THE Black Day being observed by Pakistan today should serve to remind the world of India’s invasion of Kashmir this day 73 years ago and the merciless continuation of its brutal occupation of the territory. A question often asked concerns Pakistan’s locus standi in the Kashmir dispute. Even a cursory look at the history of the Kashmir dispute will show that Pakistan is one of the two original parties to the dispute and that India is the last party which crashed into it without an internationally recognised and valid diplomatic and military initiative. Pakistan’s position is above board. On Aug 15, 1947, the Maharaja of Kashmir signed a standstill agreement with Pakistan, giving it the control of railways and post. Simultaneously, the Pakistani flag went up in Srinagar. Then, following the massacre of the Muslims of Poonch by the maharaja’s state machinery, Pakistani tribesmen intervened; the maharaja fled Kashmir’s capital and signed an instrument of accession with India. It is on the basis of this fraudulent instrument of accession signed by a fugitive ruler that India sent its army into Kashmir. India is thus the last party to the issue and has based its claim to Kashmir on a sheet of paper having no validity in law.
Strangely, it is India which went to the UN as an aggrieved party, and, ironically, it is India which has consistently acted in violation of the world body’s resolutions calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir. Last year, it heaped contempt on the UN by abolishing Kashmir’s special status and changed the law to pave the way for Indian nationals to settle in Kashmir with a view to altering the territory’s demography. India’s bigoted Hindutva leadership should know that Israel, far more prosperous and resourceful than the poverty-stricken country that is India, has failed to create a Jewish majority in the occupied territories. The fascist Hindutva leadership should give up its bunker mentality and flee India-held Kashmir.
Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2020