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|January 29, 2002
The web of lies
Yes, yes, four of my earlier commentaries this month do not exhaust the pack of lies contained in the anonymous article 'Jammu & Kashmir Dispute', posted on the Pakistan foreign ministry's Web site. Here are some more.
Look, for instance, at the following statement in the article: "The Indian armed intervention in the State of Jammu and Kashmir was illegal and took place against the wishes of the people."
Now, if India's armed intervention in J&K on October 27, 1947, is to be dubbed illegal, then Pervez Musharraf himself is a character from fiction.
Look at what had happened a day before the maharaja of J&K signed the Instrument of Accession to India -- a legal provision in the Indian Independence Act, 1947, of the British parliament. As recorded on page 224 of Mission With Mountbatten (London, Robert Hale Ltd, 1951), by Alan Campbell-Johnson, the press attaché to Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of India and governor-general of the Dominion of India, the following was what had transpired:
"On October 25, a meeting of the Defence Committee took place in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Lord Mountbatten in which the Maharaja's request for supply of arms and ammunition was considered. At this meeting General Lockhart, the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army, read out a telegram from the headquarters of the Pakistan Army stating that some 5,000 tribesmen had attacked and captured Muzaffarabad and Domel and that considerable tribal reinforcements could be expected. Reports showed that they were already more than thirty-five miles from Srinagar. The Defence Committee considered that the most immediate necessity was to rush in arms and ammunition already requested by the Kashmir government, which would enable the local population to put up some defence against the raiders. The problem of troops reinforcements was considered, and Mountbatten urged that it would be dangerous to send in any troops unless Kashmir has first offered to accede."
Note, note again, how India declined to indulge in the adventure of armed intervention in J&K unless and until that state's ruler had first acceded to India -- as per British law.
That legal accession occurred on October 26, 1947. And in his letter of that date to Lord Mountbatten, the J&K maharaja wrote, inter alia, as follows:
"I have to inform your Excellency that a grave emergency has arisen in my State and request the immediate assistance of your Government."
After giving an account of the tribal invasion that had come from Pakistani territory in October 1947, the maharaja's letter continued as follows:
"With the conditions obtaining at present in my State and the great emergency of the situation as it exists, I have no option but to ask for help from the Indian Dominion. Naturally, they cannot send the help asked for by me without my State acceding to the Dominion of India. I have accordingly decided to do so and attach the Instrument of Accession for acceptance by your Government." (The full text of that letter is available at pp 46-47 in White Papers on Jammu & Kashmir, Government of India, 1948).
According to Defending Kashmir, Publications Division, Government of India, it was on October 27, 1947 that the first batch of Indian troops under the command of Lieutenant Colonel D R Rai flew to Srinagar. They flew because that was the only medium of transport left to them at such short notice. By land they would have been too late. When they flew, they were instructed to circle over the airfield before landing in order to ensure that the airfield had not fallen into enemy hands. After some suspense and tension, a wireless from Srinagar at 10.30am announced the safe landing of the first wave of troops.
Who then can dare to say that the above "Indian armed intervention in Jammu and Kashmir was illegal?" Only the likes of Pakistan, the country for whom prevarication is almost second nature -- as even large sections of the Western media are now realising, slowly but surely.
It is truly remarkable that what the Pakistani Web site is alleging today is a repetition of what the country's founder, M A Jinnah, alleged more than 54 years ago in a meeting with Lord Mountbatten on November 1, 1947. As recorded by Campbell-Johnson (ibid p 229), when Jinnah told Mountbatten that the accession of Kashmir to India was based on violence, Lord Mountbatten replied, "The accession has indeed been brought about by violence, but the violence came from Pakistan, for which Pakistan, and not India, was responsible."
In its message to the Security Council dated January 1, 1948, India had complained of a "situation" that could lead to international friction, and therefore had, in essence, appealed to the Security Council "to prevent Pakistan Government personnel, military and civil, participating in or assisting the invasion of Jammu and Kashmir" [Security Council document 628 as cited on page 82, The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, by Dr A S Anand, ex-chief justice of India (Universal Law Publishing Co Pvt Ltd, Delhi, 1998 edition)].
