Posts Tagged ‘Kashmir’
I read an article in Tehelka now.
I am posting portions of the article by Prem Shankar Jha and some of the comments from the article.
Do read Afzal Guru on His Life and Mission.
We do not need people to instigate terrorism and de-stabilize India.
Article on Afzal Guru.
Kept hanging between life and death, between hope and despair, he has been denied even the time to accept his end and find the strength within himself to face it with dignity. This has driven him to the edge of madness and made him beg to be put to death immediately. but the Law has been as impervious to his pleas for death as it has so far been to others’ pleas to spare his life.
Every inquiry about what the government intends to do; every demand to hasten the president’s decision on his mercy petition, has been met with the lofty response, that there are a score of ‘cases’ ahead of him in the queue, so the wheels of justice cannot be speeded up for him alone. Of all the grotesque parodies of democracy that we live with, this insistence upon equality among the condemned is the most heartless.
But what is the grand process of Law that is taking so long? Last week we found out that it consisted of no more than some official in the Delhi state government losing Guru’s file for four years. but was his file really lost? Or was this Sheila Dixit’s favour to a central government that knows the moral and political cost of hanging Guru, but cannot muster the courage to recommend to the president that she commute his sentence to prison for life?..
Only the hopelessly naïve will not know the answer. The truth is that from the day he was sentenced Afzal Guru has been the foil in a no-holds-barred fencing match between the BJP and the Congress. Every other consideration — the morality of the death sentence, the injunction that it be applied in the rarest of rare cases, the possible impact of his hanging upon the youth of Kashmir, upon India-pakistan relations, and upon relations between the Hindus and Muslims of India — has faded into the background.
The match was not begun by the Congress. From the day that Guru was sentenced to death, the bjp has filled the air with taunts, diatribes, and accusations of cowardice and lack of patriotism, aimed at steamrolling Manmohan Singh’s government into hanging him regardless of the cost….
“Guru, on the other hand, has actually killed no one. He was a facilitator for a crime that would have been truly heinous if it had succeeded. but he believed he was striking a blow for Kashmir’s freedom. His motives were therefore similar to those of Laldenga, who led the Mizo insurgency for 24 years before striking a deal with new Delhi to end it.”..
How can the death of any one , even a terrorist create a ‘win-win ‘ situation for any one.Mr Jha oversimplifies issues and shamelessly creates propaganda for the congress. Sad to see that the calibre of people who write in Tehelka is so poor.We would like to read articles written by people who are unbiased and morally uprigh…
I am posting the article by the Executive Editor of The Caravan magazine: He conducted this interview when he was the India reporter for the US public radio, Pacifica.
One may notice that he has no Historical information on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, nor the Political ambition of Pakistan nor has he any regrets.
Worse still, he does seem to talk of Freedom but seems unclear as what it means to whom or what it entails to the families of those he killed.
The people who mastermind pick people who absolute have no knowledge of the subject.
All the more reason that facts of Kashmir issue has to be simplified and spread among the people.
I have posted a couple of articles in a simple form
The Afzal Guru Interview.
Posted On Sunday, February 10, 2013 , Mumbai Mirror cover story
A rusted table, and behind it, a well-built man in uniform holding a spoon in his hand. Visitors, all of them looked habituated to the procedure, queued up to open their plastic bags containing food, allowing it to be smelled, sometimes even tasted. The security man’s spoon swam through curries thick with floating grease - malai kofta, shahi paneer, aalu baingan, and mixed vegetables.
As the visitors opened tiny bags of curries, the spoon separated each piece of vegetable from the other mechanically. After ‘frisking’ the food of a middle-aged woman, the spoon was dipped in water in a steel bowl nearby. It then moved to the plastic bags of the next person in the queue, a boy in his early teens.
By this time, the water in the steel bowl had acquired all kinds of colours, the floating oil setting off rainbow hues in the light of the winter afternoon.
Around 4.30 pm, it was my turn. The man left the spoon on the table and frisked my body, top to bottom, thrice, thoroughly. When the metal detector made a noise, I had to remove my belt, steel watch, and keys.
The man on duty bearing the badge of the Tamil Nadu Special Police (TSP) looked satisfied. I was allowed to enter now. This was the fourth security drill I had to go through to get into the High Risk Ward of Prison No. 3 in Tihar Central Prison. I was on my way to meet Mohammad Afzal, one of the most talked about men in contemporary times.
I entered a room with many tiny cubicles. Visitors and inmates were separated by a thick glass and iron grills. They were connected through microphones and speakers fixed on the wall. But the audibility was poor, and people on either sides of the glass strained their ears, touching them to the wall to listen to each other. Mohammad Afzal was already at the other side of the cubicle.
