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Wednesday, 8 September 2010

KASHMIR ISSUE --Why It Has Remained Unresolved So Long? Part 1 (Amanullah Khan)


 KASHMIR ISSUE --------- (1)
Why It Has Remained Unresolved So Long?
By
Amanullah Khan, Patron-in-Chief Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF)
  
Note:         The purpose of this series of articles on Kashmir Issue is twofold. Its first purpose is to present the history of Kashmir Issue in its true and factual perspective as much as possible. This has become a must because vested interests and the self-made direct and indirect claimants to the proprietorship of Kashmir and their pets and puppets in Kashmir have polluted the history of Kashmir in general and of Kashmir Issue in particular, so much so that after passage of 63 years, this adultered history looks almost undeniable. This is enough to mislead the new generation of Kashmir. The second purpose of these articles is to pinpoint a clear and achievable goal for the people of Jammu Kashmir State that can prove, as I see it, real national emancipation for them provided they make up their mind to achieve it come what may. What is equally important, the solution of Kashmir Issue proposed herein is in the best interests of India and Pakistan as well, as it will result in heralding the dawn of a really peaceful, prosperous and respectful future for them too. (Amanullah Khan)


Kashmir issue, the oldest unresolved international problem concerns determination of the political and constitutional status of Kashmir (officially known as Jammu Kashmir State), the largest and third biggest semi independent state of the former Indian Subcontinent under overall British Suzerainty until 1947 when the Subcontinent got freedom in the shape of its division on religious basis, resulting in creation of two independent countries, Secular India and Muslim Pakistan.
    Kashmir was pre-dominantly a Muslim majority State with a Hindu ruler titled as Maharaja. The Maharaja who was constitutionally entitled to determine the future of his State, wanted to make it a fully independent country having friendly relations with both its neighbors, free India and Pakistan but both of them wanted to have it for themselves and that confrontation between them gave birth to the international tangle known as Kashmir Issue.
      Kashmir Issue could not be solved for the last over sixty years mainly because of the selfishness of the self made claimants to the proprietorship of Kashmir i.e. India and Pakistan, of the former in particular and their pets and puppets in Kashmir

The Painful Saga

Looking from a realistic and Kashmiri patriots point of view, the history of Kashmir Issue emerges as a painful story of shameful retractions by the governments of India and, to a lesser extent by that of Pakistan also, from their solemn pledges; of their tall claims on the stage and devilish misdeeds behind the curtain; of might throttling the right; of misrepresentation of facts and misinterpretations of agreements and of coloniastic approach to a problem concerning decolonization. It is a sad story of a very simple problem being changed into an imbroglio by vested interests just to avoid its equitable solution. And above all, it is a painful saga of Kashmiris being fired upon from the front by one of its neighbors and stabbed in the back by the other, for demanding their inherent, internationally recognized and pledged, hence fully deserved right of self-determination.

