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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Op-ed: India wedded to might is right

The time is ripe for Kashmiris to review Kashmir-India relations. With one voice Kashmiris from all walks of life should annul so-called accession, stay standstill or accede to Pakistan.

In an interview with Indian media outlet The Wire, Moeed Yusuf revealed that India had expressed a “desire for conversation” but said that Pakistan’s agreement to talks would be conditional (talks with India only possible with Kashmir as third party, says SAPM Moeed Yusuf,  Dawn 14 Oct 2020) . India quickly denied any offer for talks. Moeed as well as his interviewer were quickly dubbed as anti-India jihadi.

Read more: Kashmiris must be party to any solution to Kashmir, Moeed Yusuf tells India

Indian government as well as it’s diplomats and media are quite deft in labeling anyone, even it’s own citizens, traitors. Former chief minister of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is facing BJP’s wrath for stating ‘China has opposed the changes too. May Allah wish that our people get help from their might and our Articles 370 and 35-A get restored?’

The list of traitors includes a dozen Kashmiri leaders besides Farooq Abdullah, Gautam Navlakha, Goa Institute of Management professor Anand Teltumbde, Delhi University associate professor Hany Babu, artistes of Kabir Kala Manch Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor, Jyoti Jagtap, human rights activist Stan Swamy and CPI (Maoist) leader Milind Teltumbd.

Navalakha’s seditious sin was to write to the US court seeking clemency for Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai. Since Fai had accepted a donation from Pakistan so by corollary Navalakha also was pro-Pakistan.

A leader becomes a traitor the moment they stop singing paeans for “secular democracy”. Take Sheikh Abdullah. Barkha Dutt recalls (This Unquiet Land, p. 154) `In a 1948 speech to the United Nations, Sheikh Abdullah … made a blistering defense of the accession to India. Sher-e-Kashmir (Lion of Kashmir) roared, :`I had thought all along that the world had got rid of Hitlers…but what is happening in my poor country I am convinced that they have transmigrated their souls into Pakistan…I refuse to accept Pakistan as a party in the affairs of Jammu and Kashmir’

Dutt says, “Sheikh Abdullah [later] began to talk about the possibility of independent Kashmir…Soon after he changed his stance he was jailed and dismissed from office and was not able to lead the state for another twenty years’.

While talking to Cyril Al Maeda in an exclusive interview that appeared on 12th May, Pakistan’s  former prime minister Sharif had said  `Militant organizations are active. Call them non-state actors, should we allow them to cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai?’ During Kalbushan Jhadav’s trial, Indian counsel used the MNS statement to blame Pakistan for its alleged ‘involvement in sponsoring terrorism in India’.

It is a documented fact that India is stroking insurgencies in neighboring countries. Unlike Kashmir, Bangladesh was not a disputed state like Jammu and Kashmir state. It was an integral part of Pakistan. But, India harbored, nurtured, trained and armed Bangladeshi ‘freedom fighters’.

The factual position is that gullible Sharif had relied on statements by then serving ISI chief Shuja Pasha. Even Pasha’s statement was grossly misinterpreted. Pasha had never said that it was ISI who in any way sponsored the Mumbai operation. Even the USA never trusted the interrogation of David Headley who was `linked’  to the Mumbai incident.

Assessing India’s war on Pakistan

Let me quote  Mohammed Adobo and  Etgar  Ugur  (eds.), Assessing the War on Terror, 2013, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., Colorado 80301 (USA). Chapter V: Pakistan Perfidious Ally in the War on Terror, C. Christine Fair, p. 85)

According to Indian officials who interrogated him after his indictment, David Headley, an American involved in the Mumbai attacks conceded ISI involvement (Jason Burke, “ISI chief aided Mumbai terror attacks: Headley”, The Hindu October 19, 2010; Jane Perlez, Eric Schmitt and Ginger Thomson, “US had warnings on Plotter of Mumbai Attack”, New York Times, October 17, 2010). US officials have not endorsed this claim. But, according to some reports, the current director general of the ISI Shuja Pasha, acknowledged that the people connected to the ISI were involved in attacks (Woodword, Obama’s Wars, pp 46-47). Documentary analysis shows secretive Mumbai trials were translucent (Davidson, Betrayal of India: Revisiting the 26/11 Evidence).

