Tribal invasion and its implications
Presentation of Dr Shabir Choudhry on Black Day conference organised by Kashmir National Party in
Mr Chairman, friends and colleagues aslamo alaykam
Tribal invasion was a major event in the modern history of
- It changed our destination.
- It changed secular ethos of
- It undermined our sovereignty.
- It deprived us of our independence.
- It divided our beloved motherland.
- It divided families and the nation.
- It killed innocent Kashmiri men and women.
- It dishonoured Kashmiri women.
- It plundered and looted Kashmiri resources.
- It is the main cause of our present miseries and troubles.
- In one sentence, it is the cause of all of our problems we face today.
We need to investigate and analyse what was this tribal invasion? How did it happen? Who were behind this and what was the purpose of this? We people of
These tribesmen were set on us not to help us, but to subdue and invade us. Some of them might have been motivated by holy name of Jihad, but for the majority it was an opportunity to satisfy their hunger for loot and plunder, and take away Kashmiri women. Religion of victims was not an issue to them; and their victims included Muslims and non Muslims.
In name of ‘Jihad’ when these unruly tribesmen entered
The tribesmen did not like intervention from Master Abdul Aziz, and killed him on spot. To these ‘jihadis’ crime of Master Abdul Aziz was so severe that he did not even deserve a funeral (janaza) or a burial. They threw his dead body in River Neelam.
They created mayhem and sent the message to all that if anyone even questions them as to what they were doing, they will eliminate that person. Grandchildren of Master Abdul Aziz, first victim of the tribesmen still live in Muzzafarabad, and explain the tragic events which they heard from their elders.
2. Legal status of
It is well established fact that the State of
This point was further elaborated by Governor General of
There had been universal acceptance among the States of the Cabinet Mission's Memorandum of 12 May and when the political parties accepted the Statement of 3 June they fully realised and accepted that withdrawal of Paramountcy would enable the States to regain complete sovereignty……Now, the Indian Independence Act releases the States from all their obligations to the Crown. The States will have complete freedom- technically and legally they become independent. Unquote.
Mohammed Ali Jinnah agreed with the above legal position. He strongly believed that the State of
‘That after the lapse of paramountcy the Indian States would be constitutionally and legally sovereign states and free to adopt for themselves any course they wished. It is open to States to join
Despite all pressures from Lord Mountbatten, different leaders of Congress and Muslim League the Maharaja of Jammu and
‘We intend to keep on friendly relations with both
All sovereign states must have four characteristics, and before any state attains sovereignty these attributes must be satisfied:
1/ First attribute is that the state should have people. This attribute
2/ Second attribute of a statehood is that the state should have a defined territory. Size of the state does not matter; it could be a city state. The Maharaja of
3/ Third attribute of a statehood is that there should be a government. A government could mean one or more people who are responsible for making laws and keeping law and order. All these attributes were satisfied before the lapse of paramountcy.
4/ Fourth attribute of a statehood is that a state should have capacity and right to enter in to relations with other states. This attribute distinguishes states from lesser units like members of a federation.
The Maharaja of
Some people argue that because the State of
In case of Jammu and Kashmir, India and Pakistan could not have recognised it as a sovereign state as both wanted Kashmir to join one or the other Dominion. Other countries could not recognise the State of Jammu and Kashmir so soon because situation was not clear; and the State of Jammu and Kashmir could not maintain its independence due to the tribal invasion which forced the Maharaja to accede to India, which was provisional and had to be ratified by people of the State.
