A Pakistani view of Obama’s Speech

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

President Obama’s landmark speech was extraordinary and unprecedented.  It marks a paradigm shift in US’ relationship with the Muslim world and is a recognition that our common earth needs to be saved from destruction and mindless violence.  President Obama is proving himself to be the change that he promised.  Yet  as a Pakistani I feel that the speech was delivered at the wrong forum in the wrong city.

Let us forget and forgive the president for his glaring omission of Kashmir which he had rightly identified as a major flashpoint on the world map during his campaign.   Even without Kashmir,  the speech would still have a far greater impact had it been delivered in Islamabad instead of Cairo.   Unlike Cairo where you have an unpopular but entrenched despot,  Islamabad has an embattled democratic government which is fighting perhaps the most important civil war in world history since the American civil war itself.  Infact its significance might be greater for it will determine the future of the entire Islamic civilization.  Obama’s presence in Islamabad would have bolstered that effort greatly. 

 And unlike Cairo,  Islamabad is the capital of the second largest Muslim country and population after Indonesia with 165 million Muslims within Pakistani borders.  Indeed most of the world’s Muslims live outside the Arab world.  Indonesia has more than 200 million,  Pakistan 165 million,   India has 145 million,   Bangladesh has 140 million.  Three of the major core Muslim majority countries are non-Arab-  Turkey, Iran and Pakistan.    Considering this,  Islamabad should have been the logical choice of this address.

 Obama spoke of the diversity of the Muslim world and of women’s rights. Unlike Cairo which is dominated by Sunni Islam and is ethnically homogenously Arab,  Islamabad is the capital of a state which is far more reflective of the diversity, both ethnic and sectarian.  Consider for example the fact that Pakistan has both the second largest Sunni (after Indonesia) and the second largest Shia populations (after Iran) of the world.  It is a land where many languages are spoken and many ethnicities live and its history is older than that of Egypt. As for women’s rights, it is Pakistan which as Obama himself pointed out elected a woman prime minister twice.   Islamabad and the rest of Pakistan was the scene of the lawyers’ movement,  a thoroughly secular movement for constitutionalism and fundamental rights- much of what Obama himself claims to uphold.   All this would have helped Obama underscore his message of common bonds with Islam much more than his performance in Egypt.  

Still a very important opportunity has been extended to us and we must clutch it with both hands.   Our common humanity dictates us to do so.

365 Comments

Filed under Pakistan

365 responses to “A Pakistani view of Obama’s Speech

  1. Majumdar

    Real issue is can he walk the talk. Can he do something substantive?

    Will he stop mollycoddling dictators in the Middle East esp the oil rich sheikdoms?
    Will he come honest about why exactly USA is in Iraq and A’stan (and no restoration of democracy and human rights has nothing to do with US involvement in either) and what USA intends to do there in the next few years?
    Can he get Israel to dismantle the illegal settlements and begin serious negotiations on the future of Gaza and Palestine?

    Regards

  2. Anwar

    Placebo!

  3. PatExpat

    Yvonne Ridley recently wrote an article “Obama’s magic” which hit the nail straight on the head and lays to rest all such articles

  4. Gorki

    Yasser Bhai:

    “President Obama’s landmark speech was extraordinary and unprecedented. It marks a paradigm shift in US’ relationship with the Muslim world and is a recognition that our common earth needs to be saved from destruction and mindless violence. President Obama is proving himself to be the change that he promised”

    Your above assessment is absolutely right.
    But I disagree with the following:

    “I feel that the speech was delivered at the wrong forum in the wrong city”.

    The reason for this is that one must remember two things that Obama is:
    1. A president of the United States only and also
    2. The nominal leader of the ‘Western civilization’

    also remeber the two things he is not:
    1. He is not the head of a World body like the UN
    2. He is not a leader of an umpire in all the conflicts involving the mankind.

    As a president of the US and a Western leader he was using the words Muslim but in terms of usage in the US Muslim and Arab is often used interchangeably the reason for this being from the American standpoint the tension between the Arabs and the Israelis is central to their own view of the world while Pakistan (and also India) is of a secondary concern for many reasons the most important of these being that many Americans (rightly or wrongly) consider themselves a party to the conflict over Palestine (just check out any number of right wing radio hosts spouting the pseudo geopolitical or religious mumbo jumbo such as the current conflict being the latest battle of the Judeo-Christian versus Islam clash of civilizations which started with the crusades or even more silly prophecies of the second coming of Christ after the Armageddon nonsense).

    Moreover as you mentioned that Pakistan may be the second most populous country of Muslims but from the US viewpoint, they do not see the Arab World as individual countries but more as a block of nations aligned together as a superblock (like the EU). Taken thus it clearly dwarfs any other Muslim cultural blocks.

    As a leader of the west (and not of the UN etc) Obama also realises that he is only a leader of one party to the conflict, not an independent judge. (I know US claims to be neutral but we all can dispense with the charade) US thus speaks as a leader of the block (Westeern nations and their protege; Israel) that is 50% of this conflict. He has laid out his opening bid; will agree to the road map and the ‘land for peace deal’ that the neo-cons had all but thrown in trash following the heady days of Saddam’s fall.

    Thus we in South Asia may feel we are very important; the view in Washington is very different. It does not care who is in charge in Kashmir. As long as we don’t blow up the World in our personal schoolyard fight, US could not care less if Kashmir fly an Indian flag, a Pakistani flag or that of the ‘Make believe republic of Kazakhstan”.
    Jerusalem on the other hand is a different ballgame all together. For example if one were to imagine that in a moment of insanity Obama declares that Jerusalem belongs to Palestine; he will be impeached before his plane can land in the Reagan airport.

    So with that back ground, does that mean that this speech is not serious?
    No. On the contrary it is the most important speech an American President has given after the end of the cold war. It is a serious offer of a truce to the Arab World; an offer of a partnership in which the West wants to discuss a new relationship based on mutual respect for each other’s values, tolerance of the different POV on matters of the faith. The deal depends on the Arab East rejecting terrorism as a strategy; rejects call for a violent jehad and isolates the extremists diehards who are bent on creating murder and mayhem on both sides.

    Where does that leave India and Pakistan? The US has no major issues with either of US as long as we don’t ,make this region unstable.
    If we are to resolve our differences it will be on our own inititative.

    Perhaps a bold opening gambit such as Obama’s to the Arabs is needed in our region. Such a gambit will likely have to come from India on the lies of an offer to sit down and calmly address all the issues that are left over from the partition and some more offers of cooperation provided Pakistan truely rejects the extremists and also the notion of a violent solution to any of these problems.

  5. Gorki

    YLH and all PTH readers:
    Kindly overlook the numerous mistakes in above since I have been typing in between working and receiving and answering calls etc. One glaring mistake may cause misunderstanding:

    the lies of an offer…= the lines of an offer…

    Thank you all in anticipation of a generous and understanding nature ;-).

  6. ylh

    Pat

    How does one take seriously someone who quotes Yvonne Ridley?

    Btw I responded to your comments on Jinnah v. Terrorist article.

  7. ylh

    Gorki the war is here not there…we are fighting the Taliban. Al Qaeda is based in Afghanistan.

  8. bonobashi

    @Gorki

    It must have been a really bad day. There are around 340 million Arabs, using the loosest definition, and that is totally overshadowed by Pakistan + India + Bangladesh, or even by Pakistan + India. Or, heck, Pakistan + Bangladesh (undershadowed, but you know what I mean).

    It has nothing to do with numbers.

  9. PatExpat

    ylh,

    of all the people, I did not expect you to use argumentum ad hominem against Yvonne Ridley. I believe she had some very valid points in her article. Anyway, to each his own.

    Regarding Jinnah vs. Terrorists, thank you for the reply, but I was just pointing out the fact that JUI supported creation of Pakistan at the time. With time and new developments, one can have always have a change of heart.

  10. yasserlatifhamdani

    Pat,

    As I pointed out on the board that the JUI-F actually is the erstwhile JUH and not Usmani’s JUI (the small faction which supported Pakistan) …so I am not sure what your point was except that that JUI-F has a confusingly similar name.

    As for Yvonne Ridley … I haven’t read the article but the way you twist things, I would have to see these “valid” points myself to determine how valid these are. In any event one wonders how Ridley’s article must have contested my contention that Obama should have chosen Islamabad as the venue…since you spoke of “articles like this”.

    I always knew Ridley was a joke. Now it seems so are those who read her.

  11. yasserlatifhamdani

    As I suspected Ridley’s article does not raise the issue of the venue of this speech.

    As for the article, it makes no valid points at all. A badly written abusive piece, Ridley and others like her – the apologists for Taliban who murder and main Pakistanis- are merely rambling now that the Pakistan Army is finally doing what it ought to have done a long time ago: protect Pakistan and its people.

    You talk of public opinion…all of Pakistan stands shoulder to shoulder against the Taliban except a few traitors and crooks, cranks and mad men.

    Yvonne Ridley has no locus standi to speak about Pakistan. She is a deeply disturbed and mentally unstable woman who ought to be confined to a insane assylum rather allowed to mouth off and jet around the world abusing people and making a mockery of journalism.

  12. yasserlatifhamdani

    “an insane assylum”

  13. yasserlatifhamdani

    Errata

    “maim”… “rather than allowed to”

  14. yasserlatifhamdani

    Btw another suicide bombing in a government hospital usedthe poor people and IDPs. It was the Rescue 15 building as in Lahore. Rescue 15 saves lives.

    I wonder what Taliban apologists and enemies of Pakistan are going to say now…except repeat their mantra.

    Shame, shame on those who stand against Pakistan and its people at this sensitive hour.

  15. PatExpat

    ylh,

    if the whole nation is united against Taliban then why you keep reminding us of it..it should have been obvious without you repeating it again and again…

    I wrote an article entitled ‘patriotism’ on this website sometime ago. I support the military action, however, I believe those who are opposed to it can also be patriotic (may not necessarily be taliban apologists, or crooks, or cranks or mad men or traitors) and may have their reasons for opposition.

    the reason I pointed towards Ridley’s article was that I believe it does not matter what Obama says or where he says it…things will remain the same…and anyway its always good to read a different point of view. I am not asking you to change your point of view. Since you hate Ridley so much, here is an article by Paul Roberts who was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration.
    http://counterpunch.org/roberts06052009.html

  16. simply61

    In the end Obama settled for the erroneous equation:
    Arab=Muslim and therefore Muslim=Arab

  17. ylh

    Mian Pat,

    The reason I keep repeating it is because there are enough expat types who are disconnected from ground reality and keep repeating the lie that it isn’t so.

    As for your article, it did not make any sense, I am afraid but you are entitled to your views.

    Also I am still unable to understand what it is that Ridley says that is relevant to my contention that the speech should have been made in Islamabad instead of Cairo.

  18. ylh

    Mian Pat,

    The reason I keep repeating it is because there are enough expat types who are disconnected from ground reality and keep repeating the lie that it isn’t so.

    As for your article, it did not make any sense, I am afraid but you are entitled to your views.

    Also I am still unable to understand what it is that Ridley says that is relevant to my contention that the speech should have been made in Islamabad instead of Cairo.

    And thanks for quoting another right wing nut to shore up your view. Unless ofcourse you are unaware of the party politics of the United States that is.

  19. Gorki

    PatExpat:

    I read Yvonne Ridley’s article.
    She has a laundry list of complaints against Obama for not doing this or that or not enough but a major portion of her article was devoted to attacking Obama, the man himself; did I hear someone use an impressive Latin phrase ‘argumentum ad hominem’ ? 😉

    Anyway I think YLH is right on the mark in that that Obama’s speech signifies a paradigm shift in the US foreign policy towards the Middle East and the larger war.
    The US is a hyperpower that has dominated the World affairs across the globe for that last 60 odd years like no one else before. Its actions and policies has affected and continue to affect hundreds of millions of lives.

    Making any change to those policies is like turning around an aircraft carrier at sea; It can not happen overnight. The President of the United States chooses his words very carefully and each word, each phrase is watched very carefully in the diplomatic and policy circles around the world for hints of things to come.

    Ordinary people (or constant complainers) may not notice it but the fact that Obama called for Israel to dismantle its illegal settlements and clearly stated that it expects Palestine to become a state is very very significant change. (For those unable to grasp this fact, I suggest they go and check any number of pro Israeli news sites and commentaries and read what the other side is saying about his speech)

    Also Ms. Ridley calling Pakistan’s fight against the TTP type Taliban as a fight by the US using a ‘cheap hired labor’ disingenious and insulting.

    The Pakistani army not for hire.
    It is fighting for the freedom of its own people to live in freedom from fear, to be able to get a good education and to not have its faith interpreted by savage fools.

    Last but not least, the Pakistanis army is also fighting (and loosing some of its finest young men and officers) for the rights of people like Ms. Ridley to remain free to read, write and also disagree with them to her heart’s content; a courtesy that I doubt the TTP is likely to observe if they had it in their power.
    Regards.

  20. hayyer48

    May I attempt an answer to that question-why Obama should have spoken from Cairo, or somewhere else in the Arab world? Gorki has made some of the points. I would like to raise some questions too.
    Obama does not owe the Muslim world any explanation for himself personally, unless he wants to explain why he recanted the faith he was born into. The troubles that the US has with the Arabs in particular and some other Muslim countries are not his doing. But as the President of the US wanting to change perspectives about his country among Arabs Cairo was the right place to address Muslims, though his speech, to my cursory reading, was Arab-centric.
    The US is responsible for Israeli stubborness over the west bank and the settlements as well for its refusal to withdraw from territories occupied in the 67 war. It is also responsible for the mayhem in Iraq, but that was not a specific Muslim or Arab issue, because Bush 2nd implied that he wanted to overthrow ‘ the guy’ who ‘tried to kill my dad’. Later he invoked the bomb and Al Qaida.Perhaps he was also responding to the right wing Christian fundamentalists who believe in the Armaggedon as a prerequisite for the second coming of the Messiah.
    The overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran was not an Islamic matter.
    Osama’s speech on Palestine did not go far enough in my opinion. I doubt he can deliver the little he seemed to agree to.
    But there is a lot more that the US has to answer for in the middle east that Muslims do not generally question. America’s pact with the Saud ruling house, its support for Kuwait and its invasion of Iraq in the defence of Kuwait and Iraq in 1990. Its willingness to overlook the Wahhabis and its opposition to the Ikhwan brotherhood out of Egypt. These are the issues that need explanation in any whitewashing of the US.
    Where it was of strategic interest, the US unlike Europe went to the defence of Muslims, as in the former Yugoslavia; and in Turkey (in suggesting early admission to the common market). Overall the US’s interaction with the middle east has been religion neutral except for Israel where it is pro Jew rather than anti Muslim. The US had intervened on the side of Nasser to save Egypt in 1956 from the combined onslaught of Britain and France led on by Israel. The pro Israel lobbies took conrol after Eisenhower and Kennedy.
    These facts only outline the fallacious nature of the Islam versus US argument. The Huntington thesis is surely dead.
    On the other hand if America has tolerated despots in the middle east and other Muslim countries so have the Muslims themselves. Syria, Egypt (under Nasser), Sukarno are the obvious names that come to mind.
    Obama needed to address the Arabs because of the interrelated nature of the interaction there.
    Why should Obama have made the address in Pakistan-apart from its nascent democracy, that is. Regardless of the numbers of Muslims in Pakistan, the current US involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan is surely a defensive measure. If 9/11 had not happened the Americans would not be in the region.
    America is not responsible for Kashmir-neither for creating the problem nor for solving it. If India and Pakistan choose to blow each other up over Kashmir it is their problem. Why should Obama have made his most important policy speech to the Muslim world from Islamabad, and included an issue that America is neither responsible for creating nor solving. Not unless he wanted to flatter Pakistan or unless one has a Pak-centric view of the Muslim world.
    The most dangerous place in the world perspective shifts as America’s perspectives shift. Clinton called Kashmir that in 1998; now a days that description seems to have shifted westwards.
    One can gain attention by holding a gun to ones head but as a negotiating position it has its limits unless the gun is a grenade, or a bomb, and even then the posture is hardly a stable one.

  21. ylh

    I am afraid it is not very logically argued from my standpoint.

    The issue is not of a Pakistan-centric view of the Muslim world but an Israel-centric view of world peace and/or Arab-centric view of the Muslim world.

    Islamabad is a nascent democracy that is fighting the defining battle for Islam’s future… if you don’t see it, if Obama doesn’t see it, and the world doesn’t see it …well then you all suffer from a sad sad case of myopia.

    I don’t know how US created the Palestine-Israel issue but I know that Pakistan’s Taliban problem has atleast 50 percent American contribution in form of the Afghan War and then the mismanagement of the war on terror.

    And to try and brush under the carpet an issue significantly more important than Palestine ie Kashmir which threatens nuclear war between two hugely populous nations with casualties of hundreds of millions is callous for anyone but most of all for a person who otherwise apparently hypocritically sings songs of humanism when discussion the three hundred to five hundred thousand dead of partition. This nationalist Indian attitude frankly is disastrous. Solve Kashmir now and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    So don’t give me bullshit. Obama’s decision to speak in Cairo shows his non-seriousness in my view… He has endorsed a despot who has ruled Egypt for 28 years (not even our worst military dictator could last more than 11) …a despot who has oppressed Muslim and Christian alike … a despot who has crackdowned on secularists and Islamists alike.

    Islamabad was just one alternative though the most convincing one because of the significance of the struggle there. Cairo was a strange choice …and if he wanted to speak to the Arabs this should have been mooted as an address to the Arab World not Muslim world. The Muslim world is neither Arab nor Sunni. Muslim world is incomplete without the Shia and furthermore the Muslim World embodies in it its religious minorities as well who are not Muslim and Copts in Egypt are hardly comparable in number to Christians of Pakistan or Hindus of Bangladesh or Buddhists of Malaysia.

    Obama addressed Sunni Arabs alone and it should have been mooted as such.

  22. hayyer48

    …in defence of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia… if you please, above, not Kuwait and Iraq. Sorry.

  23. ylh

    Errata

    “Muslim world is neither Arab nor Sunni homogenously”

    “when discussing …”

  24. hayyer48

    You have put your finger on the nature of Obama’s response though I wish you would be more restrained in your choice of words to describe other’s arguments on this site.
    The Muslim American interaction is really an Arab American interaction. The rest of the Muslim world does not count as much. Perhaps because Muslims qua Muslims tend to adopt Arab causes more readily than they do of non Arab Muslim countries. So Kashmir counts less than Palestine.
    But Kashmir is not the same sort of issue as Palestine, quite the reverse according to one view. There are two countries laying claim to Kashmir. In Palestine it is a foreign people from Europe who have displaced and taken over a colony of Europe. The guilty in this case are the mandate powers of the League of Nations, particularly Britain.
    Kashmir is needless to say, a bilateral matter between two countries, notwithstanding the UN resolutions giving it an international aspect.
    If Obama had to address the Arab world he could hardly have done it from Baghdad, the capital of the great empires of Islam, or from Riyadh under the auspices of the house of Saud and the Wahhabis, or Damascus or Beirut. Cairo was the best alternative regardless of the nature of its government.
    Pakistan is not the hub of the Muslim world, if there is such a thing outside of the OIC and those scholars or religious leaders, on both sides of the divide who are make a living, or a career out of such matters. For America which confutes its troubles in the middle east as a general trouble with the Muslim world a major policy announcement outside the middle east would have defeated its purpose.
    The speech could easily have been made in Djakarta, but the focus was the middle east and therefore it was made there.
    You say he has not addressed the Shia-did he need to? Having empowered the Shia in Iraq does America have anything to explain to Shia Muslims; and do we expect Obama to apologize for what his predecessor did.
    American support of the Shah of Iran was no more support of the Shia Mulsims than opposition to the Ayatollahs is expression of enmity with them?
    So though Obama was addressing all Muslims he was actually talking of a Arab Sunni Muslim colloquy with Americans.
    According to you America should now address the Kashmir issue because there is fear of nuclear war. And he should do it from Islamabad. But that means there was no reason for international mediation before 1998. And if the Kashmir issue is to be addressed by America his speech could as well have been made from Delhi-if Delhi would let him that is. And, if such a speech were made from Islamabad it would ipso facto make it all the less likely that India would respond positively.
    All this is not to say that the Kashmir does not need to be solved, or that it should not be solved soonest. Only that though the Kashmir problem has its origins in the dispute between Hindus and Muslims of India, and though the response of the Indian state has been as violent as the provocation it is not akin to the problem of Palestine. Kashmir became a problem between India and Pakistan in 1947, but it became a problem between India and the Kashmiris only in 1953.
    We in India know that Pakistan is a nascent democracy. I am sure Obama knows it too. But how is the maintenance of democracy in Pakistan concerned with Kashmir? Is the tortuous political history of Pakistan in its first decade culminating in Ayub Khan’s coup an outcome of the Kashmir dispute? And going by the mindset of the Pak army how will solving Kashmir help. Did not one of your generals claim circa 1994( I am quoting from memory) that the Pakistani army is there to preserve ‘Pakistan ideology’, what ever that is. And did not Musharraf say in his first heady year or so as Chief Executive that even if the Kashmir issue were solved tensions with India would continue. Later ofcourse he changed tack.
    Sure many millions would die if there were a nuclear exchange. But how is it Obama’s responsibility. That is what I meant by negotiating with a gun to your head. It is the sort of thing that North Korea has expertise in.

    Surely you are not suggesting that

  25. Bloody Civilian

    “going by the mindset of the Pak army how will solving Kashmir help”
    >>>>>>>>>

    and that’s exactly why it needs to be put in a position where it cannot hold its cards close to its chest. manmohan singh can do this just as well, if not better, than obama.

    you saw musharraf running around like a headless chicken, for a short while, when he naively or presumptiously volunteered to ‘put his cards on the table’, as it were. you might have noticed, that nawaz sharif, as the civilian head of govt, had no such worries when old man vajpayee came to lahore (to Jamaat e Islami’s great chagrin).

    “the Pakistani army is there to preserve ‘Pakistan ideology’, what ever that is”
    >>>>>>>>

    and that is why the pak army needs pak to have an ideology. the stronger the ideology, the greater and more secure the army’s political power. simple rule of law, tolerance/secularism, equality and general decency of jinnah’s 11 aug ’47 speech is no ideology at all… for the purposes implied in the general’s comment you quote. even less so in 1994, than in 1954.

    kashmir does bring together the so-called ‘root causes of terrorism’ and the very real dangers of nuclear proliferation. regardless of the roots of the conflict itself.

    if obama wishes to make a break from america supporting dictators, no matter how repressive and nasty, than standing next to a grinning mubarak is an insult to the millions living under US- sponsored dictatorships across the muslim world. af-pak are the worst victims, most devastatingly thanks to zia+reagan, and then mush+bush. hillary clinton has owned up to her country’s share of the blame. there are 3 million IDP’s and dying pak soldiers paying the price for it, just as obama was standing next to another dictator.

    “Is the tortuous political history of Pakistan in its first decade culminating in Ayub Khan’s coup an outcome of the Kashmir dispute?”
    >>>>>>>>>>

    that was meant to be a rhetorical question, wasn’t it? as was the suggestion that pak’s ‘expertise’ could not be compared to the of n.korea’s.

  26. hayyer48

    Rhetorical it was.
    But nowhere have I supported American policy in the middle east, in Egypt or elsewhere.
    There is no doubt that Musharraf gave a whole lot away with his cards on the table. India should have responded. We now hear from those who claim to know that the matter came very close to being resolved. I personally doubt it. Manmohan Singh is not Vajpayee, but who knows he may do great things yet.

  27. yasserlatifhamdani

    Your claims about Muslim-American dialogue is exactly what is wrong with it.

    Even without Kashmir, Islamabad was the ideal spot to make this speech.
    Thinking that you’ve presented as American point of view distracted the Americans from Afghanistan and took them to Iraq twice in recent history. I thought Obama had learnt from history but clearly I was wrong.

    Even if we take Kashmir out, the battle with Taliban is where the war is at and not the mideast. After all Americans keep saying that the next major attack against the US will originate from the border areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan…then why not address the issue at its root.

    Unless and untill this Arab-centric view of the Muslim world is conclusively rubbished there will be no progress.

  28. yasserlatifhamdani

    PS your argument is typical of Indian nationalists.

    Be honest just say it. You really don’t have an argument except that you don’t want Pakistan to have been venue of it. To this end you are ready to downplay everyone, including yourself.

    You can keep calling it keeping a gun to one’s head but this would not take away from the facts. And you keep going on a loop with “how is that Obama’s responsibility?”…how is the fact that you guys carried out Pokhran I and II my fucking responsibility? If there is a gun I am apparently holding to my head, you forged it.

    So all these are soundbytes. Come out of the narrow confines of nationalism…and stop looking at everything through the prism that Nehru distorted when he said famously “we are losing resources but Pakistan is losing even more so” when rationalizing his Kashmir obsession.

    Time to move on buddy. Time to stop playing these games that you chaps are adept at playing on both sides of the border.

  29. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    I am afraid Indian nationalists like Hayyer mian and myself have a point. Whether or not you like, the Arab world is central to Islam , not Af-Pak. The fact that more than 2/3rd of Muslims live east of the Khyber pass is true but irrelevant. What is important is that Arab Muslims are important folks unlike Indic or Malay Muslims, who are frankly speaking of very little importance.

    For two reasons, Arabs are hitting on huge piles of oil and dollars, Oriental Muslims are not. Secondly, Arabia is the holy place of Muslims worldwide, not Af-Pak. World over, Islamist fundamentalism and terror networks are being funded by Arab money, Afghans and Pakistani jihadis are mainly cannonfodder. If the Arab world can be stopped from funding and indoctrinating terror networks worldwide, USA’s battle is won.

    You have alluded to the fact that USA believes that the next 9/11 will have its origin in the Af-Pak region. But then USA wanted us to beleive that Iraq has WMDs too. Terror is not the reason USA is in A’stan, that is merely an excuse. The real reason that USA is there is that A’stan is a conduit to Central Asian energy plus a presence in A’stan allows USA to ungal China, Russia and Iran. The Taliban bravehearts you so fear are a real threat only to Afghans, Pakistanis, Central Asians, Indians and Iranians in that order of decreasing threat. They are no threat to USA or the Western world.

    Regards

  30. Majumdar

    Solve Kashmir now and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Let us be clear about “solving Kashmir” means. Muslim Kashmiris wouldnt want to be a part of India and Hindoo and Buddhist Jammuites and Ladakhi wouldnt want anything to do either with a Azad Kashmir (they know pretty much what happens to non-Muslims in Muslim majority states) or Pakistan. So solving Kashmir basically a partition of Kashmir along religious lines. With Kahsmir valley, Poonch and Rajouri going to Pakistan/Independent Kashmir state (the former is more likely), Jammu and Ladakh going to India.

    The solution is a complete positive for Pakistan, gain in territory and no cost. For India it is just the opposite. Not only does this mean loss of territory but it also raises prospects of much stronger secessionist movement elsewhere plus raises the prospect of another large scale Hindoo-Muslim bloodletting elsewhere. And I am not sure this will do much help to Indo-Pak relations, it will merely result in a temporary slowdown in LIC, the Pak establishment will seek another conflict somewhere else possibly in North East with help of BD proxies.

    With this background in mind, just think how likely India is to seek a solution to Kashmir problem.

    Regards

  31. PatExpat

    sorry guys for being away, you must have missed my fact twisting.

    @Gorki, Ridley’s article came before the Obama’s speech and as you rightly pointed out complains of ‘not doing this’ or not following through with his promises. That is my contention with Obama as majumdar asked in his first comment on this post “can he walk the talk?” and I believe the answer is no based on his track record. We all know how the torture debate in US went despite all his intellectual credentials.

    @ylh, next time please let me know who you would like me to quote and I would quote him. Does Chomsky count because he has written something on it as well?

    before the discussion goes more wayward let me summarize, without appearing as a traitor or madman or twisting the facts: my contention with this article is it does not matter what Obama says or where he says it, you read too much into it or maybe I am a cynic, the US policy towards Pakistan or Muslim world (if there is such a thing) will remain the same..

  32. Bloody Civilian

    majumdar

    “If the Arab world can be stopped from funding and indoctrinating terror networks worldwide, USA’s battle is won.”
    >>>>>>>>

    after 9/11, is there still state sponsorship/funding of terrorists, as far as the oil rich arab states are concerned? as for private individuals (sheikhs or not), without the ‘safe havens’ of A’stan/FATA, they would be struggling. if alqaeda & co. decide to move the operation/HQ to somalia+sudan, that’d be a very different equation (and, imho, a less daunting challenge for the world).

    “With this background in mind, just think how likely India is to seek a solution to Kashmir problem.”
    >>>>>>>

    with this summation in mind, just think about the prospects of peace in our region.

    patexpat

    “or maybe I am a cynic”
    >>>>>>

    utter cynicism would lead to an altogether different, and brief, set of arguments, indeed. but assuming some minimum goodwill and sincerity on obama’s/america’s part, a clear stand against dictators and for democracy had to be made. as well as sending a clear signal that this is indeed a war against terrorism and not a war for oil.

    america invaded A’stan and Iraq for entirely different reasons. she cannot and must not have the same exit strategy for both. ‘responsible withdrawal’ might be fine for iraq, but in A’stan the US needs the mother of all ‘surges’ on the civilian side. rebuild the country, after it was decided by reagan to destroy it in order to give the soviets a bloody nose. the decision to destroy A’stan has been repeated a few times since. it’s time the poor country was rebuilt. otherwise, it will remain a ‘safe haven’ for alqaeda & co. and hellish for its people.

  33. Bloody Civilian

    “sincerity on obama’s/america’s part” i.e. to america’s own best (i.e. taking a holistic view), longterm national interests. that is, assuming some minimum level of competence at recognising these correctly.

  34. Majumdar

    Civvie,

    ….just think about the prospects of peace in our region……

    There is an analogy to the Kashmir situation, not an exact one though. Taiwan. China claims Taiwan is its province, US support maintains Taiwanese independence. But Chinese and Yanks are not shooting at each other. If Pakistan calls off support to jihadis in Kashmir (without retracting on its moral support to the Kashmiri Muslims right to seek self-determination) we are almost there.

    without the ’safe havens’ of A’stan/FATA

    Is there any evidence that A’stan/FATA based militants are in anyway responsible for any terrorist attack on the West incl 9/11? Or that they intend to do so in the future? My own opinion is that these folks are more a threat to South and Central Asians.

    Regards

  35. PatExpat

    From Torture Memos by Noam Chomsky

    “The Obama administration announced that it would appeal the ruling, thus placing Obama’s Department of Justice “squarely to the right of an extremely conservative, pro-executive-power, Bush 43-appointed judge on issues of executive power and due-process-less detentions,” in radical violation of Obama’s campaign promises and earlier stands.”

  36. Bloody Civilian

    majumdar

    even though your argument, as an indian nationalist, is entirely self-serving… i agree with you because i want peace more than necessarily a solution to the most entrenched problem. as to the kashmiris’ (of all religions) right to self-determination, HRs and equitable and democratic rights… it’s a decision for the kashmiris what they want to do about it. it is a question for indian nationalists too.

    i don’t know any more than you, perhaps less, about what i’m told about where bin laden was and is. or where the likes of khalid sheikh, al-shibh and countless others have been arrested from or killed. or even how many times each of the 9/11 hijackers visited and spent time in A’stan.

    but if you do believe as you say you do that “these folks are more a threat to South and Central Asians”, then the countries in the region will have to or should do their bit to help. in india’s case, she has some important decisions to make which will involve reconciling the opposing interests as you have presented them, my interest in forcing ‘hawks’ within pak mil to ‘put their cards on the table’, and how “these folks” who threaten our region are strengthened, not weakened, by indian nationalists claim about the ‘atoot ang’. unlike taiwan, the ‘atoot ang’ claim has an entirely religious/communal nature. so have ‘these folk’. pak is not america or china, and kashmir, economically, is no taiwan. neither can ‘balance’ india or her interests. india will have to perform the best part of the ‘balancing act’ all by herself.

  37. Majumdar

    Civvie,

    even though your argument, as an indian nationalist, is entirely self-serving…

    It is always like that. Indians don’t want the Kashmir issue to be solved becuase as I have pointed out that India stands to lose more than gain by the solution. And the only reason why Pak wants the issue solved is just the converse. If Pak had anything to lose by the resolution of the Kashmir dispute, it would have just as easily stonewalled the resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

    i want peace more than necessarily a solution to the most entrenched problem.

    IMHO that is a very sensible approach. Once there is peace between India and Pak, there is a fair possibility that India may concede significantly on Kashmir, free borders, reduction of military presence, greater autonomy to Kashmir (even to the point of Indian sovereignty becoming a pure fiction) etc

    Regards

  38. Bloody Civilian

    “It is always like that”
    >>>>>

    and i thought what is moral and just is always in the best longterm interest of one’s nation. hence, true patriotism is for one’s loyalties superordinately and exclusively belong to what one considers to be true and just, in all honesty.

    the sensible approach, i guess, is to be realistic. i can accept that. except, there is little realistic chance of good sense prevailing in the foreseeable future. on any/either side. well, if we cannot keep hope alive forever, we can at least try and ensure it dies last.

  39. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    I don’t think you are being entirely fair.

    Your gentle but unmistakably reproachful tone stung all the more because I personally and every other thinking Indian values the good opinion of thinking Pakistanis. It is for that reason that you find us here, participating in debates and in discussions with you, with, I trust you will agree, open minds, even when fairly frightful statements have been placed on record about those who, all said and down, were our founding fathers. In the interests of truth and in the interests of honesty, we – I at any rate – agreed, even though it was tempting to use the ‘your shirt is torn – oh, but your fly is open’ kind of argument.

    I seek your patient and understanding attention while I try to put the record straight.

    When you demand that India and Indians should look at things from the moral point of view, you are perfectly correct, and I will defend you against anybody who opposes any other point of view, including the ‘realistic’. However, it so happens that there is another, greater moral view to take on this.

    Very simply, we organised ourselves in a particular way, perhaps a narrow-minded and less than generous way than was available, beginning with that famous misunderstanding with a far better finer man than the then INC and subsequently the mainstream Indian leadership, in 46. This way of organising ourselves, this ‘idea’ of India, what another post has described as a meta-narrative, was however, when all was said and done, a working idea, with all its faults. It was consistent and workable, unlike the idea with which our neighbours started, which was born as a threat and became a reality and has not been replaced even till today with a working model.

    It has been pointed out – if I remember correctly, by a Pakistani scholar and analyst – that one essential difference between the two countries was that India had a clear vision of what she wanted to be. We have seen that this was in the context of the original debate a meaner vision, a vision which was not sufficiently understanding of the insecurities of minorities, a vision which did not allow for the desensitising effects of majoritarian thinking, and which finally has to be amended over the course of time to allow other interests to enter into an equal partnership.

    Again, let me repeat what I said earlier. Granting all the caveats in the world that might be wished, it was still a working vision. And it did work. There were hideous injustices in the short term, even the medium term, if you wish, considering that two generations passed. But these injustices, to the Muslims, first of all, those who strangely had fought hardest for segregation, and who found that they were in fact the ones abandoned to fate while regions indifferent to such issues were grouped together and freed; to the Dalits, who are still working their way through the jungles and thickets of parliamentary democracy as practised in India but who stand a lively and real prospect of being the rulers of the nation in which they were slaves for two thousand years; to the Dravidians, who stayed on only after they had worked out an honourable arrangement and only after they saw that their interests were in fact not being sacrificed; to the tribals of the forests who are still in revolt, and who will not calm down until traders are kept physically away from them, and until they are brought into economic independence in the quickest possible way; to the tribes of the North-East, who are seeking to express their identity not after two generations but after many hundreds of years, when their ethnic identity was hidden under very thick coats of white-wash; all these injustices were worked out, painfully slowly, at great cost, but in an irreversible way.

    We haven’t slipped back.

    We know very clearly what is right and what is wrong. There cannot be a religion banned, or discouraged because another branch of that religion wishes it so. For proof, look at the dominant hierarchy of the Sikhs, and how they would dearly love to ban all the other sects and variations, including some that they consider as heretic as orthodox Muslims consider Ahmadiyyas.

    There are bloody massacres and we know that these are wrong and we work hard to bring the perpetrators to justice. Not always successfully. But there is very clearly an idea of right and wrong, and the electorate has very clearly, not once, but many times, shown that it can enforce its will, its progressive will on the elements that are holding us back.

    If you ask me to search my conscience and answer, I will answer very truthfully: this is the morality that needs to be protected. That the state, the nation as defined, as successful through good times and bad, through Emergencies, and wars and internal conflict, should be allowed to seek its way forward democratically, through the ballot box. That if any section is to seek separation, it can do so, by electing people who stand for separation. That given this opportunity, it is an example to the world that whole groups have turned away and sought an answer in a collaboration with all the other groups.

    The morality is to uphold this, a democracy which works through the ballot box, inefficiently, and until even a few elections ago, through murky and suspect methods, under an authority, the Election Commission, that couldn’t hold ruling parties at bay, or ruling castes, or ruling communities at bay. But one faltering step at a time, sometimes even after reverses, we have done what we ought to, what morality dictates we should do.

    If you ask me to abandon this method of working together in order to agree to the demands of violent separatists, who even today have the option of electing the entire Hurriyat conference to power but have never done so, and have always rejected them when it came down to the crux of things, I am sorry, I need to ask you whether or not your own definition of morality is completely beyond suspicion of national self-interest or a self-aggrandising urge by the entire nation. Your country has never tried this slow process that we have, has never worked on it successfully, has made every one of our mistakes and then added its own, and has managed to build an impossible situation where completely personal and group interests have brought people to decision-making positions where they cannot be questioned or restrained. This is not an example to follow. To understand, sure; to live with, as good neighbours, certainly; to refrain from criticising, a hundred times; to adopt, not on your life. Not in ten thousand times ten thousand generations.

    If your point is that whether or not our former kinsmen have erred, it is for us to hew to the path of the higher truth, I agree; to me the higher truth is to allow people a peaceful, rational option. Which is what we have done for over sixty years.

    When I say this, I do so with a perfect sympathy for and understanding of your situation, and with no desire to denigrate you or your country. You have I think had ample opportunity to see what I stand for, and what I have said; if you google my name, you will get more examples, and it is not as if I say one thing on a Pakistani site and change my tune elsewhere. If you can point to one instance where I have betrayed the trust and confidence that you and your hosts on this and other sites have reposed, I shall humble myself.

    But on the other hand, it is utterly wrong, disloyal and underhanded not to point out to you and your countrymen, not you alone, but even others, like you, very intelligent and informed men, that you have wronged us, certainly unwittingly, I do not for one moment suspect your motives, but wrong it was, and it needs a polite but detailed exculpation of what we are and what we stand for, for good and bad.

    So there you have it.

  40. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    There is some confusion in your mind, therefore I suspect in other minds on the sub-continent, about this nonsense of the ‘atoot ang’. I don’t know of anybody outside the Parivar who believes in this ridiculous concept. Partition has come and gone; nobody wishes to turn the hands of the clock back.

    The fact that we discussed matters relating to the decision that took us to partition is in no way indicative of any interest to reverse it. On the contrary; at least in the case of the recent discussions on PTH, it was an overwhelming interest in learning more about the leaders of the freedom struggle, and in learning about the differences between the two sets of leaders and the influence that it may have had on the governance of the two countries that emerged initially.

    I can point out to you the way in which matters were progressing until ten men from Mars landed in Bombay and killed over a hundred unarmed people. Was the earlier effort to normalise relations with a belligerent neighbour consistent with a country which wanted to restore its atoot ang?

    This is emphatically not the reason for Indian policy in Kashmir and on Kashmir. It has nothing in fact to do with this ridiculous concept, which would then taken to its extreme and most insane extent drive us to aspire to hegemony over not merely Pakistan and Bangladesh, but also Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrghyzistan, parts of Xinjiang, most of Burma, Sumatra, Cambodia and – I nearly forgot – Sri Lanka. In turn, we have been ruled, at least part of the present India has been ruled by Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Tibet, Iran and Iraq.

    I hope that we can keep our disagreements to within the realm of the plausible and the visible and not venture into the lands of Cockaigne and Nephelokokkygia.

  41. YLH

    1. When I speak of a solution to Kashmir I am not saying it should join Pakistan necessarily… but some show of statesmanship which changes the status quo for Kashmiris. My own idea of a settlement on Kashmir is of shared sovereignty … with AJK and Indian Occupied Kashmir both being recognized as autonomous regions within Pakistan and India respectively and forming together (as Pakistani Kashmir and Indian Kashmir) a Kashmiri confederation on certain Kashmir specific issues … and declaring Kashmir a non-war zone by treaty as well as by sovereign legislation… and a declaration by the United Nations. Kashmir should be heaven on earth… without armies and weapons and weapons of mass desruction threatening it.

    2. The issue that Majumdar raised … well see I don’t deny that there exists an Arab-centric world… but my friend that is the problem which needs to be changed. After all Obama was “change we can” wasn’t he?

    USA knows and you know that USA is right when it says that the next major threat to it will come from the border areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan as it did on the morning of September 11, 2001. Therefore … it is very important that the battle for Islam’s heart and soul is won right here.

    A relevant aside: I recommend that people read about Thomas Jefferson’s dealing with Muslim Barbary States during his tenure as the Ambassador of the United States in London… and then as president. In Washington DC I had the good fortune of surveying Thomas Jefferson’s personal collection of books… and Koran featured prominently. I suspect he read the Koran to determine whether what he was told by Tripoli’s Ambassador about Islam was true. I suspect he realized that Islam was going to fight this great battle between itself between competing visions- one of modernity and peace v. one of barbarism and terrorism against all powers Muslim or Non-muslim who failed to submit… which is being waged now in North West of Pakistan… Jefferson would have seized the moment… I thought Obama was cut from that cloth.

  42. bonobashi

    @YLH

    I think that what you have outlined is the only solution that will work. It is also fair to all sections of interest. It is best for the Vale of course; a lot of delicate negotiation in the utmost good faith is needed to settle the fate of the rest. If it could be for the entire original state, that might be a solution; otherwise there is the doleful prospect of micro-negotiating the whole series of five sections.

    Now who is to bell the cat?

    At what age does one become eligible to stand for membership of the national legislature in Pakistan? 🙂

  43. hayyer48

    As always Bonobashi has explained the Indian vision, even if unrealized, to a giga-fine degree.
    But on the subject of Kashmir we have to accept that despite the sublime vision there is a dark side, one that cries for ‘mea culpa’ and that needs to be requited, not in the context of Pakistan, but of Kashmiri Muslims.
    Let us remember that Kashmir acceded to the Indian Union with the willing compliance of Kashmiri Muslims. Let us also remember that we made them many promises that we broke, and which we brazenly ignore now, and that it is India’s cynical airbrushing of constitutional verities and disregard of peaceful dissent that drove the Kashmiris into the arms of Pakistan.
    So the question is-what was it that India was doing right in 1947 that it forget in 1953.
    I am not conceding Pakistan a position in all this for the present because Pakistan claims are based on the TNT, and accepting this in the case of Kashmir now is to awaken all the sleeping (I hope) dogs of the 1940s, which can certainly threaten India even now.
    On the other hand it is Pakistan’s firm belief that they are missing a limb. And if we are to have good relations with Pakistan (even if we don’t care too much about their military threats) we can do it in a way that achieves that objective and fulfills our promises to the Kashmiris.
    So Kashmir should be solve soonest, regardless of the Sangh Parivar.
    YLH: I can understand the strength of your emotions on the issue but do you think you could possibly moderate your expression of them? Are those expletives really necessary?
    I respect your sense of Pakistani nationality; please extend the same privilege to me. We can surely communicate from Indian and Pakistani perspectives without getting angry.
    I do not think Obama ever intended to speak from Pakistan. My wanting or otherwise is irrelevant. We were discussing your desire in the abstract. But for the nonce, if he should chose ever to do so there would be no reason for me to take objection.
    Re: ‘you chaps are adept at playing on both sides of the border’. Who ever do you mean? And what games?

  44. hayyer48

    Sorry, last line….’whoever do you mean’… please read whomever for whoever.

  45. YLH

    Hayyer mian…

    Actually Islamabad was a front runner but was dropped not for being dangerous but because of a fear of Indian over-reaction… while I can’t give you the exact source of this information, I can reproduce what was printed in the New York Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/04/us/politics/04web-cooper.html

    So where should he do it? The list of Islamic world capitals is long, and includes the obvious —Riyadh, Kuwait City, Islamabad

    Cairo did not even feature then.

    So you can go on saying what you want but it will be as wrong as everything else you’ve been saying on this board and another one.

