Saturday, 27 February 2010

Kashmiri Collaborators

Kashmiri Collaborators
Dr Shabir Choudhry 27 February 2010

Collaborators are those who work with an enemy – with an occupier against one's own country; and we find plenty of them in Pakistan and in Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of the Line of Control.

Although this term was coined up during the Second World War to expose those who sided with the Nazi Germany; but this class of people existed for centuries. Those who collaborated with the British were given titles and fiefdoms in undivided India; and grand children of that class is now ‘running’ and ‘managing’ Pakistan, not for the benefit of the Pakistanis but for the benefit of their class and their mentors or political masters.

There is a large supply of collaborators in Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of the divide. Some collaborate with India and others collaborate with Pakistan; and both groups are generously rewarded by India and Pakistan, of course at the cost of national interest of Jammu and Kashmir.

People become collaborators for different reasons. Some join forces of occupation for fear; others join them for political or monetary rewards. Some join them for status and others join them to empower themselves that they can elevate themselves or take revenge from certain sections of the society or groups.

Some feel as the new occupiers are there to stay, resistance is futile; and they like to be on the winning side. History shows that at times these collaborators prove to be more cruel and exploitative than the actual occupiers.

As society is becoming more and more complex and demands of the forces of occupation increase, a new class of collaborators has also emerged and this consist of Kashmiri Diaspora. Collaborators from the Kashmiri Diaspora don’t join forces of occupation or become their tool because of any fear. They join for other reasons, which include status and monetary gains.

The role of collaborators varies. Without them the forces of occupation could find it difficulty to maintain their control over their colony or territory. Only America and other allies could appreciate how valuable contribution was made by Ahmad Karzai in Afghanistan. Once the forces of occupation stabilise their control then they can find many collaborators to justify and assert their control.

This role could range from urging the civilian population to remain calm and accept foreign occupation without a conflict. It could be in a form of justifying their occupation; or explain what tragedy will fall upon them if the forces of occupation leave. Collaboration could be in a form of helping them to organise trade unions, improve production, or enhance financial and economic support to joining various branches of the armed forces etc.

India has many collaborators on the Indian side of the Line of Control and they are criticised by the people for what they are doing to support the Indian rule in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan also enjoys support of collaborators in the territory of Jammu and Kashmir under their control. The Pakistani ruling elite has been very shrewd in this matter. They have successfully drawn a distinction between the collaborators – those who collaborate with India are presented as ‘bad guys’ and those who collaborate with Pakistan as good boys; yet the role and job of both are same.

Those Kashmiris who, for what ever reason, collaborate with Pakistan are propagated as ‘leaders’ and ‘loyal’ to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, yet opposite is the truth. Even those Kashmiris, who support and show allegiance to these collaborators are promoted and appropriately rewarded; and that makes the whole project more sacrosanct and attractive for others.

The result of this policy is that even senior and well off members of the Kashmiri Diaspora are readily available to become tools in hands of those who occupy us on this side of the LOC. These financially and politically well off Kashmiris do not hesitate to lick boots of Pakistani officials posted in London and elsewhere.

In this respect those Kashmiris who have made their social and political standing in the countries they live in through hard work and dedication, are also available to serve whims of Pakistan and advance their agenda. In return they get some protocol in the functions held in the Pakistani diplomatic Missions; and during their visits to Pakistan.

In this regard some Kashmiris, who have some status in the British society, are playing the role of Pakistani informers or agents. They stoop so low that they feel no shame in wrongly accusing their fellow citizens. In return for a ‘cup of tea’ with senior Pakistani leaders or senior officials, be he in uniform or in civilian clothes, they will back stab a fellow Kashmiri who is sincerely promoting a Kashmiri interest.

Despite their social status in the countries they have settled in, the Kashmiri puppets, which are perhaps born with some complex or slavish mind will readily promote a Pakistani interest at the cost of undermining the Kashmiri interest. These puppets also criticise those Pakistanis who sincerely feel that Pakistani policy on Kashmir has been wrong and needs a change.

One British Kashmiri, who unfortunately holds some status in the society as well and who seems to be more loyal to Pakistan than his enslaved and forcibly divided country - Kashmir, has stooped so low that he has started phoning different media people and urging them not to promote or entertain Kashmiri nationalists.

