The language of Kashmir conflict, of course, has evolved over the decades. The Kashmir conflict has and will continue to damage seriously the health of both India and Pakistan. Vale of Kashmir was one of those princely states which enjoyed in principle full legislative and jurisdictional powers (fully empowered) before and in 1947. With the passing of the British Indian Empire the state of Kashmir would thereby become to all intent and purpose independent. On the eve of British departure the situation was made visible to all princely states either to join India or Pakistan. The ruler and people of Kashmir were in deciding position with whom to merge, the northern region of kashmir vale faced a tribal attacks and the representatives of Kashmir at that time called to Indian rulers for help only to restrict tribal invasion and the accession was made to withdraw Indian troops from vale whenever kashmiri people wishes but that promise only remained in documents.
Maharaja’s failure of 15th August 1947, to decide to accede to either India or Pakistan became greatly more complicated problem of the future which is still unresolved. The Jammu and Kashmir was now completely and technically independent, no longer could it be controlled by any authority and both India and Pakistan had acquired now lives of their own. Mountbatten was still a Governor-General and there was still a united supreme commander of military under Sir Claude Auchinleck which lasted up to November 1947 and leader of neither Pakistan nor India was reconciled to the prospect of the territory of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Leaders like M.A Jinnah and Jawaharlal Nehru too knew that Kashmir prize is not going to abandon without a fight.
On 12th of august 1947 the new Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Janak Singh, proposed a standstill agreement by telegram with both India and Pakistan which Pakistan agreed on 15th of August 1947 but India delayed it and argued that the matter needed to be negotiated by an official but no official was ever dispatched and no standstill agreement ever concluded. Jammu and Kashmir a Muslim majority state was ruled by Non-Muslim rulers which already had faced many hardships during their regime and due to partition the Muslims attack Hindus and Sikhs, Sikhs attack Muslims and Hindus and Hindus attack Muslims and Sikhs had gripped tensions in Poonch were according to official records more than five lakh Muslims were murdered and unofficially nearly twenty lakh Muslims were killed. This gave rise of Muslim rebels in Poonch whom they called themselves as Azad Kashmir Army. The continuous rise of rebels in Poonch also created problems for Maharajas to decide permanent accession for one of the two nations.
Between 22 and 27 October 1947 the Kashmir dispute evolved from a subject for calm discussion at a diplomatic level between India and Pakistan into an armed conflict which is still continuing. The word Kashmir, of course was an equally powerful symbol for Pakistan and for India security of Kashmir was security for them because part of southern boundary of Kashmir and India are common as we all know Kashmir’s northern frontiers run in common with three countries, Afghanistan, China and the U.S.S.R so it is an obligation of national interest to India to help Kashmir. Pakistanis on the other side saw the Maharaja’s accession to India a denial of the new nation’s right to exist. First the accession was invalid because it was violation of Stand Still agreement which the state had made with Pakistan in August 1947. Second the Maharaja by 26/27 October 1947 was no longer in position to sign any instrument of Accession because he had to all intents and purposes been overthrown by his own subjects. Third the Instrument of Accession was conditional. For example, if there were “a reference to the people” which decided to against accession to India then the acceptance by India of that accession would be cancelled. If not then the India would be denying the right of the people to decide which India is till today denying. Fourth that India’s concern with state of Jammu and Kashmir was always fraud from the beginning of the Mountbatten Viceroyalty in the annexation of much Jammu and Kashmir by force.
The accession issue lacks proper documentary evidence. It is apparent that actual process of accession between 24to27 October 1947 was manipulated by Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhai Patel in collaboration with Sheikh Abdullaha as head of Maharaja Administration after accession. Mahajan’s narrative depicts the interesting suggestion that first Indian troops were landing in Srinagar airfield before the process of accession had been done. Even more attractive in this event, is the fact that the Indian army landing at Srinagar Airport on 27th October 1947 found other Indian troops, in the shape of Patiala men, already established there and elsewhere in the state. It means that Patiala forces had arrived on 17th of October 1947, which is to say before the crossing of tribal on 22th October 1947.
On 27th October 1947, the day the Indian army intervened officially in Kashmir dispute Jawaharlal Nehru sent following telegram to Liaquat Ali Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan:
“I should like to make it clear that the question of aiding to Kashmir in this emergency is not designed in any way to influence the State to accede to India. Our view which we have repeatedly made public is that the question of accession in any disputed territory or State must be decided in accordance with the wishes of people and we adhere to this view.”
Four days later Jawaharlal Nehru declared that we shall withdraw our troops from Kashmir as soon as peace and order are restored and leave the decision regarding the future of the state to the people, not merely a pledge to your Pakistan’s Government but also to the people of Kashmir and to the World.
All this Jawaharlal Nehru repeated in a broadcast on All India Radio on 2 November 1947.
Further, as Nehru put it yet in another telegram to Liaquat Ali Khan on 3 November 1947, we have agreed to an impartial international agency like United Nations supervising any referendum.
These statements leave one in no doubt that the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India was provisional.
After 1947 there had been many talks and agreements between India, Kashmir and Pakistan like Delhi Agreement, Tashkent agreement, Simla Agreement etcetera and many wars between India and Pakistan to tackle over the dispute of Kashmir but still the dispute is pending. In Indian administered Kashmir there had been times to times unrests, strikes and rise of rebel movements like from 1990 to 1996, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013 and now from 8th July 2016 after death of Hizbul Commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani. In Pakistan administered Kashmir there had been also lot of Human Rights Violation particularly in Gilgit Baluchistan.
This dispute needs to be resolved permanently as soon as possible without losing more time, money, lives from all three regions. Both the countries should stop playing politics over Kashmir issue for their vote gains from their respective countries. Pakistan must stop cross border rebels and India must stop killing more innocent people of Kashmir. The Hurriyat leaders too must make efforts to sit on table for the well being of people of Kashmir. At last India and Pakistan must shun the path of violence and sort out problems and permanent solution to vale of Kashmir by putting all the stakeholders from both the sides of Kashmir on table.
“O KHUDAYA LOTA DE KASHMIR DOBARA,
WO AMAAN WO CHAMAN KA NAZARA LOTA DE KASHMIR DOBARA.”
By Mir Zeeshan
Studying in International Relations department at IUST Awantipora.
You can contact the author at [email protected]