Introduction to the issue

  • Kashmir is the oldest unresolved international conflict in the world
  • The Territory of Kashmir remains divided into:
    • Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK): Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh
    • Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK): Azaad Kashmir and Northern Areas
    • Chinese Occupied Kashmir: Aksai Chin (Part of Xinjiang) and Saksham Valley (Part of Xinjiang)
  • In 1948 Jawaharlal Nehru (then Prime Minister of India) took the case of Kashmir to the UN and promised to resolve the dispute through a Plebiscite
  • 71 years have passed since then, but none of the stakeholders involved seem to have the willpower to resolve the dispute according to the wishes of the people of Kashmir Territory
  •  In IOK, systemic state violence has resulted in the disappearance of 8000+ persons, 70,000+ deaths, 6000+ unknown, unmarked and mass graves, and countless cases of torture and sexual violence.
  • There are more than 730,000 armed forces currently stationed in IOK.
  •  An Amnesty International report titled, “Denied: Failures in accountability for human rights violations by security force personnel in Jammu and Kashmir,”(2015), states that ‘India has neglected international obligations and its own constitution by ignoring human rights violations allegedly carried out in the name of national security in Jammu and Kashmir state.’
  • The Line of Control (LOC) established in 1948, demarcates the territory into IOK and POK thereby controlling the movement of people across the Territory.
  • The Northern Areas in POK are under a thick blanket of security, with limited political rights being granted to its inhabitants and a history of sectarian strife. Siachen Glacier, adjacent to the Northern Areas, is the highest battlefield in the world, with India and Pakistan constantly engaging in warfare.
  • In 1962, India fought a brief war with China over Aksai Chin. Despite the region being uninhabitable, it remains strategically important for China as it connects Tibet and Xinjiang.

For a more detailed understanding of the Kashmir conflict and underlying subjectivities of the Freedom Struggle (Tehreek) view this seminar by Dr. Hafsa Kanjwal and Dr. Mohamad Junaid at Brown University