On January 15, 1948, Pakistan's letter to the Security Council emphatically rejected the Indian charges and, instead, made counter charges that included the allegation of "the acquisition of Kashmir's accession by fraud and violence" (Dr Anand, ibid, p 82). And very soon thereafter, Pakistan's then foreign minister, Sir Mohammed Zafrulla Khan, informed the Security Council that "...the Pakistan Government emphatically deny that they are giving aid and assistance to the so-called invaders or have committed any aggression against India. On the contrary and solely with the object of maintaining friendly relations between the two Dominions the Pakistan Government have continued to do all in their powers to discourage the tribal movement by all means short of war" [page 705, The History of Kashmir by P N K Bamzai (Metropolitan Book Co Pvt Ltd, Delhi, 1962)].
The bombshell of truth came on July 5, 1948, when the full five-member United Nations Commission For India and Pakistan landed in Karachi as part of the Security Council-assigned mission to mediate with the governments of India and Pakistan.
One of the UNCIP members was Josef Korbel, a Czech diplomat who later became professor of international politics at Denver University and, apart from being the father of Madeleine Albright (former US secretary of state), is said to have been the mentor of Condoleezza Rice, national security adviser in Bush's administration. On page 119 of his book Danger in Kashmir (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1954), Korbel wrote, "Sir Zafrulla Khan informed the Commission that three Pakistani brigades had been in Kashmir since May." Also admitted was the fact that the Pakistan Army headquarters was in overall command of the operations in J&K. Pakistan's persistent and solemn denials of any part in the invasion of Jammu & Kashmir and accusation, instead, of India invading the state in October 1947 was thus as classic a case of the pot calling the kettle black. It was in its resolution of August 13, 1948, that the UNCIP belatedly recognised the falsity of Pakistan's stand in the following words that shall forever constitute a nasty wrap on Islamabad's knuckles:
"As the presence of troops of Pakistan in the territory of the State of Jammu and Kashmir constitute a material change in the situation since it was represented by the Government of Pakistan before the Security Council, the Government of Pakistan agrees to withdraw its troops from that State" (Bamzai, ibid, pp 706-707).
Two years later, on September 5, 1950, Sir Owen Dixon, who succeeded the UNCIP as the UN representative for India and Pakistan, reached a similar conclusion: "...When the frontier of the State of Jammu and Kashmir was crossed...by the hostile elements, it was contrary to international law and when in May, 1948, units of the regular Pakistani forces moved into the territory of the State, that too was inconsistent with international law" (Bamzai, ibid, p 707).
Was the so-called "Indian armed intervention in Jammu and Kashmir" also "against the wishes of the people" as alleged by the Pakistani foreign ministry's Web site? Nonsense. Read another account below culled from the Defending Kashmir document:
"There was widespread jubilation among the citizens of Srinagar and the inhabitants of neighbouring towns and villages. For five days they faced manfully the alarming reports of the raiders' advance and their eyes were constantly cast to the skies in the hope of seeing the first Indian plane coming with the sorely needed help and relief. They had collected all available motor vehicles and kept them ready to carry the first troops to the front. Local drivers were at the wheels ready to risk their lives in defending their land" (Bamzai, ibid, p 682).
But Pakistan's obsession with India being the aggressor reminds one of the congenital liar. Thus, among the "web" of lies its foreign ministry has posted in its J&K article on the Internet is the most hilarious hocus pocus: "In May 1999, India dealt a severe blow to the dialogue process by launching massive military operations, involving air and ground forces, on the Kashmiri Mujahideen in the Kargil Sector and across the Line of Control on Pakistani-controlled areas." One doesn't recall, and one doesn't care, what 'distinguished' Pakistani columnists like Ayaz Amir had to write on Kargil. But we do know that Rupert Wingfield Hayes of even the oft anti-Indian BBC News said the following on as late as January 3 this year from Beijing:
"China has begun to have serious misgivings about Pakistan's policy in Kashmir.
"Enough is enough" is a common saying. And so this series on Pakistan's "web" of lies will end next week with the truth on Pakistan's long-touted, loud-mouthed hocus pocus on a "plebiscite in J&K".
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