Indian Conspiracies

Let me elaborate these ugly aspects of the agonizing history of Kashmir Issue and the reason why this simple issue has not only remained unresolved but has badly injured all the three parties specially the people of Kashmir, economically, politically and emotionally.
Pakistan’s claim on Kashmir was based on Muslim majority of its population whereas one of the main reasons for India wanting to have Kashmir was its first and the most popular prime minister, Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru whose ancestors were of Kashmiri origin, wanted his ancestral homeland to become part of India by hook or by crook whereas a big majority of Kashmiri people was against it. To serve their purposes, both started behind-the-scene activities. Mahatma Gandhi, the most prominent of free India’s founding-fathers who apparently had a neutral stand on Kashmir, paid what was termed a private visit to Kashmir towards the end of July 1947 and through a Hindu cleric Swami Sant Dev who was also the religious mentor of Maharaja’s family made the Maharaja change his mind regarding declaring independence for his State and to think seriously of joining India. The Kashmir Muslim Conference had irritated the Maharaja earlier by aggressively demanding accession of the State to Pakistan. So he decided to defer his announcement about the future of Kashmir but in the meantime (on 11th August 1947), only four days before independence of the Subcontinent, replaced his pro-independence Prime Minister Mr. R.C.Kak, a Kashmiri Pundit and the first local prime minister, by pro-India Janak Singh and M.C. Mahajan in quick succession. The latter, as a former member of the Boundary Commission and in collusion with chief of the Commission Mr. Radcliffe and Indian leadership, had already paved the way for making Kashmir part of India by creating a road link between India and Kashmir by awarding, most dishonestly, a Muslim majority area of the Punjab to India instead of making it a part of Pakistan. In the meantime the Maharaja declared that, pending announcement  of his final decision about future of the State, he would enter into “standstill” agreements with both India and Pakistan. India dilly-dallied signing it whereas Pakistan signed it under which civil supplies and communications of the State went to Pakistan’s control. Smelling behind-the scene India-Kashmir activities, some Pakistani authorities of provincial level also started playing tricks. They initially disrupted the smooth flow of civil supplies to Kashmir to pressurize the Maharaja. On Oct 4, 1947 some Kashmiri Muslim leaders declared formation of a Provisional Republican Govt. for the State ’overthrowing’ the Maharaja. On Oct 24, 1947, the Provisional Republican Govt. was reorganized with Sardar Ibrahim Khan declared as its President.

Pakistan’s Follies

On Oct 22, 1947 Pakistani tribesmen entered Kashmir “to free Kashmiri Muslims from Hindu rule”. But their behavior was most uncivilized. A number of officers and soldiers of Pakistan Army were also engaged in Kashmir in civilian clothes along with tribesmen but Pakistan claimed that neither was any Pakistani soldier in Kashmir nor had Pakistan govt. any control over the tribesmen. This gross mis-statement on Pakistan’s part cost her and Kashmiris a lot. When the UN came to know later of presence of Pakistani soldiers and army officers in Kashmir and also that Pakistan had considerable control on tribesmen, it asked Pakistan to withdraw its forces and tribesmen from Kashmir before any further step could be taken to solve Kashmir Issue and made that demand a part of UNCIP resolution of 13th August 1948. Pakistan accepted the resolution but refused to withdraw all its forces from Kashmir arguing that India would immediately occupy the areas vacated by Pakistan. As such, UN resolution could not be implemented and Kashmiris remained deprived of their right to shape their own future. (Pakistan’s another misstatement in 1999 claiming that Kashmiri freedom- fighters had occupied Indian pickets in Kargil whereas it was Northern Light Infantry (NLI), an integral part of Pakistan Army comprising personnel from Gilgit Baltistan that had done so. This misstatement on the part of Pakistan changed the genuine armed freedom struggle of Kashmiris into terrorism in the eyes of the world giving an unbearable blow to Kashmiris’ freedom struggle).
When Pakistani tribesmen entered Kashmir in October 1947, and started loot, arson, and killing Non-Muslims, the Maharaja fled Kashmir. When he reached Jammu, Mr. V.P. Menon, India’s Secretary for States, visited him with an instrument of Jammu Kashmir State’s accession to India and made him sign it. The Maharaja nevertheless attached a number of conditions for State’s accession to India concerning continuation of his own and State’s semi independent status and non-interference by India in its internal affairs. India accepted the accession subject to referring the matter to Kashmiri people but including Maharaja’s conditions but before doing so had sent her troops to Kashmir.
Maharaja’s conditions were not implemented by India. He was later deprived of his status as the ruler of the State and ousted from Kashmir never to return to his homeland even as an ordinary citizen.

