Articles on Politics in Kashmir

The Story of Kashmir Affairs - A Peep into the Past

by Triloki Nath Dhar

Koshur Samachar

IN 1320 Rencana, a Ladakhi prince, got king of Kashmir, Ramchandra, killed by a strategem and seized the throne of Kashmir. He requested prominent Kashmiri Brahmins for his conversion to Hinduism but his wish was impolitely turned down. This was the heinous and unpardonable mistake committed by the Kashmiri Brahmins. Renchana embraced Islam under the guidance of Bulbul Shah who had arrived in Kashmir with not more than 100 companions. He assumed the name Sultan Sadar-ud- din. He lived only for 3 years.

In 1339 Shah Mir, by treachery, succeeded in wresting the throne from Kota Rani and became king under the title Sultan Shamas-ud-din.

In 1389 Sultan Sikander sat on the throne of Kashmir. His reign heralded the darkest period for Kashmiri Hindus. Forcible conversions, killings, destruction of temples and exquisite monuments and mass migrations of Hindus were the distinguishing features of his rule. Once, when Hindus were fleeing through southern Kashmir his soldiers took positions at a gully leading to Kishtwar and whoever came to escape through the gully was done to death. It is during the reign of Sultan Sikandar that Hazrat Shah Hamdaan arrived in Kashmir with 700 Sayyads.

Kashmiri Pandits found persecution almost mitigated during the reign of Zain-ul-abidin (1420- 70) who left no stone unturned to rehabilitate them. This change was wrought in him by Shri Bhat, a learned Brahmin and physician, who cured the king of a deadly disease. The king desired the Brahmin to ask for something precious for the service rendered. Shri Bhat told the king that he had no need for anything except that his bretheren devastated, killed and scattered be rehabilitated and allowed to preach and practise their religion without any hitch or hinderance. The king granted his wish and was true to his word.

With the passing away of Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin a most obnoxious period of intrigues and conspiracies prevailed in Kashmir which culminated in the ascendancy of the most intolerant Shia regimes. During Moosa Rana's terrorsome reign 40,000 Kashmiri Pandit families were converted to Shiaism. The rite of circumcision of converted Kashmiri Pandits was performed on a mass scale at Idgah ground in Srinagar. Almost every Shiatie Muslim in Kashmir is a descendant of a forcibly converted Kashmiri Pandit. During the rule of Chaks Kashmir came under the grip of a terrible famine in 1576-78 in which half of the population died.

Annexation of Kashmir to Mughal Empire

Akbar the Great annexed Kashmir to his empire in 1589 by a deceiptful military adventure. During 120 years of Mughal Rule Kashmiri Hindus, as usual, were suffering persecution but with lesser pain depending upon the disposition of the Mughal Governor. During 1671-75 persecution of Brahmins by Governor Iftikar Khan makes a woeful tale. However, during the Mughal rule Kashmiri Hindus had the opportunity to migrate to the planes of Hindostan and they did avail of such opportunities and attained to high positions at several places.

Afgan Occupation of Kashmir

Mughal Rule was followed by 67 years of Afgan occupation. This period was the most tormenting period for the Kashmiris. Governor Lal Khan Khattak and Faqir Ullah got hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits killed. During governor ship of Haji Karim Dad Khan and Assad Khan the sufferings of the Kashmiris reached climax. Assad Khan would rip the bellies of the people like a surgeon.

Assad Khan was followed by Atta Moh'd Khan whose lust for beautiful Kashmiri women knew no bounds. Kashmiri Pandits were the worst sufferers. They fled to jungles and passed their days in hiding to save their women folk from molestation.

Sirdar Azim Khan ruled Kashmir for 6 years with most crooked villainy and terror. It was during his reign that a nobleman Pt. Birbal Dhar accompanied by his son, Raj Kak Dhar, stealthily left Kashmir for Lahore to pray to Maharaja Ranjit Singh to send his army for taking over Kashmir so that the Kashmiris groaning under the Afgan yoke could find deliverance. When Sirdar Azim Khan came to know of it he ordered Birbal's wife and daughter-in-law, who were in hiding, to be produced before him. Birbal Dhar's son-in-law, Telak Chand Munshi, fearing death penalty, provided clue about the noble ladies and they were summoned before Sirdar. Birbal Dhar's wife commited suicide. His daughter-in-law was molested and put in the harem.

Sirdar Azim Khan was recalled to assist his brother Fateh Moh'd Khan at Qandhar. Before his departure he despatched his harem (alongwith Birbal Dhar's daughter-in-law) and properties worth two crores of Rupees to Kabul in charge of his Peshkar, Sahaj Ram Dhar. After some time Azim Khan left for Kabul. He handed over the authority of governance to his younger brother, Jabbar Khan. He took Pt. Suraj Ram Tikku son of Dewan Nand Ram with him. At Ganal he exhorted Pt. Suraj Ram Tikku to embrace Islam. Pt. Suraj Ram Tikku abused him for telling him so and was immediately done to death.

Annexation of Kashmir to Sikh Empire

Maharaja Ranjit Singh took time to veer around Birbal Dhar's reasoning for taking over Kashmir by armed intervention. Pt. Birbal Dhar then gave an undertaking that in case of failure he would pay for the loss incurred and left his son Raj Kak Dhar in the Lahore Darbar as a hostage in case the campaign petered out.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh then sent 30,000 troops in charge of Pt. Birbal Dhar commanded among others by Raja Gulab Singh. Two battles ensued one at the top of Pir Panjal and the other at Shopyan Plateu. Afgan Soldiery was completely routed. Jabbar Khan was wounded and he fled away. Thus Kashmir passed into the hands of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh bestowed honours and favours on Pt. Raj Kak Dhar and sent him back to Kashmir with dignity and honour. Sikh Rule abided in Kashmir from 1819 to 1846. The first Sikh Governor was Dewan Moti Ram. Maharaja Ranjit Singh through his genius, both as a ruler and as a general, had been able to carve out a viable sovereign Khalsa kingdom comprising provinces of Lahore, Kashmir, Multan and Peshawar.

Afganistan was part of India once upon a time but was torn apart from the mother country through cataclysms of historical compulsions. Had Maharaja Ranjit Singh not carved out a sovereign Khalsa kingdom Panjab and Kashmir would have become part of Afganistan.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh lacked some essential elements of a far-sighted statesman. It was because of this that immediately after his death confusion and anarchy gripped his descendants, nobility and army commanders. English seized this opportunity by the forelock.

