..........'Switzerland of Asia!' is NOT negotiable. PERIOD.
..........By Bipin Patel London and Puneet Gupta Birmingham
'In the weeks after partition, the Kashmiri Muslims, aided by Pakistanis, revolted against their Hindu ruler, marched towards Srinagar, murdering, raping and looting wherever they went' writes Mr Bashir Khanbhai, Member of European Parliament, in Asian Voice of 6th April 2002. It sounds commendable of a law maker. However, it is a half baked truth, if not absolutely untrue. 'Kashmiri Muslims, aided by Pakistanis', replaced by, 'violent aggression of Pakistani regular army, aided by Pakistani tribal of that area', IS, the inevitable truth that can be substantiated by the fact that Lord Mountbatten, in his meeting on 1st November 1948 with Mohammad Ali Jinnah said "the violence came from tribesmen, for whom Pakistan, not India, was responsible".The Pakistani aggression on Indian in October 1947 was a Jehad. 11 Muslim leaders, - amongst whom were Dr. Zakir Hussain (Vice Chancellor Aligarh University and former President of India), Sir Sultan Ahmed (Former Member of Governor General's Executive Council) Sir Mohd.
Ahmed Syed Khan (Nawab of Chhatari, former acting Governor of United Provinces and Prime Minister of Hyderabad) Sir Mohd. Usman - (Former member of Governor General's Executive council and acting Governor of Madras) Sir Iqbal Ahmed (Former Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court) and A.K. Kawaja - (Former President of Muslim Majlis), in Text of Memorandum submitted by them to Dr. Frank P. Graham, United Nations Representative, dated 14 August, 1951, echoes, "Pakistan claims Kashmir, first, on the ground of the majority of the State's people being Muslims and, secondly, on the ground, of the state being essential to its economy and defence. To achieve its objective it has been threatening to launch "Jehad" against Kashmir in India".
The text continues "Persistent propaganda about "Jehad" is intended, among other things, to inflame religious passions in this country. For it would, of course, be in Pakistan's interests to promote communal rioting in India to show to Kashmiri Muslims how they can find security only in Pakistan.
Such a policy, however, can only bring untold misery and suffering to India and Pakistan generally and to Indian Muslims particularly".
The Hon. MEP continues, 'Hari Singh fled, and Nehru's India sent troops into Kashmir to quell the rebellion, prompting Hari Singh to sign the Instrument of Accession (IoA) that handed Kashmir to India.' Where and how on earth did the Hon. MEP do his research, implying that Hari Singh signed the IoA AFTER 'India SENT her troops to J&K? And who told him that Hari Singh "fled'? With Srinagar just miles away from the hands of the Muslim looters, arsonists and rapists, what was the Maharaja expected to do? Stay on and fight the uncivilised brutes? Instead, he chose to go first to Jammu and then to New Delhi; what, pray, was wrong with that?
For the specific benefit of the Hon. MEP and readers in general, factually correct version of history is that the Indian troops were sent into J&K AFTER the Instrument of Accession was, on 26th October 1947, submitted by the Maharaja Hari Singh as his exclusive Right as a Ruler of the Princely State, and Lord Mountbatten as Governor General of India, accepted the IoA on the next day. The IoA was provided for under Section 6 of the Government of India Act 1935, as adopted by Section 9 of the Indian Independence Act 1947 of the British Parliament. Thus, the Accession was complete in accordance with the Terms of Partition of the British India, which made no provision for Partition of the Princely States. It is final and legal - unchallenged-todate. US representative on the UN Security Council proclaimed, on February 4, 1948, that with the accession of J&K to India, sovereignty over that state went over to India. J&K's accession to India has been repeatedly found to be completely legal by international legal experts. In addition to this the Constituent Assembly of J&K unanimously ratified the accession on February 6, 1954.
The Hon. MEP's rather novel understanding that 'the remote north-western part (33% of land) around Gilgit known "Azad" Kashmir became part of Pakistan' too, needs correction. The so called "Azad" Kashmir actually an illegally occupied part of the Hari Singh's State of Jammu and Kashmir. It has not yet *become* part of Pakistan. It is illegally occupied Indian territory by Pakistan (PoK). What a coincidence that according to Hindustan Times report of , 7th April 2002 , at the recent session of UnitedNations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) in Geneva, Sardar Shukat Ali Kashmiri of European Public Relations said in speech that "in view of the climate of impunity prevailing in PoK and the northern areas, it is not surprising that the terrorist groups banned recently are still active in places like Tangir district of Baltistan and in Domel Area". The report further quotes Mr Ali " Kashmiri also demanded restoration of democracy and freedom of expression in PoK including Gilgit and Baltistan, withdrawal of false and politically motivated cases against political workers in these areas and an immediate end to harassment of innocent civilians in PoK by the secret intelligence agencies of Pakistan and extremist groups supported by these agencies".
The MEP further asks 'Have Kashmiris ever been asked what they want?', and immediately becomes his own judge and jury in declaring "NO!" and then continues with the Pakistani line, 'A key condition of the UN in 1949 was that a referendum should be held in the state', says the MEP. , No sane lawmaker can be excused for half knowledge dished out with a perverted pen. The fact of the matter is that the word "referendum" just does NOT exist anywhere in any of the UN resolutions!
The lawmaker should have known that under continued proxy Pakistani invasions into the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, India, rightfully complained on 1st January 1948, to The Security Council against Pakistan under Article 35 of the UN Charter.
Here is a fact-based approach of looking at the Kashmir situation.
