1938: Maqbool Bhat is Born

Muhammad Maqbool Bhat, who would later found the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), was born in Kupwara on February 18, 1938. Politically conscious even when still quite young, Maqbool had to migrate to Pakistan because of his stand on Kashmir. But he returned, and was arrested on charges of murder.  Put into prison under a death sentence, Maqbool escaped from the Central Jail in Srinagar by digging a tunnel under its walls, eventually crossing into Pak-administered-Kashmir. On his return a few years later, he was taken into custody once again and shifted to the Tihar Jail in Delhi where he was hanged on February 11, 1984, soon after the kidnapping and murder of an Indian diplomat in Britain.

1952: Washington Cables Embassy in New Delhi
“(The) primary US consideration is (the) maintenance (of the) strictest neutrality as between India and Pak. (The) US desires simply (to) assist in any possible manner (in an) early solution (of the Kashmir issue) acceptable to both parties. Either party showing unwillingness (to) make fair concessions and live up to previous commitments would naturally be inviting adverse criticism.
“The case must be viewed as (an) urgent problem with most delicate international political overtones. (The) only possible solution regardless of claims and counterclaims of past rights and wrongs would be one based on present realities and (the) recognition that both sides have justifiable if conflicting interests. No disposition of case which is not freely accepted and implemented by both parties can possibly free (the) subcontinent from (the) danger (of) eventual hostilities, (or) lighten (the) present drain on respective economies and enable both nations (to) pool their defense capabilities against possible outside aggression.
“Patience in view of intense emotionalism on each side continues (to) be essential. This must not exclude firm pressure on either or both sides (if it) were calculated to induce them (to) accept reasonable proposals.
It is clear that Sovs (the Soviets) and commies (the Communists) are intensifying their activities in and on (the) borders of (the) subcontinent in such manner as unmistakably to indicate immediate threat. Kashmir maneuvers may well be one aspect (of the) overall commie strategy. Deptel (State Department telegram) 1571 to New Delhi (on) Feb 2 provides (the) background (to) these developments; note especially (the) presence of (a) nr (number) of commies or fellow travelers in (Sheikh) Abdullah’s entourage and (Afzal) Beg’s proposed visit (to) Peking.”

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