Subroto Roy regrets getting the sisters’ names wrong earlier; they were not Kulsooma and Yasmin but Akhtara, 19, and Arifa, 17. Their killings by terrorists in Sopore, and that of young Manzoor Ahmad Magray, 22, by the Army in Handwara within the week, mark a tipping point, for myself at least.
Subroto Roy reflecting on the Lashkar-e-Toiba killing of the teenage Sopore sisters and the Indian Army killing of Manzoor Ahmad Magray in Handwara, all in one week, is reminded only of: *Where be these enemies?… See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate,…all are punish’d.*
Subroto Roy says at Seema Mustafa’s Wall “Some of these comments seem to be addressed to me in a somewhat ill-mannered way. I am due to speak in Lahore next month on Kashmir and Pakistan, and have published quite extensively over 20 years perhaps on the subject, apropos the University of Hawaii volume *Foundations of Pakistan’s Political Economy: Towards an Agenda for the 1990s* etc.
I am quite happy to engage in any conversation with any shade of opinion from the leader of the United Jehad Council onwards. But discussion needs to be in English not pidgin English or slang, it needs to be polite and well-mannered, and it needs to be as well thought out and well-informed as possible. I may be addressed as Dr Roy or Mr Roy by people I do not know.
Subroto Roy says to Mr Changal, Apropos your “@mr roy…. i hope u carry a message that KASHMIRIS WIL NEVER LIKE TO B A PART OF INDIA”, I am given to understand that you as an individual have no wish to be an Indian national, which to me is fair enough. A lot of Indian nationals have travelled after all to the USA, Britain etc and there have gone about freely renouncing their Indian nationality and accepting that of another country. May I assume that if you, as an individual, were given such a choice by the Govt of India to formally renounce, on paper, in a private decision with full security and no fear of repercussions, your Indian nationality, you would do so? You may then become stateless in international law, following which the Govt of India could assist you as an individual to accept the nationality of some other country for which you were eligible, e.g. the Islamic Republic of Iran or the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan or the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. If that went through properly, the Govt of India could also give you full “Green Card” or PIO status vis a vis the Indian territory you may wish to live or work etc in.
Ajmal Nazir @ subroto sir…..I personally appreciate the kind of efforts you are putting to highlight the meseries that kashmiris are going through. May God succeed you in your efforts . However there are lot of realities that one need to understand before talking about Kashmir.This issue is not a demographical or political issue. This is an human issue where kashmiris suffer. Before going into any discussion , both Pakistan and India should understand that this problems is taking its toll on common kashmiri who is getting killed everyday. Kashmir is like a beautiful prison where one can survive but cannot live freely. It looks completely normal from outside. But unfortunately you cannot see the fear that is inside the hearts of common people. You cannot see the uncertainty in the minds of those people.I wish you could have feel the fear in the mind of mothers when their kids are outside. I wish you could have feel the fear in the eyes of kids, when they see these indian forces roaming in their fields. There is a check post in every corner of the street, where it is obligatory for us to go through checking. We have to prove our identity in our own homes. It is not happening only on 26th Jan (like it happens in your states ]. It happening everyday, every-hour and every-time.I wish you could feel the fear when we have to go through these checking. Everyday, we have to make sure that we come home before 6:00 pm otherwise you will be picked up and your name will get added into hundrends and thousands of disappeared people. There are so many fake encounters happening in valley that nobody from outside world knows. Try to listen to local news here and there is a separate sections which tells you about the number of people that got killed every 24 hours. In 90’s that list was always above 20 and there was no such news outside kashmir. There is no such family in kashmir that hasn’t suffer I am not talking about mental suffering, I am talking about where somebody got killed.I wish you could have seen the pain of those mothers who lost their innocent sons, I wish you could seen the hopelessness in the minds of those fathers, who lost their only sons. There are so many half widows in kashmir, whose husbands were picked by forces and they never came back. they are still waiting for their husbands to return. In every community , there is an orphanage, where you will find the so many orphan kids. i believe you will find the most numbers orphans in kashmir than in any other state. These suffering are not visible from outside.We need to feel like kashmiris to understand these problems You need to take little pain to find the actual realities in kashmir. Every kashmir including our pandiths brothers suffer. KAshmir issue is not the political issue, neither is it regional issue. This is a human issue . This issue is not related to the geographical demographies, it is related with the people who live there.These boundaries are of no meaning for those mothers and fathers, who suffer everyday. If Indian wants kashmir, you have to win the hearts of kashmiris, Treat us like humans, Give us basic human rights . Release kashmiris from this militarized prison. Let us decide what is good for us.. Give us the freedom to express our problems. Let us bring kashmiris youth in your national media and let them discuss this issue. India is a democratic country so i believe everybody has a right to express their feelings.Highlight our miseries and punish the culprits who have killed innocent kashmiris. How can you justify the killing of those small kids who pelt stones on the streets. Does indian constitution allow killings of kids if they pelt stones. If they damage property, arrest them but how can we kill those small kids.Even some where beaten to death.What about Tufail Matoo who got killed when he was going to tuition classes. He didn;t damage any property. There are so many untold stories in kashmir that nobody knows.