India now calls Kashmiri freedom fighters terrorists. To refresh India’s memory, it called insurgents in erstwhile East Pakistan mukti bahini ‘freedom fighters’.

India was also irked when `Yusuf also accused India of being involved in backing terror within Pakistan…’ (Hindustan Times dated October 14, 2020). Moeed stated what was obvious.

Read more: FO slams India for state terrorism in occupied Kashmir

It is a documented fact that India is stroking insurgencies in neighboring countries. Unlike Kashmir, Bangladesh was not a disputed state like Jammu and Kashmir state. It was an integral part of Pakistan. But, India harbored, nurtured, trained and armed Bangladeshi ‘freedom fighters’.

Some Indian diplomats and RAW cover officers have made startling revelations in their books about their involvement in insurgencies or terrorism in neighboring countries. For instance, RK Yadav, and B. Raman (The Kaoboys of R&AW: Down Memory Lane) make no bones about India’s involvement in Bangladesh’s insurgency. They admit that India’s then prime minister Indira Gandhi, Parliament, RAW and armed forces acted in tandem to dismember Pakistan.

Raman recalls, Indian parliament passed resolution on March 31, 1971 to support insurgency. India Gandhi had then confided to Kao that if Mujib was prevented from ruling Pakistan, she would liberate East Pakistan from the clutches of the military junta. Kao, through one RAW agent, got hijacked on a plane Fokker Friendship Ganga of Indian Airlines from Srinagar to Lahore. India’s security czar Doval publicly claims that he acted as a spy under a pseudonym in Pakistan for 11 years. India’s then army chief, SAM Manekshaw confessed in a video interview that India Gandhi ordered him to attack erstwhile East Pakistan. (YouTube: Indian Army Stories of the Indo-Pak War 1971 by Sam manekshaw).


In a newspaper article, titled ‘How India secretly armed Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance’, on 1st September, India’s former ambassador tells about India’s secret support to Northern Alliance. He discloses India’s ambassador Bharath Raj Muthu Kumar, with consent of then foreign minister Jaswant Singh, ‘coordinated the military and medical assistance, India was secretly giving to Massoud and his forces. The support involved ‘helicopters, uniforms, ordnance, mortars, small armaments, refurbished Kalashnikovs seized in Kashmir, combat and winter clothes, packaged food, medicines, and funds’. These supplied were ‘delivered circuitously with the help of other countries’ or ‘through his [Massoud’s] brother in London, Wali Massoud’.

India now calls Kashmiri freedom fighters terrorists. To refresh India’s memory, it called insurgents in erstwhile East Pakistan mukti bahini ‘freedom fighters’.

Why is India chagrined at the mention of Kashmir by Moeed Yusaf?

There are 53 UN resolutions relating to the plebiscite. Stanley Wolpert and Alastair Lamb (Kashmir – A disputed legacy 1846-1990, Birth of a Tragedy) also doubt the existence of Instrument of Accession (October 26, 1947).

Accession instrument is a myth unregistered with the United Nations during debates. Subsequent accession resolution, passed by the occupied Kashmir’s ‘constituent assembly’ is also void. This resolution violates the Security Council’s resolutions forbidding India from going ahead with the accession farce.

Aware of India’s intention to get the ‘Instrument of Accession’ rubber-stamped by the puppet assembly, the Security Council passed two resolutions to forestall the `foreseeable accession’ by the puppet assembly. Security Council’s resolution no 9 of March 30, 1951 and affirmative resolution no 122 of March 24, 1957 outlaws accession or any other action to change status of the Jammu and Kashmir state.

In contrast with India’s atoot-ang mantra (integral-part recitation), Moeed’s resilience to include the Kashmiri as a third party is understandable.

Pakistan gives an iron-clad constitutional assurance to Kashmiris to re-craft their relation with Pakistan under Article 257 of its constitution even if they decide to accede to Pakistan. The article states, ‘When the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir decide to accede to Pakistan, the relationship between Pakistan and that State shall be determined in accordance with the wishes of the people of that State’.

