Kashmir Portal

A digital Kashmir Info Network

Kashmir Dispute in its Historical Perspective

Posted by waseemshah57 on June 8, 2009

Kashmir Dispute in Historical Perspective

Kashmir is a powder keg, lingering international dispute, a nuclear flash point in south Asia , basically a simple political issue involving the future of people of Kashmir who have to decide its course through a promised plebiscite but the chauvinism of the Indian rulers rendered this dispute complicated and confounded.

Kashmir dispute has consumed more than 5 lakh lives only from 1947. Kashmir which is having 5000 year old history was an independent country till it lost it’s sovereignty at the hands of Mughals on 1585 A.D. There after Mughals came Afghans then Sikhs then Dogras and now worlds so called largest democracy has occupied it through its military might. About the year 1015 Mohammad Gazane took possession of valley for some time, it reverted again to Hindu kings who ruled it till 1294 A.D. After this Ranchen a Tibetan ruler, ruled it from 1325-1327. After wards the Chakoons ruled it till Mughals invaded and captured it. Later the successor of Nadir shah, Ahmad shah Durrani added Kashmir into their empire from 1753-1819. In 1819 A.D forces of Ranjit singh defeated Afghans and Kashmir became part of Sikh dominion. In 1820 Ranjit singh granted principality of Jammu to Ghulab Singh, the areas of Baltistan and Ladakh originally part of Tibet were conquered by Ghulab singh. Due to death of Ranjit singh trouble arouse between Sikh and British for possession of Punjab . Ghulab Singh gave favorable terms to British and betrayed his fellow Sikhs, British awarded him with territory between Ravi and Indus. Through a treaty on March 9 1846 he got Jammu , Poonch, Ladakh and Baltistan and through infamous treat called Amritsar treaty on March 16 1846 British sold Kashmir to Ghulab Singh. He ruled Kashmir through iron fist and imposed heavy taxes, he also imposed strict laws such as slaughtering of cow was capital offence till 1947 and if a Muslim converted to Hindu he retained all rights of his property but if vice versa he was liable to loose all interests in joint family and property under the state law. Kashmiri peoples struggle for emancipation of their rights became full fledged and organized rights movement after the massacre of 23 Kashmiris by the brutal Dogra Army. The real trouble began when on June 4, 1947 Lord Mountbatten brought plan for partition of India called Indian Partition act 1947. According to this act area comprising of Muslim majority will constitute a new country Pakistan and rest areas having non-Muslim majority will remain as India . But this act was applicable only for British India not for princely states which were near about 564 and were under indirect control of British. These 564 states were given choice either to choose to remain Independent or join any one of the two dominions in keeping two things under consideration first, majority of subjects whether Muslim or non-Muslim and second continuity of their states borders. As for as Kashmir is concerned it was a princely state and was having 85% Muslims and its border has continuity more with Pakistan than with India so there were only two options before Maharaja of Kashmir either he should have declared Independence or announced to accession with Pakistan . But Maharaja under pressure from Congress hatched a well knotted conspiracy, he removed R.C.Kak (then prime minister of Kashmir) and appointed Mehr chend for this slot who was a Hindu from Punjab and also a nominee of congress, bcoz the former one held meetings with the Pakistani leadership as well regarding the future of Kashmir and was known as man of integrity. Later maharaja also removed Muslim servicemen from his police and army removing any iota of doubts what he was planning to do. Maharaja was facing revolt in Poonch against imposing high taxes and this became a popular uprising against his ill motivated plan and he almost lost writ on Kashmir . Later on 4th October Khawaja Ghulam Nabi Gilkar formed first free Government of Kashmir and on 24th Sardar Ibrahim formed government. The laws relating to partition were never honored sincerely. India used its force and captured Hyderabad and later invaded Junagarh on pretext of being Hindu majority area and violated same by invading Kashmir . The state of Kapurthala had Muslim majority but non-Muslim ruler which through help of RSS succeeded in eliminating his Muslim subjects and same was repeated in Alwar and Bharat Pur. These tactics were also used in Jammu province were 5 lakh Muslims were butchered and lakhs were forced to flee mostly during November 4th, 5th, and 6th to turn it in to Muslim minority area. There after this dispute went to UN which passed resolutions declaring it a disputed territory.

The beauty of Kashmir and its picturesque and breath taking serenity always lured many Mughals, Afghans and Sikh governors to think of declaring themselves as independent of their masters. Akbar’s subedar Mirza Yadgar, Raja Sulkhjiwan and Amar Khan two protégés of Ahmad shah Abdali, Sheikh Gh. Muhammad governor under the Sikhs toyed the idea of Independent Kashmir. Even Maharaja Hari Singh personally desired of Independent Kashmir. Chaudhary hamidullah Khan (then acting president of Muslim Conference) also urged Maharaja to declare Independence and assured him cooperation in this regard. In May 1953 Adali Stevenson met Sheikh Abdullah in Srinagar and on the same year on 13th July during martyr’s day speech he said “the Kashmir position was such that it should have the sympathy of both India and Pakistan- it is not necessary that our state should become an appendage of either India or Pakistan ”. After the failure of operation Gibraltar and Indo-Pak war of 1965, many Kashmiri stalwarts like K.H.Khursheed and Shaheed Maqbool Bhat started to think of Independent option in practical terms. Due to which Maqbool Bhat became victim of parochialism, sadism and apathy, was labeled as Indian and Pakistani agent by the henchmen of different agencies who were suffering from kleptomania, obscurantism and apathetic attitude. But these monopolistic vampires would be feeling poleaxed to see Maqbool Bhat becoming heartthrob of oppressed people bcoz falsehood by its nature is bound to perish. Maqbool Bhat was a man with mission and vision, who dreamed about independent Kashmir and had to suffer through out his life for espousing this noble cause. But he stood like a rock against injustice and indefatigable against hurricane of suppression and through sheer determination and resilience rose to the iconic stature in the resistance movement.

Moreover India and Pakistani leaders have time and again made commitments to Kashmiris regarding their Independence . On July 11 1947 Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah said “The second question that is engaging the attention of the Muslims of Kashmir is whether Kashmir is going to join the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. I have already made it clear more than once that the Indian States are free to join either the Pakistan Constituent Assembly or the Hindustan Constituent Assembly or remain independent”. On July 9 1951 Nehru Said “Kashmir has been wrongly looked as a price for India or Pakistan . People seem to forget that Kashmir is not a commodity for sale to be bartered.. It has an individual existence and its people must be the final arbiters of their future”. On July 14 1972 Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Said “History has shown us that no right of self determination can be achieved by proxy. If the people of Jammu Kashmir want their independence, if they want to be liberated .., if they want to be free people in fraternity and friendship and comradeship with Pakistan , they will have to give the lead and we will be with them…no matter what the consequences”. On Feb. 18 1992 Nawaz Sharif said “I made it very clear that, of course, the right of self-determination means that let the Kashmiris decide as what they want. This right of self-determination if exercised by the Kashmiris, of course, they have every right to decide whether they want to join Pakistan, they want to be independent or they want to join India”.

APHC which is spearheading the political resistance movement here has clearly stated in one of his objectives that “To make peaceful struggle to secure for the people of the state of J&K the exercise of the right of self determination in accordance with the UN charter and the resolutions adopted by the UN security council. However the exercise of the right of self determination shall also include the right to Independence as explained in sub-clause (ii)”. It is natural that every person belonging to any group has to abide the rules of that group so no Hurriyat leader has liberty to reduce the right of self determination in to two options only if anyone does that he is violating the constitution of APHC. Right to Independence is basic ingredient of UN resolutions regarding self determination and this right can’t be limited. It is also debatable that if conditions are putted with any right whether that remains then right or not?

Recently former Finance Minister Tariq Qarra(of pro-India Peoples Democratic party PDP) had laid proposal of Kashmir having its own currency which it was enjoying before 1947 but due to unknown reasons it was shelved under the carpet. May be due to the reasons that it didn’t suited those who matter at the higher echelons of power as Kashmir having its own currency has potential and impression of being a sovereign state. Though due to Mumbai attacks the fragile peace process has received a jolt mainly due to jingoism and belligerence of India but the main cause and core dispute of Kashmir can’t be put on back burner forever as its nature wouldn’t allow both countries to do so. So it is better for India ’s own Security and progress to shun obduracy and intransigence and come to negation table without closed chest. Both of them ( India , Pakistan ) are nuclear states so can’t afford war therefore best for them and for entire south Asia would be the restoration of national sovereignty to the people of Kashmir .

Shah Waseem

Student of BCA

Islamia College of Science & Commerce

Srinagar, Kashmir



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