Thursday, 30 September 2010

We should be thankful to India, Irfan Ali

We should be thankful to India, Irfan Ali
Posted by K4Kashmir on September 30, 2010 in Kashmir | 0 Comment Edit
We should be thankful to India
Thank you for awakening us from the deep slumber we are in, for altering the very meaning of our lives, for making us overcome the fear of death
Irfan Ali

http://www.risingkashmir.com/news/we-should-be-thankful-to-india-1944.aspx

The imposing curfew and restrictions in Kashmir will certainly end up isolating its architects and enforcers. It will spawn more anger and violence on the already blood bathed streets of valley. For a commoner certainly it means living in a climate of sickening uncertainty. It is absurd for government to even toy with the notion that it can stamp out violence and protests with more violence and oppression.
Protests are the symptoms and not the disease. After all will burning haystick find you the needle? Or will it escalate anger and deepen alienation? The theory of curfew is just like, to quote the celebrated author-intellectual Arundhati Roy, “theory of nuclear deterrence which is nothing but a perilous joke in a world where iodine pills are prescribed as prophylactic for nuclear irradiation”. At present without any prejudices it is quite vivid that the dictatorship of an nuclear democracy and hegemonistic elite is trying its level best to coerce we Kashmiris into submission and at the same time is also hoodwinking the international community as well as its own people into believing that the protests for self determination are the machinations of the foreign elements. What a great deception! Even they are not sparing their own people. They care a hoot for them not to talk of us. We shall be thankful to India for shedding our blood. Thank you for awakening us from the deep slumber, for altering the very meaning of our lives, for making us overcome the fear of death. Yes its happening. It’s all happening although slowly but surely. After all if protesting against dictatorial rule is anti-national, then I secede. I hereby declare myself independent. I own no land. I have no house, I have no assets. I have no bank balances. I have no cars and luxuries. I have nothing. All that I have is freedom to live with dignity and honour which I cherish and revere the most. Thus, theory of curfew has miserably failed in deterring me in declaring myself independent.
As far as the Hurriyat Conference (both factions) are concerned, I although am in my twenties and na├»ve to politics, I very humbly appeal to both S A S Geelani Sahib as well as Mirwaiz Moulvi Umar Farooq that they immediately reconcile and unite together once for all. The Hurriyat leadership needs to understand that nationalism is always a political movement by definition. It requires political organisation, skilled political leadership and resources to gain support to make successful demands in the political system. Moreover, the movement must be able to compete effectively against alternative regimes and must be strong enough to withstand government efforts to suppress it or to undercut its other supports which may be political as well. Take example of the Akali Dal in Punjab, they built an unshakable base of nationalist support through its ability to call upon the resources of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee(SGPC), a body that manages all the Sikh temples in the province, the Zionist movement in Europe and America was able to call upon, if not command, the financial resources of its bourgeoisie. Also, the resistance movement in Kashmir has now reached at such a critical juncture that it must now be able to withstand the changes in leadership as well. Most successful nationalist and freedom movements are led by strong, dynamic and sometimes charismatic leaders but such leadership may not be sufficient to sustain a movement to the end. Prominent leaders may die or be killed or may turn away from the pursuit owing different reasons or may get assassinated as happened with the senior Mirwaiz in 1990’s or in 2008 with Sheikh Aziz sahib during Amarnath land protests, before our goal of self determination is achieved. There must, therefore, be a clear successor or a second rung of leaders who can affect a succession without dividing the movement. The more successful nationalist movements, such as those of Jews have been provided leadership continuity and have coped with succession problems while black community in the United States lost much of its unity and the momentum of the movement after the death of Martin Luther King.
The only panacea out of this quagmire as I see and analyse per se is to execute a United Nations (UN) mediated solution which in the first instance should involve the simultaneous withdrawal of claim on Kashmir on both sides of ceasefire line from both the India as well as Pakistan and then unification of two Kashmiris and holding of plebiscite under the aegis of United Nations (UN) as was ratified by the leaders of both the countries in 1947. As confidence building measures India needs to immediately withdraw forces from civilian areas and confine them to their barracks, cantonments and borders, release all the youth and political prisoners without any precondition, revocation of draconian Armed forces special powers act which has elevated the Indian forces in valley to the status of a sacred cow who is accountable to none, trying those guilty of human rights violations in valley in the International Court of Justice, rehabilitation of victims of terror etc.

