First Kashmir War of 1947- Rise of the biggest border dispute in the world

The First kashmir War

India has always been a peaceful country but its silence has often been taken as weakness. Because of that, its neighboring countries (Pakistan and China) have tried to invade its territories. This series of wars began in the same year when India became independent. India was a colony of British Rule for more than 200 years. After Independence, Jinnah made Pakistan and a cruel partition was done because of which around 200,000–1 million people died.  After this many territorial conflicts began and some still reside today. Because of these conflicts the first Indo-Pak War or the First Kashmir War began in 1947. In this article you will know the beginning of the most complicated and biggest border dispute in the world.

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The First Kashmir War

First Kashmir War of 1947

The Indo-Pak War of 1947 or the First Kashmir War was a battle fought over the territory of Jammu Kashmir. The main reason for this battle was that Pakistan used underhanded tactics in order to compel the King of Kashmir Raja Hari Singh. Pakistan launched tribal lashkar from Waziristan, in an effort to capture Kashmir. To save its territory, Raja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Ascension and agreed to accede his state to the Dominion of India. On 27 October 1947, the then Governor-General of India, Lord Mountbatten accepted the accession.

The Ruse of Pakistan

Raja Hari Singh

Actually, Raja Hari Singh had decided, as early as April 1947 that he would accede to India if it was not possible to stay independent. Pakistan got the news through the Muslim Conference as they wrote a letter to the Pakistani Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan warning him that “if, God forbid, the Pakistan Government or the Muslim League do not act, Kashmir might be lost to them”.

Liaquat Ali Khan sent a Punjab politician Mian Iftikharuddin to explore the possibility of organizing a revolt in Kashmir. Meanwhile, Pakistan cut off essential supplies to the state, such as petrol, sugar and salt. It also stopped trade in timber and other products, and suspended train services to Jammu. Iftikharuddin returned in mid-September to report that the National Conference held strong in the Kashmir Valley and ruled out the possibility of a revolt.

On 12 September, the Prime Minister held a meeting with Mian Iftikharuddin, Colonel Akbar Khan and another Punjab politician Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan. Hayat Khan had a separate plan, involving the Muslim League National Guard and the militant Pashtun tribes from the Frontier regions. The Prime Minister approved both the plans, and despatched Khurshid Anwar, the head of the Muslim League National Guard, to mobilise the Frontier tribes.

Maharaja Hari Singh was completely driven to the wall because of the rebellion in the western districts and the Pakistani blockade. He sent word to the Indian leaders through Mahajan that he was willing to accede to India. 

Ascension Of Kashmir

Accession Of Kashmir

The Maharaja asked for Indian military assistance. India set the condition that Kashmir must accede to India for it to receive assistance. The Maharaja complied, and the Government of India recognised the accession of the princely state to India. Indian troops were sent to the state to defend it. The Jammu & Kashmir National Conference volunteers aided the Indian Army in its campaign to drive out the Pathan invaders.

Pakistan being a sore loser refused the ascension and claimed that it is obtained through fraud and violence.  Governor General Mohammad Ali Jinnah ordered his Army Chief General Douglas Gracey to move Pakistani troops to Kashmir at once. However, the Indian and Pakistani forces were still under a joint command, and Field Marshal Auchinleck prevailed upon him to withdraw the order. With its accession to India, Kashmir became legally Indian territory. 

After the Ascension of Kashmir

The Pakistan army made available arms, ammunition and supplies to the rebel forces who were dubbed the ‘Azad Army’. Pakistani army officers ‘conveniently’ on leave and the former officers of the Indian National Army were recruited to command the forces.

In May 1948, the Pakistani army officially entered the conflict, in theory to defend the Pakistan borders, but it made plans to push towards Jammu and cut the lines of communications of the Indian forces in the Mehndar Valley.

In Gilgit, the force of Gilgit Scouts under the command of a British officer Major William Brown mutinied and overthrew the governor Ghansara Singh. Brown prevailed on the forces to declare accession to Pakistan. They are also believed to have received assistance from the Chitral Scouts and the Bodyguard of the state of Chitral, one of the princely states of Pakistan, which had acceded to Pakistan on 6 October 1947.

Pakistan started the war and tried their best to forcefully take the princely state of Kashmir which was legally and completely an Indian Territory.

The Indo-Pakistani War ended with a UN-mediated ceasefire along a line that was eventually named the Line of Control. The terms of the cease-fire, laid out in a UN Commission resolution on 13 August 1948, were adopted by the commission on 5 January 1949. This required Pakistan to withdraw its forces, both regular and irregular, while allowing India to maintain minimal forces within the state to preserve law and order. Upon compliance with these conditions, a plebiscite was to be held to determine the future of the territory.

Result of the first Kashmir War

UN mediation in Kashmir war

At the end of the first Kashmir War, India emerged victorious as it gained control of about two-thirds of Kashmir. It successfully defended most of the contested territory, including the Kashmir valley, Jammu, and Ladakh. But this victory was earned at the cost of 1,104 brave soldiers of India and more than 3,154 wounded. The team of ENCYCLOINDIA salutes the bravery of our great soldiers who lost their lives for our country.

For Pakistan it was an utter defeat as they lost about 6,000 killed and 14,000 wounded. But if you think that this is the end then let me tell you that this was just the beginning of one of many wars between India and Pakistan.

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