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Jammu And Kashmir's Document Of Accession In Public Domain At Last

Discussion in 'Defence Analysis' started by NKVD, Oct 27, 2016.

  1. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    My interest for now is the period between the drafting of the Instrument and its signing, from August to October, 1947. Who sat on this for so long and why?
     
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  2. scorpionx

    scorpionx POLITICAL ANALYST

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    Shortly after announcing his 3rd June plan, Mountbatten visited Kashmir and he 'went on so far as to tell the Maharajah that, if he acceded to Pakistan, India would not take it amiss and that he had a firm assurance on this from Sardar Patel himself. But Hari Singh was so shocked at the demise of the prospect of Independence that (His heir Karan Singh writes) 'instead of taking advantage of Mountbatten's visit to discuss the whole situation meaningfully and trying to arrive at a rational decision, he first sent the Viceroy out on a prolonged fishing trip to Thricker (where Mountbatten shocked our stuff by sun-bathing in the nude) and then -having fixed a meeting just before his departure -got out of it on the plea that he had suddenly developed a severe attack of collic...Thus the last real chance of working out a viable political settlement was lost."

    V.P. Menon, the secretary of the State department writes, "If truth to be told I for one had simply no time to think of Kashmir". In the special session of the Chamber of the Princes on 25th July, where the draft of Instrument of accession and the revised original draft of the standstill agreement was circulated among Princes, the Maharaja of Kashmir was not invited. Patel was more concerned about the 'basket of Princes' as it was promised by Mountbatten which was about to add 500,000 square miles into Indian dominion. He was more flexible on Kashmir before the news of the tribal raid came to his knowledge.

    Immediately after 15th August, Lord Ismay visited kashmir and when he referred to the Muslim population of Kashmir, the Maharajah replied that the Kashmiri Muslims were very different from the Punjabi Muslims; 'All he would talk about was Polo in Cheltenham in 1935 and the prospect of his colt in the Indian Derby.'

    In the meantime, growing restless, Pakistan cut off supplies of essential commodities, food, petrol. Railway service between Jammu and Sialkot was stopped. Hit and run border raids ensued. The State force was dispersed on a 450 mile long border making a thin defense against the sporadic raids without adequate reserve. On 15th October, Meher Chand Mahajan sent a complain to the British Prime Minister that Pakistan has violated the stand still agreement by discontinuing essential supplies and transit services. On 18th October a protest was placed before Governor General and Prime Minister of Pakistan. Jinnah on 20th attributed the delay in supply to the 'widespread disturbances in East Punjab and the disruption of Communications caused thereby particularly by the shortage of coal'.

    Rest are pretty known. On 22nd raiders advanced from Abbottabad along the Jhelum valley road. On 24th Mahura Power house was captured, cutting off power supply to Srinagar. On the same day GoI receives an appeal for help from HS. On 25th Menon reached Srinagar to study the situation. Maharajah and his family left for Jammu that evening. Menon left Srinagar on 26th Morning early and went straight to defense committee meeting. Soon after the meeting Menon left for Jammu where the IoA was signed and HS composed a letter describing the plight of his state and the request for immediate military help.

    Hope it helps.
     
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  3. VCheng

    VCheng RIDER GEO STRATEGIC ANALYST

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    Yes, that helps. Thank you. But I am sure more facts would be revealed, specially from witnesses present at the actual signing, if historical archives were made more accessible.

    The more one examines the history, the more clear it becomes that much lack of effort went into the creation of this Gordian knot to vex South Asia for a long time.
     
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  4. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    I didn't want to interrupt your masterful and precise handling of the issue, @scorpionx , but am taking the liberty of adding a few pencilled shades.

