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Nehru's 'top' blunder: Acted on Kashmiri Pandit advise to arrest Sheikh Abdullah

By Our Representative
Former Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) chief secretary Moosa Raza has said one of the “biggest blunders” of Jawaharlal Nehru vis-à-vis Kashmir was he acted on the advice of Kashmiri Pandit advisers in 1953 and arrested Sheikh Abdullah, the popular Kashmiri leader, one of whose major contributions has been land reforms and abolition of feudal land holdings in the state.
Raza, which was chief secretary in 1988, in his new book “Kashmir: The Land of Regrets”, says Nehru arrested Abdullah on advise of Kashmiri Pandit advisers as he was told that Adbullah wanted “full independence” for Kashmir, so “sooner you get him out better it would be India.”
Raza suggests, the blunder stemmed from the Kashmiri Pandit advisers hostile attitude towards the “whole area”, i.e. Kashmir.  Interviewed by senior journalist Barkha Dutt, who praised the book as “fascinating”, talks of "Four culprits responsible for Kashmir crisis – Mountbatten, Hari Singh, Jinnah and Nehru", even as listing "Nehru's big three blunders".
The other two “blunders” of Nehru were, says Raza, his decision to refer to Kashmir to the United Nations, and later backtrack his decision to go in for plebiscite in Kashmir, though adding, it would have been a “headache” to take back the areas that form part of the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) such as Muzafarabad and Gilgit, as these areas were "already Muslim."

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