The Kashmir Dispute: A Kashmiri Assessment

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By

Abdul Hameed Karimi[1]

Abstract

(The Kashmir dispute is one of the oldest unfinished items on the UN agenda because the Security Council resolutions pertaining to the occupied territory have yet to be implemented. The people of Jammu and Kashmir were promised their right of self-determination through a fair and impartial plebiscite. The pledge has not been redeemed. This has resulted in wars, tension and unending violence. Pakistan and India are currently engaged in what they describe as a composite dialogue to resolve all outstanding matters including the core issue of Kashmir. However the people of Jammu and Kashmir are not a party to the negotiations. This is unacceptable. A “final settlement” of the Kashmir dispute must be in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people failing which the turmoil will continue. Editor).

A.G. Noorani’s article titled “Bilateral Negotiations on Kashmir: Unlearnt Lessons” featuring in the October-December 2006 issue of Criterion attempts to identify the facts that he believes resulted in the long-festering Kashmir dispute.  In his opinion, the Pakistani leadership, and in particular the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, were squarely to blame for rejecting the Indian proposal for talks on Kashmir and Hyderabad. This, according to Noorani, would have resulted in Pakistan acquiring Kashmir and India securing Hyderabad. Shorn of sophistry, the Indian proposal was tantamount to bartering away the freedom of peoples. At the time, the State of Hyderabad was not a part of India. It did not join Pakistan and preferred to be an independent state. It was, therefore, out of question for Pakistan, especially for its leader, to come to terms with India on the future of Hyderabad when negotiating on Kashmir. The latter was altogether a separate question. Kashmir was an overwhelmingly Muslim majority state and, in accordance with the principles of partition, would have become a part of Pakistan If there was any doubt, it was for the people of the state to decide whether to join Pakistan or India.

Pakistan’s position on Hyderabad was unambiguous. The first Home Minister of India after it achieved independence in 1947, Sardar Patel, himself conceded this in one of his speeches delivered at Junadgarh when he stated: “Our reply was that we would agree to Kashmir if they (Pakistan) agreed to Hyderabad. Pakistan, however, pointed out that they had no say in the matter.”[1] In disregard of all laws, India military annexed Hyderabad shortly after Mr. Jinnah’s death in September 1948.

In his article, Mr. Noorani has made a passing reference to the Cabinet Mission Plan[2] which was accepted by both the Indian National Congress (INC) and the All-India Muslim League. The problems that were to arise subsequently were due to the derailment of the Plan by Gandhi, Nehru and their colleagues who thus became the veritable architects of the conflicts between Pakistan and India, the division of the sub-continent and the economic retardation of both the countries. Historical facts clearly demonstrate that it was the Congress leadership that was responsible for the partition of India, and, later, for the problems and tensions that have afflicted South Asia. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad[3] wrote:

“The Muslim League Council met for three days before it could come to a decision. On the final day, Mr. Jinnah had to admit that there could be no fairer solution of the minority problem than that presented in the Cabinet Mission Plan. In any case he could not get better terms. He told the Council that the scheme presented by the Cabinet Mission was the maximum that we could secure. As such, he advised the Muslim League to accept the scheme and the Council voted unanimously in its favour.”[4]

Maulana Azad has described the acceptance of the Cabinet Mission Plan by the Congress and the Muslim League, “a glorious event in the history of the freedom of India.”[5] He observed:

“It meant that the difficult question of Indian freedom had been settled by negotiations and agreement and not by methods of violence and conflict. It also seemed that the communal difficulties had been finally left behind. Throughout the country there was a sense of jubilation and all the people were united in their demand for freedom. We rejoiced but we did not then know that our joy was premature and bitter disappointment awaited us.” [6]

The All-India Congress Committee (AICC) met at Bombay (now Mumbai) on 6 July 1946 and ratified the working committee’s resolution of 25 June which had accepted the Cabinet Mission Plan. In commending the resolution to the house Azad, the retiring president of the Congress, said:

“The Cabinet Mission’s proposals also have once for all time cleared all doubts about the question of the division of India. These proposals have made it clear beyond a shadow of doubt that India shall remain an undivided single unit with a strong central government composed of the federating units.”[7]

