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PAKISTAN is committed to the United Nations’ resolutions on Kashmir which do not recognise ‘accession’ of the disputed state under a resolution of the puppet Constituent Assembly in Indian occupied Kashmir or under the Maharajah’s instrument of accession.

Announcing the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, BJP leader Amit Shah referred to this Instrument of Accession.

The Independence Act required intention of accession to be absolute and crystal-clear. Even a cursory look at the instrument document makes it clear that it is equivocal.

The instrument expresses an “intention to set up an interim government and to ask Sheikh Abdullah to carry the responsibilities” with the maharajah’s prime minister. The last sentence in the instrument is: “In haste and with kind regards”.

Handwritten corrections on the instrument’s text highlight the wavering state of the maharajah’s mind. Any instrument extracted under coercion and duress, is invalid under law.

The subsequent accession resolution passed by occupied Kashmir’s ‘Constituent Assembly’ is also void as it violates the Security Council’s resolutions forbidding India from going ahead with the accession farce.

Aware of India’s intention to get the Instrument of Accession rubber-stamped by the puppet assembly, the Security Council passed two resolutions to forestall the forced accession. Security Council’s Resolution No. 9 of March 30, 1951 and confirmatory Resolution No. 122 of March 24, 1957 outlaws accession or any other action to change the status of the Jammu and Kashmir state.

Alastair Lamb, in his book Incomplete Partition (Chapter VI: The accession Crisis, pp.149-151) points out that Mountbatten warned India not to intervene militarily without first getting the instrument of accession from Maharajah Hari Singh. Not doing so would amount to intervening in the internal affairs of an independent state in the throes of civil conflict. But, India did not heed his advice.

Lamb also regards the Instrument of Accession signed by the maharajah on Oct 26, 1947 as fraudulent (Kashmir — A disputed legacy 1846-1990).

He argues that the maharajah was travelling by road to Jammu (a distance of over 350 km). How could he sign the instrument while being on the run for safety of his life?

There is no evidence of any contact between him and the Indian emissaries on October 26, 1947. It is eerie to note that India has never shown the original instrument in any international forum.

Pakistan should not accept this latest fait accompli. Instead, it should focus on human-rights violations, and right of self-determination under UN conventions.

M. Abdul Hameed
Rahimyarkhan

(2)

WHAT was long feared has happened. By scrapping an Indian constitutional provision, New Delhi has done away with Kashmir’s special status thus plunging the region into an era of uncertainty loaded with grave political and military consequences.

The people of India-occupied Kashmir had been enjoying this status since 1954 through an agreement between Jawaharlal Nehru and Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdullah.

The Modi government’s decision clearly showed that it was stung by President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate on the Kashmir dispute during his July’s meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Later, the US president again reiterated his offer even though India had denied asking Trump to play a role in resolving 70-year-old dispute between the two nuclear-powered South Asian neighbours.

To ensure regional stability the international community led by the US indeed needs to play a positive role. This issue has been hanging fire for a long time now and because of it both Pakistan and India are spending hugely on defence thus unable to remove poverty and deprivation from their respective countries.

This Indian decision taken through a presidential decree is unlikely to put out the flames of abhorrence and hatred among the people of the valley who have rendered great sacrifices for their rights.

With Afghanistan on the threshold of a peaceful settlement that would definitely minimise the Indian influence in Kabul, New Delhi could have thought nothing better than to raise the regional temperature through this ill-advised action.

How the situation pans out in the coming days, one has to wait and see breath.

F. H.
Lahore

(3)

INDIA’s use of pellet guns in Indian-occupied Kashmir to stop the Kashmiri people’s struggle for self-determination is a stark human rights violation. India has time and again threatened the residents of the valley of imposing harsh conditions on them.

The sending of additional Indian forces and revoking Articles 370 and 35A by India shows New Delhi is becoming increasingly desperate in holding on to its occupation of Kashmir. Asking Hindu nationals and other foreign visitors to leave the city has created a sense of fear and insecurity among the Muslim majority of India-held territory.

The use of cluster bombs by India to shell civilian population in Azad Kashmir along the Line of Control is the latest provocation in the countless acts of aggression committed by India. The world needs to act now and ensure India comes to its senses.

After the latest Indian act of infamy in the occupied valley, the US must intervene on a moral basis to save the lives of defenceless people of occupied Kashmir. Thereafter it should bring on board other world powers and world organisations to hold the much-delayed plebiscite.

Babar Khan
Shahdadkot, Sindh

Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2019