J&K issue and history

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by jamwal, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. jamwal

    jamwal Regular Member

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    I want this thread to be the one place for collecting all the news, opinion, history etc related to J&K. Every single piece of news with it's own separate thread is hardly conductive to any serious discussion
     
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  3. jamwal

    jamwal Regular Member

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    Jammu & Kashmir: Self-Determination, Demands for a Plebiscite and Secession:
    Examining the Contradictions

    by Dr. Maharaj Kaul (b. Srinagar, Kashmir)

    Jammu & Kashmir: Self-Determination, Demands, Plebiscite, Secession, History, Accession, India


    Since the beginning of Pakistan's low intensity proxy war in the state of Jammu & Kashmir in 1989, terrorist violence has a taken a toll of over 20,000 innocent lives. More than 300,000 Hindu and Sikh minorities from Kashmir Valley, and from the border areas have been displaced. Terror and intimidation have wrecked the peace for civillian life in the state and cross border terrorism continues to take a daily toll of innocent lives. Recently, Pakistan used the Kargil invasion to sneak in a large number of armed merecenaries into the state, who ratcheted up the violence one more notch, gravely hampering people's participation in the recent Lok Sabha elections..

    The turmoil caused in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) by this terrorist violence has given Pakistan and many of the secessionist groups in the state an excuse to demand a plebiscite in Jammu & Kashmir as envisaged in the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) resolutions of August 13, 1948 and January 5, 1949. It is never mentioned by the present advocates of a plebiscite that it was Pakistan which stonewalled the implementation of a plebiscite under UNCIP resolutions and that the 1972 Simla Agreement between India and Pakistan superseded all other agreements between the two countries including the UNCIP resolutions.

    Yet the issue of a plebiscite, given much currency by Pakistan and by the imperialist powers, continues to haunt many well-meaning Indians who feel that India stands on morally weak ground by insisting on the Simla Agreement and rejecting a referendum. The demand for a plebiscite in J&K is highly misunderstood. There is a myth that the demand for a plebiscite reflects the aspirations of all (or a sizable majority) of the state's population, and is the only way for the people of J&K to articulate their right to self-determination. Although seemingly well-intentioned, those who see a plebiscite as a cure-all for the problems of the people of the state are in fact, ignorant of the historic and contemporary complexities surrounding this issue.

    Jammu and Kashmir: A Multi-Ethnic State
    Contrary to most reports in the media, Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) is not a state where only Kashmiri Muslims live. It is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious state with 64% Muslims, 33% Hindus, and 3% Buddhists, Sikhs, Christians and others. There are three distinct geographical regions - Ladakh (with 58% of the area, and 3% of the population), Jammu (26% area, 45% population) and Kashmir (16% area, 52% population: of which over 90 % of the region's minorities, i.e. 3% of the state's total population have been driven out). The primary languages of Ladakh are Ladakhi and Balti, of Jammu: Dogri, and of Kashmir: Kashmiri. In addition, Gujari, Pahari, Punjabi, Shina and various dialects and mixed languages are also spoken by different ethnic groups within the state.

    Fifteen per cent of the state's Muslims live in the provinces of Jammu and Ladakh . They are non-Kashmiris, and by and large, they stand behind J&K's association with India. (There are a few small exceptions in some towns of Doda district). Of the state's 49% who reside in the Kashmir province, about 13% are Shia Muslims. Shia Muslims do not wish to have anything to do with Sunni-dominated Pakistan, knowing full well the fate that awaits them there. (Just recently, an Oct 4, Hindustan Times report cited Pakistan's Shoora Wahdat-i-Islami who condemned what it called the genocide of Shias in Pakistan.) This is especially true of the Shias of Kargil who know of the poverty and degradation experienced by their ethnic siblings in Baltistan, a part of Pakistan occupied Kashmir referred to as the "Northern Areas". 14% of the people in Kashmir province are the pastoral nomadic Gujar and Bakarwal people. They are strong supporters of association with India and have demonstrated this by organizing Militancy Mukhalif Morcha (Anti-Militancy Front) to assist the security forces in surveillance of terrorist activity. As far as non-Muslim groups are concerned there is no reason for them to even think about living outside multi-religious and secular India. [Ref. 1]

    The support for secession in Jammu & Kashmir is thus largely limited to the non-pastoral Sunni Muslim population of the Kashmir Valley who constitute 22% of the state's population, (or about 1.9 million people). This segment of the population dominates the politics of the state. The reason that many believe separatism to be a widespread sentiment in J&K is because this dominant section has succeeded in completely drowning out all other voices in the state, and has the ability to cripple the normal functioning of the society in Kashmir province; either by inaction or insufficient action against Pakistani infiltration and terror or, worst still, by sabotage. It is this section of the state's population that receives all the attention, understandably so from Pakistan and the imperialist nations, but also from the Indian press.

    Since the concept of self-determination must be applied to each of Jammu & Kashmir's unique population groups, there can be no equation of self-determination with secession. If, however, the undivided state (including the Pakistan occupied regions of Kashmir which Pakistan refers to s "Azad" Kashmir & "Northern Areas") were to have a referendum under truly neutral supervision, and the people were given three options - join India, join Pakistan or be independent -- the results might be shocking to votaries of secession. The majority could very well go with India, because the separatists will split the vote between pro-Pakistan and pro-independence groups. Sayyed Ali Gilani, Jammu & Kashmir's Jamaat-e-Islami leader, opposes the option of independence precisely because he is afraid that this vote may split in India's favor. [Ref. 2]

    On the other hand, if the people of the state are given only two choices - join India or join Pakistan - the majority vote could still go in India's favor. Of the 12.8 million people in the undivided state (1999 estimates, see also Note below), J&K's population is 8.5 million, "Azad" Kashmir's is 2.8 million and "Northern Areas" is 1.5 million. If 1.9 million from J&K and all of "Azad" Kashmir and "Northern Areas" vote for Pakistan, it still gives India a vote of 6.6 million and leaves Pakistan with 6.2 million! Even if provision were made in this analysis for erosion of support for India as a result of the current turmoil, and some sprinkling of support for Pakistan from other Muslim groups in the state, the results of the referendum would be too close to call. In reality, the vote for Pakistan could be much less for the following two reasons:-

    1) Since 1948, the Sunni population of the Valley (22% of the state's population), has dominated the legislative, political and administrative structures in the state of J&K. Kashmir province receives more weightage in the Assembly elections than does Jammu province. Based on the size of it's population Kashmir province should send 44 members to the Legislative Assembly but sends 46. Jammu province, on the other hand, should elect 39 but is allowed only 37! The government ministries and administrative bodies have also been dominated by Kashmiri speaking Valley Sunnis.

    This grouping has also expropriated a disproportionate amount of resources for their own development needs. The bogey of a plebiscite and accession (in the garb of self-determination) has been raised by this group, primarily to extract concessions from the Central Governemnt in India. These have come in the form of grants, subsidies and other forms of economic aid. This has enabled this group to maintain its political dominance and has seriously distorted the democratic process in the state.

    However, if the Central Government in India were to call this bluff, the whole complexion of separatist politics in J&K may change, and if a plebiscite were actually to be conducted, support for Pakistan may drop way below this 1.9 million population base in J&K. The effectiveness of the demand for plebiscite and its propaganda value lies precisely in its rejection by India. Were the tactical utility of such a demand to be lost, wiser elements amongst the separatists may abandon Pakistan and vote for India.

    2. It is also likely that a significant percentage of the people of the "Northern Areas" could vote for India. The population in this region is very hostile to Pakistan because of the total neglect of this area. Literacy in the "Northern Areas" is 7% compared to J&K's 59%. Since 1947, there has been little improvement in the infrastructure - schools, hospitals, paved roads, electric power and piped drinking water - are practically non-existent! The inhabitants have no constitutional rights and are still ruled by the frontier laws inherited from the British times. There have also been reports of serf-like treatment of the poor peasants by some of the region's former monarchs. Since the population of the eastern part of "Northern Areas" is Balti speaking Shia Muslim they could very well decide to join their siblings in Kargil area and vote for India. (It should be noted that the people of Kargil and Ladakh are the most enthusiastic participants in Indian elections, and voter turnout at 70-80% has routinely exceeded the national average).

    Considering all this, one might ask: Why doesn't India accept a plebiscite? The fact is, it did, when, it naively it took its complaint of Pakistan's aggression in J&K state to the UN, where an Anglo-American imperialist alliance turned India's complaint into a dispute between Pakistan and India, thereby equating the aggressor with the aggrieved! India waited a long time for Pakistan to fulfill the pre-conditions of plebiscite as laid down in UNCIP resolutions. Instead of complying with the resolutions, Pakistan invaded Kashmir for a second time in 1965!

    Kashmir's accession to India in 1947: An act of Self-Determination
    "Regardless of what Pakistan did or didn't do, the people of Kashmir did have a plebiscite of sorts in 1947. This was demonstrated when Kashmiris from varied backgrounds defiantly resisted the invasion of Pakistan and Pakistan-backed raiders in October of that year. The raiders sacked Muzaffarabad, and razed the towns of Baramulla and Rajouri, slaughtering thousands of civilians, all in a matter of days."

    Realizing that the Valley was going to be swallowed by these Pakistani marauders, the most popular political party, the National Conference took over the de facto administration, and organized a 10,000 men and women Kashmiri militia to stall the invasion and protect critical installations. Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah appealed to Mahatma Gandhi to send Indian troops to
    defend Kashmir. In the meanwhile, all civilian vehicles were requisitioned by the National Conference to be made available to the Indian army who had to be flown in by air. When the first Indian military convoy reached Srinagar by road in November 1947, the whole convoy route in Srinagar was lined with cheering crowds waving the Indian tricolor. The tricolor flew over almost all of Srinagar's homes. That was an expression of Kashmiri self-determination.

    When Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed, Ghulam Mohammed Sadiq, Maulana Sayeed Masoodi, the leaders of Kashmir's freedom struggle from the autocratic rule of Maharaja spoke of Pakistan as a feudal state and about imperialism's interest in Kashmir, when they publicly expressed their contempt for the two-nation theory, when they paid glowing tributes to Indian jawans (troops) for defending Kashmir, they echoed the sentiments of the majority of Kashmiris. That too was an expression of Kashmiri self-determination.

    Equating today's terrorism with a "freedom struggle" is an insult to those leaders and their sacrifices. Today, Sheikh Abdullah's grave is protected by national security forces for fear that terrorists will remove the dead leader's body and desecrate it as threatened by them. Eight years ago, one of the first victims of terrorist bullets was the octogenarian Maulana Syed Masoodi, veteran freedom fighter of Kashmir. What is happening in Kashmir today is a low intensity war by Pakistan against India spearheaded by the ideology of two-nation theory and Islamic fundamentalism. "Azadi" is a smokescreen under whose cover the "freedom fighters" actually religious zealots, with support from a theocratic Pakistan, wage war against secular India.

    The fact is, that in essence, Kashmir had a plebiscite in 1947, and it's people voted for India. If India refuses to talk about a second plebiscite today, it has many valid concerns. Can a plebiscite be conducted in an atmosphere of violence and terror? In the last two months, newspapers in Srinagar, partial to secession, have been publishing death threats aimed at those who encourage, support or participate in Indian parliamentary elections. Unless there is an atmosphere of a free and fair debate in an environment of confidence and trust - no truly representative plebiscite is possible. Moreover, free and fair campaigning and fearless participation has to be guaranteed on both sides of the border. Pakistan with it's history of muzzling the press, of military coups and arbitrary dismissals of elected governements is in simply no position to guarantee such fairness. Neither is the UN, with it's highly partisan role in world affairs. Consider how the UN has been used as a pawn in every major imperialist undertaking, from Korea to Iraq andYugoslavia.

    The 1948-9 UNCIP resolutions pertaining to a plebiscite put explicit obligations on Pakistan which Pakistan has since failed to meet. Any acceptance of a new plebiscite would once again reward the very forces that have obstructed the first plebiscite.

    Secession in the Age of Imperialism
    As mentioned earlier, the right to self-determination cannot be equated to the right to secession in a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious society. Nevertheless, there are other compelling reasons to examine the idea of secession in era where imperialism is a powerful and potent force in the world.

    First, Kashmir did exercise it's right to self-determination in 1947, but since it was not in a format approved by the imperialist nations, there is a tendency to dismiss its validity. That encourages people like 33 year old Yasin Malik of Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) in Kashmir to ask for a second referendum because he was born 19 years after the first one took place, which he therefore conveniently trashes. If one were to accept Yasin Malik's contention that the 1947 accession of Kashmir to Indian was invalid, then the whole concept of self-determination would be trivialized. The right of self-determination would then be reduced to a voting exercise conducted in an atmosphere of terror, repeated every 25-years or so, to meet the demands of a new generation, at whose whim the boundaries of a country could be redefined! It is not difficult to imagine the chaos in the world if such a recipe were to be applied worldwide.

    Secession in a Multi-ethnic, Multi-religious and Multi-lingual State

    Second, what happens to minority sentiments under a plebiscite? If 51% of the population of J&K decide to vote for a theocratic Pakistan or independant theocratic Kashmir, is it fair to the other 49% to be forced to join that state, in spite of feeling greatly threatened by that state? J&K's Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Gujar and Bakarwal, and Shia people genuinely fear that they will be decimated in a Pakistani state - or a Taliban style independant state. Women fear they will lose the freedoms they have, and be forced to march backwards under a Taliban-style barbaric patriarchy. If a "majority" cannot live in a multi-religious secular India, is it fair to ask a sizable minority to live under a theocracy?

    If the majority vote went for independence or accession to Pakistan, what guarantee is there that the minority interests would be safeguarded? Although a few groups like the JKLF speak of secularism, their leadership and membership is almost exclusively made up of Sunni Muslims. No Hindus, Buddhists or Sikhs comprise their membership. Besides, the JKLF has had close ties to Pakistan's ISI - a close collaborator of the Taliban. This exposes the JKLF as opportunists of the first rank who mask their retrograde ideology in meaningless statements about secularism and freedom. One should not be duped by JKLF's slogan of "Azadi." One needs to be reminded that in the early 1990s, the slogan: "Azadi Ka Matlab Kya? La Illah A Illal Allah" equated "Azadi" directly to Islamic rule! It should also be noted that advocates of "Azadi" have often attempted to rally their supporters behind pan-Islamic slogans that linked a future "Azad" Kashmir to such highly intolerant Islamic states as Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. Regardless of what individual separatist leaders may say, there is a deep and unshakeable connection between the votaries of "Azadi" and Islamic fundamentalism.

    Furthermore, the principle of self-determination must apply to all communities. If the Muslim majority in Kashmir province has a right to secede from India and form a separate state, the same right of secession must be extended to the Hindu minority to secede from that new state. If the Shias feel oppressed by the Sunnis, the same right must be extended to them too. The travesty of the demand by secessionists is that they want the freedom to secede, exclusively for themselves. They want freedom to deny others their freedom!

    As a partial solution, some may suggest a region-wise plebiscite, but a look at the map of the undivided state will show how impractical that would be. The Kashmir valley seperates the remote regions of Kargil and Ladakh to Jammu and the rest of India. The life-line for the mountains of Kargil and Ladakh winds through the Kashmir valley. To allow the Kashmir valley to secede would destroy the lives of the people of Ladakh and Kargil. And what is worse, it could leave the Kashmir region itself divided into a patchwork of geographically disconnected principalities. By losing their seasonal mobility which could threaten their livelihood, the nomadic Gujar and Bakarwal people would be particularly affected by any such partition of Kashmir.

    Are Kashmiris Oppressed?
    Thirdly, it should be noted that the demand for self-determination leading to secession has usually been advanced by an opressed people. Are the Kashmiri people oppressed? In 1947, J&K was at the bottom of the economic ladder in India. In 1960-61 it ranked 11th among 16 states of India in per capita income; in 1971-72, 14th among 24 states. But with generous Central assistance it had improved its position by 1981-82 to number 7, surpassing industrial West Bengal, A.P., Karnataka and Tamil Nadu! [Ref: 3].

    Most of the income increase had taken place in large urban areas such as around Srinagar where the Index of Social Development (which includes literacy, health care, access to other social services, etc.) is the highest of the 14 districts in the state.[Ref. 4] Yet, separatist sentiment is the strongest in this region!

    Kashmir vis-a-vis Pakistan

    What is even more striking is how Indian Kashmir is better off than Pakistan. Kashmir's literacy at 59% is much higher than Pakistan's 44%. In general, India's social indices are many notches ahead of Pakistan's. Even if Kashmir's indicators were no better than the Indian average, it would be much better off with India than with Pakistan. Per capita calorie intake in India is now higher and infant mortality is lower. India has made greater strides in developing it's infrastructure - whether it be railways, telecommunications or mass-media. Indians are now more likely to have access to a telephone, color TV or cable TV connection. They are also less indebted to the international finance community. Per capita hard currency debt in Pakistan is more than double India's. India, being a secular state has given far more importance to scientific education and research. For example, in Pakistan, 4500 out of 5000 Ph.D.s awarded after independence, were in Islamic studies - i.e. less than 500 were in the sciences. In India, 40,000 out of 75,000 Ph.D.s awarded were in the sciences, and only a fraction of the other 35,000 were in religious studies. This means that although India's population is about 6 times that of Pakistan's, it has produced more than 80 times as many Ph.D.s in the sciences as has Pakistan.

    All things considered, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have far more opportunities in India than they would, if they seceded and joined with Pakistan.

    US goals and tactics
    Fourthly, and most importantly: How does one factor in the role of imperialism? In spite of the seemingly "neutral" US role in the recent Kargil conflict, the U.S. is unlikely to give up Pakistan as its choice weapon against a large and "unmanageable" India unless, of course, the latter is balkanized into "manageable" segments. In addition, the U.S. has a special interest in J&K region. It is strategically placed in Asia from where events in the many neighboring states can be monitored, and when necessary, an intervention conveniently initiated, and carried out. For this reason the US prefers an independent state of J&K over which it can exercise easy control. If political conditions do not allow independence, the US would like to keep India and Pakistan in a continuing state of simmering hostilities over the "Kashmir-problem". Pakistani rulers who danced to the tune of their British colonial masters prior to 1947, and since, to their imperialist masters have been more than happy to oblige. After all, India-baiting is the glue that Pakistan's elite have used to keep Pakistan together.

    Recent events indicate a possible "warming up" of relations between India and the U.S. It is important that India remain on guard and that it not be lulled into believing in the benevolence of imperialism. The US may adopt different tactics from time to time, but these should not be confused with being friendly towards India. It should be kept in mind that the US did not ask Pakistan to withdraw from Kargil untill it had become clear that India had reversed Pakistan's military advantage. Reports had begun to surface of Pakistani soldiers being desperate to retreat, and Pakistani officers ordering them to hold on to their posts, or risk being shot at if they retreated. Pakistan desperately needed a cease-fire at that point. Prior to that, India was kept under constant pressure not to cross the LOC - and to negotiate with Pakistan. Soon after Kargil, the US adopted a diplomatically hostile position towards India re. the downing of Pakistan's advanced spy plane after it had repeatedly encroached Indian territory and ignored prior warnings to desist.

    It is also important to keep in mind US bullying of India on trade and economic matters. India has made several concessions in WTO but the US has not reciprocated in kind. Various economic and technological sanctions against India remain. None of this points to the US emerging as any genuine friend of the Indian nation.

    Conclusion
    In this unipolar world, fragmentation of third world countries (that are not not allied with imperialism) only helps imperialism, more so now that the counterveiling force of the Soviet Union is absent. Fragmented nations are far more likely to be more deeply indebted to foreign banks, to accept foreign military bases, vote with the US and it's allies in the UN, and so on. They are also more likely to then suppress minorities within their borders, leading to new tensions and separatist tendencies.

    Unlike Pakistan, a large secular and democratic country like India offers more opportunities for different communities to express dissent and gain influence. This is not to say that democracy in India is perfect, or free from all the problems that unequal distribution of wealth entails. However, considering that none of the separatists have a progressive (or more democratic) economic platform for J&K's people, the relative benefits of aligning with India assume significance.

    Consider how India's current President hails from a historically oppressed community. Consider how Mayavati - a campaigner for the political aspirations of India's most downtrodden castes became the first woman to become the Chief Minister of India's most populous state. Consider how Mulayam Singh Yadav - a leader of India's oppressed peasant castes became Defence Minister in 1996.

    Consider also, India's foreign policy. For most of its history, India has conducted a principled anti-imperialist foreign policy. Recently, it opposed the criminal bombing of Yugoslavia and it opposes the deathly sanctions on Iraq. Earlier, it had condemned the bombing of Sudan, and unlike Pakistan, it did not become a proxy for US imperialism in Afghanistan or anywhere else.

    Pakistan, on the other hand, played a vicious role in destroying the democratic revolution in Afghanistan, and participated in the Gulf War and in the Balkans. So it is not surprising that in the case of Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan should play a similiar role. As imperialism's proxy in South Asia - Pakistan - has been injecting the poison of the two-nation theory ever since it was created. Those in Kashmir who are afflicted by this poison are in a minority and have been holding the majority of the state's peoples hostage. One could argue that if they feel so suffocated and oppressed by the democracy and secularism that India offers, they could simply cross the Line of Control (LoC) into Pakistan-controlled Azad Kashmir and enjoy the sort of theocracy and intolerance they wish to impose on an unwilling population in India. But instead, they malign secular India at every opportunity, even though it is their own acts of violence and terror that have caused 20,000 civillian deaths and created 300,000 displaced people in the State.

    In conclusion, it must be reiterated that the plebiscite and secession demand comes from a politically dominant and a vocal minority of Kashmiris and needs to be exposed for what it is. The overwhelming majority of the people of Jammu & Kashmir - 70- 80% - want to be part of a secular and democratic India and they are the ones who need our unqualified support to help defeat separatism and Pakistan's proxy war in Kashmir.

    References
    [1] The breakup of the Muslim population in Kashmir province is based on the data in the article Ethnic Identities and political deadlock in Jammu & Kashmir, by Hari Om, in Indian Defense Review, 1997
    [2] Sayyed Ali Gilani, Rudad-i-Qafas Vol. 1, p. 412, Srinagar: al-Huda Publishing House, 1993.
    [3] Statistical Year Book of India, 1983
    [4] Misri, M.L. & Bhat, M.S., Poverty, Planning and Economic Change in Jammu & Kashmir, Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., Delhi, 1994

    Note: The combined population of "Azad" Kashmir and "Northern Areas" was about 25% of the total in 1947, it is 33% now, despite the fact that J&K 's population has itself grown at a high rate of 29% every decade since 1961. This unusually high increase in "Azad" Kashmir's and "Northern Areas" population is attributed to Pakistan's attempts to change the demographics of areas under its occupation, especially in "Northern Areas", with the settlement of Punjabis and NWFP Pathans in these areas. This settlement policy was actively pursued after the Shia revolt of 1988 was brutally crushed by the now Pakistan military Chief, General Parvez Musharraf.

    On the other hand, it should be noted that non-residents of J&K are prevented under the J&K and Indian constitution from buying property in J&K. This has prevented the Indian government from any attempts at changing the state's demographics.
     
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  4. jamwal

    jamwal Regular Member

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    This, in my opinion is a must read series for everyone:

    KASHMIR

    The Storm Center of the World

    by Balraj Madhok

    Role of Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (R.S.S.)


    Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh played an important role in Kashmir in that crucial period. I had
    started a branch of R.S.S. in Jammu in 1940. I was then studying at Lahore. By the time I passed M.A. in
    History and returned to Jammu and Kashmir State, in 1942, the R.S.S. had picked up in Jammu City
    under the guidance of Pt. Prem Nath Dogra who had been appointed "Sangh Chalak" for Jammu.
    Within a couple of years of my taking charge, the network of R.S.S. branches was spread all over the
    Jammu region. In 1944, I moved to Srinagar Where I joined the local D.A.V. college as lecturer in
    history. This helped me to get in touch with the Kashmiri youth. Hundreds of Kashmiri Hindu youth
    began to attend R.S.S. branches daily. With the arrival of Hindu refugees from Peshawar, Rawalpindi,
    Abbotabad and other adjoining districts of west Punjab, the number of R.S.S. workers in Srinagar began
    to swell because some of them had been active workers of R.S.S. in their home districts.

    R.C. Kak, the Kashmiri Prime Minister of the State was, as stated earlier, keen to enlist the support of
    R.S.S. for his plan for independence for the states. But I made it clear to him that R.S.S. was for
    accession of the State to India because it was convinced that the best interests of the nation demanded
    so.

    I was conscious of the hurdles in the way of immediate accession of the state to India. I also knew about
    the growing opinion even in National conference circles in favor of accession of the State to Pakistan. It
    was, therefore of utmost importance that the Maharaja was given right and objective advice to resolve
    his dilemma. To that end I submitted him a memorandum giving the pros and cons of the options.
    Accession to India, accession to Pakistan and staying independent - before him. The memorandum tried
    to impress upon him, that in spite of personal hostility of Pt. Nehru the wider national interests as also
    the best interests of the state demanded that he should opt for accession to India.

    DevanBadri Das a leading jurist of Punjab, who was also Sangh Chalak of R.S.S. for Punjab, was held in
    high esteem by Maharaja Hari Singh. R.S.S. leadership requested him to visit Srinagar and meet the
    Maharaja to persuade him to accede to India at the earliest. On october 5, the R.S.S. supreme, M.S.
    Golwalkar, himself came to Srinagar and had a long meeting with the Maharaia- He was known to
    have advised Hari Singh that any further delay in the matter of accession to India could be dangerous for
    him and the country.

    But what really clinched the issues was the unfolding of Pak plan of invasion of Kashmir. Its rumblings
    had been heard by some observers of the Pak scene. But Maharaia Hari Singh and Hindus of the state
    were blissfully ignorant about it. R.S.S. played a major role in gathering information about the plan of
    invasion and forewarning the state Government about it. The first clue regarding the projected invasion
    came from Dr. S.K. Atri, a medico from U.P., who had been practising at Srinagar for over two decades.
    His clinic was situated just on the Southern end of Amira Kadal bridge on the Jehlum. As I crossed the
    bridge on October 8, on my way to my college, Dr. Atri called me into his clinic. He told me that some of
    his elderly Muslim clients had visited him last night and requested him to leave Srinagar with family at
    the earliest because Pakistan would be invading Kashmir soon and no Hindu would be safe after that.
    He
    had no doubt about the sincerity of the persons who had met him because they had a sense of gratitude
    toward him. This information was too serious to be ignored. I discussed it with my top workers the same
    night and deputed some workers from Rawalpindi who could mix with Punjabi Muslims with ease to go
    to Punjab Muslim Hotel at Pratap Chawk now called Lal Chawk, which was known to be the rendezvous
    of Pak spies and agents to dig out the truth. They accomplished their mission within two days. The
    information supplied by a Muslim Officer of the State army was really alarming. The invasion was to be
    lauched from Abbotabad side on October 21. The Musliln officers and men of the state army were to
    join the invaders. Srinagar was to be captured by October 25, so that Jinnah might celebrate
    Id-ul-Zuha at Srinagar. An attempt was also to be made on the life of the Maharaja on October 24,
    when he was expected to go in procession to Batmalu ground for the Vyaya Dashmi Celebrations. A
    similar game plan had been prepared for Jammu also.


    After getting this information we passed it on to the Maharaja and Brigadier Kashmir Singh, the Chief
    of the staff of the state army.

    Later on the night of October 23, when Pak invaders were advancing fast toward Srinagar the Maharaja
    called me at dead of night to his palace and requested me to defend Srinagar city till Indian troops
    reached Srinagar. He asked for two hundred volunteers for the purpose. I mobilized the required number
    of volunteers the same night. They were taken to the Badami Bagh cantonment on the morning of 24th,
    given preliminary training in using fire arms and were put on duty the same evening.


    I have the satisfaction that the workers of the R.S.S. and myself did our duty toward our motherland in
    those difficult days. This factual account should put the record straight about the role of R.S.S. in defense
    and accession of Jammu & Kashmir state to India.

    The Jammu & Kashmir Government had no knowledge until then of this planned massive invasion
    from Abbotabad side. Its hands were full with Pakistani raids in the Poonch area which had became a
    major threat to the security of the State. The stoppage of all supplies including gasoline by Pakistan had
    created a very serious situation in regard to internal mobility of the limited defense forces which were
    dispersed over a long frontier.

    While trying to cope with the situation as best as it could, the State Government tried to persuade
    Pakistan through diplomatic channels to honor its commitments under the Stand-Still Agreement.
    Failing to get a positive response to its numerous communications Prime Minister Mahajan sent a rather
    strongly worded telegram to the Governor General of Pakistan, Mr. Jinnah on October 18, 1947. In the
    concluding part of this telegram Mr. Mahajan said:

    "Finally, the Kashmir Government wishes to make it plain that it is not possible to tolerate this attitude
    any longer without grave consequences to life and property of the people which it is bound to defend at
    all costs. The Government even now hopes that you would personally look into the matter and put a stop
    to all the iniquities which are being perpetrated. If unfortunately this request is not heeded the
    Government would be justified in asking for friendly assistance and oppose tresspass on its fundamental
    rights."

    A cable was sent on the same day to the Prime Minister of U.K. apprising him of the situation, created by
    the influx of armed Pakistanis into Poonch area of the State and stoppage of all supplies. It added: "The
    policy of the Government has been to afford protection to the Muslim refugees about 100,000 of whom
    have been given safe conduct to their new abodes in Pakistan. On the other hand, a party of 200 State
    subjects sent from Rawalpindi at the request of the State has practically been wiped out and no
    non-Muslim from the State can pass through Pakistan.
    Railway service from Sialkot to Jammu has been
    stopped since August 15, without any reason. Protests only elicit promises which are never implemented.
    As a result of the obvious connivance of Pakistan Government the whole of the border from Gurdaspur
    side up to Gilgit is threatened with invasion which has actually begun in Poonch. It is requested that the
    Dominion of Pakistan may be advised to deal fairly with Jammu & Kashmir State and adopt a course of
    conduct which may be consistent with the good name and prestige of the Commonwealth of which it
    claims to be a member".

    The Governor General of Pakistan in his reply sent to the Maharaja of Kashmir on October 20, took no
    notice of the allegations made by Kashmir Government and instead made counter charges of repression
    by Dogra troops. But to lull the state Government into complacency it repeated an earlier suggestion
    made by it about a meeting of the representatives of the two governments to settle outstanding questions
    at an early date. Mr. Khurshid, then private secretary of Mr. Jinnah was sent to Srinagar for the purpose.

    While this exchange of telegrams was going on, preparations were afoot at Abbotabad for a large scale
    invasion of Kashmir. A large number of soldiers and officers of the Pakistan army 'on leave' were
    deputed to organize and assist about five thousand tribals that had been assembled there in the name of
    Jihad or holy war. The invasion was to be led by Major General Akbar Khan of the Pakistan army who
    was given the name General Tariq after the name of the Islamic Arab conqueror of Eqypt.

    As if to create an excuse of the personnel of regular Pakistan army taking part in the invasion a
    telegram was sent by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan to the Prime Minister of Jammu & Kashmir on
    the October 21, which said, "Serious anxiety regarding the Safety of their families are being felt by
    Pakistan military personnel whom it is exceedingly difficult to reassure in absence of any clear reports or
    assurances by you."

    Before a reply to this telegram sent by the Prime Minister of Kashmir on October 22, reached the
    Pakistan Foreign office, the massive Pakistani invasion of Kashmir had begun.
     
  5. jamwal

    jamwal Regular Member

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    The Invasion

    The tribal hordes armed and supported by the Pakistan Government and led by officers of the Pakistan
    army that entered the State from Hazara district in the N.W.F.P. along the Abbotabad - Muzaffarabad
    - Domel- Srinagar road on October 21, formed the spearhead of the final and the biggest blow of
    Pakistan to the State. Its objective was Kashmir valley and the capital city of Srinagar. Almost
    simultaneously new thrusts were made all along the Kashmir - Pakistan border including Gilgit. These
    other thrusts did not get much publicity because they were directed against comparatively little known
    though strategically equally important parts of the State. They ultimately succeeded in gaining their
    objective in Gilgit, and the western districts of the State. But their master plan to occupy Srinagar and
    Jammu simultaneously and present the world with a fait- accompli before any outside help could come
    to the State was foiled by the timely arrival of air-borne Indian troops in Srinagar and by the popular
    resistance put up by the people of Jammu.

