Indo-Pakistani Pledges on Kashmir
References courtesy of
Mohammed Ali Jinnah, first Prime Minister of Pakistan:
Welcoming the Indian Independence Act in 1947:
"constitutionally and legally the Indian states will be independent sovereign states on termination of paramountcy and they will be free to decide for themselves to adopt any course they like. It is open to them to join the Hindustan Constituent Assembly or the Pakistan Constituent Assembly or remain independent.."
Jawaharlal Nehru, first Prime Minister of Pakistan:
- In his telegram to the Prime Minister of Pakistan,
should like to make it clear that the question of aiding Kashmir
in this emergency is not designed in any way to influence the
state to accede to India. Our view which we have repeatedly made
public is that the question of accession in any disputed territory
or state must be decided in accordance with wishes of people and
we adhere to this view". (Telegram 402 Primin-2227 dated
27th October, 1947 to PM of Pakistan repeating telegram addressed
to PM of UK).
- In his statement in the Indian Constituent Assembly
on 5th March, 1948, "Even at the moment
of accession, we went out of our way to make a unilateral declaration
that we would abide by the will of the people of Kashmir as declared
in a plebiscite or referendum. We insisted further that the Government
of Kashmir must immediately become a popular government. We have
adhered to that position throughout and we are prepared to have
a Plebiscite with every protection of fair voting and to abide
by the decision of the people of Kashmir".
- In his press-conference in London on 16th January,
1951, as reported by the daily "Statesman" on 18th January,
1951, "India has repeatedly offered
to work with the United Nations reasonable safeguards to enable
the people of Kashmir to express their will and is always ready
to do so. We have always right from the beginning accepted the
idea of the Kashmir people deciding their fate by referendum or
plebiscite. In fact, this was our proposal long before the United
Nations came into the picture. Ultimately the final decision of
the settlement, which must come, has first of all to be made basically
by the people of Kashmir and secondly, as between Pakistan and
India directly. Of course it must be remembered that we (India
and Pakistan) have reached a great deal of agreement already.
What I mean is that many basic features have been thrashed out.
We all agreed that it is the people of Kashmir who must decide
for themselves about their future externally or internally. It
is an obvious fact that even without our agreement no country
is going to hold on to Kashmir against the will of the Kashmiris".
- In his report to All Indian Congress Committee
on 6th July, 1951, "Kashmir has been wrongly
looked upon as a prize for India or Pakistan. People seem to forget
that Kashmir is not a commodity for sale or to be bartered. It
has an individual existence and its people must be the final arbiters
of their future. It is here today that a struggle is bearing fruit,
not in the battlefield but in the minds of men".
- In a letter dated 11th September, 1951, to the
U.N. representative, Pandit Nehru wrote, "The Government
of India not only reaffirms its acceptance of the principle that
the question of the continuing accession of the state of Jammu
and Kashmir to India shall be decided through the democratic method
of a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United
Nations but is anxious that the conditions necessary for such
a plebiscite should be created as quickly as possible".
- On 2nd January, 1952, in reply to Dr. Mookerji's question
in the Indian Legislature as to what the Congress Government was going
to do about one third of territory still held by Pakistan, " is not the property of either India or Pakistan.
It belongs to the Kashmiri people. When Kashmir acceded to India,
we made it clear to the leaders of the Kashmiri people that we
would ultimately abide by the verdict of their Plebiscite. If
they tell us to walk out, I would have no hesitation in quitting.
We have taken the issue to United Nations and given our word of
honour for a peaceful solution. As a great nation we cannot go
back on it. We have left the question for final solution to the
people of Kashmir and we are determined to abide by their decision".
- In his statement in the Indian Parliament on
7th August, 1952, "Let me say clearly
that we accept the basic proposition that the future of Kashmir
is going to be decided finally by the goodwill and pleasure of
her people. The goodwill and pleasure of this Parliament is of
no importance in this matter, not because this Parliament does
not have the strength to decide the question of Kashmir but because
any kind of imposition would be against the principles that this
Parliament holds. Kashmir is very close to our minds and hearts
and if by some decree or adverse fortune, ceases to be a part
of India, it will be a wrench and a pain and torment for us. If,
however, the people of Kashmir do not wish to remain with us,
let them go by all means. We will not keep them against their
will, however painful it may be to us. I want to stress that it
is only the people of Kashmir who can decide the future of Kashmir.
It is not that we have merely said that to the United Nations
and to the people of Kashmir, it is our conviction and one that
is borne out by the policy that we have pursued, not only in Kashmir
but everywhere. Though these five years have meant a lot of trouble
and expense and in spite of all we have done, we would willingly
leave if it was made clear to us that the people of Kashmir wanted
us to go. However sad we may feel about leaving we are not going
to stay against the wishes of the people. We are not going to
impose ourselves on them on the point of the bayonet".
- In his statement in the Lok Sabha on 31st March,
1955, " Kashmir is perhaps the most difficult
of all these problems between India and Pakistan. We should also
remember that Kashmir is not a thing to be bandied between India
and Pakistan but it has a soul of its own and an individuality
of its own. Nothing can be done without the goodwill and consent
of the people of Kashmir".
More of the same available at Kashmir Canada...
Back to Alerts |
Pagework by Nancho East