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International relations, theory and practice: the Second Kashmir war

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The history of war in Kashmir.
    1. The conflict between India and Pakistan.
    2. The Indo-Pakistani war of 1965.
    3. The end of the first war for Kashmir.
  3. The origins of the Indo-Pakistani conflict.
  4. Reasons that lead to the second war for Kashmir.
    1. Pakistan being a Muslim country.
    2. India being a Hindu country.
    3. Advantage for Pakistan after the Indo-China war.
  5. Involvement of the Soviet Union.
  6. Conclusion.
  7. Bibliography.

I will deal in this essay with the Second Kashmir War, which was a war between India and Pakistan in 1965. We will see how we can interpret the causes and the origins of the war, and the way it was ended and solved. I chose to use two different theories to interpret the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965: the realist theory and the idealist theory.First I would like to remind the historical context of this conflict and why it is called the Second Kashmir war. This war occurred between April 1965 and September 1965 in the region called Kashmir, located on the northern border of India and Pakistan in the Himalayan Mountains. Kashmir is divided between the Indian and the Pakistani states since the First Kashmir war, which followed the partition of the British empire of India in 1947 and lasted until 1949. This conflict opposed India and Pakistan on the question of the belonging of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir was a princely state, inhabited mainly by Muslims, that was the reason why the Pakistani leaders claimed that it should be part of their state. But the maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Hari Singh was Hindu, and after a quite long period of hesitations he decided that his state should join the Indian union, even though it was mainly composed of Muslim inhabitants. Pakistan decided to invade Jammu and Kashmir and the Indian army retaliated. The fight lasted two years, and after three resolutions of the UN Security Council the protagonists finally agreed on a ceasefire which took place in 1949. At the end of the First Kashmir war 65% of Jammu and Kashmir was under Indian control, and the rest was controlled by Pakistan; both parts were separated by the so-called Line of Control.

[...] Yet India refused the ultimatum, but China extended the deadline by three days, and two days later declared that India had done what the ultimatum asked, because there was to need to keep the pressure on India as it had accepted the cease-fire. So we can see that India accepted the cease-fire to guarantee its own security; because the balance of power at a higher level than the conflict with Pakistan was not favourable for itself. The Chinese threat on India, and the fear that China might be strengthened by the Second Kashmir War was also one of the reasons why the Soviet Union offered to be the mediator in the negotiations between Indian and Pakistani representatives. [...]


[...] So we see that on the basis of the realist way of thinking Indian and Pakistani leaders both went to war to defend the interest of their countries and the main cause of the Second Kashmir war was the balance of power in the region, which India wanted to safeguard, and Pakistan to modify for its own benefit. We can also analyse the origins of the Indo-Pakistani conflict thanks to the idealist thought. The idealist scholars mainly focus on the ideals that are defended during the conflicts and on the domestic system of the protagonists. [...]


[...] Now that we have seen the origins of the Second Kashmir war and tried to explain them with the realist and the idealist theories, we can focus on the way it was put an end to the war and on its aftermath, always with the help of realism and idealism. We can first try to analyse the end and the aftermath of the conflict by the idealist way. As we have said it in the first part of the essay the main tenants of the idealist thought are the importance of domestic system and rules but also the role of international organizations. [...]

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