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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 three: Kashmir joins India

Such a solution would be unlikely to bring stability to the region as the Muslim inhabitants of Pakistani-administered Jammu and Kashmir, including the Northern Areas, have never shown any desire to become part of India.

In 1947, the Maharajah of Jammu and Kashmir agreed to the state becoming part of India. India and Pakistan then agreed to hold a plebiscite to confirm which country Kashmir's citizens wanted to join. The Indian Government believed that the majority population, under the charismatic leadership of Sheikh Abdullah, would vote to join India, with its secular constitution, rather than Muslim Pakistan.

If the plebiscite had been held and the majority had voted in favour of India, Pakistan would have had to relinquish control of the Northern Areas and the narrow strip of Jammu and Kashmir which it occupied militarily in 1947-8.

India has long since rejected the idea of holding a single plebiscite as a means of determining the fate of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It believes that the people made their choice by participating in elections within the state.

Without including a third option of independence from both India and Pakistan, the plebiscite also fails to satisfy the demands of those Kashmiris wanting full independence.


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