    There has always been some question in people's minds as to why Mountbatten ruled that a subsequent plebiscite would be needed. The theories going the rounds are:
    1. At that point of time, he had information about the disturbed state of west Jammu, aka Azad Kashmir, or POK, and didn't want to commit to holding on to a reluctant territory. Patel (our subsequent information seems to indicate) was quite easy about Kashmir going to Pakistan, provided nobody came between him and Hyderabad, which was giving him and the GoI a lot of trouble with no foundation for anything other than accession to India. It has to be said that on these issues of the accession of the states to either Pakistan or India, Jinnah's hitherto patrician aloofness from partisan views failed, and his responses with regard to Kashmir, Jodhpur, Junagadh and Hyderabad were strange, to say the least.
    2. Since Mountbatten and Patel were more or less of the same mind, to let Kashmir go if required, what are we to make of the revelation from Patel's daughter's memoirs that the old man wanted Kashmir at any cost, even at the cost of a full-blown war? It does not seem that the plebiscite had anything to do with him. Regarding where his views lay, we probably have to balance his fierce opposition to Pakistan against his finely-honed sense of realpolitik, and we have to understand that he had private views as well as public compromises for the sake of getting on with it.
    3. A very interesting possibility, which has real heft to it, is Sheikh Abdullah's nervousness about his own position. At this point of time, the Maharaja, described by you as preferring independence, but willing to consider accession to India as a last resort, was actually in a far more confused state of mind than you have allowed. At that very point, Ram Chandra Kak had been to see Jinnah to explore possibilities of joining Pakistan; there was a strong political support, from Muzaffarabad, of the revived Muslim Conference, a break-away group from the Sheikh's National Conference that wanted Pakistan at all costs, and had actually mounted a successful armed insurgency, for Pakistan; the Sheikh was himself in prison, and not allowed to use the full force of the Congress to set off a mine under the Maharaja. There is a strong possibility that the Sheikh revived his demand for a plebiscite that would enable him to seal his domination over Kashmiri politics by an outright victory, since his numbers in the Valley, and with Jammu taken into account,would have exceeded the population of the Mirpur belt (for Pakistanis, Azad Kashmir, for us, POK) AND Gilgit put together. It is possible that the idea of a plebiscite was a direct descendant of the Sheikh's demand for one that he made to corner the Maharaja and make him choose as the Sheikh wanted him to choose: for India.
    It is not for nothing that the Sheikh showed himself to be obsessed with the idea of a plebiscite. It was his idea, and he wanted to use it to carve out his domination of the principality's politics, and he was confident of winning it.

    This is a possibility that has to be borne in mind; we cannot rule it out altogether. More in my response to your subsequent note.

    @VCheng
     
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  5. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    @scorpionx

    Another masterly presentation. May I add the beauty spots?

    What is presented above is the standard, 'canonical' view of Kashmiri events at the time of Independence. It is not complete. None of our accounts deal adequately with either the great uprising of the Sudans of Sudnouti, the massacre of Muslims in Jammu or the mutiny-cum-revolt of the Gilgit people (the Baltis were kicked around like a football and never got to put in their own point of view).

    In reality, the highly militarised people of the Mirpur belt, very many of whom had joined the British Indian Army for the duration of the war, and had been discharged in 1945, rose in revolt, and had thrown off the Maharaja's rule by September. The declaration of Azad Kashmir from a location safely within Pakistan was farcical; the actions of the Mirpuris on the ground were not. They snatched firearms from the outnumbered States' Forces, and launched ferocious attacks, using both looted guns and those supplied by the Pakistan Army, and generally completely wiped out the administration from their district and its neighbouring ones. Poonch fell, and Rajauri, the latter subjected to rape, looting and murder greater than that which took place in Baramula.

    The 'raiders' came across in bulk after this, although this phase also had an amalgam of insurrectionists, mutinied soldiers from the Maharaja's state forces, officers of the Pakistan Army 'on leave' and genuine terror tourists from the frontier.
     
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  6. Hembo

    Hembo OLD MOD STAR MEMBER

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    Wow, gold mine!!! What a great place to discuss Kashmir sans the usual chest thumping from both sides on you-know-where..

