Mohammad Zainal Abedin:
Pakistan officially observes February 5 as the Kashmir Solidarity Day to express its deep attachment to and integrity with the people of the India-occupied Kashmir. Kashmiris of the Azad Jammu & Kashmir and all other Kashmiris living across the world also observe the day with patriotic zeal and strong determination to liberate their brothers and sisters who are leading a horrific and hellish in India-occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOK) under India’s fascist draconian rule since October 26, 1947.
A question generally surfaces why Pakistan expresses its solidarity with the people of IOK, popularly known as Kashmir. It is a simple answer: due to the demography of IOK and the creation of Pakistan on the basis of Muslim identity Pakistan is morally and ethically bound to side with the people of IOK. People of IOK strongly feel that Pakistan should help them to end Indian occupation and atrocities that continue since the Indian occupation. Common Pakistanis strongly sided with the oppressed Muslims of Kashmir.
The logic of observing Kashmir Solidarity Day by Pakistan government and its people becomes clear if one looks into its geo-demographic character, tragic history of Kashmir — how Raja Hari Sigh, Jawaharlal Nehru and others, including Sheikh Abdullah, betrayed with the people of Kashmir and put them into India’s hellish occupation.
The principle of the partition of the subcontinent in 1947 was that the Muslim-majority regions of the subcontinent would form Pakistan. During that time Kashmir was one of the 565 native or princely states was ruled by a Hindu King named Hari Singh. Kings of all the princely states had the option either to remain independent or to join India or Pakistan. In case of joining any of these two countries, the king of the concerned princely state would have to consider its demographic character, sentiment, and aspiration of the people and geographical proximity to the country with which he would opt to join.
If one explains these three counts one will find that Jammu & Kashmir obviously should be part of Pakistan. Historically Jammu & Kashmir is predominantly a Muslim majority country.
According to the 1901 Census, Muslims formed 74.16 percent of Jammu and Kashmir population. They were followed by Hindus — 23.72 percent, Sikhs and Buddhists. Hindu population was concentrated mainly in the Jammu region, where they formed a little less than 50 percent of the population.
In the Kashmir Valley, Muslims formed 93.6 percent of the population while Hindus were “524 in every 10,000 of the population” meaning 5.24 per cent.
The 1911 Census put the Muslim population at 75.94 percent. Their population share remained almost constant over the next three decades. In the last Census of 1941, before the British left India, the Muslim population was 95.97 percent.
Secondly, Hari Singh didn’t value the sentiment and aspiration of the majority population of his kingdom. He merged Kashmir with India without honoring the opinion of the Kashmiris. All the Muslims now live in IOK don’t’ accept India as their homeland and since 1947 they continue their struggle to join Pakistan. They openly hoist the national flag of Pakistan atop their residences and stores; carry the same in all the demonstrations and gatherings and even in presence of Indian army chant pro-Pakistan slogans saying ‘Pakistan Jindabad’ (Long Live Pakistan).
The Kashmiris demonstrate carrying Pakistani flage
Thirdly, the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir was geographically closer to Pakistan than India. If the Muslim-majority Gurdas District* of East Punjab wouldn’t have awarded to India, but become a part of Pakistan, it would have encircled Jammu & Kashmir from almost three sides.
[[*Stanley Wolpert an American historian, Indologist, and author on the political and intellectual history of modern India and Pakistan alleged that Radcliffe in his underlying maps granted Gurdaspur locale to Pakistan yet one of Nehru’s and Mountbatten’s most prominent worries over the new Punjab fringe was to ensure that Gurdaspur would not go to Pakistan, since that would have denied India of direct street access to Kashmir.
Alastair Lamb, in light of the investigation of as of late declassified records, has convincingly demonstrated that Mountbatten, allied with Nehru, was instrumental in pressurizing Radcliffe to grant the Muslim-larger part region of Gurdaspur in East Punjab to India which could give India the main conceivable access to Kashmir.
Andrew Roberts trusts that Mountbatten tricked over India-Pak frontier and states that if gerrymandering occurred on account of Ferozepur, it isn’t too difficult to trust that Mountbatten likewise pressurized Radcliffe to guarantee that Gurdaspur ended up in India to give India street access to Kashmir.
Perry Anderson expresses that Mountbatten, who was authoritatively expected to exercise any impact on Radcliffe or to have any learning of his discoveries, mediated in the background – presumably at Nehru’s command – to modify the honor. He had little trouble in getting Radcliffe to change his limits to dispense the Muslim-greater part region of Gurdaspur to India rather than Pakistan, along these lines giving India the main street access from Delhi to Kashmir.]]
