I have seen India’s protest letter to the Security Council of the United Nations charging that by entering into a Boundary Agreement with the People’s Republic of China, “the Government of Pakistan has unilaterally altered, not only in its own favour but also in favour of another aggressor, China, the basis of the Security Council Resolution of 17 January 1948 and the UN Commission’s resolution of 13 August 1949.” As this seems to be part of a systematic and sustained campaign of propaganda against Pakistan, I feel it necessary to set the record straight.
Before I deal with this and other charges let me state at the outset that the substance of India’s letter, which is couched in sharp and provocative language, violates the spirit of the joint appeal that Sardar Swaran Singh and I issued on 29 December, 1962 solemnly declaring that to maintain a proper atmosphere conducive to an equitable and just outcome of the Kashmir negotiations, the leaders, officials and press of the two countries would mutually refrain from attacks and propaganda the effect of which would be likely to create a climate of discord between India and Pakistan.
India was fully aware, even before the start of the current series of Kashmir negotiations, that complete agreement in principle had been reached between Pakistan and China in regard to the location and alignment of the border actually existing between the two countries. Sardar Swaran Singh and I issued our joint appeal after this fact had been announced to the world.
It follows, therefore, by implication, that India pledged itself not to make the Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement a pretext for propagandistic attacks or an agitational approach to the Kashmir problem, at least during the time the direct negotiations were continuing. The Indian letter to the Security Council and the spate of statements and propaganda material turned out by the Government of India against the Boundary Agreement, cannot but be regarded as a calculated attempt to vitiate the atmosphere of the negotiations on Kashmir. This campaign fills me with foreboding as to the outcome of our Kashmir negotiations.
The charge of aggression against Pakistan has been repeated ad nauseam by India over the last 15 years. Its repetition in the letter is again based on a misquotation of Sir Owen Dixon’s obiter dicta and torn out of context. It is a charge which has been made before the Security Council time and again. The Security Council has consistently refused to entertain it. Undeterred by repeated rebuffs India continues to assume the pose of lofty self-righteousness over actions which, in the eyes of the international community, do violence to those very moral principles that India proclaims.
Let me turn to the first allegation in India’s letter to the President of the Security Council that the Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement of March 2, 1963, “unlawfully apportions part of the Indian Union territory in Jammu and Kashmir” between Pakistan and China and that the so-called sovereignty of Indian territory has been “traded to the detriment of the territorial integrity and the security of India.” It is not necessary for me to point out the evident fact that the territory of Jammu and Kashmir is not a part, integral or otherwise, of the territory of the Union. The territory of Jammu and Kashmir belongs to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It is a territory the future of which must be decided in accordance with the United Nations Commission’s resolutions of 13 August. 1948. and 5 January, 1949, that is, through an impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations to determine its accession to India or to Pakistan. Inasmuch as both India and Pakistan are bound by these resolutions, it is outrageous for one party to assert any claim to sovereignty over Jammu and Kashmir. This claim, which is familiar to the Security Council has never been recognised by that principal organ of the United Nations.
The Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement embodies an agreed understanding of the location and alignment of the border actually existing between China’s Sinkiang and the contiguous areas for the defence of which Pakistan is responsible. There is no apportionment of the territory involved, directly or indirectly, in the Agreement. Its purpose is to ensure tranquility in this sensitive part of Asia and, thereby, to strengthen world peace and security.
The second allegation in India’s letter to the President of the Security Council is that the Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement violates the Security Council resolution of 17 January. 1948. There is no substance to it. That resolution calls upon India and Pakistan “to improve the situation.” An agreement to delimit and demarcate a boundary with a foreign power on a provisional basis, in order to avoid misunderstanding which might lead to a breach of the peace, is manifestly a measure to improve a situation, and not to aggravate it. The resolution of 17 January, 1948 also requests each of the two Governments to inform the Council “of any material change in the situation” and “to consult with the Council thereon.” The Agreement concluded by the Government of Pakistan and the People’s Republic of China does not cause any material change whatsoever in the situation within Jammu and Kashmir. It does not in any manner alter the status quo.
It is not Pakistan which is guilty of causing a material change of situation within Jammu and Kashmir. It is India which has altered the status quo. Over the last four years, it has increased its armed forces and armaments in the State, in contravention of not only the Security Council resolution of 17 January, 1948, but also the UN Commission resolution of 13 August, 1948 which calls for demilitarization with a view to the holding of a plebiscite.
Therefore, it ill-behoves the Government of India to charge the Government of Pakistan with violation of UN resolutions.
