October 27, each year, is remembered as the Black Day across the length and breadth of Pakistan and the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir for the reason that on this inauspicious day the Indian occupational forces landed in Srinagar that started a chain reaction of events, which has continued to haunt the subcontinent to this very day. On this day, in 1947, the festering tragedy of Kashmir was born; an act of aggression that has consigned the prospects of normalising the Indo-Pak relations to the realm of perpetual animosity, which has already led to two wars, in addition to the Kargil skirmishes of 1999. Even when the partition of India and Pakistan had been formalised and announced on August 14, the princely State of Jammu and Kashmir - ruled by Maharaja Hari Singh - remained in a state of limbo. It was one of the 584 princely states, which - with the lapse of paramountcy of the British Crown in August - had to make the choice of acceding either to India or Pakistan. Kashmirs predominantly Muslim population, their contiguity to Pakistan and the layout of major communication infrastructure made its accession to Pakistan a natural corollary of the unfolding events. However, given Nehrus pathological fixation over Kashmir, strengthened by Lord Mountbattens machinations, this was not to be. The invasion of Kashmir was on the cards, even as the boundary between India and Pakistan was being carved out through an award by Sir Cyril Radcliffe. When the Boundary Award was announced its most controversial decision dealt with the awarding of the Gurdaspur district to India, despite its Muslim majority and contiguity to the Pakistani territory. It is now certain that Nehru by manipulating his intimate contacts with Lord Mountbatten contrived through the Boundary Award to provide a land route to India for its ultimate occupation of Kashmir. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph on February 1992, Radcliffes Secretary, Christopher Beaumont, confirmed that the Boundary Award was manipulated by Mountbatten at the behest of Nehru. Developing the Gurdaspur access enabled India to effectively link up with the Kashmir Valley through a land route and be able to support large-scale operations in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Nehru now sought two politico-military objectives: First, to force the Maharaja to sign an instrument of accession and secondly to wrest Kashmir by force. The plan envisaged that if the situation threatened to spiral out of control, legal niceties could be set aside and troop landing could proceed regardless of other factors. As it was, the landing of the Indian forces in Srinagar on October 27, 1947, took place without the signing of any instrument of accession. On that fateful day, the State of Jammu and Kashmir existed in the same constitutional limbo of insecure independence that it had enjoyed since the partition of India, following the lapse of the British paramountcy. As October progressed, the public unrest and communal strife paralysed the Maharajas administration. There was a rebellion in the state forces, which revolted against Hari Singhs authority. More so, they were also joined by some pathan tribesmen voluntarily. The Indians started a propaganda campaign to un-nerve the Maharaja by projecting this local threat as a systematic invasion by the tribesmen from Pakistan along the Jhelum Valley Road. As the situation in Jammu and Kashmir deteriorated, Lord Mountbatten, as Governor General of India, called a meeting of the Defence Committee to assess the situation on October 25. The committee, under his chairmanship decided to immediately send V. P. Menon, along with senior army and air force commanders to land in Srinagar the same day, reconnoitre the ground situation and advise the Maharaja to abandon Srinagar for the safety of Jammu across the Banihal pass. Mountbatten also ordered the British Commander of the Indian forces to assemble a fleet of 10 transport aircraft for an airlift operation after 48 hours for landing troops in Srinagar. Menons visit of October 25 so unnerved the Maharaja that he packed all his valuables and left for Jammu by road in the morning of October 26, without signing any instrument of accession. Mountbatten chaired another meeting of the Defence Committee on October 26 and ordered the landing of the first battalion of the Sikh regiment in Srinagar on October 27, even though no evidence exists of any instrument of accession having been secured thus far. On the same day, at about 0900 hours, the Sikh regiment was airlifted from Gurgaon and landed at the deserted Srinagar Airport. The State of Pakistan, struggling to find its feet in its infancy, was stunned by the Indian aggression. So on October 27, Quaid-i-Azam asked General Douglas Gracey, acting Commander in Chief, to send the Pakistani troops to Kashmir. But the General refused, saying that he would need the approval of Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck, who held supreme command over the Indian and Pakistani forces. Auchinleck flew to Lahore on October 28 with the line that sending the Pakistan army into Kashmir would amount to a formal declaration of war and that if Pakistan went to war he would withdraw all the British officers serving in the Pak Army. It was many months after that Pakistan was able to respond militarily in Kashmir, and when the ceasefire occurred on January 1, 1949, the Kashmir issue stood internationalised, by no one other than Nehru, who himself sought to take the matter to the United Nations for resolution and promised to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir. Thus, in the context of the Indo Pak relations, October 27 truly stands out as a 'Black Day, constituting the tragic benchmark that sealed all prospects of peace and prosperity in the subcontinent. Such a monumental crime, however, has extracted from India its price in flesh and blood. Sixty-three years might have passed since the aggression, yet the Indian Held Kashmir has known no peace and the demand for Azadi - loud and strong - is making it impossible for the Indian leadership and its puppets in Kashmir to know any peace. The writer is a freelance columnist.