Statement Regarding Kashmir Affairs New Delhi: November 2, 1946
“I have had an opportunity of meeting the deputation on behalf of the All-Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Committee and I deeply regret that the Kashmir Government should have thought it fit to ban the annual session of the Conference.
“It is opposed to the elementary principles of Liberty. The people have every right to meet in a peaceful manner and express and ventilate their grievance and criticize the policy and actions of any civilized Government.
“It is regrettable that the foremost leader of the Conference should have been arrested and detained without any trial and from all accounts that I have received, the Prime Minister Mr. Kak, and the Government are pursuing a policy of suppressing free expression of opinion resorting to unjustifiable methods of terrorism and gagging free expression of opinion on the eve of the coming elections.
I therefore, appeal to the Maharaja to interfere in the matter immediately and allow the forthcoming elections to be free and fair and release all the detenus and see that effect has been given to the spirit and the letter of such reforms as he has already introduced”.
No Direct Action
The Quaid continued, “I have discussed with the members of the Deputation, the whole matter very carefully and I gather from them that they have no intention to resort to direct action or unlawful methods. They are anxious and they desire to contest the elections for Muslim seats in the forthcoming election and every facility should be given to the people by the Government. There should be no interference by the officials and complete freedom, fairness and impartiality should be guaranteed.
“If these conditions are created it will show and the Deputation are confident that they will sweep the boards and prove that the All-Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference is the only authoritative and representative organization of the Musalmans of the State”.
He concluded: “I appeal to the Muslims of Kashmir to be guided by their unquestioned leader Chaudhri Ghulam Abbas, who is now under detention and in his absence by Chaudhri Hamidullah Khan, who has been appointed by him as the acting President of the Muslim Conference.”
Source: South Asian Studies: bi-annual Research Journal, Vol.17, No. 1 (Quaid-i-Azam Number) January 2002, PP. 78-79 Also cited in Dawn, November 3, 1946
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