Justice (r) Ali Nawaz Chowhan
The red onyx clad room (khooni Kumra)where we judges met at tea break was a frequent reminder of the dishonest partition award for punjab given by Radcliffe. Gurdaspur district a Muslim majority area adjoins Jammu And Kashmir southern border was among the districts-listed in the Indian Independence Act in Pakistan punjab.But the 16th August Award 1947 changed this by giving Muslim majority thesils to india.These were Gurdaspur, Batala, Ajnala, Jullundur,Nakodar, Ferozpur and Zira and part of Kasur..This led to riots ,huge exodus and massive killings of over a million people. While Radcliffe was flying back he was seeing below the bloodshed caused by the last minute dishonest changes he made in the award.
The book freedom at night gives us a factual picture of the consequences.
Why the award was altered so suddenly in favour of india.? According to Radcliffe to save the railways and the canal system. This argument was never convincing neither did he ever give better reasons for taking an excursion from the principle of contagious communal majority used for partition. Before leaving Radcliffe destroyed all his notes. .
Who influenced him ? All records and opinions point towards Mountbatten and Nehru who was influencing him although Mountbatten already had a Kashmir policy.
Beaumont secretary to Mountbatten in a written statement he deposited in 1989 at the All Souls College Oxford had said that “Radcliffe had in fact allocated Ferozepore and Zira tehsils to Pakistan” That. learning of this Mountbatten arranged lunch for Radcliffe and persuaded him to alter this position in favour of india under pressure from Nehru.. And this was done .According to Beaumont the viceroy was manipulating from behind the boundary award.
Alastair Lamb in his book the Kashmir dispute1991 argues that the so called accession to India on 27th Oct 1947 was the end result of deliberate planning, begun well before independence and that it was orchestrated to a considerable extent by Mountbatten..It is argued that origins of the dispute have to be sought in the strategic outlook that the British acquired in regards to India’s vulnerable northern frontier. So changing the boundary award meant giving strategic access to india for Kashmir.
In his book the agony of Pakistan sir Ch Zafarulla khan who represented Pakistan before the commission and later before the UN mentions how Mountbatten had been influencing the British Government and its U.N. representative at the UN against the strong case of Pakistan for self determination in Kashmir.
Ziegler the biographer of Mountbatten said there was good evidence that Mountbatten asked Radcliffe to change the award.
Mountbatten manipulated political changes by installing Justice Mahjan of punjab as the Prime Minister removing mr Kak who was not agreeing to the conspiracy. He gave his own plane to carry Mahjan . The lady Mountbatten was in the plane as well .The Maharaja who was delaying his decision of accession to India too was influenced by Mountbatten and Sh Abdulla a friend of mr Nehru of the National Congress.
I saw Sh. Abdulla at the Liquat gardens Rawalpindi when he visited Pakistan before Nehru’s death. Perhaps he was regretful of his past conduct in becoming s part of the conspiracy. But it was too late. Kashmiris had been betrayed by their own leader.
Kashmir is bleeding since over seventy years. The world is deaf towards the gross violations of their human rights and state led crimes against humanity. The two nuclear countries were at war three times. Daily there are breaches of the line of control .A lot of wasteful expenditure is being made for armament by both sides instead of amelioration of the teeming millions. So the pre- partition policy based on strategic considerations contemplated before partition and still nourished seem to be the great impediment. .
Any way legally speaking India is an occupying force , the territory is disputed . Any change in the india constitution has no validity in international Law. We have to expose the Indian brutalities before the world . This is the best we can do and keep Pakistan strong united and prosperous. . My salute to the Kshmiri martyrs of freedom and our soldiers who laid lives in defence.
In the end I supplicate the people and the government of Great Britain to mitigate the great wrong done to the people of Kashmir by Mountbatten and his team by using its influence in stopping Indian aggression against civilian population in Kashmir, altering its disputed status, and by addressing the UN using the norm of Respect 2protection.
Justice (r) Ali Nawaz Chowhan
National Commission for Human Rights,
Government of Pakistan. Formerly: Chief Justice Of The Gambia
International Judge Of The UN at The Hague.
Co-Chairman, UNESCO Appeal Board-Paris, France.
Visiting Professor Of Law at various universities.