• Short Summary

    Almost thirty years of dispute over the official position of the Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir ended earlier this year with the signing of a special accord between the Indian Government and Kashmiri leaders formally establishing Kashmir's status within India.

  • Description

    Almost thirty years of dispute over the official position of the Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir ended earlier this year with the signing of a special accord between the Indian Government and Kashmiri leaders formally establishing Kashmir's status within India.

    Since the subcontinent was divided at the end of British rule in 1948, the status of Kashmir has provoked continual conflict and intermittent clashes between Indian and Pakistan. On four occasions the dispute has erupted into warfare...and today Kashmir is divided into Indian-held and Pakistani-controlled area.

    Closely involved in the protracted dispute since its beginning has been the man known to his followers as "the Lion of Kashmir"...Sheikh Mohammed Abdulleh. The 69-year-old leader became the focus for Kashmiri nationalism in 1953 when ho openly opposed the state's membership of the Indian Union. His actions brought him into direct conflict with the Indian Government, which accused the Sheikh of pro-Pakistani leanings, and kept him in detention in India from 1953 to the beginning of this year, apart from only brief periods of freedom.

    Kashmir became a member of the Indian Union in 1947, when the then Maharajah called for Indian aid to repel an invasion by thousands of Pakistani tribesmen intent on bringing Muslim-dominated Kashmir under Pakistani control. The short conflict between Indian and Pakistani forces was the first of a number over the status of Kashmir in the years spanning partition and the present day.

    In 1965, fighting between the two countries inside the area of Kashmir led to the peace summit in Tashkent, U.S.S.R., the following year. The settlement ironed out there brought a lull in conflict until the winter of 1971, when fresh fighting broke out along the 1965 ceasefire line.

    Since then, the Indian Government has been searching for a compromise with the ardent Kashmiri nationalists. Kashmir was promised a referendum on self-determination following the U.N. ceasefire of 1948 ... but the vote has never been held.

    Central to these moves has been the "Lion of Kashmir", Sheikh Abdullah has been engaged in a series of discussions to solve the problem since he met the then Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Nehru, and father of the present Indian Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi.

    The strength of Sheikh Abdullah's following in Kashmir has been amply illustrated on each of his returns from detention in India. His arrival in the capital, Srinigar, earlier in March as the new head of government in the state was as triumphal as ever. He told a crowd of over one hundred thousand exultant Kashmiris that the state had been given a place of honour in Indian under the new accord.

    The special accord -- details of which have not yet been fully revealed -- has been sharply criticised by both the Pakistani Government and by Kashmiri nationalists demanding complete autonomy. Pakistan and parts of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir were crippled by a general strike following the announcement of the new agreement with India.

    But Sheikh Abdullah has told Pakistan to take care of its own affairs -- including the granting of basis rights to the inhabitants of the Pakistani-controlled Kashmir -- before talking of the Kashmir's right to self-determination. As he said in a recent interview -- which appears on film -- following the conclusion of the new accord:

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAB9O0HM6QRW6GORWKSMCGTA85L
    Media URN:
    VLVAB9O0HM6QRW6GORWKSMCGTA85L
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    25/03/1975
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:03:01:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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