Standards Addressed: Literacy (Reading Informational, Grade 6)

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Can there be peace between India and Pakistan?

Standards Addressed:
Literacy (Reading Informational, Grade 6)

  1. Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

  1. Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.

  2. Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another.


Students will explain how elements of culture (e.g., language, the arts, customs, beliefs, literature) define specific groups in the global world of the present day and may result in unique perspectives

Students will explain how conflict and competition (e.g., political, economic, religious, ethnic) occur among individuals and groups in the present day.



Students will explain how compromise and cooperation are possible choices to resolve conflict among individuals and groups in the present day.


Students will use a variety of tools (e.g., primary and secondary sources) to describe and explain historical events and conditions and to analyze the perspectives of different individuals and groups (e.g., gender, race, region, ethnic group, age, economic status, religion, political group) in present day regions

Chart (Assessing Use of Evidence in Historical Arguments)
Reading 1: India-Pakistan Relations (Wikipedia article)
Reading 2: Background to India and Pakistan Conflict
Reading 3: India-Pakistan Peace Day 2012
Reading 4: The Hindu-Muslim DataLounge conversation threat, 2-24-13
Reading 5: Kasmir Conflict by Ismail Sloan

Directions to students: Who is right and who is wrong? Can there be peace between India and Pakistan? Opinions are divided. You are charged with assessing the claims made about the Indian-Pakistan Conflict to determine which arguments are stronger. Use the historical argument tool to make your case. Focus on the element(s) that your group is assigned. Look at each of the documents to evaluate it on the characteristic your group is assigned.
Your assessment of each article should help you say one of the following:

  • Reading __ meets the standard because ___________________.

  • Reading __ almost meets the standard because _____________.

  • Reading __ doesn’t meet the standard because _____________.

  • We couldn’t tell whether Reading __ meets the standard because _______________. Our questions are ______________________.

Be prepared to present your findings to the group.
Days 2-3:
In pairs, students write summaries of one of the articles, then meet in jig-sawed groups to share their summaries and get feedback on completeness, clarity, and conciseness.
Have students read additional materials if needed.
Day 4:
Challenge students to form their own opinions about the conflict. In pairs, ask them to write and then share a claim they could write about and support in a fat paragraph. Samples follow:
Claim: __________ is right because __________________________. Our supporting evidence is __________________________________________.
Claim: There can / cannot be peace between India and Pakistan because _______________________________________________. Our supporting evidence is __________________________________________.
Claim: In order for there to be peace between India and Pakistan, ______ _______________________________________ must happen. Our supporting evidence is __________________________________________.

Next steps:
1. Students will individually compose “fat paragraphs” based on the thesis statement (or claim, above) they have written. In essence, they are writing short historical arguments.
2. Review of fat paragraphs should involve a return to the chart for assessing evidence in an historical argument. Self-, peer-, and teacher-evaluation should be based on the characteristics listed in the chart.
Can There Be Peace Between India and Pakistan?
Who is right and who is wrong? Can there be peace between India and Pakistan? Opinions are divided. You are charged with assessing the claims made about the Indian-Pakistan Conflict to determine which arguments are stronger. Use the historical argument tool to make your case. Focus on the element(s) that your group is assigned. Look at each of the documents to evaluate it on the characteristic your group is assigned.
Your assessment of each article should help you say one of the following:

  • Reading __ meets the standard because ___________________.

  • Reading __ almost meets the standard because _____________.

  • Reading __ doesn’t meet the standard because _____________.

  • We couldn’t tell whether Reading __ meets the standard because _______________. Our questions are ______________________.

Our Group’s Findings

Reading 1:

Reading 2:

Reading 3:

Reading 4:

Reading 5:

Be prepared to present your findings to the class


Adapted from Chauncy Monte-Sano’s “What Makes a Good History Essay? Assessing Historical Aspects of Argumentative Writing” in Social Education 76(6), pp. 294-298.



Factual and interpretive accuracy

Interprets the document or piece of information accurately. Factual details and chronology are accurate.

Represents people, issues, events fairly. Does not show bias. Does not misinterpret or misrepresent.

Facts and chronology (sequence) are accurate.

Provides context needed to understand the event or issue.

Identifies and explains the subtext (what isn’t said).

Does not show bias.

Persuasiveness of evidence

The claim is supported with evidence that is relevant, significant, and specific.

The weight of evidence is sufficient or compelling.

Evidence is specific: precise historical details and quotations from documents.