The Muslim League’s acceptance of the Plan was generally welcomed in India and Britain, and Jinnah was congratulated for his farsightedness and statesmanship in sacrificing the demand for Pakistan in the interest of the common progress of the subcontinent. [8] But neither the Cabinet Mission nor the Congress said a word in recognition of what it had cost the League to abandon its basic and original demand. The only response was a spate of derisive articles, and cartoons in the Hindu press gleefully announcing the defeat of the League and the resolve of the Congress to follow up this victory by forcing the Mission to yield on all points.[9]

The National Herald, Nehru’s daily, boasted triumphantly:

“Pakistan, the Pakistan of Mr. Jinnah’s conception, received a state burial in the document submitted by the Cabinet Mission. And lest there should be any doubt about its demise or any fear of the possibility of its resurrection, it is emphatically announced that the Cabinet Mission’s sentence of death of Mr. Jinnah’s Pakistan has already obtained the approval of the British Government.”[10]

It was against this background that Nehru, who had replaced Maulana Azad as Congress president, caused consternation among nationalists, especially Maulana Azad who had succeeded in persuading the Congress and the League to agree to the best possible solution. On 10 July 1947, Nehru held a press conference in Bombay in which he made an astonishing statement. Some media representatives asked him whether, with the passing of the Resolution by the AICC, the Congress had accepted the Plan in its entirety, including the composition of the Interim Government. His response was that Congress would enter the Constituent Assembly completely unfettered by agreements and free to meet all situations as they rise. When asked if this meant that the Cabinet Mission Plan could be modified, he emphatically declared that the Congress had agreed only to participate in the Constituent Assembly and regarded itself free to change or modify the Cabinet Mission Plan as it thought best.[11]

In actual fact Nehru and other Congress leaders were merely echoing Gandhi’s stance which made the so-called acceptance of the Cabinet Mission Plan farcical. In the words of V.P Menon:

“It was open to the Constituent Assembly to vary the proposals, to reject or improve upon them; otherwise the Constituent Assembly could not be a sovereign body. Thus the Mission had suggested certain subjects for the Union Centre: the Constituent Assembly could, if they chose, add to them or reduce them. Similarly, it was open to the Constituent Assembly to abolish the distinction of Muslims and non-Muslims which the Mission had felt forced to recognise. As regarding groups, no province could be compelled to belong to a group against its will. (subject to these interpretations) Gandhiji said the Mission had brought something of which they had every reason to be proud.”[12]

Statements such as that of Nehru, rendered the earlier acceptance of the Cabinet Mission Plan by Congress null and void. Maulana Azad and his supporters were unable to reverse this negative development. It was with disappointment that he wrote:

“The Working Committee accordingly met on 8 August and reviewed the whole political situation. I pointed out that if we wanted to save the situation, we must make it clear that the statement of Congress President at the Bombay Press Conference was his personal opinion and did not conform to the decision of the Congress. I explained that the view of the Congress was expressed by the resolution passed by the AICC and no individual, not even the Congress President, could change it. Jawaharlal argued that he had no objection if the Working Committee wanted to reiterate that the Cabinet Mission Plan has been accepted by the Congress but felt that it would be embarrassing to the organisation and also to him personally if the Working Committee passed a resolution that the statement of the Congress President did not represent the policy of Congress.”[13]

The Working Committee, then in dilemma, drafted a Resolution which did not refer to Nehru’s statement but reaffirmed the decision of the AICC. This way, “the show boy of All-India Congress Committee” (as quoted by Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah in his Autobiography)[14] i.e., Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, “and other people of his thinking thought it possible that they could once again persuade Quaid-e-Azam and the Muslim League to trust the Hindu leadership. God knows better how a man of the Maulana’s calibre could hope that the Resolution of the Working Committee would save the situation”…..

