Coding Notes: Kashmir ’47-‘90

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Coding Notes: Kashmir ’47-‘90
These coding notes are based on the narrative for Kashmir ’47-‘90, in this website. See also, Journeys, Ch. 9 and Ch. 11, pp. 240-290 and 318-353, and the discussion on Coding Procedure in this website.


This case is not about the Kashmiris as a people, but rather about the region of Kashmir in the struggle for regional hegemony between India and Pakistan. The authors make this explicit at the beginning of their narrative by stating that "it has been fifty years since India and Pakistan waged their first war over the territory known as Kashmir" (Journeys, p. 262). Since this struggle includes opposing claims over Kashmir as well as over other regions, a focus on Kashmir alone would risk missing the links between this and other regions over which India and Pakistan have been fighting.

We graphed the case of Kashmir as a complex conflict (1947-1990) made of eight main episodes involving a number of domestic and international parties. Episodes 1-4-5-6-7 and episodes 2-3-8 constitute two important sequences involving respectively mainly state actors (Pakistan, India, Bengali) and Kashmir rebels (Kashmiri rebels against Maharadja and India).
Episode 1-2: Pakistan-India and Kashmir rebels- Maharadja (1947-1963)
The struggle over Kashmir began when the region's leaders were given the choice to accede either to India or to Pakistan. The conflict began in a Crisis Phase that recognized established procedures for accession, however the use of violence was expected (Episode 1:Phase 2). In October 1947, a tribal rebellion was supported by Pakistani forces, which shifted the conflict into a Limited Violence Phase from the Pakistani perspective (Episode 1: Phase 3) as well as for the rebels’ perspectives (Episode 2: Phase 3). Although India's claims were also affected by the Pakistani intervention, the conflict between Pakistan and India remained in a Crisis Phase as long as India did not partake in the armed struggle (Episode 1: Phase 2). The Maharajah called upon India for military aid, which was granted under the condition that Kashmir acceded to India. When Indian forces quickly crushed the rebellion, the conflict between Pakistan and India shifted briefly into a limited violence phase (Episode 1: Phase 3) before turning into an abatement phase (Episode 1: Phase 5) that was characterized by the occupation of Kashmir by Indian forces. From the Kashmiri perspective, India’s intervention on behalf of the Maharadja triggered the conflict toward a massive violence phase (Episode 2: Phase 4), which also turned to abatement with the defeat of the rebels’ forces and the intervention of the United Nations (Episodes 1 and 2: Phase 5).

Under the auspices of the United Nations a ceasefire was established along a line that left 1/3 of Kashmir under Pakistani control and 2/3 under Indian control. As of 1949, a UN peacekeeping force has monitored the ceasefire. Numerous efforts by the UN to resolve the conflict deadlocked. In 1956, Kashmir was proclaimed a state of the Indian Union. Bilateral efforts were undertaken in 1962-63 without any success.

Episode 3: Kashmiri rebels-India (1963)
The conflict resumed in a new episode when the Muslim population protested against the Indian rule in 1963, signaling to Pakistan that the inclusion of Kashmir might be possible and thus propelling the conflict into a crisis phase from which the outbreak of systematic violence could be expected (Episode 3: Phase 2). Sporadic skirmishes occurred between Indian forces, which repelled Pakistani incursions into the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir. Note: this episode stands as a sequence in between episodes 2 and 8.
Episodes 4 to 7: From Pakistan-India’s conflict until the creation of Bangladesh (1965-1972)
In September 1965, the Pakistani invasion into Jammu triggered the second India-Pakistan war, thus shifting the conflict into a massive violence phase (Episode 4: Phase 4). The war lasted for only two weeks and ended in abatement which was brought about by arms embargoes by the United States and Great Britain, the monitoring of a ceasefire by the United Nations, and a mediation effort by the Soviet Union (episode 4: phase 5).

A new episode, unrelated to Kashmir, but part of the India-Pakistan conflict, began over Bengali in 1970. The independence of India and Pakistan in 1947 divided Pakistan into two parts between which India was wedged in. In 1970, the Bengali Awami League threatened to undermine the power base of West Pakistan. This suggests that a conflict between two groups existed within the Pakistani power establishment. This conflict was in a dispute phase as long as institutional means were selected to fight for opposing objectives (Episode 5: Phase 1). But the election of the Awami League shifted the conflict into a crisis phase in which the Awami League pursued the creation of the independent state of Bangladesh against the will of Pakistan (episode 5: phase 2). With the massive military attack of Pakistan against the Awami League and its armed forces, the conflict shifted into a phase of massive violence (episode 5: phase 4).

