Letters about the Kashmir Conflict - Who is right, India or Pakistan?

Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 03:04:32 -0800 (PST)
From: Dtoy18@aol.com
Subject: Kashmir

I read your article entitled: "The Kashmir Conflict: Who is Right, India or Pakistan?" and several points came to mind. You do not take into context that the majority of Muslims in Kashmir belong neither to the Sunni or Shi'ite factions of Islam. In fact their faction of Sufi Islam is in many ways closer to Bhakti Hinduism than the orthodox beliefs held in Pakistan.

You also state that you are a scholar, but then provide no qualifications.

Also, the presence of Pakistani infiltrators in Jammu-Kashmir was acknowledged by even the BBC this summer after the Kargil skirmish.

Another interesting phenomenon is that during the raid of the Babri Masjid in India, Afghani and Pakistani citizens retaliated by desecrating Hindu temples within their borders, an understandable cry by upset Muslims. Yet the temperate nature of Kashmiris was proven by the fact that NO temples were desecrated by Kashmiris in Kashmir. In fact in many areas, the peace-loving Islamic Kashmiris take care of abandoned houses, and speak warmly of their Pundits neighbors, and hope for their safe return to the area.

You never mention the UN treaties made on this situation, and broken by Pakistan.

You also never address the stark difference in living conditions on the Pakistani side of Kashmir, and the Indian side of Kashmir. Look up the amount each government is spending upon citizens in that area. If that doesn't convince you that Pakistan wants Kashmir purely for land and not for the well-being of the area's citizens, I'm not sure what else will.

At best, your writings seem flawed and rushed. While I don't entirely disagree with certain ideals, more research would enable you to treat this topic more thoroughly, and would allow you to clean up the many holes in your arguments.

Sincere wishes.

From: "remella raghuram" ( rrpr30@hotmail.com )
To: sloan@ishipress.com
At 09:25 PM 3/25/99 PST, remella raghuram wrote:

Hi, I just visited your page. The index is too vast. From your collection of headlines, I could make out (but not conclude) that your page seems to have an anti India ( and a pro pak !) bias. Your page is full of news articles regarding murder of women in India and child marriages.

These things do happen, but they must not be taken as a rule. Indian women have made it big in recent years - from good performances in international beauty pageants to venturing out in open space. In Pakistan, may be you can enlighten me better, if at all there are any beauty pageants. Also women are not allowed to take part in sports events with sorts, etc.

Well just visit a few of the Indian journalism sites to get yourself acquainted with the Indian viewpoint.


Unlike pak media, which is India centric, Indian media is not pak-centric.

I hope that you will appreciate my mail.



From: Sam Sloan ( sloan@ishipress.com )
To: "remella raghuram" ( rrpr30@hotmail.com )
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 01:20:46 -0500

I do not believe that I have an anti-Indian bias. The articles you cite as anti-Indian were merely articles which I felt my readers would find interesting. The article on Child Marriages is not mine. It came from the New York Times.

I am well aware that child marriages occur in Pakistan a well. I am a personal witness to this.

I know that bride burnings take place in Bangladesh as well as India. (I do not think this occurs in Pakistan, however. The fact that a man can have four wives and does not have to burn up the one he has before he can get a new one probably renders this practice unnecessary.)

However, on certain points I admit to being anti-India.

On the issue of the occupation of Kashmir, I feel that the Indian takeover of Kashmir was unjustified and wrong. The Indians say that the Maharaja of Kashmir asked them to do this. However, the Maharaja of Kashmir was a British appointee, not a heredity ruler.

It seems clear to me that it was the understanding at the time of the partition of India that Kashmir, which is more than 90% Muslim, would become part of Pakistan.

However, this point is not discussed on my web page.

I also do not like the Gandhi family, neither Indira nor Rajiv. However, many Indians, perhaps a majority, agree with me on this. Furthermore, Indira Gandhi was virulently anti-American and pro-Soviet, so it is understandable that Americans would not like her. Some Americans who knew her actual record were happy when she was killed by her own bodyguards. Rajiv Gandhi attacked Sri Lanka and killed many people there, so every Sri Lankan, whether they be on either side, Tamil or Sinhala, hates Rajiv.

On the other hand I am a close personal friend of Anand, the Indian grandmaster chess player.

I am aware that there are no beauty pageants in Pakistan, nor are women allowed to participate in sports, not even in chess. I once tried to get my daughter on the Pakistan woman's chess team, but found out that there was none.

