J&K: Only dispute is illegal occupation by Pakistan & China
by Bhim Singh on 28 Oct 2013 4 Comments
The so-called dispute vis-à-vis Jammu and Kashmir has two aspects. First, the external factor which involves Pakistan and China, though Bangladesh as a splinter of Pakistan is a shareholder in the so-called dispute. Second, the internal insecurity prevailing in the Indian State of J&K because of regional imbalances and discrimination at various levels of politics, recruitment, and development.


The entire State of J&K as it existed on October 26, 1947 under the rule of Dogra Maharaja Hari Singh acceded to the Union of India when the Governor-General of India, Lord Louis Mountbatten, accepted the Instrument of Accession which was signed by the Maharaja that day at his residential Amar Singh Palace in Jammu. The State of J&K with its internationally established area of 84,471 sq. miles comprised of entire Jammu Pradesh, Kashmir Valley, Ladakh region and Baltistan-Gilgit region (under illegal occupation of Pakistan) including Hunza & Chitral.


The Pakistani-sponsored invasion of J&K began on October 20, 1947 a month after Pakistan had signed the Standstill Agreement with the Government of the Maharaja. Pakistan continues to occupy 33,958 sq. miles of our territory in utter violation of the UN Resolution of August 13, 1948. Mr Krishna Menon exposed Pakistani claims on the floor of the UN General Assembly in 1957. But the Indian leadership failed to take cognizance of several violations of the UN Resolutions by Pakistan vis-à-vis J&K. the Indian leadership and its mighty Army under the leadership of General Cariappa was capable of liberating all occupied territories immediately after J&K acceded to India.


The Congress committed an unforgiveable blunder by piloting Article 306A as a draft proposal vis-à-vis J&K, through Gopalaswami Ayyangar. There was not a single representative in the Constituent Assembly from the Dogra land, Ladakh or Gilgit. This proposal, inserted in the Constitution of India as Article 370, recognized Hari Singh as the Maharaja of J&K with the ulterior motive of ensuring a platform for Sheikh Abdullah’s dynasty.


Another blunder committed by the Congress leadership in Delhi was the silence of the Government of India when Pakistan signed the Karachi Agreement with China, leasing out J&K’s territory in Karakoram measuring 4500 sq. miles for 99 years, to build a highway connecting Beijing (China) with Peshawar (Pakistan). This was a grave violation of the UN Security Council Resolution. Earlier, Pakistan had refused to withdraw J&K’s occupied territories as mandated by the UN Resolution of August 13, 1948. Pakistan had occupied Mirpur (former district of Jammu) and Kotli, presently included in the so-called ‘Azad Kashmir’ (POK). On November 25, 1947 exactly a month after the Accession of the State, Mirpur fell in the hands of Pakistani Army. India stood helpless. Gilgit-Baltistan fell in November, 1947.


China grabbed 9,171 sq. miles of J&K’s territory in 1962 and continued expanding its occupation. Roughly, 20,000 sq. miles of our territories is under the Chinese occupation. The national leaders irrespective of political affiliations and status in the Parliament have literally ignored these hard facts. There is no public awareness either, thanks to the political parties and politicians who are more interested in power games and revenue collection rather than attending to national issues confronting the nation today. Pakistan has been bluffing the world about J&; it illegally grabbed 28,000 sq. miles of territory in Gilgit region which is an integral part of the Union of India by virtue of the Accession in accordance with the Act of British Parliament.


India’s leaders failed to create awareness in the international fraternity on the grave violations of UN Resolutions by Pakistan at a time when the Anglo-American Bloc joined hands to destabilize India. Pakistan was a strategic partner of the Anglo-American Bloc; luckily for India, USSR played an important role in the United Nations regarding J&K.


Now, the international situation has taken an important turn with the emergence of a new, pragmatic and courageous leadership in Russia after Vladimir Putin took over as President of the Russian Federation. Syria would have turned into Iraq had Putin not acted promptly and boldly for the sake of peace in the Gulf region.


Whatever the reasons or compulsions that forced Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take the so-called J&K dispute to the White House during his recent US visit (obviously extremist elements are disturbing democracy in Pakistan), politicians in the sub-continent must understand that the White House leadership has changed in four decades, perhaps on account of Afghanistan or Iran or the US internal situation which does not allow adventures abroad. The US economy is sinking and its leadership is not unified. America has discovered India as a profitable market in all respects.


Dr Manmohan Singh’s closing international voyage to China via Moscow on the eve of elections to Parliament deserves a special attention. There are indications that General Kayani is not happy to retire on November 23, 2013 and the Army is looking for any excuse to take over power by creating a national emergency. Nawaz Sharif has no control over General Kayani; it is possible that he pleaded with President Obama to save his government from his own Army.


India must address the issue of internal security created by the blunders of our leadership. Parliament is fully competent under Article 368 of the Constitution to amend any part of the Constitution. Article 370 is a temporary provision. Is there any example in the constitutional history of any democratic country in the world that a temporary provision would last for more than half a century?


Article 370 recognizes Maharaja Hari Singh as the ruler or head of the Government of J&K. thus, Article 370 became infructuous the day the Constituent Assembly of J&K terminated the monarchy in J&K on August 20, 1952. Ayyangar had made it clear to the Constituent Assembly of India that the purpose of Article 370 was to contain the ruler of J&K as desired by Sheikh Abdullah. Those arguing to retain Article 370 as permanent feature are advocating restoration of the monarchy in J&K. The latest claim of the J&K Chief Minister that the kingdom had acceded to the Union of India but not merged is highly mischievous and reactionary for the reason that whatever powers Maharaja Hari Singh had retained for himself and allowed by the Constituent Assembly for ulterior purpose came to an end with the termination of the powers of Maharaja Hari Singh in1952.


Today, there is neither the Maharaja nor the Constituent Assembly. Does this mean that the Parliament of India has no power to amend Article 370 in order to integrate J&K further with the rest of the country? This is why reorganization of J&K is imperative; it is the only way to strengthen national Integration and end regional imbalances and discrimination at all levels. Parliament must respect the popular will of the people of J&K who acceded to the Union in 1947. Parliament alone is responsible for the internal chaos in J&K as it committed another blunder by abdicating its authority to legislate in respect of defence, foreign affairs, communications etc., subjects which were expressly transferred to the Union of India by Maharaja Hari Singh. For 63 years, Parliament has never cared for the people of J&K to legislate in respect of the Central subjects enumerated in the List-I.

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