Kashmir Demands Bold Action
|Vol. III, No. 31 March 32, 1950 Annas Four – Air Mail-/4/6|
The long drawn Kashmir drama has entered a crucial stage with the acceptance of the latest Security Council resolution by Bharat. The mediator who will be soon appointed on the basis of this resolution to replace the U.N.C.I.P. is expected to go ahead with the demilitarization clause of the resolution which is to be completed within five months. Whether the would-be-mediator will succeed where the five member Kashmir commission singularly failed is yet to be seen. But one thing is clear. This resolution is based on the McNaughton proposals which Bharat recently rejected.
Recognition to Azad Kashmir
The original complaint of Bharat that Pakistan has violated her territory by invading the Jammu and Kashmir State which had become a integral part of Bharat legally and constitutionally by virtue of the accession and that U.N.O. should ask her to withdraw her troops from the Bharatiya territory has been completely pushed into the background. Gilgit-Bargaining Counter:-
But what is even more important is that the control of these areas has put Pakistan in the possession of the much coveted strategic area of Gilgit, which she has been successfully using as a bargaining counter with Anglo-American bloc against Bharat.
The Real Question
So the real question that remains is the future of the Bharat held part of the Jammu and Kashmir State. There cannot be any doubt about the future of Jammu and Ladakh plebiscite or no plebiscite. They have their strategic importance too. Ladakh is a window of Bharat opening into Tibet and China. But so far as U. S. A. is concerned it is Gilgit and not Ladakh which can serve her purpose. So U. S. A. can be expected to be indifferent to the fate of Jammu and Ladakh.
But that is not the case with Kashmir valley. This beautifull land inhabited by 15 lakh Kashmiris and surrounded on all sides by high mountains is coveted both by Pakistan as also by the Anglo-Americans. Pakistan wants it because majority of its people happen to be Muslims and also because, besides its natural beauty, it has enough property and bungalows of Hindus to provide Pakistani barons with pleasure houses to supplement their spoils of partition in the plains of Punjab and Sindh. Anglo-Americans want Kashmir valley to serve a resting ground for the American officers and men who would mean the military bases at Gilgit.They therefore want it in safe hands.
So the Kashmir problem in the ultimate analysis in the present circumstances is the problem of the future of Kashmir valley. Bharat saved its people from the tribal and Pakistan hordes when their leader Sheikh Abdullah appealed for help. Bharat has been spending crores of rupees and spilling the blood of the flower of her man-hood since then to protect them.
Bharat, therefore, naturally has a claim on the loyalties of Kashmir. culturally, geographically and historically to the value of Kashmir is and has always been a valued part of Bharat. These natural bonds have been strengthened during the last two years by the sacrifices made by the people of Bharat for Kashmir. Therefore the question of Kashmir valley going the way of Galgit of Mirpur cannot be entertained by any patriotic Bharatiya.
But it can be retained only if Bharat is ready to take a bold stand. Pakistan wants it and is prepared to go to any length to achieve that objective. She seems to be confident of the support… open or secret… of the Anglo-American bloc. Militarily Pakistan as regards the Kashmir valley is very strong. She controls both ends of the Burzi pass which connects Kashmir valley with Gilgit as also some villages within the valley itself. With her military and air bases at Gilgit she can make a dangerous thrust into the Kashmir valley at any time.
There can be no doubt that Pakistan will exploit this strategic advantage to gain her ends in Kashmir as soon as she completes her warlike preparations.
A Difficult Choice
Bharat is thus confronted by a difficult choice in Kashmir valley. Either she must be prepared to fight the Pakistani aggressors not in the Kashmir alone where they have so many advantages over us but also in the plains as well or she must be prepared for the loss of Kashmir valley like that of Gilgit and Baltistan. It is no doubt a difficult choice. Stalemate is no remedy. Bharat must act with all her might and save not only Kashmir but also East-Begal which according to Pt. Nehru, issue in the Pakistani plans.