Saturday, 26 June 2010

Neelam Jhelum Hydroelectric Project - an environment disaster.

Neelam Jhelum Hydroelectric Project - an environment disaster.
Dr Shabir Choudhry 26 June 2010

At a time when different provinces and politicians of Pakistan were arguing with each other whether to construct the Kala Bagh Dam or not, puppet leaders of Islamabad in Pakistani Administered Kashmir said: for sake of Pakistan we will build 100 dams in Azad Kashmir.

This shows mental attitude of these so called leaders and level of their slavish attitude, which is worse than Karzai of Afghanistan and Malaki of Iraq. The Kala Bagh Dam if built was to benefit Pakistan, and yet people of those areas had serious reservations. They opposed it tooth and nail, and got it cancelled; puppets of Pakistani Administered Kashmir welcome this kind of construction as they also get appropriate rewards; and for that if people of Pakistani Administered Kashmir suffer they don’t care.

Neelam Jhelum Hydroelectric Project is located near Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistani Administered Kashmir. It aims to dig a tunnel and divert water of Neelam River from Nauseri, about 41 KM East of Muzzafrabad. A Powerhouse will be constructed at Chatter Kalas, 22 Km South of Muzaffarabad; and after passing through the turbines the water will be released in Jhelum River, about 4 Km South of Chatter Kalas. Once completed, the Neelam Jhelum Hydroelectric Project will produce 969 MW of electricity annually at the cost of US $2.16 billion.

This hydroelectric project was formally announced by former Minister Omar Ayub on 10 June 2007. WAPDA selected MWH, a global provider of environmental engineering, strategic consulting and construction services, to provide engineering and construction management services for the Neelam-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project.

It is a joint Venture led by MWH and consisting of MWH, Pakistani firms NESPAK, ACE and NDC, and Norwegian firm NORPLAN. The MWH will provide design, make construction drawing preparation and management construction services; and the project will be completed within eight years.

A concrete gravity dam 135 m long and 47 m high will be constructed on Neelam River at Nauseri. The dam is designed for over-topping. The dam will create a head pond of 8 million cubic meters which will allow a peaking reservoir of 2.08 million cubic meters to meet daily peaking of power for more than 4 hours. A six gate tunnel intake structure of 280 cumec capacity will be connected with three conventional flushing surface basins installed at their end for taking sediment back into river.

The total length of head race tunnel is 28.5 Km. A 15.1 Km stretch of the tunnel from the Nauseri be constructed as a twin tunnel system each with cross section of 42 Sq.m. The remaining head race tunnel down to the surge chamber will be a single tunnel having cross section of 82 Sq.m. The tunnels are shotcrete lined with a concrete invert. The tunnel crosses Jhelum River approximately 380 meters below its bed. The tunnel will be accessed by 7 Adits for removal of excavated spoil.

The Surge Chamber consist of 340 m high riser shaft and 820 m long surge tunnel, Four steel lined Penstock tunnels 150 m long and having 3.8 m internal diameter will also be constructed. The under ground power Station will have 4 units with a total capacity of 969 MW. The Power Station will be connected with Rawat Grid station (in Pakistan) through 500KV double circuit transmission line.

Salient features of the project

Overall Project Cost Rs. 130 Billion (US$ 2.16 billion)
Installed Capacity 969 MW Four Units @ 242 MW each
Dam Type Concrete Gravity
Height / Length 47 / 135 Meters
Annual Energy 5.150 Billion electricity Units
Average Head 420 Meters
Design Discharge 280 Cumecs
Tunneling Two; each dia; 7.3 meter - 15 km, One; dia; 9.6 meter-17Km,(Total 47 KM)
EIRR 26%
Implementation Period 8 Years

Project benefits as explained by WAPDA

• Reduction of dependent on thermal power
• Saving in foreign exchange
• Employment opportunity during construction and operation
• Improved standard of living infrastructure
• Social-economic uplift of the area


• Construction Contact was awarded, on July 07, 2007, to M/s CGGC-CMEC Consortium China for implementation of the project at a cost of Rs. 90.90 Billions.
• Construction Agreement was signed on December 19, 2007. Letter of Commencement was issued on January 30, 2008.
• Contractor has mobilized at Site. Preparatory works and construction of Contractor's camps at Nosadda & Chatter Kalas are in progress.


Government of Pakistan has approved financial arrangement for the project:
• Established Neelam Jhelum Hydropower Company for project implementation
• Imposition of surcharge at 10 Pisa per unit on power tariff for NJHEP fund providing for 50% fund requirement
• Balance equity to be arranged through loans and bonds etc.
• Revised PSDP (2007-2008) allocation of Rs.5700 Million.


• Project envisages acquisition of approx, 2400 kanals of private and State land in the project Area in Muzaffarabad District.
• So far WAPDA has transferred Rs.705 Million to Govt. of AJ&K as provisional cost of the Notified Private and state land.
• WAPDA has taken possession of 80% land; and arrangements are being made to acquire the remaining land. 15

Criticism on the project

1. Like other projects conceived and completed by the WAPDA in Pakistani Administered Kashmir, this project is also designed to benefit Pakistan at the expense of the local people of Pakistani Administered Kashmir.

2. Although the work has already started on the project, but as yet there is no written agreement between WAPDA and government of Pakistani Administered Kashmir. This shows what kind of role or influence government of Pakistani Administered Kashmir has over this matter; or any matter related to development, welfare of people and environment.

3. Unlike WAPDA claims the project will not help the local people in any form or shape. The employment opportunities are for the people of Pakistan or foreign workers. So far only five jobs are given to the local people, which are: chefs, cleaners and watchmen.

4. Majority of population lives in rural areas and their existence and life largely depends upon forestry, livestock and agriculture. River water and natural springs are main source for drinking and irrigation of land; and this diversion of river will have serious water shortage, which will make life miserable for the local people.

5. The project will have very serious impact on environment of the area, as it plays a key role in the configuration of Himalayan ecosystem. Environmental groups have expressed their concerns about prospective environmental hazards on local economy and biodiversity.

6. Ecologists say the project area has significant conservational importance due to abundant of forests, aquatics life and presence of many species of wild life, which have been declared endangered globally.

7. The project will also have serious impact on the habitat of various rare species considered on the verge of extinction. Developmental activities in the area and other changes will surely have negative impact on the natural habitat of wildlife.

8. Beauty of this area is enhanced by this river; and this diversion will have serious affect on wild life, weather and beauty of the area.

9. The river and the beauty of the area attract tourists and provide clean water to the local people and citizens of Muzaffarabad; and this diversion of water will deprive the area of clean water and reduce the Neelam River to ‘Nalah Lahi’ in Rawalpindi which has dirty water and creates enormous problems for the citizens.

10. This project, once completed will benefit Pakistan, but local people will not benefit from it in any form or shape. There will be serious economic and environmental consequences for the local people; and their future generations will face very serious economic and environmental problems.

Indian hydro electric generation project on Neelam River (Kishen Ganga)

Interestingly India also plans to build a dam on the Neelam River which is known as Kishen Ganga on the Indian side of the divide. Indian plan is to divert water through a 21 KM long tunnel before it enters Pakistani Administered Kashmir; and release the water into Bonar Madumati Nullah - a tributary of the Jhelum River. The diverted water would be used for generating electricity and feeding the Wullar Lake in the process.

In other words, after the completion of this project, the water of Neelam River or Kishen Ganga will join River Jhelum at Bandipore on the Indian side of LOC instead of its present convergence at Domel in Muzaffarabad, Pakistani Administered Kashmir.

Pakistan has serious objections to this project, as they feel this project will reduce flow of water in the Neelam River when it enters Pakistani Administered Kashmir; and it will have severe impact on their project - Neelam-Jhelum Hydro Electric Project. The government of Pakistan wishes to resolve this issue bilaterally, but there is also talk of invoking the arbitration process enshrined in the Indus Water Treaty of 1960.

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:

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

A report on Azad Kashmir Assembly

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Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Kashmir And The 1965 War

Kashmir And The 1965 War
By Shabir Choudhry
1st October 1998

'Operation Gibraltar' is a major event in the history of Pakistan and Kashmir. Whatever its intent and purpose, it had a far reaching affect on the history of India, Pakistan and Kashmir. It changed the course of history in the Sub - Continent. To majority of the Pakistani and Kashmiri people it was a daring military expedition to 'liberate' the Indian held Kashmir; but the reality appears to be somewhat different. Some writers and retired army men claim that it was a 'conspiracy'. If it is true, then the question is conspiracy by who and against who.

It is very controversial area which requires considerable but careful research and analysis. No researcher can ever claim to uncover the whole truth in a research of this nature. I don't claim that I have discovered the whole truth, but I can certainly present the alternative view with solid arguments and prove that the planners of the 'Operation Gibraltar' had more than one target in their minds and the 'liberation of Kashmir' was not their first priority. Had it been their priority then they must have given attention to the following:

1. Very careful planning with clear objectives.
2. Proper training and resources to achieve those objectives.

3. Close co - ordination with the bodies or organizations who could have helped to achieve those objectives, in this case the Azad Kashmir Government which was set up to liberate Kashmir; or those political organizations which believe in the liberation of Kashmir.

