THE Princely States of India, including Jammu & Kashmir State, were on the agenda of partition of India in 1947, is a travesty of history and a part of diplomatic offensive, Pakistan has launched to mislead the international opinion about its claim to Jammu & Kashmir. Distortion of the history of the partition of India, false propaganda and lies, shroud the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India in 1947, as well as the exclusion of the State from the Indian Constitutional organisation by virtue of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution in 1950.
The creation of two Dominions of India and Pakistan was restricted to the division of British India and the separation of the British Indian provinces of Sindh, Baluchistan, North-west Frontier Province, the Muslim majority contiguous regions of the province of the Punjab, the Muslim majority eastern region of the province of Bengal, along with the Muslim majority regions of the Hindu majority province of Assam.
After the June 3 Declaration of 1947, the States Department of the Government of India was divided into two sections: the Indian Section which was placed under Sardar Vallabhai Patel and the Pakistan Section which was placed under Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar of the Muslim League.
The Instrument of Accession drawn up by the Indian Section laid down two sets of terms and procedures, one for the larger princely States and the other for the smaller princely States. It is important to note here that the States were provided no option, except to accede to India on the terms and conditions laid down by Indian Section, or to accede to Pakistan on the terms and conditions laid down by the Pakistan Section of the Indian States Department.
Pakistan had no special claim to Jammu and Kashmir on the basis of the Muslim majority composition of its population. As already mentioned, the Muslim League strongly opposed any suggestion to recognise the right of the people of the princely States to determine the future of the States. It was only when Pakistan failed to grab Jammu and Kashmir after it invaded the State in October 1947, and the Indian military action frustrated its designs to swallow Hyderabad and Junagarh, that Pakistan raised the bogey of self-determination of the Muslims of the State of Jammu and Kashmir on the basis of their numerical majority.
The Instrument of Accession was executed by the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir State on the terms specified by the Dominion of India. Neither the ruler of the State, Maharaja Hari Singh, nor the National Conference leaders played any role in the determination of the terms the Instrument of Accession underlined.
While Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah held talks with a number of Muslim League leaders of the Punjab, who had come to Srinagar after his release, he sent two senior most leaders of the National Conference, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad and Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq, to Pakistan to open talks with Muslim League leaders. Jinnah spurned the offer of reconciliation the National Conference leaders made and refused to meet the emissaries. Sadiq was still in Pakistan when Pakistan invaded the State during the early hours of October 22, 1947.
Hari Singh upturned the whole game-plan of Pakistan. While the invading army spread across the State, Hari Singh sent his Prime Minister, Mehar Chand Mahajan to Delhi to seek help to save his State from the invasion and offered accession of the State with India. Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah had already reached Delhi. He made no secret of the danger the State faced and asked Nehru to lose no time in accepting the accession and ensuring the speedy dispatch of Indian troops to the State. The instrument of Accession was taken to Jammu by V.P. Menon, where it was signed by the Maharaja. Menon then rushed back to Delhi and got the Instrument accepted by Mountbatten. Next day, the air-borne troops of the Indian Army reached Srinagar. On November1, 1947, the Gilgit Scouts, a local Muslim militia rose by the British for the defences of Gilgit Agency, revolted and declared the accession of Gilgit Agency to Pakistan.
Hari Singh laid no conditions for the accession of the State to India. The National Conference leaders were nowhere in the process of the Accession of the State, to lay down any condition for the accession of the State to India. The Congress leaders including Nehru made no promises to the National Conference leaders. The terms of the Instrument of Accession were not altered in any respect by the Viceroy.
The Instrument of Accession was an act performed by the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir to unite his domains with the State of India. Mountbatten, in his capacity as last Viceroy and first Governor General of India, had only one power in this respect: to accept the Instrument of Accession executed by the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir.
The withdrawal of the invading army of Pakistan from territories of the State under its occupation was the precedent condition, laid down by Mountbatten, Nehru and the Security Council, for any reference to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
National Conference leaders demanded the exclusion of Jammu and Kashmir from the Indian constitutional organization in the summer of 1949, when the Constituent Assembly of India was in the midst of framing the Constitution of India. This was the time when foreign power intervention in Jammu and Kashmir had just begun to have its effect on the deliberations of the Security Council as well as the developments in the State. Pakistan refused to withdraw its forces from the occupied territories of the State. It has so far distorted the discourse regarding the accession of the State to suit its denial.