Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Article by Hamid Mir

Apology Day for Pakistanis
Tuesday March 30 2010 21:26:03 PM BDT

By Hamid Mir, Pakistan

SOME people hate me a lot in Pakistan. They hate me because I said sorry to Bengalis two years ago in Islamabad Press Club for the atrocities committed by Pakistan Army in 1971.They hate me because I also demanded an official apology from the government of Pakistan to the people of Bangladesh for the genocide of March 1971.They say I don’t know anything. They say I am not a good Pakistani.

They say I was very young in 1971 and I am not aware about the truth. When I say yes I was only a young schoolgoing boy in 1971 but I heard and read a lot about the genocide. How can I deny my late father, Professor Waris Mir, who visited Dhaka in October 1971 with a delegation of Punjab University students? My father was a teacher of journalism in Punjab University, Lahore. He was asked by the University administration to organise a visit of the student’s union office bearers to Turkey, but he took the boys to Dhaka with their consent. They wanted to know what was actually going on in Dhaka.

I still remember that when my father came back from Dhaka he wept for many days. He told us stories of bloodshed. These stories were similar to the story of my mother. My mother lost her whole family during migration from Jammu to Pakistan in 1947.Her brothers were killed by the Hindus and Sikhs in front of her eyes. Her mother was kidnapped. She saved her life by hiding under the dead bodies of her own relatives. I remember that my mother cried a lot when my father told her that Pakistan army officers raped many Bengali women. My mother said: “We made sacrifices for the safety of our honour but why we are dishonouring each other today?”

My father always said that Bengalis made Pakistan and we Punjabis broke Pakistan. Once he said that March 23rd was Pakistan Day, March 26th should be the apology day and December 16th should be the accountability day. I started understanding the thoughts of my late father when I became a journalist in 1987.

When I first read the Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report I felt ashamed. This report of a Pakistani commission admitted murder and rape but, despite this documentary evidence, many people still live in a state of denial. They say Sheikh Mujib was a traitor who created Mukti Bahini with the help of India and killed many innocent Punjabis and Beharis. I say that Sheikh Mujib was a worker of the Pakistan movement, he was a supporter of Fatima Jinnah (sister of Muhammad Ali Jinnah) till 1966.He only demanded provincial autonomy but military rulers declared him a traitor. In fact, these military rulers were traitors because their troops raped their own mothers and sisters. They say I am a liar and an enemy of Pakistan. How could I be an enemy of Pakistan? My mother sacrificed her whole family for Pakistan. My problem is that I cannot deny truth.

A senior colleague of mine, Afzal Khan, is still alive. He is 73 years old. He worked with Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), and was secretary general of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) from 1980 to 1985. He was sent to Dhaka on March 28, 1971 for the coverage of the army operation. He told me many times that yes Mukti Bahini killed a lot of innocent people but what the Pakistan army did was not the job of a national army. Once he was staying in Ispahani House in Khulna. An army major once offered him a girl to spend a night with. When Afzal Khan asked who the girl was, the major said that she was the daughter of a local police officer and she could come to Ispahani House at gun-point. After this incident Afzal Khan came back to Lahore in May 1971. He says that all those who were responsible for the rape and genocide of Bengalis never enjoyed any respect in Pakistan.

The name of General Yahya Khan is still like an abuse in Pakistan. His son Ali Yahya always tries to hide from people. General Tikka Khan is still remembered as the “butcher of Bengal.” General A.A.K. Niazi wanted to become “tiger of Bengal” but is remembered as “jackal of Bengal.” The majority of Pakistanis hate all those who were responsible for the genocide of their Bengali brothers. That is the reason the family members of these army officers don’t even mention publicly that who their fathers were.

But still there are some people who are not ready to admit their blunders. These people are a minority but they are powerful. I consider them enemies of the Pakistan for which my mother sacrificed her family. Why should we defend these enemies? Why doesn’t our democratic government officially apologise to Bengalis? This apology will not weaken Pakistan. It will strengthen Pakistan.

I am sure that Pakistan is changing fast. A day will come very soon when the government of Pakistan will officially say sorry to Bengalis and March 26th will become an apology day for patriotic Pakistanis. I want this apology because Bengalis created Pakistan. I want this apology because Bengalis supported the sister of Jinnah against General Ayub Khan. I wants this apology because I want to make a new relationship with the people of Bangladesh. I don’t want to live with my dirty past. I want to live in a neat and clean future. I want a bright future not only for Pakistan but also for Bangladesh. I want this apology because I love Pakistan and I love Bangladesh. Happy Independence Day to my Bangladeshi brothers and sisters.

Hamid Mir is Executive Editor of Geo TV in Islamabad. He will receive Saarc Lifetime Achievement Award on March 26th in the Saarc Writers’ Conference in Delhi. Email:

Saturday, 27 March 2010

KNP strongly condemn police brutality in Mirpur and Rawalakot

KNP strongly condemn police brutality in Mirpur and Rawalakot
Dr Shabir Choudhry London 27 March 2010

According to reports emanating from Rawalakot in Pakistani Administered Kashmir, ‘Pakistani Law Enforcement Agencies opened indiscriminate firing against peaceful protesters in Rawalakot City’.

