CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Office of Current Intelligence5
SUBJECT: The Kashmir Dispute
The Kashmir dispute remains one of thelegacies of the partition of British-ruled India In the ensuing eighteen years, neither Pakistan nor India has been willing toolution which would leave the other country in control of tbe central Vale of Kashmir, regardless of the inducements offered. Pakistan's frustration over its inability to wrest the Vale from India ls still the basic emotion, pervading its entire foreign policy, which finally led to the risky decision to send infiltrators into Indian Kashmir in early August. India's Kashmir policy also restsoundation built on intense patriotic and communal sentiment. While each side adopts legal arguments derived from tbe eventshen India took over the Vale, the roots of the dispute go far back into the past.
Kashmirugged land, Lying across the western invasion route from Tibet and Slnkiang into the Indian subcontinent. The heart of the countryeautiful valley,iles long byiles wideile above sea level. This is the Vale of Kashmir, surrounded by inhospitable mountains which include, on the north, the Kara-koram, the world's highest range. Outside the Vale, the population is sparse and poverty-ridden,
and the docile people of the main valley have long feared the more warlike tribes from the neighboring hills. Although this whole region is in dispute, it is the Vale that is the heart of the matter.
Kashmir proper has been Muslim sincehnd was annexed to the Moghul Empire by Emperor Akbar Hindu control was not re-established6 when the British turned the state over to the Hindu Maharaja of Jammu as part of their efforts to improve tbeof British India along its northwestern perimeter. Hindu rule was autocratic and the Muslims in the state felt themselves cruelly oppressed. Although more direct BritishImproved conditions in the state, Muslim restiveness led to openmany cases associated with the efforts of the Indian National Congress furtherthe years preceeding World War II.
With the partition of British India at the time of Independence, the status of Kashmir, like tbat of the other princely states,remained to be settled. Most of the mabarajas, who had the option of acceding either to India or to Pakistan, made their decisions promptly. The Hindu maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir stalled, however, in hopes ofubstantial degree of autonomy. Byevolt had broken out among his Muslim subjects in the Poonch region, who were scon Joined by several thousand Pusfctcon tribesmen from Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province. Slaughtering indiscriminately as thsy swept into the Vale along the Jelum River, the Pushtooas came perilously close to Srioagar.
Unable to cope with the situation himself, the maharaja opted for India, and New Delhisent troops who drove back the tribesmen and suppressed tbe local Muslim agitation. India's claim to the state thusechnically strong legal foundation in the maharaja's act of accession. The Pakistani advocates point out, however, that the basic concept cf Partiiior. was that Pakistan was to comprise the contiguous Muslim-majority areas
of British India. They insist that Kashmir is such an area, that the Kashmiri people without question would have preferred to join Pakistan, and that they were prevented from doing so only by Hindu troops, first those of the maharaja and then those sent by New Delhi.
Subsequent mediation efforts andhave not moved the parties from these positions, nor from the territory that the respective forces occupied. 8he UN Commission for India and Pakistan secured the agreement of both partiesease-fire, demilitarization,lebiscite. With minor interruptions, the cease-fire remained in effect until the new outbreak last month. Theagreement, however, was never carried out, and6 India announced that it therefore no longer held itself bound tolebiscite.
Since the cease-fire, the two sides have organized their Kashmir territories along quite different lines. Pakistan controls several mountain districts comprising about one third of the total area of Jammu and Kashmir. The districts to the north had relatively tenuous ties with the old princely state and are administered as special political agencies under the Central Pakistani Government at Rawalpindi. The districts lying along the western edge of the Vale make up what is known asashmir,eparate, provisional government pending the settlement of the dispute, but actually under the control of Rawalpindi.
Pakistan has not attempted to make Azadhowplace; the local administration is supported mainly by local taxation, and Pakistan's financial contribution seems to be limitedew million dollars for agricultural extension services and food subsidies. Economic development consequently is negligible.
India's portion of Kashmir, on the other hand, includes the famous Vale and the capital city of Srinagar, by all odds the most desirable part of the
state and the traditional center of power where thc "true" Kashmiri lives. Over the years the Indian government has gradually integrated Kashmir more fully into tbe Indian union until by now all significant constitutional distinctions have been swept away.
As part of the integration process, New Delhi hasonsiderable amount of financial assistance to the state over thethat has ranged as high asercent of the state's revenue in some years. This support may have reduced Kashmiri resentment in some measure, but there is little question that the Kashmiri population wouLd vote to break away from India if offered tbe choice.
Although India, like Pakistan, claims the whole of the old Jammu and Kashmir state, it ls in fact fairly well satisfied with the status quo. Although now adamantly opposed to any discussion of Kashmir, tbe Indians would have no fundamental objectionsermanent division of the state more or less along the cease-fire line. Indeed, Indian defensive arrangements in Kashmir, such as the depopulation ofard "demilitarized" zone, have treated the linee factoboundary. Any proposal threatening India's complete control of the Vale, however, would meet with hostility in New Delhi.
Most Indian leaderseep emotional commitment to the conceptecular and united India. It has heavy Ghandianhimself was strongly opposed to Indian acceptance of independence based onisby the remembrance of forty years ofto the growing influence of the Muslim League. The League, foundedimed initially at insuring that the Muslim majority would be protected as India moved toward self government. It did so by ingratiating itself with the British Raj, which Muslims viewedar safer bet than the Hindu rule that might replace lt. In the two decades immediately preceding independence, however, the
Leagueew taok, and the concept of an independent Muslim state arose. Nehru and his Congress colleagues who were to rule Indiaindependence grudgingly accepted partition only after ar unbreakable deadlock with the League over constitutional arrangements Led to serious coemunal rioting6
The Chinese attack in2 strengthened India's emotional resolve to bold Kashmir. After its belated discovery9 of the Chinese road crossing "Indian" territory on tbe Aksal-Chin plateau to Link Tibet with Sinkiang Province, New Delhiwith considerable bravado that the Chinese would be compelled to withdraw. The series of border scrapes that followed and the Indian military debacle2 drove home the lesson that India must seriously attend to its Himalayan defenses. In Ladakh this means the stationingulldivision, which must be suppled by an almost continuous truck convoy along the Srinagar-Leh road from the Vale.
