Forty years ago, February 23, 1979: Kashmir unresthttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/forty-years-ago-february-23-1979-kashmir-unrest-5597295/

Forty years ago, February 23, 1979: Kashmir unrest

February 23, 1979, forty years ago: The only way the Centre would intervene, Patel told Karan Singh (Cong), who had demanded Central action to bring peace to strife-torn Jammu was to use its good offices to see that the problem was sorted out.

Forty years ago, February 23, 1979: Kashmir unrest
Indian Express front page,February 23, 1979

The Home Minister, H M Patel, ruled out Central intervention in Jammu and Kashmir, and called upon the All Party Action Committee, agitating for rectification of regional imbalances in the State, to call off its agitation to pave the way for a peaceful settlement. The only way the Centre would intervene, Patel told Karan Singh (Cong), who had demanded Central action to bring peace to strife-torn Jammu was to use its good offices to see that the problem was sorted out. For this, however, both the Action Committee and the Government would have to exercise restraint, he said. Patel was replying to a short duration discussion in the Lok Sabha on the “serious situation that has developed in Jammu and Kashmir as a result of continued regional imbalances and repression” .

India with Vietnam

Labelling China an aggressor, the External Affairs Minister, A B Vajpayee, today called upon the super powers to pressurise China into withdrawing its forces from Vietnam. “The aggressor cannot be allowed to enjoy the fruits of aggression,” he declared in a ringing indictment of the Chinese attack on Vietnam, at the end of a three-and-half-hour debate in the Lok Sabha. Coming as it did on the last day of his China visit, the attack, Vajpayee said, has caused a “setback” to the process of normalising relations with Peking. “Gone are the days of punitive expeditions and gunboat diplomacy,” he said.

Soviets knew it

The Soviet Union had informed India that the Chinese would attack Vietnam nearly two weeks before A B Vajpayee went to Peking. But New Delhi did not take this information seriously. Even though Vajpayee denied it in the Rajya Sabha that he had any such information, it was apparent that India had some inkling of it when Vajpayee said he had discussed with Morarji Desai before going to China what he should do in case China attacked Vietnam.