KASHMIR. THE SAGA OF INDO-SOVIET FRIENDSHIP

KASHMIR. THE EVERLASTING SAGA OF INDO-SOVIET FRIENDSHIP


I ask my readers to understand the US Policy on Kashmir. The US Policy is revealed by the fact that no President of the United States visiting India had visited Kashmir.

Kashmir. The everlasting saga of Indo-Soviet Friendship.

In 1955, Jawaharlal Nehru had spent 16 days in the USSR, covering some 13,000km, on his first official tour to the country as the prime minister of India

Kashmir. The everlasting saga of Indo-Soviet Friendship.

Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi at the Rustavi Metallurgical Plant in 1955 (Rustavi, Georgia USSR)

After India’s independence from the British Rule, Kashmir stands as a true witness of the glorious saga of Indo-Soviet Friendship over the last seven decades.

In June 1955, Nehru visited USSR. During the visit, a joint communique was issued, which emphasized on international peace, the security of small states. Both the Prime Ministers of India and USSR felt that “it is essential to dispel fear in all possible ways.

Kashmir. The everlasting saga of Indo-Soviet Friendship.

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev speaking at the reception held in honor of visiting Soviet delegation at Srinagar.

The visit of the Soviet leaders, Khrushchev and Bulganin to India in November-December 1955 laid the foundation of a new era in Indo- Soviet relationship. Besides Delhi, the Soviet leaders visited Calcutta, Madras, Agra, Coimbatore, and Srinagar. Crowds greeted them with thunderous applause.

Khrushchev assured Indian leadership that USSR would ever come forward to help India at times of difficulties. Speaking at a luncheon given in their honor at the Agra Circuit House by the Governor of Uttar Pradesh, KM Munshi on November 20, 1955, he stressed that “Soviet people were not just fair-weather friends of India but their friendship would last forever even when the weather frowns or the storm blows strong”.

“Let it be known to the world”, he added, “that the friendship between the two people would continue to grow even at times of difficulties and crises”. Bulganin echoed the same rhetoric in his reply to the civic address given by Coimbatore Municipal Council on November 27, 1955. He concluded his speech with “long live the great republic of India. Long live the people of India. Long live the friendship between the people of India and the Soviet Union, Hind-Russi Bhai Bhai and Hind-Russia Sahodare.” (The Hindu, November 28, 1955)

Kashmir. The everlasting saga of Indo-Soviet Friendship.

Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad showing members of visiting Soviet delegation examining Kashmir handicrafts in Srinagar. The delegation included NA Bulganin, USSR Prime Minister, Khrushchev, Member, Presidium of the Soviet and many others

The Soviet leaders expressed the support to the Indian stand on the Kashmir issue explicitly during the course of talks and speeches.

Speaking at the reception given by Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, Prime Minister of Kashmir, in honor of visiting Soviet dignitaries on December 10, 1955, Khrushchev expressed the unequivocal support to the Indian stand on Kashmir. “Kashmir is one of the states of the Republic of India that has been decided by the people of Kashmir,” he said. “It is a question that the people themselves have decided”. He viewed the Kashmir problem as an imperialist design and severely criticized the “divide and rule” policy of the imperialist powers. He held the view that the Kashmir problem emerged because some states tried to take advantage of the situation to foment animosity between India and Pakistan- countries recently emancipated from colonial oppression.

They reiterated the same on December 14, 1955, in a press conference in Delhi. Bulganin said, “As for Kashmir during our visit there we saw how greatly the Kshmirians rejoice in their national liberation, regarding their territory as an integral part of India”.

On their return to Moscow in the last week of December, they submitted their reports on the visit to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. In his report, Bulganin argued that “on the pretext of supporting Pakistan on the Kashmir question certain countries are trying to entrench themselves in this part of India in order to threaten and exert pressure on areas in the vicinity of Kashmir. The attempt was made to sever Kashmir from India artificially and convert it into a foreign military base.”

But, Bulganin said, the people of Kashmir are emphatically opposed to this imperialist policy. “The issue has been settled by the Kashmiris themselves; they regarded themselves as an integral part of India. We became profoundly convinced of this during our meetings with the people in Srinagar, and in our conversations with the Prime Minister of Kashmir, G M Bakshi, and his colleagues”. Further, he said, “The Soviet government supports India’s policy in relations to the Kashmir issue because it fully accords with the interests of peace in this part of Asia. We declared this when we were in Kashmir; we reaffirmed our declaration at a press conference in Delhi on December 14 and we declare it today”.