3. Who planned the tribal invasion?
Mohammed Ali Jinnah and government of
It is claimed by some Pakistani writers that he was assured of the post if he had provided the State a land access to
On 24 August 1947, Mohammed Ali Jinnah sent his Military Secretary, Colonel William Birnie to Kashmir that he can negotiate for him two weeks holiday visit in Kashmir in mid September. He came back after one week and gave Mohammed Ali Jinnah news he did not want to hear. Because of the political turmoil the Maharaja government refused this request. This stunned Mohammed Ali Jinnah and
After few days the
‘The conspirators dismissed immediately the idea of an outright invasion. The
The second proposal was presented by Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan, Chief Minister of North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, which involved use of the tribesmen to force the Maharaja to accede to
‘Sending those dangerous hordes to
In line with this secret decision Muslim dissidents were encouraged and fully supported to rise against a ‘Hindu Maharaja’. The Maharaja government had many serious problems to deal with. Future of its State was uncertain. Both
Muslims in Poonch had started their armed rebellion at a time when there were communal riots in parts of
State forces were not capable of dealing with all these problems; and to make things more difficult for him the Pakistani government in clear violation of the Standstill Agreement stopped essential supplies to
Mehr Chand Mahaja later recorded that, ‘Major Shah was in Srinagar with a whip in one hand and a letter of accession in the other…..He was keen to have an assurance of the State’s accession to Pakistan or in the alternative, a negative assurance that I would not advise the Maharaja to accede to India. I told him this would take some time but he was not prepared to wait. When I found he had came there almost with an ultimatum, I said, “If you raise the blockade and allow food, cloth and petrol to enter the State I will discuss the matter with you.” 5
Major Shah agreed to persuade Mohammed Ali Jinnah to lift the blockade, and sent him a telegram, but got no favourable reply. Instead he was told to ask Mehr Chand Mahjan to go to
4. Arrogance of Pakistani rulers
Over the years it has been revealed by many Pakistani officials and writers that the whole affair was initiated and managed by Pakistani officials; and main attraction for the tribesmen was not liberation of
Even as late as first week of October 1947, he was persuaded by Dr M D Taseer and Mian Iftikhar Uddin to travel to
Mohammed Ali Jinnah said, ‘I don’t need to meet this man.
This was the fourth time Mohammed Ali Jinnah rebuffed the tallest leader people of
Even after this last rebuff, Sheikh Abdullah’s men were in
5. What if there was no tribal invasion
I understand we cannot turn back clock of history, but as thinking people who were victims of tribal invasion; and who are even today suffering as a direct result of that conspiracy, we can analyse what might have happened if there was no tribal invasion
All the available evidence clearly indicates that the Maharaja of
True, not all of his citizens were happy with him; but it is also true that his subjects enjoyed more rights than subjects of other Princely States at that time. It was quite possible that after independence of his State and after independence of the Sub Continent, he could have made changes to his style of government where by he could have given more rights to people and Assembly.
He could have maintained his neutrality and made agreements with both
If there was no tribal invasion people of
If there was no tribal invasion then there might have been no
In conclusion, one could say that source of many of our troubles and troubles of the region are directly related to that fatal decision of directing hordes of tribesmen in name of jihad to invade
The genie of extremism and hatred released in name of jihad in October 1947 to advance political agenda, continue to spread extremism and hatred. Unfortunately that policy of promoting extremism to advance political agenda continued until very recently, and forces of extremism and hatred have become power in their own right. They have already affected lives of millions of people. Like any other living being, it wants to live and flourish; and has become out of control. Like Frankenstein monster it has turned against its creator, hence we see cries in Pakistan about terrorism, jihad and establishing writ of government, all claiming to be on the right path.
I hope those quarters who deliberately promoted extremism and hatred have learnt their lesson. Also I hope they will do their best to put things right; and will not promote terrorism and hatred in future, or create more hurdles in our inherent and most cherished right of self determination.
I thank you Mr Chairman.
KashmirProblem – its legal aspects, Dr HO Agarwal, page 31
Kashmirof Sheikh Abdullah, Bilqees Taseer, Page 264
- Freedom at , Larry Collins and Dominque Lapierre, Page 402
- ibid, Page 402
- opcit, Bilqees Taseer, page 265
- ibid, page 265
- ibid, Page 301
- ibid, page 303
- ibid, page 305