“Gar firdaus bar-rue zaminast,
hamiasto, haminasto, haminast.”
(If there is a paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here.)
For centuries, this couplet has aptly symbolized the divine beauty and glory of the Kashmir Valley. These famous lines were perhaps created by Amir-e-Khusru, a famous Sufi musician, poet and scholar of thirteenth century; while some relate it to Mughal emperor Jahangir. The lush green Kashmir Valley rich in Chinar trees, surrounding magnificent mountains with dense deodar, fir and pine forests, and majestic Himalayan rivers have equally fascinated elites, philosophers, poets, lovers and commoners for centuries. The valley had been a preferred destination for honeymooners and tourists for its renowned natural beauty, tranquility and quaint lifestyle.
After partition in August, 1947, Pakistan staked a claim on the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir due to its majority Muslim population while the state was legally integrated with India. Thereafter, the state has been under constant turmoil on account of wars, internal strife, insurgency and terrorism destroying its centuries old social fabric and economy as also the preference and attraction of tourists. It appears the charm of paradise has been lost.
Kashmir Until Partition
Kalhana, a Kashmiri author of Rajatarangini, is regarded as first authentic historian of the 12th century. In his account, a reference to the legendary reign of Gonarda in contemporary Mahabharata times is found but the authentic history is recorded from the time of emperor Ashoka of Maurya dynasty who founded the city of Srinagar and introduced Buddhism in the valley. During the first millennium, the Hinduism and Buddhism prospered in the valley and later during the ninth century Hindu Shaivism grew. During this period, Kashmir is stated to have been a major hub of Hindu culture producing some of the greatest Sanskrit scholars of all times.
Northern India started experiencing attacks from Turkic and Arab invaders from eighth century onwards but mountainous region of Kashmir valley largely remained unaffected. It was in fourteenth century that Muslim rule was established in the valley during a weak and unpopular Lohara dynasty. One of the Muslim rulers, Sikandar Butshikan (1389-1413), often referred to as an iconoclast, reportedly took a drive for systematic destruction of Hindu Shrines and forced the population to convert to Islam or migrate from valley to other parts of India during his regime. The outcome of continuous persecution was gradual shift in the ethnic population of the Kashmir valley becoming predominantly a Muslim region.
Emperor Akbar conquered Kashmir in 1587 A.D. and Mughal rule lasted till 1752 A.D. He was a moderate Muslim and during his rule the, Hindus too enjoyed security of life and property. It is believed that he was one who, impressed with the learning and intellect of brahmans in the Valley, gave them the title of Pandit. Mughul rule was followed by the Afghans (1752 – 1819) and during the sustained reign of Afghan rulers more and more Kashmiris were forced to convert to Islam, leaving Kashmiri Pandits in minority. However, despite being in minority, they remained a cohesive community of highly literate and socially elite in the Valley through the British dominance of India.
The Muslim period, which lasted for about 500 years, ended in 1819 with the annexation of Kashmir to the Sikh kingdom of Punjab. Later, the Hindu Dogra kingdom was established in 1846 at the end of First Sikh War and their rule lasted till independence.
Partition and First Kashmir War of 1947
At the time of the partition of India in August, 1947, Jammu and Kashmir was one of the largest princely states with the majority Muslim population and the ruler a Hindu Maharaja. Pakistan expected the annexation of Kashmir on the basis of the Muslim population. While Maharaja remained uncertain for some time, Pakistan sent armed militia and tribesmen to invade the Kashmir valley with an intention to forcibly occupy and overthrow the Dogra King. These developments led to Maharaja seeking military assistance from the Union of India which insisted for signing the Instrument of Accession before India could officially intervene on his behalf. The stated treaty was signed on 25th October, 1947 and, Indian forces were swiftly airlifted in Srinagar to save valley from intruders. The Pakistani army formally entered the war after this which is known as the First Kashmir War.
Indian troops fought and defeated militia and tribal forces which had reached the outskirts of Srinagar. While Indian forces were engaged with invaders in the Valley, the large area of Gilgit and Baltistan (northern part) was occupied by combined tribal and Gilgit Scouts later joined by Chitral Scouts of Chitral, a princely state earlier annexed to Pakistan. Invaders were also engaged in looting, arson and various other crimes in other small cities. After a protracted war for about two months, Indian forces made significant progress by capturing back areas like Poonch, Dras and reached up to Kargil when the adverse weather conditions posed a serious supply and other logistics problems towards December end.