Indian Union is an artificial sally

In its entire history India had never been a single nation, or one country, until united at gun point by the British. The artificial nature of modern India created by the British colonialists and adopted by post-colonial India generated insurgencies and separatist movements.

At the time of partition, India was in grip of virulent insurgencies and separatist movements (Dravidian South, Khalistan, Seven Sisters in the North East, so on). Wikipedia lists 68 major organizations as terrorist groups. Of them, nine are in the northeast (seven sisters states), four in the center and the east (Maoist/Naxalites), seventeen in the west (Sikh separatist groups), and thirty eight in the northwest (Kashmir). India kept afloat as a union only because of its resilience in accepting insurgents’ demands. As new states were created, insurgents became chief ministers.

Pariah India gets popular at the UN as Pak ignores power of diplomacy

Today India boasts of having support of majority of the United Nations’ members but that was not the case in the 1940s. UNSC president Korbel documents India’s uncooperative attitude.  India never called upon the UNCIP to refer the matter to International Court of Justice for an opinion. It all along pledged obeisance to the UN. A few extracts from the UNCIP chairman Josef Korbel book Danger in Kashmir, given heretofore, reflect that India was the bete noire in eyes of the UN because of its non-cooperative attitude.

“Page 159. So the problem of demilitarization was a real one, but it should not have presented any great difficulties if there had been goodwill and some mutual confidence, the government of Pakistan also had a number of objections to the commission’s plan of demilitarizing the country; nevertheless it agreed to accept the final judgment of an arbitrator’.

‘Page 168. One is also bound to state, at this juncture, that throughout the endless deliberations of the Security Council on the Kashmir issue, the majority of the council was closer to the Pakistan point of view than to that of India. Not only were its permanent members the United States, Great Britain, France, and China, with the Soviet Union largely neutral inclined to support a procedure acceptable to Pakistan rather than to India, but the elected members also, as they served their term, associated themselves with this same general position’.

‘Page 171-172. Sir Owen asked that the Pakistan troops be withdrawn. This was followed by a request to both sides to demilitarize the territory to a minimum of forces (Azad, state troops, Indian army, and local militia) consistent with law and order. The Prime Minister of Pakistan agreed to take the first step to withdraw the Pakistan army. But Sir Owen’s gratification was short-lived. The plan for demilitarization was rejected by India’.

‘Pages 176-177. Three proposals were suggested by the Australian Prime Minister, Robert Gordon Menzes: (1) to station Commonwealth troops in Kashmir; (2) to have a joint Indo-Pakistan force there; (3) to entitle the plebiscite administrator to raise local troops. Pakistan accepted any of the three propositions. India refused them all.’

‘Page 186. The United Nations representative first proposed, as a basis for discussion, that 12,000 to 18,000 soldiers be retained on the Indian side, plus the local state militia of 6,000 men; and 3,000 to 6,000 Azad soldiers on the Pakistan side, plus 3,500 scouts in the northern area. Then he modified this proposal, suggesting 18,000 and 6,000 men respectively. Neither of his proposals was acceptable to India. She insisted that 21,000 soldiers was an absolute minimum and refused to include in this figure the state militia. In addition, she insisted on the complete demilitarization of the Azad Kashmir and the substitution of the present armed forces there by a civil force of 4,000 men (one-half armed and one-half unarmed), this force to be composed of 2,000 men normally resident in the Azad territory who were not followers of the Azad government’. Conspicuously, not Pakistan but India scuttled the demilitarization plan.’


Kashmir: How perfidious Nehru backstabbed naïve Sheikh Abdullah?


Kashmir: How did perfidious Nehru backstab naïve Sheikh Abdullah?