Cites sources that are relevant to the argument. Identifies authors of evidence.

Provides multiple pieces of relevant evidence.

Sourcing of evidence

Evidence is balanced and credible.

Sources of evidence are provided.

Refers to evidence that are relevant to the argument (doesn’t bring up other issues).

Specifically and correctly identifies authors of evidence or of documents cited.

Recognizes perspectives of authors cited. Comments on credibility of evidence.

Corroboration of evidence

Multiple pieces of evidence work together to support the claim.

Recognizes and addresses conflicting or counter evidence

Uses more than one source of evidence to support the claim.

Recognizes and responds to counter-evidence or counter-claims.

Contextualization of evidence

Recognizes historical perspectives.

Demonstrates an understanding of causes behind the event.

Establishes the historical context and different perspectives about the topic.

Shows clear and correct cause-effect relationships.

Connects evidence to the historical context.

Uses documents in a way that is consistent with their purpose and meaning

Reading 1: India–Pakistan relations

The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on thetalk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved(January 2012)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved 3-4-13 from



Flags of India and Pakistan.

Relations between India and Pakistan have been strained by a number of historical and political issues, and are defined by the violent partition of British India in 1947, the Kashmir dispute and the numerous military conflicts fought between the two nations. Consequently, even though the two South Asian nations share historic, cultural, geographic, and economic links, their relationship has been plagued by hostility and suspicion.

After the dissolution of the British Raj in 1947, two new sovereign nations were formed—the Union of India and the Dominion of Pakistan. The subsequent partition of the former British India displaced up to 12.5 million people, with estimates of loss of life varying from several hundred thousand to a million.[1] India emerged as a secular nation with a Hindu majority population and a large Muslim minoritywhile Pakistan was established as an Islamic republic with an overwhelmingMuslim majority population.[2][3]

Soon after their independence, India and Pakistan established diplomatic relations but the violent partition and numerous territorial disputes would overshadow their relationship. Since their independence, the two countries have fought three major wars, one undeclared war and have been involved in numerous armed skirmishes and military standoffs. The Kashmir dispute is the main center-point of all of these conflicts with the exception of the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971, which resulted in the secession of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

There have been numerous attempts to improve the relationship—notably, the Shimla summit, the Agra summit and the Lahore summit. Since the early 1980s, relations between the two nations soured particularly after the Siachen conflict, the intensification of Kashmir insurgency in 1989, Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests in 1998 and the 1999 Kargil war. Certain confidence-building measures — such as the 2003 ceasefire agreement and the Delhi–Lahore Bus service — were successful in deescalating tensions. However, these efforts have been impeded by periodic terrorist attacks. The 2001 Indian Parliament attack almost brought the two nations on the brink of a nuclear war. The 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings, which killed 68 civilians (most of whom were Pakistani), was also a crucial point in relations. Additionally, the 2008 Mumbai attacks carried out by Pakistani militants[4] resulted in a severe blow to the ongoing India-Pakistan peace talks.

Reading2: adapted from Background to India and Pakistan Conflict

Retrieved 2-24-13 from
The First War: India and Pakistan have a long and complicated history with each other. In fact, these two countries simultaneously became independent from Britain.
When British India became independent, it was supposed to be divided into two parts. Areas consisting of 75% or more Muslims were to become Pakistan and the rest of the territory India (Sloan, Ismail. "Kashmir conflict- who is right, India or Pakistan." Available
This arrangement did not include the Princely States, one of which is Kashmir (Sloan). The Princely were at liberty to determine their own future -- they could join Pakistan, join India, or remain as a separate state (Sloan).
The Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh Dogra, decided to preserve the state of Kashmir so he decided to join neither India nor Pakistan (Sloan). However, Pakistan sent tribal lashkars to talk to Kashmir about their decision of autonomy. The Indian government saw Pakistan's action as a sign of invasion and sent their troops to help defend the state of Kashmir. The result of the first war between India and Pakistan involving Kashmir was Pakistan controlling 37% while India controlled 63% (

Two more wars. Two more wars occurred between Pakistan and India. One of the wars was in 1965, which resulted in a stalemate between the two countries for Kashmir. The second war occurred in 1971 and was triggered by Pakistan trying to pacify the Bengali peasantry by confiscating Hindu land and giving it to the Muslims ("1971 India-Pakistan War: Origins of Crisis," Available at link below).
This action created eight million refugees. Dealing with the refugees was an immense burden on the Indian government. The Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, felt the only way to stop the flow of refugees was to support the Bengali freedom fighters, especially the Muki Bahini.
Pakistan then began to attack suspected Muki Bahini camps located inside of India's territory. They later struck nine Indian airfields along the western boarder. India declared war on Pakistan and defeated them in two weeks, overrunning East Pakistan and taking 93,000 POWS (


