KASHMIR (INDIA/PAKISTAN): Clouds of war and killing of innocent civilians across the Line of Control (LOC) in Kashmir


Urgent Appeal Case: UA-21-2002

Clouds of war and killing of innocent civilians across the Line of Control (LOC) in Kashmir

KASHMIR (INDIA/PAKISTAN): Gross human rights violations – Stop the cross-border shelling and need of UN intervention


There have been at least 150 people killed, 400 injured and 100,000 people have left their homes and migrated in Kashmir since mid-May 2002. Heavy weapons are killing daily innocent civilians and destroying homes and other public and private property, and civilians are being forced to flee on both sides of the LOC. After the statement of Indian Prime Minister, Atal Bahari Vajpayee that India is going to start a decisive war against Pakistan, panic has spread among the public, particularly in Kashmir.

We must not allow both India and Pakistan to kill innocent civilians in Kashmir. Therefore, in this alarming situation, we urge you to write letters to the Prime Minister and President of India and the President of Pakistan to stop the shelling along the LOC and to begin dialogue and also ask the secretary-general of the United Nations to take immediate intervention.


1) Present Status of Kashmir

Since 1947, the State of Kashmir has been a disputed territory whose future is to be decided through a plebiscite held under the auspices of the United Nations. It comprises an area of 84,471 square miles and has a population of 15 million. It is divided into Indian-administrated Kashmir (52,000 square miles) and Pakistani-administrated Kashmir (32,000 square miles).

2) Indian and Pakistani Claims

The official claim of the Indian authorities is that Kashmir is an integral part of India and that Pakistan has occupied her territory while Pakistan maintains that Kashmir is a Muslim-majority state and accordingly it should be part of Pakistan.

3) The Facts

The fact is that Kashmir is neither part of India or does it belong to Pakistan. It is a disputed territory, and the United Nations has promised to provide Kashmiris an opportunity to decide their future.

4) Brief History of the Conflict

In 1947 when India and Pakistan came into being, there were 564 princely states on the subcontinent. According to a plan of division of the subcontinent (June 3, 1947), these states were allowed to accede to either India or Pakistan, but the situation of Kashmir was entirely different. Kashmir was an independent state at that time as it was sold by Britain to Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1846 (Treaty of Amritsar). From 1846 to 1947, the family of Gulab Singh ruled Kashmir. There was a strong movement for the democratic rights of the Kashmiri people beginning in 1925, however, a movement that reached its peak in 1931. The army of the state of Kashmir crushed this democratic movement though by killing several activists of the movement. After the division of the subcontinent, the ruler of Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh, decided to remain independent. Both India and Pakistan signed the Standstill Agreement in August 1947 with the government of Kashmir in which both India and Pakistan ac

cepted the independent status of the State of Jammu Kashmir. Both India and Pakistan invaded Kashmir, however, in October 1947, claiming Kashmir to be part of their new nations. After the massacre of thousands of civilians on both sides, India went to the United Nations in 1948. The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution in which both India and Pakistan agreed on a cease-fire, and the U.N. Security Council announced that a fair plebiscite would be held to allow the Kashmiri people to exercise their right of self-determination (Aug. 13, 1948).

5) Line of Control (LOC)

After the involvement of the United Nations in 1948, a cease-fire line was drawn between the two parts of Kashmir. This was a temporary line of division just to restore peace in both the parts. The United Nations could not implement its resolutions due to a lack of cooperation by both India and Pakistan. After the war of 1971 between India and Pakistan, an agreement was signed by the prime minister of India and the president of Pakistan on July, 2, 1972, at Simla, which is historically known as the Simla Accord. It was the Simla Accord in which both countries agreed to change the status of the cease-fire line in Kashmir and named it the line of control (LOC).

6) Armed Struggle and Violation of Human Rights

In 1988, Kashmiris began an armed struggle for the freedom of Kashmir, and there has been a severe violation of human rights since then. More than 60,000 human beings have been killed, thousands of women have been raped and more than 4,000 custodial deaths have occurred in Indian-held Kashmir alone. Civilians living on both sides of the LOC have suffered a great deal since 1988 as the entire LOC (650 kilometers) has been under cross-border shelling for the last 14 years. This shelling has claimed the lives of thousands of civilians on both sides, public and private property has been destroyed and civilians have been forced to migrate. Thousands of civilians are now living in refugee camps and in other areas away from the LOC, and thus, Kashmiris are now refugees in their own land. Those who do not have enough resources to move to safer places are still living in dangerous spots without any educational institutions, medical and transportation facilities and sometimes food. Dur

ing cross-border shelling, the main victims are civilians on both sides of the LOC.

7) The Latest Situation

Since Dec. 13, 2001, when the attack on the Indian Parliament took place, both India and Pakistan have deployed their troops along the LOC and have begun heavy shelling across the LOC in which hundreds of civilians have lost their lives, including women and children. During the past three weeks, there have been more than 150 causalities reported so far, and more than 400 civilians have been killed on both sides. More than 100,000 families have migrated to safer places from both sides, and thousands of families are still living along the LOC without any place to go.

