Kashmir Solution Lies In Converting LOC Into IB: S K Sinha

Kashmir Solution Lies In Converting LOC Into IB: S K Sinha

11 October 2012
Kashmir Times


Patna: Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Lt Gen (Retd) S K Sinha on cautioned against any compromise over nation’s sovereignty in Indian administered Kashmir except agreeing to conversion of Line of Control (LOC) as International Border. Delivering Dr K K Sinha memorial lecture at Patna on ‘The Kashmir Problem And The Way Ahead’ this afternoon, Lt Gen Sinha said, “We may agree to accept the LOC as international border but no other concession need be made.” The General observed that India had no road map for resolving the Kashmir issue, beyond reiterating that Kashmir is an integral part of India and a settlement will be reached through dialogue. Referring to the scourge of terrorism, he said it had to be crushed militarily. He said the Indian Army’s record of upholding human rights is far superior to that of Pakistan Army in erstwhile East Pakistan and now in Baluchistan or for that matter of the US Army in Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Generous economic development in the face of Jehadi fanaticism, as has been the experience of the US in Pakistan and Afghanistan and ours in Kashmir, has little effect, he said adding, “the solution lies in winning the hearts and minds of the people with well-planned psychological initiatives to win their hearts and minds through well co-ordinate psychological initiatives.” Talking of the past, General Sinha brought out that secularism in Kashmir stood for Kashmiriyat, a valued tradition of Kashmir from the medieval period. Kashmiris overnight voluntarily and peacefully converted to Islam, a religion of peace. Sheikh Noorudin, the patron saint of Kashmir was called Nund Rishi by the Hindus. He was revered equally by both Hindus and Muslims like Kabir and preceded the latter. Although both Kashmiri Hindus and Muslims are non-vegetarian, the Sufi saints of Kashmir were strict vegetarians. Till 1947 Quran Shareef was taught to Kashmiri Muslims by Kasmiri Pandits also, he added. During the Partition holocaust, he said, when the whole of India including Jammu region was aflame with communal violence, there was no communal tension or violence in Srinagar. The slogan of the people was “Hamlewar Khabardar Ham Kashmiri Hindu Muslim Sikh Tayar.” When Pakistani forces were indulging in rapine and plunder in Baramulla Maqbool Sherwani trying to protect the Hindus and Sikhs from plunder and rapine. Pakistanis crucified him. Decades later, another Maqbool, Maqbool Bhat started mayhem and murder in Kashmir. This was the beginning of terrorism in Kashmir Valley, he maintained. General Sinha traced his association with Kashmir from Day One, 27 October 1947 when Indian troops were flown to Srinagar to rescue Kashmir to his completing his five year tenure as Governor of Assam, traced past history, present situation in Kashmir while suggesting measures to resolve this long festering problem. He mentioned Kashmir’s old association with Patna. Ashoka the Great of Pataliputra laid the foundation of the city of Srinagar two millennia ago. Yusuf Shah the last indigenous King of Kashmir displaced by the Mughals lies buried in Patna City. It is also pertinent that the first Prime Minister of Independent India, Jawaharlal Nehru was of Kashmiri origin. The Indian Independence Act passed by the British Parliament stipulated that the ruler of Princely States and not their people will decide on accede accession to either India or Pakistan. Maharaja Hari Singh could not make up his mind and wanted time to take a decision. He entered into a Standstill Agreement with Pakistan but Jinnah was impatient and after eight weeks launched the invasion of Kashmir on 22 October. By the 25th Kashmir State Army was routed after putting up a brave defence. Srinagar lay defenceless. In this desperate situation the Maharaja wrote a letter to Delhi seeking immediate intervention by the Indian Army to save Kashmir, enclosing a signed Instrument of Accession which was exactly the same for all Princely States in India or Pakistan.