Sam Sloan

At 04:27 AM 3/26/99 PST, remella raghuram wrote:

Dear Sam,

I am glad that you disallowed me to conclude that you have an anti Indian bias. You seem to have a balanced view of the sub continent. On Kashmir, it is very tempting to agree with the anti-Indian viewpoint (not necessarily pro pak). Even I used to believe that Kashmir should be given to Pakistan to end the long standing confrontation in South Asia.

But you should consider the following facts.

- During the partition, the Maharaja wanted to remain independent and join neither India nor Pakistan. However, when Pakistan attacked Kashmir, he turned to India for military help which came after he acceded to India.

- While India was on the verge of driving away the Pak aggressors, Nehru went to UN and agreed to the idea of a plebiscite.

- Under the UN resolutions, the plebiscite was to be held, once Pakistan withdraws from Kashmir, which it has not done till date.

- While Pakistan professes self determination to People of Jammu and Kashmir, it has ceded territory to China without any consultations with the populace.

- It refuses to recognize the option of Kashmir being an independent nation while at the same time supporting JKLF, which wants to join neither India and Pakistan.

- Jammu and Kashimr has six distinct regions. Jammu, Kashimr Valley, Ladakh, Aksai Chin, Mirpur, Baltistan.

Jammu has a Hindu Majority, Mirpur and Baltistan have Muslim Majority and under Pakistani Occupation have become more like Pakistan than Kashmir

Kashmir has a Muslim Majority but also has a sizable number of Hindus, most of whom have been driven out by fear of staying as Refugees in Jammu, Delhi and other parts of India. Kashmiri Muslims have a culture distinct from Pakistan and would prefer to remain as an independent country.

Ladakh and Aksai Chin have a Buddhist population. Aksai Chin has been under Chinese occupation since 1962. While Pakistan (and US) makes a hue and cry over India occupying Jammu & Kashmir. Nothing is said about Chinese occupation. Not even by the Indian Government which does not want more enmity with China.

- Overall, only half (maybe less) of the area of the Jammu and Kashmir has Muslim Majority.

- There are 4 million Muslims in Kashmir (I do not know whether the Kashmir valley or the entire J & K state) Whereas there are 100 million Muslims all over India.

- Shiekh Abdullah, who was pro-India, won several well participated elections after independence.

- Nehru and Indira Gandhi who were in power for 35 years hailed from Kashmir.

It is unlikely that relations between India and Pakistan will improve even after Kashmir goes to Pakistan. Pakistan wants to dismember India so that it can be the dominant state in South Asia.

Many Indians will never forgive Nehru for stopping half way and going to UN.

I will write another mail if you explain to me why you do not like Indira and Rajiv Gandhi.



From: Sam Sloan ( sloan@ishipress.com )
To: "remella raghuram" ( rrpr30@hotmail.com )
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 08:04:03 -0500

Thank you for your letter.

I am unable to evaluate your points because I know very little about this.

However, what I can do is make a web page out what of what you have said and post it on my web site where it will receive thousands of readers.

Would you agree for me to do that?

Regarding Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi, perhaps the main reason why I dislike Indira Gandhi is that she was extremely anti-American and pro-Soviet, while professing to be neutral.

My dislike for Rajiv is based on my connection with Sri Lanka. You can read about that on several places on my web site.

Try http://www.samsloan.com/gandhi.htm

As I am sure you know, millions of Indians agree with my opinion of Indira and Rajiv.

Sam Sloan

Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 00:58:12 PST
X-Rcpt-To: sloan@ishipress.com

Well, it is glad that you have considered my points. You may post them on a web page but add that the figures are approximate. If possible, I might do more research on this and find out - on many points I disagree with government actions (not their official viewpoint) like the human rights abuses by the paramilitary forces (not the Indian army which is more disciplined, restrained and effective).

Well, Indira Gandhi was Anti American because in those days it was politically correct to be Socialist. Even Europe was predominantly Socialist. Except probably for BJP which is right now in power, every political party in India has anti American elements. But during Indira's time India had good relations with other western countries like Britain - she was close to Mrs. Thatcher, who I admire a lot. She was very popular in India, because she was identified as a messiah of poor. While I disapprove of her stifling all dissent in her party and making her government a one woman show - and her nationalization activities and stupid taxation laws (90% tax can you believe it!), she was good in many aspects like her concern for environment, and her ability to push very contentious issues - like Ram Temple and Reservation for Backward castes (not the former untouchable castes - they already enjoyed reservation). I hail from South of India where the language and culture are much different from North (majority of Indians belong to north). Nehru, Indira and Rajiv are among the very few leaders who are accepted by people from all corners of India including South and remote north east. It might be a chicken and egg story to say whether America's pro Pakistan tilt during the 1971 war made Indira Gandhi somewhat anti-American or it was the other way round. Mind that Indira Gandhi was not totally Anti American. She did visit US once in 1981-82 and during a UN Summit had a well publicized meeting with Reagan.