At heart, Nehru never cared a fig for the disputed state’s constituent assembly, Indian parliament or the UN. This truth is interspersed in Avtar Singh Bhasin’s 10-volume documentary study (2012) of  India-Pakistan Relations 1947-2007.  It contains 3649 official documents, accessed from archives of India’s external-affairs ministry. Despite his efforts for over a year, Bhasin was denied access to coveted Nehru Papers. But, in 2014, Bhasin was able to get permission from India’s Department of Culture to access them. These papers gave new perspectives on Nehru’s vacillating state of mind concerning Kashmir dispute. In his 2018 book (published after six years of his earlier work), India, Pakistan: Neighbors at Odds (Bloomsbury India, New Delhi, 2018), Bhasin discusses Nehru’s perfidy on Kashmir in Chapter 5 titled Kashmir, India’s Constitution and Nehru’s Vacillation (pages 51-64). The book is based on selected works of Jawaharlal Nehru and author’s own compendium of documents on India-Pak relations. Let us lay bare a few of Nehru’s somersaults.

Kashmir assembly’s `accession’ disowned

Nehru banked on so-called Instrument of Accession and its authentication by `Constituent Assembly’. Nehru unmasked his brazen volte face in a letter dated October 31, 1947, addressed to the disputed state’s prime minister, on the fourth day of `signing’ of the mythical accession instrument by maharajha on October 26, 1947. It was `counter-signed’ by Lord Mountbatten on October 27, 1947.  The letter says `after consideration of the problem, we are inclined to think that it [plebiscite] should be held under United Nations’ auspices (p. 28 ibid.).

He reiterated in New Delhi on November 3, 1951 that `we have made it perfectly clear before the Security Council that the Kashmir Constituent Assembly does not [insofar] as we are concerned come in the way of a decision by the Security Council, or the United Nations’ (SWJ: Volume 4: page 292, Bhasin p.228). Again, at a press conference on June 11, 1951, he was asked `if the proposed constituent assembly of Kashmir “decides in favor of acceding to Pakistan, what will be the position?”’ he reiterated, `We have made it perfectly clear that the Constituent Assembly of Kashmir was not meant to decide finally any such question, and it is not in the way of any decision which may ultimate flow from the Security Council proceedings’ (SWJ: Volume 15:, Part II, page 394. Bhasin page 56). He re-emphasized his view once again at a press conference in New Delhi On November 3, 1951.

Pakistan not labeled `aggressor’ : He never labeled Pakistan an aggressor. But he told parliament on March 1, 1954 `that “aggression” took place in Kashmir six and a half years ago with dire consequences. Nevertheless, the United States have thus far not condemned it and we are asked not to press this point in the interest of peace’ (Bhasin pp. 55-56).

Security Council disowned as just a non-binding mediator: Bhasin points out that `there was a perceptible shift in his [Nehru’s] stand on July 24 1952` about the future of the State _ if the decision of the Security Council was at variance with that of the Constituent Assembly’. Nehru said, `Unless the Security Council functioned under some other Sections of the Charter, it cannot take a decision which is binding upon us unless we agree to it. They are functioning as mediators and a mediator means getting people to agree (SWJ, Volume 19, page 241. Bhasin page 56).

Security Council re-owned: Bhasin points out (page 57 op. cit.) `At the same press conference on 24 July, 1952 when asked what the necessity of plebiscite was now that he had got the Constituent Assembly, he replied “Maybe theoretically you may be right. But we have given them an assurance and we stand by it (SWJ: Volume 19, pp. 240-241. Bhasin p. 57).

Nehru himself invokes UN’s intervention: Bhasin points out Nehru made `tactical error’. One `of committing himself to the UN’ (p. 28. op. cit.). But the real question to consider is how far the settlement in Kashmir would affect the rest of India’ (Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru: Volume 8: pages335-340. Quoted by Bhasin, pages 26-27). Nehru spelled out Indian policy towards Kashmir. Extract: `In Kashmir, we or many of the Muslims there

Post-Nehru equivocal rhetoric

For about 70 years, India continues to abide by UN resolutions describing Jammu and Kashmir as a disputed state. Simultaneously, it continued to harp that Kashmir was her integral part (atoot ang). At the same time India tells the world that Kashmir is a bilateral dispute extraneous to UN. With communication links cut off, food supplies blocked, even on Eid (Muslim annual prayer), occupied Kashmir remained a prison.

