Kashmir Must Gain the Right of Self-determination

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Kashmir Must Gain the Right of Self-Determination The protracted conflict in Kashmir has continually undermined efforts to restore peace and stability to the Indian subcontinent. This South Asian crisis must be resolved so that 'India and Pakistan can devote their resources and energies to the pressing task of advancing the welfare of their people' as espoused by the Simla Accord of 1972. The Simla Accord is the document that states both countries agreed to find peaceful solutions for the promotion of a friendly and harmonious relationship that will restore peace to the subcontinent. The Simla Accord of 1972, however, has not been effectively implemented as the wave of human rights violations committed by both sides has demonstrated over the last decade. Why should Kashmir be granted their right of self-determination? First, the instrument of accession is illegitimate. Second, to stop the atrocities committed by both India and Pakistan that have prevented peaceful relations in South Asia. The need for India to recognize the illegitimacy of the instrument of accession is the starting point toward bilateral and conciliatory discussions between India and Pakistan. This will create an environment in which both countries can work toward establishing an independent Kashmir, the key to peaceful coexistence. Since India is crucial to the initiation of this process, an examination of the instrument of accession signed by the Maharaja Hari Singh and the Indian government on 26 October 1947 immediately follows. India must recognize the underlying weaknesses and the illegitimacy of the instrument of accession. The underlying weaknesses of the signing of the instrument of accession are clear and incontestable. First, the Maharaja l... ... middle of paper ... ...ilitarize and restore peace and security to the Indian subcontinent as already agreed upon in the Simla Accord of 1972, and eventually both sides must work together to decentralize control of Kashmir and allow for the emergence of an independent and sovereign Kashmir. A sovereign Kashmir, free of outside interests and influences, will sustain and maintain ‘peaceful and harmonious’ relations on the Indian subcontinent. Works Cited: Potter, Pitman B. "The Principal Legal and Political Problems Involved in the Kashmir Case." American Journal of International Law, vol. 44, no.2, 1950. Rahman, Mushtaqur. Divided Kashmir: Old Problems, New Opportunities for India, Pakistan, and the Kashmiri People. Lynne Rienner Publishers. Boulder, 1996. Thomas, Raju G.C. et al. Perspectives on Kashmir: The Roots of Conflict in South Asia. Westview Press. Boulder, 1992.

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