Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Across LOC firing

Across LOC firing

Aslamo alaykam colleagues

Shabana Bashir has started very good discussion- an issue of across the LOC firing in which there were some causalities on the Pakistani side of the LOC.

Hawaldar Mudasser Shafiq who was killed in this across the LOC firing incident belongs to my area Panjeri - near my village Nakker Shamali.

His father was an Inspector of ISI. He was the one who visited my father when I made a speech in the UN Rights Commission against the upraising of Mangla Dam, which irritated many in Pakistan and on the Pakistani side of LOC. It also irritated Yasin Malik, and on instructions of ISI Abbas Butt and I was expelled from the JKLF by Yasin Malik for this ‘crime’ of speaking for the rights of Mirpur; and for exposing Pakistani injustice on this side of the LOC.

My 82 yeas old father who suffered from heart ailment was harassed. A senior ISI officer wanted to harass and my father and give him stern warning. But Inspector Shafeeq because of family contacts intervened and persuaded his boss not to go, as he would deal with the matter locally.

Despite that my father was warned to control Shabir, else we will sort him out – his exact words were: Shabir ko bolo banda ban jaaie warna ham ussey khud thheek kar lein gey.

That aside it is a tragic loss and my heart goes to the family of deceased. May Allah grant him a place in Heaven and give sab’r to the family.

Coming back to the issue of the firing, if one reads Pakistani papers or pro Pakistan Kashmiri papers then India started the firing; but if one reads Indian papers it was Pakistani side which started it.

I agree with Shams sahib, whoever started the firing, it is people of the divided State who suffer; and it is because of this we oppose militancy and promote resolution of the Kashmir dispute through a process of dialogue.

However let us analyse this across LOC firing. There is a declared cease fire in the area, then question is why one side will start firing without any reason. Available evidence suggests, whenever Pakistani agencies want to send across armed militants, they always start firing first that the opposite is engaged in this and under the cover of the hostilities armed militants are sent across to the Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir to wage a ‘jihad’.

I leave it at that, and readers can draw their own conclusions as to who started it and if this ‘jihad’ is necessary; moreover, if this ‘jihad’ is to ‘liberate’ Kashmir; or there are some other motives behind this?

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Poor Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir

Poor Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir
Dr Shabir Choudhry 22 May 2010

Raja Frooq Haider is a Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir, or ‘Pakistani Occupied Kashmir’. This is the post which all members of the Azad Kashmir Assembly and other politicians wish to occupy. But not every one is ‘lucky’ or ‘suitable’ for this post. Before a politician becomes a candidate for the Assembly in this territory declared as Azad, meaning independent, he has to declare he will be loyal to Pakistan.

The powers that be ensure that most ‘suitable’ candidate wins his/her seat. When these ‘suitable’ people become members of the Assembly, out of them the one which is more ‘capable’ of protecting interests of Pakistan is selected as the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir.

Ability, integrity, or experience in politics is not important, as he is generally there as a show piece in the shop of ‘democracy’ because all major decisions are mad by Islamabad or four Pakistanis appointed by them to run this territory. These Pakistani are known as ‘lent officers’ and hold powerful positions of IG Police, Chief Secretary, Finance Secretary and Accountant General.

In case of the other important post – President, he could be anyone, even a serving Pakistani army officer, as was the case with the former Presidents - Major General Anwar Khan or Brigadier Ayat Khan. Both of these men were serving army officers when it was decided by the Pakistani authorities to retire them and ‘reward’ them with the highest post in their colony- Azad Kashmir.

The rule that the retired army officer cannot hold a public office for two years after his retirement was waved by Pakistan, after all, it was their army man who was to hold the highest post in Azad Kashmir; and to make way for the army men laws could be changed, twisted or broken because they are the masters of this region – Pakistan, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.

The Assembly of Azad Kashmir is ‘so good’ that without a question all the ‘honourable’ members of the Assembly signed on the dotted line and accepted the decision of Islamabad; and both army men ruled this territory in their own style and retired from the post honourably. Who says Azad Kashmir is not azad?

Subservient attitude of the Assembly could be understood from the following example. The Act 74 or Interim Constitution was prepared by Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, Minister of Law of Pakistan; and Azad Kashmir Assembly passed that within 45 minutes without questioning anything or changing a comma or a full stop.

Since the last general elections Raja Frooq Haider is the third Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir; and until some weeks ago his future was uncertain; and there was talk of the fourth Prime Minister during the life of the present Parliament. Tremendous pressure was applied on him to resign, but he refused to budge and decided to fight his corner. There was also talk of government of Pakistan using Article 56 of the Act 74, which was prepared by Pakistani government to keep Azad Kashmir under their thumb.

Last time Pakistan used this self assigned power was in 1990 against Mumtaz Rathore who was elected Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir; but was soon out of favour with the Army General known as GCO Murree and Minister of Kashmir Affairs. He was arrested and brought to Pakistan by one police inspector of Pakistan.

But time has changed and government of Pakistan was reluctant to use this power. Despite all the pressure Raja Farooq Haider stood his ground and weathered the storm by agreeing to a compromise over issue of judiciary. But despite this climb down, the powerful people in Islamabad have not totally forgiven him.

