The Black Day in the history of Kashmir
IN the history of Kashmir, 27 October is observed as the Black Day. On this day in 1947, India invaded Jammu and Kashmir in complete disregard to Indian Independence Act, the UN Charter and above all, against the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
The people of Kashmir were poised to be part of Pakistan, therefore, started a struggle against the Maharaja Hari Singh, once the Indian military invaded the state.
Indeed, Maharaja’s rule over the state had already lapsed on 15 August 1947. Soon after invasion India tried to justify its illegitimate occupation of the state through litigious Instrument of Accession.
Later on, India took the case to the UN on 01 January 1948, where it was decided through a number of resolutions that, future of the state will be decided through plebiscite under UN supervision.
After initial acceptance of UN resolutions, India subsequently delayed the implementation of the resolutions and later refused to conduct the plebiscite.
In the mid-1950s, India started calling it as its integral part. After the Simla Agreement-1972, India declared it as the bilateral issue between Pakistan and India.
In 1990, India made use of force to crush the popular movement of Kashmiris for their right of self-determination.
This massive use of Indian force (900,000) is continuously deployed in IIOJK and killing Kashmiris in IIOJK ever since 1990 with impunity.
In August 2019, India illegally and unilaterally annexed IIOJK with the Indian Union. Since then IIOJK has been under constant siege and curfew. For the last many decades, India has been wrongly projecting IIOJK as its integral part.
There was a basic contradiction between what India proclaimed and what the Indian Constitution warrants.
Article 370 of Indian Constitution, which India abrogated on 05 August 2019 was drafted in part XXI of the Indian Constitution clearly says that, linkage between India and IIOJK is; temporary, transitional and special provisional.
No integral Indian state has been ruled through this article, which clearly depicted that Kashmir is not an integral part of the Indian Union.
Rather resolving the Kashmir dispute as per UN resolutions, India abrogated Article 370, thus committed another violation of UN resolutions, its own Constitution and Constitution of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
In order to know the reality of India’s claim on Kashmir, there is a need to understand the historical context of Indian partition and subsequent events.
On 03 June 1947, the British Indian Government announced partition of the subcontinent into two Dominions; ‘India and Pakistan’.
The British Parliament formally passed the “Indian Independence Act”, on 17 July 1947, according to which, the partition was to be implemented from 15 August 1947. Partition of India was implemented as per Article 1 of the Independence Act.
As per Article 7 of the Act, it was clearly stated that, from 15 August 1947, “the suzerainty of His Majesty over the Indian states lapse and with it lapse all treaties and agreements enforce at the date of the passing of this Act between His Majesty and rulers of Indian states”.
As per Indian Independence Act, all agreements of British governments with either rulers or states also lapsed on 15th of August 1947.
Since the state of Jammu and Kashmir was a Princely State with a special autonomous status, therefore, it can be very conveniently said that on 15th day of August 1947, the Maharaja Sir Hari Singh was not the legal ruler of the state of Jammu and Kashmir as all his treaties with British India lapsed on that day.
Once he was not a legal ruler of the state, he had no right to sign the Instrument of Accession (if at all he signed that) with the new Indian dominion.
The Indian claim that its forces landed at Srinagar Airport on 27 October 1947, only after signatures on Instrument of Accession by Maharaja and the Indian government, is also unsubstantiated.
Indeed, a heavy contingent of Patiala State was involved in fighting against the Kashmiri fighters in Uri area on 18 October 1947, which means Indian forces were already inside the State’s territory before 27 October 1947.
On 24 October 1947, Kashmiris formally declared their independence from Dogra Raj and established their own government with the name of Azad (Free) Kashmir Government.
Following this Maharaja Hari Singh sent his Deputy Prime Minister R L Batra to New Delhi, requesting Indian military assistance.
The Indian Government, however, conditioned the military assistance with the state’s accession to India, which Maharaja Hari Singh never asked for.
Two well-known British historians: Alastair Lamb and Victoria Schofield have contested the signing of any Instrument of Accession by Maharaja Hari Singh with India, at least before 27 October 1947.
Nevertheless, even if there was an Instrument of Accession between Maharaja Hari Singh and Indian government, it provides a number of safeguards to the state’s sovereignty, e. g. the instrument says after the restoration of law and order in the State of Jammu and Kashmir and the expulsion of the raiders its future will be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people of the State.”
In summary, Indian annexation of IIOJK on 05 August 2019 is illegal and against the UNSC resolutions (91 and 122).
Indeed, India re-invaded IIOJK on 05 August 2019. The most significant part of this entire episode is that Kashmiris of IIOJK have neither accepted Indian rule nor its constitutional provisions over their state.
Despite remaining under siege ever since 05 August 2019 the people of IIOJK are not ready to concede to Indian illegal annexation of the state as union territories. Kashmiris throughout the world observe 27 October as Black Day.
Upon completion of seventy-five years of Indian occupation of IIOJK, the people of the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir once again demand UN and international community to give them their right of self-determination as promised in UNCIP resolutions.
On its part the Government of Pakistan must reach over to UN and other international forums emphasizing them five aspects of Kashmir dispute; a) stoppage of human rights violation in IIOJK, b) stoppage of demographic changes being made in IIOJK, c) demilitarization of IIOJK, d) restoration of pre-August 5, 2019 status of IIOJK and e) giving Kashmiris their right of self-determination as per UN resolutions.
— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.