Transfer of Kashmir to Maharaja Gulab Singh

Commanders of the Sikh Army smelled a rat in the strategic manoeuvres of the British in the region. Also, Khalsa Army was itching for a war. The outcome was First Sikh War in which Sikhs suffered a defeat because of the wile treachery of its own commanders. War was brought to an end by the Treaty of Lahore on March 9, 1846.

As per Article 2 of the Treaty of Lahore Sikhs had to pay war indemnity of one and a half crores of Rupees. But they had only Rupees fifty lacs. Therefore, as equivalent of Rupees one crore they transferred to the Honourable East India Company in perpetual sovereignty all the hill countries which are between River Beas and Indus, including the provinces of Kashmir and Hazara. Subsequently, the English by the treaty of Amritsar concluded on March 16, 1846, transferred and made over for ever in "independent possession" to Maharaja Gulab Singh and heirs male of his body, Kashmir and Hazara, including Chamb for 75 lakhs of Rupees. The transfer was legally and actually flawless.

Muslim writers paint Sikh Rule in Kashmir in darkest hues. Nevertheless, the period was better than 67 years of Afgan occupation and there were no conversions by sword which characterised most of Islamic regimes. Maharaja Gulab Singh was able to launch successiul military campaigns for annexing Ladakh and Zanskar. The hero of these campaigns was General Zoarawar Singh who even marched upto Lahsa.

Maharaja Gulab Singh also annexed Gilgat, Chillas, Dardistan and other tribal areas to his kingdom. In all these campaigns nearly 30,000 committed soldiers, flower of Dogra manhood, laid down their lives.

In 1858, Ranbir Singh son of Maharaja Gulab Singh ascended the throne of J&K State. On the death of Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1887 Maharaja Pratap Singh assumed the rulership of the State.

From 1860 Role of non-Kashmiri Muslims in Fomenting Trouble in J&K State

Archival documents reveal that non-Kashmiri Muslims living outside the State of Jammu and Kashmir were actively conniving to foment discontent among Muslims in Kashmir against the Hindu Maharaja. This outside interference became intensified during the time of Maharaja Pratap Singh. It was because of this that in 1889 British people hatched a conspiracy to dispossess Maharaja Pratap Singh of his throne and annex the J&K State to the British India. Charges of misgovernment were levelled against Maharaja Pratap Singh. He was removed and a Council of Regency was constituted to administer the State. However, accusations against Maharaja couldn't be substantiated. The State was therefore restored to Maharaja Pratap Singh after 16 years in 1905. This was a great achievement for Dogras.

Struggle Launched by Kashmiri Pandits for a Separate Home-land in Kashmir

During the administration of the Council of Regency Strange and mysterious things seemed to have happened. Kashmiri Pandits again felt suffocated when they saw virulent Muslim communalism reorganizing itself. They submitted a petition demanding separate Homeland for themselves in the south of Kashmir.

What happened during the administration of the Council of Regency needs a thorough probe by the historians. However, documents are likely to have been stolen from Kashmir Archives.

Demographic Change In December, 1947, Ram Manohar Lohia had indicated in his Confidential Note that during the period 1887 to 1947, the Kashmiri Pandit community had dwindled from one lac to 80,000 (a decrease of 20%) whereas Muslim population had risen from five lacs to twenty lacs (an increase of 400%). This needs to be probed into by the historians. Didn't the British, in connivance with the non-Kashmiri Muslim leaders residing outside J&K State, give a fillip to Muslim influx into Kashmir from territories contiguous to the boundries of J&K State?

20% decrease in the population of Kashmiri Pandits could be attributed to the silent exodus induced by the fear of the revival of fatal Muslim dominance as the tyrrany, loot, rape and slaughter by Afgans was fresh in their minds.

Maharaja Hari Singh

Maharaja Hari Singh ascended to the throne in 1927. He was a unique Maharaja who alone stood up at the Round Table Conference in London in 1933 and stoutly pleaded for a progressive approach to India's aspirations for political independence. In this manner he became an eye-sore to the British Administration in India.

Outside Muslims Foment Trouble in J&K State

Outside Muslims including Sir Mohammad Iqbal had been consistently derogating in public the Treaty of Amritsar (1846) by which Maharaja Gulab Singh acquired Kashmir and other parts. Therefore, non- Kashmiri Muslims considered it a religious duty to foment trouble in Kashmir for stirring up Muslim population against Dogra Rule.

On June 25,1931, a congregation was held in the compound of Khankah-i-Moula in Srinagar. A non- Kashmiri Muslim who had entered into the State was delivering a venomous attack on Dogra Maharaja and exhorting the congregation not to rest till the palace of the Maharaja was razed to the ground. The stranger was arrested by the police for preaching sedition. His trial was fixed in the premises of Central Jail, Srinagar, on July 13, 1931. A massive Muslim mob assembled outside the Central Jail. They were rending the air with slogans against Dogras, Kafirs and Hindus. At one stage they violently surged forward to crash open the gate. After firing in the air, the authorities were compelled to fire upon berserk mob. Over 20 people died. The mob now directed their ire towards Kashmiri Pandits. Some Kashmiri Pandits were killed in Chadoora Tehsil. However, effective police arrangements prevented large scale destruction. Chowdhury Ghulam Abba and Sheikh Mohamrnad Abdullah, Secretary Muslim Youngmen's Association, were arrested. Only after a few days they tendered unconditional apology with oath of loyalty to the Maharaja. As a gesture of goodwill Maharaja ordered their immediate release.

Fissure Develops between Sheikh Abdullah and Moulvi Yusuf

Shah Sheikh Abdullah's oath of loyalty to the throne was resented to by the masses. Mirwaize Moulvi Yousuf Shah tried to seize the opportunity for taking Ieadership into his own hands. He resorted to rabble- rousing with the cry to JEHAD. However, he was summoned in audience by the Maharaja. Moulvi Yousuf Shah was so much impressed by the magnanimity of Maharaja that he swore unstinted loyalty to the throne. Muslim leaders outside J&K State felt crest- fallen. They constituted a Kashmir Committee at Shimla and Khalifa Bashir Ahmad Qadyani was made its President. However, Mr. BashirAhmed was removed for being a Qadyani and Sir Mohammad Iqbal was elected as President of the Kashmir Committee.

Outside volunteers were sent for fomenting trouble in Kashmir but tussel for leadership between Shaikh Moh'd Abdullah and Mirwaiz Moulvi Yussuf Shah which had taken a serious turn engaged the attention of the masses. Therefore, outside instigation could not be fully etfective.

