A LEAF FROM HISTORY
A M ZARGAR PRESENTS A CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS RELATED TO AMERICA'S ENGAGEMENT WITH KASHMIR
America’s engagement with Kashmir is there from day one. Only the intensity of engagement has changed from immense to active or mild at times. Given below is the chronological order of various facets of such engagement in the form of concrete actions, specific ideas or meaningful statements.
1. Jan 1948: Following India taking the Kashmir issue to United Nations Security Council under chapter 6 of UN charter, the US delegation headed by Ambassador Warren Austin, plays a vital role in trying to settle the conflict. It co-sponsors with Britain a series of resolutions beginning with one establishing the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan(UNCIP)
2. July 1948:The five members of the UNCIP delegation including American Ambassador Jerome K.Huddle make their first visit to both sides of Kashmir to find a basis for settlement.
3. Mar 1949: US Navy Fleet Admiral C.W. Nimitz is appointed as Plebiscite Adminstrator by UN secretary General.
4. Aug. 1949: American President Harry Truman writes to Prime Minsters of India and Pakistan to accept American arbitration on the dispute. Liaquat Ali Khan accepts but Nehru rejects the proposal.
5. Feb. 1950: US State department memorandum spells out US policy on Kashmir. It labels Maharaja’s instrument of accession as wrong and invalid. The memorandum also blames Indian intransigence for delaying a settlement of the dispute.
6. Sep. 1950: As a first American envoy to do so, US ambassador to India LOY Henderson visits Kashmir to assess the ground situation.
7. Sep.1951: Frank Graham, an American is appointed UN special negotiator on Kashmir.
8. Apr 1953: US president Eisenhower deputes his man-confidant Paul Hoffman on a secret mission to India and Pakistan to find a basis foe Kashmir settlement. He fails. During the same period Adlai Stevenson visits Kashmir on a private visit. Sheikh Abdullah meets Stevenson which creates ripples in Indian administration. Sheikh Abdullah is finally arrested in August 1953.
9. Sep. 1953: Following Nehru-Bogra understanding, Plebiscite Administrator Nimitz resigns.
10. Feb.1957: US secretary of State John Foster Dulles says “We continue to believe that unless India and Pakistan are able to agree upon some other resolution, the solution which was recommended by UNSC should prevail-which is that there should be a plebiscite”
11. Apr. 1958: Eisenhower promotes the proposal of solution of Kashmir issue, division of common waters and limiting of Arms race between India and Pakistan. Nehru rejects the proposal
12. Dec. 1959: President Eisenhower undertakes a historic Journey to South Asia. His efforts to bring India Pakistan together fail.
13. Jul 1961. President Ayub comes to US on a state visit. He urges President Kennedy to pressurize India to settle Kashmir issue. It is in this meeting that Kennedy tells him “Mr. President, Pandit Nehru has the ability to talk scholarly about every issue under the sun, but as soon as there is any mention of Kashmir, he instantaneously puts his head down and fixes his eyes on the floor fixed in the button-hole of his sherwani and keeps quiet and sinks deep into a state of meditation like a Yogi.”
14. Jun1962: President Kennedy takes a personal interest in winning UN security council approval for another Kashmir resolution. He personally requests the President of Ireland to sponsor a resolution in the UNSC, reaffirming the resolutions of UN commission on India and Pakistan. The Soviets Veto it.
15. Dec. 1962: Following India’s defeat in 1962 war with China, Kennedy makes yet another bid to start negotiations on Kashmir. His attempt fails. The talks break down after six rounds.
16. Dec. 1964: Following application of Indian laws to JandK state , Washington protests the Shastri Govt’s decision to integrate Kashmir further into the Indian Union but to no avail.
17. June 1965: Dean Rusk – US Secretary of State, says that the US supports a solution to the Kashmir problem through the United Nations.
18. July 1972: Washington lauds the Shimla agreement and urges both Countries to settle Kashmir issue in sprit of Shimla Agreement.