Subroto Roy says to Mr Nazir, Thank you for the lengthy and pertinent statement which clearly reflects your experience as well as your hopes and fears. I have no hesitation in accepting your saying the situation in recent times has become intolerable for ordinary people. I believe it is the outcome of a process which has evolved over decades in which the peoples and Governments of India, the peoples and Governments of Pakistan, and the peoples and Governments of J&K too, have all contributed. It is something for which *everyone* is responsible, no single person or country or community can be said to be exempt (other than perhaps the gentle people of Laddakh). And all the facts of history and the present have to be understood, and yes felt as well — each and every clear fact. I hope to show how this may be done during my Lahore lectures next month. Cordial regards and thanking you once more.
Subroto Roy says to Mr Changal, Thank you for the reply though you may have made a mistake with my identity: I am not Mr Subroto who has been a senior minister in Indonesia, but rather Dr Roy or Mr Roy as you please. No I do not think I am or would want to be blind to any atrocities by armed forces on civilians in any country, my own included. Apropos your statement “we reject the illegal n forceful occupation of kashmir by the cruel hindu india”, I shall be glad to hear the basis of your opinion. Re Hindus and Muslims and my opinion thereof, there is a lot of material to be found at my site and among my Notes. Cordially, SR
Sajad Malik I just wud humbly like to ask you a question sir, Do you deny the disputed nature of kashmir?
Subroto Roy Mr Malik, Thank you for the question. I think it was I who said *twenty years ago*, when I was almost as young as some of you are now “The core of the continuing dispute between Pakistan and India has been Kashmir, where vast resources have been drained from the budgets of both countries by two large armies facing one another for decades over a disputed boundary”. I do not think the Govt of Pakistan had used the word “core” until that time. Please see p 15 of the book
Subroto Roy says to Mr Changal, I cannot know but perhaps you speak from terrible personal experiences as an individual at the hands of governmental machinery; I know what that can be like.
I would agree it is important in this grave and mortal matter to go into the whole history piece by piece, frankly and candidly, with scientific honesty and freedom of inquiry and thought. That is the only real way to aim for complete agreement across the political spectrum in the subcontinent. Such an agreement is possible too, and the only real way forward for all, especially the people of J&K, your generation and the future. I am sure my Lahore lectures will be public immediately after they are delivered next month, which you may find of interest.
Clearly we have a number of factual questions for one another whose answers may emerge in time. Rape is an evil thing, and I find what you mention is discussed here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunan_Poshpora_incident
Thank you for your comment and suggestion. The solution I have proposed since 2005 is far better than the plebiscite idea you mention. But I am afraid you will have to make a study of my publications here at FB or at my site or in my books, or wait until the Lahore lectures. I also wonder if you are aware that Sheikh Abdullah and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad *offered a plebiscite* when it was first mentioned in 1948 during the Pashtun tribal invasion from Pakistan but Pakistan balked.
Subroto Roy says the solution he has proposed since 2005 is far better than the plebiscite idea often mentioned. Many are also unaware that Sheikh Abdullah and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad *offered a plebiscite* when it was first mentioned in 1948 during the Pashtun tribal invasion from Pakistan but Pakistan balked.
