The second visit of the Quaid-e-Azam was in 1936 during which he hinted to his first visit, saying that he had visited Kashmir ten years earlier too. In 1936 the Quaid-e-Azam addressed a meeting held in connection with Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday of the Holy Prophet (SAW) at the Mujahid Manzil, Srinagar. The Muslim Conference (at that point of time was led by Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas and Sheikh Abdullah) in welcome address to Jinnah appreciated his role as lover of Hindu-Muslim unity. Mr. Jinnah reciprocated the sentiments and said that the Muslims were in majority in Kashmir but it was their duty to ensure that the minority community that is, the Hindus of Kashmir would get justice and fair play at the hands of the majority community of Kashmir.
Mr.Jinnah, who was once proclaimed as ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity, had been disillusioned by that time and in his speech regretted that some of the leaders of the majority community in British India had not been able to give such an assurance to the Muslim minority. That showed that the Quaid-e-Azam was not satisfied with the concept of Hindu-Muslim unity in British India.
The Muslim Conference, which represented the Muslims of the State 1936, was converted into National Conference in 1939 as its leaders had come under the influence of Nehru. Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas, who had joined hand with Sheikh Abdullah in 1939 to found National Conference, realized his mistake within three years. He returned to the Muslim Conference, which had been revived by 14 other leaders from Jammu and Kashmir. Soon many others joined the revived Muslim Conference and once again it became a force to reckon with.
The main and the last visit of the Quaid-e-Azam to the State of Jammu and Kashmir took place in 1944. During this visit he attended a reception by the National Conference headed by Sheikh Abdullah. Sheikh Abdullah had thought that with the help of Dogra administration and the active and crafty Hindus he would suppress the pro-Muslim League elements in the State and assure Mr. Jinnah that the Kashmiris, Hindus as well as Muslims, were believers in One Nation Theory of the Congress. A Hindu nationalist Jialal Kilam presented the address of welcome to the Quaid-e-Azam. The Quaid-e-Azam thanked the National Conference leadership for the right royal reception given to him but at the same time said that it was not a reception for his person, but to the All India Muslim League, the party of ten crore Muslims of India of which he was President. This annoyed the Hindu leader so much that he left the stage in distress.
One Voice With Kashmir
After the reception of the National Conference, the Quaid-e-Azam moved to Dalgate, Srinagar where the reception of the Muslim Conference and Kashmir Muslim Students Union was waiting for him. The Quaid spoke out his heart at this reception. His clarion call was “Oh ye Muslims, Our Allah is one, our Prophet (SAW) is one and our Quran is one, therefore, our voice and PARTY MUST BE ONE”. In the Muslim Conference annual session at Muslim Park, Jamia Masjid, Mr. Jinnah was more explicit. He asked the Muslims of Kashmir to beware of the trap of secularism and nationalism of the Congress brand.
The Quaid-e-Azam stayed in Kashmir for two months and a week, which showed his inveterate interest in the affairs of Kashmir and his belief that Kashmir is a jugular vein of Pakistan. While in Kashmir the Quaid-e-Azam also remained involved with All India politics. The talks between him and Mohan Lal Karam Chand Ghandi were initiated by C Rajagopalacharya when Jinnah was in Kashmir. During his stay in Kashmir the Quaid-e-Azam created an atmosphere of understanding and support for the Muslim Conference and by his departure the Whole State was resounding with his slogans and that of Pakistan. The Quaid-e-Azam was a principled constitutionalist and in his meetings he made it clear that the scheme of partition pertained to British India and as regards the States some additional formula would have to be envisaged.
Regarding Srinagar visit of the Quaid-e-Azam in 1944, Alastair Lamb says ” M.A. Jinnah, unlike Jawaharlal Nehru was extremely reluctant at this period of time to involve himself directly (or the Muslim League which he headed) in the internal affairs of the Princely State; such action would in his eyes have been constitutionally improper. (Page 97 Kashmir Disputed Legacy). The Quaid-e-Azam’s interest in Kashmir is evident from the fact that he explained the significance of the name of Pakistan to Mountbatten on 17 May 1947 as follows:
“The derivation of the word Pakistan – P for Punjab; A for Afghan (i.e. Pathans NWFP); K for Kashmir; I for nothing because that letter was not in the word in Urdu; S for Sindh and Tan for the last syllable for Baluchistan”.
This explanation of the Quaid-e-Azam is contained in the official publication in the United Kingdom between 1980 and 1993 of the four final volumes of a selection of British documents relating to the Transfer of Power in India. According to Transfer of Power papers TEX No. 473 the whole word Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan then went on to say, meant “Pure Land”. The name Pakistan it seems was devised by Chaudhry Rehmat Ali in 1933. Since then the K is the world always bore the same significance: it referred to Kashmir.
The logic behind the partition of the Indian Empire into Muslim and non-Muslim partition clearly suggested that Kashmir ought to go to Pakistan. Firstly: the state of Jammu and Kashmir was a region with an overwhelming Muslim majority contiguous to the Muslim majority region of Punjab, which became part of Pakistan.
Secondly: the economy of the State of Jammu and Kashmir was bound up with what became Pakistan. Its best communication with the outside world lay through Pakistan and this was the route taken by the bulk of its exports.