At the same time our youngsters should not resort to violent mode of protests rather protest peacefully. I realise it is easy to write here because the pain inflicted is deep and wounds are not healing but then violent protests damages Kashmir cause in the sense that it gives Indian administrators a pretext before International community as well as before its own people to execute killings of Kashmiris in the name of restoration of law and order. Moreover it helps the people who are against our cause and struggle in maligning it and makes the movement for right to self determination more vulnerable to hegemony and oppression. My salutes to all the brave children of Kashmir. You are not alone. Intellectuals, writers and scholars all are with you. You go on marching and protesting but peacefully. We are with you till our last breath. I urge upon other intellectuals, writers and scholars to come out of slumber and write your protest for the Kashmir cause.

To conclude, all I can write and say here to every Kashmiri whether a man, woman, child, young or old, literate or illiterate, scientist or philosopher, doctor or engineer, writer or journalist, rich or poor, just stand up and say something wherever you are and in whatever position and capacity you are in this world. Never fear the oppressors. On the day of judgement you will be asked by Almighty that you had the power to speak, write, think or at least pray against oppression. What will you answer to your Almighty Allah on that day? Never mind if it has been said before. Speak up against killings, violence and mayhem on your own behalf. Take it very personally. I hope this write up will act as a wakeup call from this overwhelmingly complex troublesome matrix and quagmire for all the stakeholders. May Almighty rise the sun of freedom on the soil of Kashmir soon. Ameen!

Feedback at irfanfpr@yahoo.com.

Is J and K a natural part of Pakistan or India or it has its independent existence? M. HASHIM QURESHI

Is J and K a natural part of Pakistan or India or it has its independent existence?
M. HASHIM QURESHI


In a statement chairman of one faction of the Hurriyat Conference argued that Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan was justified because of its seven hundred kilometers long common border with that country. Hence, Kashmir was natural part of Pakistan, he maintained. Many people including units of both factions of the Hurriyat find a strong rationale in two nation theory ---- a predominantly Muslim region acceding to Pakistan. This can cause confusion to the present and the future generations of the Kashmiris. Therefore, it is desirable that in the context of making J&K a part of Pakistan or India, some facts of history are brought forward.

Five thousand-year-old history of Kashmir tells us that this state remained independent under various Rajas, Maharajas, Nawabs, and Emperors. During Shahmiri rule, its borders extended from the Tibet in the north to Sirhind and Multan in the south. However, owing to internal dissensions, it lost sovereignty with its conquest by Emperor Akbar in AD 1586. After the Mughals, Kashmir passed into the hands of the Afghans, Sikhs and lastly the Dogras. It is necessary to recollect that prior to the emergence of Pakistan movement, Kashmiris had begun their struggle to liberate their land from autocratic rule of Dogras. Kashmir freedom movement was launched in 1931, at least nine years earlier than the 1940 Lahore Resolution, later on called Pakistan Resolution.

Independence Act of 1947 stipulated passing of Muslim majority areas to Pakistan and Hindu majority areas to India in the territory of British India. 560 princely states were not a part of British India though they had taken the oath of loyalty to the British Crown. This way they had maintained a semblance of their semi-independent status. With the winding up of the Raj, these princely states automatically became independent. However, in accordance with Section 7 of the Independence Act, it was recommended that the states should take into account their geographical location and the wishes of the majority population to decide accession either to India or to Pakistan. The option of remaining independent too was there. Thus India and Pakistan came into being as two sovereign states of the sub-continent on the basis of Independence Act but the formula of passing the territories of 560 princely states to India or Pakistan on the basis of Hindu/ Muslim majority was not applied. It so happened that the question of accession of these princely states became a source of dispute between the two countries. In the process, Kashmir dispute proved a hindrance not only to the development and prosperity of India and Pakistan but it also became a source of great misery and suffering for the people of the State. Some questions arise;

*Why did Muslim League, in a meeting of its Executive Committee, concede to the rulers of the princely states the right of deciding the future of their respective states?

* Why did Pakistan accept the announcement of accession of Junagarh and Manawa to Pakistan despite the fact that the majority population in both the states was Hindu?