4. Broad - based consultation with the local people and win their confidence whose independence was to be achieved. Without their active support and participation this ‘Operation’ could not even survive in hostile place never mind of its success.

5. Above all dedicated and sincere leadership which believed in the plan, and had the ability to implement it.
Let us now examine these on the available evidence and see what was in the minds of the planners of this ‘Operation’, and how successful they were in achieving their target or targets.

1/ Background situation

Pandit Jawhar Lal Nehru's successor Lal Bahadur Shastri, rushed through a series of "Constitutional amendments, ( Articles 356 and 357 of the Indian Constitution ) despite strong opposition." The aim was to bring the State of Jammu and Kashmir in line with other States of the Indian Union. The head of the State under new law was not to be elected by the State Legislature, rather the Delhi government had a right to nominate anyone.
Also under the new law four seats were allocated in the Indian Parliament, Lok Sabha, to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. And for the first time the Kashmiri people would contest for seats in the Indian Parliament. This really meant a gradual erosion of the Article 370 which gave special status to Kashmir. There was a strong reaction to this in the Valley. Sheikh Abdullah declared on May 7 1964, that ‘no solution will be lasting unless it has the approval of all the parties concerned, namely India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir’.

It is believed by some people that Nehru towards the end of his life felt that despite his best endeavours India had failed to win the hearts and souls of the Kashmiri people; and that he needed to find a more realistic solution to the dispute. There were some influential people like Jayaparkash Narayan who also felt that the Kashmiri people should be given a chance to decide their future. In an article published in the Hindustan Times on 20 April 1964, he said, I might be lacking in patriotism, but it is difficult for me to believe that the people of Kashmir had already voted to live with India on the basis of the 1957 and 1962 elections which are highly controversial and are alleged to have been rigged. Why not give the Kashmiris a real chance to decide about their future. If we are sure that they want to live with us then what fear is there.

So it was with this kind of thinking Nehru released Sheikh Abdullah who was in prison since 1953, and allowed him to fly to Pakistan. It is believed that the aim was to sell to Ayub Khan a proposal of confederation between India, Pakistan and Kashmir. It is claimed that Sheikh Abdullah discussed the idea with Ayub Khan but due to untimely demise of Nehru on 27th May 1964, Abdullah flew back to Delhi and with it this plan aborted. 1 Many commentators think that the scheme was to partition the State on more ‘realistic’ and ‘practical grounds’, and by granting some kind of ‘independence’ to a part of the State with joint supervision of both countries.

Later Sheikh Abdullah and Afzal Beg toured Europe, West Asia and Makkah. Abdullah's meeting with the Chinese Prime Minister Chou-in Lai in Algiers was disliked by India; and on their return to Delhi, both leaders were arrested. This further aggravated the already tensed situation.

The Pakistani government was clearly very perturbed by all this and believed that India was paving the way for the ‘merger’ of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. So alarm bells were sounded in government circles that some thing had to be done, but It was not clear what. It was not possible for any Pakistani government to remain quiet and let India, arch enemy, get away with all this. It was more of a political requirement then any commitment to the Kashmiri people or any ideology.

2. Leaders and Planners

Apart from that the people of the Indian held Kashmir were angry and agitated with the disappearance of a relic of the Prophet Mohammed ( peace be upon him ), which was kept at Hazrat Bal, in Srinager. All these events put together provided an attractive opportunity to some 'ambitious high ups' in the Pakistan government who thought it was right time to intervene in Kashmir. President Ayub was induced to launch "Operation Gibraltar" to free Kashmir. The White Paper on Kashmir published in 1976, stated that, at the time of Sino -India war some one close to President Ayub Khan suggested to him that it was the right time to attack India and free Kashmir. The President who fully understood the horrors of a modern war, reported to have said that he was thinking of either sending him to mental hospital or shoot dead for suggesting this kind of dangerous thing.

This clearly explains what the President Ayub thought of war with India. War, understandably, is not a joke and must be taken very seriously, and every effort must be made to avoid it. Then the question is why Pakistan started the war of 1965. It is no longer true to say that it was India who started the 1965 war. Only last month September 1997, in a statement in newspapers, also published in Daily Jang London, the then Air Chief Marshal, Noor Khan said that it was Pakistan who started the war.
A part of the answer to this question as to why Pakistan started the war is provided by a very senior freedom fighter and renowned journalist Mir Abdul Aziz. According to him a very senior retired officer told him that Ayub Khan was very upset about anti - Ayub demonstrations, even though he was at that time an 'elected' president. He was advised that:

'This was the chance to strike in Kashmir and he would become the darling and hero of the Pakistani and Kashmiri people. On this Ayub Khan was convinced and the Operation Giberaltor was put into practice.''

Apart from that it must be noted that it was the same leadership in Pakistan which endeavored to negotiate the division of Kashmir in 1963. At that time Ayub Khan was the President, and ZA Bhutto was the Foreign Minister of Pakistan. It is inconceivable that the leadership which was prepared to accept the partition of Kashmir, and settle for whatever piece of land they had, was all of sudden overcome by ‘patriotism’ and ‘love’ for the Kashmiri people, and risked a war with India, hence lives of thousands of innocent people.

After the sino - India war, under the pressure of the Western powers, especially the United States of America, India and Pakistan had a series of bilateral talks in 1962/3, in which Bhutto represented Pakistan and Sardar Sawarn Singh represented India. The division of the State of Jammu and Kashmir was discussed and no agreement was reached mainly because India refused to accept the Pakistani proposal for the division of Kashmir.

These negotiations started on 27 December 1962 and finished on 16 May 1963. The Indian delegation presented its plan for the division of Kashmir and called it 'Political Settlement'. Pakistan by continued talking on the division plan, in principle, accepted that Kashmir can be divided provided the right price was paid to Pakistan. Moreover in the Calcutta meeting, Pakistani delegation headed by ZA Bhutto, put forward its own plan for the division of Kashmir. Pakistan demanded the whole districts of Mirpur and Poonch and Riasi, in return Pakistan was prepared to accept the postponement of the decision regarding the future of the Valley; or accept that the Valley may be 'internationalised' for ten years. India refused to accept this plan, and that was the end of this round of bilateral talks.

For more details see India - Pakistan Relations by GW Choudhry page 138. This book is written by a known writer who was a Minister in Pakistan Government.

3. Operation Gibraltar rejected by the Army Chief

Brigadier (R) Farooq who was an officer in the force which was sent to 'liberate Kashmir' claims in his book, 'Operation Gibraltar', that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the then Foreign Minister of Pakistan was one of the brains behind this. 5 According to him, Bhutto set up a ' Liberation Cell ', which included people like:
• Mr Aziz Ahmed
• Mr Nazir Ahmed
• Mr Ayub Buksh Awan
• Mr NA Farooqi
• Mr Ahmed
• Mr Altaf Goher
(although the later did not attend any of the meetings)
General Musa, Commander in Chief of the Pakistan Army at that time, confirms the existence of this 'Cell', which was set up in August of 1964. 6 The majority of the members of this 'Cell' were from the 'Qadiani sect'. This 'Cell' had the support of some senior army officers, including Major General Akhtar Malik, who was also known to be a 'Qadiani'.

When this ambitious plan was first sent to the GHQ, General Musa opposed it and wrote the following points to the President Ayub Khan:

A. Guerrilla war in Kashmir can only be successful if the people of Kashmir take part in it, and in my opinion we need more time to prepare people for this.

B. During the guerrilla war if India realized that it is losing the war in Kashmir, she will attack Pakistan.

C. As long as Pakistan is not in a position to defeat India militarily, we should not venture such operation in Kashmir.

D. In order to defeat India we need more army, better arms and better training.
(General Musa asked for money to set up two more army divisions to face the challenge. General Ayub in principle agreed with this idea, but the Finance Minister

Mr Shoaib persuaded him against this by saying that the Pakistan economy cannot afford it. And this idea was dropped. It is ironic that no such army was raised before the start of the ‘Operation Gibraltar’ or during its operations, but after the war, in the same month, two divisions were set up).

It is amazing to note that Air Marshal Asghar Khan, who retired from his position on 23 July 1965 was not consulted on this important issue. It was quite obvious that with an ‘ Operation ‘ of that nature there would be some serious response from India, which could lead to a full scale war, and for that the assistance of the air force was must. The planners, for what ever reason, assumed that like 1947 India would limit the war to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan had pay heavily for this wrong, rather foolish assumption.

