Two-Nation Theory and the Kashmir dispute


By: Kifayat Rizvi

MUSLIMS and Hindus are undoubtedly two separate nations. Both have completely different sets of religious beliefs, lifestyles, customs, culture, history and civilization. Muslims ruled India for almost a thousand years, and if the Muslim rulers wanted, they could have forced all the Hindus to convert to Islam, but they didn’t. Rather, these Muslim rulers gave all rights including the right to religion to Hindus too, which were available to Muslims.

When the British established their rule in the sub-continent, the cunning and wily nature of the Indian National Congress leaders and other Hindus got exposed and they openly began to express their enmity towards Muslims and Islam. They started to characterize Muslims as aliens, calling them looters, thieves and bandits. The Hindus boycotted the Muslims, economically and socially. Seeing this hatred and enmity of the Hindus, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan and other Muslim notables of the time took the responsibility of leading and guiding the Muslims and started raising awareness among them, exhorting them to adjust to the new situation and more importantly consciously building a case for having a separate Muslim identity to guard their future.

Later, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah openly advocated the concept of the Two-Nation Theory and this thought later became the basis for the establishment of Pakistan. Quaid-i-Azam substantiated his point of view with strong arguments, saying that Muslims and Hindus are two separate entities in every respect, and, therefore, the Muslims must have a separate homeland in the sub-continent where they can live their lives according to their own set of beliefs. Soon, the significance of the Two-Nation Theory dawned upon the Muslims of the region and they gathered around the charismatic and inspiring leadership of the Quaid-i-Azam on the platform of All India Muslim League and succeeded in getting a separate country for themselves in the form of Pakistan on 14th August 1947.

Like Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir was also to become a part of Pakistan as per the Partition Plan of the sub-continent. Notably, considering Kashmir’s religious, cultural and geographical proximity to Pakistan, the real representatives of the Kashmiris led by Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan passed a resolution at the meeting of Muslim Conference held in Srinagar about a month before the creation of Pakistan (to be precise on 19th July 1947), whereby it was declared that Jammu and Kashmir should become a part of Pakistan. The historic resolution was passed keeping in view the aspirations of the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir.

However, deceitful and crafty Indian leaders like Gandhi, Nehru and Sardar Patel, as part of a pre-planned conspiracy, landed the Indian army at Srinagar airport on 27 October 1947 and illegally occupied a large part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in gross violation of the Partition Plan and against the will of Kashmiri people. According to the Partition Plan in 1947, the Indian British Colony was to be divided into two sovereign states of India and Pakistan. Hindu-majority areas were to form India while Muslim-majority areas of Western provinces and East Bengal were to constitute Pakistan. As per the understanding of the Partition Plan, the Princely States were given the choice to accede either to Pakistan or India, keeping in view their geographic and demographic considerations. Being a Muslim-majority State with 87% Muslim population, Kashmir had a natural tendency to accede to Pakistan. But, India occupied the territory on the pretext of a controversial Instrument of Accession allegedly signed by the Hindu ruler of Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh, leading to the genesis of the Kashmir dispute. The fact of the matter is that the Kashmir dispute is considered both by Pakistanis and Kashmiris as an unfinished agenda of the partition of the sub-continent and the freedom struggle of the people of Kashmir as an inseparable part of the Pakistan Movement. The number of Kashmiris who migrated to Pakistan from occupied Jammu and Kashmir since 1947 due to Indian aggression is in hundreds of thousands, which shows the emotional attachment of the Kashmiri people to Pakistan.

The people of Jammu and Kashmir never accepted India’s illegal occupation of their soil and they launched a popular movement to liberate it from the Indian yoke. Their liberation struggle forced India to seek the help of the world community to settle the Kashmir dispute. Also, Pakistan forcefully raised its voice against the Indian aggression and mobilized its army to help the subjugated Kashmiris and free them from Indian occupation. The advancing Pakistani army and successive defeats of the occupying Indian soldiers made the Indian leaders nervous. Sensing defeat, Pandit Nehru knocked the doors of the United Nations Security Council on 1st January 1948. The World Body passed successive resolutions promising to hold an impartial plebiscite under its supervision to allow the Kashmiri people to decide their fate by themselves by either joining Pakistan or India. However, the irony is that these UN resolutions and the pledges made by Indian leaders remain unfulfilled even after the passing of several decades. Not only this, the Kashmiri people are also facing death and destruction on the part of India for demanding their inalienable right to self-determination.

The BJP’s advent to power in 2014 and the Hindutva policies, it thereby started to propound and implement forcibly, have once again reaffirmed the significance of the Two-Nation Theory. India’s illegal actions taken on 05 August 2019 and thereafter with respect to occupied Jammu and Kashmir have also once more vindicated the Two-Nation Theory which is more relevant today than ever before. The fascist BJP regime under the leadership of Narendra Modi has made the lives of Muslims in India and occupied Jammu and Kashmir a hell. The Modi regime is bent on wiping out Muslim from India and occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The extremist and hate-filled policies of BJP, which actually is the political wing of the Hindu terrorist organization RSS, have also proved that the demand for the creation of Pakistan was absolutely right and legitimate and the Muslims indeed needed a separate state in the sub-continent for their survival.

Pakistan is an important and principal party to the Kashmir dispute. The country is providing full political, diplomatic and moral support to the struggling Kashmiris and wants the implementation of UN resolutions so that the people of Jammu and Kashmir can decide their political future through the plebiscite. India’s position vis-à-vis Kashmir is nothing more than a usurper and tyrant that has been crushing the Kashmiris with its military might for over seven decades for demanding their right to self-determination.

The Kashmiris only want the inalienable right that has been promised to them by the United Nations, the international community as well as India. They want to live a dignified and prosperous life like other free nations of the world and believe in equality, tolerance and justice. Their only demand is that the world should give up its double standards and its criminal silence and play its role in giving them their birthright, the right to self-determination so that they can get rid of Indian tyranny and live a life of their choice. Also, India has no option but to recognize the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination as guaranteed by the UN resolutions. The United Nations is also duty-bound to fulfill its commitment of holding a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

There is no doubt that without resolving the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions and the Kashmiris’ aspirations, relations between Pakistan and India cannot improve, nor can the dream of sustainable peace and development in the region be realized. The Kashmiris are deeply attached with Pakistan and they consider the Pakistan armed forces as their saviour and protectors. The slogan “Ham Pakistan Hain, Pakistan Hamara Ha” coined by the late iconic pro-freedom leader Syed Ali Gilani is an expression of the eternal devotion and love of the Kashmiris for Pakistan. The founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, had rightly termed Kashmir the “Jugular Vein” of Pakistan. The country has a strong case as far as its “Jugular Vein” is concerned. Islamabad has always stood by the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir and time and again reiterated its resolve to continue supporting the Kashmiri people seething under the shackles of Indian slavery until they get freedom, and God willing, the country will never disappoint its Kashmiri brethren.

History is witness that tyrannical and oppressive powers have never been able to keep nations subjugated through suppression forever. India is also an aggressor hiding under the cloak of democracy. The Kashmiri people’s unflinching determination has weakened India from inside and it is now fighting a lost battle in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. India’s defeat is writing on the wall and the day is not far when the dream of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Syed Ali Gilani will come true and the whole of Jammu and Kashmir will become a permanent part of Pakistan.