Third: The waters of the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab all of which flowed through Jammu and Kashmir territory, were essential for the prosperity of Agriculture life of Pakistan. From a strictly rational point of view, based on a study of culture and economy of the region, there can be little doubt that a scheme for the Partition of the Indian subcontinent as was devised in 1947 should have awarded the greater part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan. Thus Jammu and Kashmir is undoubtedly Jugular vein of Pakistan.
The Indus known in the subcontinent as ‘Sindh’ is 1800 miles long and is thus amongst the principal rivers of the world. Rising in western Tibet at the height of 17000 feet, it cuts across the Laddakh range near Thangra and continues its northwesterly course between it and Zanskar range for about 300 miles. Zanskar River joins it about 12 miles west of Leh. Before it enters Hazara, it has already traversed a distance of 812 miles. India has plans to divert the river at a proper point.
The river Jhelum has its source in Verinag in southern Kashmir, at a height of nearly 6000 feet, where it begins in the shape of small stream but by the time it reaches Baramula town, a distance of 102 miles it assumes the shape of a big river on account of having joined by its more important tributaries Sindh and Lidder. The towns of Islamabad, Srinagar, Sopore, Do-ab-gal, Baramula, Uri and Muzaffarabad are towns at its bank in the State. The river passes through Woolar Lake where India plans to construct a barrage, which if completed will starve Pakistan’s irrigated Lands. By the time Jhelum reaches Mangla it has a vertical fall of 4000 feet, which has been made use of by Pakistan by building a multiple purpose Dam Project.
Chanab descends from Lahole in the Chamba range of the Himalayas. It takes leave of the mountains at Akhnoor in Jammu and Kashmir State. It enters Pakistan at Khairi Rihal in Gujrat District. At Salal, a place 7 miles from Reasi India has constructed a Dam. The Lake thus formed is being used not only for generation of electricity but also for irrigation purpose, which would reduce the quantity of water that flows in Pakistan. In times of War, it can be used to inundate large areas of Land in Sialkot, Gujranwala and Sheikpura. Parts of its water stands already diverted at Akhnoor to feed the Ranbir canal, which irrigates large areas in Jammu, Sambha and Ranbirsinghpura.
Under the Indus Basin Treaty out of five rivers of the Punjab two rivers namely Jhelum and Chanab came to Pakistan’s shared and three namely Ravi, Sutlej and Beas went to India’s. But all the three Pakistan rivers (Indus included) either rise in or traverse the State of Jammu and Kashmir and the agriculture of the Punjab and Sindh to a great extent depends upon the melting snows of its mountains. The great Mangla Dam, so important to the economy of Pakistan, lies in the territory, which was once part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
The valleys of the major Kashmiri Rivers, now so vital to the economy of Pakistan also provided until very recently the main lines of communications between the state and the outside world. The road to Srinagar started at Rawalpindi and followed the course of the Jhelum into the vale of Kashmir. The valley of upper Indus gave access to the hill State of Gilgit region. The Line of the beds of the rivers which created links between the western part of the Punjab (now Pakistan) and Kashmir also made communications between eastern part of (India) and Kashmir extremely difficult. The only road within the State of Jammu and Kashmir, for example, which linked Jammu (the winter capital of the State) with Srinagar (the Jammu capital) involves the crossing of Pir Panjal Range by means of Banihal Pass, over 9,000 feet high and snow bound in winter the easiest route between Jammu and Srinagar lay through west (Pakistan) Punjab by way of Sialkot and Rawalpindi at the moment of Partition in 1947 there existed but one road from India to Jammu, by way of Pathankot (which was again a tehsil of Gurdaspur District, a Muslim majority District with Pathankot tehsil having marginal Hindu majority); and this was then of poorest quality and much of it un-surfaced. Thus Kashmir has been described as the Jugular vein of Pakistan.
Krishna Menon wrote a private letter to Mountbatten on 14 June 1947 warning him with dire consequences for the future of Anglo-Indian relations, if the State of Jammu and Kashmir were permitted to go to Pakistan. The gist of the argument seemed to be that it might be perceived that British policy, while accepting abandonment of India, was to make Pakistan, strengthened by accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, into the eastern frontier of a British sphere of influence in the Middle East. Such development would not be at all popular in the newly independent India: and it might put at risk the extensive British interests there. It was essential n Menon’s view that the State of Jammu and Kashmir be brought within the Indian fold.
According to British Transfer of Power papers, Menon had asked Mountbatten not to keep this letter; it had however survived among the Mountbatten papers. About the same time Mountbatten requested Nehru to prepare a Note on Kashmir for him, which Nehru did. Nehru in the Note said: “Kashmir is of first importance to us because of the great strategic importance of the frontier state”.
Nehru concluded: “If any attempt is made to put Kashmir into the Pakistan constituent assembly there is likely to be much trouble because the National Conference is not in favor of it and the Maharaja’s position would also become difficult. The normal and obvious course appears to be for Kashmir to join the constituent assembly of India. This will satisfy both the popular demand and Maharaja’s wishes. It is absurd to think that Pakistan would create trouble, if this happens.”.
