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Rebuttal to article 'Why India's announcement on Kashmir is such a serious mistake'
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Lt Gen (Dr) JS Bajwa | Date:12 Aug , 2019 19 Comments
Lt Gen (Dr) JS Bajwa
is Editor Indian Defence Review and former Chief of Staff, Eastern Command and Director General Infantry.  He has authored two books Modernisation of the People's Liberation Army and  Modernisation of the Chinese PLA

The article “Why India’s announcement on Kashmir is such a serious mistake” authored by Tim Willasey-Wilsey (former senior British diplomat who worked in Southern Africa, Central America and latterly in Asia) was sent by to Gen JS Bajwa – Editor Indian Defence Review and he rebutted it as:-

Thank you for forwarding this article. It is a very pedestrian view and evidently the Author is unaware of the factual and legal issues involved. Please don’t encourage and publish such below average poorly researched articles.

First. J&K acceded to join the Union of India on 26th October 1947. The then Ruler was confronted by a surprise raid by marauding bands of tribals unleashed by Pakistan on 24th October 1947, on to the territory which was legally Indian territory. The Ruler sought military assistance from Delhi, since that was the Government he was dependent upon now, to fight these raids and attacks  .

Second. The unilateral ceasefire declared by India came into affect at mid-night of 31st December 1948. Instead of recapturing the rest of the territory by bloody long drawn military means the then PM approached UN to hasten it up with the eviction of Pakistani supported raiders from the whole of J&K which legally was India’s sovereign territory. But unfortunately a great game played by Britain and US, for their own interest, changed the very nature of the conflict and created a dispute where there was none.

Third. The Indian Constitution was framed and adopted by  562 princely states which acceded to the Union and signed full acceptance of the Constitution on 26th November 1949. The Ruler of J&K had also signed it on 25th November 1949 (the last one to do so) like all others. The Constitution come into effect from 26th January 1950. So to say that there is any doubt in the accession of the erstwhile princely state is gross ignorance and deliberate misinterpretation of the factual legal position. 

Fourth. Article 370 and with it 35A were added to the India Constitution under a Presidential Order dated 14th May 1954. It was included without it being  passed by 2/3 majority of Parliament. This fact has been deliberately manipulated by the Muslim leaders of the Kashmir Valley because it gave them a leverage to accept from the center only what suited them to maintain their political strangle hold over the state for their own vested interest. It became their fiefdom.

Fifth. After the India-China war of 1962, Pakistan leaped at the opportunity to bandwagon with China which had become India’s new enemy. Pakistan offered China 5180 square km of Shaksgam region of J&K. China accepted that area in a treaty with Pakistan in March 1963. So Pakistan had already started carving out portions of J&K as early as 1963. Pakistan allowed China to undertake project under CPEC in POK  violating India’s sovereignty again. It has been changing the demography of Gilgit-Baltistan since 1984.

Sixth. Between 300,000-600,000 Kashmiri Hindus (the original inhabitants of the Kashmir Valley many millennia before the advent of Islam in the region) were terrorised and forced to abandon their homes and leave the Valley in 1990. It was ethnic cleansing abetted by Pakistan to give Kashmir a Muslim character and radicalise the population.  

Seventh. What has now been done is by 2/3 majority of Parliament voting in favor to nullify the 1954 Presidential order by which Article was included in the Constitution. This is purely an internal matter of India’s administration. Pakistan can keep ranting over it because it has framed a fraudulent narrative on J&K and mislead its own people since 1947.

Eighth. Now what remains is for India to get back the whole of J&K . That is where it is bilateral. Pakistan should vacate those areas of J&K it has illegal occupied in 1947-48.

I would expect this rebuttal to be suitably acted upon.

Thank You

J.S. Bajwa

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

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19 thoughts on “Rebuttal to article ‘Why India’s announcement on Kashmir is such a serious mistake’

  1. Excellent rebuttal.

    That Western media is biased against India is well established. Living in North America for 8 years, I have seen that first hand everyday. Day in and day out, they are serving a one-sided view. On Kashmir, narrative is always hostile to India. Never is mentioned a word about Pandits who faced the actual classic ethnic cleansing, rather than the perceived potential threats that are used to incite the current majority of Kashmir. We have to introspect and then try to modernize our PR game. Buffoonery of the ilk of Asif Gafoor of ISPR needs a counter too.

    Also we need to up our military game. You can’t let the enemy kill your planes inside. What and where is your air defense? You have to decisively counter them in the conventional warfare rather than dillydallying with Migs. In the short run, buy and buy quickly the best systems. In the long run, plan for next 100 years. Set up a viable military industrial complex. We can send a rocket to Mars and cannot make a pistol or rifle? Who will believe that!

    Next, make a council of all parties and apprise it before any major defense or foreign policy change. Once agreed by all, ban it to oppose the national decisions. You cannot have people talking in different voices over such critical matters. Let democracy be an asset, not a pseudo ornament that creates hindrances.