    In order to appreciate the magnitude of the threat and the success it achieved, one should have a clear
    picture of the situation on the ground. The Kashmir-Pakistan frontier is over 500 miles long, a major
    portion of which is quite ill-defined. Beginning from near Pathankot it runs along the districts of
    Sialkot, Gujerat and Jehlam of the West Punjab; then turning North it runs along the Jehlam up to
    Kohala at which point that river leaves the State to form its western boundary. From Kohala onward
    this frontier runs along the Hazara district of the North Western Frontier Province, and then touches
    the tribal area of Yagistan and the frontier state of Chitral, which had already acceded to Pakistan.

    During the British regime the State had not to worry about this long frontier. The prestige of Dogra arms
    established by Maharaja Gulab Singh coupled with British protection was enough to keep in check the
    turbulent elements within and without the State. The defense of the Northern frontier of the State used
    to be a joint responsibility of the British and the State troops stationed in the Gilgit cantonment. The
    ruler of Chitral owed allegiance to the Maharaja of Kashmir as well but with the disappearance of the
    protecting hand of the British and the establishment of a hostile and aggressive state like Pakistan along
    this long frontier, the problem of defense was bound to become difficult for Jammu & Kashmir.

    The situation was made all the more difficult by the nature and affinities of the people inhabiting both
    sides of the Western frontier. The people of Mirpur-Poonch area belong to the warlike Rajput and Jat
    tribes. They have close social, economic and religious ties with the inhabitants of the adjoining districts
    of Jehlam, Rawalpindi and Hazara in Pakistan. They had been converted to Islam during the Mughal
    times. Many of them wanted to be reconverted to Hinduism during the twenties of the present century.
    But the conservatism of Brahmins and Hindu Rajputs did not allow such efforts to succeed. During the
    thirties they came under the influence of the Muslim Conference. The politics of the adjoining districts
    of Jehlam and Rawalpindi also began to influence them. The result was that most of them became
    supporters of Pakistan after its establishment.
    Many of them being ex-service men possessed fire arms
    and were adept in their use. It was, therefore, easy for the Pakistani agents to instigate them to rebel
    against the authority of the State.

    The armed forces of the State which had to defend this long frontier, as also to meet the threat of
    internal uprisings were quite inadequate to meet the situation. The strength of the State Army was nine
    infantry battalions, two mountain batteries and one cavalry squadron. The two mountain batteries were
    retained by the British Indian Government after the end of the Second World War because they had
    given a very good account of themselves during the war. Of the infantry battalions three the 2nd, 4th,
    and 6th J & K infantries, were mixed- half Hindu Dogras and half Muslims from Mirpur and Poonch
    areas. These battalions had been spread all along the frontier. At the time of invasion the mixed 4th
    battalion was in charge of the Muzaffarabad-Konala sector, the 2nd of a part of Mirpur-Poonch sector
    and the 6th had been ordered to proceed to Gilgit to assist Brigadier Ghansara Singh who was appointed
    military Governor of that region after the withdrawal of the British Srinagar cantonment. At the time
    of invasion he had only one cornpany of the 4th infantry battalion besides the Maharaja's personal
    guards.

    The State troops were efficient and brave. But they were ill-equipped. Even the quota of arms and
    ammunition allotted to the State had not been obtained in full for the last two years prior to the
    invasion. The Pakistan Government had withheld all supplies meant for the State forces after the
    partition. The Indian Government which had been approached for arms and ammunition had agreed to
    supply them, but none had been sent until the fateful day of invasion. To crown it all, the loyalty of the
    Muslim personnel of the armed forces was doubtful. Information was received about plans of sabotage
    and desertion prepared by Muslim officers of the State army in collaboration with Pakistan authorities.
    Their names had been supplied to the Maharaja and he had been requested to disarm and disband them
    in the interests of the security of the State. But the State Government did not, perhaps could not do this
    because it had no reserves and they feared mutiny.
    Colonel Narain Singh who commanded the 4th
    Battalion in charge of Kohala Muzaffarabad sector was, however, warned to remain alert and careful
    about the Muslim personnel. But Narain Singh, who had commanded that battalion in the Burma
    campaign, expressed his full faith in his Muslim soldiers and officers. He had to pay a heavy price for this
    self-complacency and credulity.

    In view of these circumstances the rapid advance of the Pakistani hordes after they had once broken
    through the outer defenses should cause no surprise. Their main column, entered the State in the dead of
    night between 21st & 22nd of October, 1947. The Muslim personnel of the State pickets joined hands
    with them. They killed their Hindu comrades in their own tents and began to lead the convoy of trucks
    supplied by the Pakistan Government for carrying the invaders. They occupied the strategic
    Krishanganga bridge without much difficulty and entered the town of Muzaffarabad without firing a
    shot. The district officer Mr. Mehta was taken by surprise in his own house and shot dead in the presence
    of his wife and children for refusing to shout "Pakistan Zindabad". A few of them simultaneously crossed
    over to Domel, the contluence of the Jehlam and the Krishanganga, through a suspension bridge. The
    Muslim pickets there joined hands with them and Colonel Narain Singh was shot dead in his own tent by
    his own Muslim sentinel in the early hours of the 22nd morning.
    The occupation of Domel brought both
    the roads leading to Srinagar from Rawalpindi and Abottabad under the control of the invaders,
    securing their supply lines.

    The road to Srinagar now lay open. The garrisons guarding the Kohala bridge found itself sandwiched
    between the hostile forces from across the bridge; those coming from Domel side made a hasty retreat
    toward Poonch. It succeeded however, in taking with it about ten thousand Hindus and Sikhs living in
    the Bagh area to Poonch town in safety.
     
  6. jamwal

    jamwal Regular Member

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    The Gallant Brigadier

    The raiders occupied Garhi the same day and started their advance toward Uri on 23rd. The few
    retreating Dogra troops resisted them at every step. But the odds against the defenders were heavy.
    Brigadier Rajendra Singh, then came forward to command the troops in person. He had orders from the
    Maharaja to fight till the last man to defend a bridge near Uri and stop the advance of the enemy.

    Brigadier Rajendra Singh rose to the occasion and maintained the prestige of Dogra troops. He stemmed
    the tide of enemy advance near Uri for two days. But some of the raiders led by the Muslim soldiers of
    the State army managed to out-flank the Dogra troops. They were able to put the Mahura power-house,
    which Supplies electricity to Srinagar, out of order on the night of the 24th, and then attacked the State
    troops led by Raiendra Singh from behind. Rajendra Singh, like a gallant soldier that he was, fought the
    enemy to the bitter-end. He and all his 150 men were cut to pieces in this action. But they will live in
    history like the gallant Leonides and his 300 men who held the Persian invader at Thermopylae.


    The leaders of the National Conference were in a fix, they could not depend on their followers, once the
    Pakistani invaders moved. They could turn Muslim Leaguers overnight. The Sheikh had already sent his
    family to Indore for safety. He himself slipped away to Delhi.


    Before taking any action on the Maharaja's requests for help the Government of India decided to send
    its Secretary to the Ministry of States, Mr. V.P. Menon, to get first hand information. He flew to
    Srinagar on the 25th of October. He soon realized the desperateness of the situation. The invaders after
    overcoming the gallant resistance of Brigadier Rajendra Singh had reached Baramulla, the district
    headquarters at the entrance of the valley, where they were welcomed by Ch. Faiz Ullah, the Deputy
    Commissioner of the district, who was in turn appointed governor of the area by the invaders. Had they
    continued their advance they could have reached Srinagar in 24 hours. Mr. Menon, therefore, advised
    the Maharaja to leave immediately for Jammu to be out of reach of the Pakistani invaders. This was
    timely and correct advice because the aid could be sent from India only after the Maharaja had acceded
    to India by signing the instrument of accession. That he could not have done, if he had fallen in the
    hands of Pakistani invaders.

    The Maharaja left Srinagar for Jammu that very night and Mr. Menon and the Kashmir Premier, Mr.
    Mahajan, flew to New Delhi. The Maharaja's departure for Jammu on the advice of Mr. Menon who
    spoke for the Government of India, was later exploited by Sheikh Abdullah who declared that the
    Maharaja had run away and that he had 'Picked the crown of Kashmir from dust'- What was worse, Pt.
    Nehru who was supposed to know the true facts also repeated the same allegation against the Maharaja
    to lower him in the estimation of his own people and add grist to the anti-Maharaja campaign of Sh.
    Abdullah. That also proved his personal vendetta against the Maharaja.



    On receiving the report from Mr. Menon the Government Of India felt inclined to go to the rescue of the state. But it was felt that formal accession of the State must take place before any help could be sent. So Mr. Menon flew back to Jammu with the Instrument of Accession. He woke up the Maharaja who was fast asleep after a night-long drive from Srinagar. Mr. Menon has recorded in his famous book 'Integration of States' that before going to sleep the Maharaja has left instructions with his A.D.C. that "If I (Menon) came back from Delhi, he was not to be disturbed as it would mean that the Government of India had decided to come to his rescue and he should therefore be allowed to sleep in peace, but that if I failed to return, that meant everything was lost, in that case in A.D.C. was to shoot him in his sleep".

    The Maharaja at once signed the Instrument of Accession and also handed over a letter for Lord Mountbatten, the Governor General of India informing him that it was his intention to set up an interim government at once and to ask Sheikh Abdullah to carry the responsibilities in the emergency with Mr. Mehar Chand Mahajan, his Prime Minister. It was out of sheer patriotism and solicitude for the safety of his people that the Maharaja agreed to Submit to this pre-condition of the Indian Prime Minister.

    Pakistan thus played a major role in resolving the dilemma of Hari Singh and bringing about accession of Jammu and Kashmir state to India.

    Sardar Patel who in his anxiety for the State had been waiting at the aerodrome for Mr. Menon to return, was prepared to go all out to save the State. But Pt. Nehru and Lord Mountbatten were hesitant. It was not before Mr. Mahajan, who knew that every minute counted if about a lakh of Hindus in Srinagar were to be saved from total annihilation, threatened to proceed to Karachi and surrender Kashmir to Mr. Jinnah to secure safety of its people that Pt. Nehru's reluctance could be overcome.

    While these hurried discussions were going on in Delhi on that fateful Sunday, the people of Srinagar were hanging between life and death. The report of Maharaja's departure for Jammu and the invader's occupation of Baramula spread like wild fire in the whole city casting gloom of death on all Hindus and an air of jubilant expectation in pro-Pakistan circles. All ears were turned to the radios and all eyes toward the sky to hear the news of acceptance of accession and see the arrival of aid which could only come by air. But instead of news of help from Delhi reports began to spread that tribal raiders had been seen on the outskirts of the city. That was a signal for pro-Pakistan slogans. Stray looting of Hindu shops began.

    Just then news reached that accession had been accepted and that the Indian help will not take long in coming. Mr. G.C. Bali, the Police Chief, immediately made this fact known to the people of Srinagar by the beat of drum and warned the pro-Pakistan elements of dire consequences if they started trouble. It had quite a salutary effect and the 26th of October passed off peacefully.

    Had Pakistani invaders marched into the city that Sunday everything would have been lost. Not a single Hindu would have survived. The author himself was in Srinagar that day. But fate conspired otherwise. The tribal hordes which had come more out of lure for loot and women than for anything else found the autumn atmosphere and beautiful landscape of Baramula together with rich prospects of loot and rape too absorbing to remember Mr. Jinnah's resolve to celebrate Id, which fell on October 25, in Srinagar. They converted every mosque and house in Baramula into a brothel and entertained themselves to their hearts content. Even the European nuns of the local mission hospital could not escape their bestiality.

    As a result the Indian airborne troops when they flew into the valley in the morning of October 27 found that the Srinagar aerodrome was still safe. It was not to fall in the hands of the invaders and Kashmir was to be saved. It was saved.
     
  7. jamwal

    jamwal Regular Member

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    Kashmir Saved:-

    The "Operation Kashmir" and the lightning speed and efficiency with which it was conducted saved Kashmir from the ruthless Pakistan tribal-cum-regular army marauders. It will ever remain a glorious chapter in the annals of the Indian troops. It was in a way unprecendented in the history of warfare. Lord Mounthatten who had been Chief of Combined Operations and Supreme Alied Commander South East Asia in the Second world war testified that in all his war experience he had never heard of an air lift of this nature being put into operation at such a short notice.

    But the success of this air lift and the subsequent action in Kashmir was made possible by one basic fact of the failure of the invading hordes to capture the Srinagar aerodrome. This was mainly due to the dogged resistance of the Dogra troops who had been fighting against very heavy odds. Deserted and betrayed by their own Muslim comrades in arms, who acted as vanguard of the invading army, the Dogra troops had to literally fight for every inch to gain time for the expected succor to reach Srinagar before everything was lost. The example set by Brigadier Rajendra Singh who will go down in the history of India as a great military hero, inspired everyone of them. They were still holding the main enemy column at Pattan, seventeen miles from Srinagar, when the first Indian troops landed at Srinagar. They, therefore, in a way played the most decisive role in saving Kashmir and checkmating the Pakistani design of presenting the world with a fait aceompli.

    The Dogras thus vindicated themselves and their ruler in the eyes of history. Those who had ruled the valley for one hundred years did not leave it to the vultures as a dead corpse. They defended it with their own blood. But for their dogged resistance, Kashmir valley would have been lost. So the highest honors for saving Kashmir must go to these gallant Dogra troops.

    It is, however, equally true that but for the timely arrival of Indian troops on October 27, and the immediate relief they provided to the Dogra troops, the enemy would have entered Srinagar in the course of the day and achieved his objective.

    The first Indian troops to land at Srinagar came from Sikh unit commanded by Colonel Ranjit Rai. The people of Srinagar who had been gazing at the sky for hours in expectation of the air lift planes were thrilled by the sight of Dakota after Dakota suddenly emerging from behind the snow covered Panchal range. It was comparable to the thrill created in French hearts by the emergence of Allied planes from the horizon over the French sky on the D-day in 1944.

    No sooner did the first Dakota land than the troops jumped into the trucks that were standing by and moved on to the front line. The author wanted to stop these troops near his residence for small refreshments. His request was met by a loud and heart warning cry of 'Sat Siri Akal' and the curt reply: "Do not detain us. We will quench our thirst with the blood of the enemy".

    Within hours they went into action and before the day was out Colonel Ranjit Rai lay dead in defense of Kashmir which had by now become an integral part of India, legally and constitutionally, as a result of acceptance of accession sf the State by the Government of India. The next important casualty was Major Sharma who died defending the aerodrome against an enemy column which was approaching it from behind along the foothills of Gulmarg.

    Mr. Jinnah who had come down to Lahore to proceed to Srinagar as a victor was terribly upset by the report that India had accepted the accession of Jammu and Kashmir and that Indian troops had landed at Srinagar. He immediately summoned General Gracey, the C-in- C of Pakistan army, and ordered him to rush regular troops to Kashmir. But General Gracey expressed his inability to carry out his instructions without the approval of the supreme commander, Field Marshal Auchinlek, who was supervising the partition of the army and its stores between the two Dominions. Field Marshal Auchinlek who reached Lahore on the 28th of October informed Mr. Jinnah that in view of Jammu & Kashmir state having legally acceded to India the British officers of the Pakistan army will have to withdraw if he ordered a regular invasion of Kashmir. This forced Mr. Jinnah to relent. Thus the immediate danger of a full scale war between India and Pakistan which would not have remained confined to Jammu & Kashmir, was averted.

    But short of throwing regular Pakistan Army into action everything possible was done to strengthen and reinforce the invading hordes who were well equipped with arms and stores supplied by the Pakistan Government. Therefore, the Indian troops had quite a tough job to do in the beginning. The enemy was able to get local support wherever it reached. The only notable exception was Maqbool Sherwani of Baramula who refused to line up with the invaders and was therefore shot dead.

    But the tide turned with the arrival of more troops and armored cars, Baramula was recaptured on the 8th of November. This removed the threat of further incursions into the valley because Baramula commanded the entrance to it. A few days later Uri was recaptured and a column was sent from there to relieve Poonch which had been besieged by the enemy. But this column could not reach Poonch because of destruction of a strategic bridge by the Dogra troops who thought that the enemy and not friendly troops were advancing from Uri.

    The recapture of Baramula and Uri demoralized the stray detachments of the invaders still in the valley. They withdrew from Gulmarg and Tanmarga without firing a shot. Thus by the middle of November, 1947, the Valley proper was cleared of Pakistani invaders.

