Pakistan has reacted strongly to the frivolous statements made by the Indian Ministry for External Affairs.The Northern Areas of Pakistan are liberated territory and include Gilgit, Skardu, Dir and other areas which were states that have been absorbed into Pakistan. These states were not part of the Dogra Kashmir and decided to join Pakistan in 1947. Today the Northern Areas (renamed Gilgit Baltistan) have their own provincial assembly.
- Before Dogra rule, Gigit and Baltistan were not part of Kashmir.
- In 1935, The British had leased Gilgit and Baltistan for 60 years from the Dogra regime in Jammu and Kashmir
- The leased region was then treated as part of British India, administered by a Political Agent at Gilgit responsible to Delhi, first through the Resident in J& K and later a British Agent in Peshawar.
- Jammu & Kaskmir State no longer kept troops in Gilgit and a force, the Gilgit Scouts, was recruited with British officers and paid for by Delhi.
- On 31 July, 1947 the Governor arrived to find “all the officers of the British Government had opted for service in Pakistan”.
- On 4 November 1947, Brown raised the new Pakistani flag in the Scouts’ lines, and by the third week of November a Political Agent from Pakistan had established himself at Gilgit.
- Brown had engineered Gilgit and its adjoining states to first secede from J&K, and, after some talk of being independent, had promptly acceded to Pakistan.
- In March 1994, Pakistan awarded Brown’s widow the Sitara-I-Pakistan in recognition of his services to Pakistan.
This is how the Pakistani Foreign Office responded.“We have seen remarks by the Spokesperson of the Indian Ministry for External Affairs made today in which he has once again emphasised that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India,” a press note released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
It further said, the Government of Pakistan rejects the Indian claim. The Jammu and Kashmir dispute stems from India’s refusal to implement the relevant Security Council Resolutions, which provide for a just solution of the dispute through the democratic method of a free and fair plebiscite.
Agencies from New Delhi adds: India, ignoring the UN resolutions on Kashmir, has once again claimed that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir was its integral part. A spokesman of the Indian External Affairs Ministry made the claim while responding to a question by the media on certain remarks by the Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Asserting that Pakistan controlled Gilgit-Baltistan was part of Jammu and Kashmir, India Friday said it was opposed to any move that changes the status of the disputed region.
“ The Spokesman asserted that any action to alter the status of any part of the territory under the illegal occupation of Pakistan has no legal basis whatsoever, and is completely unacceptable,” said External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash.
The official’s remarks came amid media reports quoting Gilgit-Baltistan’s newly elected first Chief Minister Mehdi Shah that the strategically vital region had become the fifth province of Pakistan after Islamabad allowed elections there.
Shah had said that Gilgit-Baltistan has “no connection to Kashmir”.
Objecting to Shah’s remarks, the Indian official said: “The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India by virtue of its accession to India in 1947.”
Prakash said the Nov 12 assembly elections in Gilgit-Baltistan were aimed to conceal the rights abuses in the resource-rich territory, part of the erstwhile undivided Jammu and Kashmir.
“Pakistan’s actions regarding Gilgit-Baltistan in the past few months cannot camouflage its illegal occupation of part of Jammu and Kashmir, nor can they hide the denial of basic rights to the people in that part for the past six decades,” the spokesman said.
The elections for the first assembly in the region were conducted after the Pakistan cabinet in August approved the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self Governance Order, 2009. ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Friday rejected India’s statement on Jammu and Kashmir.
Historically The Gilgit and Northern Areas have never been part of Jammu and Kashmir.
In 1935, the British demanded J&K lease to them for 60 years Gilgit town plus most of the Gilgit Agency and the hill-states Hunza, Nagar, Yasin and Ishkuman. The leased region was then treated as part of British India, administered by a Political Agent at Gilgit responsible to Delhi, first through the Resident in J& K and later a British Agent in Peshawar. J& K State no longer kept troops in Gilgit and a force, the Gilgit Scouts, was recruited with British officers and paid for by Delhi.
On 31 July, the Governor arrived to find “all the officers of the British Government had opted for service in Pakistan”. The Gilgit Scouts’ commander, a Major William Brown aged 25, and his adjutant, a Captain Mathieson, planned openly to engineer a coup détat against Hari Singh’s Government. Between August and October, Gilgit was in uneasy calm. At midnight on 31 October 1947, the Governor was surrounded by the Scouts and the next day he was “arrested” and a provisional government declared.
Hari Singh’s nearest forces were at Bunji, 34 miles from Gilgit, a few miles downstream from where the Indus is joined by Gilgit River. The 6th J& K Infantry Battalion there was a mixed Sikh-Muslim unit, typical of the State’s Army, commanded by a Lt Col. Majid Khan. Bunji controlled the road to Srinagar. Further upstream was Skardu, capital of Baltistan, part of Laddakh District where there was a small garrison.
On 4 November 1947, Brown raised the new Pakistani flag in the Scouts’ lines, and by the third week of November a Political Agent from Pakistan had established himself at Gilgit. Brown had engineered Gilgit and its adjoining states to first secede from J&K, and, after some talk of being independent, had promptly acceded to Pakistan. His commander in Peshawar, a Col. Bacon, as well as Col. Iskander Mirza, Defence Secretary in the new Pakistan and later to lead the first military coup détat and become President of Pakistan, were pleased enough. In July 1948, Brown was awarded an MBE (Military) and the British Governor of the NWFP got him a civilian job with ICI~ which however sent him to Calcutta, where he came to be attacked and left for dead on the streets by Sikhs. Brown survived, returned to England, started a riding school, and died in 1984. In March 1994, Pakistan awarded his widow the Sitara-I-Pakistan in recognition of his coup détat.
