Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Imran Khan is cutting off nose to spite his own face

The most important ceremony in Pakistan in the run-up to the first anniversary of scrapping Article 35A and neutering 370 was held on August 4, 2020, evening. Around 7 pm, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan released a “new political map” of his country.

On a rather grave note, the map was released by the PMO and official Twitter handle of Imran Khan, @ImranKhanPTI was used to inform the nation. Obviously, Imran apparently thought that this was a good enough show of solidarity towards Jammu and Kashmir as its “special status” was ended by the Modi government on August 5, 2019.

The map released on Tuesday evening showed whole of J&K, Junagarh and area of Sir Creek as territories of Pakistan. Incidentally, so far nobody seems to have taken a serious note of this “new” map. India slammed Pakistan move on release of the map terming it as “political absurdity” and these “ridiculous assertions” had neither any legal validity nor any international credibility.

Imran Khan sought to justify the release of the map by saying that it was “essential to respond to India’s decision to include Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan as part of India.

Many Indians on Twitter took potshots at Imran Khan and made fun of him through graphics as also stinging words. In general, most of the remarks were rather uncharitable towards him.

A strategic analyst, commentator Sushant Sareen wrote: Earlier, the Pakistanis had an annual itch on Kashmir every 5th February. Modi has gifted them a bi-annual itch, exactly six months later on August 5.

It bears mention here that Pakistan observes February 5 as a sort of “Kashmir Solidarity Day” or “Black Day” trying to organize protests etc in its territory. Of course, it also instigates its proxies in Srinagar and other areas also to stir trouble for the Indian government.

Commenting on the so-called new map, Sushant said there was nothing new as Survey of Pakistan maps show Junagadh as part of Pakistan. Of course, adding Sir Creek was a novelty, he said.

Incidentally, it is worthwhile to examine Pakistani claims on whole of J&K. Over seven decades ago, when the British decided to go away, they planned birth of a new nation named Pakistan. This was done under India Independence Act, 1947, and envisaged the creation of two Dominions of India and Pakistan.

It was the British India, ruled by them, which was to be divided. The Princely States were free to decide their fates and could join either of these dominions by signing an Instrument of Accession.

Accordingly, Maharaja Hari Singh, the Ruler of J&K, decided to join India on October 26, 1947. He signed the Instrument of Accession which was accepted the next day by Governor General of India Lord Mountbatten who wrote: I do hereby accept this Instrument of Accession.

It needs to be stressed here that Maharaja Hari Singh acceded his entire state to India. However, Pakistan is today in illegal occupation of almost half of the territories ruled by the Maharaja. It had captured these areas through deceit, armed aggression and treachery with him about Standstill Agreement.

So, what is Pakistan’s locus standi in Jammu and Kashmir where it has been fomenting troubles? Seriously, it has none as a legal entity and is an illegal occupant.

By including whole of J&K as its territory, Pakistan has very foolishly only underlined the fact of its illegal occupation of a large part. It had gifted away vast territories to China in order to befriend the latter.

In a separate note sent to Maharaja Hari Singh, Lord Mountbatten wrote: As soon as law and order has been restored in Kashmir and it’s soil cleared of invader, the question of the State’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people.

Who is the invader referred to by Mountbatten in this note? Clearly, it is Pakistan but

Mountbatten’s remarks on reference to the people to determine the future status of (Jammu) Kashmir is interpreted to create a narrative that the accession was conditional. On examination of the relevant legal framework under which any Princely State could accede to any Dominion (India or Pakistan), we find that there was no provision for any conditional accession. It could be done with either of the dominions and it was irrevocable, irreversible and had perpetual validity.

Raising the issue of J&K in the UN Security Council is also a favourite pastime of Pakistan. It tried to raise the issue in UNSC on Wednesday also but failed. “Another attempt by Pakistan fails. In today’s meeting of UNSC which was closed, informal and without any outcome, almost all countries underlined J&K was bilateral issue and didn’t deserve time and attention of the Council,” T S Tirumani, Permanent Representative of India to UN has said in an official Tweet.

Incidentally, trying to internationalise the J&K issue is something that Pakistan tries to do every now and then. For past many years, Chinae is the only nation which supports its efforts. Due to insufficient support globally, these efforts have failed in the past.

 Sant Kumar Sharma, a seasoned journalist, is an authority on Jammu and Kashmir. Two of his books on Article 370 and Delimitation are already out. The third one on Indus Waters Treaty is with the publishers. 


Sant began as a teacher but after six years, joined the Indian Express, Chandigarh in 1990, the year when terrorism was taking its first step in J & K and soon there would be exodus of lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley. He subsequently worked for The Statesman, The Times of India and Star News among others. He is based in Jammu since May 2000.


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