This brief explanation shows Kashmir should be a part of Pakistan, but not of India. But ironically King Hari Singh being influenced and persuaded by India government and out of his pro-Hindu bias abruptly merged Kashmir with India allegedly through a controversial instrument of accession violating all the preconditions or basic principles set earlier by the British government.
His move was totally illegal and beyond the sentiment of the Kashmiris. Moreover, India could never produce the original copy of the so-called instrument of accession of Kashmir to India. And it was not still independently confirmed whether Hari Singh really telegraphed to India and asked for intervention.
India launching a military expedition to forcibly occupy the princely (independent) State Hyderabad, which was a UN-member, ousting its Muslim ruler and indiscriminately killing the Muslims claiming that the majority of the people of the state were Hindus and it was encircled geographical by India, though the Nizam of Hyderabad didn’t try to join Pakistan.
India adopted the same card of Hindu-majority in the case of Junagadh, a predominantly Hindu State to occupy it. Its Muslim ruler wanted to join Pakistan what India jeopardized sending its troops.
On the other hand, India even occupied three Hindu-dominated States named Travancore, Jodhpur, and Bhopal. All the kings of these three princely States were Hindu and they declared to join Pakistan. Here India didn’t value the decisions of the kings, merged them with India.
It means India duel and contradictory excuses in capturing other’s land. In the case of Jammu & Kashmir, India valued the controversial decision of the king to occupy Jammu & Kashmir, but in the case of Junagadh, Travancore, Jodhpur, and Bhopal India didn’t count the decision of their respective kings or rulers. In grabbing these states India used the Hindu identity of the people of those states. In the case of Kashmir, India ignored the overwhelming Muslim identity of the Kashmiri people, their aspiration to join Pakistan and the geographical proximity of Jammu & Kashmir to Pakistan.
So, the Indian occupation of a part of Jammu and Kashmir is totally illegal and illogical and the Kashmir Muslims instantly rejected such integration. Muslim militias from the northern regions of Kashmir marched to liberate the parts that Indian forces occupied.
The then Indian government led by Jawaharlal Nehru alleged that these militias were backed by Pakistan military and on January 1, 1948 sought the intervention of the UN to deter the onward march of the militias to capture the remaining part of Kashmir what is under Indian occupation since 1947.
The UN Security Council took the matter seriously and rightly found that the Kashmiri people were the key to resolute its problem. On April 21, 1948, UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution (No. 47) that ventilating the exact sentiment of the Kashmiri people declared to hold a free and fair plebiscite under UN supervision to decide whether the Kashmiris opt to merge Kashmir with India or Pakistan.
Nehru gaily hailed the resolution and repeatedly pledged to honor its results, if it even would have gone against India (‘s occupation). But none to the successive governments since 1948 to 2019 implemented those categorical commitments, despite the people of India-occupied Kashmir wage uncompromising struggle to liberate this part from Indian occupation and merge it with Pakistan.
Over the last 72 years, India not only dishonors to honor the UN resolution but also denies the basic human rights of the Kashmiri people. Over 90 thousand Kashmiris sacrificed their lives, an unknown number of the Kashmiris crippled or blinded for life, young women and girls, including the minor ones, were raped by the Indian forces.
The UN did nothing to bridle India, as if, UN itself forgot its resolution of holding a free and fair plebiscite in Kashmir to end human miseries. It aimlessly observes the arms race and military competition and confrontation between the two opposing nuclear-powered countries. Above all, the UN indirectly allows India to continue massacre in IOK.
Such strange and indifferent role of the UN braved India to go ahead with its hegemonic agenda of unilaterally annexing the occupied Kashmir to India. The whole world awesomely watched on August 5, 2019, how Modi and his accomplices abolished the constitutional special status of Kashmir; divided it into two, degrade it to so-called union territories, enforced curfew, arrested an unknown number of Kashmiris, disconnected the region from the rest of the world. Modi insanely mobilized over one million regular military personnel, other than the paramilitary and the auxiliary forces.
Both the countries, though are nuclearized, virtually belong to the third world block. Keeping millions of people unfed, unhealthy, illiterate, both the countries are engaged in a competition of procuring weapons. Modi insanely uses the situation to arouse ultra-Hindu communal sentiment to buy votes in his favor. Modi relentlessly threatens Pakistan to crush it within seven to eight days. If such threatening causes any conventional war it will a nuclear confrontation that will ruin not only both the countries, but also their adjoining regions.
So, the UN and the peace-loving people all over the world should come forward to resolve the Kashmir dispute to avert human disaster in South Asia and its adjoining regions. *
February 4, 2020