Kashmir Dispute: A Timeline Of Events From 1819 To The Revocation Of Article 370
July 3, 1819:
The Sikh Empire occupies Kashmir after the Battle of Shopian
March 16, 1846:
The British government acquires Kashmir from the Sikh Empire and transfers it to Gulab Singh, recognising him as an independent Maharaja, which is beginning of Dogra rule.
July 13, 1931:
Kashmir witnesses uprising against the Dogra rule in Kashmir. Twenty-four people are killed in police firing. The day is observed as the Kashmir Martyrs Day.
Under the Partition plan, the princely states are to decide about joining Pakistan or India or remain independent. Kashmir is a Muslim-majority state and they people want to join Pakistan. But Maharaja Hari Singh signs the Instrument of Accession, the document that aligned Kashmir with the Dominion of India. It triggers a war between Pakistan and India, as tribesmen from Pakistan enters region for liberating it from the Dogra rule.
August 13, 1948:
The UN Security Council adopts a resolution, asking Pakistan and India to withdraw forces from the areas under their respective control after which a plebiscite would be held in the region to enable the Kashmiris to decide about their future.
September 13, 1960:
The Indus Waters Treaty, brokered by the World Bank, is signed between Pakistan and India. The treaty gave the waters of the western rivers—the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab—to Pakistan and those of the eastern rivers—the Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej—to India.
September 6, 1965:
Pakistan launches Operation Gibraltar under which a mixture of volunteers from the army, mainly those belonging to Azad Kashmir, and fresh recruits were trained and launched into Occupied Kashmir in late July/early August. It was aimed at using armed guerrilla bands to destroy India’s communication system and attack nodal points to tie up the Indian army. But It fails the objectives and India triggers attacks Pakistan along the Lahore border. The war ends after 17 days and leads the two countries to sign the Tashkent Declaration on Jan 20, 1966.
This decade sees sporadic violence in the region by pro-independence groups like JKLF whose Maqbool Bhatt is hanged on Feb 11, 1984 after killing of an Indian diplomat in the UK
Situation gets worse after 1989 general elections and a crackdown is launched against pro-independence groups. Indian army opens fire on protesters in Srinagar, killing 38 people. Many Hindus flee the Kashmir valley fearing reprisals.
Maulvi Mohammad Farooq is killed by unidentified gunmen. At least 50 people are killed when troops fire on mourners during a funeral procession. These developments leads to widespread armed struggle as jihadists, including those from Pakistan, join the freedom struggle.
Pakistan and India fight the Kargil war. Pakistan sends military personnel to Kargil but not in uniform, before the start of winters to take positions at the mountain tops. The aim is to occupy the highway connecting the valley with Ladakh. The Indians notice the movement which bring the two nuclear powers at the verge of full-scale conflict. Prime Nawaz Sharif is unaware of the plan executed by the then army chief Pervez Musharraf. The war ends with the intervention by the then US president Bill Clinton, but nullifies the Lahore Declaration signed by Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
July 14-16, 2001:
President Musharraf and Vajpayee meet at Agra to resolve the disputes between the two countries, but no progress is made mainly because of mistrust on both sides and the Kargil episode soon after the Bus Diplomacy.
Post-Agra Summit Back Channel Diplomacy:
Pakistan presents Tariq Aziz – close aide of Musharraf – formula. It has four points: 1. Jammu & Kashmir could not be made independent; 2. Borders could not be redrawn; 3. The LoC could be made irrelevant; 4. A joint mechanism for both parts of Kashmir could be worked out.
Nov 26-29 2008:
Armed militants from LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba) carry out terror attacks in Mumbai, in which 166 people, including foreigners, are killed. It weakens Pakistan’s position at international level, as the world sees it as a backer of Hafiz Saeed and other terrorists.
Dec 25, 2015:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a surprise visit lands in Lahore and meets Nawaz Sharif at his Jati Umra residence. This move is seen as a possible breakthrough but the subsequent events within a week mean there is no progress.
Jan 2, 2016:
Armed terrorists storm the Indian airbase in Pathankot. Seven terrorists and four soldiers are killed. India accuses Pakistan of the attack. Nawaz Sharif orders action against extremists groups but the action stops within 24 hours.
Feb 14, 2019:
A convoy of Indian paramilitary troops is targeted by a suicide bomber in Pulwama, killing 40 of them. India says Pakistan is behind the attack and two nations are virtually on the verge of nuclear war. Indian jets bomb a location in Balakot, claiming terrorists’ training camp. The next day, Pakistan downs an Indian jet and captures its pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. However, he is released a few days later.
Aug 5, 2019:
Indian government revoked Article 370 of the constitution which allowed the Kashmiri assembly to legislate on all matters pertaining to the state other than defence, foreign affairs and currency. After the revocation of the law, this status has been withdrawn and Kashmir has been made a part of the Indian union territory.