Ganai Danish: It was pandit nehru,who in 1952 addressed the public gathering in lal chowk sgr,promised that the people of jk will be given a chance to decide their future whether they want to be part of india or accede with pakistan.It is worth mentioning that it was india itself who took the case of disputed nature of kashmir to UN by passing a resolution in 1948.But 63 years passed, india is yet to fulfull its promise and has mulishly held on to the uncompromising stance that jk is an integral part of india.
Subroto Roy: Mr Danish, Thank you for the comment. Pandit Nehru’s Lal Chowk speech may have been 1947/48 during the Pashtun invasion. There is a small pic at my site here https://independentindian.com/2009/03/28/india-is-not-a-monarchy-and-urgently-needs-to-universalize-the-french-concept-of-citoyen-some-personal-thoughts/
By 1952, Sheikh Abdullah had pioneered the J&K Constitution
Ganai Danish Respected Dr Roy,1952 or 1948,that isn’t the question.The question is why india uses its military might to crush our movement.By calling itself the world’s largest democrac<z>y,its democracy is buried in kashmir.Our movement is indegenious,peaceful,genuine,and non violent and we will take it to its conclusion
Subroto Roy Mr Danish, Thank you for the comment. The difference between 1948 and 1952 is vital because that is the time Kashmir *made its decision*, and it was a *democratic* decision led by Sheikh-Sahib who had — practically single-handedly — awoken the Muslim masses from their slumber and oppression under the Dogras. Sheikh Abdullah paid the penalty for that most heavily– being jailed by the Dogras numerous times because of it. But even so I think you have raised a critically important question — which is how it is that your generation has become so utterly alienated and disaffected with their political experience of repression, war, terrorism etc that they want to free themselves of it.
Ganai Danish It is very true that late sheikh abdullah traitor fought against dogra rule but he did such a blunder that whatever happened in kashmir since 1989 to 2010,sheikh is responsible for this.He sold kashmir to india and sold the blood of martyrs that were in favour of accession to pakistan.It was the same traitor’s son farooq abdullah who signed noozle to Shaheed Maqbool bhat,the first martyr of kashmir.It was the same farooq abdullah’s leadership in 1989 who killed 1 lac kashmiris and brought POTA,AFSPA,PSA and so on in kashmir.It was the same traitors son omer abdullah who killed 112 innocents in kashmir in just 4 months.So far as the imprisonment is concerned.,It is Syed Ali shah geelani,a vetern leader of kashmir,who spent more than 22 years in jail and is still under house arrest.
Subroto Roy says to Mr Danish, Thanks for this point of view of which I know less than I should. I am glad we have reached a stage so quickly where we may discuss different interpretations of factual events. I reaoet what I have said to Mr Nazir, that I have no hesitation in accepting your saying the situation in recent times has become intolerable for ordinary people. I believe it is the outcome of a process which has evolved over decades in which the peoples and Governments of India, the peoples and Governments of Pakistan, and the peoples and Governments of J&K too, have all contributed. It is something for which *everyone* is responsible, no single person or country or community can be said to be exempt (other than perhaps the gentle people of Laddakh). And all the facts of history and the present have to be understood, and yes felt as well — each and every clear fact. I hope to show how this may be done during my Lahore lectures next month. Cordial regards and thanking you once more.
Sajad Malik @ Mr. Roy, you mean Sheikh Abdullah “offered” Plebiscite? well this is a news to me; as i am wondering on what authority wud they do that? All i have been knowing till now is, Plebiscite was in the offing, had Nehru not insisted that the tribes men from NWFP leave Kashmir and at the same time Jinnah insisting that for the plebiscite to happen, Indian forces need to be out of kashmir first.
Subroto Roy says to Mr Malik, Yes, Sheikh Abdullah and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad *offered* a plebiscite when it was first mentioned and it was the Pakistanis who balked.