As per records, India took initiative to seek United Nations’ intervention for dispute resolution at this stage. After UN intervention, the cease-fire agreed between the two countries was implemented with effect from 1st January, 1948. The UN Security Council resolution sought Pakistan to withdraw its all forces and personnel entered in Jammu and Kashmir since escalation of hostilities, while allowing India to maintain minimum strength of its security personnel in the state to maintain civil order, to be followed by a plebiscite to determine the future of the state.
Pakistan, however, never withdrew from the already occupied territory insisting simultaneous withdrawal of all Indian forces. Consequently, ideal situation for holding a plebiscite as earlier agreed by India could not be created and, in due course, with constantly changing demographics, socio-economic and political situation, the issue of holding a plebiscite became increasingly meaningless and redundant.
Indo – Pakistan War of 1965
The issue of Kashmir remained a bone of contention between India and Pakistan with both sticking to their professed stand on the conflict in the following years. After the loss suffered by India at the hands of China in 1962 and some success of Pakistan's claim in the Rann of Kutch, Pakistan under General Ayub Khan, perhaps largely driven by an optimism that India will be unable to withstand a calculated and quick military campaign in Kashmir, took certain hostile measures which culminated in Indo-Pakistan war of 1965. A low intensity war had started in April, 1965 itself with ceasefire violations and random skirmishes here and there. This culminated in a full-fledged war during August – September, 1965 with Pakistan’s objective to forcibly capture Kashmir.
Pakistan simultaneously attempted a covert infiltration, code-named Operation Gibralter in Jammu and Kashmir by dispatching a large number of infiltrators in August, 1965, estimates of which widely differ from Indian and Pakistani accounts from a few to several thousands. Purpose of this infiltration appeared that the infiltrators would initially mingle with the local Kashmiris, induce and incite them of rebellion besides executing sabotage activities like disrupting and destructing tunnels, bridges, highways, communication and installation in Jammu and Kashmir, followed by joining regular armed conflict. However, the operation was a failure due to quick detection and response by the Indian forces with the assistance of local Kashmiri populace.
As Kashmir was a central theme in the war, Pakistan had enforced a massive deployment of military and equipment all along the Jammu and Kashmir border and had relative gains in Chumb sector and the desert south of Sindh province. India was mainly sticking to her defense in Kashmir but was able to capture strategic Haji Pir Pass, almost 8 Km inside Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Besides, India had also made progress in Lahore and Sialkot sectors in Punjab and parts of Sindh province.
War analysts believed that in the 1965 war, Pakistan had distinct advantage in terms of superior air power with their US supplied F-86 Sabre and F-104 Starfighter jets as also in quality and number of armour with Patton M-47 and M-48 tanks of US origin. However, as the war progressed, Folland Gnet fighter (nick-named Sabre Slayer) of Indian Air Force and Centurian tanks with better trained and skilled Indian men proved to be more effective. In spite of qualitative and numerical superiority of Pakistani armour, Indian forces outfought Pakistanis in some of the largest tank battles and made significant progress in Lahore and Sialkot sectors while successfully repulsing Pakistan offensive on Amritsar.
While the war was going on with no clearly emerging victor, the UN Security Council passed a resolution on 22nd September,1965 calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire. Pakistan, it is believed, was running out fast its stockpiles of ammunition and promptly accepted the ceasefire. India too, despite opposition from military commanders, under intense diplomatic pressure accepted the ceasefire ending war on the next day. Both sides had suffered with heavy causalities (estimated 3,000 Indian soldiers and 3,800 Pakistani soldiers) and by the end of war Indian army had captured about 1,800 Sq Km mainly in fertile areas of Lahore, Sialkot and Kashmir sectors while Pakistan gained about 550 Sq Km in the desert opposite Sindh and Chumb sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
Among the claims and counterclaims of the two adversaries, in the eyes of the most neutral international analysts and observers, India was largely perceived as a victor. The 1965 Indo-Pakistan war, however, can be summarized as the beginning of an end. The bloody game that was started by Pakistan in the summers of 1965 terminated in a climax, six years later, in winter on 16th December, 1971.
