Status of Indian and Pakistani armies in Jammu and Kashmir(part2)

June 17th, 2009 - 12:28 pm ICT by ANI  

The Maharaja requested help from India, and signed an accession treaty on 26th October 1947, which was ‘provisionally’ accepted by the government of India. In line with the request of the Maharaja the Indian forces landed in Srinagar on 27th October 1947. Their primary purpose was to save the State from the invaders; and protect ‘life’, ‘liberty’ and ‘property’.

So Dr Nazir Gilani’s contention is that the Indian army did not invade the State, rather they went there on the request of the Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, and went there to protect the state from invasion. They had a specific role to perform in the State. What they did there, wrong as it might be, does not change the legal position of the army’s presence.

In reply to some of the criticism, in my next article - It is a matter of perspective- I said: ‘He (Dr Nazir Gilani) is entitled to express his opinion and defend it. Others have a right to accept it, remain silent or challenge it. Question, however, is if the Indian army, using Dr Nazir Gilani’s phrase, is not ‘an occupying force’ then logically it is a ‘legal force’. If that is so, then what is the problem? Why people of Kashmir are complaining and protesting?

I don’t know how many takers there will be for this argument in Jammu and Kashmir, and especially on the Indian side of the LOC. Also I don’t know how many people will direct their wisdom and experience to elaborate this point to the satisfaction of those who have serious grievances.

Another friend and a colleague in struggle, Mumtaz Khan, also cared to read that article and made the following comments: ‘The other point that didn’t fit into nationalistic profile of Shabir Sahib when he specifically sought opinion of Valley people on the observations of Gilani Sahib that is very much against the very essence of nationalism especially what Shabir Sahib believe in entire state Jammu and Kashmir as single entity but trying to localize it which opponent forces normally practice to keep this division alive. I do not mean to doubt his intentions but words normally create such impression’.

Perhaps my friend didn’t read carefully to note that I never used the word ‘Valley’ in that paragraph. I said: ‘I don’t know how many takers there will be for this argument in Jammu and Kashmir, and especially on the Indian side of the LOC’. Jammu and Kashmir does not mean the ‘Valley’. Similarly the phrase ‘on the Indian side of the LOC’ does not stand for the ‘Valley’.

Anyhow the fact is that many parts of the State have no complaints from the presence of the Indian army. For example, people of Gilgit and Baltistan have no problem with the Indian army. I have spoken to some leaders from Gilgit and Baltistan on the topic; they clearly have no problem from the Indian army. However their problem is related to the presence of the Pakistan army in Gilgit and Baltistan and many regard it as an army of occupation.

Similarly people of Ladakh have no problem with the presence of the Indian army in Jammu and Kashmir. I have spoken to many people from Jammu, and they seem to have no serious issue with the presence of the Indian army. However they had a serious problem with the presence of militants, many of them non Kashmiris, in parts of the Jammu region and wanted the Indian army to root them out.

Majority of people of Pakistani Administered Kashmir criticise what their brothers and sisters have to endure in the Valley, but have no direct problem with the presence of the Indian army (cross border skirmishes and firing created problems for the people, but that generally happened when there was infiltration taking place or when there was tension on the LOC which is manned by the Pakistan army from the other side).

That leaves us with the Valley of Kashmir, main part of the State in many ways; and which has faced wrath of the Indian army since 1989. The Indian army’s relationship with the Valley has been different from other areas of the State; hence majority of the people, especially in 1990s regarded the Indian army as ‘army of occupation’. I was referring to this fact rather than undermining struggle for unification and independence of the State, which has always been close to my heart.

After this explanation it would be pertinent to analyse the legal status of the Pakistani army in some parts of the State. Unlike the Indian army, the Pakistani army was never invited by a Ruler or any legitimate authority to enter the territory of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Under terms of the Standstill Agreement, Pakistan was responsible for providing certain non military services which the government of the Punjab provided during the British Raj.

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