    Baramula, Sopore and the Western fringe of the valley along the Gulmarg sector of Pir Panchal range were the only parts of the valley which came under the effective control of Pakistan for a few days. The rest of the valley, particularly its southern and south eastern part which is directly contiguous to Jammu and Laddakh regions of the State, remained untouched by the invaders- An attempt was later made by them to break into the valley through the old Mughal route which would have brought them to Shupian and enabled them to cut the Banihal road. That would have proved a grievous blow because Banihal road is the only motorable link between Srinagar and Jammu. But they were intercepted and pushed back by the Indian troops after bitter fighting near Nandi-margi, over l0,000 feet above sea level.

    Liberation of Kashmir by the Indian army thus supplemented the legal right of India over Kashmir valley attained through the lawful accession of the state. In doing so it had to undergo a lot of suffering and make heavy sacrifices in the blood of Jawans drawn from all over India. This fact needs to be kept in mind when looking at the Kashmir problem which mainly revolves round the valley.
     
  8. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    Growing American Interest in Pakistan occupied Kashmir

    Priyanka Singh

    July 17, 2012
    As President Barack Obama rules out an “outside” solution to Kashmir, there are strong indications that the United States is fast developing interest in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). Pertinent in this regard was the five-day visit of a three member delegation from the US embassy in Islamabad to Gilgit Baltistan. The embassy delegation comprising Lisa Buezonos (Political/Economic officer), Kimberley Phelan (Political Officer) and Khalid Javed (Security Advisor) visited Gilgit Baltistan between 30 May and 3 June 2012. Their high profile visit to the region came as a surprise in view of the recent sectarian strife in the region. Prior to the visit, the US embassy officials approached the local administration in Gilgit Baltistan for security cover.

    Subsequently, the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, paid a visit to the so-called Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) on 13 June 2012. Munter held meetings with AJK Prime Minister Chaudhury Abdul Majeed in Muzaffarabad and interacted with representatives from NGOs (those which benefited from US assisted projects). The press release from the US embassy noted that Munter’s visit was mainly to reiterate US support for the education sector and local development in the so-called AJK. The US ambassador committed that USAID (United States Agency for International Development) will provide more than Rs. 450 million for AJK through social welfare schemes. Recalling US assistance to AJK in the aftermath of the 2005 earthquake, the ambassador noted that “the United States has an enduring partnership with this region.”1 Reports say that the US has offered generous support and aid for efforts to raise living standards in AJK. Incidentally, a delegation from USAID visited the municipal library in Gilgit on 9 July 2012 and promised a sum of $30,000 for modernizing it. This amount was earmarked from the Ambassador’s Fund Programme.

    The US has in the past funded the Satapra dam project, which is located a few kilometres from Skardu (the capital of Baltistan). It is a small dam with an approximate capacity of 17 Mw. Later, while Pakistan was facing a crunch in the ambitious and equally controversial Diamer Bhasha Dam, it approached the US for part of the funding. Although the US was initially reluctant to involve itself in the project, given Pakistan’s continuous insistence and the overall deterioration in US-Pakistan ties, it relented and agreed to fund the project from the Kerry Lugar Berman Package (promised to Pakistan in 2009). Since the project is huge, Pakistan hopes to garner funds from various international agencies. US participation, Pakistan believes, would give the project some amount of credibility and induce donor agencies and countries to participate in the consortium.

    Here, it is useful to analyse the purpose and intent behind the US interest in a disputed region legally claimed by India. In August 2010, an article in the New York Times by Selig Harrison on the Chinese foray in Gilgit Baltistan created stirrings in the Western strategic circles. Harrison’s reputation added to the credibility and acceptance of the revelation made therein. Similarly, some others reports published from US based thinks tanks indicated the extent and nature of Chinese presence in Gilgit Baltistan and how this could alter the regional strategic equations in South Asia. Thus, the newly found US interest and engagement in PoK has strong geopolitical underpinnings. The geopolitical angle is based on a set of existing equations between the US, Pakistan and China within the overall ambit of US interests in the Asia Pacific region. Presently, Chinese presence in the PoK region is a reality and so is the purported global Sino-US rivalry. Pakistan, a close ally of both the US and China, lies at the centre of this rivalry and so does the strategically placed PoK. At the same time, relations between the US and Pakistan are at an all time low and fat aid packages have failed in reversing the tide in the US’s favour. Concurrently, relations between China and Pakistan have flourished with enhanced levels of political and economic engagement. The Chinese are investing heavily in PoK, even though their aid and investments are much less publicized than those of the Americans.

    In the given context, a preliminary assessment of US objectives in this part of Kashmir can be done under three broad heads.

    Containing Chinese influence in PoK

    In the emergent scenario, the US feels that it is essential to bag any opportunity to curtail Chinese influence in the region and PoK in particular. US diplomats during their visits have expressed willingness to assist the local government in PoK in improving basic amenities in the otherwise underdeveloped region. Apart from smaller projects, the US also tends to invest in big projects as evident in its recent nod to provide funds for the controversial Diamer Bhasha dam project. Keeping in view the disputed nature of the location of the dam project, the US had earlier said no to Pakistan’s repeated requests. Eventually, however, the US rightly judged that if it refused to fund the project then the Chinese would come in most willingly.

    Unlike the Chinese involvement in PoK, which is more economically oriented, the US seems to be heading to target the social sectors in a positive way. For instance, during its visit, the US embassy delegation held a meeting with a woman legislator to learn about the role of women in governance there. Another visit to a women’s police station to enquire about its role and functioning also featured on the delegation’s agenda.

    Making US aid visible

    PoK is underdeveloped and potentially perceived by the US as the ultimate destination to attain tangible results for its aid/assistance programme. The US has been facing flak from ordinary Pakistanis for a long time even as it has promised huge aid packages. The sense of dislike against the US has intensified with reported civilian causalities in drone attacks in the tribal regions. In this regard, the US has been contemplating ways and means to initiate concrete damage control measures.

    Therefore, in order project itself as a long term partner, the US thinks it is apt to invest in both small and big projects likely to impact a large section of the Pakistani population. It is important to note that the Diamer Bhasha dam aims to cater to the energy requirements of Pakistan and not specifically PoK.

    Engaging counter forces against Pakistan

    A large section of the Diaspora from PoK and Gilgit Baltistan in particular is based in the US. These people have founded think tanks and advocacy groups which have slowly and steadily created awareness about PoK in the western world. They have often raised pertinent issues, the most important being Pakistan’s subjugation and unilateral policies towards PoK. These groups have held demonstrations and testified before the UN Human Rights Commission and the US Congress. Given the receptivity for genuine concerns and worries of the displaced people in the western world, these groups have presented their case in several international platforms including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

    Notably, the US embassy delegation to Gilgit Baltistan held extensive meetings with leading nationalist figures like Manzoor Hussain Parwana (chief of the Gilgit Baltistan United Movement, GBUM). During the meeting, Parwana urged the international community to intervene in PoK. He claimed the Pakistani state agencies were interfering in the internal affairs of Gilgit Baltistan against the wishes of the local people. In addition, the embassy officials sought feedback on the Gilgit Baltistan Empowerment and Self Governance package 2009, which has been rejected in its entirety by a large section of the local population.

    Pakistan has taken exception to such attempts at engaging nationalists and evoking responses on contentious issues such as the governance order. In fact, subsequent to the trip by US embassy officials, Pakistani security forces stopped a vehicle carrying American diplomats who on their way back from Swat and apprehended their Pakistani companions. They have also raised concerns about such ‘unauthorised’ trips. After the US Congress hearing on Balochistan in February 2012, Pakistan is particularly sensitive to such US moves. Perhaps, the US is doing all this to indicate that the cost of Pakistani non-cooperation with the US in the war on terror in Afghanistan could be huge.

    Conclusion
    The US involvement in PoK is driven purely by its strategic interests. It seems to be devising a multi-pronged agenda to deal with the growing Chinese influence in the region, to compel Pakistani acquiescence in the ongoing stabilising efforts in Afghanistan and ensure long term presence in the entire region.

    The overall American policy on Kashmir till the end of the cold war was detrimental to Indian interests. During that time, PoK did not figure in the US strategic calculus and Pakistan’s control over the region was regarded as legitimate and in the American interests. In a changing regional and global context, the US seems to have revised its policy towards PoK. However, apart from their common concerns about the growing Chinese presence in the region, India and the US may not have similar positions on the status of PoK. As in the past, the US has agreed to participate in the ongoing projects in PoK, to which India has objected time and again. The US involvement offers some degree of legitimacy to Pakistan’s illegal occupation of the region. But at the same time, the US foray into PoK will certainly countervail the Chinese strategic presence there. This may indirectly address some of India’s concerns about the growing China-Pakistan nexus in this sensitive region.
     
  9. jamwal

    jamwal Regular Member

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    Lies of Sheikh Abdullah and Nehru


    The facts given above do not point to any worth mentioning role of Sheikh Abdullah in the defense of the valley. But most of the books written on the subject have projected Sh. Abdullah as the real savior of Kashmir. This depiction of his role is fraudulent. It amounts to deliberate distortion of facts and history to serve partisan ends. Therefore the record needs to be put straight.

    Sh. Abdullah was interested only in Kashmir valley. His one ambition was to become master and arbiter of Kashmir. He had neither any interest nor any stake in other parts of that far flung Kingdom.

    His attitudes about accession to India or Pakistan was also guided by this one over-riding ambition and consideration. As a realist he knew that his followers were emotionally inclined toward Pakistan. As an Islamic fundamentalist his own intuitive sympathy was for Pakistan. The whole tenor and tone of his autobiography points to his aversion for Hindus and Hindu majority part of the State. All through his biography, he has referred to Anantnag, the district headquarters of southern part of Kashmir valley as Islamabad. His admiration for Dr. Iqbal - the father of the idea of Pakistan is writ large over 1,000 pages of "Atish-i-Chinar."

    But experience of Khan brothers of N.W.F.P. and his own experience during his struggle against the Maharaja had made him sceptical about his own future in the case of accession of the state to Pakistan. He wanted assurance from Jinnah that he would be made master of Kashmir valley. Jinnah was not prepared to give that assurance. Emissaries sent by him to Pakistan in early October to secure such an assurance had returned empty handed. Jinnah was reported to have told them that Kashmir was going to fall in his lap like a ripe apple in any case.

    Abdullah has himself given a vivid account of the talks he had with two representatives of Pakistan, Dr. Mohammed Din Tashir and Sheikh Sadiq Hassan, President of Punjab Muslim League, who visited Srinagar on the eve of Pak aggression. They tried to persuade him to put his might for accession of the state to Pakistan. Instead of giving a clear reply he equivocated. He wanted a clear assurance for himself before taking any positive decision in favor of accession to Pakistan. Both of them invited him to visit Lahore and have direct talks with Mr. Jinnah. He accepted the invitation.

    But before going to Pakistan he had to go to Delhi to preside over State's People's Conference of which he had been elected President. He was in Delhi when Pak attack on Kashmir began on October 21. He addressed press conference at Delhi on October 21, in which he blamed the Maharaja's Government for repression in poonch, but did not say a word against Pak raiders who had created insurgency there.

    On his own admission he was in Delhi on October 25-26 when Meharchand Mahajan reached there to plead for immediate acceptance of accession and despatch of Indian troops to save Srinagar from falling into the hands of invaders. There is no authentic information about his whereabouts on October 22 to 24. Even if he had returned to Kashmir he must have maintained a studied silence. As a man on the spot who was constantly moving in Srinagar to keep up the morale of the beleaguered Hindus. I did not notice his presence at all. National conference workers came out on the streets only after information about acceptance of accession and imminent arrival of Indian Itroops reached Srinagar in the afternoon, October 26.


    Sh. Abdullah was at Pt. Nehru residence at New Delhi on October 26 when a crucial meeting about accession was held there. He did not take part in the meeting, but over heard what transpired in it from a side room. He was, however, known to have endorsed the statement of Meharchand Mahajan about need for immediate accession when Pt. Nehru got non-plussed by plain Speaking by Mahajan about his orders to go to Karachi and surrender Kashmir to Jinnah on condition of safety of the Hindus if India was not prepared to accept the accession there and then. Abdullah's endorsement might have had some effect on Pt. Nehru. It is however utterly wrong to say that accession took place because of his efforts. The decision to accede to India was an independent decision of the patriotic Maharaja and was accepted bv the Indian cabinet which gave greater might to the words of Sardar Patel in spite of hesitancy of Pt. Nehru.

    The truth is that Sh. Abdullah and his followers never played any role in the defense of Kashmir in those five crucial days nor had he any significant role or say in the matter of accession of the State to India though he became the main beneficiary of it.


    So called secularism of Sh. Abdullah and his followers would have been put to real test if Pakistani invaders had been able to enter Srinagar before the entry of Indian troops. There is no doubt in my mind that no Hindu, including myself, would have been left alive to testify to the much trumpeted secularism of Sh. Abdullah and his followers. Maqbool Sherwani of Baramula was the only Kashmiri Muslim at that time who can be called a real nationalist.

    Kashmir valley was saved from Pakistan marauders by the gallantry of Dogra troops, vigilance of R.S.S. workers and other nationalist elements, decision by the Maharaja to accede to India and timely arrival of Indian troops. They were the real saviors of Kashmir and not Sh. Abdullah and his double faced followers.

    Accession of the Jammu and Kashmir state to India and liberation of Pak occupied areas of Kashmir valley by air borne Indian troops was a great victory for India and its armed forces. That should have set at rest the doubt and uncertainty about future dispensation of Jammu and Kashmir state as an integral part of India.

    But that was not to be. Dishonesty of Sh. Abdullah and blunders and bunglings of Nehru who considered Kashmir as his domestic domain, soon clouded the achievements of the armed forces and created a situation of neither victory nor defeat. This state of affairs has lingered on to this day.

    Here ends the third leg of this series....Tomorrow we will talk about POK...article 370..UN..plebisite....pres​ent sitauation...AFSPA...separ​tists ..militancy..etc...

    We have been able to established quite a few facts till now:-

    i) Kashmir was a part of India for over 5000 years

    ii) It was a Hindu dominant state until Muslims inaded it

    iii) Kashmir became part of India in all fairness,even though pak tried to 'snatch' it...illegally, forcefully and immorally ..but the brave souls of INDIA dnt let them succeed in their vicious intentions....And till date ,they call 'kashmir' to be an issue and we like fools agree to it!!
     
  10. jamwal

    jamwal Regular Member

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    Nehru's blunders in UN

    Instrument of accession executed by Maharaja Hari Singh was similar to such instruments executed by the rulers of other acceding states. There was no scope for ifs and buts in it. According to it the accession was full, final and irrevocable and not in any way conditional or provisional. It should have, therefore, settled the questions of future of Jammu and Kashmir state once for all. The problem created by Pak invasion could be effectively tackled by the Indian armed forces.

    But one blunder of Pt. Nehru virtually undid what accession had achieve
    d. Lord Mountbatten as constitutional head of the state wrote a letter to Hari Singh on October 27 in which he mooted the question of ascertaining the wishes of the people of the state about accession to India after the Pak invaders were thrown out. This letter was followed by a statement by Pt. Nehru to the same effect. It was a grave blunder ramification of which have continued to cloud and complicate an issue which was legally and constitutionally settled by the acceptance of the accession of the Jammu and Kashmir state to India on October 26, 1947. This reminds one of the well known couplet:

    Woh Waqt bhi dekha hai
    Tareekh ke gaharaiyon men,
    Lamhon ne khata ki
    Sadion ne saza pai.

    "Mistake committed at the spur of a moment proved to be a curse and punishment for centuries."

    The offer of plebiscite was uncalled for, irrelevant to the situation and illegal. There was no provision in the instrument of Accession about it. It was outside the ambit of the Act of Indian Independence of the British Parliament. It was never accepted by the Maharaja who had absolute choice in the matter. Nor was it demanded by Sh. Abdullah or any other leader of the State.

    The argument that Indian leaders were guided by the situation in Junagarh and Hyderabad in making their offer is untenable because there was no analogy between those states and the situation obtaining in Kashmir. Both Junagarh and Hyderabad were not only overwhelmingly Hindu in population but also completely surrounded on all sides by Indian territory. Therefore under the Mountbatten plan they had no other choice but to accede to India. The only plausible explanation therefore is that Lord Mountbatten made the suggestion about plebiscite merely to placate Pakistan and Pt. Nehru accepted it for the same reason. It was in keeping with his policy of appeasement of Muslim League and Pakistan. Later, however, other explanation: such as refutation of the two-nation theory by showing that a Muslim majority area was prepared to remain in India of its own free will and thereby strengthening of secularism in India have also been offered. But they are after thoughts.