His face gave me an impression of unfathomable dignity and calmness. He was a slight, short man in his mid-thirties, wearing a white kurta-pyjama, with a Reynolds pen in his pocket. A very clear voice welcomed me with the utmost politeness.
“How are you, sir?”
I said I was fine. Was I to return the same question to a man on deathrow? I was apprehensive for a second, but I did. “Very fine. Thank you sir,” he answered with warmth. The conversation went on for close to an hour, and continued a fortnight later with a second mulakat. Both of us were in a hurry to answer and ask whatever we could in the time we had. I continuously scribbled in my tiny pocket book. He seemed to be a person who wanted to say a lot of things to the world. But he often reiterated his helplessness to reach people from the current stature of ‘condemned for life’. Excerpts of the interview.
There are so many contradicting images of Afzal. Which Afzal am I meeting? Is it? But as far as I’m concerned there is only one Afzal. That is me. Who is that Afzal?
(A moment’s silence.)
Afzal is a young, enthusiastic, intelligent, idealistic young man. Afzal, a Kashmiri influenced, like many thousands in the Kashmir Valley, in the political climate of early 1990s.
Who was a JKLF member and crossed over to the other side of Kashmir, but in a matter of weeks got disillusioned and came back and tried to live a normal life, but was never allowed to do so by the security agencies, who inordinate times picked me up, tortured the pulp out of me, electrocuted me, dipped in petrol, smoked in chillies you name it.
And falsely implicated in a case, with no lawyer, no fair trial, finally condemned to death. The lies the police told was propagated by you in the media. And that perhaps created what the Supreme Court referred to as “collective conscience of the nation”. And to satisfy that “collective conscience”, I’m condemned to death. That is the Mohammad Afzal you are meeting.
(After a moment’s silence, he continued.)
But I wonder whether the outside world knows anything about this.
Can we begin with your life? Your life before the case…
It was a turbulent political period in Kashmir when I was growing up. Maqbool Bhatt was hanged. The situation was volatile. The people of Kashmir decided to fight an electoral battle once again to resolve the Kashmir issue through peaceful means. Muslim United Front (MUF) was formed to represent the sentiments of Kashmiri Muslims for the final settlement of the Kashmir issue.
Administration at Delhi was alarmed by the kind of support that MUF was gaining, and in the consequence, we saw rigging in the election on an unprecedented scale.
And the leaders who took part in the election and won by a huge majority were arrested, humiliated and put behind bars. It is only after this that the same leaders gave the call for armed resistance. In response, thousands of youth took to armed revolt. I dropped out from my MBBS studies in Jhelum Valley Medical College, Srinagar.
I was also one of those who crossed to the other side of Kashmir as a JKLF member, but was disillusioned after seeing Pakistani politicians acting the same as the Indian politicians in dealing with Kashmiris.
I returned after few weeks. I surrendered to the security forces, and you know, I was even given a BSF certificate as a surrendered militant. I began to start life anew. I could not become a doctor but I became a dealer of medicines and surgical instruments on commission basis. (Laughs.)
With the meagre income, I even bought a scooter and also got married. But never a day passed by without the scare of Rashtriya Rifles and STF men harassing me. If there was a militant attack somewhere in Kashmir, they would round up civilians, torture them to pulp. The situation was even worse for a surrendered militant like me. They detained us for several weeks, and threatened to implicate us in false cases and we were let free only if we paid huge bribes…
Once, I had to bribe the security men with all that I had to escape from the Humhama STF torture camp. DSP Vinay Gupta and DSP Davinder Singh supervised the torture. One of their torture experts, Inspector Shanti Singh, electrocuted me for three hours until I agreed to pay Rs 1 lakh as bribe. My wife sold her jewelry and for the remaining amount, they sold my scooter.
I left the camp broken, both financially and mentally. For six months I could not go outside home because my body was in such a bad shape. I could not even share the bed with my wife as my penile organ had been electrocuted. I had to take medical treatment to regain potency…
If you could come to the case, what were the incidents that led to the Parliament attack case?
After all the lessons I learned in STF camps, which is either you and your family members get harassed constantly for resisting, or cooperate with the STF blindly, I had hardly any options left, when DSP Davinder Singh asked me to do a small job for him. That is what he told, “a small job”. He told me that I had to take one man to Delhi.
I was supposed to find a rented house for him in Delhi. I was seeing the man first time, but since he did not speak Kashmiri, I suspected he was an outsider. He told his name was Mohammad (Mohammad is identified by the police as the man who led the five gunmen who attacked Parliament. All of them were killed by the security men in the attack).