  46. Bloody Civilian

    bonobashi

    before i respond to your two posts, please re-read majumdar at 4.07pm and me at 4.43. majumdar’s “it is always like that” was stated as a universal fact, or so i took it to be. so in my definition of ‘true patriots’ i was including majumdar, and all truth-seeking citizens of any country.. btw, including america (as relevant to the other part of the discussion on this thread). If this meant that I ran the risk of sounding self-righteous or condescending, since I did not make it clear enough, I apologise.

    this was said keeping in mind what majumdar had said at 11.00am in the (whole) paragraph starting “The solution is a complete positive for Pakistan,…”. an analysis based on pragmatism, and not the historical right or wrong of the situation/problem. majumdar has already said that he believes kashmir ought to have been part of pak, just like hyderabad could have been nothing but part of india. so it was a comparison of the rights and wrongs of what from majumdar’s own statement was the original moral position, and the clearly subsequent history that hayyer48 termed ‘provocation and reaction’. With majumdar’s expressed view of the morally right position at partition, I agreed with majumdar that anything would be better than the hopeless situation of any one thinking that two wrongs could make a right. We agreed that it only makes things doubly worse. You know my views about LeT etc. Hence the Taiwan example and majumdar saying “free borders, reduction of military presence, greater autonomy to Kashmir (even to the point of Indian sovereignty becoming a pure fiction)”. Where, btw, it ties back in to our partition debates of federations, confederations, open borders and defense pacts. Whether you agree with majumdar or not about the moral position before the start of any hostilities, you have not said; or if you have, I missed it. Hayyer has indicated that he doesn’t. he believes that it was alright for the INC to use TNT to divide punjab and bengal, and to pretend otherwise when it came to kashmir. As for hayyer’s claim to know the democratic verdict of the kashmiri muslims, what possessed india to concede the need for a plebiscite to determine the same? There is much more to that particular story, which in any case ended with abdullah in prison.

    I suspect you are assuming I made suggestions about matters that I doubt I even mentioned. You need not google my nick; just re-read this thread from the start. as for the impressive progress of indian democracy, it’s not without its glaring double standards when it came to kashmir (hayyer’s reference to the india-kashmir ‘problem’ since 1953). The debate here is not how resilient the constitution has proven to be for the rest of india, and the credit the founding fathers are due for that. was it g b pant, of the INC, who as a govt minister used the term ‘atoot ang’ in 1957, in srinagar? i give all true indian patriots credit for whatever extent of their opinion/desire as expressed through the ballot box is honoured by the elected (and the leadership), and do not blame them i.e. the ‘truly patriotic’ electors, for the part that is dishonoured and betrayed.
    I will not ask you to differentiate between pak dictators and people. Nor civilian despots and what they honoured and/or dishonoured of their mandate. As matters between two sovereign nations, the govts (or ‘establishments’) will act as required. Each nation with the same right to self-defence as the other. In fact, I’ve never asked any one to desist from raising the issue of east pak, ahmediyyas or any other topic under the sun (there are no no-go areas). but the suggestion that it had anything to do with jinnah must be supported with evidence/analysis. Oversimplifications like the following do not help: “It was consistent and workable, unlike the idea with which our neighbours started, which was born as a threat and became a reality and has not been replaced even till today with a working model.” It does not address most of what was discussed in the partition debates. That could be because you don’t agree with much of it. But I don’t know which bits and why. Once I know, we may agree… or agree to disagree.

  47. Bloody Civilian

    The “neighbour” wasn’t always a neighbour. Karachi wasn’t always a capital. It had to be created, from nothing. If it was a war of succession (from the raj), there was no agreement to share political power. Partition was ugly. Even a gentle soul like gandhi, who prevented an unknowable number of deaths in calcutta, noakhali, bihar and delhi, could not remain unaffected and said in a prayer meeting on 26 september 1947 “if pakistan peristently refuses to see its proved error, and continues to minimise it, the indian govt would have to go to war against it”. Pak had vehemently opposed the closing down of the HQ of the Supreme Commander with india’s defence minister saying “I pledge myself, on behalf of my govt, to take upon myself the full responsibility of delivering pak her share of stores”. Auchinleck’s report to atlee was though: “the present india cabinet are implacably determined to do all in their power to prevent the establishment of the Dominion of Pakistan on a firm basis… The Indian leaders persistently tried to obstruct the work of partition of the armed forces… so that the one impartial body remaining in this country shall be removed… if we are removed, there is no hope at all of any just division of assets”. Baldev singh’s pledge remains unfulfilled. I need not repeat patel’s 8 aug 1947 speech, even though he repeated the sentiments many times.
    Unlike india, pak did not inherit the british capital/centre, just its portion of the army and bureaucracy. Again, the INC insisting on a TNT based division of the military personnel. These two (ex-british) institutions ‘constructed’ the state. The anxiety soon got mixed up with lust for power. So legitimacy too had to be ‘constructed’. The obvious answer was to play on and exaggerate the anxieties. Kashmir meant that not a lot of exaggeration was required. Three districts in the punjab accounted for 75% of pak army. 3 or 4 districts in the nwfp accounted for another 20%. This remains largely true to this day. East bengal was not a victim of a majoritarianism, what the AIML had tried to resist against the INC. east bengalis were the majority.
    In any case, the reason for the ‘realist’ view of what is moral and just is that more than half a century has past and a lot of water has passed under the bridge. First it was the UN resolutions, then Simla. YLH’s suggestion is what others too have suggested, e.g. air marshall (retd) asghar khan. I think mush also mentioned something like it. Personally, I’m interested in peace. I’m also interested in the rights of all the people of the whole of kashmir. But I’m most interested in not allowing kashmir, or ‘national security’ to be used by pak ‘establishment’ as the hammer with which to bludgeon my democratic rights and freedoms… let alone to spawn militias within my own society.

  48. Gorki

    This has suddenly become a very difficult discussion. One has to read the different posts here to realize how difficult and emotionally charged this whole Kashmir issue is between out two countries. However I will contribute my few thoughts even at the risk of raising the temperature further and at the risk of antagonizing a few people whom I have started looking upon as friends.
    The reason for doing this is that I believe that if an open minded group as one sees on this forum can not hold a civil discussion on this topic, then no one on this planet can.

    1. I think there is much merit in what YLH and Bonobashi say, their positions are even complementary. YLH makes a suggestion as to the final status if Kashmir which is both reasonable and fresh.
    2. However, I suggest another approach (again in a complementary way) that rather than looking at the end result we also look at the starting point.
    3. Thus we can all agree (at least liberal souls on both sides) that an ideal status for all the people of the former British India, is that where all citizens have a constitutional guarantee of equality before the law in terms of freedom of speech, personal freedom and a right to practice their own faith. We should also agree in principle that it is desirable to have a reasonable degree of freedom of movement even if settling in one part or another by ‘outsiders’ may require specific conditions. Once both (or all three; including BD) agree to above, further negotiations can become easier and the final goal of a union like EU or one that YLH suggested for Kashmir can be aspired to for all of these lands.
    4. Agree with Bonobashi that ‘Atoot Ang’ is nothing but hyper nationalistic nonsense. The country should be about the people who live in it not the geographic boundaries.
    5. My last comment is more of a question; is it possible to make an attempt to have an honest discussion and retain strong difference of opinions even but without casting aspirations on other people’s motives. For example if we start labeling each other’s position as a manifestation of ulterior motives, then either that person will be driven into a very defensive corner and withdraws or else will lash out in kind (which often happens and frankly becomes a distraction.) So can we assume goodwill unless specified otherwise by the speaker (or is evident by repeated bad behavior and rude senseless comments? )
    6. I am specifically directing the last (5th) point at YLH even at the risk of upsetting him because I found his comments in response to Hayyer’s post rather harsh. I do not always agree with Hayyer either but regard him a gentleman and respect his comments because even when he appears to be more than a little biased against the Indian leadership. To me his comments have had thought provoking reasoning behind it.

    For myself too, I hope people will assume that I have a genuine difference of opinion but no ill will either to any individual or any nation. (You may assume lack of information\ignorance at the worst) but not malice when my own comments are not liked by others.

    Regards.

  49. hayyer48

    First things first.
    YLH: I have gone through that New York Times piece and I find nothing in it to support your contention that Islamabad was ever seriously considered. You say you have it from other sources. Not knowing your sources I cannot comment.
    BC: You misunderstand my position. While morality and ethics are supposed to dictate a political discourse the TNT was just that, a theory. It was morally and ethically neutral. In my opinion therefore it had no inherent morality that you or I can subscribe to or ignore.
    Also I have never said that the Congress used the TNT to divide Bengal and Kashmir but declined to do it over J&K. I am not a defender of the Congress (also I don’t agree that it was the Congress using the TNT to divide Bengal and Punjab) .
    Under the terms of partition J&K should have gone to Pakistan. At worst at could have been divided like Punjab leaving the Hindu majority districts with India. In 47 there were at best two or three. Jammu, Kathua and perhaps Reasi, but the way Reasi was gerrymandered, it extended into Kashmir.
    My point was that while accepting accession by the Maharaja, Mountbatten insisted that there should be a plebiscite to determine the will of the people subsequently. It is there in Mountbatten’s own handwriting on file. So India pledged not only to hold a plebiscite but also to keep its hands off all other matters other than Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications. Neither of these two pledges has been carried out.
    Therefore apart from the UN resolutions there is the covenant between India and the Maharaja that we have failed Kashmir on. And a people who despite the Islamic attraction of Pakistan fell in with the Maharaja’s decision felt themselves betrayed, and then eventually, revolted.
    This is when we come to moral issues-India’s morality and Pakistan’s. India’s morals on Kashmir are demonstrably bad, but Pakistan’s are no better.
    This whole Kashmir mess started with the Pakistani invasion, tribal to start with but soon supplemented by Pak troops. After that it attacked India over Kashmir in 1965 and 1999, and it has sponsored a violent insurgency with terror as its main weapon to win back the state. Pakistan’s moral claims are therefore extinguished. The TNT as I said did not lay a moral foundation to Pakistani claims. Today from the Indian point of view, whatever the compulsions in 1947 there is no reason to concede Pakistan anything. But there is a debt owed to the Kashmiris, and in my view the payment of that debt can be combined in a package that will put an end to the bitterness with Pakistan.
    So speaking unsentimentally, and without reference to the justness or otherwise of the Pakistani position the existing mess should be sorted out.
    Your view is that there should be peace between the two countries so that your Army cannot use this as an excuse for its own aggrandizement. I agree, and one can say this even without reference to America’s geo-strategic needs in AfPak.

  50. Bloody Civilian

    hayyer48

    retaliation to even unprovoked and illegitimate hostilities does not provide justification for occupation and colonisation, if my understanding of int’l laws and morals is correct. in this case there was provocation. that it would have been better and wiser for pak to have not retaliated militarily to the provocation, is another matter. as for the lashkars, sadly there was a history of mullahs from deoband coming over to illiterate pashtuns of the south and playing the religion card to march them in to kashmir. but thats besides the point. hostilities do not create nor extinguish entitlement. only mutual agreement can do that.

    the provocation was congress manipulating the situation, at every turn. abdullah could not resist the short-cut to freedom offered to him, which proved to be a cul-de-sac… with time becoming worse than a mere cul de sac. mountbatten had already penned down about the lacuna regards the princely states within the independence of india act 1947: “normally geographical situation and communal interests and so forth will be the factors to be considered”.

    add to this the way radcliff had allowed mountbatten’s interference over the partition of punjab, doing discredit to both personalities. except, mountbatten was doing the INC’s bidding (as confirmed by the TP volumes, surmised by seervai, and noorani amongst others. and add to that the behaviour of cripps… as per noorani, for example). nehru who had rejected cmp, confederation and mutual defense arrangements said in his radio broadcast on june 3 – the day of the announcement partition plan: “it may be that in this way we shall reach that united india sooner than otherwise”. this was the background to the manipulation in kashmir.

    myself and many of my pakistani friends are sick to the back teeth of kashmir – not the pakistanis you said feel “they are missing a limb”. i’ve already said why. if india can do the honourable thing by kashmir, and if kashmiris can see sense, i’d be relieved.

  51. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Hayyer,

    Indian nationalism and perceived Indian interests stand in your way. I don’t think you understand that if New York Times speculates something, it is the foremost indicator of what the Democrat establishment is talking about.

    Unfortunately you are wrong- as wrong as you are on the other issue of INC’s role in partition of Punjab and Bengal.

    What is sad, ironic and downright hypocritical about Indian National Congress and its leadership was that while they used TNT, they kept denying that they were. And why was it wrong – because theirs was a distorted cynical use of a sound political device which would otherwise have supplemented and strengthened Indian secularism.

  52. Gorki

    OK enough India Pakistan deal for now. Let us get back to the speech that started it all.

    According to some sources there may be an alternate explanation for Obama choosing to speak in Cairo. Anyone who has followed Obama’s career so far can at least attest to one thing. Obama never does anything impulsive or rash; he thinks out a strategy with a cool detachment of a zen master, and once he has made up his mind, his strategy unfolds in a series of moves, like that of a chess grandmaster. The key to understand any one of these steps in isolation is to be able to understand which particular game he is playing at the moment.
    So if this is the case, Obama perhaps deliberately chose a major Arab capital not because he was speaking to the Muslim world but to the Semitic World; both Arab and Israeli.

    The reason for suspecting this is that while he spoke mostly to the Arabs and Muslims, it appears that it is the Israelis right wingers who seem to have heard this message the loudest and it is a message they are not used to hearing from the United States.
    In short what he said was; ‘The West bank lands are NOT disputed territories; they are OCCUPIED Palestinian land and territories.
    Remember it wasn’t long ago when Cheney had declared that since Israel had won the war in 1967 it should decide the final status of these territories. By his speech now, Obama has broken with the past administration practice of accepting Israeli violations with a wink while weakly protesting it every now and then for appearance sake.

    It is all the more critical that he has challenged a weak Israeli PM, Netanyahu; dependent as he is on a right wing coalition to make this concession. The beauty of this demand is that he has outflanked all the pro Israeli forces back home by formally demanding Israel to do something that has been a US position all along thus he can not be attacked for pushing Israel into a corner while doing exactly that. Now if Netanyahu complies, then Obama has established a principal; i.e. the US will make sure Israel strictly observes all the rules set before. If Netanyahu refuses and thus creates a rift in the US-Israeli ‘special’ relationship that has been in place since its inception then Obama has truly broken free of the power of the Jewish lobby at home but without the blame that goes along with it; a blame that no US President can survive politically.

    So is this a one time showdown or are we heading somewhere? I think it is an opening gambit in a serious effort to resolve the Arab Israeli conflict; the longest and most serious headache that the US has faced besides the Cold War. If this is true, then I think Obama will try to solve this thing in isolation from other interrelated problems with the Muslim world to maximize the chance of success. And it also means that he will probably try to solve the other problems in isolation too.

    So perhaps YLH, we will have a speech from Islamabad after all; addressed to a different

  53. Gorki

    So perhaps YLH, we will have a speech from Islamabad after all; addressed to a different audience and designed to cut a different Gordian knot.

  54. PatExpat

    Nobody asked me my profession 😦

  55. bonobashi

    @PatExpat

    What is your profession?

  56. Majumdar

    I think YLH’s proposal on Kashmir is a sensible one, and one which can be implemented at some time in future.

    Just to clarify my stand, I think Kashmir shud have been partitioned along the River Chenab (the so-called Owen Dixon formula) in 1947 itself in line with TNT principle.

    Regards

  57. PatExpat

    Hope the Owen-Dixon line did not came about the same way as Mason-Dixon line that divides Pennsylvania and Maryland in US. The myth is with families fighting over each square inch, one day while surveying the landscape Mason said to Dixon, “we have to draw the line somewhere” and then they drew the line where they were standing which came to be known as Mason-Dixon line.

  58. Bloody Civilian

    Pakistan had accepted Dixon’s plan (partition + plebiscite limited to, essentially, the valley). india did not.

    i don’t know what is H48’s evidence for legitimacy when he claims “willing compliance of Kashmiri Muslims”. what internationally recognisable form did the ‘self-determination’ take.. moving from a state of rebellion to one of enough coercion on abdullah’s part for his progeny to become congress’ favourite when it comes to manufacturing ‘legitimate’ expressions of self-determination in the vale. not to mention that the vale has never be demilitirised. even then, the grandfather had to spend how much of his life in jail? and the son was to many, one step ahead of his father when it came to demanding autonomy (for kahsmiris? or for nat conf?). H48 are you denying pak any locus standi, claiming it an india-kashmir problem? nehru conceded pak’s locus standi, again and again, in a series of bilateral summits. the UN resolutions, simla, or any subsequent indian govt has not altered that position.

    for majumdar’s argument about concessions on kashmir encouraging other states in india.. why should the kashmiris be made to pay for that? kashmir’s status was always separate, whether when indo-pak were still talking or not. or, when sh. abdullah was a free man and when he was not. and it continues to be separate and special till this day.

    which brings us to 2009, with far too many kashmiris dead and dying (50,000? 80,000? even since 1989), it’s time the two countries who have failed the kashmiris, and (as a result) the whole sub-continent, miserably, stepped down (or up) from their POV’s of separate nationality to one of common humanity. that is, the humanity of the much suffering kashmiris.

    there’s an alternative to YLH’s plan, which allows greater or even full kashmiri re-unification. if the state is demilitarised, would the non-muslim kashmiris still fear a united kashmir? they can be asked. they can have the right, if they need it now, to plebiscite same as the vale has always had. a nominal division can continue. asghar khan and others have suggested interesting defence arrangements (mutual and external vis a vis c.asia + china), conducive to major de-escalation and even co-operation between indo-pak. a portion of the defence savings (e.g. siachin) could be used to subsidise the kashmiri state(s) (there is definitely a debt owed).

    btw, none of these suggestions are new. nor, indeed, as we know, the ideas of confederation and defence pacts between india and pak. half a million or however many people died in a matter of several months at partition. while both indians and pakistanis gave a poor account of themselves, the british also failed in their duty to protect lives and property. but kashmiris have died, year after year, over a much longer period. a much larger proportion of them has died. and the killing has not been as a result of spontaneous riots, or pogroms disguised as one. there are educated men (and sadly too few women) in islamabad (and rawalpindi) and n.delhi who need to do much soul searching.

  59. hayyer48

    What is your profession PakExpat?
    YLH: No doubt my nationality and Indian interests stand in my way as Pakistani nationality and interests stand in yours. The NYT piece speculated on practically all capitals of Muslim countries. But I second Gorki. May Obama visit Pakistan soon and make a widely read address.
    BC: Indian occupation is not illegal, it is in a legal limbo. Also India has not colonized J&K. Non Permanent residents have no rights to buy land, vote for the Assembly or jobs in the state government. There is a law from the Maharaja’s time made even more stringent that prevents this. Despite demands from the Hindu right the Union government and the State government did not let outsiders settle there. The religious ratio continues to be in favour of Muslims. More so now than before because of the forced exodus of Kashmiri Pandits.
    Unlike the traditional colony Kashmir draws resources from India-Almost one and a half billion dollars annually. This is in the form of financial support to the state government. The only resource of J&K that is being exploited against its present will is water. Arguably more by Pakistan than India. The Indus waters treaty allots Indus, Jhelum and Chenab to Pakistan and Kashmir’s right to use them is constricted. But back in 1959 or so the state government was consulted and did agree in a state of sleep to a pact that has done them considerable potential, but not as yet actual damage.
    I am a fervent advocate of peace between the two countries. But unless you reign in your crazies it may never happen. Pakistan can deport Yarkandi terrorists to China, Jundullah groups to Iran but baulks at doing the same for India. A gesture- as H Hatter may have said but didn’t. It would leave India with no excuse not to move forward.

  60. Majumdar

    Civvie,

    concessions on kashmir encouraging other states in india.. why should the kashmiris be made to pay for that?

    I’m afraid, sir, that the world is not a fair place.

    Hayyer mian,

    Your arguments in favour of continued Indian rule in India are very commendable but besides the point. No matter what India does or doesn’t Kashmiri Muslims wouldn’t want to have anything to do with us.

    Regards

  61. Bloody Civilian

    re. water: srinagar was consulted by n.delhi – the occupying power in ‘legal limbo’ (the timeframe of limbo to be decided by the occupying power itself), not karachi.

    ‘crazies’ are also in a ‘legal limbo’; and they’ve been around for how long? (almost) successive regimes in islamabad have been outright illegal. as to what happens in between two military dictatorships, is not much different in terms of the real source of power. there are many hundred thousand indian troops in the valley suppressing a popular insurgency. if india were to start pulling out the troops… there is no end to this ‘pehle aap’. kashmiris will continue to be murdered and raped.

    the begining has to be small steps. baby steps. i can take mine only in a personal capacity. it’s infinitesimal but not negligible, since i’m not alone.

  62. Majumdar

    Civvie,

    if india were to start pulling out the troops… kashmiris will continue to be murdered and raped.

    Why do you say so?

    Regards

  63. Bloody Civilian

    majumdar

    i was referring to the “you reign in your crazies” and ‘you start pulling out your troops’. there is no end to this ‘pehle aap’ – ‘nahin, pehle aap’. in the meantime, kashmiris will continue to be murdered and raped.

  64. Bloody Civilian

    re. illegal regimes in islamabad: both ayub khan’s and musharraf’s offered ‘out of the box’ solutions to the problem, not just ‘baby steps’… but there was no response.

  65. Bloody Civilian

    H48: peace between the two countries “may never happen”. but what about peace between n.delhi and srinagar? how will that happen? let that happen and the ‘crazies’ will start looking even crazier. however, a peace with the people forced through the arms of the indian army “may never happen”.

  66. PMA

    Kashmir hit by renewed protests

    Protests still continued even though shops and businesses re-opened
    Students in Indian-administered Kashmir have held further demonstrations to protest against the alleged rape and killing of two women.

    Their protests took place as businesses re-opened after a separatist leader called for an end to eight days of strikes, which paralysed the Valley.

    Protesters accuse paramilitary forces of raping and killing the women.

    They deny the charges, but recent forensic tests have confirmed that the women were raped.

    Protests have raged throughout the Kashmir Valley since 30 May.

    ‘Undercover’ report

    The BBC’s Altaf Hussain in Srinagar says that police used teargas to disperse hundreds of students in the southern district of Pulwama who were marching towards the neighbouring town of Shopian where the two women were from.

    The rapes and murders have caused much anger
    Six students were injured in Tuesday’s violence, our correspondent adds.

    The police fired teargas shells to break up other demonstrations in Srinagar and the towns of Anantnag, Sopore, Handwara and Baramullah.

    The protesters chanted slogans against Indian rule and demanded that those responsible for the rapes be brought to justice.

    Meanwhile the Kashmir High Court Bar Association, an association of lawyers, has released an interim report of its own investigation into the attacks.

    Police did not allow the lawyers into the town of Shopian but some did manage to get in undercover. They said they managed to conduct interviews in the town.

    The report, which is not an official document, said that one of the girls – a minor – was raped even after her death, while the other victim bore marks on her wrist indicating that she had been tied down before being gang raped.

    It accused police of interfering with various aspects of the investigation. The police has not as yet responded to the accusations.

    The report also demands the resignation of the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, for saying that initial findings did not indicate rape or murder.

    Shops, businesses, schools, colleges and government offices re- opened throughout the Kashmir Valley on Tuesday.

    Most separatist leaders were arrested after the protests over the incident began and some – such as Mirwaiz Umar Farooq – remain under house-arrest.

    The bodies of the two young women were found in a canal in the town of Shopian on 30 May. They had gone missing the previous evening.

    The cause of their deaths is still being investigated, but police say a post-mortem examination shows they were raped.

  67. hayyer48

    BC: Undoubtedly peace between Delhi and Srinagar is of the essence.
    The insurgency in Kashmir died circa 92-93. By 1995 it was over. At early as November 90 there were elements of the JKLF (by then under attack by Hizb ul Mujaheedin) who were looking for a way out.
    Today the IA sits like an elephant squashing a hapless few hundred askaris. The Army is not in its hundreds of thousands. Please dont believe that propaganda. I estimate that India has put in about 40,000 troops in the valley over and above the normal deployment facing Pakistan and China, and perhaps another 10,000 in Jammu. The others are paramilitary, probably around 50,000. Of-course these are my estimates but I am not doing a white wash. You may know that Udhampur is the heaquarters of the Northern Indian Army Command and is the only command facing enemies on two fronts. So a large percentage of the Indian Army is deployed in J&K anyway.
    About murders and rapes. While the security forces have got away with a lot, there is nothing that goes unreported in J&K’s free press. All murders, all rapes, all missing persons. My idea of the average reported rapes including those by Kashmiri men themselves is not above two a year. The rapes not reported are those of the militants. Just as in Swat the first thing that occurs to young men is sex. In 1990 there was a rash of attempts at forced marriages by servants with their employers’ daughters. Rapes by militants were common till about 1995. I don’t know how it stands at present. The current agitation over two women raped is the first incident this year; as yet no one knows who is responsible, but it has given Geelani an chance to revive his leadership.
    The last reported rape and murder was two years ago in North Kashmir committed by a local and his Bihari buddy.
    You will not believe that the most famous rape, the so called mass rape of Kunan Poshpora in 1990 did not happen at all. Wajahat Habibullah the Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir said so in his enquiry report. As yet there has been no instance of organized rape in formation strength by the army. It is a fiction of Pakistan journalism.
    Rapes do take place occasionally, but these are individual acts by sex starved soldiers. Don’t believe the propaganda that rape is used by the Indian Army as a weapon of war. I do not recall reading of more than three or four such incidents in all. One of them turned out to be a Gujjar girl getting it off with her lover and then being surprised in the act by her father, changing tack. This was in Bandipur last year.
    I wish I could have been as emphatic about human rights. The security forces do get away with murder but it is not as if there is a murder of day. Again going by press reports, and each and every incident is reported, as well as some that have not happened-you could probably count about one or two incident a month nowadays. Ofcourse in the very early years of 1990-91 many died in firings of security forces, and I am certain that there was an unrestrained use of third degree in the detention camps. Those were the days before the US practically legitimized it. No actual figures can be estimated of those who died as a result of state brutality.
    On the other hand the figures of lives lost are a matter of record. The newspapers record every death and the figure is I think in the vicinity of 45,000. I am not in a position to give a breakup of these figures. One of your Pakistani authors in his recent book says that over 7000 JKLF cadres were killed by the HM before a ceasefire between them was called. In revenge some cadres set up a force to kill HM cadres and overground JEI workers. Again, I have no figures, but it must have been over a thousand, In some areas HM cadres were practically wiped out. There were in fact 3 or 4 of these groups in different parts of Kashmir, and they soon came under the protection of the Army and operated under their patronage. They are renegade militants, and sometimes Ikhwanis, because they were earlier of the Ikhwan ul Musilmeen a particularly vicious group of pro-Pakistanis. The list of dead includes security forces dead, militants, civilians killed in cross firing, bomb blasts and other miscellaneous deaths.
    Then there are the missing. It is impossible to say how many are dead in action or living in Pakistan under different identities or in camps or actually done away with, by the security forces or in internecine fighting of the groups.
    Sorry for this rather long ramble on what may seem irrelevant but I felt I had to clarify the murder rape picture.
    Majumdar: You would be surprised how many Kashmiris would be happy to live with India itmakes amends. They are an emotional, excitable and cerebral people; there is almost total disenchantment with Pakistan for a variety of reasons. Except for cricket matches there is not much support for Pakistan outside of the Jamaati types.

  68. YDMM

    Is it unsuitable to ask the gentlemen here to reveal there professions?Is this spam,ylh?YLH,for god sakes dont turn pth into an orwellian animal farm ,where only a linear/monotonous viewpoint is tolerated. I just wanted to know there professions because I FOUND hayyer48 speakING bureaucratese(the language of ICS’es), SO I JUST WANTED TO CONFIRM. MY question remains unanswered

  69. hayyer48

    Actually YDMM I thought I had managed to attain a level blogese pretty well, even if not a scholarly historian’s detachment.

  70. in pain!

    For me, hayyer48, bonobashi writes the best blogese and thats why i try to always read his comments.But, i must say that the “clique members”(gorki,you ,bb,bc,pakexpat) sometimes write extremely protracted and recondite replies.

  71. Bloody Civilian

    H48:

    i make a point to hum and look away when pak (electronic) media is reporting on kashmir… from as long ago as i can remember (and doing the equivalent of that in case of the print media). i use whatever other sources are available, to whatever extent.

  72. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    For reasons that I have mentioned elsewhere, I am unable to reply properly to your earlier mail.

    I also believe that it could be the matter of one unwise word, one careless remark to set off a conflagration of competing nationalism on PTH. I am about to write a personal mail tomorrow to you, Gorki, YLH and Raza Sahib, with a suggestion, but unfortunately cannot do so for Hayyer48 and Majumdar. And without them, extending the discussion has no meaning.

    @Hayyer48

    Permit me (the following information is from public sources and are slightly dated).

    IX Corps, Yol, Himachal:
    26 Inf. Div. (Jammu);

    XIV Corps, Leh:
    3 Inf. Div. (Leh);
    8 Mtn. Div. (Dras);
    Artillery Bde.;

    XV Corps, Srinagar:
    19 Inf. Div. (Baramulla);
    28 Inf. Div. (Gurez);
    Artillery Bde.;

    An Infantry Division is normally about 10,000 fighting strength, sometimes with an oversized Brigade or two peaking at 15,000. Corps HQ have a small number of officers engaged in planning and staff work, negligible overall.

    Please note that XIV Corps faces two ways, two sets of threats and hostile formations; what the world thinks of as the Indian Army in Kashmir is really finally only XV Corps.

    Your figures are accurate, although slightly inflated. You are also very accurate about Rashtriya Rifles strength, although I have closer to 33,000. With the detachments of CRPF and BSF and other policemen, not paramilitary, strictly speaking, this might come to 50,000 with a little stretching and squinting sideways.

    XVI Corps at Nagrota was positioned keeping in mind the nightmare of Operation Grand Slam, and then the even more successful attack by the brilliant Eftekhar Janjua in 71. It has no footprint in the Valley.

    @YDMM

    I read history 40 years ago, neglected the portions that YLH and Bloody Civilian have run this very high-class tutorial about, and abandoned worthwhile pursuits to sell steel, till finally falling into the rut of the century, information technology. The only good part of that was engaging in building software. At present, I am committed to resolving some family problems in Calcutta and am on a sabbatical of a year.

    @in pain!

    AFAIK, there’s no clique; there’re several independent writers. The reason for our length is that YLH typically throws out a sutra-like aphorism or two, and interpreting that does take time. Everything that happens on this forum is YLH’s fault. You can write him hate mail if we write something you don’t like.

  73. Bloody Civilian

    H48: i did not call india a colonising power. it’s an occupying power.

  74. yasserlatifhamdani

    People,

    In pain is none other than our resident hermaphrodite Sicko. So is YDMM.

    Hayyer,

    Only three were named as obvious. In any event it is pointless to talk to you on this issue.

    Ofcourse I’d like to know what it is in my discourse that you find which shows that I allow Pakistani national (I am beginning to hate this word now) interest stand in the way of reasonableness.

    My suggestion over Kashmir is with the best of intentions. I would be putting up Pakistan’s nation interest if I repeated (as you’ve done) all the myths of why Kashmir should be part of Pakistan (or India in your case- the myths on your side are even more laughable and ridiculous).

    Like BC, I’d like to see an end to this nonsense over Kashmir with a just and fair solution for the people of that land who don’t want to be with you let’s face it.

    The solution I presented might be naïve … or not fully appreciative of the drama of power politics that India has waged in Kashmir I admit but it is not a Pakistani nationalist solution.

    And perhaps the Jinnah-admirer in me (and both BC and I have been psychoanalyzed here with varying degrees of success) sees an opportunity to revive some of that original idea of the subcontinent Jinnah had in mind- one with shared sovereignty and open borders between fraternal states of Pakistan and Hindustan living together side by side (to use hackneyed two state mumbo jumo but for want of better phraseology) in this great Indian Subcontinent.

    Did you know that Indian currency and Pakistani currency are easily convertible all along the Sindh border… with either currency being used on either side? Let us seek inspiration from those who want to get on with life and are more accepting of historical realities than those who love to debate whether partition was wrong…or what India and Pakistan’s zero sum game is on Kashmir and the Indus Water Treaty.

  75. Karaya

    Re Kashmir:

    Proportioning blame is an unending game. Reams could be written on India’s dishonourable bully-like conduct and much could be said about the utter incompetence of Jinnah when he didn’t accept the Kashmir-Hyderabad swap and, as usual, made his supporters suffer terribly for his inflexibility (although here, Hyderabad’s treasury might have played an important role too).

    Of course, even after that, Pakistan didn’t realise that a confrontation on Kashmir would proportionally hurt it more than it could ever India. And true to form, India’s leaders kept up with the game—after all a perpetual state of war is an enticing concept for any government. India’s villages didn’t have schools but India cheerfully paid millions to try and stop the balls freezing of a chap on a glacier. Sigh!

    And while the views of the Pakistanis on this board are quite understandable, in the end what Majumdar said will hold. A resolution to the Kashmir dispute can never be in India’s favour. This is why India would never want one and would prefer a status quo. And while it is commendable that Pakistan would want to help out its fellow Muslims in Kashmir (after what the Indian Army has done there, I don’t quite blame them), a quite retreat at this stage would be, by far, the most sensible thing to do and, in my opinion, that retreat has already commenced.

  76. yasserlatifhamdani

    Much is made of this swap theory. It is ridiculous to think that after having laid the ground work for annexation of Kashmir by force in the partition plan itself Mountbatten and Nehru were going to allow this. Patel was not serious. His objective was to cut Pakistan’s only source of support when the Indian government had. Already having withheld Pakistan’s funds ofcourse.

    Hyderabad was a gone case and Patel was not going to use it as a bargaining chip. He knew he would annex it sooner or later.

    It is really historically very myopic to think that simplistic proposals (more like slogans and counter-slogans) meant anything more than to put people off. In Pakistan Wali Khan made a big deal about it in that horrendously partisan and ridiculous speech Khan sb made in the National Assembly in 1990.

    Let us not flow away in our zeal to sound academic and then repeat popular norse mythology.

    Kashmir is Nehru’s doing. And Mountbatten’s assistance played a part in it which is why he is so admired in Indian right wing circles despite being responsible for callously shirking responsibility as Viceroy in the Partition aftermath.

    While inflexibility is commonly associated with Jinnah …it was this that had gotten his followers behind him. And if anything he was too flexible… He should have told Mountbatten to shove it on June 3rd. I remember in the aftermath of Yasser Arafat’s demise people mentioned that Arafat’s biggest flaw was a lack of statesmanship. One academic from an American university then contrasted him with Jinnah who had according to this academic had cut his losses and accepted the June 3rd plan. According to this academic a similar opportunity arose for Arafat at Camp David in 2000 but he did not take it.

  77. Bloody Civilian

    H48: despite a couple of long posts from you, you have not responded to 98% of what i said.

    this is not about asserting indian nationalism or pakistani nationalism. this is about acknowledging kashmiri nationalism. confusing it with pakistanism and therefore terrorism is hardly going to make it go away.

  78. Bloody Civilian

    you say ‘india must have been doing something right in 1947’. where and what is your evidence that the valley and other parts of the country wanted india?

  79. hayyer48

    BC: I apologize for writing at length about the murder rape business and ignoring your more substantive questions. I was called away and got back only just now.
    I would like to attend to them immediately but it would mean another long post and I don’t know if our small group of correspondents is interested in what I have to say, but you have the right to a reply so it follows in the next post.
    YLH: I thought I was responding to your argument. You did say that I was talking as an Indian nationalist, speaking from the narrow confines of nationalism, and then again, as an Indian nationalist with perceived Indian interests.
    Now I have always thought myself to be able to take a detached view, and this is why PTH is often a learning experience. So in India ‘mussalman mujhe kafir kehte hain aur kafir mujhe musulman’.
    I am an Indian but my perspective, I thought is not the typical Indian one. But you find it typically Indian, so you probably see things that many Indians miss. Be assured that I was as bewildered in being called a typical Indian as you are at being labelled a Pakistani nationalist.
    I thought I had made it loud and clear, repeatedly, that I would like a quick solution to Kashmir and an end to the hatred. I think your solution is an excellent one and I am certain that something on those lines will eventually emerge, indeed, was under discussion.

  80. hayyer48

    OK. Here we go.
    BC: You did say in the second line of your post at 4.18 June 9th that India is an occupying and colonizing power.
    About Sheikh Abdullah’s popularity in 1947 and willing compliance. Because there was no election or pollster at work it is now easy to question it. Alastair Lamb did it in his book which I went through nearly 15 years ago. It is a biased account written to order I think.
    Since we have no polling to go by you have to go by the evidence of Kashmiris who lived at that time. They responded to his call to fight off the invaders under the aegis of the Indian army in their thousands. He was popular enough in 1946 to make a mockery of Jinnah’s visit to Srinagar. National Conference leaders had tried to be friendly to him but he snubbed them. In revenge they boycotted his visit and Jinnah received a thumbs down from Kashmiris en masse. Further, Kashmiris gave Sheikh Abdullah the political support he needed to justify accession to it. There were little opposition to it. Maulvi Yusuf Shah led the pro Jinnah Muslim Conference. He migrated to Muzzafarabad leaving his followers, the so called Bakras, concentrated in some parts of the old city of Srinagar, in the lurch. The Sheikhs followers were called the Shers. The Sher Bakra conflict was legendary with the Bakra invariably getting the worst of it. I have spoken to many many Kashmiris, some who are no more now, and they all agree, even when, as is usual, they are anti-Indian, that he was the undisputed leader of Kashmir. Besides there is the wealth of evidence in the newspapers of the time.
    The willing compliance came as a result of Kashmiri support to Sheikh Abdullah, a support that was evidence in their doing what he asked them to do. The bakras by contrast have only ever managed to win two Assembly constituencies in Srinagar city. The mass slogan used to be ‘Al(vegetable marrow,locci) kari, wangan(aubergine) kari, sher kari sher kari’. Meaning roughly, whether he does marrow or aubergine, the sher can do what he likes. Sheikh Abdullah was of-course like Jinnah a ruthless egoist and Jinnah’s Indian reputation meant nothing to him in the context of his own practically uncontested leadership of Kashmiri Muslims. To Kashmiris the doings in far away India, as in the Frontier meant little. Local politics was all that mattered. It was different in Jammu where Muslim sentiment was in line with the Punjab.
    The Sheikh was first and foremost a Kashmiri nationalist. Whether there is scope in the Indo-Pak scheme of things for encouraging sub-nationalities is a question on which I will not express any opinion.
    We both have the problem. And it is being tackled in various ways.
    You ask whether I am denying Pakistan a locus- standi in Kashmir. My answer to that is that Pakistan has dealt itself out over the last 62 years. Pakistani’s claim was a legitimate one in 1947. Today its ‘moral’ claims require more than a pinch of salt. They must surmount its own obstacles created by failure of military effort and the use of terror. It may well be argued that India left it no choice by 1965. True, by ’65 the game was already over, but it did have a choice in 1947, and then again after the UN resolutions.
    It would be a different matter if there were some overriding moral, national, racial, linguistic or cultural principle that bound Kashmir beyond inevitability to Pakistan, but there is none, as there is none binding it to India. The only principle is the TNT. India does not accept the theory and as we now learn perhaps Jinnah didn’t either. So, if the the founder did not entirely believe it himself what value should India place on it now, after all these years and all this trauma.
    We have plenty of Sangh types. At least 20%, going by the voting percentage. Maintaining communal harmony is an ongoing task. We cannot afford a fresh demonstration that Indian Muslims are de-facto Pakistanis.
    You ask why should Kashmiris suffer on this account. I ask you why should 1100 million Indians go through a Balkans experience because of a principle that they do not believe in and were forced to concede under duress.
    More fundamentally, J&K did accede to India, there was supposed to be a plebiscite and it wasn’t held because Pakistan would not withdraw its troops.
    Pakistan’s locus standi is its feeling of phantom pain in its missing limb. The principle of partition is undermined in Bangladesh, and is in some danger in Baluchistan (aided probably by India as Pakistanis allege). India has faced its own demons, including the continuing one of Kashmir, but Bonobashi ratiocinates that logic much better than I can.
    Sh. Abdullah like other sub-continental political leaders(except the first generation after independence and excluding the Sheikh) did not push their progeny into their impending vacant seats. The Sheikh did that, but I was not defending Sheikh Abdullah’s dynastic urges as I do not Nehru’s, though he never expressed any-it was his father. Indira Gandhi lured the Sheikh back, and he only gave up his struggle at the age of 70, after Bangla desh. It was then obvious that the subcontinental world had changed beyond redemption. So he compromised with the Indian state.
    Whether India betrayed the Sheikh or whether he was indiscreet in his tactics is another story. Kashmiris believed in him and continued to follow him even after they felt he had betrayed them in 1975. They gave him an overwhelming electoral triumph over the Congress in 1977. On his death in 1982 they gave him a tremendous sendoff. He did the best he could do for his people in his time and given the conditions he faced. Today he is generally forgotten and even reviled.
    On the question of demilitarization: The Indian army went in after Pakistani started up the whole business. The force levels were increased after 1965. In 1989-90 Pakistan encouraged more Indian troops to come into the valley-and in 1999 the division in Leh meant to cover China with only a small brigade in Kargil was upgraded to a Corp with a Division in Kargil. So, what is India to do if Pakistan keeps raising the stakes?
    Should the reversal start in the same order. The military mind controls things here. I would not risk any suggestion. The generals will decide once they sit down to talk. I will only say that Pakistan should not hope that an agreed military withdrawal by both sides will allow the mujahids a peaceful takeover. So who will ensure that and what credible guarantees can Pakistan offer? Pakistan almost lost Malakand. Can India trust them. Who will stop Hafiz Sayeed? Can Pakistan convince India about the LeT when even now it seems determined to present a collusive aspect over 26/11?
    And then ofcourse is the question of the Indian army and the border with China. Pakistan may be willing to concede Ladakh to China, India certainly wont. So India needs its lines of communication to Ladakh and its army there.
    I hope I have covered your questions. I shall re-read the posts tomorrow and if there is anything left out, will add some more to this.
    Finally, you spoke of Kashmiris dead and dying. I don’t like saying this but it need not have been this way. The provocation to violence came from across the border. It began in enthusiasm and led to sorrow, very early. The movement was led by young romantics of the JKLF. They had lost it by end 1990. Though Jammu Hindus and Kashmiri Pandits lost lives as well as sundry Sudanese and even Persian speaking Hazaras, it was Kashmiri Sunni Muslims who suffered the most.
    Should non Muslim Kashmiris fear a united Kashmir? Did non Muslim Punjabis fear a united Punjab, till the Lahore resolution. Did the Pathans fear Hindus in a united India? Did Bengali Hindus fear Muslims till the call for Pakistan? Were they not opposed to the partition of Bengal in 1905? Did Sheikh Abdullah fear the Congress? Rhetorical, true-but relevant.

  81. hayyer48

    On the issues of my earlier post. Evidence of killings rape and missing persons can be read on line at two newspapers. Greater Kashmir at http://www.greaterkashmir.com and http://www.kashmirtimes.com. Greater Kashmir is published from Srinagar. It is a Kashmiri nationalist paper with an anti Indian bias. Kashmir Times is published from Jammu. It is edited by Ved Bhasin a Hindu but with a pronounced Kashmiri tilt. Fayaz Kaloo brings out GK. Overseas Kashmiris generally turn to this paper for their quota of news of the homeland. Both maintain online archives and both if researched can give evidence of the rapes and murders. GK sometimes attributes crimes to the security forces which later turn out to be incorrect

  82. Gorki

    The thread started as a discussion about President Obama’s overture to Muslims but thanks in part to provocative flame throwers like PMA and a defensive stance by Hayyer (rather uncharacteristic for him) it has now become a full fledged discussion on India, Pakistan, Kashmir and nationalism that at least I was hoping could be avoided.
    But now we are here, so be it.

    The post about the current unrest caused by rape and murder in Kashmir is painful to read on several planes. The description of the crime itself is sickening; unfortunately it is also an indictment of the state of India that the population of Srinagar holds the army and the authorities responsible. I am aware of the fact that by admitting this on a the PTH I may be accused of being a soft loony like as Arundhati Roy but I say this not as an idiotic ‘republic of one’ but as one of the Republic’s citizen; albeit as a nationalist citizen.

    The failure to first prevent and then quickly acknowledge and solve this heinous crime is a failure of the state in discharging one of its basic duties to its citizens; that of providing safety and security.

    A part of me wants to believe Hayyer’s explanation and feel reassured when he says that such crimes are rare and frequently overblown but it does not feel that way because even one such crime and a half hearted approach to solving it is one too many for comfort.

    The reason for my discomfort is that of principle. Thus while I do not feel any less anguished by this crime than by the Mumbai massacre, the reaction of the authorities, and the national press is obviously very different. It is this difference that I believe is at the heart of the problem in Kashmir.
    BC mentioned something about the need for peaceful relationship between New Delhi and Srinagar. I think that relationship is immaterial or at the best far less important than the relationship between the Republic whose capital is New Delhi and between the individual citizens of that republic.

    The Republic and all its organs; the judiciary, the press, the civil administration, the army exists for one and only one reason; to protect and fulfill the constitutional obligations of that Republic, enshrined in which are the fundamental rights for all; promising life, liberty and equal protection before the law.

    I am fully aware of the fact that this is only a principle and it is very difficult to implement principles 100% of the time in the real world. However a state can demand (and expect) the allegiance of its citizens only when it can demonstrate sincerely that this principle is first and foremost, at the heart of all its efforts.
    I think it is the absence of this sincerity; time and again, whether in regards to justice for these most recent victims or many similar victims (of 1984 riots, of Gujarat riots or hundreds of other such incidents) that makes me fear for the well being of my Republic more than even the Taliban or the LeT cadres.

