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British opposed military action in Kashmir: Advani

Delhi,Politics, Thu, 07 Nov 2013 IANS

New Delhi, Nov 7 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Thursday said the erstwhile British rulers did not want whole of the Jammu and Kashmir to go to India on partition.

"The British clearly did not want the whole of Jammu & Kashmir to go to India. There was a widespread feeling in London that if India was in control of areas contiguous to Pakistan, the latter would not survive," Advani said in a blog published Thursday.

Advani, in his latest blog, said during the conflict with Pakistan in 1947-48, the then army general, Sir Roy Bucher, had threatened to resign if India sent its army for operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

Quoting from the website of Bucher, Advani said a cabinet meeting was organised Sep 12, 1948, to take a final decision on sending troops to Kashmir to counter Pakistan-backed tribal attackers.

"The C-in-C (commander-in-chief), General Bucher, advised him (prime minister) that militarily it was not possible to establish control over the entire territory of Jammu & Kashmir, with the British also supporting Pakistan."

"As the decision was being finalised, Gen. Bucher stood up and said, 'Gentlemen, you have taken a decision in a difficult matter. I must give you my warning. We are also committed in Kashmir. We cannot say how long it will take so we will end up having two operations on our hands. This is not advisable, so as your C-in-C I ask you not to start the operations.' He further offered his resignation if his advice was not heeded," Advani said.

"There was a silence while a distressed and worried Nehru looked around. Patel replied, 'You may resign General Bucher, but the police action will start tomorrow.' An angry General Bucher stormed out, and coincidentally the next few days saw a rise in the Kashmir operations."

Advani also gives credit to Patel, then home minister, for the decision to fly troops to Kashmir.

Quoting from an interview of the first Field Marshal in the Indian Army, Sam Manekshaw, about a cabinet meeting chaired by Lord Mountbaten, Advani writes that Patel asked Nehru to give orders to fly the troops to Srinagar.

"...As usual Nehru talked about the United Nations, Russia, Africa, God almighty, everybody, until Sardar Patel lost his temper. He said, 'Jawaharlal, do you want Kashmir, or do you want to give it away?'. He (Nehru) said, 'Of course, I want Kashmir.' Then he (Patel) said, 'Please give your orders.' And before he could say anything, Sardar Patel turned to me and said, 'You have got your orders.'."

In his blog, Advani also made a reference to the controversy raked up by his previous blog, but did not give any clarifications.

"My last blog, based on a book in Malayalam, written by a 1947 IAS official, late M.K.K. Nair, has precipitated quite a controversy. There have been comments from the Congress Camp that Nair's report about a clash between Nehru and Patel on the issue of armed action against the Nizam is all bunkum."

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