Viceroy's State Visit to Kashmir

In 1933 Viceroy of India was on a state visit to KashmirMuslim leaders submitted a memorandum to him alleging atrocities perpetrated by Dogra Rulers on Kashmiri Muslims. After the departure of Viceroy these leaders were temporarily banished from the State. There were riots and disturbances. Maharaj appointed a Commission of Enquiry presided over by Justice Dalal, Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Sheikh Abdullah and his followers refused to cooperate with this commission because they said that the Commission was composed of people who were in State service and could not, theretore, function impartially.

Sheikh Abdullah Abjures Communal Politics:

In 1939 Sheikh Moh'd Abdullah gave up exclusive communal politics and changed the nomenclature of his party from Muslim Conference (which was not a branch of Indian Muslim League) to National Conference (as dlstinct from lndian National Congress). Perhaps Sheikh Moh'd Abdullah felt that adopting the policy of All India Muslim League would not serve his interests which he identified with the interests of the Kashmiri People. Getting cue from Sir Mohammed Iqbal, Sheikh Abdullah never reconciled to the fact that Maharaja possessed Kashmir by virtue of the Treaty of Amritsar under which Maharaja Gulab Singh took possession of Kashmir by paying 15 lakhs of Rupees and saved the Sikh State from humiliation by the British. It was also lost sight of that Sikhs had delivered Kashmir out of the foreign yoke by a bravely fought battle. Also, Treaty of Amritsar continued to be an eye-sore for other top-ranking Muslim leaders. Sheikh Abdullah was feeling that by translating into actual practice the anti-Islamic Communist doctrine of transferring proprietorship of land to the tiller a milestone would be crossed towards mitigation of effects of the Treaty of Amritsar (1846). For this purpose he purchased the services of a communist ideologue Shri B.P.L. Bedi and his French wife Freda Bedi. New Kashmir document was framed and published under the guidance of Shri B.P.L. Bedi. New Kashmir programme became as important for the National Conference as Communist Manifesto was for international communism.

Quit Kashmir Movement (1946)

In 1946 Cabinet Mission had been sent to India by the British Government. Muslim League was employing all its tactics to woo Kashmiri Muslims. National Conference, however, continued propagating against Muslim Conference on the plea that its composition was of non-Kashmiri Muslims. Mr. Moh'd Ali Jinah had paid a visit to the Valley in 1945 but masses in general under the tutelage of National Conference cold-shouldered him. At some places there were anti-demonstrations. Events were fast moving on the Indian scene. Labour Party in England had affirmed granting of independence to India. Sheikh Moh'd Abdullah had smelt some rat in the visit of Mr. Mohammed Ali Jinah. He launched Quit Kashmir movement warning Dogras to abdicate Kashmir all at once. The slogan of the movement was: Bainama Amritsar tod do, Kashmir chod do (Abrogate Treaty of Amritsar and vacate Kashmir). This was a movement for the separation of Kashmir from the J&K State created by the sagacious genius of Maharaja Gulab Singh and nurtured by the blood of 30,000 Dogras during a span of 100 years. Treaty of Amritsar was the corner stone on which the edifice of J&K State was built and Quit Kashmir movement launched by Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah wanted to dynamite that edifice. It was a naivete on the part of Mr. Nehru to lend unstinted personal support to Sheikh Moh'd Abdullah for launching the movement.

Sheikh Abdullah and other leaders of the National Conference were immediately arrested.Messers G.M. Bakhshi and G.M. Sadiq fled to Lahore. Mr. J.L. Nehru dashed to Srinagar for pleading Sheikh Abdullah's case. He was arrested at Kohala Bridge and he was compelled to go back.

J&K Government of Maharaja Hari Singh stoutly stood against the breaking of Jammu and Kashmir State but Maharaja Hari Singh earned the deep rooted enemity of Mr. Nehru and his coterie in the Indian National Congress. India at that time was moving towards a communal holocaust.

Partition of India

India was partitioned into dominions of India and Pakistan from 15th August, 1947, as per Indian Independence Act, 1947, which after having been passed by the British Parliament received assent of the British Monarch in August, 1947. As per provisions of the Indian Independence Act, with the lapsing of the British paramountcy all the native princely states became independent with sovereignty vesting in the ruling prince. Princes were free to accede to any dominion and Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, under whatever circumstances, aceeded to the Dominion of India. If this accession is challenged then the existence of Pakistant is also to be challenged.

Sheikh Abdullah Set Free

Sheikh Abdullah was in prison. Lord Mountbatten alsoo paid a visit to Kashmir in July, l947. Mr. Nehru's ill will towards Maharaja Hari Singh contracted at the time of Quit Kashmir movement was also a stumbling block. In July, 1947, Pandit Ramchander Kak, Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, went to Delhi to ascertain the modalities of accession. Sardar Patel told him that he did not want accession of Kashmir against peoples' will.

Maharaja Hari Singh had no evil  intention. He sent emissaries to Sheikh Abdullah while he was in jail. Sheikh Abdullah again showed himself as a Machiavellian politician. He addressed a letter dated September 26,1947, to Maharaja Hari Singh begging pardon and in the last para stating: "Before I close this letter I beg to assure your Highness once again of my steadfast loyalty and pray that God under your Highness' aegis bring such an era of peace, prosperity and good government that it may be second to none and be an ideal for others to copy. This was the second time Sheikh Abdullah begged pardon of Maharaja Hari Singh. The first was in 1931.

Maharaja again showed his magnanimity. He got Sheikh Abdullah released only after two days i.e. on 29th of September, 1947.

Standstill Agreement and Pakistan Invasion

Right up from Quit Kashmir movement in April, 1946, Maharaja was feeling that he was spurned by Congress leaders. To enable himself to weigh in a judicious manner the pros and cons of any type of relationship with either India or Pakistan or with both he needed time. He, therefore, sent a telegram to Governors General of both the countries for a Standstill Agreement for 6 months. However, Pakistan Army had already planned seizure of Kashmir by force under the code name "Operation Gulmarg". 500,000 tribals and army personnel were moving towards the borders of Jammu and Kashmir. Along the Jammu border nearly 20,000 Hindus and Sikhs were slaughtered. 5000 women were taken away and a large number of them were raped and tortured. When 30,000 refugees conglomerated in Jammu Province there was a backlash from Hindus. At Muzaffarabad there was a small army contingent of the State under Major Narayan. It had Muslims and Dogras in equal numbers. Muslims mutinied and killed all the Dogras alongwith Major Narayan. By this time i.e. October 22, 1947, large mass of tribesmen, army men in plain clothes armed with sophisticated weapons were moving along Rawalpindi-Murree-Baramulla Road. Maharaja Hari Singh ordered Brigadier Rajender Singh with only 150 men to halt the enemy who were moving like ants towards Srinagar. The then Prime Minister of J&K State Mr. Meherchand Khanna wrote to Sardar Patel: "Practically the whole of our Muslim military and police has eighter deserted or has not behaved in the proper manner. The help which you promised has not arrived. We are surrounded on all sides."