Despite this opposition from the senior army men, including the Commander in Chief, the go ahead was given to this 'Operation'. In Brigadier (R) Farooq's view, Mr Bhutto played the leading role in persuading Ayub Khan. According to him, Bhutto must have said to Ayub Khan that:

1. You missed an opportunity of liberating Kashmir in 1963, while India was engaged in a war with China.

2. You are just as great and important as Mao- se -Tang of China, General Charles De Gaul of France, and Marshall Tito of Yugoslavia. You have made Pakistan a strong and viable country. Pakistan needs you, and his (Bhutto’s) wish is that Ayub Khan remains president for life. This can only be done if some how Kashmir is liberated and joined with Pakistan. If this can happen then it will establish him in the history as a great leader and conqueror, and there will be no parallel to his greatness.

3. Furthermore Bhutto is what he (Ayub Khan) has made him, and it is his desire to serve him as the Foreign Secretary to pay his due.

Another writer, Arshad Ahmed, in an article on the 1965 war said:
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto wanted to deprive Ayub Khan of his power, and this was not possible until the strength, ego and pride of the army was not smashed. This view was supported by Marxist leader Tariq Ali, who was close to the Peoples Party which Bhutto formed after disagreements with the Ayub Khan Government, said in an interview in America that, he had asked Bhutto about the 1965 war, and Bhutto told him: Until these generals are not defeated it is not possible to get in power in Pakistan. 9 According to the writer this view is also supported by prominent people like Major General Rao Farman Ali, Lt. General Atiq Ul Reman, Major General Ahesan Ul Haq, Col. Ghafar and Altaf Goher.

Brigadier Arshad who was the Director Military Intelligence also opposed this 'Operation', but later agreed to go along with the tide, perhaps he had realized the trend and did not want to oppose this and jeopardies his promotion prospects. He later retired as a Lt. General. According to Brigadier (R) Farooq General Musa was a simple man. He gave his opinion about the 'Operation' and then did not make it a matter of pride and remained quiet. if he and General Sher Bahdar who also opposed the idea, had resigned then there would have been no 'Operation Gibraltar'

A top level meeting was held at the Headquarters of the 12 th Division in May 1965. Once again, General Musa opposed the plan, and to this President Ayub Khan: 'Musa I have been assured by the Foreign Office that India would not be involved in a full scale war'. When both General Musa and General Sher Bahadar said that if we are to start a guerrilla war at that level, it is very likely that India would react and attack Pakistan. President Ayub Khan reacted by saying: 'We will have to take heart sometime'

Apart from the assurance to which President Ayub Khan made reference that India would not attack Pakistan, Pakistani planners of this ‘Operation’ were led to believe that India is not in a position to launch attack against Pakistan until 1966 or 1967. It was emphasized that we do not waste any more time, and start our action as soon as possible.

During this time the plan was discussed with Col. Syed Ghafar Mehdi, the Commander of the Special Services Group, whose officers were also to take part in this Operation. After reading it he said:

'The whole concept of this Operation is wrong, and the planning is wrong too. The planners have not used their common sense and intelligence. This is a product of a bankrupt mind, and it is possible that this may prove to be "Bay of Pigs" for Pakistan.' 14

4. Objectives of the Operation

We have looked at the planners and the leaders of the ‘Operation’, now let us examine at its objectives. According to Brigadier (R) Farooq it was assumed that as the result of this guerrilla war the Kashmir problem would be settled within weeks; if this did not happen, at least, it would force the United Nations to intervene and have a cease fire.

India had started calling Kashmir as its 'integral part', this was contrary to the UN resolutions and India's pledges regarding Kashmir. The aim of the ‘Operation’ was:

* To expose the Indian claim on Kashmir by the guerrilla war - present it as the Kashmiri peoples struggle against the Indian rule in Kashmir.

* Force India to take some kind of military or political action which will prove to the world that there is still some trouble in Kashmir; and that the Kashmir dispute has not been resolved as claimed by India.

* To persuade the local people to fight against India. It was assumed that the support for this was already there and all they had to do was to give them a call, and people would be ready to fight and defeat world's fourth biggest and well trained army.
Perhaps this was also assumed that the Kashmiri people do not need any kind of training to achieve this gigantic task. 15

5. Preparation for a Guerrilla War

Mao Se Tang, who successfully waged a guerrilla war in China, said, in order for the guerrilla war to succeed there must be a:

• Strong public support.
• Excellent organization and administration.
• Strong fighting force with sufficient arms supplies.
• Territory suitable for commando actions.
• Economic stability/ self sufficiency.

If we look at Mao's rules for the guerrilla war, the first priority is given to the public support, whatever it takes to get that support. Without the mass support of the local people there is absolutely no chance of winning this kind of war. If the purpose was to wage a successful guerrilla war against India and liberate Kashmir, then the Kashmiri people must have been taken into confidence. The local people must have been trained for this purpose, the people of Azad Kashmir could have been there to provide extra help and support. The people who were sent to fight a guerrilla war were not familiar with the territory.

Commenting on this point, General Musa, who was Commander in Chief of Pakistan Army at the time of war, in his book, 'My Version' said that the Kashmiris of the Valley were not taken into confidence about the ‘Operation’ that was to be started to liberate them. He wrote:

We had not even consulted the public leaders across the cease fire line about our aims and intentions, let alone associating them with our planning for the clandestine war.....

Any one with any sense can see and understand that the people of the area to be 'liberated' must have be taken into confidence, if the people organizing this gigantic task really meant business. Without the help of the local people outside army cannot win a war or even survive. Not only the people of Kashmir living on the other side of the cease fire line were not taken into confidence, also the people of Azad Kashmir, even the Azad Kashmir Government was not taken into confidence. When the ‘Operation’ was put into practice then the planners realized that they need to have some Kashmiri support for this. They already had set up a Liberation Council, and compelled by circumstances they announced that Choudhry Ghullam Abbass was leading this Liberation Council. They did not have the courtesy, even at that time, to speak to the top Kashmiri leader on this side of the border before making this announcement. Choudhry Ghulam Abbass was already very annoyed with all this, he immediately rejected that in a news statement in the Nawa E Waqat the following day: that he had nothing to do with all this, and that he did not know anything about the ‘Operation’.

General Musa also confirms the above position, he said:
Because of the haste with which the ‘Operation’ was launched, even Azad Kashmir leaders were not taken into confidence by the advocates of Guerrilla raids. Helplessly they remained in the background. Their co - operation was also very necessary and would have been very helpful. They could have assisted the mujahideen in various ways by themselves and in conjunction with the Kashmiris of the Valley.
It must be noted here that the total number of commandos who were sent to 'liberate' Kashmir were 3000, with 4000 volunteers (mujahids) and they were from Azad Kashmir Regular Forces. According to Brigadier (R) Isahaq and Brigadier (R) Salah Udin 98% of the mujahids were forcibly included in the force, and these were those people who had no means to pay bribe to the local police.

I have interviewed a number of local people of Mirpur and Bhimber who testified that the local people were forcibly included to fight a guerrilla war. Even people from my own village, including some of my relatives, were rounded up and taken to the training camps. Majority of them had never held a rifle in their hands before, and it was expected that these men would drive out highly trained Indian army from Kashmir.

6. Training

As discussed earlier for a task like this to be successful, there has to be perfect planning, first class leadership to CO - ordinate and implement the planning; and of course high quality training. When we analyse the whole plan nothing was in order.
According to experts, guerrilla war fare has a number of stages which must be completed before embarking on the venture:

• Agreement by the leadership on practical and achievable objectives.

• Selection of a capable commander who firmly believes in those objectives.

• organizational set up and distribution of duties.

• Recruitment and training of those who are to take part, this includes the training of the officers.

• Intelligence network to support and advise the leadership.

• Supply Line to provide the guerrillas all what they require to accomplish the task.

• Distribution of task and areas that different groups can function independently but can help and co - ordinate in case of difficulty.

• Last but not least the resources.

There are a number of stages and procedures within all of the above which requires further break down and careful analyses of each one, but this will be divergence from the main point, and I don't want to make this a chapter on the working of the guerrilla war.

Generally speaking other countries spend many months, and some times more than a year, preparing before the first bullet is shot. The planning is made in such a way that the struggle can be maintained for years, as exampled by the guerrilla struggle in Vietnam, China, Algeria, Ireland etc. For example, in Vietnam initial training was for nine months followed by ideological training for four months. Whereas the 'Operation Gibraltar' was 'pushed through' all the stages in a record six weeks, and the planning was to fight for a short period. On 16 May 1965 a meeting was held in Murree to discuss the mechanisms of the ‘Operation’ and on the next day General Akhtar Hussain Malik put forward 19 pages plan. Some people claim that it was prepared by LT. Col. Waqee Ul Zaman who was also a Qadiyani. 21

According to Brigadier (R) Farooq the Plan was prepared by amateurs (22) that is why no attention was given to many important things. No one thought of impact of this venture on the situation inside the country, or on the international community. No missions were sent out to persuade the international community or to explain what was the situation in Kashmir. 23 No consideration was given to economy of the country. Can we sustain this kind of ‘Operation’ for a period of time; and what if India crossed the international border, is our economy and military ready to take up this challenge. 24 Or was it enough that the Foreign Office had assured us through a third party that India would not cross the international border.

