Secrecy over Kashmir letters

New reports suggest that the Indian government is blocking the declassification of several documents relating to its invasion of Kashmir in 1947 and the subsequent ceasefire that led to the current status quo, with Pakistan supporting the formation of the self-governed territories of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, while India illegally occupied the rest of the region

The Guardian says the documents — known as the ‘Bucher papers’ as they refer to communication between then-Indian Army chief Gen Roy Bucher and senior government officials, including then-prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru — contain the military and political rationale behind the ceasefire and India’s willingness to grant special status to Kashmir, rather than either ending its illegal occupation or going all-in and formally annexing the areas under its illegal occupation

Even though the special status of Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution has been stripped by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, how the law came about remains a mystery for most of the world

This may tie in to why the government refuses to declassify the documents — they may include some details on how political control over Occupied Kashmir was established

At the bare minimum, the fact that the chair of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library has been pushing for their release suggests that whatever is in the documents, it will probably make Nehru look heroic to Indian audiences while exposing the lies of the Modi government before the world

After all, if Article 370 was truly bad for India, as Modi and his cronies claimed, exposing the rationale behind it would have been a political boon for the ruling BJP

Instead, speculation is rife that the letters would show that Nehru managed to use his political skills to win sympathisers in Occupied Kashmir and keep the world community from intervening in Pakistan’s favour at a time when there was already concern in India that its military was fatigued from over a year of war, while Pakistani military and Kashmiri and pro-Kashmiri irregulars remained committed to the cause

Published in The Express Tribune, February 21st, 2023

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Date:22-Feb-2023 Reference:View Original Link