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Britain and Kashmir, 1948: “The Arena of the UN”

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The Jammu and Kashmir dispute of 1947–1949 between India and Pakistan became the first inter-state conflict to be discussed at the United Nations Security Council. This analysis looks at the views of the government and the delegation of Great Britain, one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, on Kashmir through the year of 1948. It argues that the British attitude was determined more by Imperial and Commonwealth strategic and ideological imperatives in South and Central Asia and the Middle East and less by the merits of the cases of the disputants. Operating within the twin backdrop of decolonisation and the Cold War, the British official mind juggled Kashmir's accession to India, India's complaint of aggression against Pakistan, and Pakistan's demand for a plebiscite in Kashmir with an eye to their own hopes and fears in a region that it understood as the key vantage on Communism and Islam.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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