* Didn’t Pakistan accept constitutional status (independence) of Jammu and Kashmir by accepting the stand-still agreement with the Maharaja of Kashmir?

* The State of Hyderabad was not contiguous to Pakistan. It had Hindu majority. Yet didn’t Pakistan accept the announcement of its self-rule status made by the Nawab?

The point is that if the princely states too had been distributed according to the Muslim and non-Muslim majority theory at the time of the partition, Mr. Jinnah would never have accepted the offer of accession of Junagarh and Manawa to Pakistan, nor would he have accepted the sovereignty of Hyderabad Deccan.
A statement issued by Mr. Jinnah on 17 June 1947, and preserved in the archives of that country according to the Pakistani Minister of Information and Broadcasting endorses our view point. It says:
“These days conflicting opinions are expressed in regard to the Indian princely states. It has, therefore, become necessary for me to explain the view point of All India Muslim League on this issue. I would like to clarify misunderstandings and state what our strategy about these states will be. From constitutional and legal point of view, Indian princely states become independent with the termination of the British Raj. They will be free to make a decision about their future or to find a way of remaining independent. Their options are to join the constitutional assembly of India or Pakistan or decide to remain independent. In case they decide to remain independent, they can maintain their relations with India or Pakistan as they deem fit. The Muslim League’s policy in this regard has been very clear from the beginning, and that is not to interfere in the internal matters of any state. This matter should fundamentally remain between the ruler and his subjects. Such states as want to remain independent but would like to talk to Pakistan on any matter or some political understanding or any other sort of relationship like trade, economic etc. we shall agree to exchange ideas with them. My candid opinion is that the Cabinet Mission Memorandum of 12 May, in which the policy of the British Government has been set forth, does not impose any restriction on them. Generally but wrongly it is said that the states have only one option of joining one or the other constitutional assembly. In my opinion if they want to remain independent they can do so. Neither the British government nor the British parliament can force them to do something against their free will. They do not have any power or authority to do so.”

After meeting with two Muslim Conference leaders, Chowdhury Hamidullah Khan and Muhammad Ishaque Qureshi, the Qaid Azam issued a press statement on 11 July 1947 that dealt with Kashmir situation. It said: “I have more than once made it clear that the Indian states are free to join either Pakistan or India or remain independent.” He repeated it on 30 July 1947: “Muslim League has no intention of bringing any pressure on the states to adopt any particular course of action.” He added: “The legal situation is that with the transfer of power and termination of sovereignty, Indian states will automatically regain their full independent status. As such they will be free either to join one or the other dominion or to remain independent.”

As a man of principles, Qaide Azam had adopted a stand that was in conformity with the situation that emerged after the termination of the British rule over India. He did not make religion, majority/minority or geographical proximity etc. a criterion for the states to decide their future. The two - nation theory was applicable only to the provinces governed by the Raj. That is why he accepted the accession papers of Junagarh and Manawa rulers despite the fact that these were Hindu majority states. Likewise, he accepted the declaration of independence made by the Nawab of Hyderabad despite the fact that its border was not contiguous to Pakistan. In the light of this policy (of Mr. Jinnah), the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir sent a telegram to the head of Pakistan State Relations Department, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar on 12 August 1947 saying:
“The Government of Jammu and Kashmir desires to enter into a standstill agreement with Pakistan on such matters as exist between the State and the British Government at the moment. We propose that the arrangements existing today would continue to be the same with Pakistan till a fresh agreement is concluded with your government.” In his reply he said: "The Government of Pakistan has received your telegram on 21 August. In regard to a standstill agreement, the Government of Pakistan agrees to continue the agreements, which exist between the states and the British government."

By accepting this agreement, Pakistan formally recognized the constitutionally independent status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. A similar telegram had been sent to the Indian government, and the reply was: “The Government of India would be pleased if a minister or some formal authority is deputed to talk to us on the stand - still agreement so that earlier agreements and administrative arrangements continue.” However, it did not become a formal agreement.

