Should India have annexed Pakistani Kashmir in the 1971 Indo-Pak war?
Debate Rounds (5)
Though this resolution might seem controversial, I will argue for it. I would like to get some more insights into this issue hence the debate. Do be respectful.
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*This is not meant to be offensive to Pakistanis or anybody else whatsoever, this is simply to analyze what would happen in an alternative timeline*
BoP is shared, I have BoP to show that it would be better if India annexed Pakistani Kashmir while the opponent has BoP to show that it the staus quo is better with kashmir divided between india and pakistan. Con MAY NOT debate that Kashmir should be an independent country or that Kashmir should have dual administration between the 2 nations or what ever else.
Annex - to incorporate (a country or other territory) within the domain of a state
Pakistani Kashmir - The present day Pakistani provinces of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
First Round is acceptance for Con. Con may present an argument in the acceptance round, however if Con does so then he/she must leave the Final round blank in order to avoid total forfeiture of debate.
I hope this does not create too much controversy (and I am no Indian Imperialist, I want to make that very clear).
To provide a quick background, During the December of 1971 India and Pakistan fought a war that lasted 13 days. However these 13 days would cripple Pakistan, never to recover from this war. This can be said because Pakistan lost over half of their population since East Pakistan formed an independent country of Bangladesh which remains independent to this day.
Indian Forces and Bangladeshi rebels won a decisive victory in the war however the Indians gained nothing except severely weakening their rival Pakistan. This is not to say that India deserves the territory simply as a reward for helping Bangladeshi rebels.
Kashmir is divided between both India and Pakistan (excluding Askai Chin which belongs to China, but this will not need to be discussed). India owns 3/5 of Kashmir while the remaining 2/5 is Pakistan. Now, there are other regions divided between India and Pakistan as well (such as Bengal prior to the 1971 war and Punjab even today). However, the border between the India and Pakistan in the Kashmir region is almost certainly the most unstable international border in the world with constant ceasefire violations from both sides. Even though there have been no 'major' wars since 1971, it should be noted that both sides have made significant incursions into each others territory. Pakistan made a major incursion into the Indian town of Kargil  while India invaded and occupied Siachen Glacier.
It is obvious that the reason these skirmishes and 'mini wars' take place is because both sides are willing and able to take territory in Kashmir since both sides have a degree of legitimacy to their claims on the land. If India demanded the annexation of Pakistani Kashmir, and assuming Pakistan agreed, its a reasonable assumption that border skirmishes would not take place and that the Kargil war could have never occurred. This assumption is reasonable since if Pakistan withdraws from Kashmir and hence revokes all claims on the Kashmir region, Pakistan cannot afford to engage in border skirmishes with India since they will have no legitimacy in their claims over the region or even a part of it, I will explain why shortly.
Currently the Kashmir border between India and Pakistan is called 'the line of control'. This implies that this is not the official border and simply a ceasefire one. This is definitely the reason why other countries and the UN turn a blind eye to the constant border violations here. If the same thing happened in Punjab, then it would hit global news and whoever violated the border will be have to face the music, they will suffer diplomatic consequences with the world. Not to mention the infamous US sanctions.
If Pakistan ceded their part of Kashmir to India then there is no ceasefire border, the border will be firm and official, meaning both sides will publicly recognize the border. Therefore, border violations will not occur without consequences from the international community. This will result in both sides becoming unwilling to violate the territorial integrity of the other. This will save many lives, both civilian and military.
Of course, Indo-Pakistan relations will be badly damaged immediately after India annexes Kashmir, however over a long period of time relations will improve since there will be little to no ceasefire violations.
The world really needs Indo-Pak relations to improve considering both sides are nuclear armed and have come close to nuclear war.
If the two countries EVER exchange nuclear weapons it could be catastrophic to the world, due to nuclear winter and the radiation. To make matters worse neither side has signed the Nuclear non proliferation treaty.
The ceding of Pakistani Kashmir to India would have resulted in:
- Stability of the Indo Pakistan border.
- The aversion of the Kargil war and any future wars.
- Long term improvement of Indo-Pak relations (though short term will be badly damaged)
- Far lower chance of Nuclear warfare in the future, may even save our species.
Which is why India should have annexed Kashmir when negotiating peace in the 1971 war.
My opponents Claims---
CLAIM 1.(Further explained in opponents Claim 3)- It is obvious that the reason these skirmishes and 'mini wars' take place is because both sides are willing and able to take territory in Kashmir since both sides have a degree of legitimacy to their claims on the land. If India demanded the annexation of Pakistani Kashmir, and assuming Pakistan agreed, its a reasonable assumption that border skirmishes would not take place and that the Kargil war could have never occurred.
and CLAIM 4-Of course, Indo-Pakistan relations will be badly damaged immediately after India annexes Kashmir, however over a long period of time relations will improve since there will be little to no ceasefire violations.
#ASSUMPTION MADE- If we had taken the rest of Kashmir they could not have claimed under any reason. And so the ceasefire violations would have stopped.
