When Indo-Pak Signed Joint Declaration to appoint UN Plebiscite Administrator in Kashmir


August 21, 1953

Engineer Hilal Ahmad War

When Sheikh Mohammad
Abdullah, the then elected
Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Nation was dislodged from power and detained in prison on August 9, 1953, along with Mirza Mohammad Afzal Beig, who was his close Lieutenant, and the Revenue and Law Minister in his Cabinet. Both of them were lodged at the Special Jail in Kud, on Jammu –Srinagar Highway. He had realized that the future of Jammu and Kashmir lay in separation, rather than in integration with India.
This action, sponsored by Government of India, resulted in an intensive public resentment. Anti- India demonstrations were held, in every nook and corner of in Kashmir valley and in many parts of Jammu Division. When the situation got worsened, Government of India unleashed a reign of terror against the demonstrating masses. When the turmoil went on increasing and took the shape of popular mass uprising, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Bogra, was forced to make a statement that, Pakistan was deeply concerned over the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir. The global community sharply expressed deep concern over the developments in Jammu and Kashmir and demanded explanation from Govt. of India about this serious political event in Kashmir. Realizing the intensity of the situation, Pandit Nehru invited Mohammad Ali Bogra for talks on the Kashmir situation. This was a camouflage on the part of India to hoodwink the people of Jammu and Kashmir and prevent Pakistan from raising the matter vehemently, at the Diplomatic levels, including at UN General Assembly.
Consequently, Mohammad Ali Bogra came over to New Delhi to hold talks with Pandit Nehru. They held several meetings on 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th August at New Delhi. At the conclusion of talks , a joint Declaration was issued on August 21, 1953 , which is known as “ New- Delhi Declaration” by virtue whereof India had agreed to get the UN Plebiscite Administrator appointed , in April 1954, so that all the necessary steps would be taken for conducting free, fair and impartial Plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir. This was a fraud on the part of India to calm down and to calm down the people of Kashmir and keep them in good humor about intended Plebiscite and to divert the attention of the world from the dislodgement and arrest of Sheikh Abdullah ( the then Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir) . Later on, political commentators expressed sarcastic remarks that, the crafty Pt. Nehru played an ‘April Fool’ trick on Mohammad Ali Bogra, by falsely assuring him that Plebiscite would be held in April 1954.
While taking about Joint Declaration between the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan, why does India forget the Joint Declaration of the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan of August 1953 which is known as New-Delhi Declaration by virtue whereof India had agreed to ensure the appointment of UN Plebiscite Administrator for conducting free, fair and impartial Plebiscite in J & K State in April 1954. Does it mean that India wants to swallow sweet chocolate and throw away bitter tablet for curing Kashmir disease.

The writer is a Foreign Affairs Analyst of Hurriyat Conference and Chairman, People’s Political Party (PPP).