Last Updated On: 23rd April 2017, 03:36 PM
COMMITMENTS OF INDIAN LEADERS ON KASHMIR
Area or population, no doubt, make a country big. But these factors don't make a nation great. It is character that makes a nation great. Great nations demonstrate the moral courage to keep their word. India has to ponder whether it has fulfilled the commitments made by its leaders, like late Mahatama Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru and others, to hold plebiscite in the State of Jammu & Kashmir. The whole world knows, they haven't.
Now, when India is aspiring for a permanent slot in the UN Security Council, India should think seriously whether it really qualifies for that, because it has not only reneged on the promises it made on Jammu & Kashmir but has also defied with impunity the resolutions of the UN Security Council on Kashmir, the same body in which India desires a permanent seat. If India is interested to play its role at the international level, it should, in the first instance, amicably resolve all pending issues with its neighbours, including the issue of Jammu & Kashmir, so that India may emerge as a peace loving nation.
This publication contains commitments made by the Indian leaders for holding plebiscite in the State of Jammu & Kashmir. Because of the demand of this brochure, its first edition has been exhausted. The second edition has a new chapter, comprising views of the world notables. CHAIRMAN
PARLIAMENTARY KASHMIR COMMITTEE
MARCH 31, 2010
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COMMITMENTS OF INDIAN LEADERS
- "The People of Kashmir should be asked whether they want to join Pakistan or India. Let them do as they want. The ruler is nothing. People are every thing."
(Speech at Prayer Meeting July 29, 1947)
- "The princes being the creation of British imperialism and the British having quitted India, the people in the States were their own masters and Kashmiris must, therefore, decide without any coercion or show of it from within and without to which dominion they should belong."
(During visit to Srinagar)
- "I want to repeat the Government of India will stand by that pledge, whatever happens. That pledge itself stated that it is for the people of Kashmir to decide their fate without external interference."
- "If the people of Kashmir are in favour of opting for Pakistan, no power on earth can stop them from doing so. They should be left free to decide for themselves."
(Speech at Prayer Meeting October 26, 1947)
- "The accession was provisional upon an impartial plebiscite being taken by the Kashmiris."
(October 30, 1947)
(Speech at Prayer Meeting, 26th October, 1947. Complete Works of Mahatama Gandhi)
LORD MOUNTBATTEN, GOVERNOR GENERAL OF INDIA
- "The question of the State's accession should be settled by a reference to the people."
(Letter to Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir October 27, 1947)
JAWAHARLAL NEHRU, PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA
- "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 wishes of people and we adhere to this view."
(Telegram to the British and the Pakistani Prime Ministers October 27, 1947)
- "In regard to accession also, it has been made clear that this is subject to reference to people of State and their decision."
(Telegram to Prime Minister of Pakistan October 28, 1947)
- "Our assurance that we shall withdraw our troops from Kashmir as soon as peace and order is restored and leave the decision regarding the future of this State to the people of the state is not merely a promise to your Government but also to the people of Kashmir and to the world."
(Telegram to the Prime Minister of Pakistan October 31, 1947)
- "We are anxious not to finalize anything in a moment of crisis and without the fullest opportunity to be given to the people of Kashmir to have their say. It is for them ultimately to decide.
"And let me make it clear that it has been our policy all along that where there is a dispute about the accession of a state to either dominion, the accession must be made by the people of the State".
(Address to the nation: All India Radio (November 2, 1947)
- "We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by the people. The pledge we have given not only to the people of Kashmir but to the world. We will not and can not back out of it."
(Statement in New Delhi: All India Radio November 3, 1947)
- "…….Where the State has not acceded to that dominion whose majority community is the same as state's, the question whether state has finally acceded to one or other dominion should be ascertained by reference to the will of people."
(Telegram to the Prime Minister of Pakistan November 8, 1947)
- "Kashmir should decide question of accession by plebiscite or referendum under international auspices, such as those of the United Nations."
