Jinnah’s Refusal Jinxed Kashmir: Noorani

Jinnah’s Refusal Jinxed Kashmir: Noorani

15 May 2013
Greater Kashmir
Abid Bashir and Imran Muzaffar

Srinagar: Noted author and legal luminary, A G Noorani, Wednesday said that Kashmir would have been resolved had Muhammad Ali Jinnah accepted Mountbatten’s proposal on holding plebiscite in three States- Kashmir, Junagarh and Hyderabad- in 1947. Speaking at a function here to mark the Silver Jubilee celebrations of Greater Kashmir, Noorani said; “Kashmir question would have been settled had Muhammad Ali Jinnah accepted the proposal of Lord Mountbatten on November 1, 1947. On that day, at Government House Lahore, Mountbatten gave a written proposal that called for plebiscite in Hyderabad, Junagarh and J&K,” Noorani said. The three states had become a bone of contention between India and Pakistan and Mountbatten was then the Governor General of Dominion of India. “Indian Army had already landed in Kashmir. Mountbatten’s proposal was wherever ruler’s religion differed from that of the majority of people, plebiscite should be held. But Jinnah urged for excluding Hyderabad from the plan,” Noorani revealed. “Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah was concerned about happenings in Kashmir. He suffered as he wasn’t in favour of accession to India. He sent two emissaries to Pakistan- Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad and GM Sadiq. But nobody met them.” Noorani said, “When the tribal raid occurred, Sheikh was in a fix. But within weeks (of acceding to India), Sheikh Sahib had second thoughts.” The prominent writer said, “Sheikh Sahib realized that India was not all about Nehru, as there was Sardar Patel and security agencies. I believe Kashmiris will never accept partition of J&K or denial of democracy. I believe four-point formula is a proper way. The Valley alone can’t be a sovereign State.” Noorani requested the people ‘not to ask for sky and fight for realistic things.’ “Kashmir cause has suffered because Kashmiris have split. I believe Kashmiris should be given right to peaceful agitation,” he said. “In last Assembly elections, security agencies played a dirty role in Srinagar constituencies. Kashmiris should have right to demand what they want. Under the Indian Constitution, future of Kashmir is yet to be determined,” Noorani said. “There is a provision in Article 253 which says that no decision should be taken regarding disposition of Kashmir without the consent of State Assembly.” Noorani urged people of Kashmir to give up their demand for UN resolutions. “Even Pakistan has given it up. I don’t agree with plebiscite. People should try and unite for four-point formula. They should not rely on British or Americans as these countries will always side with India, but Kashmiris should present their case before the world,” he said. Noorani said his book- “The Kashmir Dispute- 1947-2012”- is dedicated to the people of Kashmir “who have suffered under the occupation of Mughals, Afghans, Sikhs and Dogras.” “I congratulate Editor in Chief Greater Kashmir, Fayaz Kaloo, for his achievement of piloting Greater Kashmir for 25 years. Fayaz Sahib is a respected figure in India and Pakistan because of his credibility,” Noorani said.