By Dr Amjad Ayub MirzaMuzaffarabad [PoK], June 9 (ANI): Pakistan continues to send terrorists who are allegedly assisted by the Pakistan military establishment to infiltrate the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
This is nothing new as the Indian armed forces as well as the border security forces have been fighting Pakistan-based infiltration since 1947.
On October 22, 1947, during the early hours, just before dawn broke out over the Pir Panjal Mountains, the roar of heavy military trucks carrying tribal mercenaries under the command of Pakistani military officers headed for Muzaffarabad.
A total of 50,000 tribesmen called Lashkar from the North West of the country bordering Afghanistan accompanied the Pakistani forces. Taking benefit of the element of surprise the invaders soon captured Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, Uri and Baramulla.
On October 26, 1947, the Maharaja signed the instrument of accession and the next day the Indian troops began to arrive at Srinagar airport. All commercial airliners flying in India at the time were mobilized to transport the Indian army to the Himalayan battlefield.
The attack on the state of Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan and the mercenary tribes was part of a scheme called Operation Gulmarg.
Major General Mohammed Akbar Khan, code-named Tariq after the Berber Umayyad dynasty Muslim general of the 8th century who raided Hispania (modern-day Spain), was the main person of contact for the operation.
In an interview given to Brigadier (retired) A R Siddiqi, and published in the Defense Journal, Mohammed Akbar Khan reveals in detail how the plan was supposed to be implemented.
The Interview:Brig (r) A R Siddiqi: Can you recall the earlier stages of the Kashmir operations before you took over?Mohammed Akbar Khan: A few weeks after partition, I was asked by Mian Iftikharuddin on behalf of Liaquat Ali Khan (Prime minister of Pakistan) to prepare a plan for action in Kashmir. I found that the army was holding 4,000 rifles for the civil police. If these could be given to the locals, an armed uprising in Kashmir could be organised at suitable places, I wrote a plan on this basis and gave it to Mian Iftikharuddin, I was called to a meeting with Liaquat Ali Khan in Lahore where the plan was adapted, responsibilities allotted and orders issued. Everything was to be kept secret from the army. In September the 4,000 rifles were issued at various places and the first shots were exchanged with the Maharajah's troops and the movement gathered weight.
On October 24, a tribal Lashkar attacked Muzafarabad and successfully captured it. The next day they advanced and captured Uri. On the 26th, they occupied Baramulla.
That evening, Liaquat Ali Khan held a meeting in Lahore to which I was invited. This was to consider what action to take in view of the expected Indian intervention in Kashmir. I proposed that a tribal Lashkar should attack Jammu, as this was the focal point through which the Indian troops would be going to Kashmir.
This proposal was not accepted for fear of provoking war. That evening, the Quaid-e-Azam was also in Lahore and according to Alan Campbell in Mission with Mountbatten, Quaid had ordered that Jammu should be attacked by the army. But the order was not carried out.
Two days later on my own initiative, I went to the Srinagar front to see how the tribesmen were doing. They were at the fourth milestone from Srinagar held up by a roadblock with a machine gun. I carried out a thorough reconnaissance and saw that the town was surrounded by water, which blocked the entrance from outside. I rushed to Pindi and soon found that Colonel Masud with three armored cars was willing to go as a volunteer in plain clothes. Then I rang up Karachi and spoke to Raja Ghazanfar (sic) Ali Khan (Minister for Kashmir Affairs) to ask for permission. Permission was refused. Thus no help went to the tribesmen and they remained held up at the milestone.
A week later, finding the ground unsuitable for their tactics, they broke off the engagement and withdrew to Uri, from where also they threatened to withdraw to Abbottabad. An Indian brigade advanced from Srinagar and occupied Baramulla. It was at this stage that I was earnestly requested to go to Uri and restore fighting.
Brig (r) A R Siddiqi: How good had been the performance of the tribal Lashkar? I believed that they broke their ranks and went for loot just when they were within sight of Srinagar.
Mohammed Akbar Khan: The performance of the tribal Lashkar had been excellent and the ground was suitable for their sniping and hit-and-run tactics. It is not correct to say that they broke their ranks and went for loot just when they were within sight of Srinagar. It was part of their agreement with Major Khurshid Anwar of the Muslim League National Guards who was their leader. They had no other remuneration. Major Khurshid Anwar had been an emergency commissioned officer.
Khurshid Anwar was appointed commander of the Northern Sector. Khurshid Anwar then went to Peshawar and with the apparent help of Khan Qayyum Kahn, raised the Lashkar which assembled at Abbottabad and entered Muzaffarabad on October 24, 1947, reached Baramulla where he delayed the Lashkar for two days for some unknown reason.
Two weeks later, he left the Kashmir front departing from Uri with the Lashkar in the first week of November. It was after this that I arrived on the scene and began again where the tribesmen had left. Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan had apparently helped Major Khurshid Anwar with the raising of the Lashkar on the frontier. Thereafter he continued to take an active interest in Kashmir and helped with the tribal Lashkar through the Kashmir operations.
The above interview is of the Pakistani military commander who was in charge of Operation Gulmarg. The interview can be presented to a future war crimes tribunal as a confessional statement.
It vividly describes that the attack on the state of Jammu Kashmir was premeditated and that it was an unprovoked War of Aggression on a sovereign territory.
That war of aggression continues to this day while the United Nations Security Council fails to keep Pakistan in check.
Dr Amjad Ayub Mina is an author and a human rights activist from Mirpur in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). He currently lives in exile in the UK. (ANI)