The sustained attacks by West Pakistani forces generated millions of refugees that fled to neighboring India. In December of 1971, India intervened on the side of East Pakistan, thus resuming the conflict between India and Pakistan that had been in abatement since the second India-Pakistan war. The conflict was resumed in a Massive Violence Phase (Episode 6: Phase 4), and resulted in the defeat of the West Pakistani forces (Episode 6: Phase 5) and the creation of Bangladesh as an independent state (episode 5: phase 6). This shifted the conflict between West and East Pakistan into a settlement phase while the conflict between West Pakistan and India shifted into an abatement phase due to the renewed defeat of Pakistani forces. The separate but related nature of the struggle over Kashmir and the struggle over East Pakistan is reflected in the authors' assertion that "the negotiations of the peace settlement continue to have a bearing on the two countries' efforts to resolve the long-standing dispute over Kashmir" (Journeys, p. 263). The peace agreement following the defeat in Bangladesh included provisions for the transfer of prisoners and the division of assets but also the establishment of a new Line of Control in Kashmir. This line was agreed to be the line demarcated in the ceasefire agreement.
Episodes 7 and 8: Disputes over Line of Control and renewal of Kashmiris’ contention over Indian government (1972- early 90’s)
A new episode started when disagreements arose regarding the status of the line of control (Episode 7, Phase 1). Whereas India only tolerates bilateral negotiations for a final settlement of the Kashmir issue, Pakistan wants to include external actors such as the United Nations. During this Dispute Phase, both countries continued their claims for regional hegemony by acquiring symbols of powers including nuclear weapons and huge arsenals of conventional weapons.

The conflict over Kashmir resumed in 1989 when discontent over increasing control of the Indian government led to the creation of insurgencies. The insurgents aimed at establishing an independent Kashmir or a union with Pakistan and received support from Pakistan. This shifted the conflict between India and Pakistan into a crisis phase in which the intervention of either state on behalf of their proxies could be expected (Episode 7: Phase 2). The authors state that "a flare-up between India and Pakistan that raised the prospect of a war between the de facto nuclear powers was averted in early 1990, allegedly after US National Security Advisor Robert Gates met with both sides and helped initiate limited confidence-building measures" (Journeys, p. 266). The conflict between India and Pakistan shifted into a new abatement phase when a newly elected Pakistani government proposed talks about a comprehensive solution to the Kashmir issue in 1993 (Episode 7: Phase 5). However, no progress was made.

The relationship between episode 8 and the preceding episodes is unspecified, and in the graph, we considered Episode 8 as a continuation of Episodes 2 and 3 (involving Kashmiri rebels and the Indian government). Just as the dispute over the Line of Control began, the conflict between the Kashmiri insurgents and the Indian government entered into a phase of limited violence from the insurgents’ perspective (Episode 8: Phase 3) and into a crisis phase form the government's perspective (Episode 8: Phase 2). Insurgents use violence in a restrained way including a mixture of "regular armed attacks, and strikes and protests" (Journeys, p. 266). The government, on the other hand, merely used police actions to subdue the insurgents. Both parties have been criticized for their widespread abuse of human rights. The Indian government's willingness to negotiate made the largest Kashmiri rebel groups announce a unilateral ceasefire (Episode 8: Phase 5), offer the suspension of violence, and propose a referendum. The Indian government did not publicly accept, however.

The conflict between the Indian government and the Kashmiri rebels entered into an Abatement Phase from the rebels point of view (Episode 8: Phase 5) but remained in a crisis phase from the government's perspective (Episode 8: Phase 2). During these phases a number of violent clashes and kidnappings were reported, which are possible in both a Crisis and an Abatement Phase. Also, the military siege, destruction of the shrine at Sinagar and the subsequent retaliation against Hindu temples falls within the definition of these phases.

Another attempt to enter a settlement phase was undertaken in 1997 when the Indian Prime Minister initiated talks with Pakistan. While a number of issues were resolved, the Kashmir issue remained an obstacle in the negotiations. It is indicative of the nature of the conflict that Kashmiri representatives were not included in the negotiations, for the conflict is not about Kashmiris but about regional hegemony that symbolized by the control of the region of Kashmir. Throughout the negotiations, "violent conflict continued as sporadic clashes between Indian and Pakistani troops occurred across the Line of Control and militant groups continued their separatist campaign" (Journeys, p. 271).

Another display of power occurred in 1998 when Pakistan followed India in its detonation of nuclear explosions. Although this did not propel the conflict into a new phase it clearly made the abatement phase tilt toward renewed crisis or violence and away from conflict settlement.

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