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

No comments: