‘Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India unquestionable’

September 19th, 2008 - 2:00 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) A group of intellectuals and strategic experts have declared that the legal validity of Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India cannot be questioned and was in accordance with the popular will. “There is no basis on which any change in the political status of Jammu and Kashmir could be considered. The UN itself has accepted that in the vastly changed circumstances the UN Resolutions of 1948 and 1949 are no longer relevant,” they said in a statement released Thursday.

The signatories to the statement include Essel group chairman Subhash Chandra, Maj Gen Afsir Karim (retd), former Intelligence Bureau director Ajit Doval, journalist M.J. Akbar, former home secretary Anil Baijal, former diplomat G. Parthasarthy, Lt. General R.K. Sahwney (retd), Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi (retd) and Vikram Sood, a former head of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

They said that like the other states included in the First Schedule of the Indian constitution, Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India and will remain so.

The signatories said they issued the statement after “some stray voices” in the media questioned India’s right to retain Jammu and Kashmir, the country’s only Muslim majority state.

Jammu and Kashmir is at the core of a dragging dispute between India and Pakistan. India controls the southern two third of the state and Pakistan the northern third.

The statement asked Pakistan to vacate the areas of Jammu and Kashmir, saying it had occupied it “through aggression”.

The signatories added that Jammu and Kashmir was “an inalienable element of India’s identity and symbolises the fundamental principles on which the modern Indian state has been built.

“Detractors of secular, democratic India tend to forget that the overwhelming majority of Indian Muslims, who constitute over 15 percent of the population, has absolutely no sympathy for the partisan few who still fan a tired idea called secession,” said the statement.

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