When we were in Delhi, Mohammad and I used to get phone calls from Davinder Singh. I had also noticed that Mohammad used to visit many people in Delhi. After he purchased a car, he told me now I could go back and gave me Rs 35,000 saying it was a gift. And I left for Kashmir for Eid.
When I was about to leave to Sopore from Srinagar bus stand, I was arrested and taken to Parimpora police station. They tortured me and took me to STF headquarters, and from there brought me to Delhi.
In the torture chamber of the Delhi Police Special Cell, I told them everything I knew about Mohammad. But they insisted that I should say that my cousin Showkat, his wife Navjot, S A R Geelani and I were the people behind the Parliament attack.
They wanted me to say this convincingly in front of the media. I resisted. But I had no option than to yield when they told me my family was in their custody and threatened to kill them. I was made to sign many blank pages and was forced to talk to the media and claim responsibility for the attack by repeating what the police told me to say…
Rajbeer Singh allowed me to talk to my wife the next day. After the call, he told me if I wanted to see them alive I had to cooperate. Accepting the charges was the only option in front of me if I wanted to see my family alive, and the Special Cell officers promised they would make my case weak so I would be released after sometime. Then they took me to various places and showed me the markets where Mohammad had purchased different things. Thus they made the evidence for the case.
The police made me a scapegoat in order to mask their failure to find the mastermind of the Parliament attack. They have fooled the people. People still don’t know whose idea it was to attack Parliament. I was entrapped into the case by Special Task Force (STF) of Kashmir and implicated by the Delhi Police Special Cell.
The media constantly played the tape. The police officers received awards. And I was condemned to death.
Why didn’t you find legal defence?
I had no one to turn to. I did not even see my family until six months into the trial. And when I saw them, it was only for a short time in the Patiala House Court. There was no one to arrange a lawyer for me. As legal aid is a fundamental right in this country, I named four lawyers whom I wished to have defended me. But the judge, SN Dhingra, said all four refused to do the case.
The lawyer whom the court chose for me began by admitting some of the most crucial documents without even asking me what the truth of the matter was. She was not doing the job properly, and finally she moved to defend another fellow accused. Then the Court appointed an amicus curie, not to defend me, but to assist court in the matter. He never met me. And he was very hostile and communal. That is my case, completely unrepresented at the crucial trial stage.
What is the condition in jail?
I’m lodged in solitary confinement in the high risk cell. I’m taken out from my cell only for a short period during noon. No radio, no television. Even the newspaper I subscribe to reaches me torn. If there is a news item about me, they tear that portion apart and give me the rest.
Apart from the uncertainty about your future, what else concerns you the most?
…Global developments. I took to the news of the execution of Saddam Hussain with utmost sadness. Injustice, so openly and shamelessly done. Iraq, the land of Mesopotamia, the world’s richest civilisation, that taught us mathematics, to use a 60-minute clock, 24-hour day, 360-degree circle, is thrashed to dust by the Americans…
Which books are you reading now?
I finished reading Arundhati Roy. Now I’m reading Sartre’s work on existentialism. You see, it is a poor library in the jail. So I will have to request the visiting Society for the Protection of Detainees and Prisoners Rights (SPDPR) members for books.
There is a campaign in defence for you…
I am really moved and obliged by the thousands of people who came forward saying injustice is done to me. The lawyers, students, writers, intellectuals, and all those people are doing something great by speaking against injustice. The situation was such at the beginning, in 2001, and initial days of the case that it was impossible for justice-loving people to come forward.
When the High Court acquitted SAR Geelani, people started questioning the police theory. And when more and more people became aware of the case details and facts and started seeing things beyond the lies, they began speaking up.
Members of your family have conflicting opinions on your case?
My wife has been consistently saying that I was wrongly framed. She has seen how the STF tortured me and did not allow me to live a normal life. She also knew how they implicated me in the case. She wants me to see our son, Ghalib, growing up. I have also an elder brother who apparently is speaking against me under duress from the STF. It is unfortunate what he does, that’s what I can say.
See, it is a reality in Kashmir now, what you call the counter insurgency operations take any dirty shape - that they field brother against brother, neighbour against neighbour. You are breaking a society with your dirty tricks.
What comes to your mind when you think of your wife, Tabassum, and son, Ghalib?
