The first war between India and Pakistan on Jammu and Kashmir ended on January 1, 1949, through a United Nations brokered ceasefire. However, on the diplomatic front it was no less than a war as major world powers saw an interest in supporting Pakistan’s stance. The matter was under intense debate at the United Nations Security Council. Back home, there were no signs of conflict between Sheikh and Hari Singh to ease. For India’s national leadership this conflict was becoming difficult to sustain.
As possibility of conciliation between the two looked bleak, the continuation of their conflict was already beginning to cast wider repercussions with their impacts beyond borders of the state. An internal stability within Jammu and Kashmir was of paramount importance for India to be able to fight on the other fronts.
For the latter half of 1948, Hari Singh wrote a series of letters to Patel complaining against Sheikh. Patel continued to empathise with him but offered no solution. Then, in January 1949, Hari Singh wrote yet another letter full of anguish and threatening in tone to the extent that he proposed withdrawal of the Accession if issues between him and Sheikh were not resolved.
When a situation had reached that only of the two could operate in Jammu and Kashmir, it was for Nehru and Patel to decide between Sheikh and Hari Singh. What factors did they weigh? In April, Patel advised Hari Singh to come over to Delhi for a few days along with his wife Tara Devi and son Karan Singh to have a discussion on the matters. Why this discussion in April and why not before? In this episode I take you into details of Hari Singh’s last flight from the erstwhile Dogra kingdom to never return.