People were protesting against continued load shedding of electricity in whole of Pakistani Administered Kashmir. Last week people of Mirpur protested in thousands and faced the brutality of the Punjab Constabulary. Their demand was simple: they wanted electricity. They said Mangla dam, which is constructed by drowning city of Mirpur, produces around 1000 mgw electricity, whereas the requirement of entire Pakistani Administered Kashmir is around 150 mgw.

Instead of giving them electricity Punjab Constabulary mercilessly manhandled them and tortured them, which resulted in injury of more than 40 innocent citizens. Despite that brave action of the citizens, WAPDA, a Pakistani institution has agreed to give electricity to Mirpur for only 12 hours. That means the electricity will be disconnected after every one hour, making life hell for the people when temperature is already hovering around 40.

Today it was turn of citizens of Rawalakot. Their demand for electricity was responded by police lathi charge (stick beating) and shelling which resulted in injury of 7 people. The injured people were taken to local hospital, whereas the demonstration still continues and could result in injury of more innocent people.

It is very sad. People are denied of their basic rights, and when they protest they are declared as agents of India and badly treated. I hope these incidents will open eyes of some pro Pakistan Kashmiris. They need to understand that Pakistani agencies and para military forces are ‘just as good’ as Indian when it comes to beating people when orderes are given.

We need to remember that these people were not shouting slogans of freedom or holding guns in their hands; or using guns provided by Pakistan's enemy; they are simply asking for electricity.

Just imagine how they would have reacted if people of Pakistani Administered Kashmir had borrowed a gun from India and used it against Pakistan; just like people of Indian Administered Kashmir borrowed a gun from Pakistan and used it against India. We need to put things in perspective when making decisions. We have to accept that we are occupied and human rights violations take place on both sides of the LOC.

We citizens of divided Jammu and Kashmir must oppose human rights violations and struggle for unification and independence of the State according to our local conditions. Those who are telling us to liberate the Indian side of Kashmir first, are not sincere and are only advancing the agenda of Pakistan. END

Email: Tel. 0044(0)7790942471

Thursday, 25 March 2010

My response to a Pakistani critic

Aslamo alaykam Bhai Sahib

1. I don’t know what to call you – teddy bear can’t be your name.

2. Anyhow I didn’t mean to cause any offence to you or anyone else. I can’t see any cause of offence, as I have only stated some facts. You have every right to disagree with what I have said, but remember we don’t always like what we see in the mirror.

3. Please get your facts right, the tribesmen did not go to J&K to ‘liberate’ us they were sent to grab Kashmir and punish the Maharaja who refused to join Pakistan; and they were told to loot and plunder the J&K. They killed, looted and raped women, Muslims and non Muslims. There is ample evidence on this, and some of it written by some honest Pakistani writers as well. I am also attaching something for your consideration.

4. With regard to 1965, again get your facts right. It is proved beyond any doubt that Operation Gibraltar was not carried out to liberate Kashmiris. I will attach a paper for your information.

5. If it was not for Pakistan we would have been independent state. It was the tribal invasion planned and supported by Pakistan which forced the Maharaja to seek help from India, hence the forced division and all the problems we face on both sides of the divide.

6. Furthermore it was Pakistani officials who complicated the matter by making it a bilateral dispute rather than an issue of right of self determination. It was they who changed the name from Kashmir issue to India and Pakistan dispute. It was Pakistani officials who suggested changes to the first UNCIP Resolution and limited Kashmiri peoples right of self determination to accession to either India or Pakistan. It was Pakistan who signed Tashkant and Shimla Pacts and practically made the Kashmir dispute a bilateral issue - and now issue of water.

7. Pakistani governments have been exploiting our resources since 1947, our hard earned foreign exchange is also used by your government; and you are not happy if our people are working in your cities. If we become independent and we have sincere leadership there, not like what Pakistan have, then it would be people from other countries including Pakistan coming to work in J&K. Even now do you know how many Pakistani people live in Gilgit Baltistan and exploit our resources? Above all in clear violation of State Subject Law they have purchased land there.

8. Do you know how many countries are there in the world without ports, so please don’t give me that?

9. As for Pakistani passport is concerned it is only a travelling document; and under the international law it is Pakistan’s obligation, but that doesn’t changes our status; as it doesn’t change status of Palestinians. Those Palestinians who live in Syria they hold Syrian passport and those who live in Egypt they hold Egyptian passport so on and so forth.

10. By the way do you know many Pakistanis living abroad, when asked do not tell others that they are from Pakistan? Does that mean anything to you?

