New Delhi [India], October 25 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir has come a long way from Pakistan's invasion in 1947 in which thousands of innocents were killed and raiders committed atrocities against women and children to the present when the union territory witnesses a period of development, said experts at a webinar organised by Indo-Arab Helping Hands.
Ambassador (retd) Deepak Vohra and Major General (retd.) Ashwini Siwach, underlined the historical perspective to the Jammu and Kashmir issue during the webinar, reported Saudi Gazette.
The experts believe that Jammu and Kashmir has come a long way from the tragic incident that triggered the Kashmir mess on October 22, 1947.
India marks the day as 'Black Day' to protest against Pakistan's role in instigating violence and terrorism in the valley that began with the invasion on this day by tribal raiders.
Vohra has served as a special advisor to prime ministers in Africa and to Autonomous Hill Councils in Ladakh, and General Siwach is a recipient of the Vashist Seva Medal, and a member of the Global Counter-Terrorism Council.
The two expert told the attendees that now after the abrogation of the special status Article 370, there is a new drive in the Union Territory with development being the linchpin on which Jammu and Kashmir is progressing with people optimistic of a bright future.
Then Jammu and Kashmir Maharaja despite foreign pressure didn't agree to join Pakistan as the region toyed with independence, encouraged by USA. Then Islamabad used pressure and stopped supply of essential goods to Kashmir.
"They then induced the tribal Lashkars to raid Kashmir in order to take the state by force. The Lashkars crossed into Kashmir on October 22, 1947, and messed up Indian-Pakistan relations for decades," Saudi Gazette quoted Vohra as saying during the webinar.
Emphasising that nearly 60,000 raiders, who "included some regulars from Pakistani Army on leave, and some British" officers, entered Kashmir, Vohra said that they were told they can "loot and pillage" all they want.
"On October 26, 1947, the raiders were near Srinagar. People, including Sheikh Abdullah, fled Kashmir. On that same day Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession as all other Princely States and begged India for immediate assistance," he said.
Vohra also emphasised that while accepting the instrument of Accession, Louis Mountbatten, created a trap to give Pakistan some locus standing in Kashmir.
"As soon as law and order is restored in J&K and her soil cleared of the invader the question of the state's accession should be settled by a reference to the people," Vohra said.
Stressing that "no one asked Mountbatten to write" that, and no other state had that condition attached, Vohra emphasised that on October 27, India responded so quickly to maharaja's request the world was surprised.
"A magnificent airlift of India troops takes place and the raiders quickly falter and flee," Vohra added.
He also underlined that after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A, the Kashmir developmental story has gained traction.
"In addition, grass-root democracy has taken roots with panchayats and district council elections and terror acts and money laundering too have been curbed," he added.
During the webinar, General Siwach said: "They (Pakistani terrorists) entered Kashmir from two directions -- via the Poonch-Rajouri side and the other from the Muzaffarabad area."
Gen. Siwach said that as they advanced, "they raped and looted without any goals. They stayed in Baramulla for three days looting, because according to historians, they encountered so much wealth that they were busy stealing and sending the loot back to Pakistan". (ANI)