Sheikh Abdullah’s Blazing Chinar: A Critical Review VII (c)

Sheikh Abdullah’s Blazing Chinar: A Critical Review VII (c)
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By M J Aslam

“SMA justifies his decision of not going to Pakistan by saying that Sadiq had escaped from that country with “great difficulty” and that “it was disclosed later that they had a sinister design in inviting me” . They wanted to force me “declare accession” with them and in case “if I refuted, then they would shift me to some unknown place and announce that Sheikh Sahab had acceded to Pakistan”. 40. This story has not been corroborated by any independent source. It, on its face, seems to be a canard to find a justification for things which he never wanted. He had much earlier chosen to throw his lot with India which has been stated as his tragic blunder”
SMA levels severest charges of killing in Baramullah town by “raiders”. 27. By the time news of tribal attack reached to the town, writes Alaistar Lamb, the town was deserted. He says that “in a pre-crisis population of 14,000, to say 13, 000 were killed is nonsense”. 28. Victoria Schafield writes there were five killings in total at Saint Joseph’s Franciscan Convent Baramullah which included three Europeans and one nun. 29. Ian Stephens describes murders at Saint Joseph’s Convent as “bad but secondary episode, soon inflated out of all proportion by Indian propaganda at countries of Christian West”. 30. The Pathans’ invasion involved ‘dramatic but over-notorious happenings’, small by comparison with events in Poonch and Jammu. 31. P N Bazaz writes that they (tribesmen) wanted to liberate Kashmir from tyranny of the Maharaja and the nationalist renegades. And, we should not forget that some members of Indian army did no less killing and molesting. 32. The basic cause was the action of the Hindu ruler in suppressing the popular agitation in favour of Pakistan. 33.
NC leadership and its “men” by their propaganda had succeeded in creating a very hating-mindset among Kashmiris against “tribals” so much so that those who had not seen them even were carried away by the sweeping tides of propaganda. 34. But, M Y Saraf , who was a native resident of Baramullah gives an honest account of some “incidents of excesses” caused by the tribesmen against the residents of the town that included “all communities”. However, he hastened to add that bad news travels fast; the news of these incidents reached Srinagar and lent strength to the campaign of untruths and half truths that the leadership and the Mahajan administration had let loose against the tribesmen. 35. There is one more unconfirmed report that some “red shirts” (Congressmen inducted by Nehru) accompanying the tribesmen did the acts of killing & loot. 36.
Seventhly, SMA is totally silent about the number of Muslim delegations from Pakistan side who visited him during those fateful 1st to 3rd weeks of October, 1947 immediately after his release from prison on 29-09-1947, “all with one demand that he must support State’s accession with Pakistan”. The delegates included eminent personalities, namely, Dr Mohammad Din Taseer, (a former Principal of SP College, Srinagar) and Khawja Abdul Rahim (Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi), both of Kashmir descent and also Malik Taj ud Din and Mian Iftikhar ud Din, seeking his support for accession of JK with that Dominion, with “tearful eyes” and “some of whom even broke down under the weight of emotions while beseeching him not to accede to….”. 37. They remained in Srinagar for 2 to 3 days and they did their best to persuade him to see writing on the wall and support the State’s accession with their Dominion in the larger interests of overwhelming Muslim population of the State. They invited him to visit Karachi for a meeting with Jinnah. He told the delegation that he had been invited by Jawaharlal to visit Delhi and that once his Delhi visit is completed he would fly to Karachi to meet Jinnah. 38. However, he did not visit Karachi after meeting Nehru at Delhi. But before leaving for Delhi, he had sent G M Sadiq to Pakistan who returned but to New Delhi directly with a letter from Jinnah addressed to SMA requesting his support for accession with that country and assuring him that accession with that country would be limited to defense, foreign affairs and communication only, besides State would be having autonomy, right to secede and permanent representation in foreign office of that country. This letter was handed over to Nehru by GM Sadiq at the behest of SMA. 39. SMA justifies his decision of not going to Pakistan by saying that Sadiq had escaped from that country with “great difficulty” and that “it was disclosed later that they had a sinister design in inviting me” . They wanted to force me “declare accession” with them and in case “if I refuted, then they would shift me to some unknown place and announce that Sheikh Sahab had acceded to Pakistan”. 40. This story has not been corroborated by any independent source. It, on its face, seems to be a canard to find a justification for things which he never wanted. He had much earlier chosen to throw his lot with India which has been stated as his tragic blunder. 41.
Footnotes:
27) 27. Blazing Chinar pages 287-288; 28) Alaistar Lamb, Birth of a Tragedy (1994) page 115 exposing exaggerated figures of VPMenon; the Indian publicists have given the loss such dimensions that the word exaggeration is too insignificant to convey the truth, writes M Y Saraf, in volume 2, page 941; 29). Kashmir in Conflict (2003) by Victoria Schafield, pages 59-60 (SMA writes 14 nuns were raped by tribesmen at Saint Joseph’s Convent but there is no mention or confirmation of it in any independent source of history); 30) Cited in Kashmir in Conflict (2003) by Victoria Schafield, page 60; 31) Cited in a paper titled “Telling Stories & making myth” by Andrew Whitehead ; 32) P N Bazaz, Azad Kashmir, (Lahore) page 33 cited in Kashmir in Conflict (2003) by Victoria Schafield, page 60; 33) Kashmir in Conflict (2003) by Victoria Schafield, page 60 quoting Commonwealth Relations Officer; 34) Shabnum Qayoom, Comprehensive History of Kashmir (2014), Volume 3rd, page 175; 35) M Y Saraf, Kashmiris-Fight for Freedom ( 2009) Volume two, Pages 906-909, 941-942 (number of Hindus & Pandits killed did not exceed six , there were , however, many unfortunate Sikh killings by tribesmen; albeit majority of their families had fled from the area) ; 36) Greater Kashmir, dated 26-10-2017: Who knew about the raid; 37) M Isaaq Munshi , Nid e Haq (2014), page 181-182; M Y Saraf, Kashmiris-Fight for Freedom ( 2009) volume two, pages 799- 800; Betrayal Yesterday, Distortion Today, Munshi Ghulam Hassan, Kashmir Awareness, dated 12-01-2011; 38) M Y Saraf, Kashmiris-Fight for Freedom ( 2009) volume two, page 800; 39) Betrayal Yesterday, Distortion Today, Munshi Ghulam Hassan, Kashmir Awareness, dated 12-01-2011; 40) Blazing Chinar , Page 285 ( SMA has based his allegations ( not supported by any independent source till date) on a report of R K Reddy who was editor Kashmir Time but initially anti-Dogra & pro-Pak as he was externed for those policies ,immediately after Partition by Dogra regime, to Pakistan where he was associated with APP . He was later on interned by Pak authorities too on charges of spying for India when he escaped in 1948. Thereafter, he was reporting for Blitz & Hindu. Nowhere, as editor of KT has G K Reddy, as claimed by SMA, ever made such an accusation. May be after he was externed from Pak as a spy, he had made such acrimonious assertions which was but natural reaction then); 41) M Y Saraf, Kashmiris-Fight for Freedom (2009) volume two, page 803.

—The author can be reached at: mjaslam09@gmail.com Views expressed are personal