11. If you leave our country I am sure we will be able to make a passport – it is not a rocket science. But do you think your army will leave AJK and Gilgit Baltistan – never willingly. Do you know how many millions your army is making from the resources of Neelam valley alone? I suggest you visit the area and see the plight of the people and see how the army and timber mafia and mafia associated with precious stones are exploiting the area and puppets of Muzaffarabad have no say in these matters.

12. During the time when Kashmir was independent people used to come from undivided India, Tibet, China and other countries to study there. I don’t think Pakistani education has much credibility. Once independent we can set up our own institutions, and I assure you that we will also care for educational needs of our Pakistani brothers.

13. Oh, please do tell me what your ‘official capacity’ is. Is that some kind of hidden threat? Remember we live in 2010 and not in Somalia. My friend, it should be you who should apologise for looting and plundering my country and its resources.

14. I wish Pakistan genuine democracy, stability, prosperity, and ability to live in peace with itself and with neighbours, but if and when we get independence we don’t know what will be the situation of South Asia at that time; and how many more ‘Tans’ there will be apart from Hindustan and Pakistan.

15. I have tried to be respectful and I hope you won’t get angry for showing mirror to you.

16. I hope you will find time to read them and correct wrong assumptions.


Dr. Shabir Chaudhry,
I am a Pakistani Citizen from the South of Pakistan and after reading your reading you wrote, I have no hesitation in stating that I am seriously offended.

What you wrote makes me think that My men wasted their lives trying to provide your men the freedom and dignity in 1948 and 1965 if you wish not to join Pakistan. Did we send our Pashtoon, Punjabi and Urdu-speak to fight someone else’s war?
You seem to be quite determined to have independent state of Kashmir. Go and take it if you can without our help.

Even if you manage to get your long overdue independence, Do not come to us for handouts. How would you export your products without the access to port cities of Karachi and Gwadar? If you decide to go independent, prepare yourself to pay Govt levies in order to use our ports.

Secondly, so many Kashmiris from Azad Kashmir are working in the Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. They will be expelled with immediate effect. Of course, if our own
citizens don’t have jobs, why will we offer jobs to Kashmiris who will be Non-Pakistanis?

We would be better off without Kashmir as my native City of Karachi contributes 70% revenues to the Govt treasury which is used to feed the economically backward valleys of Kashmir. Without Kashmir, it will only contribute 60%.:) Our army will have less area and people to protect and defend.:) You need us more than we need you.
We have oil, gas and Coal reserves in the south. Tell me something that you have in Kashmir which is of some economic value. Do you think you can run your economy on water, Barley and wheat?

As per travel, your citizens will need Pakistani visas frequently, compared to Pakistani citizens needing the Kashmiri visa. Because for tourism, we will visit NWFP or Quetta or Interior Sindh, rather than visiting Kashmir. Yet for better education, better medical treatment, you will have to visit Islamabad and Lahore. If your citizens choose to Study in our Institutes or looked for medical treatment in our Hospitals, We will certainly charge 4 times. And why should not be… You will be foreigners to us.

I don’t care what You respond, But we will not come and beg you to join us rather you will, just like Ras Al-khaima opted to stay out of UAE in 1971 but within a year came running to join it. Why”? because it could not survive alone.

If you hate “this Pakistan that you see on TV screens,” then why Your Kashmiri Citizens use Our Green Passport, call them Pakistanis while travelling abroad and bring drugs with them. Get your own passport and use that.

Thanks be to Allah that I read this on the Internet, if I had heard it in my official capacity, I would have demanded an official apology.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Mumbai carnage, Lashkar e Taiba and new Afpak policy

Mumbai carnage, Lashkar e Taiba and new Afpak policy
Dr Shabir Choudhry 20 March 2010

When Mumbai carnage took place many people pointed fingers to Pakistan and especially Lashkar e Taiba. Pakistan first claimed that its territory was not used for this terrorism, but in view of mounting evidence, reluctantly agreed that ‘non state actors’ could have be involved in it.

With time the evidence was becoming more and more strong, clearly showing involvement of Pakistani personnel; and use of the Pakistani territory. Despite that Pakistani media, government officials and public at large was refuting this and trying to prove that it was local Indians who carried out this terrorism.

Some even came with a novel idea that the Indian intelligence agencies have done this to implicate Pakistan and attack Pakistan. I personally had many discussions with people who strongly believed that it was Indians who did this. I, of course, strongly believed that it was one of the Jihadi groups trained and equipped by Pakistani agencies. They either did it alone or with some help and support of extremist individuals within the ranks of Pakistani agencies.

Of course I was given hard time for advocating this kind of thinking; and those who blamed India for this carnage were hailed as true Kashmiris and friends of Pakistan. And I, as always, was accused of being ‘anti Pakistan’. My conviction was based on my thorough study of terrorist or jihadi groups which operate from Pakistan and how Pakistan authorities from time to time deny things and then eat words when overwhelmed with evidence.

