Pakistan’s Kashmir Policy – IV
Local Authority Concept Deliberately Sabotaged

A careful and unbiased examination of the role of the politicians of Azad Kashmir after the re-constitution of the Government of Azad Kashmir on 24 October 1947 and the assurance of the Government of Pakistan held out to the UNCIP delegation in September 1948, we see that both Governments have reneged on their first declared positions. Neither the Government of Azad Kashmir carried on the terms of the Provisional Declaration nor did the Government of Pakistan honour her assurance to let the Government of Azad Kashmir to speak directly to UN or through it as its medium.

United Nations had fully explained and expressed a full regard to safeguard law and order, the integrity of the cease-fire-line and the security of the territory on each side of that line. It was on this basis that UNMOGIP were brought in, in January 1949.

Clause A.3 of Part II of the UNCIP resolution of 13 August 1948 provided that pending a final solution, the territory evacuated by Pakistan troops will be administered by the local authorities under the surveillance of the Commission. In its letter dated 3 September 1948, the Commission defined the “evacuated territory” to mean “those territories in the State of Jammu and Kashmir which are at present under the effective control of the Pakistan High Command”. (UNCIP’s First Report, Paragraph 90). As a result of the demarcation of the cease-fire line all territories situated on the Pakistan side of the cease-fire line should be regarded as “evacuated territory”.

The United Nations Commission told the Foreign Minister of Pakistan that by the term “local authorities” it meant the Azad Kashmir Government, though the Commission could not accord de jure recognition to a revolutionary authority such as the Azad Kashmir Government. The Commission also gave the assurance that no official of the Government of India, or of the Maharaja’s Government, would be permitted to enter the evacuated territory. (Vide UNCIP’s Summary-Record of the meeting held on 31 August 1948).

Azad Kashmir Government was recognised a de facto revolutionary authority. However, the de jure sovereign authority was accorded to Government of Jammu and Kashmir, duly established by the Maharajah of Kashmir and re-organised under the supervision of Sheikh Abdullah.

The Government of India maintained, “that the administration of “this area would, under para 3 of Part II of the Resolution of 13 August 1948, vest in local authorities to be established or recognized for the purpose; to these local authorities under the same resolution only local administrative functions have been assigned. In the very nature of things such authorities can be in charge only of local law and order whether in the area or with reference to the cease-fire line. To give them any armed force equivalent to troops would not be consistent either with their status or with their functions and would be a violation of the sovereignty of the Union of India and the Jammu and Kashmir state. In the very nature of things, therefore, these local authorities can be entrusted only with a civil armed force.”

In regards to settle an unease and a growing feeling of an inequity in the balance of the two forces in character and number, on either side of the cease-fire-line United Kingdom made an important observation at the 606 th meeting of the UN Security Council ……It stated that, “United Kingdom Government has never thought that the proposal to limit the forces on the Pakistan side of the cease-fire line to an armed civil police force while leaving a military force on the other side of the cease-fire line was consistent with a really free plebiscite”.

The Government of India made an accommodating response and said that, she considered “a civil armed force of 4,000 would be on the liberal side considering the pre-aggression strength of forces policing this area. However, they would be prepared to consider an appropriate increase to provide for the needs of the Northern areas or should the United Nations Representative, under whose surveillance these forces would be operating, make out a case that this strength is inadequate”. The remaining Azad Kashmir forces had to be “separated from the administrative and operational control of the Pakistan High Command and will be officered by neutral and local officers under the surveillance of the United Nations”.

UNCIP had fully succeeded in reconciling India and Pakistan that “Pending a final solution the territory evacuated by the Pakistan troops will be administered by the local authorities under the surveillance of the United Nations. The local authorities shall undertake the fulfilment of such duties as are necessary for the observance within that territory of the provisions of the Karachi Agreement of 27 July 1949”.

We find that diplomacy in Islamabad, got hooked on, other interests sans Kashmir. It addressed itself and full time, to the three issues, namely, (i) division of military stores, (ii) division of cash balances and on the (iii) interference with the reserve Bank so as to destroy the monetary and currency fabric of Pakistan. The politicians in Azad Kashmir, fell on the bones of greed and started looking for patronage in Pakistan. It needed a climb down and restricting a culture of corruption and quid pro quo.

Leadership in Azad Kashmir did not have the capacity or if it had any, it was very inadequate to keep on prosecuting the principle of ‘equality’ and ‘self-determination’ and seek to correct any harm caused by any wrong interpretation of their case. It off loaded itself from the train and failed to work out the benefits of a “Local Authority” under the surveillance of United Nations. It failed to hold on to its de facto recognition as a “revolutionary authority”.

We find that Government of Azad Kashmir did not ask for any representation at the Geneva Conference held from 26 August to 10 September 1952, on the “implementation of UNCIP Resolutions”. Jammu and Kashmir on the Indian side of cease fire line was represented by a Kashmiri Pandit, Mr. D.P. Dhar, Deputy Minister, Government of Jammu and Kashmir as Advisor to the Indian delegation. The Indian delegation was headed by Mr. Gopalaswami Ayyangar, Minister for Defence, Leader of the Upper House and comprised of, Mr. D.P. Dhar, Deputy Minister, Government of Jammu and Kashmir (Advisor), Major General K.S. Thimayya (Military Advisor), Mr. V. Shankar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Defence (Advisor) and Mr. B.L. Sharma, Principal information Officer (Advisor)

There was no representation from the Government of Azad Kashmir. Pakistan was headed by Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Pakistan delegation comprised of Mr. M. Ayub – Secretary General, Major General K.M. Sheikh (Senior Military Adviser), Brigadier Altaf Qadir (Advisor) and Lt. Colonel M. Iqbal Khan (Adviser). The military participation at the Geneva conference to consider the “implementation of UNCIP Resolutions” was on the higher end.

The representation from the Government of Azad Kashmir, would have been quite different, if it had maintained itself as a “de facto revolutionary authority”, that is, a “Local Authority”.

Dr Syed Nazir Gilani

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