He further said that everything was rushed through and we missed out on many stages of the preparation, and even the officers had no practical experience of fighting a guerrilla war. 25 Some of them must have read books written on the subject and that was about it. 26 It was assumed that all the officers were also experts in the guerrilla war fare as well. 27 The reality was that some of the officers heard of the guerrilla war tactics during our training. 28 He said, 95% of us did not know anything about the history and geography of Kashmir. Also we had no idea of their social and culture, out of six commanders only one (Salaudin) had some knowledge on Kashmir. 29

7. Comments on the ‘Operation Gibraltar’

Brigadier Isahaq, who was second in command in the implementation of the Operation Gibraltar, commented on the ‘Operation’ in 1985:
Unfortunately we could not create the situation in the Valley as we expected. We could not win the confidence of the local people. Despite that they helped us and looked after our needs; and above all they did not inform the authorities about us.
Aslam, was one of the Officer who led the force in Kashmir in 1965 commented:
The purpose of this was good but when we look at the planning and its implementation, it appears that a third rate and useless army has done a quick job. But I want to emphasis that we are not third rate army. All those who had planned this and took part in this are known to be professional soldiers, to them if this Operation was not practical then they should have resigned rather than flattering.

Another Commentator, known as HJN said:
without any hesitation I can say that no matter how important is the expedition, it can only be completed if there is sincerity and dedication. It is unfortunate to note that both of these were not present in this. Our planning and actions lacked vision and consistency. In reality the planning and actions has made us a third rated army, which we are not.... Our officers were professionals I wonder they accepted to complete this in such a short time...... Integrity in an officer demands that he should speak his mind about operations and actions.....

...... Kashmir is very suitable for these kinds of small operations, but they must have the support of the local people. These small groups could not control an area for a long time, they must be helped by a regular army. I have not read in history that an area was liberated by these small groups without the support of a regular army. Therefore when the regular army could not reach there it was impossible for you ( guerrillas) to remain there. Under these conditions it was wrong to expect that you ( guerrillas) would be able to liberate Kashmir....

....It is amazing what was planned by the planners, and how and why people in the high power circles approved this. Despite the passage of long time (more than two decades), it is difficult to understand if it was a conspiracy, why no heads were rolled. Was it a conspiracy or simple incompetence and insincerity. Or shall I say treason. In my opinion those people who planned it, and those who agreed to implement it without suggesting any improvements and criticising it, have committed treason. It is difficult to find another words for this.

Some commentators say that the Kashmiri support for Pakistan was taken for granted. But this may not be the case. The evidence shows that the plan lacked proper planning. Perhaps one could add that the planners lacked sincerity as well; and the purpose of this war may not have been the liberation of Kashmir. One may ask, how could a government, which only two years ago were engaged in bilateral talks with India ( S Sing - Z A Bhutto Talks 1963) to divide Kashmir; and which at one time offered India 'Joint Defence', be so sincere to wage a war to liberate Kashmir. According to Qudrat Ullah Shoahb, he spoke to Nawab of Kala Bagh, Governor of West Pakistan, about the 1965 War, who said:

'This was not Pakistan's war. In fact this war was imposed by Major General Akhtar Malik, M M Ahmed, Z A Bhutto, Aziz Ahmed and Nazir Ahmed. The aim was to control Ayub Khan and increase their power and influence, and in doing so if it hurts Pakistan they damn care.'

Qudrat Ullah Shoahb had been a Minister of Information, Secretary to the President, and an Ambassador in Holland, and he was very informed and well connected person. He further said that:

At a time when Major Akhtar Hussain Malik was to take over Akhanoor to pave the way to take Srinager, the capital of Kashmir, he was wrongly removed from the command, and General Yayya Khan was put in his position. Perhaps the aim was to deprive Pakistan success in Akhnoor, Yayya Khan accomplished this task very well.'
Air Marshal Noor Khan, who was the Air Chief during the war of 1965, said in a statement that ' the thing which is worth noting about the 1965 war is that there was no planning of it at all.'

The question is if there was any planning for the war, which there must have been, then the Air Chief of the Army must have been involved in it; and if there was no planning for the war then one wonders what was the planning for? Was it a conspiracy of some kind, as pointed out by Lt. General (R) Atiq Ul Rehman and Col. (R) Ghafar Mehdi:

‘India and Pakistan war of 1965 was not won or lost, but it laid down the foundations for the disintegration of Pakistan. This question is still unsolved that the war was over zealous ambition of a few people or a conspiracy of more than one country'
A well known Kashmiri writer and journalist Mir Abdul Aziz commented:
Poor Kashmiris were made the scape - goats. They were never consulted, not even informed that a war of liberation of Kashmir was being started. Those who were sent to Kashmir Valley did not even know the Kashmiri language.......... The whole affair was a wild goose chase.

Dr Basit, a famous lawyer and writer commented:
We want to ask if liberation of Kashmir was your purpose, then why this was kept secret from all the Kashmiri leaders? Was it not necessary for the Kashmiris to take part in their war of freedom?

K. H Khurshid, who was the secretary to Mohammed Ali Jinnah, and also Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir Government commented:

I firmly believe that Ayub Khan was not fully aware of the reasons for the war of 1965. Foreign Office, Home Ministry and some senior officers from the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs which included A. B Awan, Nazir Ahmed, Aziz Ahmed and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, prevailed on him and assured him that it is only a small programme which would not lead to a war with India. Ayub Khan who offered India ‘joint defence’ would not have agreed to a full scale war with India.... These men wanted to weaken Ayub’s hold on the government, and this is the real reason why he was so angry with them after the war.

8. Did the Kashmiri people let them down?

'When the ‘Operation’ proved to be a disastrous, not only it led to a full scale war with India, it posed serious threat to integrity and stability of Pakistan. Also it did serious damage to the Kashmir cause in the form of the Tashkent Declaration. Apart from that it created some rift between the Kashmiri leadership on both sides of the border and the Pakistani establishment. Kashmiris were angry the way they were treated before, during and after the ‘Operation’. The people of Valley, who although were not taken into confidence, went out of their way to support the guerrillas, and when these guerrilla returned back to Pakistan they left helpless people of Kashmir at the mercy of the Indian forces.

The ‘Operation’ created a number of difficulties for the government of Pakistan, and that time the planners were criticised for their hasty and badly planned action. It is reported by a prominent writer and thinker, Altaf Goher, that in a Cabinet meeting after the war Bhutto and his team were severely criticised for bad planning and misleading the President. At that time Bhutto tried to put forward his case but realizing that he was not cutting any ice, he started crying and said that his political future is ruined. 40

It was after the failure of the venture when the planners of the ‘Operation’ turned their propaganda guns against the poor Kashmiris, and claimed that if it was not for the non co- operation of the Kasmiris, the ‘Operation’ would have been successful. In a systematic manner this misinformation was spread and government resources were used to carry out this propaganda operation. The planners of the ‘Operation Gibraltar’ were unsuccessful in liberating Kashmir but they were successful in shifting the blame to the Kashmiri people. It is because of this Mir Abdul Aziz, quoted earlier, said, ‘poor Kashmiris were made the scape goats’

Many more quotations of prominent people who were at the helm of affairs in Pakistan, can be given to support that the planners of the war of 1965 had many targets in mind, and Kashmir was very low down on their list of priorities. But it doesn't look necessary to do so. It is, however, important to clarify about the role of the Kashmiri people during the war of 1965. It is alleged that the 'Operation' failed because the people of Kashmir did not co - operate. This is not true. It is however, true that they were not taken into confidence and they were surprised and bewildered when they learnt about the 'liberation' forces.

Already I have quoted General Musa and few other prominent people who confirmed that the people of Kashmir were not consulted about the ‘Operation Gibraltar’, and despite that they helped the mujahids to the best of their ability. It was bad planning and insincerity by some high ups that the ‘Operation’ failed; and it is wrong to accuse the Kashmiri people for this failure.

Freedom fighter, writer and well known journalist, Mir Abdul Aziz, in a meeting with this writer said that when Sheikh Abdullah visited Pakistan in 1964, he discussed a possibility of guerrilla war in Kashmir, and Pakistani support for it. He was disappointed with the response of the Pakistani authorities. When he returned back from Haj he was arrested by India and once again put in prison. When Pakistan started the 'Operation Gibraltar' in 1965, he was still in jail, and must have been astonished to hear about 'guerrilla war', if it can be called so. 41

The first rule about the guerrilla war is that it is fought by the local people - by the son of the soil - people who know the local conditions well. Where people are brought from out side to fight a kind of 'guerrilla war' in an area which is strange to them, then more than likely they will fail in their purpose, as the mujahids failed in 1965. There were many reasons for their failure, one was lack of preparation and consultations with the Kashmiri people. The Mujahideen who were sent to 'liberate' Kashmir, as noted earlier, were from Azad Kashmir and they did not know the Kashmiri language and traditions. They looked different from the people of the Valley and were not aware of the climatic, geographical and social fabrics of the Valley.

