When the Britishers were in India they were the custodians of the welfare of the Indian princes.
When out of India, Indian union and Pakistan were created, the Indian states were to join either of the two dominions or remain distinct.
These Indian states came into existences on account of the early historical forces working in the country. Many states existed longer before the Britishers dominated India.
Many other states came into existence on account of the fact that some important people had rendered valuable assistance to the Britishers in the Mutiny. These well-wishers of the British government had been elevated to the status of ruling princes. Among the Indian states, Kashmir occupied a peculiar position. According to the treaty between the British government and the Kashmir, the Britishers were bound to restore independence to the ruler of Kashmir when they left.
Neither the people of Kashmir nor the ruler of Kashmir had decided whether to join India or Pakistan or to remain independent. But before Kashmir could take any decision or even declare its settled view of keeping independence, Pakistan had stabbed into the back of Kashmir and the raiders were let loose over Kashmir. The ruler of Kashmir realized the danger, and on October 24, 1947, sought help from the government of India. Kashmir was the imminent danger of being swallowed up by Pakistan. It was a very sudden and swift move of Pakistan but Indian Air Forces managed to push them across the border.
According to the late Mr. Liaquet Ali khan, the Kashmir problem is a vital international problem because the peace of the world at least of the Asia hinges upon it. But Pandit Nehru, the then Indian Prime Minister had a different approach to the problem. According to him the problem of Kashmir was in the first place no problem at all because it is the creation of Pakistan. Even if it is serious it is an issue between Pakistan and India only. It has got nothing to do with international peace.
On the advice of Lord Mountbatten and Mahatma Gandhi’s consent, India made a complaint to the U.N.O. on December 23, 1947, against the conduct of Pakistan, pending their decision Pandit Nehru issued strict orders that Indian forces would never cross the borders of Pakistan however tactically necessary it was. India maintained and still maintains that it is for the people of Kashmir to decide and confirm Kashmir’s accession to India or to choose to be within Pakistan.
Pakistan on the other hand maliciously wishes to deprive the people the right of self-determination. On March 10, 1950, Sir Owen Dixon, Australian jurist was made the mediator in the Kashmir affair. After making a survey of the situation he suggested that plebiscite should be held only in the Kashmir valley and the two portions on the either side should go to the countries respectively. But his mission failed.
Neither India nor Pakistan agreed to any common plan of demilitarization. Pakistan also wants to open up a new passage of communication with eastern Pakistan along the corridor the mountain ranges of Himalayas. It is an old idea the object of which is to surround the Hindus of India by a pincer movement and to swallow them up. Pakistan-based her claims on the fact that 90% of the people are Muslims. At the instance of Pakistan, the world has forgotten that Pakistan herself came into existence by constructively repudiating the two nation theory of the militant Muslim League in Indian.
The second argument they give is the succession of Jammu and Kashmir to India is illegal because there was a standstill agreement by the ruler of Kashmir with Pakistan. The act of accession was brought about by violence and fraud. India considers that the standstill agreement was a temporary measure and Pakistan’s own military action nullified it. India has her armies in Kashmir as a matter of right and controls the defense communication and external affairs as a result of accession.
India can take over Kashmir anytime but for India, Kashmir is a beautiful valley renowned all over the world for its natural beauty and her extremely salubrious climate. She is a paradise of the of the world tourists. She is a source of artistic inspiration to the poets and the artists of India. Kashmir is, therefore a vital necessity, as it is, to the Indian Union.
To retain peace of the Kashmir valley, India is bound to give her people the freedom of thought and expression, thereby maintaining her identity, and letting her people live peacefully without any interruption from the people of other Indian states. This is the basis of the formation of the Article 370 for the Kashmir valley which makes her an autonomous state.