    Hayyer 48 and YLH sparred a little bit about who appeared more nationalist than the other; perhaps making it sound as if being nationalist is a bad thing. I think there is nothing wrong with nationalism provided we employ it to fearlessly defend the constitutional principles of the nation.
    Further more we have to believe that it was to uphold those principles of equality and justice for all that thousands of our common national heroes willingly gave up their lives in the freedom struggle.

    Once we understand and implement this above principle of nationalism, the issue of Kashmir will probably become a non issue or will resolve itself in due time.

    BTW: PakExpat what is your profession and why is it important?

  83. yasserlatifhamdani

    Hayyer,

    I don’t know how you come up with these ideas…

    Did Bengali Hindus fear Bengali Muslims- yes! Through out. Your simplistic argument about partition of Bengal is just that. I suggest you read Joya Chatterjee’s book.

    Your claim that 1971 undermined the basis of partition (if it means Pakistan) Indira Gandhian lie. The creation of Bangladesh was a re-affirmation of the Lahore Resolution and the original Pakistan idea. 1971 was a negation of Nehru mian’s declaration that there must be one Pakistan.

    Still there is no question that Pakistan could have remained united but that required a constitutional compromise … The failure of military men to hold the country together is not the failure of the idea.

    Shaikh Abdullah got what he deserved. He was jailed by his own buddy Nehru…Nehru was quite the modern Helagu of the Subcontinent. Like Helagu he knew how to deal with those who betrayed their people to his advantage.

  84. Majumdar

    The idea that 1971 was a negation of TNT or the rationale for Pakistan is false. Had TNT been false BD wud have opted for merger with India not opted for an independent BD which as YLH mentions is by no means incompatible with LR-40.

    But the notion that JLN was responsible for BD and Pak being yoked together is completely false. This canard has been spread by Pakistani thinkers who do not to take responsibility for their own failures in nation building.

    JLN was an idiot of the first order but he had nothing to do with BD-Pak fracas and frankly speaking comparing him to Halaku wud be do an injustice to Halaku.

    Regards

  85. Majumdar

    Gorki,

    The thread started as a discussion…….. but thanks in part to provocative flame throwers…….. it has now become a full fledged discussion on……

    I seriously think we need an Unplugged section for PTH with complete freedom to rave, rant and do gaali galouch. Btw, this mode of interaction also results in some enduring friendships being formed.

    Regards

  86. yasserlatifhamdani

    My contention is that Pakistan could have been kept united by a constitutional dispensation… and the fact that it didn’t does not prove the critics of the idea right by any means… it just proves that we Pakistanis failed at the task of constitution-making (as opposed to nation-making which is a rather futile and ridiculous exercise in my view).

  87. yasserlatifhamdani

    or nation building.

  88. yasserlatifhamdani

    Salaah

    The gentlemen here are all accomplished professionals … (Sorry to out others here) … of those commenting here there is atleast one highly recommended cardiologist of international repute, one accomplished businessman, several management consultants and an engineer-turned lawyer-in-training…

    So I would request that you hold your horses in so far as your assumptions are concerned.

    I, therefore, have to delete your personal attack on people here.

  89. Bloody Civilian

    H48: i did not say india was a coloniser. i said that under int’l law and morals hostilities did not bestow a right to occupy or colonise. i never said india was guilty of the latter (just the former). please -re-read what i said.

    and by int’l laws and norms, your long list of ‘evidence’ of abdullah’s popularity amounts to nought. and it does not and cannot be used to tell the kashmiris that therefore there are “citizens” of india, as per gorki, and the problem then becomes of not failing them as “citizens of the republic”. india’s mala fide is proven by abdullah’s imprisonment, even if all the other mountains of evidence were not there. justice owen dixon called abdullah’s valley a ‘police state’. did he say it “on order” like lamb?

    so the INC rejected the cmp and rebuffed confederation, defence pact and all such efforts under “duress”? jinnah’s stand was against majoritarianism, as is the kashmiris’. turning a minority in to the villain for standing up for their rights is what the INC did and they not only termed TNT as the original sin they made it a permanent feature of this land of ours. so how does a minority speak for itself, if it is not allowed to mention its identity? the honest approach is to take the stand in the spirit it is made, to take in to account the wall of INC’s dictatorial attitudes the minority had been bashing its head against for 30+ years. if INC had managed more than a minimal indian muslim vote in 1937 (pre-LR40/TNT), then at least it would have had some excuse for such undemocratic behaviour. except, the same dictatorial behaviour has been and is continuing in kashmir.

    as for bonobashi’s excellent ratiocination, a kashmiri reading it might find plenty of irony there but no logic. as a pakistani/’indian’ muslim (identity-wise, zilch to do with the religion), ‘i’ will continue ‘my’ struggle against majoritiarianism in ‘my’ country. except, for decades ‘i’ have found myself struggling against military dictatorship (instead of INC dictatorship of pre-47). how does it make ‘my’ struggle and vision any different to the one put forth by bonobashi for india, just because ‘i’ got mugged by a bunch of criminals on the way? ‘my’ struggle continues and it will carry on as ‘i’ get rid of every last terrorist and establish and become the guardian of a non-majoritarian democracy.

    kashmir remains an int’l issue. it involves the world. from ’47 to agra. you can deny pakistan locus standi, or you can try and achieve peace. or you believe in ‘might is right’ as nehru did “We are superior to Pakistan in military and industrial power. But that superiority is not so great as to produce results quickly either in war or by fear of war. Therefore, our national interest demands that we should adopt a peaceful policy towards Pakistan and, at the same time, add to our strength. Strength ultimately comes not from the defence forces, but the industrial and economic background behind them. As we grow in strength, and we are likely to do so, Pakistan will feel less and less inclined to threaten or harass us, and a time will come when, through sheer force of circumstances, it will be in a mood to accept a settlement which we consider fair, whether in Kashmir or elsewhere.” (SWJN; Vol. 19; pp. 322-330).

    where does that leave the people of kashmir?

    the heart of the issue is the vale. nehru rejected the owen dixon plan, not because he was opposed to a plebiscite in the vale, but because he wanted his man abdullah to remain in place. the only military in the vale has always been india’s. pak accepted the plan, as every other UN proposed/sponsored plan. india rejected every single one.

    while at the heart of the issue are the people of the valley, statesmanship in n.delhi and islamabad would mean to find ways to allow kashmiris to have as united and independent a country as possible. unlike the hyderabad-kashmir ‘swap’, india has always held the key to a solution for the kashmiris. but while ‘might is right’ reigns supreme.. there will be all the horrible consequences of ‘might is right’ and there can be little hope for peace.

  90. Majumdar

    Civvie,

    Nehru opposed both the Owen Dixon plan and the plebiscite becuase he knew India wud lose Kashmir and his homeland wud become foreign country. Sheikh Abdullah had nothing to do with it.

    the only military in the vale has always been india’s.

    True, unless you count Maj Gen Akbar Khan and his irregulars an army. In hindsight of course it seems quite unfortunate that his troops stopped by for some R&R at Baramulla.

    Regards

  91. Bloody Civilian

    i’ve read the pandian and HRW reports. you seem to believe things like abu ghraib are not the ‘tip of the iceberg’ but the whole and solitary icicle. i also read J&K media. talk to (IOK) kashmiris. read a variety of blogs from different geographical and ethnic parts of kashmir. i know of the tragedies on all sides.

    my issue is with ‘might is right’, and using terrorism as an excuse to crush a popular movement and deny political rights. an analogy would be baluchistan sans india’s status as an occuppier.

  92. Majumdar

    Civvie,

    What prevents the Hurriyat from contesting the elections, winning the Assembly elections and passing a resolution demanding azaadi?

    Regards

  93. Bloody Civilian

    majumdar

    akbar khan, his ex-INA officers, and the more interested in R&R lashkaris were not in the valley when india rejected all the proposals, esp owen dixon’s. india’s military was the one that stopped and stayed.

    i agree with the distinction between nehru’s fears and abdullah’s objectives. nehru has written it all down for us and history.

  94. Bloody Civilian

    60+ years of what the sanctity of the ballot-box of the great indian democracy has meant for kashmir and kashmiris. i do not have to agree with huriyat to acknowledge somebody’s right to boycot a cynical exercise, as long as they do not resort to violence except strictly in self-defence… and only against the attacker. same applies to india.. but not in terms of ‘equity/parity’ (as india is a large republic) and ‘clean hands’ (this is the much worse one, as india is the occupier).

    also, unless you are protesting by a fast unto death, you can participate in the process that controls your jobs and livelihood etc., and still struggle for full self-determination. india playing for time includes exploiting that difficulty that the people of kashmir have after a protracted period of banging their head against a wall (of might is right). hence, H48 claiming abdullah’s ‘popularity’ as a substitute for ‘self-determination’.

  95. Bloody Civilian

    majumdar

    as i have said in an earlier post on this thread: “if india can do the honourable thing by kashmir, and if kashmiris can see sense, i’d be relieved.”

  96. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    That doesn’t seem correct.

    Every account has the lashkars entering first, even before the Maharaja signed the accession document; in fact, he might not have signed unless the State forces had started collapsing. These are Pakistani accounts; obviously I will not use Indian accounts in this case.

    That in fact is the original act of violence which is difficult to wish away, try as we all might.

    While the story of the struggle for the upper hand prior to these incidents makes sordid reading, chicanery is not violence.

    Finally, I am surprised at your reference to Sir Owen Dixon at this point of time. He was called in as late as 1950. There was no question of his recommendations being rejected and the lashkars moving after that. There is a separation of years between them.

    You have probably misread the reference within Noorani’s article, which doesn’t explicitly mention the dates of Dixon’s involvement. It was from May 1950 onwards.

  97. Bloody Civilian

    “i’d be relieved”.. simply as a human being.

  98. Bloody Civilian

    bonobashi

    i know the dates. H48’s objection was the presence of pak mil hindering a plebiscite. the idea of a state-wide plebiscite died very quickly – in a few months. owen dixon was about a plebiscite in the vale only. nehru/india accepted this aspect of the proposal. there was no combatants other than the indian mil in the vale from some time before jan 1 1949. hence the position of the ceasefire line. so pak’s mil presence was in no way relevant to owen dixon, and all the subsequent attempts and summits which were on the basis of a plebeiscite in the vale. as for other possibilities, there is no evidence that pak was unwilling to remove its mil. although, it was irrelevant to the proposals which agreed, to india’s preference, that the heart of the issue was the vale.

  99. Bloody Civilian

    “the idea of a state-wide plebiscite died very quickly – in a few months” because GoI considered it out of the question to hold a plebiscite in the non-muslim majority districts.

  100. Bloody Civilian

    bonobashi

    what you say before the penultimate para in your post, stems from you thinking that i had confused the dates. i have not confused those facts either.

    neither chicanery nor violence are recognised by law, or the moral quivalent of law.

  101. Bloody Civilian

    “neither chicanery nor violence are recognised by law, or the moral quivalent of law” as a substitute to legal or moral entitlement.

  102. Majumdar

    Civvie,

    One of the conditions for the plebisicite was that Pak militray should be removed from POK. Why doesn’t Pak take the moral upper hand by removing its troops from Pak?

    Regards

  103. Bloody Civilian

    majumdar

    had there been an agreement, whether under the auspices of the UN or bilateral, of course there would have been a withdrawal. after all, pak accepted the principle in accepting the UN resolutions. pak accepted every proposal put forward by UNCIP. india rejected all. are you suggesting a unilateral withdrawal in absence of any agreement?

  104. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    This is precisely what I was protesting in my yet unsent common mail. Although you in particular have been scrupulous in using Indian sources, and I have taken mine from Pakistani military accounts (I have not yet used those arguments because of the increasing national slant this discussion has taken), we nevertheless have managed to lock ourselves into a nationalist mindset and viewpoint.

    This in spite of every explicit mention by open-minded people and thought-leaders, such as YLH, that we should seek a solution beyond national boundaries. I am astonished as a matter of fact at my own reaction, where there has been an unintended emphasis on matters that strengthen the Indian case, although that was emphatically not my intention when I set out to put down my arguments against the definition morality you had used.

    Before going further, it may be best to drop this matter at an early point, and to adopt YLH’s sagacious advice to concentrate on the positive aspects rather than getting bogged down in a violent exchange of the minutiae of this issue.

    Your post of 4:35 is emphatically what I am protesting. Let me rephrase both cases. Assume good faith, please. I am not trying to weaken what you have said in doing so, nor am I trying to strengthen what I have said or might say.

    Yours seems to be that the process of democracy was corrupt from beginning to end, that it was peculiarly so in the case of Kashmir, that therefore the experience of democratic validation of constitutional or legislative action seen elsewhere in India did not apply to Kashmir, and that the people had and have a right to overthrow these constitutional and legislative actions in favour of their own deeply felt sentiments. This is where I have stopped paraphrasing what I think is your point of view.

    Mine is that the electoral process is the one which offers validation to the constitutional and legislative action of the state, and cannot be replaced by a popular movement, or for that matter, its alter ego in the form of a violent freedom struggle. My case to you also is that the process of electoral action was increasingly refined and improved in India, and has a degree of integrity about it today which was evolved due to the repeated process of going through the electoral process. I have to point to the obvious wrongs committed by an overwhelmingly favoured party which increasingly saw its popular mandate eroded, and I also have to point you to the correction of this phenomenon by the Electoral Commission. It is no longer, and has not been for some time past, a valid argument that elections are not free and fair. Regarding the period prior to 1984, as has been pointed out very fairly and accurately, Abdullah was clearly the chosen leader of the Kashmiris. There is no evidence anywhere to show a contrary view; on the contrary, we have the evidence, again from Pakistani military sources, that the injection of special services forces into Kashmir as late as 1965 was a dismal failure, and contrary to General Malik’s hopes, the Kashmiri did not rise up in spontaneous revolt when the special forces set about their sustained campaign of sabotage and irregular warfare. This is corroborated again and again in Pakistani military accounts, which are readily available. There was no question then of rigged Indian elections having destroyed Kashmiri confidence and trust in India, because it was never a question of confidence and trust in India, but a question of confidence and trust in their leader, Abdullah. In this context, please remember that it was only after the Sheikh’s death in 1982 that the young and insecure Dr. Farooq Abdullah made one of his characteristic blunders and tried to rig the elections in his own favour. At that time, please recall again, he was under severe pressure from his own brother-in-law G. M. Shah for leadership of the National Conference, and except for the undivided loyalty and backing of his mother, he might have been replaced by the more experienced and more well-known Shah. Finally, it was never true that ballot-box rigging was a special strategy designed to do the Kashmiri in the eye, and on the contrary, it was a dirty part of the process particularly to be observed in backward parts of the country like Bihar and Eastern UP, and has progressively been eradicated.

    I put it to you that it may be difficult to understand that political power can be formed by the people, not by marching or by taking to the barricades but by voting out the unwanted and voting in the leadership that is tuned to people’s desires. With not the slightest intention of expressing condescension, I acknowledge that your experiences of the governance of a country, and the impact of elections and an electoral democracy through your adult life have had an effect in making you sceptical, even cynical about the political process, while mine have had the opposite effect.

    So much for what we seem to have argued. My point in essence is that not every conflict between two nation-states can be reduced to referenda, although I acknowledge that your point of view has the virtue of consistency, and an anarchist view of the state would certainly demand that individual opinion should be placed above even the rule of law, in fact that the rule of law to the extent that it supports the tyranny of the nation-state should be subordinated to the test of the benefits to individuals. Or at least I presume that is the philosophical bed-rock on which you have built the rest. Please do not hesitate to correct me if I am wrong.

    It is a gross travesty of truth to point to human rights miscarriages by Indians before 1984. The boot was entirely on the other foot, and the recorded instances of human rights violations were never by the Indian military, it was by tradition-minded tribal infiltrators claiming their spoils of war. This does not amount to defending violations after 1984. I am deliberately not going into the accounts of the Kashmiri web-sites, because of the incendiary nature of such a discussion. It is just that I am unable to sympathise with a point of view that overlooks 37 years of acceptance and takes a subsequent turn in the tale as the valid and overpowering sentiment of the entire period. That is unhistorical and amounts to special pleading.

    Nor do the machinations of two sets of political leadership invalidate anything at all. As has been pointed out in our own discussions, the bad faith in which Stafford Cripps had put forth the CMP and the evident trickery and manipulation that he resorted to in no way made invalid the good points of the plan, nor made invalid the decision to go with it that Jinnah made. Similarly the dozens of Byzantine tales that I have read in these few discussions exasperate me; it does not matter what Mountbatten’s intentions were, and what Nehru’s intentions were; neither of these ignoble men could in any way in their personal characters and personalities have invalidated the rules of the game that were laid down, British India to be divided by an award, the princes to accede to one or the other commonwealth.

    With regard to the inequitable manner in which this was administered in practice, with regard to the differential application of this rule to Kashmir, Hyderabad and Junagadh, I can only express my strong abhorrence of what was allowed to happen in Hyderabad and in Junagadh, and in spite of some saying that India would not have been able to survive without its heart, I beg leave to doubt that; there is on the contrary no reason to believe that this landlocked backward feudal state, with its citizenry in active revolt, in sharp contrast to Kashmir, would have survived more than months into an independent future. You only have to read eye-witness accounts (from both sides) of what went on in there to come to that conclusion. Patel made a terrible mistake in allowing a deviation from the rule.

    The point is that our obsession with the iniquities of Nehru, and of Patel, and of various others should not conceal from us the brutal truth, that an electoral democracy can and does work out its people’s problems effectively over a period of time, provided that there is no systematic effort at destroying it through injected violence. The second brutal truth is that the Kashmiri was not originally in favour of Pakistan or of independence, this became a significant sentiment only in 1984. The third brutal truth is that the clock cannot be turned back to 1947 every now and then, seizing a moment of history when a constituent part of either nation is disaffected. The case of Bangladesh amply bears this out. The Bangladeshi did not march back to 47, he marched forward to 72, and went on with his life.

    We might profitably do the same, to our great mutual benefit.

  105. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    My longish post above was specifically directly towards your post of 4:35 pm. Without that link, my post makes no sense whatsoever.

    My apologies.

    You may be amused to note that it took me 1 hour and 3 minutes to compose a reply to your short post.

  106. Bloody Civilian

    bonobashi

    the issue is of legality, not anarchist view of rights. the double standards you’ve mentioned as to the matter of princely states’ accession is part of the question, not a rewind to ’47 for the sake of rewinding. the IoI Act 1947 did not say anything about the method of accession. so either the principle of absolute power of the princes or the democratic rights of the people could have become the agreed ‘law’. consistency would have indicated bona fide, and absence of the former the lack of the latter. Your reference to the state of rebellion compares, not contrasts, the situation to the one in Kashmir. Both abdhullah and ghulam abbas were in prison throughout partition, until the ‘instrument of accession’. As for your claim “the Kashmiri was not originally in favour of Pakistan or of independence”; the brutal truth is the opposite of what you claim it to be. Kashmiris were for independence, more than anything else.

    i’ve not concerned myself with the rest of india in what i said about democracy in kashmir. from 1948, there was a big huge question mark over the legitimacy of india’s claim. in 1953, even her claim to something far short of a plebsicite as granting any kind of legitimacy fell to pieces. 1953 was before 1984. Abdullah’s 11 year in prison were an example for others.

    even, if for the sake of argument ONLY, we accept the ‘legal limbo’ or ‘provisional’ status, it works both ways. while kashmiris’ rights were in limbo, so were their ‘duties’. an occupiers ‘rule of law’ is ‘occupiers’ law’. i said i ‘may not agree with huriyat’… just like i do not agree with gandhi. but that does not mean he did not have the right to non-violent extra-constitutionalism. The ‘state-citizen’ relationship too has been in ‘legal limbo’.
    the 31 years of participating in state elections between ’53 and ’84, or before or afterwards, does not bestow legitimacy nor take away the kashmiris’ right to self-determination for ever more. It does nothing about the ‘legal limbo’. a number of examples can be quoted of occupied territories participating in such activities. Trying to protect my lower political rights cannot be taken to mean that I’ve forfeited my higher political rights, just like that. I can see why an occupying power would want to present it as such.
    if where i grew up or the political system that i spent my adult life under had anything to do with my views, i wouldn’t be a supporter of jinnah’s constitutionalism when it came to realising “people’s desires”. as for the idea that all this is a result of outside interference, it betrays a view of kashmiris as being little better than traitors. No number of Pakistani wrongs eliminate a single kashmiri right. Nor do Indian wrongs, whatever the size of the indian mil and paramilitary forces and the blanket legal immunities they have. gen malik’s hopes being dashed has nothing to do with it. those indians who did not join the INA did not lose their right to freedom from occupation.
    The part that I do agree with in your post is about moving forward. I agree with that sentiment. There are two aspects to this as ought to have been clear by now as far as my posts have been concerned. The right of kashmiris and the desire to have indo-pak peace. These are, in principle and nature, two different issues, even if one shares much content with the other. India can choose whether she wishes to have peace with India or not. Or on what basis/principle/cost and in what manner. Pakistan can freely make the same choices in the same matters. All this is open to and depends on negotiations. The rights of kashmiris are non-negotiable.
    In the case of indo-pak peace, i have nothing, in principle, against settling for the lesser evil… to almost any level and degree. This includes mothballing the Kashmir issue and talking about everything else, or talking about everything at the same time.. or whatever else in terms of YLH’s suggestion or any other. But, in the case of kashmiri rights.. well there is no such thing as ‘lesser evil’. There are only rights and wrongs.

  107. Bloody Civilian

    my post of 4.35pm, btw, was in reply to majumdar’s of 4.21pm.

  108. hayyer48

    BC: I was only trying with the use of oral history to establish ‘willing compliance’ in 1947. At no stage did I defend Sh.Abdullah’s style of governance.
    In the 1951 elections he won all 75 seats to the constituent assembly uncontested. It was clearly through intimidation that no one else contested.
    And you will agree that I have not defended the actions of Nehru or the Congress discourse in independent India.
    You have objected to my use of the word ‘duress’ in conceding Pakistan. We have discussed the cmp history on other threads and doubtless we shall do so again, so I wont pursue it here. But let me try to rephrase my point in a way that may be more acceptable to you.
    The TNT is too wide. It hides rather than reveals. If the ML used it for their purposes and the Congress or the Akali Dal used it in reverse (as you say) to partition the country, it is a matter of history. Present day India does not run itself by the idea that its Muslims are a separate nation. Jinnah said something on those lines too in his first address. The Hindus were as good Pakistanis as Muslims. There weren’t two nations in Pakistan, nor in India. Present day India cannot even discuss the subject let alone risk a demonstration.
    Reverting to Kashmir, those not familiar with the place the Kashmiri mindset is unfamiliar territory. Kashmiris differ from Punjabis their immediate neighbours, not just in culture, dress, music, language and all the other accoutrements of identity, they also think differently.
    One such difference is the way they see themselves. Kashmiri Muslims in their us versus them thinking include Kashmiri Pandits in the ‘us’; love hate is the closest one can get to describing their relationship. In my thesis, Nehru simply won over the Sheikh as a fellow Kashmiri by conjuring up visions. So the Sheikh converted the Muslim Conference to the National Conference and split his party. Perhaps the Sheikh felt he would be better positioned for independence from India than from Pakistan and so went along with India, but his alliance with the Congress dates to earlier when Pakistan was not even a gleam. Besides whereas the Muslim Conference later tended to side with the Maharaja, Sh. Abdullah kept articulating Kashmiri sentiment and was jailed by Hari Singh. The Congress, not the League, stood by the Sheikh and made his cause an All India cause.
    If Nehru was deceiving the Sheikh it is also true that the Sheikh was ruling in an imperious undemocratic manner. The book on this aspect is yet to be written though glimpses are available in various accounts written on Kashmir. The Sheikh did toy with independence and flirted with Loy Henderson the American ambassador to India; he was flirting with Pakistan too and he was disillusioned with Indian secularism by this time, whether genuinely or as an excuse to break away I cannot say. So Nehru jailed him but never proved his case.
    We come to the demilitarization issue. I made the point that Indian force levels have gone up because Pakistan has created conditions requiring this. You have not refuted this. Instead you argue that India should have accepted the Dixon plan for a plebiscite in the valley only. Nehru did accept this but with the condition that Sh. Abdullah’s administration was to stay in place. The plan foundered on this even though the Indian cabinet of ministers was in favour.
    You have also not provided answers to my questions on the guarantees that Mujahids will not take over if forces should be withdrawn, and what to do about the Ladakh corps. Besides, remeber, Domel is four hours from the valley. Pathankot is eight hours away. If the agreement breaks down Pak troops can re-enter and establish themselves by the time Indian troops are half way.
    While discussing the TNT the Congress’s share of Muslim votes in 1937 does not tell us anything about Pakistan in the context of Kashmir. Kashmiris Muslims were fighting a Hindu Maharaja for their rights. They had no interest then as they don’t now in the problems of the minority Muslims of UP. Nor did they have any use for Jinnah. And neither did Sindh, Punjab or the Frontier. By 1946 the position had changed everywhere but not so much in the Frontier and not at all in Kashmir. To ask for a plebiscite in the valley ignoring the Muslims in Jammu, including very substantial numbers of Kashmiri Muslims in Doda, Kashtwar, Bhadarwah and Banihal is to do the cut and run that the majority Muslims did in 1947.
    The sorry story of Indian democracy in Kashmir is oft told, and contradicting Bonobashi I must reiterate some facts.
    Every single election in Kashmir was rigged till 1977. In that year Sheikh Abdullah swept the ballot. There were suggestions of rigging it even then but Morarji Desai put his foot down. After the Sheikh’s death in ’82 elections became due in 83. These too were won by Farooq Abdullah without rigging. He swept them by a huge margin because people thought he represented a new hope. Indira Gandhi and Jagmohan prised him out in ’84. Most unwisely he took the advice of Saiffudin Soz and Wajahat Habibullah and formed a coalition with the party that overthrew him, the Congress. On returning to power elections were held in early ’87. Eight seats were rigged, but not by Farooq or under his directions. That is a separate story. The present phase of Kashmir’s sorry history begins from that date.
    On the Congress’ centralizing discourse there is much to be said. But I am not defending the Congress or its discourse here. I have a whole lot to say against it but this is not the place for it. My views on Nehru have been put down earlier and I should refrain from attacking his centralizing modes of governance of disparately constituted nascent nations.

  109. Bloody Civilian

    “from 1948” = before 1953

  110. hayyer48

    BC: I forgot to talk about the legal validity which takes up much of your argument. I can’t think of anyway to establish the popularity of Abdullah and the willing compliance in 1947 by a legal method.
    If India’s case is in legal limbo, or provisional in nature, so it is. The argument is about the nature of Pakistan’s claim. Is there any other basis for Pakistan’s claim apart from the agreed basis of Partition which in turn was based on TNT. And if India now resists that what are the altenatives?
    Of-course India’s case is based at present on nine tenths of the law, but within the form of possession an attempt is being made to give the cover of legality, not entirely fictional.
    The Kashmiri right to self determination is only in the context of India and Pakistan. There is no third choice. That is true for all the constituent units of IndiaPak. There is no special of Kashmir as an independent country. Their case for independence is as valid as say the case of the Tamils or Khalistanis or Nagas or Baluch or even the Pakhtuns and even Travancore which Jinnah encouraged.

  111. Bloody Civilian

    H48:
    It was India, not Pakistan, who objected to and withdrew from a state-wide plebiscite, or all muslim areas, to the vale only (see [1] below for an aside). Nehru’s objection to Dixon’s plan was Abdullah-in-power not being part of it. Dixon agreed with your view of abdullah’s democratic inclinations. As for Nehru’s view of the same, it would seem he believed what suited him at any given time. One thing in 1950, and another in 1953. With a plebiscite in the vale only, as per nehru’s wishes, there was no question/issue of pak demilitarising since she had none in the vale. Accordingly, no such question was ever raised within the Dixon plan issue. pak accepted the principle of demilitarisation and showed its willingness by accepting the UN Resolutions. But I’ve already covered all this in other posts here.
    As for the INC using TNT in reverse (as I say, not you), the majority using TNT is ‘slightly’ more perverse than a minority using it. It’s sword vs shield. Vivisection vs federation. The fact that the INC did use it has made it a permanent feature of the subcontinent. But their refusal to accept confederation, open borders etc., what kind of TNT was that? You and I may not wish TNT within our respective countries (extends to BD). But our common subcontinent is TNT-ed by the sword version of it, and not the shield version which would have been much less sharp and more likely to be temporary. Try as we may, we cannot banish from our countries what we chose for our sub-continent. Since I am not a pessimist, I’d say that it would take a lot of effort, imagination and statesmanship. The Indians that you call Pakistanis today were just as good Indians as any other Indians, or were they? You think they did the dirty, instead, the “cut and run”. But I digress.
    Both Abdullah and ghulam abbas were in the maharaja’s prison at the time of partition.
    Abdullah jumped on to the INC’s All-India ‘freedom’ bandwagon. AIML was not an All-India movement. Good for him. As for his pre-LR40 relations with the INC, so did jinnah. Till 1937, in which he had the tacit understanding with the INC, he had always appealed to the INC for a solution to the minorities’ issue. But I digress, again. Sorry.
    I mentioned the ’37 elections to make a point about TNT. Not Kashmir. When I said “jinnah’s stand was against majoritarianism, as is the kashmiris’”, I meant it that it is a coincidence that the kashmiris’ stand is similar in that respect. That’s all. That the kashmiris have met a similar undemocratic ‘wall’ (e.g. abdullah used and abused), is another coincidence that I pointed out. There are no links. So I could have saved you some time by making this clearer. Sorry.
    That leaves your comment about india’s anxieties about pak breaking an agreement and helping her self to an undefended Kashmir, can I please refer you to the last two paragraphs of my post of 8.28pm, to save time? Thanks. If there was the will, there are good proposals about demilitarized zones all around Kashmir, and int’l guarantors and even some kind of complementary military duties on kashmir’s northern borders. That ‘s all fantasies for the future. But the principle in the last two paragraphs of my post above is how I see it.
    As another aside: a return to pre-1953 is not ‘self-determination’. It’s simply returning the kashmiris what they had before 1953. You can read my 8.28pm post as to why I do not consider calculations of abdullah’s ‘popularity’, the ‘kashmiri mind’, or kashmiris trying to ensure their ‘lower’ political rights (with or without the example of Abdullah in their mind, and all the interference and manipulation from delhi).. to have any effect whatsoever on the (lack of) legal status of India. But when it comes to peace between India and pak, I am for doing as much as is necessary, including banishing the K word indefinitely, if required. I am repeating myself. Sorry.

    P.S. re. 9.01 p.m. kashmir is not property vulnerable to adverse possession. not that any of the other requirements of even 9/10th possession have been fulfilled – the kashmiris have never been guilty of laches. tamils, pashtuns, or whoever else were never illegally occupied. after 60+ years of illegal occupation, the right to independence is the LEAST kashmiris have. pak’s claims are an issue for indo-pak peace now. they both have unclean hands now.
    __________________________
    [1] It does make bewildering comparison to the INC’s april 1942 resolution (as reconfirmed in September 1942) about the provinces’ democratic right to secede, and to compare that to the INC’s insistence on TNT in case of Punjab and Bengal (what’s a strategically placed district here or there), and some kind of mixture of both for Hyderabad, junagarh, jodhpur. btw, re. cmp, the resolution also commits the INC to a ‘federal India’ with ‘residual powers residing with the provinces’.

  112. Bloody Civilian

    not that i have any objections to any one else’s democratic right to autonomy or to secede.

  113. Bloody Civilian

    there is also the kashmiris’ right to reunification. a tripartite settlement could be based on kashmiri autonomy and shared or partitioned sovereignty by the two countries. either a compromise, of some kind, is possible or it is not. entitlement is in the legal and moral domain, compromise in the real one.

    pak’s claim was only based on the IoI Act 1947, in the absence of a plebiscite (which pak had accepted along with demilitarisation – pak = 100%, india = to bare necessity). IoI 1947 says nothing about accession of the princely states. i’ve covered any legal principle that could have been taken as quasi-law. hyderabad and junagarh followed the democratic principle. kashmir did not. there was infilteration, and kashmir as good as lacked an army. lacking an army is not laches. the army that came to her aid, had other plans.

    i think we are coming to a point, where i’ve taken way more than my fair share of space, so i’ll stop and call it a day, as far as i am concerned, on this partilar argument.

  114. Bloody Civilian

    “kashmir did not” i.e. prima facie; plebiscite – an int’ly recognised method – would have answered the case.

  115. hayyer48

    BC:
    I don’t think I would agree with you that Kashmir has earned a special right to freedom because of illegal occupation. The occupation question is as I said in a kind of legal limbo.
    Similarly the right of Kashmiris to reunify would be undoubtedly be valid if there were any Kashmir outside the valley; but there isn’t it. Muzzafarabad is not Kashmir anymore than Jammu is. I suspect that the Indian army while pursuing the invaders in 1948 changed its axis from east west to north south precisely because Sh. Abdullah did not want to be impeded in his own plans by a non-Kashmiri Muslim population. A few kilometres beyond Baramulla into the Jehlum gorge sees the end of the Kashmiri people. Uri is mainly Pahari/Punjabi with the culture food and manners of Muzzafarabad. The Commander of 301 Brigade LP Sen who was in charge of operations in the sector says in his book ‘Slender was the Thread’ that it was a mystery to him why they were diverted towards Poonch instead of being allowed to go on and take Muzzafarabad.
    In the past 60 years Kashmiris have grown used to being the politically dominant community in J&K. There is a majoritarian system at work in the state which the non Muslims accept, but it works in the context of a democratic, or if you like, a pretend democratic system. Their lower urges are met even if the higher ones remain unfulfilled. It is sad that when Kashmiris dare to contemplate a future as an independent nation they see themselves living off Saudi money or American aid in perpetuity. They believe that in the geo political context Kashmir is important enough to manage such a dispensation.
    Let me add here that though Sh Abdullah ran an autocratic regime he greatly built on his popularity in those years with his land reforms and his naya kashmir vision. His democratic instincts may have been circumscribed but his popularity remained high. So, as far as the accession question was concerned it was still Abdullah all the way. He was opposed to a plebiscite, not because he feared adverse vote of the Kashmiris; he did not trust non Kashmiri Muslims to vote the way he could persuade Kashmiris.
    As we come to the end of this particular topic let me just say that it is not just the rights of Kashmiris that are non negotiable all human rights are, including the rights of other sub nationalities. India owes the Kashmiris but it has done them less damage than it has done itself, or say Pakistan has done Baluchistan. I am saying this in a kind of value judgment.
    Kashmir has turned into a bad example of kleptocratic governance where the ruling classes have no vision except for themselves. A spirit of ennui prevails. It is almost like some beautiful women telling her lover that he can have her body but not her heart. Nevertheless Kashmiris have gotten used to freebies and I fear that they will never get out of the habit.

  116. yasserlatifhamdani

    BC

    The reference to April 1942 resolution was enlightening. So much for Congress’ position on partition of provinces.

  117. Majumdar

    Civvie,

    It seems that INC was not the only side which used perverse logic while interpreting TNT. AIML had no compunction in ignoring TNT while dealing with Junagadh, Hyderabad and the Rajputana principalities.

    At the cost of being repititive regarding the Hyderabad-Kashmir fracas let me quote Mr AG Noorani who I hope YLH will admit is a honest and reliable source “Statesmanship, itself a blend of morality and expediency, required Jinnah to grasp the AICC formula and forge a grand settlement based on the popular will in regard to all three states – Kashmir, Junagadh and Hyderabad. Mountbatten offered that to Jinnah in Lahore on November 1. So did Nehru the next day. Jinnah rejected it and acted in crass ignorance and ineptitude. “

    Regards

  118. Majumdar

    Some more passages from the same article by Mr Noorani.

    The Kashmir documents reveal that Mountbatten gave Jinnah this remarkable proposal at Lahore on November 1: “The Governments of India and Pakistan agree that, where the ruler of a State does not belong to the community to which the majority of his subjects belong, and where the State has not acceded to that Dominion whose majority community is the same as the State’s, the question of whether the State should finally accede to one or the other of the Dominions should in all cases be decided by an impartial reference to the will of the people.”

    Mountbatten recorded his host’s response in his Note of the discussion: “Mr. Jinnah then went on to say that he could not accept a formula if it was so drafted as to include Hyderabad, since he pointed out that Hyderabad did not wish to accede to either Dominion and he could not be a party to coercing them to accession.” Thus was the last chance for a Kashmir accord wrecked on the vain hopes of an independent Hyderabad. (ed. Durga Das, pages 73-74). Jawaharlal Nehru repeated this formula to Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan in a cable on November 8: “… the principle that, where Ruler of a State does not belong to the community to which the majority of his subjects belong, and where the State has not acceded to that Dominion whose majority community is same as State’s, the question whether the State has finally acceded to one or other Dominion should be ascertained by reference to the will of the people.”

    Mountbatten went so far as not only to offer a plebiscite in Kashmir under the supervision of the United Nations, but also that “a joint India-Pakistan force should hold the ring while the plebiscite is being held” (page 81). This, at a time when militarily India’s position in Kashmir was improving by the day.

    Jinnah sinned against the light and repeatedly so as his statements on the princely states in Burke’s volume bear out. Twice, on January 17 and July 30, 1947, he asserted the State’s right to independence and their rulers’ right to decide. The All India Congress Committee (AICC), in contrast, asserted on June 15 that “the people of the State must have a dominating voice” in the matter.

    In exploiting the Hyderabad question to promote the interest of Pakistan, Jinnah not only ruined Hyderabad but also damaged the interest of Pakistan as well. The tactical skill of Mohammed Ali Jinnah secured the establishment of Pakistan. The arrogant folly of the Quaid-e-Azam lost Kashmir for Pakistan and wreaked havoc for the poor Muslims of Hyderabad. No tears need be shed for the Nizam.

    A quarter century later, on November 27, 1972, the President of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, told a tribal jirga at Landikotal that India’s first Home Minister and Minister for the States, Sardar Patel, had, at one stage, offered Kashmir to Pakistan in exchange for Junagadh and Hyderabad. But, he added, Pakistan “unfortunately” did not accept this offer with the result that it not only lost all the three native states but East Pakistan as well.

    This is fully corroborated by the memoirs of Chaudhary Mohammed Ali, The Emergence of Pakistan (page 299). Patel asked Liaquat Ali Khan: “Why do you compare Junagadh with Kashmir? Talk of Hyderabad and Kashmir and we could reach an agreement.” Patel repeated this offer publicly at a meeting in Junagadh on November 11, 1947. “Our reply was that one could agree to (sic.) Kashmir if they agreed to Hyderabad.”

    Regards

  119. Majumdar

    Both sides were responsible for the mess but in any case I dislike and despise both Nehru and Gandhi. But I feel sorry that a man I admire so much should have played such a central role in the subcontinent’s worst tragedy.

    Regards

  120. Gorki

    Majumdar:
    “I seriously think we need an Unplugged section for PTH with complete freedom to rave, rant and do gaali galouch. Btw, this mode of interaction also results in some enduring friendships being formed”.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I don’t necessarily disagree with this; I was only stating my observation.

    Regarding the “enduring friendship part” Maybe that explains the ever evolving identities of the gentleman (or woman) variously introducing self as a ‘female physician, a teenager named Hindu-Sikh, YDDM or as a Pain in something.’etc. (who keeps on popping unexpectedly into conversations like the Peeves poltergeist in Harry Potter series).

    I had given him up for a pathologic liar but perhaps he keeps coming back and keeps getting under YLH’s skin looking for such an enduring friendship with YLH. 😉 .

  121. Gorki

    YLH and all others:

    “When I speak of a solution to Kashmir I am not saying it should join Pakistan necessarily… but some show of statesmanship which changes the status quo for Kashmiris. My own idea of a settlement on Kashmir is of shared sovereignty … with AJK and Indian Occupied Kashmir both being recognized as autonomous regions within Pakistan and India respectively and forming together (as Pakistani Kashmir and Indian Kashmir) a Kashmiri confederation on certain Kashmir specific issues … and declaring Kashmir a non-war zone by treaty as well as by sovereign legislation… and a declaration by the United Nations. Kashmir should be heaven on earth… without armies and weapons and weapons of mass destruction threatening it”.

    I think after reading the several thousand words written on this topic now, I can safely say that the above words by YLH still standout as most sensible ones to have come out of our discussion.

    Perhaps he should elaborate his idea more fully in a separate post altogether.

    My own feeling is that while Kashmir issue can no doubt unleash a virtual nuclear Armageddon on South Asia; it also carries within it the seeds of reconciliation for the entire region. Thus why should a confederation be limited to Kashmir alone, why not include the entire South Asia?

    I wonder if I can impose upon BC, Hayyer48, Bonobashi, PatExpat, Majumdar, YLH and PMA to pen down whether they agree in principle with the above suggestion (or if they have other ideas). Also what do you all think needs to happen (both inside and between India, Pakistan, Kashmir and BD) before something like the above can be implemented?

    I have already mentioned my own views in this regard; i.e. I like YLH’s suggestion but feel that before such a vision can be realized, the relationship between the state and the individual will need to be defined in all the three countries.

    In other words, as long as each state agrees unambiguously with the principle of separation of religion and the state, and enshrines the primacy of individual human rights as a guiding principle of its constitution, I personally don’t see a problem with such a confederation of all three nations even if they take constitutional precautions to retain their individual flavors and cultural identities.
    Could this be what MAJ had in mind?

  122. hs

    home-cmcvellore-ac-in/admissions/admin-htm

  123. bonobashi

    @Gorki

    One of the most undesirable side effects of the mental baggage that some of us carry – I am thinking of myself in this context – is that the original proposal by YLH has been sidelined, where it should have been placed at the forefront.

    However, I have a misgiving in this regard. The misgiving is with regard to the hostile attitude of China.

    In my assessment, Pakistan was adopted by China as a friend only for China’s own reasons, and due to no special friendship for Pakistan. China did not take pleasure in Nehru’s arrogation of leadership within the Asian community and the non-aligned movement respectively, and this displeasure grew with the Dalai Lama’s flight and his finding refuge in India, which amounted to casus belli in China’s mind.

    Today, China is well on the way to undisputed super-power status. History teaches us that with the exception of the Soviet Union, super-powers, or world dominating empires, generally run their course in between a century to four centuries. I don’t know of any that have lasted longer; many have lasted lesser. There is no doubt that we are entering the Chinese century – perhaps the Chinese centuries.

    In such conditions, I am not sure that demilitarising Ladakh is such a good idea. The Chinese have already entered into a territorial settlement over part of the erstwhile British claim to Kashmir, and they have wrested an agreement from the Americans that any future settlement of Kashmir will involve them. We are faced with the prospect of becoming a tribute-paying subordinate state or facing up to four centuries of Parthian-Byzantine hostility.

    Apart from that, what YLH suggests is so eminently sensible that there is little to add or to subtract. Having said that, I am sure that this forum will find ways to discuss this in unsuspected depth.

    @Bloody Civilian

    A word for BC, if I may adopt Majumdar’s familiarity without BC’s permission:

    I fully understand and appreciate the moral argument that you have made. It is just that at an intellectual level, I am unable to agree to that being an argument in perpetuity.

    I have also noted Hayyer48’s very thoughtful clarification of the nature of Kashmiri popular sentiment, and its interrelationship with the electoral process. It is obviously the correct account, although my interpretation might differ in some ways.

    There is a detailed response that I have, but believe with you and with Gorki that we have outlived the interest in this topic on PTH, and should take the discussion elsewhere. This, along with the personal circumstances that constrain me just at this moment, forces me to withdraw from this discussion on PTH at this point.

  124. yasserlatifhamdani

    Majumdar,

    “One could agree to Kashmir if they agreed to Hyderabad”

    Regardless of what Noorani says in this particular article, I have a very hard time basing it on one by the way comment of Patel, when there was no way in hell India was going to forfeit Kashmir…

    Pakistan’s Junagadh v. Kashmir made sense legally… as India pressed for a plebiscite and got it even though the document of accession was signed in favor of Pakistan.

    India was always going to take Hyderabad using the same logic as in Junagadh … so even if Patel was half serious (which he couldn’t have been) I don’t see how that would have affected the Kashmir dispute in anyway. So forgive me but this is a very simplistic reading of history.

    As for the rest… I am not familiar with the issue of popular will and under what context it was offered to Jinnah… but the principle itself was established through plebiscite in Junagadh… and 60 years later we still haven’t gotten around to India implementing that principle in Kashmir which it categorically accepted several times as being applicable to Kashmir.

    So unfortunately… it seems even Mr. Noorani needs some articles to ward off the allegations of being “pro-Pakistan” and “Resident Non-indian” as he has described by some quarters.

