The President is fully empowered to amend Article 370 & extend Indian Constitution to J&K. By Prof. Bhim Singh

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The entire world press/media is flooding with the highly provocative stories on ‘Fire in Kashmir’, which is in J&K. J&K acceded to the Union of India by its Ruler on October 26, 1947. This is unfortunate that well known writers/authors, jurists, statesmen and politicians have not cared to explore the historical background behind the entire State of J&K. The J&K included the present State of J&K, India as well as Pakistan Occupied Territory (POK) measuring nearly 4500 sq. miles, Pak-Occupied Gilgit-Baltistan measuring nearly 32,000 sq. miles as well as another territory measuring about 5500 sq. miles under the illegal occupation of China in Gilgit region which was illegally occupied in violation of UN Resolution dated 13.08.1948. Interestingly, Gilgit-Baltistan was occupied by Pakistan after the Resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations were passed and accepted by Pakistan. In other words Gilgit & Baltistan were occupied in violation of UN Resolutions on J&K which were accepted by Pakistan as well. Gilgit-Baltistan continues under Pak occupation till date. Besides Pakistan has declared this region as its official province. Similarly Baltistan has also been illegally occupied by Pakistan declaring it as its territory.

 This is important to note that Pakistan invaded/attacked India after signing the UN Resolutions in 1948 which has been noted/recorded by the entire world as well as by the United Nations. This is also to be noted that it was Pakistan, not India, which has coerced/violated the UN Resolutions vis-à-vis J&K. The UN Resolution dated 05.01.1949 had clearly accepted by Pakistan and declared that it shall withdraw all its troops (armed forces) as well as the civilians which were settled by Pakistan from outside the State. The writers, philosophers even political research scholars if find time, should go through the 10 points Resolution adopted at the meeting of the United Nations Commission for India & Pakistan on January 5, 1949. Pakistan signed this memoranda but did not implement even a word mentioned by the United Nations in this document (No.5/1196, para 15 dated 05.01.1949). Instead Jammu and Kashmir was invaded at several times at different places which has been noted by the United Nations also. It is Pakistan which has not violated its agreements with the United Nations Resolutions. It is Pakistan which was directed to vacate all occupied areas which have not been vacated till today. Pakistan continues to govern Gilgit-Baltistan illegally and in violation of United Nations Resolutions. Pakistan has declared Gilgit-Baltistan as one of the provinces of Pakistan. This is in total violation of UN Resolutions.

In 1963, Pakistan donated/sold illegally occupied territory of Gilgit region to China which continues under the illegal possession of China even today. China has constructed more than 50 military helipads in that occupied territory and managed to connect Peking, capital of China, with Peshawar and established its road connection from Peking to Peshawar  through Indian territory of Gilgit. The surprise is not because of Chinese occupation, the surprise is because of the silence of the United Nations for Pakistan’s infringement of UN Resolution dated 13.08.1948. Gilgit & Baltistan were illegally occupied Pakistan after this Resolution. It was Pakistan which has violated the Resolutions of the UN Security Council instead of withdrawing its armed forces and residents from the entire occupied territory of J&K. Pakistan continues to occupy more than one-third of the territory of J&K in violation of UN Resolutions. The occupied territories by Pakistan form constituent parts of J&K and shall be called as Indian Territory according to the Instrument of Accession signed by the Ruler of J&K vis-à-vis J&K on October 26, 1947. The time has come when India should take up this pending issue with the United Nations with clear message that;

a).        J&K forms integral part of India as its Ruler, Maharaja Hari Singh had signed the Instrument of Accession on October 25, 1947 in accordance with the Act of British Parliament.

b).       That India was partitioned and Pakistan was created. General Sir Douglas Gracey took over as Commander-in-Chief of unorganized Pakistan Army whereas Lord Mountbatten remained the Governor-General of India. Pakistan declared its independence on August 14, 1947 whereas India declared its independence on August 15, 1947. Pakistan attacked J&K (India) on October 20, 1947 after the J&K Ruler had signed the Instrument of Accession with India.  Pakistan’s Resolution to attack India was vetoed by General Sir Douglas Gracey, who was Incharge of Military Affairs of Pakistan that time. Lord Mountbatten, the then Governor-General of India had conveyed to Mohd. Ali Jinnah that terror or violence could not make J&K to be trapped by Pakistan.             

c).        That Pakistan invaded Gilgit-Baltistan after signing the UN Resolution. Gilgit-Baltistan was territorial part of J&K which had been acceded to the Union of India in accordance with the UN Resolutions also. These are stirring resolutions adopted by Pakistan violating all its own agreements and UN Resolutions. It was only Mr. Krishna Menon who in 1957 had exposed Pakistan’s ugly designs before the Security Council Resolutions during his 8+ hours historical speech. This was because of Krishna Menon speech exposing Pakistan’s designs vis-à-vis J&K that Pakistan remained quiet for years.    