A famous Pakistani journalist Rauf Kalasra in his article published in Daily Jang on 16 May 2010 explained how Azad Kashmiri Prime Minister was deliberately humiliated. He notes with sorrow that (translation from Urdu):

‘In a meeting chaired by the Pakistani Prime Minister held in Islamabad to find a solution to judicial crises in Azad Kashmir, Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir was made to sit on the last chair in the row. Raja Farooq Haider has clean record and has no corruption charges of any kind; but Manzoor Wattoo, Minister of Kashmir Affairs was seated next to the Prime Minister of Pakistan with full honour, yet there are many corruption charges against him. Above all this man has made life very difficult for the Kashmiri leader.’

Rauf Kalasra further said:
‘He met Raja Farooq Haider when he was only a member of the Assembly, and found him honest and brave man. He thought if this man became Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir one day, he would not dance on the tune played by Section Officers of Ministry of Kashmir Affairs’.

According to Rauf Kalasra, ‘Farooq Haider loved Pakistan, but he also loved Kashmir. He loved Kashmiri identity, its culture and history; and wanted to preserve it’. He thought, ‘Ministry of Kashmir Affairs ruled Azad Kashmir from Islamabad just like the British ruled India. Farooq Haider’, he thought, ‘would not take dictation from Section Officers of Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and would go to any lengths to defend rights of Kashmiris.

Rauf Kalasra said, ‘Prime Minister of Pakistan wants more powers for himself in Pakistan, but he is not prepared to give more and legitimate powers to Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir. Azad Kashmir Chief Secretary Khalid Sultan and IG Police were removed (by Pakistan). Yousaf Gilani Sahib has appointed his friend and business partner Dr Tariq Khokhar from Multan as IG Police in Azad Kashmir and did not even consult the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir, because to him advice of Minister of Kashmir Affairs was more important. He (Gilani) has appointed his own administration in Multan, but is not prepared to let the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir have administration of his choice’.

Rauf Kalasra has explained how Pakistan rulers treat Azad Kashmir and elected Prime Minister of the area. The above transfers were not made to promote good governance, but to control and make the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir helpless and impotent. Raja Farooq Haider was ‘lucky’ at least he was allowed to take the last seat in the row that he could also be present when decision is taken on judicial crises of Azad Kashmir. In the past other Prime Ministers were not given this honour – they were told point blank to follow the orders.

Raja Farooq Haider has appeared on national TV channels of Pakistan to defend interests of Azad Kashmir. He might not be very articulate or eloquent in his presentation, but he was sincere and courageous. He was the first Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir to demand that the Azad Kashmiri people should be allowed to use water of Mangla Dam, which was built and upraised by uprooting lakhs of Kashmiri people twice.

While presenting his case and defending interests of Azad Kahsmiri people, he ensured that he did not upset powerful people in Pakistan, therefore, after every few minutes he had to assure the anchor man and his viewers that he was still loyal to Pakistan.

On 4 May 2010 in a TV programme called ‘Point Blank’ he perhaps thought he had crossed the red line, and soon his tone changed and he said to the Pakistani anchor man: ‘I am more loyal to Pakistan than you are. I am more Pakistani than you are. You are a Pakistani by default, but I am a Pakistani by conviction.’ He said that even though he knew that the constitution of Pakistan did not regard him as a Pakistani.

He also had courage to demand changes to the Act 74. No Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir had done this. Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir, while promoting rights and interests of people of Azad Kashmir has to ensure that he does not annoy powerful people in Pakistan, as all Ministers and Assembly Members wait for his down fall that one of them can become Prime Minister. Those who fail to become Prime Minister at least become rich because of the horse trading which ensues as a result of sacking of the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir.

I hope Raja Farooq Haider will stand firm and assert his position. Interest of people of Azad Kashmir must be his priority. Azad Kashmir produces far more electricity than we need, and yet we face long hours of load shedding. There are many other serious problems which people of Azad Kashmir face; and it is his prime responsibility to protect their interests.

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.Email:drshabirchoudhry@gmail.com

To view other articles see my blog: www.drshabirchoudhry.blogspot.com

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Harassment of political workers must stop in Pakistani Administered Kashmir

Harassment of political workers must stop in Pakistani Administered Kashmir
Dr Shabir Choudhry 20 May 2010

Pakistani secret agencies are systematically harassing political activists in areas of the State of Jammu and Kashmir under their control. ‘This policy of hounding and victimising political activists must stop now that there is a democratic government in Islamabad’, said Dr Shabir Choudhry, a senior leader of Kashmir National Party.

‘What good is democracy if secret agencies are still out of control and they continue to arrest, harass and intimidate citizens’, asked Dr Shabir Choudhry? He said, ‘Prime responsibility of every government is to protect life, liberty, property and dignity of the people; and not to allow its secret agencies to target citizens who differ with policies of the government.’

Dr Shabir Choudhry said Shafqat Inquilabi who hails from Gilgit Baltistan has been harassed by the agencies of Pakistan ever since he challenged the Gilgit Baltistan Ordinance in Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Last month on 27 April, he was kept in detention for 24 hours without any charges and later on expelled from his native area of Gilgit Baltistan. Shafqat Inquilabi ‘feels he was victimised for his writ petition in Pakistan’s Supreme Court, challenging the ‘autonomy package’ announced last year’. He thinks, ‘his life is at risk, clandestine agencies of Pakistan’s security apparatus have been harassing him with the aim of forcing him to withdraw his writ petition from Pakistan’s Supreme Court’.

