The troubled relation of New Delhi and Kashmir

Significance of Kashmir for India

Kashmir is geographically located between 3 powerful nuclear states that are belligerent. Kashmir is very important for India, not because of the metaphorical term “crown of India” used for it, but it holds very significant geostrategic and military attributes for India, its topography of heights provides India with vantage points, the example of this note is Siachen Glacier, which India took control of in 1984, India is said to spend $1 million everyday for holding the position there, it is significant for India because Indian Army can simultaneously monitor any maneuver made by Chinese Army or Pakistani Army. The more territory India holds of Kashmir, the more it will benefit New Delhi, curtailing down the Chinese influence in Pakistan and decreasing proximity between them (who are both adversaries to India), will be profitable for India. 

>Why kashmiris feel different ?

Kashmir has been ruled by foreign rulers over the centuries, Kashmir has witnessed the reign of Buddhists to Mughals (who were Iranians) to Afghan Durranis to Sikhs to Dogras…Kashmiris always resisted, but were overpowered by conquers. The foreign rule of over 4 centuries has sculpted the present culture and customs of Kashmir, this makes Kashmiris very similar to the people of Central Asia and Persia, in terms of culture and religion etc. Since Kashmiris find very little insignificant things common with India, they feel different and unique the series of foreign invasions may have created this cynicism among the psyche of a Kashmiri. 

Why kashmiris feel close to Pakistan?

After Medina, Pakistan is the second idealogical state for Muslims and Kashmiris being predominantly muslims feel closer to Pakistan. The Muslims of this subcontinent feel very sentimental about the greater ummah (community)of Muslims, one can assert that had it been Saudi Arabia or Iran instead of Pakistan, kashmiris wouldn’t feel as closer to any of them as they feel towards Pakistan. It is true to some extent, since Pakistan has covertly helped Bosnians, chechans, kosov & Palestine in their respective freedom struggles, so much so that Pakistan haven’t recognized Israel as a state yet. Pakistanis and Kashmiris feel that Pakistan was created for the leadership of ummah. 

>New Delhi’s misconducts in kashmir:-

Many Indian political analysts have attributed the status quo of Kashmir to mishandling of the dispute by leaders from past as well as from present. Such “mistakes” are mentioned below:-

1-Abrogation of special provision- Kashmiris accession to India was not absolute but conditional, the dominion of India as the accession was to manage only 3 things pertaining Kashmir viz- Communication, Foreign diplomacy and Defense. New Delhi gradually revoked almost all special provisions of Kashmir through pro-Indian Kashmiri administrators.

2-Arrest of Sheikh Abdullah- Shiekh Abdullah is regarded as the leader of Kashmir. Kashmiris held him larger than life, he accepted the accession of Kashmir with India but advocated plebiscite, his government was toppled by his aide Bakshi with alleged backing from India and he was arrested in 1953 and stayed in prison for 11 years, this betrayal agitated people of Kashmir and they came out on streets to protest.

3- 1987 Election rigging- The election of 1987 in Kashmir was allegedly mass rigged by NC & New Delhi, where a party MUF (Muslim United Front) was popular among Kashmiris and had gained mass support & this rigging triggered another uprising and ultimately armed struggle & rest is history. It is now a common belief in Kashmir that all elections in the past have been rigged in Kashmir

4- Use of unjustified force-When militancy gained momentum, military was heavily deployed in Kashmir by New Delhi, curfews and crack downs were conducted on everyday basis, Kashmir was turned into a ghost town, black Laws like PSA (Public safety Act), AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act), TADA (Terrorists and Disruptive Activities [prevention]) Act and POTA (Protection of Terrorism Act) were enacted, which guaranteed full impunity to security forces for killing any “suspects” or flexing muscles on civilians, no judicial enquires were held, under the shadows of such laws many extra judicial killings were carried out by security forces, and counter-insurgent militias, who worked on the payroll of the state. Many massacres took place, so many were innocent. Such hard line approach on part of India turned many Kashmiris (who were not militants) to take guns, Kashmiris (already cynical) cultivated distaste for India. Kashmir is a political issue and it is to be met with a political resolution, military force has made it worse over years.  

How can India make up for past its misconducts & pacify in Kashmir?

It is never too late to make things right. New Delhi has had an equivocal rhetoric when it comes to Kashmir issue. Taking into account that “Pakistan is also a stake holder when in comes to Kashmir issue…”, the governments in the past especially Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government made a prominent move with sincerity to resolve all conflicts with Pakistan including Kashmir, the ice was broken by his predecessor Fr. PM I.K Gujral though. The first move towards confidence building was put at halt by Kargil episode in 1999. Then with the advent of Musharraf as the president of Pakistan initiated a peace process with Vajpayee, then some terror attacks took place in India which New Delhi attributed to Pakistan, and attacks in Pakistan which it attributes to Indian R&AW, cutting long story short, all that happened in past decade created vaccum & mutual trust deficit among India & Pakistan pertaining each other, but Kashmir became the scapegoat. However, India can take some steps to alleviate the anger among Kashmiris:

1. Revocation of Black Laws such as PSA, AFSPA..

As mentioned earlier, with the impunity of black laws the security forces have exploited their powers and killed thousands of Kashmiris, some were killed in fake encounters and some were killed under suspicion of being militants. Around 10,000 people picked up by forces have gone missing since 1990, nobody has any inkling of their whereabouts. This is one of the major factors that has infuriated a Kashmiri and pushed more passionate boys towards taking up arms. To allivate the anger of Kashmiris, India sincerely needs to revoke these black laws and initiate a first step towards peace.

2. Retreat the over presence of security forces:- Many bona fide accounts in public domain suggest that there is presence of around 700,000 security personnel in J&K, they are deployed and dissimilated in all areas of J&K, the camps and annexed bunkers can be found everywhere from  highways to city centers, sometimes they exercise power out of their perimeters i.e harassing locals sometimes, this sort of atmosphere has created a sense of fear and insecurity in Kashmiri psyche and above all, this reflects an ambience of a war-zone. Retreating forces from cities and towns will give the sense and feeling of freedom and space to Kashmiris, taking into account that, India is the 7th state in terms of territory, 2nd largest in terms of population and 3rd largest economy of 2016, it should exercise magnanimity in Kashmir.

2. Engaging in dialog with Pakistan and all leadership of Kashmir:-  Re-initiating peace process and engaging in discourse with all stake holders in Kashmir, including the members of civil societies, all religious leaders, elected leaders, militant leadership, for the purpose of everlasting resolution, is the most imperative component one could think about, even if it involves some give & take to reach a comprise. Reaching a compromise does not signify ‘incompetence’, but it signifies maturity and generosity. Confidence-building and curbing terrorism shall be done with goodwill and seriousness and simultaneously carrying forward the peace process, and maybe reconsidering Musharraf’s “4-point doctrine”.

3. Making the LoC (Line of Control) irrelevant for Kashmiris:-

The LoC is a de facto border dividing the Indian part of Kashmir from Pakistan administered Kashmir, it is a 740 kms long distance going through the territory of Jammu & Kashmir, which makes it almost impossible for Kashmiris to travel and makes the lives harder for inhabitants living in proximity to the LoC due to regular skirmishes along the same from both sides. Many Kashmiris have relatives living across the LoC, making them more angry, if India nd Pakistan jointly makes the travel and business less complex for Kashmiris to conduct across LoC this will alleviate anger and tension among Kashmiris


Can Pakistan & India become “friends”from foes? For greater good!

