Is Pakistan’s political map of disputed Jammu and Kashmir really an “absurdity”?

Pakistan should stress that the revision of J&K political map is consistent with Muslim Conference’s resolution, AJ&K’s constitution, and UN resolutions. India’s cartographic changes however amount to violations of UN’s resolutions, a real absurdity.

Kashmir

India used all expletives in its not-so-diplomatic lexicon to point out that revision of Pakistan’s political map was an “absurdity”. It does not appear to be so. The revision is in sync with Muslim Conference’s resolution dated July 19, 1947, embodying decision to accede to Pakistan. On this day in 1947, All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference passed a resolution for Kashmir’s Accession to Pakistan

The historic Kashmir resolution

The historic resolution, passed at the residence of Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan in Srinagar, recalled that the future of Kashmir was inextricably linked with Pakistan because of geographical, cultural and economic relation with Pakistan. The resolution epitomized ethos of millions of Kashmiri Muslims whose hearts throbbed with people of Pakistan.

This resolution is unequivocal unlike the maharajha’s so-called`instrument of accession’. The spirit of the resolution is enshrined in Article 7 (3) of AJK Interim Constitution 1974 [31st August, 1974] Act VIII OF 1974 also. The Article 7 provides for `Freedom of association.-…(3) No person or political party in Azad Jammu and Kashmir shall be permitted to propagate against, or take part in activities prejudicial or detrimental to, the ideology of the State’s accession to Pakistan.’

The oath for the AJK President, Prime minister and Ministers provides `I will remain loyal to the country and to the cause of accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan’. Besides, Article 11 provides for ‘Plebiscite Adviser.- The President may appoint a Plebiscite Adviser to advise the Government in relation to the holding of a plebiscite in the State of Jammu and Kashmir in terms of the United Nations Commission for India Pakistan Resolutions.’

Puerile map revision by India makes it a rogue state: Unlike AJ&K and Pakistan, India had harboured a perfidious and perfunctory commitment to holding the plebiscite, as per the United Nations’ resolutions. By scrapping the disputed state’s special status, India itself tore the `instrument’, if it existed at all, to shreds.

Read More: Violence Against Kashmiri Women

What is the basis of the annexation?

The cartographic annexation of the state (August 5, 2019) by India not only violates the terms of ‘accession’ in the so-called ‘instrument’, but also violates United Nations resolutions and the Simla Accord. Any state that flouts international treaties is a rogue state.

Noam Chomsky says, ‘A “rogue state” is a state that defies international laws and conventions…in fact, anything except the interests of its own leadership, the forces around the leadership that dominate policy’ (Noam Chomsky, Rogue States: The Rule of Force in World Affairs). And it should be shunned as pariah (Tim Niblock, Pariah States” & Sanctions in the Middle East: Iraq, Libya, Sudan).

How rogue India flouted the UN Kashmir

Aware of India’s intention to get the ‘Instrument of Accession’ rubber-stamped by the puppet occupied-Kashmir assembly, the Security Council passed two resolutions. Security Council Resolution 9 of 30 March 1951 and affirmative Resolution 122 of 24 March 1957 outlaw accession or any other action to change status of the Jammu and Kashmir state.

So,`accession’ resolution, passed by occupied Kashmir’s ‘constituent assembly’, is void. India never registered it with the UN. Lo and behold, in 1995, the India claimed the original document was lost or stolen. Renowned journalist and historian Alastair Lamb regards the Instrument of Accession, ‘signed’ by the maharajah of Kashmir on October 26, 1947, as fraudulent.

Read More: 365 Days of Kashmir in Lockdown

India wanted to barter away Kashmir for Hyderabad

India regards the Kashmiri as chattel. Saifuddin Soz, former Congress minister and a prominent Kashmiri politician told Shekhar Gupta, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was happy to let Kashmir go to Pakistan in exchange for Hyderabad…

Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of India, took Patel’s offer to Pakistan on the exact day the Indian Army landed in Srinagar to push back intruders from Pakistan in October 1947. Quoting Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan’s book Emergence of Pakistan, Soz said, `Liaquat Ali neither understood history, nor geography. So, he did not accept the offer’.