    What kept the Indians to outrun the western sector as well (AJK/ PoK part) both in 1948 & later to at-least keep the loose end tied once and for all... Wasn't it one of Nehru's many grand blunders?

    @Joe Shearer , @scorpionx
     
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  7. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    LOL.

    In case you hadn't come across this before, this was where some of the pitched battles took place in 47-48. This is where the legendary Brigadier Usman became a martyr; Pakistan had first offered him everything including the moon and star on their flag, and when he wouldn't budge, they put a bounty on his head. This is the phase when the IA won back Rajauri and Poonch, but were fought to a standstill by the PA coming in in strength. It is a myth that we were going to sweep through the whole of Kashmir with a whoop and a holler; in reality, there were grim battles in western Jammu. Leh was knocked off due to a coup-de-main; Stuart tanks were dismantled (look them up, these were the original light tanks, smaller and lighter than Shermans, affectionately nicknamed 'Honey' by their operators, so people still think Honey is part of their Army nomenclature) in Pathankot (I think; I'm writing this without notes) flown to Srinagar in Dakotas, and re-assembled.

    If you get a chance, go to the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh road which goes through Zoji La. Once you've cleaned yourself up - you'll understand what I mean when you drive that way - try to imagine two artillery pieces parked at the top of the pass, blowing everything to smithereens. The Pakistanis had planted them there, and gone on in strength to surround Leh - sometime we'll talk about who defended Leh; it's a romantic story, the stuff that any half-way decent Bollywood producer should have fallen on with screams of delight, instead of making exaggerated films about 'Border' - serene in their confidence that nothing could pass Zoji La. And nothing could either, until one misty morning, the gunners rubbed their eyes in disbelief as they saw a small column of - was it armoured tanks? Bloody hell, they were tanks! - and were prised loose from their vantage positions. When they reported this to their superiors, they were clouted, until to the horror of everyone, those monsters actually clanked their way down the mountain. Incidentally, during their attack on the pass, they were pushed, they did not move on their own, by the PBI (ask @Hellfire or @vstol jockey ).

    The commander of the tank squadron was one Rajinder Singh Sparrow; it is interesting to find out from accounts of the 65 jhamela what he finally landed up doing.

    One could go on and on, including the famous Air Force story of how an IAF pilot, finding himself (and his squadron) short of spares, flew across to Pakistan, spoke to his old WWII mates, who welcomed him in, and flew back with the spares they needed. Those were different days; they didn't cut off the heads of soldiers then.
     
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  8. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Till about mid 70s, Pak Army was a very professional army. There are instances where the commendation for a medal for gallantry were written by opposing forces. In case of Lt. Col. Tarapore, PVC, Pak Army gave him the title of Fahkr-e-hind or Pride of India. Those scotch drinking generals of PA were man of honour compared to the third rate jihadists that now have.
    Kashmir was lost even before IA landed in Srinagar. A large number of muslim soldiers of Maharaja Hari Singh just hoisted the Pak flag and changed loyalty to Pakistan. Gilgit, Baltistan, Scardu were lost without even a bullet being fired. Whatever Kashmir we have today is what we have retaken from Pakistan. The ceasefire in Jan 1949 was the first thing to happen to Kashmir. Pakistan had running out of ammo and money to support the battle and in the summers of 1949, IA was poised for a major offensive to retake whole of Kashmir and Gigit-baltistan. But for Nehru, we had a cease fire.
     
  9. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Sir,

    I hope you won't have me shot at dawn tomorrow morning. That was what the Indian Army itself called Poona Horse, Tarapore's regiment. He was part of the Nizam's state forces, and actually fought the PH during the 'police action' . Later, when the Hyderabad State Forces were merged with the Indian Army, he left his original regiment, 1st Lancers, and joined the Poona Horse. His first few days were very, very difficult!!!

    He rose to be the CO, and led it from the front in 65. The Pakistanis were mildly derisive of the Poona Horse title, but sobered up VERY quickly.

