National self destruction in Kashmir:A choice or a compulsion -1

Dr G.M. Athar
August 5, 2016 OPINION 481 Views

There is no denial of the fact, that Kashmir problem is political in nature. The political problem has to be resolved politically. The Indian mainstream politicians as well as the liberation forces have complicated the problem by twisting and fabricating it. Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah the architect of Indo-Kashmir constitutional relationship is the first person who was either compelled or exercised his choice to make a hole to sink the boat of India in calm waters of Kashmir. Abdullah at a rally in Hazuribagh Srinagar on 2nd October 1947 while delivering a public speech said, “Till the last drop of my blood, I will not believe in Two-Nation Theory”. Next day on 3rd October, 1947 the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Working Committee met under the presidency of Abdullah. It was decided in the meeting to support Jammu and Kashmir State’s accession with India. Following the Pakistani tribal raid on 22nd October, 1947 Sheikh Abdullah did actually support Maharaja Hari Singh to accede to Indian Union on 26th October 1947, with respect to defence, foreign affairs and communication. Abdullah, his National Conference and the people of Kashmir were rewarded by government of India in the form of democracy (elected government), asymmetrical federalism (Article 370), socialism (land reforms) secularism and pluralism. Through Nehru-Abdullah Accord, popularly known as Delhi Agreement 1952, Abdullah managed to finalise the details of centre-state relations with Nehru. The only controversial issue which remained pending for further negotiations was the ratification of the accession with India. Whether Abdullah was riding on two horses as G.M. Bakshi accused him, or India wanted to avoid plebiscite on accession became the reason for sacking Abdullah from prime ministership and arresting him on 9th August 1947.
If Abdullah was really resisting the illegal ratification of the accession by the Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly, then he was absolutely right, but if he was entertaining the idea of joining Pakistan or making Jammu and Kashmir an Independent country it was the violation of the Instrument of Accession submitted by Maharaja Hari Singh. In the absence of any reliable information, it would not be fair to pass a judgement on the issue. The ratification of accession of the state with Indian Union by the J&K Constituent Assembly (without any referendum) on 6th February 1956, however makes one to believe that either a conspiracy was hatched against Abdullah or the decision of removal and locking up the National Conference leader had shaken the trust of Kashmiri people in all that their beloved leader had stood for including the accession with the great idea of India. It would have been in the interest of the Kashmiri nation if Abdullah would have exercised self-control on himself and not over-reacted they way he openly challenged the accession of Kashmir with India. In one of his speeches Abdullah said, “Even if Bakshi will say from the Banihal mountain top, the accession with India is final, still then the Kashmir will not become a part of India”. From 9th August 1955 onwards the Jammu and Kashmir Plebiscite Front established by Mirza Mohammad Afzal Beigh launched the struggle for the right of self-determination for the people of Kashmir, with the clandestine support of Pakistan. But when India defeated the country in 1971 war and forced it to sign the Shimla Agreement in 1972, the Abdullah began to retreat from his anti-India propaganda. The completely hollow Beigh-Parthasarthy Accord popularly know as Indra-Abdullah Accord fetched him nothing except for his chief ministership and two cabinet berths for his colleagues from Kashmir and Jammu in 1975.
Abdullah did realize that he was on the path of national self-destruction so he joined back the national mainstream. The seeds of separatism and anti-India sentiments sown by Plebiscite Front for a period of two decades did not however die down completely. They sprouted again in the form of one organization or the other through the diplomatic, political and material support of Pakistan. Since in 1965 war the Kashmiries did not support the Pakistan Army to execute their plan to capture Kashmir, it had to give a second thought to its Kashmir policy. Following the rigging of Legislative Assembly elections in 1987 it channelised the frustration of loosing candidates and their workers to launch guerrilla type armed struggle in Kashmir. Because of its 1965 experience, Pakistan did not this time directly involve itself in Kashmir but depended on pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman, late Amanullah Khan to launch liberation struggle in Kashmir. Initially four Kashmiri youth code named as ‘Haj’ group were given arms training across the border to launch the struggle. In 1988 the group started its militant activities in Kashmir, the militants became the heroes in Kashmir and within no time the youth rushed to Pakistan to get arms training. The huge response of youth to armed struggle in Kashmir launched by pro-independence JKLF made Pakistan to reformulate its Kashmir policy. It made use of the pro-Pakistan political forces in Kashmir to send their supporters for arms training and all of a sudden Hizbul Mujahideen emerged as a new indigenous militant organization in Kashmir. The armed clashed between the JKLF and HM militants became a kind of civil war in parts of Kashmir and Pakistan finally stopped the arms training and supply lines to pro-independence JKLF which led to the renouncing of violence by the organization in 1994.

Author is founder member of JK National Leauge

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