Saturday, 15 October 2016



Pakistan’s attack on Kashmir under the disguise of ‘tribal forces’…

Indo-Pakistan War of 1947–1948

‘Indian Independence Act 1947’ led to the creation of India and Pakistan with effect from the mid night of August 14/15. This act also terminated British paramountcy over the princely states of British India giving them right to accede either to India or to Pakistan or even to remain out of either of the newly created dominions. Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir initially tried to avoid merger with either of the countries.  His indecision and ‘partition frenzy’ led to a ‘revolt’ by Muslim population of Poonch and Mirpur in Jammu area.  Communal frenzy created havoc like elsewhere in India and Pakistan, both of which were smouldering. Taking benefit of this communal tension and indecision of Maharaja Hari Singh, Pakistani forces along with and in the guise of ‘tribals’ of the North West Frontier, particularly Pashtuns from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa attacked Kashmir. They were armed with  weaponry and equipment which had come to the share, subsequent to partition, of the Pakistani army. These tribal militias and irregular / regular Pakistani forces moved to take Srinagar, but on reaching Uri, they encountered resistance. The war was initially fought by the J&K State Forces led by Major-General Scot. 

Hari Singh sought assistance from India and signed the Instrument of Accession on October 26th 1947. Indian army along with its British officers moved in. Pakistan refused to recognise the accession of Kashmir to India, alleging that it was obtained ‘fraudulently’. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Governor General of Pakistan, ordered his army chief general Douglas Gracey to openly move in the Pakistani troops. However the joint commander of the Indian and Pakistani forces Field Marshall Auchinleck intervened to prevent an open confrontation for the time being. The Pakistan’s proxy war, however, continued and later in May 1948,  Pakistani army officially and openly entered the conflict, ostensibly to defend its borders.  It tried to move towards Jammu to cut the lines of communications of the Indian forces in the Mehndar Valley.

In the meantime, Gilgit, a far of region of the erstwhile princely state of Kashmir, was lost when Gilgit Scouts led by a British officer Major William Brown mutinied, overthrew the Governor and got the area merged with Pakistan with active help of Pakistani forces and Chitral, a former princely state which had acceded to Pakistan on 6, October 1947. 

Gradually both the armies solidified their positions along what came to be known as the Line of Control. And a formal cease-fire was declared at 23:59 on the night of 1st January 1949.Though the result of the war was inconclusive; however, India was able to defend about two-third of the Kashmir including the Kashmir valley, Jammu and Ladakh.

Stages of war;
Stages of attack by the so-called Pakistani tribals, which were groups of Pashtun tribals of the North West Frontier, Federally Administered tribal areas with a  high percentage of Pakistani forces in the garb of tribals, indicates that this conglomeration had indeed taken the forces of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, by surprise and continued making good progress till the time Indian forces came in. Initially India took time while waiting for the Instrument of Accession to be signed and then mustering and airlifting its forces. Adverse territorial locale of the mountainous region was a big handicap for India. Facilities for the armed forces were almost primitive. By the time India could fully muster its resources and complete its operation, international pressure had mounted and it was diplomatically forced to halt its operations. Had this ‘war’ continued for some more days, India could have regained the entire ‘lost territory. It is the very first instance of the international forces which have been at work against Indian interests in Kashmir. A passing reference can also be made of the subsequent Indo-Pak wars when India was every time 'forced to give up’, on account of international pressure, the gained Pakistani territory back to that country

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