    You mentioned the loss of Kashmir. Gilgit was lost with many, many bullets fired. After declaring for Pakistan (this was November 47), Major Brown imprisoned the Governor of the Maharaja's administration, and led a column down towards the passage through which the state troopers were to come. He destroyed the entire column in an ambush, which the oncoming Sikhs and Dogras of the State forces had no idea was going to be sprung, or even that they were facing hostile forces. Later Ibex Force and Tiger Force, comprising Gilgit Guides and the Mehtar of Chitral's state forces (Chitral was a vassal state of Kashmir but declared for Pakistan and was gladly accepted - more of the very peculiar behaviour about princely states that was displayed by one side), marched down and invested Skardu. The Gilgit Guides, being light infantry (actually, more of frontier constabulary), failed to take the town; the Chitral forces, who contributed artillery, finally did it (early weeks of 48).

    To read that Skardu was lost without a shot being fired is very, very painful. The gallant Gurkha Colonel from the State Forces, Sher Jung Thapa, held out until he and his troops were starved out. Kargil was also captured after a battle.

    There were plenty of bullets fired in Baltistan. First, the Pakistanis, mainly the State forces and Guides, captured Zoji La in May 48. Fortunately, anticipating this, the IA sent off Major Prithi Chand and 40 volunteers from the Dogras on 18 Feb 48 to march to defend Leh as a forlorn hope. I remember reading that Gopal Bewoor had something to do with this. They reached on 8 Mar and did what they could to put the defences into some order. Later a J&K State forces detachment managed to make their way through Zoji La before it fell. After that, first a company of 2/4 GR were airlifted, then another company of 2/8 GR, then in August another company; their CO, Lt. Col. Parab joined them on 23 Aug. The rest of the battalion joined them after a foot march from Manali to Leh (!!!!). Another bread and butter column, called the Chapati Column, joined the garrison in September. They managed to hold off the besiegers although short of ammunition, outnumbered and sick and exhausted.

    The attack on Zoji La was not just Rajinder Singh Sparrow, the Div Cdr. Timmy Thimmaiah was in the lead tank (yes, those were different days). Then 77 Para Brigade knocked off Matayan on 13 Nov 48, Dras on 15 Nov and Kargil on 24 Nov.

    With this relief in the offing, the Leh Brigade (as Parab's two and a half battalions were grandly named) broke out and chased the enemy out of the Shyok River and the Nubra Valley (those are the approaches to Siachen). Another column went down the south bank of the Indus to Lamayuru and then recaptured Kargil. A third branch advanced up the north bank to Marol, linked up with 77 Para Brigade and hit a jarring obstacle.

    It was at Mathatang, just 5 kms out of Marol that the Pakistanis put up a desperate stand, throwing themselves under the IA tank tracks to stop them. This stopped further effective progress; Skardu remained in Pakistani hands at the time of the ceasefire on 1 Jan 48.

    Gilgit and Baltistan saw very heavy fighting. The Indian Army was stopped in its tracks before Skardu. The ceasefire did not save the PA; we also had difficulties down south in the Poonch sector. Nehru may or may not have blundered, but it was not what is portrayed by romantics, the PA being saved in the nick of time by the ceasefire.

    Far from it.

    What you say is correct; except Jammu, what we have of Kashmir we won back, but it was not lost while not a bullet was fired. The State forces fought against huge odds as hard as men can. In the south, before the Sikhs landed in Srinagar, the initial resistance was entirely by the State Forces. The Brigadier in charge sent back his men from Baramula while fighting on to the bitter end himself, knowing, wounded that he was, that he had no hope of escape. His body was never found.
     
  10. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Sir,

    At one stage, I was keeping track, and I had a total of eight awards to Pakistani officers or ORs due to Indian recommendations; I am not aware of a single one in the opposite direction. I am not saying that the Pakistanis didn't play fair, it's just my observation. I have shared it on PDF, and caused great gnashing of teeth and knitting of eyebrows, but no one contradicted that. The latest was the young captain in the Kargil incident, who fought to the bitter end, surrounded though he was. To all those Pakistani fan-boys bending themselves into knots to pay homage to him (was he Lalak Jan?), I feel like saying, if we had not spoken up for him, he would never have been known.
     
