Home > Article > Cracks begin to show in India’s Kashmir policy

Cracks begin to show in India’s Kashmir policy

Cracks begin to show in India’s Kashmir policy

For the first time in decades the Bharati policy in Kashmir is up for review in South Block. “More autonomy” is up for grabs. Delhi still does not accept the demand for a plebiscite–yet!

Syed Geelani who is running the show in Kashmir today has demands “self-determination” to ascertain the wishes of the Kashmiri people to join Bharat or to join Pakistan. Geelani, Andarabi, Alam and others can raise the temperature of the state in one call. Those who are calling for “return to the Sikkim status” for Kashmir are now in a minority and the Pro-Pakistani political forces are in full control of the current intifada. While the Bharati politicians say that plebiscite is “history”, Kashmiris retort that “1952″ doesn’t go far enough. So the tug of war rests between full “azadi” based on a plebiscite and full autonomy based on the unimplemented 1952 resolution.

All indications are that while Kashmiris may take “full autonomy” with their own flag, president and parliament–these half measures will not satisfy the Kashmiris.

Here are a few commitments made to the Kashmiris and the world by Bharati leaders in 1952.

  • JAWAHARLAL NEHRU: (Amrita Bazar Patrika, Calcutta, 2 January 1952). “If, after a proper plebiscite, the people of Kashmir said, ‘We do not want to be with India’, we are committed to accept that. We will accept it though it might pain us. We will not send any army against them. We will accept that, however hurt we might feel about it, we will change the Constitution, if necessary.”
  • JAWAHARLAL NEHRU: (Statement in the Indian Parliament, 26 June 1952). “I want to stress that it is only the people of Kashmir who can decide the future of Kashmir. It is not that we have merely said that to the United Nations and to the people of Kashmir; it is our conviction and one that is borne out by the policy that we have pursued, not only in Kashmir but every where. “I started with the presumption that it is for the people of Kashmir to decide their own future. We will not compel them. In that sense, the people of Kashmir are sovereign.”
  • JAWAHARLAL NEHRU: (Statement in Indian Parliament, 7 August 1952) “The whole dispute about Kashmir is still before the United Nations. We cannot just decide things concerning Kashmir. We cannot pass a bill or issue an order concerning Kashmir or do whatever we want.

The Delhi Agreement of 1952 would have accepted the Kashmiri state flag, a “Sadar-e-Riyasat” (President) of Kashmir and given the state maximum autonomy. The Indian Supreme Court would have only appellate jurisdiction. According to the 1952 agreement the Jammu and Kashmir Constituent Assembly would have  sovereignty in all matters, expect defense, foreign affairs and communications. However this agreement was not implemented.

Implementation of the 1952 accord would be a good first step for Kashmiris under occupation. After all it took a century of wrangling with the British to move from Home Rule to dominion to full independence. all Bharat by accepting “more autonomy” will in affect be acquiescing to the demands of the Hurriyat which will continue to seek amalgamation with Pakistan. “More autonomy” will make it easier to achieve its goals.

The 1952 resolution demands the following from Bharat and Pakistan:

“Urges the Governments of India and Pakistan to enter into immediate negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations Representative for India and Pakistan in order to reach agreement on the specific number of forces to remain on each side of the cease-fire line at the end of the period of demilitarization, this number to be between 3,000 and 6,000 armed forces remaining on the Pakistan side of the cease-fire line and between 12,000 and 18,000 armed forces remaining on the India side of the cease-fire line, as suggested by the United Nations Representative in his proposals of 16 July 1952, such specific numbers to be arrived at bearing in mind the principles or criteria contained in paragraph 7 of the United Nations Representative’s proposal of 4 September 1952″ (RESOLUTION 98 (1952) ADOPTED BY THE SECURITY COUNCIL AT ITS 611TH MEETING ON 23 DECEMBER, 1952. (DOCUMENT NO. S/2883, DATED THE 24TH DECEMBER, 1952. THE SECURITY COUNCIL,)

In the first such indicator of concessions Delhi is mulling, Home Minister P Chidambaram said it was time to act on promises made to the people of Kashmir more than half a century ago.

