Since my stint in the army I have studied war and conflicts and their causes and effects…….there is one that I have been watching for many years and it is the one that could push the limits of acceptability…….
While we were watching the antics of the police in Ferguson and the world’s reaction and while we were mouthing our disgust at the actions of ISIS and the death of Foley….a small conflict that has been simmering for decades erupted into a minor skirmish that could turn ugly with a capital “U”………there is so much more to the world than in our little prism…
Let’s return to the year 1947………The partition of the Indian sub-continent along religious lines led to the formation of India and Pakistan. However, there remained the problem of over 650 states, run by princes, existing within the two newly independent countries.
Because of its location, Kashmir could choose to join either India or Pakistan. Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of Kashmir, was Hindu while most of his subjects were Muslim. Unable to decide which nation Kashmir should join, Hari Singh chose to remain neutral.
Indian and Pakistani forces thus fought their first war over Kashmir in 1947-48. India referred the dispute to the United Nations on 1 January. In a resolution dated August 13, 1948, the UN asked Pakistan to remove its troops, after which India was also to withdraw the bulk of its forces.
In all there have been 3 wars fought over Kashmir region….1947, 1965 and 1999……and during the lulls of actual war there have been many cross border skirmishes between the army of India and Pakistan.
The wars have been over territory but they are also as much about religion as the province of Kashmir……..you know me……there has got to be a reason that I bring up this conflict…a conflict that few seem to care about……
And you would be right in the assumption that there is something going on in the neighborhood of Kashmir…….on 24 August 2014 Reuters reported…….
- Indian and Pakistani troops intensified firing across the border over the weekend killing at least four, an Indian official said on Sunday, straining ties between the arch rivals who recently called off top-level diplomatic talks.
Last week India said its foreign secretary would not meet with her Pakistani counterpart as scheduled on Monday because of plans by Pakistan to consult separatists from the border state of Jammu and Kashmir ahead of the meeting.
According to India’s Defence Ministry, there have been 70 ceasefire violations by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir since Modi took over.
“Pakistani troops violated ceasefire again today and restored to heavy firing targeting 22 Border Security Force (BSF) posts,” BSF Inspector General for Jammu frontier, Rakesh Sharma, told Reuters.
There we have a couple of odd army units firing across some line at each other….what could possibly make this so damn important?
These two countries have fought 3 wars over the region….if that is not bad enough both of these countries are nuclear capable states…….think about that for a couple of minutes. This region could hold the key to the next ‘great war’.