The agencies of Pakistan have created serious problems for Shafqat Inquilabi and his relatives; and they continue to phone and harass his relatives and friends. Agencies have also started harassing his friends and business partner. They have created very serious problems for his work and business to cripple him financially.

In Pakistan and Pakistani Administered Kashmir it is common to ‘arrange an accident’ to eliminate or silence political opponents and undesirable political activists. It is feared that one day Shafqat Inquilabi might also experience this type of ‘accident’.

Dr Shabir Choudhry said if anything happens to Shafqat Inquilabi then government of Pakistan will be responsible for this. He appealed human rights organisations and all those who believe in liberal and democratic society to raise voice against this intimidation and oppression. END

Phone: 0044 (0)208 597 4782
Email: drshabirchoudhry@gmail.com

Monday, 17 May 2010

Some clarifications regarding Kashmir dispute

Some clarifications regarding Kashmir dispute
Dr Shabir Choudhry 17 May 2010

In order to justify the Tribal Invasion, which to many experts is the root cause of problems of people of Jammu and Kashmir, some pro Pakistan writers and agents of the Pakistani establishment claim that the Tribal Invasion was the result of mass killings of Muslims in Jammu. According to these claims they went there to help Muslims. Let us analyse that in light of historic evidence.

No doubt Muslims were killed in tens of thousands in Jammu province, but the Tribal Invasion had no link with that mass killing. Those who managed the Tribal Invasion tried to link it with the Jammu Massacre after the planned invasion proved disastrous.

Apart from the Valley and some other parts of the State, the whole of Sub Continent was suffering from communal violence at that time. Tens of thousands of non Muslim migrants entered Jammu from Sialkot and other parts of Pakistan and aggravated the situation there. The Muslims in Jammu were targeted and killed. This started in the third week of August 1947.

The Tribal Invasion started on 22 October 1947. If those who planned the Tribal Invasion sincerely wanted to help Muslims of Jammu, why did they remain quiet for nearly two months? Why didn’t they send Tribesmen and other armed men towards Jammu from Sialkot which is about 28 miles from there; or from the side of Bhimber – Kot Jaimel? Instead they sent the Tribesmen via Muzaaffarbad which has vast Muslim majority and had no direct link with Jammu.

Between third week of August 1947 and second week of October the government of Pakistan remained quiet as they didn’t want to annoy the Maharaja. Plight of Jammu Muslims was not their big concern, as territory of Kashmir was much closer to their hearts.

Until second week of October the government of Pakistan assumed that the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir would join Pakistan. When the Maharaja indicated that he wanted to remain independent the government of Pakistan decided to punish him and dethrone him.

It was because of this they sent the Tribesmen to Muzaffarabad even though there was no communal violence there; and Muslims were in majority there. They knew the road to Kashmiri capitol went through Muzaffarabad. They almost succeeded in their plan to get Kashmir; but the Tribesmen let them down who wasted three valuable days in killing, looting and raping in Baramula.

Jammu massacres were tragic and shameful in which Muslims were hunted and killed, and this must be condemned; but it would be historically wrong to link the Tribal Invasion with that. The Tribal Invasion was an attempt of Pakistan to conquer Kashmir and to punish the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir for disobeying the whims of the Pakistani rulers.

Was Kashmir given to Pakistan?
Some Pakistanis and pro Pakistan Kashmiris claim that Kashmir was given to Pakistan in 1947, and India with its superior force invaded Kashmir. All this is wrong. No one gave Kashmir to Pakistan. No one had this right to give Kashmir to Pakistan.

It was a desire of Pakistani rulers that Kashmir should become part of Pakistan. We have many desires and not all of them come true. My desire is to have an oil well in my village, but this is only a desire and it won’t come true; even if it did, Pakistani rulers will take over and expel me from there and take all the benefits as they did with Mangla Dam.

After 15 August 1947 the State of Jammu and Kashmir was independent. It had bilateral agreement with Pakistan, known as Standstill Agreement; and Kashmir was in a process to finalise a similar agreement with India.

Pakistan in clear breach of this Agreement stopped all the essential items like food, petrol etc going to Kashmir in the second week of October; and on 22 October Pakistan sent its armed officers and Tribesmen to conquer Kashmir. It resulted in killings of thousands of innocent people and rapes of our mothers and daughters.

The Maharaja of Kashmir was not expecting this breach of agreement and panicked. He asked help from India. India urged the Maharaja to sign an Instrument of Accession which was signed and accepted as ‘provisional’.

To us, the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir is disputed. However, the arrival of the Indian army in Kashmir, no matter how much we dislike it and condemn it because of human rights abuses, was a result of an agreement between the ruler of Kashmir and India. But the Pakistan army and the tribesmen moved in to the Kashmir territory without any agreement; and they continue to remain there.

Right of self determination or right of accession

Many people, either innocently or by design, try to confuse the Right of self determination with right of accession. The UN gave people of Jammu and Kashmir a right of self determination in its Resolution of 13 August 1948, which on request of Pakistan, was changed to right of accession to either India or Pakistan in the next resolution passed on 5th January 1949.

When people demand implementation of the UN resolutions, assuming that they will get right of self determination, in actual fact, they demand the right of accession which was given to them in the UN Resolution of 5th January 1949. Pakistani policy makers laugh at our innocence and urge us Kashmiris to keep on demanding this, as it goes in favour of Pakistan.

