At the time of partition in 1947, the Maharaja of Kashmir Hari Singh was forced to seek India’s help to fight the invading Pashtun militia, backed by the Pakistani government. In 1948, the UN brokered a resolution under which a plebiscite was to be held to determine the future of Kashmir. However both the Indian and Pakistani governments did not carry out the resolution. Eventually, a full-scale armed conflict between Islamic militant groups and the Indian army broke out in 1989, with the objective of attaining Azad Kashmir (Free Kashmir). The valley has been a theatre of conflict ever since.
This work is part of Sami Siva’s ongoing work on geopolitics and social issues in India.