Brigadier Rajender Singh counts among the greatest soldiers of the world. With only 150 men he delayed the advance of the enemy by 3 days. He died on October 25, 1947, and the truculent marauders, who had already left a trial of slaughter, arson, loot and rape, advanced on the dead body of Brigadier Rajender Singh.

In the first week of October '47 Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah had sent an emissary (Mr. G.M. Sadiq) to Pakistan to discuss with its leaders the future of J&K State. While Mr. G.M. Sadiq was on his return journey having discussed the matter with the Prime Minister of Pakistan he came to know of the clandestine agression of Pakistan whose rapacious tribal shooters and army personnel had already penetrated deep into the boundaries of the J&K State. The National Conference leaders considered it a breach of trust and a challenge to the self-respect of Kashmiris and since the organisation was deeply entrenched at the grass-root level amongst the masses the entire population was electrified with repulsion for Pakistan. There was resistance everywhere offered to the advancing enemy and the slogan was: Hamla-awar Khabardar, Ham Kashmiri hain tayar (Beware Aggressor, we Kashmiris are ready to defeat you).

By 2nd October Pakistani tribal marksmen and army regulars arrived at the outskirts of Srinagar. Was it advisable for Maharaja Hari Singh to stay in Srinagar? Supposing he was killed or captured who would sign the Instrument of Accession as per provisions of the Indian Independence Act. The Maharaja was advised by Lord Mountbatten to leave Srinagar. So he left Srinagar during night. The whole of Srinagar had been plunged into night darkness as the invaders had blasted power house at Mohra.

On 26th October, 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession. It was forwarded to the Government of India. In the covering letter Maharaja mentioned that notwithstanding that Pakistan had accepted the Standstill Agreement it cut off supplies like food, salt and petrol to the State and pushed into its boundaries afridis (tribals), soldiers in plain clothes and desperadoes armed with most modern weapons. It was indicated that the agressor had infiltrated at several points along the boundary. Maharaja further added that the Mohra Power House which supplied electricity to Srinagar had been blasted and the aggressor had indulged in wanton destruction of life and property and kidnapping and raping of women had been going on unchecked. Maharaja further stated that for saving his people he had no option but to accede to the Dominion of India. Maharaja concluded his letter by requesting immediate assistance for saving the State. Instrument of Accession was accepted by the Government of India on October 27,1947 and Indian troops set foot in Srinagar on the same day to drive away the Satanic invaders. Lord Mountbatten on being informed of the landing of Indian troops at Srinagar wrote to Sardar Patel: "there is no doubt that if we could have sent our forces a fortnight ago....the position could have been held with comparative ease."

Ouster of Maharaja Hari Singh

Prime Minister kept Kashmir Affairs within PMO which was resented to by Sardar Patel. Shri Nehru snubbed him by stating that as Prime Minister he had to bring co-ordination of various ministries.

Maharaja Hari Singh continued to be the constitutional Head of the State. He appointed Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah as the Nagion e-alia. However, Maharaja wanted his nominee Meher Chand Khanna to preside over cabinet meetings. Sheikh Abdullah flouted this idea. When the matter was brought to the notice of Shri J.L. Nehru he dubbed Maharaja Hari Singh as "terribly short-sighted" an obnoxious epithet. Such epithets Mr. Nehru often used against his opponents. Finally, Sardar Patel was used for the ouster of Maharaja Hari Singh.

Sardar bullied Maharaja by stating that in view of the peculiar situation obtaining at that time and because of reference to UNO and Plebscite issue he should absent himself from the State and make Yuvraj Karan Singh his Regent. Maharaja receded from the field never to return.

Lord Mountbatten's Advice

By December, 1947, Indian troops had cleared Kashmir Valley of Pakistani regulars and armed bandits who had left behind a trail of unprecedented death and devastation. On November 16, 1947, Sher-i-Kashmir Sheikh Moh'd Abdullah had said, "These raiders abducted women. They massacred children. They looted everything and every one. They converted mosques into brothels and today every Kashmiri loathes the invading tribesmen and their arch inspirers who have been responsible for such horrors in a land which is peopled with an overwhelming majority of Musalmans."

It was on the advice of Lord Mountbatten as admitted by him in his letter dated August 15,1948, that the aggression committed by Pakistan was referred to the UN Security Council. It was again Lord Mountbatten who advised Mr. Nehru not to risk war for retaking the territory of J&K State occupied by Pakistan. He frightened Mr. Nehru that such a step might force U.N.O. to outlaw India.

The issue of Pakistani armed intervention in Kashmir was referred to the UN Security Council on March 18, 1948. After a long debate in the Security Council, it was decided to send a Commission to India. The UN Commission arrived in Delhi in March 1948 and had talks with the governments of India and Pakistan. Pakistan admitted that its armies were fighting in Kashmir.

On August 13,1948, the Security Council adopted a resolution proposing cessation of hostilities and asking Pakistan to vacate the territory it occupied and restoring to the Government of India jurisdiction over the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir and thereafter arranging for a fair and impartial plebiscite. India was required to withdraw the bulk of its forces only after it was notified by the Commission that Pakistan had totally withdrawn its forces, personnel and nationals from the State. It was, therefore, the duty of the UN Commission to ensure that Pakistan did completely withdraw its forces and personnel and nationals from the State. The Commission subsequently assured India that the plebiscite proposal would not be binding upon India if the Pakistan did not withdraw its forces from the State.

Sher-e-Kashmir in Dilemma

From 1949 onwards, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, called Sher-e-Kashmir, who had launched a communal agitation in 1931 and the Quit Kashmir Movement in 1946 to wrench away Muslim-majority areas of Kashmir Province from the State, started to consolidate his grip over the entire State.

A ceasefire became effective in January 1949, but Abdullah was mentally succumbing to his former ideologies. The conflict was becoming irresistible. The sovereignty of the State after the departure of the British Raj vested in Maharaja Hari Singh. After getting himself appointed by the Maharaja as the Prime Minister, he succeeded in catapulting the Maharaja out of the field of influence through the grace of Pandit Nehru and the bullying tactics of Sardar Patel.