This controversy has been going on for decades now, as to who is responsible for non implementation of the UN Resolutions. Pakistani propaganda in this regard has been very effective, and a lot of Pakistanis and Kashmiris believe it was India who created obstacles in implementation of the UN Resolutions. Historic facts, however, do not support this contention.

In short, the UNCIP resolution of 13 August 1948 had three parts to it, namely a cease - fire, withdrawal of Pakistani troops and irregulars present inside the State. Once the UN was satisfied that the Pakistan has withdrawn, India had to withdraw a ‘bulk’ of her forces from the State. The third stage was a plebiscite.

First stage was completed with the cease fire on 1st January 1949. In the second stage, Pakistan had to withdraw her regular and irregular forces from Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, followed by a withdrawal of ‘bulk’ of the Indian forces. Only after completion of the second stage as explained in the UN Resolution, the third stage could be started?

To date Pakistan has not vacated these areas as demanded by the UN Resolution; but cleverly stated that India is not abiding by the Resolutions. Many Pakistanis and Kashmiris argue that even if Pakistan had vacated these areas India still would not have held the plebiscite. Here we are dealing with facts and not assumptions. It is difficult to give a definitive reply to this hypothetical situation - we cannot say with certainty that India would have held plebiscite or not.

Apart from that some religious extremists and agents of Pakistan try to confuse people by saying that because of the Two Nations Theory Kashmir should have become part of Pakistan. This is not true. The British Raj in India consisted of two units: British India and the Princely India. British India was directly ruled by the British through the Governor General, and the Princes were ruled indirectly by treaties.

The Two Nations Theory was applicable to the British India and not to the Princely States. There is ample evidence to prove this point, even Mohammed Ali Jinnah agreed with this. The Instrument of Accession was designed for the Princely States. Vast majority of the Princely States either willingly or by pressure joined India and some joined Pakistan. Jammu and Kashmir was among those States which did not join either India or Pakistan, hence became independent.

Some agents of the Pakistani establishment, while defaming me accuse me that I am ‘satisfied’ with the ‘accession’ to India. This is nothing else but a white lie, which these agents and foot soldiers of agencies use in order to hide their nefarious designs on Kashmir.

All my written work and speeches are available on my blog and on blogs of many other people; and all of that is compiled and regularly published. I challenge all the critics to find one speech of mine or one article which gives slightest inclination that I am satisfied with the ‘accession’ with India. I have always called the ‘accession’ as ‘provisional’ and promoted unification and independence of the entire State. Anyone who is satisfied with the accession does not fight for unification and independence of the entire State; and I have done that throughout my life.

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.Email:drshabirchoudhry@gmail.com
To view other articles see my blog: www.drshabirchoudhry.blogspot.com

Sunday, 16 May 2010

KNP will help brothers in Gilgit Baltistan, Dr Shabir Choudhry

KNP will help brothers in Gilgit Baltistan, Dr Shabir Choudhry
London 16 May 2010

People of Gilgit Baltistan and especially people of Hunza are in great difficulty because of an artificial lake which emerged because of a landslide and blockage of river Hunza.

The lake is now more than 300 feet deep and more than 21 miles long, and posing a great threat to lives of many villages. People have serious problems with supply of food and other necessary items as scores of people were forced to abandon their homes and seek shelter.

The response of authorities, as always, was too little and too late. So far more than 23 people have lost their lives and many more are likely to lose their lives due to conditions and shortage of food, medicine and shelter.

In this regard government of China offered to help to remove the debris and clear the way to avoid problems, but authorities did not accept this offer. And tragedy is that the authorities did not do anything themselves until the danger was too great and out of control. They only panicked when experts said that it could threaten Tarbela dam and other important installations.

What little has been done by authorities is to ensure that the lake, if it bursts does not pose any threat to Tarbela Dam and other important Pakistani interests. What this means is that people of the area are still at great risk and many could lose their lives.

In order to help our brothers in need, a Committee has been set up in Muzaffarabad, a Pakistani Administered Kashmir to help and coordinate relief activities. The committee consist of leaders of KNP, UKPNP and NSF.

Dr Shabir Choudhry, while speaking to the Committee members urged them to collect funds and other essential items and personally go there in a form of a caravan to help our brothers and show solidarity with them.

In this regard the KNP members in the UK and elsewhere will play an active role; and support our brothers in desperate need of help. END

A reply to Pakistani agents

A reply to Pakistani agents
Dr Shabir Choudhry 16 May 2010

1. First of all I don’t know who Shaban Bashir is. I have never met her. However I am grateful to her for posting some email for me. To me she is pro Kashmir and not anti Pakistan or pro India, but tragedy is anyone who is pro Kashmir, ISI agents and agents of Pakistani establishment harass them by labelling them as ‘pro India’ and anti Pakistan; because they want all Kashmiris to sing praises for Pakistan, despite what they have done to the Kashmir cause.

2. These fanatics and short sighted people got Pakistan in to such a mess that now all bad things are associated with the country. Situation is so bad in Pakistan that many Pakistanis don’t want to be part of Pakistan; yet these ‘Jihadi’s and agents want us to join Pakistan and would not allow us to even look for another viable option.

3. As soon as you express your intention to look for alternative to joining Pakistan or getting your own identity these agents and foot soldiers of ISI will harass you by calling you anti Pakistan and being pro this or pro that country. We people of Jammu and Kashmir, by and large are simple and peace loving people and don’t want any trouble so they easily give in to these blackmailers.