Shahzeb Khan

“One makes peace with one’s foes and not with one’s friends”.

                                               -Yitzak Rabin

      Pakistan and India have been adversaries since both became independent in August 1947. Since then, they have fought 5 conventional wars, if we include Rann of Kutch and Kargil, which were low intensity wars, and both countries have faced many near war situations. Both India and Pakistan have spent billions of Dollars in buying latest, state of the art weaponry over the decades to out do each other. Both nations possess nuclear power. Whenever hostilities arise along the international border or LoC, the consensus held, especially in India is “go to war”, but man on the street doesn’t know the repercussions of war, how much they will suffer, how much destruction and loss it causes to the parties involved and also its shockwave effects the whole region and at the end of the war, the parties still come on the negotiating table. The war in today’s world is much more lethal due to more accuracy and mortality of arms, which is aimed at maximum causality and destruction of the infrastructure. 

India and Pakistan, both nations hold their respective geopolitical importances in the region. Both nations are developing nations, both intend to increase their respective economies and influence in the region, both nations can gain from each other, it is futile to waste money and resources more than necessary on defence and arms rather using it in a productive way on infrastructural development and public welfare, which is much more imperative.

I have divided this Article in two parts:

—How India and Pakistan can make peace with each other and become “friends”, by allayment of their grudges, and;

—How both nations can benefit from it.

First and fore most—

—How India and Pakistan can move ahead with the peace process?

  1.  Media diplomacy-                        four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonents”.  – Napoleon Bonapart.              Media is often described as “fourth pillar of democracy”. Our media (especially electronic) plays a vital role in moulding the consensual perception regarding the subject they are telecasting, they can either create positive or negative attitude among public towards the same with the way they propogate it, because general public believes almost each and every story and narrative of the media without investigating or even listening to the other side. It is very unfortunate that in both India and Pakistan, the mainstream media with negative rhetoric regarding each other’s nation have deeply inculcated hatred in the psyches of their viewers. The media enterprises of both nations need to liase with each other on a regular basis, like a collaboration between Times of India and Pakistan’s Kang group, and they should share the accounts of their respective sides and administer a peace centric tone in their news.
  2. Track II Diplomacy- Track II is where influential people and people who have held higher offices in bureaucracy or political realm meet with their counterparts or leaders of the other side, mostly in 3rd countries to meditate or act as interlocutor(s), it is very important as it fills in the vacuum that arise due to non-communication. India and Pakistan should hold Track II meetings regularly to keep the peace process in pace and have better relations and it also helps to defuse the trust deficit.
  3. People to People connection- It is widely known that Pakistani and Indian expatriates living in 3rd nations find a lot in common in each others’ culture and become good friends, so it is clear that people want peaceful relations between these nations. Both nations should start programs, where people could communicate and get to know each other, like student exchange programs or joint air shows or even multiple sports events, cricket diplomacy is very famous, but holding multiple sports events in each others’ territory every year, will attract a vast number of public, therefore creating an environment for people to people communication, in the long run helping the peace process to be productive and thrive.
  4. Art and Culture –A profound, friendly relationship between two nations last longer when they are based on sharing each others’ art and culture. In case of India and Pakistan, both share a common historic background, it will not be tough to give rise to friendly sentiments among its peoples. Lahore, Pakistan is known as ‘fashion capital of Asia’, and Indian bollywood is the second largest film industry in the world, an initiative of syncnorising the fashion and film industry should be taken, a diversity will arise when there will be a mixture in the cultures of both these nations. Pakistani TV serials have been very famous in India and bollywood movies are famous in Pakistan, casting Indian actors in Pakistani serials and Pakistani actors in indian films will also bring people together, Artists should act as catalyst to bring Indo-Pak relations to a close proximity. Holding art exhibitions or serving cusines in each other’s country will also help mend this adversity. Glorifying each others’ leaders, eg. if M.A Jinnah is paid tribute by Indian establishment and Gandhi ji is paid tribute by Pakistani establishment, will give a surge to the peace process.
  5. Resolving outstanding issues – When a peaceful environment is created between two nations, both governments should start talking about resolving of all outstanding issues, especially Kashmir! With such a resolution which will be acceptable to the Kashmiris and which both governments can sell to their respective peoples.

—How can both benefit from peace and “friendship”?

Once both nations come to a proximity and allay their animosities, they can spend their respective economies on free education, health care, infrastructural development etc. These things are imperative for both nations since both are developing nations, not only that, there is a very wide potential, it is in their common interest, common sense suggests that India wants access to Central Asia, and Pakistan’s geostrategic position allows it to become a trade corridor between South, Central, East Asia and also gulf. India’s major exports include Automobiles, Iron and steel among all things, Which it can export to Central Asia and Pakistan and make an influence in the region through trade and commerce. On the other hand Pakistan’s major exports include cotton, textiles, sports equipment, surgical instruments etc. which India can import and both nations can benefit from being into business with each other. Coming to the Tourism, Pakistan has some beautiful valleys and highest peaks in the world, on its territory, including K2, India also harbors many tourist destination such as Goa, Himachal etc, the borders if turned into soft borders, both nations can benefit from this also, people can travel easily without much hassle.

Pakistan- sponsor or victim of “terrorism”?

Shahzeb Khan

Pakistan came out of an ideology as a separate nation for Muslims, very much like Israel came-a separate nation for Jews. Just after its creation it became subject to certain conflicts in the region, from both of its eastern and western borders. Pakistan has been going through animosities with India as well as with Afghanistan. Pakistan is blamed of harboring terrorism by its neighbors, namely India and Afghanistan, who have had conflicts with it. The current situation was not status quo, one needs to get into history and depth to understand the present situation and what things and what circumstances have led to the current situation over decades. Pakistan has a very significant geostrategic role in the region, geographically Pakistan’s southwest borders are with middle east, on its northwest it borders with Central Asia, on its northeast it borders with China and on its east it borders with India. In the near future, Pakistan will act as a major economic corridor between gulf, Central and Far East Asia, because of CPEC. Politically, Pakistan is an old ally of West in the region, in Islamic world Pakistan is the prime member of OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation), and it is the only Muslim country with nuclear power.Our modern world is divided in two phases, pre and post-9/11 era. Gun has become a mark of “terrorism” after 9/11, anybody with a gun even fighting for a legitimate cause against the state or illegal occupation, will be branded as “terrorist”, courtesy of Western media. To begin with:

