Based on declassified documents, the book throws new light on the
roles played by Mountbatten and the British service chiefs in the
Kashmir war of 1947-48 and explains why India took the Kashmir
issue to the UN, why it did not carry the war into Pakistan and why
it accepted a ceasefire. Examining archival material that has not
been looked at previously and attempting an important reassessment
of Mountbatten's role, the book highlights the fact that India's
first Governor-General was not a mere constitutional figurehead.
The book shows that he used -- and abused -- this authority to
ensure that the conflict in Kashmir did not escalate into a
full-scale inter-dominion war.
A study of British policy in Kashmir must begin with an
examination of the strategic interests of Britain in the
subcontinent. The book explains the diplomatic background to the
military developments of the time, tracing the evolution of British
policy on Kashmir and its orchestration of the moves of western
powers in the Security Council. The book provides details from the
British archives about the secret understandings between
Commanders-in-Chief of the rival armies to contain the conflict. It
reveals, for instance, that India's Commander-in-Chief, General
Bucher, had tried as early as March 1948 to negotiate an informal
truce with his counterpart in Pakistan, without the knowledge of
the Indian government. A revealing study about a controversial
incident in India's military history, this is a timely book,
especially in the post-Agra Summit period.
This book analyses:
The Evolution of British policy towards Kashmir
The role played by the western powers in the Security
The secret attempt made by General Bucher to negotiate an
informal truce with his counterpart in Pakistan
How Mountbatten used and abused his authority to ensure that the
Kashmir issue did not escalate into a full-scale inter-domain
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