The historical tragedy of Kashmir conflict goes way back in history. The political and cultural invasion started in 1585 with Mughal king, Akbar entrapping and imprisoning Yousuf Shah Chak, the king of Kashmir. Chak’s forces had earlier defeated the invading forces of King Akbar of India. Having failed in defeating the Kashmiri warriors outright he devised a devious scheme of controlling Kashmir by inviting the Kashmir ruler as a guest and then putting him in prison.
Then came the Afghan occupation at the end of Mughal rule in 1752. The Mughal and Afghan rule though an occupation, was not necessarily colonial in its modus operandi. Kashmir did enjoy a period of independence before the Sikh rule. Afghan rule was replaced by the Sikh occupation which put an end to that period of self rule.
Sikh rule was engineered through joint conspiracies of Ranjit Singh, a Sikh; Birbal, a Pundit from the Valley; and Ghulab Singh, a Dogra Hindu from Jammu.. The common cause among these parties was to end the Muslim rule in Jammu and Kashmir. After two failed attempts Sikhs ( under Ranjit Singh ) occupied Jammu and Kashmir in 1819.The Sikh rule was a tyranny that lasted 28 years and came to an end after its treacherous relationship with the British rulers.
The British colonialists used Ghulab Singh, a Dogra Hindu and a trusted army officer in the Sikh dynasty, in engineering a defeat of the Sikhs. Ghulab Singh`s role as a quisling was not just to help his new British masters, but primarily to get Jammu and Kashmir for himself. He had such intentions way before Sikh rule disintegrated as indicated by the Lahore Treaty of March 9, 1846. By assisting them in defeating the Sikhs, Ghulab Singh ensured that the British grant him his wish of getting Jammu and Kashmir for himself. It culminated in the signing of the infamous Treaty of Amritsar on March 16, 1846. Britain allegedly sold Jammu and Kashmir to Ghulab Singh for a paltry sum of 7.5 million rupees, (150 thousand dollars in current exchange rate) though some doubt that any money changed hands as documents of this transaction have not been found in East India Company records.
As a consequence of the Amritsar Treaty a reign of terror was unleashed by the Dogra dynasty on Kashmiris. A sample of this oppression can be gleaned from the following written account of a London Times correspondent, E. F. Knight who entered Jammu and Kashmir on July 1, 1862.
“The native of this state suffers from a form of oppression far more severe than the extortion of the tax collectors; the latter at least leaves him a bare subsistence, but that of which I am now speaking signifies separation from family and in too many cases torture and death. I have already alluded to beggar, or forced labor.”
Muslim anger culminated in the July, 1931 Kashmiri uprising when a hero by the name of Abdul Qadeer inspired the Muslims to rise against tyranny. He was arrested by Dogra gestapo after he delivered a fiery speech in a gathering at Khanqah-i-Mualla. July 13, 1931 massacre occurred when Abdul Qadeer was arrested by Dogra rulers and put on trial for his role in the Kashmiri uprising against the ruthless rule.
July 13, 1931 was a watershed event in the history of Kashmir. It was followed by rise of Sheikh Abdullah to national prominence as a leader of the liberation movement (Muslim Conference ) and against the Dogra tyranny. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah the leader of Muslim League visited Srinagar in 1935 to extend his support to this Liberation movement. In 1938 Muslim Conference was converted into National Conference by Abdullah to appease pro India elements. Mr. Nehru visited Srinagar and appealed to Pandits to join National Conference in order to strengthen Adullah who had come under Indian National Congress influence. A web of intrigues and conspiracies with ultimate capitulation of Sheikh Abdullah to the nefarious designs of Hindus became the prelude to what followed: end of the British rule in India, partition of the Subcontinent and active agitation by the people of Jammu and Kashmir forcing the Dogra King, Hari Singh to flee to Jammu, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.
Mountbatten, Nehru, Menon and Abdullah were the architects of a concocted piece of paper called the ‘Article of Accession’, flouting the principle of association of various states of the Subcontinent either with India or Pakistan according to their free will. They committed a treacherous act of enslavement of a nation against its wishes. After seeing that the majority of the people of Jammu and Kashmir were eager to join Pakistan, Nehru with the help of his intimate friend, Mountbatten invaded Jammu and Kashmir on October 27, 1947 thereby laying a precedence for preemptive invasion of a sovereign Nation, the occupation of its land and oppression its people.
A valiant resistance by Kashmiri`s threatening India`s colonialist designs forced India to go to the UN Security Council for intervention. The Council passed multiple resolutions on different dates regarding Kashmir. The gist of the Resolutions being that people of Jammu and Kashmir be given the right to self-determination to decide their future.
But, Indian authorities from Nehru to current rulers have played a very devious, downright dirty and blatantly deceptive role in defying the will of the world body, reneged on promises made in the Tashkand and Simla Agreements and public declarations made to the Kashmiris and Pakistan by Nehru, the first prime minister of India to allow Kashmiris their right to self- determination. India has done every thing in its power to maintain its occupation of Kashmir.
Farcical elections with the collaboration of their puppets had been one of its weapons of deception at least until 1987, when Muslim United Front, a conglomerate of various political parties was about to win the elections. Indian Government and their stooges engineered to steal the election following which started the armed struggle in 1989.
Jammu and Kashmir is occupied by about 700,000 Indian military and para military personnel who have martyred over 100,000 innocent civilians, indulged in torture, rape, pillage, arson and destruction of the socio-economic fabric of Kashmiri society. The people of Jammu and Kashmir continue to light the candle of freedom hoping one day to realize their dream of liberty.