4. No one is saying that there are no problems on the Indian side of the LOC. But when you take gun given by ISI and fire at the Indians what do you expect in response; still we condemn human rights abuses no matter where they are committed and who is culprit. But these fanatics want to be selective even with human rights abuses: if human rights are committed by non Muslims they broadcast them and if they are committed by Muslims they either turn blind eyes or label these people being Hindus or non Muslims.

5. My fight is against this dishonesty, hypocrisy and injustice. My fight is for justice and against politics of intimidation. My fight is for our identity and our unfettered right of self determination, which unfortunately was changed to right of accession on the request of Pakistan – that Kashmiris can only become part of India or Pakistan.

6. For promoting the above (in no five) I expect opposition and accusations from those who deny us these rights. It is their duty to confuse people and fight for what they believe is Pakistani interest, and I have to fight my corner and defend and promote Kashmiri interests; and in doing so I will face difficulties.

7. Their concept of Pakistani interest change with time. To them it was a Pakistani interest to promote militancy in name of Jihad, train them and use them to promote their political agenda. Now their interest has changed and they are using F16 against Muslims and their own citizens in various parts of Pakistan. If anyone speaks against this barbarity in which innocent people die, he will be accused of being either Hindu, Indian agent or anti Pakistan.

8. We, as rational human beings, have some choices to make. Do we want to become part of this Pakistan where F16 and helicopter gun ships are in action against all those who seek their identity and ask for their fundamental rights? Do we want to promote undemocratic forces and religious extremism? Or we want o live in a liberal and democratic society:
Where Justice, Satisfaction and Happiness are the way of life; Where Obstacles and Misunderstandings are removed with Love and Compassion; Where Hatred and Anger are removed with Brotherhood, Calmness and Patience; Where Freedom leads to Dreams and Transforms them to Reality and Where Knowledge, Wisdom, Freedom and Peace are appreciated.

9. They want to impose their brand of Islam on people of Jammu and Kashmir who have history of tolerance and co existence. Kashmir is multi religious and multi ethnic state, and by forcing religion on them will only divide the State on religious lines, as various parts of the State or inhabited either by one religious group or the other. In any case which Islam are they going to impose on us: Sunni Islam, Deobandi Islam, Wahabi Islam, Shia Islam, Noor Bakshi Islam, Ismahili Islam etc. If we let these fanatics have their way they will divide us in to small groups that they can easily intimidate us and control the society.

10. We are repeatedly told that Pakistan is our brother and promotes Kashmiri peoples right of self determination. This is not true. They have always promoted their interest at the expense of Kashmiri interest Just look at some of these examples and decided for yourself:

11. Pakistan signed a Standstill Agreement with the government of Jammu and Kashmir in August 1947, because it was seen in their interest to have a foothold inside the State; and out manoeuvre India in political game of getting the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

12. But their interest changed and Pakistan violated this agreement and stopped even basic items like food, salt oil etc. In clear violation of this Treaty, they also managed a Tribal Invasion which started on 22 October 1947. Aim of this Tribal Invasion was to grab Kashmir and punish the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir who wanted to remain independent.

13. How could our Pakistani masters tolerate that Kashmiris could become independent; so Pakistan managed the Tribal attack in which thousands of innocent Kashmiri men and women were killed and women were raped. Our Kashmir was plundered and destroyed; and Kashmiri girls were kidnapped and taken to Peshawer and other parts of Pakistan.

14. Ask yourself, while managing this attack, did they want to promote a Kashmiri interest or they had imperialistic designs which failed, and which landed us in the present miseries – forced division and oppression on both sides of the LOC.

15. It was because of this attack that the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir panicked and requested help from India. If there was no Tribal attack we could have been independent state. In one sense, all our troubles and miseries are related to the Tribal invasion which ‘our well wishers and Muslim brothers – Pakistanis’ managed and financed.

16. Apart from that those of us who are old enough or have studied history of Azad Kashmir would know what Pakistani army did to us people of so called Azad Kashmir during the Poonch rebellion. This rebellion was not promoted by India or RAW, it was a protest against Pakistani attitude in Azad Kashmir. What people of Indian side of Kashmir are experiencing now we experienced that in late 1940s and mid 1950s.

17. You must have heard recent statements of some Pakistani leaders that they want Kashmir because of water resources. That means they want Jammu and Kashmir for resources and strategic reasons and not because they have love for us. They had no love for people of East Pakistan, no love for people of Balochistan who are facing fourth invasion, and no love for people of FATA and PATA. These are their own people – Pakistanis; don’t be fooled that they have love for us Kashmiris.

18. I have said very little about India and that is something which is always used against me. Indian role in Kashmir is known to all, and all violations are highlighted and sometimes exaggerated as some people now claim that India has killed more than one hundred and fifty thousand people in Kashmir.

19. If I also concentrate on promoting Indian wrongs then I am not adding anything new to the available knowledge on Kashmir and human rights abuses. All I am doing is repeating what has already been said by thousands of others; and I don’t waste my valuable time like that.

20. Moreover, in my view, it is more important to expose hypocrisy of a ‘friend’ a pretender, a ‘Muslim brother’ who has imperial designs but want to conceal that in name of religion; and wants us to focus Indian side of Kashmir that their own crimes could be hidden.