 Durand Line Conflict

Map showing Durand Line

Durand line is the international border of 2430 km² separating Afghanistan and Pakistan. It was established in 1893 between a British diplomat Sir Mortimer Durand and Afghan Leader Abdur Rahman Khan. In 1839, during Ist Anglo-Afghan war, British-led Indian fighters initiated a war against Afghanistan but lost it, British were defeated. British attacked Afghans again in 1878, this time overpowering and outnumbering Afghans by a large number, Afghans feared an invasion and compromised and a peace treaty, treaty of Gandamak was signed between Afghans and British and under that treaty, some area of Afghanistan which is terrain was transferred to British India as buffer zone, as Sir Durand was sent to determine the border, the border was named after him, the territory transferred under that treaty, came to be known as NWFP (North-West Frontier Province), now known as Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa, a province of Pakistan which includes FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) . The conflict of Durand line arose when British left India and NWFP was assimilated into Pakistan, Afghans protested and derecognized the treaty of Gandamak. This is how hostility of Af-Pak began, it is also said that Afghan intelligence KHAD planned the assassination of Pakistan’s first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, in relation to pakhtunistan movement. Afghanistan was ruled by a communist government back in late 20th century, this made a natural alliance of India and Afghanistan, in fact a nexus of intelligence agencies of Afghanistan-USSR-India, as India was a Soviet ally in the region.Both India and Afghanistan facilitated insurgencies in Balouchistan and FATA by 1970s and 2000s respectively. By 1979, Afghanistan was invaded by Soviet Union, which had supported India diplomatically and militarily in 1971 Indo-Pak war. USSR had spread its foot print over Central Asian nations like Azarbaijan, Uzbekstan, Kazakstan, Turkministan…for over a century and it was believed that USSR’s next target was Pakistan, it was contemplating at its warm waters and it was a do or die situation for Pakistan. Pakistan made a declaration of Jihad or ‘holy war’ in Afghanistan. An unprecedented world wide campaign was launched by Pakistan and Arab nations calling for volunteers to join the resistance movement, it was widely nurtured and funded by West. Pakistan started a factory of manufacturing jihadis or freedom fighters, by directing Mullahs to preach jihad in Madrasas and establishing training camps in tribal areas of Pakistan. Hundreds and thousands of muslim youth across the world came to Peshawar, which became the base camp for volunteers, US joined the league later in 1981 with Operation Cyclone, mujahideen were trained by ISI and CIA. In ten years, USSR was badly defeated and disintegrated and Afghanistan became final battlefield of cold war. Afghanistan was liberated but it was left chaotic with no governance and lawlessness, people were looted, war lords were enjoying free hands, all 12 ethnic groups like Pashtuns, Hazaras, Tajiks, Uzbeks… Broke into a civil war with each other. In the meantime, a group came up, the group came and saved people from the miseries, it was a revolutionary group called Taliban, who punished perpetrators and brought peace with Quran in one hand and AK-47 in other. Taliban was a spontaneous response to the war hit Afghanistan and it was joined by resistance veterans. Pakistan recognized Taliban’s regime in Afghanistan, for the first time in decades hostilities between Af-Pak came to an end, there was no Durand line conflict or anti Pak sentiments in Afghanistan during Taliban regime, and one of the ministers in Taliban government was Jalaluddin Haqqani, who also acted as interlocutor between Pakistani government and Taliban (about which will be mentioned later in this Article), now that Pakistan had secured its position in Afghanistan, it could lay its full focus on Indian administered Kashmir. Taliban failed to bring normalcy in Afghanistan and with their hard line approach people started to starve in Afghanistan and moreover, they provided political asylum to Osama and Al Qaeda, where he architectured 9/11 and various attacks on West. Our world changes its views like seasons do, courtesy of western media. Jalaluddin Haqqani, who was recognized as “terrorist” by US and India, was from NWFP, a key commander and a top war strategist against USSR in Afghanistan, he along with other mujahideen were invited to White house by President Ronald Reagan back in the 1980s, and he compared them with the founding fathers of USA.
Pakistan’s involvement in Afghan war

Afghan mujahedeen leadership in White House in 1980s

As mentioned above, Pakistan supported Afghan resistance movement, Pakistan participated in it and rest is history. However, Pakistan made some mistakes along the way which turned things against them in future, like Frankestein’s monster. The first mistake that Pakistan made regarding Afghan war was that they turned a resistance war into a holy war. The second mistake they made was that, Afghan jihad was by fought by six mujahideen groups, five of them were Pashtuns and one of them was Tajik, which was led by Ahmad Shah Masood (who later became Defence minister of Afghanistan). Pashtun tribe being predominant in Afghanistan, they comprise 50% of whole population of Afghanistan, Pakistan kept Pashtun leadership in good humor, Gulbudeen Hekmatyar (who later served as Prime Minister of Afghanistan for a brief time) was one of them, Masood was a top commander and a fine war strategist and due to abandonment, he became asset to adversaries of Pakistan later on, and he had a huge following, this is the second mistake that Pakistan made and lost its stand in Afghanistan. The third mistake Pakistan made in Afghanistan was that they invested a lot of trust in Taliban and ignoring the aspirations of people of Afghanistan.

Pakistan and Al Qaeda

It was surprising when Al Qaeda chief and the most wanted man of not only US, but of the world was killed in a covert strike by US special forces in Pakistan’s rural area in 2011. Whole Western and Indian media broke into hysteria and started accusing Pakistan of providing refuge to a terrorist. Al Qaeda was concept of Dr. Abdullah Azam, a Palestinian, whose object was to help muslims globally through socio-economic factors. Osama was protégé to him, he was an Engineer by training, who had joined Afghan jihad back in 1982. He was neither a military strategist nor a head of any political wing of resistance group, he was merely a foot soldier, he was famous among mujahideen for his philanthropist work. Afghan isuue could be divided in 3 eras- 1979-1989| 1989-2001|2001-present. In the overview we should understand the story of the other side, that is what makes a person libral or broad minded. 1979-1989 saw Muslim youth coming from across the world to help their brethern in Afghanistan. 1989-2001 was the worst period among it all. The war veterans were disowned by their respective nations, some who returned, were either arrested or executed. Osama being a Saudi was scrapped off of his citizenship, due to American pressure. As America thought these radacalized rebels could wage war against their respective state. These veterans, fighting in terrain and dessert for 10 years had no home, they went to Sudan but due to American pressure on Sudan had to leave Sudan, but Afghanistan which was in the meantime ruled by Taliban, became their home, as they had previously fought along with them. These frustrated veterans became enemies of West and started their campaign against West. US betrayed Afghanistan, they did not rebuild neither did they de-radacalize and rehabilitate these war fanatic young men who knew nothing besides fighting. It is important to mention that Taliban leadership had warned Osama against conspiring any mischief. But his fellows executed 9/11 and after that US indiscriminately bombed Al Qaeda and Taliban. Osama could have escaped to Pakistan through sympathizers of FATA or in Pak Army.

Kashmir Militancy

Pakistan is known for unofficially supporting militancy in Indian administered Kashmir. The groups like LeT (Lashkar e Toiba) or JeM (Jaish e Mohammad) are based in Pakistan, they were created in 1990s after Afghan war and they enjoy wide support from Pakistani public for helping Kashmiris to fight for their freedom. Pakistan cannot make more enemies by sanctioning ban on every group. However, they have banned many groups but some of them have wide pubic support, on the other hand they serve the interests of Pakistan by engaging India in limited guerilla war. In today’s world a war is fought through proxies, it is called 4th generation warfare in Military Doctrine, where nations use militant assets and initiate insurgencies on the land of enemy or some some 3rd country, eg. Russia and US are engaged in proxies in Syria currently, where Russia supports Asad’s regime and America opposes it. This guerilla war in Kashmir will continue as long as India and Pakistan along with Kashmiri separatist leadership don’t engage in a composite dialog to resolve Kashmir issue, as a matter of fact Kashmir has become more like a revenge of Bangladesh for Pakistan.