Jinnah, however, saw through the duplicity. He had no doubt in his mind that the Working Committee’s resolution was no more than window dressing and that Nehru’s statement was the actual position of the Congress.  He argued that if Congress could renege on what it had earlier accepted at a time when power was not in its hand and the British were still in the country, it would revert to Nehru’s statement as the basis of policy when the British left. The minorities would, in effect, become second class citizens.[15]

The failure of the Hindu leadership in Congress to honour solemn pledges is, therefore, the real reason for the partition of the South Asian subcontinent, the continuing tensions and the unresolved Kashmir dispute. This is, perhaps, also the most important “unlearnt lesson” that Mr A.G. Noorani has ignored in his article in the Criterion quarterly. He has drawn the conclusion that “each country has adopted inconsistent stands on”(i) the worthlessness of the Instrument of Accession, (ii) plebiscite, (iii) territorial integrity or the geographical factor, and (iv) the religious factor – both sides practiced deception and both used armed force as an instrument of policy.

It is obvious that there has been every kind of inconsistency in the stance adopted by India in regard to not only the above mentioned aspects of the Kashmir problem but also on other issues. Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir never accepted the claim by India that it had received a request from Maharaja Hari Singh, the first time ruler of the State, for military aid and offering accession to India. There is no such document on record with India. Only a letter of acceptance from the then Governor General is available which is without any annexure of the Maharaja’s application for accession and military assistance.[16] Therefore any reference to the so-called Instrument of Accession carries no weight in international law. Had the Maharaja actually submitted any such application it would have been illegal because the land belonged and belongs to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. India, therefore, had no right or justification to airlift troops to Srinagar on 27 October 1947.

Pakistan’s consistent stance was the holding of a plebiscite and this was what India itself initially supported.  In his acceptance letter of the so-called application of the Maharaja, Governor General Mountbatten of India stated unequivocally:

“My Government have decided to accept the accession of Kashmir State to the Dominion of India. In consistence with their policy that in the case of any state where the issue of accession has been the subject of dispute, the question of accession should be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people of the state, it is my Government’s wish that, as soon as law and order have been restored in Kashmir and its soil is cleared of the invader, the question of the State’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people.”[17]

To the Indian occupiers of Kashmir, words such as “dispute,” “issue of accession,” “wishes of the people,“ “restoration of law and order” meant nothing. All that mattered was the illegal occupation and possession of the territory. It is, therefore, not surprising that on return from Jammu, with the Instrument of Accession in his hands, VP Menon, is said to have waved it at Alexander Symons, the British High Commissioner to India, and told him jubilantly:

“Here it is! We have Kashmir. The bastard signed the Act of Accession. And now that we have got it, we will never let it go.”[18]

Prior to the above event and soon after the announcement of the Partition Plan of 3 June 1947, Nehru and Sardar Patel stealthily sought to secure the accession of Kashmir to India. In his letter of 27 September 1947 to Patel, Nehru wrote:

“Once the Sate accedes to India it will become very difficult for Pakistan to invade it officially or unofficially without coming into conflict with the Indian Union. If, however, there is delay in this accession, then Pakistan will go ahead, without much fear of consequences, especially when the winter isolates Kashmir.”[19]

On 1 January 1948 India brought the Kashmir issue before the UN Security Council invoking article 35 of the Charter. Its representative stated that the situation in Kashmir was a threat to international peace and security and the dispute should be resolved quickly. He also conceded:

“The question of the future status of Kashmir vis-a-vis her neighbours and the world at large, and a further question, namely, whether she should withdraw from her accession to India, and either accede to Pakistan or remain independent, with a right to claim admission as a member of the United Nations – all this we have recognised to be a matter for unfettered decision by the people of Kashmir.”[20]

Whatever justification India may have proffered for its sinister designs to annex Kashmir, thus lost even a semblance of legality when it referred the matter to the UN. The right of the Kashmiris to determine their own future was also affirmed in parliament by the Indian leadership and pledged to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The principle of res judicata is admitted internationally and it debars India from adopting any other stance on the issue.

India’s initiative to refer the Kashmir issue to the UN Security Council and the statement of its representative that it was for the Kashmiri people to decide the future destiny of their state was not prompted by high ideals but by the ground situation. The people of Jammu and Kashmir had risen in revolt against Maharaja Hari Singh on 17 August 1947 and, on their request, they were supported by tribesmen from the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. As a consequence 32,000 square mile were captured by them and the Dogra forces were defeated in Baramulla. The maharaja fled and India, in order to salvage a desperate situation, took the issue to the UN.