Mountbatten disliked the prospect of independence for the State of Jammu and Kashmir after the Transfer of Power. While publicly declaring that Maharaja was perfectly entitled to accede either to Pakistan or India, he personally favored a solution where Maharaja left the decision to Sheikh Abdullah’s National Conference as Nehru’s note suggested, Sheikh Abdullah would surely opt for India.
Sheikh Abdullah along with Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas was in prison. So the first important thing was to get him released. For this Nehru himself was keen to go to Kashmir. It was with great difficulty that Mountbatten was able to dissuade him on the ground that Nehru must ” really look to his duty to the Indian people as a whole. There were four hundred million in India and only four million in Kashmir”. It was rather irresponsible of the future Prime Minister of India, Mountbatten observed, to spend so much time on what was but one of the many grave problems confronting him.
Mountbatten himself did visit Srinagar but was unable to persuade the Maharaja to discuss serious matters. Alastair Lamb has however, interpreted the record on the discussion as implying that the Maharaja would be well advised to join India if he entertained any hope of retaining his position in the State. The Congress would keep him on his throne. Mr. Jinnah and his Muslim League would make sure that his subjects brought about his overthrow.
Jawaharlal Nehru, was however, disappointed that Mountbatten had been “unable to solve the problem of Kashmir” for he observed, “that the problem would not be solved until Sheikh Abdullah was released from the prison”. It was eventually agreed that Mohan Das Karam Chand Ghandi should go to Kashmir in Nehru’s place to take up the “question of Sheikh Abdullah” and Mountbatten wrote to Maharaja to pave the way.
Incidentally Ghandi’s visit was not the only visit to the Maharaja by leading personalities of Indian side on the eve of the Transfer of Power. There were Kashmir excursions by Acharya Kriplani, the then President of Congress and the Sikh rulers of Patila, Kapurthala and Faridkot States of East Punjab which had decided to accede to India. Kapurthala was of course, a State with a Muslim majority (at least until the massacre that accompanied Partition) and a non-Muslim ruler. Jinnah desired to visit Kashmir but Maharaja did not agree. There is no evidence of consultation with Jinnah on Kashmir by Mountbatten as record shows with Nehru.
According to official British Transfer of Power papers Mountbatten had told the Nawab of Bhopal and the Maharaja of Indore on 4 August 1947, the state of Jammu and Kashmir was so placed geographically that it could join either dominion, provided part of Gurdaspur District was put into East Punjab by the Boundary Commission- in other words only by giving Gurdaspur to India, would the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir be presented with a free chance; to give Gurdaspur to Pakistan was effectively to guarantee that the State of Jammu and Kashmir would sooner or later fall to that dominion.
The geographic and economic links between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan were better than those with India, particularly if in the actual process of Partition the Gurdaspur District of Punjab with Muslim majority were awarded to Pakistan. A Pakistani Gurdaspur would mean that direct Indian land access to the State (which was by no means ideal even across the Gurdaspur District) would have to be through Kangra District of Punjab (now in Himachal) over extremely difficult terrain provided foot hill of the Himalayas by either direct into Jammu or by way of Pathankot tehsil of Gurdaspur District (where there was a small Hindus majority) if that tehsil alone went to India; and all this would involve new roads which would take considerable time to construct.
The theory of partition was that all Muslim Majority districts contiguous to the Muslim core of Punjab would go to Pakistan. In the event, with the awarding of three out of four tehsils of Gurdaspur District to East Punjab (that is to say the part of Punjab, which was to be Indian) the accession to India of the State of Jammu and Kashmir became a practical as opposed to theoretical, possibility. Because two of these tehsils Batala and Gurdaspur, were with significant Muslim majorities (only Pathankot tehsil then had a small Hindu majority) this award seemed to go against the basic spirit of Partition; and the Gurdaspur decision has consequently been the subject of a great deal of discussion. Mountbatten has been accused, particularly in Pakistan, of deliberate intent to favor the interests of India over these of Pakistan.
Within Pakistan there has been a persistent consensus both among the elites and the masses that the Boundary Commission led by Cyril Radcliffe in 1947 has been responsible for most of the India-Pakistan discords with Kashmir leading the list. Pakistanis have maintained all along that last minute changes were made in the Boundary Award under manipulation by Mountbatten and their associates to suit the Indian geo-strategic imperatives. The cession of Muslim majority areas in Ferozepur and Gurdaspur areas (in former eastern Punjab) to India at the last moment have always been perceived in terms of India’s long time designs on Kashmir itself. Even long after Radcliffe’s Award, such question were raised not only in Pakistani and British press but, as the contemporary classified official documents reveal, inter-departmental concerns dogged the officials in British Foreign Office, Commonwealth Relations Office and their High Commissions in South Asia. In a luncheon meeting arranged by Mountbatten for Radcliffe and attended by Lord Ismay, a close confidant of the Viceroy, drastic changes were made in the Boundary Award. Rao Ayer, the Assistant Secretary to the Commission, the Maharaja of Bikaner and V.P. Menon played a crucial role in influencing the British official decisions at this juncture, denying Pakistan Muslim majority areas in Gurdaspur and Ferozepur Districts Menon, to the knowledge of all, was the trusted confident of Vallabhai Patel and enjoyed closer access to the viceroy whose personal antagonism to Jinnah was publicly known.
