"We have decided to accept this accession and to send troops by air, but we made a
the accession would have to be considered by the people of Kashmir later when peace and order
were established. We were anxious not to finalise anything in a moment of crisis, and without the
fullest opportunity to the people of Kashmir to have their say. It was for them ultimately to decide.
"And here let me make clear that it has been our policy all along that where there is a dispute about
the accession of a State to either Dominion, the decision must be made by the people of the State. It was in accordance with this policy that we added a proviso to the Instrument of Accession of
"We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by the people. That pledge
we have given, and the Maharaja has supported it not only to the people of Kashmir but the world.
We will not, and cannot back out of it. We are prepared when peace and law and order have been
established to have a referendum held under international auspices like the United Nations. We want it to be a fair and just reference to the people, and we shall accept their verdict. I can imagine no fairer and juster offer."
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