Simla Agreement

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India and Pakistan fought one of the shortest wars of global history in 1971 that lasted for 13 days. It led to the conversion of East Pakistan into Bangladesh. It started on December 3, and concluded on December 16, 1971 when Pakistan Army’s Eastern Command signed the Instrument of Surrender. The war witnessed massive civilian casualties in Bangladesh that had risen against Islamabad and fought alongside Indian army. Available historic evidences suggest that an event initiated in Kashmir triggered the war within days. Post war, it was in the summer of 1972 that the two prime ministers met at Shimla and signed a pact that had direct relevance to Kashmir. Apart from changing the ceasefire line to Line of Control, the pact accepted bilateralism as a way out for dispute resolution and agreed Kashmir requires a settlement. New Delhi is making this agreement as a base to deny UN peacekeepers a role in border dispute issues in J&K.

Zulfikar Ali Bhtoo and Mrs Indira Gandhi signing the Shimla agreement.

“The Government of India and the Government of Pakistan are resolved that the two countries put an end to the conflict and confrontation that have hitherto marred their relations and work for the promotion of a friendly and harmonious relationship and the establishment of durable peace in the subcontinent so that both countries may henceforth devote their resources and energies to the pressing task of advancing the welfare of their people.

In order to achieve this objective, the Government of India and the Government of Pakistan have agreed as follows:

(i) That the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations shall govern the relations between the two countries.

(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.

(iv) 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.

(v) That they shall always respect each others national unity, territorial integrity, political independence and sovereign equality.

(vi) That in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, they will refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of each other.

Both governments will take all steps within their power to prevent hostile propaganda directed against each other. Both countries will encourage the dissemination of such information as would promote the development of friendly relations between them.

In order progressively to restore and normalize relations between the two countries step by step, it was agreed that:

(i) Steps shall be taken to resume communications, postal, telegraphic, sea, land, including border posts, and air links, including over flights.

(ii) Appropriate steps shall be taken to promote travel facilities for the nationals of the other country.

(iii) Trade and cooperation in economic and other agreed fields will be resumed as far as possible.

(iv) Exchange in the fields of science and culture will be promoted.

In this connection delegations from the two countries will meet from time to time to work out the necessary details.

In order to initiate the process of the establishment of durable peace, both the governments agree that:

(i) Indian and Pakistani forces shall be withdrawn to their side of the international border.

(ii) 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.

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