Mumbai Carnage and evidence associated with that is an old story. In Pakistan not many people will deny some involvement of Lashkar now, but still there is no will to take its leadership and other God Fathers of terrorism to task. Pakistan says there are no solid evidence to implicate Jamaat e Dawa and its Chief Molana Hafeez Saeed. However Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaran, on this point said:

"Investigations around the world are carried out in a certain way. If Pakistan does not know how to interrogate Saeed, then they should allow my agents to go in there and do the job. I am willing to get this done”.

Of course Pakistan will never agree to that. Pakistanis can allow America to do certain things, even allow them to kill Pakistani citizens by drone attacks and their sovereignty is not compromised with that; but there is no way on earth they can allow Indians to behave like Americans or even to suggest something on those lines.

That aside, admission of guilt related to Mumbai Carnage by David Headly does not leave much space for Pakistan and Molana Hafeez Saeed. But who is David Headly and what was his role in this matter.

Who is David Headly
He is an American of Pakistani origin. His real name is Dauood Gilani, a son of famous former Director General of Radio Pakistan, Syed Saleem Gilani. His step brother is Daniaal Gilani who is Public Relations Officer of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. Although he is not a related to the Prime Minister, but relationship of both families is such that the Prime Minister went to his house to express his condolences when his father died.

Dauood Gilani was born in Washington in 1960. His father married an American woman when he worked in America for Voice of America. The marriage ended up in divorce and Dauood after studying in Cadet College in Hassan Abdal went back to his mother. In 2005 he changed his name to David Coleman Headley and in 2006 shifted to Chicago.

He claims to have changed his name to David Headly on advice of his bosses in Lashkar e Taiba, who thought it would be easy for him to carry out some missions for them with a non Muslim name. He became part of LeT in 2002 and gained training from them inside Pakistan.

Dauood Gilani or David Headly pleaded guilty to providing information related to the targets hit in Mumbai by terrorists. He went their on mission of the LeT and visited India and Denmark on several occasions. He accepted that he passed on all the information, videos, photos, sketches etc to LeT. He also confessed that he was planning to attack the office of Danish cartoonist who insulted Prophet Mohammed Pbuh.

He accepted all twelve charges after getting this assurance that he would not be hanged or extradited to India, Pakistan or Denmark. According to the American officials David Headly has not only pleaded guilty but has provided very useful information related to secret activities of terrorist groups.

The Americans are still in search of two more of his associates, namely Syed Abdul Rehman Hashim, a retired Major of Pakistan army and Ilyas Kashmiri, a Commander of Operations of Al-Qaeeda.

India can interrogate David Headly
US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake has confirmed that Indian investigators will be allowed to interrogate David Headley, but made it clear that David Headly will not be extradited to India or any other country.

However there is indication that he might be extradited if there were additional charges brought against David Headly. Robert Blake said: "But that does not mean that at some future date, some additional charges could not be brought. I do not want to speculate much on the future charges, but at least on these charges he cannot be extradited."

More is expected of Pakistan
In view of the above it is expected that there will be more pressure on Pakistan to do more on terrorism and come clean on this. Despite what Pakistan has already done in the war against terrorism, it is believed in some quarters that some sections of the Pakistani establishment are still playing double game; and whenever they are cornered they hand - in some more terrorists or Taliban leaders.

That policy is not acceptable to the Americans and other NATO allies. Enough is enough, they say. This Tom and Jerry fight cannot continue anymore. Pakistan has to take some tough decisions; and go to the USA on 24 March with clear mind and clear set of priorities.

Pakistan and America are to hold first Strategic Dialogue at the Ministerial level. Topics of the talks include, economic development, water and energy, education, communication and security, but importance of the meeting could be seen that from the Pakistani side ISI Chief Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha and Commander in Chief General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani will also be involved in talks. The Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Bashir Noman will also take part in the talks, not to mention Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and other senior people.

The meetings in the USA will determine new US Pakistan relationship and a new strategy on war in Afghanistan. Moreover it will surely determine future course of the Pakistani politics. It will decide who will do what. It will also decide who will get promoted and who will be made to retire or hold a new post or play a new role.

Pakistani government had some high level talks to formulate their policies before proceeding to Washington. Interestingly these meetings were held in the GHQ, and not in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as planned. This is very high level Pakistani entourage to visit Washington at this crucial time.

USA is not happy with the war in Afghanistan and wants some tangible results before the mid term elections in November 2010. America is also not happy with what goes on in Pakistan, as political and economic instability in the country affects the war on terrorism.

High on the list of this delegation would be to get a civil nuclear deal, just like what India got; and also to get more funds to stabilise Pakistan’s fragile economy and to make up for the losses incurred during the war on terrorism. Obviously Pakistan is not going to have any luck with the nuclear deal, but they will get more money for other projects with ‘what to do list’ of demands. Pakistani delegation will be even happy with that as they will get more money, which they could divert to other uses, just like their predecessors did in the past.