21. Apart from that on this side of the LOC, we are occupied by Pakistan. Same is the situation in Gilgit Baltistan which Pakistan has practically annexed. While supporting struggle of our brothers on the Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir, our struggle is on this side against those who occupy us.

22. All the above is true and could be proved with historic documents. It is my right and duty to promote what is in interest of people of Jammu and Kashmir; and for doing that if baseless allegations are made against me and a malicious campaign is started against me I don’t care, as Allah is with me. I have faced these fanatics and agents before and I am prepared to face them again. I know forces of occupation, forces of terror, forces of extremism and forces of hatred have their own agenda; and I will fight them back even when I am totally on my own.
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.Email:drshabirchoudhry@gmail.com

To view other articles see my blog: www.drshabirchoudhry.blogspot.com

Saturday, 15 May 2010

A reply to ISI agents

Reply to ISI agents
Dr Shabir Choudhry 16 May 2010

My attention was drawn to allegations of these fanatics and agents of ISI, who want to bleed people of Jammu and Kashmir for the sake of their vested interests.

We are party to the Kashmir dispute so is India, if we are not going to talk, who will???

ISI wants to ensure that only they meet Indians or their trusted agents meet them that their interests could be protected. Why is that since 1947 both countries have talked to each other on issue of Kashmir, but not have allowed Kashmiri leaders to be part of the talks?

Anyone who exposes their evil designs on Kashmir is perceived as an enemy. I have exposed their agenda on Kashmir. They are using name of religion to fool us people of Jammu and Kashmir. If their love for Islam was true people of East Pakistan would never have separated from them.

And anyone who can read Urdu can read article of very famous Pakistani writer Nazir Naji in daily Jang of 15 may 2010, what games they have played with Kashmir and interests of Pakistan. Also read Dr Aysha Siddiqua who has written a book to expose them.

We have met diplomats of both countries to discuss the Kashmir dispute. Many of these fanatics and Kashmiris meet Indian diplomats secretly at night. We had courage to meet them in broad day light and make it public, as we had nothing to hide.

Those who want to keep people of Kashmir enslaved and divided always bring in Islam when resolution of Kashmir is discussed. Kashmir dispute is not religious in nature. There is no danger to Islam in Kashmir, but danger is to bread and butter of those who need pot of Kashmir keep on boiling.

Kashmir is multi religious and multi ethnic society, with Muslims being in majority; and those who want to make it a religious dispute want to divide the State on religious lines. South Asia has not recovered from the wounds of partition of India on religious lines in 1947.

Pakistan was created in name of Islam; it did not damage Islam or other countries. If unity was must, why this new country didn’t become part of other neighbouring Muslim countries at that time? Why unity and unity of Muslim Umma is remembered only when issue of Kashmir’s independence is discussed?

Because of follies and undemocratic attitude of Pakistani rulers another country – Bangladesh was born by breaking away from Pakistan. It resulted in the biggest surrender in the Islamic history, in fact, history of the mankind – where more than 90,000 thousand armed men surrendered; and millions of innocent Muslims lost their lives.

This did not endanger their Islam; and there was no remorse shown at all. Some even said: thank God we got rid of these Bengalis.

Out of Soviet Russia six Muslim countries emerged and that did not endanger their Islam. But as soon as independence of Jammu and Kashmir is raised these people raise slogan of danger to Islam and Khilafa Movement.

These people are paid agents and enemies of Islam and enemies of people of Jammu and Kashmir. They are agents of Pakistani establishment. They are my enemy. They are enemy of Kashmiri identity. They are enemy of our independence; and whoever challenges their lies and fraud they declare him as an agent, but by grace of Allah swt their fraud is being exposed and they are losing support day by day.

I don’t expect anything better from them, as they have nothing better to offer. Creating divisions in name of religion and promoting hatred is their business because it helps them to run their kitchen.

In conclusion, these people have their own interest and they promote and defend that interest in name of religion and by politics of oppression and intimidation. They have no love or sympathy with their own people – Pakistanis; and it will be foolish to expect that they will defend and promote interests of people of Jammu and Kashmir.

We people of Jammu and Kashmir need to understand that they are there to exploit our resources. Kashmir is important to them because of its strategic importance and abundant natural resources.

May Allah SWT put them on right path?

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.Email:drshabirchoudhry@gmail.com

To view other articles see my blog: www.drshabirchoudhry.blogspot.com

Monday, 10 May 2010

Dr Shabir Choudhry Speech at Party Seminar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Phgtl6TSFyc&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajvgaAWTS7E&feature=related

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Terrorism must be opposed and crushed, KNP

Terrorism must be opposed and crushed, KNP
London 10 May 2010

Supreme Council of Kashmir National Party met in Watford, England to discuss issues related to the Kashmiri struggle and the KNP.

The Supreme Council after detailed discussion unanimously declared that:

1. Terrorism must be opposed and crushed. It hurts innocent people; and it is seriously hurting interests of Muslims around the world, especially those living in the Western countries.

2. In this regard government of Pakistan and its agencies have a great role to play and have to be honest with what they claim. They have to stop this distinction of ‘good terrorists’ and ‘bad terrorists’; and revisit its policy because terrorists could not be strategic asset, as they have their own agenda which is against Muslims and hurts innocent people of other religions as well.

3. They have also to stop infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir as it hurts people of Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of the Line of Control; and create tension and hatred in the region.

