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The occupation of Kashmir by India is illegal.


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After 2 votes and with 11 points ahead, the winner is...

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Round 1
I would like to start my opening arguments by citing various UNSC resolutions that demand for an independent and free peblescite in the region. The resolution in particular that I'm referring to is the United Nations Council Resolution 47, adopted on 21 April, 1948. This called for both India and Pakistan to withdraw their armies from the region and the in the next step to hold free and fair peblescite under the administration of United Nations. Unfortunately, this was never acted upon as evident today. But before I indulge into more reasoning as to why Kashmir should be an independent territory or state rather than an territory of India. 
So, 75 years ago the British were getting ready to end their rule on the Subcontinent and complying to demands made by the huge Muslim population for a separate state the British decided to partition the Indian Subcontinent. Most of the states or provinces were easily acceded to either Pakistan or India on the basis of the local population. Apart from these there were more than 550 princely states in India, these were ruled by local leaders or rajas. So these states were allowed to decide for their population in accordance with the wish of the locals. Majority of them either acceded to Pakistan or India based on their local population but a few odd cases arised where the local leaders belonged to different religions than the local population, most of these cases were to resolved. One of them that remained unsolved was the State of Kashmir. So Kashmir had an overwhelming Muslim population while the local Mahraja was a hindu. So, like elsewhere the people of Kashmir wished to join Pakistan. But after a series of highly controversial events that I would like to keep out here for obvious reasons, the raja decided to officially join India and with this the Indian military entered the valley. Soon after the local population revolted and liberated 1/3 of the valley, which is known as Azad kashmir today and administered by Pakistan today. (Pakistan only meets the states financial and defense req, other than that it has it's own president, parliament, supreme court etc.) So the Indian govt. In a state of panic took to the issue to the United Nations which then passed Resolution 47, details of which are stated above. So, after this resolution was passed it was never implemented, as evident today. This has led to atleast 4 full blown conflict between the two nuclear armed neighbours. As the burden of proof lies with the von as he has to prove that Kashmir is not illegally held by India, I will rest my case here. 
Firstly, I would like to thank my opponent for creating a debate on this topic. The India/Pakistan conflict over Kashmir has been in the forefront of politics in the subcontinent. As a person of Indian descent, I could not stop myself from accepting this debate. Good luck to my opponent and thank you judges for reading.

The resolution for this debate is: The occupation of Kashmir by India is illegal. For this debate I will argue on the Con/Negative/Against the resolution.


As my opponent did not provide definitions, they have deferred the providing of definitions to Con:
    • Occupation — the state of being occupied, taken over, or settled.
    • Kashmir — Official name Jam·mu and Kash·mir  [juhm-oo]  . the part of this state occupied by India, forming a state in the Indian union. About 39,146 sq. mi. (101,387 sq. km). Capital: Srinagar (summer); Jammu (winter).
    • India — Hindi Bha·rat  [buh-ruht].  Official name Republic of India . a republic in S Asia: a union comprising 25 states and 7 union territories; formerly a British colony; gained independence Aug. 15, 1947; became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations Jan. 26, 1950. 1,246,880 sq. mi. (3,229,419 sq. km). Capital: New Delhi.
    • Illegal — forbidden by law or statute; contrary to or forbidden by official rules, regulations, etc.

    Before I begin, some brief context for the judges. Prior to the Partition of India and Pakistan, both used to be under British control. There were two main interest groups for independence in the subcontinent. The Muslim League, in support of the Muslims, was led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Indian National Congress, in support of Hindus, was led by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru [1]. After various conflicts in opinion between the two aforementioned leaders over thoughts and opinions, Jinnah demanded a partition of newly independent India, and it was granted by Viceroy Mountbatten [2]

    Constructive I: Rights and Decisions of the State of Jammu and Kashmir

    While ruling India, the British had two independent classes. One with princely states, which were independent as long as they recognized British supremacy and ceded powers of defense, foreign affairs and communications; the other a set of states directly ruled from London [3]. Lord Mountbatten after the declaration of partition, gave these princely states two choices: join India or join Pakistan, which is where the story finally comes to Jammu and Kashmir, a princely state (I will refer to this as Kashmir from now on).

    At the onset of the partition, the ruler of the princely state of Kashmir was Maharaja Hari Singh, a Hindu, who was ruling over a majority Muslim population [3]. He delayed the decision because neither side appealed to him. However, soon 

    “Pashtun tribesmen (Muslims) from neighboring Waziristan, Pakistan invaded Jammu and Kashmir beginning on October 20, 1947. Pakistani government troops provided support for the Pashtun tribesmen beginning on October 23, 1947.  Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession with the Indian government on October 26, 1947, and Indian troops entered Jammu and Kashmir on October 27, 1947.” [5]
    According to the Indian Independence Act of 1947, which was built using the Mountbatten Plan agreed by both the Muslim League and Indian National Congress, princely states had the power to join whichever Dominion (nation), they wanted to:

    “Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing the accession of Indian States to either of the new Dominions.” [4]
    Legally, Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of Kashmir had the right to join India, and he exercised that authority. Only following the signing of the Instrument of Accession to India on October 26th, 1947, did Indian troops come to Kashmir and start fighting the rebels in Kashmir. My opponent cannot claim that Indian troops being present was illegal. Everything was done according to the rules. After the accession, Kashmir was legally a part of the Republic of India.