The Govt. of India has every opportunity to take the matter before the United Nations with a clear message it delivered earlier that the Accession of the State of J&K to the Indian Union signed by its erstwhile Ruler on October 26, 1947 was completely valid under the Govt. of India Act, 1935 and was validly carried under the command of International Law and totally irrevocable. The Accession of J&K with the Union of India had gained its acceptability after Pakistan itself violated UN Resolutions of August 13, 1948 & January 5, 1949. Pakistan also infringed the UN Resolutions by illegally occupying Gilgit & Baltistan region and declaring the entire territory of J&K as a part of Pakistan. In other words the UN Resolutions on J&K have been violated by Pakistan and it is not possible to resurrect them. Shall Pakistan vacate entire territory called POK as well as the Gilgit-Baltistan region? Shall China vacate the territory in Gilgit region which it has been occupying since 1963? Shall Pakistan allow the return of the citizens (and their descendants) of POK and Gilgit (1947) who were forced out of their homes and land in 1947 and after? 

The question today before the Indian Parliament should be what needs to be done vis-à-vis J&K to ensure all fundamental rights, civil liberties and freedom to the residents of J&K who were designated as citizens of India after the state integrated to the Union of India in 1947. The other issues which need to be settled by the Indian Parliament in the interest of security of the entire country and the status with fundamental rights to the residents (citizens of India) of J&K. This is unfortunate that a temporary provision called Article 370 was inserted in the Indian Constitution by the then Members of the Constituent Assembly which appeared on surface on January 26, 1950. This provision has reversed the command/will of the Ruler of J&K who signed the Instrument of Accession in October 26, 1947. All other Rulers (575 States) who had signed similar Instrument of Accessions were accepted by the Constituent Assembly except the State of J&K, why so? Is not this important question to be discussed? The important question is why Parliament of India has been sitting silent on the issue relating to the integration of the entire State with the Union of India. Why today Parliament of India has not assumed its powers vested in it to legislate in respect of at least three subjects namely, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Communication and Allied Matters? Why Parliament has swallowed such a temporary provision for 70 years? Pakistan has violated the UN Resolutions and Resolutions of the Security Council vis-à-vis J&K. On the other hand Indian Parliament has not exercised its constitutional authority in 70 years. That is not all. Indian Flag has not been extended to J&K till today. Why so?  Can anybody or any statesman or political leader answer this question?  J&K is only state in the Indian Union where citizens of India are called ‘residents’. They have not been guaranteed all fundamental rights ensured in the Constitution of India in its Chapter-III. This author hmself spent nearly 8 years in prisons under the J&K’s Public Safety Act even when he was a Congress Legislator in 1978.

The Parliament of India should hold a brief session and declare that J&K has been integral part of the Indian Union and therefore Constitution of India shall apply to the Indian citizens in J&K with all its fundamental rights and civil liberties. Talking of wars and bombs shall not solve this problem nor the wars and bombs have resolved/solved any problem anywhere in the world. This author had an opportunity to visit entire East and the West, visited more than 140 countries of the world on peace mission. This author has witnessed the ailing persons in Hiroshima hospital and talked to them personally who had received shocks of Atom Bombs. Wars shall solve no problem.  Those who are talking of blood and bullets may kindly read the history and after effects of the world war-I, the world war-II and the effects of bullets and violence. He strongly pleaded with the political leadership in India and Pakistan to spend couple of hours to read the effects of world war-I and world war-II at least and then decide whether guns/bombs shall resolve any problem or conflict between India and Pakistan. Even after the wars the respective leadership of both sides had to sit around a peace table to sign peace agreements/resolutions. Why not they sit around a table with their resolutions before waging a war and resolve their disputes/conflicts, if any, on the table. The United Nations can play the leading role. The UN agencies like International Court of Justice have not succeeded to settle any dispute between fighting nations. The United Nations can play that tole.

The so-called dispute over J&K shall be settled if Parliament of India sits on a special session for half an hour and resolve that J&K is an integral part of the Union of India as was declared/signed by its Ruler in 1947. That J&K shall have Indian Flag as well as fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of India shall extend to every citizen of India in J&K. In other words there shall be one Constitution, one Flag and Fundamental Rights to all from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.

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