Re. “disputed territory” and “core issue”, as I said yesterday, I do not have to *admit* it because I may have been the first to say so *twenty years ago* when I was almost as young as some of you are now “The core of the continuing dispute between Pakistan and India has been Kashmir, where vast resources have been drained from the budgets of both countries by two large armies facing one another for decades over a disputed boundary”. I do not think the Govt of Pakistan had used the word “core” until that time. Please see p 15 of the book
You may perhaps see that it is a leap of logic from saying Pakistan and India have a disputed boundary to saying as you suggest “So what is the problem if a Kashmiri asks Azadi sir?”. 🙂
Subroto Roy says to Mr Malik: Mr Malik, Indeed as I have said Sheikh-Sahib and Bakshi did so; you would have to know how ghastly and vicious the tribal invasion from Pakistan was starting on October 22 1947, and how the Rape of Baramulla had proceeded (with Kashmiri women of all communities, Muslim, Sikh and Hindu, being abducted by lorry en masse to be sold in markets in Peshawar etc), to know that Sheikh Abdullah and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad could confidently predict the outcome at the time of any such plebiscite, which would explain why Liaquat Ali Khan (who had condemned Sheikh as a “Quisling of India”) would have ignored it. I say this having read reports from the original newspapers at the time, and have today asked the editor of that national newspaper to produce a set of reprints of all articles published from, say, the 1946 Cabinet Mission to the Jan-Feb 1949 ceasefire, since all this material is unknown by all the parties, and making it known would contribute to resolving this grave and mortal problem. Do please explain what you mean or Sheikh meant by “Siyasi Awaragardi”; also I would certainly be grateful to learn of your view and that of your friends on the history of J&K between, say, 1952 and the 1965 War.
Sajad Malik: Mr Roy, I have been lately reading a piece done by Haroon Rashid. He pens down all that Kashmiri’s suffered at the hands of tribesmen..looting and arson, even killing of a lady running a convent. He outrightly rejects rape, (anyway thats altogether a diffrent debate). Sheikh Abdullah, wen released from the prison (Imprisoned by Nehru,for taking the plebscite front) scorned his ownself for taking up Plebscite front and termed it as “Siyasi-Awaragardi” (Political Intrigue). For your further enlightment here Mr. Roy;- 1951: Indian holds elections and tries to impose its democratic institution in Kashmir. It is opposed by the United Nations. They pass a resolution to declare elections void and stress on plebiscite. India ignores the opposition blatantly. Sheikh Abdullah wins unopposed and rumors of election rigging plague Kashmiri politics. 1952: Sheikh Abdullah signs the Delhi Agreement on July, 1952. It chalks out state-centre sharing of power and gives abidance to Kashmir to have its own flag. Sheikh Abdullah creates Kashmir centric land reforms which create resentment among the people of Jammu and Ladakh. Delhi Agreement provides the first genuine erosion in international resolution of Kashmir. Nehru’s Speech: ”On August1952, Jawahar Lal Nehru gives a negating speech contradicting the settlement provided in the Delhi Agreement: “Ultimately – I say this with all deference to this Parliament – the decision will be made in the hearts and minds of the men and women of Kashmir; neither in this Parliament, nor in the United Nations nor by anybody else” 1953-1954: Sheikh Abdullah takes U turns and procrastinates in conforming the accession of Kashmir to India. Sheikh Abdullah is jailed. In August, Bakhshi Ghulam Muhammad is installed in place of Sheikh Abdullah. He officially ratifies Kashmir’s accession with India. On April, 1954, India & Pakistan both agree in appointment of a Plebiscite Administrator. 1956-1957: On 30th October, 1956, J&K Constituent Assembly adopts a fresh constitution, and dissolves the Constituent Assembly, which further defines the relationship of Kashmir with the Indian Dominion. UN strongly condemns the developments and passes a resolution stating such attempts will not result in any final resolution. On 26th January, 1957, the new constitution is made enforceable. Kashmir is now a Republican-Democratic state under Indian Union. 1964: Sheikh Abdullah is released from jail. Jawahar Lal Nehru sends Sheikh Abdullah with a delegation to Pakistan in an effort to find a resolution discourse for Kashmir. In the meantime, masses in Kashmir protest against the implementation of Article 356 & 357, which allows Indian central authority over constituting legislative powers in Kashmir. The special status of Kashmir continues to get eroded. 1965-1971: The nomenclature is changed from ‘Sadr-e-Riyasat’ to Governor and from Prime Minister to Chief Minister. The Governor is now no longer elected locally, and is installed as per the orders of the President of India. This amendment lightens off Kashmir from its special titles. Free & fair elections in the guise of democracy are championed as just causes, and Indian mainstream parties are allowed to contest in the elections. However, these elections aren’t well received by the public. In many cases, international watchdogs accuse India of rigging elections. In 1967, Jammu Autonomy Forum is constituted with the aim of institutionalizing regional autonomy. Excerpts, “chronology of Kashmir conflict” by Naveed Qazi”
Subroto Roy says to Mr Sajad Malik: thank you for this brief chronology which I shall certainly study more carefully. Am I to understand that you and perhaps others with you deny the Rape of Baramullah? Perhaps you mean that the thousands, but thousands, of Kashmiri women of all three communities who were abducted against their will by the tribesmen in lorries and later sold in Peshawar and other markets were not raped but taken in matrimony at their new destinations?