As if this was not sufficient to prove his treachery against Kashmiri nation and slavish attitude, he, like agents on pay role do, has written directly to senior officials of a secret agency in Islamabad to tell them that some nationalist Kashmiris were working against Pakistan.

In support of his unfounded allegation he said these people held Black Day Conference to undermine the ‘Jihad’ done by tribesmen in 1947. Also he said that this group of people is accusing Pakistan for encouraging tribesmen to attack Kashmir and creating trouble in Jammu and Kashmir in 1947. He said they have produced literature which is against the interest of Pakistan.

Literature or conference which promote Kashmiri interest and advance unification and independence of the State is conceived as ‘anti Pakistan’ by some Pakistanis, and this class of Kashmiris who are willing to collaborate with Pakistan provided they get some protocol and cup of tea who ever is the ruler of Pakistan.

We, true Kashmiris – sons of the soil who are first Kashmiris then anything else, want to make it clear to these collaborators and their political masters that we will not be intimidated or coerced. Our first priority is to protect interest of Jammu and Kashmir; and by doing so if we annoy some collaborators and their political masters then we DONOT care.

We sincerely believe that the Tribal Invasion was designed for imperial purposes. It resulted in loot, plunder, rapes of women and destruction of our territory. It changed course of our history. It forced the Maharaja of Kashmir to seek help from India which subsequently resulted in the provisional accession to India. To date we are suffering because of that unprovoked aggression carried out in name of ‘jihad’ and we have every right to protest against it.

Writer is Director Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir

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Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Peace is must for stability of South Asia, Dr Shabir Choudhry

Peace is must for stability of South Asia, Dr Shabir Choudhry
London 24 February 2010

Kashmir National Party leader Dr Shabir Choudhry, while speaking to The News correspondent Murtaza Shah said, “India and Pakistan must show maturity and learn to live like good neighbours. They must understand that disputes could not be resolved by use of gun”.

KNP leader said, “Use of violence to resolve disputes are not desirable as it breeds more violence and aggravates the matters”. Dr Shabir Choudhry said, “People of India and Pakistan wish to live in peace. They don’t want violence and terrorism. They don’t want extremism and hatred. They want stability and economic prosperity and that could only be achieved if there is peace in the region”.

Dr Shabir Choudhry said, “Desire for peace in both countries is appropriately expressed by prominent newspapers of both countries namely Times of India and The News; and peace loving people must come out support this campaign”.

KNP leader said, “There are groups in both countries who don’t want peace between India and Pakistan. These groups promote violence, extremism and hatred. All those who love democracy and liberal society must oppose these groups. For the sake of peace and stability it is imperative that influence of these groups is contained, if not totally eliminated”.

Dr Shabir Choudhry said, “One of the fundamental disputes between India and Pakistan is Kashmir; and we people of Jammu and Kashmir strongly believe that there is no military solution to this dispute. It must be resolved through a process of dialogue in which people of Jammu and Kashmir must take active part”.

“Kashmir dispute is not a bilateral dispute and history of bilateralism between both countries prove that the Kashmir dispute could not be resolved by keeping people of Jammu and Kashmir out of this process”, he added.

Dr Shabir Choudhry said, “Kashmir National Party strongly support Aman ki Asha campaign initiated by Times of India and The News”. He said, “This initiative must be supported by all peace loving people in both countries”. END

Sunday, 21 February 2010

India and Pakistan talk again

India and Pakistan talk again
Dr Shabir Choudhry 21 February 2010

India and Pakistan are to face each other again, but good thing is this time they are facing each other across the table. They have faced each other in various fields since 1947, including in the battlefield. Hitherto no confrontation or bilateral dialogue has produced the desired results.

They are once again around the table and this is good. But question is are they meeting because they want to resolve all the outstanding issues or they have internal and external pressure to sit down, even if that means sitting for the sake of it.

Some weeks back there was no sign of this kind of meeting. So what has changed the minds? Is it the war next door in Afghanistan and issues and pressures related to that which is forcing both governments to sit down and talk? What are they going to talk anyway? The statements coming from New Delhi and Islamabad indicate that they want to talk on different issues; and there appears to be no agreement on what they want to talk.

In other words the agenda of talks doesn’t seem to be clear as it should be. Focus of India would be to talk on issues related to ‘terrorism’ and may be other bilateral issues. India's External Affairs Minister S M Khrishna said: "Let's be very, very clear, that the composite talks you [the interviewer] referred to are suspended. Composite dialogue is not being renewed. The brief to the foreign secretary is that terror would be the focal point of the talks".