On 18 October 1947, the Prime Minister of Jammu & Kashmir sent a telegram to the Governor General of Pakistan. He said: “Despite a stand-still agreement that came into effect with the termination of the British rule, many difficulties have been created for his state. The system of civil supplies like, petrol, oil, food, salt, sugar and textiles etc. From West Punjab routes have collapsed; saving bank accounts have been closed and West Punjab banks are not honouring the cheques issued in their name. Imperial Bank declines to release our credits.
Vehicles registered in the state are stopped in Rawalpindi, and the railway traffic between Sialkot and Jammu has been suspended despite the fact that state authorities have offered safe passage to a hundred thousand Muslims wanting to travel from Pathankot to Sialkot. As against this, out of 220 state nationals proceeding to Kashmir via Kohala, 180 were brutally massacred. Thousands of men from Pakistan armed with latest weapons have entered Poonch area. They have resorted to large scale killing and loot of non-Muslim population there and they are molesting women. Yet in spite of all this, Pakistani media has unleashed propaganda in which it tries to bring onus of these depravities to our door step. Actually these atrocities are perpetrated with tacit understanding and full knowledge of the Government of Pakistan.”

When riots escalated, the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir sent a letter to Lord Mountbatten, the Governor General of India on 26 October 1947 bringing to his notice the current situation in the State. He requested for support from India and along with this request, sent to him the Instrument of Accession. Next day the Governor General sent his reply in which he indicated acceptance of the Instrument of Accession. Reacting to Maharaja’s request for military assistance, the Governor General wrote: “Meanwhile in response to Your Highness’s appeal for military aid, action has been taken today to send troops of the Indian army to Kashmir to help your own forces to defend your territory and to protect the lives, property and honour of your people”

Keeping the documentary evidence, statements of Qaide Azam and the events of contemporary history in view, it is clear that accession of the states did not take place on the basis of Muslim and non-Muslim factor. Needless to remind that the stalwarts of the Jama’at-e Islami of those days like Maulana Maududi, the Indian Muslim Ulema and most of religious groups were opposed to the division of India because they believed that division of India actually meant division of Indian Muslims. What do we know of the Muslims of the sub-continent today: they are divided and further divided into 20 crores in India, 15 crores in Pakistan and 20 crores in Bangladesh making up a total of 55 crores? They would have been the holders of half of the total ruling power of united India in which there would have been outright Muslim rule in the regions of Pakistan, Kashmir and Bangladesh as it is today.

The next point is about the borders. One fails to see any logic in the assertion that a region having contiguous border with another region or country should become its part. If we accept this logic then Canada and the US, Mexico and the US, Russia and China, Mongolia and Russia and many Arab countries should be part of one another on the basis of their long common border. Then Nepal should be a part of India or India a part of Nepal. In the case of Jammu and Kashmir it is not correct to say that J&K is a dispute between India and Pakistan. The truth is that it is an issue between the people of this State, and the Governments of Pakistan and India in regard to the freedom of the J&K State. It is an issue between the people of J&K State and the Government of China about that stretch of State territory, which the Government of Pakistan has gifted to China, and also the portion of the territory China grabbed after India’s defeat in Indo-China war of 1962.

India took Kashmir case to the UN on January 1, 1948. It was not only on the basis of State’s accession but also on the basis of Stand-still Agreement and the right of the States to remain independent. It was this basis which made Pakistan agree to the 13 August 1948 Security Council Resolution Part II that the situation had changed in the State of Jammu and Kashmir owing to the presence of Pakistani troops there. Part A of the Resolution sates:

* Pakistan will withdraw all its troops from J&K State.

* Government of Pakistan undertakes to use its influence to recall the tribesmen and Pakistani nationals from the State of J&K who have entered the State for the purpose of fighting.

* Until a final solution is found, the Government of J&K will hold the administration of areas through local authority.

Part B states:

* India commits that after Pakistani forces, tribal and Pakistani nationals leave the State, and a bulk of the Indian forces will gradually leave the State.

* Till the final settlement, Indian government will maintain minimum number of troops with the consent of the Commission to assist local law and order authority.

* Indian government ensures that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir will take all necessary steps to protect law and order, and political and human rights of the people.

According to Part C of the Resolution, both governments agree that a decision made by the people of the Sate will be acceptable to them.

On January 5, 1949, the Government of Pakistan submitted a draft resolution before the UN “that the question of accession of J&K State with either India or Pakistan should be decided through a fair plebiscite. The UN observed that plebiscite should take place only after the recommendations made in Part A and B of the 13 August 1948 Resolution is implemented. The Commission should be convinced that peace has returned to the State of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistani troops, tribesmen and armed persons have left the State."

