18 June 2014

Maharaja Hari Singh's Letter to Mountbatten

Text Of Letter Dated October 26, 1947 From Maharaja Hari Singh,
The Maharaja Of Jammu & Kashmir to
Lord Mountbatten, Governor General of India .
Dated: 26 October 1947

My dear Lord Mountbatten,

I have to inform your Excellency that a grave emergency has arisen in

my State and request immediate assistance of your Government.

As your Excellency is aware the State of Jammu and Kashmir has not

acceded to the Dominion of India or to Pakistan . Geographically my

State is contiguous to both the Dominions. It has jvital economical

and cultural llinks with both of them. Besides my State has a common

boundary with the Soviet Republic and China . In their external

relations the Dominions of India and Pakistan cannot ignore this fact.

I wanted to take time to decide to which Dominion I should accede, or

whether it is not in the best interests of both the Dominions and my

State to stand independent, of course with friendly and cordial

relations with both.

I accordingly approached the Dominions of India and Pakistan to enter

into Standstill Agreement with my State. The Pakistan Government

accepted this Agreement. The Dominion of India desired further

discussions with representatives of my Government. I could not arrange

this in view of the developments indicated below. In fact the Pakistan

Government are operating Post and Telegraph system inside the State.

Though we have got a Standstill Agreement with the Pakistan Government

that Government permitted steady and increasing strangulation of

supplies like food, salt and petrol to my State.

Afridis, solidiers in plain clothes, and desperadoes with modern

weapons have been allowed to infilter into the State at first in

Poonch and then in Sialkot and finally in mass area adjoining Hazara

District on the Ramkot side. The result has been that the limited

number of troops at the disposal of the State had to be dispersed and

thus had to face the enemy at the several points simultaneously, that

it has become difficult to stop the wanton destruction of life and

property and looting. The Mahora powerhouse which supplies the

electric current to the whole of Srinagar has been burnt. The numer of

women who have been kidnapped and raped makes my heart bleed. The wild

forces thus let loose on the State are marching on with the aim of

capturing Srinagar , the summer Capital of my Government, as first

step to over-running the whole State.

The mass infiltration of tribesmen drawn from distant areas of the

North-West Frontier coming regularly in motor trucks using

Mansehra-Muzaffarabad Road and fully armed with up-to-date weapons

cannot possibly be done without the knowledge of the Provisional

Government of the North-West Frontier Province and the Government of

Pakistan. In spite of repeated requests made by my Government no

attempt has been made to check these raiders or stop them from coming

into my State. The Pakistan Radio even put out a story that a

Provinsional Government had been set up in Kashmir . The people of my

State both the Muslims and non-Muslims generally have taken no part at


With the conditions obtaining at present in my State and the grreat

emergency of the situation as it exists, I have no option but to ask

for help from the Indian Dominion. Naturally they cannot send the help

asked for by me without my State acceding to the Dominion of India. I

have accordingly decided to do so and I attach the Instrument of

Accession for acceptance by your Government. The other alternative is

to leave my State and my people to free-booters. On this basis no

civilized Government can exist or be maintained. This alternative I

will never allow to happen as long as I am Ruler of the State and I

have life to defend my country.

I am also to inform your Excellency's Government that it is my

intention at once to set up an interim Government and ask Sheikh

Abdullah to carry the responsibilities in this emergency with my Prime


If my State has to be saved immediate assistance must be available at

Srinagar . Mr. Menon is fully aware of the situation and he will

explain to you, if further explanation is needed.

In haste and with kind regards,

The Palace, Jammu Your sincerely,

26th October, 1947

Hari Singh

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