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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 four: Independent Kashmir

The difficulty of adopting this as a potential solution is that it requires India and Pakistan to give up territory, which they are not willing to do. Any plebiscite or referendum likely to result in a majority vote for independence would therefore probably be opposed by both India and Pakistan. It would also be rejected by the inhabitants of the state who are content with their status as part of the countries to which they already owe allegiance.

An independent Jammu and Kashmir might also set in motion the demand for independence by other states in both India and Pakistan and lead to a "Balkanisation" of the region.

In the 1960s, following discussions between India and Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir, a group of Kashmiris demanded that the entire state should become independent as it was prior to the Maharajah's accession to India in 1947.

The movement for independence of the entire state is mainly supported by Kashmiris who inhabit the more populous Kashmir Valley and who would like both India and Pakistan to vacate the areas they are occupying. They base their claim on the fact that the state was formerly an independent princely state, is geographically larger than at least 68 countries of the United Nations, and more populous than 90.

This movement is not supported by India or Pakistan, both of which would lose territory. And in view of the likely regional instability, an independent Kashmir is not supported by the international community either.


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