Indo-Pakistan War of 1971
The precursor of the war was Pakistani elections in 1970 when the East Pakistani Awami League headed by Mujibur Rehman won a majority in Majlis-e-Shoora (Pakistan Parliament) but was denied power by Pakistan President Yahya Khan on the behest of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, leader of Pakistan Peoples Party in the West Pakistan. Yahya khan deployed army to crush the popular uprisings in the East Pakistan , which indulged in a widespread genocide against the Bengalis, particularly the minority Hindu population. This led to approximately 10 million refugees fleeing East Pakistan and taking shelter in the neighbouring Indian states surrounding the East Pakistan. Despite continuing large scale violence and human rights violation in the East Pakistan, the international community led by USA and Western Europe did practically nothing to save the rapidly deteriorating situation. In such a scenario, India had no option but to provide moral and material support to the popular freedom struggle in the form of Mukti Vahini which started in the East Pakistan in retaliation.
Trigger point for the official declaration of war between India and Pakistan came when the latter launched a pre-emptive air strikes on 11 Indian airbases on 3rd December, 1971. This followed the declaration of war by the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the Indian Air Force responded with initial air strikes immediately. These air strikes were expanded to massive retaliatory air strikes by the following day and continued thereafter. With the growing burden of the constant flow of refugees from the Bangladesh (then East Pakistan), India had already started supporting to the Mukti Vahini fighting the liberation war.
Commencement of hostilities on the west front made India formally joining the war of independence in the East Pakistan besides giving a fitting reply on the west front. The war lasted for only thirteen days with major cities in the East Pakistan falling to joint command of the Indian forces and Mukti Vahini one by one on the consecutive days. Finally, Dhaka fell on 16th December with Pakistani Armed Forces Commander signing the Instrument of Surrender in the eastern theatre with the Indian counterpart leading to the liberation of Bangladesh. Approximately 93,000 Pakistani regular forces including the para military personnel and a few civilians were taken as Prisoners of War (POWs) by the Indian army.
Full scale war on the Western front led to the Indian Armed Forces conducting a massive air, sea and land assault. However, India fought with a limited objective on this front of not allowing Pakistan any gain on Indian soil in retaliation of what was happening on the Eastern front. However, quick response to Pakistan’s offensive enabled Indian forces to capture about 14,000 Sq Km of Pakistan territory in Sindh, Punjab and Kashmir sectors. Despite stiff resistance from Indian forces, Pakistan army with their obsession with Kashmir was once again able to take control of Chumb (about 40 Sq Km) on the pattern of 1965 war.
When India unilaterally announced ceasefire on 16th December, Pakistan had already suffered a humiliating defeat. It was dismembered with the emergence of Bangladesh, having lost almost half of its population and economy, entire Army in East Pakistan taken as POWs besides a significant territory captured on the West front. Despite such a magnitude of victory and dominance, India remained sober and restrained nationally and internationally in post war scenario. During the war, USA dispatched a naval fleet in the Indian Ocean and did some threatening gestures but with Russian assurance of help in the event of a third nation entering war on Pakistan’s side, India was quickly able to sustain pressure and accomplish its limited war objective.
This time, India didn’t succumb to third party intervention in the post war scenario. The post war bilateral negotiations between India and Pakistan led to the Simla Agreement on 2nd July, 1972. Pakistani POWs were released under this agreement and captured land by India in Sindh and Punjab provinces was returned as a goodwill gesture. Besides, under the agreement, an ongoing structure for bilateral negotiation and peaceful settlement of any future conflict was also established between the two countries (of course only to be breached by Pakistan very soon).
Kargil War of 1999
On 21st February, 1999, India and Pakistan signed the Lahore Declaration in a historic summit between Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Bajpai and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Lahore, under which a mutual understanding was reached towards any accidental and unauthorized use of nuclear weapons against each other. Besides, the Declaration also emphasized avoiding both conventional and non-conventional conflicts, and the resolve renewed for the peaceful settlement of disputes through bilateral negotiations. However, the futility of the agreement became evident very soon with the escalation of Kargil War in May 1999, nicknamed Operation Vijay by India.
The immediate cause of war was the infiltration of Pakistani soldiers and militants occupying vantage positions at Kargil heights on the Indian side of the Line of Control. National highway NH1D connects Srinagar and Leh through Kargil. During the winter of 1998-99, Pakistani troops and paramilitary forces in the disguise of mujahedeen had occupied several unmanned Indian posts with an aim to cut the link between Kashmir and Ladakh with a view to compelling Indian forces to withdraw from the Siachin Glaciar. Pakistani intrusion was soon noticed by the local shepherds.