This year is the tenth anniversary of our wedding. Over half that period I spent in jail. And prior to that, many a time I was detained and tortured by Indian security forces in Kashmir. Tabassum witnessed both my physical and mental wounds. Many times I returned from the torture camp, unable to stand, all kinds of torture… She gave me hope to live. We did not have a day of peaceful living. It is the story of many Kashmiri couples…
What do you want him to grow up as?
Professionally, if you are asking, a doctor. Because that is my incomplete dream. But most importantly, I want him to grow without fear. I want him to speak against injustice. That I am sure he will be. Who else knows the story of injustice better than my wife and son?
(While Afzal continued talking about his wife and son, I could not help but recollect what Tabassum told me when I met her outside the Supreme Court in 2005, during the case’s appeal stage. While Afzal’s family members remained in Kashmir, Tabassum dared to come to Delhi with her son, Ghalib, to organise defence for Afzal.
Outside the Supreme Court New Lawyers chamber, at the tiny tea stall on the roadside, she chatted in detail about Afzal. While sipping and complaining about the excess sugar in the tea, she talked about how Afzal enjoyed cooking.
One picture she painted struck me. It was one of the few precious private moments in their lives: when Afzal would not allow her to enter the kitchen, but would make her sit on the chair nearby and he would cook, holding a book in one hand, a ladle in the other and read out stories for her.)
If I may ask you about the Kashmir issue, how do you think it can be solved?
First, let the government be sincere to the people of Kashmir. And let them initiate talk with the real representatives of Kashmir. Trust me, the real representatives of Kashmir can solve the problem. But if the government considers the peace process as a tactic of counter insurgency, then the issue is not going to be solved. It is time some sincerity is shown.
Who are the real people?
Find out from the sentiments of the people of Kashmir. I am not going to name x, y or z. And I have an appeal to the Indian media; stop acting as a propaganda tool. Let them report the truth. With their smartly worded and politically loaded news reports, they distort facts, make incomplete reports, build hardliners, terrorists et al. They easily fall for the games of the intelligence agencies…
Also, you tell me how are you going to develop real trust among Kashmiris when you send out the message that India has a justice system that hangs people without giving them a lawyer, without a fair trial?
Nine security men were killed in the Parliament attack. What is it that you have to tell their relatives?
In fact, I share the pain of the family members who lost their dear ones in the attack. But I feel sad that they are misled to believe that hanging an innocent person like me would satisfy them. They are used as pawns in a completely distorted cause of nationalism…
(An ear-splitting electric bell rang. I could hear hurried conversations from the neighbouring cubicles. This was my last question to Afzal.)
What do you want to be known as?
(He thought for a minute, and answered)
As Afzal, as Mohammad Afzal. I am Afzal for Kashmiris, and I am Afzal for Indians as well, but the two groups have an entirely conflicting perception of my being. I would naturally trust the judgment of Kashmiri people, not only because I am one among them, but also because they are well aware of the reality I have been through, and they cannot be misled into believing any distorted version of either a history or an incident.
I was confused by this last statement of Mohammad Afzal, but on further reflection, I began to understand what he meant. This was a time before clear accounts of the strife had begun to emerge from Kashmiri voices; the source of knowledge on Kashmir for most Indians were textbooks and media reports. To hear about the history of Kashmir and incidents in the state from a Kashmiri was usually a shock to most Indians - as it was to me as I listened to Afzal.
Two more bells. It was time to end the mulakat. But people were still busy conversing. The microphone was put off. The sounds from the speaker stopped. But if you strained your ear, and watched his lip movements, you could still hear him. The guards made rough round-ups, asking everyone to leave. As they found visitors reluctant to leave, they put the lights off. The mulakat room turned dark.
In the long walk out from Jail No 3 of the Tihar jail compound to the main road, I found myself in the company of people in clusters of twos and threes, moving out silently - mother, wife and daughter; or brother, sister and wife; or friend and brother; or someone else. Every cluster had two things in common.
They carried an empty cotton bag back with them. Those bags had stains of malai kofta, shahi paneer and mixed vegetables, many caused by the spills from the rash frisking of the TSP man’s spoon. The second thing in common, I observed, was that they all wore inexpensive winter clothes, torn shoes, and outside Gate No 3 they waited for Bus No 588, the Tilak Nagar-Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium bus, that perhaps took them to Dhaula Kuan main junction - they were the poor citizens of this country.
I remembered former president Abdul Kalam’s musing on how poor people were the awardees of capital punishments. My interviewee was also one. When I had asked him how many ‘tokens’ (the form of currency allowed in the jail) he had, he said “enough to survive”.