While the Kashmir dispute ls only one of India'3 foreign policy problems, lt often seems to come close to being the very ralson d'etre for Pakistan's foreign policy. Every Pakistani Leader has known that be could assure his place in national history if he could somehow bring Kashmir under Pakistani control. This is especially true of President Ayub, who has alreadyew consitutlon and would like to rival the late Mohammed Ali Jinnah as the "father" of the country. To the Pakistani, Kashmirlight on Pakistan's national honorerpetual reminder that the Pakistani Muslim, whose heritage includes the glory of the Mogbul Empire, Isitizenountry that ls weaker, poorer, less skilled, and generally inferior to its "Hindu" counterpart. Proposals aimed at saving face forleaving India in control of theno appeal ln Rawalpindi, sinceof the Vale is the essence of the question.
ecade of frustration, Pakistani leaders cast about for new means of exerting leverage on New Delhi. yub first tried to capitalize on tbe Slro-Indian borderbyoint Indian-Pakistani defense of thepredicatedashmir settlement. Nehru received this coolly.
Another strategy apparently was then developed to wait until Chinese pressure on the Indian border would oblige India to secure its flank withby offering real concessions in Kashmir. The Pakistanis believe, however, that tbis maneuver was upset by Pakistan's Western allies, who brought military assistance to India following the Chinese invasion in the fall2 and thereby freed India from the necessity of entering serious
Most recently, Pakistan's worry that time is on the side of Indian in Kashmir has been sharpened by Indian moves to complete the Integration of Kashmir into the Indian Union. The latest steps in thisextension of constitutional provisions allowing for direct "President's" rule from New Delhi during emergencies and for the popular election of Kashmir's representative to tbe nationalthe lastdistinctions between Kashmir and the other states. The declaration of Indian Hone Minister Nandauly, following the signing of the Rann of Kutch agreement, that Kashair isatter for discussion" merely confirmed the obvious
The tightening of the Indian position was all tbe more painful to Rawalpindi since it followed an apparent easing of New Delhi's stand in earlylast months of Nehru's life. In3 Nehru ridded the state of the ten year old regime of Kashmiri political boss Bakshl, whose reputation for corruption had worsened the already tarnished Indian Image ic Kashmir. Bakshi's ouster touched off four months of political conflict between New Delhi and the Bakshl forces for control of Kashmir's political machinery. In December the
theftuslim relicosque near Srinagar led to the most serious outbreak of rioting the Vale had seen since independence. It has been alleged but not proven that Bakshi himselfthe theft to provoke instability andhis return to office, but regardless of the motive, the net resultecognition in New Delhi of the needew deal in Kashmir.
Nehru, who suffered his first debilitating stroke shortly after the theft, sent Shastrl to Srinagar to repair the damage. egime both more honest and more amenable to New Delhi's lead was Installed. ore liberal approach was ushered in by the release of Sheikh Abdullah, by far the most influential figure in Kashmir, who had been jailed ten years previously for his advocacy of an independent Kashmir. The Sheikhound of talks with both Nehru and Ayub, and prospectsashmir settlement, while not bright, seemed improved.
Nehru's death in4 closed out any real hopeashmir solution. He was the only Indian who wielded sufficient political power to sell any significant concessions to India's Hindu majority. Although Shastri initially showed an inclination to continue along the path charted by the late prime minister, he soon became so embroiled ln tbe political conflicts that surrounded his own accession that further consideration of the Kashmir problem was shelved. In5 the Sheikh was rearrested, this time for having met with Chou En-lai while both were visiting Algiers. Meanwhile, the gradually building Rann of Kutch confrontation, which had begun as early as5 but did not reach crisis stags until April, bad seriously strained Indo-Pakistan* relations. With the last hopeettlement fast receding and Indian armed strength-growing eact; year, Pakistan embarked upon its guerrilla campaigr. designed to fores the Kashmir question into the open.
Intermittent attemtps7 toettlement, cr even to put Pakistani and Indian leaders on the road toward one, have proven consis-
tently futile. Pakistan's own ploys to exactfrom India have been rebuffed by New Delhi or countered by circumstances beyond the Pakistanis' control. At the moment Rawalpindi's latest effort seems also destined to fall flat. Unless Pakistan is able to capture and hold forubstantial section of the Indian Punjab,.Pakistani bargaining power will be reduced in proportion to the amount of military hardware it expends ln the current fighting. Third country and UN efforts to settle the long festering problem are likely to founder on Indian stubbornness unless major politico-economic sanctions are applied. Indeed, the Indian emotional commitment may be heightened toegree by the current fighting that New Delhi would accept virtually ruinous sanctions without giving ground. Thus, the prospectsettlement even after the smoke clears do not seem bright-
On the other hand, the military outcome of the Indo-Pakistani war ls still in considerable doubt, with the possibility of further escalation before it ends. If both sides fallrenzy of mutually destructive violence, it is conceivable that the whole political structure of thewill undergo radical changes. In such an event, the destiny of Kashmir defies prediction.