The First Indo-Pakistani War

Stanley Wolpert

in India and Pakistan

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780520266773
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948006 | DOI:
The First Indo-Pakistani War

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In mid-August 1947, Viceroy Lord Louis Mountbatten of Britain had no hesitation about leaving the destiny of Kashmir's four million subjects, 77% of whom were Muslims, to the personal choice of Maharaja Hari Singh. Only Hari could not make up his mind, fearing the socialist Jawaharlal Nehru's India almost as much as he did the prospect of joining Muhammad Ali Jinnah's Pakistan. He hoped instead to keep Jammu and Kashmir independent. That dream was never accepted as feasible by either India or Pakistan. By October 1947, two months after Britain withdrew its forces, Muslim peasants in Poonch refused to pay their land taxes to Hindu landlords, whose guards opened fire. The Muslims fled to Pakistan, where tribal frontier Pathans were inflamed by their reports and volunteered to help them liberate Kashmir from the control of the Hindus. India's government in New Delhi responded swiftly to this invasion of Prime Minister Pandit Nehru's “home” state of Kashmir. This was the start of the first war between India and Pakistan.

Keywords: India; Pakistan; war; Kashmir; Jawaharlal Nehru; Jammu; Muslims; Pathans; Hindus; Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Chapter.  2837 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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