In an interview with Michael Davidson published in Scotsman of April 14, 1949, Abdullah said: "Accession to either side cannot bring peace. We want to live in peace with both the dominions; perhaps a middle path between them will be the only way of doing it. But an independent Kashmir must be guaranteed by Britain, the USA and other members of the U.N." So Abdullah (like the Maharaja who was initially for independence) was dreaming of an independent Kashmir.

Article 370 in Indian Constitution

The Constituent Assembly was framing the Constitution of India. Abdullah was nominated in it as the Member, with three others, to represent Kashmir. He wanted quite a distinct position for the State in the Constitution. He wanted the entire State to be a republic within a republic. Patel felt a bit baffled. On October 16, 1949, he wrote to Shri Gopalaswamy Ayyangar: "Whenever Sheikh Sahib wishes to back out, he always confronts us with his duty towards the people. Of course, he owes no duty to India or to the Indian Government or even on personal basis to you and the Prime Minister who have gone all out to accommodate him...."

Abdullah wrote a threatening letter to Ayyangar on October 17, 1949, which in conclusion stated: "In case I fail to hear from you within a reasonable time, I regret to say that no course is left open but to tender our resignation from the Constituent Assembly." Nehru succumbed to pressure and got Article 370 inserted in the Constitution as a temporary measure. Abdullah failed to have any regard for the people of Ladakh or the people of the Jammu region.

Article 370 sprouted as a hefty tree bearing poisonous seeds of secession and separatism and paranoid hatred which the winds of time have been scattering all over India. These poisonous seeds began to germinate in the soils of Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Bihar, Panjab, the North-East and at many other places. The political thinking of the constituents of the United Front, now in power in India, is the paranoid effect of the gases which these germinating trees are exhaling into the atmosphere.

Ladakh was and is a distinct entity. It is a region of barren crags and sand dust. The redoubtable valour of Gen. Zoarawar Singh was instrumental in annexing this region to the kingdom of Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1841. The Ladakh Buddhist Association had submitted a memorandam to the Indian Prime Minister in 1947 and later in 1949 seeking a separate set-up for Ladakh under the direct control of the Central Government.

Hindus Without Citizenship

Jammu being a predominantly Hindu area was in a trauma in 1948. Due to truculent Pakistani and tribal forays launched in October 1947, more than 30,000 Hindus had been killed, 5000 women had been raped and the same number of women had been kidnapped. About 30,000 Hindus and Sikhs had fled to Jammu and were accommodated in refugee camps. These uprooted persons are still refugees because the State Government dominated by Kashmiri Muslims are not willing to grant them citizenship. To cover up the atrocities committed by Pakistani aggressors and Muslims in border areas, Abdullah made thundering speeches about the massacre of Muslims in Jammu proper for which he was holding the Dogras and the RSS responsible. No commission was ever constituted to ascertain the facts. There might have been a moderate backlash in Jammu because of large killings of Hindus and Muslims in borders areas but Abdullah again and again spoke of a massacre of Muslims in Jammu. However, the massacre of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims started only when Pakistan pushed tribal desperadoes and armymen into the State with a view to annexing it by sheer force. Till that time the State was peaceful and the credit for that goes to Maharaja Hari Singh.

As Abdullah had committed himself for an impartial plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir, he had no raison d'etre to push through the passage and implementation of the Big Landed Establishment Abolition Act Samvat 2007 (1950) under which land was transferred to the tenants but no compensation was paid to the proprietors. It allowed big landlords to retain 182 kanals with a right to one-fourth of the share of produce without grass. This deprived a good number of Kashmiri Pandits (residing mostly in cities and towns) and 30,000 Dogra Rajputs of their land holdings without compensation. Muslim landowners had no difficulty in showing themselve as self- cultivators.

Pandits, Dogras leave Kashmir

Many Kashmiri Pandits, who had no sustenance except small land holdings, began moving out of Kashmir. More than 30,000 Dogra Rajputs also left Kashmir. Today all politicians, MLAs, MPs, VIPs and IAS officers and judges, tehsildars and even patwaris have the ownership, either in their own name or in the name of their close relatives, of vast stretches of agricultural land out of which a sizable portion has been converted into orchards. In 1975, another agrarian reforms act couched in the language of Muslim personal law was passed which enabled the new-fangled Muslim elite to consolidate their hold on vast stretches of orchard land. In 1990, the income from this land amounted to Rs. 90 crore.

Before deciding the political status of the State, especially when the matter was under the consideration of the U.N., was Abdullah justified in passing the act. Just like Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Abdullah proved cleverer than all the combined leadership of India.

Abdullah did not give up the habit of making vituperative harangues against Maharaja Hari Singh and the Dogras. He often raised the bogey of Muslims ceasing to trust India and going away to Pakistan. Dr. Karan Singh, the sole scion of the dynasty of Maharaja Gulab Singh and a votary of Sri Aurobindo, swallowed everything. He is more concerned about his vast properties.

Regarding the phantom of Muslims ceasing to trust India, Shri Syama Prasad Mookerjee wrote to Abdullah on February 13, 1953, that ".. if 4 crore Muslims in India can be expected to live with safety and honour under the Constitution, why should 30 lakh Muslims in Kashmir, who will be the majority community in their State, be in a mood to go out of India, unless they honestly feel that their future lies with an Islamic country such as Pakistan. Secular democracy cannot develop by following the method of the marketplace."

Abdullah got a Constituent Assembly elected for the State in 1951. It had 75 members, all elected unopposed. Nomination papers of most of the candidates were rejected and the severest axe fell on the candidates sponsored by the Praja Parishad, a party founded by Pandit Prem Nath Dogra. The Constituent Assembly framed a separate Constitution for the State providing for a separate President (Sadr- e-Riyasat), a separate Prime Minister, a separate flag and separate electoral laws.

Weightage to Muslim Vote

The Sheikh was making all types of topsy-turvey moves which went counter to the avowed concepts of a secular democracy. In Kashmir, the number of voters in an assembly constituency was 73,000 whereas in Jarnmu it was 93,000, thus giving more weightage to the Muslim vote. The border districts in Jammu were redemarcated on communal lines which showed its results during the current terrorist insurgency. There was interference in the working of the Dharamarth Trust founded by Maharaja Ranjit Singh for the management of Hindu shrines and temples in the State. A special permit system was introduced for the Indians for entering the State. There was a separate customs duty. A paramilitary organisation called the National Militia had been raised from amongst diehard National Conference workers of the Valley. The force consisted of Muslim recruits only.

