To be independent, or not to be independent? That is the question1
in Independent Kashmir
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The conclusion briefly summarises the roles of Maharaja Hari Singh and Sheikh Abdullah, and their respective impacts. It discusses some mistakes made by India in 1947, which instigated the Kashmir dispute – and some desires by people for an independent J&K or an independent Kashmir – and the possibility that either may occur, including as a result of a ‘black swan’ event or the inevitable border changes that have long occurred in South Asia. Ultimately, the book concludes that India is most likely to retain Kashmir, partly because of its strengths, and Pakistan’s inability to force India out, but also mainly because of some weaknesses that the disgruntled Kashmiris have, particularly their disunity and inability to decide what status they actually want for Kashmir. Meanwhile, India has suppressed the Kashmiri identity, but it will again re-emerge. Also, independence might be a good thing for Kashmir as it would end the India–Pakistan struggle over it, with the result that this region could then become a bridge between both nations, not an object of contestation.

Independent Kashmir

An incomplete aspiration


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