The writer, now the Executive Editor of The Caravan magazine conducted this interview when he was the India reporter for the US public radio, Pacifica
► DSP Davinder Singh asked me to do a small job for him. I had to take one man to Delhi, rent a house for him
► I am Afzal for Kashmiris, and I am Afzal for Indians as well, but both have an entirely conflicting perception of my being.
While the country seems to heave a sigh of relief on the promulgation of an ordinance amending rape Law in India, people do not seem to be aware of the rape by The Indian Army, especially in the North East.
Hiding behind Army’s impunity and specially under AFSPA(Armed Forces Special Powers Act), the army never discloses authentic statistics and action take on these rape case, despite vociferous protests from the north East.
Nor does the media cover it in detail, in fact North East News does not coveage atall unless there is incursion by the Chinese or Bangladesh!
For them rape in Delhi is more important than that!
AFSPA is all right.
But what prevents the Army in being transparent on Rape issues, as though it will impinge on its and The nation’s Honor?
Such criminals are soldiers are not soldiers.
AFSPA must be amended to make this information and the action taken by the Army Public and The Supreme Court may take suo moto action.
“Booker Prize winner, noted writer and social activist Arundhati Roy said that rape is like an entertainment of sort for some people of the country and rape is also considered as an entertainment material in Indian cinema. While taking part in an interaction program at the North East Book Fair which started here on Sunday, Roy said, “Since my childhood, I have been watching Tamil movies in which rape scenes are common. People enjoy watching these scenes and the directors also know the pulse of the people. For many people, rape is an entertainment.”
“Rape takes place for different reasons. The persons behind Delhi girl rape have pathological problems which sometimes trigger criminal behaviour. But motives behind maximum of rape cases in conflict areas like Jammu & Kashmir and Manipur are different. In these States, the Indian army and the police are using rape as a weapon of domination.”
“In North India, rape is used as means of domination by the upper caste and it is not even punished,” she said, adding, “Rape is seen as a matter of feudal entitlement in many parts of India.” Roy further said that security forces often rape women in Jammu & Kashmir and Manipur by talking the advantage of the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA). “Despite being well aware of the problem, the government is not doing anything to repeal AFSPA from the conflict ridden States. In the name of crushing Maoist movement, the government is planning to enforce AFSPA in Chattisgarh,” she said.
Over 20,000 people have been killed in the last five decades due to ongoing conflict in Manipur. Today more than 30 armed groups operate in Manipur – ranging from small outfits to organizations with several thousand members. Besides them, dozens of battalions of the Indian Army and several units of Indian paramilitary forces are stationed throughout Manipur. Manipur is one of the most conflict-ridden states in India. Women and children of Manipur suffer most in this conflict. Every year 300 widows are born in the state as a result of arm violence.
In Manipur, violence against women is increasing. There were 269 cases of violence against women during the period between January and October of 2012 as per record published by local newspapers. The above cases include 21 rape cases, two rape and murder cases, 16 suicide cases, 7 molestation cases, 4 kidnapping cases, 56 missing cases and 78 trafficking cases. There has been a steep rise in crime against women in Manipur despite the emergence of a large number of women’s vigil groups and civil bodies and higher recruitment in the police department. There are various forms of violence against women. Violence at home – it can be physical abuse, it can verbal abuse. Then, there is violence in public places such as buses, trains where women are sexually harassed. Then we have a third form of violence where there is conflict, where there is structured conflict going on since decades. Women in Manipur face all the three types of violence. Manipur has the second highest rate in domestic violence in the country.(kanglaonline)
“Yes, the forces are an extremely professional bunch but what can’t be denied is that the inner face of their discipline, respect and order comprises of facts which state that in 1991, about 100 women, including minors, the elderly, pregnant and disabled were allegedly raped by a 4th Rajputana Rifles Unit in Kunan poshpora, Kupwara. The centre has to give the J&K Government some powers through which a direct role can be played in the decisions which deal with the fate of not only the officer in question but also the victim who is a civilian.”(couchtripper.com)
“The Army on Friday ordered an internal probe into allegations that its soldiers had abducted and raped a woman in Kulgam district, even as Chief Minister Omar Abdullah promised strict action against the guilty.
The medical examination of the 32-year-old woman, who accused army personnel of abducting and raping her sparking protests in the area, has revealed no marks of torture or violence on her body, according to highly placed sources.
They said the swabs taken from the woman have been sent for forensic laboratory in Srinagar. “If any foreign bodies are found in the swabs, the same will be subjected to DNA testing for ascertaining the identity of the bearer.”
General Officer Commanding of the Army’s 15 Corps Lt General S A Hasnain said an internal probe has been launched into the case and strict action will be taken against the guilty but cautioned that the allegations may have been levelled to “defame the force” and disturb the peace.