    This blunder provided Mr. Jinnah with an opportunity to politicize and internationalize the military issue and convert his impending defeat on the battle field into an eventual political and diplomatic victory. He sent a message to Lord Mountbatten through Field Marshal Auchinleck on the 29th October, 1947 to meet him in conference at Lahore. It was a clever and astute move to make the issue political while the invasion was still on and the possible military decision could not be in his favor.

    Sardar Patel, a realist and a practical man as he was, saw through Mr. Jinnah's game. He opposed any Indian leader going to Lahore and warned against appeasing Mr. Jinnah who was clearly the aggressor in Kashmir. He suggested that if Mr. Jinnah wanted to discuss anything, he could come down to Delhi. But his wise counsel was not heeded and Lord Mountbatten and Pt. Nehru got ready to fly to Lahore on the 1st of November. Pt. Nehru, however, had to drop out at the last moment due to indisposition.

    At the Conference Table Mr. Jinnah proposed that both sides should withdraw from Kashmir. When Lord Mountbatten asked him to explain how the tribesman could be induced to remove themselves Mr. Jinnah replied: "If you do this, I will call the whole thing off." This made it absolutely clear that the so-called tribal invasion was fully organized and controlled by the Pakistan Government.

    Lord Mountbatten formally made the offer of plebiscite to Mr. Jinnah at this Conference. Mr. Jinnah objected that with Indian troops in their midst and with Sh. Abdullah in power, the people of Kashmir would be far too frightened to vote for Pakistan. Therefore Lord Mountbatten suggested a plebiscite under the auspices of the U.N.O. This was a clear victory for Mr. Jinnah. He had virtually got the effect of legal accession of the State to India nullified and got Lord Mountbatten committed to a course of action which could only internationalize an issue in which strictly speaking Pakistan had no locus standi after the Maharaja had signed the Instrument of Accession and the Government of India had accepted it.

    Pt. Nehru ratified the offer verbally made by Lord Mountbatten at Lahore in his broadcast speech of November 2, 1947 in which he declared his readiness, after peace and rule of law had been established, to have a referendum held under some international auspices such as that of the United Nations.

    The commitment on the part of the Government of India had, besides throwing the accession of Kashmir to India open to question, two other important implications. On the one hand it provided Pakistan with a second string to its bow. Conscious of the strength of the appeal of religion to Muslims, it could now hope to secure by the peaceful method of plebiscite what it failed to achieve by force. On the other hand, it made the Government of India dependent for the ratification of the accession through plebiscite on the goodwill of Sheikh Abdullah whose position was changed from that of a suppliant to that of an arbiter who must be kept in good humor at all costs. These in their turn set in motion a chain of events and created a psychological atmosphere in Kashmir which suited Pakistan.

    Even this major concession which gave Pakistan a whip hand in Kashmir, did not soften the attitude of Mr. Jinnah and his Government who kept up their military pressure through tribal hordes supported by regular Pakistani troops at a high pitch. Even though the invaders had been thrown out of the valley, they maintained, as described earlier, their advance in Jammu and the northern areas of the State. The right and honorable course for India in the circumstances was to discontinue all negotiations with Pakistan and concentrate on securing a military decision. India, at that time, was definitely in a position to secure a favorable military decision had it decided to attack the bases of the invaders in Pakistan. But Pt. Nehru in his anxiety to keep the conflict confined to Jammu & Kashmir State would not permit that. In this he had the full support of the Governor General, Lord Mountbatten. Therefore, the negotiations were continued even when Pakistani invaders were wantonly attacking and occupying more and more territory.

    Direct talks between Pt. Nehru and Mr. Liaqat Ali Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, were held for the first time since Pakistani invasion began, on December 8, 1947 when the former visited Lahore along with Lord Mountbatten to attend a meeting of the Joint Defense Council. But they proved abortive. Therefore Lord Mountbatten who was growing apprehensive of the fighting in Kashmir degenerating into full scale war between the two Dominions, a contingency which he wanted to avoid at all costs, pressed Pt. Nehru to refer the matter to the U.N.O. and invoke its good offices for a peaceful settlement of the problem.

    Appeal to U.N.O:-

    Most of Pt. Nehru's Cabinet colleagues were opposed to this suggestion for obvious reasons. It amounted to inviting outside interference into a purely internal and domestic problem and a tacit admission on the part of India of its inability and incapacity to meet the situation created by the invaders. But ultimately he had his way.

    As a necessary preliminary, he personally handed over a letter of complaint to Mr. Liaqat Ali Khan on December 22, 1947 when the latter visited Delhi in connection with another meeting of the Joint Defense Gouncil. It demanded that Pakistan should deny to the invaders (i) all access to and use of Pakistan territory for operations against Kashmir (ii) all military and other supplies and (iii) all other kinds of aid that might tend to prolong the struggle.

    Liaqat Ali Khan promised to send an early reply. But instead of doing that a fresh invasion was launched in Jammu which forced an Indian brigade to fall back to Nowshera from Jhangar, an important road junction in the western part of Jammu region. The pressure on areas still nearer to Jammu city was also stepped up. This made attack on the enemy bases in Pakistan an imperative necessity to save Jammu and the supply line to Srinagar. But Pt. Nehru was unwilling to do that. So, without waiting for a reply from Pakistan which was being deliberately delayed, the Government of India formally appealed to the U.N.O. under C'hapter 35 of the U.N. Charter on December 31, 1947 and nominated Shri Gopalaswamy Iyengar to lead the Indian Delegation which was to include Sh. Abdullah also.

    That very day, but af ter the application to the U.N . Security Council had been despatched, Liaqat Ali Khan's reply was received by the Government of India. It was lengthy catalog of counter charges. It contained fantastic allegations that the Government of India were out to destroy Pakistan, it also raised the question of Jungarh. It gave clear indication of the line Pakistan was going to take at the U.N.O. From the timing of the reply, it was evident that Pakistan Government had its informers in the Indian Foreign Office who kept it posted with the exact details of the Indian complaint and the time of its despatch. This presence of Pakistani agents and informers in the Indian Foreign Office is an advantage that continues to give Pakistan an edge over India in diplomacy.

    This appeal to the U.N.O. by India was the second major blunder on her part in handling of the Kashmir question and was a clear diplomatic victory for Pakistan which succeeded in politicizing an issue in which she had no locus standi. It came as a surprise not only to the Indian public but also to all those countries which had been looking upon the Kashmir question as an internal affair of India. No self-respecting country would have voluntarily invited the interference of foreign powers through the U.N.O. in an essentially domestic affair like this. In doing so, the Government of India simply played into the hands of Pakistan whose leaders found in it a God-sent opportunity to malign India before the bar of world opinion by levelling all kind of fantastic and baseless charges against her.

    The Security Council immediately put the issue on its agenda and discussion on it began on January 15, 1948. But to the great disappointment of the Government of India, instead of giving precedence to the Indian complaint about Pakistan's hand in the invasion and putting pressure on Pakistan to stop aiding the invaders, the security council from the very beginning put India and Pakistan the victim of aggression and the aggressor, on the same footing and began to consider Pakistan's counter-charges, which were quite unrelated to the basic issue, along with the question of Pak aggresion on Jammu & Kashmir. This was clear from the resolution moved by the Council President Dr. Von Langhenhare of Belgium on January 20, 1948. The resolution provided that (i) a Commission of the Security Council be established composed of the representatives of three members of the United Nations, one to be elected by India, one by Pakistan and the third to be designated by the two so elected: (ii) the Commission shall proceed to Jammu & Kashmir as soon as possible to investigate the facts and secondly to exercise any mediatory influence likely to smoothen the difficulties and (iii) the Commission shall perform functions in regard to the situation in Jammu & Kashmir and secondly in regard to other situations set out by Pakistan foreign Minister in the Security Council.

    In spite of the objections of the Indian delegation that by bringing cther extraneous issues raised by Pakistan within the purview of the Commission, the Security Council was relegating the real issue to the background, the resolution was passed with nine in favor and two, USSR and Ukraine, abstaining.

    As the debate proceeded, the President suggested that the Security Council might concentrate its attention on the question of holding a plebiscite. This was fully in accordance with Pakistan's line and was therefore duly supported by her Foreign Minister and chief delegate, Mr. Zaffarullah Khan. Thereafter resolutions and proposals began to be framed with that end in view.

    This provoked the Chief Indian delegate, Mr. N. Gopala Swamy Ayyengar, to declare that the Security Council was "putting the cart before the horse". The real issue, he said, was to get the fighting in Jammu & Kashmir stopped by pressing Pakistan to withdraw her support from the invaders. The question of a plebiscite, he added could be taken up only when peace and normal conditions had been restored. He further requested for adjournment of the debates so that he might go back to India for further consultations. Even this request for adjournment was opposed by most of the members of the Security Council.

    This hostile attitude of the Security Council came as a rude shock to the Government of India and disillusioned even Pt. Nehru who had insisted on reference being made to the U.N.O. against the advice of his colleagues. Speaking at Jammu on February 15, 1948 he said, "Instead of discussing and deciding our references in a straight forward manner, the nations of the world sitting in that body got lost in power politics.'

    The pattern of voting in the Security Council began to influence India's foreign policy in favor of the bloc headed by the U.S.S.R. which further prejudiced the Western countries against India in regard to the Kashmir question.
     
  11. jamwal

    jamwal Regular Member

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    Causes of India's Failure at U.N.:-

    But it would be wrong to put the whole blame for this near unanimous disregard of Indian complaint on the power politics of the two blocs which was reflected in their attitude and voting at the U.N. on invariably all issues. India's handling and presentation of the Kashmir issue was so faulty, unrealistic and incoherent from the very beginning that it could not evoke any better response even from well meaning and really impartial delegates. This bungling on the part of India in handling a straightforward issue because of the mental cobwebs of Pt. Nehru must be clearly understood for appreciation of the Kashmir problem as it has since developed inside and outside the U.N.O.

    From the purely Indian point of view it was, as said above, wrong to refer the Kashmir issue to the U.N.O. It was a domestic issue. Pakistan had committed unprovoked aggression. India was in a position to handle the situation militarily. It should have been left to Pakistan to invoke the interference of the U.N.O. to escape the thrashing it deserved. But instead of putting Pakistan in a tight position, India decided to put her own head in the noose. It was utter bankruptcy of leadership as well as statesmanship.

    Having taken the decision to go to the U.N.O., the issue should have been put before that body in its true perspective emphasising the fact of Pakistan's aggression in Jammu and Kashmir State which had become an integral part of India after accession in terms of the Mauntbatten Plan. India should have specifically charged Pakistan of unprovoked aggression and not of mere abetment of aggression by giving passage to tribal raiders through her territory. There was an overwhelming evidence that the aggression had been committed by Pakistan itself. By avoiding the specific charge of aggression in her complaint, the Government of India compromised its own position before the Security Council from the very beginning. Such a complaint could not create that sense of urgency about the problem and the real issue of aggression in the minds of Security Council members who were not supposed to know the real situation and had, therefore, to be guided by the memoranda submitted by the respeetive parties and their elucidation through the speeches in the Council.

    If the Indian plaint was wrong in so far as it underplayed Pakistan's hand behind the invasion, its advocacy was worse. The man chosen to lead the Indian delegation, N. Gopala Swamy-Ayyengar, was a good old man who had been Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir for some years before 1944. But he was a novice to the ways of U.N. diplomacy which is conducted more at informal meetings and late night dinners and drinking parties than at the Council table. He was an honest gentleman who believed in the Indian concept of "early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." He was too honest and simple hearted to be a match for Pakistan's Zaffarullah Khan, who, apart from being a leading jurist, was man of few scruples, wide contacts and great eloquence. It is really surprising why Mehar Chand Mahajan who as a jurist and a debater was more than a match for Pakistan's Zaffrullah, was not chosen for the job. Being the Prime Minister of the State during the days of Pakistani invasion, he was best suited to rebutt the baseless charges and lies of Pakistan. The only explanation for this lapse is that he was a persona non grata with Pt. Nehru who often gave preference to his own likes and dislikes over the interests of his country.

    To make things worse, the Indian delegation included Sh. Abdullah, "a flamboyant personality" about whom Campbell Johnson, the gifted press Attache of Lord Mountbatten, had predicted that he would "Swamp the boat of India." He was more interested in projecting himself and running down the Maharaja, who was the real legal sanction behind Kashmir's accession to India, and Dogra Hindus than in pleading the cause of India.

    No wonder therefore that the statements and speeches made by him on different occasions as also the statements and speeches of Pt. Nehru provided Zafarullah with the stick to beat India with.

    Even more inexplicable was the failure of the Indian spokesmen to lay proper stress on the fact of accession by the Maharaja which in itself was full, final and irrevocable and from which all the rights of the Government of India flowed. They harped on the "will of the people of Kashmir" and India's offer to them to give their verdict about the accession through a plebiscite after peace had been restored there.

    The members of the Security Council as also world opinion in general had not been properly educated regarding the true facts of the Kashmir situation. The external publicity of the Government of India in this as in other matters was halting and hesitating. The government of India itself appeared to be apologetic about the acceptance of Kashmir's accession. It felt shy of telling to the world the atrocities committed by Pakistani and local Muslims on the Hindus of the State. It was as anxious to run down the Maharaja as were Sh. Abdullah and Pakistan. It wanted to build its case entirely on the popular support of the people of Kashmir regarding the question of accession rather than on the act of accession itself.

    The Pakistan Government and its delegates at the U.N.O. on the other hand were aggressively assertive about their baseless and unrelated charges against India and blatantly emphatic in their denial of the Indian charge about aiding the Tribal invaders. In the face of Pakistan's categorical denial and Government of India's apologetic and hesitating approach the first impression on world opinion as also on the U.N. circles was distinctly pro-Pakistan and anti-India.

    Pakistan had the added advantage of Gilgit on her side. The strategic importance of Gilgit in the overall western strategy to contain Soviet Union was immense and the British were fully conscious of it. Pakistan could treat it as a bargaining counter to win the support of the Western bloc for itself.

    The comparatively favorable attitude of the Communist delegates toward India from the very beginning had also something to do with Gilgit. Control of Gilgit and Kashmir Valley by the Western Bloc through Pakistan was considered by Russia a major threat to her armament industries which had been shifted during the World War II to the east of the Ural Mountains. They were within easy reach of Gilgit based bombers. This fact, coupled with the dominant position of pro- Communist elements in Sh. Abdullah's Government who wanted to use Kashmir as a spring-board for Communist revolution in India, influenced Communist Russia to take the side she did. This in its turn helped Pakistan to get further ingratiated with the Western Bloc which had the upper hand in the Security C ouncil.

    The pattern that was set in the early debates in the Security Council was reflected in the composition of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan- UNCIP. India chose Czechoslovakia from the Com munist block and Pakistan chose Argentina, and when Pakistan and India failed to agree about their common nominee, the Council President named the USA. The Security Council further decided to raise the strength of the UNCIP to five by nominating two more members-Belgium and Colombia to it.

    Pakistan insisted that the Commission should also go into the question of Jungarh, genocide and certain other prcblems arising out of the partition of India. The USA and Britain helped Pakistan to get these issues discussed in the Security Council. On June 3, 1948, the Council President submitted a resolution which proposed that the commission be directed to proceed without delay to the area of disput and besides the question of Jammu and Kashmir, study and report to the Security Council when it considers appropriate, on the matters raised in the letter of the Foreign Minister of Pakistan dated January 15, 1948.

    This resolution was passed by the Security Council with USSR, Ukraine and Nationalist China (Formosa) abstaining.

    This widening of the scope of the UNCIP evoked strong protests from the Indian delegation and the Indian Government. It was even suggested that India should withdraw its complaint from the UN and walk out of it. But, ultimately, the Government of India agreed to receive the Commission and cooperate with it.
     
  12. jamwal

    jamwal Regular Member

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    Pakistan's Gains:-

    The gains made by Pakistan in the first Indo-Pak war were considerable and significant- from every point of view. Militarily, she could claim to have scored a tactical victory over a much bigger and stronger India. At a much less cost in men and material she was able to add to her dominions a territory roughly equal in size to East Punjab. It was quite a rich dividend for her unprovoked aggression. It confirmed the impression created in the minds of her leaders by the past policy of appeasement and surrender on the part of Indian leadership, that India could be bullied and bluffed into acquiescnece and acceptance of any demand however unreasonable it might be if it was backed by adequate force. This created a new confidence and psychology of aggression in Pakistan which has marked her dealings with India on all questions ever since.