  125. yasserlatifhamdani

    By the way… just so that we have some clarity on the issue- the legal position as I understand it is:

    1. Princely states signed the subsidiary agreement ceding some of their sovereignty to the British monarch.

    2. With British Independence of India Act 1947, these Princely states became independent and sovereign.

    3. These Princely states then decided to join one state or the other in exercise of their sovereign power.

    Now here is the next issue:

    1. Kashmir did not sign the document of accession to either state. It had a standstill agreement with Pakistan. Kashmir’s Maharaja was ambivalent towards India and Pakistan and wanted Independence. The people of Kashmir had already risen up against the Maharaja (an issue separate from the question of accession) … and the Pathan irregulars with the collaboration of certain Pakistani officers invaded Kashmir under this pretext… India airlifted troops to Kashmir before the document of accession was signed. The document of accession however did happen and legally the question would have been solved, had India not gone to the UN, where the UN Resolutions established (which India accepted) the principle of plebiscite…

    2. Junagadh signed the document of accession to Pakistan and as per the legal scheme of things, India should have accepted Junagadh as part of Pakistan. Instead India invaded and then carried out a referendum there. Here too India established the principle of plebiscite (re-affirmed by the UN Resolution in Kashmir).

    3. Hyderabad wanted to remain independent. It had every legal and moral right to be independent legally. (I wonder how Jinnah could barter away the right of a sovereign state to exist as a sovereign state).

    So when we are talking of legalities… let us be very clear:

    1. Hyderabad’s invasion by India was illegal and wanton act of aggression by one sovereign state against another.

    2. Junagadh was – legally by virtue of the document of accession – part of Pakistan.

    3. Kashmir was- by virtue of the document of accession (obtained no doubt by co-ercion and fraudulent means in my view)- part of India.

    4. This scheme was unacceptable to India. It opted for plebiscite in Junagadh and it went knocking on the UN’s door… thus changing the legal situation from document of accession to popular will.

    Now Pakistan’s legal case and/or objective can be nothing other than an acceptable resolution of the Kashmir dispute… especially when it has been denied its territory in Junagadh.

    I am sorry but I don’t see the point of complicating this issue outside of its legal parameters which were in any event altered by India and not Pakistan.

  126. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    it seems even Mr. Noorani needs some articles to ward off the allegations of being “pro-Pakistan” and “Resident Non-indian”

    The quotes I have reproduced come from two articles which appeared in the Frontline Magazine. The articles I have referred to among other things:

    1. Flays India’s stand on Kashmir as hypocritical.
    2. Holds INC and Gandhi-Nehru duo entirely responsible for the failure of CMP and Partition.
    3. Paints Gandhi and Nehru in a fairly bad light. Especially he depicts Gandhi as an insecure man trying to cut MAJ to size. (quite rightly so)

    I suggest you read the articles yourself before commenting on Mr Noorani’s “motives” for writing the above. If you are interested, I can mail you the links to the articles he wrote.

    Regards

  127. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    Re: Indian sincerity in Hyd vs J&K

    You think that sincerity of India was questionable. And to justify that you have a valid point of view which I presume is as follows- “Hyderabad was a low hanging fruit which could be plucked at will so it was necessary to occupy Kashmir first”

    But there is one simple thing you are missing. Visualising Hyd as a low hanging fruit in 2009 when Hyd is bidding to be India’s IT capital is one thing but in Nov 1947, it was by no means certain that India wud be integrated at all. It took India a full one year before they had the confidence to liberate Hyderabad.

    Re: Legality

    I’m not a lawyer and naturally it wud be foolish on my part to engage you on matters of law. From my perspective, legality was immaterial, what was material was the will of the people. For that reason I see no “injustice” in what was done to Hyderabad or Junagadh but I do feel a great injustice was done to the people of Kashmir (and possibly Pakistan as well.)

    Again I will only reproduce what Mr Noorani has written on the (alleged) sovereignty of the princely states.

    “The Partition accord of June 3, 1947 took care of British India. But the princely states acquired a status that had no basis in law, morality or history – independence on the lapse of the paramountcy of the British Crown, as distinct from direct British rule over the rest of India. “In 1819 the States which now exist finally ceased to be independent,” historian Edward Thompson wrote (The Making of the Indian Princes; OUP; 1943; page 285). They were a British creation. True to tradition the British supplied a neat legal myth to dress up the sordid reality. “The conquerors assiduously rebuilt their internal independence and gave back a great deal” (page 285); so long as they obeyed the British, Maharajas who did not toe their line were unceremoniously deposed. It is over these puppets – suddenly pitchforked to independent statehood on August 15, 1947, over a century after the extinction of all vestiges of sovereignty – that India and Pakistan went to battle, metaphorically and literally. ”

    Regards

  128. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Majumdar,

    On the issue of princely states… I am surprised by A G Noorani’s argument… his quote from Thompson for example. Yes they ceased to be independent because they accepted British paramountcy… and once that lapsed, they became independent again. India had almost as much right of conquering Hyderabad as it had of conquering Burma or Sri Lanka.

    The legal position was that princely states were independent from the day British rule of the subcontinent lapsed. All these linguistic devices- the work of clever yet morally troubled nationalists- cannot undo this fact. Whether these guys- the princely rulers- were puppets or whatever (and they might as well have been)… no amount of gymnastics can undo this legal position.

    I might not like Nizam of Hyderabad anymore than the Amir of Kuwait but Hyderabad was as independent a state in 1948 and Kuwait was in 1990.

    As for the articles you mention- I have read them. Perhaps it is to make up for the bad light he painted Nehru and Gandhi in … or perhaps Mr. Noorani is just plain wrong in his argument on Junagadh, Hyderabad and Kashmir… in any event, his position is not tenable legally.

    BTW… Patel, Nehru etc were not going to give up Kashmir under any circumstances. Let us not fool ourselves. People like Shaikh Abdullah had given them enough of a reason to keep on fighting for it… By not accepting Junagadh’s accession to Pakistan and by going to the UN over Kashmir, India complicated matters for itself… whether Jinnah had always planned making Junagadh a precedent for Kashmir or whether it just happened this way… but the real equation is Junagadh and Kashmir… not Hyderabad, on which Jinnah knew he had no locus standi

  129. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    India had almost as much right of conquering Hyderabad as it had of conquering Burma or Sri Lanka.

    If Burma and Sri Lanka had been Hindoo majority provinces of British India or Hindoo majority princely states reporting to the Delhi Durbar as on 1947, certainly yes. Was this the case? You are the historian, you tell me.

    The legal position was that princely states were independent from the day British rule of the subcontinent lapsed.

    If this was the case, I presume you wud have had no objection if all the 562 princely states had opted for independence.

    Regards

  130. yasserlatifhamdani

    I am glad you see as I do that INC’s sole consideration was Hindu nationalism despite bad mouthing TNT. Ofcourse.. one wonders why such wanton aggression was not carried out against Nepal… which was a Hindu state ruled by a Hindu monarch?

    But like I pointed out earlier… legally TNT did not apply to the princely states. Why? Because TNT and Lahore Resolution were the demands of Muslim League which won the mandate of Muslim electorate of British India.

    Princely states were independent and sovereign. This was the correct legal position. Indians can say whatever they wish.

  131. yasserlatifhamdani

    “If this was the case, I presume you wud have had no objection if all the 562 princely states had opted for independence.”

    No why would I have any objection? But economics determined otherwise. Most of these states were not going to be able to remain independent … and they were wise to choose either of the two states!

    However… that does not change the general line of argument I’ve taken.

  132. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    one wonders why such wanton aggression was not carried out against Nepal… which was a Hindu state ruled by a Hindu monarch?

    Personally, I wud have much rather preferred that Indian military might, which was wasted in Kashmir, shud have been used to “persuade” Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim into the union in 1947-48 itself. They wud have adjusted well to the Indian union and their acquisition wud have given us a stronger front against China. Kashmir was a costly and needless adventure solely arising out of the fact that Nehru was a Kashmiri, acquisition of this state has meant nothing but headache to India.

    But the status of Nepal (and Bhutan/Sikkim) was different from that of the other princely states. These three states were sovereign but protectorates of Britain. So your argument is not valid at all.

    Regards

  133. yasserlatifhamdani

    Once again dear friend… it is your argument that is hoist its own petard.

    For British colonies of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Burma you said that they didn’t report to the Delhi Durbar. For Nepal you say that the status was different (presumably because Nepal’s Rana rulers supported British rule and signed a treaty of friendship which allowed them to remain independent while supplying them Gurkhas.

    Yet… you say that princely states were not independent from 1947 despite having accepted the paramountcy of the British crown via treaty (The Subsidiary Alliance treaty) … if your argument about Delhi Durbar is considered, one must also appreciate the difference of the status of “British India”… and the status of those who were either independent through a treaty (Nepal) or became independent post 1947 through a lapse of one (Princely states). Why such discrimination between puppets?

    This arbitrary choosing and setting of standards has cost everyone dearly. Let us just be honest about the past.

  134. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    There is nothing arbitrary about my stand. If I had been the head of INC and PM of India in 1947, I wud have used the danda against both technically independent Nepal/Bhutan/Sikkim as well as the other Hindoo/Indic majority princely states which made up the Princely States. And stayed away from Kashmir (except maybe the cis-Chenab districts). Unfortunately, it was JLN who was the boss of INC/India, not me. I dont see how I am “hoist on any petard.”

    Regards

  135. yasserlatifhamdani

    On the issue of differentiating b/w Nepal, hyderabad, Sri lanka etc I am afraid you are hoist your own petard.

    I agree with you otherwise.

  136. bonobashi

    The overwhelming impression that I carry away from this discussion is the utter lack of morality among our leaders on both sides. For all the high-sounding words that they used, in practice, they all did whatever pleased them at the time. None need be named, none need be excepted. Given such appalling examples, and what ensued due to people following these examples, it is a matter for wonder that any of the three countries survived in anything like viable form, and that we managed to keep ourselves together.

    It is said that nations get the leaders they deserve. We must be guilty of some dreadful original sin in that case.

    I can only hope that as we grow accustomed to every action being sectioned and dissected in full public view, by the media and by others, this opaque duplicity and complete lack of thought for the greater good of the people will be shown up as it occurs, and that such leaders will suffer the fate they richly deserve. Perhaps, with some luck, better leaders may emerge from among the young. We can only hope.

  137. yasserlatifhamdani

    But Bono… one party is being accused of not resorting to real politik and taking kashmir for hyderabad… And the second party is being praised for having fooled the first party…

    You are right about the lack of morality on Congress’ part… but not Jinnah. I have already explained the legal position above… as I see it.

  138. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    To say that MAJ (pbuh) and AIML showed no immorality is wrong. Hyderabad was not the only state- Pakistan was actively wooing the Rajputana states- esp Jaipur, Bikaner and Jodhpur- to accede to Pakistan in violation of the TNT principles. And they actually got Junagadh to accede to Pakistan in violation of the principles under which Pakistan was created. If the accession of Junagadh was legal so was accession of Kashmir to India. And if you are OK with a trade off of accession between Jgadh and J&K, then I dont see why the same principle couldnt be extended to Hyderabad.

    And the second party is being praised for having fooled the first party…

    I dont know who this is a reference to. I for certain have certainly never approved of India’s conduct in Kashmir. It was stupid and costly.

    Being a lawyer perhaps you look at it from Jinnah sahib’s angle. But no amount of legal niceties can obscure either real politik or demographic realties. Kashmir was for Pakistan’s taking in the winter of 1947-48 but the treasury of Hyderabad blinded Pakistan’s leadership (as someone here pointed out).

    The Kashmir for Hyd swap may have been illegal but it would have saved the subcontinent (esp Pakistan itself) a huge amount of pain and misery.

    Regards

  139. PMA

    “The Chinese have already entered into a territorial settlement over part of the erstwhile British claim to Kashmir, and they have wrested an agreement from the Americans that any future settlement of Kashmir will involve them. We are faced with the prospect of becoming a tribute-paying subordinate state or facing up to four centuries of Parthian-Byzantine hostility.”

    Dear DashtNaward: How does India become a “tribute-paying subordinate state” to China when both are emerging supper powers in their own right. And about “four centuries of Parthian-Byzantine hostility”. I am afraid your part of the Sub-continent was never under Parthian or Hellenistic control. I invite you to read an earlier article “Hellenistic and Parthian Gandhara” posted here at PTH on August 28, 2008.

  140. hayyer48

    May I express my profound admiration for YLH’s lawyerly skills. I am not being facetious when I say that his mode of argumentation is worthy of the great Jinnah himself. He should prove to be a worthy successor if ever called upon to play a role in negotiations with India.
    Legalisms about the independence of the princely states suited Jinnah because they would affect India adversely. But as Majumdar points out above Pakistan’s hands were not clean. When Pakistan sent in its irregulars into Kashmir the Maharaja was still mulling independence. Did Pakistan respect that?
    The arguments on this thread did not begin with mere legalities. Had Jinnah accepted the offer of exchange we would not have had this mess.
    Gorki: Your suggestion has been thought about for years, but if Kashmir is resolved, relations between India and Pakistan may still not improve.
    There are two reasons for this. With peace the large armies lose their raison d’etre. Pakistan’s army as BC fears, needs Kashmir to retain its size and to justify its role as the arbiter in Pakistan. It props up what it used to call Pakistan ideology to justify Pakistan’s hostility front with India.Without India as an enemy the PA may find its role reduced to a counter insurgency force. That wont work.
    Similarly India will always need an army against China. I doubt that a friendly IndoPak colloqium can lead to an acceptable levels of force maintenance by India.
    And we rule out China. It is Pakistan’s closest friend. This friendship born out of mutual hostility to India would prevent any improvement in IndoPak ties. China has its vested interest in hostility between the two countries. I would go so far as to say that China will actively work to abort any raprochment between the two countries.

  141. hayyer48

    PMA: I fear you have just invited another long lecture. But I leave it to Bonobashi to respond.

  142. Bloody Civilian

    majumdar

    YLH has answered the patel side of things. the insistence on hyd instead of junagarh. the hurried building of the jammu road. even mountbatten’s role in getting radcliffe to change the award vis a vis gurdaspur (and ferozepur). there was obviously a total trust deficit. partition, and the failure to reach agreement/compromise on anything since 3 june 47 was, in a way, a total breakdown of trust… putting it euphemistically.

    patel was going to use force, wherever. he showed how. at one time he even linked the issue of the division of financial assets to adjustments on kashmir. the only contrast with nehru is that he carried on with this for all those years i.e till ’62, at least. he need not have pledged a plebiscite since he never intended to carry it out. it only made the mistrust even worse, and linger on unecessarily. how those who were busy usurping democracy in pak exploited this is another story.

    however, it is one thing for YLH to say that it was not for MAJ to give away the nizam’s country, but for MAJ to actually encourage the nizam to resist union with india is quite another. it can only be explained in terms of the total breakdown of trust. almost a state of undeclared war. or why a single bullet had to be fired knocking off the flag of kalat from atop the khan’s house. bonobashi’s characterisation of the tactics of this particular period may be closer to the truth.

    btw, out of legal/academic interest only, the relevant part of IoIA-47 s.7 (last para) seems to me to suggest that with the suzerain abdicating responsibility, the individual rulers became independent (no longer dependent on the suzerain, that’s all). otherwise the dominions of india and pakistan would have no one to continue these agreements, mentioned below, with:

    Provided that, notwithstanding anything in paragraph (b) or paragraph (c) of this subsection, effect shall, as nearly as may be continue to be given to the provisions of any such agreement as is therein referred to which relate to customs transit and communications, posts and telegraph, or other like matters, until the provisions in question are denounced by the Ruler of the Indian State or person having authority in the tribal areas on the one hand, or by the Dominion or Province or other part there of concerned on the other hand, or are superseded by subsequent agreements.

  143. Bloody Civilian

    H48:

    I doubt the PA model/strategy is sustainable. and i don’t mean just about the ‘irregulars’. in fact the current boomerang might pay some dividends in this respect. do not forget that the PA or the authoritarian state has never been able to completely ignore the ‘pols’ forever, wish as they may. pak is not egypt or syria. there has always been a ‘resistance’, which it is the result of the fact that pak was the product of a democratic movement. the idea is there to haunt the despots and the PA. regardless of our, ie yours and mine, on the pak movement or partition… even TNT. also, the officer cadres come from the urban middle classes. whether conservative or liberal, they are the AIML voting classes.

    What will India do is another matter. that’s the other side of whether Gorki’s hope will win in the end or not.

  144. Bloody Civilian

    “regardless of our” differences…

  145. PMA

    hayyer48: Your ability to ‘lecture’ at PTH has never been in question!!! Why stop now?

  146. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Majumdar,

    I think I have already responded to this issue in my post where I outlined the legal case- I have already explained that India changed the legal parameters when it held a plebiscite in Junagadh and went to the UN over Kashmir where the resolutions were passed… was this what Pakistan wanted? Maybe…

    The bottom line is that there is no way in hell that Patel was serious or that even if he was, he would prevail over Nehru and Mountbatten (who in any event thought Shaikh Abdullah would be able to secure them Kashmir and there was no need to indulge Pakistan on the issue). Hyderabad was never on the table.. because everyone knew that Pakistan had nothing to offer there. Hyderabad hadn’t signed a document of accession to Pakistan.
    That is your answer to why Junagadh and not Hyderabad.

    So the question of Jinnah accepting the exchange is merely publicized mytholgy… we have myriads of examples of this … but these have little to do with the facts.

    Also… let us assume – forgetting the time lines- that it was the treasury issue… was it because Nizam gave Pakistan a loan in lieu of the monies held by the government of India on the explicit orders of Sardar Patel? Forgive me for similarly simplistic question… why didn’t Patel restore trust by giving Pakistan its share and weaning Pakistan away from the Nizam…

    The truth is that India would have never ceded Kashmir even if Jinnah conceded (whatever that means) Hyderabad. And BC is right.. Jinnah must have encouraged the Nizam to resist the Indian government… I certainly recall reading something to that effect… but even that fact does not change there was nothing Pakistan could have done to change the fate of Hyderabad.

    Also there was almost as much immoral with the wooing of Hindu majority states as was with Jinnah’s blank cheque to the Sikhs… or his nomination of Mandal on a Muslim League seat in the interim government… the Lahore Resolution and the two nation theory dealt with Muslim majority provinces. Whether an independent princely state wanted to join the Pakistani union or not had nothing to do with it.

    Hayyer,

    The discussion did not start with the legality but if we sideline it, we leave the door open to arbitrary nonsense which is what has happened in the subcontinent for a very long time.

    You’ve read Lamb’s “Incomplete Partition” yet you call it biased… I find it ironic that a pro-Indian American is always hailed as the gospel truth… but someone as balanced as Alastair Lamb is denounced as “biased” for telling the facts as they are.

    Thanks for the compliment though…

  147. hayyer48

    PMA: I am no historian and will leave a detailed rebuttal to Bonobashi. But very briefly let me say that
    a) Parthian rule covered all of Punjab upto modern day UP in fact and probably covering some parts of it.
    b) if we take the Greeks to be Byzantines then there were Greek raids in India as far as Pataliputra (modern Patna) which was conquered and held for some time during the reign of Pushyamitra Sunga, circe first century BC.
    Bonobashi has therefore every right as a Bengali and as an Indian to apprehend what he did, tongue in cheek.

  148. yasserlatifhamdani

    BTW… some background information that is never mentioned…

    July 19, 1947: The Muslim Conference, the majority party in the legislative assembly at the time, unanimously passed a resolution in favor of the accession of the state to Pakistan. Shortly thereafter, the “War Council” of the National Conference also met; eight out of thirteen members voted in favor of accession to Pakistan.

    I think there was another resolution that was passed by Kashmir Legislative Assembly as well…

  149. bonobashi

    @PMA

    My apologies; there are some unfortunate personal reasons which do not permit me to log on except at unpredictable intervals, hence this long delay in responding to you.

    In deference to Hayyer48’s references to the length of my posts, I shall try to keep this brief, without losing detail.

    “How does India become a “tribute-paying subordinate state” to China when both are emerging supper powers in their own right.”

    I doubt very strongly that India is on the trajectory to becoming a super-power. It requires both economic prowess as well as a streak of ruthlessness and conviction of one’s chosen place under heaven. China has this in ample measure; in my opinion, India does not. And strangely enough, I am very happy that this is unlikely. To become another Russia, or a United States, or a Great Britain, or a Spain, or Imperial Rome, to be an Achaemenid Empire or Parthian or Sassanian: surely you will agree that these are unlovely prospects. What I hope for my country is what Ratan Tata defined as his goal for us: we should be a happy country, not necessarily a powerful one. This means turning inwards to some extent, being willing not to run the race that the Chinese have decided to run, being willing to cultivate our own garden. It may or may not happen, with human beings possessing the competitive and warlike spirit to the extent that they do, but one can hope; the prognosis favours this conclusion about being a super-power, all that remains is to ensure that we enjoy the fruits of rejecting harsh overwhelming dominion.

    But that involves keeping a strong defense, and keeping away from points of friction, in part by being an unpleasant enemy to take on: something like Singapore’s ‘shrimp with teeth’ approach, but on a larger scale. This ability to defend ourselves, i fear, will be vitiated by the changes in geography that any decent solution in Kashmir must entail.

    “And about “four centuries of Parthian-Byzantine hostility”. I am afraid your part of the Sub-continent was never under Parthian or Hellenistic control. I invite you to read an earlier article “Hellenistic and Parthian Gandhara” posted here at PTH on August 28, 2008.”

    I am so sorry about the confusion. I was only referring to the inveterate competition between the two empires, not to any involvement of either of them with the sub-continent, although the Indo-Parthians were very much an element in mediaeval Indian history. I am aware of recent interpretations of the Indus Valley being an entirely different cultural complex, but shall not enter into a discussion on this.

    Incidentally, the interplay of forces in central Asia in historical terms is of special interest to me, and for the past forty years I have cultivated a study of the region and its history.

    To reiterate, my reference to the Parthian Byzantine rivalry was an example of two neighbouring powers being locked in competition over several hundred years; it could just as well, and with equal validity have been the example of England and France.

    I have noted Hayyer48’s humorous asides and shall bide my time. ‘Revenge’, as they say in Sicily (not in Pushtu circles, a common mistake), ‘is a dish best eaten cold.’

  150. PMA

    hayyer48: At the risk of moving away from the original subject of the post, let me say that historians are at consensus that Parthian (247 B.C. to A.D. 224) eastern interests lied in securing trade routes to China through modern day Afghanistan and northern Pakistan; modern day India or even Plains of Punjab do not enter into Parthian imperial interests. There are no archaeological or anthropological evidences to prove yours or Indian assertions.

    Similarly Greeks, who predate (330 B.C. to 129 B.C.) Parthians were never able to make any further eastward advancements beyond Punjab and Kashmir. That is not to say that there were no advance party raids into India. But modern day India was never under Greek rule. In fact soon after Alexander’s death in 323 B.C. Chandra Gupta Maurya was able to set up kingdom in the Indus Valley.

  151. bonobashi

    @Hayyer48

    PMA is absolutely right. There seems to be some confusion here. He is referring to the Parthian kingdom, or empire per se; I rather suspect you are referring to the Saka-Pahlavas, the Indo-Parthians. I am under some time pressure here, so please permit me to say just this: the Indo-Parthians lasted a very short while, between the secession from the Parthian Empire by the satrap Gondophares and his son and successors gradual retreat westward into Afghanistan (precisely, into Sakasthan or Seistan). They did not penetrate deep into India. There is a tenuous link to the Pallavas of South India, of Mamallapuram fame, and there are some Iranian scholars who are very enthusiastic about this possibility, but it is tenuous.

    Perhaps I might come back to this later, with a humorous ‘proof’ that Bengalis were co-parceners of the Hindu Shahis and therefore of the Indus Civilisation (so-called); that is to be read as an academic joke and a massive pulling of PMA’s leg. But that can only be tomorrow.

  152. PMA

    Dear DastNaward: Your words display characteristically Indian outward humility. You speak softly while your country India places all of her pieces strategically on the imperial chessboard. My apologies for misunderstanding your Persian-Greek analogy. I recently read a concurrent and comparative study of sixteenth through eighteenth centuries Ottoman Turkish-Safavid Persian-Tsarist Russian imperial triangle. History may one day record Chinese-Indian-American imperial triangle of twenty first century. There are lessons to be learned from the past.

  153. bonobashi

    @PMA

    An imperial rivalry with China is the sure path to ruin in the 21st Century, perhaps for part of the 22nd as well.

    The USA is likely to fall away rapidly beyond a point of time; it is a fairground gypsy’s trick with tea leaves to try and predict even an approximate date. However, I am confident that once American power declines, it will not decline in a straight line.

    There are so many points of friction between China as the new hegemon and any other foolhardy enough to be comparable that a cooperation is in the highest degree unlikely.

    It will be best to stay away from the Chinese parade. As they say in the Army, it is best to avoid being behind a mule or in front of a Colonel.

  154. Bloody Civilian

    Bonobashi

    you must’ve met col. mule. we used to have one – gen fazle haq. zardari is another. i could name one or two others… 😉

  155. PMA

    bonobashi: You say that “An imperial rivalry with China is the sure path to ruin in the 21st Century” yet with American wind under its wings India is soaring high over South Asian skies. Only last week your country took possession of first of the three AWACs retrofitted by Israelis with American radar system. Indians are in nuclear bed with America. The list of Indo-American strategic alliance and military cooperation against China is getting longer every day. Increasingly muscular India is on a very dangerous path.

  156. hayyer48

    Bonobashi/PMA: I apologize. Following PMA I misunderstood your reference as pertaining to India whereas you were referring to the rivalry between Byzantium and Parthia. You are quite right, the Indo-Parthians were a brief side show.(Strange that a 100 years can be referred to as brief from our perspective)
    PMA: India paid for Nehru’s patronizing behaviour with the Chinese when they bashed us in 1962 and we have issues outstanding with them over Ladakh and in the North East. And while I am in complete agreement with Bonobashi about this super power business as an adolescent fantasy we are not likely to become humble performers of the kow tow that China expects from its neighbours.

  157. PMA

    hayyer48: I understand your ‘dig’ when you say “humble performers of the kow tow that China expects from its neighbours”. No doubt India has a different and much greater world-standing than its lesser South Asian neighbors. She needs not to kowtow to China or to any one else. In fact as an emerging super power she is in equal footings with the other two super powers in the region, i.e. China and the US. A study of the interactions between the three super powers of the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries that I have mentioned earlier would be a good reference point to the upcoming geopolitics of the twenty-first century and beyond.

  158. hayyer48

    PMA: You insist on misunderstanding me. I was taking no dig; I had countries more easterly than India in mind. When I express an opinion, I err on the side of directness not subtlety.

  159. Majumdar

    Civvie/Yasser,

    there is no way in hell that Patel was serious or that even if he was, he would prevail over Nehru and Mountbatten

    The evidence suggests otherwise. It was Mountbottom himself who offered Kashmir vs Hyd to MAJ on Nov 1, 1947. It was Nehru himself who repeated that offer on Nov 2, 1947. Patel did likewise publicly on Nov 11, 1947. If they were insincere, why would they have done so when the Indian military position was actually improving day by day? The real fact is that you guys are unwilling to admit that your hero (and incidentally many of us Indians’ too) let the subcontinent down in Nov 1947.

    Hyderabad was never on the table.. because everyone knew that Pakistan had nothing to offer there.

    All the more reason why MAJ (pbuh) shud have jumped at the Nov 1 offer. After all Pakistan aur Jinnah sahib ke jeb se kya jata?

    seems to me to suggest that with the suzerain abdicating responsibility, the individual rulers became independent

    That is one interpretation. But two points:

    1. Did the ruling power actually abdicate responsibility? Let us not forget that India-Pak remained dominions till 1950
    2. The other interpretation is that with Britain abdicating responsibility, suzerainty didn’t lapse but devolved onto the successor states of the Delhi Durbar- India and Pak.

    But this is legalese (and I may be completely wrong on both). The true matter of fact is as follows. Did the right to decide on the states’ future belong to the Prince? or did it belong to the people? AIML’s answer (and this seems to be Civvie’s and Yasser’s as well) was the Prince (although this principle was neglected in the case of Kashmir). INC’s answer was the people (curiously again this principle was neglected in the case of Kashmir). But given the answers of the two principals, I am not at all surprised that democracy (of whatever limited variety) has struck greater roots in India.

    Yasser has done a great job by pointing out that the majority party in the Kashmir assembly voted for Pakistan upholding the democratic principle. If only MAJ (pbuh) had shown the same sagacity as the Muslim Conference did…..

    Regards

  160. Gorki

    First thing first.
    The score on the ‘Parthian-Byzantium exchange’;
    Bonobashi = 1, Rest = 0 😉 .

    Due to a busy work schedule I missed the Parthian-Byzantium exchange which I initially thought that the purist Bonobashi had written in a fit of absentmindedness but now witnessing some of us flailing around, I suspect the wily Babu (with self confessed 40 years of history learning behind him) had set a trap named ‘Parthian-Byzantium rivalry’ for us all on purpose. ;-).

    There was no such rivalry. There was Parthian-Roman rivalry, a Sassanid-Roman rivalry and a Byzantine-Sassanid rivalry but the Parthians were gone in 330 AD when Byzantium was carved out of Eastern Roman provinces.

    Similarly:
    “And about “four centuries of Parthian-Byzantine hostility”. I am afraid your part of the Sub-continent was never under Parthian or Hellenistic control.”

    Makes no sense. Byzantine was not Hellenistic Greece. It was a Roman successor, two different eras two different empires.
    Regards.

  161. yasserlatifhamdani

    Hayyer..

    You are clearly – as others have attested- a person with the heart in the right place..

    But the reason why some might “insist” on misunderstanding you is because it is the considered view of many of us Pakis that you try and slip one by us like a googli…

  162. Majumdar

    Yasser,

    it is the considered view of many of us Pakis that you try and slip one by us like a googli…

    I am often tempted to invite Kaalchakra/Eklavya to PTH.

    Regards

  163. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Majumdar,

    My suggestion is that you read again what Nehru and Mountbatten “offered” Jinnah. It was clearly not Hyderabad in exchange for Kashmir. I suggest you look at things with a more critical eye.

    Now I am not certain of the modalities of “popular will” but events since have proved that this proposal – whatever it may have been- was a fraud. Why? Because it was clear by Nov 1st that the principle of self determination would be applied to Kashmir and Junagadh. Now… we know that despite the UN Resolution and agreement in principle that plebiscite should happen in Kashmir, India has been able to obfuscate the whole issue. So I don’t see how things would have been different even if Jinnah had “accepted” this grand offer that you keep referring to.

    I am frankly a little surprised by how far Nehru and Mountbatten were going to bring Hyderabad on the table… when they had no intention – not on Nov 1 1947…. not on 15th August 1947… of giving up Kashmir… to popular will or anything else.

    Now… why was Jinnah not ready to bring Hyderabad to the table ? Because 1. Hyderabad had nothing to do with Kashmir and Junagadh except in the imagination of Patel, Nehru etc… 2. Jinnah was not ready to stab in the back the one financier which was giving Pakistan a loan when GOI was holding Pakistan’s share.

    I am not willing to admit this because it is merely a publicist’s fantasy and not a historical fact.

  164. yasserlatifhamdani

    PS: I don’t think you’ve bothered to read my post about the legality carefully.

    It is not the prince but the princely state that was sovereign after the lapse of the paramountcy. What internal constitution the princely state had and how far the prince was bound by the public opinion was another matter. For example… Kashmir had a legislative assembly… which had passed a resolution in favor of accession to pakistan.

    But regardless of this resolution… the principle was not “neglected” in the case of Kashmir. India negated the principle in the case of Junagadh… and then UN established plebiscite as the means of self determination after India went to the UN.

    So I don’t think you are making the necessary connection between what I said (which you’ve misunderstood) and the Kashmir case.

    Yasser has done a great job by pointing out that the majority party in the Kashmir assembly voted for Pakistan upholding the democratic principle. If only MAJ (pbuh) had shown the same sagacity as the Muslim Conference did…..

    Yaar Majumdar kiya hogiya… atleast don’t misquote me. Once again… you are just not reading what is written. Majority Party as well as a significant majority of the Minority party passed a resolution favoring the option of signing the document of accession over to Pakistan… who was going to sign the document? The Maharaja as the head of the Kashmir state.

    There was no difference in the position that Jinnah took and the position of the Muslim conference on the issue of princely state’s sovereignty.

    The issue of British India and successor states… I don’t think the principle applies because Pakistan and India were successor states of British India alone. Princely states + British India formed “India” of which the British Monarch was the King Emperor till 14th and 15th of August 1947.

  165. Gorki

    PMA, Bonobashi, Hayyer:

    China India rivalry may yet take off but it is unlikely to be a USSR-USA type of cold war. I also highly doubt the contested lands of Aksai Chin or Arunanchal Pradesh will be the major bone of contention between the two for the following reasons:
    1. China is not as focused on the icy heights of its western lands as on the disputes in South China sea due to the fact that most of its population lies on the Eastern seaboard. In its scheme of things, its immediate neighborhood disputes involve Japan, Korea, Vietnam and of course Taiwan. Compared to those, the claims over Kashmir etc. are an afterthought and in part a bargaining chip against the Tibetan support by India. Neither China nor India will risk a nuclear battle over this uninhabited bit of land as China will over Taiwan as India will, over the Vale.
    2. Other than these two border issues, the Himalayas are such an impassable barrier that a war is impossible across these mountains. China may well be on the other side of the moon for most Indians and vice versa.
    3. The superpower rivalry in the 21st century will be less over real estate and more over resources and contracts and open sea lanes to access them. Thus the Chinese actively diplomacy in Africa, Middle East and South America is being watched by all not just the Indians (bit players anyway so far) but by the Americans, the Russians and the Europeans which will be the major source of friction.
    4. China seems to have learnt the lesson of the rise of empires well; rising Germany was all set to overtake England as a manufacturing leader till it embroiled itself in the WW I, USSR lost its superpower status due to poor moves in the cold war. Now China is effortlessly set to displace USA and it is unlikely to risk it all. The Mandarins of the middle Kingdom are a patient lot; they have decided on a peaceful rise and will wait unless someone else does something foolish.
    5. The Chinese century will not see a bipolar military competition but more likely a multi-dimensional but mostly peaceful tussle between multinational unions; in trade, energy resource intellectual property disputes etc, there will be a group of nations; EU on one hand, perhaps aligned with USA-Japan-Australia-NZ on the other. Neither will these alignments be air tight. Nations will break ranks when national interests are at risk. Thus Australia NZ etc. may co-operate with China-Indo-China on environment/nuclear free Pacific issues etc. The lesson for us in South Asia is that we have to stop being myopic and consumed by the mistrust of the last 60 years, and look at the emerging world order, and align with a nation that makes most sense; each other.

    Other issues:
    By agreeing with YLH’s vision I do not advocate a unilateral disarmament; rather a joint defense of all the former states of British\Mughal India in a sort of a Monroe Doctrine of our own; ‘Outsiders, kindly leave us alone’
    For this to happen, the mindset that PMA mentioned:
    “No doubt India has a different and much greater world-standing than its lesser South Asian neighbors”
    The big brother model is unstable one, rather a partnership of equals will be the only enduring partnership.

    Last but not least, the whole issue of being a ‘superpower in waiting’ can cause a lot of confusion. I respect the spirit in which Bonobashi rejects the superpower military status of say USA or ancient Rome but that is throwing out the good with the bad. I completely agree that a status based on military competition may be out of place in the 21st century and a recipe for disaster but being a superpower involved a lot more than raw firepower.
    Even if an Attila could beat the Roman legions in battle he still will is remembered as a nothing but a savage.

    A true super power is that which is not only feared by others but is also secretly desired. A onetime US ambassador to the UN, Jeane Kirkpatrick once remarked that while a majority of third world nations consistently vote against the US in the UN claiming they all hate the US, one only has to check out the lines of people in those countries outside the US embassies; people waiting to get a US visa to emigrate.
    There is some truth in this. Even the worst critics of the US can not deny that once you are past the ‘Lakshman rekha’ of the US borders, one really finds a heaven on earth not only in terms of material wealth but also in terms of intellectual stimulation, human creativity and of course human freedoms and justice for all. One does not see soldiers on the streets or tanks at crossroads but the nation protects even its weakest citizens with equal vigor regardless of race color religion sex or sexual orientation.
    That is a superpower status which is hard not to emulate.

    Bonobashi rightly mentions that most superpowers last only a few centuries yet it is the exceptions that prove the rule. Ancient Rome (not counting the Eastern half of Byzantine) lasted 1200 years, about half of that time as a superpower. In part it was due to the fact that even though ruthless to its enemies, it was generous to its own. When it fell, it was not because someone was trying to break free of it like the modern day Kashmir, it was due to the fact that too many people from outside wanted to be included into it! (When it was sacked in 410 AD, it was by the Visigoths trying to become a part of Rome.)
    Rome’s secret of this amazing popularity; it opened its arms to all sub nationalities and once someone became its citizen; it had no problems treating him as equal to all others regardless of color, creed, race or religious orientation. This principle of equality and fairness to an individual has stood the test of time. Thus we may not want to be the ruthless conquerors like America or Rome, I can’t deny that there are parts to Superpowerdom that are very seductive and highly desirable.
    Regards.

  166. yasserlatifhamdani

    PPS: If someone in India still has doubts about the sovereignty of the Princely States after lapse of Paramountcy… they should consider the Tripura Merger Agreement signed by their own government in 1949 … where Tripura – a princely state- joined India through an agreement of equals (ofcourse mostly to ward off the threat of a communist revolution that seemed to be gaining force there).

  167. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    Yaar you are a great lawyer, just like your hero, and as I had feared you have knocked me out flat. But had Jinnah sahib been as good at realpolitik as at law, the whole subcontinent would have been a rather more quiet place now.

    when they had no intention – not on Nov 1 1947…. not on 15th August 1947… of giving up Kashmir

    Facts accepted by an Indian journo hostile to Indian annexation of Kashmir, and two Prime Ministers of Pakistan suggest otherwise.

    It is not the prince but the princely state that was sovereign after the lapse of the paramountcy. What internal constitution etc

    That is precisely the point. Who wud exercise that sovereignty? lets say in case of Hyderabad? What if the constt authority was not representative of popular will and their decision clashed with that of the populace? Let’s say what if Hyd had acceded to Pak or Bahawalpur to India?

    they should consider the Tripura Merger Agreement signed by their own government in 1949

    Tripura may have signed an honourable agreement with India, which was just as well. Becuase if they hadn’t, a bamboo wud have been shoved up the Raja sahib’s (SD Burman’s relative???) ****.

    Regards

  168. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Majumdar,

    First of all, it is my view that had Jinnah accepted this so called grand offer there wouldn’t have been any perceptible difference at all in the present situation. I think I have abundantly demonstrated why.

    facts accepted by

    What facts?

    two prime ministers of Pakistan

    One was making excuses for his own role in East Pakistan and his failure to deliver on Kashmir. The other one merely confirms Patel’s statement. I am sorry but this is neither here nor there.

    That is precisely the point. Who wud exercise that sovereignty?

    Now you sound like a regime-change theorist. Sovereignty would be exercised by whoever the sovereignty was vested in. Democracy is always built up internally… it cannot be imposed through regime change… I think we’ve seen that happen in Iraq.

    Becuase if they hadn’t, a bamboo wud have been shoved up the Raja sahib’s

    Tripura remained independent long after India’s independence. There was no resistance per se. The Princely state only acceded to India when the Raja’s regent was scared of a communist revolution brewing there (ironically the main communist party there had been banned for having links with East Pakistan)… Pension in Indian Union looked like a good prospect.

    The fact that India signed the Tripura Merger Agreement shows that Indian government accepted the principle latter day nationalists are trying so hard to deny.

  169. yasserlatifhamdani

    By the way… just for my information… if princely states were not sovereign, why did the Indian government still insist on forcing the old Nizam to sign the document of accession after having destroyed his forces and taken over his state?

  170. Bloody Civilian

    majumdar

    mountbatten was speaking as a mere spokeperson of the GoI, not as HM’s plenipotentiary. as for nehru’s ability to go against patel’s determined will, remeber the whole cabinet (and the GG) panicking imagining the possibility of patel resigning over junagarh. this is the context within which india closing down HQ of the Supreme Commander, never giving pak her share of mil supplies/assets etc. has to be seen.

    the plebiscite principle was established by india, pledged by india in case of kashmir, endorsed by the UN and it was india who chose to ignore her own pledge to “pak, the world and the people of kashmir”.

    i’ve already said how i agreed more with bonobashi’s charaterisation of that period of time. sorry to say that while you can still admire MAJ for his TNT and secularism, his commitment to democracy in this particular episode might leave you slightly dissapointed. in the realpolitik between two sides with one having no military power and the other more than willing to use it, MAJ was chose to rely on the legalistic view, with a slight inconvenience in case of kalat. in case of kashmir, the lashkaris going in was an inconvenience. but nehru solved that problem by his pledge for plebiscite and having it sanctified by the UN. though none of it, in the long term, affected ‘might is right’.

    as for you connecting that to the progress of democracy in either dominion, you are far too learned to need me to rebut that. if the AIML had inherited ‘india’ as its country, and the INC ‘pak’… they might have been as unable to avert crimes of the few as the AIML was. just like india’s undemocratic approach in kashmir, use of force ever since, reneging on a pledge to democratic principle and manipulating the kashmirri ballot box was not able to undermine democracy in n.delhi.

    the resolution in favour of pak, btw, puts to rest the claims based on so-called “oral history”. you, as a self-confessed ‘thinking hindutvadi’, want rid of the vale of kashmir. or believe that kashmir should’ve gone to pak, on the same principle as hyd, junagarh should’ve gone to india. while a non-hindutvadi indian should argue that kashmir is as good as an “atoot ang”.

  171. bonobashi

    @Gorki

    You have exposed me. But that little joke about Parthian-Byzantine rivalry, a rivalry that never was, was quite harmless and not intended to hurt feelings. I hope it is taken that way.

    BTW, PMA is within his rights in assigning Hellenistic as an epithet to the Byzantine empire; it was the culture formed of the merger of Greek philosophy and Greek cultural concepts, also of the Greek language itself, with Roman administration and political thought that was Hellenistic. I am defining it badly, but it was more or less the Greek-influenced continuation of Rome in the East that was described as Hellenistic.

    I have some delicate snares for PMA in my bag, but those must wait for my father to relieve me of some of the tension and anxiety he is giving me.

  172. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    Indian government accepted the principle latter day nationalists are trying so hard to deny.

    I (and other latter day nationalists) am not responsible for what the Indian govt did or did not do in 1947-48. As I told you earlier, JLN was the head of INC/GOI in 1947, not me. Had it been me, I would have expedited the danda on Tripura (as well as Nepal/Sikkim/Bhutan)

    Indian government still insist on ……. etc

    They were just insisting on complying with the formalities. Being polite.

    Democracy is always built up internally… it cannot be imposed through regime change…I think we’ve seen that happen in Iraq

    I think it worked quite well in Hyderabad, Junagadh, Sikkim and a quite a few other states where the GOI imposed a “regime change”. (Not sure too much about Kalat or Swat though!!!)

    Regards

  173. Bloody Civilian

    btw, the ex-PM bracketting east pak with the princely states (!!) also said of iskander mirza, in a letter addressed to him, that he [mirza], and not jinnah, was the “great institution” that history will remember.

    p.s. i gave up trying to correct or provide an errata for my previous post. i’d go and have my breakfast instead, and in future never write before breakfast.

  174. Majumdar

    Civvie,

    …..you, as a self-confessed ‘thinking hindutvadi’,……

    You have misunderstood my ideology, sir. I am a Hindoo nationalist – even a communalist, but definitely not a “Hindutvadi”. The latter is a person who believes that India should be run as a Hindoo state and on Hindoo ideology (whatever that means) with possibly special privileges to Hindoo citizens- a stance which I am completely opposed to. I am content merely with an India which is overwhelmingly demographically dominated by Hindoos with little possibility of having another Partition forced on it.

    Regards

  175. Bloody Civilian

    wasn’t the INC also ‘dominated by hindoos’, yet you claim they were equal partners in the crime of partition? i still cannot understand then why you deny nehru the ‘pbuh’, or equivalent thereof, that you bestow upon MAJ. any help?

  176. Bloody Civilian

    “crime” as equivalent of “forced”, that is.

  177. Majumdar

    Civvie,

    Nehru and Gandhi didn’t force the Muslim majority regions out of India, they merely created conditions for the same. And for all that they did, had MAJ (pbuh) not stood his ground on Muslim rights, India wudnt have been divided. Hence no pbuh for Nehru or Gandhi.

    Equally importantly though MAJ (pbuh) was a far greater leader with a far sounder vision for governance, economics and foreign relations than either of the two others. I wish he had been a Hindoo. (Perhaps had the Patel-Rajaji duo been in charge of INC/GOI they wud have measured up to MAJ as a ruler.)

    Regards

  178. yasserlatifhamdani

    Majumdar …

    Once again… we are going off topic… The issue is not whether Hyderabad has done well under Indian rule… or whether it worked… but where the legal rights lay in terms of the sovereignty of princely states. In some princely states, the sovereignty was exercised by some sort of parliament… in some it was exercised by the ruler.
    Both were legitimate!

    The point is that Indian government accepted the basic principle of the sovereignty of princely states and if you look deep enough, you’ll find that you do so too… now that your confusion over what constituted British India and what constituted British Empire in India has dissipated.

    Swat mind you continued to exist as a princely state till the 1960s… and apparently did very well. As for Kalat – it acceded to Pakistan in 1948… but continued as a Princely state till much later. I’ll come to this issue later today… since BC has mentioned it on several occasions … but I fear that here too it is merely a myth that we are operating on.

