1. When Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession is still unknown

Kashmir was one of the 562 princely states that existed at the time of Partition. The states were not fully and formally part of British India, rather they were given the option to accede to either Pakistan or India.

India insists that the Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh, signed Instrument of Accession, ceding control over foreign and defence policy to India, first.

Pakistan is adamant that the Maharaja could not have signed before the Indian troops arrived, and that he and India had therefore ignored the "standstill" agreement with Pakistan.

Exactly when Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession has been hotly debated for over six decades. To date no authentic original document has been made available.

2. In addition to Pakistan and India, China has a claim over Kashmir as well

The country behind the ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative, China is also a stakeholder in the Kashmir issue. While Pakistan and India have fought three wars over Kashmir, China has also had a border clash with India in 1962.

India claims the westernmost, Aksai Chin, as part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and region of Ladakh. China administers the area as part of Hotan County, which lies in the southwestern part of Hotan Prefecture of Xinjiang Autonomous Region.

3. India approached the UN before Pakistan

April 28, 1948: N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar (left) and M.C. Setalvad, members of the Indian delegation to the United Nations Security Council, returning to New Delhi (Photo: The Hindu Archives)

Amid war between the two countries in Kashmir, India approached the United Nations on January 1, 1948, under Article 35 of the UN Charter, which allows the member states to bring to the Security Council attention situations ‘likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace’.

4. Soviet Union was once a mediator

Pakistan President Ayub Khan, Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Soviet premier Aleksey Kosygin

The Tashkent Agreement, signed between Pakistan President Ayub Khan and Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on January 10, 1966, was mediated by Soviet premier Aleksey Kosygin.

The agreement ended the 17-day war between Pakistan and India of August–September 1965. The parties agreed to withdraw all armed forces to positions held before Aug. 5, 1965; to restore diplomatic relations; and to discuss economic, refugee, and other questions.

5. Pakistani Constitution gives Kashmiris the right to self-determination

Article 257 of the Constitution of 1973 lays down provision relating to the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Under the mentioned article of the Pakistani constitution, Kashmiris have the right to determine what sort of a relationship they want to establish with Pakistan.

6. ...the Indian Constitution does not

Article 370 of the Indian constitution is a temporary provision which grants special autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir.

According to this article, except for defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications, parliament needs the state government's concurrence for applying all other laws.

7. Insurgency first erupted in the ‘80s

The Kashmir uprising of the last three decades can perhaps be categorised into two distinct periods - discontent over Delhi's rule surfacing in the 1980s, leading to the rise of militant groups from the early 1990s onwards, and the gradual but dramatic reduction in violence in the territory in recent years.

Insurgency in today’s Kashmir is reportedly led by four main groups: Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hizbul Mujahideen, Harkatul Mujahideen and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front.

8. UNSC Resolution mandates a ‘free and impartial plebiscite’

The UNSC Resolution of April 21 1948, one of the principal UN resolutions on Kashmir, stated that “both India and Pakistan desire that the question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite”.

Subsequent UNSC resolutions reiterated the same stand. UNCIP Resolutions of August 3, 1948, and January 5, 1949, reinforced UNSC resolutions.

9. The Simla Agreement also mentioned settlement of the issue

Indira Gandhi and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto at Simla

The reference to Kashmir comes in sub-section II of Section four where the Simla Agreement says: “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 recognised 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 of the use of force in violation of this Line.”

Section five of the Simla Agreement says: “Both governments agree that the respective Heads will meet again at a mutually convenient time in the future and that, in the meanwhile, the representatives of the two sides will meet to discuss further the modalities and arrangements for the establishment of durable peace and normalisation of relations, including the questions of repatriation of prisoners of war and civilian internees, a final settlement of Jammu and Kashmir and the resumption of diplomatic relations.”

10. There is regular check on media freedom 

Reporting on Kashmir from both India and Pakistan mainstream media is deeply politicized and reflects the tension between the two countries.

Media in Indian-held Kashmir are generally split between pro- and anti-secessionist. Local journalists work under strict curfews and also face threats from militant groups. Internet access is sporadic and text messaging services are regularly blocked.

In Azad Kashmir, the only private broadcasting media allowed to operate are FM radio stations but they are limited to only broadcasting entertainment, leaving news and current affairs programmes to state-run radio.