Pakistan rightly commemorates 26 October each year as a “Black Day” as it failed in its mission to occupy and control Kashmir. A former Pakistan Major General, Akbar Khan, has described, documented and admitted how the Pakistan army and its leadership made the wrong decisions and fatal errors which resulted in their defeat. Yet, thousands of innocent people lost their lives in Pakistan’s futile and illegal quest. It’s greed, it’s over ambitious designs through terrorism, violence and intimidation, alongside it’s utter desperation to control Kashmir, has caused generations of suffering for the people of Kashmir. The world must understand the true story behind the Kashmir conflict and we should all offer condolences to the people of Kashmir who have lost their lives and suffered through Pakistan’s aggression.
In his book Raiders in Kashmir, (available to download in English or Urdu https://gofile.io/d/ccKLPE) retired Major General Akbar Khan of the Pakistan Army shares with the reader the leading role the Pakistani Army played in creating the 1947 conflict in Kashmir.
Pakistan has always blamed India for the disputes and the confrontation that have occurred in Jammu and Kashmir, but in this book, the senior Major General not only admits Pakistan’s role in initiating the conflict but defines the strategy and aggressive intentions of Pakistan’s political leadership in its quest to invade and occupy the whole of Kashmir.
Following the creation of West Pakistan from India in August 1947, defined as “Partition” as India was sliced up by the British Empire, the jewel in the crown, Kashmir, a region at the base of the Himalayas, was left to Maharaja Hari Singh to continue his rule. The region was neither given to India, nor to West Pakistan. However, ambitious and manipulating Pakistan had its sights on Kashmir to become part of a bigger Pakistan.
Akbar Khan, served on the Armed Forces Partition Sub-Committee which gave him unfettered access to knowledge and intelligence on the security of Kashmir. At the beginning of September 1947, Akbar Khan as the then Director of Weapons and Equipment (DW&E) stationed at the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army, was asked to prepare a plan to take over Kashmir. In his position as Director, he was fully aware of the stocks of weapons and ammunition held by the Pakistani army and those needed for an assault on Kashmir. In order to execute the aggressive strategy he acquired weapons from Italy, and covertly supplied them to Pakistan’s agents in Kashmir.
The aim of the Pakistani military operation was to invade, plunder and inflict violence on the people of Kashmir, to intimidate and oppress in order to occupy, depose Maharaja Hari Singh and take control of the princely state.
In an operation code-named ‘Gulmarg’, after the region’s hill-station, and with the full understanding of Kashmir’s resources and security capabilities, Pakistan’s military, under direction of its political leadership, formulated an offensive to attack the Maharaja’s forces by surprise and invade Kashmir on 22nd October 1947 – just two months after Partition.
The invasion was sparked because Pakistan had not expected the Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh, to accede Kashmir to India. Pakistan had attempted to threaten the Maharaja by pressurising him and insisting that Kashmir accede to Pakistan – the latter had made it clear that Kashmir would be annexed by force if necessary. True to its threats, following Maharaja Hari Singh’s request to India for support and protection against its aggressive neighbour, Pakistan invaded Kashmir.
On 26 October 1947, at the start of Pakistan’s invasion of Kashmir, Hari Singh acceded to India.
Akbar Khan testifies to the fact that the regular Pakistan army, along with tribal forces it had influenced who were acting on behalf of Pakistan, began their incursions in Kashmir and continued the combat in an attempt to annex Kashmir.
History records that the invasion of 22 October 1947 lasted eight months, but it often describes equal clashes between Indian and Pakistani forces to gain control of Kashmir. In reality this event, as confirmed by Major General Akbar Khan, was an infringement and violation of Kashmir, fully supported by the Pakistani army fighting alongside its tribesmen.
The Pakistani forces were ruthless and barbaric – raping women, killing innocent Kashmiri civilians including children and creating anarchy to accomplish their objective. In the town of Baramula alone on 26 October 1947, of 14000 Kashmiri Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, only 3000 survived. Pakistani forces indulged in the ethnic cleansing of local Kashmiris, something rarely highlighted in historical recounts of the events.
The 22 October remains a “Black Day” for Kashmir. Major General Akbar Khan, the former Pakistani General offers no remorse for the great loss of both human lives and material wealth in Kashmir inflicted by Pakistan’s army and its supporters. History books and the world must now recognise the truth that Pakistan was the invader- and that its political leaders directed the assault and that the Pakistani army carried out the atrocities.
Kashmir acceded to India on 26 October 1947, and any claim Pakistan makes on Kashmir is not only false, it is also illegitimate.
Photo Credit : https://dailytimes.com.pk/489708/nation-marks-black-day-tomorrow-to-express-solidarity-with-kashmiris/