Pakistan on the other hand insisted that all issues should be part of the talks, including Kashmir dispute and issue of water; but later on they changed their mind and Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir in his press briefing said: "It is important that there are no pre-conditions from either side. Pakistan strongly believes that with pre-conditions there can be no dialogue."

Pakistan has a long history of issuing statements for the consumption of Pakistanis and Kashmiris – they claimed Kashmir was their priority in talks even when in the past name of Kashmir was not included in the joint communiqué. Completely contrary to what was agreed in the joint communiqué they would issue a statement that Kashmir was the core issue and that they would not budge.

In line with their past practise, the next day a statement was issued for the consumption of the Pakistanis and Kashmiris that there was no point having talks if Kashmir dispute and issue of water was not on the agenda. The statement emphasised that Kashmir must be part of the talks.

Despite a bomb blast in Puna, once again linking Islamic militants, India has decided to go ahead with the talks. Some Indian politicians questioned for how long the people of India would continue to get killed and India agreeing to holding talks with Pakistan. Some Indian officials admit that there could be more bomb blasts in Kashmir and India; but we will still pursue peace talks in hope that Pakistani mind set will change one day and they will be able to resolve all outstanding issues with Pakistan through a process of dialogue.
Does this show a genuine desire for peace or some kind of pressure to talk to Pakistan, even if that does not produce any tangible results? Many analysts believe that it is the hard work of US Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Washington's ‘Viceroy’ for Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrook, which has resulted in resumption of talks.

Some analysts draw similarities of the present talks to the talks which India and Pakistan had as a result of the American pressure after Sino India war of 1962. During the Sino India war, Pakistan was urged to stay out of the war in return for assured talks with India on the future of Jammu and Kashmir. At that time five rounds of talks between Zulfqar Ali Bhutto and Sardar Sawarn Singh did not produce an agreement.

Despite what Pakistan has done to advance American interests in Afghanistan and in the region, Pakistan is continually asked to do more. Pakistan had apprehensions about the situation on the border with India and about the situation in Kashmir; and refused to do more or commit any more troops. In view of that it was imperative that both India and Pakistan talked to each other; even if they talked about weather or environment.

Islamic militants and Al-qaeeda on the other hand have a different agenda, and want to ensure that there is no peace between India and Pakistan. They want to ensure that India and Pakistan are in a war like situation, that Pakistan is forced to commit itself to the threat from this side. The bomb blast in Puna has to be seen in that light and especially in the light of a threat issued by a Kashmiri leader of Al-Qaeeda.

Ilyas Kashmiri, who hails from district Bhimber of Pakistani Administered Kashmir and who is Commander of 313 Brigade, an operational arm of al-Qaeda issued a statement:

“We warned the international community to play their role in getting the Kashmiris their right of self-determination and preventing India from committing brutalities in Kashmir, especially in Badipuar, raping the women and behaving inhumanly with Muslim prisoners. We, the mujahideen of 313 Brigade, vow to continue attacks all across India until the Indian Army leaves Kashmir and gives the Kashmiris their right of self-determination. We assure the Muslims of the subcontinent that we will never forget the massacre of the Muslims in Gujarat and the demolition of Babri Masjid [a Muslim mosque destroyed by Hindu militants in 1992]. The entire Muslim community is one body and we will take revenge for all injustices and tyranny. We again warn the Indian government to compensate for all its injustices; otherwise they will see our next action”.

Ilyas Kashmiri, before becoming a part of Al –Qaeeda was working closely with Pakistani secret agencies and was involved in a ‘jihad’ in Jammu and Kashmir. I understand he is a big fish and American’s have unsuccessfully tried to take him out many times. He and his 313 Brigade certainly have the ability and know - how to commit acts of violence in Kashmir and in India to disrupt the peace talks or even to precipitate a confrontation between India and Pakistan, but there is no immediate danger to the talks. He will have to do something really big to disrupt the present peace process.

But that doesn’t mean the new peace process will produce any tangible results. It will be business as usual - sit down, exchange of views, photo session and possibly a joint communiqué to say that they will continue to talk. There will be no agreement on anything as still there is a big gap in perception on different things. For example, many people in the Pakistani government still regard militancy in Jammu and Kashmir as a ‘Jihad’; and it becomes ‘terrorism’ only when bomb blasts take place inside Pakistan or in Pakistani Administered Kashmir.