Kashmir at UN

    India took the issue to United Nations Security Council in December 1947 accusing Pakistan of naked aggression in Kashmir and calling upon the world body to make Pakistan vacate Kashmir. India also declared in the UN Security Council on January 15th, 1948 that after return of normalcy to Kashmir, India would let the people of Kashmir decide themselves democratically whether Kashmir should remain with India, go over to Pakistan or become independent and seek UN membership. She also pledged that she would accept and implement Kashmiri people’s decision.
Pakistan had a counter attack on India at the UN and accused her of occupying bulk of Kashmir through conspiracies, coercion and blackmail. She accused India of resorting to malpractices in the states of Hyderabad and Junagarh also. In the beginning, the title of this Issue under in the UN Security Council was “Situation in Jammu Kashmir” but on Pakistan’s request it was changed into “India-Pakistan Question” on January 20, 1948. This change in the title of the debate changed the very complexion of the issue and it started giving the impression of being a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan rather than an issue concerning Kashmiris right of self determination.
The UN Security Council appointed the United Nations Commission fro India and Pakistan (UNCIP) which, after exchange of views with the governments of India and Pakistan ( Kashmiri Leadership was ignored altogether) adopted the first detailed resolution on Kashmir Issue on August 13, 1948. It provided for ceasefire, withdrawal of all Pakistani forces and tribesmen and bulk of Indian forces from Kashmir and then a plebiscite under UN supervision to determine the future of Jammu Kashmir State. Both India and Pakistan signed it and ceasefire came into effect on January 1st, 1949.
          Pakistan had earlier asked UNCIP to change the wording of its resolution of Augus13, 1948 and through that change, got the scope of Kashmiris choice reduced to State’s accession to India or Pakistan under the Supplementary UNCIP Resolution of Jan5,1949 thereby depriving Kashmiris of their right to opt for complete independence of their motherland.
In 1950-51 UNCIP reported its failure to resolve Kashmir Issue to the Security Council which appointed Sir Owen Dixon as a sort of mediator. He, after studying the issue in detail, opined that a plebiscite as proposed by UNCIP could never be held in Kashmir and proposed the division of the State in three alternate ways. Both India and Pakistan rejected Dixon Plan, for different reasons though. Two subsequent UN mediators also failed to evolve a solution, acceptable to both India and Pakistan. Both mediators accused India of showing more undue intransigence as compared to Pakistan but the UN did not take any notice. The last report was not even studied or discussed officially by Security Council as it was ‘misplaced’ and finally ‘lost’.
In 1957, Kashmir started being sacrificed at the altar of dirty and unjust international politics. The Soviet Union was crushing the popular movements of Hungary and Czechoslovakia with brute force. India, as an important leader of the Third World could create difficulties for Soviets. They obliged India by vetoing two Security Council resolutions on Kashmir (in 1957 and 1962) providing for right of self determination for Kashmiris. So the rights of Kashmiris were sacrificed at the altar of dirty international politics. It was also in 1957 that India started totally refusing to implement UN resolution by claiming that Kashmir was her integral and constitutional part.

The Indo-Pak Parleys
The 1962-63 India-Pakistan talks on Kashmir saw a major change in Pakistan’s Kashmir policy when it agreed that in place of giving right of self determination to Kashmiris, the Issue should be solved on the basis of the inequitable doctrine of ‘give and take’. Though the talks did not succeeded but they paved the way for the doctrine to become permanent base for efforts to resolve Kashmir Issue and the Simla Agreement of 1972, Lahore Declaration of 1999 and Islamabad Joint Press Statement of 2004 between governments of India and Pakistan are based on that doctrine of ‘give and take’. None of these Indo-Pak agreements makes even a mention of Kashmiris’ inherent, internationally recognized and pledged right of self determination. These agreements do not accept the people of Kashmir even as a party to Kashmir Issue whereas they are the most important and worst effected party. The doctrine of ‘given and take’ may solve some small disputes amicably but to subject the very future of a nation of above 17 million people, more in number than the individual populations of as many as 134 independent nations of the world, to the colonialist and selfish desires of its neighbors, the ‘democratic India’ and ‘Islamic Pakistan’, is most inhuman because this approach is neither democratic nor Islamic (Humane).
          The last UN resolution about Kashmir was the unanimous Security Council resolution No.1172 of June 6, 1998 in which it resolved to facilitate India and Pakistan to solve Kashmir Issue provided both accepted the offer but India doesn’t accept what she terms as external interference on Kashmir, basically because her stand on Kashmir is too weak to be accepted by any unbiased personality or a group of them as factual or equitable. During the past about half a decade, Pakistan, its military ruler General Pervez Musharaf to be precise, has presented half a dozen solutions to Kashmir Issue including that of giving complete independence to the whole Jammu Kashmir State proposed on Oct, 25,2004. But the General retracted from his last mentioned declaration under pressure from army, his Muslim League (Q) and a section of the media. He has also proposed self rule, demilitarization, joint control etc. But all these proposed steps were ultimately going to lead to forced division of Kashmir on the basis of turning the Line of Control (LoC) into a permanent India-Pakistan border totally ignoring the wishes and aspirations of Kashmiri people about their future, hence not acceptable to Kashmiri patriots. India has all along stuck to its baseless claim of Kashmir being her integral part whereas Pakistan has been chasing the looter to share the booty. Both are far more interested in the proprietorship of maximum possible chunk of the State of Jammu Kashmir than they are in the wishes and aspiration of its people.