#FACT- Shimla Agreement has a separate section asking both sides to not to take on any ceasefire violation and both sides have agreed to the present border as termed by our then PM.
#EXTRACT FROM AGREEMENT-
(ii) That the two countries are resolved to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations or by any other peaceful means mutually agreed upon between them. Pending the final settlement of any of the problems between the two countries, neither side shall unilaterally alter the situation and both shall prevent the organization, assistance or encouragement of any acts detrimental to the maintenance of peace and harmonious relations.
(iii) That the prerequisite for reconciliation, good neighborliness and durable peace between them is a commitment by both the countries to peaceful coexistence respect for each others territorial integrity and sovereignty and noninterference in each others internal affairs, on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. That the basic issues and causes of conflict which have bedeviled the relations between the two countries for the last 25 years shall be resolved by peaceful means.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the line of control resulting from the ceasefire of December 17, 1971, shall be respected by both sides without prejudice to the recognized position of either side. Neither side shall seek to alter it unilaterally, irrespective of mutual differences and legal interpretations. Both sides further undertake to refrain from the threat or the use of force in violation of this line.
However,under present circumstances, Pakistan doesnot seem to follow or agree the Agreement in practical incidences as seen from skirmishes and demand for 'independence' of Kashmir.
#QUESTION TO OPPONENT-Given opponent's version of alter history, where we made Pakistan sign the agreement,thus gaining the whole of Kashmir,what is the guarantee that they would accept the harsh agreement in practical and not resort to violence (which they have done now) even when it stands no legal bilateral validity in present situation?
CLAIM 2- Currently the Kashmir border between India and Pakistan is called 'the line of control'. This implies that this is not the official border and simply a ceasefire one. This is definitely the reason why other countries and the UN turn a blind eye to the constant border violations here. (edited) they will suffer diplomatic consequences with the world. Not to mention the infamous US sanctions.
#ASSUMPTION MADE- International Politics does not exist. The World Politics is bipolar and not multipolar.
#FACT- US's biggest objective is War Against Terror. And it is beyond doubt they will do anything to get their job done. And Pakistan is what they need with them to do so. In international politics, US has been pro India and has great relations with them on every sphere, including war on terror. But has only delivered rhetorics when it comes to India VS Pakistan which is very well evident from present situations.
Same is with European countries.
MY ARGUMENTS TO WHY INDIA SHOULD NOT HAVE ANNEXED PAKISTANI KASHMIR-
#ARGUMENT 1- Given the scenario where India had taken the whole of Kashmir from Pakistan, US would have got seriously involved in this issue as they stood strongly by Pakistan. Let us not forget that it was a period of Cold War and USSR had stood by us. The US had also sent USS Enterprise and prompted China to get aggressive with India. USSR too was preparing self for protecting India. Therefore such aggressive action from India would have lead to more aggressive actions/counteractions from International Counterparts thus leading to a potential WWIII. And that too in the land of India. Thats the last thing anybody wants. Let us also not forget that it was a harsh agreement on Germany in WWI that lead Germany to fight again for revenge in WWII
#ARGUMENT 2- I should also not be forgotten that although India gave back land gained,it did retain some strategic positions.
PS- I didnot put foward much strong arguments to my case because I realized during the construction of my debate that BoP,which I thought was shared,actually strongly rests on my opponent. I have debunked the possible alternate history described by him which automatically implies that present historical account is better.
Quotes from Con are italicized and Underlined.
what is the guarantee that [Pakistan] would accept the harsh agreement in practical and not resort to violence (which they have done now) even when it stands no legal bilateral validity in present situation?
Here is the thing, currently we do not know which side violates the ceasefire (we will never know the truth) as both sides blame each other for firing first. However, if Pakistan was forced to accept Indian annexation of Kashmir it is highly unlikely that India would be the aggressor. Hence, if there is border fighting, Pakistan is defenitely going to be blamed.
Under the present scenario, both sides can blame each other since both sides are well known to have interests in taking over all of Kashmir. However, if India already controls all of Kashmir, they have no intention of shifting the border any more. This is partially because they have no rightful claim on any other part of Pakistan. But under this alternate scenario, Pakistan will have intentions to recapture Kashmir, therefore any border violations is almost certainly Pakistani and they will defenitely be blamed. They probably do not want that.
US has been pro India and has great relations with them on every sphere, including war on terror. But has only delivered rhetorics when it comes to India VS Pakistan which is very well evident from present situations.
What my opponent implies is that the international community does not give a damn about any and all border violations between India and Pakistan. If a well established border to the south of Kashmir was to be violated, surely the situation will escalate internationally. If India was to invade another region of Pakistan other than Kashmir, the international community will not sit idely by.
We must keep in mind is that both India and Pakistan have their own claims on the Kashmir region and the border now is a compromise. Compromises can be adjusted here and there with a couple artillery shells, sort of like nudging. However, if Pakistan was to withdraw from Kashmir entirely and revoke any and all claims on the region then there will be no artillery nudging as the border will be absolute.