By the first half of 1952, much of the Sheikh's charisma had faded away because he employed ruthless methods to suppress dissent. The people were detained without trial and the police under SP Ghulam Qadir Ganderbali used third-degree methods. He thought that excessive repression was necessitated because Pakistan by commissioning so- called Azad Kashmir Radio was blaring out most heinous and villainous propaganda on atrociously communal lines to the people of the Valley. This was in contravention of Part II-A of the UN Resolution of August 13, 1948.

In June 1952, an Indian correspondent reported an utterance of Sheikh Abdullah which smacked of an independent state and not independent Kashmir. The people of Jammu region and the Buddhists of Ladakh got a bit shaking. In July 1952, he entered into an agreement with the Central Government which envisaged integration of the State not only in respect of defence, foreign relations and communications but also in respect of financial and some selected matters. He treated Indian leaders as footlings and took his own time for implementing the Delhi Agreement of July 1952 and adopted dilly- dallying tactics.

Settlement of Accession

The people of Jammu under the leadership of Prem Nath Dogra decided to launch a do-or-die struggle. They wanted that the question of accession should be treated as settled or decided once for all and not left to an uncertain future. The second question that took precedence was to recover one- third of the territory occupied by Pakistan through wanton aggression. The Jammu people were very much fed up with the UN. They felt that it was a forum for big power rivalry. It took the UN no time to brand North Korea as an aggressor when North Koreans made a foray into South Korea by crossing the 38th Parallel. President Trueman even went to the extent of using nuclear weapons to teach North Korea and China a lesson but, in the case ot Kashmir, they were giving more privileges to the aggressor Pakistan and treating India at par with the aggressor.

The people of Jammu were flabbergasted at the attitude of Sheikh Abdullah who was not only delaying the integration of the State in respect of such subjects as defence, foreign affairs and communications but also creating a unique type of sovereignty for Kashmir. They were eager to see the integration of the State in respect of such subjects as fundamental rights, rights of citizenship, jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, the functions and constitution of high courts, the President's powers, national planning, financial integration and the conduct of elections. There was also mistrust owing to the non-implementation of the Delhi Agreement of 1952.

There were about 30,000 Hindu and Sikh refugees from border areas who had fled to Jammu at the time of Pakistani raids. They were being treated as foreigners. Lakhs of Sikh and Hindu refugees who had fled West Pakistan and flooded East Punjab and Delhi had been totally absorbed as Indian citizens by the Punjab and Central governments but those who had entered the state were being treated as foreigners and till date they are bereft of citizenship.

Inroads in Dharamarth Trust

Sheikh Abdullah's Government was also tending to make inroads into the working of Dharamarth Trust. This was unplatable and the leaders of the Praja Parishad under all dispensations wanted provincial autonomy for Jammu and Ladakh.

There was the question of Indian Tricolour - whether it would fly atop the seat of the government at Srinagar and Jammu. Abdullah had decided to make the National Conference's red flag with a white plough as the flag of the State Government. During the Praja Parishad agitation, Syama Prasad Mookerjee had rightly written to Abdullah on February 13, 1953, that "India has been torn into two by the two-nation theory. You are now developing a three-nation theory, the third being the Kashmiri nation."

On November 11, 1953, the State Legislative Assembly elected Dr. Karan Singh as Sadr-e-Riyasat. On November 22, 1953, he moved to Jammu from Srinagar and the Praja Parishad launched an agitation starting with a black flag demonstration against the Sadr-e-Riyasat.

The Praja Parishad movement spread like wild fire. The watchword of the struggle was Ek Bidhan, Ek Pradhan, Ek Nishan (One Constitution, One President, One Flag) for the entire country. As the agitation assumed torrential proportions, both the State and the Central Government were shaken. Pt. Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah termed the agitation as extremely harmful, communal and bigoted. The state machinery flung into action. The Indian police and the state police got full powers for using batons and bullets against the demonstrators.

Repression Let Loose

The agitation spread to all the districts of Jammu. There were widespread demonstrations. Pt. Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah had no qualms to use the maximum of force. As we have at present, there were no human rights activists. Hundreds of people fell before bullets. Nearly 20 people were killed. Abdullah seemed to avenge the deaths that occurred on July 13, 1931, at Srinagar. Repression, imprisonments, leathicharges and bullets became the order of the day. Sheikh Abdullah's National Militia ran berserk at places and did not hesitate to commit outrages on women. The properties of many persons were confiscated and the pensions of many people were withheld. All that the crowds demanded was the supremacy of the Indian President, the supremacy of the Indian Constitution and the supremacy of the Indian Flag. They wanted that the question or accession of the State to the Indian Union should not be left to the mercy of fluctuating winds. They wanted the maximum integration of the State with India and provincial autonomy for all the three regions of the State. Pt. Nehru employed the Preventive Detention Act for suppressing demonstrations in other states expressing sympathy with the people of Jammu. The whole of Jammu province became a boiling pot of tyranny and suppression.

Syama Prasad Mookerjee wrote several letters to Sheikh Abdullah and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru but mostly received bluff and invectives. In his letter dated February 4, 1953, Sheikh Abdullah admitted that conditions for impartial plebiscite had not been provided but added that Kashmiri Muslims would not falter from their ideals even if they are left alone in this great battle of secularism and human brotherhood. These were all hollow words only to obfuscate the mind of the opponent.

When the State offices moved to Srinagar in May 1953, Shri Mookerjee wanted to discuss the matter with Sheikh Abdullah at Srinagar. Encouraged by Nehru, he had made Jammu and Kashmir a state within a state. There was the entry permit system in vogue for allowing Indian citizens to enter the State. Shri Mookerjee, who was denied permission to enter the State, defied the ban and entered the State. He was arrested and kept at Chashma Shahi Guest House. How he was treated or served food God only knows. He developed a strange type of allergy and breathed his last in S.M.H.S. Hospital. How he was killed and by whom, nobody knows.

Mookerjee's Mysterious Death

Today we have commissions probing into the death of late Rajiv Gandhi but the death of Shri Mookerjee was treated as the death of a washout. Maybe, a probe would reveal a conspiracy to finish him up. Maybe, Nehru-Abdullah-Mookerjee correspondence exchanged during the agitation would throw up some conspiratorial angle. Everything was hushed up and the agitation on his mysterious death was ruthlessly suppressed. It was ensured that even a tiny spark was put out.