Consequently, five Indian soldiers headed by Captain Saurabh Kalia sent on a petrol were captured on 5th May, 1999 by intruders and badly tortured to death after 22 days. The postmortem of the dead bodies later revealed that the bodies of soldiers were burnt with cigarettes, ear-drums pierced with hot rods, eyes punctured before removing them, most of the teeth and bones were broken, skull had fractures, lips were cut, nose chipped, limbs and private organs chopped off besides inflicting all sorts of injuries before shooting them dead. The postmortem report had suggested that all these injuries were inflicted ante-mortem.
This was a barbaric and subhuman act of utmost provocation by Pakistani intruders which compelled massive mobilization of Indian army to Kargil sector. Initial strikes were made by the Indian Air Force followed by major offensive by Indian army in the first week of June, 1999. This high altitude war was fought by Indian Army engaging 155 MM Howitzer guns for the first time at such heights and Air Force and slowly but decisively the army secured several key positions occupied by infiltrators. Under intense pressure, Pakistan finally began withdrawal with effect from 11th July and the Kargil war officially came to an end with the complete eviction of Pakistani intruders by 26th July, 1999. At those heights of over 5,000 meters, even the Indian artillery and air attack were not very effective, hence many direct frontal ground assaults were undertaken with slow progress due to the steep ascent taking heavy toll as infiltrators were occupying heights with vantage position.
With the increasing Indian pressure and their success in retrieving various heights, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sought US President Bill Clinton’s support who, it is believed, instead admonished him to rein in the militants and Pakistani forces to vacate Indian positions. During the early stages of war, Pakistan maintained that the Indian forces were pitted against the Kashmiri insurgents but later on it was increasingly clear with the documents caught from the dead and rhetoric of Pakistani leaders that fighters were indeed Pakistan’s paramilitary and regular troops.
Terrorism and 2001–02 Stand-off
During the last 25 years, there have been numerous terror attacks, bombings, Hindu massacre and kidnapping incidents by Pakistan sponsored jihadists and terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country. Some of the major incidents include Kidnapping of Rubaiya Sayeed (daughter of then Home Minister of India) in 1989, Kidnapping of western tourists (5 killed/beheaded, 1 escaped) in 1995, Amarnath Pilgrimage massacre in 2000, attack on Jammu & Kashmir Assembly in 2001, attack on Indian Parliament in 2001, Raghunath Temple attack in 2002, attack on Akshardham Temple of Gujrat in 2003, Delhi bombings in 2005, Doda massacre in 2006, Mumbai Train bombings in 2005 and Mumbai terror attack in 2008. These attacks have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians including women and children, and security personnel.
Following 13th December, 2001 terrorist attack on Indian parliament by the terrorists linked with Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed based in Pakistan, relations between the two countries had soured to another all time low. This led to a massive build up of Indian and Pakistani armed forces across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere along the international border during the early months of 2002. Several violent incidents and skirmishes were reported and situation remained tense and volatile for the next several months. Tension was, however, eased in the latter half of the year with the demobilization of forces on both sides.
Apart from four wars, constant ceasefire violation and unabated Pakistan sponsored terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in the country have taken a heavy toll of human lives and property, perhaps many more times than the conventional wars. Like a Frankenstein created, Pakistan too has to bear a brunt of self-nurtured terrorism in the recent years as is evident from several violent incidents including attempts on the lives of the heads of state.. Now with both countries being nuclear powers and Pakistan constantly threatening aka reminding their nuclear capability at every face-off, the future of the Indian sub-continent hangs in balance.
Is War an Option to Resolve Kashmir?
So far four wars have been formally fought by the two neighbours destined to live together by geographical realities and common heritage of culture and traditions. There has been intense loss of lives, massive military expenditure on both sides, dismemberment of a nation and several fallouts of various nature but the issue of Kashmir remains unresolved through wars and continuing hostilities. This raises a serious question if such wars are of any worth to resolve an issue.
Incidentally, the greatest epic war ‘Mahabharata’ on earth too was fought in the Indian soil thousands of years ago. This great mythological war was a consequence of too much ambition, rivalry, greed and jealousy among two clans of the same ancestry and dynasty, which was joined by forces even beyond the sub-continent. As we find from the recorded account, while going for the war, Kauravas had a military strength of 11 Akshauhinis (Divisions) on their side and Pandavas fought with 7 Akshauhinis.
