Is the Kashmir issue at the root of the India-Pakistan rivalry, or is there anything else?

For instance, if either Pakistan or India agrees to cede the whole of Kashmir, will the India-Pakistan rivalry vanish for good?

Or is the very existence of one Hindu and one Muslim country side-by-side and their shared history of animosity from 1937 to 1947 the leading cause?

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    Probably opinion-based to a large extent. China doesn't treat its Muslim minority so nicely, yet relations with Pakistan aren't bad. So it's hard to discuss hypotheticals like these. And on the flip side, Pakistani-Israel relations are bad (IIRC) yet they don't have any territorial disputes. Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 8:13
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    The territorial dispute is majorly over Kashmir, which has origins in religious animosity. I am not able to provide a full fledged answer because I don't have enough credible sources.
    – whoisit
    Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 8:44
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    India has accused Pakistan of funding terrorism; the two nations have engaged in proxy war in Afghanistan as well as real war in NW India. So would all that animosity disappear? And even if there was a land transfer, there are powerful non-state forces such as religious and ethnic leaders, who would almost certainly object to the transfer and set out to destabilise the region (both radical Islamists and Hindu extremists).
    – Stuart F
    Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 10:27
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    But there are at least 2 separate questions here (1) what is the cause of the conflict and (2) would a land transfer stop it. And maybe (3) what kind of land transfer.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 10:29
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    Second paragraph of your question is in my opinion "opinion-based". You should consider improving it. First paragraph and third paragraph together makes it a good question.
    – Gary 2
    Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 11:00

1 Answer 1


If you trace the history the root of the problem was originally muslim and hindu rivalry, it's often called "communalism" in subcontinental politics.

The Indians that were advocating for an independent India expected to inherit a unified India stretching from Pakistan to the East to to Bangladesh in the West. However, the muslim minority in India were afraid that they would be made into second-class citizens which is why they advocated an independent muslim Pakistan under Jinnah. The name was dreamt up by Mohammed Iqbal, a muslim poet and a politician. These fears were largely groundless on the whole - despite the violence of partition which mostly was the fear of what could happen. It also turned out that the misgivings of many observers who felt such a large-scale experiment in democracy could not work were misplaced - it did work - India took yo democracy lile it was born for it - it encompassed all sorts of shades of opinion from communist Kerala and West Bengal to Brahminical New Delhi. However, one might say with the rise of the RSS and the BJP in recent years, their fears were well-founded although almost eighty years later. Perhaps the Indian politicians who banned the RSS should have never lifted it. But then again, India never experienced what fascism was like in Europe, so perhaps it felt it had less to fear, or did not know what it should fear. Time will tell.

On independence the status of Kashmir was not resolved and so muslim-hindu rivalry became the Pakistan-India rivalry around the disputed status of this territory as well as the rivalry over their respective cricket teams.


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