The position is that neither India nor Pakistan acted on the recommendations of the resolution. Furthermore, in the UN Resolution of January 5, 1949, the Government of Pakistan introduced an amendment seeking replacement of term “Kashmir issue” by “Pakistan and India dispute over Kashmir”. This resolution actually deprived us (Kashmiris) of our right to national freedom but gave the right to choose our master. This is not acceptable to a large majority of Kashmiris.

Now Kashmir issue is not only an indication of enmity between the two countries but accession of the State or its division on the basis of religion is nothing short of a suicide for the people of J&K State and the sub-continent at large. As such, taking into view the interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the desire for prosperity and development of India and Pakistan and also the principles established by Qaid Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in regard to the princely states, there is only one solution to Kashmir issue. The original state from Gilgit to Lakhanpore should be re-united not on clan or religious basis but on the basis of a federation of nationalities living in the state. Each unit should have its autonomous status with no discrimination on the basis of the size. No region will have ascendancy on any other region. Within the federation, all regions and units will enjoy freedom and self rule on the basis of equality. Only an independent and self-ruling federal state can promote cordial and friendly relations between India and Pakistan.

India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru repeatedly promised to the people of Jammu and Kashmir from various platforms, that:

"I wish to draw your attention to broadcast on Kashmir which I made last evening. I have stated our government's policy and made it clear that we have no desire to impose our will on Kashmir but to leave final decision to people of Kashmir. I further stated that we have agreed on impartial international agency like United Nations supervising referendum." (Nehru's reiteration of plebiscite pledge in a telegram to Liaqat Ali Khan, November 03, 1947)
"We have given our pledge to the people of Kashmir and subsequently to the United Nations; we stood by it and we stand by it today. Let the people of Kashmir decide."

(Nehru's statement in Indian Parliament, 12 February 1951.)
"Kashmir has been wrongly looked upon as a prize for India or Pakistan. People seem to forget that Kashmir is not a commodity for sale or to be bartered. It has an individual existence and its people must be the final arbiters of their future."
(Addressing the All India Congress Committee on 6th July 1951, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India)

Indian authorities should not forget the promises made by their outstanding leader. These promises made to the people of Jammu and Kashmir should be implemented. We want to put an end to ignorance and poverty among the people in India and Pakistan and we want an era of development and prosperity dawn on the entire sub-continent.
(The author is Chairman, Jammu Kashmir Democratic Liberation Party

Friday, 24 September 2010

Does India Have an Endgame in Kashmir?

Does India Have an Endgame in Kashmir?
By Jyoti Thottam / New Delhi Friday, Sep. 24, 2010


Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2021259,00.html#ixzz10UDlPqSp
A relative of Sheikh Yasir, who was fatally wounded on Aug. 31, is cared for by other mourners at his funeral in Srinagar on Sept. 17, 2010
Pedro Ugarte / AFP / Getty Images

Leaders from every major Indian political party flew to Srinagar this week to demonstrate India's seriousness about resolving the political crisis that has seen months of protests bloodily suppressed in Kashmir. But the three-day meeting ended with little sign that India is willing to try a new strategy, despite the obvious failings of the current one.

For India's political establishment, the best-case scenario would be a return to the relative calm that prevailed from 2004 to 2008. Although India and Pakistan had made little progress in resolving their competing claims over the territory, the "Line of Control" (LOC) established in 1971 between Indian- and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir had assumed the status of a de facto border. New Delhi was pouring development funds into its side of that armistice line, armed militancy by local separatists had been suppressed, and Pakistan seemed to have yielded to U.S. pressure to stop sending over its deadly jihadist proxy forces. That period is remembered in Srinagar — even among some separatist leaders — as a time when the intractable conflict seemed to be fading away. The older generation was tired of fighting, and young people couldn't be bothered.(See pictures of the new Kashmiri fighters.)

"Up until 2007, I was of the view that maybe the next generation is not really willing to take this forward," says Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, leader of the moderate wing of the Hurriyat Conference. "You were looking at [Indian cricketer Sachin] Tendulkar and [actor] Shah Rukh Khan and, you know, the corporate India. And everybody was talking about IT and corporates and all that."

