Junagarh under Indian occupation

Recently, Nawab of Junagarh Mohammad Jahangir Khanji appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan to become an ambassador of Junagarh as he did in the case of Kashmir and highlight the issue of liberation of the state from Indian occupation at all international forums

Junagarh, a lurking political crisis, a territorial dispute between two neighbours, and a princely state under Indian occupation, as Pakistan has a rightful claim on the territory of 4,000 square miles and a 100-mile coastline along the Arabian Sea with many ports.

Junagarh is a district in the Indian state of Gujarat; located on the Kathiawar Peninsula. Junagadh’s accession to Pakistan on September 15, 1947 was the first test of the Indian Independence Act of July 1947, which allowed the princely states to accede to either of the two dominions.  The Muslims of Junagarh still observes November 9, 1974 as a black day of Indian occupation on their homeland. Ever since the Indian occupation, royal family legal heir of the princely state has never let their lawful claim of Junagarh being part of Pakistan, as people of Junagarh acceded to Pakistan after partition, but Indian forcibly entered army to occupy the land.

The mobilisation of Indian defence forces in the lead up to the accession of Junagadh in November 1947 and the management of violence directed at Junagadh’s Muslims afterwards are yet another instance of the forcible incorporation of Indian princely states and Indian Muslims into the reconstructed post-colonial state. Present in this matrix were also the ‘sub-states’ within Junagarh and the attendant questions of their autonomy, an instrumentalist alarmism about popular will and unrest and a hastily conducted referendum. These aspects of this contested accession have remained overshadowed in the historical record.

The notification of this accession in the newspapers outraged New Delhi. The government of India on September 17, 1947 dispersed troops around Junagarh. As a result, the government of India resorted to two other tactics in order to bring Junagarh into line. The first was an economic blockade of the state, which choked the state of food and materials by the end of October, 1947. The second tactic was the Arzi Hukumat (provisional government), which was set up under the leadership of Samaldas Gandhi, a nephew of Mahatma Gandhi, under the auspices of the government of India in Bombay.

Along with this, India also placed huge contingents of state and dominion troops along the border with Junagarh, Thus, the issue had reached stalemate with neither side willing to compromise with a looming Indian attack on the virtually defenceless Junagarh.

The deteriorating security, food and economic situation of Junagarh made it easier for India to take over the state. The Nawab, together with his household, left the state by the end of October to Karachi, leaving the state administration in the hands of the Dewan.

Thereafter, the government of India took over the administration of the state on November 9, 1947. The government of Pakistan reacted strongly to this action. Later on the plebiscite on February 20, 1948 under the control of Indian army manipulated in favour of India, that Pakistan never accepted these results and to date considers Junagarh a legal part of Pakistan.

Recently, Nawab of Junagarh Mohammad Jahangir Khanji appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan to become an ambassador of Junagarh as he did in the case of Kashmir and highlight the issue of liberation of the state from Indian occupation at all international forums.

He recalled that in October, 1947, during his visit to Pakistan, his grandfather Nawab Mahabat Khan signed an agreement of accession to Pakistan. During the visit, his grandfather held a meeting with Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and decided to accede the state to Pakistan. The treaty of accession was ratified by the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. In the absence of his grandfather, India landed its troops and occupied the territory of Junagarh on November 9, 1947.

He said that Pakistan took the case of occupation of Junagarh to the United Nations Security Council.  “The occupation was against the international law and norms,” he said, adding that a living nation should remember its history and act accordingly. The Nawab said that Junagarh was part of Pakistan and it would remain so.

“The occupation of Junagarh by India violated Article 26 of the Vienna Convention on Law of Treaties and the state should be merged with Pakistan”, he said.

On August 5, 2020, Pakistan had approved and released the new political map of Pakistan, which includes territories of Jammu and Kashmir and a part of Ladakh. The map also included Junagarh, Manavadar and Sir Creek in Indian Gujarat as part of Pakistan.

The geo strategic importance of Junagarh and access to Arabian Sea give it a unique importance for regional trade route. Pakistan’s claim has a legal standing in the eye of international law and the UN must act accordingly to ensure protection of Muslim citizens of the state and peaceful resolution of this long standing territorial disputes between two states. Meanwhile Pakistan must continue diplomatic efforts to keep highlighting this on global level and to remain hopeful with diplomatic efforts to resolve 73-year-old dispute by UN intervention in favour of Pakistan.

1 COMMENT

  1. “The Nawab, together with his household, left the state by the end of October to Karachi, leaving the state administration in the hands of the Dewan.”

    Zaheer Ahmed is ignorant or willingly twisting/ hiding facts to befool the Pak citizenry. The Dewan which he is referring is non-other than “Khan Bahadur Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto” father of Zulfiqqar Ali Bhutto. Now read more about British Stooge Shah Nawaz Bhutto and how British were ruling Suzerainty of Junagarh in the name of Nawab through this Bhutto Babu. 😄 The accession of Junagarh to India is signed non-other than by this British Babu Shah Nawaz Butto on behalf of Nawab in furtherance of Partition Plan. One need to understand the historical facts in their right prospective and understand as to why after signing the Accession of Junagarh, even Bhutto left for good to be in Pakistan for his purity in Land of Pure. 😄

    The State of Junagarh is incongruent to Pakistan and was not a Muslim dominated area. The Partition Plan envisioned and the preamble of the Indian Independence Act, 1947 (IIA) besides creation of two dominions also clearly state that this Act is to make provisions;
    “ … to substitute other provisions for certain provisions of the GoI Act, 1935 and other matters consequential on or connected with the setting up of those Dominions.”
    The chronology of the IIA and its First and Second Schedule clearly demarked the area on East & West which was separated to the part of Domain of Pakistan. A careful viewing of this suggests that even Sind, Baluchistan, NWFP, FATA/PATA are not included as part of the Dominion of Pakistan on the ‘Appointed Date’ i.e. 15th August, 1947.

    I suggest the writer to read more about the Partition Plan (including Cabinet Mission Plan of June, 1946; Attlee Declaration of February, 1947; Mountbatten Plan of June, 1947 etc.), the Partition Council’s meetings etc. to understand the division. The Partition was NOT to create two ‘Polka dot’ nations. You are crying for Junagarh, when you can’t hold even ‘East Pakistan’ on the basis of ‘Two Nation Theory’. This Nehru-Jinnah Bandarbaant of our shared motherland has given us nothing but miseries on both sides of the border.

    The writer needs to understand that how the failed “Two Nation Theory” (TNT) is even today tormenting the Pakistan in in “Pre/ Post Nabi Arabian Cutural Jahillya”, which it is taught in the name of beauty of “Noor-e-illhi”. Even Nabi is watching from Zannat … “Ya Allah, Jahilon Ne “Universal Brotherhood” Ke Naam Par Gulisaan Ko Jungal Bana Diya”. Aameen. 🤔

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