19th July is of special significance in the history of Jammu and Kashmir. On this day in 1947, genuine representatives of majority of Kashmiris unanimously passed the resolution of Kashmir’s Accession to Pakistan during a meeting of the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference at the residence of Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan in Aabi Guzar area of Srinagar.

The resolution called for the Accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan in view of its existing religious, geographical, cultural and economic proximity to Pakistan and aspirations of millions of Kashmiri Muslims.

The resolution was adopted following the announcement of Partition Plan of the Indian subcontinent by the British Government. Under the Partition Plan the princely States were free to accede to either of the two newly established countries, Pakistan and India. The decision of 19th July 1947 was a testimony to the fact that the people of Kashmir had linked their future with Pakistan.

However, India landed its troops in Srinagar on October 27, 1947 and forcibly occupied Jammu and Kashmir in total violation of the Partition Plan and against the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

Every year, the Kashmiris observe 19th July as Accession to Pakistan Day to reaffirm their commitment that they will continue their struggle till Kashmir becomes part of Pakistan.

Background

19th July is an important milestone in the history of Jammu and Kashmir. It was on this day in 1947 when the genuine representatives of majority of Kashmiris had decided to attach their future with Pakistan. They had unanimously passed a resolution for Kashmir’s Accession to Pakistan during a meeting at the residence of Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan in Aabi Guzar area of Srinagar. Sardar Ibrahim later became the first president of the liberated part of Jammu and Kashmir.

The historic resolution, representing the aspirations of millions of Kashmiri Muslims, called for the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan on the basis of religious, geographical, cultural and economic bonds enjoyed by the two regions. The resolution stated: “This convention of Muslim Conference has reached the conclusion that geographical conditions, 80 percent Muslim population, important rivers of Punjab passing through the state, language, cultural, ethnic and economic relations and contiguity of the state with Pakistan make it imperative to merge with Pakistan”.

This important development had come following the announcement of Partition Plan of Indian subcontinent under which the princely states were free to accede to either of the two newly established countries, Pakistan and India. The resolution of 19th July 1947 was a testimony to the fact that the people of Kashmir wanted to become part of Pakistan and they had linked their future with the country. The people of Kashmir took this decision of joining Pakistan to protect their political, religious, social, cultural and economic rights, as they were well aware of their fate under Hindus who had deep-rooted animosity for Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir.

Indian invasion

The Partition Plan of 1947 had stated that the Indian British Colony would be divided into two sovereign states, India and Pakistan. As per the understanding the then princely states had the choice to either accede to Pakistan or India, considering their geographical situation and communal demography. Kashmir was a Muslim-majority state and had a natural tendency to accede to Pakistan, but its Hindu ruler, Dogra Maharaja, destroyed the future of Kashmiri people by announcing its accession to India under a controversial accession document (Instrument of Accession). India invaded Jammu and Kashmir by landing its army in Srinagar on October 27, 1947 on the basis of this so-called deal. Many neutral observers deny the existence of such document with the argument that had it been there, Indian government would have made it public either officially or at some international forum. Indian troops, the forces of Dogra Maharaja, and Hindu extremists massacred over three hundred thousand Kashmiri Muslims within a period of two months with the intention to change the demographic composition of the territory.

Kashmiris’ resistance to occupation

Right from the day one in 1947, the people of Kashmir rejected India’s illegal occupation and started a revolt against it liberating a vast area now known as Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Sensing defeat to its forces, India approached the UN Security Council to seek help of the World Body to settle the dispute. The UN Security Council through its successive resolutions nullified Indian invasion and occupation of Kashmir. At that time Indian rulers had promised before the UN to resolve the dispute and provide the people of Kashmir with their basic right of self-determination but later backed away from their commitments.

