Jinnah–Mountbatten talks

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Jinnah–Mountbatten Talks
Mountbatten Jinnah.jpg
Jinnah with the Mountbattens, circa. 1947
ContextPertaining to resolve the Kashmir conflict
Sealed1 November 1947 (1947-11-01)
NegotiatorsMohammad Ali Jinnah
(Governor-General of Pakistan)
Louis Mountbatten
(Governor-General of India)
PartiesPakistan Pakistan
India India

The Jinnah–Mountbatten Talks were bilateral talks held in Lahore between the Governor-Generals Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Louis Mountbatten of Pakistan and India, to address the Kashmir dispute. The talks were held on 1 November 1947, five days after India dispatched its troops to defend Kashmir against a Pakistan-backed tribal invasion. In the talks, Mountbatten presented India's offer to hold an impartial plebiscite under the United Nations auspices to decide the accession of Kashmir. Jinnah effectively rejected the offer.[1][2][3]


Officially, the talks were to be held between the Governors-General and Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan at the state level, focused on the Kashmir dispute on November 1947.[4] The British government originally facilitated the negotiations in New Delhi, but the venue of the meeting was changed to Lahore. Before the negotiations started, Prime Minister Nehru fell ill and his Deputy PM, Vallabhbhai Patel, refused to come to Lahore, stating "there was nothing to discuss with Pakistan's leadership."[5]


On 1 November 1947, Louis Mountbatten left for Pakistan to begin talks between the Governors-General of India and Pakistan over the issue of Kashmir.[6] The talks lasted for three-and-a-half hours, where Mountbatten offered to Jinnah that India would hold a plebiscite in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, provided that Pakistan withdrew its military support for the Azad Kashmir forces and their allies.[7] Mountbatten also stipulated that the Indian Army would remain in the Kashmir Valley. Jinnah opposed the plan and claimed that the Kashmir, with its massive Muslim majority, belonged to Pakistan as an essential element in an incomplete partition process.[citation needed]


From the perspective of many authors, Jinnah was also convinced that a plebiscite under the supervision of the Indian Army would be sabotaged. Instead, he proposed an immediate and simultaneous withdrawal on both sides, including the Pakistani military and their allies, Pathan tribesmen, and the Indian troops.[8][failed verification] Hearing the proposal, Mountbatten told Jinnah that he needed the consent of Nehru and Patel.[citation needed] The talks failed to reach agreement and the Kashmir issue was referred to the United Nations.[9]


  1. ^ Moore, Making the new Commonwealth 1987, p. 57.
  2. ^ Noorani, The Kashmir Dispute 2014, pp. 13–14.
  3. ^ Raghavan, War and Peace in Modern India 2010, p. 111.
  4. ^ Ghose, Sankar (1993). Jawaharlal Nehru : a biography (1. publ. ed.). New Delhi [u.a.]: Allied Publ. ISBN 8170233690.
  5. ^ Singh, Iqbal (1992). Between two fires : towards an understanding of Jawaharlal Nehru's foreign policy (1st publ. ed.). Hyderabad: Orient Longman. ISBN 812501585X.
  6. ^ Bhandari, M.C. (2006). Solving Kashmir. New Delhi: Lancer Publishers & Distributors. p. 149. ISBN 8170621259.
  7. ^ Chitkara, M. G. (2003). Kashmir : LoC. New Delhi: A.P.H. Publ. Co. ISBN 8176484415.
  8. ^ Bajwa, Farooq (2013). From Kutch to Tashkent : the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965 (1. publ. ed.). London, England: Hurst. ISBN 1849042306.
  9. ^ Behuria, Ashok (2013), "India–Pakistan relations and the Kashmir issue (1947–2009): A historical perspective", in Sagarika Dutt; Alok Bansal (eds.), South Asian Security: 21st Century Discourses, Routledge, pp. 65–82, ISBN 978-1-136-61767-6


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