Rajiv Gandhi seemed to be much more neutral. Anyway, during his time Gorbachev was in power in USSR, so one could be good friends with both US and USSR. He also freed the economy from many excessive controls and put it on a good growth track after nearly 20 years.

However, unlike Indira, he was very naive and relied on his advisors for many political decisions. I think he was mislead on Sri Lanka, and died unnecessarily for what was the fault of his advisors. His successors have wisely kept out of Sri Lanka's internal strife. He is still seen as a man who genuinely wanted to do something for the people but was halted by the bad nexus of bureaucrats and power brokers who got the better of him. He never wanted power but was pushed into politics by Indira after the death of her other son, Sanjay Gandhi. Whatever be their shortcomings, the entire family is very revered by most of the Indians including their political opponents. You can find evidence of this in the large number of visitors who grace the site of assassination of Indira Gandhi every day.

Thank you for your letter.

I disagree with you on some points. For example, you say that Indira Gandhi was anti-American because it was politically correct to be so.

However, I understand that her father, Nehru, was even more extremely anti-American and pro-Soviet than she was. It seems that she was simply following in her father's footsteps.

I saw her interviewed on Ted Kopple TV News NIGHTLINE when she was in America on the 1981-82 visit you mention.

She said that she admired "the American People", meaning that she disliked the American government and she considered that our government did not represent its people.

Kopple threw her mostly softball questions. I was disappointed that he was apparently under instructions not to ask her any hard questions.

Anyway, I am going to make a web page from your letter.

First, I have just written a little essay of my own on this. The address is:


Then I will make a page of your comments which will be at http://www.samsloan.com/kashmir2.htm

Any time you want me to make changes and corrections, please let me know.

Sam Sloan

At 11:53 AM 9/27/99 -0500, vsk8229@omega.uta.edu (VIVEK KUSHALNAGAR) wrote:


I read different articles on your website and you generally seem to be an intellectual willing to listen to both sides of an issue, but your article on Pakistan exploding the bomb http://www.samsloan.com/dropbomb.htm was extremely one-sided and had many false and incorrect statements in it. Let me say that I completely sympathize with Pakistan and agree that they had no choice but to test nuclear weapons, but your article was biased, superficial and in many cases factually incorrect. Let me point them out some of the factual mistakes to you:

1) You say that it was agreed that Indian troops occupied Kashmir during the partition. This is simply untrue. The truth of the matter is Kashmir was holding out from joining either India or Pakistan. It was only when Pakistani troops invaded Kashmir that the King of Kashmir acceded to India, after which India sent troops to repel the invading Pakistani forces.

2) You say that the Kashmir issue caused all three wars with Pakistan. This is once again a flat out completely untrue statement. The third Indo-Pakistan war was over the liberation of Bangladesh from Pakistan and had absolutely nothing to do over Kashmir. Besides, in that war India completely defeated Pakistan and took almost 100,000 Pakistani prisoners and had completely occupied all Pakistani territory. If India was really an expansionist and aggressor state, it could have easily occupied all of Kashmir right after the war. Instead it withdrew it's forces from all of Pakistan including the part of Kashmir occupied by Pakistan.

3)You also claim that the only reason why India would want to test nuclear weapons would be to prepare for a war with Pakistan. This is once again completely untrue. The main reasons why India tested nuclear weapons were two fold. One was a perceived threat by China and the other was the insistence of the established nuclear powers including the United States to hold on to their weapons and not even discuss global disarmament. Here is some of the proof:

(a) The first Indian nuclear test was in 1974 and was a response to China's nuclear blast and has since then been driven the threat posed by China.

(b) If you look up archives of Indian newspapers or websites of Indian think tanks and Indian defense security papers, especially during the 1995 -1997 period, you will see that at least when it came to the nuclear issue it was China that India worried about and not Pakistan. The only time Pakistan's nukes were mentioned as a source of worry was in relation to the proliferation of nuclear technology from China to Pakistan.

(c) After India's first nuclear test in 1974 for about 20 years there was general consensus that further nuclear testing should not be done. This consensus was broken around 1995-1996 during the negotiations for the CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty) in Geneva. The nuclear weapon states led by the United States insisted on a loophole ridden version of the CTBT which banned countries from testing nuclear weapons while allowing the countries which already had nuclear to refine and retain their weapons through sub-kiloton testing, supercomputer simulations and other means. This infuriated India as it meant that China would continue to have nuclear weapons while if this treaty went into effect India would have no way to develop them. Hence the public perception hardened and opinion polls which previously showed that most Indians did not want India to be nuclear started shifting and by 1997, most people wanted India to be nuclear.