1. There are two UN resolutions of relevance. The first one is of the United Nations Commission of India & Pakistan (UNCIP) dated 13th August 1948 provided that "the future status of the state of J&K shall be determined in accordance with the will of the people" [allowing three possibilities - (a). accession to India or (b). accession to Pakistan or (c). remaining independent]," . The second is of the UNCIP dated 5th January 1949 providing that "The question of accession of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite." Thus, the latter resolution excluded independence.
2. Part II of the UN resolution of 13-8-1948 explicitly required, as a pre-condition to any consideration of the plebiscite, the complete withdrawal by Pakistan of all persons who had illegally entered the state of J&K. That condition was reiterated in the resolution of 5-1-1949. Pakistan has obstinately refused to comply with that condition all these years. (In fact the Kashmir valley has been ethnically cleansed of Hindus and is currently dominated by terrorists from neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan.)
3. India accepted the above two resolutions only on the basis of certain assurances given by the UNCIP. Among those assurances -- which form part of the official records of the Security Council -- are the following:
Plebiscite proposals shall not be binding upon India if Pakistan does not implement Parts I and II of the resolution of August 13, 1949.
Pakistan shall be excluded from all affairs of J&K, in particular in the plebiscite, if one is held.
The sovereignty of the J&K government over the entire territory of the state shall not be brought into question.
There shall be no recognition of the so-called Azad (Free) Kashmir government.
The territory occupied by Pakistan shall not be consolidated to the disadvantage of the state of J&K. (Those UN assurances are enough for India to take Pakistan to the International Court of Justice?)
4. Pakistan was categorically branded as an aggressor on September 5, 1950 by Sir Owen Dixon, who succeeded UNCIP as UN Representative for Indian and Pakistan. He said "When the frontier of the state of Jammu and Kashmir was crossed... by the hostile elements, it was contrary to international law and when, in May 1948, units of the regular Pakistan forces moved into the territory of the state, that too was inconsistent with international law."
(Should we let this blatant aggressor bully and blackmail India now?)
5. The "Will of the people of J&K" has already been expressed. Consider the following sequence of events:
On 27-10-1950, the General Council of All Jammu & Kashmir National Conference passed a resolution asking for convening a Constituent Assembly of J&K state.
On 1-5-1951, the Yuvraj of J&K issued a proclamation directing the formation of a Constituent Assembly consisting of peoples' representatives elected onthe basis of adult franchise exercised by direct and secret ballot.
Elections under the above proclamation were completed by August 1951. Reporters and observers from all over the world described this election as free and fair.
The first meeting of that duly elected Constituent Assembly was held on 31-10-1951 when Sheikh Abdullah's opening address called that day as the "day of destiny. A day which comes only once in the life of a nation." He told the members then that whatever they decided had "the irrevocable force of law." One of the main objects of the Constituent Assembly, he declared then, was to declare its reasoned conclusions regarding the accession and the future of the state. He enumerated three alternatives: a. accession to India, b. accession to Pakistan c. complete independence.
The Constitution Drafting Committee's report was presented to the Constituent Assembly on 12-2-1954 and adopted on 15-2-1954. The adoption of this report signified the ratification of the state's accession to India.
The full Constituent Assembly itself confirmed the accession of J&K to India. Thus, Section 3 of the Constitution of the J&K state declares that 'The State of J&K is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India'.
Moreover, Section 147 of that Constitution forbids any amendment of its Section 3.
After the dissolution of the J&K Constituent Assembly, elections to the new legislative assembly were held in March 1957. The second elections to the state assembly were held in 1962 -- under the supervision of the Election Commission of India. And so on.
If all of the above wasn't a momentous symbol of "the will of the people", what was it?
6. The legality of J&K's accession to India was never questioned by the UN Security Council or by UNCIP. In fact, on February 4, 1948, the US Representative in the Security Council said "The external sovereignty of Kashmir is no longer under the control of the Maharaja... with the accession of Jammu and Kashmir, this foreign sovereignty went over to India and is exercised by India, and that is how India happens to be here as a petitioner."
7. The Legal Adviser to the UN Commission came to the conclusion that accession was legal and could not be questioned.
Additionally, Mr Bashir Khanbhai may wish to know what some of the world leaders had to say; 10th December 1955 : Soviet leaders Bulganan and Kruschev arrived in Srinagar and declared that Kashmir question as one of states of India has been settled by people of Kashmir, 16th March 1956: China's Chou En Lai said that the people of Kashmir have already expressed their will regarding accession to India,
20th November 1956: Former British Prime Minister Attlee says " Kashmir has definitely opted for Union with India.".
Besides these world leaders, on 27th April 1962 the Soviet delegates to Security Council said "Question of Kashmir as integral part of India has been decided by the people of Kashmir."
When Mr Khanbhai writes "The Muslim ruled Kashmir for 300 years before Ranjit Singh annexed it in 1789", it is reasonably safe to assume that Mr Khanbhai means to say that before 1489 it was ruled by Hindu kings of this beautiful Hindu Valley. Poet Kalhana, in his historic poem Rajtarangini, written well before the arrival of Muslims in India, gives a detailed account of the history of the rulers and their subjects. Of, course, the great epic Mahabharata too mentions Kashmir on several occasions.
India's fight in Kashmir is not a fight for a piece of territory; it is, instead, a fight for the preservation of the very idea of India. Kashmir has been from time immemorial and still is an integral part of Indian cultural and civilisational unity, and Nationhood, and therefore NOT NEGOTIABLE.