Kashmir is located in the Northwest of the sub continent. Historically, the valley consisted of the area lying between great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal range. However, current Kashmir is referred to the area administered by India - Kashmir valley, Jammu and Ladakh; the area administered by Pakistan - Azad Kashmir; and Aksai Chin, which is in China (Wikipedia.org, 2007).
Kashmir has always been a Muslim majority area. As per the 1901 census that was carried out by British Indian Empire, almost 75% of the population consisted of Muslims, 24% were Hindus, and the others were Buddhists. The major population of Hindus was in Jammu which had almost 50% Hindus population, whereas in Kashmir valley, Muslims were in dominant majority with approximately 94% of the total population and Hindus were only 5% (Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1908). As per the census of 1941, Muslim population of Kashmir was 93.6% and Hindus were only 4% (Mridu, 2004). In 2003, the percentage population of Muslims in the Kashmir valley was 95% with Hindus only 4%. In Jammu, the percentage population of Hindus was 66% and Muslims 30% (BBC, 2003). ...
ub continent, agreed between both Hindu and Muslim leaders, the state of Jammu and Kashmir was to be either associated with Pakistan due to its Muslim majority in population, or had to be associated with India if the people of Kashmir want that. There was no resolution or advice to make it a separate state, free from both Indian and Pakistani boundary.
The people of Kashmir, and hence Pakistani government were under the impression that Kashmir will be a part of Pakistan due to its Muslim population who will decide in favor of Pakistan. However, the non-Muslim ruler of Kashmir, called the Maharaja, signed in favor of India. The Accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India was signed on 26th October 1947 (Ministry of External Affairs India, n.d.).
This was unacceptable to both Pakistan and people of Kashmir and resulted into a conflict between India and Pakistan when Kashmiri people started an armed struggle against this decision with Pakistan's support to liberate Kashmir from India. India also sent her armies to the valley; this ultimately resulted into the Line of Control which is an area between Indian occupied Kashmir and Azad Kashmir that is under Pakistan's control.
The Initial Demands
The dispute was taken to United Nations (UN) which decided that an independent plebiscite should be held to find out the wishes of the people of Kashmir and its results will be taken as the true opinion of Kashmiris towards the decision of being included in India or Pakistan.
However, India denied the plebiscite on the grounds that according to the decision by UN, Pakistan should take out her armies from all parts of Kashmir in order for plebiscite to be held. In addition, India held elections in the state in 1950, thus affirming the status of Kashmir state as part of India.