Sajad Malik: Mr Roy, I am not denying anything. All I am saying is that Haroon Rashid (BBC) is rejecting it and that I maintain, its a separate debate. The thing which we are discussing here is that India has no legitimate authority over Kashmir. It’s military might, deciept, savagery has not been able to turn a leaf in Kashmir, despite tens of thousands been killed, despite all the laws it sought from the “once wicked” Britian. I am not a political analyst nor a strategist but with full conviction Mr. Roy, m telling you Kashmir can never be India. Smell our land it smells saffron, m not sure what it smells in India. Comment not intended to hurt your or any Indian’s emotions Mr. Roy. If it inadvertently does, I apologise.
Subroto Roy: Mr Malik, Thank you; no not at all, there is *absolutely* no need for you to apologise in this discussion for anything. Clearly there are many factual disagreements here, as to what happened precisely, who said and did what precisely, and so on, and an exchange of views and references is always constructive. From what you say, you may find of interest these two articles of mine from 2006; the former is “History of J&K” and the latter contains a Brief History of Gilgit too:
You may also like to see my FB Note giving Sheikh Abdullah in his own words for you and others to judge, here
and also Sheikh-Sahib, and Dr Zakir Hussain and Maulana Azad and others here:
Your statement “Kashmir can never be India” is perhaps intended to be controversial as it appears to beg the question, though of course you may agree *some* Kashmiris are Indians and wish to be Indians, and I may agree *some* Kashmiris are not Indians and do not wish to be Indians and also *some* Kashmiris are Indians and do not wish to be Indians; there may also be *some* Kashmiris who are not Indians but who wish to be Indians. Cordially.
Mr Malik, you are quoting from perhaps Dr Zakir Hussain or Sheikh Abdullah, not from my words. Secondly, are you saying Pakistan did not invade J&K in 1947? Britain did? I would agree there was a British-induced coup d’etat in Gilgit, but I trust you do not deny the whole history of the (then new) Pakistan’s military and political forces causing the vicious and ghastly Pashtun invasion along the Nowshera Road commencing October 22 1947. Modern Pakistan’s most eminent historians may agree with me I am afraid as to what happened as a matter of fact! You and I may not be able to progress much with conversation at this rate if our factual histories are so far apart as at present.. 🙂 But rest assured, all may become clear after my Lahore lectures next month, or at least all of my analysis and assessment of what happened and prescription of what may be best done now for everyone. I shall try to comment further on your statement later in the day.
Sajad Malik Sir, I am not saying Britian carried out the invasion *laughs*. All, m saying is, General Gracey was heading the Pak army at the time of invasion and there has been no evidence so far, to establish a link b/n Pak army and the tribes men. I can furnish to you the reference of what I assert. shall inshallah pray for your lahore lecture, and hope our thinking and understanding converge as per the aspirations of me, the prime stake holder..and a kashmiri. (smiles)
Subroto Roy Mr Malik, I am grateful for the clarification 🙂 — though as I have said, there *was* a British-induced coup in Gilgit, and you may also find my article “Pakistan’s Allies” of interest about the US and UK seeing themselves in battle against the old USSR etc.
