How India de facto destroyed the Simla Agreement with Pakistan

How India de facto destroyed the Simla Agreement with Pakistan in no time after it was signed in 1972

As per the Simla agreement: “In Jammu and Kashmir the LOC resulting from the ceasefire of Dec 17 1971 shall be respected by both sides without prejudice to the recognise position of either side. Neither side shall seek to alter it unilaterally irrespective of mutual differences and legal interpolations” “…Pending the final settlement of any of the problems between the two countries, neither side shall unilaterally alter the situation…”

In 1972, Indian military crossed the LOC in the Chorbat La sector and established 3-4 posts, 2-3 kms on the Pakistani side. A further erosion of the Simla Agreement came with the Indian occupation of Siachin Glacier in 1984. (Sketch attached below is from Shireen Mazari’s book)

Then in 1988, the Indians established three posts in the unoccupied Qamar Sector and later they increased these to 12 posts (33 sq kms). They also came across the LOC around the Dras area to set up the Bhimbet and Marpola posts.

These developments were all contrary to the Simla Agreement which clearly states that: “…Pending the final settlement of any of the problems between the two countries, neither side shall unilaterally alter the situation….”

Consistent with this pattern, the Indian military begun a regular campaign of interdiction of supplies along the Neelum Valley on the Muzzafarabad-Kel road since 1992 which forced Pakistan to build the alternative Laswa and Kiran by passes.

But in 1994, the interdiction was on such a scale that the Neelum Valley road had to be closed. The extent of civilian suffering was so extensive that UNMOGIP reportedly took up the matter with UN Headquarters in 1997/98 seeking the running of humanitarian convoys to provide relief to the besieged population of the area. Infact India had unilaterally banned the supervision by the UN observers along the LOC – the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) – while still retaining their presence overall after signing the Simla Agreement in 1972; Pakistan still cooperates with and recognizes the role of these observers.

With construction of the alternative route in 1996, Pakistan was able to respond more effectively to the continuing Indian interdictions on the Neelum Valley road. Pakistan targeted the Dras-Kargil road which negatively impacted the Indian supplies to Siachin.

Since the Simla Agreement, India had adopted a forward policy along the LOC by increasing it’s military presence in Indian Occupied Kashmir and along the LOC since 1997 including the introduction of the Indian Air Force along the LOC.

Research by Fidato

Reference: The Kargil Conflict by Shireen Mazari

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Categories: Geopolitics, History, International Affairs

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