Kashmir at Independence
India, at the time of Independence was bifurcated into 2 states, i.e. one India and the other one, Western Pakistan & Eastern Pakistan (Currently called Bangladesh after 1971 liberation war). During that time, J&K like many others was a princely state. Britishers had given all princely states choice – either to join India or to Pakistan, or even to remain independent. The ruler of Kashmir at that time was Maharaja Hari Singh. Due to his own ambitions, he didn’t want to merge, either with India or Pakistan, and wanted to remain independent. Pakistan, even though had entered into standstill agreement with J&K, had an eye on it and broke the standstill agreement by sponsoring a tribal militant attack on Kashmir. These so called tribal Kabailis were actually Pakistani army disguised as tribal militants. Hari Singh sought military help from India under those circumstances.
India’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, assured help on one condition that Hari Singh should sign the ‘Instrument of Accession’. Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession with India (1947). After that the very 1st war fought between India and Pakistan over Kashmir in 1947-1948, India successfully won the war and drove out most of the Pakistani army/tribal militants from Kashmir. However, then Indian PM Jawaharlal Nehru approached UN and ceasefire was called. One part of the state which was under Pakistani control at that time, continued to remain so, as the matter now came under UN. This part is called by India as Pakistan occupied Kashmir, which Pakistanis call Azad Kashmir.
Pakistan, obsessed with Kashmir, has always claimed that Kashmir valley should be part of Pakistan, whereas the entire state was acceded to India by Maharaja Hari Singh through the instrument of Accession. This core fantasy by Pakistan resulted in three main wars 1947, 1965 & 1971 and in all these Pakistan was beaten very badly. Pakistan, later in order to benefit China strategically against India, assigned a major portion of Eastern Kashmir to China, which is also known as Aksai Chin. This region is now under the Chinese occupation.