India’s secret clauses in Simla Accord

Pakistan has approached the United Nations’ Security Council to consider the situation in Kashmir prison. India gives the impression that there are secret clauses that bar Pakistan from raising the issue at international forums. Bhasin clarifies (page 256), `It may also be added in parentheses that soon after PN Dhar’s article was published in the Times of India, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman rejected any suggestion that there was any secret understanding at Simla. Since Benazir Bhutto, now herself the prime minister, was present at Simla with her father, and was in the loop on the daily proceedings. PN Dhar specifically in his article said that there was no written understanding (Bhasin Document No. 1348 in India-Pakistan Relations 1947-2007), but the Simla Agreement was written in a manner that this understanding would be seen between the lines’. Dhar, of course, did not own up to his lapse for not recording what Mrs. Gandhi had told him after the one-to-one meeting. Whatever the understanding, it remained conjectural’. (Bhasin pages 256-257).

Pakistan loses East Pakistan but wins at Simla

Bhasin says (p. 256), `At the end, Bhutto the “dramatist” carried the day at Simla. The Agreement signed in Simla did no more than call for respecting the Line of Control emerging from the ceasefire of 17 December 1971. As the Foreign Secretary TN Kaul [of India] said at briefing of the heads of foreign mission in New Delhi on 4 July 1972, the recognition of the new ceasefire line ended the UNMOGIPs role in Kashmir, created specifically for the supervision of the UN sponsored ceasefire line of 1949, since that line existed no more. Having said that India once again faltered for not asking UN to withdraw its team from Kashmir, or withdrawing its own recognition to it and its privileges (Document No. 0712 in Bhasin’s India-Pakistan Relations 1947-207). Bhasin says (p.257-259), `The Pakistan Radio broadcasts and…commentators however took special pains to highlight …the fact: (i) That India has accepted Kashmir to be a disputed territory and Pakistan a party to the dispute. (ii) That the UNSC resolutions had not been nullified and countries (iii) Kashmir remained the core issue between the two countries and that there could not be permanent peace without a just solution based on the principle of self-determination for the people of Kashmir. And Pakistan was right in its assessment. It lost the war, but won the peace. At the end India was left askance at its own wisdom’.

It is time the Kashmiris wake up and grab the opportunity to correct their historical blunder. It is `Now or Never’. No more palliatives.

Inference: It is eerie that the whole architecture of India’s stand on Kashmir is erected on the mythical `instrument of accession’ and its endorsement by the disputed state’s assembly, and secret clauses about `bilateralism’ in Simla Accord. Accession documents are un-registered with the UN. Simla Accord text makes crystal clear reference to UN charter.

Let India know that a state that flouts international treaties is a rogue state

Pacta sunt servanda, treaties are to be observed and are binding on parties. Self-determination is not only a political but also a legal right in disputed lands. Sans talks with Pakistan, and UN or Trumpian mediation, what else is India’s recipe for imprisoned Kashmiris? Will India talk eyeball-to-eyeball with Pakistan, or let UN intervene, when another war breaks out on the Kashmir question.

United Nations’ view on India’s ‘Instrument of accession’

Under hypnotic spell of Indian propaganda, readers naively accept IHK’s `assembly’ and preceding `instrument of accession’ as fait accompli. No sir, they aren’t. Aware of India’s intention to get the ‘Instrument of Accession’ rubber-stamped by the sham assembly, the Security Council passed two resolutions to forestall the foreseeable` accession’ by the puppet assembly. Security Council’s Resolution No 9 of March 30, 1951 and confirmatory Resolution No 122 of March 24, 1957 outlaws accession or any other action to change status of the Jammu and Kashmir state.

