If a plebiscite is held in Kashmir now, as suggested by the UN, for whom will Kashmiris vote, India or Pakistan?
I am assuming that Kashmir refers to the whole of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. I am also assuming that the option of independence is not given to the people and India and Pakistan are the only choices. Also, there should be no abstentions. In my opinion the plebiscite would bear the following results depending upon the region.
Kashmir: Since independence is not an option, the votes would be overwhelmingly in favour of Pakistan in all 10 districts, especially south Kashmir. The figures below representing the best and worst case scenarios.
Population: 6.1 million
- India – 5% to 30%
- Pakistan -70% to 95%
Jammu: Jammu would invariably have a strong support towards India in almost all the districts except maybe Poonch, Doda and Kishtwar.
Population: 5.3 million
- India – 80% to 95%
- Pakistan – 5% to 20%
Ladakh: Complete support of India in Leh district, while a favourable support in Kargil.
Population: 0.2 million
- India – 90% – 100%
- Pakistan – 0 – 10%
Gilgilt – Baltistan: Majority support for Pakistan. Dissatisfaction may lend India some voters.
Population: 1.8 million
- India – 0%
- Pakistan – 100%
PoK: Overwhelming support for Pakistan.
Population: 4.5 million
- India – 5% – 10%
- Pakistan – 90% – 95%
At this point of time, a plebiscite would strongly favour Pakistan.