Chapter 7: The Irrelevance of the
The genesis of Pakistan's
interference in Jammu and Kashmir lies in its claims that India was partitioned
on the basis of religion and therefore the Muslim majority state of Jammu
and Kashmir should be part of Pakistan. This pernicious "two nation" theory
based on religious bigotry was thrown into the dustbin of history several
The majority population of erstwhile East Pakistan
seceded in 1971 despite commonalty of religion. Sectarian and ethnic riots
between Sindhis, Punjabis, Pathans, Mohajirs or Muslim migrants from India
are endemic in Pakistan. Pakistan refuses to accept the approximately 200,000
co-religionist "Bihari Muslims" currently in Bangladesh who have always
considered themselves to be citizens of Pakistan.
In the partition of India, therefore, all that
happened was that some Muslim majority areas of British India took the
character of a separate political entity. The Indian States were left free
to decide. The founder of Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, had said on June
17, 1947 that the rulers of the States had the right to decide on accession.
The ruler of Jammu and Kashmir chose to accede to India.
PAKISTAN'S TERRITORIAL AMBITIONS
Pakistan's harping on self-determination today,
against the principles advocated by the founders of Pakistan, against the
UN Charter principles of self- determination which are meant to apply to
colonial territories and not to integral parts of countries, and several
decades after the issue has been settled, are only a cover for its territorial
ambitions. The principles being espoused by Pakistan pose several dangers
to several countries in the world where multi- ethnic and multi-religious
societies co-exist. Pakistan's adventurist posture on Kashmir is also an
attempt to externalize its internal crises characterized by sectarian riots,
daily killings of Muslims, narco-terrorism, proliferation of weapons, drug
addiction, unstable power equations at central and provincial levels, a
rising crime rate including daily murders, abductions and violence. Pakistan
has no locus standi in Jammu and Kashmir. It has no right to demand at
a conference table what it tried illegally, and in violation of the UN
Charter, to secure at its own chosen forum, the battlefield, and lost.
In a diverse country like India, disaffection
and discontent are not uncommon. Indian democracy has the necessary resilience
to accommodate genuine grievances within the framework of its Constitution,
sovereignty, unity and integrity. The situation is capable of a solution
within this framework in Kashmir. The government is willing to accommodate
the legitimate political demands of the Kashmiri people. However, the Pakistani-sponsored
terrorists have terrorized the population and are hindering any political
dialogue. Anybody who tries to initiate a dialogue is silenced. It is this
terrorism, and the kidnappings and killings of innocent people by terrorists,
that constitute the real violation of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir.
The State agencies which are attempting to maintain law and order have
acted with much greater restraint than has been the case with many other
governments in similar situations. The Government of Pakistan, for instance,
used its Air Force to bomb its own citizens in Baluchistan in 1973 and
tackled that situation at an estimated cost of 8,500 civilian and 3,000
Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.
Pakistan's covert and overt actions, instigating terrorism and mounting
propaganda against India, will not change the situation.