(Last Updated on : 07/02/2012)
On 20th February 1947, British Prime Minister Clement Atlee announced in the House of Commons the selection of Lord Mountbatten (1900-1979) as the new Viceroy and his mandate to affect the transfer of power to Indian officials not later than June 1948.
On 25th October, as its Chairman Lord Mountbatten convened an emergency meeting of the Indian Defence Committee in response to news that 5000 Mahsud and Wazir tribesmen were invading Kashmir. A sever crisis was thus looming in the pipeline. On October 26, V K Krishna Menon, High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, was sent to Srinagar to ascertain the situation. On the following day, he obtained the Prince`s accession to India. Hence on October 27, a battalion of 329 Sikhs were airlifted to Srinagar
to secure the airport and begin operations against the invading tribesmen.
On 28th October, in Lahore, Field Marshal Auchinleck succeeded in persuading Muhammad Ali Jinnah to refrain from forwarding Pakistani troops to Kashmir.
On 8th November, Lord Mountbatten and General Sir Hastings Ismay went to Lahore to attend a conference over the Kashmir crisis with Jinnah and Liaqat Ali Khan. They discussed such issues as the removal of the tribesmen from Kashmir, a plebiscite to determine the future of Kashmir and the removal of Indian troops from Srinagar
. In the end nothing was accomplished. After four additional fruitless meetings, deadlock was complete and the matter passed to the United Nations.
On 30th November, Field Marshal Auchinleck left his position as Supreme Commander of India and Pakistan and closed his headquarters. Thus the dismantlement of the Indian Army
had been largely completed.
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