Khrushchev in his speech said, “in Kashmir, we were convinced that its people regarded its territory as an inalienable part of the Republic of India. This question has been irrevocably decided by the people of Kashmir”

In pursuit of this policy, the Soviet Union opposed the draft resolution co-sponsored by Great Britain, the US, Australia, and Cuba on February 14, 1957. The resolution was unacceptable to India. The resolution noted the importance the Security Council “attached to the demilitarization of the state of Jammu and Kashmir preparatory to the holding of a plebiscite”, and “Pakistan’s proposal for the use of a temporary United Nations force in connection with demilitarization”. The Security Council held “that the use of such a force deserved consideration”. (Year Book of the United Nations, 1957 pp 81) The Security Council authorized its president, Gunnar Jarring to visit India and Pakistan to bring about demilitarization or further the settlement of the dispute.

Kashmir. The everlasting saga of Indo-Soviet Friendship.

Bakhshi took the visiting USSR leaders in a huge boat procession in the river Jhelum. Thousands of people were on either side of the river banks to greet them in December 1955.

On February 18, 1957, the Soviet delegate, Sobolev, proposed amendments to the above-mentioned resolution. He argued “the situation in Kashmir has changed considerably since 1948 when the Security Council had first called for a plebiscite. The people of Kashmir had settled the question themselves and now considered their territory an integral part of India”. (UN Security Council Official Records, 12th session, 768thmeeting, February 14, 1957) In his resolution, the Soviet delegate deleted the reference to “the use of a temporary UN force in connection with demilitarization” in Kashmir. After his amendments were rejected by the other Security Council members on February 20, 1957, Sobolev vetoed the Western-sponsored resolution. He justified the veto by alleging that the resolution, as it stood, favored Pakistan. (Security Council Official Records, 773rd meeting, February 20, 1957) He told the Security Council that in his government’s opinion the Kashmir question had in fact already been settled by the people of Kashmir.

In March 1959, a Soviet delegation led by A Andrew visited Kashmir to demonstrate that the Soviet Union regarded Kashmir as an Indian state. Shortly after his arrival in Srinagar, Andrew described Kashmir as “the most beautiful place of the world” and reiterated that the Soviet Union regarded “Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of the Indian Republic”. Pointing out that Kashmir “is not far from the Southern frontier of the Soviet Union” he declared that, “in your struggle, we are your comrades”. (Security Council Official Records, 773rd meeting, February 20, 1957, pp 46.)

Next month Indian leader Karan Singh was received by leading Soviet leaders including Khrushchev in Moscow. Khrushchev welcomed the guest from “friendly India” and reiterated the Soviet support to the Indian policy in Kashmir. Karan Singh thanked Soviet leader for his unequivocal support to India and said that the Soviet policy towards Kashmir was well known.

When the UN Security Council met on April 27, 1962, to discuss the Kashmir issue, Soviet delegate, Platen Morozov, gave India total and unequivocal support. In his speech, Morozov declared, “the question of Kashmir, which is one of the states of the Republic of India and forms an integral part of India, has been decided by the people of Kashmir themselves. The people of Kashmir have decided this matter in accordance with the principle of democracy and in the interest of strengthening relations between the people of this region.”

Kashmir. The everlasting saga of Indo-Soviet Friendship.

Russian premier Kosygin with his counterparts from India and Pakistan at Tasknet – Ayub Khan and Lal Bahadur Shastri.

When the Security Council met again on June 21, 1962, the representative of Ireland, supported by the British representative, introduced a resolution. It was quite clear, according to Morozov, the ‘principal aim’ of the draft resolution was holding of a plebiscite and this would be nothing but ‘flagrant interference’ in the domestic affairs of India. (Year Book of the United Nations, 1962 pp 130)

Morozov urged the Council to reject the Irish resolution insisting it was basically in line with US dictates. When the Irish resolution was put to vote on June 23, 1962, the Soviet representative vetoed it. He declared that the question of holding a plebiscite in Kashmir was ‘dead and outdated’ and the Kashmir question had been solved ‘once for all’.

USSR supported Indian stand on Kashmir at various fora. It also supported Nehru’s decision to withdraw the special status to J&K and to integrate the state into the Indian Union. At a reception at Rumanian embassy in Moscow, Khrushchev declared that the Soviet Union extends its ‘full support’ to the integration of Kashmir to the Indian Republic, insisting his attitude towards Kashmir remains unchanged.