Similarly both governments have big differences on the issue of water. Pakistan accuses India for ‘stealing their water’. India of course disagrees with that. To us, citizens of Jammu and Kashmir this is our water, which both India and Pakistan are utilizing against our wish. They are both exploiting our resources and both want to advance their national interests at the cost of interest of people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Like always Kashmiri leaders have expressed their desire to take part in the talks, because it is their biggest wish to sit on the same table with India and Pakistan to discuss about Kashmir and violence. And like always both governments have no desire to consider Kashmiri leaders as equal partners in this dispute and honour them with a seat at the negotiating table.

The Kashmir dispute and problems associated with it will continue as usual. People of Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of the divide will continue to suffer to varying degrees. Call it violence, jihad or armed struggle, it will continue with new recruits always be available to enter Kashmir and become martyrs and book a place in heaven.

And if America wins the war in Afghanistan or the Talibans have upper hand, then unfortunately Jammu and Kashmir will experience a new and battle hardened Jihadi groups entering Kashmir. They first time entered Kashmir on 22 October 1947 and caused havoc; and we continue to suffer to date.

Writer is Director Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir

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Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Another round of Jihad is to start soon

Another round of Jihad is to start soon
Dr Shabir Choudhry 09 February 2010

Pakistan government has once again obliged people of Jammu and Kashmir by having another holiday in our name in disguise of ‘Solidarity Day’. Indeed we are grateful to them. The whole show was impressive. They managed to get Kashmiri collaborators and some so called Kashmiri nationalists, mainly belonging to JKLF factions, dancing in various parts of the world on tune played by Islamabad.

No Kashmiri nationalist or even a Kashmiri loyal to his nation could support the drama of Pakistan which they perform to fool people of Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir on 5th February; yet stalwarts of JKLF Aman Group happily go to a function arranged by Kashmir Centre, London, which is funded by Pakistan. The Centre ‘specialise’ in promoting pro Pakistan policies and protecting interest of Pakistan; and only invites those people to their functions who endorse their pro Pakistan policies.

In the function of 5th February held in the Kashmir Centre London all those who were present were pro Pakistan, and among them was a JKLF leader. Of course this function could not complete without the presence and a lecture of Pakistani officials. This time, Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan Asif Ali Durani was there to honour the audience and pass on messages of President and Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Another leader of one JKLF group, who hails from the Valley, on TV programme Q & A with PJ Mir said: ‘Their struggle is to get right of self determination as enshrined in the UN Resolutions on Kashmir’. JKLF Yasin Leader in UK said: ‘Kashmiris should hold a conference for unity and solidarity of Pakistan’. This in nutshell explains the ideology of the JKLF groups and yet they have nerve to call themselves – ‘Kashmiri nationalist’.

That aside, despite ‘militancy’ and ‘jihad’ going on in their own country, Pakistani government have kindly assured people of Jammu and Kashmir that they will continue their support – a kind of support that started in disguise of Tribal Invasion in1947 and which resulted in plunder, loot, destruction, rapes and which forced the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir to accede to India against his will.

This ‘support’ has seen different phases and has brought many disasters to Kashmiris and politics of South Asia. It is beyond the scope of this article to encompass all details of this ‘support’; and I will only try to explain likely problems which the people of Jammu and Kashmir could face as a result of more ‘support’ of this kind in future.

We understand that Pakistan is also facing violence and terrorism, but it is also known fact that those who are committing these crimes were, at one time, their ‘own boys’ who were supported and trained by them. Our concern is that despite these serious problems some sections of the Pakistani establishment have not changed their policy regarding ‘Jihad’ in Jammu and Kashmir and in India.

In my article, ‘Contradictions in a war against terrorism’ 18 June 2009, I wrote:
‘On one hand Pakistan appears to be actively engaged in the fight against terrorism, but on the other hand leaders with history of terrorism and violence are enjoying their freedom. Moreover Lashker E Tayeba, a banned terrorist group has purchased a land of 200 kanals in district Muzaffarabad in Pakistani Administered Kashmir.’

