This book presents a study of the international dimensions of the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan from before its outbreak in October 1947 until the Tashkent Summit in January 1966. By focusing on Kashmir’s under-researched transnational dimensions, it represents a different approach to this intractable territorial conflict. Concentrating on the global context(s) in which the dispute unfolded, it argues that the dispute’s evolution was determined by international concerns that existed from before and went beyond the Indian subcontinent.
Based on new and diverse official and personal papers across four countries, the book foregrounds the Kashmir dispute in a twin setting of Decolonisation and the Cold War, and investigates the international understanding around it within the imperatives of these two processes. In doing so, it traces Kashmir’s journey from being a residual irritant of the British Indian Empire, to becoming a Commonwealth embarrassment and its eventual metamorphosis into a security concern in the Cold War climate(s). A princely state of exceptional geo-strategic location, complex religious composition and unique significance in the context of Indian and Pakistani notions of nation and statehood, Kashmir also complicated their relations with Britain, the United States, Soviet Union, China, the Commonwealth countries and the Afro-Arab-Asian world.
This book is of interest to scholars in the field of Asian History, Cold War History, Decolonisation and South Asian Studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: A ‘ghost’ of Empire, a ‘game’ of the Cold War
1. The International Setting, 1945-47: ‘Fighting the Same Struggle as our Fathers and Grandfathers’
2. Britain and Kashmir, 1947-49: ‘Whose was Kashmir to be? The Raja, his Pandits, Sheikh Abdullah, Azad Kashmir, the tribes or Russia?’
3. America, India and Kashmir, 1945-49: ‘If ignorance about India in this country is deep, ignorance about the States is abysmal’
4. Kashmir, 1949-53: ‘When the US blew hot, the British blew cold and when the British blew hot, the US blew cold’
5. Kashmir, 1953-61: From ‘Pact Politics’ to ‘Package Proposal’
6. Kashmir, 1962-63: The Last Interventions
7. Kashmir, 1964-66: ‘Soviets, CHICOMS, neutralists and West are kibitzers and, to some extent, actors in…Kashmir’
Conclusion: ‘A Footnote to History’
Rakesh Ankit teaches History in the Law School at the O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India.