(Letter to the Prime Minister of Pakistan November 21, 1947)
- "In order to establish our bonafides, we have suggested that when the people are given the chance to decide their future, this should be done under the supervision of an impartial tribunal such as the United Nations Organisation. The issue in Kashmir is whether violence and naked force should decide the future or the will of the people."
(Statement in the Indian Constituent Assembly November 25, 1947)
- "…. I confess, however, that I find myself unable to suggest anything beyond what I have offered already, namely, to ask the UNO to send impartial observers to advise us regarding the plebiscite."
(Telegram to the Prime Minister of Pakistan December 12, 1947)
- "Even at the moment of accession, we went out of our way to make a unilateral declaration that we would abide by the will of the people of Kashmir as declared in a plebiscite or referendum. We insisted further that the government of Kashmir must immediately become a popular government. We have adhered to that position throughout and we are prepared to have a plebiscite, with every protection for fair voting and to abide by the decision of the people of Kashmir.
"……Ultimately there is no doubt in my mind that, in Kashmir as elsewhere, the people of Kashmir will decide finally, and all that we wish is that they should have freedom of decision without any external compulsion."
(Statement in the Constituent Assembly of India March 5, 1948)
- "It has always been our view that, in the event of a plebiscite, the people of Kashmir should decide their future for themselves."
(Telegram to the UN Representative for India and Pakistan August 16, 1950)
- "We have always right from the beginning accepted the idea of the Kashmiri people deciding their fate by referendum or plebiscite."
(September 7, 1948)
- "…..We all agreed that it is the people of Kashmir who must decide for themselves about their future. It is an obvious fact that, even without our agreement, no country is going to hold on to Kashmir against the will of the Kashmiris."
(Press Conference in London, January 16, 1951)
- "We had given our pledge to the people of Kashmir and subsequently to the United Nations; we stood by it and we stand by it today. Let the people of Kashmir decide."
(Statement in the Indian Parliament February 12, 1951)
- "First of all, I would like to remind you of the fateful days of 1947 when I came to Srinagar and gave the solemn assurance that the people of India would stand by Kashmir in her struggle. On that assurance, I shook Sheikh Abdullah's hand before the vast multitude that had gathered there. I want to repeat that the Government of India will stand by that pledge, whatever happens. That pledge itself stated that it is for the people of Kashmir to decide their fate without external interference. That assurance also remains and will continue."
(Address at public meeting in Srinagar June 4, 1951)
- 22. "People seem to forget that Kashmir is not a commodity for sale or to be bartered. It has an individual existence and its people must be the final arbiters of their future."
(All-India Congress Committee Daily Statesman, New Delhi July 9, 1951)
- "We have taken the issue to the United Nations and given our word for a peaceful solution …….. As a great nation, we can not go back on it. We have left the question for final solution to the people of Kashmir and we are determined to abide by their decision."
(Daily Amrita Bazar Patrika, Calcutta January 2, 1952)
- "India is a great country and Kashmir is almost in the heart of Asia. There is an enormous difference not only geographical but in all kinds of facts there. Do you think (in dealing with Kashmir) you are dealing with a part of U.P or Bihar or Gujrat?"
(Statement in Indian Parliament June 26, 1952)
- "I want to stress that it is only the people of Kashmir who can decide the future of Kashmir. It is not that we have merely said that to the United Nations and to the people of Kashmir; it is our conviction and one that is borne out by the policy that we have pursued, not only in Kashmir but everywhere. Though these five years have meant a lot of trouble and expense and in spite of all we have done we would willingly leave Kashmir if it was made clear to us that the people of Kashmir wanted us to go. However sad we may feel about leaving, we are not going to stay against the wishes of the people. We are not going to impose ourselves on them at the point of the bayonet.
"I started with the presumption that it is for the people of Kashmir to decide their own future. We will not compel them. In that sense, the people of Kashmir are sovereign."
