What's new

The 1947-48 Kashmir War:The war of lost opportunities

John Doe

BANNED
May 7, 2010
537
0
485
I blame loss of Kashmir on the indiscriminate raping & pillaging by the Pathan tribal volunteers.
My personnel opinion is that idea of relying on unruly & undisciplined Pathan tribesmen in this war was a big mistake.

It is possible that without the pillage by the Pathan tribals, Kashmiri Muslim population would have been more supportive of Pakistan and the Kashmiri leaders of the Sh Abdulla’s stature would have not been pro-India.
There are a couple of rather surprising facts that I want to add. I am writing this from distant memory, so please fine-tune my statements.

1. Tribals were allowed to cross the Durand line only after handing over their rifles since British times. To their incredible surprise, this operation to take over Kashmir allowed to them to come across the border with their weapons and also they were given modern rifles!

2. As per the terms of division of the erstwhile British Indian army, the now-Indian army had hundreds of soldiers posted on the Afghan - Pakistan border to protect Pakistan's western borders, all the while when their brothers-in-arms were fighting Pakistanis on its eastern border!!
 

SoulSpokesman

FULL MEMBER
Dec 1, 2016
1,423
-2
1,021
Country
India
Location
India
Niaz sb,

That is true about the Pathan tribals' conduct. There was that infamous episode at Baramulla where they stopped by for some "R&R" at a convent and lost a day in the process. It is noteworthy that they reached Srinagar on the morning of Oct 27, 1947 if my memory serves me right, while the IAF secured Srinagar airport at midnight of Oct 26. Had they not stopped at Baramulla, they wud have captured Srinagar airport on the evening of Oct 26, which would have meant effectively that India would have lost the Valley forever.

Regards

PS: I believe the IA has learnt its lessons and has built convents on both sides of the GT Road -from Wagah to Panipat.
 

Joe Shearer

PROFESSIONAL
Apr 19, 2009
24,275
144
40,225
Country
India
Location
India
Didn't yet got the time to comment,was busy on something.Will do soon.Nice to hear from you sir.
I'm in the same boat. I really like Major Amin's analyses, without necessarily agreeing with every word. In this account, too, there are facts that contradict his analysis, but he deserves a serious, well-researched reply. Since I am also desperately tied up, I have been unable to respond. Do write; your work is always a pleasure to read. I will get onto this as soon as I am able to.

Niaz sb,

That is true about the Pathan tribals' conduct. There was that infamous episode at Baramulla where they stopped by for some "R&R" at a convent and lost a day in the process. It is noteworthy that they reached Srinagar on the morning of Oct 27, 1947 if my memory serves me right, while the IAF secured Srinagar airport at midnight of Oct 26. Had they not stopped at Baramulla, they wud have captured Srinagar airport on the evening of Oct 26, which would have meant effectively that India would have lost the Valley forever.

Regards

PS: I believe the IA has learnt its lessons and has built convents on both sides of the GT Road -from Wagah to Panipat.
I obviously don't have to hunt around; the nick is a dead giveaway, as is the hilarious, tongue-in-cheek comment.

Welcome to PDF; I look forward to your posts. You do understand that we will be battling each other on various issues, without rancour.

This is just history from the purely military angle, what is missing is the political scene. Winston Churchill is supposed to have said that “War is too important to be left to the generals”. One must realize that while battles may be won & lost by the military; wars are won and lost by the politicians.

I was very young at that time. We were at Sialkot and I don’t remember a lot except that trenches had been dug in our front garden as a precautionary measure.

In 1957, I became friendly with a two brothers who had been given scholarship to Gov’t College Sargodha because they were Kashmiri refugees from Mandi (Thana Mandi) Rajouri District. I even went to their house in Block 7 a couple of times. Their father was also an ex- Indian military NCO demobilised after the WW2 ended. The story told to me was:

Apparently, the Raja wanted to remain independent and his later tilt towards India was because of the revolt by some leaders of the former Muslim Conference. Additionally, because Sheikh Abdulla was for India and he was undoubtedly the most popular Muslim leader in Kashmir. Also according to my late father; all the refugees who arrived in Sialkot after Dogra soldiers started to massacre Muslims in the Jammu, spoke very highly of Sh. Abdulla.

Sheikh Abdulla had been heretofore in prison, was released on 29 September. He hurriedly organised a Kashmir militia for the defence of Srinagar after the rebel forces headed by Sardar Ibrahim attacked on October 22, 1947. It may be a coincidence, but Sheikh Abdulla was appointed as head of the Kashmir Emergency Administration on October 30, 1947.

IMO if Srinagar had fallen before the Raja signed the instrument of Accession, things could have been different. But after Kashmir Raja acceded to India on October 26, 1947; the result was a foregone conclusion on the basis of simple arithmetic.

At the time of partition, British Indian Army consisted of about 500,000 personnel. These were divided on the basis pf 36% for Pakistan & 64% for India. In October 1947, Pakistan only had about 10 infantry brigades and most of these were under 50% strength. There were nearly 500 British officers at senior positions. British officers in reality reported to Field Marshal Auchinleck who was then the C in C. Being part of the British Indian Army, all the Muslim, the Sikh and the Hindu soldiers were equally well trained, so you can’t say that one third would have overcome the balance two third in case of total war.

Of course there many 'Hawkes' such as Brig Akbar Khan (later Maj General) on Pakistan side who wanted to continue the fight. They had presumed that Pakistan Army would capture Kashmir despite that fact Indian forces joined the fray. In my view they were being naïve.

Earl Mountbatten had been Supreme Allied Commander South East Asia before his appointment as Viceroy of India and therefore Auchinleck was his subordinate. To expect that Mountbatten as Gov. General of India would have calmly accepted defeat of the Indian Army at the hands of a much smaller Pakistan Army is unrealistic


You can blame Liaqat Ali Khan & rest of the Muslim League leaders for being cowards but I blame loss of Kashmir on the indiscriminate raping & pillaging by the Pathan tribal volunteers. Since it had been made clear to Liaqat Ali Khan by Auchinleck that he should not expect aid from any quarter if he continued the fight; Liaqat Ali khan had no other choice but to accept ceasefire brokered by the UN.

My personnel opinion is that idea of relying on unruly & undisciplined Pathan tribesmen in this war was a big mistake. Northern Areas remain Pakistani to this day because the rebellion was totally indigenous. Also there was no open revolt in the valley itself. Both the rebel leaders, Sardar Ibrahim & Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan were from the Poonch District.

It is possible that without the pillage by the Pathan tribals, Kashmiri Muslim population would have been more supportive of Pakistan and the Kashmiri leaders of the Sh Abdulla’s stature would have not been pro-India.

But now a lot of water has gone under the bridge and there is little use crying over spilt milk. I would however comment that Pundit Nehru, being more wily than Liaqat Ali khan, by successfully seducing the Lion of Kashmir, managed to grab hold of the beautiful Kashmir valley.
Sir, perhaps your last line was a bit harsh on both the people concerned. The Sheikh was in any case, from 1935 onwards, inclined towards secularism and the Congress; there may not have been much seduction needed.

Interesting read.

But the following makes little sense - and this simple point has huge impact. Why did they even think it is possible when half the muslims remained in India and half in Pakistan? It sounds more like they were looking for some way to accommodate the ambitions of both Nehru and Jinnah and lacking anyother way, this was the closes they could come to for a criteria. What a price the whole population had to pay because of personal ego and ambitions of two elite oxford/cambridge guys!
Your post is reasonable and well-argued, but I beg to differ. There is a gross misunderstanding of what the creation of two Dominions out of the Crown Colony was intended to achieve.

It was intended to segregate the Muslim majority areas, NOT to segregate the majority of Muslims; in Jinnah's famous summation, the Muslims of the UP, Bihar and Bombay (Maharashtra + Gujarat) would have to make enormous sacrifices for the sake of the creation of Pakistan. The idea was that uncontrolled majoritarianism would not hold sway; the existence of (two) Muslim homelands would act as a natural check on the central non-Muslim Dominion. The idea was NOT to create an Islamic state; it was to create areas where the Islamic way of life would never be under threat. Whether the threat to Islam was real or imagined is a purely theoretical matter; whatever it was at that time, it is a more acute fear today.

Again, it is possible to argue that personal egos shaped the political agenda; that is a little unfair. After all, Jinnah (reluctantly) went along with the Cabinet Mission formula, on the understanding that the delegates from each of the three blocs would vote and work in the Constituent Assembly as indivisible blocs. It was Nehru's denial of this possibility in his press conference of the 10th of July that forced Jinnah to conclude that there was no alternative to partition. This was, IMO, forced on him by Congress intransigence.

On a very personal point, I was a little upset to read about two elite oxford/cambridge guys. Whatever do you mean? On the one hand, we have a rich man's son, educated at Harrow and at Cambridge, who never had to work for a living; on the other, there is a young man of a respectable, but by no means wealthy family, who ate his dinners at the Inns of Court, qualified as a barrister, and rose to the top of his profession. As much alike as chalk and cheese.

@SoulSpokesman

Your comments please.