The declaratory Indian position at the time that “the future status of Kashmir” was “a matter for unfettered decision by the people of Kashmir,” was inspired by the belief that Pakistan would not survive. So confident was the Indian leadership that it was “going to be a short-lived partition” that even their rhetoric against Pakistan became temporarily more muted.[21]

Gandhi himself declared on 15 August 1947 that he was sure that a time would come when the division would be undone.[22] The Hindustan Times – the Congress daily – commented in a lead article on the 3 June Plan: “The saving feature is that it will be possible to unite again once the glamour of division has passed and national forces come into play.”[23] Menon, who had been involved in drafting the Plan document and knew the minds of Congress leaders, believed that “the partition of August 1947 was surely not intended to sunder for all time the ties that for a century and a half have bound India together.”[24] There was a general belief among the Hindus and Congressmen that the partition would not endure, that Pakistan would soon collapse and that India would once again be a united country under the Congress.” Nehru himself had warned “I doubt very much if it (Pakistan) can survive.”[25]

When it became clear that these predictions about the end of Pakistan were no more than wishful thinking, New Delhi’s actual designs to absorb Kashmir as an “integral part of India” came into the open. One of the arguments advanced was the principle of territorial contiguity or the geographical factor. But facts speak differently.

The state of Jammu & Kashmir comprises an area of 84,471 square miles. It lies almost in the middle of the continent of Asia and its borders also touch Afghanistan, China, and Chinese Tibet. However, more than two third of its border is contiguous with Pakistan. All natural routes of the state lead to Pakistan and these include:

1). Sialkot Jammu, Banihal, Sringar.

2) Rawalpindi, Srinagar (Jhelum) Valley Road

3) Gujrat Bhimber

4) Jhelum Mirpur

5) Kotli Poonch, Uri Srinagar Road

6) Azad Pattan

7) Sino Pak

The geographical unity of Kashmir and Pakistan is also established by the mighty Indus and its tributaries — Neelum (Kashn Ganga, Jhelum, Kunhar, Kabul etc.), which run through both states.

It is only the Amritsar-Pathankot road which was linked through Lakhanpur with Jammu to provide India an artificial land-route to the state although it made the transportation of commodities to and from India prohibitively expensive. The route was made available to India by the Punjab Boundary Commission award, whose chairman, Mr. Radcliffe, was openly partial towards New Delhi. The most brazen example of which was his award of the Muslim majority district of Gurdaspur to India. This was to be expected because any hope of British impartiality disappeared when Lord Mountbatten became the first Governor General of independent India. Prior to the Boundary Commission award, there had never been any land route directly linking India to Kashmir.

As regards the population complexion of Kashmir, the findings of a 1941 Census, almost six years before the partition of British-India, were:

Area                Muslims                       Non-Muslims

1.Northern Areas        88%                             12%

2.Kashmir Province     93.5%                          6.5%

3.Jammu Province       53.4%                          46.6%

It was inconceivable that the overwhelmingly Muslim majority state of Jammu and Kashmir would accede to India. Jinnah was, therefore, right to have assumed that “Kashmir will fall into our lap like a ripe fruit.”[26] Neither he nor anyone who stands for justice could have imagined that Nehru, with the support of the British, would disregard all legal and moral principles in order to annex Kashmir by force. Since then indecisive wars and inconclusive negotiations against a backdrop of tension have dominated the Kashmir scene.

The structure of the negotiations on the Kashmir dispute is seriously flawed because the Kashmiri people have been left out of the talks. Initially the parties were Pakistan, India and the UN. After the Simla Accord of 1972, whatever little discussion there was on Kashmir was conducted bilaterally between Pakistan and India. It seemed that the Kashmiri people just did not matter. Their fate was to be decided upon by Pakistan and India but even this format was flawed for another reason. The Peoples Republic of China, which had acquired Kashmiri territory, was never a party to the talks. For any negotiations on Kashmir to succeed it is essential that all the parties must be associated. Such talks must include first and foremost genuine representatives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan, India and China.

