First Indian PM Nehru supported Kashmiris right to decide their future through referendum

First Indian PM Nehru supported Kashmiris right to decide their future through referendum
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ISLAMABAD: The first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru in his statements after partition of India, repeatedly supported the Kashmiri people's right to decide their fate by referendum or plebiscite.

According to the research done by All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Azad Jammu and Kashmir chapter, Nehru in a telegram to Prime Minister of Pakistan and United Kingdom dated October 27, 1947 said, "Our view which we have repeatedly made public is that the question of accession in any disputed territory or State must be decided in accordance with wishes of people and we adhere to this view."

           

In another telegram addressed to Prime Minister of Pakistan dated October 28, 1947, Nehru said, "In regard to accession also, it has been made clear that this is subject to reference to people of State and their decision."

The Indian prime minister in another telegram said, "Leave the decision regarding the future of this State to the people of the State. It is not merely a promise to your government but also to the people of Kashmir and to the world."

           

While in a broadcast on All India Radio, Nehru said, "And let me make it clear that it has been our policy all along that where there is a dispute about the accession of a state to either Dominion, the accession must be made by the people of that state."

           

"We have always, right from the beginning accepted the idea of the Kashmiri people deciding their fate by referendum or plebiscite," he added.

He also said in a press conference in London on January 16, 1951, "We had given our pledge to the people of Kashmir, and subsequently to the United Nations, we stood by it and we stand by it today. Let the people of Kashmir decide."

Nehru told a gathering in Calcutta on January 2, 1952, "We have taken the issue to the United Nations and given our word of honour for a peaceful solution. As a great nation, we cannot go back on it. We have left the question for final solution to the people of Kashmir and we are determined to abide by their decision."

           

Speaking in the Indian Parliament on June 26, 1952 he said, "If, after a proper plebiscite, the people of Kashmir said we do not want to be with India, we are committed to accept that. We will accept it though it might pain us. We will not send any army against them. We will accept that, however, hurt we might feel about it, we will change the Constitution, if necessary."

In a joint press communique of the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan issued in Delhi after their meeting on August 20, 1953, it was stated, "the most feasible method of ascertaining the wishes of the people is by fair and impartial plebiscite."

 

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