Indian Prime Minister, Atal Bahari Vajpayee has recently said that he is committed to beginning a decisive war against Pakistan, and Pakistani troops are prepared to face the situation. Presently a total of one million troops have been deployed by both sides with most of them deployed along the LOC. Every day along the LOC there are civilian causalities reported by the international electronic and print media. Clouds of war are hovering over Pakistan and India. A small incident can spark a war at any time. Both nuclear rivals have massed a total of one million forces on their borders, particularly on the LOC in Kashmir. These forces exchange daily mortar and artillery fire along the LOC and kill innocent Kashmiris on both sides.

Now war appears to be imminent between both countries, but they want to make Kashmir the battlefield. In this case, they will kill the people of Kashmir and destroy more public and private property while the people of both countries will watch the war from the sidelines, but the Kashmiri people will become the fodder of this war. Already dozens of people who have been wounded and killed by troops have been brought to the hospitals daily. The United Nations and world community must take notice of these killings and must pressure both countries to restrain the present shooting along the LOC and to refrain from escalating this violence further into a full-blown war. Otherwise, war hysteria in India and Pakistan will prove to be the genocide of the Kashmiri people. In case of war, the objectives of the political leaders of India and Pakistan will be fulfilled as the leaders of neither country have historically shown any respect for the right to life of the Kashmiri people. In add

ition, both countries might test their nuclear weapons in Kashmir. There is presently the greatest danger of the repetition of the history of Hiroshima and Nagasaki since the end of World War II.

The world community, particularly the people of India and Pakistan, must acknowledge this fact and play their due role to save the Kashmiri people from bombardment and cross-firing along the LOC. Otherwise, they will have equal responsibility for this bloodshed.

We appeal to the people of the subcontinent to stand against war and terrorism. War never brings good fruits but rather only destruction, death, tears, starvation and devastation. At this time, India and Pakistan should fight against the poverty, unemployment and illiteracy in their countries, but some extremist elements and rulers of both countries are bent upon pushing innocent people into the chimney of war. Liberals, democrats, secular and moderate personalities must play their role and persuade the rulers and military heads of these two countries to show patience and tolerance and to cooperate to eradicate poverty from the region. If war breaks out, then no one can control it. Both countries will regress to a state not seen for centuries.

Further information on the situation in Kashmir is available at AHRC¡¯s Kashmir Human Rights Site, http://www.kashmir-hr.net See also the web site of the Kashmir Record and Research Council at http://www.krrc.org and http://www.kanger.net for further links.


The present tense situation can be eased only through meaningful dialogue between Kashmiris and the Indian and Pakistani authorities in the presence of reasonable mediators.

Please write to Atal Bahari Vajpayee, Prime Minister, Shri Narayanan, President of India and Gen. Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan, to stop the shelling along the LOC and to begin meaningful dialogue with Kashmiris to ensure permanent peace in this region. Also send copy of your letter to Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations and Mary Robinson, high commissioner for human right. A sample letter follows.



To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER



Re: Violence and Tension along the Line of Control (LOC) in Kashmir

I am writing to express my deep concern about the recent escalating violence and shelling along the line of control (LOC) in Kashmir. This is killing hundreds of innocent civilians and destroying the lives of thousands of others and making refugees out of these innocent people. It is also creating terror in the hearts of the people of both countries and is alarming the leaders and other people around the world who fear that the present heightened tension will lead to a conventional war that will tragically become a nuclear war.

We call upon you to step back from the brink of war and to let calmer reason to prevail over the emotions that are now running at a feverish pitch; for if India and Pakistan go to war, there will be no winner, only potentially millions of people who will lose their lives.

The dispute over Kashmir has now gone on long enough. Too many people in Kashmir have died in the past half-century. Until this dispute is resolved, there will always be tension between India and Pakistan, and the subcontinent will continue to be held hostage to this issue.

I trust that you will make a wise decision to resolve the present tense and violent situation.

Thank you for your kind attention to this important issue that affects the lives of literally billions of people.

Sincerely yours,


1. H.E. Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Prime Minister

South Block, Raisina Hill,

New Delhi, India-110 011


Fax: 91-11-3019545 / 91-11-3016857

Email: eindun@undp.org

2. Shri K. R. Narayanan

President of India

H.E. President of India

Office of the President

Rashtrapati Bhawan

New Delhi, 110004


Fax: +91 11 301-7290

E-mail: pressecy@alpha.nic.in

3. General Pervez Musharraf

President of Pakistan

Islamic of Republic of Pakistan

Prime Minister House, Islamabad,


Fax: +92 051 920-1893/1835 or 4632

E-mail: CE@pak.gov.pk

Salutation: Dear Gen. Musharraf


1. Mr. Kofi Annan


United Nations Room S-3800

New York NY 10017


Fax: +1 212 963 4879/2155

E-mail: ecu@un.org

2. Mrs. Mary Robinson

High Commissioner for Human Rights.


8-14 Avenue de la Paix

1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Fax: +41 22 917 9012

E-mail: webadmin.hchr@unog.ch


Document Type : Urgent Appeal Case
Document ID : UA-21-2002
Countries : India,