The people of occupied Kashmir, disappointed at the failure of all the efforts aimed at resolving the Kashmir dispute through peaceful means, launched a massive uprising in 1989 to secure their right to self-determination. However, Indian authorities responded to this popular uprising with brute force. Since then, Indian troops have killed over ninety four thousand Kashmiris, widowed more than twenty two thousand women, orphaned over one hundred thousand children and molested or gang-raped more than ten thousand Kashmiri women. The whereabouts of thousands of innocent Kashmiris, disappeared in the custody of troops, are yet to be made known while thousands of unnamed graves discovered in the occupied territory are believed to be of the disappeared Kashmiris.

From 2008 to 2010, the Kashmiris staged massive pro-freedom demonstrations and on some occasions the number of protesters had crossed one million mark in Srinagar city alone. Occupied Kashmir is once again on the boil since the extrajudicial killing of popular youth leader, Burhan Wani, on July 8, 2016 with thousands of people taking to the streets on daily basis. Unfortunately, instead of taking these mammoth demonstrations as the Kashmiris’ referendum against its illegal occupation, India subjected the protesters to brute force, killing hundreds and injuring thousands of them. During the ongoing mass uprising, the occupational troops have blinded hundreds of youth with the firing of pellet guns. They are not even sparing students including girls who are on the streets to demand their inalienable right to self-determination and an end to Indian occupation of their motherland. India’s continued stubbornness on the Kashmir dispute has posed a serious threat to the regional peace as both Islamabad and New Delhi now possess nuclear weapons and a minor clash between them could prove disastrous for the whole world.

Pakistan’s support

Pakistan is the only country of the world that has been extending its unconditional and continued support to the Kashmiris in their just liberation struggle since 1947. Pakistan’s affinity with the people of Kashmir can be understood in the backdrop of several reasons – both share strong bonds in respect of religion, geography, culture and aspirations. It has been hosting since 1947 hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri people who migrated from occupied Kashmir to Pakistan due to their strong emotional attachment to the country after they were subjected to the worst kind of state terrorism by Indian forces.

The raising of slogans like “Long Live Pakistan” and “We want Pakistan” by the people of occupied Kashmir during anti-India demonstrations shows their strong attachment with Pakistan. They hoist Pakistani flags during protest demonstrations. They also celebrate Pakistan’s national days with full enthusiasm and love and that of India as black days. The matter of fact is that Pakistanis and Kashmiris consider the Kashmir dispute as an unfinished agenda of the partition of the South Asian sub-continent in 1947 and the Kashmir liberation struggle as an inseparable part of Pakistan movement.

The ideological and sentimental attachment of the Kashmiris with Pakistan was worth-seeing when the entire valley erupted in jubilation on the Pakistani team’s victory in the ICC Champions Trophy’s final by crushing Indian team at the Oval, England, on 18th of June 2017.

The Pakistani leadership has always represented the Kashmiris’ aspirations and never betrayed the faith reposed on them by the Kashmiri people. The father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, due to his commitment to the interests of the Kashmiri people had visited Jammu and Kashmir three times before 1947. He had rightly termed Kashmir as the “Jugular Vein” of Pakistan. Former Prime Minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, had vowed to wage a thousand-year war for Kashmir. Prime Minister, Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, and the Army Chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, are forcefully advocating settlement of the conflict over Kashmir in accordance with the Kashmiris’ aspirations in line with the relevant UN resolutions for ensuring durable peace in South Asia. There is no denying the fact that despite facing the worst kind of Indian military aggression for supporting the Kashmiris during the past almost seven decades, Pakistan never gave up its support to the Kashmir cause and continues to advocate resolution of the dispute according to the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

Conclusion

The passing of Accession to Pakistan Day resolution on 19th July, 1947 by the majority of the people of Kashmir was their verdict that they will be a part of Pakistan. This resolution is still valid and continues to establish the fact that the Kashmiris have spiritual, social, political and cultural links with Pakistan and they want to be the part of this country. The worst kind of Indian state terrorism in occupied Kashmir during the past almost seven decades and the ongoing wave of Hindu extremism featured with anti-Muslim tirade in India stand testimony to the fact that the Kashmiris’ decision of accession of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan was justified.

Compiled by: Muhammad Raza Malik
Senior Editor, Kashmir Media Service


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