"This book is a study of the Kashmir problem, including the original crisis, the efforts of U.N.O. to find an agreed Settlement, and the social and political background of the sruggle. It is excellently produced, with maps, United Nations documents as appendices, a bibliography and index" – Far Ear Eastern Survey
"Dr. Korbel's book is an excellent presentation of the many complex factors which stem from the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan." – Middle East Journal
"For anyone who wishes to form his own opinion on the Kashmir problem, Korbel's book is indispensable. It is a comprehensive and balanced statement of a complicated subject." – Pacific Affairs
Anyone who aspires to understand the complicated international relationship in this little known and less understood part of the world would do well to assign highest priority to DANGER IN KASHMIR. From no other source can so much be learned in so little time." – World Affairs
Josef Korbel was a member of the United Nation's Commision on India and Pakistan and is now Director of the Social Science Foundation of the University of Denver.
ONE hundred and seventy-three years ago on the North American continent, thirteen rebellious colonies won their independence from their mother country after six years of hard and desperate warfare. Seven years ago, on August 15, 1947, on another continent two great countries, India and Pakistan, had their independence thrust upon them by that same mother country in a somewhat urgent and not completely orderly manner.
It was not that the peoples of these two new-born countries had not been agitating for independence-as indeed they had for many years, sometimes with open violence, but mostly with passive resistance. When suddenly independence came with a rush, these new countries, whose combined numbers approximate one-fifth of the world's population, were ill-prepared for the peaceful settlement of the many knotty problems that such a hasty separation entailed. The existing situation, complicated by deep-seated antagonisms between the two most interested parties, called for a judicial procedure somewhat similar to that employed in a present-day settlement of an important estate. However, the mother country, instead of presiding as a probate court, left the two principal heirs more or less on their own to settle the division of the estate as best they could.
It was, of course, inevitable that there would be many matters on which the interested parties could reach no agreement without outside help. Among these residual problems, perhaps the most important that separates India and Pakistan today is their dispute over the ownership of the Princely State of Kashmir. This is the most important because it has flared into open, though undeclared, war, which has involved troops of both countries in fighting in Kashmir. It is important also because a continuation of such fighting might develop into a world conflagration. To the casualties resulting from the fighting between the opposing troops must be added some ten million refugees and one million dead as a result of the disorderly rioting which accompanied or followed the inadequately prepared separation of the Indian subcontinent into two countries.
It was into this tense and dangerous situation that the youthful three-year-old United Nations moved in early 1948 to bring an end to the fighting, and to seek a peaceful solution to the basic dispute as to whether Kashmir should belong to India or to Pakistan. By January 1, 1949, a five-member United Nations Commission on India and Pakistan (UNCIP) had succeeded in stopping the fighting and had secured a cease-fire which became effective on January 1, 1949, and which to this date constitutes the high-water mark of agreement between the two contending countries. This cease-fire stands to the credit of the United Nations as one of its early and important successes. Then followed the long, patient (and to date, unsuccessful) efforts of the United Nations through its Commission, and later by employment of single mediators, to find a fair and peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute, a dispute which concerns not only India and Pakistan but the whole world as well.
The recording of this chapter of contemporary history has been undertaken by Dr. Josef Korbel, who is eminently qualified to present an accurate and impartial account of the Kashmir crisis down to the present. Dr. Korbel served as a member of the Commission (UNCIP) during its early' and critical days, and in that capacity visited India, Pakistan, and Kashmir and conferred with their leaders and met their people. In the pages which follow, he makes a very important contribution to history. In our rapidly shrinking world there are very few people left unaffected by disturbances in other areas, even though such upheavals are remote or far removed. Certainly a dispute that involves one-fifth of the world's population, and that can erupt into a world war, bears careful watching. To all readers, then, I commend this authoritative account.
Over the vast Inso-Pakistan Subcontinent lies a shadow. It is a shadow cast from beyond the towering Himalayas and the Pamirs, from Sinkiang and Tibet and the Soviet Union. Fous hundred and thirty million people, who so recently gained their independence, face the possible threat of its loss to those who, unlike the British, possess not even the doubtful asset of good intentions.
If such a tragedy should take place, it will be, however, the result not only of pressure from within. For today, as for the past seven years, under the awesome shadow of this possible disaster, the great nations of the Subcontinent, India and Pakistan, continue to dissipate their wealth, their strength, and their energy on a near fratricidal struggle in which the hitherto almost unknown State of Kashmir has become the physical battleground.
It requires no thorough knowledge of political or military strategy to understand the interdependence of these two great nations. Geographically the Subcontinent is one entity of more than 1,500,000 square miles, almost devoid of natural inland barriers. In the north it is separated from the rest of Asia by the majestic peaks and tortuous defiles of the Himalayas and the Pamirs. Elsewhere the shores of India and Pakistan are watered in common by the waves of the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. Economically, their interdependence has been demonstrated over the years, the imports of one nation being in many instances the ex-potable products of the other.
But even as these factors point to the mutual advantages of close cooperation, so too do they indicate the compulsion of each to preserve the independence of the other. For should Pakistan, composed as it is of two geographically separated areas, succumb to Communism, two spearheads for invasion would be aimed at the heart of India. Should India be communized, Pakistan would survive only so long as the Communists, for reasons of their own, wished to restrain their expansionist impulses.
Not only then for reasons of the Subcontinent's prosperity but also for deeply compelling reasons of its security, neither the nations immediately involved nor the rest of the free world can afford to see to see this animosity continue, an animosity of which the struggle for Kashmir is not only the principal external evidence but also the principal continuing source of infection.
And yet, since 1947, the conflict has continued. Although its original violence has given way to a prolonged and uneasy truce, the pressures of hatred and fear and frustration continue to exist under the thin crust of the cease-fire arrangement. If a satisfactory solution cannot be found, the danger of an explosion remains ever present. If it comes, there will come with it the moment which the Communist world alone eagerly awaits.
Should India and Pakistan consume themselves in war, surely the dark shadow would slide over the Himalayas and the Pamirs, and in its gloom there would have been found the unhappy solution to the problem of Kashmir.
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