Suppose I said to you and your friends that in fact Sheikh-Sahib (and his mentor at the time Jawaharlal Nehru) were influenced by socialism and, at one remove perhaps by Soviet communism — and *that* is why they were against the Dogra regime? While the Hurriyat’s predecessor, Muslim Conference, were *opposed* to Sheikh Abdullah, and because the Dogras were also opposed to Sheikh-Sahib, the Muslim Conference’s Hamidullah Khan as of May 22-24 1947 said they wanted to not only preserve the Dogra regime but make him an international sovereign so he could be called “Your Majesty” instead of merely “Your Highness”? :)! And in that they were, oddly enough, joined by many in the Hindu and Sikh minorities who saw the Dogras as protecting them from Sheikh Sahib’s secular majoritarianism, as well as by perhaps British Conservatives like Churchill as well as Mr Jinnah…. History yields some unusual and paradoxical things…. 🙂 Re your offer to furnish a reference that “there has been no evidence so far, to establish a link b/n Pak army and the tribesmen” I would be most grateful for this. The classic work on it has been by the late General Akbar Khan of the Pakistan Army who was an author of the invasion, http://openlibrary.org/books/OL15997912M/Raiders_in_Kashmir.
I have yet to own a copy of this book though am aware of its contents. I am most grateful for your good wishes for Lahore! I certainly need them, and I assure you, if you send me an email at my site, I shall send you a copy of what I say there as soon as possible after it is said. And indeed, I *completely* agree with you that the ordinary people of J&K of all communities have suffered most from this terrible and awful state of affairs, and their material and moral wellbeing needs most important and urgent relief. Cordially.
I wrote & publicized a document “An Economic Solution to Kashmir” in Washington back in 1993, which referred for the first time to ideas of a condominium, an Andorra solution etc….This seemed at the time a logical result of the UH Manoa Pakistan project. But in retrospect it has seemed naive and uninformed. I’m afraid I think Mr Kasuri has been overoptimistic about the robustness of the near-agreement he suggests was reached some years ago. .
In June 1989 a project at an American university involving Pakistani and other scholars, including one Indian, led to the book Foundations of Pakistan’s Political Economy: Towards an Agenda for the 1990s published in Karachi, New Delhi and elsewhere. The book reached Nawaz Sharif and the Islamabad elite, and General Musharraf’s current proposal on J&K, endorsed warmly by the US State Department last week, derives from the last paragraph of its editorial introduction: “Kashmir… must be demilitarised and unified by both countries sooner or later, and it must be done without force. There has been enough needless bloodshed on the subcontinent… Modern Pakistanis and Indians are free peoples who can voluntarily agree in their own interests to alter the terms set hurriedly by Attlee or Mountbatten in the Indian Independence Act 1947. Nobody but we ourselves keeps us prisoners of superficial definitions of who we are or might be. The subcontinent could evolve its political identity over a period of time on the pattern of Western Europe, with open borders and (common) tariffs to the outside world, with the free movement of people, capital, ideas and culture. Large armed forces could be reduced and transformed in a manner that would enhance the security of each nation. The real and peaceful economic revolution of the masses of the subcontinent would then be able to begin.”
The editors as economists decried the waste of resources involved in the Pakistan-India confrontation, saying it had “greatly impoverished the general budgets of both Pakistan and India. If it has benefited important sections of the political and military elites of both countries, it has done so only at the expense of the general welfare of the masses.”
Such words may have been bold in the early 1990s but today, a decade and a half later, they seem incomplete and rather naïve even to their author, who was myself, the only Indian in that project. Most significantly, the position in international law in the context of historical facts had been wholly neglected. So had been the manifest nature of the contemporary Pakistani state.
Jammu & Kashmir became an entity in international law when the Treaty of Amritsar was signed between Gulab Singh and the British on March 16 1846. British India itself became an entity in international law much later, possibly as late as June 1919 when it signed the Treaty of Versailles. As for Pakistan, it had no existence in world history or international law until August 14 1947, when the British created it as a new entity out of certain demarcated areas of British India and gave it the status of a Dominion. British India dissolved itself on August 15 1947 and the Dominion of India became its successor-state in international law on that date. As BR Ambedkar pointed out at the time, the new India automatically inherited British India’s suzerainty over any and all remaining “princely” states of so-called “Indian India”. In case of J&K in particular, there never was any question of it being recognised as an independent entity in global international law.
