Owen Bennett-Jones at Literary Review:
With admirable clarity, Sumantra Bose’s Kashmir at the Crossroads helps to explain the tensions and the motives of the various parties involved in the intractable Kashmir conflict, including Chinese cartographers, Indian Hindu nationalists, Pakistani intelligence officers, violent jihadists and the group that barely gets a look in, the Kashmiris themselves. Landlocked and surrounded by three antagonistic nuclear powers with claims on their land, the Kashmiris are always the last ones to have a say over their own future.
Much of the book canters through the established history of the conflict. The problems began in 1846, when the British sold part of what is now Kashmir, including Muslim-majority areas, to a Hindu, Gulab Singh. After India’s partition in 1947, Gulab Singh’s descendant opted to unite Kashmir with India rather than Pakistan. Outraged Pakistani tribesmen went to fight for their Muslim brethren but found their way blocked by Indian soldiers.