October 22nd - A Black Day in the History of J&K
On Oct 22, 1947, Pakistan let loose its militia and army regulars posing as tribesmen in Kashmir. It also had a major effect in Maharaja voluntarily agreeing to accede the State of Kashmir into India on Oct 26, 1947.Thus, Pakistans fixation with Kashmir dates to more than 70 years.
Kashmir map Pre 1947 The recent killings of innocent civilians in Kashmir have again brought forth the role of external factors in disturbing peace and law & order in Kashmir. The modus operandi of “lone wolf” attacks highlights the scheming and desperation of our neighbours, especially since India altered the ground situation completely by abrogating Art 370 and Art 35A. The genesis of Pakistan’s involvement in Kashmir’s affairs goes back to just 2 months after independence in 1947. On Oct 22, 1947, Pakistan let loose its militia and army regulars posing as tribesmen in Kashmir. A self- righteous account of this “invasion” was given by Maj Gen Akbar Khan of the Pakistan Army in his book, “Raiders in Kashmir” When the invasion was planned and launched, Maj Gen Khan was then the Director of Weapons and Equipment at G.H.Q. (the Pakistan Army General Headquarters). He actively supervised the issue of army rifles and ammunition to militia and had multiple meetings with the Prime Minister of Pakistan while the hostilities were underway which highlights that the action on ground was being coordinated from the highest political office in Pakistan. In fact, after India’s intervention in Kashmir on accession of the state into India, Maj Gen Khan was relieved of his duties in G.H.Q. and was appointed as Military Adviser to the Prime Minister. The book gives such a candid account of the Pakistani establishment’s role in stirring violence in Kashmir that Khan wonders that had all the stores and rations dispatched from Rawalpindi reached the front, the situation in Kashmir would have been very different.
In this book, Khan noted that the aggression was meant to ignite an “internal revolt” in the state of Jammu & Kashmir to discredit the rule of Maharaja of Kashmir. The internal revolt would have helped paint a picture of Muslim majority population of the state desiring the accession of the state into Pakistan. However, no internal uprising occurred, and the marauders killed thousands of innocent civilians including Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims. Khan’s book proudly mentions that such was the mayhem and violence unleashed by tribal militia that in Baramulla, only 3000 out of 14,000 non-muslim residents survived the attack. The sacking of Baramulla forced the Maharajah to flee from Srinagar and he reported to India that ''wild forces, let loose on the State, were marching on with the aim of capturing Srinagar as a first step to overrunning the whole State”. It also had a major effect in Maharaja voluntarily agreeing to accede the State of Kashmir into India on Oct 26, 1947.
Thus, Pakistan’s fixation with Kashmir dates to more than 70 years. To mark Pakistan’s responsibility for the unrest, violence and terrorism that has afflicted the state of Jammu & Kashmir since 1947, India observes October 22nd as Black Day.
(Written by Shri Ajit Kamath for Samrudh Bharat Social Welfare Foundation) PWR PWR
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