Farooq Abdullah’s irresponsible statement on PoJK has received sharp criticism from all quarters as even the UN resolution established the fact that Pakistan was an aggressor
Sant Kumar Sharma
Once again, former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir Dr Farooq Abdullah has stirred a controversy by saying that Pakistan occupied Jammu-Kashmir (PoJK) was a part of Pakistan. The part of the State which was in the control of India was the territory of India. There can hardly be anything more shocking and far from truth than Dr Abdullah’s claim.
“We have always held that Kashmir is an integral part of India. This has been our unequivocal stand on the issue. We hold that the whole of Kashmir, including the areas occupied by Pakistan, is an integral part of the country”
— Nitish Kumar, CM of Bihar
Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession of the State of Jammu & Kashmir on October 26, 1947, and decided to join the Dominion of India. He signed the accession for all territories of his state and this included areas of PoJK, then under attack of Pakistan and its proxies, named as kabailis. This accession was for every inch of the territory of J&K, including Gilgit and Baltistan.
It should be clear that legally the territories of J&K are as they stood on August 14, 1947, before Pakistan emerged as a new nation on the world map. Where then is the question of PoJK being a part of Pakistan? Incidentally, there was absolutely no provision for a piecemeal parcelling of any Princely state in the India Independence Act 1947. So, the question of any part of J&K being a part of Pakistan just does not arise.
“Farooq Abdhulla ji, Salaam! Totally agree with you,sir. J&K is ours, and PoK is theirs. This is the only way we can solve our problem. Accept it, I am 65 years old and I want to see Pakistan before I die. I want my children to see their roots. Bas karva Dijiye”
— Rishi Kapoor in a tweet
“NC-Congress could not tolerate the smooth working of BJP-PDP coalition and out of frustration their leaders are making unnecessary statements to provoke public of J&K. Farooq Abdullah wants to grab power in whatever way he can”
— MLC Vibodh Gupta
According to the Constitution of J&K, Section 3 defines “Relationship of the State with the Union of India’’ and it says: The State of J&K is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India.
In Section 4 of this Constitution is defined the “Territory of the State” and it reads: The territory of the State shall comprise all the territories which on the fifteenth day of August, were under the sovereignty or suzerainty of the Ruler of the State. In fact, if we go a bit further and read the Constitution of J&K more, we find that there is a provision for reservation of seats in the Legislative Assembly for PoJK areas. This provision of reservation of 24 seats has been there since the Constitution came into being.
It was by virtue of this State Constitution that Dr Abdullah became the Chief Minister (CM) for the first time on September 8, 1982. Subsequently, he was sworn in more than once as CM to uphold this Constitution and defend it. Earlier, it was under this Constitution that his father, Sheikh Abdullah, had become the CM in 1975 when his deputy, Mirza Afzal Beigh had held parleys with Parthasarthy who represented then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during the talks. Again, it was under the aegis of this very Constitution that Dr Abdullah’s son, Omar Abdullah, had become the CM on January 5, 2009.
Going back to history of the State, we need to be clear that accession was to be signed by the ruler/s and by that act of signing, all the rulers were free to either join India, or Pakistan. A ruler could not divide his State into two or more parts, and decide to accede part of territory to one country and the other. The ruler had to go with his entire territory to either India or Pakistan. That was the legal provision which is relevant to our discussions here and applied uniformly to over 560 rulers that joined India. As also to those who chose to be with Pakistan.
Pak Back-Stabbed India
In the exercise of this sovereign right, Maharaja Hari Singh had joined India. After signing the document of accession, all his territories became territories of India. Since Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, Kotli, Gilgit-Baltistan were all parts of his territories, all these entities became a part of India on October 26, 1947.
It is another matter that by then, Pakistan had treacherously backstabbed the Maharaja and launched a massive attack on his territories. Simultaneously, at many places these attacks were launched with the help of Pakistan Army and its regular troops participated directly in all these actions. All these parts of Jammu & Kashmir have been illegally occupied by Pakistan since then. There is not an iota of doubt that all these parts were ceded to India and belong to the country.
Now comes the question why Dr Abdullah made such a false statement which has no basis in law, which is contrary to the facts and smacks of a seditious utterance. People who are familiar with his irresponsible style of functioning attribute it to frustration born out of the fact that his party, National Conference (NC), is out of power.
As the ageing patriarch of the NC, he has the responsibility of trying to prove before his cadres that he still has relevance. What easier way then is there to prove his relevance by making an irresponsible and seditious statement? He chose the easy way out, of making a very objectionable statement and showing absolute contempt to the Parliament where he represents Srinagar-Budgam constituency.
Further, J&K-watchers say that by making such a statement, Dr Abdullah hoped to keep the pot boiling in J&K. Suddenly, this statement regarding PoJK has brought him into the centre-stage, for all the wrong reasons, and helped galvanise his party cadres. The cadres can now marvel at his ingenuity, falsehood and the knack for making news.
Undoubtedly, this has brought him into sharper focus from all quarters, both at the national and even international level. By the mere act of uttering an untruth in a brazen manner, Dr Abdullah has succeeded in forcing everyone to take note of him. Otherwise, before this falsehood was uttered, he was in the oblivion. Questions are being asked about his lack of connect with the masses as only seven per cent people had participated in the by-election in which he became MP. It is unfortunate that this statement comes from someone who is supposedly well-versed with legal position and sensitivities involved. It is pertinent to recall that on February 22, 1994, Parliament had unanimously passed a resolution on PoJK. It had then reiterated that Pakistan must vacate all territories of J&K it was occupying illegally. Also that India reserved all rights, including use of all means at its command, to get these territories vacated.
In the strongly-worded statement, Parliament had underlined the nefarious role Pakistan had been
playing in “imparting training to terrorists in camps” and of “the supply of weapons and funds, assistance in infiltration of trained militants, including foreign mercenaries into J&K with the avowed purpose of creating disorder, disharmony and subversion’’.
The resolution had pointed out that “The Indian political and democratic structures and the Constitution provide for firm guarantees for the promotion of human rights of all of its citizens’’.
“The State of J&K has been, is and shall be an integral part of India and any attempts to separate it from the rest of the country will be resisted by all necessary means,’’ Indian Parliament had said on that historical day.
Pakistan has been in illegal possession of PoJK and gained control of this area through aggression. So, Dr Abdullah’s irresponsible statement regarding PoJK is totally uncalled for and hence invited sharp criticism from many quarters.
(The writer is J&K-based senior journalist)
Parliament Resolution on Jammu & Kashmir
Following increase in terrorist violence and Pakistan’s attempts to highlight the Kashmir dispute, both Houses of the Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution on February 22, 1994, emphasising that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India, and that Pakistan must vacate parts of the State under its occupation. The text of the resolution follows
“This House notes with deep concern Pakistan’s role in imparting training to the terrorists in camps located in Pakistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, the supply of weapons and funds, assistance in infiltration of trained militants, including foreign mercenaries into Jammu and Kashmir with the avowed purpose of creating disorder, disharmony and subversion: