NC, Geelani sing same tune
4 January 2013
In a synchronized move, possibly to heighten emotions in the run-up to Republic Day, the ruling National Conference and separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani launched fresh attacks on the country's unity and integrity. Speaking in Srinagar on January 2, the National Conference general secretary Sheikh Nazir Ahmad, a close relation of Union Minister Farooq Abdullah, claimed that Jammu and Kashmir acceded to Indian union in 1947 on three subjects only.
Pitching for a return to pre-1953 status, he said that according to the Instrument of Accession between New Delhi and Maharaja Hari Singh, the state had acceded to the Indian Union on three subjects: communication, defense and currency. It is time to call this bluff. First, there was no State of Jammu & Kashmir at the time of accession, but the Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir; its ruler acceded to India by signing the identical instrument of accession signed by all other princely states.
Nazir Ahmad further insisted that 'it was agreed upon that the State shall have its own President, Constitution, Election Commission, Supreme Court and flag. It is a fact that the then Prime Minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru sent the Army to the State on the request of Maharaja Hari Singh. But it is also an undeniable fact and international community stands witness to it that Jawahar Lal Nehru, while shaking hands with Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah at a huge public gathering at Lal Chowk here, held out a promise that when peace is restored to the State, the people will be provided an opportunity to decide their future as to whether they would like to remain with India or Pakistan or be independent. But when Sheikh Abdullah in 1953 demanded that New Delhi should fulfill its promise, he was undemocratically removed from office of the Prime Minister of Jammu & Kashmir and sent to jail in Jammu".
The simple truth is that none of this is part of the accession signed by the Maharaja. Lord Louis Mountbatten, as part of a larger mischief, manipulated Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Nehru to foist Sheikh Abdullah on the new State as the 'people's representative' and forced the idea of a plebiscite to 'legitimize' the perfectly legitimate accession. The special status of Jammu and Kashmir and its attendant headaches for the nation is part of this manipulation, a fact Nehru realised; he ordered the arrest of Sheikh Abdullah so that the State's Constitution could be finalized. It was a grave mistake to not scrap Article 370 and the separate State Constitution thereafter.
Meanwhile, Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman SAS Geelani said the UN Resolutions formed the legal and constitutional basis of the Kashmir dispute and delay in their implementation "doesn't mean abrogation of Kashmiris' right to self-determination or burial of their right to freedom."
Speaking in New Delhi, Geelani urged UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to help resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions. The resolution of January 5, 1949, he said, unambiguously supported the Kashmiris' right of self-determination. Subsequently, the Security Council passed as many as 18 resolutions assuring the right to self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Geelani said Jammu & Kashmir was the cause of "perennial tension" between India and Pakistan, triggering three full-scale wars and several smaller battles, and warned that "nuclear confrontation" between the two countries cannot be ruled out.
To support its demand, the Hurriyat is organizing a seminar, "Right to Self-Determination – a dignified, democratic and lasting solution" on January 5, at Hyderpora, Srinagar. Tehreek-e-Hurriyat general secretary Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai will chair the meeting which is likely to be attended by several pro-freedom leaders, intellectuals, lawyers and columnists.
Panther's Party chairman emeritus, Prof. Bhim Singh, countered that the UN Security Council resolution of August 13, 1948 categorically stated: "All territories of Jammu & Kashmir occupied by Pakistan shall be vacated forthwith and the Indian Army shall take over the control of entire occupied areas (Baltistan, Gilgit, Askardu, Muzaffarabad and the territories in so-called 'Azad Kashmir')."
Pakistan had agreed to withdraw all forces under its control, including troops and tribesmen and Pakistan nationals not normally resident in the State. The vacated territories were to be administered by local authorities under supervision of the UN Commission. However, far from withdrawing from Gilgit, Baltistan, so-called Azad Kashmir and other areas, Pakistan invaded J&K in 1965, 1971, and in 1999 invaded the Kargil sector despite the opposition of its own Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif.
A perusal of the UN Resolutions clearly shows that there is no 'azadi' on the agenda. Moreover, the UN Resolutions apply only after the Pakistani Army withdraws from all occupied areas of Jammu & Kashmir, and then the choice is only between India and Pakistan. Yet National Conference and Jamaat-e-Islami leaders persist in exploiting the sentiments of the people on azadi, to further their own interests.
The Security Council Resolution of January 5, 1949, explicitly directs Pakistan to implement Part I and II of the Resolution of August 13,1948, which calls for vacation of all occupied territories before the proposed referendum. Pakistan never complied because it was supported by the Anglo-American Bloc which it joined in 1951. Pakistan then got the Owen Dixon Commission appointed which suggested creation of Greater Kashmir by adding the Muslim-majority areas of Jammu Pradesh into the Kashmir Valley.
The National Conference is part of the ruling UPA at the Centre, but claims that accession pertained to three subjects alone, while SAS Geelani demands azadi. These moves really amount to secession and should be tackled firmly. India must end the policy of treating agent provocateurs with kid gloves.
NitiCentral, 4 January 2013
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