However, the Americans would like to ensure that their interests are fully protected and for that some new arrangements are being considered. The new arrangements will also provide a safety net to the government and its various institutions which are at loggers head at present. For this purpose it is possible that some kind of ‘super institution’ could be formulated and one of the existing Generals could be elevated to take charge of that for the continuation of existing policies and to keep check and balance.
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

To view other articles see my blog:

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

KNP delegation meets Indian Minister

KNP delegation meets Indian Minister
London 16 March 2010

Kashmir National Party leaders held a meeting with Syed Asif Ibrahim, Minister Coordination at the High Commission of India in London. The meeting took place on Wednesday at the India House in London.

KNP is the first political party which is based in England and in Pakistani Administered Kashmir to have openly met the Indian officials. Aim of the meeting was to start a process of dialogue, as we are the main party to the dispute and we want to take this initiative to contact all the countries who are directly connected with the Kashmir dispute.

The meeting discussed various issues related to the Kashmir dispute and peace and security of South Asia. The meeting discussed issues related to terrorism, extremism, communalism and human rights; and looked at ways of promoting the peace process and building bridges of understanding.

The meeting also looked at the problems of people of Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of the LOC; and problems of Kashmiri Diaspora and how to facilitate the visa process that the people of the State could interact with each other. It was emphasised that Kashmiri culture of peace, tolerance and coexistence should be promoted.

The KNP delegation fully supported the peace process between India and Pakistan as that is the only way forward to resolve disputes. However, they emphasised that the Kashmir dispute is not bilateral in nature; hence the people of Jammu and Kashmir must be made part of the peace process.

The KNP delegation said the Kashmir dispute is not religious, but political in nature. The KNP believes in liberal, democratic and secular politics and wants to support all those forces which believe in the above ideals.

The KNP delegation consisted of the following: Abbas Butt, Ch Sarwar Hussain, Nawaz Majid, Asim Mirza, Syed Zil - E – Naqvi and Dr Shabir Choudhry. END

Issued by: Dr Shabir Choudhry
Telephone: 0044 77909 42471

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Religion and terrorism

Religion and terrorism
Presentation made by Dr Shabir Choudhry at a Seminar arranged by Interfaith International during 13th Session of the UN Humans Rights Council in Geneva.

Dr Shabir Choudhry 11 March 2010

Mr Chairman, friends and colleagues aslamo alaykam and good morning.

I am grateful to Dr Charles Graves and Interfaith International for arranging this seminar and allowing me to express my view from this platform.

All great religions of the world teach peace and tolerance. They strictly forbid killing of innocent people, inequality, injustice, intolerance and other bad things. Religion could be used to advance brotherhood, promote tolerance and build bridges of friendship and understanding.

However people with evil designs use religion to advance their political, regional and communal agenda. They use religion to justify violence, killing and to spread extremism and hatred.

At times terrorism and violence is committed to advance various agendas, which could be to advance political agenda, regional agenda or sectarian agenda. But religious terrorism has many dimensions. It has profound religious manifestations, and is generally used to motivate people to advance political, regional and imperialist agendas under the cover of religion.

All terrorists, no matter what cover they use, aim to terrorise people or groups of people to advance their agenda. They always look for reason to justify their acts, and for this purpose they have other organisation and sympathisers to promote their cause or defend their actions in public. Religion or ethnic issues are employed to conceal political goals and to generate support and to silence opposition.

Religious terrorism has become very serious threat to societies in many countries; and if it is not checked this could lead to wars between countries, as it nearly did between India and Pakistan after the Mumbai carnage.

Mr Chairman

Who would know better than us people of Jammu and Kashmir who have been victims of religious terrorism since 1947? We people were victims of unprovoked aggression in 1947, which was organised by the government of Pakistan. The uncivilised tribesmen from Frontier were sent to capture Kashmir in name of Jihad. These tribesmen killed innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir, raped women, looted and plundered the territory of the State.

In this naked aggression tens of thousands of innocent people were killed, thousands of women were raped, kidnapped and brought to tribal areas. Some of these unfortunate women were sold and others were forced to change their religion.

Saeed Asad in his new book Yadoon Kay Zakham meaning wounded memories, published last month interviewed those who witnessed atrocities committed by the tribesmen in 1947. On page 93 of the book, Abdul Ghani in his interview with the author said, and I quote:

“In 1947 we all Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus lived in peace. There was complete harmony among us. Then we heard that Muslims and Hindus of India wanted to live separately. The violence and communal riots inside the State started when Pakistan came in to being. Situation here also started getting bad. One day we heard that the Tribesmen from the Frontier have attacked Kashmir. They went from one village to the other and from one house to the next and looted and plundered everything. A group of 40 people came to our village. They killed all Sikhs and Hindus in our village and then looted their houses. During this they also looted Muslim houses……They slaughtered men with knives or killed them with gun. Jewellery of Muslim and non Muslim women were snatched from their ears and from their arms and necks….. If anyone resisted they killed them without any hesitation”.