“If there is any truth in the allegation, then it is a criminal act against which strict action must be taken.
Jeevan Reddy Commission to Review AFSPA.
It must be recognised, at the same time, that the
deployment of armed forces or para military forces of the Union
to restore public order in any part of the territory of India, or to
protect a State from internal disturbance is, and ought to be, an
exception and not the rule. The deployment of armed forces for
the said purposes should be undertaken with great care and
circumspection. Unless it is absolutely essential for the aforesaid
purposes, the armed forces of the Union should not be so
deployed, since too frequent a deployment, and that too for long
periods of time, carries with it the danger of such forces losing
their moorings and becoming, in effect, another police force, a
prey to all the temptations.
This is not Me or another Indian who say so.
He seems to have the necessary information to back his call.
In the course of this article, he draws comparison with the killings in Kashmir and Media coverage of all the incidents where Pakistani Muslims are involved.
What happened to Islam Umma?
A country with no Government worth the name, a convicted PM , a President who is structured by the Supreme Court,Killings galore wants to administer a territory, while they can not administer what they have on hand.
They have managed running the Country so well that a portion of it seceded,because Pakistan killed its own people!
Pakistan is a rogue Nation and at the same time entertains the World with tomfoolery like hiding Osama Bin Laden and hunting for him along with US!
It is a massacre alright. Sunni extremists, aligned with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, are killing Shias by the dozens in Pakistan.
I was yet to compile the list of the 106 (mostly Shias) killed in the twin bomb blasts in Quettalast month, that the news of another bomb blast killingyet another 84 (mostly Shias) in Quetta came over the wire. As the Shia massacres in Pakistan gain momentum, the State, including the Superior Courts, appear completely impotent.
In such troubling times some Shias may have a choice. They may sit and wait for a messiah or relocate to a Shia-exclusive enclave elsewhere, or to escape from Pakistan altogether. It may sound harsh, but it is an inescapable truth that Pakistan has been run over by the extremists and life is going to be even tougher for the minorities and moderate Sunnis in the near future.
In the two consecutive months this year, bomb blasts have killed hundreds of Shia Hazaras in Quetta, a Garrison town where each and every street is manned by intelligence operatives. Still, the militants operate with impunity. Saturday’s bomb blast, which has killed over 80 and injured hundreds, occurred almost within a month of the last bomb blast that delivered even a higher death toll.
Space is fast running out in Shia graveyards in Quetta. It may be the time for Shias to relocate to protect their next generation.
Many naively believe that peace will prevail in Pakistan and Afghanistan after the scheduled withdrawal of Nato troops from Afghanistan in 2014. While I vehemently oppose prolonging the stay of the Nato forces in the region, still I believe this would spell even a bigger disaster for the minorities in Pakistan. The battle-hardened veterans of the Afghan war will return to Pakistan to target Shias, Ahmadis, and other religious minorities. Even Barelvis may not escape the wrath of the mostly Deobandi-led militancy.
There are reasons for my pessimism. I saw the same happen in the late nineties when the Afghan war veterans were pushed into Indian-administered Kashmir. The resulting militancy left over 70,000 dead in Kashmir but failed to make any tangible progress towards the resolution of the dispute that has pitched India, Pakistan, and Kashmiris in a deadly decades old conflict.
The presentation is compelling, though built on two historical inaccuracies.
The article conveniently skips the portion that the Maharajah Hari Singh agreed to the Indian Union and this was conveyed to and was informed and agreed to Mountbatten.
Secondly, the author is not sure of his facts, when he says
‘However, whatever be the case the factual position is that; Maharaja Hari Singh was not in favor of State?¿½?¬?¢s accession to Indian Union therefore, he only requested the Indian government for military assistance without any pre-condition of accession…
Even if there is an instrument of accession between Maharaja Hari Singh and Indian government, it provides a number of safeguards to the state’s sovereignty, e.g. Clause 7 of the instrument says, Nothing in this instrument shall be deemed to commit me in any way to acceptance of any future constitution of India. Whereas, Clause 8 of the Instruments says, Nothing in this Instrument affects the continuance of my sovereignty in and over this state”
If there is no accession, then why did he request assistance from India , and not Pakistan for handling the agitation?
Reason is it is Pakistan who dispatched its forces overnight once they came to know of the Accession and Hari Singh, sought the help of India to drive the Pakistani forces.
As to the Agreement Clause quoted, it says that he (Hari Singh may not have anything to do with the Future Constitution of India.
Yes, once you accede to the Union, you have nothing to do with the Constitution as it is a Federal Subject.
