Kashmir - Chronology of Major Events
- 1846: Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) State is created under the Treaty of Amritsar between the East India Company and Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu who buys Kashmir Valley from the East India Company for Rs.75, 00,000 and adds it to Jammu and Ladakh already under his rule. Kashmir Valley is a Muslim majority region speaking the Kashmiri language and a composite cultural identity called 'kashmiriyat' transcending religious barriers; the people are hospitable and engage in Sufi tradition.
- 1931: The movement against the Maharaja Hari Singh begins; it is brutally suppressed by the State forces.
- 1932: Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah sets up the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference to fight for Kashmiri freedom from the Maharaja's rule, which would eventually become the National Conference in 1939.
The Glancy Commission appointed by the Maharaja publishes a report in April 1932, confirming the existence of the grievances of the State's subjects and suggests recommendations providing for equitable representation of all subjects in the State's services; Maharaja accepts these recommendations but delays implementation, leading to another agitation in 1934; Maharaja grants a Constitution providing a Legislative Assembly for the people, but the Assembly turns out to be powerless.
- 1946: National Conference launches Quit Kashmir movement demanding abrogation of the Treaty of Amritsar and restoration of sovereignty to the people of Kashmir. Abdullah is arrested.
- 1947: On 15 August, the Indian subcontinent becomes independent. Kashmir signs Standstill Agreement with Pakistan. Rulers of Princely States are encouraged to accede their States to either Dominion - India or Pakistan, taking into account factors such as geographical contiguity and the wishes of their people. The Maharaja of Kashmir delays his decision in an effort to remain independent.
In theory, rulers were allowed to accede their States to either Dominion, irrespective of the wishes of their people; but as a practical matter, they were encouraged to accede to the geographically contiguous Dominion, taking into account the wishes of their people and in cases where a dispute arose, it was decided to settle the question of accession by a plebiscite, a scheme proposed and accepted by India. Being a Muslim majority State and contiguous to Pakistan, Kashmir was expected to accede to Pakistan; since the Hindu Ruler acceded instead to India, a dispute arose in the case of Kashmir.
In 1948, India imposed and won a plebiscite in the case of Junagadh, which had a Hindu majority ruled by a Muslim Ruler who acceded to Pakistan; However, in the case of Kashmir, the mirror image of Junagadh, India did not hold a plebiscite; Pakistan applied its own share of double standards by having divergent positions on Kashmir and Junagadh, insisting it get both.
Barring National Conference, other political parties including the Muslim Conference and the Chiefs of Gilgit region, advise the Maharaja against acceding to the Indian Union. While in prison, Sheikh Abdullah writes a letter to a friend in Jammu, which is published in the Congress press, in favour of accession of Kashmir to India. Abdullah is released from prison on 29 September, in response to pressure from India.
On 22 October, thousands of Pathan tribesmen from Pakistan invade Kashmir. The tribesmen engage in looting and killing along the way. The tribesmen and the Poonch rebels are unofficially supported by various individuals and high ranking officials in Pakistan including Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan and Chief Minister of North West Frontier Province. India accuses Pakistan of violating the Standstill Agreement with Kashmir by disrupting the supply links and of engaging in aggression by sending in the tribesmen. Pakistan refutes the charges.
1947: The Maharaja of the State of Jammu and Kashmir signs the Instrument of Accession (IOA) on 26 October, acceding the 75% majority Muslim region to the Indian Union, following invasion by the tribesmen from Pakistan, according to the 1948 Indian White Paper; India accepts the accession, regarding it provisional until such time as the will of the people can be ascertained by a plebiscite, since Kashmir was recognized as a disputed territory. [A plebiscite is the direct vote of all members of an electorate on an important public question being referred to them, in this case accession of Kashmir to India or Pakistan.] It should be noted that the IOA itself does not specify any provisionally or conditionality of accession, while the White Paper specifies it clearly, thus creating a conflict between strict legal interpretation and repeated official promise made to the people of Kashmir.
The Indian army enters the state on 27 October to repel the invaders. On 27-28 October, Pathan tribesmen engage in looting and killing a large number of people in Baramula, which results in the exodus of over 10,000 residents. Sheikh Abdullah endorses the accession as ad-hoc which would be ultimately decided by a plebiscite and is appointed head of the emergency administration. Pakistan disputes that the accession is illegal given the Maharaja acted under duress and that he had no right to sign an agreement with India when the standstill agreement with Pakistan is still in force.
In November 1947, India proposes that Pakistan withdraw all its troops first, as a precondition for a plebiscite, which Pakistan rejects. Pakistan proposes simultaneous withdrawal of all troops followed by a plebiscite under international auspices, which India rejects. Pakistan sends regular forces to Kashmir and the first war over Kashmir breaks out.
- 1948: India takes the Kashmir problem to the United Nations (UN) Security Council on 1 January.
