Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto 

and Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi sign 

the Simla Agreement.

 

On 2nd July 1972, Pakistan and India signed the Simla Agreement which was to serve as a blueprint for resolving outstanding issues between the two countries. It was decided that both countries will respect the ceasefire line which henceforth, would be called “Line of Control” (LoC). Under the agreement, neither country will alter the LoC without a bilateral agreement. It was decided that the Kashmir issue would be resolved through bilateral talks in light of the United Nations (UN) Charter. It was expected that this agreement would open a new chapter of peaceful relations between Pakistan and India.

The issue of Kashmir remains unresolved, as far as Pakistan and Kashmiris are concerned. Hostilities between the two states have intensified since the revocation of article 370 by the Indian government on 5th August 2019. This constitutional amendment abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir as a disputed territory and rolled back their political autonomy. The decision was enforced through a complete locked down of the region by Indian security forces. According to media reports, thousands of Kashmiris have been detained and allegedly tortured by the Indian forces.

While India claims this to be an internal matter, it is a clear violation of the Simla Agreement and UN resolutions on Kashmir. Despite Pakistan’s efforts to highlight the issue, the international community have given a lukewarm response to the Indian atrocities in the region. The people of Kashmir remain under lockdown as their future hangs in the balance.