4.5.1-2: Jammu and Kashmir

Module 4, Section 5.1-2

Jammu and Kashmir

5.1 Kashmir is the disputed area in northern India and Pakistan, which is currently partitioned between them. There, too, the national conflict has a religious dimension, the Muslims claiming all of Kashmir, which is 80 percent Islamic. In 1947, the princely states of India were to choose whether to become part of India or Pakistan. The majority of the people wished to belong to Pakistan, but the maharajah, under pressure, chose India during an interim period, subject to a plebiscite that did not take place. Since then there have been several wars and continuing conflict over the status of the territory.

5.2 Here, India and Pakistan could both have joint sovereignty over the territory, as Spain and France do in Andorra, with a confederation that would provide one government for the Muslims and one for the Hindus, each person choosing his affiliation. The confederate government would collect and distribute the land rent, provide courts, and have administrative functions for the whole territory. Joint territorial sovereignty with a confederate government over the whole area would avoid the perception for each side that it had given up territory, and the payment of rent to the confederation would be a compensation for the loss of full possession.