Monday, 17 May 2010

Some clarifications regarding Kashmir dispute

Some clarifications regarding Kashmir dispute
Dr Shabir Choudhry 17 May 2010

In order to justify the Tribal Invasion, which to many experts is the root cause of problems of people of Jammu and Kashmir, some pro Pakistan writers and agents of the Pakistani establishment claim that the Tribal Invasion was the result of mass killings of Muslims in Jammu. According to these claims they went there to help Muslims. Let us analyse that in light of historic evidence.

No doubt Muslims were killed in tens of thousands in Jammu province, but the Tribal Invasion had no link with that mass killing. Those who managed the Tribal Invasion tried to link it with the Jammu Massacre after the planned invasion proved disastrous.

Apart from the Valley and some other parts of the State, the whole of Sub Continent was suffering from communal violence at that time. Tens of thousands of non Muslim migrants entered Jammu from Sialkot and other parts of Pakistan and aggravated the situation there. The Muslims in Jammu were targeted and killed. This started in the third week of August 1947.

The Tribal Invasion started on 22 October 1947. If those who planned the Tribal Invasion sincerely wanted to help Muslims of Jammu, why did they remain quiet for nearly two months? Why didn’t they send Tribesmen and other armed men towards Jammu from Sialkot which is about 28 miles from there; or from the side of Bhimber – Kot Jaimel? Instead they sent the Tribesmen via Muzaaffarbad which has vast Muslim majority and had no direct link with Jammu.

Between third week of August 1947 and second week of October the government of Pakistan remained quiet as they didn’t want to annoy the Maharaja. Plight of Jammu Muslims was not their big concern, as territory of Kashmir was much closer to their hearts.

Until second week of October the government of Pakistan assumed that the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir would join Pakistan. When the Maharaja indicated that he wanted to remain independent the government of Pakistan decided to punish him and dethrone him.

It was because of this they sent the Tribesmen to Muzaffarabad even though there was no communal violence there; and Muslims were in majority there. They knew the road to Kashmiri capitol went through Muzaffarabad. They almost succeeded in their plan to get Kashmir; but the Tribesmen let them down who wasted three valuable days in killing, looting and raping in Baramula.

Jammu massacres were tragic and shameful in which Muslims were hunted and killed, and this must be condemned; but it would be historically wrong to link the Tribal Invasion with that. The Tribal Invasion was an attempt of Pakistan to conquer Kashmir and to punish the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir for disobeying the whims of the Pakistani rulers.

Was Kashmir given to Pakistan?
Some Pakistanis and pro Pakistan Kashmiris claim that Kashmir was given to Pakistan in 1947, and India with its superior force invaded Kashmir. All this is wrong. No one gave Kashmir to Pakistan. No one had this right to give Kashmir to Pakistan.

It was a desire of Pakistani rulers that Kashmir should become part of Pakistan. We have many desires and not all of them come true. My desire is to have an oil well in my village, but this is only a desire and it won’t come true; even if it did, Pakistani rulers will take over and expel me from there and take all the benefits as they did with Mangla Dam.

After 15 August 1947 the State of Jammu and Kashmir was independent. It had bilateral agreement with Pakistan, known as Standstill Agreement; and Kashmir was in a process to finalise a similar agreement with India.

Pakistan in clear breach of this Agreement stopped all the essential items like food, petrol etc going to Kashmir in the second week of October; and on 22 October Pakistan sent its armed officers and Tribesmen to conquer Kashmir. It resulted in killings of thousands of innocent people and rapes of our mothers and daughters.

The Maharaja of Kashmir was not expecting this breach of agreement and panicked. He asked help from India. India urged the Maharaja to sign an Instrument of Accession which was signed and accepted as ‘provisional’.

To us, the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir is disputed. However, the arrival of the Indian army in Kashmir, no matter how much we dislike it and condemn it because of human rights abuses, was a result of an agreement between the ruler of Kashmir and India. But the Pakistan army and the tribesmen moved in to the Kashmir territory without any agreement; and they continue to remain there.

