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Kashmir


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A disputed territory between India and Pakistan. In 1941, 77 percent of the population was Muslim. Three major political forces dominated: the National Conference, which wanted to join India; the Muslim Conference, which wanted to join an independent state for Muslims; and the Dogra dynasty, which wanted to remain independent. In 1947 Britain partitioned the subcontinent into Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan. Kashmir remained autonomous under the leadership of a Hindu maharaja. Muslim tribespeople invaded from Pakistan, and the maharaja acceded to India in 1948; Pakistani and Indian troops fought in Kashmir beginning in 1947. India appealed to the United Nations, which called for a cease-fire, withdrawal of Pakistani troops, and a plebiscite on the future of Kashmir. The plebiscite has never been held. Another war between India and Pakistan in Kashmir (1965) failed to resolve the dispute. India continues to hold the greater part of Kashmir; roughly one-third is a semiautonomous region of Pakistan known as Azad (free) Kashmir.

Subjects: Islam.


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