Term Paper: History of Pakistan and India

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[. . .] The League' won 76% of the vote for reserved Muslim seats, but still partition was not inevitable. However, the British were forced to leave by a huge rebellion from the end of 1945 to 1946 that surpassed even the Quit India Movement.

In 1945 the British authorities put on trial Indian National Army prisoners who were Hindu, a Muslim and a Sikh together for the first trial. This led to country wide protests with massive inter-communal unity, especially in Calcutta where strikes and riots went on for months.

The British cabinet was convinced that India must be surrendered now, especially with the changing economic and international situation and the Second World War. Towards the end of the war Britain was in debt to India - which changed their historical relationship.

By the end of the war the power went to the U.S. Following this the newly elected Labor government decided to leave India, but slowly without dividing the subcontinent so that the undivided Indian army could be useful in the region as the Cold War began. Negotiations in the summer of 1946 were discussing separate representation and autonomy for the Muslim majority provinces within an independent state.

In August 1946 the League, launched 'Direct Action Day' with unprecedented wave of communal riots in Calcutta where 10,000 were killed in a day. The governor of Bengal did not take any action to stop the killing, and the streets were 'littered with corpses'.

The strikes of 1946 went beyond all previous records. The empire was coming to an end, both administratively and militarily, since August 1946. The British decided to leave the country. Independence was declared at midnight, on the 14th of August in 1947. The day was full of celebrations, demonstrations and speeches.

The Kashmir conflict and the wars fought between India and Pakistan

The State of Jammu and Kashmir came into existence in 1846, when the Treaty of Amritsar was signed. The British had established this part as a Princely State, since a Maharaja, who acknowledged the supremacy of the British in the Sub-Continent, ruled it.

Civil Unrest in the State of Jammu and Kashmir Before the Issue of Accession

There was civil unrest in the State of Jammu and Kashmir in the 1920's. The people of the state were not happy with their ruler, Maharaja Hari Singh. This Muslims of the region nearly 80% of the population, despised him the most.

In 1931, the Maharaja's officials in the Jammu Province disrupted many different Muslim prayer congregations and insulted the Holy Quran. This caused a massive outrage among the Muslim community. The Muslims held many meetings and processions. At a meeting, Abdul Qadeer delivered a violent speech against the Maharaja. He was arrested by the police and charged for sedition. During his trial, the police shot a crowd of Muslim protesters outside the Srinagar Central Goal, taking the lives of twenty- two demonstrators and a police-man. This day is known as "Martyrs Day" in the history of Kashmir, marked as the beginning of the struggle of the Muslim Kashmiris for independence from the Indian government.

In October 1932, at the Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference, Sheikh Abdullah was elected as the first president of the organization. Their objective was to transform the State of Jammu and Kashmir into a Muslim state. [Pankaj Mishra, "Kashmir: One Cheer for Democracy," New York Review of Books, February 27, 2003, pp. 25-27]

In 1934, Sheikh Abdullah had different views after the Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference. He believed that instead of a Muslim state, he wanted the state to be secular. This view played an important role in shaping the destiny of Kashmir.

The Transfer of Power in the State of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947

The Princely States of British India were given the power to decide their own future. So, the State of Jammu and Kashmir had the following choices: India or Pakistan.

For the State of Jammu and Kashmir the most obvious choice was to accede to Pakistan for the following reasons:

The State of Jammu and Kashmir had a majority Muslim population and close ties with the Muslim community of Punjab, which became a part of Pakistan.

The State of Jammu and Kashmir's major exports were transported to the countries through the region that was going to be a part of Pakistan. The only communication link that the State of Jammu and Kashmir had with India was a dirt road.

Pakistan, also, needed the State of Jammu and Kashmir has three of the five major rivers that irrigate Pakistan.

The accession to Pakistan was expected by the Muslim community of the Sub-Continent. The letter "K" in Pakistan stands for Kashmir.

The boundaries of India and Pakistan were demarcated by the Boundary Commission, which was chaired by Sir Cyril Radcliffe. The method used by the Boundary Commission to divide Punjab was to award the Muslim majority areas to Pakistan and the Hindu majority areas to India. This method was not conducted with the tehsils (sub districts) of the Gurdaspur District to India. Two of these sub-districts, Batala and Gurdaspur had a large Muslim majority. Therefore, these sub-districts should have been awarded to Pakistan. This unfair award made the State of Jammu and Kashmir's accession to India more practical. These three sub-districts provided the State of Jammu and Kashmir with a direct and better link to India. If these sub-districts were awarded to Pakistan, the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan would have been obvious. [Pankaj Mishra, "Kashmir: One Cheer for Democracy," New York Review of Books, February 27, 2003, pp. 25-27]

Accession

The State of Jammu and Kashmir was in greater complications by August 15th, 1947, since Pakistan and India had their own governments. The state was independent because Maharaja Hari Singh didn't choose to accede to either one of these two countries. However, the first Prime Minister of India, Nehru was aiming for the State of Jammu and Kashmir to accede to India. Meanwhile, the Governor General of Pakistan, Jinnah believed that interfering in the internal affairs of the Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir was constitutionally wrong, but the people of Pakistan and his colleagues did not think he was right. They were unhappy with the unfair awarding of Batala and Gurdaspur, and believed that Kashmir should be a part of Pakistan.

Under these conditions and mounting pressure from Lord Mountbatten, the government of the Maharaja had a Standstill Agreement with India and Pakistan. Under this agreement the state can carry on trade, communications, and services like it has been.

On October 22, 1947, the people of Poonch, along with the support of the Pathan tribes from Pakistan, rebelled against the Maharaja. They formally declared their independence from the rule of the Maharaja as the State of Azad (free) Kashmir, on October 24th, 1947. The Maharaja was losing control on the state so he turned to India for help. The Indian officials decided they will only help the Maharaja if he acceded to India. Therefore, on October 27th, 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh acceded to India by signing the Instrument of Accession for his own desires and the Indian Army moved into the state to suppress the rebellion. [Pankaj Mishra, "Kashmir: One Cheer for Democracy," New York Review of Books, February 27, 2003, pp. 25-27]

The Plebiscite

Pakistan never accepted the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India. Mountbatten, the first Governor-General of India, attempted to conciliate the government of Pakistan by suggesting that a plebiscite be held under the supervision of the United Nations. M.A. Jinnah agreed to the plebiscite, but with a condition. The condition was that the plebiscite could only be held when the Indian Army and the Pathan tribesmen had evacuated the State, the government of Sheikh Abdullah should be dissolved before the plebiscite because otherwise the people of Kashmir would not be able to voice their opinion justly. Meanwhile, Nehru and his colleagues said that the Indian forces will not leave the state until the Pathan tribesmen withdrew their forces first. This made M.A. Jinnah angry, since he had no control over the tribesmen, because they were not carrying out anything under the command of the government of Pakistan. Nehru, didn't agree with the second condition of dissolving the government of Sheikh Abdullah.

Sheikh Abdullah's government dominated Kashmir and the Indian Army was not withdrawn. Therefore, the two governments never did and never have agreed on the proposal of a fair and impartial plebiscite till today. This is the reason why the government of Pakistan does not acknowledge India's control over the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Unless a fair plebiscite is not held, Kashmir will remain a disputed territory. [Pankaj Mishra, "Kashmir: One Cheer for Democracy," New York Review of Books, February 27, 2003, pp. 25-27]

First Indo-Pakistani War… [END OF PREVIEW]

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History of Pakistan and India.  (2004, April 13).  Retrieved July 22, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/history-pakistan-india/8880109

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/history-pakistan-india/8880109.