Kashmiri Groups Condemn Pakistan's 1947 Invasion

22 October 2009
Times of India


New Delhi: As Pakistan teeters on the precipice of instability, Kashmiri groups, particularly in the UK, appear to be doing their own review of history and strategy. For the first time in 62 years, 13 Kashmiri political groups in the UK, under the umbrella of the Kashmiri National Party, passed a resolution against Pakistan's tribal invasion into India in October 1947. This is significant as the Kashmiri groups, for the past six decades, have commemorated October 22 as a black day against Indian forces marching into Srinagar in October 1947. It's a quiet but determined turnaround by the Kashmiri diaspora, mostly in the UK, where they have mainly settled after leaving Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Kashmiri representatives said the tribal invasion was designed to force the maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir to join Pakistan. Interestingly, sources said, apart from Kashmiris, a number of Pakistanis were also present in the conference to express support for the cause of Jammu and Kashmir. Pushing for independence, the Kashmiris said they were opposed to both Indian and Pakistani policies. A Kashmiri representative, Shabir Choudhry, criticised the tribal invasion while Pakistani Kashmiris said that over the years, Kashmiris remained confused about their identity. 'We don't know if we are Pakistanis or Kashmiris.' Given the fact that Pakistan has made the territorial acquisition of Kashmir a form of jihad, this was rejected by many Kashmiris. Their resolution opposed militancy and religion-based politics. There was a general rejection of the 'genie of extremism and hatred released in the name of jihad in October 1947 to advance political agenda'.