  179. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    I have no doubt that your understanding of the legality is much better. But as a nationalist my view is completely different- the whole of the Indian subcontinent should have been divided on exactly the same principle that British India was- Muslim majority kingdoms to Pak, Hindoo majority kingdoms to India unless the popular will was something different. If it meant “illegal” destruction of the princely states, so be it. And my nationalistic prescription would have served the subcontinent much better than INC – AIML’s hypocrisy/cleverness.

    Regards

  180. yasserlatifhamdani

    On the issue of Kalat… (BC can correct me if I am wrong)

    Kalat State consisted of Kalat main and the feudatories of Lasbela, Kharan and Makran which were smaller princely states dependent on Kalat. However… two of these smaller feudatories signed their document of accession to Pakistan… and third one soon after.

    Now for main Kalat state… Pakistan to the best of my knowledge did not invade Kalat. Infact quite the contrary, Jinnah travelled to Kalat himself and addressed the Royal Durbar to make the case the case for accession to Pakistan…

    It is true that that the bicameral legislature of Kalat state (the darul awam and darul umra) voted for a treaty with Pakistan instead of a document of accession (which had to do more with Kalat’s view that it was never under British Paramountcy) … the Prime Minister of Kalat categorically said that Jinnah was a friend of Kalat who only wanted them to enter into a loose confederation with Pakistan while retaining most of their independence. Meanwhile… correct me again if I am wrong.. but the main opposition to Pakistan came from Bizenjo who wanted the feudatories returned before accession question could be addressed…

    It was All India Radio that declared that Kalat had entered into negotiations for accession to either India or Afghanistan which created a public outcry in Kalat itself. It was then that the Khan of Kalat signed the document of accession to Pakistan.

    I reproduce here a few clauses from that instrument:

    6. The terms of this my Instrument of Accession shall not be varied by any amendment of the Act or of the Indian Inde­pendence Act, 1947, unless such amendment is accepted by me by an Instrument supplementary to this Instrument.

    7. Nothing in this Instrument shall be deemed to commit me in any way to acceptance of any future constitution of Pakistan or to fetter my discretion to enter into arrangements with the Government of Pakistan under any such future constitution.

    8. Nothing, in this Instrument affects the continuance of my sovereignty in and over this State, or, Save as provided by or under this Instrument, the exercise of any powers, authority and rights now enjoyed by me as Ruler of this State or the validity of any law at present in force in this State.

    9. I hereby declare that I execute this Instrument on behalf of this State and that any reference in this Instrument to me or to the Ruler of the State is to be construed as including a reference to my heirs and successors.

    So can someone please enlighten me on these references to Kalat that are thrown about … because I am sorry I just don’t see what it was that was done in Kalat which was even remotely similar to the invasion of Hyderabad for example or Junagadh.. or Kashmir.

  181. Bloody Civilian

    YLH

    i’m afraid i do not know enough about the kalat issue. what i know is the equivalent of H48’s “oral history” vis a vis kashmir. we do have noorani saying “He [the khan of kalat] was brought to heel only in April 1948 after a display of armed force. It would have been actually used if, like the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Khan had refused to see reason.” [History as Prison, Frontiline 10.9.05]. as for ‘the ‘single bullet’ being fired to knock off the flag of the khan’s fort’, that is just anecdotal… and i think i read it in some where like nawa-i-waqt or something too.

    your version follows closely the versions i surmised from a baluch or two (i think including qazi isa’s lawyer son??), plus trying to see the truth between two partisan versions, on tv recently. if, however, i wished to reach an independent view of my own, i’ll have to go and read about it much more.

    but i can see why taking the legalistic view was to MAJ’s advantage, without necessarily hurting him in kashmir… until the lashkaris went in and forced the instrument of accession. that situation was salvaged by the GoI and UN. the UN never declared Pak an agressor, not that that could have prevented a plebiscite or have any impact on the kashmiris’ right to one. and that legal position has not changed.

    majumdar

    “whole of the Indian subcontinent should have been divided on exactly the same principle that British India”
    >>>>>>

    that would mean that the princely states were open to be divided, as per TNT, as punjab and bengal were.

    “I wish he had been a Hindoo”
    >>>>

    or wish you’d been a muslim? 😉

    if your fellow indian nationalists, who do not share your belief of ‘india predominantly for those not of a non-indic faiths’, wish so badly to retain only kashmir of all the muslim-majority provinces of india, why not let them? after all, it won’t affect the predominance of the peoples of indic faiths in india, would it? and if they wish to use the danda… well you’ve already approved the use of it for your POV.

  182. Bloody Civilian

    YLH

    the problem i have with hyderabad is MAJ actually encouraging the nizam to resist. there was no hope of success. that is why he didn’t ask for accession to pak. may be he needed the loan/money from the nizam. and may be pak needed that money badly. but it did lead to the muslim minority there going through hardship that they need not have gone through. it was in stark contrast to MAJ’s advice to the muslims of india, elsewhere – to get stuck in to the democratic and national process.

  183. yasserlatifhamdani

    On the issue of Kalat, I actually am interested in listening to the other side… because I have always been very surprised by this allegation.

    On the issue of Hyderabad… I think in all fairness Hyderabad should’ve been independent. I don’t think Nizam was going to resist just because Jinnah said so- Nizam- the “exalted Highness”- was on sound legal footing and had his own armed forces- he did not want to accede to Pakistan or India … I think there was a good chance Hyderabad might have resisted much better … its undoing happened at the hands of the peasant revolt there brought about by the communist party…

    As for the stark contrast… Hyderabad was an independent and sovereign state and not part of Dominion of India.

    The issue as you can appreciate is whether Jinnah should’ve signed away Hyderabad for Kashmir… frankly something I don’t quite comprehend.

  184. Bloody Civilian

    YLH

    i forgot to say that as you have quoted from the instrument itself, of course kalat was different than hyderabad.

  185. Bloody Civilian

    kalat

    from what i’ve been able to any reasoned baluch nationalist narrative, they’ve no problems up to october 1952. their problem, as the other ‘smaller provinces’, starts from october 1955 – the one unit (as really does that of east pak, despite the more symbolism than substance of the ‘language’ issue, which was clarified soon any way). so i’ll go away and read/ask about kalat now.

    hyd

    the same two points ocurred to me… belatedly.

  186. Bloody Civilian

    “from what i’ve been able” to glean from…

  187. Bloody Civilian

    “the same two points” = communists + status separate from india (or pak)

    whether hyd ought to have been independent or not, is, perhaps, not directly relevant to the ‘stark contrast’ point i raised. patel was never going to allow it. britain was highy unlikely to recognise any independent states as per the Lord something or the other’s statement in the HoL, and mountbatten suggesting the states accede to one dominion or the other.

  188. yasserlatifhamdani

    Actually … the British policy on the issue allowed for exceptions … in some cases. It was really not the question of Britain recognizing these states… but de-recognizing them.

    About Kalat… that is my point of view as well… so long as Balochistan Free States existed as part of the Pakistani federation but separate from the Chief Commissioner’s Balochistan… Kalat was happy in the union.

  189. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    I think in all fairness Hyderabad should’ve been independent.

    Irrespective of whether its people wanted to be independent or not!!! But then I guess that is immaterial with you.

    We can keep arguing whether the Princely States shud have been disposed off as per legal niceties or as per the TNT principles.

    As a defender of the TNT principle I can only say that it has worked. States which were “illegally” annexed or coerced into union with India-Pak on TNT principles- Hyd, Travancore (???), possibly Kalat have never had a problem being part of whichever union they were transferred to. The one which was disposed off against the TNT principle- Kashmir has caused maximum grief.

    Civvie,

    that would mean that the princely states were open to be divided, as per TNT, as punjab and bengal were.

    Of course!!! See one of my earlier responses to Yasser. If I had been the boss of INC/GOI in 1947-48, I wud have divided J&K along the River Chenab, which in hindsight wud have been great bargain for everybody.

    Regards

  190. Bloody Civilian

    the only argument remaining then is that of MAJ’s stance flying in the face of modern democratic principle. the illegal regime-change theory does apply against the noble democratic principle. the regime-change argument applies to india as agressor and illegal occupier. india being able to claim legitimacy through subsequent ‘popular acclaim’ or plebisicite does not change the illegality. so the hyderabad-for-kashmir-swap-had-meaning argument has huge holes on both the realpolitik and legal side. the side claiming ‘legal principle’ was sticking to it, except when irregulars crossed over in to kashmir… where GoI pledged the democratic principle any way, including before the UN. so the side claiming ‘democratic principle’ ran roughshod over it, while still completing the legal formality of having an instrument of accession signed… for good measure; or sticking only to the legal principle where there was no resistance of any sort. interesting. i must read up on this princely states business in the history of partition.

  191. Majumdar

    Civvie,

    Signing off for the day. Just one last word. Kashmir for Hyd wud have been illegal as you guys point out but wud have worked.

    Regards

  192. PMA

    bonobashi: I must admit. I fell for your ‘trap’!! After all I don’t call you sly for nothing!!! I have apologized to you in my previous response and I will do so once again. When I first read your reference to ‘Parhian-Byzantine hostility’ I thought that by mistake you have said Byzantine while you meant the Greeks. Since Parthians were successors and not contemporaries of the Greeks in the northern Pakistan/Afghanistan theater I again mistook your mention of ‘hostility’ as Greek/Parthian hostility towards the Sub-continent. That is why I said that the Parthian/Greek hostility did not go beyond the present day northern half of Pakistan. But then I am not the lone victim of your trap. Mahatma H48 fell right after me. Thanks God for the enlightenment that Gorki offers. Otherwise both Mahatma and I would we lost in the darkness. I hope this clears the confusion, mostly coming out of own ignorance.

    On the subject of super powers. By all counts three super players are emerging fast on the Asian scene. A triangular rivalry on the model of Turkish-Persian-Russian rivalry of 16th-18th centuries is in the making. India and China both have developed most of the characteristics of a super power. Just like America (and USSR before) both are venturing beyond their borders. It will be interesting to see how things shape up in the future.

  193. bonobashi

    @PMA

    I am sorry, it was a sly little joke, but at that time, it was an irresistible piece of schoolboy humour. I hope you will take it in a lighter vein. Also it is worthwhile pointing out that only with scholars could this joke work, never with the ignorant . No apology needed, only forgiveness for immature pranks. At my age, I should be more dignified, I agree.

    Thank you for your generosity of spirit in accepting this.

  194. Bloody Civilian

    majumdar

    had there been the slightest bit of mutual trust remaining, anything would have worked.

  195. YLH

    Majumdar,

    N0t only would it have been illegal (or in my opinion impossible)… it wouldn’t have worked. I can’t believe a generally honest person can delude himself into believing otherwise… it would have been exactly how it is now…with India hanging on to Kashmir as at present.

    Whether I think Hyderabad should have been independent or not… is immaterial because India would have managed to coerce the Nizam anyway.

    Frankly the issue here was that Indian leadership was unable to play fair. Plebiscite in Kashmir was its pledge … just like it had held a plebiscite in Junagadh. To keep harping about Hyderabad – which had nothing to do with Pakistan- was downright dishonest. That is like saying – we’ll fulfill 0ur promise only if you bribe us on the side.

    I am 0nly surprised at Pakistanis who repeat such crap as “fact” as Karaya above.

  196. Gorki

    BC, Majumdar, YLH, PMA, Bonobashi and others:

    “the only argument remaining then is that of MAJ’s stance flying in the face of modern democratic principle. the illegal regime-change theory does apply against the noble democratic principle. the regime-change argument applies to india as agressor and illegal occupier. india being able to claim legitimacy through subsequent ‘popular acclaim’ or plebisicite does not change the illegality. so the hyderabad-for-kashmir-swap-had-meaning argument has huge holes on both the realpolitik and legal side. the side claiming ‘legal principle’ was sticking to it, except when irregulars crossed over in to kashmir…”
    “We can keep arguing whether the Princely States shud have been disposed off as per legal niceties or as per the TNT principles”.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Reading the statements like the above two gives me a migraine; ;-). How does one discuss realpoltick, regime change and legal rights in the same discussion? I trust the eminent lawyers and lawyer types discussing the above issue know what they are talking about however can anyone explain to a layman like me how to make sense of the following points:

    1. Since when did legality come into play when higher national interests are involved? Was India’s reunification (which happened simultaneously with partition) any different from other such confused national reunifications like the last two other modern states to emerge from a hodge podge of princely states; Germany and Italy?
    2. Asking the national leaders to discharge their duties honorably and yet be legally perfect is impossible. It is a Hobson’s choice and can’t be done. In USA Lincoln was asked to make such a choice; defend the constitution and the national unity while allowing the Southern States exercise their constitutional right to secede; we all know how well that one went! Regardless; Lincoln remains an ideal of a leader in America and an all time favorite American deity.
    3. Consider this; the partition discussion was being held by the parties: British, the AIML and INC based on the legal system devised by the British; who happen to be on the way out based on the stand of the later two parties that British rule in India was morally (and constitutionally) illegal! Was this a farce or what?
    4. British rule and thus all treaties and legal covenants it had made were legally speaking, thus null and void because of the stand of the AIML and the INC.
    Moreover since the British authority came from an act (or many acts) of war; (regime change if you will) deposing the last legal ruler of India and murdering his offspring in cold blood before assuming sovereignty it was blatantly illegal.
    So in such a scenario what did you expect? Reminds me of an Urdu couplet:

    “Hum ko unhse hai wafaa ki Umeed;
    Jo naheen jantey Wafaa kaya hai.

    5. The legal claims of the princes came from what?
    Being the successors of robber barons in many instances; and at least in one instance; Kashmir, the right which was bought from the British? Bought!!
    Who gave them the right to sell a part of my country to anyone in the first place? Were the people told they were being traded like monopoly money?
    Can I ‘buy’ my country back?

    Also consider the following points and give me an answer before you resume your legal pantomine:

    If the freedom struggle was fought on the principle that people had the right to decide their future and the will of the people was supreme then how come a coterie of old men and white former masters decided to secretly partition off whole states with distinct sub nationalities without informing those people or asking for their consent?
    Why is plebiscite OK for Kashmir and not Punjab or Bengal?
    How could Muslim voters of UP and Bihar give an authority to AIML to decide the future of Muslims in Punjab and Bengal?
    Who should have decided if those two states (nations?) wanted to be torn apart; there people made homeless, their women raped and their children orphaned? Did the Punjabis get a right to an informed choice?

    My last question for all: Regardless of the merits of TNT, if for argument’s sake one were to accept it as a gospel truth, why is it that two distinct races; one black and other white can live in one nation; USA and thrive while two peoples (based on TNT) had to be torn apart and penned like cattle in separate pastures? Why could different races and peoples live in harmony around the world since times immemorial but could not suddenly do so under the Indian Sun? Why were there only two choices; CMP or partition?

    My point in all of the above is this;
    IT IS TIME; to move along.

    All of you above are wise, serious and liberal gentlemen. Your commitment to public service (or honest discourse) is beyond any questions.
    If the past generations made mistakes then see what each one of you can contribute to rectify them.

    (I apologies in advance for all the hurt feelings of my friends on the PTH due to my post but I had to ask these painful questions in the name of all those who selflessly laid their lives for our common land and our common future between 1857 and 1947.)

    Regards.

  197. Bloody Civilian

    Gorki

    speaking for myself, all i need to do is repeat/paraphrase your last two paragraphs with an addition to it of your own words:

    i do this in the name of the same innocents that you ask your questions. and i do it with a view and objective to know how to move ahead/on better (using history’s allegorical value).

    since i’m too lazy/disorganised to find/make time to read, i try and benefit from informed people and discussions and debate here.

    i suspect that the answers to many if not all of your questions are there to be found in these discussions, across a few threads. as for “Since when did legality come into play when higher national interests are involved”, the british ‘establishment’ might well have used just that as a defence against all that you accuse the british of.

    it has been claimed, not unreasonably, that india is free of foreign rule today due to lord macaulay. indeed, that was the hope macaulay had expressed and the prediction he had made… as he was justifying his much ‘reviled’ views/policy. seervai, for example puts forth such a claim. it is also why we again and again end up discussing the british legal system, democracy and so on. it is macaulay who is behind the indian constituion that is based on considerations of (british) legality, democracy and morality, not national interest as such. yet it would be difficult to define or agree upon higher national interest in the absence of the constitution. we in pak know all about such ‘higher national interests’ and ‘nation building’. in fact, we don’t want ‘nation building’… but i digress.

  198. bonobashi

    @Gorki

    It was unfair to drag the ghost of Banquo back to the feast. However, since you made that singularly luckless move: (clearing my throat and assuming a very familiar and comfortable Bengali Upper Division Clerk persona) it constrains aforementioned ghostly apparition to make suitable representation before learned body here assembled in virtual location.

    I can’t keep up that style for long without laughing myself into hiccups.

    The answers, dear Gorki, are as follows:
    1. Since when did legality come into play when higher national interests are involved?

    Since always; the wide body of constitutional and international law available deals with it. Unfortunately, from a non-Eurocentric point of view, this law is based on law that was developed within Europe. Until somebody comes up with an alternative, this is our option to chaos and force majeure.

    1. (cont.) Was India’s reunification (which happened simultaneously with partition) any different from other such confused national reunifications like the last two other modern states to emerge from a hodge podge of princely states; Germany and Italy?

    No. Precisely why the discussion above.

    I agree that it may not have been of general interest. It is of great interest in the legal context. I am not absolutely sure of the legal position in re suzerainty and the voluntary remission of suzerainty; the rest is fairly argued. Until I know better, I will go along with YLH, in spite of nagging doubts to the contrary (suzerainty is drawn from a mediaeval legal context, to sort out the tangle of sometimes conflicting homage owed to different lords, to establish a single authority whose demands and rights should prevail over those of others claiming allegiance from a feudator).

    To remind you, both Bismark, and Cavour after him, had to step carefully through a minefield of legal bombs and Claymores to achieve what they did. In Bismark’s case, Napoleon had made his task easier, and that in turn was eased by the Treaty of Westphalia that we keep coming back to, inevitably. You will be saddened and shocked by how much law had to do with the whole process. Sorry. YLH is still necessary, and we better keep an eye on the clock – the profession normally charges by the hour.

    2. Lincoln is a bad example. He did nothing, visibly that is, that was influenced by his personal parochial affiliation. Both sides in this issue under discussion did so, not always, but on enough occasions to dilute their moral authority; thereby a moral difference between him and them.

    3. Not correct. Up to a point, the issue was of Dominion Rule, which was perfectly well foreseen and for which the groundwork was ready.

    As far as I know, the standpoint of neither party was that British rule was constitutionally wrong; it was that it was morally wrong. It may be morally wrong of Usman to take away my teddy bear, my companion of my youth; if he does so on the force of a court decree, it is not constitutionally wrong.

    4. No, as to the point regarding the illegality of British rule because Congress and the League declared it so. They didn’t.

    Also no, as regards the point regarding war being an unsound legal foundation. It is in fact recognised that treaties can follow a war and these have to be honoured under law, if their provisions are themselves legal. However, in this case, there were other considerations.

    The regime that was changed was itself not based on statute, if you wish to argue the point on those lines, not even on preceding Islamic or Hindu law. So it is moot to argue that its overthrow was illegal. Illegal under which law? In simple terms, it was a despotism with no codified body of law and no statutory or any other kind of validity. The grants under which the British for instance held land in Bengal originally were grants of land by the emperor’s personal will, documented in a form sanctified by precedent. The entire administration was an attempt at codification of the personal desires of preceding monarchs.

    If you wish to dig deep enough, and I hope and pray you will not, the legality of any Islamic domain was derived from its recognition by the Khilafat, and the permission to have the Khutba read in the recognised sub-ruler’s name – for such he was and not strictly a sovereign ruler in the European sense – and have coins struck in his name and with his titles on it. I am speaking loosely; please don’t crucify me on this definition. The Caliph ruling with the approval of the people was the only sovereign in any Islamic domain, and all others were subaltern rulers, ruling on delegated authority. PMA may be able to define this precisely.

    So to overthrown the Mughal regime legally, in the context of Islamic law, it is my understanding that the British Parliament should have sought the formal permission of the court of the Sublime Porte to replace an individual ruler by an institutional one, not belonging to the faith, with legal, constitutional and practical consequences that are difficult to comprehend. You do remember that around the time of the assumption of the sovereignty of India by Victoria, 1858, there were other matters exercising the minds of the British, Russian, French and Turkish diplomats regarding recent developments and subsequent occurrences in the Baltic Sea, with specific reference to another peninsula of historical memory.

    5. The legal claims of all princes is based on force majeure, on war and conquest. A mediaeval conqueror of Delhi sought an imperial princess from the existing imperial family for a bride; when the time came for a declaration of the names and titles of the respective parties to this contract, a haughty courtier sought with more than a slight sneer the names and titles of the bridegroom and details of his no-doubt so distinguished ancestry. The answer he got was short and peremptory: the bridegroom brought out his scimitar and declared that he was son of the sword, grandson in turn of the sword and so on. The courtier retired in precipitate haste; the marriage was rapidly concluded, and we are left to contemplate the alternatives to a high pedigree and a legal foundation both to marriages and to regime change.

    The purchase of Kashmir was not as simple as you have made it out to be. For starters, the exchange of territory for a consideration was never unknown; secondly, the rights of inhabitants of that territory never existed. These lands were held in sole sovereign right, allodial right in the European feudal context is the closest I can get to it after a sleepless night, and were disposable at the sole discretion of the ruler.

    The rights were purchased not from the British, but from the then sovereign of those parts, a sovereignty gained by (what else?) the sword, the court of Lahore. I forget the exact nature of the payment to the British, and if there was in fact a payment to the British. If there was, it was for what Mr. Quatrocchi would have recognised readily as speed money. The substantive payment (not substantial) should have been to the throne of Lahore.

    Yes, you can buy your country back. From a sovereign who holds it in sovereign right. Without constitutional safeguard or restraint. Not the case for British India. So you could buy Jaipur or Hyderabad, from the Maharaja or the Nizam, not British India from the Viceroy or even the British Monarch, not without parliamentary sanction, that is.

    Plebiscite was OK for Kashmir because Nehru was an ass and did not know what he was saying or doing in those days, especially about Kashmir. At least not if the historical records are telling the truth. Plebiscite was not OK for Punjab or for Bengal because these were parts of British India (not all of what is today the Punjab, either in the east or in the west, but that is a quibble), and they were to be negotiated for with the British; a plebiscite could have been part of the deal, but wasn’t.

    I could go on like this, but if we are to MOVE ON, I recommend to you: let the dead bury the dead. These questions should not have been asked, if you wish to move on. What you need to say is: we may have been right, we were probably wrong. Now what do we do for the future that is morally right, constitutionally sound and reflects the wishes of the people on the ground?

    And wait for the next controversy as hell breaks loose defining who are the people on the ground, at which degree of granularity they should be taken as separate or as an indivisible unit, and how their wishes are to be ascertained.

    As usual, the last word is with our tormentors, the Chinese: may you live in interesting times.

  199. Bloody Civilian

    the parties did have a mandate from within the punjab and bengal. how this mandate was interpreted and the eventual result is another matter. nwfp and junagarh each had a plebiscite under contrasting legal scenarios.

  200. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    Good try, but no cigar.

    That mandate in a regime governed by statute from Westminster was meaningless. In no part of British India such a mandate at all meaningful. Junagadh was not British India; the NWFP was not the NWFP in the form that it later became at that time. Also, as pointed out ad nauseam if not here then elsewhere, some parts of it had special dispensation for application of laws and regulations which governed the rest of the country. Taking such a mandate as a basis for action is to get a fig-leaf specially tailored at Savile Row.

  201. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Gorki,

    I am very surprised. I think we had a better understanding of each other’s positions… than this.

    1 and 2 It is absolutely wrong to think that the legal position on princely states was in some way violative of democratic process. It was a question of legal necessity (which interestingly was recognized by India enough to force even Nizam to sign the document after invading and destroying his country). Like I pointed out (but I was repeatedly misquoted) it is the princely state that was sovereign not necessarily the Prince. However if the Prince enjoyed that sovereignty than it certainly was not upto foreign powers like India or Pakistan to affect a regime change in these princely states just because they did not agree with them… just like no nation has the right to overthrow… say the Amir of Kuwait…. or for that matter President Hosni Mubarik of Egypt and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia who have been sanctified (ironically) by the democratic President of United States of America. I think regime change theorists have been convincingly been put in their place.

    I can see that a lot of Indians would love to equate their actions vis a vis the princely states in 1947 to Abraham Lincoln… a comparison which sadly falls way short of reality for reasons I don’t even wish to list. A more obvious and realistic comparison would be the annexation of California and Texas… and the way native American tribes were subjected to destruction and even genocide.

    3 and 4 are NOT legally tenable and I recommend that you read closely the position taken by the Congress and the League vis a vis British rule. Implicit in the demand for independence was an acceptance of British rule as legal. I am very surprised by your arguments… coming as it do from a country that appointed a Non-Indian British royal as its first Governor General.

    5 is just emotional and sorry but does not make sense. When you talk of “my country” I don’t know what you are talking about really given the basis of your argument… because similar (and more convincing) arguments may be employed to show that India was unified by the British … and never existed as one country in history. The argument about robber barons was used by the British to overthrow Tipu Sultan and place the puppet Maharaja in his place. The legal rights of Princely States – as independent states- were as valid as any state on earth … including the Island of Britain itself.

    And your final question is simply not taking facts into account. Muslim League’s mandate for Pakistan was derived from its overwhelming victory in 1946 elections … by the same electorate on the basis of which the Congress Party claimed to be representative of India and asked the British for independence … and let me tell you this was a wider more representative franchise than say the franchise that existed in the US of A in 1770s or even the 1860s. (My own feeling is that the independence business that Congress and the League believed in was a bourgeoisie demand – including people like you and me. And it was the different stages of evolution that Hindu and Muslim bourgeoisie were that led to the Muslim identity consciousness. A fair referendum would probably have the lowest classes in India and Pakistan voting for British rule I am sure).

    “why were there only two options CMP or partition”

    How ironic. It seems like whatever we’ve done and said on these boards has been water on duck’s back. Were there other options? Yes. But they were abandoned by your Nehrus and your Congress in the 1920s. And then in the 1930s…

    Then you draw that comparison with Blacks and Whites in America. The reason why US didnt face a partition at the onset along the race lines… was because the Blacks were held in bondage and were property in 1776. Till 1850s they were not even considered “citizens” under the constitution… Independence of the US from Britain was a separation of Europeans from Europeans about some constitutional issues. Had there been another race with majorities in certain parts … there would no doubt be several countries in the place of the US.

    The question of Blacks in America was not that of different communities but of liberating them from slavery. The African Americans -once sold as property- were neither united, nor in majority anywhere … it doesn’t mean that they did not have their black nationalism. Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad and the Black Panthers etc were all black nationalists … and without the pressure they exerted, civil rights movement would not have succeeded no matter how great a leader Dr. King was. The reason why they could not get their own country was because they were neither negotiating with a foreign colonial power nor did they form majorites as mentioned above.

    So essentially … taking your example to its logical conclusion- had Hindus taken all Muslims as slaves and denied them citizenship for a century or so some time before partition…. I am sure, in another 200 years we would all be thriving as equals.

    Infact… even within white Americans… they had in reality a (for the want of a better phrase)”Thirteen State Theory” which informed their constitution-making as one nation … and brought about the federal principle… and the reason why the US has residuary powers at State level not federal.

    In 1789 Americans- all white, mostly protestant christian- thought it wise to have residuary powers at state level. But in 1929… the Indian National Congress- which claimed to represent the multinational, multiethnic and multi-religious people of India- refused to allow residuary powers to be at provincial level – which would have saved India from partition and solved the minority fears.

    In 1946 the only alternatives were CMP or Partition… because Congress had already closed the door on all other reasonable avenues of reproachment. Sadly like you… Nehru did not see why it was only CMP or Partition either. The result was partition of India… ironically on Nehru and Patel’s terms.

  202. yasserlatifhamdani

    Also…

    Why plebiscite in Kashmir and not in Punjab?

    Because India held one in Junagadh and because Indian went to the UN which passed a resolution saying that there ought to be plebiscite in Kashmir.

  203. PMA

    “BC, Majumdar, YLH, PMA, Bonobashi and others”

    Gorki: Reasons you include me in the list of scholars of South Asian Independence Movement are not known to me. But nevertheless you make a passionate appeal when you conclude by saying:

    “All of you above are wise, serious and liberal gentlemen. Your commitment to public service (or honest discourse) is beyond any questions.
    If the past generations made mistakes then see what each one of you can contribute to rectify them.”

    Frankly speaking I do not know what are you talking about. Leaders of Indian Congress and Muslim League could not agree to a political formula under which Muslims and Hindus of the British India could live together in the post-colonial period. So the Empire was divided into two i.e. Muslim-majority and Hindu-majority states. But that was sixty years ago. Lot of water has gone under the bridge since then. Would you Indians stop crying and get over with it now? You say lets move on and I say yeah, lets move on. You concentrate on your problems and we do on ours. And God knows we got problems. Other than for academic reasons I find these India-Pakistan debates silly and waste of time. Yes there are some residuals of the division that India needs to resolve. Other than what is there to rectify? I say resolve the disputes and live in peace as good neighbors. That’s all.

  204. bonobashi

    I did not think that the day would come, but it has: I agree 100% with PMA. The past is past; it is certainly worth discussing from my point of view as an historical and academic exercise. This, and other dissections of the past, have been invaluable for me, precious beyond price, from that specialist point of view. But we each of us in our three countries (most of us really don’t care much for Bengal and the Bengalis) have evolved in sixty years. It’s two generations now, for heaven’s sake.

    For the rest, let’s move on and use the lessons learnt not to repeat these mistakes, and concentrate on solving our own problems, with sympathy for each other, certainly, but nothing further unless and until circumstances change dramatically. I honestly don’t see why they should. And I honestly don’t see why we shouldn’t meet for friendly, even involved and passionate discussions without committing ourselves to living in each other’s pockets.

  205. Hayyer 48

    This is more like it. Why have an India or Pakistan at all. Why didn’t we just break up up into our old village republics and our tribal structures?

  206. Hayyer 48

    The argument had proceeded exactly as in a courtroom. Never concede anything to your opponent in your submissions to the court and even where the facts are self evident preface your comment by saying “even if we admit for the sake of argument etc etc we do not concede etc etc.”

  207. yasserlatifhamdani

    Must have been the other side because every point I have argued … has not been put up for sophistry at all.

  208. yasserlatifhamdani

    PMA,

    You probably can appreciate that my reasons for indulging in this debate are purely academic…

    I certainly don’t presuppose that somehow we will undo any mistakes of the past… or try to do over what has already been done.

    Which is why my own solution to Kashmir does not at all look to the past… because if I look to the past for solutions, I would find myself unable to concede Indian occupation of what is in the very true sense Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

    The solution however lies in coming to an agreement where both parts of Kashmir … Pakistan controlled and the Indian Occupied… become autonomous within their respective states and then also come together in a Pan-Kashmir confederation on certain issues… including free movement of all Kashmiris regardless of their origin, a ban on re-settlement of other Pakistanis and Indians in Kashmir and a defacto dual citizenship of Kashmir and Pakistan … or Kashmir and India.

    Both the governments of AJK and IOK can devise a central joint Kashmir authority where these governments can coordinate their efforts through a super council consisting of members of both governments…This way… Kashmiris will benefit and we will be able to put this behind us. It might actually be a bridge of peace between Pakistan and India as well.

  209. Gorki

    To all of the gentlemen who were kind enough to write thoughtful replies. Thankyou.

    I am travelling for the next day or so therefore will respond (and hopfully clarify some points) when I am back to my desk later. Till then kindly give me the benefit of doubt since I feel my intention my have been somewhat misunderstood.
    Specifically my questions are more of rhetorical nature rather than specific legal counterpoints begging specific replies. Also I do understand the points made during our past discussions and do not ask these questions to rehash it.
    Sorry for the creating this confusion.
    Regards.

  210. Hayyer 48

    PMA: I could not have put it better.
    YLH: re your post of 9-35 on June 12. We are going around in circles. It was a question of fairness that I began with many moons ago.India was not fair to the Kashmir, I did not say anything about Pakistan which I said had spoiled its case with the tribal invasion.
    Sorry for the late reaction. I was off net for more than a day.
    Bonobashi: Please accept my highest admiration for the analogies in your post of 7:25.
    We can say at the end of the day that IndoPak differences will never be resolved by the ‘I said you said’ sort of argumentation. A change of heart is required.

  211. bonobashi

    @Hayyer48

    Thank you so much; there was some more that it is useful to remember about the sovereignty of the state versus the sovereign, and about the nature of sovereignty of an Islamic state, but it would have weighed down the argument and floated it like a lead balloon.

    Comment about resolution of Indo-Pak differences is a bit pointless, I believe, unless such a resolution is approached by both sides with mutual respect. That does not exist today.

  212. yasserlatifhamdani

    Those who champion real politik will say that on the contrary it was the tribal invasion that forced India to go to the UN… Ofcourse… from my own angle, the tribal invasion was prima facie illegal and therefore wrong. (According to Fatima Jinnah and I think Alastair Lamb… Jinnah was kept in the dark about the invasion which was planned by a very ambitious Pakistani officer Akbar Khan-who later tried to mount a communist coup in Pakistan in 1951- … another version is that he was in the dark about it and later, presumably after the invasion story hit the fan, when somebody tried to tell him about it, he said don’t tell me .. let my conscience be clear on this.. either way Jinnah was the head of the state and so either way it was his responsibility to control the functionaries of the state and people like Akbar Khan)

  213. Bloody Civilian

    H48:

    re. the general accusation in your post of june 13, 9.37pm, if i remained unconvinced, it was because i’m thick, not because i’m dishonest. i’d like to think that any apparent lack of objectivity on my part is not taken to be as a result of a lack of integrity.

    please re-read the para starting “even, if for the sake of argument ONLY, we accept the ‘legal limbo’” in my post of june 10, 8.28pm, where i say that even if i were to agree with your ‘legal limbo’ characterisation, it makes no difference to the argument. justice owen dixon was of the same opinion. he too might have been wrong, but he too would have preferred to have been accused of incompetence rather than bias.

    as for indo-pak peace and how kashmir might be settled, if at all, i repeatedly made my views very clear, in practically every post.

  214. Bloody Civilian

    “as for indo-pak peace and how kashmir might be settled, if at all,…”

    = as for indo-pak peace and how kashmir might feature in it, if at all,…..

  215. Bloody Civilian

    btw, it is not surprising that the side in possession would wish for all sides to move on instead of re-examining. for the sake of peace and the future*, i agree to moving forward, without any re-examination. that is exactly what i’ve been reiterating at the end of almost each post in which i was putting forth my view of the history and legality.
    ____________
    * not just bilateral future. i wrote: “myself and many of my pakistani friends are sick to the back teeth of kashmir – not the pakistanis you said feel “they are missing a limb”. i’ve already said why. if india can do the honourable thing by kashmir, and if kashmiris can see sense, i’d be relieved”. the last line, i am re-stating a third time on this thread. i guess it’s time i tried to be more ‘objective’.

  216. hayyer48

    BC: I have no complaints whatsoever about your integrity. Far from it. I admire your efforts to be detached and fair while arguing your case. There is no general accusation in that post of mine. Merely a restatement of position.
    Re. the real politic argument, that began with Majumdar and the trade off. My comment originally was that Kashmir was balanced on a knife edge when the invasion began giving India a chance to poke its nose inside the tent, and that itdid not honour its commitment to determine the will of the people of Kashmir while accepting accession.
    Your post of 6.39 June 12 summarized the whole affair very lucidly.
    Bonobashi’s little discourse on legality and sovereignty shows how insecurely founded our perceptions of such issues can be.
    I mean no disrespect to YLH when I say that he was extremely nimble in alternating his position between law and real politic leaving his various opponents struggling to maintain a position.
    We are, most of us, agreed that peace between the two countries is desirable for its own sake, unencumbered by our short violent history and sentiments accumulated from the past. We are probably agreed also that the solution proposed by YLH, which coincidentally is something like what is being discussed between the two countries may be the best under the circumstances.

  217. ryvita

    “The argument had proceeded exactly as in a courtroom. Never concede anything to your opponent in your submissions to the court and even where the facts are self evident preface your comment by saying “even if we admit for the sake of argument etc etc we do not concede etc etc.””

    denying something ‘self-evident’ can only be a result of either dishonesty or stupidity. thanks for clarifying that you do not hold me guilty of the former. 😉

    lets hope our being agreed on the importance of peace can translate in to conditions where progress is possible.

  218. bloody civilian

    ryvita = bloody civilian

    😀 using my niece’s computer… didn’t realise that

  219. bloody civilian

    “didn’t realise that” wordpress remembers nicks

  220. bloody civilian

    “can translate in to… progress ” via even the small contributions that a common citizen can make, e.g. lawyers’ movement, PTH etc.

  221. bonobashi

    @ryvita

    Let me speak for myself and apothesise you: you take the biscuit.

    @Hayyer48

    You may have come across a work by Julien Benda called La Trahison des Clercs. The only thoughts that come to my mind at the end are of him and of 2 Samuel 1: 19 to 27.

  222. An Unknown Indi

    ylh mian, let us not even think about your solution for kashmir ;it is far too radical.
    My philosophy is what Shekhar gupta propounded on the election results night on ndtv,”Stop plannin’,stop predictin’,lets go with the flow, let’s just see.”
    Had i been ,unfortunately, the Sardar at the PMO , the first thing i would have done would be to let indians buy land in kahmir.To the kashmiris,i would have said ,”too many years, too much blood,now chup” O NE OF THE BIGGEST REASONS WHY KASHMIRIS ARE THE MOST UNPATRIOTIC INDIANS(THEY EVEN WAIVE YOUR FLAG SOMETIMES) IS THEIR XENOPHOBIA.Without extirpating this xenophobia , no progress can be made.Let me add a cliche, to those people who think of seperating kashmir from India i find it irrestible to say:
    Indian autorickshaws have this bolly dialogue painted on their rumps:
    DOODH MANGOGE TO KHEER DENGE
    ………

  223. An Unknown Indi

    guyz, i am posting an intensely poignant,lacrimo inducing, nyt essay on a thread called”long live fashion industry”.Do read it ,if you have not.If you are young,you will feel the ‘urgency’.The essay also deals with the hindu concept of cycles and the four prasthas…thanx

  224. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    Ofcourse… from my own angle, the tribal invasion was prima facie illegal and therefore wrong.

    If you ask my opinion the ” tribal invasion” was as just as India’s liberation of Hyderabad. In hindsight I wish it wud have been better if the tribals had the good sense to capture Srinagar airport first and then return to Baramulla for some fun and games.

    Regards

  225. Bloody Civilian

    bonobashi

    my apologies for taking the biscuit.

  226. knock knock!

    guys,an aside:yahan ki conversation reminds me of the my history classes………parthian,byzantine,greco-roman,buddha,chakara,biscuits,kheer esoteric jokes of PMA …….meri to kuch samajh me nahi aa raha hai…..

  227. Bloody Civilian

    H48

    the ‘taking the biscuit’ thing hurt. that it was totally self-inflicted hurt more. my apologies.

  228. bonobashi

    @knock knock!

    Fair enough. No history, let us say for arguments’ sake.

    What do you want discussed?

    Suggest an alternative. Not all threads are similar. Some are about fashion. There’s no history there.

    This one was about the President of the US making a significant speech, where he specifically addresses the gulf that has come into being between his nation and a large section of the world’s population. Tell me: wouldn’t it be reasonable to imagine that some knowledge of what happened earlier would be relevant? And that it would be brought up?

    So what’s it to be? Let’s see if we can all together meet your expectations.

  229. Karaya

    yasserlatifhamdani,

    While inflexibility is commonly associated with Jinnah …it was this that had gotten his followers behind him.

    Interestingly, that sentence would still make perfect sense if we replaced ‘Jinnah’ with ‘Gandhi’ and ‘inflexibility’ with ‘religiosity’.

    He should have told Mountbatten to shove it on June 3rd.

    An excellent topic of discssion that I’ll try and reply to the next time around.

  230. Karaya

    yasserlatifhamdani,

    I am 0nly surprised at Pakistanis who repeat such crap as “fact” as Karaya above.

    I aplogise profusely on my behalf and on behalf of those Pakistanis (PMs and normal folk) that you mention and Mr Noorani for repeating facts which do not sit well with your POV.

    Jinnah was not ready to stab in the back the one financier which was giving Pakistan a loan when GOI was holding Pakistan’s share.

    Agreed. Sadly, the Muslims of Hyderabad had to take a hit because of this when “Police Action” was launched by India.

  231. Karaya

    yasserlatifhamdani,

    Also, let me for a moment just consider the case of Kashmir, without looking at J’gadh or Hyderabad, since after all the latter two aren’t really a problem anymore.

    Let us try and look at just why you call it “Indian Occupied Kashmir”.

    You said, “ It is not the prince but the princely state that was sovereign after the lapse of the paramountcy. What internal constitution the princely state had and how far the prince was bound by the public opinion was another matter.

    Agreed. However, if we vest sovereignty in the Prince, the case of Kashmir becomes an open and shut case–in favour of India.

    Two things might still interfere, though:

    1) TNT. The Partition of the sub-continent was done on this basis so some might argue that the princely states should have been distributed that way too. However, you said that, “legally TNT did not apply to the princely states”; so that’s that.

    2) The UN resolution which instructed India to hold a plebiscite. Now, this does violate the principle that sovereignty was to be exercised by the Prince and were not to care for the internal conditions of the state, however, that’s not the main problem here. The moot question here is that whether there’s any legal requirement for India (or any other country, for that matter) to adhere to a UN resolution at all?

    So, on what grounds do you use the term “Indian occupied Kashmir”.

    P.S: My own personal view is a bit different since I find it a bit difficult to allow those unacountable prices to exercise sovereignty but, maybe, that sort of “crap” matters little in this discussion.

  232. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Karaya,

    Mian I cant go on repeating myself in perpetuity just because you can’t follow.

    “Kashmir an open and shut case in favor of India”

    Like I explained that for this position to be valid, India has to accept that Pakistan has an open and shut case on Junagadh. By holding a plebiscite in Junagadh, India has changed the legal reality even if we do accept that somehow UN Resolutions do not matter (though that was not the position of the government of India)

    As for your own personal opinion… we can safely say that one doesnt have to give a damn about your own personal opinion but the legality… now if you think unaccountable princes did not have sovereignty, surely you should have the honesty, integrity etc to say the same about … oh I don’t know… the Emirates.

    “since the latter of the two are not the problem anymore”

    Hyderabad was never linked with Kashmir. Only delusional people will actually buy as “fact” the assertion (“crap”) that India would have given up Kashmir for Hyderabad (on which Pakistan had no claim or nothing to offer or even the power to intervene).

    Then you ask: On what grounds do you use “Indian Occupied Kashmir”?

    On the grounds that Junagadh is by virtue of a plebiscite part and parcel of India despite having signed a legal document of accession to Pakistan. And on the grounds that India has failed to hold that same plebiscite in Kashmir, as promised, pledged and also the only principled thing to do. Get it?

    You write: “Agreed. Sadly, the Muslims of Hyderabad had to take a hit because of this when “Police Action” was launched by India”

    Because of what? What do you think would have happened if Jinnah accepted Patel’s so called offer on Kashmir? Would there have been no police action on 17th September, 1948. Well presumably it would have happened in December 1947 instead.
    And ofcourse Pakistan would not get Kashmir by any stretch of imagination for what the GOI had actually promised Pakistan in return was what it knew it was going to have to promise the world in the UN. Since India has not kept that pledge, there is no reason it would have kept this one…

    Ofcourse the major difference would have been that you would be writing something like ” Jinnah was stupid enough to be fooled by Patel when he jokingly offered Kashmir for Hyderabad. And while Jinnah took that on face value, his followers as usual suffered because of his naivety… and because of this Muslims of Hyderabad had to take a hit by the police action” …. You see it would all been the same. Infact you would be saying almost the same thing in reverse.

    “I aplogise profusely on my behalf and on behalf of those Pakistanis (PMs and normal folk) that you mention and Mr Noorani for repeating facts which do not sit well with your POV. ”

    Once again… I don’t care if Noorani said something or something you think the “PMs” said or didn’t say… I will only accept it if you show me logically how it would have turned out that India would have actually handed Kashmir in lieu of Hyderabad … on which Pakistan was in no position of doing anything.

    It is presumptuous of you to think that your “fact” is inconvenient to my point of view because it is presumptuous of you to think it is a fact in the first place. Besides… if it had been inconvenient, I do have the powers to delete your posts. On the contrary, I feel it is so blatantly and obviously a misstatement of history that it needs to be countered.

    Now my point of view- which I have already shown is based on a more solid footing which so far none of the people arguing for the point you wish to drive home- is exactly that : a point of view. However you overestimate the importance of the crap that you are trying to pass as fact.

    “Interestingly, that sentence would still make perfect sense if we replaced ‘Jinnah’ with ‘Gandhi’ and ‘inflexibility’ with ‘religiosity’”

    So? What would be your point exactly? I already explained that if anything, Jinnah showed in the Cabinet Mission Plan and then on June 3rd that he was flexible and in the latter case too flexible.

