Srinagar: Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, the ‘lion’ of Kashmir, passed away on September 8, 1982, after monopolising Kashmir politics for five decades. Most of the Kashmiris accuse him of betrayal. For some, however, he continues to be a source of inspiration.
The ‘tragic hero’ of Kashmir tried his best to rectify his wrongs but the people he was dealing with proved too strong for him. A report released on April 20, 2011 at Anantnag claims that Sheikh favoured armed struggle for “liberation of Jammu and Kashmir” in 1953.
The report is based on Sheikh’s speech of July 13, 1953 wherein he said, “These martyrs have prepared us for bigger sacrifices to achieve our freedom and our right of self-determination. If required, our youth would not desist from fighting a liberation war on the lines of Algerian people.”
He also said, “I regret my mistake of coming in the way of merger with Pakistan. I had fears that they won’t treat me well, but I was wrong. Now I feel back stabbed, I no longer trust Indian rulers, we have different ways now.”A Constituent Assembly member, Abdul Gani Goni corroborates this. In his autobiography ‘Sada-e-Bazgusht’, he writes on page 54, “By 1948, Sheikh sahib had realized his mistake of supporting state’s accession with India. He had started dreaming of an independent state and made no bones about it. During those fateful days, Maulana Azad visited Kashmir. Sheikh Abdullah delivered a fiery speech at Hazratbal. Azad also wanted to address the people but Sheikh Abdullah sabotaged the move. A humiliated and angry Azad immediately left for New Delhi.”
The ‘Sher-e-Kashmir’ was caged for his 1953 ‘heriocs’. The prolonged detention, according to the report, taxed his nerves to the extent that he stopped dreaming about Independence from India. Instead, he suggested division of Jammu Kashmir. This stands proved by his letter to Col. Naseer of Egypt in 1965.
While giving a brief history of the conflict and its impact on global politics, Sher-e-Kashmir wrote “…No doubt the best and most democratic solution could be through a plebiscite. Should this not be feasible, there are other practicable solutions, suggested in the past. One such solution was made by Sir Owen Dixon, the UN Representative appointed to negotiate a settlement between India and Pakistan. Broadly speaking, Sir Owen Dixon proposed that:
“(a) The southern parts of the state comprising Kathua, Jammu and parts of Udhampur districts (now being predominantly Hindu areas) may be annexed with India.
(b) The area, now known as Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan being exclusively Muslim be annexed with Pakistan.
(c) The Valley of Kashmir along with the adjoining areas across Banihal (i.e. the district of Doda and the Niabat of Arnas, Gulab Garh) to be allowed to decide its future through a plebiscite. Leh is to follow the result of plebiscite, held in this territory (Kargil being exclusively Muslim in population to go with the Valley).”
Sheikh Abdullah concluded his letter by seeking Naseer’s help. “The above proposal can be a very good basis for discussion between India and Pakistan and Kashmir. It is hoped that friendly countries, interested in a settlement, will take up this proposal levels, as well as the international conference. Needless to say that as earnest effort in this direction will be the greatest service to the cause of peace in the world.”
Publish Date: 8-09-13 11:39 PM