19. Mar 1990: America reiterates its call for solution of Kashmir issue on the basis of Shimla Agreement. However it adds “taking into account the wishes of Kashmiri people “ to its clarion call.
20. May 1990: Deputy National security advisor Robert Gates leads a mission to India and Pakistan designed to calm the situation following massive killings in Kashmir
21. May 1995: President Clinton affirms to intervene on the Kashmir issue only if both India and Pakistan want it.
22. April 1996: Dan Burton US Congressman, in the House Says “Why is self-determination deemed an inalienable right for so many peoples of the world, yet so taboo when talk turns to Kashmir?”
23. July 1996: With US administration’s support and encouragement, an exclusive think tank for Kashmir affairs “Kashmir study group” under the leadership of eminent native Kashmiri Farooq Kathwari is formed.
24. Aug. 1996: Hank Brown, US Senator says that It is really heart breaking to see what is happening in Indian administered Kashmir.
25. Jan 1997: Thomas W. Simons, US Ambassador to Pakistan says that there is no change in the United States’ policy on Kashmir, as it treats the territory as disputed.
26. Sep. 1997: Robin Rafael, US Assistant Secretary of State states “We view Kashmir as a disputed territory and that means that we do not recognize the Instrument of accession as meaning that Kashmiris forever are an integral part of India.”
27. June 1998: Major R Owen, US Congressman says “India claims to be the world’s largest democracy but does not allow the Kashmiris to vote in a plebiscite to determine their future and let democracy prevail in Kashmir”.
28. June 1998: Following nuclear tests by both India and Pakistan, USA calls on India and Pakistan to find mutually acceptable solution to the Kashmir issue, the root cause of the tension between them.
29. May- July 1999: Washington calls on Pakistan to withdraw its forces from Kargil. Nawaz Complies. Clinton says he will take a personal interest in India-Pakistan peace process.
30. Feb. 2000: Clinton refers Kashmir as the most dangerous place in the world today.
31. Mar 2000: Clinton visits India and Pakistan. In Islamabad he states that there is no Military solution to the Kashmir problem.
32. Sep. 2000: David Bonior, US congressman says that “With its heavy militarization, pervasive violence, suppression of legitimate political parties and absence of international human rights monitors, Kashmir is one of the most complex challenges we face today”.
33. Dec. 2001: Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage says that the US is bound to take notice of the human rights violations in Kashmir.
34. June 2002: Following attack on Indian Parliament in December 2001, a war scare is created following both countries moving their forces in what is called as “eye-ball to eye-ball “position. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage visits both countries to help calm the tensions. He is followed by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield.
35. Jul, 2002:Dana Rohrabacher, US Congressman says “ We have not had the courage to step forward to India and tell the Indians they have to permit the people of Kashmir to have a plebiscite to control their own destiny.
36. May 2003: Following Vajpayee- Musharaf initiative ,Deputy secretary Armitrage visit again India and Pakistan to reaffirm Washington’s Support.
37. Dec 2003: Madeline Albright, Former US Secretary of State says that Kashmir is one of the most dangerous and tragic places in the world. A referendum is the most logical way to find out the will of the Kashmiri people.
38. Sept 2006: President Bush says that it is very important that the issue of Kashmir moves forward and be resolved peacefully.
39. Nov. 2008 :in the run-up to the presidential election, Obama promises to take decisive measures in the resolution of the long-standing dispute of Kashmir.
When Political analysts and historians pick up the next line from here, it remains to be seen whether America has maintained its status as a Country mindful of its role in resolving contentious issues facing the world today, respecting human rights and democratic practices or transformed itself into a country wandering around the globe with the only slogan-“ It is money-honey”.
(The author is a practicing chartered Accountant. Feed back at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Sun, 7 Nov 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 7 Nov 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 8 Nov 2010 00:00:00 IST
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