Pakistan Had Planned To Jail Late Sheikh Abdullah
8 November 2006
New Delhi: Pakistan government had on the eve of its 1947 invasion of Kashmir planned to invite late Sheikh Abdullah to Karachi for 'personal discussions' with Muhammad Ali Jinnah and detain him and declare a 'provisional government of free Kashmir formed under his presidentship while he would be rotting in jail. This and several other startling behind-the-scene goings on in Kashmir then have been brought to light in a just- published book on the history of Jammu and Kashmir's accession to India. According to the book 'Bonfire of Kashmiryat - Deconstructing the Accession' by well-known journalist Sandeep Bamzai, the D-day of the planned invasion of Kashmir had to be postponed several times so as to entice Abdullah to come to Pakistan. The book also discloses that Indian Communists were at one stage in 1948-49 feared to be plotting to stage a coup against the National Conference government led by Sheikh Abdullah and capture power. It quotes the then director of the Intelligence Bureau T G Sanjevi to have reported to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on August 5, 1948, about the serious threat of 'Communist infiltration' warning that the 'real intention' was to topple the government. With the cold war at its height in the late 40's and 50's, the book claims the state had even then been the centrestage of super power rivalry and that 'instructions had been received from Moscow by the Communist Party of India to start propaganda war against the Sheikh Abdullah government'. The book says that Communist elements had infiltrated into the national conference during the party's Quit Kashmir Movement against Maharaja Hari Singh in 1942 who had been instructed to capture the country when the 'coast was clear'. 'The Communists were slowly conspiring to stage a coup de tat in Kashmir and overthrow Abdullah,' the book claims saying that a report from Congress Party indicated that instructions were received from Moscow by the Communist Party of India to this effect. 'All help for Communist struggle is also said to have been promised,' the book claims. The book says a branch of the Communist Party of India was established in Srinagar in 1942 apparently to strengthen allied war effort. In September 1942, Fazal Elahi Qurban, the well-known Communist from Lahore, organised an anti-Facist school in a house boat and the book says even prominent National Conference leaders like late Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad and G M Sadiq appears to have visited the school to encourage the movement.