Pakistan victim of terrorism

Indian Prime Minister in one of his speeches abroad said that “there should be no differentiation terrorism…”. Fighting militarily or in any effective manner against illegal occupation or injustice is justified, hence it refers to “freedom fighting”, but killing innocent civilians is terrorism with no doubt, like it is said in English “When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes a duty”. The militancy in Pakistan dates back to early 1970s, with Agartala movement in 1971 then Mukhti Bahini, where Bangladeshi rebels along with Indian army, who received training and arms from India fought a rebellion war against Pakistan to secede East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) from West Pakistan. The militancy arose in NWFP after 9/11, as Pakistan became party to USA’s “War on Terror”. Pakistan had nothing to do with that war, but had to coordinate due to warning from Bush, as Musharraf in his memoir In the line of fire has mentioned that Bush called him on the phone and said “you are either with us or against us”. Pakistan had no choice but to cooperate and it provided military and air bases, military and intelligence cooperation to US. Just like in 1980s Afghan Jihad, Pakistan again played a key role in “War on Terror”, Pakistan provided human intelligence network, which led to apprehension and killing of many Al Qaeda members, including some key figures, Khaled Sheikh Mohammad (mastermind of 9/11), who was number 3 man in AL Qaeda, he was handed over to US  by Pakistani forces, due to which Pakistan became another enemy of Al Qaeda. Immediately after 9/11, US bombed the terrain and other alleged camps of Al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan, which killed hundreds and thousands of civilians in Afghanistan. This made Pakistani public angry of Musharraf, for “submitting his will” before US, not only this, US also bombed alleged Al Qaeda hideouts located in FATA, which also resulted in many civilian casualties, which has made tribals as well as many Pakistanis angry of Pakistan government.This resulted in the creation of TTP or Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, who have been fighting against Pakistan for aiding US and NATO-led forces in Afghanistan and FATA. Pakistan has lost upto hundreds and thousands of lives between 2001- present to terrorism and has caused material damage to Pakistani economy by US $67 Bn. Pakistan is the only nation largely engaged in wiping out terrorism. Pakistan launched operation Zarb e Azb in June 2014, it is indiscriminately eliminating all the groups like TTP, AlQaeda, Lashkar e Jangvi, Sipah e sahaba Haqqani network and IMU, beginning from North Waziristan in FATA.

Out of the box solution for Kashmir issue

Shahzeb Khan

Kashmir issue is one of the oldest disputes in the world. India and Pakistan fought several wars and proxy wars with each other, over Kashmir. It needs a fair dialog based on logic and aspirations of people of kashmir to resolve Kashmir and other Indo-Pak issues. Pakistan claiming Kashmir as its shah rag and India referring to it as atoot ang will not resolve this dispute, the old notions need to be put aside by both nations and they need to work towards finding an outside the box solution for Kashmir, which will bring peace and prosperity in whole region. The administrative heads in current period of both these nations have inherited only confusion, grudges and cynicism from their predecessors, regarding each others’ national policy. However, at one point of the time the rulers of both the nations came as close as nobody before them in history. These statesmen were Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and President of Pakistan Gen. Pervez Musharraf. During their tenure, both administrators worked their way towards putting an end to the cold war, and resolving Kashmir issue.

    In 1999, a bus service from New Delhi to Lahore was started, and PM Atal Bihari visited Pakistan in bus along with some prominent Indians including filmstar Dev Anand and cricketer Kapil Dev, he was warmly received by PM Nawaz Shareef, the idea of travelling in bus was his own and not of his advisors or bueracrats’. On reaching to Pakistan, he made a remarkable statement on historical minar-e-Pakistan. This event took place before Kargil war. Atal bihari is the most respected  PM of India in Kashmir. It was only Vajpayee who initiated peace process with Pakistan and made separatist and militant leadership party to it.

    General Pervez Musharraf is former chief of Army and President of Pakistan, his tenure lasted from 1999-2007. Musharraf is accused for engineering the Kargil conflict, where Pakistani army along with non-state actors indulged in infiltration and taking in control of several posts of Indian army (which were abandoned by them due to harsh weather) in 1999.

    Musharraf later on took control of Pakistan as President, he is regarded as one of the robust and brave leaders of not only Pakistan, but also South Asia. In the beginning of his administration, Pakistan was going through a hostile relations with India.

    Musharraf broke the ice with India in 2001, when Gujrat was hit by an earthquake, Musharraf called PM on the phone and sent in some aid to India, that led to an invitation for Musharraf, and he came to New Delhi in 2001. Later on both Vajpayee and Musharraf went to Agra, the city of Taj Mahal, for ‘Agra Declaration’, which never happened. Both heads of the states along with their respective foreign secretaries drafted a joint declaration, it was bilateral and both parties were satisfied, now it only needed a ratification by a signing ceremony, but India backed out on it, it was preposterous and it brought situation to status quo. Musharraf described this failure on part of Vajpayee in his memoir In the line of fire as “There is a man and there is the moment. When man and moment meet, history is made. Vajpayee failed to grasp this moment and lost his moment in history.”

    In January 2004, Vajpayee visited Islamabad for SAARC meeting, afterwards he met with Musharraf and both drafted a declaration, which is known as ‘Islamabad declaration’. Both nations decided to move the peace process forward through composite dialog. But, unfortunately BJP / NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government lost election to UPA (United Progressive Alliance)  / Congress and Manmohan Singh became new Prime Minister of India and that decade is often referred to as ‘Lost decade’ by Kashmiris, because he did not move forward with what was left incomplete by his predecessor. Today India is ruled by BJP again with a hardliner leader, who does not want any discussion on Kashmir. someone has said it right “when two elephants fight, the grass gets trampled”.

    Musharraf had formulated an ‘out of the box’ solution for Kashmir issue, it is also known as “4-point-formula”, which contends:

    “1. Firstly, identify the geographic regions of Kashmir that need resolution. At present the Pakistani part is divided into two parts. Northern areas and Azad Kashmir. the Indian part is divided into three regions: Jammu, Srinagar, and Ladakh. Are all these on the table for discussion, or are there ethnic, political, and strategic considerations dictating some give and take ?

    2. Second, demilitarize the identified region or regions and curb all militant aspects of the struggle for freedom. This will give comfort to the Kashmiris, who are fed up with the fighting and killing on both sides.

    3. Third, introduce self-governance or self-rule in the identified region or regions. Let the Kashmiris have the satisfaction of running their own affairs without having an international character and remaining short of independence.

    4. Fourth, and most important, have a joint management mechanism with a membership consisting of Pakistanis, Indians, and Kashmiris overseeing self-governance and dealing with residual subjects common to all identified regions and those subjects that are beyond the scope of self-governance.”

    This amicable rough draft could have been refined by both sides, many intelligentsia on both sides appreciated this thought of Musharraf, and argued that it was the best formula to resolve the Kashmir issue, but unfortunately, then Indian Dr. Manmohan Singh was reluctant to work towards it and this formula was never executed.

    Kashmir freedom struggle: Legitimate or seditious?

    ​Shahzeb Khan

    How Jammu & Kashmir acceded to India?

