STATUS OF GB PART-II

Recently I came across copy of the judgement given by the High Court of Judicature Azad Jammu and Kashmir on 8-03-1993 on a petition filed on 16-10-1990 by one Malik Muhammad Miskeen and Haji Amir Jan, both residents of Tangir. This document has prompted me to share my views [based on the written views of GOP as well as the historical accounts reproduced on different blogposts CLICK]. 
Image of the written Instrument of Accession to Pakistan rendered by the Mir of Hunza
Note: The Instrument written by the Mir of Nager on a plain paper in Urdu characters is not yet available to me.
The administrative status existing in the area at the time of the events in 1947 were as under:
  • Gilgit Wizarat  – Gilgit proper with its immediate surrounding district is known as the Gilgit Sub-division, and up till 1935 the Sub-division was administered by Kashmir. The Gilgit Sub-division should not be confused with the Gilgit Agency. The former is about one tenth the area of the latter. In 1935 the British Government appreciated the necessity for the Sub-division being included in the Agency and coming under the direct control of the Political Agent owing to the increasing infiltration into Chinese Sinkiang of Russians. The Sub-division was therefore leased from the Maharaja of Kashmir for a period of sixty years and the entire area was taken under the absolute control of the Political Agent.
  • Chilas & Republics of Darel and Tangir – Administered by the Assistant Political Agent in Chilas with a native “Raja Ardal”.
  • Political Districts of Punial, Gupis/Koh-e-Ghezir, Yasin and Ishkoman – Each headed by an appointed native Governor with restricted autonomy and under considerable control of the Political Agent.
  • Mirs of Hunza and Nager – Hereditary and almost independent with only limitation of conducting foreign affairs in which consultation with the Political Agent in Gilgit was a requirement.

After the events starting on the evening of 31st October and 01st November both the Mirs and the Governors of the Political Districts  excecised their option to accede to Pakistan [obviously in consonance with the wishes of the populations]  their territories and communicated the same either in writing or verbally to Major William Brown, Commandant GILGIT SCOUTS and obvious authority in Gilgit at that time, who in turn communicated it through wireless messages to Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan, the Prime Minister [CM] NWFP Peshawar as well as Col Bacon PA Khyber [the last British Political Agent in Gilgit] with an additional request to post a Pakistan Government Political Agent expeditiously.

 In the light of this voluntary accession to Pakistan this petition and the judgment given by the High Court appears to be out of place for the majority of regions constituting GB of today.



“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or to lose.”– Lyndon B. Johnson

In the follow-up talks with Mir of Hunza [and other delegates from Hunza as well as Nager and other regions of Gilgit Agency] at Karachi in 1950 with PM Liaqat Ali Khan it was agreed that the two states of Hunza and Nager [and the Political Districts] would continue with their historical autonomous status with the further surety of enjoying the privileges associated with Pakistan Citizenship. This commitment of the government of Pakistan was however dishonored by PM Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1974 without resolving the new “Constitutional Status” vis-à-vis Pakistan.
The coming governments in Pakistan need to resolve this limbo and satisfy the younger generations whose emotions are being exploited by the ill-wishers of this country by harping on the slogan of “Constitutional Status”.
NOTE-1: The delegates from Hunza for parleys in Karachi were:

· Mir Muhammad Jamal Khan HI [Hon Maj Gen]
· Wazir Inayatullah Beg
· Trangfa Inayat Ali
· Haji Qudratullah Beg [Nazim-e- Umur]

This was the same delegation from Hunza which had gone for the inconclusive discussions with Maharaja Kashmir in the month of Jul 1947, prior to the developments in Gilgit in the months of October and November that year.
 
Interestingly, Mir Ghazanfar Ali Khan then a child of 8 years and me a mere 5-years old also visited Karachi – for the first time in our lives – in accompaniment of our parents. A family picture taken in a Karachi studio is appended:

NOTE-2: In order to grasp the relation of the “for information” [col R.N. BACON/H.R.H AGA KHAN] addressies in this instrument of accession, as well as the approach to government of Pakistan through CM [ Khan Abdul Qayum Khan] NWFP the readers need to know the background in following account: 