- 1949: On 1 January, a ceasefire between Indian and Pakistani forces leaves India in control of most of the valley, as well as Jammu and Ladakh, while Pakistan gains control of part of Kashmir including what Pakistan calls "Azad" Kashmir and Northern territories. Pakistan claims it is merely supporting an indigenous rebellion in "Azad" Kashmir and Northern Territories against repression, while India terms that territory as POK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir).
- 1949: On 5 January 1949, UNCIP (United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan) resolution states that the question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through a free and impartial plebiscite. As per the 1948 and 1949 UNCIP resolutions, both countries accept the principle, that Pakistan secures the withdrawal of Pakistani intruders followed by withdrawal of Pakistani and Indian forces, as a basis for the formulation of a Truce agreement whose details are to be arrived in future, followed by a plebiscite; However, both countries fail to arrive at a Truce agreement due to differences in interpretation of the procedure for and extent of demilitarization one of them being whether the Azad Kashmiri army is to be disbanded during the truce stage or the plebiscite stage.
- 1949: On 17 October, the Indian Constituent Assembly adopts Article 370 of the Constitution, ensuring a special status and internal autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir with Indian jurisdiction in Kashmir limited to the three areas agreed in the IOA, namely, defense, foreign affairs and communications.
- 1951: First post-independence elections. The UN passes a resolution to the effect that such elections do not substitute a plebiscite, because a plebiscite offers the option of choosing between India and Pakistan. Sheikh Abdullah wins, mostly unopposed. There are widespread charges of election rigging which continue to plague all the subsequent elections.
1947-1952: Sheikh Abdullah signs Delhi Agreement with the Central government on Centre-State relationships, providing for autonomy of the State within India and of regions within the State; Article 370 is confirmed and the State is allowed to have its own flag.
- 1952: Jawaharlal Nehru in the Lok Sabha on August 7 - "...Ultimately - I say this with all deference to this Parliament - the decision will be made in the hearts and minds of the men and women of Kashmir; neither in this Parliament, nor in the United Nations nor by anybody else"
- 1953-54: The governments of India and Pakistan agree to appoint a Plebiscite Administrator by the end of April 1954. In August 1953, Govt. is dismissed. Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed is installed in power, which then gets the accession formally ratified in 1954.
- 1956-1959: On 30 October 1956, the state Constituent Assembly adopts a constitution for the state declaring it an integral part of the Indian Union
- In April 1959, permit system for entry to the State is abolished. In October, the State Constition is amended to extend jurisdiction of Union Election Commission to the State and bring its High Court at par with those in the rest of India.
- 1962: India and China go to war on account of a border dispute in the Ladakh region; at the end of war, China occupies 37,555 sq. kms from Indian held Kashmir at Aksai-chin and Demochok in Ladakh. In December, 5180 sq. kms are conditionally taken over by China at Shaksgam in Northern Areas of Kashmir under Pakistan control.
- 1963: Violence and demonstrations across the Valley occur on 27 December when the holy relic is found missing from the Hazratbal shrine.
- 1964: The holy relic is recovered on 4 January. Talks take place on 29 April between Sheikh Abdullah and the Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Sheikh Abdullah goes to Pakistan on 25 May, at Nehru's instance, for talks with Field Marshal Ayub Khan. Nehru passes away on 27 May and the talks get stranded.
- 1965-1966: In early 1965, India and Pakistan engage in a series of clashes in the Rann of Kutch which ends in a ceasefire on 30 June under British mediation.
In Aug 1965, Pakistan undertakes Operation Gibraltar and sends in a few thousand armed infiltrators across the cease-fire line, and incidents of violence increase in Kashmir valley. A full Indo-Pakistani war breaks out which ends in a ceasefire on 23 September. In January 1966, Tashkent Declaration is signed by both countries agreeing to revert to pre-1965 position, under Russian mediation. Pakistan supported guerrilla groups in Kashmir increase their activities after the ceasefire.
Amanullah Khan and Maqbool Butt form another Plebiscite Front with an armed wing called the Jammu and Kashmir National Liberation Front (NLF) in Azad Kashmir, with the objective of freeing Kashmir from Indian occupation. Butt crosses into the Valley in June 1966 and engages in clashes with the Indian army. He is arrested and sentenced to death in 1968 but escapes to Azad Kashmir with help from the local people.
- 1967-1968: In April 1967, Jammu Autonomy Forum is formed with the objective of regional autonomy. In November 1968, Gajendragadkar Commission recommends statutory regional development boards.
- 1971: Pakistan resorts to genocide in the erstwhile East Pakistan to suppress the large scale uprising by the people against West Pakistan authoritarianism. To divert public opinion all over the world Pakistan resorts to air strikes against India. Indo-Pakistan war begins on 03 December. Pakistani forces surrender in two weeks and East Pakistan is liberated to give birth to Bangladesh. Status quo is maintained on the western front between India and Pakistan.
