Indian Army - Conflicts and Operations - First Kashmir War (1947)

First Kashmir War (1947)

Immediately after independence, tensions between India and Pakistan began to boil over, and the first of three full-scale wars between the two nations broke out over the then princely state of Kashmir. The Maharaja of Kashmir wanted to have stand still position. Since, Kashmir was Muslim majority state, Pakistan wanted to make Kashmir a Pakistani territory. In 1948, Pakistan invaded Kashmir, as a result, Maharaja Hari Singh appealed to India, and to Lord Mountbatten of Burma, the Governor General, for help. He signed the Instrument of Accession to India. This Accession was warmly supported by local people. It took 2 weeks for Indian forces to reach war front. Indian troops were airlifted to Srinagar. This contingent included General Thimayya who distinguished himself in the operation and in years that followed, became a Chief of the Indian Army. An intense war was waged across the state and former comrades found themselves fighting each other. Pakistan suffered significant losses. Its forces were stopped on the line formed which is now called LOC (Line Of Control).

An uneasy UN sponsored peace returned by the end of 1948 with Indian and Pakistani soldiers facing each other directly on the Line of Control, which has since divided Indian-held Kashmir from Pakistan-held Kashmir. A host of UN Resolutions(38–47) were passed calling for a plebiscite to be held in Kashmir to determine accession to India or Pakistan. These Resolutions however were never accepted by India. Tensions between India and Pakistan, largely over Kashmir, have never since been entirely eliminated.

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