On Menon’s being confidant of the both Patel and Mountbatten Chaudhry Mahamood Ali in his book Emergence of Pakistan, has observed: “If a Muslim officer had been in V.P. Menon’s position was known to maintain contact with Jinnah, no Viceroy could have tolerated it without laying himself open to the charge of partisanship; in any case, the Congress would have made it impossible for such an officer to continue in that position”. This has also been endorsed by Alan Cambell- Johnson in “Mission with Mountbatten”.
A senior Muslim official himself had seen an early version of the map in Ismay’s office in Delhi, which had shown those areas already within India, even before the Award was made public. Radcliffe’s Secretary, Christopher Beaumont, in a detailed expose in February 1992, has further provided first hand substance to such long-held suspicion.
Radcliffe had prepared his Award about the distribution of territories of the Punjab between India and Pakistan by 8 August 1947 by which tehsils of Ferozpur and Zira were allotted to Pakistan. This was done on the basis of population ration – Ferozepur with 55 percent Muslim and Zira with 65 Percent Muslim, but it was Mountbatten’s support for a strong post-independence India against a weakened Pakistan, which made Mountbatten to pressurize Radcliffe to give these two tehsils to India so that India have access to Kashmir. British historian Andrew Roberts comes to believe that “Mountbatten’s action over delaying the announcement of Radcliffe Award after 9 August indicate of him guilty of the errant folly as well as dishonesty”. He pleads in his book that Mountbatten deserved to be court-martialled on his return to London”.
Pakistan Day Celebrated In Srinagar
Many Pakistanis, and not only the leaders like M.A. Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan, once they appreciated the implications of the Award by Radcliffe Commission of the three eastern tehsils of Gurdaspur District to India, felt profound sense of betrayal. It was understandable that some of them should begin to contemplate unorthodox and unofficial course of action.
While Poonch formally became an integral part of Jammu and Kashmir State in 1935-36, its Muslim inhabitants (some 380,000 out of a total 420,000) resented the change and never reconciled themselves to being subjects of that State an attitude, which was to be of great significance in 1947. Traditionally the people of Poonch had little indeed to do with their neighbors in the vale of Kashmir across the Pir Panjal Range, and even less with Jammu: their links had always been across the Jhelum, particularly in the Hazara District of NWFP.
Large number of men from Poonch (mainly Sudhans from Sudhnuti tehsil) had served in the British Indian army during the War; and Poonch men (Poonchis) also constituted the strength of the Jammu and Kashmir State Forces; in 1947 the Jagir of Poonch may have contained as many as 60,000 ex-servicemen who could provide a formidable nucleus for any resistance to the Maharaja. In June 1947 there began in Poonch a “no tax” campaign which rapidly developed into a secessionist movement from the state greatly reinforced throughout much of Poonch (and in Srinagar as well) when on 14 and 15 August people tried to celebrate “Pakistan Day” (which coincided with Kashmir Day which had been observed since 1931) in defiance of Maharaja’s orders by displaying Pakistan flags and holding public demonstrations. Martial Law was introduced. About two weeks after Transfer of Power there were major clashes between the State Troops in this case and Poonch crowds resulting in large number of casualties.
On 12 August 1947 the new Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir State, Janak Singh proposed by telegram a Stand Still Agreement both with Pakistan and India. Pakistan agreed on 15 August. India procrastinated, arguing that the matter needed to be negotiated by an official from the State sent to Delhi. No such official was dispatched for this purpose- no Standstill Agreement ever concluded. The Indian response was certainly a departure from the procedure, which Mountbatten had earlier indicated and it suggested that Indian policy after Independence was going to set out in hitherto uncharted waters.
The Maharaja confronted with growing internal disorder (including a full scale rebellion into the Poonch region of the State), sought Indian military help without, if at all possible, surrendering his own independence. On 25 October 1947, before the Kashmir crisis had fully developed and before Indian claims based on so-called Maharaja’s accession to India (which is alleged to have had been signed on 26 October 1947) had been voiced, Nehru in a telegram to Attlee, the British Prime Minister, declared that:
“I should like to make it clear that (the) question of aiding Kashmir… 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 must be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people, and we adhere to this view”. An instrument of Accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India is alleged to have been signed by Maharaja on 26 October 1947 and the acceptance of this Instrument was made by Governor General of India on 27 October 1947.
Another pair of documents consists of letter from the Maharaja to Mountbatten dated 26 October, 1947 in which Indian military aid is sought in return for accession to India (on terms stated in an allegedly enclosed Instrument) and the appointment of Sheikh Abdullah to head the interim government of State; and a letter from Mountbatten to the Maharaja dated 27 October, 1947 acknowledging the above and noting that, once the affairs of the State have been settled and law and order is restored “the question of the State’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people”.
