Today, the people of Jammu and Kashmir are observing the Black Day. Seventy-one years ago, on October 27, 1947, India through an armed invasion and aggression occupied part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Since then, it has massacred hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris, pushed half a million Kashmiris out of the State to Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, and has committed crimes against humanity which have been recorded by independent international organizations.
More than seventy years ago, and subsequently, the UN Security Council decided that the Kashmir dispute would be resolved in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people under the auspices of the UN. India continues to violate UN Security Council resolutions and obstructs its decisions. Instead, it chooses to subject Kashmiris to state-terrorism to perpetuate its occupation. It has not succeeded in doing that.
In the recent past, 700,000 Indian occupation forces, deployed in the territory, have intensified their brutal military campaign against unarmed Kashmiris. Hundreds of Kashmiris have been killed, hundreds have been blinded for life by the use of pellet guns, women, including girls, have been raped and sexual violence has been used as an instrument of war and to teach Kashmiris a lesson. Rights to education, health, and freedom of expression have been trampled. Thousands of political leaders and activists are under detention and are being tortured. Forced disappearances and fake encounters are rampant. All these gross and consistent violations of human rights have been recorded by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in a comprehensive report it has issued this year.
There are instances of genocide, ethnic cleansing and war crimes being committed by India in Kashmir. In 1947, the Maharaja of Kashmir, Indian National Army and RSS extremists massacred 250,000 Kashmiris. This was the first holocaust after the holocaust of the Second World War. No Nuremberg trials have been conducted for the victims.
We condemn all these atrocities in IOK and appeal to the international community and all those who care for human rights, human dignity and liberty to intercede and stop India and help Kashmiris attain their right to self-determination.
On this occasion, I want to debunk two false narratives which are used by India to justify its occupation in IOK and its denial of the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
India says that it airlifted its troops on October 27th, 1947, because the Maharaja had acceded to India and tribesmen from Pakistan had entered into the Kashmir territory with the support of Pakistan. Independent historical research has substantiated that the Maharaja never acceded to India, and that an Instrument of Accession, of dubious validity, was extracted from him under duress after military invasion of the territory. The tribesmen, who were volunteers, entered Kashmir on the 22nd of October and by then a big chunk of the territory had been liberated by the valiant people of Azad Kashmir who had risen against the oppressive rule of the M0haraja. There was no legal justification for India’s invasion.
Another stark reality is that India had been preparing for a massive military operation against the State of Jammu and Kashmir since June 1947 in order to annex it. Preparatory steps included installation of wireless equipment at the Srinagar Airport in September, continued supply of arms and ammunition in the months of August, September and October, and deployment and concentration of Indian forces along the India-Jammu border. The Indian Deputy Prime Minister Vallabh Bhai Patel and Defence Minister Baldev Singh, with the active support of Viceroy Mountbatten and Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister M.C. Mahajan, supervised the planning and execution of the military intervention on October 1947.
It is alleged by Indian propagandists that the UN Security Council Resolutions could not be implemented and a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir could not be held because Pakistan did not comply with Security Council Resolution 47, which asked Pakistan to make its “best endeavours … to secure withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals … who had entered the State for the purpose of fighting …”.
This contention is patently flawed and false. The moment Resolution 47 was passed, both India and Pakistan objected to it. For Pakistan and Kashmiris, India was an invader and an occupier of the State and therefore the withdrawal of troops could not be applied to one country. The Security Council then started working on a balanced reduction of the troops of both India and Pakistan.
In 1949, the Security Council asked its Canadian delegate, General A.G.L. McNaughton, to formally consult India and Pakistan towards a demilitarization plan. On 22 December 1949, McNaughton proposed that both Pakistani and Indian forces should be reduced to a minimum level. In regard to demilitarization, he made no distinction between India and Pakistan. McNaughton’s proposals were adopted in Security Council’s Resolution 80 and he was appointed as a mediator. India refused to accept this proposal.
Consultations continued and after a thorough examination of the matter, the Security Council in its Resolution 98, on December 23, 1952, allowed both India and Pakistan to maintain a limited number of their forces on each side of the ceasefire line to maintain law and order. The proposed number for Pakistan was 3000-6000 armed forces; for India 12000-18000. Pakistan endorsed the proposal; India did not.
The bare fact is that India did not allow the creation of conditions necessary for holding a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations. Sir Owen Dixson, an eminent Australian jurist and the UN Representative for India and Pakistan, recorded in Document S-1971 India’s refusal to demilitarise. This is what he said:
“In the end, I became convinced that India’s agreement would never be obtained to demilitarization in any form or to provisions governing the period of plebiscite of any such character, as would in my opinion, permit the plebiscite being conducted in conditions sufficiently guarding against intimidation and other forms of influence and abuse by which the freedom and fairness of the plebiscite might be imperilled”
The people of Jammu and Kashmir are passing through the darkest period of their history. We need your support, to end repression in the Indian Occupied Kashmir and find a just and lasting resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions. Step forward for Kashmiris; step forward for humanity, before it is too late.
LONG LIVE AZAD KASHMIR
LONG LIVE PAKISTAN