Sheikh Abdul Karim in his testimony which is on page 70 of the book states, and I quote:

“In last four days a vibrant and peaceful city of Muzaffarabad tuned to rubble, the scene was horrific. Savage Tribesman destroyed everything, it was like earthquake. They killed Hindus and Sikhs mercilessly. They looted houses and shops. While looting jewellery they did not care whether they were Muslims or non Muslims. Anyone who resisted was shot on the spot. Thousands of innocent people were butchered. Many girls and women were also killed. Many women and girls were raped and taken to Frontier….some of them were sold and others were forced to marry. I know 300 women personally who were non Muslims before”.


Mr Chairman

This religious terrorism has not ended, at least not in the region of South Asia. With time sponsors of this new brand of terrorism have formulated new strategies and new tactics. They use Muslim youths, especially uneducated and impoverished youths from various sections of the society, brain wash them and use them to advance their political, strategic and ideological designs.

The terrorism, whether it is in form of religious terrorism or any other form, has behaved like Frankenstein Monster. It has become out of control and in some respects has turned against its creators. Impression is being given that now Pakistan wants to eradicate terrorism in all its manifestations.

That is not the whole truth. Those who sponsor terrorism are divided over this issue. Some sections of the establishment are still of the view that some variety of terrorists are their national asset. They could be used to destabilise and harass other countries; and advance their political and strategic policies.

The agencies which set up this terrorist network, could still care and provide them with all sorts of help and logistics support provided they behave like ‘good boys’, and do not commit terrorism inside the territory of Pakistan. In this regard various terrorist groups are freely roaming about in some parts of Pakistan and especially in Pakistani Administered Kashmir.

These groups, in name of jihad, have started their activities and infiltration and armed struggle inside Jammu and Kashmir. As far as Jihad in Jammu and Kashmir is concerned it is business as usual. People are still being recruited, trained in art of guerrilla war fare and sent across. As a concerned citizen of Jammu and Kashmir I am worried, because this policy will surely result in more suffering for the people of Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of the LOC.

What is alarming to all peace loving people is the recent threats issued by some terrorist organisations that they will commit acts of violence inside India to create war like situation between the two countries? If that happens and terrorist groups are allowed to call the shots then it could bring disaster to the region of South Asia.

As a true Kashmiri, who has always promoted a Kashmiri interest and not that of those who occupy us; I want to make it clear that the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir is disputed. At present Jammu and Kashmir is not legally part of any country. Our struggle is for right of self determination and not accession with any country in name of religion or any other name.

Our struggle is for unification and independence of the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir. We want to create a liberal, democratic and secular society. We believe religion and use of gun has no role in our struggle; and we don’t want our struggle to be used as a proxy to advance interests of any country. We don’t want any violence or terrorism committed in name of our struggle and independence.

Mr Chairman I thank you for your patience

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

To view other articles see my blog:

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Promulgation of G-B order, a severe violation of UN resolutions: Shafqat

Promulgation of G-B order, a severe violation of UN resolutions: Shafqat

ISLAMABAD, March 06 (NNI): Pronouncement of Gilgit-Baltistan as an autonomous Province of Pakistan is a violation of UN resolutions which is tantamount to usurping the rights of the people.

Addressing a news conference here on Saturday, Shafqat Ali Khan, a resident of Tehsil Panyal, District Ghizar, who is a petitioner challenging the empowerment and self-governance status of Gilgit-Baltistan in the Supreme Court, said that declaration is also against the UNICP resolution which was passed in the United Nations.

Challenging the order, Shafqat Ali Khan, who is also known as known as Shafqat Inquilabi, has urged the apex court to declare the promulgation ultra-vires of the Constitution.

Flanked by KNP leaders Yasin Anjum, Afzaal Suleria Hakeem and Mahfooz Tahir in the press conference, he said that the Order 2009 was in total negation of the rights of citizens belonging to Gilgit and Baltistan and in disregard of the Constitution of Pakistan.

“The order of 2009 gives a formula inconsistent with the Constitution and is liable to be cancelled, declared ultra-vires of the Constitution,” he said.

He said in the light of the resolutions passed on Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan was also declared a disputed territory whose status has yet to be decided by the people of that area through plebiscite.

He said since 70s, successive governments in Pakistan had announced different packages for almost five times which were prepared by the Bureaucracy rather than the local leadership. He said such packages are the insult of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and blatant violations of UN resolutions.

Mr. Shafqat Ali said that the recent package announced by Zardari regime has not only put the people of Gilgit-Baltistan in dilemma but also exposed its designs on Kashmir issue.

He said Gilgit-Baltistan is a disputed territory like Srinagar and Muzaffarabad and the fate of the area will have to be decided by the people through plebiscite which was guaranteed by the World Body.

