Farooq Abdullah has said in an article in a well-produced Urdu journal from Srinagar that his late father, Sheikh Abdullah, would have been happy to know that the Kashmir youth were picking up the gun for their rights. This is nothing but a figment of Farooq’s imagination.

Even the Pakistan Foreign Minister, Zulfikhar Ali Bhutto, had a similar approach. He did send infiltrators into Kashmir in the hope that the Kashmiris would rise against India and join him to demand accession to Pakistan.

He turned out to be wrong. The Kashmiris, sufi by nature, were against fanaticism and the criteria of religion, that is Islam, to decide accession. The Pakistani infiltrators were detected by the Kashmiris themselves and handed over to the Indian army.

I knew Sheikh Saheb fairly well. He was the first person to come to my hotel as soon as I informed his office about my presence in Srinagar after my three-month detention during the emergency. I remember his words: Ab tum bhi Haji ho javoge (You have also become a Haji), meaning thereby a jail pilgrim.

The Sheikh was referring to my detention at the Tihar jail because I had written strongly against Indira Gandhi’s authoritarian rule. This reminded Sheikh Sahib of the detention by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru at Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu. He was so close to Nehru that he would stay at his house whenever he came to Delhi. Even after the detention, he stayed with him because Nehru admitted his mistake and apologized.

Those who are saying all the time that Kashmir is an integral part of India are wrong in the sense that the state of Jammu and Kashmir enjoys autonomy as enunciated in Article 370 which says that except the three subjects—foreign affairs, defence and communications—the other articles of the constitution that gave powers to the Central Government would be applied to Jammu and Kashmir only with the concurrence of the state’s constituent assembly.

In other words, because of these constitutional provisions, the State of Jammu & Kashmir enjoyed the type of autonomy which other states don’t have. Subsequently, the Sheikh Saheb had the state constituent assembly pass a resolution that the state of Jammu and Kashmir had acceded to India irrevocably. Before doing so, he sent Sadiq Sahib, who became the state chief minister later, to Pakistan to assess what kind of polity Islamabad was going to pursue.

After hearing Sadiq’s view on the policy which Rawalpindi wanted to follow, the Sheikh Saheb, a product of national struggle to obtain independence from the maharaja and the British, took no time in joining India because his heart was for a pluralistic state. A democratic India, where there would be religious freedom, was the obvious choice for him because Pakistan was wallowing in Islam at that time.

With the passage of time, the Sheikh became the only liberal voice which could be heard clearly in the midst of Hindu and Muslim challenges and counter-challenges. I recall when I was released from the Tihar Jail my co-prisoners asked me to visit Srinagar and request the Sheikh to speak against the emergency because he was respected all over the country.

When I met him at Srinagar, the Sheikh saw the point and issued a statement, criticizing the emergency in unequivocal language. Indira Gandhi traced the statement to my equation with the Sheikh. But what mattered was boosting the morale of those detained during the emergency. The entire nation had fallen silent and was afraid to speak out at that time. It had lost the sensibility to differentiate between the wrong and the right, moral and immoral.

Whenever he spoke, entire India listened to him because his statements transcended the state boundary. In the process, he translated the real sentiments of people. So much so that even political parties in the opposition lapped up whatever he said because he kept India above the state’s interests because he had the aura of a tall leader who did not get into pettiness of politics.

Farooq Abdullah has tried to dwarf the Sheikh’s stature by restricting him to Kashmir. He would have admonished New Delhi for creating such conditions in the state that the Kashmirs were forced to pick up the guns because New Delhi failed to make good the promise: the centre will have only three subjects, defence, foreign affairs and communications, and the rest will be in the domain of the state.

Farooq Abdullah’s earlier statement was constructive. He said that India should recognize the line of control as the international border and allow Islamabad to integrate the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) which is at present under the Pakistani army. In fact, Farooq has hit the hail on is head because both countries have clashed with each other often on the violation of the LoC.

Whatever their strategies or aspirations, the two sides should face the fact:  Both India and Pakistan have fought two wars in trying to resolve the border issue on their own. They cannot afford to have another war, particularly when both have nuclear weapons.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has done well in allaying the fears of India on the Pathankot incident. He has asked for more details because probably he found the leads that have been provided by India are not adequate. He has done well in also detaining Masood Azhar who was also behind the Mumbai attacks.