‘This land transaction could only be done with the help of Pakistani establishment, as legally no Pakistani individual or organisation could purchase land in any part of the State. It is clear that Lashker E Tayeba is known for its terrorism and violence and could not be expected to run courses on peace studies, conflict resolution or human rights.’

This was confirmed by news of BBC on 29 June 2009 in the following words: ‘Police in Pakistani Administered Kashmir have reported that banned militants have become active in the area once again. Information with the BBC reveals that Jamat ul Dawa (parent organisation of Lashkar e Taiba) have purchased land in Muzaffarabad in March 2009, to establish their offices and houses.’

Presence of militant groups was more visible and aggressive this time during the functions held in Muzaffarabad to show ‘solidarity’ with Kashmiris. In public meetings militant commanders openly and aggressively supported jihad; and vowed to continue their jihad to teach lesson to India.

Apart from leaders of Lashkar e Taiba and Jamat e Dawa who openly support jihad in Kashmir; retired General and former ISI Director General Hamid Gul also addressed the gathering. According to BBC, he said: ‘With India we have only relationship of animosity. They are our enemy and we their enemy. They are enemy of Kashmiris, enemy of their independence and honour. We openly say we are their enemy and we will go to any length for this.’

Jamat e Dawa leader Abdul Rehman Makki in his speech said: ‘Thousands of mothers have sent their sons to Kashmir to be martyred; but we have lakhs (hundreds of thousands) of young men ready to fight India’.

He further said: ‘We are not against dialogue, but India always used dialogue as a strategy which caused damage to the Kashmir dispute. On behalf of the Pakistani nation I am here to deliver a message of Jihad, killing and blood. Kashmir is important, but so is water. Water is in Kashmir, water lakes and sources are in Kashmir. We want all of Kashmir’. He threatened the India Prime minister that ‘if India stopped Pakistani water the India will have to face serious consequences’.

Head of Mutaida Jihad Council, Syed Salahuddin also addressed the Conference and emphasised that the only solution to the Kashmir dispute is jihad, which will continue until Kashmir is liberated. The leaders of Jaish e Mohammed and other militant groups also participated in the conference.

I have only produced brief messages of these militant groups, but it is more than enough to tell what is likely to come our way in near future. It is unfortunate that still there are many people who believe they can put out fire by pouring petrol on it. They don’t realise that violence generates more violence. Violence which ensued in name of jihad shattered basic fabric of the Kashmiri society; and it has also seriously harmed the Pakistani society.

Thinking in Pakistan is that:
• India is having edge over Pakistan in Afghanistan due to massive investment and due to close contacts with various players in Afghanistan.
• Also they think problems in FATA and other parts of Pakistan are not due to their wrong policies; but because of ‘Indian involvement’.
• Furthermore they think India is stealing ‘their water’; and best way to have India on back foot is to be more assertive with India and revert back to old policy of exporting ‘Jihad’.

In this regard, apart from activating jihadi groups who are too willing to pick up their guns to wage jihad against India in Jammu and Kashmir and in India; other ‘movements’ within India are also encouraged to continue their struggle. It is believed that both countries have been encouraging and supporting insurgents in each other’s countries.

The government of India is of course aware of these developments, and P Chidambaram, India’s Union Home Minister reacted angrily by saying that, "Let me make it clear: these dark forces will not succeed in their designs. We will defeat them whenever and wherever we confront them."

The last ‘jihad’ in Jammu and Kashmir started in 1988/9; and that brought death, destruction and loss of a generation. That ‘Jihad’ or a ‘proxy war’ further divided the Kashmiri people, as it communalised the Kashmir polity and divided people in name of religion. The wounds of that ‘jihad’ which has not ended yet are still fresh; and signs are that our ‘friends’ in Pakistan want to add a new chapter to the ‘Jihad’ in Kashmir.

As a Kashmiri, my concern is that this new wave of ‘jihad’ will bring more misery and suffering to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially in areas of Neelam Valley and along the LOC will face brunt of oppression. Furthermore another Mumbai like incident, no matter who commits it, will have very serious repercussions and could lead both countries to an armed confrontation with disastrous consequences.

Writer is Director Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs.

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Friday, 5 February 2010

Pakistan army harass Deputy Commissioner in Azad Kashmir

Pakistan army harass Deputy Commissioner in Azad Kashmir
Dr Shabir Choudhry 05 February 2010

Once again Pakistan army has demonstrated that they are the real masters of Kashmiri territory under their control; and that they are not accountable to anyone for their actions. It is they who call shots in this region and there is no law which is applicable to them.