When Sheikh Abdullah launched the Quit Kashmir Movement in 1946 to wrench away Kashmir from the Dogra rule, Pt. Nehru rushed to his assistance but was arrested at Kohala Bridge by the security forces of Maharaja Hari Singh. He was requested to go back and he did go back. When after 7 years, Shri Mookerjee, defying the ban for the sake of integrity of India, went to meet Sheikh Abdullah he was done to death.

Shri Mookerjee gave his life for the integrity of India. Subsequently, his own people forgot him. The political party he had founded was relegated to the limbo of a unpleasant past. His disciples began to wag to new situations with a fresh gusto and crisp rhetoric.

The Praja Parishad Movement was the first movement after independence aimed at ensuring the unity and integrity of India. In its scope, it was more important than the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 which was triggered by a smarting hurt to deep-rooted religious sentiments of Hindus and Muslims.

One of the moving figures of the Praja Parishad Movement was Pandit Makhan Lal Harkara who passed away only this year - an irreparable loss to the Kashmiri Pandit community.

Praja Parishad's Vision

The Movement in thc depth of its vision was of greater import than the freedom struggle which culminated in the division of the country and loss and subversion of millions of lives. It aimed at ensuring the integral unity of India. But Pt. Nehru ensured to suppress it totally. Today we see what has been the result of nurturing and watering Article 370 and Sheikh Abdullah. Every State of importance, at one time or the other, has been tbreatening to secede from the Indian Union. During the 13 days of the BJP Government, when the vote of confidence was being discussed in Parliament, Shri Murasoli Maran of the DMK confronted the BJP and derisively scoffed at their talk of one country and one people. Whatever Shri Maran has to say, the Siva temple at Tanjore built by Raja the Great is a symbol of Indian unity. Regional parties are now acting centrifugally and what is now in store for India, only future can unfold. The politicians at the helm of affairs are pampering terrorists as their "own children" or misguided youth. All these utterances smack of cowardice. In fact the Hindu psyche was tempered into the masochist mould during the 1,000 years of the Muslim rule when at times persecution reached its zenith and Hindus were deprived of every vestige of citizenship rights.

It is surprising that Shri Jagmohan in his book "My Frozen Turbulence" has hardly given any account of the Praja Parishad Movement of 1953. In this way, he has tried to be irresponsible as a historian.

The BJP bosses at Jammu, Shri Chaman Lal Gupta, Vaidya Vishnu Dutt, Shri Bhagwat Swarup and others, have never strived to publish a properly documented book on the Movement with a special reference to Nehru-Mookerjee-Abdullah correspondence. The party has its of fice in the heart of the city donated by Pt. Prem Nath Dogra, founder of the Parishad. The whole property is worth more than Rs. 50 lakh. At least in deference to Pt. Dogra, they should have published such a book.

Arrest of Sheikh Abdullah

It was rumoured that the death of Shri Mookerjee under the State's custody made Sheikh Abdullah to pass many sleepless nights. After the event, he made the sharpest possible utterances at various places. He wanted to seize the earliest opportunity by the forelock to wrench away the State whether the people of Jammu and Ladakh liked it or not.

On August 8, 1953, Sheikh Abdullah went to Gulmarg and stayed in a posh hotel with his trusted lieutenants. Rumours were doing the rounds that CIA agents and British Intelligence detectives had infested the area. It was rumoured that, on August 9, 1953, he would make a declaration about the independent State and America and Britain would rush to guarantee that declaration.

As Sheikh Abdullah was coming down from Gulmarg towards Srinagar, he was arrested alongwith his lieutenants by the State Government. The arrest warrant was signed by the Sadr-e-Riyasat. Despite widespread violence, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed took over as the Prime Minister of the State.

Ten years of Bakshi's rule saw a spate of construction works. Dissent was suppressed with a iron hand. The people became prosperous. Indigenous industry flourished and tourism picked up. Many housing colonies sprouted. However, during his regime the forest cover of the State suffered maximum diminution.

On August 23, 1963, Pandit Nehru induced the Bakshi to resign under the Kamaraj Plan and Shri Shamas-ud-din took over.

Stop-Gap Prime Minister

Shri Shamas-ud-din had been working only for few months when during the night of 26th and 27th of December, 1963, the Holy Relic was found missing at Hazratbal Dargah. The entire Valley was plunged into a vioient commotion. However, there were no communal riots. Kashmiri Pandits sincerely joined Muslims in expressing shock and trauma at the loss of the Relic and fervently participated in demonstrations and marches for its recovery at the earliest. The Central and the State governments had traumatic experiences. However, the holy Relic was recovered and its genuineness established.

During the tenure of Shri Shamas-ud-din, the State Assembly passed an amendment to the State's Constitution whereby Article 356 of the Constitution of India became applicable to the State. During a span of 15 years from 1948, Pakistan prodded the Security Council to take up the Kashmir issue. Because of India's independent foreign policy and close bilateral relationship with the then Soviet Union, the Anglo-American bloc led by the USA had developed a chronic apathy for it. Resolutions were moved to activate the Security Council Resolution of 1948 but the USSR blocked the moves by exercising veto. The

Instrument of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh under the provisions of the British Independence Act of 1947 is final and irrevocable. If it is not final, then the existence of Pakistan is also temporary. Pakistan or Bangaldesh were part of British India before August 15,1947, and if India treats the British Independence Act as a scrap of paper and has sufficient striking power, it has every justification to annex Pakistan. When sovereignty is not under dispute, the UN has no jurisdiction to arbitrate upon the right of self-determination.

The State Assembly has no locus standi to affirm or deny the Instrument of Accession signed by the Maharaja and accepted by the Government of India. The Governor-General of India, while accepting it, has not appended any condition whatsoever to its acceptance.

Sadiq becomes Prime Minister

On February 8, 1964, Shri Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq became the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. He maintained a low profile and allowed the freedom of expression, and political activities of all sorts and was not averse to Jamaat-e-Islami trimming its activities. It was he who brought about closer ties between the State and the country by making various provisions of the Indian Constitution applicable to the State. He changed the nomenclature of the Sadr-e-Riyasat to the Governor and the Prime Minister of the State to the Chief Minister. He also established a branch of Indian National Congress in the State and Syed Mir Qasim was elected its President. Moreover, he got Sheikh Abdullah and his colleagues released from jail.

With the release of Sheikh Abdullah, the activities of the Plebiscite Front, established by Mirza Afzal Beg, the most trusted lieutenant of SheikhAbdullah, in 1958, intensified its activities. Shri Sadiq believed that opposite forces could be neutralized not by extreme suppression but by allowing them to play their role to a certain extent.