·        “Khan Abdul Qayum Khan, Premier of the North West Frontier Province, gave a radio broadcast last night which was heard in the Gilgit Bazaar. He pledged the support of all Pathans in liberating the people of Kashmir from Dogra domination. This rousing speech has had a profound effect on the people of Gilgit.”
·        “I want you to speak to the Mir of Hunza on the telephone in Burushaski. Ask him whether he and his people wish to accede to India, Pakistan, or remain independent. Also ask him whether the Governor has telephoned him in this connection in the last twelve hours.”  
·        “Tell the Commandant Sahib,” the Mir said, “that I am a Muslim and my people are Muslims. Are we unbelievers that we should join India or stay aloof by remaining independent? There is only one way for us to go and that is to Pakistan and we shall join Pakistan.
·        I accompanied the Bacons as far as Jaglote. The Colonel, I discovered, was a remarkable man. With only my sketchy outline of conditions in the Sub-agency, where he had never previously served, he appreciated the situation immediately and gave shrewd and astute observations and suggestions on how to get the situation under control. His success in getting the utmost out of his juniors lay in his ability to pass on instructions in the form of suggestions and not as dictatorial orders; and yet they were always carried out. He would enter into the spirit of any scheme with great enthusiasm and discuss it in a matter of fact manner for hours until it was reduced to the simplicity of routine action rather than a major problem.
·        We then chatted about things in general for a bit and as the bar emptied he suddenly turned to me and said, “ Listen to this one, William, but keep it under your hat,” and this is the information the Colonel gave me. “On 1 August this year the entire Gilgit Agency will be handed over to the ‘‘ Maharaja of Kashmir and we shall withdraw entirely. I have just flown from Gilgit to Srinagar to discuss this matter, with the Resident and with the Maharaja. As yet I have not approached the matter with the Mirs, Governors, and people, so I cannot give you their reactions but they will all naturally be very sad to see us go. It is unlikely that the Maharaja will employ a British Officer as Political Agent and he will in all probability send up one of his own staff as Governor of the country. The Maharaja, however, is aware of the difficulties which will arise from officering the Scouts with Hindu, or Muslim Officers for that matter as they have never before served under anyone but British Officers It is therefore probable that he will employ a British Officer as Commandant and possibly one both as second in command and Assistant Political Agent, Chilas These officers would serve on a private contract until the transition from British to Kashmiri had been effected gradually. The officers wouId, of course, have to relinquish their commissions and be taken on in an entirely private capacity. They will always be in a very awkward position; they will have no redress for grievances, and at all times they will have to use the utmost diplomacy in dealing with Kashmiri officials. It will be nothing like the old days and I know that none of the officers at present in the Scouts would ever dream of staying on. In fact think the Maharaja will have great difficulty in getting British Officers who are prepared to accept this mercenary appointment. I don’t suppose you would think of going back as Commandant under these conditions, would you?”
·        All that Gilgit wanted was the peace and security afforded under the Pax Britannica, and the method by which this could have been continued, despite partition, would have been have made the Gilgit Agency an Agency of the North-West Frontier Province, directly under H.E. the Governor. This would have ensured a continuity in administration, peace, security and unity: unfertile ground for Soviet seed. My duty was obvious. I must return to Gilgit and lead, advise and help the people over the transition period.
·        So when Colonel Bacon put the question to me I replied, “Yes, I would like to go back, very much, Sir.”
·       “Right. William,” he said. “When I get back to Srinagar tomorrow I shall put forward a strong recommendation on your behalf as I consider you are the right man for the job and you are fully aware of what you are in for and the difficulties and obstructions you will meet, I think the chances are that H.H. the Maharaja will probably agree, but anyway let’s wait and see.”

·         I immediately realised that Colonel Bacon had kept his promise and that I am going back to Gilgit.

 

·        To:              BROWN
From:         ABDUL QAYUM          100900
Mohammed Alam being sent to you as soon as possible with instructions.

·        The news was then announced in the Bazaar by beat of drum, and orders were issued that a royal welcome should be accorded to the Representative of the Dominion of Pakistan who was arriving on the morrow. I meanwhile had telephoned the news to the Mirs and Rajas. They were overjoyed to hear it, and promised they would make all haste to Gilgit.[he arrived on 16th November]

 


The document in question can be accessed by cliking this link  COURT VERDICT ON GB 1990 while two pages containing the judgement are placed below for the information of the readers of this blog.

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8 thoughts on “STATUS OF GB PART-II

  1. This is our history, of which the younger generations in GB in particular and other Pakistanis in general are not aware of. No doubt the nations which forget their history, geography forgets them. We must not forget our history. Thanks for putting us wise. we will be looking forward to get educated in the future as well from your knowledge which you are spreading through your blog.

  2. Affiliation of Hunza State with Pakistan was the grave mistake as we realize now. With the current situation our future is totally dim…… United States of GB is one of the solution to develop ourselves according to our own needs and priorities. If so, we , especially the people of Hunza are the richest people in the world.

    1. I do not contest your view but I am of the firm opinion that but for this decision we would still be in dark ages confined in our valley, advice of guide was supreme.

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