    Yours sincerely,

    YLH

  233. bonobashi

    @ Karaya

    I’m reproducing the whole of your post so that it is convenient to intersperse comments within your points.

    You’ve just opened a can of worms. You have made propositions which require comment, but to do so, I shall find myself in front of a YLH in full battle array, which is an uninviting prospect for a peaceful, sedentary, elderly man.

    yasserlatifhamdani,

    Also, let me for a moment just consider the case of Kashmir, without looking at J’gadh or Hyderabad, since after all the latter two aren’t really a problem anymore.

    Let us try and look at just why you call it “Indian Occupied Kashmir”.

    You said, “ It is not the prince but the princely state that was sovereign after the lapse of the paramountcy. What internal constitution the princely state had and how far the prince was bound by the public opinion was another matter.”

    Agreed. However, if we vest sovereignty in the Prince, the case of Kashmir becomes an open and shut case–in favour of India.

    I don’t think so.

    Sovereignty was essentially, even as the name implies, an attribute of the sovereign, in his or her person.

    They could, at their absolute discretion, assign it away, in either a reversible or irreversible way. See the example of Nepal in recent years, or better still, some of the constitutions granted on mainland Europe.

    In some cases, the sovereignty vested with the prince, with nobody else. Period.

    In others, it rested with the prince acting in conformity with rules and processes that he had set out in a unilateral arrangement of his sovereign power. Legality, the power to make or to rescind laws, then rested with this arrangement; a typical term was the King-in-council. A good example of this process was the grant of the Magna Carta, which was the first chip knocked off the absolute power of the prince, derived not from earthly law but from divine right: the king as the anointed appointee of the Lord God himself.

    While in theory, the prince could rescind these assignments, in practice it was very difficult to achieve. Once given away, legal power stayed given away.

    So, to go back to your conclusions, or rather, YLH’s propositions, no, the sovereignty did not, emphatically, vest in the state. Please try to understand what these states were. They were personal aggregations of real estate by the prince, or his forefathers. In the case of the Rajput principalities, this typically happened jagir by jagir; what I am referring to is that several principalities were the appanages of younger sons, converted by the consent of the erstwhile senior branch of the family to full-fledged sovereignty by the cadet branch. In the case of Hyderabad, the domain of the Nizam was created as a personal holding based on the core territory that he was assigned to govern, strictly as a delegate of the Mughal. It was only after the death of Aurangzeb that Asaf Jah dared to declare himself independent. Thereafter, accretions and subtractions from his provinces were solely and purely at his sovereign will and pleasure: example, the earmarking of Berar for the upkeep of British troops assigned to ‘defend’ Hyderabad.

    Please remember, therefore, that there was no such thing called Hyderabad until the Nizam took it apart from the Mughal Empire in a purely arbitrary act in the reign of Bahadur Shah I. This does not give the realm of Hyderabad even an iota of legality or of sovereign status.

    This applies to every single one of the princely states that the British exercised suzerainty over. What you and YLH have been stating loosely is completely wrong in constitutional law and really should never have been said. It is wrong and misleading.

    That includes the proposition that what internal constitution the princely state had, and how far the prince was bound by (the) public opinion is another matter. It is not, I repeat, not another matter, but the crux of the matter. If a sovereign prince vested his powers in a legislature, it was a valid investment, and the legislature thereafter exercised sovereignty either jointly or separately from the prince, as had been decreed. This was the same path followed by the United Kingdom, and by every European kingdom or principality, and this was the law applied by the British to these situations. It is not a question of your interpretation or my interpretation, it is a question of a very well-settled body of law which really does not lend itself to speculative dissection in this forum.

    Lastly, the case of Kashmir would have been an open and shut case in favour of India, as you said, were it not for the important considerations that YLH, and Bloody Civilian, and Hayyer48 and Majumdar have pointed out in careful detail.

    First, there was a conditional acceptance of the accession by Hari Singh, insisted on by Mountbatten to the effect that the accession was conditional on subsequently seeking to know the mind of the people, which taints the accession; this was emphatically not covered by any provision of the British before the act of Independence, and in effect, it made a special case of Kashmir, due to the intervention of the delegated authority of the suzerain power. If Mountbatten had kept his mouth shut, Kashmir would have been India’s. Since he made the condition referred to, the acceptance became dependent on seeking the will of the people, for the legal reasons I have cited.

    Second, Nehru, on his own, with no provocation, accepted the proposal for a plebiscite. From that point onwards, India lost all moral authority to insist on the strict ‘constructionist’ interpretation of the provisions for accession of princely states. Remember that her legal authority had been vitiated by her own Governor-General, using the same powers of taking a decision in a split second which made the British Navy regard him as unsound for higher command.

    I really hate being dragged into this messy question, but it has to be endured until the matter is completed.

    Today the position is that the people of Kashmir have both a legal right and a moral right to demand of India that conditions of the accession should be carried out, as pledged, otherwise the accession itself should be abrogated.

    The people and the State of Pakistan have no locus in this matter. I can explain at length if you wish, but we have already dilated on other matters sufficiently. If they wait, the people of the Vale of Kashmir will fight their case for them. If they are impatient, they stand to lose a lot.

    There remains the status of other parts of Kashmir. First, Pakistan occupied Kashmir; India can very well in a vindictive mood seek that the plebiscite be conducted in those parts too, in the absence alike in all parts of the respective armies, and with sufficient armed strength from other parts to thwart any sympathetic gunfire from friends of the inalienable Rights of Man hailing from that seat of liberty, Munirke. This will be vindictive but singularly foolish, as it is hugely unlikely that even a single soul will opt out of union with Pakistan from heavily colonised Mirpur or the Northern Territories. It is equally certain that Ladakh and Jammu will want to stay as they are. There is no provision in the original statute or any part of the agreements that cover this, and only common sense can be applied. This being a matter between those vast reservoirs of common sense, India and Pakistan, I do not wish to waste your time discussing possibilities.

    Two things might still interfere, though:

    1) TNT. The Partition of the sub-continent was done on this basis so some might argue that the princely states should have been distributed that way too. However, you said that, “legally TNT did not apply to the princely states”; so that’s that.

    YLH is quite right. No gilding the lily is needed.

    2) The UN resolution which instructed India to hold a plebiscite. Now, this does violate the principle that sovereignty was to be exercised by the Prince and were not to care for the internal conditions of the state, however, that’s not the main problem here. The moot question here is that whether there’s any legal requirement for India (or any other country, for that matter) to adhere to a UN resolution at all?

    Now I know why the Indian Foreign Service didn’t want me.

    I’m not diplomatic material. Never will be.

    Any self-respecting Indian diplomat should by now have been making spirited bids for you, to kill you swiftly and embalm you as an example of sterling good sense and entirely the right thinking on the matter.

    We are eschewing the personal here, so you will not take it amiss if I were to confess that I have no rooted objection to this possible programme. However, regrettably, I cannot agree with your, to India, very agreeable conclusions.

    Let us take the compound sentence you have used above one clause at a time.

    The prince did exercise his sovereign authority. So that’s that.

    His exercise of sovereign authority was in a matter which required the express acceptance and cooperation of another, the Dominion of India. The Dominion of India proceeded to shoot itself in the foot by accepting the prince’s exercise of sovereign authority with conditions. And this was at the level of the head of the house of the royal damaad.

    So this blue-blooded bozo dragged in the ‘internal conditions of the state’ kicking and screaming through the back door. So much for that.

    Now for the UN resolution and the legality of its binding on India. The horrible truth is that although it was not binding, India accepted it!

    Let me use a coarse analogy here. If a beautiful maiden is invited to spend a weekend in obvious isolation on a remote farmhouse, she has the right to accept or decline. There is no legal binding on her to accept. If she squeals and jumps into the car and madly hugs and kisses her swain, what is the rest of the world supposed to do?

    So, on what grounds do you use the term “Indian occupied Kashmir”.

    P.S: My own personal view is a bit different since I find it a bit difficult to allow those unacountable prices to exercise sovereignty but, maybe, that sort of “crap” matters little in this discussion.

    I am a fan of YLH, and I have a great admiration for him. Apart from cocking up on constitutional law, for which he can hardly be blamed, his forensic skills are admirable. His analytical abilities are formidable; I shudder to think what he will be in another 30 years time (coincidentally that will bring him to my precise age at the moment). His memory is powerful and he can seemingly keep twenty arguments in the air at the same time. BUT.

    I will never forgive YLH for this usage. Never. Ever.

  234. knock knock!

    Hi, i have been researching sth official on the internet for the better part of this day(sunday) and evry now and then when i am exhausted , i do a peekaboo at this thread. I am enjoying my role as a spectator(i have nth to say, afterall what can i say when we have such hungry pedantic savants here) .Bonobashi, i’halfunderstood’ what you said(thanks to my cognitive limitations) but will be still keenly awaiting yasser’s reply…..maza aa raha hai… One silly question:What does TNT stand for?(i have searched all of this page using the service under edit button but cant find its full form.).thanx

  235. Hayyer 48

    BC: Neither dishonest nor stupid.
    Bonobashi: The least the Foreign Service would have done is metamorphose the rhythm and cadences of your style with the demarches and notes verbale of the non-committing, if not the uncommitted. At best you would have become worthy subject of biblical analogies yourself.

  236. bonobashi

    ROTFL. First time on PTH.

    TNT: Two Nation Theory.

    No spectator business and no lame excuses about YLH replying you: like he doesn’t have other things to do. Step right up and say what you’d like to read.

    Go on, man, develop an opinion and a point of view; it stops hurting after the first fifteen years.

  237. bonobashi

    @Hayyer48

    Damn! Another rejection!

    Move over, Bloody Civilian; I’m going to sit and sulk right next to you, and sob and wail for forgiveness.

    “Anything you can do, I can do better,
    I can do anything better than you!
    Yes, I can! Yes, I can! Yes, I can!”

    Now if the source of that is not inspirational, what is?

  238. knock knock!

    by the way,i meant yasser’s reply to your long reply and not to mine.

  239. yasserlatifhamdani

    Bonobashi,

    I think that is a very interesting point … i.e. prince v. princely state. And I am now inclined to think that you are probably closer to the truth. After all, the sovereign under the (unwritten) British constitution is the monarch… and that sovereignty then is delegated to the British parliament and the Cabinet.

    Btw… a very interesting little fact came to my attention. It goes back to my post addressed to Gorki. I found this very interesting paragraph in Dr. Riaz Ahmad’s “Jinnah: the second phase of his freedom struggle” ( I usually don’t like to quote Pakistani authors from the Quaid-e-Azam Academy but this paragraph is sourced and itself validates what is confirmed by the primary souce record):

    “Jinnah had demanded thee formation of the United States of India on the American model where provinces would be autonomous. In most matters were to be independent having residuary powers. ”

    (My comment: This much is obvious though I think the terms autonomous and independent are misappropriated by the author. Like USA, Jinnah called for residuary powers to lie at the provinces)

    Now here lies the most important bit to this discussion:

    “The 502 princely states in British India were required to be dispensed forthwith as they were withholding the advance desired by Jinnah. For this he suggested that the Princely states join their immediate neighboring province henceforth to be known as the State of British India.”

    While this obviously has no repercussions given that GOIA 1935 did not accept this position and reaffirmed the subsidiary alliance etc… but I think this answers Gorki’s question. I wonder why the Congress could not agree to such a reasonable solution… when as I pointed out earlier the US of A … far more homogenous, white and protestant accepted it in 1789?

    This is more important than the publicist type questions about Kashmir and Hyderabad which don’t make any sense.

  240. yasserlatifhamdani

    The source quoted by the author in question is:

    Indian Round Table Conference, Second Session 7 September 1931- 1 December 1931, Proceedings of the Federal Structure Committee and Minorities’ Committee London, 1932, op.cit.

  241. bonobashi

    @YLH

    Now this is a find! I wish I could afford to buy the books I am craving to buy.

    You are obviously thinking about the complete reversal of governance, indeed of the discourse between the AIML and INC if this elegant solution had been adopted. The main theme at the time of the conflict that broke out was the question of the amount of weight to be accorded to the states versus the centres. This would have conjured that whole mess out of the window by breaking the collective down to its constituent elements and then rebuilding it.

    Is that how you meant it? It is a new idea and quite striking, but I need to think about it a bit.

    Actually, one of the things I have gained out of this and other discussions on PTH is that Jinnah had an instinctive grasp of constitutional design. Both this example and the original commentary on his approach to the protection of the minorities seem to indicate this very strongly.

    I wonder what sort of constitutional, legal interplay would have gone on between Jinnah and Ambedkar, both lonely geniuses on the fringes, representing mighty minorities, if we had been fortunate and the INC had been less – oh, put in some deprecatory phrases here; words honestly fail me.

    What puzzles me is that the INC seems to have been centralising in principle at the time of their conflict with the AIML, but once India started functioning, they built up the states substantially. Not merely in the Constitution but in the way processes were built up and institutions created. There are always those who claim that the states did not get sufficient powers, but on the other hand, there is a case that too much was given to the states, the bureaucracy for instance was enslaved to the politicians at state level (an egregious error that is being corrected only now) and an impression was created (P. H. Pandian and the Tamil Nadu legislature) that the state legislatures were genuinely sovereign bodies with quasi-judicial powers – a piece of arrant nonsense.

    Returning to your point, it has its attractive facets, very attractive indeed. It requires some thought on how the Indian constitution would have created space for the states in India, considering that the American states were genuine independent and separate charters, and were individual colonies subject to the Crown, whereas Indian provinces were horses designed by committees – in other words, camels.

    Where on earth do you find these disruptive bits of information?

    Regarding Gorki, I think his was an emotional outburst, and I cannot attach much weight to it, nor ascribe those particular views to him on a permanent basis; they are too incongruous. They completely ignored what you and Hayyer and Majumdar and BC had been arguing earlier. He may not in a calmer moment wish to be reminded of this.

  242. bonobashi

    @knock knock!

    Now you have no cover left. He’s replied in typical YLH fashion with a flanking movement which leaves me defenceless and slightly stunned. It’s almost irritating how he comes out with a new wrinkle on old and thread-bare issues. I suspect that he’s not one individual but identical triplets; or he’s a Yoga master and doesn’t sleep; or he is actually Martian.

    Has anyone actually met him in the flesh, btw?

    So, then, dear k-k, get on with it. We’re waiting.

  243. yasserlatifhamdani

    Building from constituent units upwards is the only way it would have worked.

    In so far as the present constitution of India is concerned, residuary powers seem to be vested in the center…which seems to work for India as it stands today…AIML’s successor IUML maintained the position of residuary powers with provinces during ICA debates.
    However Ambedkar in one of his speeches spoke at length on why AIML had originally taken this position and why in absence of the Muslim majority provinces, IUML’s position did not make sense.

    Btw, Dr. Ambedkar’s “Pakistan or Partition of India” remains an excellent read… Balanced and in conclusion not necessarily in favor of Pakistan idea, this book was recommended by Jinnah to Gandhi and others to understand his position better.

  244. Bloody Civilian

    it would have been interesting to see what might have changed in his book, if ambedkar had had a chance to update it, having published it in dec 1940.

  245. hayyer48

    Bonobashi: The Indian constitution strove for a reasonably fair distribution of powers, but after 1950 there has been a steady attenuation of state powers. The reasons are complex and this is not the subject of discussion here. Suffice to say that Nehru, particularly but also to some extent Patel decided to run India on the imperial model as the British had run it. Nehru made his intentions completely obvious when he set up the Planning Commission, an institution that enabled him to control through an administrative order most of the subjects of governance allotted to the states. It also made irrelevant to some degree the constitutional Finance Commissions.
    India is for most purposes today a unitary state. Even the Sarkaria Commission is forgotten.

  246. yasserlatifhamdani

    Maybe Gorki is the best person to answer this.

    since USA and its constitution has already come in, would Nehru’s views be more akin to Jefferson or Hamilton ? And why?

  247. Majumdar

    The Indian Constitution is as our Civics textbooks used to sweetly sum up (for once accurately) -“Federal state with an unitary bias”

    What puzzles me is that the INC seems to have been centralising in principle at the time of their conflict with the AIML, but once India started functioning, they built up the states substantially.

    There is nothing puzzling about the whole episode. INC had a problem in giving states powers in 1935-47 becuase many of these states (esp important ones like Punjab and Bengal) were dominated by parties which were hostile to INC and it did not help that these states had a Muslim majority. Once India was formed all states were Hindoo and thus liable to have a INC govt (Kashmir being a notable exception hence no democratic principles in J&K) and hence INC had no difficulty in giving states reasonable powers.

    Hayyer mian is right though that INC still retained a strong centralising tendency esp once Indira decided that it was time to get rid of state level leaders (both INC and non INC) who cud challenge the might of the central govt. It is only with the beginning of the coalition era (from 1996) that considerable state autonomy was achieved, not thru constt amendments per se but becuase of the sheer legislative strength of regionalist parties in the Lok Sabha.

    Regards

  248. Gorki

    BC, Majumdar, YLH, PMA, Bonobashi and others:

    I am back.
    First a few explanations.
    I wrote my previous long post mostly in response to two posts among others.
    One was by Bonobashi on June 11th 2009 at 4:05 PM and another by BC on June 12th, 2009 at 6.09 pm.
    Here were two decent and extremely earnest people, lamenting the lack of scruples in our leaders; our heroes. Yet in spite of their disappointment I saw them and others second guessing valiantly as if yearning for a better scenario ‘if only this or that had been done’.

    To me it appeared that our leaders were given a hopeless task, to preserve the interests of their respective republics the best they could and yet remain ethical within the legal framework handed to them; almost impossible given the highly flawed legal framework they were given.

    So watching all your vainglorious efforts; the situation appeared to me akin to a bunch of heart doctors persisting in their efforts to revive a patient born with a hopelessly flawed heart; unable to accept the futility of their efforts. Thus I wanted to put my hand on the nearest shoulder and say; “It is impossible, it is time to let it go”.

    Therefore all the examples that followed were supposed to demonstrate the contradictions that made everyone’s task impossible. I threw in the Urdu couplet to make that point.

    However, perhaps I happened to write in an unclear and rather provocative language, and was misunderstood.

    I too was truly stunned by the gentle but painstakingly written rebuttals and responses. They were never asked for as the whole point was that there were no truly good answers!

    Then it struck me as if I had accidentally walked into a wrong lecture hall to give a talk on grief management but found out too late that the class was full of eager layers; rearing to; ;-).

    I am sure I took everyone by surprise with my tone, since even YLH was too surprised to compare me with the hind quarters of a mule or make other such unflattering comparison to mammalian anatomy. ;-). S-O-R-R-Y.

    Having clarified the above, I want to say that I still stand by my arguments that is; the contradictions of the legal framework was a dark maze that no Theseus could slay the proverbial Minotaur and still find his way back.
    Also I will go over and defend the accuracy of my statements in a separate post addressed to my friend; the formidable Bonobashi.
    Regards.

  249. Majumdar

    I am quite curious to know why YLH thinks that Hyd for Kashmir swap is a delusion.

    1. No such offer was ever made ( that such an offer was made by Mountbottom on Nov 1, JLN on Nov 2 and Sardar Patel on Nov 11 is merely urban legend).
    2. That had such an offer had been made India wud have never actually implemented it.

    Regards

  250. yasserlatifhamdani

    Majumdar,

    First of all you need to separate Patel’s bluff from Mountbatten’s and Nehru’s.

    Consider: Mountbatten and Nehru offered popular will in all three states in question. Popular will is exactly what India has pledged through the UN Resolution as well and through its own actions in Junagadh.

    I ask you – has India fulfilled its pledge? If not … then I think I am justified in my opinion. I find it rather insulting to anyone’s intelligence that having created the whole Gurdaspur drama … these gentlemen would actually give up Kashmir.

    India was never interested in giving up Kashmir from the get go. Nehru and Abdullah had obvious misled each other down the garden path. And this was clearly an ideological position with the Pandit.

  251. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    There is one thing you are overlooking. India chose to turn its back on plebiscite sometime in the early 50s (1953???) when the military and political scenario was completely in its favour. Hyderabad and other princely states were completely integrated and Kashmir was militarily subdued.

    In Nov 1947, the situation was completely different. It was by no means certain that India wud be able to gain a decisive victory in Kashmir although by the onset of Nov it was clear India was gaining an upper hand. But with Hyd and some other states, there was complete uncertainty and it was far more important to integrate Hyd than J&K. India’s leaders may have been dishonest folks but the reason for which they offered what they did in Nov 1947 was very genuine and had MAJ (pbuh) taken up the offer peace cud have been restored with simultaneous plebiscites being held in J&K and Hyderabad under neutral British supervision possibly as early as the summer of ’48.

    Regards

  252. Majumdar

    Regarding Gurdaspur, it was not so much Kashmir as the fact that without Gurdaspur Amritsar the holy city of the Sikhs wud have been sorrounded by Pakistan on three sides.

    Regards

  253. Majumdar

    Apparently the list of deluded people who have been taken in by the “swap” myth and that Pakistani myopia cost it Kashmir include not only two chaiwallas (Karaya and myself) but also two Pak PMs (who possibly were looking for scapegoats for their own failures), an Indian journo (who was trying to atone for his closet Paki and resident non-Indian tag) but also Eqbal Ahmed, the great intellectual, world famous in Pakistan

    “In this climate of crisis and competition, Kashmir received scant attention. The little attention it did attract was of those who did not comprehend Kashmiri aspirations nor the ambiguities, and the extraordinary risks and temptations that lay in waiting. In a peculiar expression of distorted perspective, self serving officials like Ghulam Mohammed, a colonial bureaucrat who later wormed his way into becoming the Governor General of Pakistan, paid more attention to the undeserving and hopeless case of Hyderabad (Deccan) than to Kashmir.

    When India’s Home Minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel sent feelers about a possible give-and-take on Hyderabad and Kashmir, Ghulam Mohammed is said to have spurned this opportunity and carried on his lucrative dealings with Hyderabad’s Nizam. Pakistan also welcomed the accession of Junagadh and Manavadar, whereas an overwhelming majority in both states (as well as Hyderabad) were Hindu. In effect, Pakistan held three divergent positions on the question of accession-in favour of the Hyderabad Nizam’s right to independence, Junagadh’s right to accede to Pakistan against the wish of the populace, and, in Kashmir, for the right to self determination. Double standard is a common enough practice in politics, but it invariably harms the actor who lacks the power to avert consequences. The Nawab of Junagadh tried to deliver his Hindu-majority state to Pakistan, which set the precedence for the Maharaja of Muslim-dominated Kashmir choosing India. Pakistan did not have the power to defend either the Nawab or the Nizam, nor the will to punish the Maharaja. So India, practising double standards in its turn, took it all.”

    Regards

  254. Gorki

    Dear Friend Bonobashi:

    Ok mighty one; time to respond to you now. I want to ask for your blessings first, having to go against my own hero who remains unparalleled in penmanship. ;-).
    I also want to clarify to all that your posture, bodylanguage and throat clearing etc. has me suitably intimidated and I remain the underdog.

    1. Since when did legality come into play when higher national interests are involved? Regardless of what you wrote (Every body; he is joking; ignore him for now), since times immemorial legal principles never bothered statesmen and leaders; even good men in personal lives bent rules to do what they felt was ‘national interest’ if they could get away with it. You talks about European centric laws. From the first documented European invasion of India by Alexander to the last war waged by the ‘west’ on Asians in Iraq; and thousands in between, law was never an impediment for the strong. These are too obvious examples; let’s try some hard ones. From the constantly changing nationality of Alsace and Lorraine between Germany and France (1871, 1918, 1940) to the constantly changing borders of Poland; only one principal remained constant: realpolitck. Law was never an impediment in European affairs. A Russian minister is supposed to have remarked; the only two real friends Russia has in international negotiations was the Russian army and the Russian Navy!
    2. Lincoln was faced upon his inauguration with two bad choices. Either let the confederates secede, which was legally within their rights, being independent states, in a Union by choice. (See Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions) or go to war. The higher moral purpose of slavery was never an issue then; (it came later only when it was clear the South was lost). He did not go to the Supreme Court to check if indeed the confederates had a right to cede; it was too risky. He thus ordered his troops to turn their guns on the Confederacy. Thus Americans killed other Americans for 4 long years while the South claimed they were only exercising their legal right.
    3. Next I wrote that INC and AIML’s position was that British rule in India was morally (and constitutionally) illegal. This is a little tricky but based upon the parties (especially INC’s) constant agitations against the British rule which it denounced to its millions of followers in as many words. Specifically, these following two points support my contention:
    a) INC declared January 26th 1930 as an Independence Day and celebrated it all over India! If it was independence then the British rule was already over!
    b) Both MAJ and Nehru came to the defense of the captured INA soldiers. The basis of their defense was the claim that the INA soldiers were not mutineers but they were POWs in a war while fighting for the provisional Government of India! Thus if we had a provisional government what does it make the British Govt?
    5. The legal claims of the princes came from what?
    Bonobashi Dada claimed some fancy French term called ‘Force Majuere.’ I don’t know what that has to do with the princes in India since the definition of Force Majeure is as follows:
    “It literally means “greater force”. These clauses excuse a party from liability if some unforseen event beyond the control of that party prevents it from performing its obligations under the contract. Typically, force majeure clauses cover natural disasters or other “Acts of God”, war, or the failure of third parties–such as suppliers and subcontractors–to perform their obligations to the contracting party!!”

    Perhaps you were looking for another old term used in the non-French speaking parts of Hindustan called:
    ‘Jiski Lathi uske Bhains”
    (Incidently this is perhaps derived from an even older principle of our caveman ancestor called ‘Brute Force’).
    6. Then you told a very fascinating story of a ‘Son of a Scimitar.’ I guess it is another legal principal derived from an even more ancient cave constitutional text precedent called ‘might is right’;
    perhaps no, an older Neanderthal law; called the ‘law of the jungle’. 😉
    On a serious note if we have to resort to such principals, what is there between civilization and Sufi Mohammed invoking the ‘Son of the AK 47’ law?
    Someone once remarked that all that stood between a civilized society and the barbarians was the laws we follow; give up the rule of law; the civilization will vanish.
    7. My dear Bonobashi further wrote : “Also no, as regards the point regarding war being an unsound legal foundation. It is in fact recognized that treaties can follow a war and these have to be honored under law, if their provisions are themselves legal”
    It is kind of the legal principal that if you can rape a woman, then bludgeon her into submission and marry her, then no crime was committed. ;-). Again on a serious note, a poor principal and an invitation to more disaster; (See Alsace Lorraine example above)
    8. About Kashmir and Princely states. That Kashmir was sold of by an occupying power to an autocrat with despotic powers may have been technically legal; (For those checking up other precedence to justify this; another great example is the colony of Congo which was a personal colony of his Highness King Leopold of Belgium, complete with amputations and maiming of offenders). Legal doesn’t make it right, just like it was technically legal to buy and sell slaves on another continent of the world at that time. (It still has a sickening feel to it that a whole province could be chopped off by an occupying power and sold off to an autocrat while the world was moving towards democracy and representative government. Would Iraq tolerate that today?). That I asked for permission to buy it back was as a question in a rhetorical form as a generic Hindustani.
    7. Some more clarifications on the Princely states issue: The sale of Kashmir was made by the British to the Dogra ruler of Jammu (erstwhile employee of the Lahore Durbar) in part as a reward for betraying his country.
    8. YLH (I think) mentioned that Hyderabad was an Independent Kingdom. It is not true for two reasons.
    1. Asaf Jah; the founder Nizam (and all others thereafter) though practically independent never declared independence of the Mughal rule. (In fact he went to great lengths to point that out and called himself a loyal servant of the Mughal court. The term itself meant ‘deputy ruler’. When Nadir Shah attacked Delhi, he traveled to Delhi to plead on the behalf of the Emperor, Muhammad Shah as a loyal courtier. Thus in 1858 the suzerainty of this province passed from the Mughals to the British King Emperor.
    2. In the GOI act of 1935 all the princely states including Hyderabad were specifically mentioned, thus they were subject to the GOI act, (unlike the ruler of Dubai or Sri Lanka).

    My last point when I wrote:
    “how come a coterie of old men and white former masters decided to secretly partition off whole states with distinct sub nationalities without informing those people or asking for their consent”

    Was also asked as a rhetorical question representing an unknown generic Hindustani freedom fighter. I asked it for two reasons: First to point out that the people negotiating on India’s behalf were extremely small coterie who assumed almost dictatorial powers of negotiating and this coterie was not nearly as representative as could have been, (e.g. the Princely India; made up of 40% of India but was unrepresented. Also no other party besides AIML or INC were there, though other parties (Unionist party of Punjab) too had won sizeable mandates. In any case these two parties were considered representative under the GOI act in 1935 elections of 1937. It was representatives of the permitted votaries only who under those rules made up about 12% of the electorate only.
    The second reason to say it was a more poignant longing to acknowledge those others whose blood had brightened the flag of freedom. There were thousands of INA soldiers still in jail. Then there were those who had already paid a down payment for freedom but could not be there; such as the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army and its youthful founder. You mentioned the Ghost of Banquo. Sadly an apt analogy. It was a wistful desire for a symbolic empty chair at the table to acknowledge their narrative as well.
    However, I feel if there were more people and parties besides the AIML and ANC who were more neutral to both then the mutual suspicion could have been diluted and perhaps a friendly confederation could still have come about.

    Last but not least; a little disclaimer. These are all but debate points. I personally hold no resentment against the British who I feel were overall a very good thing for us. My feelings about leaders are well known. Neither do I long for a reunion of India\Pakistan. My only hope is for peace and justice. Peace between all of us and justice for the people of Kashmir; and beyond. Thus I agree with YLH, PMA suggestions wholeheartedly.
    (Now I have to run and hide for a few days 😉 )
    Regards.

  255. yasserlatifhamdani

    Majumdar,

    Once again… your argument is not compelling enough. India managed to hold on to Kashmir. India would have done so in any event. I don’t buy this argument because I don’t find any compelling logical reason.

    From the A G Noorani article you quoted, he writes (not my view):

    The Quaid-e-Azam was blissfully ignorant of two factors. One was that Kashmir was already all but lost to him. The papers in this volume show how even the postal links with Pakistan were being gradually cut, though Kashmir had a stand-still agreement with Pakistan; not with India. There were systematic efforts by the ruler to forge links with India. The Pathankot road was being developed at frantic speed.

    How then does A G Noorani conclude that the swap would have worked … is to me a feat of mental gymnastic I am just not capable of.

    And what did Nehru mean by popular will… I think A G Noorani answers this as well:

    On October 21 Nehru could confidently write to Mahajan: “I feel it will probably be undesirable to make any declaration of adhesion to the Indian Union at this stage.” He cautioned: “Although we have not specifically said that there should be a plebiscite or referendum in Kashmir, we have accepted a policy in regard to States which necessarily leads to a referendum where there is a dispute. We cannot therefore object to it.” But, in good Nehruvian manner, he proposed a plebiscite of his own conception: “The best way is to have an ordinary election to the State Assembly at a suitable time. Long before this there should be a new interim government in power. Only then will a change come over the Kashmir scene and the people will develop some enthusiasm” – if that government governed well. None ever did (ibid; p. 274). Already by May 1948, Indira Gandhi had warned Nehru that the people were not pro-India.

    Is then A G Noorani joking when he says that Jinnah should have “grasped” AICC’s offer. As much as I admire the old warrior- A G Noorani- you have to admit the guy has tied himself up in a billion knots.

    You write:

    “it was far more important to integrate Hyd than J&K”

    Be that as it may, Jinnah held no keys to Hyderabad and was in no position to offer India anything on it. India knew that it could either invade and force the Nizam to sign the documentor invade and hold a plebiscite and win. So there is no way in my opinion that this was a serious option… it was a crass bluff by Mountbatten and Nehru. Like I pointed out – the end result would have been the same… with Karaya types accusing Jinnah of being foolish enough to play into Mountbatten’s and Nehru’s (and Patel’s) game.

    As for Eqbal Ahmad- there is no doubt that this name holds compelling significance for me as I consider myself his humble follower. But if this was to go by, you should know better than anyone the importance I attach to the work of A G Noorani as well.

    You will no doubt appreciate that the greatness of late Eqbal Ahmad lay not in his portraying himself as an infallible prophet but free and independent thought that he signified. I would be no genuine follower of the great man, if I did not reserve the right to disagree with him on certain issues where I saw fit.

    Coming to what he writes… I am not familiar with Ghulam Muhammad’s role in this issue though I have read this piece of his in the past. The three “divergent” positions Eqbal Ahmad speaks of is a mistake on his part and perhaps that he did not consider this issue from all angles as he usually was accustomed to doing with other issues.

    Government of Pakistan did not have a divergent position. Pakistan’s position was that rightly or wrongly the Prince was sovereign (this was not an ideological position because I have shown how Jinnah had advocated the end of princely states and their amalgamation into British India in 1931 above… but a legal one). Jinnah did not accept Junagadh’s document of accession immediately.

    A G Noorani- whose two confused paragraphs you base your case on essentially- writes:

    In this situation, whatever did Jinnah hope to achieve by accepting Junagadh’s accession instead of the AICC’s offer? This volume contains some important papers on this episode; but not fully. Shah Nawaz Bhutto, father of Z. A. Bhutto and Dewan of Junagadh, wrote to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, on August 19: “We are awaiting the formal acceptance of Junagadh’s accession to the Pakistan Dominion and I should be glad if you would kindly arrange to convey it as soon as possible” (p. 548). Peeved at the delay he wrote to Jinnah, on September 4, reminding of his promise at Delhi: “Pakistan will not allow Junagadh to be stormed and tyrannised and Veraval is not far from Karachi” (p. 579). All that Jinnah could tell him was: “Tomorrow there is going to be a Cabinet meeting when the matter will be further discussed and a definite policy will be laid down” (September 8; p. 586).

    Thus Jinnah did not accept the Junagadh’s document of accession even after a month. Nehru mian then gave his “remarkable” offer according to A G Noorani. What was remarkable about it I ask you? Ofcourse it was going to favor India.

    On September 12, Nehru wrote to Liaquat Ali Khan, after a Pakistan-Junagadh standstill agreement (of September 8) was announced, citing the facts of geography, the communal factor (80 per cent of the people were Hindus), the democratic test and made this remarkable offer: “The 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. They would accordingly be willing to abide by a verdict of these people in this matter, ascertained under the joint supervision of the Dominion of India and Junagadh. If, however, the ruler of Junagadh is not prepared to submit this issue to a referendum and if the Dominion of Pakistan, in utter disregard of the wishes of the people and the principles governing the matter, enter into arrangement by which Junagadh is to be part of the Federation of Pakistan… the Government of India cannot be expected to acquiesce in such an arrangement” (p. 593). Thus, the Instrument of Accession had no value and plebiscite was a matter between India and Junagadh alone. Pakistan was out. Junagadh formally acceded to Pakistan on September 15, 1947.

    There were, as Nehru said, “pockets of the Junagadh territory within States which have acceded” to India. Indian troop movements had begun. Bhutto sensed danger and begged of Liquat on September 16: “At least. Kindly let us know what help you are giving or what line of action we should follow?” Thus, by September 1947, a month before the tribal people marched into Kashmir, India was set on military action in Junagadh.

    So what are my conclusions:

    1. At no point was Nehru ready to allow popular will in Kashmir determine the fate of Kashmir except a popular will of his choice… see above.

    2. Had Jinnah not accepted the document of accession of Junagadh on 15th September… thus prompting Indian military action and subsequent plebiscite…. Pakistan wouldn’t have a case in Kashmir.

    3. The swap theory was a joke. Even A G Noorani knows it but doesn’t admit because he is all tied up in his head keeping the score. To his credit he talks of both sides and their “inconsistent” stands. I suppose the Indian in him can’t admit that it was the Indian side that was wholly inconsistent because lawyer in him must see it clear as day… and his contradictions that he makes in his claims.

  256. yasserlatifhamdani

    Two more comments:

    1. “World famous in Pakistan”

    May I request as a friend that you kindly check Chowk baggage at the PTH door. Most people – sadly- in Pakistan haven’t heard of Eqbal Ahmad… but the man is a legend for all leftists in the US and in Europe and the Middle East… a man as important as Chomsky or Edward Said…

    2. “two PMs”

    I have already dealt with the views of A G Noorani and Eqbal Ahmad on the issue … but I am not too bothered with Chaudhry Muhammad Ali (who in any event merely repeated a historical fact) and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto… the former is the gentleman who censored Jinnah’s 11th August speech for being inconsistent with the Two Nation Theory somehow … Ch. was the sec general of the cabinet in 1947… the latter – well the less said the better… except that it was his own father who brought about the document of accession for Junagadh in 1947.

  257. bonobashi

    @Gorki

    An old chestnut: A budding lawyer was getting some sage advice from a senior. “If you have the law on your side, hammer the judge. If you have the facts on your side, hammer the jury. If you have neither, hammer your table.”

    Now that it is safe to emerge from our hiding places and survey the wreckage of your table, may I say a word or two before heading back to my native woodland wild:

    Before the meat of your arguments, some attention to the preceding word-soup:

    In your post of June 15 at 10:39 am, you mentioned ‘your vainglorious efforts.” What could you have meant?

    vain·glo·ri·ous (vān-glôr’ē-əs, -glōr’-)
    1. Characterized by or exhibiting excessive vanity; boastful.
    2. Proceeding from vainglory.

    It becomes clear now, on consulting the dictionary; obviously, you were referring to BC, or possibly Majumdar. I mean, the rest of us would hardly qualify, would we?

    Right; enough of this mirth and levity, and back to the serious stuff. Collar stiffeners back under your upper lips, chaps, and let’s get on with things; it’s getting dangerously near tea-time.

    This is written in the same spirit as Wolfgang Amadeus in composing his A Little Night Music: just pure fun (there goes the collar tab). The truth of the matter is that Gorki wants to get on to the serious business of negotiating a peaceful life for roughly 1.3 million souls and all this is a needless waste of time. I wish him luck, and wish to tell him that he is in good company indeed: please read the last paragraph.

    1. I must, really, really must commiserate with you in your singular bad luck in selecting examples.

    Alsace-Lorraine was the Middle Kingdom that the Carolingian Empire declined into, leaving the East Franks to form themselves into Germany, and the West Franks into France. There is a huge body of evidence justifying both the German and the French claims to this land, as also to Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, and Burgundy within France as it is today. There was a solid body of evidence justifying either claim, much of what Germany took back (from the German point of view) in 1871 had been grabbed by revolutionary resurgent France at the turn of the previous century: These territories had become part of Eastern Francia in 921 during the reign of King Louis the German, and later became part of the Holy Roman Empire. They gradually became part of France between 1552, when Metz ceded to the Kingdom of France and 1798, when the Republic of Mulhouse joined the French Republic.

    Poland is, if anything, a worse example.

    However, to deal with them properly and reduce your arguments to the smallest constituent particles possible will take not 1,800 words, my worst crime on PTH so far, but 18,000; even PTH will not tolerate this barbarism.

    You must change your historical advisor, or stop referring to Wikipedia.

    2. The point about Lincoln was of course completely different; it became necessary to point out that he was not acting for a faction, but for all. In the cases of our leadership, they were respectively leaders of specific interest groups. So, you see, it isn’t about Lincoln’s legality at all, it’s about the fact that it was WASP battling WASP.

    3. You mention – again – that British rule in India was illegal. Fair enough; I can live with that, as it is, and going no further. Man may not live by bread alone, and all that kind of thing. Emotion is a good thing. So far, so good.

    Why, dear Sir, did you have to make the next disastrous statement, that it was illegal because the INC said so in 1930? Might one ask, who or what was the INC in 1930 to make such a declaration? What was their legal right? The same as that of the CPI(ML) who have declared their portions of India illegal? In that case, by your argument, there are over 80 districts in the heart of India which are no longer India.

    The defense of the INA soldiers that you have cited was extremely weak. The provisional government was not recognised at large, only by their sponsors. For one thing, it never existed on Indian soil. A reasonable parallel would be the Tibetan Government in exile; it is a government, fully functioning, with all its parts in working order, but it possesses not a square millimetre of Tibet. Is it open to Chinese PLA soldiers to plead a change of affiliation to this government to justify changing their allegiance?

    This argument is even less meritorious than the others, and that is really saying a lot. 😉

    5. In a mean and underhanded ploy to overwhelm the opposition, you have numbered your next argument #5 rather than #4. I can see with disquiet and unease that a deus ex machina will emerge through the unnumbered #4.

    However, on to #5, in your numbering system.

    This originally was your pulpit to intone the virtues Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite, over the rights of princes. Ah, well, boys will be boys. Very well, dear Sir, since the princes were not owners of the land, and had no rights, who were the legal holders of the rights? And what rights, by the way? Instead of answering you directly, let me just whisper two – well, make that three – names into your ear: Sher Shah Suri, Todar Mal and Lord Cornwallis. You might like to explore who were allodial holders of the land in question, who were rent and tax farmers and who were tenant farmers, and finally what the status of the ryot was. Remember that nearly six or seven systems were running in South Asia concurrently, and pause for thought.

    I believe that once you have completed your deliberations, and realised that what the Mughals were administering was the inherited system evolved from nearly the 4th century AD, from the Gupta Empire onwards. The rights to the land, to the usage of the land, to donate the land, and to the division of the fruits of the land were defined in a series of processes through these years, from mediaeval India down to British times. Since this is not History 101, the looking up of the relevant laws is left as an exercise to the reader: well, one particular reader, but the rest of you can cheer him on.

    6. This was an integral part of #5.

    7. If we accept your contention, no further treaty making is possible, as one side or the other will turn out to have been the aggressor.

    8. The point about Kashmir is wrong.

    Kashmir was sold to the British by the Lahore Durbar, the British did not arbitrarily sell it off with no prior right to it. If the Lahore Durbar had no right to it, who did? And if they did, and in exercise of their sovereign power sold it, what is the objection? Surely, also, following this train of thought, what can be bought can also be sold, unless specifically barred by terms of sale?

    All absolute monarchies had brutal systems of punishment, and their laws were equally monstrous. That, by itself, does not impinge on the legality of their position.

    Now, a renewal of the democratic numbering system, where any number that feels an urge coming over it may step up and stake its claim. “So we go back to 7 from 8, and let us have no more nonsense about the law which says that numbers should follow in a sequence from one point to the other; have numbers no rights? Can they be bought and sold? Can you justify the rape of the number 7 insofar as it is never allowed to appear again, however much it deserves to?” Oh, well, all right, have it your way. # 7 of the second series it is, then.

    I am thoroughly confused by now. Where are we?

    7. “The sale of Kashmir was made by the British to the Dogra ruler of Jammu (erstwhile employee of the Lahore Durbar) in part as a reward for betraying his country.”

    Two arguments here: first, the motive behind a transaction has no bearing on the validity of the transaction. I may sell my favourite teddy bear to YLH in order to lure him away from supporting Man. U. and tempt him to support Real Madrid instead, knowing as he does that there is a vast number of teddy bears that I have collected over the years in my collection. That does not weaken his title to Teddy, and it is not open to me to march up to him and accuse him of not having played the traitor as we had hoped he would.

    The second argument is: why do you find this so despicable? The poor man had merely realised in his own moment of epiphany that his heart lay with the British crown, and that his affiliation to Ranjit Singh was a mere flash of boyish excess. If the INA soldiers could argue that they had supported a provisional government, and therefore were not traitors to the Crown, why cannot dear Mr. Gulab Singh Dogri argue that he had changed his employment and therefore no further nexus existed between him and his erstwhile employers?

    8. (in the second series, of course).

    Oh, no, no, no…..Dear Mr. Gorki, this will never do. You really must read carefully. The nature of suzerainty is that it does not apply only to sovereign powers, feudatories can also be covered. If you were reading carefully, it was in fact created to sort out the mess where a feudatory might have a dozen fiefs, for each of which he owed homage (personally, of course) to a different liege lord. To overcome a situation where a single person might be called on by two opposing liege lords to take up arms and follow that lord to war against the other, a suzerain was defined, which would be the liege lord entitled to overriding service.

    So in fact, the Nizam could perfectly well swear allegiance to the Mughal throne and pledge loyalty to the British Crown as suzerain. This was precisely the situation for which suzerainty was created.

    I am being mischievous, and the answer lies elsewhere, but only if you do a Parthian/Byzantine on me will I go there. That’s a hint.

    About your point 2, that all the princes were mentioned in the GOI Act, that is meaningless, except to bring certain princes within the mischief of our deliberations and nothing more, and to exclude others.

    Actually at the end of the day, you have one essential point to make, and it is a respectable point:

    “how come a coterie of old men and white former masters decided to secretly partition off whole states with distinct sub nationalities without informing those people or asking for their consent?”

    Good point – until we start looking closely at it.

    This was the partition of states within British India that we are discussing, right? No other entity was partitioned other than Punjab and Bengal.

    I thought a few numbers ago (give or take a series) you were arguing in eloquent, moving terms about the INC having declared independence in January 1930, and the country being de facto independent? Now you are really confusing me: are you proposing to eat your cake or to take it?

    Never mind. Tout comprendre, said my learned friend from the Continent, tout pardonner.

    “There is a concatenation of all events in the best of possible worlds; for, in short, had you not been kicked out of a fine castle for the love of Miss Cunegund; had you not been put into the Inquisition; had you not traveled over America on foot; had you not run the Baron through the body; and had you not lost all your sheep, which you brought from the good country of El Dorado, you would not have been here to eat preserved citrons and pistachio nuts.”