    Politically, Pakistan had made a mockery of the lawful accession of the Jammu & Kashmir State to India by Maharaja Hari Singh and asserted her claim to have a say in the future of that state. While she had obtained control over nearly half of the State by foree, she had got the way cleared for getting the rest of it, or, at least the Kashmir valley, through other means by getting India committed to plebiscite under the supervision of the U.N.O. Knowing the Muslim mind, as she did, she was reasonably confident of the outcome of a plebiscite whenever it was held.

    Diplomatically, she had scored a resounding victory over India. Taking advantage of Pt. Nehru's bunglings and indiscrete statements she had succeeded in putting India, the aggressed and the complainant, on the defensive at the U.N.O. and at the bar of world opinion and had won valuable friends and allies. Having foolishly minimized and underplayed the fact of accession by the Maharaja, which was the only real and legal claim of India to be in Jarnmu and Kashmir, for reasons which would have made the architect of India's Kashmir policy liable to impeachment in any other country. India was reduced to the pitiable position in which she depended more on the good graces of Sheikh Abdullah and votes of the Communist Bloc rather than on the unassailable right derived from accession and the heroic defence of Kashmir by her armed forces.

    This, had the effect of swelling Sheikh Abdullah's head on the one hand and throwing India more and more into the lap of the Communist Bloc to the chagrin of the Western countries, on the other. The dangerous shift that this situation gave to India's foreign policy directly led to her virtual isolation and the Chinese aggression in 1962 which humiliated India in the eyes of the whole world.

    Pakistan's gains in terms of territory, human and economic resources and, above, all achievements of important strategic objectives were immense.

    The area of the State territories now held by Pakistan comes to about 34,000 square miles out of the total area of 84,471 square miles for the whole State. It includes about 17,000 sq. miles of Gilgit, about 12,000 sq. miles of Baltistan and about five thousand square miles of the Mirpur-Poonch-Muzaffarabad Zone. The total population of this Pakistan occupied part of the State was about 11 and a half lakhs out of a total of 40 lakhs for the whole State according to the 1941 census. It included the population of Gilgit which stood at 1,16,000 in that year.

    Though these population figures are not very imposing yet they were important to Pakistan. The Poonchis, Mirpuris and Gilgit's provide fine fighting material. They make good soldiers and seamen. In fact, military service is the main occupation of these people. There were at that time a lakh of demobilized or ex-soldiers in Mirpur and Poonch area. Thousands of them were employed in the Indian navy and mercantile marine as naval ratings or stokers. Being comparatively backward educationally and politically, they were considered to be more amenable to army discipline. This warlike manpower has since been an asset to Pakistan.

    Apart from this manpower, Pakistan was able to achieve a major part of its objectives in the State by the occupation of these territories. Pakistan's main contention about the State was that being a Muslim majority unit, it should accede to Pakistan. But the more realistic Pakistani leaders realized the difficulty in obtaining for Pakistan the Hindu and Buddhist majority parts of the State which are directly cantiguous to the Indian Union. They, therefore, favored a division of the State on the same basis on which Punjab had been partitioned. Such offers in fact were made by the Muslim Conference leaders to the Dogra leaders of Jammu long before the troubles started there. But the division of the State on the basis of religion was disapproved by the Dogra people of Jammu for that would have meant loss of the Kashmir valley to them. The Kashmiri leaders like Sheikh Abdullah were also opposed to partition of the State on the basis of religion because that would have led to ascendency of the Muslim Conference and the Punjabi Muslims in Kashmir valley as well.

    Pakistan had now virtually brought about a division of the State. Three Muslim majority zones of the State were held by her. The only Muslim majority part of the State that still remained out of her control was the Kashmir valley.

    From the strategic point of view she had obtained all that she could reasonably hope to get. The first objective of Pakistan in this regard was to cut off the State which she feared might accede to India any day from the N.W.F.P., the tribal area and Afghanistan so that no link up of Pathan home-land with India might be pcssible. The anxiety of Pakistan to prevent this link up was great because of the growing demand for Pakhtoonistan and the keen interest that was being evinced by Afghanistan in it. Though the Indian leadership had let down the Khan brothers; Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan better known as Frontier Gandhi, who was then in Pakistan's jails and his brother, late Dr. Khan Sahib, who headed the Congress Ministry of N.W.F.P. at the time of Partition-the sympathies of the Indian Public were with the Pathans who had worked shoulder to shoulder with the Indians in their fight against the foreign rule. A direct link between India and Pakhtoonistan and Afghanistan, therefore, would have become a headache for Pakistan. That possibility was removed by the 'de facto' control of Gilgit and the Krishan Ganga basin by her.

    Pakistan's control over Gilgit besides preventing a direct contact between India on the one side and Afghanistan and USSR on the other, provided Pakistan with a bargaining counter to secure the sympathy and support of the USA and Britain for herself. Because of its strategic location, Gilgit was of vital importance to the USA in her world wide strategy of containing international communism. That explained the deep interest of USA and Britian in favor of Pakistan retaining control of Gilgit and securing control over Kashmir valley, which also could serve as a major supply base for the advance bases in Gilgit. For the same reasons, the USSR was determined to prevent Kashmir valley passing into Pakistan's hands. Her support to India over Kashmir in the Security Council had been actuated more by her self interest than by sympathy for the Indian point of view.

    Control over Gilgit and Baltistan also brought Pakistan in direct touch with SirLkiang province of the expanding Communist Chinese empire. Communist China became interested in securing control over Laddakh after her forcible occupation of Tibet. This has since created a com munity of interests between Pakistan and China in the dismemberment of Jammu and Kashmir State in such a way as may give Laddakh to China and Kashmir Valley to Pakistan. That explains the Communist Chinese attitude to the Kashmir questions ever since its inception and hobnobbing between her and Pakistan. Thus strategically the territories acquired by Pakistan have proved to be of immense importance to her.

    From the economic point of view too these territories have proved to be of great importance to Pakistan. The Mangala headwork of the Upper Jehlum canal, which irrigates a large part of the West Punjab, lies near Mirpur. It flows for about 20 miles within the State territory before entering West Punjab. The economic life of a good portion of West Punjab could be strangulated by the destruction of these headworks. Even a breach in the right bank of the canal which flows parallel to the river could render the canal useless to Pakistan. Now, the headworks and the area through which the canal flows came under the direct control of Pakistan. Therefore, the real or imaginary fear of Pakistan about economic strangulation by India was removed.

    The economic importance of Mangala, a name derived from goddess Mangala whose temple stands on the top of a cliff surmounted by a fort, has since been further enhanced by a high altitude dam on the Jehlam built with US help. It has become the greatest single power-cum- irrigation project in Pakistan.

    Besides the Mangala Project on the Jehlum, the waters of the Krishan Ganga and the Poonch rivers, the major tributaries of the Jehlum flowing through Jammu and Kashmir State, can also be harnessed for producing hydro-electric power at a number of sites.

    Furthermore, these territories brought Pakistan in possession of rich sources of timber as well as means of bringing it to the plains. All the rich fresh wealth of Kashmir and Karen is carried to the plains by the Jehlum. This was an important gain in view of the fact that Pakistan has few forests of good timber. The control of these forest areas has assured Pakistan of a regular supply of raw material for her Rosin Factory at Jallo near Lahore, and of other kinds of forest produce. Pakistan, in fact, obtained almost a monopoly of "Kuth", a fragrant medicinal herb, which grows in the forests of Karen and Chilas.

    As far as minerals are concerned, little is known so far about this area. But a geological survey is bound to reveal the rich mineral potentialities of these thirty four thousand square miles of mountainous territory. The surveys so far made have revealed the existence of mineral oils in the Poonch area. Lime stone suitable for cernent and different types of valuable clays are also kncwn to exist in abundance in these parts.

    These gains of Pakistan have proved to be sure and permanent. The people of the occupied areas, who have close linguistic social and cultural ties with the people of the adjoining districts of West Pakistan, have been fully indoctrinated with Pakistan's ideology. They are, therefore, sure to stand by Pakistan in peace or war. The question of plebiscite which has since lost all relevance to the situation has, therefore, never been a headache for Pakistan.

    Pakistan's military build up in these areas with the help of warlike and well-trained local population coupled with favorable geographical factors has made the possibility of the reconquest of these areas by India very remote. No local action confined to Jammu and Kashmir State can possibly succeed in dislodging Pakistan from Gilgit which she had since linked with Peshawar by a motorable road. Control of Burzila Pass by Pakistan has made the task of the Indian army in this respect doubly difficult.

    Pakistan was not at all bothered by U.N. reactions. She had, in fact, from the beginning used that forum to malign India with total impunity. The fact that she had violated the U.N. Charter by crossing into the territories of Jammu and Kashmir State did not in any way compromise her position at the U.N. She was not bothered about her weak legal position or world opinion, so long as she was in firm possession of the territories concerned. As later events have proved, world opinion or legal quibblings matter only for the weak. The strong who can present the world with a 'fait accompli' can get away with it unless the victim of aggression can mobilise a bigger strength to undo the wrong.

    Therefore, she went ahead with consolidating these gains untrammeled by any extraneous considerations or inhibitions. She established her direct control over the northern strategic areas of Gilgit and Baltistan which has since continued to be centrally administered units of Pakistan. In the Western districts of Mirpur-Poonch and Muzaffarabad she had already set up a puppet regime for the purpose of tactical maneuverability at the U.N. She gave this area the name of "Azad" (Independent) Kashmir even though it had nothing to do with the Kashmir region of the state which is cut off from the rest of the State by high Himalayan ranges. She has been systematically Islamising these areas and erasing their Hindu part. For example the name Krishan Ganga river has been changed to "Neel Darya." She has raised many fully trained and equipped new battalions from among the local people which constitute the real striking force of Pakistan in the State.

    Having thus acquired and consolidated her position in three out of the four Muslim majority regions of the State, Pakistan began to prepare for the control of the rest of the State. The cessation of hostilities and restoration of normal conditions in the valley enabled her to start a propaganda offensive inside the valley through her numerous agents in the State administration and the Mullah class to rouse communal feelings in the people there.

    The state of affairs in the India-held part of the State, in spite of the sound legal and constitutional position of the Government of India, has been just the opposite. The developments there and the policy of the Government of India regarding them have further compromised and weakened the position of India both internally and externally.
     
  13. jamwal

    jamwal Regular Member

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    UN's role



    The UNCIP arrived in India on July 10, 1948 and began discussions with representatives of India and Pakistan. The Pakistan Government which had so far denied any complicity whatsoever in the invasion of Kashmir now found it impossible to hide the facts any longer. Therefore, her Foreign Minister Zafarullah Khan, informed the Commission that regular Pakistan troops had moved "into certain defensive positions" in the State of Jammu & Kashmir. It created an entirely new situation. It more than substantiated the original eomplaint of India and clearly brought out Pakistan as an aggressor. It necessitated a review of the situation "de novo." It put the question of plebiscite which had been projected to the forefront by Pakistan in the Security Council in the background for the time being and brought home to the Commission the urgency of getting the hostilities stopped first, a point which India had been stressing all along.

    On August 13, 1948, the Commission, therefore, formulated and presented to the Government of India and Pakistan a resolution which called upon both sides to stop fighting which was to be followed by a Truce Agreement after which plebiscite was to be conducted in the State under the auspices of a plebiscite administrator to be appointed by the UN to determine the will of the people about the acession of the State. It asked Pakistan to withdraw her troops as a first step towards the creation of conditions in which plebiscite would be held.

    India accepted this resolution after obtaining certain clarifications as it vindicated her stand that Pakistan being the aggressor must withdraw her troops first. She particularly stressed the "end of early withdrawal of Pakistani troops from the Northern areas where a garrison of State troops in the fort of Askardu was still holding out against heavy odds.

    Pakistan too wanted certain clarifications particularly in regard to the position of the so called "Azad Kashmir" Gcvernment which it had set up in the occupied areas of the State. She also wanted to know the clarifications furnished by the Commission to India and Indian acceptance of the clarifications given by the Commission to her before she could accept the said resolution.

    While Pakistan was thus procastinating, the Commission returned to Geneva in September 1948 where it drew up its report which was submitted to the Security Council in November 1948. It admitted in its report that admission by Pakistan about the presence of her troops in Jammu & Kashmir and her overall control of all Pakistani troops and Tribals fighting there had "confronted the Commission with an unforeseen and entirely new situation". It therefore recommended that as a first step toward the final solution of the dispute, the Pakistan Government should be asked to withdraw its forces from the State.

    This has not been done by Pakistan so far.


    The Security Coucil resumed its debate on Kashmir on November 25, 1948. It unanimously appealed to India and Pakistan to stop fighting in Kashmir and do nothing to aggravate the situation or endanger the current negotiations.

    Following this resolution Dr. Alfred Lozano, a member of the UNCIP, and Dr. Erik Colban, personal representative of the UN Secretary General again visited New Delhi and Karachi to discuss with the two Governments certain proposals supplementary to the resolution of August 13, 1948. They dealt with appointment of a Plebiscite Administrator and certain principles which were to govern the holding of a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir after normal conditicns had been restored.

    Another round of Conference between them and the Prime Minister of Inldia and Pakistan followed, Pt. Nehru asked and obtained certain clarifications from Dr. Lozano which were later published by India in the form of an aide memoire setting out the Indian point of view in greater detail. Dr. Lozano returned to New York on December 26, to report to the Security Council.

    Soon after he left, the Government of India without waiting for any further initiative from the U.N.C.I.P. or the Security Council ordered a cease fire to be operative from the midnight of January 1, 1949. Pakistan reciprocated. This brought to an abrupt end the undeclared war between the two Dominions which had continued for nearly 15 months.

    The Cease fire resulted in de facto partition of Jammu and Kashmir State. It was the second partition within 16 months of the first partition of India which had divided Punjab and Bengal on the basis of the religion of the people.
    Whatever the reasons for this impulsive decision of Pt. Nehru the timing that he chose for or ordering cease fire was wrong, and disadvantaged India. Indian troops had left their defensive positions and were advancing on all fronts. Given some more time they could have cleared major part of the State of the Pak invaders and ended the encirclement of the valley. Nehru perhaps was keen to stop the war immediately because he had contended an international conference at New Delhi to consider the siluation arising out of Dutch aggression against Indonesia which had just wrested freedom from Dutch Colonial Yoke. He wanted to establish his own bona- fides as a man of peace by ending the war over Kashmir which had been forced on India by Pakistan. This conduct of Nehru was in keeping with his reputation of subordinating national interests to his personal whims and craze for international praise.

    The Cease Fire line which was finalised at a joint military conference of India and Pakistan held at Karachi from July 18 to July 28, 1949, divided the Jammu & Kashmir State roughly into two equal parts. Beginning from near the Siachin Glacier in the North this line runs close to the Srinagar-Leh road near Kargil and then runs along the great Himalayan range dividing Kashmir from Baltistan; then turning South a little it passes near the mouth of the Burzila pass on the Kashmir side. From there it runs along the Western mountains dividing Kashmir from Chilas and Karen unto Uri from where it goes South-West parallel to the river Jehlum and touches the Southern boundary of the state near Bhimber. A major portion of Baltistan excepting Kargil, the whole of Gilgit and a major portion of the Punjabi speaking area of Muzaffarabad Poonch and Mirpur fell on the Pakistan side of the Cease Fire line. The strategic Burzila pass, the only direct link between Kashmir valley and Gilgit, also fell on the Pakistan side.

    Thus out of six distinct geographical linguistic and cultural regions of the State, three came into the hands of Pakistan. All of them are predominently Muslim. All Hindus including Sikhs in these parts have either been killed or driven out.

    The remaining three - Jammu, Laddakh and Kashmir valley - lie on the Indian side of the Cease Fire Line. Of these, Kashmir valley alone has a Muslim majority. The remaining two are Hindu and Buddhist majority regions of the State.


    Thus by proposing the Cease fire and allowing the Pakistani forces to remain in occupation of the Pakistan held areas of the State, the Indian Government virtually accepted a partition of the State. The Cease Fire Agreement did not mention the right of the State Government to administer the areas held by Pakistan or the so-called Azad Kashmir Government. Those areas were left to be administered by the the "Local Authorities" which practically meant the "Azad Kashmir" Government or any other authority sponsored and supported by the Pakistan Government.

