partition of the subcontinent back in 1947. At the time of the independence of the two countries from Britian, it was decided that the majority of the lands where Muslims lived, would become the country of Pakistan and the remaining Hindu majority states would be a part of India. Therefore the map of the present day countries reflects these boundaries. Except for Kashmir. This was and is a Muslim majority state within pre-independence India. As per the partition guidelines, Kashmir should have become a part of Muslim majority Pakistan. Islamabad said Kashmir should have become part of Pakistan in 1947 because of the province’s Muslim majority.
In October 1947, Pakistani-backed tribesmen invaded Kashmir.
The ruler of the state of Kashmir at the time, a Hindu, turned to India for help and agreed to sign over some of his powers in return for military support and a UN-supervised referendum. However, India reneged on its promise and the referendum never happened.
The first Indo-Pakistani war started with the October 1947 incursion and the arrival of Indian forces in Kashmir to repel the Pakistanis.
The conflict ended in January 1949. A ceasefire line – now known as the Line of Control – was agreed and the UN recommended a referendum on accession. Again, the referendum allowing the Kashmiris to decide on their own fate never materialized.
A 2nd war between the two nations broke out again in 1965 over Kashmir after a Pakistani offensive across the line of control.
Recently there was another near all out war, known as the Kargil conflict, this was an armed conflict between India and Pakistan that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir. The cause of the war was the infiltration of Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants into positions on the Indian side of the Line of Control.
Fortunately the conflict was defused and an all out war was avoided.
fast forward to the recent attacks on Mumbai and the carnage left by the terrorists and deaths of many people. The main reason for the tensions and conflict between the two countries and even the recent attacks goes back to the Kashmir issue. The two countries and the people of this area will never have peace unless and until the issue of Kashmir is resolved. We propose that there be a referrendum and let the people of Kashmir decide whether they want to be with India, Pakistan or independent. If that is not a favorable solution to both sides, then at the very least allow for an autonomous zone with open borders that allows relatives on both sides to come and go. Only a peaceful solution to Kashmir can rid the area of violence and terrorism and we at Pakistanis for Peace support a peaceful solution to this long simmering conflict.