Reportedly, one Akshauhini comprised of 21,870 chariots with warriors, 21,870 elephants with rider fighters, 65,610 horse rider fighters and 109,350 foot-soldiers. The war lasted for only 18 days and it was so violent and horrific that at the end only twelve warriors survived including five Pandavas, Krishna and Satyaki from Pandava camp, and Ashwatthama, Kripacharya, Kritvarma, Yuyutsu, Vrishakethu (Karna’s son) on Kaurava side. Though the war was won by the Pandavas but the happiness and fun was lost because other than them there was nobody to celebrate victory with all their sons and relatives too killed.
Do the two neighbours learn any lesson from the mythological war? India and Pakistan have a mutual history of war, bigotry and bloodshed since partition in August, 1947 with four wars and numerous low intensity conflicts and skirmishes, leave aside fallout of terrorism, over the ownership of Jammu and Kashmir during the lost sixty-seven years. Another war fought due to Chinese aggression in 1962 too included territorial disputes in the state of Jammu and Kashmir - Ladakh (Aksai Chin) area.
Consequent to these wars, currently about 37.46% territory is under the occupation of Pakistan including part of Kashmir valley and Gilgit-Baltistan and about 16.89% under the occupation of China including Aksai Chin area of Ladakh and Trans-Karakorum Tract (ceded by Pakistan). This leaves the remaining 45.65% with India which together constitutes the present state of Jammu and Kashmir. Of this, Kashmir valley and Gilgit-Baltistan have now predominantly Muslim populace, Jammu region is Hindu dominated and Ladakh has sparsely distributed mainly Buddhist population.
Thus legally or illegally all the three countries in the region namely India, Pakistan and China have stakes in the territory of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir and all the three are nuclear power states. Previous wars have also proved that none of the stakeholder countries can easily win a conventional war in Jammu and Kashmir partly owing to their military strength and partly due to harsh climate and terrain. The use of nuclear option can only assure enormous mutual destruction with no guarantee of winning a war because in the event of a nuclear holocaust, and its wider ramifications, other global powers and neighbouring countries cannot remain neutral.
In one of the previous essays, this author had attempted an analysis as to which country has reasons to provoke or initiate a conflict, and in such case Pakistan clearly emerges as the agent provocateur.
What Has Changed Since Partition?
Pakistan stakes its claim and insists for a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir on the plea of the majority Muslim population. India’s stand has been that the Instrument of Accession signed between Maharaja of Kashmir and The Government of India was a legally valid instrument as was done with other princely states and division based on two-nation theory was applicable only to British India and not on princely states. Pl
Ever since so many changes have taken place both in the territory of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India as well as in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. These include demographic changes in the Indian part of the Kashmir valley where consequent to continuing persecution and threat to life and property, millions of legitimate Kashmiri Pundits and Sikhs have been forced to leave valley to settle in places like Delhi, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. On the other side, Pakistan has allowed thousands of non-Kashmiri Muslims, Punjabis and Pathans, to infiltrate and settle in Pak-Occupied Kashmir. Similarly, the Gilgit-Baltistan (northern area) too has seen a large scale migration of people from other provinces of Pakistan into this area. Geographically too, about 54% area of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir remains under occupation of Pakistan and China together.
Pakistan based terrorist organizations like Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba and many others, responsible for infiltration and terror attacks in India, have been mainly operating from the Pak-Occupied Kashmir territory. Despite creation of Pakistan on two-nation theory, India has almost as much population of Muslims as in Pakistan. Any further division based on religion may prompt similar demands and instability in other parts in a diverse country like India. Kashmir valley may have predominantly Muslim population but the wishes and human rights of the majority Hindus in Jammu and Buddhists in Ladakh cannot be ignored. Moreover, leave aside some voices of dissent and externally promoted subversive activities, the continuous democratic process and developmental activities in Jammu and Kashmir over the years have led it to the mainstream as an integral part of India.
Options Available & Way Forward
Scenario One: The simplest option could be that both India and Pakistan put behind Kashmir agenda for some time and mutually engage themselves on the constructive agenda of development and growth. They could focus on encouraging bilateral trade, economic activities, education, sports and cultural relations. India is already willing to pursue this course and has granted Pakistan the status of the most favored nation (MFN) way back.