    As I have mentioned this in one of my blogs, Jammu & Kashmir’s accession to India did not take place like other princely states. When India got freedom from British on August 15, 1947, and the new nation Pakistan was created, the 565 Princely states were given a choice to choose whether they like to be part of India or Pakistan, or to stay independent. India’s stand on partition was that ‘states with Majority of hindu population will assimilate in India & states with Majority Muslim population will comprise Pakistan’, while Jinnah’s stand was ‘states with Muslim rulers will comprise Pakistan…’,as most rulers of india were muslims back then, however india’s condition remained firm and partition was made according to India’s conditions. Three princely States namely Hydrabad, Junagarh and Kashmir gave headache to both nations. Hydrabad and Junagarh were ruled by Muslim Nizams, they wished to join Pakistan, but their hindu population started a revolt and Indian army entered the princely States over night and captured them. Kashmir a majority Muslim state was ruled by a hindu Maharaja Hari Singh, as per India’s stand kashmir should have been part of Pakistan.Hari Singh chose to stay independent, India was inducing Hari Singh to join it. Jinnah being angry and cynical of India initiated an invasion. Kashmir remained independent for only 2 months and 7 days, when on 22nd October, 1947, the militia from Northern Areas, also known as Gilgit Baltistan, the part of Kashmir, who had started a revolt against Maharaja just like the Hindu inhabitants of Hydrabad & Junagarh. Due to this invasion, Maharaja left Kashmir for Jammu, to ask India for help in terms of defense forces, he was made to sign the instrument of accession by an aide of Jawaharlal Nehru, but he did not sign the instrument of merger, like other princely States. The Indian forces landed in J&K, this led to the first Indo-Pak war in 1947, which lasted till 31st December 1948. On 1st January 1949, a ceasefire between India and Pakistan was declared. Indian forces gained the control of srinagar, jammu & Kashmir, while Pakistan gained the control of Muzaffarabad and Gilgit-Baltistan. The accession of J&K to India was conditional, it authorized India to administer the matters of Diplomacy / foreign affairs, communication and defense. J&K did not acceed to India like other princely states, Sheikh Abdullah the prominent leader of Kashmir’s Muslim Conference was made its Prime Minister and Dr. Karan Singh, the kunwar or prince, became its first Sadr-i-Riyasat (President). 

    Why was Kashmir issue taken to the United Nations ?

    Sheikh Abdullah endorsed the accession but termed it “ad hoc” which would be ultimately decided by the people of Jammu and Kashmir through plebscite. But many Indian leaders and Kashmiri public have dubbed Sheikh Abdullah as diplomatic person. By both nations claiming Kashmir as their atoot ang (integral part) and shah rag (jugular vein), led to the dispute between India and Pakistan. This dispute was taken to United Nations, an institute, which was newly created after WWII. India took the Kashmir problem to the United Nations (UN) Security Council on 1 January 1949. UN, after recognizing it as a disputed territory, called for plebiscite to be held in J&K after demilitarizing the region by both India and Pakistan, both the nations being cynical and skeptical of each other, are not able to demilitarize their respectively administered parts of Kashmir.

    Article 370 and it’s alteration

    When Constitution of India was drafted, Article 370 was assimilated in it as a temporary provision, it was so, because India had made a promise to hold a plebiscite in J&K, where people would be given the right to choose whether they want to be Independent, acceed to Pakistan or stay with India. This issue was taken by India in UN and also the former PM of India, J. Nehru promised the people of Kashmir in Lal Chowk, Srinagar in November 1947, that India will hold plebiscite in J&K. Article 370 is like a filter, a bridge between the constitution of India and costitution of J&K, the laws passed in Parliament of India are filtered / ratified under Article 370, before implementing in J&K. In 1947, Article 370 gave coverage and protection to many imperative provisions of J&K constitution, some of which have been eradicated by India through various Kashmiri administrators, e.g, Kashmir used to have its own Prime Minister and President / Sadr-i-Riyasat, as it was called back then, till 1965, when the provision was abolished. In present, the only crucial provisions of J&K constitution that are protected by Article 370, is State Subject Act and Article 35-A of J&K constitution, which does not allow non-state subjects to buy an immovable property or employment under State government. 

    India’s deception of Sheikh Abdullah

    As I mentioned above, Sheikh Abdullah recognized the accession of J&K to India as ad hoc. As the time passed, Nehru did not fulfill the promise he had made to Kashmiris, before UN, this led to an Independence movement led by Sheikh Abdullah and his companions, he was ultimately removed from his office of PM and was sent to jail for 21 years.

    Rigging of 1987 Elections 

    The 1987 elections of J&K are considered infamous. MUF (Muslim United Front) a newly created political party in Kashmir who accused NC and Central government of rigging the 1987 elections. By this act, India turned Kashmir into a more bitter place, by breaking the trust of kashmiris, this led to peaceful protest by youth, who were detained and interrogated by Indian forces, when released, thousands of those young boys went across the LoC for arms training. Yasin Malik, Ashfaq Majeed etc. were among the leaders of youth protesters, this led to the guerilla warfare between Indian forces and Kashmiri militants.

    Militancy in Kashmir

    Militants were all across the valley by 1990, they enjoyed support from public, they were viewed as heroes. The mainstream militant group of that era was JKLF (Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front). India deployed around six hundred and thousands of troops in the valley, turning Kashmir into a military occupation and it is a universal fact that people in a military occupation are not treated well. Moreover, the military in Kashmir enjoyed free hand, they could kill anyone, abduct anyone, rape anyone without being accountable before any court, they were given free pass under TADA, POTA and then AFSPA. Hundreds and thousands of boys have disappeared in their detention / interrogation centers, hundreds and thousands have been killed and maimed. India tried to negotiate with JKLF by sending the members of civil societies, US and EU diplomacy as interlocutors with an intention of initiating dialogue with separatist leaders, this led to unilateral ceasefire by JKLF in 1994, led by Yasin Malik.


    After JKLF was made to ceasefire with the promise of initiating dialogue, India held election in J&K in 1996, this was one more blow to the hopes of Kashmiris. These deceptions of India over the decades have made Kashmiris cynical and created hatred and skepticism regarding India in the psyche of Kashmiris. The 2008 uprising was peaceful, but protesters were shot at, same happened in 2010 and is currently going on in 2016. In February 2016, Jatts in Haryana went on a mass rampage, cutting water supply to capital, vandalizing public and private properties worth billions of rupees and raping women,none of them was even beaten with sticks by Indian forces, they were dispersed by water canons. Coming to Kashmir, India refers to Kashmir as “integral part”, but every Kashmiri protester even people who do not protest in hostile situation are treated like armed rebels by Indian forces, the waving of Pakistani flags in Kashmir is out of love towards Pakistan, as Pakistan has always supported the freedom struggle in Kashmir, and it is not illegal to wave Pakistani flag in India. 

    ​Kashmir Uprising 2016 / The Burhan Aftermath

    Shahzeb Khan 

    An introduction of Burhan Muzaffar Wani

    Burhan Muzaffar Wani was a 22 year old boy from Dadsara Tral, located in Pulwama district / South ksahmir, in J&K. He belonged to a well educated, upper middle class family, his father was a school principal and his mother was also well educated, he is said to have been sharp in studies and a fine cricketer. There is a story behind what led him to take up arms. In 2010, during the unrest in the valley, he was riding on a motor bike along with his brother Khaled and a friend, when he was pulled over by forces and something led forces beating up those boys, and Burhan swore revenge and took up arms after few months of that incident.

