27 October in the history of Kashmir By Ahmed Ali

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The 27th of October is known as the Black Day in Kashmir’s history. On this date in 1947, India invaded Jammu and Kashmir against the will of the local populace, completely disregarding the Indian Independence Act and the UN Charter.

Once the Indian forces invaded the state, the people of Kashmir, anticipating becoming a part of Pakistan, began their fight against Maharaja Hari Singh. Indeed, on August 15, 1947, the Maharaja’s authority over the state officially ended. India attempted to legitimize its illegal possession of the state shortly after the invasion by a contentious Instrument of Accession.

On January 1, 1948, India later brought the matter before the UN, where it was agreed by a number of resolutions that the destiny of the state would be decided by plebiscite under UN supervision. After first approving UN resolutions, India later postponed their implementation and later declined to hold the plebiscite. India began referring to Kashmir as its part in the middle of 1950s. India proclaimed it to be a bilateral issue between Pakistan and India following the Simla Agreement of 1972.

India used force in 1990 to put an end to the popular Kashmiri movement for their right to self-determination. Since 1990, this enormous deployment of Indian forces (900,000) has been killing Kashmiris in IIOJK with impunity.

India unilaterally and unlawfully annexed IIOJK with the Indian Union in August 2019. IIOJK has been misrepresented by India as being a crucial component for many decades. Between what India declared and what the Indian Constitution demands, there was a fundamental discrepancy. Part XXI of the Indian Constitution, which India abrogated on August 5, 2019, has a clear statement that the relationship between India and the IIOJK is temporary, transitional, and special provisional. No integral Indian state has been ruled through this article, which clearly depicted that Kashmir is not an integral part of the Indian Union.

India violated Article 370, UN resolutions, its own Constitution, and the Constitution of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), instead of resolving the Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN resolutions. Understanding the historical background of Indian partition and subsequent events is necessary in order to assess the validity of India’s claim to Kashmir.

The British Indian Government declared the division of the subcontinent into two Dominions, “India and Pakistan,” on June 3, 1947. On July 17, 1947, the “Indian Independence Act” was legally approved by the British Parliament, and as of August 15, 1947, the partition was to take effect. According to Article 1 of the Independence Act, India was divided. According to Article 7 of the Act, “the suzerainty of His Majesty over the Indian states lapses and with it all treaties and agreements enforced at the date of the passing of this Act between His Majesty and rulers of Indian states,” will cease to exist as of August 15, 1947. According to the Indian Independence Act, all agreements made by the British administration with rulers or states expired on August 15, 1947.

It is very convenient to say that on August 15, 1947, the Maharaja Sir Hari Singh was not the legal ruler of the state of Jammu and Kashmir because all of his treaties with British India expired because the state of Jammu and Kashmir was a Princely State with a Special Autonomous Status. If he ever signed the Instrument of Accession with the new Indian dominion, it was because he was no longer the state’s legitimate monarch.

The Indian assertion that its forces arrived at Srinagar Airport on October 27, 1947, only after the Maharaja and the Indian government signed the Instrument of Accession is likewise unsupported. In fact, on October 18, 1947, Patiala State engaged in combat with Kashmiri mujahideen in the Uri area, indicating that Indian forces had already entered the State’s territory before October 27, 1947.

Kashmiris publicly proclaimed their independence from the Dogra Raj on October 24, 1947, and they founded their own administration under the name Azad (Free) Kashmir administration. In response, Maharaja Hari Singh dispatched R L Batra, his deputy prime minister, to New Delhi to request Indian military help. However, the Indian government tied the military support to the state’s annexation.

Alastair Lamb and Victoria Schofield, two well-known British historians, have disputed Maharaja Hari Singh ever signed an Instrument of Accession with India, at least prior to October 27, 1947. Even so, the Instrument of Accession between Maharaja Hari Singh and the Indian government stipulates a number of safeguards for the state’s sovereignty, such as the phrase that the future of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be decided in accordance with the wishes of the State’s citizens.

The annexation of IIOJK by India on August 5, 2019, violates UNSC Resolutions (91 and 122). In fact, on August 5, 2019, India invaded IIOJK once more. The most important aspect of this entire incident is that Kashmiris from IIOJK have not consented to Indian authority or to the provisions of the Indian Constitution over their state. Despite being under military siege since August 5, 2019, the residents of IIOJK are unwilling to accept India’s illegitimate annexation of the state as union territories. On October 27, Kashmiris throughout the world mark Black Day. The people of the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir once again demand that the UN and the international community grant them their right to self-determination as promised in UNCIP resolutions after 76 years of Indian illegal rule of IIOJK.

The Government of Pakistan must, on its end, communicate with the UN and other international forums, highlighting five aspects of the Kashmir dispute: a) stopping human rights abuses in IIOJK; b) halting demographic changes in IIOJK; c) demilitarizing IIOJK; d) restoring IIOJK to its pre-August 5, 2019 status; e) granting Kashmiris their right to self-determination in accordance with UN resolutions; f) Increasing cross-border Kashmiris to Kashmiris contact and interaction; and g) Utilize international forums to compel India to work with legitimate Kashmiri leadership in IIOJK for the issues like militarization-induced climate change, deforestation, and environmental degradation.

Note: The writer is a student of Peace and Conflict Studies at National Defense University, Islamabad and is currently serving as an intern at Kashmir Institute of International Relations.

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