History of Asia
Geography
Pakistan

What geographical problems Pakistan faced during independence?

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04/08/2009

Accession of Princely States Prior to partition, there existed in British India many semi-autonomous Princely states whose future had to be settled before Britain withdrew from India. There were some 560 such states all over the Sub-continent. Some fell within Indian territory, others in Pakistan. On July 25, 1947, Lord Louis Mountbatten (the last Viceroy of India) in his address to the Chamber of Princes advised them that in deciding the question of accession, they should take into consideration communal composition and the geographical location of their states. Nearly all the states accepted the reality of the situation and opted either for Pakistan or India accordingly. But there were four states, Junagadh, Hyderabad, Jodhpur and Kashmir, which defied the principle of partition. I. Junagadh: The ruler of Junagadh was a Muslim but 80 percent of his subjects were Hindus. On September 15, 1947, the Nawab acceded to Pakistan, despite the fact that his state did not fall within the geographical grouping of Pakistan. India protested, stormed in her troops, and forcibly reversed the Nawab's decision and Junagadh became a part of India. II. Hyderabad: Hyderabad, the second of the defiant states was the largest and richest in India. Its population was 85 percent Hindu but the ruler (Nizam) was a Muslim. He was reluctant to accede either to India or Pakistan but was dismissed by Mountbatten for adopting this course. The Nizam was forced by the Indian government and Lord Mountbatten to join India. A standstill agreement was concluded between India and Hyderabad. The Hindu subjects were incited to revolt against the Nizam's desire to be independent. The whole province suffered turmoil and violence. Hyderabad filed a compliant with the Security Council of the United Nations. Before the hearing could be started, Indian troops entered Hyderabad to "restore order", and under the pretext of "police action" Hyderabad was forced to join India. The Hyderabad army surrendered on September 17, 1948, and finally Hyderabad was annexed into the Indian Union. III. Jodhpur: Yet another prince, the Maharaja of Jodhpur, expressed a wish to join Pakistan but Mountbatten warned him that his subjects were mostly Hindus and his accession to Pakistan would create problems. As a result Jodhpur, too, acceded to India. IV. Kashmir: Please see "Kashmir Crisis".