    “Excellently observed,” answered Candide; “but let us cultivate our garden.”

  258. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    Well at least we have a consensus that an offer of Hyd for JK was actually made by GOI top brass and Mountbottom, the real issue was whether this offer was sincere or not.

    Now let us assume what wud have happened if MAJ (pbuh) had accepted the offer that all princely states (including the three under discussion) were to be disposed as per popular vote . Two things cud have happened:

    1. The Indians wud have struck to their bargain and both states wud have voted as per the wishes of the people (presumably Hyd for India, JK for Pak) and we wud have been living without the shadow of this dispute.

    2. The worst that cud have happened is that Indians wud have played foul. They wud have captured Hyd and also Kashmir But even in that scenario we wud have been no worse off than where we are today. OTOH the reputation of JLN and rest of the Indian HC wud have even more tarnished and so incidentally that of the British govt. But MAJ (pbuh) wud have stood even taller in the eyes of neutral observers (although I guess the great man needs no endorsement from small fries like me) as a person who stood firm on principles of self-determination of the people of the princely states as he did for the people of British India. Rather than attract the opprobrium of respectable folks like Eqbal Ahmed who thinks that the conduct of the Pak Govt of the day reeks of double standards. As it stands, both Pakistan and Mr Jinnah stood more to gain by accepting the Nov 1 offer than by rejecting it.

    Regards

  259. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Majumdar,

    We don’t have any such consensus. I told you to separate Patel’s bluff from what Nehru and Mountbatten actually offered. If you read my post again you will see that there is no consensus.

    Now 1 would not have happened. This is just not possible.

    As for two, Jinnah did not have to lie about the legality of the situation to stand for the right of self determination of the people. He was of the view that Princely states should have been absorbed into British India long before your “democratic” leadership got the idea.

    Furthermore I doubt that you’ve read about Eqbal Ahmad’s views on Jinnah to make the claim that you just made. Eqbal Ahmad’s view of Jinnah is best expressed in his interview with David Barsamian-inspirational stuff really… recorded cassettes of which are available (for some reason Barsamian’s available text omits that entire section on the internet) suffice to say don’t think we have to worry about Eqbal Ahmad thinking less of Jinnah because he expressed his view clearly and his views are certainly not what Indian nationalists would like to hear on the issue of what caused partition.

    “Stood to gain”

    That is not even historically accurate. First of all this would mean that while Patel mian sat pretty on Pakistan’s treasury, Pakistan would lose the support of a person willing to finance it..which would have meant default (exactly what Patel wanted).

    Secondly at best had Jinnah agreed to this ridiculous offer (I have already explained what Nehru meant by “popular will” above) exactly where we are today except that the accusation would be in reverse: that Jinnah was stupid enough to accept a bluff and paid dearly for it ..

    At worse … Pakistan would have defaulted and after a few months rejoined India to the eternal glee of people like Nehru and Patel who would have demonized Jinnah as they have always done for having acted “foolishly”

  260. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    He was of the view that Princely states should have been absorbed into British India long before your “democratic” leadership got the idea.

    Until you pointed this out a few posts back, I wasn’t aware of this. Thanks for bringing this to my notice- it more reinforces my view of Jinnah sahib as a man ahead of his times.

    Which is why it would have been better if he wud have struck to the same stance in 1947-48: that the princely states shud be absorbed into the successor states of British India -India and Pak on the same principles on which British India was invited. And incidentally this wud have also satisfied the geographical contiguity criteria- Kashmir wud have been absorbed by Pak, Jgadh and Hyd by India. So what caused him to change his stance in between 1930-1947, why did he insist that Hyderabad had the right to stay independent?

    I doubt that you’ve read about Eqbal Ahmad’s views on Jinnah

    I havent heard that interview but I have read much else of what he has written on Jinnah sahib and what he has written is not much different from the YLH-Maj school of thought on chowk!!! But that does not change the fact that he thought poorly of GOP’s stance on the princely states and given that MAJ (pbuh) himself was pretty much the Pak state by implication on his stance as well.

    Regards

  261. Majumdar

    “British India was invited.”

    Oops – was divided.

  262. PMA

    “I am being mischievous, and the answer lies elsewhere, but only if you do a Parthian/Byzantine on me will I go there. That’s a hint.”

    bonobashi: If others could be generous enough to let you off the hook by calling your gaffe as an intentional ‘trap’, then why on your part are you not able to let the matter go? No one on this board has tried to embarrass you. You need not to recover from it!!!

  263. bonobashi

    @PMA

    Consider it let go.

  264. Gorki

    Bonobashi (and YLH) :

    “So in fact, the Nizam could perfectly well swear allegiance to the Mughal throne and pledge loyalty to the British Crown as suzerain. This was precisely the situation for which suzerainty was created”.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Maybe I was not clear enough. I did not mean to imply that Nizam’s only ovelord was the Mughal court.
    On the contrary I was pointing out that he always had an overlord and at no time was the Nizam a ‘stand alone’ independent ruler.
    Since he was always under the nominal control of on or another power (or both, perhaps as Bonobashi argues) the question of staying independent becomes tricky.
    Similarly this point makes the state of Hyderabad legally a part of British India (unlike say the emirates of the Gulf as was argued earlier)
    Regards.

  265. yasserlatifhamdani

    Majumdar,

    Jinnah’s call for absorption of Princely States was made when the constitution was being debated on the roundtable conference.

    “So what caused him to change his stance in between 1930-1947”

    I don’t think he changed his stance if you consider everything in toto. He still stood for ultimate absorption of princely states into what was British India.

    “why did he insist that Hyderabad had the right to stay independent?”

    You keep saying that he insisted. He did extend his support to Nizam and Hyderabad. Why? Why such change…The answer is simple.

    In 1931, Jinnah spoke as an Indian nationalist clamouring for constitutional advance. In 1947, he was speaking as the head of a state which was denied funds by the Indian government. Why shouldn’t he have? Consider the fact that many in the Indian National Congress (including Gandhi) had – it is now quite clear- encouraged the Khan brothers in NWFP to make a bid for independence or joining Afghanistan. I have written an article on NWFP referendum where I’ve quoted evidence to show how overwhelmingly Muslim League won it there. Azad also admits this fact in his “India Wins Freedom”. Why was Congress messing around in NWFP which in any event was part of British India and decided through a referendum under an administration of Congress’ choosing. Congress had Sir Olaf Caroe removed and replaced by Rob Lockhart.

    But may I suggest that the issue is NOT whether Jinnah should’ve done this that or something else… but whether had he done differently, things would have taken a different course. Earlier I said that maybe the police action would have taken place earlier. Now I don’t even think that would have happened. It took the mass peasant rebellion to create the right conditions in Hyderabad. Ofcourse Pakistan would probably never have gotten the 200 million loan .. which it desperately needed after Patel sat on its funds.

    So Jinnah’s position – either way- was irrelevant to the future of Hyderabad. It is futile to think that while he could not intervene in Kashmir thanks to the British, he would have been able to intervene in Hyderabad. It is just a pathetic excuse by Indian leadership really to wiggle out of its pledge.

    On Eqbal Ahmad, I’ve already shown you why despite being his admirer, I don’t need to agree with everything he says. Already answered this point and don’t know what you want to establish with it.

    At the end of the day, the fact remains that India has already absorbed Junagadh and Hyderabad… and it has failed to do justice to Kashmir. To then say that everything is because Jinnah failed to accept an offer which was in any event a fraud is to deny India’s culpability and nothing else.

  266. yasserlatifhamdani

    G0rki,

    I am afraid you are wrong. British India was a legally defined term. It was separate from Princely India.

    Princely India + British India= India

    India was part of the British Empire. So for your logic to work… India should have annexed Singapore as well as Malaysia.

  267. yasserlatifhamdani

    Also… from the point Asif Jah I’s reign after Aurangzeb… to the point that Asif Jah II got into a subsidiary alliance… Hyderabad was a completely independent state, with its own foreign policy, political alliances and system.

    So even historically that point doesn’t make sense though it is irrelevant to the point I made earlier i.e. Princely India being separate from British India.

  268. Gorki

    Princely India + British India= India

    India was part of the British Empire. So for your logic to work… India should have annexed Singapore as well as Malaysia.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I may not be using exact terminology but my point is that Hyderabad had the exact same standing in the order of things in India under the British as other large princely states as say Patiala or Jaipur or any other such state. This would be different from the case of Malasia.

    (also did not the GOI act of 1935 include a specific reference to the Indian princely states?)

  269. Bloody Civilian

    majumdar

    from what i’ve understood of what YLH has been saying, in my layman’s terms: say MAJ had, in a moment of irrationality, accepted the kashmir for hyderabad ‘swap’… only to have the nizam tell him to f-off. since, other than getting the nizam to change his mind, what other means did MAJ have of performing his side of the bargain. india would have said: ‘sorry, you didn’t deliver hyderabad, so we keep kashmir (which we were going to keep any way. as she did)’. and then india would have gone on and taken hyderabad, as she did. or, india would have still given pak kashmir (i.e via plebscite), out of sheer generosity saying to MAJ: ‘you were very silly in promising to give what was not yours to give; we’ll overlook it this time; but next time, be careful’. is that what you want your beloved MAJ”pbuh” must have tried to be remembered for?

    many people (history?) blame MAJ for not taking up gandhi’s ‘generous’ offer, made on more than one occassion, for MAJ to head the govt of india. the kashmir-hyd swap was just as farcical, except it was a dimwit, mountbatten, mouthing it on GoI’s behalf, rather than a no-nonsense wavell not averse to calling a spade a spade.

    hyderabad was a country as rich as belgium, as big as oman, with its own standing army, that pak had no way of either helping or intimidating.. and MAJ was asking her for money he desperately needed. why do you think it irritated GoI so much every time GoP equated junagarh with kashmir? after all, that was the correct comparison – except, in part, for contiguousness.

  270. yasserlatifhamdani

    Gorki,

    Yes. It did do exactly everything in the same order as Patiala. So didn’t Patiala’s Maharaja sign an instrument of accession as the sovereign of Patiala or did he automatically become part of India? So what is it exactly that you are getting at? Jinnah was right on the issue of the absorption of Princely States into British India in 1931. Accepting that would solved the situation considerably.

    Thanks for bringing up the issue of the GOIA 1935. GOIA 1935 spoke of a federation of India consisting of British India and Princely States. Princely states were given the option of coming in retaining their sovereignty… and Princes were allowed to nominate their own representatives. This federation never came into being as it was unacceptable … to all parties… even the Princes who would have been its beneficiaries.

    An Aside: It has always been my suspicion that Indian politics of 1930s and 1940s is the main inspiration for the “Star Wars”. Interestingly the federation that GOIA 1935 envisaged has existed only in form of the “Republic” in Star Wars. No wonder they chose Christopher Lee (who played Jinnah in Jinnah) as Count Dooku, the one time idealistic Jedi turned separatist, being used by Darth Sidius… and the main rival of Master Yoda (who looks terribly like Gandhi)… just to lighten things up here.

    -YLH

  271. bonobashi

    Four posts by YLH, two by Gorki, one by BC, two by Majumdar (not counting a correction post).

    @Gorki

    I will happily explain your doubts if you really want to know. Including the two bits I kept obscure (1. the Nizam of Hyderabad was in fact independent from c. 1724 to 1798, as YLH says; 2. the Emir of Kuwait is in fact in some ways, but in no substantive way, part of this discussion, contrary to what has been said).

    In your second last mail, there were three points of interest, more or less explained at the commonsensical level by YLH. If I were to add, it would be pedantry that I would add. Quite frankly, YLH has explained the position at 9:34 and 9:39 and any more would only make the rubble bounce.

    In my opinion, we have glazed over the eyes of most readers, not just dear knock knock! alone, already, and should consider carefully if any further dissection should not be taken off line.

    @Majumdar, BC, YLH

    Specific to the consideration of what-ifs, including the hypothetical swap arrangement, I can’t find anything to contribute, since we are firmly in the realm of the hypothetical. It may be a good time for me to keep my mouth shut. Permit me to wave as you pass by.

  272. yasserlatifhamdani

    BC..

    That was really succinct and to the point.

  273. Karaya

    YLH,

    Earlier we had agreed to three statements:

    A: It is not the prince but the princely state that was sovereign after the lapse of the paramountcy. What internal constitution the princely state had and how far the prince was bound by the public opinion was another matter.

    B: TNT did not apply to the princely states

    C: UN resolutions are non-binding for UN member states

    Let me remind you of the question at hand. With A, B and C being true (and I assume you agree all three are true; the first two are your points to begin with) is it accurate to term Kashmir an occupied territory?

    I am, at present, ignoring Bonobashi’s excellent challenge to ‘A’ because if ‘A’ falls much of your earlier discussion with Majumdar about Pakistan’s relations with Hyderabad will have to be re-evaluated as well.

    Now, coming to J’ghad.

    You said, “ By holding a plebiscite in Junagadh, India has changed the legal reality even if we do accept that somehow UN Resolutions do not matter (though that was not the position of the government of India)

    What legal reality did India change? I’ll assume you meant that with India’s actions in J’ghad, ‘A’ did not hold anymore therefore you assume Kashmir to be occupied even after the DoA.. Unfortunately, this stand is incorrect. What India did to J’ghad was an illegal act. You can call it India occupied J’ghad, if you will. Of the illegality of the J’ghad episode, there is no doubt as it went directly against statement ‘A’. To say that after India disobeyed Statement ‘A’, Statement ‘A’ does not hold is to say that after a man commits murder the laws against murder do not hold.

    To further try and impress on you the fact that ‘A’ still holds let me bring up two examples much used by you in this discussion: Kuwait and the Emirates. Even after what India did in J’ghad, Kuwait and the Emirates would still be sovereign states and it was no business of anyone else to dictate as to how that sovereignty is exercised in those states. As you had earlier pointed out, “I (YLH) might not like Nizam of Hyderabad anymore than the Amir of Kuwait but Hyderabad was as independent a state in 1948 and Kuwait was in 1990.

    In exactly the same way, even after the J’ghad episode, like Kuwait, like the Emirates and like Hyderabad, the sovereign position of the state of Kashmir also did not change and it was an independent, sovereign state even in end-1947.

    In fact, let me even say: I might not like Raja of Kashmir anymore than the Amir of Kuwait but Kashmir was as independent a state in end-1947 as Kuwait was in 1990.

    Now, it was this sovereign, independent state of Kashmir which exercised its sovereign power and acceded to India using a process that was perfectly legal. Yet, you call it an “occupied” territory. Odd.

    P.S: Let me again re-iterate my discomfiture with some of the Statements above, but since you have already stated, quite emphatically, that “one doesnt have to give a damn” about that, let us, for now, leave it aside and concentrate on the question at hand.

  274. Karaya

    YLH,

    Ofcourse the major difference would have been that you would be writing something like ” Jinnah was stupid enough to be fooled by Patel when he jokingly offered Kashmir for Hyderabad. And while Jinnah took that on face value, his followers as usual suffered because of his naivety… and because of this Muslims of Hyderabad had to take a hit by the police action”

    Sir, let me bring to your notice the fact that in the matter of the Princely states, J’ghad, Hyderabad and the beautiful Vale of Kashmir are controlled by India. From that you can draw your own conclusions as to who was or was not fooled by whom. Whether Patel was bluffing or not, Jinnah could hardly have wrangled out a worse settlement on the Princely States than that which is recorded by History.

  275. Karaya

    Bonobashi,

    Re you post on June 14, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    I’ll try and reply ASAP as and when I get the time. Must run now, sadly.

  276. bonobashi

    @YLH

    For the purposes of this argument, it is correct, legally and in every other sense, what you originally said. I was quibbling with the doctrine of unrestricted sovereign immunity; that is no longer valid in most countries other than India, and what used to be Soviet Russia.

    I used the original sense to make an extreme point; if the matter were to go to court, your view, which reflects subsequent legal refinement, and a conscious alignment of the law to day-to-day reality, would be upheld without any difficulty.

    When I say something, please take it to relate only to the period to which the reference is made, not universally, or perpetually thereafter. My point was in response to Gorki, and it relates to the earlier years, to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

  277. bonobashi

    @YLH, Karaya

    So sorry, the preceding post should have addressed Karaya.

    @Karaya

    I shall look forward to it.

  278. Hayyer 48

    The discussion now centres around the allegation that Nehru and Patel had no credibility. It is based not on a de facto argument but on a kind of estoppel. Because the Congress withdrew its commitment to cmp it proved for all time and for every circumstance that it could not be trusted.
    I find that hard to accept as I do the view that Nehru had some deep conspiracy going with Mountbatten over Kashmir, (even though weak circumstantial evidence can be adduced). Consider, Kashmir (the valley) with its odd 50,000 Pandits in 1946-47-and Nehru/Patel quite willing to uproot all the Hindus/ Sikhs of Punjab on the TNT to hold on to a territory that is only 80 miles by 25 miles at its broadest. Perhaps they did not expect a population exchange in Punjab but they could not have been ignorant of what was expected by common Punjabis.
    As Karaya said, India holds Kashmir, Hyderabad and Junagadh anyway. Pakistan would have lost nothing by accepting the exchange offer. Let us not even in hindsight justify the lack of trust that plagued the AIML and the Congress. That distrust was phenomenal. In the Interim government they were going at each like banshees. They did not trust each other and we don’t trust each other on their behalf.
    Jinnah had played a deep game. At the end Britain’s eagerness to leave left him holding practically no cards. It was the same British who used the AIML and built it up in the second world war, making it the party without whose concurrence Congress would achieve nothing. And when it suited them they left regardless.
    Jinnah had been consulting Churchill, the old enemy of the Congress. Perhaps Churchill misguided him about far the British government would keep going to help him.
    Legal or even moral quiddities aside the fact still remains that a sovereign Kashmir(through its Maharaja or otherwise) was on the verge of taking a decision and the tribal raids followed by the Pak Army entry gave Nehru the opportunity to establish control.

  279. yasserlatifhamdani

    Karaya mian,

    One does not apply principles of criminal law to civil matters. Similarly your analogy does not hold.

    The question of sovereignty is not absolute in my view. For example if the Amir of Kuwait was overthrown by a military man or a popular revolution, the international community will eventually deal with the new government as the legal government of Kuwait. So stop applying criminal law to an essentially constitutional matter.

    In the subcontinent the legal reality was changed by India and then accepted by international community. Pakistan does not speak about the occupation of Junagadh because the people of Junagadh, India and the international community accept it as part of India.

    By the same token Kashmir is recognized as disputed territory by the UN and is pending a resolution. Therefore Kashmir to me is Indian Occupied Kashmir and I have every right to call it such.

    The question is not what you think a good or bad settlement is but would things be different. I think I have shown how they wouldn’t be. India never intended to budge on any of these three states. Pakistan wouldn’t even have a case in Kashmir, had it not played out this way.

    Now you can keep going in circles but unless you show me logically how you think India would have given up on Kashmir in exchange for Hyderabad- you are merely wasting everyone’s time.

  280. yasserlatifhamdani

    Hayyer,

    Estoppel is an established legal principle. The real issue is whether it applies. In this case – the issue being Jinnah’s sagacity or lack of sagacity (depending on which pov you want to take) in retrospect.

    In this case, not just the CMP or Patel’s actions in trying to rob Pakistan of its inheritance or India’s subsequent actions on Kashmir – I think even you would agree – if you are fair- that estoppel does apply.

    “Pakistan would have lost nothing by accepting the exchange offer.”

    I’ve already shown how this is not true. Pakistan might have lost everything – including its right to exist …

    Let us not use this joke of a premise “Pakistan would not have lost anything” to deflect responsibility from where it truly lies.

    On the issue of whether Mountbatten and Nehru had planned the whole thing… the Gurdaspur issue, the Pathankot road, the evidence is overwhelming that they had never planned on giving up Kashmir. Denying it will not help anyone.

    -YLH

  281. yasserlatifhamdani

    And just so that we are clear… the same principle of Estoppel applies also in a purely legal sense on India’s claim that it has Kashmir through a valid document of accession … after its plebiscite in Junagadh and its recourse to the UN where it accepted the UN Resolution.

    I do hope people here – especially Karaya types- will look up this principle in detail.

  282. Gorki

    To all:

    It was June 5th 2009 when YLH wrote this article about President Obama’s speech. Ten days and some 280 posts later, we have hashed the legal angles of the Kashmir issue in more ways than I thought was humanly possible.
    I have contributed to the cacophony myself with a less than small friendly debate with Bonobashi that added nothing more than perhaps a little mirth to the serious discussion but now maybe we should pause and take stock and if possible, move along.
    I certainly am ready and want to make the following closing remarks:

    1. Kashmir is as much an emotional issue now as it is a legal issue, even among open minded liberally educated South Asians.

    2. May be there was a time long ago when this could have been resolved amiably, using legal principles. Today the legality is perhaps buried deep under legal claims and counterclaims.

    3. In such a climate if we all insist on interpreting claims using strictly legal framework there will emerge a winner; but sadly also a loser.
    Certainly not two good neighbors and lasting peace will be unlikely.
    For example, regardless of whether one agrees with Bonobashi as to whether Alsace and Lorraine was a good example or not, the bigger take away lesson from that example was this; legal claims not withstanding, it changed hands four times; (1871, 1918, 1940 and in 1945), all in the space of less than 100 years.
    Each time the exchange was preceded by a virtual bloodbath between France and Germany and each time there emerged a supposedly clear winner and a sullen loser.
    Peace remained elusive.
    Only later, when this was given up as a bone of contention that this beautiful land became available to both sides to be enjoyed by anyone with a day to spare and an inclination to drive by.

    4. We can learn from this example but before we can do that, we should focus on not India or Pakistan, not MAJ or JLN but on a face of a Kashmiri of our generation.

    5. All it takes for this face to lose another generation is for either side to remain stubborn in insisting that they and they only; are right, the only way this face can emerge a winner if both sides concede that regardless of the past, our commitment is to this face and to compromise a little now to gain a lot later.

    6. Excellent solutions were suggested by YLH and PMA as to the future course of action.

    7. If our little group can agree to this in principle and takes the lesson to heart, who knows someone from this group, YLH, BC, PMA, Karaya may be in a position of power someday to apply the lessons of these 10 days and change the course of history.

    8. Lastly the best response for me was not any critically argued legal point but the magically beautiful and lyrical yet also strangely appropriate passage Bonobashi quoted from Candide; which in effect applies to us too.
    We all ended up here in this debate by serendipitous means but we are here now, and like the passage suggests (maybe?) we should try to make the most of it and cultivate our own garden.

    Regards.

  283. Majumdar

    Civvie,

    say MAJ had, in a moment of irrationality, accepted the kashmir for hyderabad ’swap’… only to have the nizam tell him to f-off.

    Please read the Nov 1 proposal carefully. It merely requires GoI and GoP to accept that in case the ruler and the ruled were of diff faith and inclined to behave differently they wud agree to an impartial referendum. There was no stipulation that either GOI/GOP wud coerce either of the states to agree. Shud any of these states have been recalcitrant GOI, GOP and Brits cud jointly have administered the bamboo.

    Now coming back to the Nizam. With a peasants rebellion brewing, the Hindoo masses restive, the country sorrounded by India of all sides and even MAJ/Pak washing hands off the matter, do you seriously think that the Nizam wud have in any position to ask anyone to f*** off The reason Hyd resisted so long as to require police action was that the Nizam was possibly led into believing that Pak wud assist it diplomatically and militarily in resisting India.

    Karaya mian I think has summed up the position very well Whether Patel was bluffing or not, Jinnah could hardly have wrangled out a worse settlement on the Princely States than that which is recorded by History.

    Yasser mian,

    To then say that everything is because Jinnah failed to accept an offer is to deny India’s culpability and nothing else.

    You shud know better- neither Mr Noorani nor myself have ever said that. We agree that India’s conduct in Kashmir was unjustified irrespective of what India did or did not do in Nov 47. All we are saying is that there is a fair probability that things cud have been otherwise had the Nov proposals been accepted.

    So for your logic to work… India should have annexed Singapore as well as Malaysia.

    Well, if Malaysia and S’pore had a Hindoo majority and those guys wanted to be part of India, I think that wud have been a great idea!!!

    It took the mass peasant rebellion to create the right conditions in Hyderabad.

    Exactly. In Nov 1947 it was by no means foreordained that Hyd wud become part of India. Therefore, it is a reasonable surmise that Indian leadership wud have happily jumped at the idea of giving up Kashmir for Hyd. And it is for this reason that I think the Indian HC was sincere in the Nov proposals.

    Ofcourse Pakistan would probably never have gotten the 200 million loan

    I am not sure that Pak wud have collapsed and forced back into Indian tutelage just because of Rs. 20 crores. Had the Nizam not lent, Pak wud have looked elsewhere- Middle East, USA for eg. Besides Pak itself had 7 crores very patriotically fired people and they cud have lent the money. Besides, have you ever heard of a country which chooses slavery to another nation becuase it is bankrupt???

    Regards

  284. Majumdar

    No wonder they chose Christopher Lee (who played Jinnah in Jinnah) as Count Dooku, the one time idealistic Jedi turned separatist

    Some of our friends from chowk wud no doubt remind us that Christopher Lee played Dracula in Dracula!!!

    Gorki,

    Someone had on another forum suggested an interesting possibility. That in another 10-15 years thanks to the melting of glaciers, Kashmir wud not be worth holding onto. Maybe then India will let Kashmir go…..

    Regards

  285. yasserlatifhamdani

    Majumdar,

    I don’t know what or why you are going in circles like this. I quoted this bit from A G Noorani’s article which you haven’t answered:

    Although we have not specifically said that there should be a plebiscite or referendum in Kashmir, we have accepted a policy in regard to States which necessarily leads to a referendum where there is a dispute. We cannot therefore object to it.” But, in good Nehruvian manner, he proposed a plebiscite of his own conception: “The best way is to have an ordinary election to the State Assembly at a suitable time. Long before this there should be a new interim government in power. Only then will a change come over the Kashmir scene and the people will develop some enthusiasm” – if that government governed well. None ever did (ibid; p. 274). Already by May 1948, Indira Gandhi had warned Nehru that the people were not pro-India.

    This was in October. Nehru was going to wait it out. I think what you are writing about Nov 1 “proposal” … “offer” (completely different from Patel’s bluff of Hyderabad v. Kashmir) is just- forgive me old friend- nonsense.

    “Besides, have you ever heard of a country which chooses slavery to another nation becuase it is bankrupt???”

    I was not aware that by sticking to the legal position … we suddenly became slaves of Hyderabad.

    The fact is that Indians were never going to give Kashmir. But they also wanted Jinnah to give them the pretext for invading Hyderabad… which he didn’t. Now all of you are whining about it… for god knows what reason…

  286. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    I don’t know what or why you are going in circles like this.

    I think we are all going around in circles. The basic contention is whether or not Indians were sincere in the Nov proposal. Your answer is No, many others believe “Possibly Yes”

    I was not aware that by sticking to the legal position … we suddenly became slaves of Hyderabad.

    I think you misunderstood me. What I was trying to say was that even if Pakistan had gone bust (after spurning Hyd) it would not have dissolved itself into India.

    But they also wanted Jinnah to give them the pretext for invading Hyderabad

    Why do you think India needed a pretext from MAJ to invade Hyd?

    Regards

  287. yasserlatifhamdani

    “Therefore, it is a reasonable surmise that Indian leadership wud have happily jumped at the idea of giving up Kashmir for Hyd”

    No. Because Jinnah had – as BC explained- no control over Hyderabad. So it is n0t reasonable to surmise any such thing. It would be completely unreasonable actually.

  288. yasserlatifhamdani

    “Why do you think India needed a pretext from MAJ to invade Hyd?”

    So what was it that they wanted from in return from Kashmir exactly… except a blanket approval for Indian Actions in Hyderabad ?

    You’ve just contradicted yourself.

    Now you’ve summarized the basic point of contention between myself and “many others” here. Now I believe I have given enough reasons and evidence (quoting your own initial source) why I believe this to be the case. Could you please summarize your argument as to why or how Indians were sincere in this offer?

  289. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    What India needed from Pak was an assurance that it wud not meddle in India’s efforts to “persuade” Hyd into accession. In return it wud have to give Pak a free hand in J&K. Now naturally since GoI cud not say things so bluntly they made a proposal of simultaneous referendum in both states under British/neutral supervision which wud have resulted essentially in the same outcome.

    Regards

  290. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    Because Jinnah had – as BC explained- no control over Hyderabad.

    It brings me back to my previous point

    “With a peasants rebellion brewing, the Hindoo masses restive, the country sorrounded by India of all sides and even MAJ/Pak washing hands off the matter, do you seriously think that the Nizam wud have in any position to ask anyone to f*** off???”

    Regards

  291. Majumdar

    Yasser,

    Could you please summarize your argument as to why or how Indians were sincere in this offer?

    In Nov 1947, India was by no means sure that all the Princely States cud be peacefully integrated into India at all. Especially Hyderabad “a country as rich as belgium, as big as oman, with its own standing army”. For that reason Indians in Nov 1947 wud have been happy to trade off Kashmir for Hyderabad. Why else wud India even make such an offer?

    That is also why this offer was not repeated in Sep 1948- becuase Kashmir was won and there was no need for India to fear Pak intervention in Hyd.

    Regards

  292. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Majumdar,

    Post no 1 is not a valid point. How would Pakistan “meddle” when its army couldn’t even be mobilized to save Kashmir.

    Post no 2 is valid to the extent that Nizam could not resist. How or why would MAJ washing his hands off (when he was not even in any proximity to make an effort to the contrary) be of any help to India? I don’t think so.

    Post 3.

    You are once again confusing Patel’s offer of swap with Nehru/mountbatten offer of “popular will” which I have shown was not the same as what you want us to believe.

    Once again I did not wish a restatement of your position but for you to show me how or why after its activities from August to November on the Kashmir front India planned on giving it all up for – as you say- Hyderabad where Pakistan had no real investment or influence.

    AG Noorani who you quoted with such verve …says that Jinnah was unaware of the fact that Kashmir was already lost to him. What did that mean?

    I think any reasonable person would conclude that Indians were never going to allow a plebiscite on Kashmir. Had they wanted to they could have many times afterwards.

  293. Bloody Civilian

    Why do you think India needed a pretext from MAJ to invade Hyd?

    exactly. so you do see the whole thing clearly, after all. 😉 and pak had no claim of sovereignty over hyderabad either. so what was it that india wanted MAJ to give her? nothing. and, as i’ve already dealth with both possibilities of this (what bonobashi correctly termed) hypothetical scenario, without casting any doubt on indian intentions (unlike H48’s claim): india would have given pak kashmir in return for pak doing and being able to do absolutely nothing.

    in junagarh, pak had sovereignty. she could have agreed to india holding a plebsicite in what was, legally, pakistani territory. in hyd, even if pak had agreed, with the nizam refusing, india still would have to invade, hold or not hold a plebsicite, but nevertheless obtain the legal doc of accession, to make sure the territory was legally hers. and return for doing all that by herself for herself, india would have gifted kashmir to pak, out of sheer generosity.

    are you suggesting that kashmir would have been given to pak for simply keeping quiet about hyd and looking the other way? and MAJ would have, in return, what he already had, even before 1 nov, from the GoI: the question was never whether there should be a plebiscite in Kashmir but how and under what conditions.

    as for the wonderful picture you suggest of pak and indian soldiers marching hand-in-hand in to hyderabad, first, to kick out the nizam and hold a refereundum, and then repeating the same wonderful comradry in the service of democracy in kashmir… and india giving pak her due of mil assets, and her share of monies, beforehand, and gandhi never being shot… if only there were enough people believing in fairies.. why not.

    Besides, have you ever heard of a country which chooses slavery to another nation becuase it is bankrupt???

    no, i don’t think i have. but you can find examples of those being enslaved against their choice, far more easily if bankrupt. not all indian nationalists believed like you that it was good for the non-indic faith pop of india to remain at a ‘manageable’ level.

    gorki

    i’m trying to see how hyd could be compared with kashmir. hyd had claimed independence. GoI had already pledged a plebiscite in kashmir “to the people of kashmir and to the world” [nehru]. junagarh, on the other hand, does compare.. to the extent that the ruler had acceded to one of the two dominions, like the maharaja of kashmir. in junagarh india held a plebiscite. in kashmir, she promised but is yet to hold it (or agree modalities).

    the legal questions, to me, are not related to the “miasma of suspicion, bitterness and hate” that surrounded partition. it can be argued though, that the atmosphere has become even worse over the decades. that is where your sentiments come in. and i’ve alwasy said, that in terms of the n.delhi and islamabad wishing to search for peace – any and all options are and ought to be open: from never mentioning kashmir and concentrating from other baby steps/cbm’s, to considering even the most out-of-the-box proposals. if a soured atmosphere has perpetuated and has been re-enforced for so long, then some out-of-the-box thinking is indeed required. although, trade is always a good place to start, it also provides a beginning of some people-to-people contact, which can be enhanced, in its own right, to include sections of society other than traders. indo-pak have tried to do the latter, even without any trade, but only spasmodically.

  294. Bloody Civilian

    apologies for all sorts of typos. now that i’m back at uni, i ought to have this suspected dyslexia confirmed and get extra-time during exams.

  295. Majumdar

    Civvie,

    in hyd, even if pak had agreed, with the nizam refusing, india still would have to invade,

    Again let me repeat for your benefit.

    “With a peasants rebellion brewing, the Hindoo masses restive, the country sorrounded by India of all sides and even MAJ/Pak washing hands off the matter, do you seriously think that the Nizam wud have in any position to ask anyone to f*** off???”

    The Nizam chose to hold out for the same reason that the Maharaja of Kashmir refused to accede to Pakistan.

    india would have gifted kashmir to pak, out of sheer generosity.

    No generosity, sir. A quid pro quo for Pak acquiescence in the liberation of Hyd. Why do you think India waited for 13 full months (Aug 15, 47- Sep 13, 1948) before starting Op Polo. Becuase the Indians didnt think they cud get both simultaneously. For that reason they wud have been glad to swap Hyd for JK.

    Regards

  296. Bloody Civilian

    majumdar

    sorry, i didn’t see the last few posts before posting my comments. so, i can return to just reading, with interest, the debate between you and YLH.

    but can i just summarise how i see it:

    on 1 nov, MAJ was asked to give (an inconsequential gesture) in relation to hyd where he had no power or entitlement to give anything, in return for what he already had in kashmir (i.e. a plebiscite).

  297. Bloody Civilian

    so if nizam, instead of telling MAJ to f-off, had asked him to help… what could have MAJ have done for him? GoI knew that too. whether india might or might not have been able to persuade or subdue hyd, or whether it would take her 100 hours or longer, had nothing to do with MAJ or pak.

    the plebiscite in kashmir being offered in return had already been pledged by GoI any way.

    so what was the premise of this ‘swap’?

  298. Bloody Civilian

    Becuase the Indians didnt think they cud get both simultaneously

    because pak was helping hyd? or even capable of helping in any way at all?

    only if your answer to the above is ‘yes’, does the following hold true: For that reason they wud have been glad to swap Hyd for JK.

  299. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    any and all options are and ought to be open: from never mentioning kashmir and concentrating from other baby steps/cbm’s, to considering even the most out-of-the-box proposals. if a soured atmosphere has perpetuated and has been re-enforced for so long, then some out-of-the-box thinking is indeed required. although, trade is always a good place to start, it also provides a beginning of some people-to-people contact, which can be enhanced, in its own right, to include sections of society other than traders.

    Right. Good point. Timely intervention.

    For those of you who promise not to try and sell me a genuine Kashmiri rug, I hereby commit myself to entertaining you to an evening of wide-ranging adda at the Calcutta Coffee House, all expenses at the CCH to be paid by me.

  300. Bloody Civilian

    The Nizam chose to hold out for the same reason that the Maharaja of Kashmir refused to accede to Pakistan.

    the maharaja was seeing a road being built. he was cutting out comm links to pak. his pm meharchand mahajan, says in his book (Looking Back) that he was assured the support of the indian mil at short notice before he left for srinagar. india had already made good on that promise, and on nov 1 ’47 indian mil was already in srinagar.

    so what help or hope of help from pak was the nizam basing his ‘holding out’ on? pak’s tin soldiers (without their share of mil assets), airlifted in to hyderabad on paper aeroplanes? to be stranded there with no lines of comm to pakistani territtory? or that pak would write the nizam a cheque for a couple of hundred million rupees?

  301. Bloody Civilian

    point taken bonobashi. no more mentioning kashmir, unless it is of the out-of-the-box variety. i do not wish to be thrown out of the CCH and miss out on the entertainment. 🙂

  302. bonobashi

    @Bloody Civilian

    No, no, you are being oversensitive; the reference was “to include sections of society other than traders.” I’ve learnt my lesson and won’t allow misunderstandings. You will get an honoured seat in the Lords (ask Sabyasachi Majumdar or Hayyer48), with or without rugs in tow.

  303. Bloody Civilian

    sorry!

    don’t know about seats in the Lords… it’ll be a bonus on top of the other entertainment if they do the sheesha at the CCH. belly dancing?

    if ever in danger of misunderstanding in future, i’ll be sure to ask majumdar and H48 for help.. in good time.

  304. PMA

    Hayyer 48 (June 16, 2009 at 5:35 am) says:

    “Let us not even in hindsight justify the lack of trust that plagued the AIML [Muslim League] and the Congress. That distrust was phenomenal. In the Interim government they were going at each like banshees [A female spirit believed to wail outside a house as a warning that a death will occur soon in the family]. They did not trust each other and we don’t trust each other on their behalf.”

    I agree with H48 that Pakistanis and Indians do not trust each other. But disagree with him on the succession part of it. We don’t mistrust each other ”on behalf” of our respective political parties of the past. We mistrust each other because we always have and we always will. It is the total sum of our one thousand years of common history. Now that each one of us has its own country, for our own sanity we must mentally and emotionally disengage from each other as well. There is no love loss between Indians and Pakistanis. Other than resolution of land and water disputes there is nothing that Pakistan wants and needs from India. India has physically erected a fence along her border with Pakistan. That is good because as the saying goes “strong fences make good neighbors”. A strong border between these two countries is a guarantor of peace in the region. Pakistanis on their part must get out of the “Indian Matrix” and culturally and economically further integrate with the the Greater Middle East. Iran is an emerging regional power. It will be in the best interest of Pakistan to strengthen her historic ties with her western neighbors. Continuous headbutting between antagonists makes no sense. As someone has said before, “It is time to move on”.

  305. bonobashi

    @YLH

    I made a mistake about Neo, and I apologise abjectly about it. But this post above: I think it’s ‘imself again. Nobody has that eclectic mixture of gutter language and open-mouthed imbecility. There simply can’t be two of these. Please confirm my fears.

  306. bonobashi

    @BC

    No sheesha – smoking is banned in public places in India, btw – and as for belly-dancing, if you have met any middle aged or elderly Bengalis, you know that there are bellies, vast, rounded, cherished, petted, protected, flaunted ones, and they do dance, on the occasion of stimuli being applied to their foundations, so you will get belly-dancing. Perhaps not the kind you had in mind.

  307. PMA

    bonobashi = INRAJIT?

    @ ‘a tailor bird flew in my garden’: You may be mistaken here. Inrajit (like Runjit) is a Hindu Punjabi name. Our prolific commentor here is a Hindu Bengali gentleman.

    In the meantime while you are feeling bad “on losing the lovely states of Sindh and Punjab” your counterpart Jihadi is “devastated on losing HIS 28 states”. Don’t be surprised if you see him under the foreskin.

  308. hayyer48

    Indrajit is a name common in Bengal too. Pronounced ‘Indrojeet’.

  309. PMA

    One time I told him that Banobashi sounds so poetic and asked him what does it mean. It turned out to be a Bangla equivalent of Hindi word ‘Bunn Basi’. I added that its Urdu/Persian equivalent would be ‘Dast Naward’. Now we learn that our resident Bengali gentleman’s real name is Indrojeet. I have come across Sikh Punjabi name Inderjit. Now I need to look up for the Urdu/Persian equivalent of Indrojeet. But first I must know what does Inder/Indro mean! I need help.

  310. bonobashi

    @PMA

    Now that I have been ruthlessly unmasked by that @#**%@, let me confess.

    Indrajit is the Anglicised spelling of the original word; it is pronounced Indrojeet in Bengal, Inderjeet in the Punjab, and both are the same.

    My uncle was unfortunately for me a wit; I was born at the Hour of the Rakshasa, so he found it uproariously funny to name me Indrajit. That was the second name of the son of the demon king Ravana; every Dussehra, I have to stand and watch while Ravana, Indrajit and Kumbhakarna, Ravana’s brother, are set in flames to the cheers and relief of the crowds. The demon prince’s original name was Meghnad, voice of thunder. He became a warrior, but none knew what he was like, until the day his father, feared on all the worlds, was defeated by Indra and humiliated in public. The son then went into battle, defeated Indra and dragged him at the tail of his chariot to his father. From then he was named Indra-jit, victor over Indra.

    He was killed in the great war between Ravana and Rama, by the treachery of his own kinsman, and the unchivalrous Lakshmana, who murdered him when he was weaponless and at prayer.

    My uncle tried to explain it all to me in terms of the Bengali love of the defiance of odds, glorified by a poet named Michael Madhusudan Dutt, whose descendants live as the family named Dutton in Britain to this day, in an epic poem called Meghnad Badh.

    Since my name is the same of our neighbour in Calcutta, but no relative, the CPI MP who was Home Minister, I prefer to keep my identity separate as bonobashi.

    I will kill that little reptile but not for this; rather for his coarse and filthy tongue and his bad manners.

  311. Gorki

    Dear Bonobashi:
    Wrote a small play, want your expert comments since I an not sure how this thing should end. ;-).

    A deus ex machina

    Question: Oh wise one, Since when did legality come into play when higher national interests are involved?

    Answer: Since always; the wide body of constitutional and international law available deals with it. Until somebody comes up with an alternative, this is our option to chaos and force majeure.

    Answer Two: The legal claims of all princes is based on force majeure, on war and conquest.

    (When I use a word, it means exactly what I want it to mean” – explained the Mad Hatter to Alice)

    The strange case of Alsace and Lorraine:

    Answer: There was a solid body of evidence justifying either claim, much of what Germany took back (from the German point of view) in 1871 had been grabbed by revolutionary resurgent France at the turn of the previous century

    Act I; A scene near Sedan: 1871. So both had claims but the wise lawyer Bonobashi deputed to look into this case had the law, and the facts on his side.
    He argued his case most eloquently and convinced the Jury; and the Judge.
    They weighed evidence presented and consulted the law. Very good; open and shut case.
    The pastures of Alsace and Lorraine indeed were German. French were asked to apologize, which they did profusely, upon which their Emperor (a Napoleon, number III, no less) was released and they all lived happily ever after.

    Great man, that lawyer; must save his card, may come in handy someday again. The lawyer clicked his heels, saluted smartly; did a perfect Prussian 180 degrees U turn and marched away leaving all in awe of his brilliant arguments.

    Act II; Fast forwards to 1918. Indeed the lawyer was needed again but now sadly he seemed to have switched sides.
    Alas there had been a miscarriage of justice; the case was re-opened and indeed a fault was found; it seemed the French side indeed had a better case in the first place. A and L were French; now and for all times thereafter.
    The Germans were now asked to genuflect; pay the court costs and told to get lost; “Don’t ever let me see you in these parts again” the Judge said sternly and told them off.

    Act III; 1940, Paris: The lawyers were back at it again, Lady Justice, disgusted at the silly judge, now had to step in.
    She took off her silk blindfold and admonished all assembled; “You were all wrong; any idiot can see that the Germans were the poor wronged party;
    A and L was and should always have been German!”.

    Act IV; 1945: Potsdam. Lady Justice: “Oh dear; what must I have been smoking; what did I do to those poor French”.
    The Germans were Huns; barbarians.

    They have no rights.
    They never had any rights;
    “Never again.
    Alsace and Lorraine were and always will be French;” said lady Justice, as she stepped down gracefully from the back of an American fighting vehicle…… 😉

  312. bonobashi

    @Gorki

    The moral of the story: the lawyer always gets his fees.

  313. PMA

    Indrojeet Bonobashi: Thank you for the interesting story and name explanation. Ram, Sita, Lakshman, Ravan, Indra—sounds like the stuff of which myths are made of. But isn’t that Ram and his group were north Indian light-skin Aryans and Ravan and his group were south Indian dark-skin Dravadians. (Or was it Hanuman who was Dravidian.) If Rama et al. were the ‘good guys’ and Ravan and company were the ‘bad guys’ then why would someone be named after a villain. I don’t understand that. And I still don’t know what Indra means. But for now I will translate your name as ‘Indra Kush’!

  314. bonobashi

    @PMA

    Yes, you have it exactly right. These names are from the Ramayana, the older epic of the Hindus. Your later remarks display a greater familiarity with the myth than the opening sentence.