As to his declaration that” nothing in this Instrument affects the continuance of my sovereignty in and over this state…
Once you have acceded the State , where is your Sovereignty?
Please check with the Book Freedom at Midnight.
One more point.
India is not naive to risk sending its troops to a State which does want any condition to Accession just to help him or worse to help Pakistan.
Well,how does one make Pakistan, a failed State. understand what a State , federal Government , for that What Democracy is?
Story . continues from
On 24 October 1947, Kashmiris formally declared their independence from Dogra Raj and established their own government with the name of Azad (Free) Kashmir Government. Following this Maharaja Hari Singh sent his deputy Prime Minister Mr. R.L. Batra to New Delhi for Indian military assistance to his Government against those revolted and tribal from NWFP who joined their brethrens against a tyrant rule. He (Batra) met the Indian Prime Minster and other prominent Indian leaders and requested for assistance without making any mention or promise of state’s
On 24 October 1947, Kashmiris formally declared their independence from Dogra Raj and established their own government with the name of Azad (Free) Kashmir Government. Following this Maharaja Hari Singh sent his deputy Prime Minister Mr. R.L. Batra to New Delhi for Indian military assistance to his Government against those revolted and tribal from NWFP who joined their brethrens against a tyrant rule. He (Batra) met the Indian Prime Minster and other prominent Indian leaders and requested for assistance without making any mention or promise of state’s accession to the Indian Union. The Indian government instead sent Mr. V.P Menon (Indian Secretary of State) to Kashmir to assess the situation on the spot by himself on 25 October 1947.
After assessing, the situation in Kashmir Mr. V.P Menon flew back to New Delhi on 26 October 1947, together with Kashmiri Prime Minster Mr. Mahajan, who met top Indian leadership, seeking military assistance. He was refused to get that until state’s formal accession with India. On this Kashmiri Premier threatened the Indian leadership that if immediate military assistance was not granted, he would go to Lahore for negotiations with Pakistani leadership over the future status of the state. In a parallel development, Sheikh Abdullah met Indian Premier, Jawaharlal Nehru, on the same day, October 26, 1947, who agreed to despatch military assistance to the Kashmir government.
s stated by Mahajan, the Kashmiri Prime Minister, that V.P. Menon accompanied him to convince Hari Singh for accession of the State with India on 27 October 1947. Under the compulsion, Hari Singh signed the instrument of accession on the same day i.e. 27 October 1947, which was later taken to Lord Mountbatten (Indian Governor General), who also signed that on the same day (27 October), which was practically difficult. V.P. Menon, however, states that all these formalities of signatures were completed on 26 October 1947, which is impracticable. This version, however, seems concocted as even contradicted by pro Indian Kashmiri Premier. Both however are unanimous on one point that Indian state forces landed at Srinagar airfield in the morning of 27 October 1947 and a battalion of Patiala State received them there, which was already there.
In his travel account, Kashmiri Prime Minister Mahajan has described that he had refused to return to Kashmir and hand over powers to Sheikh Abdullah until Srinagar airfield had been physically taken over by the Indian forces. This creates doubt as to whether Mahajan and V.P Menon even went to the State (Jammu) for getting the signatures of Maharaja Hari Singh on the Instrument of Accession before 27 October 1947. This is further confirmed by variation in the statements of V.P. Menon and Mr. Mahajan (Kashmiri Prime Minister) regarding their travel to Kashmir either on 26 or on 27 October 1947 for getting the signatures of Maharaja Hari Singh.
However, whatever be the case the factual position is that; Maharaja Hari Singh was not in favour of State?¿½?¬?¢s accession to Indian Union therefore, he only requested the Indian government for military assistance without any pre-condition of accession. Indeed, the accession documents and letters to Lord Mountbatten were initiated through the Joint efforts of V.P Menon and pro India Kashmiri Premier Mahajan, as wished by Indian Government and Hari Singh was forced to sign it on the evening of 27 October 1947 or thereafter. Whereas, Indian forces landed on Srinagar airport on the early hours of 27 October 1947. The time calculation of Mr. V.P Menon’s (Indian Secretary of State) visit to Srinagar, Delhi, Jammu and vice versa does not fit in with the concocted story of the signing of the Instrument of Accession.
