Conflicts about J and K State-facts
Mahadeep Singh Jamwal
The minds of the common people of Jammu and Kashmir State have been diluted with regard to the conflicts of Accession, Territorial Conflict and, Plebiscite. Majority of the people stand confused on these so called burning issues, but in practical way it is required to be understood in its real prospective. The people stand confused simply owing to the reason of their elaboration by some vested interest, in a way which suit to them, that may or may not be based on true facts. The State of Jammu and Kashmir was earlier under the rule of Hindus and Muslims as Jammu and Kashmir separate identities. It came under the rule of Mughals under Emperor Akbar. After the period of Afghan rule from 1756, it was annexed to the Sikh Kingdom of the Punjab in 1819. On 16th March 1846, the Jammu and Kashmir State came into being as a single political and geographical entity as a result of ‘Treaty of Amrirsar’ governed by the Dogra rulers, till the time India gained independence. At the time of Accession of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir with Domain of India, the area under the rule of then Maharaja, was the area presently administered by Union of India in Jammu and Kashmir State, area administered by Pakistan as Azad Kashmir and Gilgit – Baltistan and Aksai Chin area, administered by China. To understand the things in its real perception by a common man, it is explained so:
Accession: Prior to Accession there were internal conflicts, about the rule of Maharaja, by the leaders of Muslim community, dominating the State. The situations prevailing in the State and circumstances culminating in the accession of State with Dominion of India finds historical mentions as under:
* On 14th of July 1931, a demonstration against autocratic rule in the State was held at Srinagar. The demonstrators were fired upon by the troops of the Maharaja, resulting in the death of dozens of demonstrators. This resulted in a huge public upheaval in Kashmir.
* On 16th October, 1932 the first political party ‘Kashmir Muslim Conference’ was formed, with Sheikh Abdullah as President. The Muslim Conference had come into existence to struggle for the rights of all oppressed sections of the society.
* In 1934 ‘PRAJA SABHA’ was established by Maharaja with 33 elected members and 42 nominated members from both Hindus and Muslims.
* In 1934 the first legislature of the Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir, was established by the government of the Maharaja Hari Singh. It was considered as un-democratic and un-representative in character by the majority of the population, owing to the restrictions on the participation of political parties.
* On 24th June 1938 under a resolution Muslim Conference’ was renamed as National Conference’.
* On 28th August 1938, Sheikh Abdullah, leader of ‘National Conference’ submitted ‘Naya Kashmir’ charter of demands, to ruler of the State Maharaja Hari Singh, demanding to convert the Jammu and Kashmir State from an absolute Monarchy to a Constitutional Democracy.
* The Maharaja declined to accept these demands and imposed prohibitory orders. Sheikh Abdullah along with many of his companions were arrested.
* On 24th February 1939, Sheikh Abdullah was released after serving his sentence.
* In May 1946 Sheikh Abdullah launched the ‘Quit Kashmir’ agitation against the Maharaja Hari Singh. Sheikh Abdullah was arrested and sentenced to three years imprisonment.
* On 29th September 1947 Sheikh Abdullah was released. A grand reception was accorded to him by the public on his release. This also established Sheikh Abdullah as popular leader across the entire State.
Meanwhile the British ruled India went into partition as per the Indian Independence Act 1947 of Parliament of the United Kingdom. As a result Pakistan and India came into existence on 14th August and 15th August 1947 respectively as Independent Nations. There were almost 565 independent principalities, in British India, they were allowed to accede either of the two nations or to remain independent. Almost all such principalities acceded to either of the two Nations and some preferred to remain independent and State of Jammu and Kashmir was one of such independent principalities who preferred to stay independent.
The Maharaja of the State went on to sign a ‘Standstill Agreement’ with both nations. The request of Maharaja dated 12th August 1947 for standstill agreement was accepted by The Pakistan through a telegraphic message dated 15th August 1947 itself. The Pakistan violated the standstill treaty and, in an effort to secure Kashmir, launched Tribal Lashkar from Waziristan, with the help of irregular Pakistani Forces. This was initially fought by the J and K State Forces, facing the assault and a Muslim revolution in the western border of the State, the ruler of the Princely State of J and K signed an Instrument of Accession to the Domain of India. The accession of state document tailored on 26th day of October 1947 by Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir and accepted by Governor- General of India on 27th day of October 1947.
The Indian Independence Act 1947 of Parliament of the United Kingdom provides that “The Government of India Act 1935, as so adapted by the Governor-General, provides that an Indian State may accede to the Dominion of India by an Instrument of Accession executed by the Ruler thereof”. As an outcome of the Accession, the Indian Government dispatched Military forces to defend Kashmir. These basic fights ultimately lead to first Indo-Pak war- 1947, fought on the soil of Kashmir for the territory of Kashmir and it laid the foundation of Territorial Conflict in Jammu and Kashmir.
Territorial conflict: The territorial conflict started just after the partition of British India. The territorial conflict in Jammu and Kashmir regarding areas is with two nations i.e. Pakistan and China. The Indian claim with Pakistan lies on the area under Azad Kashmir (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) and Gilgit -Baltistan, the area which was ruled by then Maharaja of Princely State of J and K prior to Independence of the country. The area India administering in J and K is just 43 per cent of the claimed region including most of Jammu, the Kashmir Valley. India’s claim contested by Pakistan, which administers approximately 37 per cent of Kashmir namely Azad Kashmir and the Northern areas of Gilgit-Baltistan. The area under illegal occupation of China in Aksai Chin, after Sino-Indian war of 1962 is 20 per cent.The area under Indian administrated Jammu and Kashmir is 1, 01,387 km2, and area under Pakistan administration is 78,114 km2 (Azad Kashmir), 5,180 km2 handed over by Pakistan to China and 37,555 km2 under the administration of China in Ladakh region.
Azad Kashmir: is a self governing administrative division of Pakistan, which lies west of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. It was previously part of the former princely State of Jammu and Kashmir, which ceased to exist as a result of the first Kashmir War fought between India and Pakistan in1947. The Azad Kashmir (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) is divided for administration into three divisions which, in turn are divided into ten districts.
* Division Mirpur: Districts are Bhimber, Kotli and Mirpur.
* Division Muzaffrabad: Districts are Muzaffrabad, Hattian, and Neelam.
* Division Poonch: Districts are Poonch, Haveli, Bagh, and Sudhanoti.
The Gilgit-Baltistan: is autonomous self governing region of Pakistan; it borders Azad Kashmir to the South and Jammu and Kashmir to the Southeast. It is amalgamation of Gilgit, Baltistan and of two formerly princely states of Hunza and Nagar. The area of Gilgit and Baltistan was part of erstwhile Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir. The Gilgit-Baltistan region is divided into two divisions.
Baltistan Division: Districts once part of formerly princely state of J and K are Ghanche, Shigar, Kharmang, Skardu, and Gultari.
Gilgit Division: Districts once part of formerly princely state of J and K are Gilgit, Diamer, Ghizer, and Astore.
China Occupation: The territorial conflict with China in Jammu and Kashmir is with regard to the Aksai-Chin. The Aksai Chin claimed by India as a part of the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir State, but it is administered by China as part of Hotan County, which lies in the South western part of Hotan prefecture of Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Aksai Chin is the disputed border between India and China in Jammu and Kashmir State. The India and Pakistan have fought, on three occasions, on Kashmir as Indo-Pakistan Wars of 1947, 1965 and 1999.
(To be continued)