Fake Instrument of Accession
The recent research based on the material in archives and sources as the memoirs of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India and Prime Minister Jammu and Kashmir at that time Mehar Chand Mahajan and the recently published correspondence of Jawaharlal Nehru and V.P. Menon’s account (The Integration of Indian States) prove beyond any shadow of doubt that these two documents (a) the Instrument of accession and (b) the letter of the Maharaja to Mountbatten could not possibly have been signed on 26 October 1947. By that time Maharaja had fled from the capital and during October 26, 1947 he was traveling by road from Srinagar to Jammu. His Prime Minister, M.C. Mahajan who was negotiating with government of India and senior Indian official concerned in the State matter V.P. Menon were still in New Delhi where their presence was noted by many observers. There was no communication between New Delhi and the traveling maharaja. Menon and Mahajan set out by air from New Delhi to Jammu at about IO A.M. on 27 October and the Maharaja learned from them for the first time the result of his prime minister’s negotiations in New Delhi in the early afternoon of that date. The earliest possible time and date for their signature would have been the afternoon of 27 October 1947.
With regard to exchange of letters between Maharaja and Mountbatten, the former seeking military aid and the latter acknowledging the same and promising plebiscite, Alastair lamb says ” It seems more than probable, both were drafted by Government of India before being taken to Jammu on 27 October 1947 (by V.P. Menon and Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister M.C. Maharan whose movements, incidentally, are correctly reported in the London Times of 28 October, 1947) after the arrival of Indian troops at Srinagar field. The case is very strong, therefore, that the document i.e. Maharaja’s letter to Mountbatten was dictated to the Maharaja”.
Government of India published two documents namely Maharaja’s letter and Mountbatten’s reply on 28 October 1947. But the far more important document- the alleged Instrument of Ascension was not published until many years later, if at all. It was not communicated to Pakistan at the outset of overt Indian intervention in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, nor was it presented in facsimile to the United Nations in early 1948 as part of Indian reference to the Security Council. The 1948 White Paper in which Government of India set out its formal case in respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir does not contain the Instrument of Accession as claimed to have been signed by the Maharaja. Instead, it reproduces an unsigned form of Accession such as, it is implied, the Maharaja might have signed.
Alastair Lamb writes: “To date no satisfactory original of this Instrument as signed by the Maharaja has been produced; though a highly suspect version, complete with the false date 26 October 1947, has been circulated by the Indian side since the 1960’s. On the present evidence it is by no means clear that the Maharaja ever did sign an Instrument of Accession. There are, indeed, grounds for suspecting that he did no such thing”.
Indian Intervention & Pakistan’s Response
Indian official intervention was decided on 26 October 1947 and a massive airlift was immediately organized to fly two infantry battalions into Srinagar. Over 100 Dakota transport aircraft were assembled at various airfields around Delhi. Obviously this airlift had to have been product of much planning which had been started weeks before. There were surely contingency plans somewhere in the Indian army. The operation in the State of Jammu and Kashmir presented grave logistical problems particularly in winter. Publication of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel correspondence leaves one in no doubt whatsoever that he and his associates had been involved in military planning about Kashmir for more than a month before the operation which could have had hardly escaped the notice of senior British military officers.
On the other hand, when, late on 27 October 1947 the Quaid-e-Azam instructed Pakistani troops to go into the State of Jammu and Kashmir to try and restore order he was frustrated by the acting Commander in Chief of Pakistan Army Lt. Gen. Sir Douglas Gracey. By the same token, it would be seen that British Commanders on the Indian side adopted Nelsoniasn approach to Indian preparations for intervention in Kashmir.
Instead of carrying out orders of the Quaid-e-Azam Gracey telephone to the Supreme Commander Field Marshal Auchinleck in Delhi for instructions. On this Auchinleck flew to Lahore on 28 October. As a result of Auchinleck’s intervention the Quaid-e-Azam invited Mountbatten and Nehru to Lahore the next day to discuss Kashmir crisis. The invitation was accepted on telephone and departure of Mountbatten and Nehru was announced in the afternoon of the same day but four hours after the acceptance it was also declared that the trip had been cancelled. This meeting was then fixed for 1 November 1947, which was also not attended by Nehru. Mountbatten, however, came to Lahore on this appointed date. The Quaid-e-Azam in his three and a half-hour meeting with Mountbatten argued “that the accession was not bona fide, since it rested on violence and fraud and would thus never be accepted by Pakistan”.
Quaid-e-Azam impressed upon Mountbatten the need for arranging plebiscite in Kashmir under the joint auspices of Governments of India and Pakistan, a proposal to which Mountbatten showed agreement just to put before the Indian cabinet. Next day Mountbatten flew to New Delhi from Lahore and placed the proposal before the Indian cabinet. Nehru however, planned a different strategy. In a radio broadcast on 2 November 1947 Nehru declared that the Government of India ” are prepared when peace and order have been established in Kashmir to have a reference held ‘not under arrangements to be made by Government’s of India and Pakistan”, (as advised by the Quaid-e-Azam), but “under international auspices like the United Nations”.
The full Indian presentation was sent to the United Nations on 31 December and put before the Security Council the next day. Since then the Kashmir dispute is on the agenda of the United Nations. The world body has passed numerous resolutions calling for holding UN supervised plebiscite to let the people of Jammu and Kashmir decide their destiny. Both India and Pakistan had accepted the UN resolutions. India’s founding father Nehru had pledged more than once not to go back on it “as a great nation”. Pakistan and people of Jammu and Kashmir State are demanding implementation of these resolutions, which India claims to have become redundant with the passage of time.