I completely sympathize with Pakistan for having to test, but they had no choice as their arch-foe right India tested.....but India had no choice to test as their arch-foe China tested many times including as late as 1996. China had no choice but to test to keep up with Russia and the United States. So as you can see nuclear weapons is a global issue and you cannot just have some countries have them and some countries not to have them.


At 03:57 PM 10/17/99 -0700, d_e_n_n_y23@yahoo.com (Denisse Tamez) wrote:

To whom it may concern:

Good evening. My name is Denisse Tamez and I am a student from Monterrey, Mexico. I currently participate in a Model United Nations class and will be participating in a simulation next week. I am honored to represent the country of Kenya and I have researched information thoroughly for weeks. The topic is: India/Pakistan conflict concerning Kashmir.

However I have a question involving Kenya's position or outlook on this whole issue. Does Kenya support India? Or does it support Pakistan? Or does it support the Kashmirian movement to become an independent country that is neither part of India or Pakistan?

If you could answer these questions it would be a big help and truly improve the quality of my position paper. Thank you very much,

Denisse Tamez

P.S. I really truly hope there will be peace in Kashmir.

Dear Denisse Tamez, I do not envision there being peace in Kashmir.

Kashmir is 90% Muslim but under Hindu rule. If India withdraws there will of course be peace but it is clear that India will never withdraw.

Pakistan would easily accept an independent Kashmir and would probably contribute the part it controls if India would do the same, but I do not see India doing that.

I get a lot of hostile and threatening e-mail letters from India because of the page about this on my web site. None of them come from Kashmir or from Kashmiris.

Ismail Sloan

At 04:50 PM 10/27/99 -0400, csmurali@infosiscorp.com (C S Muralidharan) wrote:

Please see the following link and you will get an Idea as to what is Kashmir and who does it belong to. Please do not make any conclusions. http://jammu-kashmir.org/KOA/Crown/history.html

This is clearly a worthwhile article and I will add it as a link to my site at http://www.samsloan.com/kashmir.htm later tonight.

However, I suggest that you break it into smaller pages rather that one big page. Almost nobody including me is going to read it in one gulp, but we might read it in bits at a time.

I was interested in your statement "The tiny state of Chitral, located towards the north-western side of Gilgit, used to pay tribute to Kashmir ruler."

When I was India, I heard the claim made that Chitral is part of Kashmir and therefore belongs to India.

I do not believe that Chitral ever paid tribute to Kashmir. What is your source for this?

Later, you say that Gulab Singh conquered Chitral. This is absolutely false. The Mehtars have ruled Chitral since the 15th Century.

Chitral was traditionally part of Afghanistan and has never been part of Kashmir.

Ismail Sloan

I have done a little more research and am updating my web site.

It is clear that two of the statements on your web site are not merely wrong but are conducive to war.

Your site says: "The tiny state of Chitral, located towards the north-western side of Gilgit, used to pay tribute to Kashmir ruler."

This is absolutely untrue. It was the other way around. The Kashmir ruler, as an agent of the British, paid money to the Mehtar of Chitral.

This started after 1860, when the Mehtar of Chitral was helpful in putting down a revolt against Kashmiri rule in Yasin, which is an area of Gilgit where the Chitrali language is spoken. The amounts paid to the ruler of Chitral were thereafter increased from time to time. There was obviously a practical reason for this. Chitral is separated from Kashmir by a high mountain range. The lowest pass connecting them is Shandur Top, which is 12,000 feet high. The British and the Kashmiris were willing to pay some money to the Mehtar of Chitral as insurance against the possibility that the Chitralis might cross again and try to take part of Gilgit.

Chitral is also not "tiny". It is 200 miles long and contains some of the highest mountains in the world.

The British considered Chitral to be of extreme geographic importance, because Chitral contains the watershed of the Hindu Kush. The British feared that the Russians might try to enter India, but almost the only way to pass from Russia to India would be to cross Chitral.

When I was in India, I heard the claim made that Chitral is part of Kashmir and therefore belongs to India. What your web site seems to be suggesting is that Chitral paid tribute to the Maharaja of Kashmir and therefore Chitral belongs to Kashmir and therefore Chitral belongs to India.

This is the sort of rhetoric which has led to three wars already. You Indians will have to recognize the fact that these areas belong not to India or to Pakistan but to the people who actually live there. There is not even one Chitrali who would want to be part of India.

