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Indo-Pakistani War of 1947

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(Redirected from First Kashmir War)

(this article is being rewritten at Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 (rewrite) )

The Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 sometimes known as the First Kashmir War was a war fought between India and Pakistan over the region of Kashmir from 1947 to 1949.

India and Pakistan achieved their long sought after independence from the United Kingdom on August 15 1947. The subcontinent was split along religious lines with the Muslim northwest and north east going to Pakistan and the rest of the area going to India. The region of Kashmir was a principality still ruled by a prince, Maharaja Hari Singh.

Singh was a Hindu as were most of the elites of Kashmir. Three quarters of the population were Muslims, however. When the plans for partition were drawn up the decision of which country to join was left to Singh. He did not want to join the theocratic Muslim state of Pakistan, but also did not want to join democratic India where his autocratic powers would be curtailed. Thus, he kept delaying his decision and the status of the region was still in question upon the departure of the British.

This position soon became untenable, however. The religious rioting and violence that had started in the Punjab was spreading north. On October 20 groups of tribesmen backed by Pakistan along with units of the Pakistani regular army moved into Kashmir and began to march on the capital of Srinagar.

In desperation Hari Singh requested the Indian Government for Indian troops to stop the uprising. The Indians told him that if Singh signed an Instrument of Accession allowing Kashmir to join the Indian Union, then only could India rush in troops for the protection of one of its territories. This, the Maharaja reluctantly did. Following this accession, the Indian troops arrived and quickly blocked the advance of the invaders, preventing the imminent sacking of Srinigar.

In response to what Mohammed Ali Jinnah saw as the invasion of Kashmir by the Indians he ordered Pakistani military forces into Azad Kashmir as "volunteers." They also supplied the anti-Indian forces with arms and vehicles.

With the arrival of winter little fighting could be carried out in the mountainous region, but the next May India launched a massive offensive routing the Pakistani backed forces in the region. As a result Pakistan sent three brigades of the Pakistani army into the region. The fighting soon stalemated and both sides waited for international mediation to help resolve the situation.

After protracted negotiations a cease-fire was agreed to by both countries which came into effect January 5, 1949. The terms of the cease-fire as laid out in the UNCIP resolution (http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/uncom1.htm) of August 13, 1948 required Pakistan to withdraw her forces, both regular and irregular, while allowing India to maintain minimum strength of her forces in the state to preserve law and order. On compliance of these conditions a plebiscite was to be held to determine the future of the territory. In all, 1,500 soldiers died on each side during the war and Pakistan was able to acquire roughly two-fifths of Kashmir which it established as Azad Kashmir, meaning free Kashmir.[1] (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/indo-pak_1947.htm)

See also: Indo-Pakistani War of 1965

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