He said after the announcement of the package, the local leadership of PPP is trying to appease the people, but it has failed miserably. He said if we accepted the assertion of the political jugulars then why the Gilgit-Baltistan Council was formed for this autonomous province.

He said the Federation of Pakistan contains four provinces till to-date and there is no concept of fifth province. He termed the appointment of a Governor and a Chief Minister without a province a floppiest drama of 21st Century.

Mr. Shafqat Ali said that Pakistan on 28th April 1949 has signed “Karachi Agreement” with the then President of Azad Kashmir Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan and President Muslim Conference Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas.

Under the agreement Gilgit-Baltistan was declared part of Jammu and Kashmir State and given to Pakistan for administrative control till the stability of the state government. He said Pakistan has only administrative control over this area and has no right to decide the future of the people living there.

He said in General Ayub era, during the construction of Karakuram Highway, the Valley of Gojal was handed over to China and an agreement to this effect was signed between Pakistan and China. In the agreement it was clearly mentioned about the disputed status of Gilgit-Baltistan.

“Both Pakistan and India had declared at the United Nations that the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan have the right to decide their future”, he said.

He said the package of 2009 for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan is the violation of UN resolutions. He said Pakistan on the one hand has been demanding for holding of plebiscite but on the other it is negating the promises made with the people through its so-called package.

He said after the passage of report by the European Union, Pakistani ineligible rulers in order to neutralize the pressure of the international community and construction of Diamir-Basha Dam, have hurriedly made the drat through bureaucrats for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan without consulting legal experts.

He said he pleaded in the court that Gilgit-Baltistan should be declared as disputed area like Kashmir till the final decision by the people of that area.

Shafqat also thanked the KNP leaders for their support. NNI

Dr Shabir Choudhry
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." -- George Orwell.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

KNP welcome challenge to Gilgit Baltistan Ordinance 2009

KNP welcome challenge to Gilgit Baltistan Ordinance 2009
London 04 March 2010

KNP leaders Abbas Butt and Dr Shabir Choudhry have welcomed the petition filed in the Supreme Court of Pakistan by Shafqat Ali Khan who is a resident of District Ghizar of Gilgit Baltistan.

KNP leaders said Shafqat Ali Khan known as Shafqat Inquilabi has taken a daring step and made history by challenging this Ordinance which aims to change the legal and constitutional position of the territory.

KNP leaders said Gilgit Baltistan are part of former State of Jammu and Kashmir and are just as disputed as other parts of the State are; and no country has any right to unilaterally change legal status of any part of the State.

KNP leaders said all the historic documents including UNCIP Resolutions, Karachi Agreement and even past decisions of the Supreme Court clearly declare that these areas are not part of Pakistan. And in view of that Pakistan has no right to annex these areas through back door or by any other unconstitutional measure.

Any such action which aims to change legal status of these areas will be opposed by the people of the State, declared the KNP leaders.

KNP leaders said we will provide all technical and political help and support to Shafqat Ali Khan in his endeavours to seek justice for people of Gilgit Baltistan. KNP leaders said we hope that judiciary of Pakistan which people claim has attained independence and has pro active role in providing justice to people will make history by settling the legal and constitutional status of these areas which have to date suffered immensely at the hands of Pakistani bureaucrats.

KNP leaders said the respected judges of the Supreme Court should note that the people of Gilgit Baltistan are still deprived of their fundamental human rights; and even in the 21st century they are treated as sub human beings. What government of Pakistan has done and what they have been doing in the past is clearly contrary to United Nations Human Rights Charter and even against constitution of Pakistan. END

Issued by Dr Shabir Choudhry

Promulgation of Gilgit-Baltistan self-governance Order 2009 challenged before S.Court

Promulgation of Gilgit-Baltistan self-governance Order 2009 challenged before S.Court

ISLAMABAD, Feb 04: A petition seeking declaration to ‘promulgation of Gilgit- Baltistan (empowerment and self-governance) Order 2009’ as ultra vires of the constitution was filed here in the Supreme Court on Thursday.

The petition was filed by one Shafqat Ali Khan, resident of Tehsil Panyal, District Ghizar under Article 184(3) of the Constitution through Muhammad Ikram Chaudhry advocate making the Federation of Pakistan as respondent.

It was contended in the petition that the order 2009 was in total negation of the rights of the citizens belonging to Gilgit and Baltistan and in disregard of the Constitution of Pakistan. “The order of 2009 gives a formula inconsistent with the constitution, thus it is liable to be cancelled and declared ultra-vires of the constitution”, the petition said.

It said the order of 2009 is even against the directions issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 1999 SCMR 1379 etc and does not envisage an independent judiciary nor does it guarantee the fundamental rights to the petitioner and public at large as envisaged by the constitution and law.

It stated that the order 2009 being another executive order and not a constitution like the one in AJK (1947) has confused the status of Gilgit Baltistan further. Besides it is in negation of rights of Gilgit Baltistan citizens who liberated the same through enormous sacrifices and struggle from alien occupants and Dogras in 1947 and annexed by Pakistan, the petition said.