Pakistan army behaves like an army of occupation although at times they try to pretend to be ‘defenders’ of this territory. They commit human rights abuses and are never held accountable for anything; because unlike on the other side of Line of Control where every human rights abuse is reported and flashed in media, no one even dares to report anything against Pakistani soldiers on this side of the LOC.

Neelam Valley and other areas near the Line of Control suffer most, and because of the prevailing situation - fear of army reprisals and fear of being arrested and imprisoned on fake charges of being an ‘Indian agent’ force people to remain quiet and take every abuse with a smile on their faces.

Deputy Commissioner is a very senior civilian position in any district, but even a senior civilian is not spared by the Pakistani army in Pakistani Administered Kashmir known as Azad Kashmir. On 4th February 2010 at around 10 am, a Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Shahid Ayub, was manhandled by few soldiers of Pakistan army in Neelam Valley.

According to details emanating from the Neelam Valley, Mr. Shahid Ayub along with his staff was on his routine journey to Sharda from Athmuqam, district headquarters. When he reached Keran, just 15 kilometers from Athmuqam, he was stopped by the Pakistan army soldiers by putting up barriers on the Neelam road.

The soldiers treated him disrespectfully and demanded to know who he was. The Deputy Commissioner and his staff pointed to the AJK flag hoisting on his vehicle and told them that he was a Deputy Commissioner of the District. Only senior officers, President, Prime Minister and Ministers could hoist the flag of Azad Kashmir on their vehicles.

The soldiers laughed at him and said, ‘They don't care for any kind of Deputy Commissioner, or any flag; and that they were the masters of the area’. They said it is their law and their order which is implemented here. The soldiers verbally abused the Deputy Commissioner in front of his staff with guns pointing at him from both sides of his vehicle. They also threatened to shoot him on site if he tried to move from there without their permission.

The helpless Deputy Commissioner of so called Azad Kashmir, called Azad Kashmir police force for help, but they were unable to save their boss from the humiliation by soldiers of Pakistan army.

It is also pertinent to mention that the Deputy Commissioner has been in charge of the District for some months, and he is well known in the area and to the soldiers stationed at the Keran Check Post. It is not that the soldiers didn’t know who he was, but they wanted to demonstrate that it is they who call shots in this region and not a Kashmiri Deputy Commissioner. They wanted to send a message to all concerned that they must learn to abide by orders of the men in khaki and respect them.

The check post where this incident occurred is right across Keran village, which is under Indian control; and is divided by Neelam River. The Indian army must have witnessed this incident, and they must now know what azadi or freedom people of Jammu and Kashmir enjoy on the other side of the incident.

This humiliating treatment was experienced by a senior Civilian Officer of AJK; and even the Azad Kashmir police could not help him. Just imagine what kind of treatment would be available to ordinary, simple and illiterate people living in those villages in the Neelam Valley and along the LOC.

The man who informed me of this incident said under the terms of Provisional Accession which took place on October 1947, it was a duty of the Indian army to protect life, property and dignity of all citizens of the Jammu and Kashmir State. But unfortunately we suffer on both sides of the divide to varying degrees; and no one seems to be concerned about our plight. It hurts us more to note that despite all the suffering and sacrifices the Kashmir dispute is still perceived as a dispute between India and Pakistan.

This incident happened one day before the so called ‘solidarity with Kashmir day’- annual holiday people of Pakistan enjoy in our name. 5th of February has no significance in history of Jammu and Kashmir; and yet for past some years they have started holding a holiday to express their solidarity with Kashmiris.

This holiday or solidarity day is not based on sincerity or goodwill. The policy makers of Pakistan are fooling people of Pakistan and people of Jammu and Kashmir. There is a big discrepancy in their words and deeds. When a situation comes to show solidarity with people of Jammu and Kashmir or to protect their interests, policy makers of Pakistan turn a blind eye to that; and only promote a Pakistani interest at the cost of a Kashmiri interest.

They never demand or even agree that people of Jammu and Kashmir should be part of the dialogue process on Kashmir. What right have they got to negotiate with India on our behalf? To us they are occupiers just like India and China are; and no occupier has this right to decide future of our motherland.

