22 October 1947 : that day When Pakistani's tribal army invaded Kashmir

22nd October 1947 kashmir

October 22, 1947, is perhaps the most critical date in J&K’s history. that day Pakistan-sponsored tribals invaded the state. The Maharaja of Kashmir had entered into a standstill agreement with Pakistan on August 12, 1947, under which Pakistan undertaken not to unilaterally disturb the status i.e. continue to treat J&K as an independent state. Pakistan deliberately broke the agreement and invaded an independent state. The raiders, as is well known, indulged in an orgy of looting and violence and were ultimately repulsed by the Indian Army.

When Pakistan failed to forcibly annex the state, it did succeed in appropriating the entire narrative on Kashmir. On the one hand, it managed to mask its violation of the agreement and its 1947 invasion, and on the other, it succeeded in diverting the narrative by claiming that the accession of J&K to India was bogus and the entry of Indian troops in Kashmir on October 27, 1947, was illegal. Such a narrative has been bolstered by Pakistan observing for decades this day as ‘black day’. 

22nd October 1947 Kashmir
Original Map of Jammu & Kashmir

Unfortunately, India has conceded this space and the narrative to Pakistan by not contesting it. There is a need to make a substantive push for observing the anniversary of the October 22 invasion as the real ‘black day’ in the history of Kashmir. This will sensitise people, especially the Kashmiri youth, who may not be aware of the history of the event and of the brutality their forefathers were subjected to at the hands of Pakistan. They need to be educated, if not reminded, that this was the day when the entire history of Kashmir was irreversibly distorted, how the princely state became an ‘issue’ and a ‘question’ and how historical facts were twisted to advance the Pakistani agenda. 

JK Police at Pakistan War
Indian Army in Kashmir

A timeline of the tribal invasion

3 June 1947: The June Plan, also called the Mountbatten Plan, is approved in a meeting. It culminates in the Independence of India Act 1947 which partitions British India into independent states of India and Pakistan. The Act receives royal assent in July.

15 June: Agitation in the form of a No-Tax campaign starts in Poonch, an internal principality of Kashmir state.

15 August: Killings are reported from Bagh in Poonch principality when pro-Pakistan groups try to hoist a Pakistani flag to mark independence and clash with the state police.

12 September: Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaquat Ali Khan holds a meeting with military and civilian officials where a go-ahead is reportedly given to two plans: raise a tribal force to attack Kashmir from the north and arm the rebels in Poonch.

4 October: Rebels clash with state forces at a place called Thorar, and go on to besiege state forces in Poonch.

22 October: Tribal bands attack Muzaffarabad, then move eastwards to capture Baramulla. Some of the fighters reach the outskirts of Srinagar.

24 October: Sardar Ibrahim, a pro-Pakistan landlord from Poonch principality, announces the founding of the government of Azad (free) Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) at a place called Palandri, and appoints himself as its head.

26 October: The Maharaja of Kashmir, earlier inclined to stay independent due to the demographic composition of his state, accedes to India, presumably under duress.

27 October: Indian air and ground troops start landing at Srinagar, tilting the balance against tribal invaders and leading to the partition of Kashmir along the line that more or less exists today

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