Kashmir is the core issue that has resulted in wars and tensions in South Asia. The problem can only be resolved through the exercise of the right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people as promised to them through several resolutions of the UN Security Council. The argument that these resolutions were adopted in the late 1940s and the early 1950s, and, therefore, no longer relevant, is untenable. UN resolutions are not time-bound and remain valid till they are implemented. They can only be annulled through a subsequent resolution or by the consent of all the parties concerned. The Kashmir dispute is, therefore, the oldest unfulfilled item on the UN agenda. The right to self-determination was pledged to the Kashmiri people by the international community and, in particular, by India and Pakistan. Unless this pledge is redeemed, Kashmir will continue to be the root cause of tension and conflict in South Asia,

One of the major obstacles in the way of a just and final settlement of the Kashmir problem is that India cannot be relied upon to honour its solemn pledges. It has already been noted how the Congress backtracked on its acceptance of the Cabinet Mission Plan. Yet another example, and there have been many, is that at Lucknow, in 1916, the All India Congress, under its president Ambeka Charan Maujamdar, signed a pact with the Muslim League to uphold separate electorates. However when the time came to incorporate this agreement in the Draft Constitution in 1928, the Nehru Committee, headed by Pundit Motilal Nehru, reneged on the undertaking. In the case of Kashmir, pledges to the Kashmiris and even to the Indian people, have repeatedly been broken. It was none other than Jawaharlal Nehru who declared on the floor of the Indian parliament on 7 August 1952:

“With all deference to this Parliament, I would like to say that the ultimate decision will be made in the minds and hearts of the men and women of Kashmir and not in this Parliament or at the United Nations…. First of all, let me say clearly that we accept the basic proposition that the future of Kashmir is going to be decided by the good will and pleasure of the people. The goodwill and pleasure of this Parliament is of no importance in this matter, not because this Parliament does not have the strength to decide the question of Kashmir but because any kind of imposition would be against the principle that this Parliament upholds…..The question of Kashmir, as this House well knows, certainly has not been for us a question of territory…..Kashmir is very close to our minds and hearts; if however, the people of Kashmir do not wish to remain with us, let them go by all means. We will not keep them against their will, however painful it may be to us, that is the policy that India will pursue…..so while another fact which has nothing to do with law also remains, namely, our pledge to the people of Kashmir, if you like, to the people of the world that this matter can be affirmed again or cancelled by the people of Kashmir according to their wishes. We do not want to win people against their will and with the help of armed forces and, if the people of Jammu and Kashmir State wish to part company with us, they can go their way and we shall go ours.”[27]

History and the contemporary situation have demonstrated the hollowness of these seemingly high-sounding words. The solemn affirmation of not wanting to “win people against their will and with the help of armed forces and, if the people of Jammu and Kashmir wish to part company with us, they can go their way and we shall go ours,”  was soon to be belied. India refused to pull out its occupation forces in Kashmir and hold a plebiscite while Pakistan withdrew its troops in full. The UN resolutions meant nothing,  Kashmir was annexed as an “integral part of India” and now, more than four decades after Nehru’s death, over half-a-million Indian troops, the biggest military concentration anywhere in the world, have been foisted on to the Kashmiri people. Indian forces are visible throughout the occupied state – from the Siachin Glacier in the north to Jammu in the south, from Uri in the west to Ladakh in the east.

The Kashmir turmoil is not a war of religion. The essence of the problem is the denial of the   inalienable democratic right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination as promised to them by the international community through several resolutions of the UN Security Council. For no other reason than simply demanding that this pledge be honoured, the people of Kashmir have been brutalized by the Indian occupation forces. In the last eight years alone no less than 80,000 people have been killed, many of whom have died in fake encounters. Rapes, custodial killings and disappearances are commonplace while houses and settlements have been torched. Through all this, there has barely been a whimper of protest from the international community although these atrocities have been reported and documented by independent human rights groups.

The devil, it is said, writes its own scripture and India tried to justify its illegal annexation of Kashmir by claiming that the state legislature had decided in favour of Kashmir’s accession to India and this was the verdict of the people since they had elected the representatives to the legislature. The same tendentious argument was repeated by Rajiv Gandhi when he visited Pakistan for the SAARC Summit in December 1988. In actual fact no elections were held at the time and 73 out 75 members were nominated by the state. Even if elections had been held it was inconceivable that the people of Jammu and Kashmir would give up their right to self-determination. The founder architect of Kashmir’s accession to India, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, wrote in this context:

