This Day in History (26-Oct-1947) – Maharaja Hari Singh agrees to the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India

Gulab Singh founded the state of Jammu and Kashmir after purchasing the entire territory along with people between the rivers of Ravi and Indus from the East India Company in 1846, for 75 lakh. Hari Singh, the great-grandson of Gulab Singh was the ruler at the time of India-Pak independence. Hari Singh, in the weeks after August 15, 1947, gave no indication of giving up his State’s independence, unlike other 570 princely states in the region. It proved to be the root cause of present day Kashmir conflict. Md Ali Jinnah wanted to meet Hari Singh through the excuse of visiting the beautiful valley to recover his lost health. A state with such a vast muslim population makes clear point to come in Pakistan & Jinnah was over sure about this. His shock found no limit when he knew  that Hari Singh does not want him in Kashmir  even as a tourist. Pakistan then decided to force the issue, and a tribal invasion to drive out the Maharaja was initiated. In the early hours of October 24, 1947 the invasion began, as thousands of tribal Pathans swept into Kashmir. Their destination: the state’s capital, Srinagar, from where Hari Singh ruled. The Maharaja appealed to India for help.

On 25 October, V. P. Menon, a civil servant considered to be close to Patel, flew to Srinagar to get Hari Singh’s nod for Kashmir’s accession to India. By signing the Instrument of Accession, on October 26, 1947, Hari Singh agreed that the State would become a part of India. On 27 October, India’s 1st Sikh battalion flew into Srinagar.  Srinagar was soon secured from the Pakistani invaders but the battles in the larger region were just beginning. When Jinnah learnt of the Indian troops’ landing, he reportedly ordered his acting British commander-in-chief General Sir Douglas Gracey to move two brigades into Kashmir, who refused the request. Pakistan finally did send troops to Kashmir but by then Indian forces had taken control of nearly two thirds of the state. Gilgit and Baltistan territories were secured by Pakistani troops. Meanwhile Hari Singh fleed Srinagar with a convoy of 85 cars and wealth of 500Cr. Loaded in 8 trucks and finally settled in Mumbai. Finally, a United Nations (UN) ceasefire was arranged. After long negotiations, the cease-fire was agreed to by both countries, and came into effect at the end of 1948.

 

Reference:

http://www.mapsofindia.com/on-this-day/26th-october-1947-maharaja-hari-singh-agrees-to-the-accession-of-jammu-and-kashmir-to-india

http://www.jammu-kashmir.com/documents/harisingh47.html

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-03-14/news/37713654_1_karan-singh-jammu-and-kashmir-omar-abdullah

https://somensengupta.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/a-nemesis-called-kashmir-a-sin-of-hari-singh-and-we-pay-the-price/

This Day in History (22-Sep-1965) – End of second Indo-Pak war

The second Indo-Pakistani conflict was also fought over Kashmir and started without a formal declaration of war. The war began in August 5, 1965 and was ended Sept 22, 1965. The war was initiated by Pakistan who since the defeat of India by China in 1962 had come to believe that Indian military would be unable or unwilling to defend against a quick military campaign in Kashmir, and because the Pakistani government was becoming increasingly alarmed by Indian efforts to integrate Kashmir within India. There was also a perception that there was widespread popular support within for Pakistani rule and that the Kashmiri people were disatisfied with Indian rule.

After Pakistan was successful in the Rann of Kutch earlier in 1965, Ayub Khan was pressured by the hawks in his cabinet (led by Z.A. Bhutto) and the army to infiltrate the ceasefire line in Kashmir. It was boasted at the time that one Pakistani soldier was equal to four Indian soldiers and so on. On August 5, 1965, 33,000 Pakistani soldiers crossed the Line of Control dressed as Kashmiri locals headed for various areas within Kashmir. Indian forces, tipped off by the local populace, crossed the cease fire line on August 15.

The initial battles between India and Pakistan were contained within Kashmir involving both infantry and armor units with each country’s air force playing major roles. It was not until early Sept. when Pakistani forces attacked Ackhnur that the Indians escalated the conflict by attacking targets within Pakistan itself, forcing the Pakistani forces to disengage from Ackhnur to counter Indian attacks. Unfortunately the battle was indecisive. By Sept 22 both sides had agreed to a UN mandated cease-fire ending the war that had by that point reached a stalemate. Negotiations in Tashkent concluded in January 1966, with both sides giving up territorial claims, withdrawing their armies from the disputed territory.