Mountbatten’s breach of trust and Nehru’s devious policy had an adverse effect on the Quaid-e-Azam’s health. At the time of Partition he had been confident of Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan because of its Muslim population and geographical situation. At a public reception at Lahore the Quaid-e-Azam said: “We have been victim of a deep-laid and well-planned plot executed with utter disregard for the elementary principles of honesty, chivalry and honor”.
In May 1948 the Quaid-e-Azam moved to Ziarat for rest where he remained under medical treatment of a team of doctors including Dr. Riaz Ali Shah till his death in September 1948. According to Dr. Riaz Ali Shah’s Diary (Publishing House, Bull Road publication 1950) the Quaid-e-Azam was stated to have said, “Kashmir is the Jugular vein of Pakistan and no nation or country would tolerate its Jugular vein remains under the sword of the enemy”.
Not only the Jugular vein of Pakistan but also that of Kashmiri community in particular has been under the sword of the enemy for the last fifty years. In fact the people of the Indian occupied Kashmir have been pushed to the wall to have this realization. Those who supported the States accession to India or remained indifferent at that time now stand disillusioned. The people of Kashmir particularly the Muslim majority were gradually subjected to economic strangulation. In early years India did pump huge funds for development of the occupied State to show to the world that rapid economic progress was taking place in the area. Several welfare schemes were launched including free education from primary and post-graduate level. This gave temporary satisfaction to both classes of people namely pro-accession and anti-accession. The former saw in it vindication of their stance. The latter thanked Pakistan for keeping the Kashmir issue alive forcing India to siphon more and more money to Kashmir.
Simultaneously with spending funds in the State of Jammu and Kashmir cultural and economic onslaught was let loose in full swing. Hindi was introduced in almost all-educational institutions; in some it was compulsorily taught. Roads and institutions were re-christened after the name of Indian leaders. Wherever there was resistance from the local population, the move was temporarily suspended. Islamabad town founded by Islam Khan, a Subedar of Mughal King in 1640, and known for sulphurous springs and black fish was re-christened as Anantnag (plenty of springs). The local population resisted the official change in the town’s name. All shops and private buses plying to and from the town carried Islamabad signboard. But post Office took pains to correct the mail address to Anantnag. Local people however, persistently post their letters with Islamabad address.
Indian economic tentacles were spread to the farthest corner of the State by opening offices of State Bank of India (which is like National Bank of Pakistan). On the roadside one could see signboards of IFFECO (Indian farmer’s cooperative organization for marketing) and All India handicraft Board. Economic domination by non-Muslim and non-kashmiris mounted. In 80’s in Srinagar alone 42,000 Muslim families had mortgaged their immovable property to Indian banks at as high rate as 20 percent interest. The Indian banks were liberal in advancing loans for non-productive ventures but very niggardly in case of economically feasible projects. Within years the borrowers were deprived of their belongings through court decrees.
No commercial article reached the consumers without passing through non-Muslim and non-kashmiri agencies. Export business had been monopolized by non-Muslims and non-kashmiris. In 80’s except for one Muslim firm namely Indo-Kashmir Carpet, six other exporters licensed to export carpets from Kashmir were non-Muslim, non-kashmiri firms.
The original industries for which Kashmir was known for namely carpet- manufacturing, fruit cultivation, wood carving, embroidery and paper mache had gone in quandary. After occupation Indian Government made it a point to recruit all leading skilled labor as instructors to train persons in Himachal Pradesh in the same trade. Thus industries like embroidery and fruit cultivation had gradually centered in Himachal Pradesh. With closure of short land routes leading to Pakistan after Indian occupation, fresh fruits of Kashmir could not reach markets. Kashmir type carpets started to be manufactured in Amritsar (Punjab) and Mirzapur (UP). Wood carving on Kashmir pattern had been started in Saharanpur (U.P). Himachal, Saharanpur Mirzapur and Amritsar products elbowed out the Kashmiri products from market on account of being cheaper because of less transport expenses. Patterns of Kashmiri artcraft were fed into Indian machines to make Kashmiri handicrafts uneconomical.
Tourism remained the only industry in the field till the resistance movement was afoot in late 90’s. The clientele was largely Hindu from India. This too posed a cultural threat to Kashmiris. Guides and attendants would say “Nomaskar” with folded hands lest they should be deprived of their tips’. In 90’s a Muslim guide was asked what was his name, he replied ‘X,Y,Z”. He did not disclose his name and faith till he found that his addressed was a Muslim.
Even the National Conference elements who supported accession to India in early years are now disillusioned and repentant in their hearts of heart. In early 80’s a National Conference stalwart admitted: ” We had apprehended that by merger with Pakistan, Kashmir culture would be eroded under Punjab domination as the Punjabis are of aggressive temperament. But now we feel that Kashmiri culture was to go anyway and our Islamic character would undoubtedly have the Hindu impact. But now that the mistake had been done, its rectification will depend on time and circumstances. ” If ballot had been allowed to have a free play Kashmiris would have kept their separate identity intact. But that was not so be so. There may be no immediate reaction on the surface but after fifteen years or so, Kashmir will be a base for Pakistan provided Pakistan is intrinsically strong at that time”, he said after regaining self-confidence.