Nourishing Pets, Puppets
      
As if the aforementioned misdeeds of governments of India and Pakistan were not enough to stand in the way of an equitable solution of Kashmir Issue based on unfettered and freely expressed will of Kashmiri people, both have tamed a big number of pets  and puppets among Kashmiri  political leaders and their parties, in both parts of the State who are loyal to their masters in New Delhi and Islamabad instead of their own Kashmiri national cause and enjoy luxuries of ruling their respective parts of the State turn by turn at the cost of their short and long term national interests.
Both India and Pakistan have made Kashmir Issue a matter of their own national egos. India also argues baselessly though, that if entire Kashmir goes to Pakistan even per Kashmiris freely expressed will, that will damage Indian secular statecraft whereas Pakistan bas been contending that Muslim majority Kashmiri not becoming part of Pakistan was negation of her Two Nation Theory. In their contentions both totally ignore the aspiration of Kashmir people. 

Kashmiri Nationalists
Inspite of pledging and declaring nationally and internationally their acceptance of Kashmiris’ right to independence, India and Pakistan gradually backed out of these pledges. Until the basic change (for worse) brought about by General Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan’s Kashmir policy, the only thing common between India and Pakistan on Kashmir was their opposition to the concept of independent Kashmir. Both countries barred pro-independence parties and individuals, in their respective controlled parts of Kashmir, even from contesting elections to public offices.
In 1971 Pakistan crushed pro-independence Kashmiri Organizations, the Plebiscite Front and National Liberation front (NLF) with full force. Famous Kashmiri freedom fighter Shaheed Maqbool Ahmed Butt spent about three years in Pakistani prisons accused of being an Indian agent and about 10 years in Indian jails accused of being an agent of Pakistan and then sent to gallows by India in Feb 1984. He was an agent neither of India nor Pakistan. His real ‘crime’ was that he was actively and effectively struggling for independence of his motherland, Jammu Kashmir State and most of his compatriots will be no different.
          These are a few of scores of examples that explain how supporters of independent Kashmir are treated by India and Pakistan.
Kashmiris continued their peaceful struggle for their right of self determination for over four decades but failed. This compelled them to resort to armed freedom struggle in 1988. But India crushed it with brute military force. Pakistan government’s role in it was not selfless too inspite of her tall claims to the contrary.
International Community took full interest in Kashmir Issue from 1948 to 1957. It was the UN that had given to Kashmiris their right to determine their own future whereas the British rulers, Indian National Congress and Muslim League had subjected their future to the whilms of the Maharaja. But the UN failed to get her own resolutions on Kashmir implemented. After 1957 it gradually changed its policy and is now quite apathetic towards Kashmir Issue in order not to annoy India and /or Pakistan.
In Conclusion
  In short, the coloniastic and selfish attitude of the governments of India and Pakistan towards Kashmir Issue, the short-sighted, selfish and unpatriotic attitude of their pets and puppets in Kashmir and apathy of international community have been the main reasons for the Issue remaining unresolved so long.

 

Amanullah Khan, Supreme Head, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF)
B-144, Satellite Town, Murree Road, Rawalpindi
Tele fax: 92-51-4425689, Email amanullahkhan1931@gmail.com, web. www.jklfworld.org

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