    Burhan emerged as a poster boy for new generation of militants, who are tech savy as well as educated, as far as I can recall, I had never seen militants posing like that, Burhan’s pictures with arms and combat suit surfaced on facebook and they were attractive. I remember,  I came across a picture of his, on the edge of a mountain, facing the opposite direction, holding an AK-47, he looked like a protagonist of some kind of FPS(first person shooter) videogame, people especially youngsters loved him, he suddenly became a household name in one year. Kashmiri people perceived him as a hero, Indian media potrayed him as a dangerous terrorist. Burhan also posted some videos, which went viral.

    The commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Burhan Wani carried a bounty of Rs. 1 million on his head and he was not satisfied with it, as he once posted a picture on facebook with caption “only Rs. 10 Lakh bounty”. According to the reports, he was not a dreaded militant, he had not done arms training and he had not killed anybody, there was possibly no evidence that Burhan Wani had killed someone, the only thing that made him dangerous was that he had recruited about 100 boys from South Kashmir.

    Burhan Wani in combat suit, holding an AK assault rifle.

    Burhan was killed, along with his two comrades on the evening of 8th July, 2016, by an operation led by SOG and RR, in a safe house in Kokarnag area of South Kashmir, it was human intelligence that led to his assassination. According to police reports, he was there to procure some arms, the police had cordoned the area around that afternoon and told the locals that ‘CM was coming for some inauguration’. It was only after the confirmation of his death that people started protesting, not only in his area of residence, but all over the valley.


    On the evening of 8th July, hundreds of protesters took to streets, in districts Pulwama, Srinagar, Anantnag etc. others took to internet to protest online. The army and J&K Police expressed the killing of Burhan Wani as “The major blow to militancy, major success for forces”. All the mainstream separatists gave call for shut down. Burhan Wani was buried in his home town, Tral. An estimated  number of 400,000 people attended his funeral prayers in Tral, and thousands offered Prayer in absentia in various parts of Valley. Mobile internet, including cellular network was shut down in some sensitive districts of Valley, in the beginning of protests, but after few days, cellphone service was blocked in whole state. Newspaper printing presses were also raided by police and the ban on newspapers remained from 16th July to 19th July. The only means of communication was BSNL, a state owned company, but, that gave a limited coverage to the subscribers, the landline phone was working though. Kashmir was pushed back to stone-age by the government, the PDP led State government did not seem to have control over the situation.

    This situation has caused over 50 deaths of civilians, including one cop, thousands have suffered injuries due to pellets and bullets shot by forces, many people, especially young adults lost their vision due to pellets. Many protesters went on rampage, so did the security forces. The protesters blocked many roads in the Valley, rock pelting was going on rampant in many areas. The mob of protesters burned down some Government establishments, and vandalized many others, the forces vandalized the Ambulances ferrying injured protesters, resulting death of an injured in one of the cases. Srinangar felt like a ghost town, one could hardly spot a vehicle on the road except Ambulances and Para-Military Vehicles. This caused fear and depression among people, due to staying at home. 

    A view of deserted NH-1, Srinagar, from July, 22, 2016.
    The Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh also visited Kashmir, but that visit did not make any difference for Kashmiris. The Indian media portrayed a biased picture of the situation in Kashmir, depicting the freedom moment of Kashmiris in a negative way. One needs to be on ground to assess the situation in Kashmir. 

    The situation is tense in the valley with curfew from last 20 days and unrest due to angry protesters. Kashmiris have become cynical of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, due to her keeping mum on the situation for days, then coming up with statements that are useless and moreover changing of her statements. The situation seems to have escalated, catapulting another uprising like 2008 and 2010. 


    Article 370 of Indian Constitution: Origin & Timeline

    Shahzeb Khan​

    ARTICLE 370 definition

    “ Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution:

    the provisions of article 238 shall not apply in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir,

    the power of Parliament to make laws for the said State shall be limited to;

    those matters in the Union List and the Concurrent List which, in consultation with the Government of the State, are declared by the President to correspond to matters specified in the Instrument of Accession governing the accession of the State to the Dominion of India as the matters with respect to which the Dominion Legislature may make laws for that State; and

    such other matters in the said Lists, as, with the concurrence of the Government of the State, the President may by order specify.  Explanation—For the purpose of this article, the Government of the State means the person for the time being recognised by the President as the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir acting on the advice of the Council of Ministers for the time being in office under the Maharaja’s Proclamation dated the fifth day of March, 1948;

    he provisions of article 1 and of this article shall apply in relation to this State;

    such of the other provisions of this Constitution shall apply in relation to that State subject to such exceptions and modifications as the President may by order specify

    Provided that no such order which relates to the matters specified in the Instrument of Accession of the State referred to in paragraph (i) of sub-clause (b) shall be issued except in consultation with the Government of the State:

    Provided further that no such order which relates to matters other than those referred to in the last preceding proviso shall be issued except with the concurrence of the Government.

    If the concurrence of the Government of the State referred to in paragraph (ii) of sub-clause (b) of clause (1) or in second proviso to sub-clause (d) of that clause be given before the Constituent Assembly for the purpose of framing the Constitution of the State is convened, it shall be placed before such Assembly for such decision as it may take thereon.

    Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of the article, the President may, by public notification, declare that this article shall cease to be operative or shall be operative only with such exceptions and modifications and from such date as he may notify: Provided that the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State referred to in clause (2) shall be necessary before the President issues such a notification.

    In exercise of the powers conferred by this article the President, on the recommendation of the Constituent Assembly of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, declared that, as from the 17th day of November, 1952, the said art. 370 shall be operative with the modification that for the explanation in cl.(1) thereof the following Explanation is substituted   Explanation—For the purpose of this Article, the Government of the State means the person for the time being recognised by the President on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly of the State as the *Sadar-I-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir, acting on the advice of Council of Ministers of the State for the time being in office


    Jammu and Kashmir is a geographical region situated between India, Pakistan and China, geographically it is located under Himalayan mountain range. The state / valley is known for its beautiful sceneries and as conflict zone. The area of Valley is 222,236 km² and with population of 12.55 million according to 2011 Census Throughout the course of the history Kashmir has been concurred and ruled by various dynasties such as Mughals, Afghan Durranis, Sikhs, British and lastly Dogras. ‘Dogra’ was a Hindu Rajput dynasty which traced its roots to the Ikshvaku dynasty of northern India. The rulers of the dynasty were Dogra Rajputs. The Royal Dogra dynasty was founded by Maharaja Gulab Singh, who acquired Jammu & Kashmir from British East India Company for 7500,000 Nanakshahee Rupees by the treaty of Amritsar (1846) after the defeat of Sikhs in first Anglo-Sikh War.
    The reign of Dogras in Jammu and Kashmir lasted from 1846-1949. In August 1947 when the Indian subcontinent became independent from Britain, all the rulers of the 565 princely states, whose lands comprised two-fifths of India, had to decide which of the two new dominions to join, India or Pakistan. Kashmir bordering on both India and Pakistan had three alternatives, to assert complete independence, to accede to India or Pakistan. The power to take decision was vested in the ruler according to the policy of British Government. The ruler of Jammu and Kashmir Maharaja Hari Singh was a Hindu, his population was predominantly Muslim. He therefore chose to be independent, joining neither Pakistan nor India. For this reason, he offered a standstill agreement (to maintain the status quo) to both India and Pakistan in order that services such as trade, travel and communication would be uninterrupted. India refused the offer but Pakistan accepted it.

