Shimla Agreement The Hindu

Red Fish Kitchen > Shimla Agreement The Hindu
  • Date: April 12, 2021
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India had three main objectives in Shimla. First, a lasting solution to the Kashmir issue or, if not, an agreement that would prevent Pakistan from involving third parties in discussions on the future of Kashmir. Second, it was hoped that the agreement would allow a new beginning in relations with Pakistan, based on Pakistan`s acceptance of the new balance of power. Third, it left open the possibility of achieving these two objectives without rushing Pakistan against the wall and without creating a revanchist anti-India regime. The first attempts at UN mediation came after India filed its complaint against the forced occupation of parts of Kashmir (PoK) in Pakistan with the UN Security Council on 1 January 1948. The United Nations then set up the Un Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP), which proposed to present a resolution along a three-point action plan: The Pakistani demilitarization of the Kashmir region, followed by a reduction in India`s military presence, and a final motion for a final resolution by an impartial UN referendum to “determine the wishes of the people of Kashmir.” The agreement was never reached because Pakistan never agreed to demilitarize, and India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, made it clear that a referendum would never be accepted. Where UNCIP was successful, it was possible to negotiate a ceasefire in 1949 and to negotiate the geographical position of the ceasefire line to be overseen by the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). From 1949 to 1953, UN officials visited both sides, but failed to improve the atmosphere for a resolution or convince both sides to demilitarize both sides of the LoC. The first United Nations representative for India and Pakistan (UNRIP) to be elected to settle the dispute was Sir Owen Dixon, an Australian lawyer followed by Frank Graham, an American diplomat, who dropped out after his proposal was rejected in April 1953 by New Delhi and Karachi (then the Pakistani capital). The only exceptions to this grim record were the Indus Water Treaty, guaranteed by the World Bank in 1960, and a territorial agreement on the Kutch rann, successfully negotiated by the British government in 1965. Soviet Prime Minister Kosygin also led Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pakistani President Ayub Khan to pass the 1965 Tashkent Peace Agreement, but the treaty has always been marked by mistrust and doubts, marred by Shastri`s sudden death in Tashkent. If this does reflect an official thinking that is emerging in Pakistan, it could have serious consequences.

On the one hand, this would mean that the J-K agreement on the Indo-Pakistan border will no longer be the Simla agreement, but that it should be the agreement signed between the two sides in Karachi in 1949, at the end of their first war in 1948. Since the Simla agreement formalized several high-level amendments after 1949 and until December 1971, such territorial adaptations could be lowered. This raises two specific questions. On the one hand, given that the current ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan (declared in 2003) is essentially a repeat of the ceasefire agreement declared at the end of the 1971 war, this could mean the end of the existing ceasefire agreement between them. Second, if “Simla is dead,” does it mean that the LoC, which was created in 1971 (which replaced the ceasefire line in 1971), is also cancelled? In other words, the entire basis of the Indo-Pakistani negotiations on J-K since 1972 could cease to exist if Pakistan decided to undermine the Simla agreement or accused India of having done so by the August decision and deciding not to comply.

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