As the Kashmiris are keen to keep their religion and cultural ethos intact, the Hindu minority backed by Indian government is equally enthusiast about not letting the Muslim influence spread in areas where Muslims are not in majority, say Jammu and Laddakh. Administrative arrangements are often made at the instance of Indian Government so that Hindu majority areas, even at district and tehsil level get as much free hand as possible.
In recent years Laddakh Hill Council was constituted to give them an internal autonomy. Hindu Pundits of Kashmir valley also staged a drama of leaving their hearths and homes to shift to Jammu to give communal color to the ongoing struggle for the right to self-determination by the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu also has been getting more autonomous as compared to the past. There used to be one Director Education for the entire Jammu and Kashmir State. Now there are two full-fledged Directors of Education separately in charge of Jammu and Kashmir with separate funds of equal amount.
A chairman of Jammu and Kashmir State Public Service Commission had to quit his job, as he did not oblige to recruit a certain percentage of Hindu teachers irrespective of their low merit for appointment in State schools. Sheikh Abdullah had been told by Indian Government that certain percentage of Hindus had to be taken for recruitment as schoolteachers. When a Muslim and Kashmiri Chairman was not obliging he was replaced by a Sikh to do the needful.
Similarly there was no longer any Director of Health for the State. Instead there were two Deputy Directors separately in charge of Jammu and Kashmir. May be the State is ultimately divided into three separate administrative units- Kashmir, Jammu and Laddakh as Indian Punjab was divided into Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab to save Hindu areas from Sikh domination. Even in the Kashmir valley the Muslim police officers are kept debarred from training in arms handling. The Muslim personnel may be promoted to the rank of Deputy Superintendent of police but his subordinate Hindu sepoy would be trained to handle arms while he would remain deficient in this field.
Jammu, culturally and linguistically, is more akin to Himachal Pradesh then to Kashmir valley. The atmosphere of the valley is so different that Hindu tourists returning from Kashmir start feeling at home as soon as they cross Banihal tunnel (now named as Jawaharlal tunnel) and similarly Muslims on entering into Kashmir valley by crossing the tunnel feel a sense of familiarity.
In 80’s this scribe was stationed at New Delhi as A.P.P. correspondent and used PTI (Press Trust of India and Indian counterpart of A.P.P) office for functioning. A friendly PTI Staffer had been seen in office for a week or so in a summer month. On return he said he had been to a hill station. On being asked whether he had gone to Kashmir, he candidly stated, “Who would go to Kashmir? Hatred for us is writ large in the eyes of Kashmiris. Militancy had not surfaced by that time.
Sheikh Abdullah is stated to have had a dream of internal autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir within India. This unrealistic dream could never come true and indeed did not. But in the process of dreaming Sheikh Abdullah put the jugular vein of the entire Kashmiri community under the sword of Hindu India. He walked out of prison to become the so-called Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. His honeymoon with Nehru ended soon and he again went to jail in 1953. And for the rest of his life he had been unsuccessfully clamoring for pre-1953 status for the State of Jammu and Kashmir, which was never restored.
Till 1953 a special permission was required for Indians to enter Kashmir. Till 1953 accession was considered to be conditional. In 1953 India claimed the fraudulent accession of Jammu and Kashmir to be final. Till 1953 the chief executive of Jammu and Kashmir was called Prime Minister and not the chief minister.
During his chief minister-ship Sheikh Abdullah did keep senior civil posts in the state to be held by Kashmiris and projected this as decentralization policy. But this was more for his personal convenience rather than by conviction or a matter of policy. Kashmiri bureaucrats obviously desired not to be transferred outside the State. Thus they were more submissive and willing to do any dirty job for the chief minister while Indian Administrative Service officers consulted Delhi before executing any apparently extraordinary orders from the chief minister.
As regards Article 370 of the Indian constitution giving special status to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, it has been amended so many times that it has lost the import it was intended for. Autonomy had been consistently eroding. Earlier this year Hindu nationalist party BJP won parliamentary polls in India with election promises to do away with whatever was left of Article 370 for the State of Jammu and Kashmir, repealing personal Law for Muslims in India, constructing Rama temple in place of Babri Mosque pulled down by Hindu fanatics seven years back in Ayodhya and making India a nuclear weapon state. Within 40 days of coming into power of BJP, India with a series of underground nuclear tests had already become the sixth nuclear power state in the world with BJP redeeming one of the pledges.
Sheikh Abdullah had returned to power in Jammu and Kashmir State in 1976, of course, without winning anything extra for state subjects or repairing any damage done to the State’s autonomy. His duplicity was more than exposed. In Jammu and Kashmir he was described at clever and cunning man and his slogan of State’s self-assertion as mere stunt.
