‘Only 35% Indians say freedom for Kashmir unacceptable’

Believe it or not, that is one of the findings of a new survey on Kashmir, conducted in both India and Pakistan.

And some more disbelief here:

A majority of Pakistanis say Pakistan’s government does not provide support to militant groups that conduct attacks against civilians in India, while a majority of Indians tend to believe it is providing support.

Pakistani attitudes about such groups are complex. Less than half (39%) believe that such groups operating in Kashmir help either the security of Kashmiris, though few (9%) say it hurts security. In the context of the conflict in Kashmir, large majorities of Pakistanis say that attacks on Indian government officials are rarely or never justified. Attacks on security-related personnel in India–policemen, intelligence agents, military and paramilitary troops–are rejected by a plurality.

Asked about the possibility of the government “putting pressure on India by supporting militant groups in occupied Kashmir,” 37 percent favored it, while 26 percent opposed it and 37 percent did not provide an answer.

But perhaps more tellingly,

Overall both sides endorse their own governments’ approach to the conflict over Kashmir, especially Pakistanis (Indians 57%, Pakistanis 68%).

The full report is here.

9 thoughts on “‘Only 35% Indians say freedom for Kashmir unacceptable’”

  1. Interestingly, about half of Indians find it unacceptable, but that goes down to 35% if the respondent is asked to assume that a majority of Kashmiris on both sides of the LoC, including refugees, favor independence. I note as an aside that in India the respondents were drawn only from the 10 largest metros…

    Thanks for posting this.


  2. mr palak kumar
    you are absolutely wrong
    india ruled kashmir for over 50 years forcibily, now time will come for overturn, kashmiris will be free and free and free and free. pharoh was defeated by freedom lovers, romans were defeated by freedom lovers, russians were defeted by freedom lovers, british had to relent before freedom lovers, it was matter of time.
    so our time will also come to enjoy what we have been deprived , the honey of FREEDOM
    mr PALAK
    i wonder
    How India denies freedom to kashmir, who herself taste freedom over 50yrs ago.
    may be freedom came their way they didnt got it.


  3. Firstly, the polling is confined to urban Indians and to extrapolate it to mean “all Indians” is wrong. I don’t know the inclusion of rural Indians and Pakistanis will change the result. One can speculate that it won’t change outcomes much since urban areas have a disproportionately large say in political affairs anyway. Nonetheless, it is important to not overstate results.

    Note also that 22% of Pakistanis polled and 15% of Indians polled either refused to answer this question or did not know. How does one interpret this? Is it a refusal to consider the alternative of an independent Kashmir at all? If so, then adding this 15% to the 35% means that 50% of (urban) Indians are opposed to an independent Kashmir. In the case of Pakistan, it might mean that 33% of urban Pakistanis are opposed to the idea of an independent Kashmir. That still leaves a large fraction “flexible” but probably not as much we think.

    Secondly, the “flexibility” reflected here is to an extent already known and has been incorporated in the official positions of the two countries. Could one imagine 20 years back an Indian leader saying what Manmohan Singh said: “While borders cannot be changed, we can work to make them irrelevant.” This is tantamount to saying that we (India) give up any claim over what we call Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and what Pakistan calls Azad Kashmir. This is a change in our official position though from Pakistan’s viewpoint, it does not go far enough.

    Lastly, one needs to be careful with regard to such polls involving “hypothetical” questions and not take the numbers too seriously. There is an old joke about a person being asked if he had two cars, whether he would voluntarily give one to his neighbour. The man dutifully replies “Of course.” Same question, same answer with regard to planes, house etc. Finally, he is asked, “If you had two thousand rupees, would you share that equally with your neighbour?” And the man replies, “No, because I have two thousand rupees.”


  4. freedom is my birth right and i will achieve ofcourse peacefully but ?. this is voice of every one in jnk . who r the people of india and pakistan to decide about futue of kashmir by casting their vote , this is misfortune that indian people forgot they were also slaves of britaian as r we kashmirs r at present please realise this , as we also love freedom want freedom from both india and pak just as india demanded freedom from britshi.one day will come when both kashmirs will be declared independent dont matter if it is taking little time .


  5. Look, I believe that we are all humans and can live cordily, irrespective of the situations. However, it is a sad thing that Kashmiris, Pakistanis and Indians have not been able to comprimise and live cordily together.

    With regards to Kashmir, as an Indian, I think a fair plebiscite should be done. However, two points: it should also be done ONLY in Azad Kashmir (not in the northern Areas of Pakistan) and Kashmir Valley (b) Jammu and Ladakh should be carved out as separate Indian States and Northern Area as a Pakistan state. It is no more a Jammu and Kashmir issue or a Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir Issue. Its only a Kashmir issue.


  6. No one gives up their land easily.
    Example :Suppose that there are 2 farms adjacent – if one of the farmers one day decides to forcibly occupy 1/4 part of the others farm will he be allowed to do so without some form of resistance from the other. This is a very crude and basic form of expressing it.

    Similarly India considers Kashmir as integral to it and it has employed huge resources to defend it and it would require some one with a greater force to wrest it out.
    Let what they may think but the populations are only temporary in this world with a generation having a life cycle of only 50 years or less. They would soon come to see the point.


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