"The morality of Kashmir dispute and who is morally right is beyond the scope of this book, except the simple point that as far as the broad mechanics of the philosophy governing the partition of India was concerned; i.e. division of India on a communal basis and as Non-Muslim and Muslim India, Kashmir should have been a part of Pakistan. "
Completely wrong. This is a dumbing down of the entire situation which is not at all representative of the real political arrangement. But you have quoted the earlier post, and this is nothing to do with you; I mention this here because it should be contradicted at every opportunity.
 

niaz

PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT
Jun 18, 2006
5,053
206
10,877
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Kingdom
Sir, perhaps your last line was a bit harsh on both the people concerned. The Sheikh was in any case, from 1935 onwards, inclined towards secularism and the Congress; there may not have been much seduction needed
Honourable Joe Shearer,

You are right. Whether one likes them or not, both Pundit Nehru as well as Sh. Abdulla were undeniably great political leaders.

No matter how hard I try; being a Pakistani; my views on emotional issues such as Kashmir will always carry a pro-Pakistan bias. Still, ordinary mortals are not angles and my love of Pakistan is a poor excuse for insulting people like Sh. Abdulla and Pundit Nehru who worked hard for what they believed was in the best interest of their respective nations.
 

Joe Shearer

PROFESSIONAL
Apr 19, 2009
24,275
144
40,225
Country
India
Location
India
Honourable Joe Shearer,

You are right. Whether one likes them or not, both Pundit Nehru as well as Sh. Abdulla were undeniably great political leaders.

No matter how hard I try; being a Pakistani; my views on emotional issues such as Kashmir will always carry a pro-Pakistan bias. Still, ordinary mortals are not angles and my love of Pakistan is a poor excuse for insulting people like Sh. Abdulla and Pundit Nehru who worked hard for what they believed was in the best interest of their respective nations.
Sir, you cannot display bias even at gunpoint; it is not possible. I merely sought to tuck in a loose end, nothing more. Your word is always the soundest, and neither I nor any of the almost human bhakts can detect any insult in your language. Respectfully as always, 'Joe'.

@SoulSpokesman

Don't Niaz Sahib's posts remind you of Hayyer Sahib? A gentler, kindlier version; Hayyer Sahib can be acerbic, as we both know.
 

Joe Shearer

PROFESSIONAL
Apr 19, 2009
24,275
144
40,225
Country
India
Location
India
Dada,

Yes of course. Niaz sb seems to combine the erudition of Hayyer sb and the gentleness of Gorki sb.

Regards
Very well put! Brilliant in fact. I was missing that angle, he reminds me so much of Gorki. The soul of humility and graciousness.
 

SQ8

ADVISORS
Mar 28, 2009
34,643
393
71,676
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
There is a lot written glorifying Liaqat Ali Khan, but the more I have read about him and his actions; I am convinced that he was nothing more than a selfish opportunist who was more focused on his own glory first than anything to do with Pakistan.

Mohammad Ali Jinnah died with his dream turned sour by a cabal that had formed to take over Pakistan. By the end of the first year after Jinnah, few of the original leaguers were in any position of influence.
 

Braith

FULL MEMBER
Jul 3, 2016
320
0
188
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
According to Sardar Shaukat Hayat who was one of the Muslim League men tasked to oversee the invasion the issue was Rs 300,000 found in the Kashmir State Treasury. Khurshid Anwar foolishly argued that this money belonged to Pakistan Government (as if the tribesmen were fighting just for two nation theory, while no Muslim League leader was sixty miles near Baramula!) while the tribesmen correctly asserted that it belonged to them8. Once this issue was settled the tribesmen who had no conception of Time and Space factor insisted that they will not move before the three day Eid festival was over9.
These were not the famous 'ghazis' fighting against British, defending their lands with no promise of salary and loot......but they were the mercenaries for hire who were/are always available in these tribal lands. Such mercenaries were also hired by Nadir Shah and they looted Kabul when they were not paid. They looted state treasury in Baramullah, and wasted time there which was totally according to their mercenary and unruly character......but the 'rape' part is invented stuff , an Indian claim. Pakistani decision-makers are to be blamed for largely relying on undisciplined mercenaries. Why Tribals were proceeding towards capital Sringar, where were so numerous highly trained and professional ex-servicemen of World War II from Kashmir?

@niaz is blaming "Pathan" tribals for the loss of Kashmir, who numbered around 3,000 . Why highly trained Pakistani faujis were behind the scenes and not at forefront when Indian army entered Kashmir? Why an angraiz General Gracey was commander-in-chief of an "independent" country? . Why 60 thousands ex-soldiers of British Indian army from Poonch and surroundings were so ineffective?.......and to correct you, Pashtun tribal militias from Dir were also sent to assist Gilgat scouts.
 