According to Alister Lamb a noted historian of Kashmir, the actions of India have cast several doubts on the article of accession. The events as noted by several Indian historians do not make sense. Recently both the timing of the event as well as the intentions of the Indian National Congress have come under close scrutiny. India’s claim to accession is in dispute. The U.N. recognized the dispute, and treats Kashmir as disputed territory between India and Pakistan.
According to Alister Lamb, the Northern Areas rose up in revolt against the Dogra rule before the annexation that supposedly was signed between the Dogras and India. This makes them independent of the rest of Kashmir and the accession document does not apply to them. The article of accession was never given to Pakistan or the United Nations. India now claims that the “article of accession” is lost if it ever existed. There are several errors in the published version of the article of accession. The dates do not match and show that the Indian forces had moved into Srinagar before the article had been “signed”.
Here is an excerpt from Alastair Lamb’s book Kashmir… A Disputed Legacy. (Capitalization emphasis is mine)
MAHAJAN’S NARRATIVE ALSO CONTAINS THE FASCINATING SUGGESTION THAT THE FIRST INDIAN TROOPS WERE LANDING AT SRINAGAR AIRFIELD BEFORE THE PROCESS OF ACCESSION HAD BEEN COMPLETED.
If so, then the intervention of the Indian Army in the Kashmir dispute could well be another of those episodes, of which Pearl Harbour is the supreme example, where the military course of events resulted in the opening act of war taking place before the politicians and diplomats were able to organize its formal legitimisation.
Even more intriguing, in this context, is the fact that Indian troops arriving at Srinagar airport on 27 Oct. 1947 found other Indian troops, in the shape of Patiala men, already established there and elsewhere in the State.
The Patiala forces had arrived, it seems, on about 17 Oct. 1947, that is to say before the tribal crossing of the bridge at Domel on 22 Oct.
These two questions, the timing of the precise moment of accession and the date of the arrival of the Patiala men, have for some reason not been touched upon by the Pakistani side in the Kashmir debate over all these years; and, not surprisingly, the Indian side has not gone out of its way to draw attention to the matter.
The chronology and interpretation of the events leading up to accession which have been set out in Chapter 7 above lead to a number of conclusions which certainly differ from the received opinion, at least as interpreted by Indian diplomats. We will confine ourselves here to two issues, the status of Azad Kashmir and the question of who were the “aggressors” in those crucial days from 21 to 27 Oct. 1947.
On 15 Aug. 1947 the State of Jammu and Kashmir became to all intents and purposes an independent state.
There is no other possible interpretation of the lapse of Paramountcy. On 24 Oct. 1947 the independence of the State of Azad Kashmir was declared, relating to the territory mainly in the old Poonch jagir in which the control of the Maharaja, apart from Poonch city itself, had completely disappeared. Azad Kashmir’s first president, Sardar Mohammed Ibrahim Khan, as an elected member of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly for a constituency in Poonch, could certainly be said to enjoy some measure of popular mandate, as least as much as the later claimed for Sheikh Abdullah.
On 26 or 27 Oct. 1947 the Maharaja formally acceded to India. Did he bring, even in theory, Azad Kashmir with him? This is certainly an interesting question which ought to occupy the minds of international lawyers.
Gilgit: The fourth distinct in the region is Gilgit which is known as Dardistan. The region includes the tributory states of Hunza, Nagar, Chilas, Punial, Ishkuman, Kuh and Ghizar. The people belong to the Dardic race and are closely connected with Chitralis in race, culture and language. They are mostly followers of Ismaili sect headed by the Agha Khan (Muslims). This region was conquered by Maharaja Gulab Singh’s son, Maharaja Ranbir Singh between 1846 and 1860. Thousands of Dogra soldiers lost their lives in the campaigns that led to the conquest of this inhospitable but strategically very important region. The whole Dardistan including Gilgit has been merged with Pakistan and is governed by the Pakistani Central Government. This area has not been included even in the so called “Azad-Kashmir” (literally means Free/Liberated Kashmir. That is what the Pakistanis call the portion of Kashmirunder their occupation).
Northern Areas:Pakistani President General Zia-ul-Haq had declared that these territories which includes the Silk Route that connects Pakistan to China, might have once been part of Jammu and Kashmir, but now they are a part of Pakistan. The Northern areas, which include Dardistan and Baltistan, have already been integrated fully with Pakistan. In a quiet behind the scene announcement the Pakistani Ministry of Kashmiri Affairs and Northern Areas has divided these areas into five civil districts - Gilgit, Skardu, Chilas, Gohkoch and Khalpo. The administration of these districts is under Pakistan’s direct control and now Pakistan’s laws are applicable.
The Northern areas are NOT part of Kashmir and it was wrong of General Pervez Musharraf to concede that the fate of the Northern Areas was up for grabs. If Kashmir is our “shehrug” then the Northern Areas are our lifeline to China.
Bharat loses in Kashmir. Defeated Army retreats from Pakistani border Kashmir, Junagarh & Manvadar are Pakistani territory Kashmir: Does the article of accession exist? Peace is a two way street
Nehru’s commitment to the people of Kashmir
Pakistani territories occupied by Bharat (aka India) Northern Areas are part of Pakistan and were never part of Kashmir
For Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir “Azadi” means “freedom” from India and “independence” means becoming part of Pakistan