Kashmir hand over-take over
9th March Lahore: 16th March Amritsar
LAHORE TREATY ACTUALLY PREFIXED AND PREDATED AMRITSAR TREATY. THE DEAL WAS FINALLY STRUCK TODAY IN 1846, DR. JAVID IQBAL WRITES
‘Baishaki’ merely a month away ‘Basant’ in bloom in Punjab, gloom had set over the political scenario in 1846 A.D. ‘Company Bhadur’ the Indian sobriquet for ‘East India Company’ acting as surrogate for the British Crown held Lahore Durbar in a tight squeeze. Following Ranjit Singh’s death his sons in succession, Khadak Singh, Sher Singh and Dilip Singh proved unworthy of what their father had acquired by daring, partly deceit and deception. By 1799 A.D, Ranjit was master of Punjab. His death in 1839 left a void, difficult to fill. He had unwittingly helped create a con, exposing his flank; Dogra Raj in Jammu. Gulab Singh took up services in Lahore Durbar in 1811 A.D. Soon, he went on to create a solid niche in Northern India’s most secure state. Gulab serving Ranjit went on to pick up, all the tricks of the trade. In Kashmir, he got involved within a few years of joining Lahore Durbar. The earlier incursions failed, however with Punjab firmly in Ranjit Singh’s grip, Afghans ruling Kashmir had logistic problems. Their supply routes largely affected, they could not even manage a supportive population.
Far from being fascinated by their co-religionists, Kashmiri’s were at best unconcerned. Over centuries, they were done in by some of the most ruthless imperialistic maneouvers. So, Ranjit kept on pressing until Birbal Dhar came out of Kashmir with tales of woe and pleading for help. He found an ever ready Gulab, who seemed to have his sights set on Kashmir, even while serving Ranjit. In 1819 A.D, the job was done. Kashmir had a new ruler and with it another round of ruthless regulations.
Gulab was anointed Raja of Jammu in a much publicized ceremony in 1822, although he had secured Jammu two years earlier, with his father Kishore Singh as the Raja. Even before this event, he was making deep incursions in Jammu province, right up to Kishtawar. The importance of this region, much under-rated lies in providing the link to the prized valley, as well as Zanaskar in Ladakh. Gulab Singh put a stake on it, equaling its worth. Vast tract of land, though grossly under populated, Ladakh got added to, what in future was named as the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Zorawar Singh’s campaign in Ladakh is well documented and even today evokes admiration of military strategists. However the spadework and political planning was Gulab’s brainchild. Jammu continued to be a tributary State of Lahore Durbar until 1846.
With the Lahore Empire disintegrating, following Ranjit’s death; the British RAJ was planning a new power dispensing in Northern India. Dilip Singh was barely 9 years old, on ascending to throne in 1843. His mother, Rani Jindan held reins of power. In the prevailing circumstances, Gulab was the best bet, British could have had. So, instead of Lahore, they started banking in Jammu. Dogras had got so much involved in Lahore Durbar succession battles, as to lose two brothers of Gulab, Dhayan and Suchet Singh; two sons-Udham and Randhir, the nephew, Hira Singh, in succession battles. The brothers and nephews, more often than not, were on opposing sides. Gulab had to suffer the ignominy of Hira Singh launching a military campaign against him before he perished. Gulab was put virtually under house arrest while in Lahore to bring in much needed sanity. In spite of all this, when the time came to negotiate with the British, Gulab was the first choice.
Gulab got a deal milder in terms than what his adversary, Raja Lal Singh got later. Terming 2 crores as stiff, Gulab agreed for one and half Crores, 50 lakhs to be paid on signing the treaty; one crore in three installments; until then, the British were to hold the territory between Satluj and Beas rivers. Lal Singh convinced Rani Jindan that Gulab was double crossing. As the new envoy, Lal Singh parted with Kashmir in the belief that with Kashmir in British hands, Gulab would not be able to hold on to Jammu. So, it was Lal Singh, who parted with Kashmir, the deal is noted in article four of Lahore treaty. Kashmir was anyway becoming difficult to hold, with Lahore under British siege.
Lahore Treaty was signed on 9th.March between Company Bhadur and Maharaja Dilip Singh of Lahore Durbar. Articles…4, 12, 13 of this treaty are Kashmir specific, articles---3 and 5 are the related ones, having a bearing on, what is enshrined in article four. In the English version, an effort has been made to stick, as much as possible to the Persian original; the language in which the treaty was drafted, which is as follows:
Article Three:-Maharaja Bhadur agrees to transfer the area of the country between rivers Ravi and Beas and the adjoining hilly areas to Company Bhadur, without retaning the legal right to re-claim it
Article Four:- While as the British Government in addition to areas noted in article three asked Lahore Durbar to pay Rs. one and a half crores as war booty and since Lahore Government neither has the required cash nor any possession, satisfactory to the heart’s content of the British Government so Maharaja Sahab agrees to transfer for good; forts, the countries, the legal rights of the hilly state, falling towards Hazara, between rivers Beas and Sindh, including Kashmir and Hazara in exchange of one crore out of one and a half crores, that it owes to British Government
Article Five:- At the time of signing of treaty, even before that, Rs. 50 lakhs shall be paid to British Government
Article Twelve:- Taking cognizance of the services of Raja Gulab Singh in working out friendship and unity between the British Government and Lahore Durbar and proving true to his salt in stabilizing the State of Lahore, Maharaja Sahab agrees to accept the right of full sovereignty, over the hilly territories [alluding to Kashmir & Hazara in NWFP] which shall be handed over to the said Raja in a separate agreement, including the adjoining hilly territory[pointing to Chamba valley in Himachal] in Raja Gulab Singh’s care, ever since the reign of Maharaja Khadak Singh. The British Government in recognition of Raja as an ally of exalted British Government agrees to accept and grant recognition to the sovereign rights of the said Raja in the mentioned territories through a separate treaty and make him supreme
Article Thirteen:- Were a dispute to arise between the Lahore State and Raja Gulab Singh, Maharaja Sahab, the ruler of Lahore agrees to put the dispute to an official appointed by Company Bhadur and whatever the appointee decides in meditating the dispute, Maharaja Sahab, the ruler of Lahore shall abide by it, without a note of dissent
Lahore treaty carries a total of 16 articles and was negotiated and concluded between Fredrick Kerry and Major Lawrence, acting on behalf of Rt.Hon’ble Henry Harding G.C.B, Governor General, authorized by British Government to deal with the matter and by Bhai Ram Singh, Raja Lal Singh, Sardar Tej Singh, Sardar Chattar Singh Attari Wala, Sardar Najuhad Singh Majahtai, Dewan Dina Nath, Faqir Noor-ud-Din on behalf of Maharaja Dilip Singh.
The treaty which was at Lahore on 9th March, corresponding to 10th Rabbi-ul-Awal 1292 A.H/29th Pahgan 1902 carried the signature of seven ministers. It was finally signed and sealed by Henry Harding and Maharaja Dilip Singh.
Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival]
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Lastupdate on : Mon, 15 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 15 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 16 Mar 2010 00:00:00 IST
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