Other places along the border are well established and there is no compromise, which is why the other places are stable. So stable that both sides do combined military parades on the border, whilst their comrades in Kashmir are killing and being killed since the border is a compromise and not a firm, absolute boundry.
#REBUTTAL 2 My opponent also states that Pakistan attacks only in Kashmir because they own some part of it and not other state. Let us not forget that Kashmir IS a disputed state and its situation cannot be compared to that of Gujarat or Punjab.Even if Pakistan had lost all of Kashmir,they would have still asked for it on the grounds of Muslim Majority population.
#REBUTTAL 3 My opponent also says that I have implied that the international community doesnot give a damn if there is any border violations between India and Pakistan. I stand by it. The international community will only take actions if their own personal interests are effected. He assumes the international community will takes actions merely based on morality.This is not the way it works. US and EU and China will stand by Pakistan for their interests in the region. (War against Terror and anti India actions respectively)
Here I wont put forward new arguments as my opponent did not put rebuttals against my 2 arguments. My arguments still stand unchallenged.
my opponent regularly states that if we had taken the whole of Kashmir, Pakistan would under no legal rule would have claims over Kashmir.
Right, that is true. Even now, Pakistan does not have recognized legal claims over Indian kashmir.
What he repeatedly forgets is that The Shimla Agreement states EXACTLY the same. Both sides have accepted the present border rhetorically and on paper. Both (preferably Pakistan for me) sides donot follow the agreement.
No, I have not forgotten that. I explained my point clearly in the previous round, I doubt my opponent read it properly.
Yes, both sides agreed to the shimla agreement, and yes both sides do violate the border. The border violation is illegal under international law. However, we do not know who started the violence and therefore we cannot put the blame on anyone.
Under the alternate history, the situation is exactly the same with border violations being as illegal as in the Simla agreement but India has no desire, as I discused earlier, to annex any other part of Pakistan. So it is reasonable to assume that the border violations (if they even occur) in an alternate scenario of India annexing Kashmir is due to Pakistani aggression. Countries friendly to India, such as Russia, will not look upon such aggression kindly.
Even if all of that could be discounted (which it certainly cannot), Pakistan would see the firm hand of India and would not foolishly try to attack India due to fear.
My opponent also states that Pakistan attacks only in Kashmir because they own some part of it and not other state.
I would like to remind Con that we cannot be 100% sure that pakistan instigated the border clashes.
Even if Pakistan had lost all of Kashmir,they would have still asked for it on the grounds of Muslim Majority population.
I could imagine a Pakistani protest against Indian annexation after the treaty, sure. But really, they cannot do anything. One does not simply invade another country in the 21st century, especially if you are not a global superpower.
Pakistan (or India) can violate the border in Kashmir because it is described as the line of control and because they both know that the other side has intentions to control all of Kashmir and therefore they can blame each other.
By the way, the Shimla agreement states that the "the line of control resulting from the ceasefire of December 17, 1971, shall be respected by both sides". Neither side agreed that this was the permanent border. They simply agreed that fighting will stop and the region shall be divided by the line of control. Noweher in the Shimla agreement does it state that this is the official and eternal border.
In the Kashmir annexation by India scenario, the border shall be firm, indisputable and irreversible and not simply some makedo ceasfire border to end the fighting.
The international community will only take actions if their own personal interests are effected.
Russia wants a more powerful India to counterbalance the dominance of China in Asia. Surely, the Russian personal interests are effected.
...such aggressive action from India would have lead to more aggressive actions/counteractions from International Counterparts thus leading to a potential WWIII.
If the aggression of the US, USSR, North Vietnam, North Korea (I can go on) did not create WW3, I doubt this would. For goodness sakes, this would not be a Cuban Missile crisis. WW3 would not have happened.
The US had also sent USS Enterprise and prompted China to get aggressive with India .
This is the cold war, China and US were not on good terms, moreover US had pulled their 6th fleet back when the USSR threatened to get involved. Neither side wanted a war and India's annexation of Kashmir would not change that.
Let us also not forget that it was a harsh agreement on Germany in WWI that lead Germany to fight again for revenge in WWII
Germany lost everything in WW1, Pakistan would have lost a couple of Kashmiri mountains. I did not ask for Pakistan to pay war reparations or limit their armed forces like Germany in my scenario.
The peace treaty against Germany in 1919 is incomparable to an Indian annexation of Kashmir.
I should also not be forgotten that although India gave back land gained,it did retain some strategic positions.
I do not see how that helps the Con case or undermine the Pro case.
With that out of the way, I return the debate to Con and encourage him to bring forth new arguments next round as I will only have one more opportunity to rebut him.
ChandanB forfeited this round.
Well, that was unexpected. Anyways, due to forfeiture, my points stand unrefuted, I dont feel the need to write more.
Unfortunate end to what could have been a good debate.
Although I think I have lost the debate due to forfeiture, I will put up a conclusion and not rebuttal for the sake of debating.
I summarize my arguments for why India was right in not annexing Pakistani Kashmir. They are-
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Squirrelnuts57 1 year ago
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