January 3: Ayub and Shastri meet in Tashkent and reach agreement with Soviet Union playing honest broker.
January 10: The Tashkent Declaration does not deal with Kashmir dispute but notes its existence. Some see it as having relegated issue to cold storage while concentrating general improvement of relations.
January 11: Shastri dies of heart attack.
February: Withdrawal of armies behind established international borders and cease-fire line, as laid down in Tashkent agreement, is implemented.
June: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto exhibiting open disenchantment with Tashkent begins to distance himself from what he later denounces as a sellout of Kashmir and is finally forced to resign on grounds of “ill health”.
January-June: Indian People’s Representation Act is made applicable to occupied Kashmir as part of continuing efforts to integrate State with Indian Union and further erode Article-370 and what autonomy it conferred on Kashmiris.
Elections held in occupied Kashmir are almost massively rigged by G.M. Sadiq government which has become almost totally subservient to New Delhi. Sadiq’s party, the old National Conference, now renamed is an extension of Indira Gandhi’s Congress. Plebiscite Front which is believed to represent Abdullah’s views boycotts elections.
July: Mirza Afzal Beg is permitted to return to his native Islamabad in the Valley as is Sheikh Abdullah’s wife Akbar Jahan.
December: Maulana Sayeed Masoodi, another detained leader, is released.
Pakistan continues to press for further negotiations as sequel to Tashkent through the United Nations or direct talks. Possibility of no-war pact is again explored but Indian attitude remains “non-committal and evasive”, to quote Alistair Lamb.
Jammu and Kashmir People’s Convention holds session in Srinagar under Sheikh Abdullah’s leadership and looks at various options to solve Kashmir problem.
May: Shaikh Abdullah announces entry of Jammu and Kashmir Plebiscite Front in electoral politics. Front fares well in local elections and is set to take part in State elections.
June: Another session of Jammu and Kashmir State People’s Convention is convened by Sheikh Abdullah in Srinagar and Front’s policies more clearly enunciated. A supreme government for entire State including Azad Kashmir, is visualized with regional authorities responsible for Valley, Jammu, Ladakh, Northern Areas including Gilgit and Azad Kashmir. The State seen as federally structured either becomes independent or joins Pakistan. While Abdullah does not declare what option he favors, he admits that in 1947 he erred by trusting Nehru. “I trusted Nehru and I never thought Nehru would change,” he said while referring to commitment by India about accession being provisional. Convention’s basic positions are supported by Awami Action Committee (set up at time of disappearance of holy relic from Hazratbal) of Mirwaiz Maulvi Muhammad Farooq.
July: On visit to Srinagar, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi says, “The accession of Kashmir is part of our history, and history cannot be reversed or changed. The Kashmir question has been settled once for all.” This clear declaration of Indian position comes in, followed by arrests of political activists known to favor Pakistan.
An organization calling itself Al-Fatah carries out number of acts of sabotage in Valley, first time such actions have taken place in this manner.Follow @kmsnewz