    Had the Cease Fire been brought about after a serious consideration of the military and political situation with a view to effecting a planned partition of the territory involved as in the case of Korea and Indo-China, it might have well nigh put an end to the problem of Jammu & Kashmir which never possessed any intrinsic geographical, cultural, linguistic and religious unity. But in this case the Cease Fire was the result of just another sudden flash in the impulsive mind of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru who had the rare quality of thinking at leisure after he had acted in haste.

    As a result the Cease Fire line did not follow any set geographical topographical or demographical pattern. Even strategic considerations, which should have been kept in mind when drawing the line which had since become more or less an international frontier, could not be given due attention because the Cease Fire had been ordered at a time when the Indian army had left its defensive positions but had not yet fully dislodged Pakistan forces from the strategic and defensive positions which they commanded.

    lt was just the line of actual control of the armies of India and Pakistan on the first of January 1940. Consequently while the strategic Yojila pass which links Kashmir valley with Laddakh remained in Indian hands, Pakistan retained the control of Burzila pass which links Kashmir Valley with Gilgit. Her control over this pass gave her a strategic advantage. Her army could descend into Kashmir Valley from Gilgit side in case of resumption of hostilities. Further South, the Krishan Ganga which could have formed a natural frontier fell from some distance entirely on the Indian side of the Cease Fire Line before passing into the Pakistan held area. As a result, the rich timber resources of Titwal and Karenforests cannot be fully utilized either by Pakistan or by India. On the west, the Cease Fire Line passed near the town of Uri, which remained in Indian hands, at a distance of about thirty miles from Baramula, the entrance to Kashmir Valley. Again while a major part of the erstwhile Poonch Jagir including out- skirts of Poonch town fell on the Pakistan side, the town itself remained in Indian hands.

    This virtual division of Jammu & Kashmir State between India and Pakistan diverted for some time the attention of both India and Pakistan from the discussions at the U.N. to the task of consolidating their position in their respective parts. Pakistan had made valuable gains at the cost of India. But what still remained with India was of no less importance to her. A realistic appraisal of what Pakistan gained and what India still retained and the subsequent internal development in the two parts of the state is an essential pre-requisite for proper appreciation of the developments which have made Kashmir a storm centre and a factor for new international alignments.

    The ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh, signed the accession papers and sent them to the Government of India on October 26, 1947; "Now, therefore,' I, Shriman Rajrajeshwar Maharajadhiraj Shri Hari Singh Ji, Jammu Kashmir Naresh Tatha Tibbet adi Deshadhipathi Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir state, in the exercise of my sovereignty in and over my said state do hereby execute this my instrument of Accession". This way the Maharaja submitted his accession papers which were accepted by the then Governor General, Mountbatten, on October 27, 1947.

    After this accession, even India had no right to talk with short-sightedness. Such a purposeless talk had not only insulted the accession proposal of Maharaja Hari Singh but also violated the Independence Act. Under this Act the rulers of the State had been given the right for accession. Nothing had been said about the right of self-determination for the people of the State. In fact Mountbatten was desirous of keeping the fate of Kashmir hanging and he performed this act through Pt. Nehru and R.C. Kak. The Constitution of India was adopted on January 26, 1950 and there was no provision kept for self-determination in the Constitution. Therefore, the Government of India too had no right to talk about this plan. When the Constitution of India has not given the right to Government of India to review the questions of self-determination and accession, it is unconstitutional and illegal for any international organisation to talk anything in the context of India.

    The entire dispute should have ended with the ratification of the accession by the Constituent Assembly on November 17, 1956. Both Pakistan and the Security Council have lost any right to talk anything about Kashmir or do anything about it.

    The people to whom was connected the question of self-determination were the same people who had elected the Constituent Assembly which had accepted the accession. This Assembly adopted the Constitution of the State. The clause three of this Constitution makes it clear "Jammu and Kashmir is and will remain inseparable part of India."

    The clause four of the Constitution is: The entire area, which was under the control of the ruler of the State till August 15, 1947, will remain within. the territory of the State.


    On August 15, 1947 the Pakistan held Kashmir was also under the control of the ruler of the State. Therefore, it is evident that the entire Jammu and Kashmir State is an inseparable part of India. The Maharaja had acceeded this undivided state to India. As such occupation of even an inch of the territory of Kashmir by Pakistan will be treated as aggression on India. This clause of the Constitution is further strengthened and shielded by clause 147. According to this clause, clause four cannot be nullified. And the Security Council too loses its right to give guidance and direction to India on matters connected with Kashmir. The Security Council can only advise Pakistan to vacate the Indian territory. And if Pakistan does not accept the suggestion ofthe Security Council, it can adopt a resolution against it and ask other countries to snap ties with Pakistan. But the Security Council has become a wrestling arena for political groups and as such it will not be wisdom to have any expectations from this powerless and lifeless international body.

    Hide and seek of the Security Council

    When India wrote to the Security Council about Pakistani aggression, it could do nothing except behaving like a spectator. It kept on adopting one resolution after the other but it could not prevail upon Pakistan to vacate the Indian state after declaring it an aggressor. Had not India unilaterally ordered cease-fire, it would have not only regained its two-third area of Kashmir but the Indian troops could have entered into the Pakistani territory ? At that time the Indian Prime Minister was neither any strong-willed Sarvarkar, nor any Subash or Dr. Hedgewar. Had Sardar Patel been appointed as the Prime Minister he would have finished the artificial line of partition by directing the Indian Army to march forward. The British had left India and the entire Army was under our control and this way the Congress would have washed away the blot of partition on its forehead. But the Oxford graduate, Nehru, lacked diplomacy and political wisdom.

    The settlement of Kashmir became an object for the Security Council for playing hide and seek. On July 4, 1948 the Security Council sent a commission to have an on the spot assessment of the situation. On reaching Karachi, the Commission was told by one Pakistani officer, Sir Zaffarullah Khan, that three brigades of Pakistani Army had been deployed on the Kashmir border. But he called it part of self-defence plan thereby trying to prove that India was an aggressor.

    After two years, in September 15,1950, a similar Commission, headed by an expert on international law, Owen Dixon, came to the following conclusion as a representative of the United Nations.

    "When the rebel elements entered into the borders of Jammu and Kashmir, it was violation of the international law. When in May 1947 Pakistani Army entered into this state, it too was a violation of the international law".

    This Dixon had charged Pakistan with the open violation of the international law.
    In reality the Security Council too has accepted Kashmir's accession to India. One American representative of the Security Council had given a statement on February 4, 1948.

    He had said: "The external ruler of Kashmir is not now under the control of the Maharaja. With the accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India this right has been vested in the hands of India and on the basis of that right India has placed this question here".

    The Security Council deployed UN observers on both sides of the cease-fire line. After that it adopted a resolution calling upon Pakistan to withdraw its troops, citizens and tribals from Kashmir. This way the United Nations accepted the defence aspect of India. But Pakistan, till date, has been violating this direction and resolution. Even after this, Pakistan has turned down the parleys between India and Pakistan. In August 1953 talks between the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan took place where it was agreed to withdraw their troops from Kashmir. But again Pakistan adopted obstinate attitude.

    The United Nations has always failed to control such attitude of Pakistan. Pakistan declared open war on India twice and the United Nations succeeded in halting the war but it remained incapable of resolving this dispute. The Security Council did not concentrate on the basic complaint of India which it had submitted to the Council in January, 1948.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
  14. jamwal

    jamwal Regular Member

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    The Indian Side

    Even though the gains of aggression to Pakistan were valuable and important, the territory still left with India was of much greater extent, value and importance. It included Kashmir Valley and parts of Uri and Titwal sub- divisions of Muzzafarabad district in Kashmir province, four eastern districts comprising the Duggar region of Jammu province together with the town of Poonch and some neighboring territory along the Cease Fire Line which belonged to the Punjabi speaking Western Zone, most of which had been occupied by Pakistan, and the whole of Laddakh and Kargil area lying between Laddakh and Baltistan proper across the Yojila Pass.

    The total area of this territory was about 50,000 sq. miles including about 33000 sq. miles of Laddakh, about 12000 sq. miles of Jammu, about 3000 sq. miles of Kashmir Valley and about 2000 sq. miles of Uri and Tithwal area.

    From the population point of view the Kashmir Valley with its 30 lakh population of which about 27 lakhs are Muslims is the most populous. Next comes Jammu with a population of about 30 lakhs of which about 20 lakhs are Hindus. The Muslim population of Jammu region is mainly concentrated on the West along the Cease Fire Line. Laddakh with a population of about two lakhs of which Buddhists form a large majority is the most sparsely populated.

    Jammu and Laddakh being directly contiguous to each other as also to East Punjab and Himachal Pradesh form a compact bloc of about 45,000 sq. miles with a predominantly Hindu or Buddhist population. Kashmir valley and the adjoining areas of Uri and Tithwal form the only compact Muslim majority area on the Indian side of the Cease Fire Line.

    Strategically, though not comparable to Gilgit because of its being the meeting ground of international frontiers of Afghanistan, USSR, Communist China and India, the territory held by India is yet of immense importance to her. Being the only link between India and the rest of the State including Kashmir Valley, the Jammu region has the greatest strategic importance for India. Its warlike Dogra population and hilly terrain make it an ideal frontier area separating Indian Punjab from North Western parts of Pakistan and Pakistan held territories of the State.

    Gilgit and Baltistan having been lost to Pakistan, Laddakh rernained the only window in Indian hands opening into Central Asia. Though the town of Leh had ceased to be the nerve centre of central Asian trade since the ineorporation of the central Asian Khanates by USSR and China, yet its importance as a political and military outpost cannot be minimised. The strategic importance of this area for India has since been enhanced manifold by the Communist Chinese occupation of Tibet.

    The strategic importance of Kashmir which is essentially a place of natural beauty lies in its being a vast stretch of plain land surrounded by the high Himalayan ranges which make it an ideal supply and air base for the defense of India's Northern frontiers.

    The economic potentiality of this territory is much greater. The magnificiant fir and deodar forests of the Jammu region whose valuable timber flows down the Chenab to Akhnoor near Jammu are among the best of their kind in the Himalayas. Saffron is produced in Kashmir Valley and Kishtwar in Jammu. This area also abounds in rare medicinal herbs and other kinds of forest produce. Silk and wool of high quality are also produced in large quantities and processed in the wool and silk factories at Srinagar and Jammu.

    The Jammu region, particularly its Reasi area, is very rich in minerals. Large deposits of coal of good quality, bauxite, iron ore and copper and many other minerals have been found in this area. There are rich sapphire mines at Padar near Kishtwar. Lime stone and other clays suitable for cement and ceramics are found in large quantities in the Kandi areas. Laddakh too is known to be rich in minerals though exact assessment must await a detailed geological survey of the area.

    Cheap hydro-electric power can be generated to exploit this rich mineral wealth by harnessing the waters of the Chenab and the Ravi and their numerous tributaries. In fact the scope for generating power is immense in the Jammu region. The Salal Scheme on the Chenab near Reasi which had long been under consideration of the the Government of Punjab and Kashmir before partition and the first phase of which has recently been completed by the Government of India can produce enough power to transform the economy of the entire area.

    The economic potential of the Kashmir Valley as a tourist resort and as hcme of deft artisans whose handicraft have a world wide market is equally great. Jammu region also abounds in places like Sannasar and Bhadarwah which can be developed into great tourist centers.

    Furthermore all the famous shrines and places of pilgrimage like the holy caves of Shri, Amar Nath and Vaishno Devi, the holy springs of Mattan and Khir Bhawani and great temples of Shankracharya and Martand which provide a base for the emotional attachment of the people of India with the Jammu Kashmir State remain in Indian hands.

    Statesmanship and realism demanded that India, while maintaining its legal claim over the whole state, took steps to consolidate her position in these territories.

    But India's handling of the Kashmir issue in its internal aspect has been as unrealistic as that of its external aspect in relation to Pakistan and U.N.O. The story of India's bungling in this respect makes a sickening reading from the very beginning.
     
  15. jamwal

    jamwal Regular Member

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    Article 370 MUST GO


    Article 370 of the Constitution is making a mockery of secularism, nationalism and the structure of unity. This temporary constitutional provision has, in fact, been providing encouragement for the establishment of Muslim nation.

    Article 370 of the Constitution, which has grouped Jammu and Kashmir as a special and different state, ridicules this declaration that Kashmir is an inseparable part of India. This special status delinks the state from rest of the country. It won't be an exaggeration if it is called constitutionally recognised separatism. On the basis of this "special status" people of Kashmir, Pakistani rulers and diplomats and intellectuals in the world raise of volley of questions in front of the Government of India. Is accession of Jammu and Kashmir complete like other states ? If the accession is complete, why then the special appeasement ? Is it so because there is Muslim majority ? Had there been Hindu majority in the Kashmir valley, would there have been this clause of the Constitution ? Does not this clause give an opportunity to the world to doubt our honesty ?
    Everybody knows that Maharaja Hari Singh signed the accession papers on October 26, 1947 under which the state acceded to India. The accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India was carried out on the same pattern other states acceded to it. But as a result of the misfortune of the country, Nehru pressurised the Maharaja for handing over power to Sheikh Abdullah. The Maharaja gulped the bitter draught and exhibited his patriotism. The misfortune does not end here. On the request of Sheikh Abdullah it was decided that the State Assembly will take the final decision on the accession and it was done to appease the Muslim society in Kashmir. From here the State was given the special status. The question arose as to what should be done till the Assembly took the final decision ? For this period Article 370 was incorporated in the Constitution as a temporary measure. But even when the State Assembly ratified the state's accession to India, the Article was not scrapped. There can be no other bigger instance of treachery than the interest of the vote bank and the politics of appeasement.

    With the blindfold of political interest we lent permanancy to the temporary character of the Article making our position not only ridiculous before the world but also provided a golden opportunity and solid base for separatist-oriented terrorism to grow in Kashmir. The most shameful part is that we are not ready evennow to throw off the soiled blindfold. Instead we are keen to keep this blindfold as a permanent feature.

    Our Government has deliberately concealed the dangers of Article 370 because it will expose the hollowness of its secularism. The exposure of its dangerous consequences will cut asunder the web of pro-Muslim policies.

    It is because of this Article that the Government of India cannot enforce any law connected with Jammu and Kashmir without the approval or concurrence of the State Government. Only defence, external affairs and communications fall in the central list. Against this the Parliament has the powers to frame laws for rest of the states in the country. But Article 370 of the Constitution restricts the hands of the Union Government and the Parliament in doing this in case of Jammu and Kashmir. Its dangerous consequences have been witnessed in recent years when the law prohibiting misuse of religious places could not be extended to Jammu and Kashmir with the result the state does not come within the ambit of secularism.
    And even after the independence the ignoble thing happened in Kashmir where hundreds of temples were destroyed and where people belonging to a particular community were victimised and subjected to cruelties. On the question of Ayodhya nnd the consequent Babri Masjid episode the Union Home Ministry had been issuing threats to the Uttar Pradesh Government and ultimately the Government was dismissed under Article 356 of the canstitution but this article cannot be implemented directly in Jammu and Kashmir.

    The President of India cannot dare to issue any order under Article 356 to Jammu and Kashmir. The President has no right to suspend his Constitution in the State. The National emergency under Article 352 of the Constitution can be extended to Jammu and Kashmir to a limited extent and the financial emergency under Article 360 cannot be enforced in Jammu and Kashmir.

    Under part four of the Constituion of India there is procedure for one constitutional practice, one administrative structure and one economic pattern. But under Article 370 Jammu and Kashmir has its right under its own constition to do whatever it likes. It is because of the separate flag and separate symbol that two flags flutter on the Government buildings in the state. For hoisting freely the National flag, permission has to be sought from the State flag because it is necessary to hoist the national flag with the state flag. :mad:

    There is only one system of citizenship for the people of the country but in case of Jammu and Kashmir, it is dual citizenship, one of the state and the other of India. The citizens of Jammu and Kashmir are citizens of India but the citizens of the rest of India cannot be citizens of Jammu and Kashmir. He does not have the right to have property and the right to vote in Jammu and Kashmir. If a girl belonging to Jammu and Kashmir marries a boy from outside the state, who is not a state subject, she loses all her rights in the state. Even the wealth tax cannot be imposed in the state. The Urban Land Act, 1976, which is in force in the entire country is not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir. The result of it is that rich landlords, belonging to the majority community in the Valley, indulge in economic exploitation of the poor and the Indian citizens, who are non-state subjects and living in the valley, cannot even secure loans from the financial institutions.