The first problem you face when you go to a strange place, especially with hostile intentions, is to hide yourself and get a safe shelter. The language of the people is alien to you, the clothes you wear are different to yours. The food you eat is also different, in Azad Kashmir people eat 'roti', and in Kashmir Valley people eat rice; and 'roti' is eaten during famine or in extreme poverty and under medical care. It is claimed by Mir Abdul Aziz that some Mujahideen went to shops and asked for 'dho seir ata', meaning two kilo flour, but they asked in weights which were abolished a long time ago. Also the request for 'atta' was enough to expose them that they were not Kashmiris. 42

One can see from the above that it was not the lack of co- operation of the Kashmiri people which resulted in the failure of the 'Operation Gibraltar'. The Kashmiri people helped them to the best of their ability, even though they were not taken into confidence, and mentally they were not ready to accomplish this gigantic task. According to Col. Mansha Khan, who later became member of the Azad Kashmir Assembly and the Speaker of the Assembly, said that the people of Valley co - operated with them even at times risking their lives. In a detailed interview with Justice Yousaf Saraf, he said that 'they could not have come alive if the Valley people had not risked their lives and honour for the Mujahideen.'

Ayub Khan was assured by his advisors and the Foreign Secretary, ZA Bhutto, that India would not cross the international boundary to attack Pakistan. The Indian leaders and ministers were clearly saying that if Pakistan did not stop its adventure in Kashmir, then the conflict could spread to other areas. But Pakistani leaders did not take these threats seriously until the direct Indian attack on the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Sialkot in order to release the pressure on the retreating Indian forces in Kashmir.

It is claimed by some writers, as quoted above, that this operation was 'deliberately mis-planned to topple or weaken Ayub Khan' 44. This topic has become very controversial, but whatever its real motives, it resulted in a full scale war between India and Pakistan. The Security Council arranged a cease fire on 23rd September 1965.

9. Tashkent Agreement and Kashmir

After the war both India and Pakistan claimed ‘victory’. It is open to interpretation what is meant by the word ‘victory’, and it may be true to some extent that they were both ‘victors’ because both have in their occupation land which did not belong to them. The only loser in this war game were the Kashmiri people who were the main suffering party; and who despite huge sacrifices were still divided and oppressed.
Mrs Indira Gandhi was once asked by a foreign journalist that Pakistan claims to have won the 1965 war, and India makes a similar claim; what was her opinion on this. With a smile she said we did not send any one to liberate the area which is under illegal occupation of Pakistan. It was Pakistan which sent the "intruders" in order to get Kashmir from India. Our purpose, at that time, was not to get any more area which is occupied by Pakistan, we simply wanted to drive out the "saboteurs" out of Kashmir. Kashmir is still with us and the "intruders" were successfully pushed out of Kashmir.

I want you to be judge and decide who is the ‘victor’.
During the war soon it was realized by the both countries that they were not in a position to win the war. India crossed the international border to attack Pakistan in order to release pressure it had faced in Kashmir. Pakistan successfully stopped that offensive, but that was about it. Pakistan was not in a position to take Kashmir from India by force, and India was also incapable of defeating Pakistan militarily. Both countries were not in position to continue war for any longer because of spare parts, supplies and economic impact, so both looked for a cease fire with some kind of honour - without giving this impression to their people that they have lost.

There was international pressure to stop fighting, and the Security Council passed resolutions to this effect. The Indian government agreed to the cease fire conditionally, she wanted Pakistan to withdraw her forces from the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Also she wanted assurance from the United Nations that Pakistan would not commit such acts of ‘aggression’. The Pakistani government on the other hand, showed her willingness to accept cease fire if it was to follow an immediate withdrawal of the Indian and the Pakistani forces from the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and replaced by the United Nations forces recruited from Afro - Asian countries. The obvious aim of this was to prepare grounds for a plebiscite in Kashmir to decide if the people of Kashmir wanted to live with India or join Pakistan. India was of course not interested in any kind of plebiscite, as she considered Kashmir to be ‘integral’ part of India. Anyhow both countries had to accept a cease fire unconditionally on 23 September 1965.

The September War was one of the most important event of President Ayub Khan’s rule, and it is amazing that he did not throw any light on it in his book ‘Friends Not Masters’. This book was published in 1967, and he was in a position to clarify many aspects of the war and many other important things, which for some reason he did not. According to Qudrat Ullah Shoahab, who had been an Information Minister and Secretary to the President, commented on the war:

When General Akhtar Malik was about to run over Akhnoor (an important town on the Indian side of Kashmir), many generals including General Musa and President Ayub Khan got alarmed that he would emerge as a hero, and this would make him a stronger candidate for the highest post of the Commander in Chief. President Ayub Khan already had a ‘suitable’ man, General Yayya Khan, for this position. Before General Akhtar Hussain Malik could take over Akhnoor, he was replaced by General Yayya Khan, probably that he could stop Pakistan army to invade Akhnoor, which he did successfully.

Apart from many other damages done to the Kashmir cause by the 1965 war, one serious blow was that for the first time in its long history, Kashmir was taken out of the United Nations to be discussed in Tashkent. This was a serious and delicate matter which required careful consideration, but the Pakistani authorities gave into the pressure and agreed to join discussions in Tashkent. They (Pakistani authorities) were pressurized not to take any action while India was engaged in a war with China, they gave in to the pressure to start the ‘Operation Gibraltar’, they were pressurized to have a cease fire, then they were pressurized to go to Tashkent for discussions.

On matters of this magnitude and importance there should have been careful consideration and experts, especially in international law and international relations, should have been consulted. Above all the Kashmiri leaders should have been taken into confidence, but there was no such precedent of consulting the Kashmiris. It was assumed that what ever the rulers of Pakistan may decide it would be agreed by them.

Thinking people like Qudrat Ullah Shoahab, who was Ambassador in Holland and happened to be a Kashmiri, warned President Ayub Khan of serious consequences if Pakistan had negotiations with India at Tashkent; and especially it would be bad for the Kashmir dispute. He said that there is a history of bad relationship between the Soviet Russia and Pakistan, especially with regard to foreign policy and the relationship with the West and the Pakistani role in the anti Soviet military alliances. It was as the result of this relationship that the Soviet Russia used its Veto in support of India when resolutions on Kashmir were debated in the UN Security Council. He further said that at Tashkent the whole environment would be against Pakistan and Pakistan would be under pressure to make compromises. And if Pakistan refused to do this and no agreement is made, then this would indicate a Superpower’s inability to act as an influential and may be honest power broker between regional states. This failure would be directly attributed to Pakistan; and this would further deteriorate Soviet - Pakistan relationship.

Apart from that it would not be prudent to discuss Kashmir dispute outside the United Nations. Since the start of the Kashmir crises, its natural and proper forum for discussions has always been United Nations, and whenever we talk about Kashmir dispute its reference is always the UN resolutions. But once we discuss it outside of this international forum, and some kind of agreement is reached there, then from then onwards that would be the new reference on Kashmir not the previous reference of the UN resolutions. If this happened then this would be a serious setback to our stand on Kashmir. It is claimed that President Ayub Khan after reading the telegram sent by

Qudrat Ullah Shoaab said, ‘There is a lot of sense in what he says’.
But despite that President Ayub Khan ignored this advice and walked into this trap. The Soviet Union wanted to show that it has some role to play in the Asian countries as well. Pakistan had developed friendly relations with China, which became more prominent during the war. This pro - China stance of Pakistan was disliked by Soviet Union and America. It was in the interest of both if the Chinese influence over Pakistan can be reduced or neutralized. So the Soviet Prime Minister Aleksei Kosygin invited Ayub Khan and Lal Bahadur Shastri to Tashkent. The negotiations continued for eight days. India refused to hear about Kashmir, and called it its integral part. Any expectations Pakistan may have had regarding getting some kind of concessions on Kashmir were soon dashed. The failure of the Conference looked apparent and that would have been a serious blow to the image of the Soviet Union, so a lot of arm twisting by Kosigen, the Soviet Prime Minister, resulted in a compromised text which was signed by both India and Pakistan on 10 January 1966 . This treaty is known as the Tashkent Declaration, and it only makes a passing reference to the Kashmir dispute.

Whatever edge Pakistan had over India on Kashmir was very ‘successfully’ lost in Tashkent, and this was a direct result of the ‘Operation Gibraltar’. The Indian Prime Minister, Lal Bahdur Shastri, died in Tashkent after signing the Tashkent Pact. It is claimed by many Pakistani commentators that he did not expect any concessions on Kashmir let alone any kind of clear victory, and when he got that ‘victory’ in the form of the Tashkent Declaration, he was overjoyed and died. Qudrat Ullah Shaoahb, after seeing Ayub Khan carrying the coffin of Lal Bahadur Shastri in Tashkent, commented that with the body of Shastri we wrapped up all the proceedings of the UN on Kashmir as well.