`Accession instrument’ is a myth, unregistered with the UN. Alastair Lamb, in his book Incomplete Partition (Chapter VI: The accession Crisis, pp.  149-151) points out that Mountbatten wanted India not to intervene militarily without first getting `instrument of accession’ from maharajah Hari Singh.  Not doing so would amount to `intervening in the internal affairs of what was to all intents and purposes an independent state in the throes of civil conflict’.  But, India did not heed his advice. It marched its troops into Kashmir without maharajah‘s permission _ an act of aggression. Lamb says `timing of the alleged Instrument of Accession undoubtedly affected its legitimacy’ (p.172, ibid). He adds `If in fact took place after the Indian intervention, then it could well be argued that it was either done under Indian duress or to regularize an Indian fait accompli’.

He argues that the maharajah was travelling by road to Jammu (a distance of over 350 km). How could he sign the instrument while being on the run for safety of his life? There is no evidence of any contact between him and the Indian emissaries on October 26, 1947. Actually, it was on October 27, 1947 that the maharajah was informed by MC Mahajan and VP Menon (who had flown into Srinagar) that an Instrument of Accession is being fabricated in New Delhi. Obviously, the maharajah could not have signed the instrument earlier than October 27, 1947.

The instrument remains null and void, even if the maharajah had actually signed it. The reason, as pointed out by Alastair is that the `signatures’ were obtained under coercion. Under law, any undertaking secured through coercion or duress is null and void. He points out Indian troops had already arrived at and secured Srinagar airfield during the middle of October 1947. On October 26, 1947, a further airlift of thousands of Indian troops to Kashmir took place. He questions: “Would the maharajah have signed the Instrument of Accession, had the Indian troops not been on Kashmiri soil?” Isn’t it funny that, in the summer of 1995, the Indian authorities reported the original document as lost or stolen?

Lamb concludes (p. 191, ibid):`According to Wolpert, V. P. Menon returned to Delhi from Srinagar on the morning of 26 October with no signed Instrument of Accession.  Only after the Indian troops had started landing at Srinagar airfield on the morning of 27 October did V. P.  Menon and M. C. Mahajan set out from Delhi from Jammu. The Instrument of Accession, according to Wolpert, was only signed by Maharajah Sir Hari Singh after Indian troops had assumed control of the Jammu and Kashmir State’s summer capital,  Srinagar’.

Background of the state-subject law

India has dispensed with Pushtini bashinda certificate to populate Kashmir with non-Kashmiris.  The background of state subject law is as old as the geographical and cultural history of Kashmir exists. The permit system known as “Rahdari” for the exit and entry into the state existed even during medieval and ancient periods of Kashmir. The state subject provisions got a legal shape only when Maharaja Hari Singh in 1927 enacted a law known as state subject or permanent residency law. The Dogras were apprehensive that better educated people from east and west Punjab would migrate to Kashmir and dominate government services due to their advancement in education. Major portion of government service posts were occupied by either KPs or Dogras in J&K state during Dogra rule. A very negligible percentage of Muslims were given jobs in government. During Dogra rule, the British Government used to send their medical teams from England to treat Kashmiri patients. Even they were not allowed to over-stay six-monthly sojourn.

Myopic Kashmiri leaders did nothing to stop special-status erosion. Leaders of the mainstream political parties connived at erosion of the terms of accession through amendments to disputed-Kashmir constitution and Article 370

What is left for Kashmiris to do?

What to do? The time is ripe for Kashmiris to review Kashmir-India relations. With one voice Kashmiris from all walks of life should annul so-called accession, stay standstill or accede to Pakistan. And then, review relation with Pakistan also in keeping with Pakistan’s-constitution Article: 257. The article states: `When the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir decide to accede to Pakistan, the relationship between Pakistan and that State shall be determined in accordance with the wishes of the people of that State’. It is time the Kashmiris wake up and grab the opportunity to correct their historical blunder. It is `Now or Never’. No more palliatives.

Conclusion: India is unqualified to become a permanent member of the Security Council as it has flouted international treaties. India is wedded to `might is right’ (Noam Chomsky, Rogue States: The Rule of Force in World Affairs). It should be shunned as a rogue state and punished as a pariah state (Tim Niblock, Pariah States and Sanctions in the Middle East).

Mr. Amjed Jaaved has been writing free-lance for over five decades. He has served federal and provincial governments of Pakistan for 39 years. 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 The Myth of Accession. He knows many languages including French and Arabic.