Right of self determination or right of accession

Many people, either innocently or by design, try to confuse the Right of self determination with right of accession. The UN gave people of Jammu and Kashmir a right of self determination in its Resolution of 13 August 1948, which on request of Pakistan, was changed to right of accession to either India or Pakistan in the next resolution passed on 5th January 1949.

When people demand implementation of the UN resolutions, assuming that they will get right of self determination, in actual fact, they demand the right of accession which was given to them in the UN Resolution of 5th January 1949. Pakistani policy makers laugh at our innocence and urge us Kashmiris to keep on demanding this, as it goes in favour of Pakistan.

This controversy has been going on for decades now, as to who is responsible for non implementation of the UN Resolutions. Pakistani propaganda in this regard has been very effective, and a lot of Pakistanis and Kashmiris believe it was India who created obstacles in implementation of the UN Resolutions. Historic facts, however, do not support this contention.

In short, the UNCIP resolution of 13 August 1948 had three parts to it, namely a cease - fire, withdrawal of Pakistani troops and irregulars present inside the State. Once the UN was satisfied that the Pakistan has withdrawn, India had to withdraw a ‘bulk’ of her forces from the State. The third stage was a plebiscite.

First stage was completed with the cease fire on 1st January 1949. In the second stage, Pakistan had to withdraw her regular and irregular forces from Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, followed by a withdrawal of ‘bulk’ of the Indian forces. Only after completion of the second stage as explained in the UN Resolution, the third stage could be started?

To date Pakistan has not vacated these areas as demanded by the UN Resolution; but cleverly stated that India is not abiding by the Resolutions. Many Pakistanis and Kashmiris argue that even if Pakistan had vacated these areas India still would not have held the plebiscite. Here we are dealing with facts and not assumptions. It is difficult to give a definitive reply to this hypothetical situation - we cannot say with certainty that India would have held plebiscite or not.

Apart from that some religious extremists and agents of Pakistan try to confuse people by saying that because of the Two Nations Theory Kashmir should have become part of Pakistan. This is not true. The British Raj in India consisted of two units: British India and the Princely India. British India was directly ruled by the British through the Governor General, and the Princes were ruled indirectly by treaties.

The Two Nations Theory was applicable to the British India and not to the Princely States. There is ample evidence to prove this point, even Mohammed Ali Jinnah agreed with this. The Instrument of Accession was designed for the Princely States. Vast majority of the Princely States either willingly or by pressure joined India and some joined Pakistan. Jammu and Kashmir was among those States which did not join either India or Pakistan, hence became independent.

Some agents of the Pakistani establishment, while defaming me accuse me that I am ‘satisfied’ with the ‘accession’ to India. This is nothing else but a white lie, which these agents and foot soldiers of agencies use in order to hide their nefarious designs on Kashmir.

All my written work and speeches are available on my blog and on blogs of many other people; and all of that is compiled and regularly published. I challenge all the critics to find one speech of mine or one article which gives slightest inclination that I am satisfied with the ‘accession’ with India. I have always called the ‘accession’ as ‘provisional’ and promoted unification and independence of the entire State. Anyone who is satisfied with the accession does not fight for unification and independence of the entire State; and I have done that throughout my life.

Writer is Director Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir
To view other articles see my blog:

1 comment:

Subcontinental said...

While spelled out clearly, much of what you say is already known to keen followers of the Kashmir dispute on both sides of the border and in Kashmir.

As an Indian who has visited Kashmir on a few occasions and spent over a month there during one of those visits, I remain baffled as to why Kashmiri Muslims feel the need for a separate identity. That clearly is not the case for the few non-Muslims who are still there. While the obvious answer seems to be religion, that does not hold true for Muslims in many - though not all - other parts of India, particularly the south. Not only do those Muslims identify with the country, they speak Tamil as a primary language in Tamil Nadu and carry on social intercourse comfortably with people of other faiths such as Hindus and Christians.