It is a healthy development that the meeting of foreign secretaries was rescheduled and not cancelled altogether as was feared after the Pathankot attack. New Delhi also seems to appreciate the pressure under which Nawaz Sharif is functioning because the last word is still with the army. The Pakistan army chief’s importance can be seen from the fact that Nawaz Sharif carried him to Iran and Saudi Arabia for mediation between them.

I feel sad to see Nawaz Sharif giving an equal protocol to the army chief in every meeting that he attends. The tragedy in a third world country is that once the armed forces become a part of the government, they do not go back to the barracks.




  1. M.A.Wani Sr.Citizen | March 2, 2016 at 3:52 am | Reply

    KuldipNair’s revelations are eye opener for those who present Kashmir politics with closed eyes. Indian leaders never trust on Kashmir’s & never fulfilled the promises instead appointed so called politions of Kashmir to intrude the special status of the State. Farooq is right to say to fight for the rights envisaged under the provisions of Autonomy is not crime but their right.If he Farooq is sincere in his statement why not he come forward and raise his voice to prove that the state be given the autonomy.Thanks to Kuldip Ji for his honest visionary approach.

  2. Kuldip Nayer is trying to do a damage control and definitely not saying it to show his unbiased opinion, sympathy for Kashmir. Praising Sheikh for his secular pluralistic politics he at the same time failed to admit the Indian betrayal to sheikh when they sent to him prison for 11 years. Sheikh may not have been seen by Indians as someone of Islamic ideology during the patrician episode but Sheikh surely used Islam to get back to power.

  3. Kuldip Nayar is not saying the whole truth he forgot after issuing the statement against emergency he extended emergency to J and K
    When Shiek Abdullah wanted power he sold all his morals and the dark period of recent history decended on J and K .Farooq Abdullah was only carrying his father’s agenda that is stick to power at any cost and when out of power start this article 370 and they have made it in an art form.

  4. In politics promises are made and never kept and in J and K it is a norm to promise sky and then promptly forget Kashmiri’s used to call it politics to shield their leaders.

  5. nehru has promised in uno that we will give selfdetermination to people of kasmir why india not taking the big and bold step. why indian army kills innocent kasmiri s.

  6. frm ur name u sound very kashmiri sorry for calling u a kashmiri and not a kash,iri indian if it hurts u which i doubt kashmir but for conversion into islam and the exodus of pundits at the behest of muslim leaders and paki promptings with special status of article 370 wud have integrated into INDIA long backkkkkkkkkkkk dont try to teach the INDIAN tax payer meets all the subsidies for thjose KASHIRIS

  7. Kusuma Rohini | July 16, 2016 at 11:17 am | Reply

    An eye opening article. ..thanq sir. ….open ur eyes so called Deshbhakts and nationalists. …

  8. Preetam Thakur | July 16, 2016 at 11:57 am | Reply

    Very nice views based on facts, logic and very practical!

  9. Mr. Kuldip Nair has always supported Kashmir cause with utmost sincerity and honesty. Such persons are real patriots of the country who always feel for the people and their rights. They live in the hearts of the people.

  10. it is time to retire, and keep your thoughts to yourself, Kuldipji. You are past your expiry date.

  11. Bhartendu Kumar Das | July 17, 2016 at 12:49 am | Reply

    His argument for Kashmir not being ‘integral part of India’ is the ‘autonomy’ given to them. Nayar’s concept is misplaced as having autonomous areas do not mean they are not integral. Gorkha Hill Council has autonomy, are they not integral ? Many small states has special status, are they not integral ? If tomorrow Center gives more power to States by revisiting federalism, won’t they remain integral ?
    … Futher, the old man himself writes, “Sheikh Saheb had the state constituent assembly pass a resolution that the state of Jammu and Kashmir had acceded to India irrevocably.” He seems to be a confused guy.

  12. sunil sharma | July 17, 2016 at 6:11 am | Reply

    Mr M A Wani, what kuldip ji is saying has a deep meaning but you saying is your personal views but don’t take jammu and ladakh and even more than 50 present kashmir brotheren are with India, farooq Abdullah knows all this he knows what to do and when!

  13. sardarshabir | August 5, 2016 at 2:59 am | Reply

    I cannot completly immagin that what standard types of weapons will be used in case there is a third war between India & Pakistan, but I am sure that the fourth war , if any, will be fought by the sticks only.

  14. We are enslaved by India & we need help

  15. Kuldip Nagar is a true patriot who always think for betterment of our country. Very few of his breed are left on the national stage though age is not in his favour for more activities. May almighty give him a long healthy life.