Overall, the war was militarily inconclusive; each side held prisoners and some territory belonging to the other. Losses were relatively heavy–on the Pakistani side, twenty aircraft, 200 tanks, and 3,800 troops. Pakistan’s army had been able to withstand Indian pressure, but a continuation of the fighting would only have led to further losses and ultimate defeat for Pakistan.

 

Reference:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/indo-pak_1965.htm

https://history.state.gov/milestones/1961-1968/india-pakistan-war

This Day in History (8-Sep-1962) – The Chinese make their First Incursion into Indian Territory in the Eastern Sector

In May 1954, India and China signed the Panchsheel Treaty (Five principles of peaceful co-existence). Despite this in January 1959 Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai lays claim to more than 40,000 sq miles of Indian territory in Ladakh and NEFA (present day Arunachal Pradesh). Talk to sort out the border issue in April 1960 between Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and Indian Prime Minister Nehru, ended in a dead end at New Delhi. On 8th September 1962 the Chinese made their first incursion into Indian Territory in the Eastern sector. Later the then Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said that the Indian Army had instructions to “free our territory” and the troops were given the freedom to exercise their judgment to use force whenever they found it necessary.

However, on 11th September 1962 when the Chinese incursions did not stop the patrols were given the permission to fire at any armed Chinese entering Indian Territory. This was the beginning of Sino-Indian war which began on 20th October 1962. At the time, nine divisions from the eastern and western commands were deployed by India along the Himalayan border with China. None of these divisions was up to its full troop strength, and all were short of artillery, tanks, equipment, and even adequate articles of clothing.

On 19th November 1962, China declared a cease fire following which firing along the border stopped. After administering a blistering defeat in 1962, the Chinese forces withdrew 20 km behind the McMahon Line, which China called “the 1959 line of actual control” in the Eastern Sector, and 20 km behind the line of its latest position in Ladakh, which was further identified with the “1959 line of actual control” in the Western Sector. The Sino-India war is notable for the harsh conditions under which it was fought. Combat took place at an altitude of 4,250 meters. During the war, neither country deployed the Air Force or Navy. Later in 1993 and 1996 both India and China signed the Sino-Indian Peace and Tranquility Accords agreeing to maintain peace and harmony along the LoAC.

 

Reference:

http://www.mapsofindia.com/on-this-day/8th-september-1962-the-chinese-make-their-first-incursion-into-indian-territory-in-the-eastern-sector

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/indo-prc_1962.htm

This Day in History (2-Jul-1972) – Shimla Treaty’ was singed between Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her Pakistani counterpart Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

During 1971 Bangladesh independence war, Pakistan attacked at several places along India’s western border with Pakistan, but the Indian army successfully held their positions. The Indian Army quickly responded to the Pakistan Army’s movements in the west and made some initial gains, including capturing around 5,500 square miles of Pakistan territory. The war came to a temporary halt with the signing of the Shimla Agreement. In the summit, which opened on 28 June 1972 in Shimla, Mrs. India Gandhi warmly welcomed Mr. Z A Bhutto.

The agreement was the result of resolve of both the countries to “put an end to the conflict and confrontation that have hitherto marred their relations”. It conceived the steps to be taken for further normalization of mutual relations and it also laid down the principles that should govern their future relations. The agreement converted the cease-fire line of December 17, 1971 into the Line of Control (LOC) between India and Pakistan and it was agreed that “neither side shall seek to alter it unilaterally, irrespective of mutual differences and legal interpretations”.

At the time of agreement, the victorious India had with her 90,000 prisoners of war and a large tract of Pakistani territory. In such a favourable state India could have turned a tough bargainer. However Mrs. Gandhi signed an agreement on the night of 2 July after a one-to-one meeting with Bhutto after the parties had packed their luggage for the return. “No one else was present”, but Mrs. Gandhi’s Secretary and economic advisor who was outside the room and has said that there was verbal understanding for a final settlement of the Kashmir question along with an agreement on the Line of Control. Land gained by India in Pakistani Kashmir, Pakistani Punjab and Sindh sectors was returned in the Simla Agreement of 1972, as a gesture of goodwill. There was widespread dissatisfaction in India about the Shimla Accord among the various nationalist outfits, intellectuals and patriots. Strongly condemning this agreement, A B Vajpayee, the leader of the Bharathiya Jana Sangh, described it as a “sell out”.

 

Reference:

http://www.indianage.com/search.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simla_Agreement

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Pakistan_War_of_1971

http://www.peacekashmir.org/views-articles/2011/0607-secret-of-shimla-agreement.htm