Thursday, 12 August 2010

They are angry because I promote a pro Kashmir agenda

They are angry because I promote a pro Kashmir agenda
Dr Shabir Choudhry 12 August 2010

Agents of Pakistan and those who represent forces of extremism, communalism, violence and hatred have, once again, on instructions of their handlers and pay masters started a nefarious campaign against me after the Press TV Kashmir debate in which I also participated.

As they have different agenda to that of mine, they ought to be angry, frustrated and demoralised. They don’t want anyone to promote a Kashmiri agenda. They don’t want pro peace and pro people agenda. They don’t want environment of toleration and coexistence. Their business which is stained with blood of innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir can only flourish if the Kashmir pot keeps on boiling; and they can justify the Two Nations Theory and propagate communalism and hatred.

Key points I asserted in the debate were as follows, and the readers can draw their own conclusions, as to who is right and who is wrong; but one thing is for sure that I will not be intimidated by these extremists and agents of forces of communalism and hatred:

1. Clarified that the Kashmir dispute is not a domestic issue of India;
2. Emphasised that Kashmir is not legally part of India or Pakistan;
3. Clarified that Kashmir is not a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan;
4. Asserted that Kashmir is not a religious dispute;
5. Emphasised that the Kashmir dispute concerns Kashmiri peoples unfettered right of self determination but;

6. A distinction has to be made between a right of accession and a right of self determination; our right of self determination was restricted and changed to right of accession on request of Pakistan in the second UNCIP Resolution of 5 January 1949;

7. Emphasised that India and Pakistan have no right to decide future of people of Jammu and Kashmir;

8. Emphasised that there is no military solution to the Kashmir dispute; and the dispute has to be resolved by a process of dialogue; and people of Jammu and Kashmir must be made part of that process;

9. Criticised and opposed human rights violations taking place on the Indian side, as no civilised society could accept that; but emphasised that Muslims are not the only Kashmiri community to suffer human rights abuses, and we must promote human rights for all;

10. However, emphasised that human rights abuse also take place on the Pakistani side of the LOC, and people on the Pakistani side of the LOC do not speak out against these abuses because of fear of repercussions. Also there was no media and no human rights organisations in that area;

11. Clarified that the proposed plebiscite could not take place because Pakistan refused to withdraw her forces from POK and Gilgit Baltistan, as demanded by the UNCIP resolution of 13 August 1948. India was only asked to withdraw ‘bulk’ of her forces after the withdrawal of Pakistani forces. Withdrawal of forces in this order was a prerequisite to the UN Plebiscite;

12. Clarified that the Soviet Russia vetoed a UN draft resolution on Kashmir in 1957; and Pakistan refused to withdraw her troops and irregulars in 1949/50, so there was no direct link between the two;

13. Explained that Pakistan virtually became ‘irrelevant’ in the Kashmir dispute as only 2% of the people of the Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir expressed their desire to join Pakistan; and that exposed the Pakistani stand on Kashmir which claimed that the people of Jammu and Kashmir wanted to join Pakistan. Pakistan has made itself relevant once again by manoeuvring things in the Valley in which innocent people are being killed; and has made India defensive on the issue of Kashmir and human rights abuses;

14. Clarified that not all people of Kashmir were part of these protests, as people of Jammu, Ladakh, Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistani Administered Kashmir were not part of this.

15. But emphasised that people of other regions must not only rely on the sacrifices of the people of the Valley and expect unification and independence; urged that people of other regions must struggle in their regions while coordinating their activities;

16. Explained that militancy and infiltration from the Pakistani side of the LOC is back in full swing, which is creating enormous problems for the people of Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of the divide, especially people in the Neelam Valley were affected by this;

17. In a reply to another participant, explained that innocent local people in the Valley were being killed, but guns and money was sent by Pakistan.

Those who represent forces of extremism, violence and communalism got annoyed because they expected me to say that:

• It was a Muslim struggle;

• Right of self determination was same as right of accession;

• People of Jammu and Kashmir were too eager to join Pakistan;

• All the sacrifices given by the people were in name of Pakistan;

• Pakistan did not supply any guns and funds – perhaps guns and money grow on Kashmiri trees;

• Pakistan did not provide any training to militants;

• Pakistan did not help militants to cross over to the Indian side of Kashmir;

• People of Pakistani Administered Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan were living in a paradise and they were totally satisfied what Pakistan did to them.

As I could not speak these white lies, I deserved to be criticised, accused and maligned. There are millions of people who know these facts. A small minority, armed with foreign weapons and acting on behalf of non Kashmiris is determined to impose their will and their brand of religion on the people of Jammu and Kashmir. They have terminated many sane voices in the past for speaking truth; and they feel no shame or hesitance to silence other such voices which are deemed as impediment to their future programmes.

I detest that. I have expressed what I thought was in the best interest of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. I feel proud that I and my colleagues have courage, determination and intellectual ability to speak out against forces of communalism, extremism and hatred. This is our jihad against these people who are determined to intimidate and harass people of Jammu and Kashmir to promote a foreign agenda.

I know by saying the above I could become their next target. I could become victim of their wrath. Their aim is to unleash nefarious propaganda against me, make baseless accusations against me and alienate me. I know I will not be popular by criticising these forces which control media, which control the Kashmiri struggle, and which have assumed a responsibility of issuing religious edicts and call Muslims as Hindu, Sikh and Jew.

We might not win this crusade or this jihad against these powerful forces, but we don’t want to be among those who remained quiet when demand of time was to speak against these forces. We don’t want to become collaborators, as some have done in order to protect their skin and get rewards. We want to live with dignity and honour; and don’t want to be remembered as collaborators.

By grace of Allah Almighty, our message is getting to more and more people and they have started to understand the reality; and many have shown their support. I am grateful to my colleagues like Abbas Butt, Nazam Bhatti, Masoom Ansari, Zubair Ansari, Asim Mirza, Nawaz Majid and others for supporting me and standing with me shoulder to shoulder in this fight against these forces.
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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