Abdullah, Sheikh Mohammad
April 1965
Foreign Affairs;Apr1965, Vol. 43 Issue 3, p528
This article discusses the genesis of the dispute between India and Pakistan over the State of Jammu and Kashmir. When Britain decided to quit the subcontinent of India, the British Parliament enacted the Indian Independence Act of 1947, whereby the two new Dominions of India and Pakistan were carved out and the princely Indian States were freed from the suzerainty of the British Crown. The State of Jammu and Kashmir had its peculiar problems. For one thing, its ruler was a Hindu but its population was preponderantly Muslim. The resulting accession was to be purely provisional and temporary until the will of the people could be ascertained through a referendum. The government of India consistently upheld the temporary nature of this accession and its commitment to refer the issue to the people of Kashmir. Some distinguished leaders of Indian public opinion have been counseling that the dispute be resolved through a negotiated settlement. This might take the shape of independence for Kashmir, with its defense guaranteed by the United Nations (UN); or of its being made a trusteeship of the UN for a period of ten years, at the end of which the question of its accession to India or Pakistan or its remaining independent could be decided by a plebiscite held under UN auspices; or of a confederation of India and Pakistan with Kashmir one of its constituent units.


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