The Kashmir conflict (Hindi: कश्मीर विवाद, Urdu: مسئلہ کشمیر) is a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region, the northwestern most region of South Asia.
India claims the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir and as of 2010, administers approximately 43% of the region, including most of Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, and theSiachen Glacier. India’s claims are contested by Pakistan, which controls approximately 37% of Kashmir, namely Azad Kashmir and the northern areas of Gilgit and Baltistan.
India has officially stated that it believes that Kashmir is an integral part of India, though the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, stated after the 2010 Kashmir Unrest that his government is willing to grant autonomy within the purview of Indian constitution to Kashmir if there is consensus on this issue. Pakistan maintains that Kashmir is the “jugular vein of Pakistan” and a currently disputed territory whose final status must be determined by the people of Kashmir. China states that Aksai Chin is a part of China and does not recognize the addition of Aksai Chin to the Kashmir region. Certain Kashmiri independence groups believe that Kashmir should be independent of both India and Pakistan.
India and Pakistan have fought at least three wars over Kashmir, including the Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1947, 1965 and 1999. India and Pakistan have also been involved in severalskirmishes over the Siachen Glacier.
Since 1987, a disputed State election has resulted in some of the state’s legislative assembly forming militant wings, creating a catalyst for insurgency. The Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir has been the site of conflict between the Indian Armed Forces, militants, and separatists. India has furnished documentary evidence to the United Nations that these militants are supported by Pakistan, leading to a ban on some terrorist organisations, which Pakistan has yet to enforce. Former President of Pakistan and the ex-chief of Pakistan military Pervez Musharraf, stated in an interview in London, that Pakistani government indeed helped to form underground militant groups and “turned a blind eye” towards their existence.
The turmoil in Jammu and Kashmir has resulted in thousands of deaths, but has become less deadly in recent years. There have been protest movements in Indian Administered Kashmir since 1989. The movements were created to voice Kashmir’s disputes and grievances with the Indian government, specifically the Indian Military.Elections held in 2008 were generally regarded as fair by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, had a high voter turnout in spite of calls by militants for a boycott, and led to the pro-India Jammu & Kashmir National Conference forming the government in the state. According to Voice of America, many analysts have interpreted the high voter turnout in this election as a sign that the people of Kashmir have endorsed Indian rule in the state. However Sajjad Lone, a prominent separatist leader in Kashmir, claims that “the high turnout should not be taken as a sign that Kashmiris no longer want independence. In 2009 and 2010 unrest erupted again.