(Statement in Indian Parliament August 7, 1952)
- "From the beginning, we have stressed the fact that it is for the people of Kashmir to decide their future, we have held by that and we have to hold by it still. They must decide in the proper way and in the proper context."
(August 15, 1953)
- 27. "The most feasible method of ascertaining the wishes of the people was by fair and impartial plebiscite."
(Joint communiqué of the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan, Delhi – August 20, 1953)
- "As a result of the plebiscite over the entire State, we would be in a position to consider the matter, so that the final decision should cause the least disturbance and should take into consideration geographical, economic and other important factors.
"I should like to make it clear that there is no intention on my part to exclude the UN from this question of Kashmir."
(Letter to the Prime Minister of Pakistan September 3, 1953)
- "Our object is to give freedom to the people of Kashmir to decide their future in a peaceful way so as to create no upset, as we said in our joint statement."
(Letter to the Prime Minister of Pakistan November 10, 1953)
- "India will stand by her international commitments on the Kashmir issue and implement them at appropriate time."
"The repudiation of international commitments would lower India's prestige abroad."
(Daily Time of India – May 16, 1954)
- "But so far as the Government of India is concerned, every assurance and international commitment in regard to Kashmir stands."
(Statement in Indian Council of States May 18, 1954)
- "Kashmir is not a thing to be bandied about between India and Pakistan but it has a soul of its own and an individuality of its own. Nothing can be done without the goodwill and consent of the people of Kashmir."
(Statement in the Indian Parliament March 31, 1955)
- "The question of aiding Kashmir in this emergency is not designed in any way to influence the State to accede to India."
(Cable to the British Prime Minister)
- "The people of Kashmir would be free to decide their future by the recognized democratic method of plebiscite or referendum, which in order to ensure complete impartiality may be held under international auspices.
This was also in accordance with Mahatama Gandhi's view, since he had stated that the India Government sent troops by air to Kashmir telling the Maharaja that the accession was provisional upon an impartial plebiscite being taken of Kashmir irrespective of religion."
(Letter from Government of India to UN December 31, 1947)
- "In accepting the accession they [the Government of India] refused to take advantage of the immediate peril in which the State found itself and informed the Ruler that the accession should finally be settled by plebiscite as soon as peace had been restored. They have subsequently made it quite clear that they are agreeable to the plebiscite being conducted if necessary under international auspices.
"On the question of accession, the Government of India has always enunciated the policy that in all cases of dispute the people of the State concerned should make the decision.
"We have no further interest, and we have agreed that a plebiscite in Kashmir might take place under international auspices after peace and order have been established.
"We desire only to see peace restored in Kashmir and ensure that the people of Kashmir are left free to decide in an orderly and peaceful manner the future of their State. We have no further interest, and we have agreed that a plebiscite in Kashmir might take place under international auspices after peace and order have been established."
(Chairman of the Armed Forces Nationalization Committee and Minister in Interim Government in India, Statement at the Security Council January 15, 1948)
- "The question of accession is to be decided finally in a free plebiscite, on this there is no dispute."
(White Paper on Kashmir issued by Government of India, 1948)
- "No doubt we have offered to have a plebiscite taken when the conditions are created for the holding of a proper, fair and impartial plebiscite. But if the plebiscite produces a verdict which is against the continuation of accession to India of the Kashmir State, then what we are committed to is simply that we shall not stand in the way of Kashmir separating itself from India."
(Address at the Indian Constituent Assembly May 27, 1949)
- 38. My government has always taken the view that resolutions, if they are passed, must be implemented."
Defence Minister of India Statement at the UN General Assembly April 5, 1951)
- We adhere strictly to our pledge of plebiscite in Kashmir – a pledge made to the people because they believe in democratic government …… We don't regard Kashmir as a commodity to be trafficked in."
(Daily Statesman, New Delhi August 2, 1951)
- "The Government of India not only reaffirms its acceptance of the principle that the question of the continuing accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India shall be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations, but is anxious that the conditions necessary for such a plebiscite should be created as quickly as possible."