“When we took the initiative for holding elections for the Constituent Assembly Pakistan was enraged. She filed a complaint in the Security Council that India was going to settle the future of the State in her favour by utilising backdoor diplomacy. Thus India is going to violate the resolution passed by the Security Council of the UN to hold a plebiscite in the State of Jammu and Kashmir; and India and Pakistan – both have accepted the same. Sir B.N. Rao was the Head of the delegation in the UN at that time. So he intervened in the meeting of the Security Council and assured it India has no such intention. She shall stand firmly on the decision arrived at by this Council to hold a referendum in the State of Jammu and Kashmir,” and, “that India shall not accept any resolution passed by the State assembly in terms of accession to India.” Another Indian representative, Rajeshwar Dayal, too extended assurance to the Security Council: “I once again repeat that the Indian Government does not intend to put a spoke in the wheels of the Security Council to settle the issue referred to it or to raise hurdles in its way.”[28]

It was not within the competence of the State Assembly to discard the imperative of a plebiscite in Kashmir and this was clearly upheld by the UN Security Council:

“The Security Council re-affirms its resolution of March 30, 1951 and declares that the convening of a constituent assembly as recommended by the General Council of the All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, and any action that assembly may have taken or might attempt to take to determine the   future shape and affiliation of the parties concerned in support of any such action by the Assembly would not constitute a disposition of the state in accordance with the above principle.”[29]

The use of force for the settlement of the Kashmir dispute has been tried and has failed. War has not resolved the problem. Bilateral negotiations on Kashmir between Pakistan and India are unacceptable to the people of Jammu and Kashmir because they have been excluded from the talks. Negotiations can only be meaningful if all the parties relevant to the dispute are included, namely, the genuine representatives of the Kashmiri people, Pakistan, India and the Peoples’ Republic of China. The exclusive purpose of such talks must be to work out the modalities for implementing what Pakistan and India have solemnly affirmed as recorded in the Security Council’s resolution of 21 April 1948 which states:

“Both India and Pakistan desire that the question of accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite.”

Even if Pakistan and India persist in pursuing bilateral negotiations on Kashmir any agreement that they may reach cannot foreclose the inalienable right of the Kashmiri people to “a free and impartial plebiscite.” The understandings between the two countries in the past have recognized the need for “a final settlement” of the Kashmir question. The same terminology is used in the resolutions of the United Nations Commission on India and Pakistan (UNCIP) and this, in turn, is unmistakably in the context of a plebiscite. However, if India and Pakistan agree on a solution besides a plebiscite this must be acceptable to the people of Kashmir or, in other words, it should reflect the will of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. This is of particular importance in view of the contemporary stress on evolving innovative solutions beyond the traditional declaratory formulations articulated by the leadership of the two countries. The point that both Islamabad and New Delhi should keep in mind is that they do not have the right to decide the future of Kashmir without ascertaining the wishes of the people of that state.

The stress in the ongoing Pakistan-India composite dialogue is on confidence building measures. In the context of the core issue of Kashmir, it is now for India to take the most important confidence building step by immediately beginning a phased and complete withdrawal of its occupation forces from that state. Only then can the repression that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been subjected to for several years come to an end. This will create an enabling environment for serious purposeful negotiations aimed at “a final settlement” in Kashmir in accordance with the wishes of its people.

In Kashmir the accepted norms and principles, that underpin regional and global peace and security, have been persistently violated. If the world believes that UN Security Council resolutions have their own sanctity and must be universally, and not selectively, enforced, these resolutions have been ignored in Kashmir. If freedom and democracy are to be upheld, then in Kashmir the ‘democratic” right “of a free and impartial plebiscite” as promised to its people by the international community through numerous Security Council resolutions have been denied to them. If human rights are sacrosanct, then the world has been a passive bystander as the people of Jummu and Kashmir continue to be the victims of repression and brutalization. If terrorism is to be combated in all its forms, then state-sponsored terrorism cannot be excluded. Furthermore, terrorism has to be defined and a differentiation has to be made between a genuine freedom struggle and terrorist acts. If the occupation of territory through war and the use of military force is illegal and violates the UN Charter, then the military occupation of Kashmir against the wishes of its people must be brought to an end.


[1] The author is an advocate of Kashmiri origin and analyst on South Asian themes.