    Ram and his group were indeed the light-skinned North Indians, speaking an Aryan tongue, and Ravana and the Asuras (Ahura to Persians) were dark-skinned South Indians. Rama and his gang were good guys to the northerners, and Ravana and his gang were the bad guys; to dark-skinned eastern and southern folk, considered outside the pale, it doesn’t always seem that way. As I mentioned, there is a great deal of admiration for the Asuras among some sections of Bengalis. So naming someone after a heroic southerner who was an Asura isn’t so odd from that point of view. The villain of one was the hero of the other. Somewhat similarly, between the ancient Persians and the Aryans, the divinity of one became the demons of the other. This was so because the Persian-Indian split was due to religion; the Persians worshipped Ahura Mazda, Maha Asura, as the divine lord, and the Daivas were to them evil; the split-away group which left the tribes and sought their freedom to worship by crossing the mountains into the southern plains worshipped Indra and the Devas, and thought of the Asuras as the evil ones. The difference in names is because of the shift in pronunciation which is famous for other reasons: to the Persian, the break-away sect went away to the land of the Hapta Hindu, the Indians, or the Indo-Aryans called the system the Sapta-Sindhu. The Greeks followed their neighbours, the Persians, in calling that land the Hapta Hindu, but as they didn’t handle the H sound very well, they called it the Indu, hence Indus and Indian.

    Indra Kush would imply slayer of Indra, but Indra, as an immortal, one of the Devas, could not be slain.

    Indra was the god of thunder, king of the gods, celebrated in many hymns of the Rg Veda as the war-leader of the Aryans, as they fought and killed the existing inhabitants or enslaved them.

    These were the days after the early rise of religion among the wandering tribes, when they worshipped Varuna the god of waters (Uranus to the Greeks), Mitra (well known to the Persians and through them to the Romans), and Dyaus Pitar, the sky father, Jupiter to the Romans, Zeus to the Greeks.

    But you know all this already.

  315. PMA

    bano b. Yes I have heard and read about Ram-Sita-Ravan story but not in such details. I never knew who Indra and Meghnad were till today. That is why I say ‘interesting story’. And the details you give are also interesting. Western sources narrate Persian-Indian and Aryan-Dravidian interactions somewhat different than what you just did. But since this is mythology and not history it really does not matter. Also since Indra was immortal and could not be slain then Meghnad really did not kill him and ‘Indra Kush’ will not be correct. Got to go now. Thanks again.

  316. hayyer48

    Actually, injured tailor bird, if you believe Wendy Doniger, the Prakrit languages, Bengali, Punjabi etc came first and pure Sanskrit followed.

  317. Gorki

    an injured tailor bird flew into my garden and i saved her:

    Smart and original, clearly intellectual, even genuinely sensitive;
    Too independent sounding to be indoctrinated by ideology.

    And yet condescending words, spoken ever so softly; with an unmistakable hint of menace underneath.

    What is the source of such contempt ?

  318. an injured tailor bird flew into my garden and i saved her

    Did i write something bad,moderators.I tried to be as sweet and relevant to the point as possible. Still, ylh deem each of my comments fit to be deleted(dont give me that much importance)As Salim of Midnight’s Children said in east pakistan, i too want to say”THIS IS NOT FAIR.”(Since i have just now returned from mamc, i do not even know whether bonobashi replied to my question coz, the whole thing is deleted.)
    A warning: guys, i am a virgin but a week ago i bought manto’s stories from Khan Market on impulse.He writes such erotic prose that after reading his stories i feel like as if i have been deflowered!!!(read it to believe me!)
    Gorki ji: No menace hides underneath .I can also be at my immaculate best sometimes.

  319. Karaya

    YLH,

    Apologies for the late reply, sir.

    One does not apply principles of criminal law to civil matters. Similarly your analogy does not hold.

    Ok, here’s another one. If after India violated J’ghad’s sovereignty, the sovereignty of all princely states fell in doubt, then after the US violated Iraq’s sovereignty, would the sovereignty of all dictatorial states in the Mid East fall in doubt too?

  320. Karaya

    YLH,

    Apologies for the late reply, sir.

    One does not apply principles of criminal law to civil matters. Similarly your analogy does not hold.

    Ok, here’s another one. If after India violated J’ghad’s sovereignty, the sovereignty of all princely states fell in doubt, then after the US violated Iraq’s sovereignty, would the sovereignty of all dictatorial states in the Mid East fall in doubt too?

    But I will not pursue this line of reasoning because at last we do, somewhat, agree with each other. Maybe, Statement A did not hold after J’ghad, but that will, as we will see, throw up more problems than it will solve.

  321. Karaya

    In the subcontinent the legal reality was changed by India and then accepted by international community.

    So the “legal reality” changed in the “sub-continent” after J’ghad, did it? Good. This takes care of one pressing problem; equating the spineless princely states of India who owed their powers to an act of Parliament with actual sovereign states around the world. I’m glad you introduced the qualifier “sub-continent”.

    Bu there is one problem. You now hold that after India’s action in J’ghad, the Indian princely states were not totally sovereign anymore, hence we could very well doubt the Maharaja’s accession.

    Yet, you have also simultaneously stated that Hyderabad was a fully sovereign state. Let me quote your exact words where you have held that in 1948 Hyderabad, an Indian princely state with exactly the same legal status as, say, Kasmhir, was as sovereign a state as any other in the world:

    “The legal position was that princely states were independent from the day British rule of the subcontinent lapsed. All these linguistic devices- the work of clever yet morally troubled nationalists- cannot undo this fact. Whether these guys- the princely rulers- were puppets or whatever (and they might as well have been)… no amount of gymnastics can undo this legal position.

    I might not like Nizam of Hyderabad anymore than the Amir of Kuwait but Hyderabad was as independent a state in 1948 and Kuwait was in 1990.”

    Let me politely point out that this does clash directly with your view that after J’ghad, the Indian states were not fully sovereign anymore. In fact the two statements are mutually exclusive.

  322. Karaya

    YLH,

    Now you can keep going in circles but unless you show me logically how you think India would have given up on Kashmir in exchange for Hyderabad- you are merely wasting everyone’s time.

    While I am generally a narcissistic man, I do know my limits. I know I cannot succeed where Eqbal Ahmed, AG Noorani and the venerable Majumdar have failed (I’m not even mentioning any Pak PMs! ;))

    But it is my view that everyone was to blame for the Princely States fiasco, maybe some less than others, but no one can take an absolute moral or legal high ground. And, in fact, trying to equate any one side with Ceasar’s wife would lead to horrible contradictions in argument, as I have shown above

  323. Karaya

    Unfortunately, a lot of things including formatting got messed up. Ignore my other 4 posts above, please. Here it is again:

    YLH,

    Apologies for the late reply, sir.

    One does not apply principles of criminal law to civil matters. Similarly your analogy does not hold.

    Ok, here’s another one. If after India violated J’ghad’s sovereignty, the sovereignty of all princely states fell in doubt, then after the US violated Iraq’s sovereignty, would the sovereignty of all dictatorial states in the Mid East fall in doubt too?

    But I will not pursue this line of reasoning because at last we do, somewhat, agree with each other. Maybe, Statement A did not hold after J’ghad, but that will, as we will see, throw up more problems than it will solve.

    In the subcontinent the legal reality was changed by India and then accepted by international community.

    So the “legal reality” changed in the “sub-continent” after J’ghad, did it? Good. This takes care of one pressing problem; equating the spineless princely states of India who owed their powers to an act of Parliament with actual sovereign states around the world. I’m glad you introduced the qualifier “sub-continent”.

    Bu there is one problem. You now hold that after India’s action in J’ghad, the Indian princely states were not totally sovereign anymore, hence we could very well doubt the Maharaja’s accession.

    Yet, you have also simultaneously stated that Hyderabad was a fully sovereign state. Let me quote your exact words where you have held that in 1948, Hyderabad, an Indian princely state with exactly the same legal status as, say, Kasmhir, was as sovereign a state as any other in the world:

    “The legal position was that princely states were independent from the day British rule of the subcontinent lapsed. All these linguistic devices- the work of clever yet morally troubled nationalists- cannot undo this fact. Whether these guys- the princely rulers- were puppets or whatever (and they might as well have been)… no amount of gymnastics can undo this legal position.

    I might not like Nizam of Hyderabad anymore than the Amir of Kuwait but Hyderabad was as independent a state in 1948 and Kuwait was in 1990.”

    Let me politely point out that this does clash directly with your view that after J’ghad, the Indian states were not fully sovereign anymore. In fact the two statements are mutually exclusive.

    Now you can keep going in circles but unless you show me logically how you think India would have given up on Kashmir in exchange for Hyderabad- you are merely wasting everyone’s time.

    While I am generally a narcissistic man, I do know my limits. I know I cannot succeed where Eqbal Ahmed, AG Noorani and the venerable Majumdar have failed (I’m not even mentioning any Pak PMs! ;))

    But it is my view that everyone was to blame for the Princely States fiasco, maybe some less than others, but no one can take an absolute moral or legal high ground. And, in fact, trying to equate any one side with Ceasar’s wife would lead to horrible contradictions in argument, as I have shown above

  324. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Karaya,

    I don’t think you’ve followed the debate or have tried to understand the argument. As you can appreciate, I’ve already responded to the arguments that have been associated with the gentlemen you name. To cut the crap … and get to the point… you write (in response to my claim that Hyderabad was fully sovereign under law):

    “Let me politely point out that this does clash directly with your view that after J’ghad, the Indian states were not fully sovereign anymore. In fact the two statements are mutually exclusive”

    As a matter of fact you are completely wrong as usual. The sovereigns of Junagadh and Kashmir had signed off their sovereignty through valid instruments of accession to Pakistan and India respectively. India’s decision to hold a plebiscite in Junagadh and its acceptance of the same principle in Kashmir has changed the legal reality.

    The sovereign of Hyderabad did not sign the instrument of accession till September 17, 1948 after the invasion by India. Till that point Hyderabad was a completely sovereign state … as sovereign as Iraq, Kuwait or any other state. So your argument about US invasion of Iraq also falls flat on its face.

    As for your argument about spineless princes who owed their sovereignty to an act of parliament… you are actually confusing British India with Princely India again. It was Pakistan and India who owed their independence to single legislative act of British Parliament. The princes – spineless as they must have been- were covered in a different legal regime and the lifting of paramountcy did render them sovereign… whether you, I or anyone else thinks otherwise.

    Yours sincerely,

    YLH

  325. Majumdar

    Civvie wrote: “the plebiscite in kashmir being offered in return had already been pledged by GoI any way.”

    Yasser wrote: “India’s decision to hold a plebiscite in Junagadh and its acceptance of the same principle in Kashmir has changed the legal reality.”

    When exactly did India first agree to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir? Was it pre Nov 1, 1947?

    Regards

    PS: Congrats to Pakistan on lifting the T20 WC. Gr8 show!!!

  326. Bloody Civilian

    Majumdar

    just a few examples:

    “We have received urgent appeal for assistance from Kashmir Government. We would be disposed
    to give favourable consideration to such request from any friendly State. [..]
    Our view which we have repeatedly made public is
    that the question of accession in any disputed territory or State must be decided in accordance with wishes of people and we adhere to this view.”[from JLN’s telegram to attlee 26 oct 1947]

    ” Consistently with their policy that in the case of any State where the issue of accession has been the subject of dispute, the question if accession
    should be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people of the State, it is my Government’s
    wish that as soon as law and order have been restored in Kashmir and her soil cleared of the invader the question of the State’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people.”[from Mountbatten’s letter to the maharaja 26 oct 1946]

    “That Government of India and Pakistan should make a joint request to U.N.O. to undertake a plebiscite in Kashmir at the earliest possible date.”[from JLN’s telegram to liaquatd 28 Oct 1947]

    nothing to do with hyderabad.

  327. ylh

    I think it was decided in principle at meeting where premiers of both dominions as well as Patel and Mountbatten were present some time before Nov 1st. I might be wrong about the dates.

    H V Hodson gives a detail of this meeting I think in his book in detail and this must have been in October.

  328. Bloody Civilian

    the same stance of the GoI continued through and after 1 nov, and after the addition of the UN’s endorsement.

    re. pak winning the T20.. many thanks!

  329. Bloody Civilian

    just to make clear that reference to the UN in the telegram quoted above was not a condition, but just a recommendation:
    “I should like to make it clear that the question of aiding Kashmir in this emergency is not designed in any way to influence the State to accede to India. Our view which we have repeatedly made public is that the question of accession in any disputed territory or State must be decided in accordance with the wishes of people and we adhere to this view”[JLN telegram to Pak PM 27 oct]

    “our assurance that we shall withdraw our troops from Kashmir as soon as peace and order are
    restored and leave the decision about the future of the State to the people of the State is not merely
    a pledge to your government but also to the people of Kashmir and to the world.”[JLN to Pak PM, 31 oct 1947]

  330. Karaya

    YLH,

    The sovereign of Hyderabad did not sign the instrument of accession till September 17, 1948 after the invasion by India. Till that point Hyderabad was a completely sovereign state … as sovereign as Iraq, Kuwait or any other state.

    Brilliant.

    So even after J’ghad (Nov 1, 1947), all Indian princely states (of which Hyderabad was one) were “completely sovereign”?

    Do we have an agreement on this one statement? Feel free to answer in a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’.

  331. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Karaya,

    You write:

    So even after J’ghad (Nov 1, 1947), all Indian princely states (of which Hyderabad was one) were “completely sovereign”? Do we have an agreement on this one statement? Feel free to answer in a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’.

    No. Let me re-state it: Only those states that did not sign a document of accession remained sovereign till they actually signed the document of accession. Hyderabad was one. Tripura for example was another such state. To best of my knowledge there was no other … but I might be wrong.

    The issue of popular will – constitutionally and morally- did not come up till the sovereign prince of the state did not sign that document and merged it with one of the two successor states of British India. In case of Junagadh, India’s contention was that the popular will did not match the sovereign’s choice. Hence plebiscite. In Kashmir, Pakistan’s contention was the same. And India accepted the principle of plebiscite. In both cases the sovereign princes had already given up their sovereignty making it a dispute between the people of Junagadh and Kashmir. All parties in Kashmir agreed to the plebiscite. Hence the legal reality is that Kashmir is pending its right of self determination.

    -YLH

  332. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    In which case, Kashmir was well within its rights to accede to India and it was not binding on India to honour its promise on plebiscite. Wud that be the right position?

    In any case that is right, Pakistan shud abandon its support – moral, LET/JEM and otherwise- for the Kashmir movement and re-open the Junagadh case.

    Regards

  333. yasserlatifhamdani

    No. Wrong again old friend.

    By implementing Junagadh plebiscite… and by agreeing to a plebiscite on Kashmir, India has already accepted the next step.

    To repeat:

    The issue of popular will – constitutionally and morally- did not come up till the sovereign prince of the state signed that document and merged the state with one of the two successor states of British India. In case of Junagadh, India’s contention was that the popular will did not match the sovereign’s choice. Hence plebiscite. In Kashmir, Pakistan’s contention was the same. And India accepted the principle of plebiscite. In both cases the sovereign princes had already given up their sovereignty making it a dispute between the people of Junagadh and Kashmir. All parties in Kashmir agreed to the plebiscite. Hence the legal reality is that Kashmir is pending its right of self determination.

    Junagadh becomes irrelevant because even if we do, the other party (the people of Junagadh) is not in agreement. The situation is the reverse in Kashmir. Even if India backs out of its international obligations on the issue, the people of Kashmir are sticking by the UN Resolutions.

    Stop changing goalposts because they don’t suit you.

  334. Bloody Civilian

    Kashmir was well within its rights to accede to India and it was not binding on India to honour its promise on plebiscite

    btw, the pledges quoted above are all subsequent to the accession, as have been all the reiterations, at various fora (e.g. addresses to parliament/the nation, bilateral summits, UN etc.) since. the pledge was not made by the GoI to the maharaja, but to the “govt of pak, people of kashmir and the whole world” (incl in the form of the UN).

  335. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    By implementing Junagadh plebiscite… and by agreeing to a plebiscite on Kashmir, India has already accepted the next step.

    Fair enuff. And this seems to have happened before Nov 1, 1947 itself.

    So if a plebiscite was acceptable for J&K and Junagadh on Nov 1, 1947 why was it deemed not acceptable for Hyderabad by the Pak HC?

    Regards

  336. yasserlatifhamdani

    Majumdar mian,
    .
    Now we are going in circles. Did Hyderabad sign a document of accession to Pakistan? The answer is no. So why should Pakistan have brought Hyderabad on the table?

    It is quite clear that India was never going to carry out a fair plebiscite in Kashmir. Nehru’s letter quoted above by myself shows it. Anyone who reads the evidence above can see that Indian attempt at roping in Hyderabad at Jinnah’s expense was a blatant one.

    The right thing to do was to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir as promised. Sadly none of you wish to accept this ( yeah yeah I know you’ve said otherwise- whatever).

  337. yasserlatifhamdani

    Btw… Karaya… Do you have a room mate named Ravi Kumar by any chance who uses your computer? Or a friend may be?

  338. Majumdar

    Yasser mian,

    Did Hyderabad sign a document of accession to Pakistan? The answer is no. So why should Pakistan have brought Hyderabad on the table?

    So why was Pakistan interesting in bringing Kashmir on the table? Had Kashmir signed accession to Pakistan?

    Sadly none of you wish to accept this ( yeah yeah I know you’ve said otherwise- whatever).

    I think I have made myself very clear on more than one ocassion. India shudn’t have crossed the River Chenab

    Regards

  339. Karaya

    YLH,

    Only those states that did not sign a document of accession remained sovereign till they actually signed the document of accession

    Quite. So Kashmir was a fully sovereign state and neither you nor I cannot doubt any exercise of its sovereignty including the IoA.

    Now, since Kashmir was fully sovereign and therefore, by extension, we cannot doubt a word of the IoA, sovereignty of the state of J&K rests solely with the GoI. We have already agreed on the fact that J’ghad did not affect the sovereignty of the state of J&K and therefore, by extension, did not affect the sovereignty of the GoI over Kashmir.

    As to how the GoI will exercise its sovereignty derived from the perfectly legal IoA is a matter that should be left up to the sovereign people of India and its sovereign institutions.

    And India accepted the principle of plebiscite

    No. India accepted the “principle of plebiscite” only in J’ghad. In J&K India has made no such legally binding pledge and for better or for worse India has full sovereignty over the land as I have shown above, so there’s little any foreign power or body can legally do.

    ——————————————————-

    And although I find the question quite odd, no I do not know any Ravi Kumar. I hope you aren’t spying on people’s IPs, now are you? I’m sure mine must be interesting 😀

  340. yasserlatifhamdani

    “So why was Pakistan interesting in bringing Kashmir on the table?”

    Did we bring it to the table? Or did India? India had no choice after Junagadh fiasco… to bring Kashmir to the table.

  341. Majumdar

    Yasser Pai,

    Junagadh fiasco

    What fiasco? It was a pretty smooth liberation

    India had no choice

    Of course, India had a choice, it could have ignored Pak protests over J’gadh and continued integrating Kashmir.

    Regards

  342. yasserlatifhamdani

    Karaya mian,

    That is not how it is. Your assertion that India did not accept the principle of plebiscite in kashmir despite the statements, telegrams and letters by the first Indian PM on several occasions is laughable to say the least. It was a legally binding pledge even recognized by your constitution…. and your claim that Kashmir was a fully sovereign state despite having signed a document of accession to India is just ironic. You are right the document of accession was legal… but so was the fact that a legal precedent was established and recognized by the Government of India and its “sovereign institutions” that if the sovereign’s choice (i.e. prince’s choice) contradicts the choice of the people of a princely state, a plebiscite is held. Once that was done (document Of Accession) Kashmir was subject to the new legal reality established by India: Plebiscite.

    As for Ravi… I only ask because you’ve been writing on this website under that name in the past.

    Majumdar,

    Why didn’t it then? It didn’t because it couldn’t.

  343. yasserlatifhamdani

    For the continuing education of my Indian friends… like Karaya (Ravi) and Majumdar:

    Article 370 of the Indian Constitution
    (1) Temporary provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
    Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution,-

    the provisions of article 238 shall not apply in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir;

    (b) the power of Parliament to make laws for the said State shall be limited to–
    (i) those matters in the Union List and the Concurrent List which, in consultation with the Government of the State, are declared by the President to correspond to matters specified in the Instrument of Accession governing the accession of the State to the Dominion of India as the matters with respect to which the Dominion Legislature may make laws for that State; and
    (ii)such other matters in the said Lists as, with the concurrence of the Government of the State, the President may by order specify.
    Explanation.- For the purposes of this article, the Government of the State means the person for the time being recognised by the President as the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers for the time being in office under the Maharaja’s Proclamation dated the fifth day of March, 1948;

    (c) the provisions of article 1 and of this article shall apply in relation to that State;

    (d) such of the other provisions of this Constitution shall apply in relation to that State subject to such exceptions and modifications as the President may by order specify :
    Provided that no such order which relates to the matters specified in the Instrument of Accession of the State referred to in paragraph (i) of sub-clause
    (b) shall be issued except in consultation with the Government of the State :
    Provided further that no such order which relates to matters other than those referred to in the last preceding proviso shall be issued except with the concurrence of that Government.

    (2) If the concurrence of the Government of the State referred to in paragraph (ii) of sub-clause (b) of clause (1) or in the second proviso to sub-clause (d) of that clause be given before the Constituent Assembly for the purpose of framing the Constitution of the State is convened, it shall be placed before such Assembly for such decision as it may take thereon.

    (3) Not withstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this article, the President may, by public notification, declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may specify :
    Provided that the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in clause (2) shall be necessary before the President issues such a notification.

  344. Majumdar

    Yasser Pai,

    I know about Art 370 but thanks anyway.

    Regards

  345. Karaya

    YLH,

    Your assertion that India did not accept the principle of plebiscite in kashmir despite the statements, telegrams and letters by the first Indian PM on several occasions is laughable to say the least.

    None of those are legally binding, I’m afraid. The only legally binding document wrt Kashmir thing is the IoA, signed between a sovereign Kashmir and a sovereign India which grants sovereignty over the whole of J&K to India.

    It was a legally binding pledge even recognized by your constitution

    Eh? The plebiscite has been recognized by the Indian constitution? I’d like more specific details please.

    …. and your claim that Kashmir was a fully sovereign state despite having signed a document of accession to India is just ironic.

    My claim (endorsed by you) is that Kashmir was a fully sovereign state a the time of signing document of accession to India. Thus the IoA is a bonafide legal doc which grants full sovereignty over the whole of J&K to India.

    but so was the fact that a legal precedent was established and recognized by the Government of India and its “sovereign institutions” that if the sovereign’s choice (i.e. prince’s choice) contradicts the choice of the people of a princely state, a plebiscite is held.

    Since we all agree that the IoA was fully legal and therefore India has full sovereignty over the whole of J&K, any precedent, if any, will have to be evaluated only by the GoI and its institutions. No other body has any locus standi in this matter. As to what form of self-determination (if any) India accepts for any parts of territory over which it hold full sovereignty is a matter for India and its institutions to decide at their own leisure.

    ———————–

    Re: the Ravi brouhaha

    I had told you to check as to what was odd about my IPs (I must have used more than one); did you do it? What geographical location does it show? Which ISP? Anyways, as I said, I don’t about any Ravi Kumar. Why you’ll have probs with my IP is that I mask it. It’s a precaution I adopt against nosey site admins. 😉

  346. Karaya

    Errata:

    My claim (endorsed by you) is that Kashmir was a fully sovereign state a the time of signing document of accession to India.

    should read:

    My claim (endorsed by you) is that Kashmir was a fully sovereign state at the time of signing document of accession to India.

  347. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Karaya…

    You love chasing your own tail don’t you?

    “The only legally binding document wrt Kashmir thing is the IoA, signed between a sovereign Kashmir and a sovereign India which grants sovereignty over the whole of J&K to India.”

    And yet that Sovereign India has pledged that it shall hold a plebiscite – a pledge it has made to people of Kashmir and the United Nations. Furthermore, Article 370 of the Constitution of the Republic of India- framed by the sovereign constituent assembly of that country affirms Kashmir’s special status… So you don’t have a point except “I said so”.

    “None of those are legally binding, I’m afraid.”

    The constitution, international agreements, pledges by prime ministers… nothing are legally binding I suppose in your lala land. And to think that this discussion started by your claim that Jinnah should have accepted Patel’s “offer” of Kashmir for Hyderabad (which had nothing to do with Pakistan)… when according to you pledges, international agreements, UN Security council resolutions and even the constitution of India are not “legally binding”.

    In that case you are welcome to keep chasing your tail mian but as far as I am concerned you’ve failed to make your point. Know when to quit scrappy.

    As for your other question: your geographical location is New York in the United States of America. You’ve been writing on this website under the name Ravi. Thats all I am saying. I am not making a judgement call on your mental health.

    -YLH

  348. Bloody Civilian

    Karaya

    The only legally binding document wrt Kashmir thing is the IoA, signed between a sovereign Kashmir and a sovereign India which grants sovereignty over the whole of J&K to India.

    except GoI refused to accept it as such. GoI made the ‘legality’ subject to a plebiscite. In addition to the GoI legally binding itself as a legal entity, as a member of the UN it is bound by the UN charter. funny that india considered hyderabad to be a sovereign state to the extent that even after taking over the territory GoI ensured that not only did the nizam execute an IoA but also withdraw it plea to the UN.

    it is the people of kashmir who have a locus standi as undeniable as their right to self-determination. their right is over and above unilateral promises, bilateral agreements and UN resolutions.

  349. VS

    What remains to be seen and heard is that whether this discussion/debate will throw a winner at the end?

    Meanwhile, i agree with the following column byMJ Akbar( a TOI and Dawn columnist )
    http://timesofindia dot indiatimes dot com/Opinion/Columnists/MJ-Akbar/The-Siege-Within/Some-dangerous-liaisons-in-July/articleshow/4625976.cms

  350. Karaya

    YLH,

    And yet that Sovereign India has pledged that it shall hold a plebiscite – a pledge it has made to people of Kashmir and the United Nations.

    Incorrect.

    Firstly, there had been no agreement for a plebiscite between the government of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and the GoI.

    And United Nation resolutions are far from binding on member states. Please do try and learn what the UN is. As I have already pointed out, the only body which has any locus standi in this matter is the GoI (to which the sovereign state of J&K acceded) and its institutions.

    Furthermore, Article 370 of the Constitution of the Republic of India- framed by the sovereign constituent assembly of that country affirms Kashmir’s special status… So you don’t have a point except “I said so”.

    Actually, I do have a point—no mention is made of the P word in Art. 370 or, in fact, any method of self-determination for the Kashmiris. Let’s stick to “special status” shall we—something that the Union of India grants to a state over which it enjoys full sovereignty and can takeaway at will. No mention shall be surreptitiously made of the Indian Constitution endorsing any method of a plebiscite whatsoever.

    The constitution, international agreements, pledges by prime ministers… nothing are legally binding I suppose in your lala land.

    “The constitution” – fully binding but, sadly, talks of no plebiscite. In fact, I fully endorse your view of going by the Indian constitution.

    “international agreements” – India has signed no international agreements endorsing any plebiscite, I’m afraid. In fact, I’d be extremely interested in any details that you could give me of any agreements (year, location etc) singed by the GoI with any other body/country in this regard.

    “pledges by prime ministers” – Sir, I’m very sorry to say that I’m not the one living in “la la land” if you believe that oral pledges made by a Prime Minister are legally binding.

    Anything else? For, till now, you have provided little reason, by way of any legal arguments, (thankfully for me, no morality or any of that is at play here) for this term that you use – “India Occupied Kashmir”.

    . I am not making a judgement call on your mental health.

    Much obliged for the favour, Sir. Btw, do all my IPs show New York? And which ISP(s) are you being shown by WordPress (?)? Anyways, all I say is for you to become a bit more net savvy before making outlandish accusations. Trust me, if I wanted to post under a different name and IP, you wouldn’t even know. 🙂

    —————————————————-

    Bloody Civilian,

    In addition to the GoI legally binding itself as a legal entity, as a member of the UN it is bound by the UN charter

    Ah! The UN charter! So the UN charter makes all UN resolutions binding on member states does it? Yup, and I’m the Queen of England.

    it is the people of kashmir who have a locus standi as undeniable as their right to self-determination. their right is over and above unilateral promises, bilateral agreements and UN resolutions.

    Spot on, good sir. And I could not agree with you more. But since all that’s being discussed is the legality of this and legality of that, why shouldn’t I join in? Anyways, sir, get with the programme. If the state of Hyderabad can be treated like an actual sovereign entity by many, pretty much everything is par for the course, innit?

  351. Bloody Civilian

    karaya

    it was the GoI itself that decided and (consistently) declared that the IoA was less than legal without a plebiscite. so one party may have offered accession, the other felt bound not to accept it as such. indeed, the under-developed state of int’l law can be seen more akin to the ‘law of the jungle’, including the UN Charter, if one has one’s heart set on ‘might is right’ devoid of any moral compulsions. but then to make sure that the nizam still completes the formalities of an IoA and withdrawing complaint from the UN is trying to have both ‘might is right’ and ‘the law’ on one’s side. ‘clean hands’ and ‘intent’ is part of the legal argument, as is consistency or lack thereof. as for promises, i think ‘estoppel’ was very pertinently mentioned somewhere above. the kashmiris have both the law and moral authority in their favour, and whatever little overlap that the law itself formally admits between the two.

  352. Bloody Civilian

    If the state of Hyderabad can be treated like an actual sovereign entity by many, pretty much everything is par for the course, innit?

    even ignoring everyone else, and s.7 IoI Act 1947, GoI itself entered a ‘standstill agreement’ with hyd. read the agreement and it is clear that GoI is treating hyd as a sovereign state. i’ve already mentioned GoI making sure it obtained an IoA and asking the Nizam to withdraw the plea to the UN (instead of waiting or hoping for the UNSC to reject it; which it hadn’t and wouldn’t have done on legal grounds at least.)

  353. Bloody Civilian

    re. whether hyd or any other state’s legal or sovereign status: the representative of India, speaking in the Security Council on January 15, 1948, said:

    “On 15 August, when the Indian Independence Act came into force, Jammu and Kashmir, like other states, became free to decide whether she would accede to the one or the other of the two Dominions, or remain independent. It was, however, expected that the State would, as a matter of course, enter into relationship with one or the other of the Dominions, having regard to her geography and history, her economic interests and the wishes of her population.”

  354. Bloody Civilian

    india is a fully ratified signatory to the UN Charter.. whether you are the queen of england or not.

  355. Bloody Civilian

    karaya, you might be confusing ‘legally binding’ (e.g. int’l treaties – membership of the UN is one where the member agrees to make it superordinate to all other treaties) and ‘legally enforceable” (e.g. a resolution expressly invoking Ch VII of the UN charter).

  356. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Karaya/Ravi,

    Now I was hoping that you would bring up the issue of how binding the UN resolutions are. But you clearly don’t even have a clue what you are talking about and you are talking only nonsense.

    The thing you could have argued (but didn’t and are now mortally estopped from doing so) was that the concerned UN resolutions were under Chapter VI and not the Chapter VII …. atleast then we would know that you are atleast in the ball park. But had you done so (and earned some respect in the process) you would have still been wrong. If two parties to a dispute agree to say plebiscite, even a Chapter VI resolution becomes binding to the extent that two states have to follow through. The difference between Chapter VI and Chapter VII is that the latter is self-enforcing … and a collective action can be taken. However a resolution under Chapter VI is legally valid and binding on a member state which has accepted the resolution- which India did.

    So like BC pointed out… unless India quits the United Nations, Resolution 47 is legally binding on India. Or if the other parties in the dispute i.e. Pakistan and the Kashmiri people are brought to a different agreement than the one proposed by Resolution 47. Now about the constitution… the inference was that since J&K’s inclusion is recognized as temporary, it is pending the same final solution which is legally binding on India i.e. UN resolution 47. Ofcourse I don’t expect you to get something as simple as this.

    By the way… in the process I see that you’ve not even addressed the issue of the “offer” that you were making a big deal about it. While you might not be willing to admit it but you’ve already forfeited that argument that India was never serious about a plebiscite in Kashmir.

    Also … kindly spare me the convoluted explanations for your dishonest conduct. The only explanation that scientifically makes sense is that there is either someone called Ravi who uses your computer … or you are Ravi. Since you’ve already ruled out the former…one may deduce that you are Ravi Kumar yourself.

    BC,

    Very well stated. What this fellow doesn’t get is that IOA – while a legal document – was only step one… or atleast that is how it was viewed at the time. India took this line itself to justify its actions in Junagadh. Once it did, it opened up the door.

    Btw none of Ravi’s arguments make any sense. It seems that he is trying to argue against what India had been saying itself. The Standstill Agreement that Hyderabad signed is one example. The fact that even after invading Hyderabad, Nizam was made to sign the document of accession is another. That Tripura remained an independent state and joined India only after fearing a Marxist coup is another example.

    What has become clear from Ravi/Karaya’s convoluted and self contradictory discourse (especially his claim that India was not bound by its own pledge) is just how right the Government of Pakistan was in not giving Patel’s joke, i.e. the so called “offer”, any serious thought.

    BTW… have you read Alastair Lamb’s Incomplete Partition by Oxford University Press? Extraordinary book which should be a must read for everyone.

  357. Bloody Civilian

    YLH: no, i haven’t read the book. this ‘partition of princely india’ business is not something i ever knew much about. but the discussion on this thread coming to hyd vs kashmir and noorani etc. has been very interesting. i look forward to reading Lamb’s book (and, hopefully, objectively assessing hayyer48’s view of the author/book too).

  358. Karaya

    YLH,

    However a resolution under Chapter VI is legally valid and binding on a member state which has accepted the resolution- which India did.

    Sigh! Yup, although the resolution cannot be enforced it becomes binding. What was that about “la la land” you were on about?

    unless India quits the United Nations, Resolution 47 is legally binding on India

    India and Pakistan can both reject the resolution (as they have done for all practical purposes) and still remain members of the UN. As I’ve been going on for some time now, the resolution is not binding.

    Now about the constitution… the inference was that since J&K’s inclusion is recognized as temporary, it is pending the same final solution which is legally binding on India i.e. UN resolution 47.

    Nowhere does Art 370 talk about Kashmir being in any way a “temporary” part of the Union. And frankly, neither your nor my “inferences” matter in this regard. As I’ve mentioned earlier, only India’s institutions can interpret Art 370, the IoA and any precedents arising out of acts carried out by the GoI

    Thankfully, you’ve stopped your talk of “international agreements”. Good.

    By the way… in the process I see that you’ve not even addressed the issue of the “offer” that you were making a big deal about it

    Oh, I’d given up that argument a long time back, sir. Let me, to make things interesting, quote myself:

    “While I am generally a narcissistic man, I do know my limits. I know I cannot succeed where Eqbal Ahmed, AG Noorani and the venerable Majumdar have failed (I’m not even mentioning any Pak PMs!;))”

    The only explanation that scientifically makes sense is that there is either someone called Ravi who uses your computer … or you are Ravi.

    Have you heard of a proxy server, good sir? As I said, I take precautions against nosey site admins.

    —————————————————————
    Blood Civilian,

    you might be confusing ‘legally binding’ (e.g. int’l treaties – membership of the UN is one where the member agrees to make it superordinate to all other treaties) and ‘legally enforceable” (e.g. a resolution expressly invoking Ch VII of the UN charter).

    Maybe I am. Could you please take the trouble and explain just what the difference is between a law that is “legally binding” and a law that is “legally enforceable”?

    Thanks in Advance.

  359. bonobashi

    @Karaya, Majumdar, YLH, BC

    Many years ago, at a particularly forlorn moment, I was given some advice by an older man about persons and things that we hold dear, and wish to possess: let it fly away, he said, if it is yours, it will surely fly back to you, if it is not, you should not hold it back but give it its freedom.

    I believe that letting go may have surprising results, not necessarily the one that Indians have dreaded and feared since the days of Nehru. If he had not relinquished the rights of the nascent state, at little or no provocation, with or without the instigation of his aristocratic friend the Governor General, we would not be debating this issue. He did, and committed India to certain courses of action. Those are partly vitiated by a number of factors: the failure of the opposing party to comply in exactly symmetric fashion, the security of the state against a new and unsuspected enemy far bigger than us, the destruction of the idea underpinning India. All these are perfectly valid, as was the love of my youth. And all of these make no sense in the face of the Kashmiri desire for a say in their own fate.

    So now we know with millimetric exactness what sovereignty is, what it was in 47 and 48; we know what the consequences are of voluntarily relinquishing sovereignty; we know what the recipient can do to invalidate his otherwise excellent title; we know the history of our sub-continent in creating this little sub-clause regarding voluntary acceptance of plebiscites in certain conditions of ambiguous popular desire.

    So enough, already, guys. We really don’t need to know any more. The rest is my old friend’s advice. As far as India is concerned, we have nothing to lose, and everything to gain by allowing the Vale a plebiscite. If we can’t get our point of view across even with a young fresh Abdullah with impeccable secular credentials, and a legacy of leadership in the Vale, we’ll never do it any other time.

    @Karaya

    This is specially for you. The matter is now truthfully speaking between India and the people of the Vale of Kashmir, not even between India and the entire state. It is so for the simple reason that we, India, made it so.

    We put conditions for acceptance of accession, conditions which were not sought by the accessor, nor by the apparently obvious, most obvious representative of the accessing state’s people, Sheikh Abdullah. We inserted a prior clause before moving Art. 370 through Parliament, by which Government of India through the person of the Prime Minister of the Government, made certain alterations to the law and the interpretation of the law which would otherwise have comfortably stood the test of existing precedent, which placed a plebiscite before our acceptance of accession and before our recognition of this act in legislative process.

    Arguing that the plebiscite offer is not recognised in our legislative process is incorrect; it is standard diplomatic practice to seek an agreement, to enter into a treaty or to make a commitment provisionally and then obtain legislative ratification.

    In effect, we had entered into a treaty with the sovereign prince of Jammu and Kashmir to entertain his accession to our nation subject to certain conditions. Without these conditions, the conditional accession becomes null and void.

    Just to make things interesting for the lawyers and constitutional experts, we then made international commitments to the identical effect. We are therefore committed to ascertaining the wishes of the people of Kashmir twice-fold, once by treaty with the sovereign power which was dissolving itself, and then again by commitment under the UN Charter.

    It is open to the Indian Parliament not to ratify these treaties. In all cases, these provisional commitments can be overset by Parliament. That is why it is no longer a matter between the world and us, or between Pakistan and us, but between the people to whom we made these pledges and us.

    There is no longer any possibility of reversal, because by act of the same Parliament, the former princes have been stripped of their residual privileges and benefits, which were agreed incidentally by solemn treaty, and the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir no longer exists. The accession cannot be reversed and the state cannot be handed back to him.

    But the people of J&K are now free to claim that in the absence of the former sovereign, they are now the substitutes, therefore by failure of the conditional accession, they are now entitled to the reversion of the sovereignty handed over to India.

    I hope you understand that each step taken has its legal and constitutional impact on the situation, and at this moment, our strongest and best course of action is to leave it to the good sense of the people of the Vale to take the right decision.

    Meanwhile, there are events of MAJOR CONCERN in the neighbourhood.

    First, Islamic countries are electing Presidents. We need to watch carefully and get a grip on what’s going on. If you in Pakistan are serious about balancing yourselves better, and walking away from the past, and seeking parity between your heritage from the east bank and your heritage from the west bank, we should be spending quality time on PTH on the Iranian elections, not on Kashmir.

    But there’s even more serious things happening and I am disappointed that these aren’t getting recognition as a first-class crisis in world affairs.

    You may not have noticed, but the wrong team won the T20 World Cup. Won it with grace and style, won it with typical Pakistani panache, made it look easy, but you shouldn’t have been there. It was ours!!WE WUZ ROBBED!

    This is hugely more important than Kashmir and it’s high time we got to play those them guys and taught them a thing or two.

    I say, give Kashmir away, do anything, just get that team in our sights, and fix them good.

    So guys, can we stop this discussion here, and get to serious things? Please try to understand; Kashmir isn’t important any more. What just happened is. We need to get our priorities straight. We need to concentrate on the essentials. Please let’s get serious; the whole world is laughing at us, and you can’t just leave us here standing looking stupid, and prance around the place holding that damn’ trophy up. We deserve a crack at you. Revenge needs to be had. You guys in Pakistan just don’t seem to get it, this is not playing around with T80s and F 16s, this is WAR.

  360. Karaya

    YLH,

    Btw, here’s an article which primarily deals with aftermath of Bosnia/Kosovo but can be of use to us.

    Here’s what I found interesting:

    “Chapter VI establishes the appropriate methods of settling international disputes and the Security Council’s powers in relation to them. It is generally agreed that resolutions under Chapter VI are advisory rather than binding.”

    Regards,

    Ravi/Aftab/Khursheed/Siraj etc.

  361. Karaya

    Bonobashi,

    But the people of J&K are now free to claim that in the absence of the former sovereign, they are now the substitutes, therefore by failure of the conditional accession, they are now entitled to the reversion of the sovereignty handed over to India

    Let me first make it clear that India has done grievous wrong to the people of J&K. Wrong that cannot be measured by any legal gobbledygook but immeasurable wrong nonetheless. That is my view that I hold in spite of everything.

    But it is also a fact that J&K’s accession to India was not conditional in any way and was just as legal as the 100s of other princely states that acceded to India or Pakistan. But as you wisely said, let us move on.

    Re: T20

    A more deserving team could not have won, sir. I am still amazed at Amir’s performance and although I had lost hope in Afridi, he’s been reborn, so to speak. Anyways, it is my opinion that the T20 format is tailor-made for a cricket team like Pakistan’s and it is here that they can recreate the glory days of the ODIs during the 90s when they used to whip India’s sorry ass time after time.

  362. Majumdar

    Bono,

    First of all, I wish India had never crossed the River Chenab. Muslim parts of Kashmir never belonged to India. It never did and it never will be ours voluntarily

    Second, my only objection to giving up Kashmir is that it will result in secessionist demands elsewhere and another round of Hindoo-Muslim bloodletting. Not to Kashmiri secession per se. Hopefully, in another decades time most other Indian provinces will have no motivation to seceed and Hindoo-Muslim relation will be less clouded. That will be the time to let Kashmiri Muslims go. (And there is a fair possibility that thanks to global warming there will be little reason to hang on to Kashmir either).

    Time and patience is of the key.

    Regards

  363. yasserlatifhamdani

    Dear Karaya/Ravi,

    You and your half baked ideas. Yesterday you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Chapter VI and VII if they got out of the paper and bit you. Today you are an expert. Mian enforceability is quite different from legal validity. But that is only one hole in your line of argument.

    First of all the fact that Chapter VII exists and there is collective enforceability torpedos your claim that the UN resolutions don’t matter. The difference between Chapter VII and Chapter VI is of procedure of enforceability. Chapter VII is self enforcing. Chapter VI requires consent of all parties to the dispute (which India was the first to give in the UN). Once that consent is given, it becomes binding. Ofcourse you are too caught up in your own perceived sense of superiority to know when you’ve made a fool of yourself.

    For example…. under contract law 0bligations remain legally binding even if they are NOT enforceable. This is why debates ought to be in framework and with a presiding authority. Almost all of your contentions would be laughed out in a court of law in a western country.

    Then y0u say only Indian institutions may interpret IOA. Well Indian institutions have interpretted it and India as a sovereign republic has pledged internationally (and that constitutes an international agreement by any definition whether you like it or not) to hold a plebiscite.

    Here is the elected Prime Minister of the Sovereign state of India declared:

    “The pledge we have given not only to the people of Kashmir but to the world . We will not and cannot back out of it. We are prepared when peace and law and order have been established to have referendum held under the auspices of the United Nations. We want it to be a fair and just reference”

    He declared this in a radio broadcast.

    And then Vijay Lakshmi Pandit, the PM’s sister and India’s PR to the UN “expressed India’s desire for Kashmir plebiscite on the basis of adult suffrage to be held next spring 1948.”

    Then Nehru wrote to Atlee and declared:

    “The appropriate authority to privide the machinery for would be the Security Council or the Secretary General of the United Nations”

    This pokes a million holes in your argument Karaya. Now my friend it has been pleasure watching you squirm and do 180 on your own position. It has also been fun looking at you run for cover behind big names like Eqbal Ahmad and A G Noorani instead of taking arguments at their merit without even applying your mind to what was written. And I must say your explanation of why you were writing on this website under the name Ravi earlier is very amusing.

    However , all good things must come to an end. You’ve been given ample opportunity to make your case, but have failed miserably at proving your initial statement as well as your rather spirited attempt at trying to trying to invert the rules of the game.

    YLH

  364. D_a_n

    @ Bonobashi….

    talk about taking the piss out of the whole thing 🙂

    PS: much needed!

  365. yasserlatifhamdani

    Karaya writes:
    “was just as legal as the 100s of other princely states that acceded to India or Pakistan”

    Once again no one, on this board, has debated the legality of the IOA (even though a case is made through Mahajan’s autobiography that the timing of the document of accession makes it susceptible to legal challenge.

    It is the Indian government that declared that IOAs while legally valid in all cases were less than adequate… that IOA was the first step and if the IOA went against the wishes of the people of a particular princely state, then Plebiscite was necessary second step.

    -YLH

    PS: In absence of an established presiding authority to call out nonsense for what it is… there can be no decision in this debate. However, I think honest people can see for themselves whose arguments make sense and whose don’t. We are now going in circles and therefore let this thread rest.