New York Times Index for India Pakistan
Reading 3: Excerpt from India-Pakistan Peace Day 2012
August 14 – September 21, 2012

Retrieved 2-24-13 from

Association for Communal Harmony in Asia (ACHA) is launching its 9th annual India-Pakistan Peace Day campaign for 2012. “Peace Within India & Pakistan for Peace Between Them” will be the theme for this year.

Theme: Peace Within India & Pakistan for Peace Between Them

In the last few months, some conciliatory efforts have been initiated by the governments of India and Pakistan, which is well and good. But on the path of peace, we are still far away from the point of no return.

The situation is not likely to change significantly until and unless both governments conclude a peace and friendship treaty, featuring renunciation of war, overt and covert aggression, and first use of nuclear weapons against each other. The treaty must provide for settlement of all current as well as future disagreements through jointly approved/administered mechanisms.

Any peace between India and Pakistan would be incomplete, if it did not allow for free flow of goods, people, and ideas across their common border.

And any peace between the two nations will remain hollow until and unless there is peace and harmony also in all neighborhoods, villages, towns, and cities within their borders, and all citizens are able to live, work, vote, practice their beliefs, and express their views freely, without infringing on the rights of others to do the same.

Therefore, our campaign this year seeks to build popular support and encourage civil society leadership for promotion of peace WITHIN India and Pakistan in order to prepare the path toward peace BETWEEN them.

In this regard we are launching a petition and a pledge of peace & harmony, detailed below.

We urge peace and harmony activists and supporters to organize India-Pakistan Peace Day 2012 everywhere and to celebrate it with activities suitable to this year’s theme.

India-Pakistan Peace Day 2011 can be organized, any day between Pakistan’s Independence Day on August 14, 2012 and International Day of Peace on September 2, 2012.

Petition to ensure durable peace between India-Pakistan

We are launching a Petition to ensure durable peace between India-Pakistan.” It calls upon the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan to

  • Conclude a treaty of peace and friendship between the two nations, featuring renunciation of war, overt and covert aggression, and first use of nuclear weapons against each other;

  • Undertake to resolve all disagreements between the two nations through dialog and other jointly approved/administered mechanisms;

  • Allow free flow of goods, people, and ideas across your common borders; and  

  • Ensure the welfare of all their citizens especially children, women, and religious, ethnic, and sectarian minorities, so that everyone  can live, work, vote, practice their beliefs and express their views, without infringing on the rights of others to do the same.

We plan to deliver the petition to the two prime ministers personally, sometime in February-March 2013. Please sign the petition at

Pledge of Peace & Harmony

I pledge:

  • I will not intentionally use my hands or my words to harm anyone;

  • I will treat my sisters and daughters with at least as much love and respect as I treat my brothers and sons;

  • I will treat all my neighbours as deserving of my respect, regardless of their class, caste, sect or religion; and

  • I will practice environment-friendly practices in my daily life.

Please sign the Pledge at

Reading 4:

The hindu-muslim conflict in Pakistan/India. When did all this start?
Retrieved 2-24-13 from ajax.html?t=12512067#page:show Thread,12512067. Edited for length and language.

Post by Anonymous, 02/24/2013 @ 07:23PM. The movie about Mahatma Gandhi is on TMC and it makes it appear as if the British partition of India is what started all the conflicts, but it can't be that simple. If these people were living together before all that, why couldn't they have laws that allowed for all religions and let everyone live in their own homeland? Can any historians here describe what really happened?

Reply 1 by Anonymous, 02/24/2013 @ 07:35PM. …The Moghuls invaded and started demolishing temples and building mosques on their sites. It's the seemingly innately, violent, missionary nature of Islam (and Christianity) that [caused the problems]. Hinduism is not a missionary religion, bent on converting heathens - it respects other religions. Indian culture, on the other hand, is sometimes as barbaric as Islam!

Reply 2 by Anonymous, 02/24/2013 @ 07:52PM. Serbs and Croats hated each other before Tito died, yet they didn't have the opportunity to engage in warfare. India was the same under the Brits. Long-simmering resentment boiling over at last.

