Turmoil Continues to Unfold in Kashmir

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Turmoil Continues to Unfold in Kashmir

Uzair Hammad '24

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Kashmir is a small region in Northern India which has been a source of tension and war between India and Pakistan since the partition of those nations in 1947. Today, two countries claim regions of Kashmir: India and Pakistan.

Srinagar, Kashmir

In 1947, Pakistan and India were one country, controlled by the United Kingdom. This territory was called British India. Pakistan and India wanted their own two separate countries – one for Hindus and one for Muslims. By August, British India had been partitioned, creating present-day India and Pakistan. But both new nations claimed Kashmir, a Muslim-majority region. The king of Kashmir decided to join India against the will of the majority-Muslim population. The United Nations was called in to settle the conflict. Both India and Pakistan still couldn’t agree to a deal, so a ceasefire line was created in 1948, splitting the territory into two parts, Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and Indian-administered Kashmir. There have been three wars between India and Pakistan over the disputed territory. Until now, Kashmir was given special freedoms, having a separate flag and constitution under Article 370 of India’s Constitution.

Pahalgam Valley, Kashmir

This year, on August 5, India made a historic decision. This August ruling let India take full control of Kashmir. Pakistan has vowed to oppose the latest change.

Locals in Indian-administered Kashmir have been protesting against their government over the right of choosing which side of Kashmir they go to. Many have been injured by Indian forces. Innocent people have been wrongfully arrested. The area has been put on lockdown.  All communication out of the region has been cut off. Additional soldiers have been sent to protect the territory. On Eid-al-Adha, an Islamic holiday, Kashmiris were not allowed to pray openly. The crisis is even wreaking havoc on Kashmir’s economy. Prices of apples, which are central to Kashmir’s economy, have decreased by over 50%. Tourism is badly affected as well- also a major source of income for Kashmir.

Arguments over Kashmir have been going on for centuries. Both countries must be aware of the suffering their citizens are enduring and should negotiate a peace deal once and for all.

 

 

 

 

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