Ajaat Jamwal, Convenor of Jammu and Kashmir Unity Foundation, has honoured me with his request to send my message for their seminar. JKUF is also observing 22 October as a Black Day in Jammu. Title of their seminar is:
Pakistan Military Invasion and World Silence on Pakistani Occupied Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
Mr Chairman, friends and colleagues in struggle Adab and greetings.
Indeed, it is a privilege for me to be part of your seminar, which is arranged to enlighten people with facts very cleverly hidden from the world for so long; and expose Pakistani designs on State of Jammu and Kashmir.
It is pleasure to note that Jammu and Kashmir Unity Forum is taking a lead role in educating people about the Pakistani sponsored tribal attack on Jammu and Kashmir. You are doing a great work; and it must continue.
I am sure you people know that the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir wished to remain independent; and after lapse of the British
Paramountcy on 15 August 1947, legally and constitutionally Jammu and Kashmir became independent. This fact was also acknowledged by Mohammed Ali Jinnah, President of Muslim League and Governor General of Pakistan.
Maharaja Hari Singh, as an independent Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir state concluded a Standstill Agreement with Pakistan. He offered India to have the same Standstill Agreement. India wanted to discuss this matter further; but did not refuse to have a Standstill Agreement.
Apparently Pakistan was created in name of Islam; and Islam gives great importance to agreements and pledges. Almighty Allah commands: ‘Oh people of faith, honour your pledges’. 1
Undoubtedly contrary to the teaching of Islam and civilised behaviour, Pakistan violated terms of that Agreement which was concluded only a few months ago. First they stopped supply of vital supplies to Jammu and Kashmir; and then on 22 October 1947 attacked a smaller neighbour with intention of occupying Jammu and Kashmir.
The last Prophet of Allah, Mohammed Peace Be Upon Him said:
‘Do not break your pledges, do not mutilate dead bodies, and do not kill children’. 2
What Pakistan did in name of Islam and Jihad is shameful. They told the tribesmen, the Taliban of that time, do jihad in Jammu and Kashmir; and everything that is removable is yours and anything that is not removable belongs to Pakistan.
In other words land and infrastructure belonged to Pakistan; and the raiders were at liberty to loot and plunder everything else. Like hungry vultures they pounced on innocent and helpless people of Jammu and Kashmir. They looted them, burnt their property, raped women, kidnapped them and some were forcibly converted and some were sold in cities of Pakistan.
Sadly, all this was done in name of jihad. The Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir had no option but to seek help from India, which was only available after he acceded to India, of course the accession was provisionally accepted.
Important distinction should be made here:
1. Pakistani troops came to Jammu and Kashmir by violating an Agreement;
2. Against the wishes of the Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir;
3. With intention of capturing Jammu and Kashmir;
4. Looting and plundering was also on the agenda.
India entered Jammu and Kashmir:
1. On request of the Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir;
2. After an agreement with Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir;
3. With intention of saving lives and liberty of the people;
4. And driving out the raiders who disrupted peace and stability of the State.
It is sad that India has failed to fulfil all of its obligations under the provisional accession. They failed to drive out the raiders. They failed to save life and liberty of the people; and people of Jammu and Kashmir suffer on both sides of the divide. Because of wrong policies of India and human rights abuses to the world India looks culprit and Pakistan looks a ‘friend’ and supporter.
What people of Jammu and Kashmir and world at large needs to understand is that if Pakistan had honoured its written agreement with the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, and had not attacked Jammu and Kashmir with intention of capturing it, we would have been independent State; hence all of our problems since that unprovoked aggression are due to that imperialist attack.
It is because of this we must all observe 22 October as a Black Day, because this is the root cause of our problems. The military attack ensued in name of Jihad on 22 October has continued in different shapes and forms. Pakistan has not abandoned its ambition of capturing Jammu and Kashmir. They have changed their strategies but they have not changed their target. In name of religion, they found some foot soldiers and proxies in 1947; and they have found many more now to advance their agenda in Kashmir.
We must educate our new generation about imperialist designs of Pakistan which they camouflage in the name of Jihad and Islamic brotherhood. We must tell them that Jammu and Kashmir is not for Muslims only. It is multi-religious and multi-ethnic State. It is one political entity. It is a political dispute and requires a political approach and a process of a dialogue to resolve the dispute.
We have to stand united against forces of extremism, violence and religious intolerance. We must promote peace, freedom of expression, tolerance and equality, as that is the way forward and not hatred and gun culture.
We people of the divided State must promote people to people contacts; and strengthen our cultural and ethnic ties. Area of the State where I come from is currently under the Pakistani occupation and is known as district Bhimber was part of Jammu province. So I am also a Jammuite.
We people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir are divided on ethnic and religious lines; and that is an important factor which helps those who occupy us and oppress us. We must have this motto; religion is a personal matter; but State of Jammu and Kashmir belongs to all of us. We must work as a team for united and independent Jammu and Kashmir with liberal and secular society; where we can all respect each other and live in peace and harmony.
Dr Shabir Choudhry, Chairman Institute of Kashmir Affairs.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Holy Quran, Sura Almahida, section 1
2. Hadees narrated by Hazrat Buraydah in Muslim Shareef and quoted in Islam and sanctity of Human Life, page 9