Reply 4 by Anonymous, 02/24/2013 @ 10:03PM. As the Indian independence movement gained force after World War I Mohammed Ali Jinnah…began to emphasize a role for Indian Muslims. [He was concerned] that the new post independence government would be Hindu-dominated, resulting in discrimination against Muslims. [This concern] evolved into the partition of British India into Pakistan and India based upon predominance of whatever population was where. In the early '70s East Pakistan declared its independence as Bangladesh. The roots for this conflict date back to the first Muslim conquests of India--the Muslims offered freedom from caste, especially for the untouchables. The British were an outside power, neither Hindu nor Muslim, but when they left, the Hindu-Muslim question arose once again. Gandhi's solution was to have the first Prime Minister be a Muslim to keep British India together in independence [but that] was never tried.

Reply 9 by Anonymous, 02/24/2013 @ 10:20PM. You can never escape caste. Even if your family converted a hundred years ago, Hindus know. My ex was a high-caste Hindu and I remember speaking about an Indian Christian I met. He asked the name and where the person was from and what denomination, and from that he said this guy’s ancestors’ people were poor fishermen of a low (but not untouchable) caste. Hindus are super-aware of this stuff, not matter how much they say it has changed.

READING 5: Kashmir Conflict—Who is right, India or Pakistan?

Retrieved 2-24-13 from Edited for length.

One of the most…long standing conflicts in the world is the conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. [It] started in 1947, on the day after India and Pakistan simultaneously became independent. Three major wars have been fought over it. Thousands and perhaps even more than a million people have died. The result so far is that India controls almost two-thirds of Kashmir and Pakistan controls one-third. China controls the rest. The conflict continues.

I and, I believe, most scholars who have studied this issue feel that Pakistan has the stronger case. However, India has more people and therefore more who advocate their point of view.…

Briefly stated, when British India was given its independence, India was supposed to be divided into two countries: India and Pakistan. All areas which were more than 70% Muslim were supposed to go into Pakistan. The rest would be India.

However, the "princely states" would be left to decide on their own. They could join Pakistan or India or they could remain independent.

The way I am directly concerned with this issue is that my wife was from the Princely State of Chitral, which is in the extreme Northwest corner of what is now Pakistan. The rulers of Chitral were for a time not sure if they wanted to join Pakistan or India. Eventually, they came to be considered part of Pakistan, but retained their autonomy. The princes continued to rule. However, on January 1, 1971, the rule by the Prince of Chitral was abolished by the government of Pakistan. This was a popular move, as the long suffering people of Chitral had gotten fed up with their princes. The princes were not entirely unhappy either, because they were given some money and minor positions in the Government of Pakistan. The Prince of Chitral is still in the Foreign Service of Pakistan to this day.…

Although the matter of Chitral was resolved peacefully, in neighboring Kashmir, there was immediate war.

According to the Indians, Pathan troublemakers from the Northwest Frontier (places like Chitral and Peshawar) were causing riots and agitation in Kashmir. As a result, the Maharaja of Kashmir joined India and requested the assistance of the Indian Army. The Indian Army arrived immediately, the same day, and Pakistan attacked the next day.

Thus, according to the Indians, India has the right to all of Kashmir. When Pakistan built a road to China known as the Karakorum Highway, India protested to the United Nations and everywhere else that a road was being built across "their territory" without their permission.

However, Pakistan has a different view. The "Pathan agitators" were not from Peshawar. Rather, they were local Kashmiris who did not want to be part of India. Furthermore, the Maharaja of Kashmir had no right to call in the Indian Army, because the Maharaja of Kashmir was not a heredity ruler. He was merely a British appointee. There had been no such position as the "Maharaja of Kashmir" prior to British rule. Finally, the agreement was that any areas more than 70% Muslim would go to Pakistan. Kashmir has more than 90% Muslims and therefore clearly should have been part of Pakistan.

The main reason why I and most others take the Pakistan side is that numerous polls have been taken of the people of Indian Kashmir. Every one of these polls has had a similar result. Some want an independent Kashmir. Some (usually slightly fewer) want to join Pakistan. Almost none at all want to stay in India. The few who do want to stay in India are recent arrivals, primarily Hindus, who do not have long heredity links to Kashmir.

Nobody on the Pakistan side of Kashmir wants to join India, but a few would like to have independence.

Such matters are often determined by economics. Pakistan has a much higher standard of living and the people are financially better off there than they are in India.

Finally, I must add that the British were at fault for not resolving this issue before pulling out in 1947.

Ismail Sloan

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