I have just put up a few new web pages about this:

A Short History of Chitral and Kafirstan http://www.anusha.com/chitralh.htm
Excerpt from "Kafirs of the Hindu Kush" by Sir George Robertson http://www.anusha.com/robertso.htm
Excerpt from A Month in Chitral, by Algernon Durand http://www.anusha.com/durand.htm

Later, you say that Gulab Singh conquered Chitral. This is absolutely false. The Mehtars have ruled Chitral since the 15th Century. There has never been a Hindu ruler of Chitral.

Ismail Sloan

At 03:17 PM 10/30/99 PDT, arunaksha@hotmail.com (Arun G.) wrote:

I highly disagree with a part of your website http://www.samsloan.com/kashmir.htm where it says "Such matters are often determined by economics. Pakistan has a much higher standard of living and the people are financially better off there than they are in India."

India is economically superior to Pakistan by far! How can you even say that? Ever since East Pakistan [Bangladesh] gained its independence Pakistan's economy has gone down. Through East Pakistan the Pakistanis exported jute which was their main source of economy. Now Pakistan has virtually nothing. Their land is predominantly desert.

I would appreciate it if you would erase that part of you website because you are misinforming people and your website is biased.

I have been to all of these countries.

Pakistan has a much higher standard of living than India (unless the situation has changed in just the past few years, which would be irrelevant in explaining the events of decades ago).

For example, in India, the main transportation is by pedicab (a bicycle or foot drawn ricksha). Such things do not exist in Pakistan.

Obviously you are Indian and have been hearing Indian propaganda.

Ismail Sloan

From: shahid@sprint.ca ( "shahid" )
To: Sloan
Subject: Kashmir
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 01:39:41 -0500

Mr. Sloan, it is heart warming to know that most people in the world when hear both sides regarding Kashmir, find it should be part of Pakistan. You have also touched on matters such as Bangladesh and three Wars.

Let me give you the facts about all that: First, it was not the fact that India was going to win the war in Kashmir in 1947. Actually, Pakistan was going to win and due to that reason Nehru went to U.N. and accepted the resolution. It is logical. Nehru who had taken Hyderabad by force who's Maharaja wanted to join Pakistan. India also forcibly took Junagarh, who's Maharaja also wanted to join Pakistan. How could he not use the same tactics that he used on the other two states? India had from day one acted like a bully. So India after taking those two decide to take Kashmir, and accepted the U.N. resolution only because it saw that in war it will lose Kashmir.

At the time of Partition innocent people traveling to Pakistan via railways were all Murdered and trains sent to Pakistan full with murdered Muslims. If you don't believe me than I suggest that you watch a movie made by Indian Deepa Mehta and the name is Earth. It is horrible that Indians Murdered innocent people by Trains full and got away with it. in Pakistan repercussion were bound to happen and they did, Can you blame it on Pakistan. I don't think you can. When your own family is killed mercilessly, how can you sit backback. But Mr. Jinnah told Pakistanis to stop and they did.

In Bangladesh India interfered in Pakistani internal affairs by supplying Arms to Traitors who were supporting the six points program of Mr. Mujib. Pakistan did not think that With these six points Mujib will win, because west Pakistanis knew that the concept of Muslim League was the brain child of Bengalis, so how could they become convinced by India that west Pakistan is using them. Pakistan was sure Mujib will not win. but he did and he corroborated with India which in many Pakistani minds acted like a traitor. And for that reason Mujib was not allowed to form the Govt.

If you look closely, India from 1947 has always threatened Pakistan or interfered in Pakistan affairs. Let me give in short line once again whole story. took Hyderabad and junagrah forcibly, tried on Kashmir, Tested Atomic weapon first, Destroyed a 500 years old mosque, and allowed people like Bal Thakrey to incite Hindoos to kill all Muslims in India. It is due to his statements that riots took place in India and thousands of innocent Muslim families were mercilessly killed. No body has in India done anything about it, this man claims to be the leader and is allowed to walk free. But than Indra Gandhi did the same to Sikhs, According to the Sikhs leadership after India attacked on their Holy place in Amritsar, Indian Army systemically killed all of their young generation. the killing goes on in Punjab and Kashmir. Most killing are carried out under mock plan set by Indian police as victim escaping the custody.. He or she is told to go and when one does they shoot them.

The pity is that India calls itself the biggest Democracy of the World. Why than it cannot allow Kashmiris or Punjabis to hold free and fair election to decide their future? If it can happen in Indonesia, why not in India? By the way, there are 500,000 Indian soldiers in Kashmir to control 1.2 Million innocent people.

What do you think about the Kashmir conflict? Express your opinion in the guestbook!

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Contact address - please send e-mail to the following address: Sloan@ishipress.com