- 1971: An Indian Airlines plane, 'Ganga', en route from Srinagar to New Delhi, is hijacked in January and diverted to Lahore and later blown up after allowing passengers to leave. Maqbool Butt claims responsibility.
India backs send troops to East Pakistan to defend its secessionist movement against the repressive Pakistani army. Pakistan launches an attack from the West including Kashmir. India defeats Pakistan and East Pakistan become independent Bangladesh. The cease-fire line in Kashmir becomes the 'Line of Control'(LOC). Pakistan holds India responsible for the dismemberment of their country.
- 1972: India and Pakistan sign the Simla Agreement in July, which has a clause that the final settlement of Kashmir will be decided bilaterally in the future and that both the sides shall respect the LOC.
- 1974: In November, Kashmir Accord is signed by G.Parthasarathy for Indira Gandhi and Mirza Afzal Beg for Sheikh Abdullah, who is out of power at that time. The Accord retains Kashmir's special status, but the state is termed as a 'constituent unit of the Union of India'.
- 1975: Sheikh Abdullah is sworn is as chief minister on 25 February with the support of the Congress Legislature party.
- 1976: Maqbool Butt is arrested on his return to the Valley; Amanullah Khan moves to England and NLF becomes Jammu and Kashmir liberation Front (JKLF).
- 1977: Sheikh Abdullah resigns after the Congress party withdraws support on 27 March. The Assembly is dissolved. On 30 June, the state goes to elections. The elections give the National Conference a convincing victory in assembly elections in June.
- 1979: The Sikri Commission is appointed to inquire into regional grievances in J&K.
- 1982: Sheikh Abdullah dies on 8 September and Farooq becomes Chief Minister.
- 1983: Farooq Abdullah leads the National Conference to a convincing victory in assembly elections in June.
- 1984: Jag Mohan is appointed Governor in April and State Govt. is dismissing on 02 July. G. M. Shah is sworn in as Chief Minister.
- 1984: Indian and Pakistani armies engage in clashes in Siachen Glacier, a no-man's land at an altitude of 20,000ft with extreme weather conditions, where the cease-fire line had been left undefined by 1972 Simla Agreement; Siachen is perceived to be of strategic importance for access to the Northern Areas and the spasmodic clashes would continue through later years, costing thousands of lives and billions of dollars.
- 1986: The Shah government is dismissed on 7 March.
- 1987: Farooq Abdullah wins the elections. The Muslim United Front (MUF) accuses that the elections have been rigged. The MUF candidate Mohammad Yousuf Shah is imprisoned and he would later become Syed Salahuddin, chief of militant outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahedin. His election aides (known as the HAJY group) - Abdul Hamid Shaikh, Ashfaq Majid Wani, Javed Ahmed Mir and Mohammed Yasin Malik - would join the JKLF.
Amanullah Khan takes refuge in Pakistan, after being deported from England and begins to direct operations across the LoC. Young disaffected Kashmiris in the valley are recruited by JKLF.
- 1988: Era of violence starts in valley.
1989: Militancy increases with bomb blasts. On 8 December, Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of the Home Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed is kidnapped by the JKLF. She is released safely on 13 December in exchange for the release of five JKLF leaders. Kashmiri Pandits Jia Lal Taploo and Neel Kanth Ganjoo are killed by militants, the latter for sentencing Maqbool Butt to death in 1984.
Soviet occupation of Afghanistan comes to an end. A large numbers of militant and weapons enter Kashmir through Pakistan, further fueling the discontent. The JKLF tries to explain that the killings of Pandits were not communal. In July, General K.V. Krishna Rao becomes governor.
Jag Mohan is appointed Governor for a second time on 19 January; Farooq resigns in an exodus of Kashmiri Pundits takes places. The rise of new militant groups, some warnings in anonymous posters and some unexplained killings of innocent members of the community contribute to an atmosphere of insecurity for the Kashmiri Pandits. Most of the estimated 162,500 Hindus in the Valley, including the entire Kashmiri Pandit community, flee in March.
- 1990: On 21 May, Jag Mohan resigns as Governor and Girish Chandra Saxena, is appointed Governor.
- 1990-2001: An officially estimated 10,000 Kashmiri youth cross-over to Pakistan for training and procurement of arms. The Hizb which is backed by Pakistan increases its strength dramatically. The JKLF faction led by Yasin Malik announces unilateral ceasefire in 1994 and pursues political agenda under the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference (APHC) umbrella, followed by Amanulla Khan's JKLF faction's ceasefire in 1997. Since 1995, foreign militant outfits with Islamic agenda such as Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Harkat-ul-Mujahedin have dominated the militancy in Kashmir, besides the indigenous Hizb, all of them under the umbrella United Jehadi Council(UJC). Other indigenous and foreign militant organizations proliferate.
