ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Kashmir Imbroglio


KASHMIR still remains a baffling enigma. India regards it as hers by constitutional right; Pakistan as hers by the rights of her theocratic ideology. A little shame-faced (it is to be hoped) at the exposure of her defence before the U. N., Pakistan now seems to rely on irrational obduracy rather than on diplomatic professions of innocence. It may be, that she is encouraged in this course by the singular forbearance shown by the U. N. on the question of her guilt as the aggressor. The questions, however, that demand answers at this stage are: Is anything likely to be gained by prolonging the agony in its present international setting? And, is a plebiscite really necessary now ? As to the first question, India went to the U. N. with the demand that Pakistan should be declared the aggressor; and even with the clearest evidence, viz., forced admissions of the accused; that august body has chosen to make no pronouncement on the subject. It is clear, however, that India's object of exposing the guilty party has been achieved; it is equally clear that she is not likely to get an official verdict to that effect. That being so, what object can she gain by submitting further to the U. N.'s jurisdiction? We suggest that she can make a most graceful and effective exit from that forum with the simple statement that, she has gained her objective there and . seeks no more 

As to the second question, it is founded on a magnanimous gesture made by our Prime Minister many months ago. Constitutionally, this gesture was wholly otiose. It was an expression of sentiment, pure and simple, and subsequent events have shown that sentiment to have been misplaced because it was not reciprocated. From the point of view of sentiment, therefore, it is only fitting that the gesture should now be withdrawn. And from the realistic point of view, such a retraction appears to be the only practical way in which to meet the situation 

President Truman apparently feels concerned over the problem. We share this concern. But a stage has been reached where appeal must be made not to the parties concerned but to established facts 

Following President Truman, Mr. Attlee has also issued a similar appeal to the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan to accept the latest proposals of the United Nations Commission. The exigencies of the situation are perhaps so grave that they thought of dispensing with good form 

 For the proposals submitted by the U. N, Kashmir Commission are still supposed to be a secret arid neither President Truman nor Premier Attlee should be privy to them, unless the whole affair is a pre-arranged show in which Britain and America pull the wires and do not even take the care to pull them behind the scenes! Questions of propriety apart, if the press reports are correct and the Commission has, in fact, recommended that the dispute on the Truce Agreement should be referred to an arbitrator, India should not be a party to a repetition of the farce that was enacted when the Kashmir issue was, unwisely it now appears in retrospect, first submitted to the U.N.O. for a decision. Since we did not get that decision, there is no point in prolonging these negotiations. It is now clear beyond the least shadow of doubt that Kashmir has reverted to the status ante to first reference to the U.N.O. It is clearly now a case for the State Ministry to handle it as a purely domestic problem which it is. It should have been treated as a domestic problem and not been put up before any international adjudication at all. The present developments decisively point to the State Ministry taking it up from where it had left off. New Delhi reports that a high official will be leaving for Bombay to post Sardar Patel with the latest developments. We hope it would be a high official of the State Ministry and that the Ministry of External Affairs should wash their hands of the Kashmir affair, being wiser after their imprudent intervention 

Since the State of Kashmir acceded to the Indian Union and the constitutionality of this accession is not open to question, reversion to the status ante is not only warranted by the facts of the case, but it also offers the only realistic solution of the problem at this stage.

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