(Letter from Govt. of India to the UN Representative for India and Pakistan September 11, 1951)
- "We do not seek to go behind the UNCIP resolutions, or to ignore the vital elements of principle contained in them. …… We have always adhered to the UNCIP resolutions… ….. We cannot be a party to the reversal of previous decisions taken by the United Nations Commission with the agreement of the parties."
Vijay Lakshmi Pandit
Permanent Representative of India in UN(Statement at the Security Council December 8, 1952)
- "I want to say for the purpose of the record that there is nothing that has been said on behalf of the Government of India which in the slightest degree indicates that the Government of India or the Union of India will dishonour any international obligations it has undertaken."
(Statement at UN Security Council, January 24, 1957)
- "If, as a result of a plebiscite, the people decided that they did not want to stay with India, then our duty at that time would be to adopt those constitutional procedures which would enable us to separate that territory."
(Statement at UN Security Council February 8, 1957)
- "The resolutions of January 17, 1948 and the resolutions of the UNICP, the assurances given, these are all resolutions which carry a greater weight – that is because we have accepted them, we are parties to them, whether we like them or not."
(Statement at UN Security Council February 20, 1957)
- "These documents (UNCIP reports) and declarations and the resolutions of the Security Council are decisions; they are resolutions, there has been some resolving of a question of one character or another, there has been a meeting of minds on this question where we have committed ourselves to it."
(Statement at the Security Council October 9, 1957)
- "India believes that sovereignty rests with the people and should return to them."
(Daily Statesman, Delhi January 19, 1962)
VIEWS OF NOTABLES
- "In Kashmir, India has refused to allow a plebiscite for many years, despite United Nations resolutions."
(Bertrand Russell – 1965)
- "Kashmir's accession to India in 1947 was to be purely provisional and temporary until the will of the people could be ascertained through a referendum."
(Sheikh Abdullah, 1966)(Former Prime Minister of Jammu & Kashmir)
- "I admit that in 1947 I erred by trusting Nehru."
(Sheikh Abdullah– June, 1970)
- "We should probably try to facilitate a better understanding between Pakistan and India and try to resolve the Kashmir crisis so that they can stay focused not on India, but on the situation with those militants."
(Barack Obama – Nov 3, 2008)
- "The Indian Sub Continent is perhaps the most dangerous place in the world today because of the tensions over Kashmir."
(US President Bill Clinton – March 10, 2000)
- "All of us remain concerned that the issue of Jammu & Kashmir should be solved through peaceful negotiations and should be willing to lend all the strength we have to the resolution of this matter."
(Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa 12th Non-Aligned Movement, October 2002)
- "The Kashmir issue should be solved according to the United Nations resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people."
(Jens Stoltenburg, Prime Minister of Norway)
- "Kashmir is a nuclear flashpoint."
(Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand October, 2004)
- "The Kashmir problem is more dangerous than one hundred bombs. The core issue is that of Kashmir, if it is resolved many problems will be settled."
(Robin Cook, British Foreign Secretary, 1997)
- "The human rights situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir is very gloomy."
(Marry Robinson, Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – Nov 3, 2001)
- "The world has been reluctant to recognise the insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir as terrorism."
(British Premier Tony Blair – Sept 13, 2005)
- "The question of the accession of the State of Jammu & Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite."
(The UN Commission on Kashmir's Resolution January 5, 1949)
- "The final disposition of the State of Jammu & Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.
"Convening of a Constituent Assembly as recommended by the General Council of the "All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference" and any action that Assembly might attempt to take to determine the future shape and affiliation of the entire State or any part thereof would not constitute a disposition of the State in accordance with the above principle."
(UN Security Council Resolution – March 30, 1951)
(The UN bodies passed similar other resolutions also)
- "Para military forces are deployed throughout India and have committed significant human rights abuses, particularly in Jammu & Kashmir."
