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For India, Jammu and Kashmir is more than one of the 25 states in its domain. It is India?s image, her alter ego. At one time, it was India?s dream - A shining example of Indian secularism.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2002 22:01 IST
PTI

For India, Jammu and Kashmir is more than one of the 25 states in its domain. It is India’s image, her alter ego. At one time, it was India’s dream - A shining example of Indian secularism.

When the subcontinent was divided in 1947, Mahatma Gandhi had proclaimed: “Kashmir stood out of the circle of holocaust as a shining example of secularism.” Kashmir had defied the two-nation theory based on religion.

The ideological affinity of people of Kashmir was further voiced by Sher-e-Kashmir, Sheikh Abdullah in a mammoth public gathering at Hazuri Bagh, Srinagar on October 1, 1947. Sher-I-Kashmir said: "Till the last drop of my blood, I will not believe in two-nation theory."

But the dream over the period, it seems, went awry with unabated killings of innocent people in the name of ethnic cleansing in the erstwhile beautiful state.

India’s strongest testimony to claim on Kashmir lies in the Instrument of Accession. The Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh, signed the Instrument on October 26, 1947 thereby joining the Indian Union. It was accepted by the then Governor-General of India, Lord Mountbattan, giving credence to the accession.

The Instrument of Accession, as per provisions, could not be conditional as mere acceptance by the Governor General was complete and final. Thus Jammu and Kashmir became a legal and constitutional part of the Union of India once and for all.

India claims that the only component on Kashmir, legally admissible in the talks is about Pakistan vacating the territories illegally occupied by it.

The talks between India and Pakistan in regard to the future status of Jammu and Kashmir, India says, should be held within a strictly bilateral framework and in conformity with the Simla Agreement of July 1972.

India strongly rejects third party mediation on the issue.

India does not favour holding plebiscite in Kashmir as promised by the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to the UN Assembly.

Its contention is - the demographic of Jammu and Kashmir have deliberately been altered by Pakistan-controlled militants who forced Kashmiri Pandits to quit the valley en mass.

Some 260,000 Kashmiri Pandits are refugees today in relief camps in different parts of the country, particularly in Jammu, Delhi and other Northern parts of the country.

The other reason India refuses to hold Plebiscite in Kashmir is, according to the UN Resolution Pakistan was to withdraw its forces and control from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir for creating conducive conduct of plebiscite which the latter has no intention of doing.

There is another reason why India cannot afford to allow Kashmir to secede. Unlike Pakistan, India is a pluralistic society, a union of different racial and ethnic groups. Secession of Kashmir will trigger off fissiparous demands in other parts of the country, including the South and the North-East, which India can ill-afford.

For India, Jammu and Kashmir is more than one of the 25 states in its domain. It is India’s image, her alter ego. At one time, it was India’s dream - A shining example of Indian secularism.

When the subcontinent was divided in 1947, Mahatma Gandhi had proclaimed: “Kashmir stood out of the circle of holocaust as a shining example of secularism.” Kashmir had defied the two-nation theory based on religion.

The ideological affinity of people of Kashmir was further voiced by Sher-e-Kashmir, Sheikh Abdullah in a mammoth public gathering at Hazuri Bagh, Srinagar on October 1, 1947. Sher-I-Kashmir said: "Till the last drop of my blood, I will not believe in two-nation theory."

But the dream over the period, it seems, went awry with unabated killings of innocent people in the name of ethnic cleansing in the erstwhile beautiful state.

India’s strongest testimony to claim on Kashmir lies in the Instrument of Accession. The Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh, signed the Instrument on October 26, 1947 thereby joining the Indian Union. It was accepted by the then Governor-General of India, Lord Mountbattan, giving credence to the accession.

The Instrument of Accession, as per provisions, could not be conditional as mere acceptance by the Governor General was complete and final. Thus Jammu and Kashmir became a legal and constitutional part of the Union of India once and for all.

India claims that the only component on Kashmir, legally admissible in the talks is about Pakistan vacating the territories illegally occupied by it.

The talks between India and Pakistan in regard to the future status of Jammu and Kashmir, India says, should be held within a strictly bilateral framework and in conformity with the Simla Agreement of July 1972.

India strongly rejects third party mediation on the issue.

India does not favour holding plebiscite in Kashmir as promised by the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to the UN Assembly.

Its contention is - the demographic of Jammu and Kashmir have deliberately been altered by Pakistan-controlled militants who forced Kashmiri Pandits to quit the valley en mass.

Some 260,000 Kashmiri Pandits are refugees today in relief camps in different parts of the country, particularly in Jammu, Delhi and other Northern parts of the country.

The other reason India refuses to hold Plebiscite in Kashmir is, according to the UN Resolution Pakistan was to withdraw its forces and control from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir for creating conducive conduct of plebiscite which the latter has no intention of doing.

There is another reason why India cannot afford to allow Kashmir to secede. Unlike Pakistan, India is a pluralistic society, a union of different racial and ethnic groups. Secession of Kashmir will trigger off fissiparous demands in other parts of the country, including the South and the North-East, which India can ill-afford.

First Published: Sep 08, 2002 22:01 IST