A Pakistani thinker and writer Inayat Ullah commented on the ‘Operation Gibraltar’:
Our forces (Commandos) prepared the ground for us in Kashmir, the next stage was to launch attack by regular army and capture Akhnoor. If General Akhtar Hussain Malik was not removed then we could have had Akhnoor and 200,000 prisoners of war as well, and Kashmir would have been independent. But our dictator (Ayub Khan) gave Kashmir to India on a tray, and went to Tashkent to get compliment from America and Russia.
On another occasion commenting on the ‘Operation Gibraltar’ he said:

One question which we are ashamed of and which still haunts us is that if our strategy was to please America, Russia and India then why sent our sons to Kashmir to be killed. This question is asked by every commando who went to Kashmir, it is asked by the Pakistan Army and the Azad Kashmir army; it is also asked by the nation and history.

GW Choudhry, who was a minister in Ayub Khan and Yayya Khan’s governments said:
Yet the Indo - Pakistan War of 1965 had disastrous effect both on Ayub’s authority and on relations between East and West Pakistan....... many army officers and including some generals, felt that Ayub should have continued the war with Chinese help (which China offered); Indonesia under Sukarno was also willing to help Pakistan. The younger groups of army officers felt that Ayub accepted the cease - fire and the subsequent Tashkent agreement under external pressure and to the detriment of his internal political order...... Ayub’s image was tarnished by his alleged surrender of the "national interests" at the Tashkent Conference - a theme on which Bhutto based his major attack against Ayub during the political upheaval of 1969.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Government in 1976 published a White Paper which said:
It is a simple political fact that the Tashkent Declaration ended the Kashmir dispute the way India wanted it to end. Pakistan could have ended this kind of speculation by immediately going back to the Security Council.

The "Tashkent Declaration" emphasized that both countries seek a solution to their disputes through peaceful means. The "Tashkent Declaration" was seen as a defeat by the Kashmiri and Pakistani people and there were processions against it. Whatever other achievements of the "Tashkent Declaration," it failed to make any progress on the Kashmir dispute, rather it caused a great disappointment to the Kashmiri people. And as predicted by Qudrat Ullah Shoahab, Kashmir was never to be discussed in the Security Council as a dispute after the Tashkent Declaration. The Tashkent Declaration was followed by another pact (Simla Pact) which Pakistan made with India after the defeat of 1971 war, and now that is the last reference on Kashmir. No matter what Pakistani leaders say, the Kashmir dispute would never be solved according to the UN resolutions on Kashmir, because both governments agreed to solve it bilaterally.

1. Kashmir: The incredible freedom fight, AH Suhurwardy, page 47
2. ‘Times of Kashmir’ Mir Abdul Aziz, 12 September 1995.
3. Ibid
4. Pakistan’s Relations with India, GW Choudhury, page 138, London.
5. Operation Gibraltar, Alamgir, pages 178- 184, Maktaba Ul Mukhtar,
6. My Version, General Musa, page 4,
7. Ibid, page 2-9 ( Translation from Urdu )
8. Opcit, Alamgir, page 184 ( Translation from Urdu )
9. Akhabar E watan
10. Ibid,
11. Opcit, Alamgir page 186
12. Ibid, page 187
13. Ibid, page 187
14. Ibid, page 188 ( Translation from Urdu )
15. Ibid, page 190 ( Translation form Urdu )
16. Was Operation Gibraltar foisted on Kashmiris?, Mir Abdul Aziz, Frontier Post, 8/4/89.
17. Ibid
18. Ibid
19. Opcit, Alamgir, page 204
20. Ibid, page 204
21. Ibid, page 201
22. Ibid, page 196
23. Ibid, page 196
24. Ibid, page 197
25. Ibid, page 200
26. Ibid, page 201
27. Ibid, page 205
28. Ibid, page 206
29. Ibid, page 205
30. Ibid, page 229 ( Translation from Urdu )
31. Ibid, page 245 ( Translation from Urdu )
32. Ibid, page 249 ( Translation from Urdu )
33. Shoahab Nama, Qudrat Ullah Shoahab, page 886 ( Translation from Urdu )
34. Ibid, page 885 ( Translation from Urdu )
35. Daily Nawa E Waqat, Rawalpindi, 20/4/79 ( Translation from Urdu )
36. Quomi Digest, September 1984 ( Translation from Urdu )
37. Opcit, Mir Abdul Aziz, frontier Post, 8/4/89
38. Kashmir Ki Jang E Azadi, Dr. Abdul Basit ( Translation from Urdu )

39. KH Khurshid, page 4-31 ( Translation from Urdu )
40. Guardian, 21/2/70 (quoted in 1965 ki Jang ek Sazish thei, Weekly Watan, November 93)
41. Interview of Mir Abdul Aziz by the author at his residence in Rawalpindi in August 1996.
42. Opcit Mir Abdul Aziz
43. Kashmiris Fight For Freedom, Justice Yousaf Saraf, Vol 2
44. Opcit, AH Suhurwardi page 47
45. Opcit, Mir Abdul Aziz, Frontier Post, 8.4.89
46. Opcit, Qudrat Ullah Shoahab, page 885 ( Translation from Urdu )
47. Ibid, page 895
48. Ibid, page 896
49. See appendix 1
50. Opcit, Qudrat Ullah Shoahab, page 899 ( Translation from Urdu )
51. Monthly Hikayat, September 1973, Inayat Ullah, page 9, ( Translation from Urdu )
52. Ibid, September 1976 ( Translation from Urdu )
53. The Last Days of United Pakistan, GW Choudhury, page 21
54. White Paper, January 1975, Foreign Office of Pakistan ( Translation from Urdu )
55. See appendix 2

Shabir Choudhry
Director, Institute of Kashmir Affairs

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

A reply to Pakistani critic

Respected Habib Yousafzai Sahib aslamo alaykam
15 June 2010

1. Thank you for your input in response to my article: “Gilgit Baltistan and Shafqat Inquilabi”.

2. I wholeheartedly condemn all human rights violations committed in Kashmir; and I demand that culprits must be punished for their crimes. I hope you have the courage to condemn the following:

A/ Can you condemn killing of innocent Kashmiris during the Tribal Invasion sponsored by Pakistan in 1947. Also can you condemn rapes, kidnapping of Kashmiri women and girls, and looting of my homeland – Kashmir, which was done in name of Jihad in 1947/8

B/ Can you also condemn Killings and imprisonment of people of Azad Kashmir at the hands of Pakistan during the Poonch rebellion in mid 1950s. Unlike militants in the Valley, these people did not have training, arms or money from secret agency of enemy country, they were simply asking for their democratic rights.

C/ Can you also condemn arrest and inhuman torture inflicted upon people of Azad Kashmir by Pakistan during Ganga Hijacking investigations. Even reading of those atrocities could put Nazi cruelties to shame.

D/ Can you condemn rapes and other human rights violations which still take place along the LOC on the Pakistani side of the divide, which people do not report due to stigma and repercussions; and no human rights organisation on the Pakistani side of the divide has courage to speak about them?

E/ Can you condemn denial of fundamental rights to people of Pakistani Administered Kashmir for decades; and looting and plunder of our resources?

F/Can you condemn denial of fundamental rights to people of Gilgit Baltistan – they were ruled by draconian laws with no accountability for decades?

G/Can you condemn annexation of Gilgit Baltistan by Pakistan, while pretending to be Muslim brother and friend of people of Jammu and Kashmir? Pakistani establishment has hidden their colonial designs under the cover of Islam, which is shameful.

H/ Can you condemn demolition of seven mosques on Murree Road in Rawalpindi, where unlike the Babri Mosque, were used by Muslims for daily prayers and teaching of Quran? It was done by the Musharaf government in order to make this route safe for the Americans travelling to Islamabad.

I/ Can you condemn killing of 83 innocent madrassa children in Wana, which Pakistan claimed to have bombed; and which resulted in more than 300 people taking oath Quran that they will take revenge of this unjustified massacre of innocent children; and commit suicide bombing if necessary. The suicide bombing in Pakistan started after this event.

J/ Can you condemn killing of hundreds of innocent children in the Red Mosque and Jamia Hafsa, in which illegal chemical called White Phosphorous was also used by Pakistani commandos?

K/ Can you condemn killing of innocent people by Pakistani regular forces and jet fighters in SWAT, parts of Pakhtoon Khawa and in FATA?

L/ People rightly demand that India should allow international human rights organisations to go to Kashmir to investigate the abuses; but have you made a similar demand for the areas of SWAT, parts of Pakhtoon Khawa and FATA, where even Pakistani civilians and media people are not allowed to see what Pakistani army is doing there? Or you want to turn a blind eye to all this because the culprits are fellow Muslims?

M/ And if your conscience allow you, also do condemn killing and rapes committed by Pakistan army, (which now many Pakistanis have acknowledged and some officials apologised for) in East Pakistan during 1970/71.

3. Your information with regard to Mir Jafar and Sadiq is wrong. Mir Jafar betrayed Nawab Sirajuldaula in war of Plasi in Bengal; and Mir Sadiq betrayed Tipu Sultan in war of Sarnagapatem in Mysore.