- 1993: In March, General K. V. Krishna Rao becomes Governor again.
- 1994: Prime Minister Narasimha Rao tries to start a political process in the valley by releasing militant leaders like Yasin Malik and Shabir Shah.
- 1995: Jammu and Kashmir declared backward state under the new industrial policy, entrepreneurs exempted from income tax by 05 years. In May Chrar-e-Sharief town is set ablaze along with the 14th century Chrar-e-Sharief shrine by militants led by a foreign mercenary Mast Gul. In July, 05 foreign tourists are abducted from Pehalgam by a militant group (Al Faran).
- 1996: In March during an encounter with security forces at Hazratbal, 33 top militants are killed, virtually annihilating JKLF (Aman) Group. In April elections for 06 parliamentary seats are held successfully. In September election to the state Assembly are conducted successfully.
In November 1995, a BBC documentary programme showed evidence of camps in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan, supported by the Jamaat-i-Islami (political wing of the Hizb), where fighters were trained and openly professed their intention of fighting in Kashmir.
- 1997: In January, Govt. announced setting up of a State Human Rights commission. In February, Rs. 7200 crore (US $ 1714.28 million) economic package is announced for J&K. In March, elections of the Legislative Council were held with national Conference winning all but one seat which went to BJP.
- In June 1998 A Farooq Abdullah instituted Regional Autonomy Committee (RAC) proposes devolution of political power at regional, district, block and panchayats levels and allocation of funds according to an objective and equitable formula. Measures are also suggested to safeguard and promote cultures of various ethnic communities. 6 months after the recommendations, the State Government substitutes the RAC report with its own report recommending the division of the three regions (Ladakh, Kashmir and Jammu) into eight autonomous units on ethnic-religious lines without proposing any devolution of political and economic powers.
- 1999: Lahore agreement: In February, Indian and Pakistan Prime Ministers meet at Lahore and sign a Joint declaration expressing resolve to settle all contentious issues between the two countries including Kashmir problem, through bilateral dialogue. In May Pakistan soldiers accompanied with some Afghan / Pushto speaking men infiltrate across the Indian side of Line of Control in the Kargil sector and precipitate a crisis with the aim of internationalizing the Kashmir issue. Indian troops commence flushing out operations.
- In May 1999, the Indian Army patrols detect intruders from Pakistan on Kargil ridges in Kashmir. India fights to regain lost territory. The infiltrators are withdrawn by Pakistan in mid-July, following the Washington Agreement with the US. War between India and Pakistan becomes more frightening given the nuclear weaponry possessed by both countries and Kashmir remains the underlying flashpoint.
- In June 2000, the State Autonomy Committee (SAC) Report is discussed and an autonomy resolution is adopted in the J&K Assembly. The SAC Report recommends restoration of Article 370 to pre-1953 status with Indian jurisdiction limited to defence, foreign affairs and communications. The Indian Cabinet rejects the autonomy recommendation in July.
- In November 2000, India announces an unilateral ceasefire in Kashmir which continues through May 2001; APHC welcomes the ceasefire but states that the ceasefire will not be effective unless it is supplemented with unconditional dialogues to resolve the Kashmir dispute and an end to human right violations by the Indian forces. The Hizb declares a unilateral ceasefire in July which is withdrawn only two weeks later, following India's refusal to include Pakistan in any trilateral talks over the Kashmir dispute proposed by the militants.
- In July 2001, India and Pakistan fail to arrive at a joint agreement at Agra Summit. India accuses Pakistan for engaging in cross-border terrorism. Pakistan denies the accusations.
- 2001: In December 19, Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee addresses the Indian Parliament stating, "We'll think through everything before making any decision… Decisions on war or peace are not taken in haste". In December 26, The US places the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad on the State Department's list of designated foreign terrorist organizations. Making the announcement, Secretary of State Powell says that the two groups are responsible for "numerous terrorist attacks in India and Pakistan". In December 31, US Intelligence is reported to predict that war between India and Pakistan will start within days. India asks Pakistan to hand over twenty wanted terrorists based in Pakistan.
- Dec 13, 2001: Terrorist attack the Indian Parliament, India and Pakistan build up massive troops along the border.
- 2002: In January 07, Vajpayee suggests he would be amenable to reopening dialogue with Pakistan at a SAARC meeting in Katmandu, Nepal. 2003: In May 02, India and Pakistan restore diplomatic ties. In July 11, Delhi-Lahore bus service resumes.
- May 14, 2002: At least 30 people are killed in a terrorist attack on an Indian army camp in Jammu.
- May 21, 2002: Abdul Ghani Lone, a leading and popular moderate Hurriyat leader is assassinated by unidentified gunmen.