Kashmir Crisis: Illegal Occupation Can’t be a Right

Mohammad Zainal Abedin: Indian policymakers seem to live, as if, in the primitive, at best, medieval age, when might was right. They desperately try to apply that primitive theory to establish their illegal occupation of J&K as right. Their claim is that the Hindu King Hari Singh of J&K, a predominantly Muslim Princely state, signing a undeclared and mysterious instrument of accession to India. India never could produce the original copy of the so-called document of accession. If one considers that probably  fake document as true, still the accession remains invalid and illegal, as the king of any princely state before joining India or Pakistan must fulfill at two vital and basic preconditions, set by the British government. Hari Singh violated those two preconditions.

1) The king of any princely state must consider the geographical proximity of his state. Geographically J&K was surrounded almost from three sides North, West and South by Pakistan (if two Muslim-majority Sadar and Zira Subdivisions of Piropur district of East Punjab were not awarded to India to get direct access to J&K; please S. Mahmud Ali: The Fearful State, p. 176, reproduced by Mohammad Zainal Abedin: Chittagong Hill Tracts: A Victim of Indian Intervention, P. 42). Conversely, India along with China shared the Eastern border of J&K, while after getting two Muslim-majority districts of East Punjab India J&K became its Southern neighbor.

2) The king must take into consideration the sentiments, hopes and aspirations of the inhabitants, whether they opt to join India or Pakistan. To comprehend the hopes and aspirations of Kashmirs let us see the demography of J&K in 1948, the year Hari Singh joined India. Due to the 2nd World War no census was held in British India in 1941. So the total population of J&K estimated (evaluating the 1931 census) was 3,945,000. Of these, the total Muslim population was 2,997,000 (75.97%), the Hindu population was 808,000 (20.48%), and the Sikh 55,000 (1.39%).

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashmir)

The Indian Express says, in 1961, Muslims, with a population of 24.32 lakh, constituted 68.31% of the state’s population of 35.60 lakh, while Hindus, numbering 10.13 lakh, made up 28.45%.

The Census of 2011 recorded the Muslim population at 85.67 lakh — again 68.31% of the total population of 125.41 lakh (1.25 crore) — and the Hindu population at 35.66 lakh (28.43% of the total).

(https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/share-of-muslims-and-hindus-in-jk-population-same-in-1961-2011-censuses/)

The above three censuses categorically show that J&K should be a part of Pakistan and not of India. Hari Singh violated the basic preconditions: geographical proximity and demographic character. He betrayed the hopes and aspirations of the Muslims who from the day one to till today struggle to join Pakistan. They chant Pro-Pakistan slogan and wave Pakistan National flag on the gunpoint of the Indian forces waging no-stop resistance to liberate their homeland from Indian occupation, which is illegal and unacceptable from all counts.

Still, Indian policymakers felt hit when Pakistan Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan addressing the 75th session of the UNGA on September 27 pointed at India’s crimes against humanity in the Occupied Kashmir and elsewhere in India.

Indian permanent representative to the UN T S Tirumurthy and its First Secretary Mijito Vinito expressed their harsh anguish at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s address before the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session.

Both of them walked out while PM Imran Khan delivered his video recorded speech. India’s Bengali daily ‘Anandabazar Patrika’ on the same day quoting Tirumurthy headlined: ‘Glory of Seven Decades is Terror & Fundamentalism’. Tirumurthy alleged Pakistan PM played Hindu-Muslim cards at the UN in a bid to pierce India. His allegation was PM Imran Khan compared the RSS to the Nazi Party. He questioned why he raised the issue of Gujarat riots or Delhi clashes.

Exercising India’s ‘Right of Reply’ to Pakistan PM’s address Vinito recalled what he earlier said about India’s treatment of its minorities, legislative changes to Jammu & Kashmir, Indian troop presence there etc. Vinito also didn’t forget to remind about Pakistan PM’s warning of ‘Kashmir being a nuclear flashpoint’ and “there would be no peace in South Asia until the Kashmir dispute was resolved on the basis of “international legitimacy.”

To reject PM Imran’s comment Vinito claimed that J&K is an integral and inalienable part of India. The rules and legislations brought in the “Union Territory of J&K are strictly internal affairs of India.” He even asked Pakistan to vacate all those areas in what is known as Azad Kashmir.

Is J&K really India’s legal and integral territory? Does vinito’s statement have any merit or validity? Is forceful occupation valid? If his claim is genuine, why are UN observers still deployed in J&K? Why do the UN and other international organizations frequently rebuke India for violating human rights in India?  Why American, even Chinese Presidents very recently offered their mediation to resolve the J&K dispute. Why did India raise the J&K issue before the UN and sought its mediation to resolve the dispute? Why India welcomed UN resolutions and repeatedly pledged to hold plebiscite under UN supervision to determine their intention whether the Kashmiris opt to join Pakistan or India. Now how J&K could become an integral part of India without holding a UN supervised plebiscite and the verdict of the Kashmiris. It is not only India’s betrayal with the Kashmiris, but also sheer violation of and humiliation to the UN Charter and its status.

Indian occupation in J&K will never get legality and acceptability without the consent of the Kashmiris and the recognition of the UN Security Council. Last year spending huge money India brought two teams of some selected MPs of the European Union to Kashmir to procure their certificates that the Kashmiris welcomed the change Modi made. The Modi government allowed them to visit some prescribed and selected areas under army protection. They were not even allowed to talk with the local people. Some of the MPs even left Kashmir before their trips ended. Their comments were uneasy for Modi. Such trips were boomeranged for Modi, as the international communities comprehend Modi’s ‘chanakay’ duplicity and fraudulence to mislead them.

India virtually digs its own hole to bury it. India’s forcible occupation in J&K virtually invites others to occupy India’s territories. If India’s illegal occupation of J&K is legal, India could ask China to leave Ladakh region. If Chinese occupation in Ladakh is illegal, then how is India’s occupation in J & K legal? India has no room to play such double games which will bring about disaster for India.

J&K is not the lone victim of India’s illegal occupation. Its list is pretty long. Hyderabad, Junagadh, Manvadar, and other princely states were also illegally occupied. Questions already started to surface why India should inherit British colonies like Andaman & Nicobar Islands. They are geographically closer to Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia, not to India. India’s forcible occupation of Portuguese colonies like Goa, Daman and Dew is also illegal. Above all, India’s annexation of Sikkim is entirely illegal.

Even the pro-independence people of Northeastern region of India claim that they are not Indians. According to the local people India inherited and occupied Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura from the British without referendum what they treat as illegal.

A day will come when India will have to leave all these regions. None will be dismayed if mainland India is divided into pieces on the basis of language, caste, ethnicity, and regional disparity. The way the hegemonic Hinduised BJP government plays the Hindu-card and proceeds to impose the supremacy of the Hindi-belt on other regions paves the way for such disintegration.

Indian people and government to avert disintegration should comprehend the reality and accept and honor the sentiment of all the people of those regions that India occupied illegally. *

> The author is a Bangladesh-origin American journalist & researcher.

October 4, 2020

 

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/share-of-muslims-and-hindus-in-jk-population-same-in-1961-2011-censuses/

 

 

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