Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Friday, April 2, 2010

J&K State in the 19th Century

Javid says that the Treaty of Amritsar wasn’t the sole treaty thrust on Kashmir, there were a series of treaties and agreements signed in March 1846

(Dr. Javid Iqbal, 63, was born in Srinagar. He attended the D.A.V. School, Srinagar, and graduated in Medicine from the Government Medical College (GMC). His professional service in medicine includes work in the Middle East for three decades. During his days at the GMC, he captained the cricket team. He enjoys writing and staying close to his children in far away lands.)

Genesis of J&K State

Contrary to usual conception of March 16th treaty of Amritsar being the sole treaty that was thrust on Kashmir, there were a series of treaties and agreements signed in March 1846. Prior to it was the Lahore treaty of 9th March, in which a handover and takeover of Kashmir was affected between Khalsa Durbar of Lahore and East India company and an agreement on March 11th and ultimately another one, as late as May 25, 1947 between Khalsa Durbar of Lahore and Dogra Durbar of Jammu exchanging territories to East and West of Jhelum.

An effort has been made to stick to the original Persian text of the treaty, as far as possible. Emphasis on the titles, the honorific, while referring to persons who negotiated the treaty has been retained. Over emphasis on formalities is ingrained in Persian language and culture, still in 21st century, which might appear strange to the casual reader, but not to those who have had a chance to live with Iranians over a period of time. On to the text of the treaties and agreements:

Lahore Treaty of Ninth March

The treaty which was at Lahore on 9th March, corresponding to 10th Rabbi-ul-Awal 1292 A.H/29th Pahgan 1902 carried the signature of seven ministers. It was finally signed and sealed by Henry Harding and Maharaja Dilip Singh. Lahore treaty carries a total of 16 articles, article 4, 12 and 13 being Kashmir specific; 3 and 5 linked to four.

Article Three:-Maharaja Bhadur agrees to transfer the area of the country between rivers Ravi and Beas and the adjoining hilly areas to Company Bhadur, without retaining the legal right to re-claim it.

Article Four:- While as the British Government in addition to areas noted in article three asked Lahore Durbar to pay Rs one and a half crores as war booty and since Lahore Government neither has the required cash nor any possession, satisfactory to the heart’s content of the British Government so Maharaja agrees to transfer for good; forts, the countries, the legal rights of the hilly state, falling towards Hazara, between rivers Beas and Sindh, including Kashmir and Hazara in exchange of one crore out of one and a half crores, that it owes to British Government

Article Five:- At the time of signing of treaty, even before that, Rs 50 lakh shall be paid to British Government

Article Twelve:- Taking cognizance of the services of Raja Gulab Singh in working out friendship and unity between the British Government and Lahore Durbar and proving true to his salt in stabilizing the State of Lahore, Maharaja agrees to accept the right of full sovereignty, over the hilly territories [alluding to Kashmir and Hazara in NWFP] which shall be handed over to the said Raja in a separate agreement, including the adjoining hilly territory[pointing to Chamba valley in Himachal] in Raja Gulab Singh’s care, ever since the reign of Maharaja Khadak Singh. The British Government in recognition of Raja as an ally of exalted British Government agrees to accept and grant recognition to the sovereign rights of the said Raja in the mentioned territories through a separate treaty and make him supreme.

Article Thirteen:- Were a dispute to arise between the Lahore State and Raja Gulab Singh, Maharaja Sahab, the ruler of Lahore agrees to put the dispute to an official appointed by Company Bhadur and whatever the appointee decides in meditating the dispute, Maharaja, the ruler of Lahore shall abide by it, without a note of dissent.

Gulab Singh assumed sovereign rights, over Kashmir as enshrined in article 4 and 12 of Lahore treaty, signed on 9th March. The treaty of Amritsar signed on March, the 16th formalised what was agreed in Lahore. Allama Iqbal says of the treaty:

Dahkan, Kisht, Joey VA Khayaban Farukh’tand

Qaum-i- Farukh’tand VA Che Arza’n Farukh’tand!

Peasent, the land, the stream, the avenues sliced

A nation was sold and how cheap was it priced?!

Treaty of Amritsar

Article one

The British Government hands over the country of Kashmir and Hazara and the entire mountainous region, falling between rivers Ravi and Sindh, towards Hazara, with river Sindh on eastern and river Ravi on western side including the territory of Chamb, excluding Lahul; which was transferred and presented to British Government, by Lahore royal court, as per article four of the treaty of 9th March permanently, with total sovereign rights to Maharaja Gulab Singh’s male inheritors, in order of succession.

Article two

The eastern borders of the territory transferred, as per article one of this treaty would be settled and marked by trustees of British Government and Maharaja Gulab Singh and noted in a separate agreement.

Article three

Maharaja Gulab Singh, in exchange of territories transferred, as per the articles noted above, shall pay an amount 0f 75 lakhs Nanak Shahi Rupees to Imperial British Government; 50 lakhs immediately and 25 lakhs within six months.

Article four

The borders of Maharaja Gulab Singh’s country would not be subjected to any change without consent of British Government.

Article five

If ever incidentally, a dispute arises between Maharaja Gulab Singh and Lahore court or any one of his neighbouring states, he would take the dispute to officials of Government of Company Bhadur and whatever the settlement, the officials appointed by Governor General to look into the matter, decide on; shall be accepted by Maharaja without reservations.

Article six

Maharaja Gulab Singh agrees on his own and on behalf of his successors; if ever the victorious British army gets an assignment to be in the mountainous country or in areas, close to territories, under his control; Maharaja, with his all his armed forces, should present himself, as and when required by British armed forces.

Article seven

Maharaja agrees; not to take a Britisher, European or an American, in his employment, without acceptance and permission of officials of Company Bhadur.

Article eight

Maharaja Sahib agrees to keep in view/ in consideration articles 5, 6, 7 of a separate agreement between the British Government and the Lahore Durbar, signed on March 11, 1846; in the territories transferred to him.

Article nine

British Government affirms to safeguard the RAJ and country of Maharaja from external enemies.

Article ten

Maharaja Gulab Singh, keeping in view the absolute supremacy and ultimate sovereignty of British Government; agrees to present in tribute, year after year, a high bred horse, twelve Tibetan goat woollen hides of high quality, six male and six female and a two pairs of Kashmiri Shawls.

This treaty, based on ten articles was concluded between Fredrick Kerry, Sahib Bhadur and Major Lawrence, Sahib Bhadur; on behalf of Respected and Highly titled Nawab; Rt.Honourable, Sir. Henry Hardinge, GBC; Governor General, as emissaries/trustees and Maharaja Gulab Singh; present in person (Asalatan in Persian, a term in vogue in Nikkah ceremonies)

The takeover of Kashmir was not easy. Lahore double crossed. Article 13th of Lahore treaty was invoked, when Imam-ud-Din, the last Governor of Lahore court, resisted the takeover. The British would have none of it, enforcing Maharaja Gulab Singh’s army with their own men and resistance was subdued.

Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi
[Reunion is subordinate to survival]

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