In this context let me recall a few other violations of these resolutions by India:
i. Kashmir figures illegally as one of the states of India in the Indian Constitution in contravention of India’s pre-existing international obligation. India is thus guilty of violation of the law of the United Nations and of international law.
ii. India attempted to secure popular approval of the fraudulent and invalid Instrument of Accession signed by the despotic Maharaja of Kashmir when his authority had been overthrown by a successful uprising of his long-suppressed people.
iii. India set up a so-called Constituent Assembly in 1951, in violation of the Security Council resolution of 30 March. 1951. The manner of holding “elections” to this illegal body is only too well known to be recapitulated now.
iv. India took steps in 1952 to bring about the administrative merger of Kashmir with India in violation of UN resolutions. An agreement, known as the Delhi Agreement, was signed that year; it covered such matters as residuary powers, citizenship laws, fundamental rights, powers of the Supreme Court in relation to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, the application of emergency provisions embodied in the Constitution and the headship of the state.
v. India further tightened its grip over occupied Kashmir by the promulgation of a Presidential Order in May 1954, which had the effect of extending the jurisdiction of the Indian Union. The Order also modified the definition of the term “state subjects” and broadened its basis to include all persons who had acquired immovable property there. This was calculated to reduce the Muslim majority in the state which had already been seriously affected by acts of genocide carried out in the Jammu province in 1947.
vi. In April 1954, the customs barriers between occupied Kashmir and India were abolished.
vii. Indian taxation laws in respect of income tax and customs and excise duties were extended to occupied Kashmir.
viii. Kashmir’s financial integration with India which was launched the previous year was completed in 1955; and the Auditor General of India was empowered to exercise the same jurisdiction in Jammu and Kashmir as in other states.
ix. In April 1955, other provisions of the Indian Constitution were made applicable to the state.
x. In November 1956, India began taking steps unilaterally to integrate the state with the Union of India with effect from 26 January 1957, in complete disregard of India’s assurances to the contrary solemnly expressed before the Security Council and in defiance of the Security Council’s resolution of 30 March, 1951. This occasioned the adoption of another resolution by the Security Jo on 24 January, 1957, which reaffirmed the Council’s resolution of 30 March, 1951 and declared that:
“The convening of a Constituent Assembly as recommended by the General Council of the ‘All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference’ and any action that Assembly may have taken or might attempt to take to determine the future shape and affiliation of the entire State or any part thereof, or action by the parties concerned in support of any action by the Assembly would not constitute a disposition of the ‘State’ in accordance with the principles enunciated by the Security Council.”
xi. India went a step further when, on 23 April 1957, it included the Jammu and Kashmir state in the membership of the Northern Zone Council Organization of India.
I have enumerated this series of deliberate violations of the Security Council and UN Commission’s resolutions by India to set the record straight on the subject and to reveal the sophistry in India’s allegation that it is Pakistan which is acting contrary to those resolutions.
The letter of the Indian delegation to the President of the Security Council seeks to fasten on Pakistan a responsibility to withdraw troops from Jammu and Kashmir unilaterally and unconditionally, by quoting out of context a certain provision of UN Commission’s resolution of 13 August 1948, that is, Part 11, paragraph A.I. I would like to ask why India’s letter suppresses the other paragraphs of Part II. The Indian delegation is guilty of suppressio veri and suggestio falsi. These subsequent paragraphs make it obvious that the obligation of Pakistan to withdraw its troops from the state of Jammu and Kashmir does not devolve until both sides conclude a truce agreement to govern the withdrawal of not only Pakistan forces but also the bulk of the Indian armed forces from the state, the withdrawals to be carried out in a synchronized manner.
The reciprocal obligations of the two sides as to the modalities of demilitarization, have been persistently sought to be confused by India over the past 15 years so as to mislead the world into believing that the obligation of withdrawal devolves on Pakistan unilaterally. A reference to the provisions of Part II of the resolution of 13 August, 1948 and the elucidations given by the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan to the Government of Pakistan, established beyond any possibility of dispute the reciprocal nature of the undertaking given by the two sides to withdraw their armed forces from the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Let me reiterate once again that Pakistan stands ready to conclude a truce agreement with India, here and now, so that both the Pakistan forces and the bulk of the Indian armed forces may be withdrawn in a synchronized manner according to the spirit and the strict letter of Part II of the UN Commission’s resolution of 13 August, 1948.
I note with great interest that India should after all invoke the UN Commission’s resolution of 13 August, 1948 which constitutes an international agreement along with the Commission’s resolution of 5 January, 1949, binding both Pakistan and India to withdraw their armed forces from Jammu and Kashmir so as to enable a plebiscite being held under the auspices of UN to determine the accession of the people of the state to Pakistan or to India. This is a welcome departure from the vain attempts made by Indian representatives and leaders in the Security Council and elsewhere to show that the UN Commission’s resolutions are no longer operative. Pakistan’s firm stand that the resolutions remain viable and the obligations flowing from them continue in force unimpaired has thus been vindicated.