Last edited:

niaz

PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT
Jun 18, 2006
5,053
206
10,877
Country
Pakistan
Location
United Kingdom
These were not the famous 'ghazis' fighting against British, defending their lands with no promise of salary and loot......but they were the mercenaries for hire who were/are always available in these tribal lands. Such mercenaries were also hired by Nadir Shah and they looted Kabul when they were not paid. They looted state treasury in Baramullah, and wasted time there which was totally according to their mercenary and unruly character......but the 'rape' part is invented stuff , an Indian claim. Pakistani decision-makers are to be blamed for largely relying on undisciplined mercenaries. Why Tribals were proceeding towards capital Sringar, where were so numerous highly trained and professional ex-servicemen of World War II from Kashmir?

@niaz is blaming "Pathan" tribals for the loss of Kashmir, who numbered around 3,000 . Why highly trained Pakistani faujis were behind the scenes and not at forefront when Indian army entered Kashmir? Why an angraiz General Gracey was commander-in-chief of an "independent" country? . Why 60 thousands ex-soldiers of British Indian army from Poonch and surroundings were so ineffective?.......and to correct you, Pashtun tribal militias from Dir were also sent to assist Gilgat scouts.

Pakistan became independent on 14th of August, Kashmir action started around October 22nd, 1947. Pak Army was led by British Army officers who considered Auchinleck their boss instead on the Quaid. Gen Messervy disobeyed the order to attack Kashmir. Therefore only way Kashmir could come to Pakistan was either through accession by the Raja or by way of local rebellion. Regrettably the rebel leaders were from Poonch and the Srinagar valley under the leadership of Sh. Abdulla remained relatively calm.

Use of tribal Lashkar was meant as a façade that the Afghan mujahids were there to help their Kashmiri Muslim brothers to throw off the Dogra yoke. It is my opinion that rapacious behaviour of the Tribals was the reason as to why the Valley itself did not rise up in revolt.

However, no point in beating the dead horse, it makes no difference as who was to blame; I could be totally wrong, but the fact remains that we lost the Kashmir valley to India.
 

Braith

FULL MEMBER
Jul 3, 2016
320
0
188
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Use of tribal Lashkar was meant as a façade that the Afghan mujahids were there to help their Kashmiri Muslim brothers to throw off the Dogra yoke. It is my opinion that rapacious behaviour of the Tribals was the reason as to why the Valley itself did not rise up in revolt.
.
Why blaming Tribals for the historical passivity and submissiveness of Kashmiris of the valley? when was the last time Kashmiris of the valley had uprising against tyrants and foreign occupiers?

All tribals did was looting a state treasury at Baramullah ......why Muslims of Srinagar were not already up in revolt?....if Gilgat scouts could take matters into their own hands, why faujis were so obedient to General Gracey and other Angraiz officers?. Why paramilitary scouts like Khyber rifles , Kurram militia, Tochi scouts etc were not sent to Kashmir instead of mercenaries?. It was Pakistani state which claimed to the world that 'Muslim' brothers from tribal areas are going to Kashmir on their own with no involvement of Pakistani state and army, but we see army officers in the tribal militias for guidnace and tribals themselves were not claiming to be "Afghan mujaheddin" and rescuers. You are conveniently making tribals scapegoats for the failure of Pakistani state in this matter


Here are some pictures of the disposal mercenaries





 
Last edited:

Rajkumar

BANNED
Dec 29, 2008
826
-4
441
Country
India
Location
India
One important thing i got from this is , Jinnah was not a visionary man as Pakistanis assume.

if he did not have a single man at his side who was devoted for newly created nation then his ability to envisage a good future for such nation is very doubtful.

He just envisioned that Muslims would be deprived in Hindu majority state. He failed to realized that before 1947 or even before British raj , Hindus were in majority still Muslims lived peacefully. I think he only memorized Law books and never read history of India.

Second, His failure to judge ability of a person. How can he failed to recognize incompetence of persons around him. I mean if none of persons were worthy enough to succeed him then this shows his failure to take good decision where he was unable to find right persons to follow him in time span of 1939 to 1947.

Probably his biggest decision of creating a new nation was wrong although his intentions were good.
 
Sep 5, 2010
9,054
-3
10,213
Country
India
Location
Canada
A nice read, though I read one half of the article, bookmarked it so I can continue on the other half. If only some book are readily available for free in the internet. :( :P
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)


Top Bottom