Let us face it, it was never about Ladakh. It was always about Jammu & Kashmir and between these two regions too, it was almost always about Kashmir. So, going ahead and bifurcating the state is a non issue from historical, geographical and political perspective. Despite all attempts, Ladakh, with its charming Buddhist heritage, remains aloof from what is happening in J&K and it should have been like this only.
To those who are saying J&K has been split, my question is what is better, to split India or to split J&K, which anyway was split from Ladakh all this while. We just made the bifurcation of J&K official.
Let us read history and quote facts.
The State of Jammu and Kashmir was always four distinct regions – Jammu, Kashmir, Gigit Baltistan and Ladakh. The shape we’ve seen for so many years is the shape conquered by Khalsa Armies under Maharaja Ranjit Singh, referred to as Sarkar-e-Khalsa. Factually speaking, the State of Jammu and Kashmir is seeing its borders redrawn (officially) after 1842 for the first time. And the timeline goes like this.
Jammu came under Sarkar-e-Khalsa in 1808
Kashmir valley was conquered by Sarkar-e-Khalsa in 1819
Ladakh was annexed and merged with Jammu & Kashmir by Sarkar-e-Khalsa in 1834
Gilgit & Baltistan were annexed and merged with combined territories of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh in 1842 by Sarkar-e-Khalsa.
Parts of Aksai Chin got under Chinese control in 1878. Dogras and the British never contested it and continued showing it as their territory in maps.
Western districts of Jammu & Kashmir Divisions came under Pakistan control in October 1947.
LOC across Jammu and Kashmir Divisions became de facto border on Jan 1, 1949 (cutting off Gilgit and Baltistan from India)
Pakistan divided its occupied part of the state of J&K into two parts – so called “Azad Jammu & Kashmir” and Gilgit Baltistan in 1949.
LAC between India and China over Aksai Chin was accepted in 1962. But was never acknowledged as an international border.
Pakistan seceded Shaksgam Valley, also known as Trans-Karakoram Tract, to China in 1963.
India split the state of Jammu & Kashmir into two Union Territories – Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir; and Union Territory of Ladakh on August 5, 2019.
The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019 has been passed by the Rajya Saha on August 5 and introduced in Lok Sabha on August 6, 2019. Its passage is almost certain. Once it is passed, the state of Jammu & Kashmir will cease to exist.