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Nehru did commit a mistake by declaring ceasefire in J&K
Defending the indefensible
7/20/2019 12:42:30 AM
Early Times Report
Jammu, July 19: Union Minister Amit Shah's June 28 statement in the Lok Sabha that Prime Minister JL Nehru's 1948 ceasefire helped Pakistan annex J&K's 1/3rd territories (now called PoJK and Gilgit-Baltistan) has not gone down well with the votaries of Nehruvian approach. They have advancing spurious arguments to defend the indefensible and are seeking to tell that the Indian Army was not in a position to get the aggression vacated.
Union Minister Amit Shah had claimed in the Lok Sabha while speaking on J&K that Nehru wrongly declared a ceasefire in 1948 and, as a result, one-third of the state was lost to India. The critics have been saying that "this is arguably corroborated by unverified reports that Gen Cariappa, who was the commander in charge of the fighting, disagreed with the ceasefire decision" and that "he felt India could regain all of Jammu and Kashmir if the Army was given three weeks more".
The critics of Shah have been advancing three arguments to defend the Nehru's uncalled ceasefire. In 1948, JL Nehru had three good reasons for ordering ceasefire. One is that "a decision to ceasefire is not determined by generals alone". The other argument is that "Nehru faced international pressure - specifically from the US - which a one-year-old country would have found hard to resist". And, their third argument is that the terrain and logistics were in Pakistan's favour. "Equally importantly, beyond the ceasefire line, the terrain and logistics were increasingly in Pakistan's favour whilst the forces our Army would have confronted would be the Pakistan army and not the Pathan Lashkars," the critics of Amit Shah and apologists of Nehru have been saying.
All the three arguments are as untenable as they are flawed. All the three arguments only suggested that India was not strong enough to defend its sovereignty; that the Indian Army was incapable of throwing the invaders out of J&K; that Pakistan was in a commanding position; and that India had not become a full-fledged state in the real sense of the term (even after Britain quit India) which could resist international pressure. No one could defend the indefensible. After all, the ceasefire gave J&K's 1/3rd territories to Pakistan on a platter and the territories Nehru allowed Pakistan to occupy were of strategic importance.
A peep into the history clearly suggests that Nehru ordered ceasefire to help his friend Sheikh Abdullah of Kashmir to become an undisputed Sultan of J&K. It is important to note that all the areas which have been under the illegal occupation of Pakistan since 1947-48 were part of Jammu and Ladakh and that not one person in those areas spoke Kashmiri. They were all ethnically, culturally, socially and linguistically different. Amit Shah only spoke the truth. It is a different matter that neither Vajpayee nor Narendra Modi during his first tenure took any step to integrate PoJK and Gilgit-Baltistan into India.
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