As recently as the last debate on Kashmir in the Security Council, in 1962, the representative of Pakistan offered, in rebuttal of the Indian charge that Pakistan is in default in the implementation of the above mentioned resolutions, that:
“Pakistan is quite agreeable to any method that may be suggested for determining (a) the obligations of the parties under the UNCIP resolutions (b) what is holding up progress on their implementation (c) whether either of the parties is in default with regard to the fulfillment of its obligations and (d) what needs to be done by either side to move the matter forward towards implementation. If a determination of (c) above that is to say whether either of the parties is in default with regard to the fulfillment of its obligations should disclose that Pakistan is in default in any of these respects, the default would be rectified through the speediest method at the earliest possible moment so that the way may be opened towards full implementation of the resolution. This is an undertaking that I submit to the Security Council on behalf of the Pakistan Government. I do trust and hope that India will be prepared to agree to the same.”
We stand by that offer. Why does India not accept it? Does it fear the verdict of a neutral and impartial third party?
Finally, the letter of the Indian delegation to the President of the Security Council refers to the letters of the late Prince Aly Khan, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, of 3 December, 1959, and 25 March, 1960, to contend that the Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement is contrary to the position taken by the Government of Pakistan as set forth in those two letters. I deplore deeply this effort of the Delegation of India to mislead the Security Council and world opinion when Article 6 of the SinoPakistan Boundary Agreement makes it clear that the Agreement is of a provisional nature between Pakistan and China, and that after the settlement of the Kashmir dispute, the sovereign authority that will emerge in Jammu and Kashmir, will reopen negotiations with the Government of the People’s Republic of China, so as to sign a formal boundary treaty to replace the present Agreement. Thus the Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement is in full conformity with the stand of the Government of Pakistan as set forth in the letters of the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the Security Council mentioned above.
Let me elucidate further. The key sentence in regard to the position taken by the Government of Pakistan in the letter of 3 December, 1959, in the context of the Sino-Indian dispute over the boundary of Ladakh is set forth in paragraph 5 of that letter. I quote:
“However, my Government is bound by its duty to declare before the Security Council that, pending determination of the future of Kashmir through the will of the people impartially ascertained, no position taken or adjustments made by either of the parties to the present controversy between India and China or any similar controversy in the future shall be valid or affect the status of the territory of Jammu and Kashmir or the imperatives of demilitarization and self-determination of the State of Jammu and Kashmir laid down in the resolutions referred to in paragraph 3 above.” (viz, decisions of the Security Council embodied in its resolutions of 21 April 1948, 30 March, 1951, 24 January, 1957, and in resolutions of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan. dated 13 August, 1948 and 5 January, 1949, which have been jointly accepted by both India and Pakistan and by which both Governments, according to their repeated declarations, stand engaged.)
It was because of this position taken by the Government of Pakistan in 1959, that Article 6 was included in the Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement. The Agreement fully safeguards whatever contingent interest India may have under the UN Commission’s resolutions as one of the two countries to which the people of Jammu and Kashmir might accede through a fair and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations whenever this right of self-determination is implemented.
The Boundary Agreement does not affect the status of the territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It does not affect the imperatives of demilitarization of the State. It does not derogate one jot or title from the right of self-determination of the people. It is. therefore, in entire conformity with the position adopted by the Government of Pakistan in the letters addressed by the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the President of the Security Council of 3 December, 1959 and 25 March. 1960.
It passes one’s comprehension how India declares it to be otherwise. And I am equally at a loss to understand the statement in India’s letter to the President of the Security Council that: “The Agreement claims to be provisional and yet it is not subject to ratification.” Whether an international agreement is to be made subject to ratification or not is a matter of convenience of the parties concerned and also of their respective constitutional procedures. Ratification, as such, has nothing to do with the question of provisional or permanent nature of treaties and agreements.
Finally, India’s letter states that “it is not clear how much Indian territory Pakistan has unlawfully ceded to China, although it is known to be not less than 2000 square miles.” Only a few days ago an authoritative statement was made in the Indian Parliament charging Pakistan with “surrendering 13,000 square miles of Jammu and Kashmir to China.” It is not necessary for me to comment as to how much decent respect for facts India is in the habit of showing when it indulges in propaganda. The two contradictory statements speak for themselves. The facts are that Pakistan has not ceded even one square inch of territory to China. It has gained 750 square miles of territory which had been in China’s occupation and control.
I shall refrain at this juncture from going into the merits of India’s claim to the boundary alignment from the Karakoram Pass to the tri-junction of Afghanistan. Pakistan and China which is the sector defined in the Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement. A publication by the External Publicity Division of the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India dated 16 March, 1963, the same date as that of the letter of the Indian delegation to the President of the Security Council, entitled Sino-Pakistan Agreement: Some Facts has come to my notice which further pursues this controversy. The Ministry of External Affairs of Pakistan will go into the merits of these Indian contentions and will give an effective rebuttal to the unwarranted conclusions which the Government of India have sought to draw from the Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement. We have enough evidence in our possession to refute the Indian allegations and to prove the equitable-nature of the accord between Pakistan and China reached on the basis of mutual respect and accommodation of each other’s historic rights and national interests. We derive comfort and satisfaction from the fact that even though the Government of India does not regard it so, the rest of the world has acknowledged the Agreement as equitable and welcomed it as a contribution to the peace of Asia and the world.