The bleeding Kashmir: 1Need for self introspection

Dr G.M. Athar
July 22, 2016 OPINION 423 Views
The bleeding Kashmir: 1Need for self introspection

Every one in the Indian subcontinent is aware of the fact that Kashmir is very seriously bleeding these days. It is the time for all concerned to contribute in their own humble ways to SAVE KASHMIR. Those among us who are well aware about the political history of J&K, can make use of the knowledge and information to educate the people of the subcontinent in general and the youth of Kashmir in particular about the objective history of Kashmir problem. At the same time the government of India and the government of Pakistan need to revise their wrong Kashmir Policy to allow the people of Kashmir to live a dignified life in an atmosphere of sustainable peace and security.
The political propagandists in the Indian subcontinent including FormerJammu and Kashmir(former princely state)present subjective versions of the history of Kashmir problem to mislead the people in general and the Kashmiri youth in particular. The objective historical fact is this that creation of India and Pakistan as two sovereign states in the immediate neighbourhood of FormerJammu and Kashmir State give birth to a competition for space in the princely state between the two new born countries.
The Former Jammu and Kashmir was already ethnically, lingually, culturally and politically a divided house.The lapse of British paramountcy in the Indian States including the princely states invalidated the Treaty of Lahore (9-11 March 1846) through which Gulab Singh became the Maharaja of Jammu kingdom and the Treaty of Amritsar through which Kashmir became part of the Jammu and Kashmir State on 16th March 1846. So legally speaking there existed no Jammu and Kashmir State on 15th August 1947 and the Former J&K was without any legal head of the state.
Once Mahatma Gandhi came to Kashmir to convince Hari Singh to take decision of accession in accordance with the wishes of his people, he resisted to take milk from the hands of such rajas whose subjects are not happy with them, Maharaja Hari Singh replied that ” I am sovereign only upto the culmination of the British rule after that people are sovereign to decide for themselves”.
Hari Singh was the defacto ruler of Kashmir but following the tribal raid on 22nd October 1947 Hari Singh fled to Jammu on 25th October with all his belongings with the result he did not even remain the defacto ruler of Kashmir following his flight to Jammu.
Upon reaching Jammu Hari Singh himself did say to his son Karan Singh and other family members” WE HAVE LOST KASHMIR”.
Since Pakistan was created by clubbing together the Muslim majority provinces of British India, it was eyeing on Jammu and Kashmir to become the part of Pakistan because 77% people of the state were of Muslim identity. The problem for Pakistan was that J&K was not technically part of the British India and the Indian Independence Act-1947 of the British Parliament have given third option also to the princes to remain independent of the two dominions. That is why Mohammad Ali Jinnah ,a legal expert by profession, was try to take Hari Singh onboard to accede to Pakistan. Contrary to this Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, a democratic leader was banking upon Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah the popular leader of Kashmir to entice him to keep Kashmir internally sovereign within Indian fold.The logical outcome of Indian and Pakistani diplomacy in Jammu and Kashmir could have been anything from its accession with Pakistan, a buffer state between India and Pakistan, its accession with Pakistan and at the territorial division of the state on the basis of religion. Hari Singh offered Stand Still Agreement to both India and Pakistan the later accepted it but the former asked for some minister of J&K to come to Delhi to work out the details of the agreement- a delaying tactics to buy time to make effective use of Indian diplomatic skills to win support of Sheikh Abdullah and his National Conference. On 26th September Abdullah wrote letter of appology to Hari Singh from jail following which he was released from the jail. The release of Abdullah and his expression of solidarity with Hari Singh government was suspected by Pakistan as a success of Indian diplomacy to have won Abdullah’s goodwill and a likely accession of J&K with India by the fall of winter, a couple of months ahead.
In a state of frustration Pakistan violated the Stand Still Agreement by sending in Kashmir 5000 to 60,000 tribals and regular forces on 22nd October 1947 to annex Kashmir.Hari Singh approached India for friendly help but the govt. of India put two conditions prior to any military help. First, to accede to India and the second to induct Abdullah in J&K administration. On 26th October 1947, Hari Singh acceded to Indian Union with respect to defence, foreign affairs and communication and also consented to induct Abdullah in state adminstration. On 27th October 1947 the Indian troops landed at Srinagar airport to evacuate Kashmir from invaders.On 31st October 1947 Sheikh Abdullah was appointed as the Emergency Administrator of Kashmir.
Once the news tribal raiders approaching Baramulla reached Srinagar, the local people tried to guard their property by raising slogans” Hamla awar khabardar, hum Kashmiri hein tiar”.Once the Indian troops reached Lal Chowk local people clapped at seeing them. Sheikh Abdullah equated them with “tuiran ababil” referred to in Quraan.
Being conscious about the technical flaws of Hari Singh’s Instrument of Accession and Abdullah’s political support to the idea of staying with India, on 27th October 1947 Lord Mountbatten the Governor General of India in response to Instrument of Accession wrote back to Hari Singh that once law and order is restored in the state the wishes of the people will be determined on the subject of accession.Thus the Instrument of Accession was provisionally accepted and its finalisation has been kept subject to the will of the people.
Fundamentally the Kashmir problem is an issue between the people of Kashmir (as it existed prior to the Treaty of Amritsar) and the government of India. Since the govt. of India has given in writting on 27th October 1947 that the wishes of the people will be ascertained, no power on the Earth can help absolve India from its moral and legal responsiblity to hold a transparent referendum in Kashmir.

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