Sheikh Abdullah was allowed to visit Pakistan. During these days, the Congress session was in full swing at Bhubaneshwar and Pt. Nehru was attending it. Perhaps being upset by the Sheikh's bitter demogogic harangues in Pakistan, he suffered a stroke which kept him wrecked up to his death on May 27, 1964.

When Sheikh Abdullah was rearrested on April 29, 1958, objectionable papers endorsing Pakistani line of action were recovered from his residence. A case of conspiracy was filed against him in an appropriate court. During the hearings of the case, statements before the court were dangerously anti- India and stood in sharp contrast to his utterances in 1948.

In his book titled: "The Crisis Game by Sydney," F. Fiffin (1965) we find an account of two fictional crisis exercises codenamed Cuba and Kashmir 1966 conducted by Institute of Defence Analyses, Washington D.C. in February 1965, envisaging a war between India and Pakistan in September 1966. There was deliberate shifting of the calendar year by one year while hostilities between India and Pakistan broke out on September 1,1965. This shows that planning of a Pakistani attack on Kashmir was planned by the US Strategic Intelligence.When the hostilities actually broke out, China attacked India in Sikkim. The USA intervened to bring hostilities to an end.

In his book Spy For All Seasons; My Life In CIA, Mr. Duane R. Clarridge who operated in Madras and Delhi in 1964 gives an account of how aggression in 1965 on Kashmir by Pakistan was carried out with the prior approval of Sheikh Abdullah. After having been set free in 1964, he went to Saudi Arabia for performing Haj. Mr. Clarridge states that he went to contact Sheikh Abdullah at Jeddah where he gave him (Mr. Clarridge) the whole view of Pakistani warplan on Kashmir. As per Mr. Clarridge, Sheikh stated: "The Pakistanis were going to begin infiltrating small guerilla units out of Azad Kashmir into Kashmir proper. These units would then begin to stir things up. Once the insurrection got under way in Kashmir, regular Pakistani military forces would come to Kashmir's aid."

In April 1965, to bewilder Indian strategists, Pakistan struck in the Rann of Kutch with Patton tanks in violation of the assurance given by the US President and the Secretary of State that US military equipment would not be used against India. India brought the deployment and use of Patton tanks by Pakistan in the Rann of Kutch to the notice of US Government but it ignored the Indian protest.

Three months before the outbreak of hostilities on September I,1965, thousands of armed guerillas of Pakistan infiltrated into Kashmir on the western side. They followed their usual pattern of loot and human slaughter. However, timely information about it was supplied to the Government by some Gujjar leaders. The entire Gujjar population treated infiltrators with resentment. The rural population also did not cooperate with them and were loath to entertain them with chickens, eggs and rice. There were some skirmishes at Batmalloo and Bemina in Srinagar. Some policemen died in grenade attacks.

Infiltrators Take to Heels

However, in the tactical handling by Shri Sadiq and his colleagues and non-cooperation by the local population made the infiltrators take to their heels through forests of Gulmarg. The fleeing infiltrators also kindnapped one or two Kashmiri Pandits whose whereabouts remained untraced.

Gen. Ayub Khan was very much dismayed at the failure of his plan to create Vietnam-like conditions in Kashmir because he lent his full weightage to the participation of the Kashmiri populace for stirring up insurrection in the State. So he resorted to actual warfare and struck at various points along the Ceasefire Line (of 1949) on September 1, 1965. At Chamb-Jaurian, he made a great display of the Patton tanks. However, Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri's decision to counter-strike at Lahore and the exemplary skill and valour of ourArmoured Brigade brought the Pakistani aggression in Kashmir to an end. This was the second aggression. The first was in October 1947, when Pakistan was able to occupy by force, fraud and bloodshed one-third of the State's territory.

The non-cooperation by the Kashmiris with Pakistani infiltrators might have been rankling in the mind of Gen. Zia-ul-Haq. Reacting to massive demonstrations in Kashmir when ZulfiqarAli Bhutto was hanged in Pakistan, he had remarked: "Kashmiri Muslims are Brahmins."

Gen. Ayub Khan was displeased with the USA and fell in the trap of Russian good offices which culminated in the Indo-Pak summit at Tashkent where the President of Pakistan and the Prime Minister of India signed the Tashkent Declaration. In fact, the Tashkent agreement appears to project the Ceasefire Line (of 1949) as a permanent international border between India and Pakistan.

The agreement, however, proved doom for him and he was replaced by Gen. Yahya Khan.

Sheikh Starts Rethinking

Sheikh Abdullah appeared to have been disappointed by the defeat of Pakistan in the 1965 war and the signing of Tashkent Declaration. Probably, his thoughts began working backwards. The political frame of his mind appeared like a chameleon. So his reactions and utterances after 1966 lent one colour to the Government of India and of another to the people of Kashmir.

The UN Commission for India and Pakistan totally failed in its avowed obligation under Part II B of the Kashmir Resolution of August 13, 1948, to notify the Government of India that Pakistan had not only withdrawn its forces but also tribesmen and Pakistani nationals referred to in Part II A, 2 of the resolution. The UN rendered itself impotent because it failed in its moral and legal responsibility to persuade Pakistan to vacate the occupied territories. During the last 49 years, Pakistan rendered UN resolutions completely defunct by the following acts:

        (a) It surrendered nearly 6000 square miles of the State's territory to China for building Karakoram Road to facilitate the Chinese to rush troops to the Indian borders as and when required.

        (b) It seized the northern parts of Kashmir by force after decimating the torces of Maharaja Hari Singh and allowed the Americans to build the most advanced radar complex in Gilgit. This part of Kashmir has borders with Afghanistan, Russia and China.

        (c) It increased its military strength in the occupied territories by leaps and bounds in violation of Part I, B of the Resolution of August 13, 1948.

        (d) It violated Part I, E of the UN Resolution by continuously indulging in vicious propaganda against India.

        (e) It failed to derecognize the so-called Azad Kashmir Government.

The voting rights for a plebiscite vested in the population which existed in and around 1948. During the last 49 years, lakhs of people who had the right to vote in 1948 have died and more than 25 lakh people who nurtured the fundamentalist ideology have been added to the population. It is, therefore against law and natural justice to talk of plebiscite after 49 years.

Pakistan itself rendered the UN Resolutions defunct by launching a full-scale attack on Jammu and Kashmir in 1965 and then signing the Tashkent agreement.

Mr Gunar Jarring of the UN Commission after visiting India and Pakistan in the late fifties reported that the UN Resolutions of 1948 and 1949 had been rendered irrelevant because of the changed logistical and strategical dispositions in the area.

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