4. Perhaps you are not aware of Pakistani history that is why you are saying: ‘I was under the impression that Mir Jaffer and Mir Sadiq were long gone’

5. No my friend, your country Pakistan has thousands of them; and irony is that each one gets VIP treatment and buried in the Pakistani flag; or gets full honour when he leaves his post. That explains how many Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiqs are in your country, especially in the corridors of power and in the Pakistani establishment. Of course there are some honest and loyal Pakistani as well, and many of them support us and I salute them; but they have been marginalised and have no voice making.

6. Your President (Musharaf) allowed America to recruit as many people they require for CIA operations and for operations of other secret agencies. So no one knows exactly how many Mir Jafars you have even in the ranks of armed services and secret agencies. So Habib Yousafzai Sahib, be rest assured, your country has plenty of traitors and hypocrites, and you can proudly claim self sufficiency, at least in this field of generating terrorism, hatred and treachery.

7. Who told you that we people of Jammu and Kashmir wanted to get independence from India only – we wanted to be independent of both countries whether they are according to you ‘Hindu Brahmins’ or they are Muslim extremists and colonialists.

8. A recent survey conducted by a British Think Tank confirmed our contention that overwhelming majority of the people of Jammu and Kashmir DONOT want to join Pakistan. According to the survey only 2% were brave enough to take the risk of joining Pakistan.

9. I know for sure that a person like you will discard what I have written as propaganda, but I have written it for some sane souls who might benefit from the information provided.
Dr Shabir Choudhry

Monday, 14 June 2010

Dogs are very loyal to human beings

Aslamo alaykam Shabana Bashir

You have hatred of the Indian army, is it because of the human rights violation in Kashmir or is it because they are Indians?

I suppose you hate them because of human rights abuse. I also hate those who kill innocent people and torture them.

Have you cared to find out what percentage of human rights abuse is attributed to the Indian Army? Do you know apart from the Indian army, Border Security Force, Rashatria Rifles, Task Force, Special Operations Group and the Kashmiri Police are also involved in this?

I don't know how many Muslims are there in the Indian army, but I know that Task Force, SOG and Kashmir Police consist of Kashmiri Muslims; and at one time the Task Force was the biggest culprit of human rights abuses in Kashmir.

So is it ok to call them dogs because of human rights violations. What would you call those Pakistani army men who committed massive human rights abuses in East Pakistan, against their own people and Muslims? And what would you call those Pakistani army men who still kill and torture Muslims in Swat and various parts of FATA by using F16 and helicopter gun ships?

And what would you call human rights abuses committed by the Pakistani army and secret agencies, though at a lesser scale than the Valley in the Pakistani Administered Kashmir?

Dogs are very loyal to human beings, I am not sure if it is appropriate to give their example to explain despicable behaviour of men whether they are in uniform or in civilian clothes.

My point is that as a civilised person you should not use words like dogs, as hatred breeds more hatred.

Dr Shabir Choudhry

Who has compromised in Gilgit Baltistan?

Who has compromised in Gilgit Baltistan?
Dr Shabir Choudhry 14 June 2010

Legally and constitutionally areas of Gilgit Baltistan are part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, but practically Pakistan has annexed these areas. Irony is Pakistan still present itself as a champion of Kashmiri peoples right of self determination and many people are so gullible that not only they accept this, but also urge others to fall in line or else they will be declared anti Pakistan or pro India.

These areas of Gilgit Baltistan have great strategic importance and it was because of this the British leased Gilgit Agency from the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir; and returned it only two weeks before the end of their Raj in India. This area was so important to them that when the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir refused to give them a lease, they in order to twist his arm, managed unrest in Kashmir which included the incident of 13 July 1931.

Pakistan took over these areas after the British, with help of Gilgit Scouts, managed another unrest which resulted in overthrow of the Maharaja’s appointed Governor Brigadier Gansara Singh. In order to get some kind of legality to their rule, the Pakistani government signed a treaty with their puppet rulers in Azad Kashmir. This treaty is known as the Karachi Agreement.

The government of Pakistan issued Gilgit Baltistan Ordinance last year and have made these areas a province of Pakistan without declaring it as such. In 1971 war they lost East Pakistan which was about 57 thousand square miles; and they have recovered some of that loss by annexing Gilgit Baltistan which is about 28 thousand square miles.

Gilgit Baltistan has population of just over two million. They weren’t many who opposed this Ordinance, as they expected it to bring about a system of government better than what they had experienced previously. Apart from that they were promised enormous economic rewards which have not been delivered yet.

One man – Shafqat Inquilabi had commitment to his ideology, and he loved his nation; and didn’t want it to become part of Pakistan. He thought it was humiliating that Gilgit Baltistan is annexed by an Ordinance. He decided to stand up and be counted that at least there was someone who openly opposed it. After discussing the matter with his colleagues, especially leadership of Kashmir National Party, he decided to challenge this Ordinance. In hope of getting justice and that from Pakistani rulers and Pakistani judiciary, he challenged the Ordinance in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

In my last article on the subject titled, Gilgit Baltistan and Shafqat Inquilabi, I wrote some details of what the Pakistani secret agencies did to Shafqat Inquilabi for challenging Pakistani government over the issue of Gilgit Baltistan. This article was carried by dozens of publications and I got many emails on the subject. Some people have expressed support, and a few have suggested that propaganda has been unleashed against Shafqat Inquilabi that he has ‘compromised’ and that was why Kashmiri nationalists were not supporting him.

This allegation is ridiculous. All colonial powers want to prolong their rule in their colony and for that purpose they give rewards to those who are willing to sell their souls for material and political gains. Pakistani rulers are no exception to this rule. They have also established their rule with help of local collaborators which directly support their rule and some act as their ‘B team’; and impose themselves as ‘nationalists’. The role of these fake nationalists is to create divisions and make allegations against those who genuinely oppose the colonial rule.

About four years ago I heard Shafqat Inquilabi had compromised his position, and he was no longer a ‘nationalist’. When Pakistan annexed these areas, many ‘nationalists’ decided to remain quiet, or tried to get some rewards; but Shafqat Inquilabi was prominent among those who strongly opposed this Ordinance. Furthermore it was Shafqat Inquilabi who filed a case in the Supreme Court of Pakistan; and consequently suffered for his daring action; and yet propaganda against him is that he has ‘compromised’.

It doesn’t require rocket science to reach this conclusion that those who are spreading this propaganda are either agents of those whose interest Shafqat Inquilabi has challenged or they have personal disliking of the man or they feel threatened by his political activities, as they feel area for them to manoeuvre is getting marginalised.

Who else has compromised?

Both factions of APHC are Valley centric, their Kashmir or interest does not go beyond boundaries of the Valley, hence silence over what Pakistan does to people of Jammu and Kashmir on the other side of LOC. One could say same is the case with Yasin Malik, Shabir Shah and Sajjad Lone. He has become more pro division since becoming son in law of Amanullah Khan.

I had an interesting email regarding the issue of compromise, and it surely gives a different perspective on the matter. Without making any changes, I am producing most of this email for benefit of my readers. It reads:

‘I am very much surprised as to why Indian government does not talk about rights of people of Gilgit Baltistan? And why even the elected leadership (Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti) in Kashmir never raise enough concern over Pakistan's pact for GB year 2009?

Does it mean that India has given up its claim on the territory or does not consider GB part of Kashmir? Then why Indian Government Official Map still shows GB as part of 1947 Kashmir political map?

Also its true for GB people as well, they don’t seek any political input from Indian Administered Kashmir or even Indian government. It seems that, unlike what we hear officially from APHC, Indian or Pakistani Government is not what is actually happening on the ground. The only thing which is true on the ground and what is portrayed in news is the huge army presence in civilian areas of Kashmir Valley, which is the cause of death and other human right violations. It is portrayed as if only Valley is having consistent agitations and issues with Army and Indian Government. Rest part of Kashmir like AJK, GB, Ladhak, Jammu all seems to be contended, by and large, with what ever they have got.

It is agreed that all regions of Kashmir political entity don't protest as vehemently as Kashmir-Valley Specific. The reasons may be they are driven by religion or Pakistani agency or foreign money sources, but yes, Kashmir Valley really make a louder and consistent case than any other sub-division of Kashmir State.

What will it take to make a unified voice from all regions of Kashmir State, unanimously that we want liberation? And when will that happen? Can only Kashmir Valley stone throws and agitations and human sacrifices is enough for Kashmir resolution? Aren't the political leaders guilty of misery of common men, whom they have forced in this quagmire of never ending mess?

What is the way forward? I think the way forward is to realise that we have a problem, and then to have a compromise solution. Compromise solution is to give the Kashmir state (the whole) political freedom guaranteed by United Nations, China, India and Pakistan. In return, Free Kashmir will guarantee, equal and fair treatment of all neighbours and will not give leverage to one neighbour at the cost of the other. This will include political and business opportunities as well’.

This long quotation has many important points and readers can draw their own conclusions. But it shows that people know who is doing what in name of Kashmir; and what needs to be done to end the misery of the suffering people.