(US State Department Report, 1995)
- "Thousand of allegations of torture and deaths in custody have been reported in Jammu & Kashmir, since early 1990."
(Amnesty International Report – 1995)
- "The right of self-determination to which the people of Jammu & Kashmir became entitled as part of the process of partition has neither been exercised nor abandoned, and thus remains exercisable today. Unless the Kashmiris themselves can be made to feel that they have been given the freedom to choose their destiny, the issue may never be laid to rest. If this generation is silent, the next will learn the history, read about the plebiscite and seek, perhaps again through armed struggle, to achieve this aim."
(International Commission of Jurists, 1996)
- "Access to redress for victims of human rights violations, a right guaranteed under international law, is being denied to victims in Jammu & Kashmir."
(Amnesty International – May, 1997)
- "Torture, rape, deaths in custody, extra political execution and disappearances have been perpetrated by agencies in the State with impunity. The human rights abuses in the Kashmir Valley are facilitated by laws which provide the security forces with virtual immunity from persecution for acts "done in good faith."
(Amnesty International Report, 2004)
- "Kashmir is one of the most dangerous and tragic places in the world. A referendum is the most logical way to find out the will of the Kashmiri people."
(Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of State Dec 3, 2003)
- "The best settlement of Kashmir issue lies in the UN resolutions."
(James Elles, Chairman Kashmir Committee, European Parliament – Sept 20, 2004)
- "It (Kashmir) is a flashpoint. It's a place that has sparked conflicts in the region."
(Condoleezza Rice, US Secretary of State – House Foreign Relations Committee)
- "Kashmir is the most beautiful prison in the world."
(Delegation of European Parliament, June 2004)
- "Resolution of the dispute over Kashmir would help deny extremists in the region one of their main calls to areas and allow Pakistan on threats to forces more effectively on tackling the threat on their western borders."
(David Miliband, British Foreign Secretary The Guardian, January, 2009)
- "Kashmiris have changed beyond recognition. They have lost fear. Kashmir is lost to us."
(Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, 1990)
- "The international human rights organisations, like Amnesty International and Asia Watch should be given an opportunity to visit Kashmir to take an on-the spot account of the human rights situation in the Valley."
(Justice M. V. Chalia, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission of India)
- "India should fulfill promise of holding a plebiscite in Occupied Kashmir. I personally visited Kashmir and witnessed the sufferings of Kashmiris."
(Raj Mohan Gandhi, Grandson of Mahatama Gandhi November 5, 1998).
- "Ultimately Kashmir has to have a political solution and deployment of huge army is not a solution of this dispute."
(Indian Army Chief General V. P. Malik September, 2000)
- "The Kashmir issue needs immediate world attention. The problem was created by the British in 1947 and they should solve it now."
(Jagjit Singh Chohan, Leader of Council of Khalistan May, 2001)
- "Kashmir is not an integral part of India."
(Ram Jeth Melani, Chairman Kashmir Committee of India August 11, 2003)
- "Kashmir issue is a nuclear flash point."
(Natwar Singh, Foreign Minister of India September 9, 2004).
- "The biggest myth of all times is that India is a democracy. In reality, it is not… In the Kashmir Valley alone, some 80,000 people have been killed. In Iraq, there are 150,000 military personnel, whereas in Kashmir valley there are some 700,000."
(Arundhati Roy – May, 2006)
- "You may read about it but you only understand it when you get to Srinagar. You realise that atrocities are being committed against the entire race and they are being committed by our army."
(Sonia Raj, Advocate, Supreme Court of India – 2006)
HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS COMMITTED BY INDIAN TROOPS IN OCCUPIED KASHMIR
(JANUARY 1989 – JANUARY 2010)
Total Killings — 93,119
Houses/Shops Destroyed — 105,778
Children Orphaned — 107,313
Women Molested — 9,900
Women Widowed — 22,715
(Source: All Parties Hurriyet Conference)Courtesy: Kashmir Media Service