  16. Leaving historical facts and figures aside and ignoring individual’s opinions irrespective of their stature and importance, I feel that India and Pakistan should understand the needs of the time and work sensibly and in coordination instead of making fun of their people and nations internationally.

  17. “I feel sad to see Nawaz Sharif giving an equal protocol to the army chief in every meeting that he attends. The tragedy in a third world country is that once the armed forces become a part of the government, they do not go back to the barracks”.
    Since inception of Pakistan military was made powerful by Jinnah of Pakistan, when he ordered divided share of armed forces to go Kashmir along with saboteurs in 1947-48 Kashmir war with India, Pakistan’s armed forces failed miserably and India went to UN for ceasefire and declaring Pakistan as aggressor so UNCIP came into existence, a resolution on 5th of January 1949 after the demise of Jinnah of Pakistan and Liaquat Ali Khan with the same power of Jinnah of Pakistan, became a powerful leader, refused the resolution because of what? Pakistan was told to remove the regular and irregular forces from so called AJK, and let UNCIP to hold plebiscite in J & K, after maintaing law and order by Indian Forces.That point is still valid, UNO should take initiative, to be abide by its promise. Present situation is internal awakening in IOK for right of self determination, self determination should be for all over J & K of before 27 October 1947. Kashmiri want what? joining with Pakistan or with India and third option of independent Kashmir most suitable for Kashmir.

  18. Should it mean that kashmiri pundits be asked to keep shut their mouths if d muslims-after Kashmir eventually achieves autonomy- decides to introduce Nizame Mustafa ns Sharia as code of conduct for its citizens?

  19. If this gentleman is still around than why is he quiet now.In is in emergency state without announcing or he wants Shiek to rise from grave and speak for him.Pathetic.

  20. Maqsood Shahdad | July 16, 2017 at 1:36 am | Reply

    I did not read your entire article but only a part of it, after which I became disinterested as the argument you presented was vague and not convincing in so far as you described the accession being irrevocable. How can any assembly if a held territory by any country India or Pakistan be a representative of the entire state of jammu and kashmir. Unless the state gets united and a referendum is held nothing about accession is final . Sheikh sb or anybody or any assembly of any occupied territory has no legal authority to decide about accession or any other constitutional matter pertaining to entire state

  21. Qayum Tariq Khan | July 16, 2017 at 9:46 am | Reply

    As alwaysit is pleasure to read the editorials of Kuldip Nayer.
    I would have appreciated if the editorialist would have touched the basic contours of Abdullah Sheikhs decision making political understanding. He was not a chief of the village of African country selling his countrymen at will for being enslaved against trivial gifts. Knowing his political dimensions from the materials we found in dusty Archives of India and Britian, we discover a multifaced man who was neither Indian nor Kashmiri but by all standards a traitor who had no convictions what so ever.
    He was a political bandit who hijacked genuine political stage set by people of Jammu for the restoration of equal rights and this man transformed it into Machvilian political plateforrm of movement for independence, knowing well that we were independent and Sovereign nation and the man who was the head of the state was a man from the state and had credit having created a viable nation called Jammu and Kashmir.
    Our problem as kashmiris was to have fair representation and equal rights like hindus. The Muslim conference was created to satisfy this genuine demand of people that Abdullah Sheikh converted into national conference to monopolise political stage to set his proper hidden political agenda in swing.
    A leader represents public aspirations but Abdullah Sheikh used people and their faith in him to fullfil his sick political agenda against all norms of political decency and morality.
    He assembled his 70 sycophants gave them name of constituent Assembly to violate the resolutions of united nations determining plebiscite as mode of final resolution of Kashmir problem. Even Nehru and Indian representative for united Nations were angry with this stupid and African chef behaviour of Sheikh.
    Kuldip Nayer calls him liberal man but a liberal man never says Kashmir is a clean water stream joining dirty canal. This man introduced preventive detention act, a law less law that resulted the imprisonment and suffering of hundreds and thousands of kashmiris.. A man who spread philosophy of hate against India from 1964 to 1975 because he wanted the chair of chief Minister that Indra Gandhi gave him after his sell out on institutional independence and plebiscite movement that he used to become chief minister.
    Abdullah Sheikh was a traitor incarnate by all standards. In 1947 he took the direction that people of Kashmir and Maharaja never wanted to take. Reading the statements of Maharaja now we discover that he conspired against Maharaja as well as against people of Kashmir and here we are in most uncertain circumstances. This traitor dragged two great nations into the hell of hostalities and wars that does not serve neither peace nor the interests of the people of induan sub continent.

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