Full Coverage

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News


BBC News Online looks at possible solutions for Kashmir. Click on the maps below





Religious groups: Indian-administered Kashmir
REGION
Buddhist
Hindu
Muslim
Other
Kashmir Valley
-
4%
95%
-
Jammu
-
66%
30%
4%
Ladakh
50%
-
46%
3%
Religious groups: Pakistani-administered Kashmir
REGION
Buddhist
Hindu
Muslim
Other
Northern Areas
-
-
99%
-
Azad Jammu and Kashmir
-
-
99%
-
Source: Indian/Pakistani Government Censuses
Scenario two: Kashmir joins Pakistan

Pakistan has consistently favoured this as the best solution to the dispute. In view of the state's majority Muslim population, it believes that it would vote to become part of Pakistan. However a single plebiscite held in a region which comprises peoples that are culturally, religiously and ethnically diverse, would create disaffected minorities. The Hindus of Jammu, and the Buddhists of Ladakh have never shown any desire to join Pakistan and would protest at the outcome.

In 1947 India and Pakistan agreed that the allegiance of the state of Jammu and Kashmir would be decided by a plebiscite. Had the majority voted in favour of Pakistan, the whole state would have become part of Pakistan. This no longer seems to be an option.

A plebiscite offering the choice of union with Pakistan or India also does not take into account the movement for independence which has been supported by political and militant activists since 1989. India has long since rejected the idea of a plebiscite as a means of settling the Kashmir issue.

Instead the government argues that the people have exercised their right of self-determination by participating in elections within the state.

However the demand for a plebiscite to be held, as recommended by the Governor-General of India, Lord Mountbatten in 1947, and endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, is still considered by some as a way of letting Kashmiris exercise their right of self-determination.


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific