The Kashmir Dispute | Article 370 | India-Pakistan Relation

 India-Pakistan Dispute on Junagadh, Jodhpur, and Kashmir 

Kashmir was one of the states under British suzerainty. In 1946, the memorandum of the Cabinet Mission to India defined the status of such states. 

As per the Cabinet with India, Pakistan, or would remain independent. Two instruments, namely, Instrument of Accession and a Standstill Agreement, were proposed by Mountbatten. 

lapse of paramount

Jinnah interpreted that, as per Cabinet Mission Plan, the situation post-lapse of paramount would be such that states would gain the independent status of being sovereign in nature. 

Congress, through a resolution on 15 June 1947, held that on the lapse of paramountcy, the will of the people of concerned states would be required to ascertain their choices as the lapse of paramountcy did not tantamount to the independence of a state. With this interpretation, the Congress raised objections when the Maharaja of Jodhpur began to negotiate an accession with Pakistan. India insisted on its interpretation in the case of Junagadh. A referendum on Junagadh happened and its population voted in favor of India.

The instrument of accession and Kashmir

Kashmir was ruled by Hari Singh. In September 1947, there was communal trouble in Poonch province in the state. Simultaneously, Pakistani tribesmen had started pouring in and have unleashed a campaign of carnage in other areas reaching up till Srinagar. 

In October 1947, Hari Singh requested arms and troop support from India to stop the Pakistani-sponsored menace. As Hari Singh had not acceded either to India or Pakistan, troops from India could not be sent. Mountbatten asserted that the accession should be determined by a plebiscite after the tribesmen have been driven out of Kashmir. Nehru accepted the views of Mountbatten.

Mountbatten contended that as India has not signed a formal accession treaty with Kashmir if it sends troops to Kashmir, Pakistan would do the same and this may lead to war. 

It was decided by Nehru to inform Hari Singh that only if Hari Singh acceded to India would there be any troop commitment. Nehru, however, clarified that such accession is conditioned, and once law and order are restored, the will of the Hari Singh signed the instrument of accession and sent a letter to Nehru to that effect. 

Standstill Agreement with Pakistan

In the letter, Hari Singh stated that Kashmir had signed a standstill agreement with Pakistan. As per the agreement, Pakistan provided postal and telegraph services in the state. 

Hari Singh also complained that Pakistan had put a lot of pressure on him, and one of the pressure tactics was the tribal raids. He wrote that in this emergency, instead of allowing Pakistan to destroy his state, he preferred concluding an instrument of accession with India. 

The Indian government accepted the accession and decided to provide military help to Kashmir, Pakistan immediately declared that the accession was an act of fraud and it summarily rejected the accession. 

The Kashmir Dispute | Article 370 | India-Pakistan Relation
Jammu Kashmir Disputed Map

The intervention of the UN in the Kashmir Dispute

The challenge of the legality of the accession by Pakistan was an unsound political move. Indian policy was clear-it was aimed at driving out invaders from Kashmir. 

Once law and order would be restored, there would be a plebiscite under the observation of the UN. Mountbatten urged Nehru that an international agency like the UN can ensure impartiality in the plebiscite. 

On 15 January 1948, India argued in the UN that after normalcy prevailed in the state, there would be a plebiscite under the auspices of the UN. 

The UN subsequently established a UN commission for India and Pakistan with the power to exercise mediatory influence. As the UN Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) came to the subcontinent, there arose disagreements over demilitarisation in Kashmir. 

Raise of Article 370

In 1949, India included representatives of Kashmir in its Constituent Assembly and worked on Article 370. Pakistan immediately raised objections to the same. India clarified that as its Constitution was being discussed, the Kashmir region could not be left out. However, India asserted that the inclusion of representatives of Kashmir did not change its position on the ground. 

India assured that after the plebiscite if Kashmir decided to go the other way, its representation in the Indian Parliament would automatically cease. India further clarified that the instrument of accession was conditional on a plebiscite but was legal.

The Indian Constituent Assembly debated about an Article 370 (which was debated as Article 306A) to give representation to Kashmir till conditions conducive for a plebiscite were created. 

The UNCIP yet again made an attempt under McNaughton's leadership to create a conducive condition for a plebiscite by advocating demilitarisation. However, the UNCIP failed and the UNSC terminated the UNCIP in 1950 and appointed Sir Owen Dixon as the UN Representative to the Security Council. Owen Dixon again proposed the idea of a plebiscite after demilitarisation. 

Establishment of separate Constituent Assembly

In 1951, the Indian government supported the creation of a Constituent Assembly of the state of Kashmir which would frame its own Constitution but India clarified that it remained committed to a plebiscite and against forced marriages. 

The Constituent Assembly of Kashmir adopted a Constitution for Kashmir on 17 November 1956. 

The Constitution declared that Kashmir was an integral part of India. Though Pakistan objected to this provision, India clarified that the legality of Kashmir's accession to India (as happened in October 1947) could not be challenged but that did not change India's position of a plebiscite to allow the Kashmiris to determine their future, provided conducive conditions are created. 

India alleged that the Pakistani invasion of Kashmir and the subsequent Pakistani membership of SEATO and Baghdad pact in 1953 and 1954 had not created a condition conducive for a plebiscite. India also alleged that Pakistan had not withdrawn its troops on the other side of the ceasefire line. 

India, by 1960, began to assert that it would not accept international mediation and would resort to a bilateral dialogue with Pakistan over Kashmir but continue to support the plebiscite. India advocated a shift from treating the Kashmir problem as a world question to treating it as a domestic issue.

When Pakistani tribesmen had invaded Kashmir, the UNCIP was instructed to work jointly with the two states and create a condition conducive for a plebiscite. To immediately halt the hostilities, the UNCIP, through negotiations, helped India and Pakistan sign an agreement in 1949 in Karachi. 

As per the Karachi Agreement, a ceasefire line was drawn as a temporary arrangement to divide the line between Kashmiri territory left with India and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) which they called Azad Kashmir.

India alleged that the stalemate over Kashmir could not end and a plebiscite could not happen as Pakistan did not withdraw its troops from the PoK which was a necessary condition for restoration of peace leading to a future plebiscite. 

As time progressed, in 1965, Pakistan launched another conflict with India. The Indian army gave a befitting response to Pakistan. 

In the subsequent Soviet-brokered negotiations, a Tashkent Agreement was concluded and both sides agreed to maintain a status quo. In 1971, in the war with East Pakistan, as explained in the previous section, India yet again gave a serious blow to Pakistan by slicing of Bangladesh from its control. 

Under the Shimla Agreement, Pakistan diplomatically paved way for the recognition of the creation of Bangladesh. Under the Agreement, the ceasefire line established by the Karachi Agreement of 1948 was re-designated as the Line of Control (LoC).

Under the Shimla Agreement of 1972, as mentioned above, the ceasefire line was now renamed as the LoC and thereby the tenure of UNMOGIP to maintain peace on the ceasefire line came to an end. 

BRIEF history of the major events of Jammu and Kashmir is summarized as under:

1846: Gulab Singh bought Jammu and Kashmir from the East India Company for Rs. 75,00,000 (seventy-five lakhs) under the treaty of Amritsar on March 16 and the state of Jammu and Kashmir came into being.

1932: Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah and Mirwaiz Yusuf Shah formed the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference.

1939: Muslim Conference dissolved by Sheikh Abdullah and Jammu and Kashmir National Conference formed.

1946: National Conference launched Quit Kashmir movement against the Maharaja of Kashmir and demanded abrogation of the Treaty of Amritsar.

Sheikh Abdullah arrested.

1947: Sheikh Abdullah released on September 29.

1947: Pakistan sponsored tribesmen entered Kashmir on October 22.

1947: Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession acceding

Kashmir to the Indian Union on October 27. Indian Army requisitioned by Maharaja to repel the Pakistan intruders. Sheikh Abdullah appointed as incharge of the Emergency Administration.

1948: India approached the United Nations Security Council on January 1 for Kashmir issue and offered to hold a plebiscite under the supervision of UNO after the intruders were removed back from the soil of Kashmir. The plebiscite administrator took his officer under the Jammu and Kashmir government and the Pakistanis were not given the chance to consolidate their position on the illegally captured areas.

1948: On August 13, a UN commission proposed a solution that the future of the state would be decided in accordance with the will of the people after the territory occupied by the Pakistani intruders was vacated. Pakistan gave consent to this proposal on December 20.

1949: Ceasefire accepted by both India and Pakistan. A total territory of

84,000 sq. kms. of Kashmir was left under the illegal occupation of Pakistan.

Later on, 5,180 sq. kms. from this area was deliberately given to China by Pakistan to embarrass India.

1949: On October 17, the Indian Government granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution.

1951: Jammu and Kashmir adopted an interim constitution in November. 1952: Sheikh Abdullah and Indian Government signed an agreement on July 24 according to which Jammu and Kashmir was given the status of autonomy within India under Article 370 of the Constitution.

1953: Government of Sheikh Abdullah was dismissed on August 9 and he was arrested on the charges of treason. Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed was appointed as the new Prime Minister.

1956: Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly adopted new constitution for the state wherein it was declared that the state would be an integral part of the Indian Union.

1963: State witnessed large scale violence after the disappearance of Holy Relic from the Hazratbal shrine.

1964: On January 4, the Holy Relic was recovered.

1964: On April 8, Sheikh Abdullah was released after the treason case was withdrawn at the behest of Nehru. Political deadlock was broken in a meeting on April 29 between the two leaders at Delhi.

1964: Nehru sent Sheikh Abdullah to Pakistan on May 25 to assess the situation of Muslims in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and also discuss the matter with Field Marshal Ayub Khan. Nehru died on May 27.

1974: Kashmir accord was signed on November 3 by G. Parthasarthy on behalf of Indira Gandhi and Mirza Mohammad Afzal Beg for Sheikh Abdullah. Certain constitutional commitments were accepted and Sheikh became Chief Minister after 11 years.

1975: Sheikh Abdullah was appointed Chief Minister on February 25 with Congress support.

1982: Sheikh Abdullah died on September 8 and his son Farooq Abdullah succeeded him as the new Chief Minister.

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