‘Saving Kashmir – The War of 1947-48’

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Pune, 24th October 2021: On 22 Oct 1947, Pakistani Qabalis raided Kashmir as part of Pakistan’s plan to seize the beautiful state by force. On 27 Oct, Indian troops landed at Srinagar, just in the nick of time and saved the state, pushing back the raiders.

Soldiers Speak, a program on the YouTube channel of Punekar News exposes the real story. Colonel Ajay Singh (veteran) gives insights based on historical facts at the time of partition, focusing on the Kashmir problem. Vivek Prakash hosted the show.

Pakistan decided to attack India, reacting to rumours of Raja Hari Singh’s decision to merge Kashmir with India. It gathered tribes, armed and funded them. These mercenaries whom they called Kabailis or raiders attacked Kashmir to capture the King of Kashmir
Major General Akbar Khan in-charge of this operation sent three groups of mercenaries one each for Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh.

This fact is mentioned in detail in his own book ‘Raiders in Kashmir’ available on Google in a PDF format. The Kashmiri state forces had only 9000 men.

Pakistan had also instigated an uprising in Poonch and was very sure that the local population would support the operation at that time.

Col. Ajay Singh states that the aggressors first took Muzaffarabad and that is when they showed their true colours. They looted the town, raped women, and pillaged the population. There was total mayhem and misery.

Due to this, the King called for help from India. Sardar Patel laid down the condition of acceding to India. On October 26, 1947, the instrument of accession of Kashmir into India was signed. Indian Army was supposed to arrive on the next day. Raja Hari Singh ordered his ADC to kill him in his sleep if he did not hear the sound of the Indian aircraft.

The Pakistan-backed 9000 mercenaries were a day away from Srinagar when two companies of Sikh regiment and one company of paratroopers arrived. The mercenaries got delayed as they were busy looting and murdering the local population. Some of the mercenaries had turned back to Pakistan with the loot in their trucks along with Kashmiri women. In Baramulla, the mercenaries wreaked untold miseries. Major General Akbar Khan proudly mentions in his book that they killed 11000 people in Baramulla of its total population of 14000.

The Indian Army on its arrival conducted a flag march to make the local populace feel safe and went ahead to Baramulla to fight the mercenaries in which the CO of the Indian Army himself was martyred. The Indian Army was desperate to hold them for long as many contingents of Indian soldiers were to arrive.

The Indian Army faced huge difficulties due to the terrain as they had to capture one mountain after another. Tanks were used at the highest points and the Zojila pass was captured thereby saving Leh and Ladakh. When the Indian Army joined the war, the Pakistani Army also joined the mercenaries.

The war that started in October 1947 went on till December 31, 1948, until the UN sponsored a ceasefire.

After the 1962 debacle, Pakistan in the hope of taking over Kashmir attacked again in 1965, but they lost badly and met with the same fate in the 1971 war dividing Pakistan into two. They then resorted to insurgency and low-cost war viz., jihad.

Col. Ajay Singh deliberated that Article 370’s abrogation will help usher in the development, employment and amalgamation of the people of the state in India.

In the last few weeks, jihadi attacks have increased as Pakistan is upbeat due to the Taliban’s success in Afghanistan. They have now added China into the Kashmir issue with CPEC passing through PoK. China has aggressively postured in Ladakh to save its economic lifeline in the form of CPEC.

Col. Ajay Singh made it clear that the Indian Army is battle-hardened and is different from the American Army. He further said we need to be prepared for the worst.