Kashmir Politics



At the dawn of independence, the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir dithered over the choice of acceding either to India or Pakistan. He negotiated 'Standstill Agreements' with both the countries. While India rejected the proposal, Pakistan accepted it. However, Pakistan soon encouraged a series of border clashes which led to a situation where troops numbering about 9000 were spread all over the state in small pockets. Having accomplished this, Pakistan then sent hordes of tribals (Afridis/ Pakhtoons) and its regular soldiers equipped with modern weapons to invade Jammu and Kashmir on 22 October 1947. The invaders overwhelmed the state troops and within 5 days, they were knocking at the gates of Srinagar, leaving behind a trail of death and destruction. Meanwhile, the Maharaja requested the Government of India (24 October 1947) to accept the accession of the state to India asking for military assistance to drive out the invaders. The Government of India accepted (26 October 1947) the accession of the state of Jammu & Kashmir to the Union of India and dispatched (27 October 1947) airborne troops to defend Kashmir. While accepting the accession, the Government of India unilaterally offered to refer the matter relating to the future of the State to its people.