  2. All the above are very nicely reasoned rebuttal point, about what happened in the past.
    Present ground reality is that India, under a hindu supremacist government, is conducting violations of human rights in the era of live television and youtube.
    Sorry, but this article shows an unimaginative stagnation of world view on the part of Army planners.
    India will be isolated like Israel this way, by having created a palestine like lock down in front of a live global TV and internet audience, and by blinding kids using pellet guns.
    Realistically , we have lost the moral high ground and have positioned ourselves as being another Israel or China. We can forget ever using Gandhian principles as soft power in diplomatic circles.
    This seems like another impulsive decision, similar to blockade of Nepal (including medical supplies).

    • Sir,
      Your view point is appreciated.
      To attribute the annulment of Article 370 a vengeful act by a Hindu supremacist government is giving it a racist twist, which I beg to differ.
      Past governments at the Centre lacked the will to do so and that had allowed Pak to communalise the situation in Kashmir.
      Pakistan’s reactions amply indicate it’s virulent communal intent.
      Any clamp down had been temporary.
      Fake videos are circulating in the social media, it is the intense Information War that Pak has unleashed on India.
      Combining soft power with hard power generates “smart power”.

  3. General,

    What you have formulated here is the excellent foundation for the Indian diplomacy to pursue in the international poltical arena. But no diplomacy will succeed unless backed up by military prowess in the final call which is the bottom line. Hopefully, Armed Forces will stand up to that in the hour of need if that comes. Reading through the domestic and international news columns one finds hosts of Jaichands lurking around in this political struggle and extreme caution must be exercised by the Statecraft to deal with them.

  4. In the rebuttal above, facts of history have been presented to negate the fallacies being circulated around by many an experts around the world on J&K.

    Facts prior to creation of Pakistan claerly state that Jinnah didn’t like nor trust Sheikh Abdullah. Secondly, Jinnah wanted to deal only with the Maharaja and this he did and agreed to abide by Maharaja’s decision on Accession.Thirdly, Shekh didn’t want plebiscite because if the people chose Pakistan, he would be sidelined by Jinnah immediately.
    Art 370 ,correct or incorrect , was most likely a good will gesture by India towards people of J&K , to enable them to integrate with India smoothly and at the earliest.

    However this was misinterpreted by Awaam (Muslims of J&K) and their leaders as their “appeasement” by India to keep them within India and to prevent them from acceding or opting for Pakistan.
    Pakistan too time and again interpreted Art 370 as a bribe offered by India to people of J&K to remain in India .
    The spirit of Art 370 was lost in these mischievous misinterpretations. This has made the leaders & people of J&K to adopt an attitude belligerence and of confrontation with India . The absence of certain basic fundamental rights such as “Protection to Minorities”, special provision for own Flag etc in Art 370 were misinterpreted as India’s surrender to Muslim majority.
    The Minorities there were hounded and the Hindus perforce had to leave and become displaced within their own Nation.
    The shrill of the belligerence of the Muslim majority of J& K also cost the exchequer a king’s ransom to maintain peace in J&K and in rehabilitating the Displaced. , which pinched the development of rest of India , further alienating the Mainland.
    Abrogation of Art 370 has negated this ” Bone of Contention ” of concessions given to Muslim majority as a bribe to stay with India.
    Its division into UT s is more for administrative convenience to aid faster development .

      • This is it. Straight forward, to the point with no scope of mis interpretation or ambiguity.
        Can the map be annotated with the existing LOC and the area of Axichin handed over by Pak to China.

        • Sidharth, this map has been marked with the original international boundary as India had depicted it on its maps issued in the public domain approved by the PM and published by the Survey of India. Shaksgam Valley lies to the North and is distinct from Aksai Chin, which is also referred to as Eastern Ladakh.
          As a matter fact when the Parliamentary Session was underway on 5th August announcing the annulment of Article 370, it was hot news on the TV news channels. One of the Channels was showing J&K with POK included but Ladakh was shown with Aksai Chin in a different colour. I immediately brought it to the notice of Army Public Information Directorate and advised that Ladakh should also be shown with Aksai Chin since it was so in our maps even if it is now under occupation of China. The news channel was informed and rightly so all others showed Ladakh as depicted in India’s original maps.

  5. Major William Alexander Brown was given the Order of the British Empire Medal for carrying out a successful coup on the princely state of J&K against the Maharaja. Then he gave away the territory (Gilgit and Baltistan) to Pakistan. British and Americans partitioned India by creating Pakistan on the North West borders in order to use the Northern command headquarters of pre-partition Indian Army as a resistance base to fight the Soviet Red Army which had occupied Iran (Operation Countenance) as well as Afghanistan by the time Second World War was over. Nehru and Gandhi declined the offer of the British of giving them the North West military base to be used against Soviets during the Cold War. Nehru and several other Indian politicians were friends of the Communists who saw the USSR as a direct resistance to the Western Capitalist Imperialism.

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