4. Government of Pakistan must stop its endeavours to annex Kashmiri territory of Gilgit Baltistan, and give people of the region their fundamental human rights.

5. Government of Pakistan must stop its meddling in affairs of Pakistani Administered Kashmir and immediately abrogate Act 74, which has practically made this territory a colony of Pakistan; and has allowed Pakistan to plunder and exploit our resources.

6. The Supreme Council strongly condemned action of puppet government of Gilgit Baltistan in which Shafqat Inquilabi and other leaders of APNA were not allowed to hold a peaceful public meeting in Gilgit on 28 April; and were expelled by force from the region.

7. This action of puppet government is flagrant violation of human rights of these people; and makes mockery of the much claimed democracy in Gilgit Baltistan imposed by Islamabad.

8. The Supreme Council, in line with its declared policy and constitution, set up Parliamentary Candidates Selection Board to select candidates for the next elections in Pakistani Administered Kashmir.

9. Dr Shabir Choudhry has been appointed Chairman of PCSB with the following people as members: Masoom Ansari, Ch Mohammed Ayub, Ifzaal Sulehria, Mahfooz Tahir and Yasin Anjum.

10. In this regard Abbas Butt, Chairman of the KNP will soon visit Pakistani Administered Kashmir to finalise these matters, and examine progress of various projects including progress of challenge to Gilgit Baltistan Ordinance currently waiting hearing in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

11. The Supreme Council declared that KNP wants to work with other like minded people and parties to promote a common agenda, but this goodwill gesture cannot continue when members of other nationalist parties show immaturity; and some with mischievous character spew venom against senior KNP leaders, as happened few weeks ago.

12. KNP leaders welcomed resumption of talks between India and Pakistan, but emphasised that the Kashmir dispute is not a bilateral dispute, and could not be resolved by bilateral talks. They said there is no military solution to the Kashmir dispute and violence must end that lives could be saved and the peace process could be resumed.

13. They reiterated their position that unification and independence of the entire State is their ultimate goal; and that APHC does not represent people of the State. They said Kashmir dispute is not religious in nature, and those who are trying to link it with Pan Islamic Movement are not well wishers of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, because movement based on religion will divide the State by provoking communal, sectarian and regional rivalries.

14. The Supreme Council appreciated the work carried out by Diplomatic Committee; and directed its head Dr Shabir Choudhry to work on new targets decided by the Supreme Council.

15. The Supreme Council strongly condemn government of Pakistani Administered Kashmir for harassing and starting unfounded cases against KNP Zonal President Ifzaal Suleria. They also condemn arrest and illegal detention of Shafqat Inquilabi who was illegally expelled from his home district.

16. KNP leaders congratulated all those British Kashmiri politicians who have been successful in the British elections, notably Mr Khalid Mahmood, Shabana Mahmood, Mr Chishti who have become Members of House of Commons; and Ali Adalat, Ghulam Hussain and others who have won local council seats.

The following people addressed the meeting: Abbas Butt, Nazam Bhatti, Masoom Ansari, Nawaz Majeed, Javed Shah, Asim Mirza, Ch Abdul Razaq, Ch Abdul Aziz, Aurnagzeb, Anis Ahmed Abdul Majeed Ch, Mohammed Shabbir Awan, Zil- e- Shah Naqvi and Dr Shabir Choudhry.

Issued by Dr Shabir Choudhry
Telephone: 0044 (0)7790942471
Email: drshabirchoudhry@googlemail.com

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Challenges, options and role of Kashmiri Diaspora

Challenges, options and role of Kashmiri Diaspora
Dr Shabir Choudhry 01 May 2010

Text of speech of Dr Shabir Choudhry in a seminar arranged by United Kashmir Peoples National Party in London on 25 April 2010.

Mr Chairman, friends and colleagues aslamo alaykam

Some previous speakers have said Pakistan is an advocate or wakeel of people of Jammu and Kashmir; and that Pakistan has suffered because of the support rendered to the people of Kashmir. They further said Pakistan has done many favours to people of Kashmir; and have kept the Kashmir dispute alive.

That is one way of looking at things, but there is, of course, an alternative view. I want to present that alternative view that people could understand facts about Pakistan’s support for Kashmir; and ‘favour’ Pakistan has done to people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Advocate or wakeel is always appointed or dismissed by a client. People of Jammu and Kashmir did not appoint Pakistan as their advocate, wakeel or representative. Pakistan is self appointed advocate and we have no faith in Pakistan’s sincerity or skills to promote our cause or protect our interests.

Furthermore, when the Kashmir dispute was taken to the UN Security Council by India it was registered there as the Kashmir Problem. It clearly indicated that the issue related to a separate territory other than India or Pakistan; and to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. First ‘favour’ the government of Pakistan did to the people of Jammu and Kashmir was to change that to India and Pakistan problem.

What this showed was that the problem was related to India and Pakistan and not to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It also showed that Jammu and Kashmir was not a separate territory and people of that territory did not have separate identity and separate existence. It further showed that the dispute was a territorial one; and was not related to nation, its identity and future aspirations.

Let me now explain the second ‘favour’ the government of Pakistan did to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The UNCIP Resolution of 13 August 1948 stated that ‘the future status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall be determined in accordance with the will of the people and to that end, upon acceptance of the Truce Agreement both Governments agree to enter into consultations with the Commission to determine fair and equitable conditions whereby such free expression will be assured.’