Even if there is an instrument of accession between Maharaja Hari Singh and Indian government, it provides a number of safeguards to the state’s sovereignty, e.g. Clause 7 of the instrument says, Nothing in this instrument shall be deemed to commit me in any way to acceptance of any future constitution of India. Whereas, Clause 8 of the Instruments says, Nothing in this Instrument affects the continuance of my sovereignty in and over this state
Supposedly, the all instrument of accession was signed by the Maharaja and Indian government, it was clearly mentioned in his reply to Maharaja’s letter by Lord Mountbatten that after the restoration of law and order in the State of Jammu and Kashmir and the expulsion of the raiders, its future will be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people of the State. The same stance was taken by UNO in its over 23 resolutions, passed from time to time. Besides, over the years, Indian leadership had been reiterating their commitments to Kashmiris, Government of Pakistan and to the world community that after the restoration of peace in the state, its future would be decided as per the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir through UN mandated plebiscite. However, with the passage of time India refused to fulfil her commitments/obligations, which means she had ill designs right from the very beginning. Nevertheless, implementation of these resolutions and the fulfilment of Indian commitments is still awaited.
Another significant fact is that, had there been any accession treaty between the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the Indian government, why it could not be published in the Indian White Paper of 1948? This has left a great disbelief regarding the conclusion of any such agreement. Yet another very serious reservation arises, had Kashmir been part of the Indian Union, why it was given a special status under the provision of internal autonomy through Article 370 of the Indian constitution? It is momentous to mention that the Indian government did not accord a similar status to any other state under this provision. Indeed, out of 560 Princely states, over five hundred joined India, but none was accorded this special status.
The genocide of Muslims in Kashmir; Kashmiris want to join Pakistan
Through this status and a number of commitments, India kept luring in Kashmiri masses to become its part. Upon failure of winning their commiserations, India forced its way, through a fake assembly resolution in mid 1950s and thereafter started calling the state as its integral part. United Nations, however, through its resolution, No.2017 of 30 March 1951 and S.3779 of January 24, 1957, made it absolutely clear that; any action which Kashmir Constituent Assembly may have taken or might attempt to take to determine the future shape of state or any of its part would not constitute the disposition of the state and that election of State’s Constituent Assembly cannot be a substitute for plebiscite. Thus, this act of India was a blatant violation of the UNSC resolutions that India had accepted too.
Kashmir map: Kashmir is part of Pakistan. The green area is the Pakistani province of “Gilgit Baltistan” (formerly known as Northern Areas which was liberated in 1948). Below the liberated Northern Areas is Azad Kashmir (liberated from Bharati occupation in 1948). The blue area is Indian Occupied Kashmir. The Chinese, Pakistani and UN maps do not show the blue area as part of “India”
Inaccuracy of Indian claim of accession can be judged from the top-secret letter addressed to British Government by Mr Alexander Symon, UK High Commissioner to India. In this letter, he briefly described the events until 4.00 P.M on October 1947, as; ten Indian aircrafts loaded with arms and troops were despatched to Kashmir from New Delhi on the morning of 27 October 1947. Until 4 P.M of 27 October 1947, Mr V.P. Menon has not reported from Jammu, which mean accession documents were either not signed or signed by Hari Singh on 27 October 1947, and there were only rumours of Kashmir accession to Indian Union without any confirmation.
Map shows Pakistan, Azad Kashmir and Indian Occupied territory
Indian antagonistic approach can be imagined from the fact that Kashmiri Administration had requested for a Standstill Agreement with both India and Pakistan. Pakistan, however, accepted this offer but India owing to its pre-planned evil designs did not accept it. Instead of accepting it, India started interference in state’s affair through leaders like Sheikh Abdullah. Finally, they paved the way for illegal interference in the state’s affair through military invasion by her forces in October 1947.
From July to October 1947, with the connivance of Indian leaders like Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Patel, and V.P Menon, three Kashmiri Prime Ministers were changed one after the other. Pandit Kak, the State’s Prime Minister, was indeed favouring state’s accession to Pakistan or to keep it independent. He was a strong opponent of states accession to India, in spite of being a Hindu Pandit. Mahajan, who replaced Pandit Kak as new Prime Minister was a non-Kashmiri. He was a Judge of East Punjab High Court and has been the member of Radcliff Award, and hence a party to giving away the Muslim majority areas of Gurdaspur to India. He was very close to the top Indian leadership. To get him appointed as a Prime Minister of the state was through a planned strategy to force Maharaja from all around for surrendering to Indian Union.
In the light of the above-mentioned facts it can be very
conveniently said that the Indian claim over the state of Jammu and Kashmir is completely illegitimate and unsubstantiated. India is negating its own commitment with Kashmiris, Pakistan and world community. Indian leadership should realize this and adopt a realistic approach for the solution of this outstanding issue as a goodwill gesture. Let UNO settle it under its auspices through plebiscite as per its resolutions. :