    Constructive II: United Nations Resolution 47

    The ensuing conflict was bloody, which resulted in a UN Consultation. The UN negotiated ceasefire was finally agreed upon by both nations with certain stipulations stated in Resolution 47:

    In the first step, Pakistan was asked to withdraw all its nationals that entered Kashmir for the sake of fighting. In the second step, India was asked to progressively reduce its forces to the minimum level required for law and order. In the third step, India was asked to appoint a plebiscite administrator nominated by the United Nations who would conduct a free and impartial plebiscite. 

    The key however was written into the resolution. India was not obliged to follow Parts II and III until Part I was completed as mentioned here:

    “The Government of India should: When it is established to the satisfaction of the Commission set up in accordance with the Council's resolution 39 (1948) that the tribesmen are withdrawing and that arrangements for the cessation of the fighting have become effective, put into operation in consultation with the Commission a plan for with- drawing their own forces from Jammu and Kashmir and reducing them progressively to the minimum strength required for the support of the civil power in the maintenance of law and order.” [6]
    The Commission was never satisfied. No record exists from the United Nations that claims Pakistan fulfilled its obligation in Part I. I challenge my opponent to find this documentation, but until they do so, Pakistan didn’t do their part, and as a result, India was under no legal duty to fulfill Parts II and III.

    Constructive III: Pakistani Illegal Occupation and Acknowledgement of Indian Sovereignty over Indian Controlled Kashmir

    If anything, the Pakistani government is in the wrong as they are illegally occupying parts of the Kashmir territory that rightfully belong to India per the Instrument of Accession. The Karachi Agreement signed by both nations established the ceasefire line, which has remained the border between Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India (essentially India/Pakistan) [7]. Either way, India cannot illegally be occupying territory that rightfully belongs to them.

    Furthermore, in the Shimla Agreement, after the Indo-Pak War of 1971, the Pakistani government agreed to this:

    In Jammu and Kashmir, the line of control resulting from the cease-fire of December17, 1971 shall be respected by both sides without prejudice to the recognized positionof either side. Neither side shall seek to alter it unilaterally, irrespective of mutualdifferences and legal interpretations. Both sides further undertake to refrain from thethreat or the use of force in violation of this Line. [8]
    This further cements the idea that the Indian portion of Kashmir legally belongs to India and no one else, especially not Pakistan. It is sovereign territory that Pakistan invaded during the Kargil War with insurgents and eventually due to a massive counterattack by the Indian Armed Forces. Border pillars mark the Line of Control as well to establish Indian and Pakistani territory. It is clear that Kashmir legally belongs to India, and thus, there cannot be an illegal occupation.

    With the rest of my characters, I would like to briefly respond to my opponents claims and point out certain issues.

    "But after a series of highly controversial events that I would like to keep out here for obvious reasons, the raja decided to officially join India and with this the Indian military entered the valley. Soon after the local population revolted and liberated 1/3 of the valley, which is known as Azad kashmir today and administered by Pakistan today."
    My opponent has the timeline incorrect. Pakistani backed militias invaded Kashmir before Indian troops arrived. The Pakistani government and the Muslims were the aggressors, not India. 

    "So, after this resolution was passed it was never implemented, as evident today. This has led to atleast 4 full blown conflict between the two nuclear armed neighbours. As the burden of proof lies with the von as he has to prove that Kashmir is not illegally held by India, I will rest my case here."
    The reason why Resolution 47 never came to fruition is because the Pakistani government never removed their armies and did not convince the rebels to withdraw their forces as stipulated in the agreement. The resolution was not binding on India if the Pakistanis did not fulfill their obligation (which they did not do).

    As for the burden of proof, I argue that at the best it should be Pro's burden of proof because they are arguing against the status quo. However, in the spirit of debate, I will put the burden of proof as equal. Keep in mind that I should not have to prove a negative; it is the job of my opponent to prove the positive.


    It is clear based on the legal documents including the Indian Independence Act, Kashmir Instrument of Accession to India, Resolution 47, Karachi Agreement, and the Shimla Agreement, that the territory of Kashmir controlled by India is their sovereign territory. Thus, they are legally in control of all of the affairs of the regions, and the claim of an illegal occupation is factually incorrect. My opponent has evidently not done their research since they provide incorrect information. Based on all of these, the only logical result to this debate is to vote Con. With that, I throw the ball back in my opponent's court. 

    Round 2
    My opponent has forfeited his Round 2. I extend all my arguments.
    Round 3
    My opponent has unfortunately forfeited Round 3 as well. I was really looking forward to responded. Nevertheless, I extend all my argument.
    Round 4
    My opponent sadly has fully forfeited this debate. I have addressed all of his arguments and presented reasoning as to by the resolution should be rejected. I thank all the judges for reading and urge them to vote Con!