However it would be pertinent to say that, at least, one political figure from the Valley has expressed his support for Shafqat Inquilabi and the cause he is promoting. That person is Hilal Ahmed War, who has expressed his full solidarity with the people of Gilgit Baltistan and openly said that these areas are part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Hilal Ahmed War says Pakistan has no right to annex these areas.

Role of China in this matter

It would be interesting for the readers to know that China also had great input in Gilgit Baltistan Ordinance. Chinese interest in this strategically important region is well known and they have more than 12,000 army personal carrying out various projects. China has helped Pakistan enormously and all the major projects have been completed with the Chinese help, guidance and money.

China and Pakistan have signed some more major projects related to this region which include construction of Diamer Basha Dam and other dams. Apart from the skilled labour, China has agreed to completely finance the $8.5 billion project, which was previously
put at 6.5 billion. When the World Bank refused to help Pakistan, the Chinese agreed to take full responsibility for the project, but they were not willing to invest this huge amount of money in a territory legal status of which was uncertain.

The work on the project was scheduled to start in 2009, and under pressure from China the Pakistan government produced that Ordinance. They had no time to think or plan it properly; or even discuss it with their puppets in Azad Kashmir or in Gilgit Baltistan.

This adds a new twist to the tragedy. On one hand there is government of Pakistan with all its might and powerful secret agencies, and of course support of local collaborators, not to mention position of China on the subject of the Ordinance; and on other hand is Shafqat Inquilabi who has challenged that Ordinance.

Of course he has no chance of winning. So far he has stood firmly and has not given in to the pressure of the agencies to withdraw that petition from the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Apart from the Almighty the only supporter he has is newly established nationalist and secular party called Kashmir National Party.

We will continue to support Shafqat Inquilabi, even when we know we will get hurt in this fight, and we will not win it either; but at times, winning is not everything, upholding a principle is more important. Instead of becoming collaborators or agents of those who occupy us, we will rather go down fighting.

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

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Saturday, 12 June 2010

Gilgit Baltistan and Shafqat Inquilabi

Gilgit Baltistan and Shafqat Inquilabi
Dr Shabir Choudhry 12 June 2010

For the first time in the past 63 years, rulers of Pakistani Administered Kashmir were allowed to visit Gilgit Baltistan, area of the State which has been under direct and oppressive rule of Pakistan.

The State was partitioned after the war between India and Pakistan and puppet rulers of Pakistani Administered Kashmir signed away vast areas of Gilgit Baltistan to their political bosses in Islamabad; and limited their interest to the area known as Azad Kashmir.

Since 1947 bureaucrats and secret agencies of Pakistan ruled Gilgit Baltistan with an iron fist, and rulers of Pakistani Administered Kashmir turned blind eye to the plight of these unfortunate people; and enjoyed their rule and sincerely served their Pakistani masters. They continue to serve and flatter Islamabad, even at the cost of interest of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

The party (Muslim Conference) that signed that ignominious treaty with Pakistani rulers, in view of some, worse than the Treaty of Amritsar, had no branches or even a single member in the areas of Gilgit Baltistan. One wonders what moral or legal justification they had to sign that treaty and leave the people of 28 thousand Square miles at the mercy of oppressive and imperialist minded bureaucrats of Pakistan.

One wonders with that kind of blunder which made lives of millions of innocent people like a living hell, how do these so called leaders and champions of ‘freedom movement’ could sleep at night?

After signing this agreement, Muslim Conference leaders and rulers of Azad Kashmir almost forgot about the plight of the people of Gilgit Baltistan; and confined their rule and interest to the territory of Azad Kashmir. In early 1990s when the Kashmiri struggle was at its peak and many Kashmir watchers thought India might leave Kashmir on condition that the entire State becomes an independent country.

With that in mind Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir of the time, anticipating a change and having a desire to become a Prime Minister of the entire State of Jammu Kashmir contacted his bosses in Islamabad to allow him to visit Gilgit Baltistan. The boss concerned demanded reason for this; and the Prime Minister who thought he was becoming more important and had more influence because of the changing scenario on Kashmir said in the current situation it is important to visit Gilgit Baltistan to spread our influence.

He was bluntly told to keep away from Gilgit Baltistan, as these areas were responsibility of Islamabad. Moreover, he was the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir, and Act 74 clearly explains parameters of his power and influence; so he must not step outside those parameters, if he wanted to continue with his job. The Prime Minister apologised for his mistake and did not dare to ask permission again.

Perhaps the situation has changed, and both the Prime Minister and the President of Azad Kashmir were given permission to visit Gilgit Baltistan and give a donation of one Cror rupees. They went to express solidarity with the people of Gilgit Baltistan who have been uprooted because of Ataa Bad artificial lake. According to one estimate more than one hundred thousand people have been uprooted because of this lake, and people have suffered enormously because of lack of proper facilities.

They were received by Governor Dr Shama Khalid and Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah who thanked them for extending their support to the people of Gilgit Baltistan. Why did Pakistan allow Azad Kashmiri rulers to visit Gilgit Baltistan?

Is it because there is a change of policy in Islamabad, or they went there because bosses in Islamabad feel this territory is no longer part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and had become a province of Pakistan without calling it a province?

When there was some ambiguity regarding the legal status of these areas, Islamabad did not allow any ruler of Azad Kashmir to visit Gilgit Baltistan. In September 2009, Pakistan unilaterally and against bilateral and international covenants on Kashmir changed legal status of these areas and practically made them a province of Pakistan.

So, as far as Islamabad was concerned they have allowed the Prime Minister and the President of Azad Kashmir to visit a ‘Pakistani province’. The question is how do people of Jammu and Kashmir State think of this? What reaction, if any, people of Gilgit Baltistan have shown, now that they have experienced a ‘provincial status’ for some time?

What reaction ‘naita jees’ of All Parties Hurriyet Conference, who claim to represent all the Kashmiris have shown; or they are too frightened to speak about Gilgit Baltistan because their political masters in Islamabad could get angry, as the role assigned to them is to limit their activities within the boundary of the Valley.

In any case, naita jees of APHC have myopic view of the struggle and want to see everything with the lenses of religion. Apart from that their struggle is very heavily commercialised and negate politics of ballot and democracy, hence their influence is restricted to some sub districts of the Valley.

People of Azad Kashmir, unlike their rulers, have shown their anger against Pakistani designs on Gilgit Baltistan. But the question is, is that enough? Do they think their job is over and they can sit back and relax?

One man – Shafqat inquilabi, who challenged the Gilgit Baltistan Ordinance imposed by Islamabad on people of Gilgit Baltistan without and kind of consultation has been made example by the secret agencies of Pakistan; and sad thing is, apart from Kashmir National Party no one has come to even support him verbally.

Shafqat Inquilabi challenged this Ordinance in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, hoping to get justice from a Pakistani judiciary, which is perceived to be independent now. Despite many efforts he has not been able to get hearing date yet because the secret agencies believe that they can twist arm of Shafqat Inquilabi to withdraw the case; and this fact speaks volumes about the independence of judiciary, especially when it comes to Gilgit Baltistan.

Shafqat Inquilabi is an engineer by profession, and as a sub contractor was constructing some buildings in Pateka near Muzaffarabad. He had invested about nine lakhs rupees (nine hundred thousands) which he borrowed from some friends including me. To date, Shafqat Inquilabi has stood his ground and refused to give in to the pressure of secret agencies, but not without a big price.

Because of tremendous pressure of the secret agencies, the concerned people have expelled Shafqat Inquilabi from the project. He is out of job and has also lost all the money he had invested in the project. In order to ensure that he is alienated socially, all his friends and relatives were cautioned to keep away from him otherwise they will also suffer economically.

All this is happening in Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a country which was established in name of Islam, but most of things which occur here are against clear teachings of Islam. They claim to provide protection to non Muslims, but in this land of pure even Muslims are not safe, as every day they are killed by jet fighters and helicopter gun ships; and non Muslims are systematically targeted and killed.

What Pakistan is doing is not surprising, as all imperialist and totalitarian governments do this, they curb civil liberties and in name of nationalist interest they kill and imprison innocent people. However sad thing is the attitude of nationalists of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. They have not supported him, even though demand of their nationalism was to unconditionally support him.

One could only think of three reasons:
• They don’t want to support it out of jealousy because it will indirectly mean supporting KNP – a party which helped and supported Shafqat Inqquilabi and continue to do so;
• They don’t want to face wrath of secret agencies; especially when some of the credit could go to Shafqat Inquilabi and KNP;
• Perhaps they are fake nationalists; and in disguise of nationalism are actually promoting and protecting interests of Islamabad.

It is a test of Kashmiri nationalists to come out and support Shafqat Inquilabi’s case; and while doing so also ensure that Shafqat Inquilabi does not become a victim of the secret agencies. If he is made to surrender that will boost the confidence of the secret agencies; and it will make it extremely difficult for others to challenge the might of these agencies.

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

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