It said the order is discriminatory, a bad law, against the constitution and law of Pakistan and violation of the Supreme Court judgment on Northern Areas and commitment to one part i-e AJK citizens and denial to another.

The petition contends that the order indeed only shows that the federal government was in-charge and superintendent of the will of the people and the areas were governed through Executive Orders in contra-distinction to the position and the status enjoyed by the federating unit in Pakistan or AJK.

The order shows that another Supreme Appellate Court for the area having a disputed status unlike other independent provinces has been established which was against the constitution as amended upto date whereby no two Supreme Courts could be established, the petition said.

The petitioner prayed that his petition be accepted and it may be declared that the Gilgit- Baltistan (empowerment and self-governance) Order 2009 is without jurisdiction and corrum non judice being ultra vires of the constitution and the institutions created thereunder may also be declared as without legal effect.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Some serious questions

Some serious questions
Aslamo alaykam and adab

1. This debate was initiated by some one called Rubina Jabbar; and I don’t know where she has disappeared but the debate in various shapes has continued.

2. Situation of human rights abuse in POK and Gilgit Baltistan is much worse than acknowledged. As soon as one raise the issue of human rights abuse on this side of the LOC Pakistani government, all their agencies, all their proxies and pro Pakistan Kashmiris are activated to negate that, as they want the attention to be focussed on the Indian side of the LOC.

3. Initially my dispute with various JKLF leaders was on this point as they also wanted me to only concentrate on human rights abuse on the Indian side of the LOC; and turn a blind eye to what happened on this side.

4. If I land at Islamabad where I am received by my influential relatives and taken to Mirpur in their car, of course there will be no trouble at all.

5. And in Mirpur I will stay with my relatives and go to see various other relatives living in near by villages; and after two weeks my holiday will be over. If I do need to visit Islamabad or Rawalpindi during that time I will have my relatives with me. When I reach back in London I can say everything on the Pakistani side of the LOC is fine- grass is much greener on this side and people are very happy.

6. But that is not the whole truth. In Pakistan people are having serious economic hardship – some commit suicide and some sell their children; yet one driver told a friend of mine that wife of his boss went for shopping with her female friend and when she came back in the car she said:

‘I didn’t know things were so cheap. I brought with me two lakh rupees and expected to spend them all to buy what I have bought. But I only spent 80,000 rupees. I don’t know why people complain and cry that things are expensive’. Her friend said, ‘some people have habit of complaining and undermining the good work of the government.’

7. If we take the above conversation as true reflection of the Pakistani society then of course there are no problems in Pakistan, and this land of pure is heaven on earth; but overwhelming majority have different experience to that of these women.

8. One needs to go and visit areas near the LOC or go to Neelam Valley and once they know you are not a Pakistani official or their agent they will open their hearts to you. Situation is much worse than in IOK. In IOK most incidents of abuse one way or the other are reported and highlighted. Unfortunately on this side there is no such system; and no one dares to speak out because of the terrible consequences.

9. For some people history of Kashmir starts from 1989/90; and they see events of that era as the only truth when they form their opinions. To us history is much older than that.

10. Even if we look at historical events after the Partition of India, we people living on this side of the LOC were subject to atrocities, torture, rapes and destruction before of Srinagar experienced that. Muslims – Tribesmen supported by Pakistan were culprits in this. We know what human rights abuse is; and don’t need any lessons in this.

11. Then in mid 1950s, when people of Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir were living in relative peace, it was people of Poonch in Azad Kashmir who experienced killings, torture, rapes and destruction and it was not the Indian army who did this, but Pakistani army with same religion, same Quran and same Prophet pbuh.

12. Some people come up with a flimsy argument that Pakistan army is not killing people in POK. One could say the Indian army was not killing people before 1988. But when gun was used against them they replied with a much bigger gun. When we throw a bomb do we expect some flowers in return?

13. If we want to analyse how Pakistani army responds when they are told to take action or faced with an armed rebellion then we need to look at what Pakistani army did in Poonch. What they did in East Pakistan. What they did in Swat and what they are doing in FATA.

14. Also some Azad Kashiri people know what Pakistani authorities did to them after the Ganga hijacking.

15. So please don’t make one army as evil and other consisting of angels. Armies act on orders of their superiors and they are trained to kill and destroy. This happens every where in the world and I am not saying it is right. In Swat and in North Wazirstan more than 90% houses were destroyed; and itsis the Pakistani army which is in action here; and yet some people are presenting them as great army.

16. In conclusion there are problems on both sides of the LOC, and we need to highlight them appropriately. It will be self defeating to say that everything is fine on the Pakistani side or on the Indian side; or promote one army as champions of human rights and the other as devils.

17. In 21st Century things cannot be hidden for ever. We need to expose culprits on both sides and in doing so coordinate our activities rather than accusing each other.

Dr Shabir Choudhry