Political Opinion

The conflict of Kashmir can only be understood by acknowledging its complexity. There are many different views about the same conflict depending on which perspective you look at it from. It can be viewed as a fight against the denial of rights and political promises, a fight for Kashmiriyat or a fight against the existing political status. As per the media, it could also be viewed as a friction between India and Pakistan. The reasons of the conflict cannot be all these at the same point of time, however, it can be any of these assumptions separately at different periods and places.

The Indian stance on the whole conflict is that The Kashmir belongs to them because of the Instrument of Accession in October which took place in 1947. Maharaja Hari Singh signed this instrument which handed the control of Jammu and Kashmir over to India. Also, the United Nations Resolution 1172 accepts the Indian stand on all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan.  India accuses Pakistan of spreading anti-India sentiments and funding military groups. Lastly. It also accuses them of waging a proxy war. On the contrary, Pakistan believes that in regard to the two-nation theory, Pakistan should have been given Kashmir as it has a Muslim majority. Another part of their argument is that India disregarded all the resolutions of the UN Security Council as India failed to hold a plebiscite. Pakistan does not approve of the Instrument of Accession and does not consider it valid as the Maharaja handed it over to India under the duress and thus the legitimacy of the claims cannot be validated. According to Pakistan, the Indian Armed Forces and the paramilitary forces have been responsible for the deaths of around 4000 Kashmiri civilians between 1990-1999. There are also records of approximately 4200 women being raped. Another claim is that the people of Kashmir do not wish to be a part of India as seen by the increase in the number of the Kashmiri uprising.

 

It is tricky to assess the public opinion in Kashmir and the people believe in various different solutions to the conflict. There are some who side with the Indian view and some with Pakistan. However, there are also many who want complete independence for Kashmir. The All Parties Hurriyat Conference represent the main separatist movement in Kashmir. However, it has multiple branches, each holding differing views on how Kashmir should proceed independently, which is indicative of the vast array of opinions that exist across the territory.

Whether it be due to religion or region, Kashmir is not a unified voice on the matter of its future. Apart from the unending call for democracy and human rights standards, Kashmiris differ in their opinions all over the territory, and this must be taken into account when discussing solutions.

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