“Over the years, several promises have been made to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and we should act on those related stories 101 lives lost since June 11 in Kashmir unrest Hurriyat factions say no to dialogue promises,” Chidambaram (65) told Hindustan Times. “Based on the agreements and accords of 1952, 1975, and 1986, we must address these promises.”

Though he did not elaborate on what “promises” might be considered in evolving a package for Kashmir, where 101 people have been killed in 100 days of unrest, Chidambaram stressed a plebiscite was not up for consideration.”The plebiscite is history. Much has changed since,” he said. “We have to look at things as they are now, not rake up the past, if we are to move ahead.”Chidambaram indicated that Delhi would consider more autonomy for Kashmir.

“The content of the demand for autonomy is a matter for dialogue and discussion,” he said.Chidambaram said he had previously been in “closed-door dialogue” with separatist leaders but declined to say what he discussed.

The meetings stopped after moderate All Party Hurriyat Conference leader Fazal Ul Haq Qureshi was shot dead in December 2009.Chidambaram is part of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) and controls all paramilitary forces in the Valley. What he says in an indicator of how the government is thinking, but in the past his views have been in conflict with his cabinet colleagues.Chidambaram said the Kashmir problem was essentially political.

Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, guaranteeing special status to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, carries a long and significant historical background, which is necessary to be understood to judge its importance and relevance to the present day India.

Under this agreement, the J&K State was given a special status under the Indian Constitutional frame work (Article 2 of the Constitution itself). Consequently, the Constituent Assembly elected Yuvraj Karan Singh as the first Sadar -i- Riyasat on Nov. 15, 1952, thus bringing to an end the 106 years old hereditary Dogra rule in the J&K State.

A serious opposition to S. M. Abdullah had developed in Jammu under the Praja Parishad, which launched a political movement with Shri Prem Nath Dogra as its leader. Dr. Syama Prasad Mukherjee was the President of Jan Sangh Party at the national level who commented that there was, or would soon be, “two Constitutions, two flags and two Prime Ministers in one country and cannot be tolerated”. The State Praja Parishad, Jan Sangh and R.S.S. joined their hands together and advocated the abolition of Article 370 of Indian Constitution.

In Nov. 1952, the Praja Parishad leader, Shri Prem Nath Dogra and his close associate Shri Sham Lal were detained. So, the situation in Jammu grew tense within the spring of 1953 and Dr. Mukherjee supported agitation outside the State and in May 1953, he left for Jammu but was arrested by I.G.P. Kashmir at State border (Lakhanpur/Kathua) on May 11, 1953 and taken to Srinagar in custody. Unfortunately Dr. Mukherjee died in the Govt. Hospital, Srinagar on June 23, 1953. The popular slogans of the Praja Parishad agitators were – “ek desh mein do vidhan; ek desh mein do nishan; ek desh mein do pradhan nahi chalen gay” (in one country , two Constitutions; in one country two flags , in one country two Prime Ministers will not be tolerated).

The unresolved issues indicated in the Delhi Agreement could not be taken care of due to dismissal of Sheikh Govt. on Aug.9, 1953 and installation of Sh. Bakshi Ghulam Mohd. as the new Prime Minister of J&K State. With the passage of time, The Constitution( Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 was promulgated by the President of India in consultation with the Government of J&K, regulating the constitutional status of the State; and apart from it several Central laws got extended to the J&K State and even the nomenclature of Sadar-i-Riyasat and Prime Minister were changed to Governor and Chief Minister on March 30, 1965.

Despite of continuous efforts by various political parties, Art. 370 of the Indian Constitution could neither be made permanent nor abolished, so it continues to be as such in the Indian Constitution with J&K having its own Constitution and State flag and resulting into non-application and non-extension of Central laws without approval of the State Legislature.

Mr. Haq adds:

There is only one solution: Continue for Plebiscite – Kashmir is and never will be a proxy de facto state of India.

A autonomous Kashmir without Indian Control, Indian security forces, Indian Police is the step towards the right direction.

India can not afford to be seen giving concessions and the fight for self determination and eventual accession with Pakistan will be a “gradual”incremental process.

Let India be under no illusion, India has never had a stake in Kashmir or the right to impose governance over the people of Kashmir.

Kashmiris must not get fooled by Chan Akya designs – you have been fooled for so long and they will eventually fool you again.

We shall see with great trepidation what India decides on the issue of Kashmir


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