Lately, in the national news, Kashmir has been the hot topic. The intense religious, political, geographical, and economical debates have been heard all over the world, and yet, there has been no conclusion to this war between Pakistan and India. As an Indian myself, it is almost impossible to be unbiased in any kind of analysis of the subject, so I will not attempt to be impartial, but yet present the story as how I, first of all see it, secondly, researched it, and thirdly, believe it. There is a truth behind the Kashmir story, and the Indians and the Pakistanis must understand it. There are real people involved in this governmental affair, and being such an affair, one must realize that it is time to stop the killing and resolve this century-old war between the Muslims and the Hindus.
Kashmir was once a tourists' paradise. The land has been known for centuries as the greenest and most temperate spot in the Himalayas. A land so beautiful, one could not even picture it in their dreams. Clear blue lakes reflects the snow-capped mountains, and lush forests of fir, pine, and spruce lining the rivers. The land was once the summer vacation spot for the British raj as well as the wealthy Indians who wanted to escape the heat of the intense summers of India.
However beautiful Kashmir is, the land is valued more than for it natural beauty. The land is a path through the Himalayas to the entire subcontinent. From Kashmir, the rivers Indus, Chenab, and Jhelum flow. These rivers are the primary sources of water for Pakistanis. The land provides for a spy camera on the nearby powerful countries of China, Afghanistan, and the Soviet republic of Tajikistan.
The "Kashmir problem" dates back to 1947 and the partition of India and Pakistan. Maharaja Hari Singh, the hereditary ruler of Kashmir, stalled for several months over the decision as to which nation Kashmir would join. Singh, a Hindu ruling a majority-Muslim population, finally agreed to Indian dominion on October 27, 1947, partly to gain Indian military assistance against an Islamic revolt.