Indian Defence

POK: Why We Couldn’t Save It?

Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) is an integral part of India, but since 1947 it is being administered by Pakistan. In this article, we will discuss, what was the reason due to which we lost such an important part of our territory…… Let’s start…

To understand the complex history of the POK, you first need to take a quick dive into the history of the Kashmir valley, that how the socio-political fabric of the region changed and led to the 1947 war between India and Pakistan.

AREA OF POK : 84,100 SQUARE KM

POK
Area in green – POK

Quick Look At The History Of Kashmir

In ancient times, it was the center of Hindu, Buddhist, and Shaivism schools of religion, then starting from the 13th century the valley saw an influx of Islamic religion and culture, which led to the coronation of Shah Mir in 1339 as the first ruler of Kashmir.

Then for almost 5 centuries, it was ruled by Muslim rulers. They were dethroned by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, in 1819. Again when the English forces defeated the maharaja in 1846 and the power of Kashmir was transformed as per the Treaty of Lahore to Gulab Singh who was the ruler of Jammu. Thus he became the first Hindu ruler of Kashmir and this chain continued till Raja Hari Singh at the time of independence in 1947. This fact is important as this will shape the political future of Kashmir, being a state having the majority of inhabitants Muslims but being ruled by a Hindu ruler.

To understand how we actually lost the POK, we need to understand the background and foreground of the 1947 war, which unfolded just months after the independence and partition of the Indian subcontinent.

Background Of The War

For months, just after the independence, the Pakistani government had started to organize the Kabailies of the Pashtun communities by giving training and weapons, which would be handy for them in raiding Kashmir. As a master plan they also funded an uprising of the residents of the Poonch and nearby areas against the Raja Hari Singh. This was done so that they could put the fake point of dissatisfaction of the Kashmiri people in the maharaja’s decision to stay independent and not to join Pakistan. Also to make the international community think that India will someday forcefully merge the valley into its own side.

Unfolding Of The War

Indo-Pak War of 1947

On 22nd October 1947, the raiders (under the name of Azad Kashmir Army) crossed the border and marched towards the capital with the aim to capture Srinagar, and to force Hari Singh to join Pakistan. The raiders were thousands in number and were crushing their way through the valley towards Srinagar, meanwhile looting every village in their way and raping thousands of women.

Eventually, they reached the Baramulla area where they formed some sort of virtual frontline and they started using houses of the locals as their fighting positions because their leaders had got the input that the maharaja will be signing the instrument of accession anytime soon, which he actually did on 26th of October, that came into effect from 27th October and on the same day Indian army was airlifted into the valley.

The most important point to be noticed that these raiders were not only trained and equipped by the Pakistani army regulars but also they were even being led by them in the Warfield. This fact will be detrimental in the coming time in the demarcation of the line of control.

Because the Indian troops were low at ration and supplies and the harsh Kashmiri winter was hindering the advance of the army, the government finally decided to go to the UNSC (United Nations Security Council) on 01st January 1948, citing the violation of Article 35 of UN charter, which aims to prevent the threats on international peace.

Foreground Of The War

Hearing to the claim the UN passed Regulation 39 on 20th January 1948, asking a 3 membered committee to be formed to seek the best solution for the fiasco, but the UN was so lethargic on the issue that this committee couldn’t be formed till June 1948.

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Finally, on 21st April 1948, a new resolution was passed by the council called Resolution 47 which consists 3 main points:-

  • extension of the proposed 3 member committee to 5 members for better representation of views.
  • Declaration of truce on the virtual border.
  • Formation of the plebiscite committee by India, to conduct a referendum in order to decide the fate of Kashmir and POK according to the will of the Kashmiri people.

The plan of action suggested by the resolution also consisted of three major points :-

  • Pakistan was required to withdraw all it’s citizens from Kashmir as soon as possible, also who are present in POK with the intention of fighting in the war.
  • India had to progressively reduce it’s forces in Kashmir to such a required that is sufficient enough to maintain law and order in the state.
  • India had to appoint a plebiscite commission by ensuring that the commission has equal representation of all the political entities in the valley and to conduct a referendum to decide the fate of Kashmir according to the will of the Kashmiri people.

Knowing all these points, now we will see the mistakes that happened by the hands of the Indian government, due to which we couldn’t save the POK.

  • The very first point is that the Resolution 47 was not a legally binding resolution and it was depended on the moral willingness of the two involved parties, and we know the intent of the Pakistanis and it was sure that they are not going to follow it.
  • If you focus on the second point of plan of action it mentions “withdrawal of all Pakistani nationals from POK” this was challenged by India that it should be withdrawal of the Pakistani army regulars so that it can be proved that they have intentionally planned all these raids in Kashmir with an intent to annex Kashmir forcefully into their side. But the Indian diplomats were unable to produce enough evidences infront of the council and this went against India.
  • The third major mistake done by India that it went directly into the council without collecting enough support from the member nations to get a decision in their favour which led to the passing of such a resolution which was actually in more favour of Pakistan.
  • India could have waited for summer to come and the weather of Kashmir to ease, then knock all the raiders with full force and then restore the status quo of the LOC.
  • Even if the government had decided to go to the international forum, they should have gone to the International Court of Justice which could have possibly passed an order in favour of India which would have been legally binding on Pakistan.

As a result of all these mistakes we did, Pakistan got a freehand to start a blame game and occupy the territory of Kashmir, known as POK.

What Were The Blames Made By The Pakistani Side And The Actual Fact Are Given Below :-

BLAME – India was hindering a referendum so that it doesn’t lose Kashmir.

FACT Pakistan never signed the legal documents to agree for a referendum because it knew that two thirds of the Kashmiris live on the Indian side and only one third in the POK and they will never vote in the favour of those who have done raiding of their villages and done mass rapes of the women.

BLAME India is maintaining a big troop buildup just behind the frontline to attack the Pakistani side anytime and was not following the UNSC guidelines and there was no involvement of the Pakistani army regulars in the war.

FACT They have awarded there officers and jawans for bravery in the Warfield of 1947, which is direct proof that they were misleading the international community.

Conclusion

After all this stalemate what come out of it was that we unfortunately lost almost one third of our crown jewel Kashmir and this still awaits a fox mind strategy and iron feast execution to take back, the integral of India i.e. POK.

Thank you

Aniket Kumar

A defence aspirant, desiring to gain as much knowledge as possible by writing blogs because knowledge increases by sharing.

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