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The Radcliffe Boundary Commission and The Fate of Kashmir

Title:The Radcliffe Boundary Commission and The Fate of Kashmir
Author:Shereen Ilahi
Publication:India Review / Routledge (Part of the Taylor & Francis)
Enumeration:Vol. 2, No. 1, pp.: 77 - 102 , January 2003
Abstract:Discussions about the Indo-Pakistani dispute over Kashmir often begin with the work of the boundary commission that partitioned Punjab as part of the August 1947 transfer of power from the British to the newly independent states of India and Pakistan. Pakistani officials have alleged that the boundary commission's decisions concerning Kashmir were part of a British and Indian conspiracy. Among other complaints, these officials claimed that Viceroy Lord Louis Mountbatten gerrymandered the partition line so that India would maintain land access to Kashmir and could thus ensure that Maharajah Hari Singh would accede to India. This article evaluates the validity of such allegations by examining what the mission of the boundary commission was, what it awarded to which new nation and why, and who made its decisions. The author concludes that claims of a British-Indian conspiracy to keep Kashmir in Indian hands are unsubstantiated and that the commission's partition of Punjab was not affected by the Kashmir dispute.

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