Asked • 04/29/19

What prevented the Indian Army to wrest Kashmir from Pakistan despite the UN Security Council's resolutions of 1948-49?

In August 1947, when the British partitioned their Indian colony into two countries of India and Pakistan, the state of Kashmir was being ruled by a Hari Singh one of whose ancestor, named Gulab Singh, had been vested with the state by the British by virtue of the Amritsar Treaty of 1846. At the time of Partition the ruler of Kashmir signed a status quo agreement with Pakistan, but Pakistan a couple of months later pushed in military-backed armed insurgents into the state, in reaction to which the ruler of Kashmir signed an accession treaty with India, upon which the Indian army was air-dropped in Srinagar in October 1947. In the ensuing war, the Indian army did manage to wrest about three quarters of Kashmir from the Pakistanis. Then in 1948 the Government of India took the dispute to the UNO, pleading that Pakistan had tresspassed on a territory which belonged to India because of the accession treaty, something which had been provided for in the charter of independence of 3 June 1947 which had been agreed upon by both the Muslim League and the Congress. The UN managed to persuade the two countries to do a ceasefire and sort of vindicated the stance of both the countries by calling for the Pakistani troops to withdraw from the entire state of Kashmir and allowing India to keep only as many troops as were necessary to maintain law and order in the state so as to hold a plebscite under the supervision of the UN. Although Pakistan and India both agreed to the UN resolutions, the former never actually expressed its willingness to withdraw its troops from the part of Kashmir it retained when the matter went to the UN, whereas the latter after a while outrightly rejected any third-party mediation. The Pakistani version of events is that the Pakistani tribals went into Kashmir to rid the local Muslim population of the tyranny of the forces of the Hindu ruler of the state and the Indian forces and by dint of their sheer zeal and spirit pushed back the agressors and "liberated" a portion of Kashmir until India, sensing defeat, took the matter to the UNO only to gain time and so kept on putting off the execution of the directives of the international body by not cooperating with the body's emissaries. Now my questions are as follows: While the Indian army was managing to repulse the Pakistani fighters on its own, why did the Nehru government feel the need to seek the UNO's arbitration in the first place? Once it became clear that Pakistan wasn't going to pull out its troops from Kashmir, why is it that India didn't continue with the offensive to make Pakistan vacate Kashmir, given that the UNO had backed India's position in this regard anyway? Even before Paksitan became a nuclear power, why was the Indian army unable to wrest Kashmir from the Pakistani army although the former is several times larger in numbers and weaponry? Why didn't India force Pakistan to surrender Kashmir in 1971 when the latter had tens of thousands of its troops in the former's custody after the fall of Dhaka? If India was able to withstand the US or Chinese pressure when it took Pakistan on in East Pakistan, then surely it could have done likewise in the case of Kashmir also. So is it because of the Pakistani army's sheer fighting spirit that the Indian army has been forced to be on the defensive in Kashmir, despite the fact that India is in a dominant position in the Siachin heights too?

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