Kashmir Introduction
  Introduction :
  Kashmir Geography:

Kashmir History:

  Kashmir Conflict :
  UN Resolution:
  The Brink of War 2001:
  Kargil Conflict 1999:
  Kashmir Insurgency 1989:
  Kashmir War 1947-1948:
  Independent Kashmir:
  Kashmir Future?:
  A Smaller Indep. Kashmir:

Kashmir Valley History

Due to its isolation in the high valley of the Himalayas, Kashmir has over the centuries developed an independent cultural and historical tradition.
Buddhism became established in Kashmir quite early. Ashoka was its main promulgator.  Around the time of the birth of Christ, the third Buddhist Congress took place in Kashmir and missionaries were sent to neighbouring regions of  Central Asia, Tibet and China. In the following centuries Buddhism lost its influence and by the 7th century had almost been replaced by Hinduism. In the 1300s the Kashmiris changed to the Islamic religion and a series of Muslim rulers controlled the region.  One of the best known was Zain-ul-Abidin, whose tomb still stands by the Jhelum River in Srinagar.  He was generally known as Badshah, 'the great king'. He ruled from 1421 to 1472.

With the conquest of the valley by the Moghul Emperor Akbar in 1586 Kashmir entered a period of stable political conditions and great cultural activity.  The Moghuls chose Kashmir as their summer residence and built many fine gardens, particularly under Emperor Jehangir who took the art of designing Moghul gardens to its greatest heights. As the Moghul period began its decline the Government of Kashmir becomes practically independent.  In 1756 Kashmir fell to Afghanistan, but in 1819 it was taken over by the Sikhs who called upon the Kashmiris to aid them in their struggle against the brutal Afghan rule. 
In 1846 the Sikh General Gulab Singh was appointed head of state by the British in reward for his neutrality in the war between the British and the Sikhs.  Gilgit, Hunza, Nagar and Chitral were added to the region and under the rule of the Hindu Dogra dynasty, the state of Jammu and Kashmir becomes more or less its present shape. 
In 1947, India's independence from Britain and the partition of India and Pakistan caused Kashmir to become the thorn-in-the-side of India-Pakistan relations, a position it has held ever since.  Since Kashmir was a 'princely state' and theoretically already independent, the British could nor simply grant it independence like most of India but had to persuade it to join one side or other. 
Kashmir become one of the three states - the others were Hyderabad and the tiny principality of Junagadh - whose rulers could not or would not opt for India or Pakistan, but clutched at the feeble hope of remaining independent. 
Maharaja Hari Singh's decision not to join either country, or rather his indecision since he was far from being a decisive ruler, was a fateful one.  Kashmir is predominantly Muslim so on the basis of religion it should clearly have gone to Pakistan.  Geographically it is also more closely aligned to Pakistan than India.

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