But this course appears unlikely because Pakistan, irrespective of regime and leadership, has been insisting that Kashmir issue must get precedence over any other issues of mutual interest. Even if political leadership, at times, appears inclined, the powerful Pakistani military and ISI act as spoilers of the game. It is like some people with obsessive compulsive disorders while knowing very well that the thought or idea is not rational yet they are unable to overcome and continue to suffer physically and psychologically. Here it looks like a nation under obsessive compulsion where irrespective of the regime and leadership, everyone talks of taking entire Kashmir without a clear vision or roadmap how to resolve it.
Both countries have common evils and enemies in the form of poverty, illiteracy, deprivation of women and children, extremism and terrorism, human rights violation, corruption and favourism. There is a need for the sustained growth and development, away from the conflicts and wars; India appears to be willing to work for mutual benefit but Pakistan is adamant despite the fact that all overt and covert means have already been tried in Kashmir yet a solution is not in sight.
Scenario Two: Pakistan has been constantly demanding the right of self-determination by the Kashmiris through a plebiscite. Under the Shimla Agreement in 1972, they had agreed to discuss all pending issues bilaterally in future. They violated it at occasions and now they have again started this rhetoric by raising the Kashmir issue in United Nations and other international forums. It is true that at one point of time, with the UN intervention India had indeed agreed in 1948 to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir. As per the UN Security Council Resolution on the subject, Pakistan was required to completely withdraw from the occupied territory and India was to minimize its forces to a level necessary for maintaining civil order to create ideal circumstances for the plebiscite. If it was not done, it was largely due to reluctance of Pakistan to withdraw from the occupied territory in Kashmir.
Let us consider whether a plebiscite is still an option to resolve the Kashmir issue and should India accede to this demand. After more than six decades, with so many demographic, geographic, socio-economic and political changes (briefly referred to in earlier paragraphs) on either sides of the Line of Control, holding a plebiscite appears neither relevant nor practical. Raising an issue to derive a political mileage is so simple but the question is how the original geographic and demographic status will be restored of the erstwhile state of which, besides India and Pakistan, a substantial territory is also occupied by China. Besides, the integration of the part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir with India with so much of investment and development over the years, and having gone through several free and fair democratic elections, is complete and immutable now. So the answer of holding a plebiscite appears a clear ‘No’.
Scenario Three: Both India and Pakistan should agree to give up their control of the Kashmir valley region (including Gilgit-Baltistan) and initially make it an autonomous region under UN supervision, with a view to ultimately evolve as an independent country. In such case, both India and Pakistan will lose some territories and the remaining Jammu and Ladakh regions will be merged with India.
However, the question would arise whether Pakistan, which has been nurturing an ambition over the entire state since partition, will ever agree to this preposition and the most likely answer is ‘No’. Besides, India too may have strong reservations in accepting such a solution because apart from losing the Kashmir Valley, it will face problems in administering Ladakh which is connected to the main land through the Valley. Besides, the kind of diversity and varied culture India has, it might face similar demands from the other regions of the country.
Therefore, this option too does not appear to be an acceptable and ideal solution of the Kashmir imbroglio. It is unlikely that India and Pakistan would be keen to enter into any discussion with this scenario as a possible settlement.
Scenario Four: Another option and rather simple solution is that the present Line of Control between India and Pakistan may be accepted as the International border between the two countries and both may rescind their claim on the rest of the territory. Initially it may appear as a difficult choice for either of the countries but in the given situation, this is perhaps the only viable and workable solution. If pursued, India and Pakistan may face initial resistance from their people, opposition leaders and defense establishment but ultimately everyone is likely to reconcile with in the larger interest of peace and tranquility in the region.
The fourth and last scenario appears to be only viable option and a long lasting solution if agreed by the both countries. In such case, the existing Line of Control shall become permanent border between the two countries. The implication of this would be that India will formally renounce its legal claim on Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir including northern parts of Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan would permanently give up all hostilities and any claim or call for the plebiscite in rest of the Jammu and Kashmir.
One may find critics both in India and Pakistan of the above solution. But if Pakistani critics look at it pragmatically, they would realize that despite four consecutive wars and continuous cross-border insurgency and terrorism in six decades, they have not yielded an inch on the ground since partition. Similarly Indian critics would realize that the continuous hate propaganda against India in POK, use of the territory as nursery for insurgency and terror activities, changed demography, socio-economic and political set up for so long have totally alienated people in POK over the years, rendering it more of a liability than any asset from an Indian point of view.