Kashmir. The everlasting saga of Indo-Soviet Friendship.

Sadar-i-Riyasat, Dr. Karan Singh, his wife and Indira Gandhi with the visiting USSR delegation in Srinagar.

When the Kashmir question came before the Security Council in February 1964, the Soviet representative, Federenko, reiterated his country’s view that the question of Kashmir had already been settled ‘once for all’. He also supported the Indian contention that a Security Council resolution would aggravate the situation and thought that the Indian proposal for a ministerial meeting to discuss the communal question and no-war treaty constituted a ‘realistic approach’ in the interests of peace in Asia and the whole world. (Year Book of The United Nations, 1964 pp 131)

After the unexpected departure of Khrushchev from the Soviet political scene, it appeared that USSR attitude towards Kashmir issue underwent change. However, the Soviet envoy to India, Benediktov assured New Delhi in October 1964 that the Soviet attitude towards Kashmir had remained unchanged. During her visit to Moscow, Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi was assured by the new Soviet Prime Minister Alexi Kosygin that the Soviet support for India’s policy in Kashmir had remained unchanged and that Moscow regarded “Kashmir as an integral part of India”. (Patriot, 24 October 1964)

Kashmir. The everlasting saga of Indo-Soviet Friendship.

My special thanks to Dr. Debidatta Aurobinda Mahapatra for his article.

At the UN Security Council, where this matter was raised several times, Soviet delegate attempted to maintain a non-partisan view, though he referred to the Indian state of J&K. He blamed the current conflict on those ‘forces which are trying to disunite and set against each other the states that have liberated themselves from the colonial yoke’ and those ‘which are pursuing the criminal policy of dividing peoples so as to achieve their imperialist and expansionist aims’. The friendship with USSR nevertheless stood in good stead when it came to the support of India on points of objection that India raised.
On October 25, 1965, the Indian Foreign Minister, Swaran Singh objected to Pakistan Foreign Minister, ZA Bhutto’s reference to the internal situation in Kashmir and held that it was India’s internal affairs. He held that the opposite view was a deviation from the agreed agenda and thus walked out in protest. USSR had shown support to the Indian interpretation that the Council’s deliberations should be only on “questions directly connected with the settlement of the armed conflict, i.e. complete ceasefire and withdrawal of armed personnel. It had also abstained from voting on the resolution adopted by the Council on November 5, 1965. (Year Book of the United Nations, 1965, pp 171) The resolutions failed to resolve the crisis.

Kashmir. The everlasting saga of Indo-Soviet Friendship.

Visiting USSR delegation with Bakhshi’s cabinet with Sadar-i-Riyasat seen in the center.

I thank Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the people of Russia for their consistent support to India in defending Kashmir.

Rudra Narasimham Rebbapragada
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE

Russia Backs India On J&K Move, Says Change In Status Within Constitution

Moscow said that the “change in the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and its division into two Union Territories has been carried out within the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of India”.

Russia Backs India On J&K Move, Says Change In Status Within Constitution
Kashmir. The everlasting saga of Indo-Soviet Friendship.

Russia is a consistent supporter of the normalization of relations between India and Pakistan.

Russia has backed India’s moves on Jammu and Kashmir, saying that the changes are within the framework of the Indian Constitution, even as it urged India and Pakistan to maintain peace.

In response to a question during its press briefing on Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia said Moscow expects that India and Pakistan “will not allow aggravation of the situation in the region due to the change by New Delhi in the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir”.

Moscow said that the “change in the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and its division into two Union Territories has been carried out within the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of India”.

It hoped that the two sides will “not allow a new aggravation of the situation in the region as a result of the decisions”.

Russia is a consistent supporter of the normalization of relations between India and Pakistan.

“We hope that the differences between them will be resolved by political and diplomatic means on a bilateral basis in accordance with the provisions of the Shimla Agreement of 1972 and the Lahore Declaration of 1999,” the Foreign Office said.

Relations between India and Pakistan have been tensed ever since New Delhi revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divided it into two Union Territories — J&K and Ladakh earlier this week, in order to bring in faster development and security to the state.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Kashmir. The enduring saga of Indo-Soviet Friendship.

Published by Bhavanajagat

Whole Man - Whole Theory: "I am Consciousness, Therefore I am" is my proposition to examine the reality of Man and the World in which he exists.

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