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  11. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    What I meant was that Pakistan had won those areas without much of a fight as the muslim soldiers just joined the Pak army and the British Officers in Kashmir decided to support Pak army. Maharaja's forces were not able to put up a big fight except in a few areas.
     
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  12. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Yes, It is correct. I meant about tarapore and the title given to his unit by Pak Army. Also the title of Flying Sikh for Milkha Singh was given by FM Ayub Khan.
     
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  13. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Quite right, Sir, that happened in Poonch, the Muslim soldiers joining the rebels (not the Pakistan Army, not at first).

    There were just two British officers who helped the Pakistanis; they never joined the PA. Those were Major Brown and his assistant Commandant of the Gilgit Guides. They f**king mutinied; they were soldiers under oath to the Maharaja, to whom the Guides had been transferred. Brown got a Hilal-e-Pakistan, and - are you ready for this? - a CBE! He was sent off to Calcutta to work for an insurance company after he resigned, was recognised by some Sikhs, and assaulted and left for dead. I hate to say this, but he survived.

    The Maharaja's forces caved in in western Jammu; they fought to the last man on the Baramula front, and no soldier can do more. They were slaughtered in ambush in Gilgit, they defended Skardu doughtily until the Chitral artillery brought the walls tumbling down about their ears, they fought for Kargil, they defended Leh - what more could they have done? They held off the kabalis until the Sikhs reached, and then the Sikhs held them off till the rest of the Army reached. That was the central sector; there were different sectors in Jammu, where the effort was to relieve Rajauri, Poonch and Muzaffarabad, and the last one could not be done; there was the Baltistan-Ladakh sector, which saw very heavy fighting.

    None of it was one-sided. The PA wouldn't admit it, but they were actively involved once the kabalis were dispersed.
     
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  14. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    I really need to write my book; if only I could win a lottery ticket and get the money for the background and reference books!

    C'mon, Haidar Sahib, don't just sit there like a bump on a log! Find me a sponsor. I come cheap.
     
  15. scorpionx

    scorpionx POLITICAL ANALYST

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    There might be a fourth possibility, in my humble opinion. BlackOpsIndia asked similar question in the google group and what I replied to him is the following.

    "On 15th June 1947, AICC passed a resolution that stated, 'that the lapse (of paramountcy) does not lead to the independence of the states' and 'it is clear that the people of the states must have a dominating voice in any decisions regarding them'. This became official policy of the Govt. Of India after 15th August. On 25th July, Mountbatten addressed a special session with the chamber of Princes and 'He made it clear that though the rulers were technically at liberty to link with either of the dominions, there were certain geographical compulsions which could not be evaded.' and 'he concluded with the cogent appeal:You can not run away from the Dominion Government which is your neighbor any more than you can run away from the subjects for whose welfare you are responsible.'

    So it was our official policy to pursue rulers to accede India on the basis of geographical contiguity and the wishes of the subjects. It was not Pakistan's official policy. Ambiguity started to arise when rumors came of Junagadh's accession to Pakistan on 17th August.
    On 12th September Nehru sent a telegram to Liaqat Ali Khan stating that the population of Junagadh was overwhelmingly Hindu which makes it clear that they are opposed to the ruler's decision to accede to Pakistan. He also said,'dominion of India would be prepared to accept any democratic test in respect of the accession of the Junagadh state to either of the two dominions.'

    So technically, if we rejected the legitimacy of the rulers accession of Junagadh to Pakistan and adhered to the 'will of the state' principle it makes the adoption of similar principle in case of kashmir obligatory, otherwise India's official policy would have been charged of duplicity."

    PS: BTW, I am just amazed to read one after another masterpieces from you. I am saving them for future reference.
     
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