Each year on the 5th of February, a day for the cause of Kashmir is observed in Pakistan. The day is in practice since the 1990s and the whole world is advocating for Kashmir and its people since 1948, but nothing has been achieved. This article attempts to provide a timeline for resolving Kashmir’s issue and points out why a proper solution hasn’t been achieved till today.
- Negotiations on Kashmir for the first time started on November 1, 1947, between Lord Mountbatten and Muhammad Jinnah.
- Later on, in New Delhi talks on the Kashmir issue were held between V. P. Menon and Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah under the headship of Lord Hastings Ismay, who was the Chief of Staff of Lord Mountbatten.
- During 1948-49, a United Nations commission was made between India and Pakistan. Sir Owen Dixon, the mediator of the United Nations, held a joint conference of the Prime Ministers of both countries, i.e., Jawaharlal Nehru of India and Liaquat Ali Khan of Pakistan.
- Talks between Jawaharlal Nehru and Muhammad Ali Bogra took place in 1953 and are thus known as Bogra Talks.
- During 1962-63, talks on the Kashmir issue were held between Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Swaran Singh
In 1972, Shimla Accord took place (July 2, 1972).
- On June 23, 1997, Islamabad’s Charter of Composite Dialogue was listed.
On February 21, 1999, during the occasion of the Lahore Bus Deceleration between Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif Kashmir issue was also discussed.
Lastly, the Four Points Formula of General Pervaiz Musharraf.
Primarily, the Kashmir dispute has three parties namely;
The People of Kashmir
As it is clearly manifested in the above timeline of events, the say of Kashmiri People has been ignored right from the beginning and they’ve not been involved in any of these negotiations directly. On the contrary, the Constitution of India, under the provision to Article 253 states that;
“No decision affecting the disposition of Jammu and Kashmir shall be made by the Government of India without the consent of the Srinagar Government.”
It implies two things;
- A decision on the disposition of Kashmir is yet to be made.
- The consent of its freely elected governments representing the people is indispensable.
It has been crystal clear now that force has clearly failed and no settlement is possible within the limits of the Indian Constitution only, as Article 370 is hollowed out and Article 35-A is under threat. Thus, a compromise has to be made among all three parties. Freedom is only possible through effective negotiations. It cannot be secured by force nor India can crush Kashmiris and their voices by force. Lastly, no accord will succeed unless all the three sides concur and compromise.