Pakistan came into existence in 1947, irregular armed raiders
from Pakistan infiltrated into Kashmir with a view to take
control over it by force. In terms of the Indian Independence
Act 1947, the then ruler of Jammu and Kashmir signed deed of
accession to India. As a result, in law, Jammu and Kashmir
became an integral part of India. Thereupon, the Indian
government sent its forces and pushed the infiltrators out from
the Kashmir valley.
a gesture of goodwill to the people of Kashmir and confident
that they were with India, the Indian leadership ordered cease
fire and offered plebiscite, provided Pakistan vacated the
territory still in its illegal occupation. Pakistan never
vacated it and kept pressing for plebiscite. To press its
demand, it has been encouraging infiltration of armed terrorists
According to India, since Pakistan never vacated the territory
in its illegal occupation, the plebiscite has become infructuous
and Kashmir has now become an integral part of India. This
dispute has led to three wars between India and Pakistan, and
ongoing tension on the line of control. The people of Kashmir
are being subjected to violence, terrorism and instability.
Soon after the formation of the People’s Republic of China in
1949, the Chinese totalitarian government entered Tibet, then an
independent nation of peace loving religious people of ethnic
origin different from that of the people of China, and claimed
sovereignty over it. Since then, Dalai Lama, the religious
leader of Tibet and over hundred thousand people have been
living as refugees in India. The Chinese totalitarian government
also created a border dispute with India and occupied chunks of
India abutting China. The people of China, abused by the
totalitarian regime, are not supporting these misdeeds of the
Chinese totalitarian government. Pakistan
has, in gratitude for China’s support to it, handed over
portions of Kashmir in its illegal occupation to China. The
issues of Kashmir and Tibet have thus got intertwined.
The vibrant Naga tribal community of Northeast India has
been struggling for its identity. Part of the territory
traditionally belonging to it is presently in India and part in
Myanmar. It has been demanding unification of the two
territories as a Naga identity.
Pakistan, China, Myanmar and India should realise that nationhood
means people, not real estate. Every ethnic identity has a
right to control its local resources and decision-making. The
people of Kashmir and Tibet have been living in instability and
terrorism, many of them in refugee camps in India, for the last
half a century. The tribal Nagas are losing their identity,
accelerated by the influx of refugees from Bangladesh. A
solution honourable to all needs to be evolved urgently.
19.1 Autonomy under joint
A legitimate resolution
for these conflicts can be:
Kashmir, that is the portion under India and that illegally
occupied by Pakistan and a portion given by it to China, may be
offered autonomy under the joint suzerainty of India and
Pakistan, provided the minority communities votes in its favour,
and autonomous Kashmir institutes true democracy. While
exercising its veto, the Hindu and Buddhist minority communities
can demand full protection, return of their properties and
insist on true local empowerment so that their rights are not
subverted. Jammu and Ladhak can choose through referendum to
remain with India.
(2) Tibet may be offered autonomy under the joint suzerainty of
China and India, and integrated Naga territory autonomy under
the joint suzerainty of India and Myanmar provided they too
agree to institute true democracy through referendum.
Operationally, joint suzerainty will imply that Kashmir, Tibet
and Nagaland cannot have their own military. The nations
exercising joint suzerainty over them shall position their
military attachés in their capitals to oversee that neither of
them nor any third nation violates their territorial integrity.
(4) In true democracy, every local entity is autonomous in local
matters while the national government provides security. The
above arrangement will be in keeping with the spirit of such
true democracy. Since Pakistan has handed over a part of
Kashmir to China, the decision for Kashmir and Tibet shall be as
a package. Kashmir, Tibet and Nagaland can then prosper
as peace zones between the four nations.
19.2 Peace in South Asia
Since India liberated
Bangladesh from exploitation by Pakistan, Bangladesh clearly can
have no threat from India. After its formation, Bangladesh
suffered military rule for long periods. As a result of
mismanagement and abuse, over one crore Bangladeshies, both
Muslim and Hindu, have illegally migrated into India. Since
India was its liberator, Bangladesh may seek India’s
suzerainty, reduce its military, institute true democracy, and
dedicate itself to national reconstruction.
If joint suzerainty over Kashmir and Tibet is adopted, India and
Pakistan too can reduce their military, and through true local
empowerment, dedicate themselves to national reconstruction.
The global society should support the people of China and
Myanmar in their struggle for liberation from their totalitarian
regimes and instituting true democracy. Sri Lanka too should
resolve its Tamil discord by instituting true democracy in which
local entities control local resources and decision-making. This
will make South Asia a confederation of self-reliant, peace
loving local governments.