    In October 1947, Pashtun tribesmen from Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province invaded Kashmir.There had been reports of communal violence against Muslims in the state and, supported by the Pakistani Government, they were eager for its accession to Pakistan.

    Troubled by the increasing deterioration in law and order and by the invasion of the tribesmen, the ruler, Maharaja Hari Singh, requested armed assistance from India. Official Indian accounts state that on the morning of 26 October,1947 Hari Singh fled from Srinagar, arriving in Jammu later in the day, where he was met by V P Menon, representative of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and signed the Instrument of Accession.


    1. “I hereby declare that I accede to the Dominion of India with the intent that the Governor General of India, the Dominion Legislature, the Federal Court and any other Dominion authority established for the purposes of the Dominion shall by virtue of this my Instrument of Accession but subject always to the terms thereof, and for the purposes only of the Dominion, exercise in relation to the State of Jammu & Kashmir (hereinafter referred to as “this State”) such functions as may be vested in them by or under the Government of India Act, 1935, as in force in the Dominion of India, on the 15th day of August 1947, (which Act as so in force is hereafter referred to as “the Act’).

    2. I hereby assume the obligation of ensuring that due effect is given to provisions of the Act within this State so far as they are applicable therein by virtue of this my Instrument of Accession.

    3. I accept the matters specified in the schedule hereto as the matters with respect to which the Dominion Legislature may make law for this State.

    4. I hereby declare that I accede to the Dominion of India on the assurance that if an agreement is made between the Governor General and the Ruler of this State whereby any functions in relation to the administration in this State of any law of the Dominion Legislature shall be exercised by the Ruler of the State, then any such agreement shall be construed and have effect accordingly.

    5. The terms of this my Instrument of Accession shall not be varied by any amendment of the Act or the Indian Independence Act, 1947, unless such amendment is accepted by me by Instrument supplementary to this Instrument.

    6. Nothing in this Instrument shall empower the Dominion Legislature to make any law for this State authorizing the compulsory acquisition of land for any purpose, but “I hereby undertake that should the Dominion for the purpose of a Dominion law which applies in this State deem it necessary to acquire any land, I will at their request acquire the land at their expense, or, if the land belongs to me transfer it to them on such terms as may be agreed or, in default of agreement, determined by an arbitrator to be appointed by the Chief Justice of India.

    7. Nothing in this Instrument shall be deemed to commit in any way to acceptance of any future constitution of India or to fetter my discretion to enter into agreement with the Government of India under any such future constitution.

    8. Nothing in this Instrument affects the continuance of my Sovereignty in and over this State, or, save as provided by or under this Instrument, the exercise of any powers, authority and rights now enjoyed by me as Ruler of this State or the validity of any law at present in force in this State.

    9. I hereby declare that I execute this Instrument on behalf of this State and that any reference in this Instrument to me or to the Ruler of the State is to be construed as including a reference to my heirs and successors.

    Given under my hand this 26th day of October, nineteen hundred and forty seven.”

    Hari Singh

    Maharajadhiraj of Jammu and Kashmir State.
    Jammu and Kashmir was the only among 565 princely states that didn’t sign an instrument of merger with dominion of India, giving J&K a different status than rest of the states of India. In 1949 Maharaja Hari Singh was obliged by the Government of India to leave the state and hand over the government to Sheikh Abdullah. The Maharaja made an Order on October 30, 1947 appointing Sheikh Abdullah the Head of the Emergency Administration, replacing it, on March 5, 1948, with an Interim Government with the Sheikh as Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.


    On 26th November 1949 the Constituent Assembly of India adopted the Constitution of India and certain provisions came into force on that day. A day earlier on 25 November 1949, Yuraj Karan Singh, who later became the first Governor or Sadr-i-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir, issued a Proclamation declaring that “with the inauguration of the new Constitution for the whole of India now being framed by the Constituent Assembly of India, the Government of India Act, 1935, which governed the constitutional relationship between this State and the dominion of India will stand repealed………… and the Constitution of India shall, in so far as it is applicable to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, govern the constitutional relationship between this State and the contemplated Union of India…” 

    In 1949, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had directed Kashmiri Leader Sheikh Abdullah to consult B.R Ambedkar (then law minister) to prepare the draft of a suitable Article to be included in the constitution, which he refused to draft. Article 370 was eventually drafted by Gopalakishan Ayyar, who was a minister without portfolio in the first union cabinet of India, he was also a former Diwan to Maharaja Hari Singh. 

    Article 370 is drafted in amendment constitution section in Part XXI under temporary and transitional provisions. Under Article 370 government of India cannot reduce or increase the territory of J&K.

    The original draft explained “The government of the state means the person for the time being recognized by the President as the Maharaja of J&K acting on the advice of council of ministers for the time being in office under the Maharaja’s proclaimation dated on the fifth day of March 1948…”

    On November, 1952, it was changed to “The government of the state means the person for the time being recognized by the president on recommendation of the legislative assembly of the state as the Sadr-i-Riyasat (now governor) of J&K, acting on the advice of the council of ministers of the state for the time being in office.”


    Originally, Article 370 gave Jammu & Kashmir complete control over their destiny (except when it comes to matters of defense, communication and diplomacy, where Indian government had control). Fundamental rights and duties, directive principles of the state policy and even the supremacy of the Indian Supreme Court didn’t apply to the state. The state has its own constitution and own flag. The article 370 was negotiated as a temporary provision because, until the 1960s the government of India’s stated policy was to conduct a plebiscite. Article 370 is more than a provision of that solemn document. On January 26, 1950, the President made his first Order under Article 370, extending specified provisions of the new Constitution to the State.

    ARTICLE 370 embodies five special provisions for Jammu and Kashmir:-

    Firstly, it exempted the State from the provisions of the Constitution providing for the governance of the States. Jammu and Kashmir was allowed to have its own Constitution within the Indian Union.

    Secondly, Parliament’s legislative power over the State was restricted to three subjects-defence, external affairs and communications. The President could extend to it other provisions of the Constitution to provide a constitutional framework if they related to the matters specified in the Instrument of Accession. For this, only “consultation” with the State government was required since the State had already accepted them by the Instrument. But, third, if other “constitutional” provisions or other Union powers were to be extended to Kashmir, the prior “concurrence” of the State government was required.

    The third feature is that that concurrence was provisional. It had to be ratified by the State’s Constituent Assembly. Article 370(2) says clearly: “If the concurrence of the Government of the State… be given before the Constituent Assembly for the purpose of framing the Constitution of the State is convened, it shall be placed before such Assembly for such decision as it may take thereon.”

    The fourth feature is that the State government’s authority to give the “concurrence” lasts only till the State’s Constituent Assembly is “convened”. It is an “interim” power. Once the Constituent Assembly met, the State government could not give its own “concurrence”. Still less, after the Assembly met and dispersed. Moreover, the President cannot exercise his power to extend the Indian Constitution to Kashmir indefinitely. The power has to stop at the point the State’s Constituent Assembly drafted the State’s Constitution and decided finally what additional subjects to confer on the Union, and what other provisions of the Constitution of India it should get extended to the State, rather than having their counterparts embodied in the State Constitution itself. Once the State’s Constituent Assembly had finalised the scheme and dispersed, the President’s extending powers ended completely.