The new Pakistan, by entering a Standstill Agreement with J&K as of August 15 1947, did locally recognise J&K’s sovereignty over its decision whether to join Pakistan or India. But this Pakistani recognition lasted only until the attack on J&K that commenced from Pakistani territory as of October 22 1947, an attack in which Pakistani forces were complicit (something which, in different and mutating senses, has continued ever since). The Dominion of India had indicated it might have consented if J&K’s Ruler had decided to accede to Pakistan in the weeks following the dissolution of British India. But no such thing happened: what did happen was the descent of J&K into a condition of legal anarchy.
Beginning with the Pakistani attack on J&K as of October 22 upto and including the Rape of Baramulla and the British-led Pakistani coup détat in Gilgit on one side, and the arrival of Indian forces as well as mobilization by Sheikh Abdullah and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad of J&K’s civilians to repel the Pakistani invaders on the other side, the State of Jammu & Kashmir became an ownerless entity in international law. In Roman Law, from which all modern international and municipal law ultimately derives, the ownership of an ownerless entity is open to be determined by “military decision”. The January 1949 Ceasefire Line that came to be renamed the Line of Control after the 1971 Bangladesh War, demarcates the respective territories that the then-Dominions and later Republics of India and Pakistan acquired by “military decision” of the erstwhile State of J&K which had come to cease to exist.
What the Republic of India means by saying today that boundaries cannot be redrawn nor any populations forcibly transferred is quite simply that the division of erstwhile J&K territory is permanent, and that sovereignty over it is indivisible. It is only sheer ignorance on the part of General Musharraf’s Indian interviewer the other day which caused it to be said that Pakistan was willing to “give up” its claim on erstwhile J&K State territory which India has held: Pakistan has never had nor even made such a claim in international law. What Pakistan has claimed is that India has been an occupier and that there are many people inhabiting the Indian area who may not wish to be Indian nationals and who are being compelled against their will to remain so ~ forgetting to add that precisely the same could be said likewise of the Pakistani-held area.
Accordingly, the lawful solution proposed in these pages a year ago to resolve that matter, serious as it is, has been that the Republic of India invite every person covered under Article 370, citizen-by- citizen, under a condition of full information, to privately and without fear decide, if he/she has not done so already, between possible Indian, Iranian, Afghan or Pakistani nationalities ~ granting rights and obligations of permanent residents to any of those persons who may choose for whatever private reason not to remain Indian nationals. If Pakistan acted likewise, the problem of J&K would indeed come to be resolved. The Americans, as self- appointed mediators, have said they wish “the people of the region to have a voice” in a solution: there can be no better expression of such voice than allowing individuals to privately choose their own nationalities and their rights and responsibilities accordingly. The issue of territorial sovereignty is logically distinct from that of the choice of nationality by individual inhabitants.
Equally significant though in assessing whether General Musharraf’s proposal is an anachronism, is Pakistan’s history since 1947: through Ayub’s 1965 attack, the civil war and secession of Bangladesh, the Afghan war and growth of the ISI, the Kargil incursion, the 1999 coup détat, and, once or twice removed, the 9/11 attacks against America. It is not a history that allows any confidence to arise in Indians that we are not dealing with a country misgoverned by a tiny arrogant exploitative military elite who remain hell-bent on aggression against us. Like the USA and USSR twenty years ago, what we need to negotiate about, and negotiate hard about, is an overall mutual military drawdown and de-escalation appropriate to lack of aggressive intent on both sides. Is General Musharraf willing to discuss that? It would involve reciprocal verifiable assessment of one another’s reasonable military requirements on the assumption that each was not a threatening enemy of the other. That was how the USA-USSR drawdown and de-escalation occurred successfully. If General Musharraf is unwilling to enter such a discussion, there is hardly anything to talk about with him. We should wait for democracy to return.