    It is because of Article 370 that political groupism receives encouragement and no local nationalist Government can remain durable if it is not the product of anti-national elements. The state Government did not accept the Anti-defection law adopted in the country and instead made several amendments. Here the decision on defection is not taken by the speaker of the Assembly but by the leader of the connected political party. This gives constitutional legitimacy to the unbridled authority of the leader of the party. Since the Governor usually is not a citizen of the state, he has no right to vote, the separatist elements treat him an outsider and equate themselves with slaves. During the 80's the Wazir Commission had recommended measures forpolitical reforms in Kashmir but due to Article 370 these recommendations have not been implemented.

    Burning of the national flag is not a cognizable offence in Kashmir because there cannot be proper arrangement for the basic duties enshrined in the Constitution under which the tricolour, the national anthem and the national symbol have to be shown due respect. Under Article 370 the Indian Parliament cannot increase or reduce the borders of the state. The Union Government implements international agreements and accords under Article 253 of the Constitution but Jammu and Kashmir is beyond its jurisdiction. Muslims from other parts of the country become successful in getting the citizenship of the Jammu and Kashmir but about one lakh Hindus, who had been uprooted in the neighbourhood at the time of the partition, have not been given citizenship so far. Under the umbrella of Article 370 the fundamentalists have received strength in their campaign for Islamisation.

    Article 370 revives the two-nation theory and secures security for it in the future. On one side we proclaim in the world that in India their is no discrimination on the basis of religion, community or sect, on the other hand special facilities are being given to Kashmir because there the Muslims are in majority. If these special privileges are being given on the plea that Kashmir is a backward area, is there no other place in india where backwardness and poverty are less important ? In fact several thousand crores of rupees have been spent in Kashmir and the result is apparent. Anti-national elements are active. Instead of bringing the people to the national mainstream, we have, in comparison to other states, given unlimited rights to the people which have made them a pampered lot. People of Kashmir became suspicious about the accession and the anti- national elements got an opportunity for launching an open disinformation campaign against India. Pakistan supported these separatist organisations. The result was that Kashmiri youths picked up arms against India and forced over three lakh Hindu patriots to leave their houses and property in Kashmir and live in the plains a life of penury and misery.

    Our Constitution gives equal rights to all citizens but this right is not available in Jammu and Kashmir. It is the tale of local versus non-local who are not state subjects. They do not enjoy any political and economic rights. Their wards cannot get admission in the colleges in Kashmir. Article 370 has violated the principle cf Indian citizenship. The maker of the Constitution of India, Dr. Ambedkar, had cautioned Nehru on the plea that it can create difficulties in full integration of the state with India. This Article would sow the seeds of separatism in the Valley. At least Dr. Ambedkar's warning can be understood now but the politics of vote appeasement does not allow it.

    It is quite evident that Article 370 has not integrated Jammu and Kashmir with India but it has delinked it. There in Kashmir is no place for secularism and nationalism in the mind of the youth. The feelings of regionalism, communalism and separatism have been developed in their mind. Instead of coming closer to the national mainstream, they have distanced themselves from it and have now started raking up the question of independence. On April 7, 1958 the Plebiscite Front, of Sheikh Abdullah adopted a resolution and the wording of the resolution clearly indicates how Kashmiri leaders have been working for making the Muslim society anti-India and pro-Pakistan and for this the leaders took the refuge under Article 370. The resolution had made a mention of this Article and said:

    "Jammu and Kashmir state has not yet acceded to any of the two dominions, India and Pakistan. Therefore, it will not be right to call Pakistani invasion on Jammu and Kashmir as an attack on India."

    Under Article 370 Kashmiri Muslim leaders have been opposing any welfare schemes formulated by the Government of India. No scheme relating to family welfare, formulated by the Government of India, is in force in Kashmir. The programme was implemented in the Jammu region becawe of being a Hindu majority area. A former Chief Minister, G.M. Shah, had said that the aim of the Government family planning programme was to convert the Muslim majority into a minority. Such type of false propaganda has given birth to separatism which received shelter under Article 370.

    According to a former Governor, Jagmohan, Article 370 should be scrapped because it has become an instrument of injustice and inequalities. It waters the roots of corrupt elements. It nourishes narrow-minded and reactionary forces.
    It fully accepts the principle of two-nation theory. It fills the mind of the youth with the garbage of false desires. It gitres birth to narrow lines and narrow faith. This encourages and nourishes regional tensions.

    Historical facts reveal that prior to this Article, both Hindus and Muslims were part of the national mainstream. There was no animosity or hatred. During the 1947 Pakistani aggression on Kashmir, Kashmiri Muslims not only welcomed the Indian Army but also assisted them in nabbing the infiltrators. Then why the same Muslim society is launching an attack on the Indian Army at present? This is the result of the poison of Article 370. On seeing the Poisonous impact of this Article on the Kashmiri mind that a former External Affairs Minister, M.C. Chagla, had told the United Nations that the Article was a temporary measure. This Article should be abolished. The two former Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad and G.M. Sadiq, too wanted this Article to be repealed. The Government of India too had assured people that when the time comes, the Article would be scrapped. But our political interests and the mean and directionless politics of vote bank based on appeasement have not allowed this to materialise. By duping people in the name of secularism, removal of poverty and promotion of equality our leaders have abolished the Privy purses but it is difficult for them to abolish Article 370 for the sake of the integrity of the country. Who will make these leaders understand that after having tasted the bitter fruit of Article 370 let them watch the other side of the coin by abrogating the Article. The armed struggle for liberation is not something separate from the demand for plebiscite and self-determination.

    This Article, meant to be a temporary clause in the Constitution, has become a special barrier which is promoting and encouraging Muslim state in the Kashmir valley. This anti- national Article has strengthened its roots because of our weak policies, wavering decisions and growing Islamic fundamentalism and this Article cannot be abrogated so long Governments, favouring the policy of appeasement, remain in power in the centre. This Article opens the door for subversion in the country. The basic idea behind the Anandpur Sahib resolution of the Akalis is the same Article 370. This Article is not a constitutional necessity. The special status given to Jammu and Kashmir is an insult to the people of all other states in the country. There are innumerable facilities, under this special status, for the people who have begun their revolt against India and who are conspiring for Islamisation of entire India, against helplessness and suffocation for people who are nationalists and are one with the ups and downs of India. Article 370 is like a piece of bone stuck in the gullet: if it is swallowed, it may lead to death and if not, still death is there. But when the bone has become dangerous for the existence of the body. it is better to throw it out. There is now need for the abrogation of Article 370 in the interests of security and integrity of the country. It is the need of hour to fully integrate the state with India by abolishing the special status and by abrogating its own consitution.

    A political section is of the opinion that this Article cannot be abrogated. But according to Dr. Babu Ram Chauhan, an expert on international law and the Constitution of India, this Article can be scrapped even without the concurrence and approval of the state Assembly The President of India and the Indian Parliament can repeal it. It is clear from Articles 3 and 5 of the State Constitution that Jammu and Kashmir state will remain an "inseparable" part of India. The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir has been framed under the Constitution of India. Why cannot the Government abrogate the Article in the interest of the nation when the same Government has allowed the State to frame its constitution ?

    The utility of Article 370 has been finished now. Its utility has ceased with the people in Kashmir having launched an open revolt and with their guerrilla war against the Indian Army. It is nothing but ridiculous to tell a man, who has come to kill you, to slap you and forge an agreement. What is the meaning af the bait af Article 370 for those who are fully equipped with arms to secure independence for Kashmir? Will a glutton feel satisfied with a crumb ? Now only one way is left: launch a full military campaign against the anti-national elements for finishing them and start, on a war footing, measures for bringing the remaining Kashmiri society to the national mainstream. For this there is need for a search of nationalist leadership among the Kashmiri youth, particularly the Muslim youths. This plan can fructify only after giving up the politics of narrow-mindedness. This is certain that it can pave the way for the national plan of abrogating Article 370.
     
  16. jamwal

    jamwal Regular Member

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    The Departed
    The return home of Kashmir's disillusioned militants


    T
    HE MEN WHO GATHERED in Srinagar on a bright Sunday morning in early July had all left their lives behind; not once, but twice. They sat, about 25 of them, on the lawn outside the historic Mujahid Manzil—once the epicentre of a movement for Kashmiri independence—trading stories, chain-smoking cheap filterless cigarettes, inspecting old wounds. More than 20 years ago, all these men left their homes in Kashmir to cross to the other side—to Azad Kashmir, a sliver of the former princely state under Pakistani control. They crossed the mountains to become militants; to be trained with guns and explosives and grenades in camps run by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Some returned as fighters; some never fired a shot. Within six or seven years, they had all ceased to fight; they left the camps, became refugees in Pakistan, and started new lives on the other side of the line. They married, had children, scraped together work. And then, two decades after they first crossed over, they began to return, in ones and twos—smuggling themselves back into the state they once dreamt of liberating from Indian rule.

    They find themselves back in a place they hardly recognise, transformed by decades of grinding conflict most of them did not witness. Many of the men they knew have been lowered into graves, and the simpler, even innocent, ways of life they grew up with are now long gone.



    More than a few men arrived late to the meeting—the old landmarks had vanished, they complained, and they couldn’t find their way through streets they once knew well. But they too have aged beyond recognition: men who were teenagers when they departed—too young to shave, in some cases—now have graying beards, wrinkled faces, tired bodies. They still use their old code names, and they spoke to one another in a mix of Kashmiri and Urdu, their accents slightly hardened by years on the other side, with the occasional curses in Punjabi slang. They marvelled aloud, almost bewildered, at all that had changed and not changed in their absence. One man declared that he had walked past the old Palladium Cinema in Lal Chowk a few days earlier to discover it was gone—militants had burned it down in 1990. Another pointed to one of the city’s innumerable open drains, which carry sewage into the river Jhelum, and shook his head in amazement: “It’s been 20 years,” he said, “and they still haven’t covered these drains.”

    Between these men, meeting for the first time back in Kashmir, regret and resignation hung in the air: they were finally home, but it was no longer the place they once left, and they were no longer the young men who left it. The battle they had gone off to fight, fired by hope and passion, quickly extinguished both. Now they traded tales of what they had abandoned in Muzaffarabad, where they settled after leaving the camps: the things they discarded and left behind. “I sold my rickshaw for a few thousand rupees,” one man said. “I knew that on the way back, you have to spend money to pay guides and bribe police. I sold whatever I had, just to come back. Now we have no money at all. Sometimes I think, ‘Is this what we did to our lives?’”



    Full article:

    The Departed | The Caravan - A Journal of Politics and Culture
     
  17. jamwal

    jamwal Regular Member

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    Zanskar under curfew after rioting over conversions

    Authorities imposed curfew restrictions in remote Zansakar in Ladakh as Muslims and Buddhists clashed over conversion for the second time since September 24. Police said three persons including the local Tehsildar, the highest civilian officer who operates from Padam, the centre of the town, was injured and is being flown to Srinagar for treatment.

    "Police has taken cognizance of clashes between two communities in Zanaskar," a police spokesman in Srinagar said. "Three persons including the Tehsildar were injured who are being shifted to Srinagar."
    Around 26 Buddhist from six families converted to Islam in the local Jamia Masjid on the last Friday of September. Of them five are residents of Padam, the centre of the remote town, and one lived in Zangla. As the local Muslim minority took the converts on their shoulders and moved around in the market, it triggered tensions.

    In the immediate reaction, the Buddhist majority, enforced a strike and started social boycott of the converts. Zanskar Buddhist Association that is the main party of the majority community led a campaign against the conversions. Apart from writing letters to the Muslim community leaders, they had threatened of a larger agitation in case it does not stop. They accuse Muslims of luring the families to Islam, an allegation that the local clergy rejects.

    During the last fortnight, however, the pressures from the majority community created a situation that the family living in Zangla, returned back to Buddhist fold making Muslims allege that it was done under pressure. This triggered the new tensions in the belt in which three persons were injured and police imposed curfew restrictions.

    Zanskar is the Buddhist majority belt of Muslim majority Kargil district. Sending reinforcement to the place becomes increasingly difficult because it is located 332 kms from Kargil
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    The twin district arid desert of Ladakh is witnessing peculiar demographic upheavals especially after it was opened for tourism. In last forty years ending 2001, census analysis suggests the Buddhists have lost 7.96 percent - as their percentage share in the combined population of Leh and Kargil districts. Though Muslims have improved their tally by 1.97 percent, Hindus are the real gainers who witnessed an improvement of 5.57 percent - almost tripling its share since 1981. Right now (2011 census is awaited) Muslims constitute 47.40 percent of Ladakh with Buddhists playing second fiddle with 45.87 percent. Hindus, Sikhs and Christians own desert's 6.22, 0.31 and 0.17 percent slice in the population, respectively.
     
  18. jamwal

    jamwal Regular Member

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    Politicians seeking withdrawal of forces playing ‘cheap’ politics: Azad

    Launching a veiled attack on the coalition partner (NC), Union Health and Family Welfare Minister and senior All India Congress Committee leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad today said that the 'politicians' speaking against security forces and demanding their (troops) withdrawal from the State are playing "cheap and dirty politics" just for making their base and secure vote bank.

    Addressing a grand function organized by Congress MP, Ch Lal Singh to pay tributes to the martyrs and honour their families here today, the AICC leader launching veiled attack on the coalition partner and also those speaking against AFSPA said," people speaking against security forces defending their borders, protecting them and their families are doing great injustice to them (soldiers) and the country. If they can not give them respect and honour, at least they should not do injustice with them."

    "It is unfortunate that some people for their selfish political motives and further strengthening their base and make vote bank, are defaming armed forces and showing disrespect to the thousands of martyrs hailing from various States of the country who laid down their lives in Kashmir while fighting with militants, guarding borders and protecting politicians, their families and others. Some of them even say that security forces do not want to leave the State. It should be well understood by those speaking against forces that a soldier from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu or Maharashtra is going to grab land here or get jobs for their children. He is here just to protect us, ensure safety of the people and to guard borders. But unfortunately, we are so selfish and mean that we can go to any extent to defame our forces for vested interests, cheap politics and vote bank,'' Mr Azad maintained.

    Referring to last two decades of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Azad said over 5000 security force personnel, SPOs besides many VDCs lost their lives. Thousands of innocent civilians were also killed during last 20 years due to grenade attacks, explosions and firing incidents. Many mothers lost their sons, wives their husbands and children turned orphan. But the militants have to die because they have adopted this path of bloodshed and violence with their own will. There should not be any mercy for them. But if the security men did something wrong or committed excesses, they were punished severely and strict action was taken against them. There are so many such examples in this State, Mr Azad added.

    While commending the sacrifices of the security forces, Mr Azad said when cold wave grips entire northern region and the movement of people is restricted due to extreme cold, the soldiers in -40 to -50 degree temperature at Siachen glacier and other parts of Ladakh region guard our boundaries where even the shelters are made up of snow. They are made to live there for six long months continuously under this temperature. One can imagine the sort of duty they are performing for the country and their sacrifices. They are also sons of some mothers and brothers of their sisters, he maintained.

    Mr Azad said it is collective responsibility of the society and the Government to look after and help and families of the martyrs. It is not possible to bring back the 'Shaheeds' but by sharing the grief and problems of their families, we can do a great service to them. Today the meaning of sacrifice has also been diluted by some people. In politics if some one gives 10-15 years to a party and if he is denied some position or ticket, he claims to have sacrificed (Kurwani) for the party. But in real meaning of " Kurwani" is the supreme sacrifice given by these soldiers who served their nation selflessly. He lauded the efforts of Ch Lal Singh for organising this function in the honour of martyrs every year. Later, Mr Azad also honoured nearly 100 families of the martyrs.
     
    sasi likes this.
  19. sasi

    sasi Senior Member Senior Member

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    Last 3-4 days there are many anti-India blogs coming from both in and outside India about Kashmir issue.
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    I hope IB and RAW are alert abt this.
    _
     
  20. jamwal

    jamwal Regular Member

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    From where ?
     
  21. Victor Sierra

    Victor Sierra Regular Member

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    Looks like they planning to bring back riots again. Can't forgot those children & brainwashed youth, who were paid for throwing stones on security forces in valley.
    Militancy is getting vanished, so they are coming up with these plans.
     

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