In the partition council, he tried his level best to convince Liaquat Ali to take Kashmir and leave Hyderabad-Deccan’.`Liaquat Ali Khan had set his heart on Hyderabad and not the ‘rocks of Kashmir’ while Sardar Patel felt Kashmir was Pakistan’s for the asking but surely not Hyderabad’ (Sardar Patel was adamant, give Kashmir to Pakistan, take Hyderabad.

Kuldip Nayar, in his book ‘Beyond the Lines: An Autobiography’ writes on Sardar Patel’s consistent view that Kashmir should be part of Pakistan. It is on record that Vallabhai Patel, the powerful minister in Jawaharlal Lal Nehru’s government, had offered to Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan in 1947, that Pakistan should keep Kashmir and let India have Hyderabad. The barter offer is documented also in Saifuddin Soz’ Kashmir: Glimpses of History and the Story of Struggle.

Read More: Pakistan unveils new Map – Includes Indian Occupied Kashmir

Historical trajectory of India’s lip service to the plebiscite promise Kashmir

Abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A was not Narendra Modi’s overnight exploit. All Indian leaders were perfidious. On November 2, 1947, Nehru declared in a radio broadcast that the government of India was “prepared, when peace and order have been established in Kashmir, to have a referendum held under international auspices like the United Nations.” I am quoting from Chaudhri Mohammad Ali’s The Emergence of Pakistan.

Avtar Singh Bhasin says on page 73 of his book India and Pakistan: Neighbours at Odd, `On 7 August a day before his arrest, BBC reported a significant passage from his [Sheikh Abdullah’s] speech on the Martyrs’ Day in the previous month, which had been blacked out in the Indian press: `If I felt that by remaining independent, Kashmir would be well off, I would not hesitate to raise my voice in favour of complete freedom for Kashmir. If I felt that Kashmir’s betterment lay in it accession to Pakistan, no power in the world could silence my voice’.

Read More: Kashmir, Gurdaspur & Mountbatten?

Aftermath of lockdown

The year-long down lockdown has made people’s lives miserable. Winter would exacerbate their misery. Suspension of 4G internet made E commerce and online education a farce.

Apple orchards stand destroyed as also wood-carving tradesman. A December report of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, reported successive losses of Rs. 14,296.10 crore and Rs 17,800 crore, besides loss of 4.9 lakh jobs between August and December. In July 2020, it reported revenue loss of  Rs 40,000 crore.

New domiciliary policy would change Kashmir’s demography. Currently, at least 17 lakh migrants have applied for a domicile certificate.

Also, with a nudge from the Centre, the underprivileged from other states like Bihar could rush to the Valley a better life. According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, the unemployment rate in Jammu and Kashmir is currently 17.9 per cent, far higher than the national average of 8 per cent. The domicile law has come at a time when, according to the Union home ministry, there are 84,000 government vacancies to be filled. That would reduce job chance of real Kashmiris (365 since 370A, The Week, August 09, 2020).

Read More: After annexing Kashmir, India kicks out Kashmiris from State machinery

What Pakistan should do?

Like Nepal, Pakistan should get its political map enacted through its parliament. It should be widely circulated. Nepal distributed 65,000 maps throughout the country, besides selling them at Rs. 50 per piece. Copies of the enacted map were immediately sent to India, UN and Google.

About India’s cartographic aggression, AG Noorani sarcastically comments, ‘Maps are not documents of title. … If they conflict with the state’s claims, they can constitute an admission. Published to create evidence, they are worthless. You cannot claim Mexico by showing it as Indian territory on our maps. The value of foreign maps depends on their provenance, whether in a work of learning or otherwise.’

‘Maps in periodicals or books published after a dispute has arisen do not affect either side’s case; only the mental balance of some Indian officials, which is precarious even at the best of times. It is puerile to stamp warnings on issues of foreign magazines. Readers abroad do not enjoy the benefit of the warning, anyway.’

Pakistan should stress that the revision of J&K political map is consistent with Muslim Conference’s resolution, AJ&K’s constitution, and UN resolutions. India’s cartographic changes however amount to violations of UN’s resolutions, a real absurdity.

Mr. Amjed Jaaved is editor of the monthly magazine, The Consul. He has been contributing free-lance for over five decades. His contributions stand published in the leading dailies and magazines at home and abroad (Nepal. Bangladesh, et. al.). He is author of eight e-books including Terrorism, Jihad, Nukes and other Issues in Focus. The views expressed in this article are the authors own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.

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