[1] For a United India: Speeches of Sardar Patel 1942-1950, Page 11 Publication Division, Government of India (See Criterion Quarterly vol. 1 No. 1 p. 34).

[2] The Cabinet Mission comprised Lord Pathic Lawerance, Secretary of State for India, Sir Stafford Cripps , the President of the Board of Trade,  and  A.V. Alexander, the First Lord of the Admiralty. The Cabinet Mission arrived in India on 23 March 1946 and compiled a 22-point agenda for independence. This Plan was initially accepted by the Indian National Congress Committee and the All India Muslim League. Later  the Congress decided to back out  and consequently the Plan was also rejected by the Muslim League.

[3] Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (1888-1958) was president of the Indian National Congress (1940-46) and led the negotiations with the Cabinet Mission. He became post-independence India’s first Education Minister and retained this  post till his death.

[4] Maulana Abul Kalam Azad,  India Wins Freedom: An Autobiographical Narrative, p. 157, Orient Longman Limited, Madras.

[5] Ibid., p.. 158.

[6] Ibid., p. 158

[7] Text of the Resolution in  The Indian Annual Register, 1946, p.132.

[8] Madras Mail as quoted by  A.A. Ravoof in Meet Mr. Jinnah (Lahore 1945 edition) p. 199 and Daily Telegraph, London, 7 June 1946.

[9] Ishtiaque Hussain Qureshi, The Struggle For Pakistan (His footnote invites special attention wherein he says “This is the opinion of a British journalist who cannot be accused of pro-Muslim sympathies.  See Arthur Moore, “Wishful Thinking about India, ,” Nineteenth Century,  January  1947, pp. 12-13.

[10] Quoted in A.A. Ravoof, op. cit., p.196. Also see Ishtiaue Hussain Qureshi The Struggle for Pakistan p.259.

[11] Abul Kalam Azad, India Wins Freedom: An Autobiographical Narrative, p. 164.

[12] Menon, V.P., The Transfer of Power in India, p.269, (Calcutta, 1957).

[13] Abul Kalam Azad, India Wins Freedom: An Autobiographical Narrative, p.166.

[14] Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, Atish-e-Chinar: An Autobiography p.342, published by Chaudhry      Academy,Al-Fazle Market-17, Urdu Bazar, Lahore.

[15] Abul Kalam Azad, India Wins Freedom: An Autobiography, p.167.

[16] Brig (retd) Muhammad Shafi Khan, Facts, Apprehensions, Dangers and Future (of Kashmir), 2004, Lahore.  These facts can also be studied in Alistair Lamb’s Birth of a Tragedy (Oxford Books 1994) and Kashmir: a disputed Legacy.

[17] Lord Bird Wood, Two Nations and Kashmir, p.213. This has also been referred to by Sheikh Abdullah in his autobiography, Astish-e-Chinarp.418.

[18] Justice M.Y.Saraf, Kashmir Fights for Freedom, vol. II, (1947-1978) p.922, published by Ferozsons, Lahore.

[19] Durga Das, ed., Sardar Patel’s Correspondence 1945-50, vol. I  p.40, 1971, Navajivan Publishing House. Ahmedabad-14, India

[20] White Paper on Jammu and Kashmir, pp. 46-48,  Government of India.

[21] Qoted in Menon op.cit. pp384-385.. Reference The Struggle for Pakistan by Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi p.295.

[22] H.S.Polak, Mahatma Gandhi, p.295, (London, 1958).

[23] Quoted by Andrew Meller, India since Partition, p.32, (London 1951).

[24] Menon op.cit. p.442.

[25] Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, Vol.4, p. 269.

[26] A.G.Noorani, Criterion, vol1 no.1 p.28.

[27] Abdul Aziz Beg, Captive Kashmir, pp. 128-129, quoted by Justice (retd) Muhammad Akram Khan, pp.15-16, published by Kashmir Liberation Cell, Domel Road, Muzaffarabad.

[28] Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, An Autobiography,  Aatish-e-Chinar p.543.

[29] Resolution adopted by the UN Security Council on 24 January 1957. Quoted in The Unsettled State –Some Legal Aspects, Justice Dr. Nasim Hasan Shah, Chief Justice of Pakistan (retd), pp.10-11.