The people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir however, remained one and determined to resist any attempt to destroy their distinct Muslim entity. The restrictions imposed by the late Maharaja on granting state subject certificate to any outsider remained in force on paper but with scant respect by the powers that be. In early 80’s Dr. Mehboob Beg, son of Afzal Beg who had founded Inquilabi National Conference after falling apart form Sheikh Abdullah in 1976, alleged that 1500 domicile certificates were issued over signatures of Sheikh Abdullah chief Minister alone. The number of the subjects certificates issued at tehsil level was immensely large. This had upset the ratio of population of Muslims vis a vis non-Muslims. Corruption was rampant in the state and the entire administration from top to bottom was involved in it. Dr. Mehboob, physician by profession had left his job to step into his father’s shoes.
The Congress (I) circles alleged that Sheikh Abdullah and his family members were rolling in millions. There was hardly a metropolitan place in India where Sheikh or his family members did not own real estate, mostly in form of picture houses. Through various factors, the complexion of population was changing in the State to the disadvantage of the Muslims. According to early 80’s census figures the growth rate in Muslim population was dwindling as compared to Hindus, According to official explanation more Muslims were taking to family Planning.
The census (1981) figures were as follows:
Kashmir Valley——27 Lac (Including Hindus)
Jammu —————- 24 Lac (there is a Muslim belt in Jammu too)
Thus the population of Kashmir valley was equal to that of Jammu and Laddakh put together. So the Muslims have only a thin edge majority. While attempts were being made to save as many Hindus from Muslim cultural influence, an effort was also being made to cut cultural moorings of the Muslim. Well to do persons particularly upstart families were taking to western type of education, which in any case take the young generation away from its cultural heritage.
New inscription mostly in Hindi were being put on the tombs of old Muslim saints to say that they had equal followings among Muslims and Hindus in a bid to appease and attract Hindu tourists and at the same time inculcate among Muslims a feeling that they had no separate spiritual heritage. A Muslim Malik teamed up with Hindu Pundits to organize “Charri Mubrarak’ and Amar Nath cave pilgrimage and share the offerings. Hindi was replacing Urdu in many educational institutions to be taught along with Kashmiri language. The intention was that with the passage of time Urdu disappears and its elimination might cause a communication gap between Kashmiris and Pakistanis.
Ploy of Resettlement Bill
A private bill Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Permit for Resettlement (Permanent Return to the State) Bill 1980 piloted by Abdul Rahim Rathor was adopted by the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir legislature with the support of the ruling National Conference. This was an enabling provision to grant for permit for resettlement in the State of any person who had been a State subject and migrated to the territories now forming Pakistan (it did not apply to Azad Kashmir) between March 1947 and May 14, 1954. Ostensibly it was intended to give a deceptive impression to the general public that there were many Kashmiri Muslims who had migrated to Pakistan were but now being repentant and dissatisfied with living conditions in Pakistan and wanted to return to the State, which was still paradise on Earth. Indeed it was a camouflage in the sense that under its garb the motive was to give permit of residence to those Hindu migrants from Pakistan at the time of Independence and from other places in India subsequently to offset Muslim majority complexion of the state.
According to the some Srinagar citizens the real purpose of the bill was to distribute the property left by Muslims in Jammu among favorites of Sheikh Abdullah. The evacuee property had already been given to Hindus and lacks of rupees were being received by way of rent and the Bill aimed at finally distributing the booty among the favorites. A provision of the Bill lay down that the applicant for resettlement was to take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of India and to undertake to faithfully observe the laws of the State and India.
In early 80’s militancy was not visible on surface, yet the youth looked conscious and determined to fight their own battle. They admitted that Pakistan had done its outmost for them and had suffered in return. The people in the valley were on the whole Islam-loving and pro-Pakistan. It was a privilege to parade as a Pakistani. They love you. Every body would offer you a cup of tea. You do not have to introduce yourself. Their just coming to know that you are a Pakistani was enough. Even not very bold persons would come to whisper in your ear: We know you. We are pleased to see you here. They did not wait to be introduced or to introduce themselves and would disappear in the crowd.
An attendant in a tourist bungalow said, “We too were very keen on Pakistan. Probably it was not our luck to be Pakistanis”. Love for Islam is inexhaustible. On occasion of Shab-e-Bara’t mosques were full for the entire night for what they called “Shab” which included Zikar, Naatkhwani and Waaz. In early 80’s too there was massive Indian military presence in the State. But even bus drivers were bold enough to defy military officer’s instructions. The bus driver that drove the scribe and family members from Srinagar to Jammu ignored the signals of a military sergeant on a bridge and later talked to him with his head high.
He probably defied the traffic signal in a bid not to waste time since I had told him that we were to catch Jhelum Express train the same evening at Jammu for Delhi. In spite of the heavy odds created by landslides on the main road and diversions, the driver reached Jammu well in time for the train. At Jammu he saluted me and said “Saab aap ka khadim hen, aap ke kam khadim hen, Pakistan ke ziada khadim hen” (we are your servants, More of Servants to Pakistan that to you).
The people of Kashmir are engaged in a heroic resistance struggle and have lain down and continue to lay supreme sacrifices to relieve jugular vein of Pakistan and that of their own from enemy’s sword as willed by the Quaid-e-Azam.