Their aim is to hold this display of ‘solidarity’ one week before the national day people of Jammu and Kashmir hold on 11 February to commemorate martyrdom of their leader Maqbool Butt who advocated an independent and secular Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistani policy makers spend huge amount of money to undermine functions of Kashmiris which they voluntarily hold on 11 February.

If Pakistan really wants to show solidarity with people of Jammu and Kashmir then they should grant full political and economic rights to people under their control. They should withdraw their army and their officers from Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. Furthermore, they should work hard on 5th February and donate one day salary to suffering people of Jammu and Kashmir.

It must be noted that people uprooted by upraising of Mangla Dam and affected by the earth quake have not been housed. They are still suffering in tents without appropriate shelters and means to live. The best way to show solidarity would be to resettle these people with dignity and honour. If Pakistani policy makers have no will to do that, then please stop rubbing salt in our wounds.

Writer is Head of Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs.

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Thursday, 4 February 2010

KNP will continue to work for united and independent Jammu and Kashmir

KNP will continue to work for united and independent Jammu and Kashmir
London 04 February 2010

Kashmir National Party Chairman, Abbas Butt said: “Our struggle is for united and independent Jammu and Kashmir, but my struggle starts from Kotli and not from Srinagar. If my Kotli is enslaved and people are deprived of basic human rights here then what good is independence of Srinagar to me and my people? All those who want to liberate Srinagar first while their own regions are occupied by Pakistan are not sincere with the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Those who follow this policy are not sincere and they have no right to speak about rights of people. These people must be opposed and exposed.”

Abbas Butt was speaking to a meeting of the Supreme Council of the KNP, which was held in London to discuss and formulate future programmes of the Party.

KNP Zonal Secretary General Nawaz Majid said: Maqbool Butt was hero of Kashmiri nation. His struggle was for united and independent Jammu and Kashmir. He spoke for rights of all Kashmiris and did not speak for rights of Kashmiri Muslims. His fight was for justice and equality; and those people who want to make this struggle a struggle of Kashmiri Muslims are not sincere to the cause of Kashmir or struggle of Maqbool Butt.

KNP Organiser Asim Mirza said, ‘We must hold a public meeting in Watford and should only work and support like minded people. It is not appropriate to attend meetings of those who do not respect our guests and try to disrupt our meetings’. He said we have tremendous experience in arranging public meetings and conferences, and he will ensure that there is a successful public meeting in Watford.

Head of Diplomatic Committee of KNP Dr Shabir Choudhry said: ‘Once again Pakistani people will enjoy another holiday on 5th February in name of solidarity with Kashmiri people. This date, 5th February, has no historic significance in history of Kashmir. Pakistani policy makers hold this ‘holiday’ one week before Martyrdom date of Maqbool Bhat to fool people of Jammu and Kashmir and people of Pakistan. Their aim is to show Pakistan is worried about their independence. But hypocrisy is that Pakistani governments are not willing to grant independence to those people of Jammu and Kashmir which are under direct control of Pakistan’.

Other KNP leaders who spoke include: Ch Shoaib, Zile Naqvi and Jamroz Khan

KNP leaders after some discussion decided the following programmes of the party:

1. KNP Azad Kashmir Zone will hold a public meeting in Dheer Koat to commemorate 26th Martyrdom day of Maqbool Bhat Saheed;

2. KNP will also hold public meetings in Kotli and Pindi Saber waal on 11 the February;

3. In Britain the KNP will hold a public meeting in Watford;

4. Apart from that KNP delegation will travel to Geneva to attend the Session of UN Human Rights Council in March;

5. KNP leaders will also visit Azad Kashmir in April to address public meetings in various towns including one in Dheer Koat; and meet leaders of other parties including diplomats and policy makers;

6. KNP also decided to make arrangements to get Urdu book of Saeed Asad, ‘Yadoon K Zakham’, translated in English and published. The book is based on interviews of those who witnessed atrocities committed by tribesmen in 1947 in name of ‘jihad’ and ‘liberation’ of Kashmir.

7. Apart from that KNP will make arrangements to launch new book of Dr Shabir Choudhry which will be published this month. The book is called, ‘New Dimensions of Kashmiri struggle’.

8. KNP leaders demanded that government of Azad Kashmir should declare an official holiday on 11th February to express solidarity and show appreciation to the sacrifices of Maqbool Butt. END

Issued by Dr Shabir Choudhry