On 15 September 1947, an instrument of accession was signed between the sovereign heads of States of Junagadh and Pakistan, providing the just basis for the annexation of the State of Junagadh with Pakistan.
The flag of Pakistan was hoisted at the Statehouse of Junagadh as its national flag.It was an international agreement governed by international laws and the Charter of the United Nations.
The Instrument of Accession is valid and binding till date, similarly, as it was at the time of its signing.
Nawab’s decision to accede to Pakistan was not accepted by the brutal Indian government rather their official became part of evil tactics to make Nawab revert from his decision.
The land, sea, and air boundaries of the State were completely locked by using force, and thereby, on September 9, 1947, the Indian Army entered into the State of Junagadh and took the charge of State affairs which was the first-ever violation of the territories of Pakistan as after the signing the Instrument of Accession Junagadh become part of Pakistan.
Since then, the State of Junagadh is under illegal occupation of India.The matter has been forwarded to the United Nations for the just resolution of the government of Pakistan.
However, since then, the same is placed in the unresolved State.Mr Jinnah to Sir Stanford Cripps that the concept of United-India is merely a dream.
India is not a country but a region, being cluster of different nations.The slogan of “United-India” was the biggest political deception of the 20th Century.
The worthiest defensive response against this slogan was that of Mr Jinnah and All India Muslim league.
Furthermore, his Highness Nawab Muhabbat Khanji was also among those who retaliated the most against the same slogan and Instrument of Accession is the finest evidence of this notion. We present our deepest gratitude to His Highness Sir Mohabat Khanji for his worthy efforts.
The case of Junagadh also assists the Kashmir cause as the both are the evidence of brutality of Indian Government, thereby, the Government of Pakistan should raise both the issues on every international platform.
However, the Junagadh case is strong enough to unveil the double standards and hypocrisy of India.
Muhammad Jahangir Khaji, the Nawab of Junagadh State, affirming the Junagadh policy developed by Liaqat Ali khan, the first Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, told that after official annexation of Junagadh with Pakistan and its illegal occupation by India, a so-called referendum was conducted by the Indian Government under the shadow of military weapons and Liaqat Ali Khan then raised the slogan in the negation of that referendum and today he as Nawab of Junagadh negates that a so-called referendum.
It was further endorsed that Nawab Mohabat Khanji, the then Governor of Junagadh reached an agreement with Quaid-i-Azam, the then Governor General of Pakistan and signed the Instrument of Accession.
This was not the sole decision of the Nawab of Junagadh but of the State Council comprising both Hindu and Muslim members as their representatives from respective communities.
The decision of accession with Pakistan was not directly taken by Nawab but it was the mutual consensus of the State Council.
In this respect, Junagadh became the first princely State to accede to Pakistan on 15 September 1947.
One of the important parts of the narrative of Pakistan regarding the Junagadh cause consists of the threatening strategy of India because India imposed an economic blockade against the State that leads to severe bad impacts on economic activities of the State which in turn created chaos in the State.
Due to the breakdown of supply lines, a food crisis was created among the people of the State.
Everybody knows that these conditions can lead to making an environment of despair and violence and the exact happened in the State of Junagadh, the law and order situation got deteriorated in State and looting was started.
As per Pakistan, the law and order situation was under control and effective in two months since accession day till Indian occupation on the State which was an evident fact providing the basis for the narrative that Nawab’s decision to accede Pakistan was as per the will of his population.
Moreover, documentary evidence for India’s high official efforts to make the decision revert has also been observed by the world.
The first Vice Prime Minister Vallabhbhai Patel went in person to meet Nawab and forced him to change the decision but he couldn’t meet him which provides a base to understand the threats by India to the imperial State to join India and is also a violation of Indian Independence Act of 1947.
Thereby, the accession of Junagadh with Pakistan is based on solid reasons.It is also a part of Pakistan’s narrative that India was playing in the hands of a few evil ones who never wanted Junagadh to get accede to Pakistan at any cost.
However, the decision was taken by Nawab considering the will of his population.Some conspiratorial personalities visited India and fabricated false allegations of Pakistani military atrocities in the State of Junagadh which are not based on any concrete evidence.
The purpose of the visit to Delhi was to create an atmosphere of fear, especially among the decision-makers.
These measures proved conducive for India which was already waiting to send troops to the States.
Based on the above-discussed shreds of evidence, Pakistan says that all these measures were not possible by mere coincidence but were a deliberate conspiracy of India to prevent Junagadh from joining Pakistan.
Conclusion: The assertion of India that Junagadh should become a part of India because its population comprised majority Hindus is not based on sound evidence and is a violation of the Indian Independence Act of 1947.
Because at that time, the position of Nawab or Maharaja was considered as sovereign as far as State affairs are concerned.
India attempted to rectify this by holding a “plebiscite” in Junagadh but its transparency has been questioned by international actors as well as Pakistan.Moreover, India’s claim that Junagadh does not share a border with Pakistan is doubtful.
It is an internationally recognized fact that maritime borders are a reality and many countries share maritime borders without any land contact, an instance of this is the case of Alaska, the United States of America.
According to Lord Mountbatten, Junagadh had become part of Pakistan after the latter’s acceptance of the Instrument of Accession.
Junagadh had officially decided to join Pakistan on 14 August and Pakistan accepted the Instrument of Accession on 15 September.
So, it was under the sovereignty of Pakistan and Indian aggression against the region must be considered as an act of war by the international community.
Keeping in view the discussion and evidence provided, it is clear that Pakistan’s narrative has credibility and veracity that is also backed by international media coverage.
On the other hand, the Indian narrative has flaws and is based solely on land contiguity and the non-Muslim population.
Both of these aforementioned points have been proven to be invalid and are against the Indian Independence Act of 1947 as Junagadh had a maritime border with Pakistan and its State Council representing the several communities of State was in favour of joining Pakistan.The signature of the sovereign head of State ie Nawab adds further solidity to the facts.
—The writer is associated with Muslim Institute, Islamabad.
— Courtesy Pakistan Observer