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Kashmir Dispute - Proposed Solutions in First phase

During the last five and a half decades, a number of solutions have been proposed by analysts to resolve the Kashmir dispute. These possible solutions can be roughly categorized into four major groups, each group expanding on a particular method. These groups are as follows:

1. Plebiscite

a) Hold a plebiscite for the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir as laid down in the relevant United Nations resolutions. Initially, India accepted these resolutions but backed out later.
b) Hold a U.N. supervised partial plebiscite in only the Kashmir Vale, and agree to partition the remainder of the state.
c) Hold a (limited or comprehensive) plebiscite on some future date under the supervision of neutral and impartial international observers.
d) Hold a (limited or comprehensive) plebiscite under the joint supervision of India and Pakistan.

2. Partition of Kashmir

a) Partition the state on the basis of communal composition, apportioning the Muslim majority areas to Pakistan and non-Muslim territory of J & K especially Jammu and Ladakh to India.
b) Partition the state along the UN cease-fire line.
c) Partition the state along the Line of Control (LoC) with minor adjustments with a view to straighten the border.
d) Integrate Azad Kashmir and Baltistan with Pakistan; Jammu and Ladakh with India:
and hold a plebiscite in the Kashmir Vale. The UN will govern the plebiscite and its subsequent implementation. Partition the state in congruence with an agreed upon formula, keeping the strategic needs of both Pakistan and India in mind.
e) Integrate Azad Kashmir and Baltistan into Pakistan; Jammu and Ladakh into India; and accord independent status to the Kashmir valley.

3.Independence of Kashmir

a) Award independent status to the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, to be respected and guaranteed by both regional and global powers.
b) Make the Kashmir Vale an independent state, and integrate the rest of the territories with India (Ladakh and Jammu) and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Baltistan). International guarantees are necessary for this solution.
c) Make both A.zad Kashmir and occupied Kashmir UN trust territories. Grant independence after a decade of UN-supervised rule.
d) Make only the Kashmir Valley a UN trust territory, and allow Pakistan to integrate Azad :rity Kashmir and Baltistan, giving India de facto control over Jammu and Ladakh.

4. Condominium / Confederation

a) Establish a condominium of both Pakistan and India over the whole of Kashmir, with maximum autonomy for the state. This solution implies joint management of the state’s external and defence affairs by India and Pakistan.
b) Grant only the Kashmir Valley condominium status, and partition the rest of the state between India and Pakistan.
c) Establish a condominium of SARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) . for either the entire J & K or the Kashmir Valley alone.
d) Form a confederation of Pakistan, India and Kashmir, with maximum autonomy to each of the constituent unit to be guaranteed by India, Pakistan, and the great powers.

The First Phase Solution: 1947-57 United Nations’ Resolution and Owen Dixon’s Proposal

The UN Security Council Resolutions of August 13, 1948 and January 5, 1949, proposed the plebiscite option for settling the Kashmir dispute. These resolutions laid down the principles and procedures for a free and impartial plebiscite under UN auspices. Both India and Pakistan accepted these resolutions but later clashed over the interpretation of various clauses especially those pertaining to the demilitarisation of J& K. In 1950, the and Security Council nominated Sir Owen Dixon, as the UN mediator. He attempted to address the Azad Kashmir territory by suggesting that administrative responsibilities be assigned to the local authorities. These district magistrates would be supervised by United Nations officers. India rejected this proposal.

Sir Dixon then suggested establishing a single government for the whole State of Jammu Kashmir during the period of the plebiscite. This coalition government could be composed of the two hitherto hostile parties; a neutral administration by trusted persons d its outside politics; or an executive constituted of United Nations representatives. Even this upon alternative was rejected by India and Pakistan.

Stymied by Indian and Pakistani opposition, Sir Owen proposed two alternative plans. The first entails taking a region-by-region plebiscite, allocating each area to either Pakistan or India, according to the vote. One variation on this suggestion was to allot to Pakistan and India those areas for which a regional vote would have a foregone conclusion, limiting the plebiscite to the Valley of Kashmir.

Pakistan objected to this proposal on the ground that India had previously committed to hold a plebiscite in the State of Jammu and Kashmir as a whole. India indicated a willingness to consider a plebiscite, but only one limited to the Kashmir Valley and some adjacent areas. However, Indian suggestions as to the allocation of other territories among Pakistan and India were unworkably biased. Sir Owen recalled that Indian proposals “appeared to me to go much beyond what according to my conception of the situation was reasonable.”

Pakistan refused to budge from its position, though it was amenable to straight partition if it was given the valley. This, however, was unacceptable to India. As a last resort, Sir Owen Dixon presented both governments with another proposal witch called for a partition of the country and a plebiscite for the Valley. The plebiscite, which would be conducted by an administrative body of United Nations officers, would require complete demilitarisation. Pakistan rejected this proposal.

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