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Earlier Nobody wanted Kashmir, now nobody leaves Kashmir

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12.07.2018

Adding to the murky state of affairs of 1947 when the subcontinent was divided and Kashmir found itself in an era of uncertain future, Saifudin Soz’s book 'Kashmir: Glimpses of History and the Story of Struggle' has brought to fore new insights how Pakistani leaders faltered, Kashmiris failed and India ended up winning.

The book details from various sources how Qaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah was not informed about the tribal raid that was initiated by Liyaqat Ali Khan and his close group. Prior to the raid “standstill agreement offered by the maharaja was accepted by Pakistan, but not India. Under the agreement, Pakistan unfurled its flag at the post of office of Srinagar. Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Janak Singh got the flag down. The Pakistani authorities reacted bus topping supplies of salt and other necessities.”

“Liyaqat Ali Khan was a fool and it was his folly that we have landed in the current mess,” says Soz. According to the book, at the onset of the raid, Pakistan got the offer to pull out in lieu of vacating its claim on Hyderabad. To this Liyaqat told the emissary, “Have I gone mad to give up Hyderabad, which is much larger than the Punjab for the sake of rocks of Kashmir.”

The book says that Pakistan would have got Kashmir automatically had it waited, because India could not have conquered it, nor could have maharaja ignored composition of population to accede to India.

The book reveals how neither Pakistan nor India was interested in Kashmir in 1947. Nehru wanted Kashmir should be part of India, but Patel told him that “we should not get mixed up with Kashmir, we already have too much on our plate.”

Patel remained consistent on his perception that Pakistan shouldn’t talk of Hyderabad, Kashmir should go to Pakistan.

The book however misses out on spelling out the role of Jinnah during these crucial months. More detail about Jinnah would have been welcome. How was it that less informed Liayaqat was calling shots instead of highly intelligent and popular Jinnah.

Liyaqat........

© Greater Kashmir