Friday, August 19, 2011

Akbar Khan's *Raiders in Kashmir*- The Hurriyat's denial of it is therefore their central falsehood

Former President of Muslim League, Sardar Shoukat Hayat Khan, gave major details about the tribal invasion in an interview with Daily Jung, London in April 1995. Later his book ‘The Nation that Lost Its Soul’ and its Urdu translation ‘Gum Gashta Qaum’ were published and appeared in the market. Sample some excerpts from the book of Sardar Shoukat Hayat Khan:

“I was appointed supervisor of the Kashmir Operation. I requisitioned the services of Brigadier Sher Khan and Brigadier Akbar Khan. Both were from 6/13 Frontier Force (Puffers). We also requested that we be supplied with the guns of local make like the ones that were in the Lahore Fort. Apart from this we also included former INA general Kayani, Colonel Dara and Taj Khanzada in this expedition.”

(Gum Gashta Qaum, p.278)

“ Taj Khanzada was appointed Commander of Baramulla and General Kayani was entrusted with the job of breaching Kathua road, so that Akhnoor be taken over and the land link between India and Kashmir snapped.

“At this time Ghulam Mohammed, the Finance Minister of Pakistan, recommended the inclusion of a relative of his in the High Command. This was Major Khurshid Anwar, a reserve officer of the Railway Battalion who had – during the time of the referendum in NorthWest Frontier Province – played truant as the Commander of Muslim League National Guard. His sole qualification was that he and Ghulam Mohammed were cousins. I rejected this recommendation on the grounds that I could not entrust military command to a non-military person. But Ghulam Mohammed (Finance Minister) and Liaqat Ali Khan insisted that his inclusion be accepted to make the National Guard happy.

(ibid, p.218)

“We selected the tribes near the Black Mountains of Swat to occupy the frontier mountain ranges of Kashmir. We also decided to keep tribes of other areas out of this war to maintain the element of a surprise, sudden attack and the secrecy required for the same.”

“We had decided upon a date in September as the D-Day. It came to be known that Khurshid Anwar had gone missing. He had married a Muslim League woman worker in Peshawar and disappeared for his honeymoon.”

“I reached the Muzaffarabad border, beyond which I did no have permission to go lest a Pakistani Minister be arrested in Kashmir. This war had to be seen as a popular uprising.”

“At Baramulla, the tribals refused to take orders from Khurshid Anwar. The tribals started treating the three lakh rupees from the treasury as their own ….. during this time they started looting the locals. The lockets and collars of the nuns of Baramulla Convent were snatched. The tribals went on a looting spree in the market. Thus, precious time was lost.
We lost Kashmir due to our own follies.”

(ibid, p.280)

Sardar Shoukat Hayat Khan makes a surprising revelation in his book. Lord Mountbatten had come to Lahore for a meeting with Liaqat Ali Khan. After dinner Mountbatten told Liaqat Ali Khan that he was carrying the message from the Iron Man of India, Sardar Patel, that Pakistan should get out of Hyderabad and Junagarh since both were Hindu majority states and had no overland link with Pakistan. In return India would withdraw its forces from Kashmir which could then accede to Pakistan.
Shoukat Hayat says that after conveying this message, Mountbatten retired for the night to the Government House, while two or three of us colleagues stayed back. We went up to Liaqat Ali Khan and said to him that we may consider Patel’s proposal regarding the exchange of Hyderabad in lieu of Kashmir, since we did not have a just claim on Hyderabad in any case.
Turning to me, Liaqat Ali Khan replied: Sardar Sahib, do you think I have lost my mind to accept the proposal and give up Hyderabad, which is bigger than Punjab province, for a few mountains of Kashmir?

(ibid, p. 280, 281)

Stating the reasons for the tribal incursion into Kashmir, Sardar Shoukat Hayat Khan writes:
“India accepted the Security Council resolution as per which the decision about Kashmir had to be arrived at through a referendum. It kept on putting off this referendum on one or the other pretext. Even after assuring the United Nations on oath, it reneged on its decision to hold a plebiscite. We saw through the deceit of India and the Maharaja and decided to enter Kashmir.”

(ibid, p.278)

Subroto Roy Mr Kaul, thank you *very much* for this addition. Akbar Khan's *Raiders in Kashmir* needs to be uploaded onto the Internet for all too. The attack changed everything in Kashmir; it was because of the attack that Hari Singh and Sh Abdullah came together and allied themselves with one another and with India; it is because of the attack that the history and present of Kashmir has been what it is. The Hurriyat's denial of it is therefore their central falsehood, since that is the basis for India and Pakistan carving up by military contest the ownerless anarchic territory that Dogra J&K had become.

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