The phrase ‘future status’ could mean an accession to Pakistan, an accession to India or an independent Jammu and Kashmir; and when this was confirmed by the UN, it was the government of Pakistan which requested the UN Security Council to change this phrase and replace it with the following: ‘The question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite.’

So it was Pakistan and not India, which limited Kashmiri peoples right of self determination to right of accession.

This self appointed advocate or wakeel thinks we people of Jammu and Kashmir do not deserve to be an independent nation. They think we do not deserve to use right of self determination. They think we do not deserve to benefit from fruits of independence and democracy. It was because of this thinking they did us another ‘favour’, and limited our right of self determination to right of accession. However they have ‘kindly’ allowed us - people of Jammu and Kashmir to choose our masters in the form of either acceding to India or Pakistan.

We, people of Jammu and Kashmir, are urged to join Pakistan – a country which has no system of accountability, no transparency, no democracy, no political stability, no rule of law, no concept of civil liberties, no economic stability, no electricity, no gas, no place for merit or honesty and which is at war with itself. A country which is in chaos, where terrorists are calling shots, where communal rivalry and violence is promoted, where government has no control in some parts of the country; and where some parts want to break away from the federation and future looks bleak.

People say there is no comparison between two sides of Kashmir because India has more than half million troops there. I agree there is no comparison. It is true there are more than half million troops. It is also true human rights abuse take place there, but despite 21 years of militancy, destruction and instability that area is far ahead of Pakistani Administered Kashmir.

They have what we cannot even dream of on this side of the LOC. They have medical colleges, technical colleges, engineering colleges, free education, high literacy rate, freedom of speech, freedom of travel, freedom to protest etc. They have human rights abuses but they have a system of recording those abuses and highlighting them.

Don’t be under any illusion, human rights abuse also takes place on this side of the LOC, but we have no system of recording that; in fact, no one dares to speak against that because of the repercussions. Leaders on that side of the LOC shout against India and yet they travel to all parts of Jammu and Kashmir, visit Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi and eat chicken tikkas.

Whereas on this side of the LOC, Azad Kashmiri Prime Minister and President cannot even travel to Gilgit Baltistan, and area part of the State. Azad Kashmiri leaders and political activists cannot even think of going to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. They are not even allowed to have peaceful demonstrations and prime examples are the demonstrations of Mirpur and Rawalakot, where people demonstrated against electric load shedding and problems associated with that.

More electricity is produced in Mirpur and other parts of Azad Kashmir than our requirement, and that electricity is used in Pakistan and we don’t get enough to meet our needs. People of Mirpur and Rawalakot were demanding electricity and an end to more than 14 hours a day load shedding. They were peaceful and they had no guns, and yet they were mercilessly beaten up and guns were used against them injuring scores of innocent people.

Just imagine if these people were trained by India, guns were provided by them and these guns were used against Pakistani army in Azad Kashmir, then you would know what human rights abuse is. Everyone knows it was Pakistan who trained militants, gave them guns, and asked them to use them against the Indian army. India reacted and committed human rights abuses, and now they have more than half million army there. No one can defend that. But ask yourself if they had half million army there before the start of the militancy. Answer is no. So those who started militancy, trained men, sent guns and bombs provided a reason for India to station this large army there.

Many more examples could be given to explain the situation regarding two parts of Kashmir, but due to time I cannot go in to details. But I have to tell you some more facts, bitter as they are. Those leaders and parties who preach you to liberate the Valley of Kashmir or Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir first are not sincere with the cause of Kashmir.

In disguise these people are promoting someone else’s agenda. Their aim is not to liberate Kashmir, but to promote interests of those who want to keep India engaged in Jammu and Kashmir. They want to give this impression that problem is only on the Indian side of the divide, and on the Pakistani side of the divide everything is rosy. That is not true. This part is also occupied, but people are hoodwinked in name of religion and brotherhood. We should learn how Pakistan has practically annexed our motherland - area of Gilgit Baltistan.

On this side of the LOC, we are occupied by Pakistan. Our resources are exploited by them. Our struggle is on this side of the divide. My struggle starts from Bhimber. It starts from Mirpur and Kotli and other parts of Pakistani Administered Kashmir. People of the Indian side of Kashmir are struggling for independence on that side of the divide and they are making big sacrifices. I feel their suffering. I admire their spirit and sacrifices. I fully support that struggle; and want to help and advance the cause of united and independent Jammu and Kashmir.

My words might appear harsh, and some might call this ‘anti Pakistan’. I am not anti Pakistan; in fact no Kashmiri is anti Pakistan. Examples I have given regarding Pakistani role are historical facts. I am not here to promote a Pakistani interest. My mission is to promote a Kashmiri interest and explain to people who have done what against us to harm us, and to enslave us. In discharging this duty if another country’s strategic or other interest are damaged it DOES NOT worry me. It DOES NOT worry me if people dislike or oppose me for promoting a Kashmiri interest.

In conclusion, we people are faced with challenges of extremism, violence and hatred. We are challenged by anti democratic anti liberal forces. We people of Jammu and Kashmir do not have many choices. We have only two choices: accept this intimidation and occupation and become collaborators, or stand up and oppose them. Come what may, we have decided to stand up and fight them back. END

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.Email:drshabirchoudhry@gmail.com

To view other articles see my blog: www.drshabirchoudhry.blogspot.com