    The fifth special feature, the last step in the process, is that Article 370(3) empowers the President to make an Order abrogating or amending it. But for this also “the recommendation” of the State’s Constituent Assembly “shall be necessary before the President issues such a notification”.


    Over the decades the constitutional validity of Article 370 has been challenged and altered gradually. Article 370 could not be abrogated legally. It was reduced to a husk through political fraud and constitutional abuse.

    Constitutional abuse accompanied political fraud. Article 370 was intended to guarantee Kashmir’s autonomy. On December 4, 1964, Union Home Minister G. L. Nanda said it would be used to serve as “a tunnel in the wall” in order to increase the Centre’s power.

    The state was put in as inferior to other states. One illustration suffices to demonstrate that. Parliament had to amend the Constitution four times, by means of the 59th, 64th, 67th and 68th Constitution Amendments, to extend the President’s Rule imposed in Punjab on May 11, 1987. For the State of Jammu and Kashmir the same result was accomplished, from 1990 to 1996, by mere executive orders under Article 370.

    The Nehru-Abdullah Agreement in July 1952 (“the Delhi Agreement”) confirmed that “the residuary powers of legislation” (on matters not mentioned in the State List or the Concurrent List), which Article 248 and Entry 97 (Union List) confer on the Union, will not apply to Kashmir. But, on July, 30, 1986, an order made by the President under Article 370, extended to Kashmir Article 249 of constitution in order to empower parliament to legislate even on matters in a state list if a Rajya Sabah resolution so authorizes it by two-thirds of vote.

    Thus, the Union acquired the power to legislate not only on all matters in the State List, but others not mentioned in the Union List or the Concurrent List – the residuary power. In relation to other States, an amendment to the Constitution would require a two-thirds vote by both Houses of Parliament plus ratification by the States (Article 368), but for Kashmir, it was otherwise.

    The Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954 and many other constitutional orders were promulgated by the President of India in consultation with the Government of J&K, regulating the constitutional status of the State. After the defeat of Pakistan and emergence of Bangladesh situation in this part of the world had changed significantly. These changes had an impact on J&K also. Sheikh Abdullah demonstrated his willingness to join mainstream. After prolonged parleys, on 13 November 1974.  Kashmir accord signed between Sheikh Abdullah and Mrs. Indira Gandhi (Beg Parthasarthy Accord).  Section 3 of this accord said, “Where any provision of the Constitution of India had been applied to the State of Jammu and Kashmir with adaptations and modifications, such adaptations and modifications can be altered or repealed by an order of the President under Article 370, each individual proposal in this behalf being considered on its merits; but provisions of the Constitution of India already applied to the State of Jammu and Kashmir without adaptation or modification are unalterable.

    Section 4 of it says “With a view to assuring freedom to the State of Jammu and Kashmir to have its own legislation on matters like welfare measures cultural matters, social security, personal law and procedural laws, in a manner suited to the special conditions in the State, it is agreed that the State Government can review the laws made by Parliament or extended to the State after 1953 on any matter relatable to the Concurrent List and may decide which of them, in its opinion, needs amendment or repeal. Thereafter, appropriate steps may be taken under Article 254 of the Constitution of India. The grant of President’s assent to such legislation would be sympathetically considered. The same approach would be adopted in regard to laws to be made by Parliament in future under the Proviso to clause 2 of the Article. The State Government shall be consulted regarding the application of any such law to the State and the views of the State Government shall receive the fullest consideration.”[xviii]

    Section 5 made a significant point. It says, “As an arrangement reciprocal to what has been provided under Article 368, a suitable modification of that Article as applied to the State should be made by Presidential order to the effect that no law made by the Legislature of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, seeking to make any change in or in the effect of any provision of Constitution of the State of Jammu and Kashmir relating to any of the under mentioned matters, shall take effect unless the Bill, having been reserved for the consideration of the President, receives his assent; the matters are:

    (a) The appointment, powers, functions, duties, privileges and immunities of the Governor, and

    (b) The following matters relating to Elections namely, the superintendence, direction and control of Elections by the Election Commission of India, eligibility for inclusion in the electoral rolls without discrimination, adult suffrage and composition of the legislative Council, being matters specified in sections 138, 139 140 and 50 of the Constitution of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

    The provisions in Indian Constitution dealing with finance etc apply to the State in the same manner as they apply to other states in India. By the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Second Amendment Order 1958, the jurisdiction of Auditor-General and Comptroller of India was extended to the State by making Entry 76 of List I under the Indian Constitution applicable to the State.

    The Union government could initiate emergence in the state of J&K only “at the request or with the concurrence of the government of the State”. In case of other states, the Union government can declare the emergency on the grounds of any of these three conditions; arising out of war or internal disturbances; breakdown of constitutional machinery in the state; and financial emergency. The emergency articles, Article 356 and 357 were extended to the state in 1964.

    In 1962 the responsibility for holding elections in the state was transferred from the State election machinery to the Central Election Commission.

    The second schedule of Indian constitution to J&K extended the Centre’s powers to certain other matters including the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, which was not there before.

    There was a permit system that restricted entry of Indian national from other parts of the country to J&K, it was abolished on 1 April 1959.


    To conclude, today Article 370 merely protects some other main provisions like Article 35-A of Indian constitution and Section 10 of J&K constitution. Which is mentioned as under:-
    Section 10 of the J&K Constitution vests permanent residents of the State with the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.  The Union Parliament, however, has no power under the Indian Constitution to make laws with regard to citizenship of the State, though the State has no separate citizenship. There is no dual citizenship. The citizens of the state have no other citizenship except citizenship of India. However, the State citizens were given special status of “permanent residents of the State”. It is the J&K Constitution that defines state subjects (permanent residents), who alone have the right to vote and hold property in the state.
    –  Article 35-A of Indian constitution-  Saving of laws with respect to permanent residents and their rights.— Notwithstanding anything contained in this Constitution, no existing law in force in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and no law hereafter enacted by the Legislature of the State (a) defining the classes of persons who are, or shall be permanent residents of the State of Jammu and Kashmir; or (b) conferring on such permanent residents any special rights and privileges or imposing upon other persons any restrictions as respects—

    (i) employment under the State Government;

    (ii) acquisition of immovable property in the State;

    (iii) settlement in the State; or

    (iv) right to scholarships and such other forms of aid as the State Government may provide, shall be void on the ground that it is inconsistent with or takes away or abridges any rights conferred on the other citizens of India by any provision of this Part.

    The latest violation of Article 370 which the people remember vividly took place on 26th May 2008, when the government of India and state government of Jammu and Kashmir reached an agreement to transfer 99 acres (0.40 km2) of forest land to the Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), in the main Kashmir valley to set up shelters for  for pilgrims, violating the Article 35-A(ii) and Section 10 of J&K Constitution. This caused a controversy, with demonstrations from the Kashmir valley against the land transfer. The largest demonstration saw more than 500,000 protesters at a single rally, among the largest in Kashmir’s history.This resulted in death of many protesters.