Two episodes in 2008 shattered the calm: in June, peaceful mass protests in Srinagar against a controversial decision to allocate land to a Hindu pilgrimage group showed that Kashmiri resentment toward India was as strong as ever; and the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai showed that Pakistan-based militant networks had only been dormant, not dismantled.

The Mumbai massacre prompted India to suspend its ongoing dialogue with Pakistan, and the U.S. and other Western governments joined New Delhi in condemning Pakistan's support for jihadist groups. New Delhi also dug in its heels on Kashmir, refusing to discuss the issue with Pakistan absent a demonstrable reversal of its support for jihadists fighting against India. The renewed hard line on Pakistan resulted in neglect of Kashmir's issues, leaving the popular anger displayed in the 2008 protests to simmer. It was to those demonstrations that today's stone throwers date their movement's origins. "Millions of protesters were out in the streets," one of them tells TIME. "They forced us to pelt stones. We didn't have any other options."(See pictures of Kashmir's psychic scars.)

The result has been this summer's alarming death toll: more than 100 people have died since June, as police and paramilitary outfits continue to use deadly force against stone-throwing protesters. Ashok K. Behuria, research fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses in New Delhi, says the nature of the recent protests has taken Indian authorities by surprise. Compared with the armed militancy of the 1990s, this is a largely peaceful uprising, with wide popular support. "The armed forces do not know what to do," he says. Absent clear guidelines, the troops simply do what they have always done — use whatever force they think is necessary to suppress a protest, with little fear of prosecution thanks to the legal protection of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

But widespread criticism of the use of force against unarmed protesters, particularly when it results in the deaths of children as young as 8, has shown New Delhi that it cannot completely ignore the popular anger of Kashmiris. Home Minister P. Chidambaram, who is considered a security hawk, has expressed support for modifying the AFSPA so that it can be lifted in some areas of Kashmir, but he has faced stiff opposition from the army.

The political impact of the latest demonstrations has been to restore the relevance of the Kashmiri separatist movement. Those leaders realize that mass protest actions against the Indian state are far more effective than terrorism is in bringing political pressure. The young stone throwers insist that their movement has no leader, but established separatist figures have co-opted their cause. In an interview last month, hard-line separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani claimed the mantle of leadership. Geelani has been issuing a weekly "protest calendar" for shutdowns, protests and days off, but on the street he has no control over spontaneous demonstrations.

The stone pelters respect Geelani, but they have already demonstrated the limit of his influence. After several incidents in which protesters burned government vehicles, Geelani on Aug. 4 called for a halt and a return to peaceful protest: "By indulging in acts of arson, we are harming our own cause." Almost immediately, he faced a backlash both on the Web and from a crowd at a funeral procession, who accused him of playing politics, and was forced to backtrack.

The question of who leads the stone throwers is an important one. The more prominent the roles of Geelani and other hard-line separatists, the easier it is for Indian hawks to assert that this summer's protests aren't a peaceful mass movement at all but rather yet another iteration of Pakistan-sponsored troublemaking in Kashmir. This week's visit by lawmakers did, however, bring Indian politicians face to face with the very real anger of young Kashmiris. In an emotional meeting in the town of Tangmarg, Kashmiris expressed their frustration that India insists Kashmir is a part of India but suspects Kashmiris of being Pakistani agents and uses that suspicion as justification for its security tactics. "Why don't you feel our pain if we are a part of your body?" one asked. Even the Hindu nationalists in the delegation seem to have gotten the message. Arun Jaitley, a leader of the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party, told reporters after the trip that Kashmiris' "biggest source of anxiety springs from being told on a daily basis that they are acting at the behest of Pakistan."

But even as India's political class and Kashmir's local leaders took that first step toward understanding each other, Pakistan has stepped into the picture. On Wednesday, Sept. 22, Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, called for international intervention in Kashmir, prompting his Indian counterpart, S.M. Krishna, to demand on Thursday that Pakistan remove its presence from certain parts of the region before presuming to tell India what to do. Both of them are in New York for the U.N. General Assembly, and their sharp words have further complicated the already strained negotiation process between the two countries.

There is, however, still room for New Delhi to make a dramatic gesture toward peace. On Wednesday, the Hindustan Times reported that the Kashmir state government is considering the release of 300 activists who have been arrested in recent months — one of the demands made by the protesters. The repeal of AFSPA, too, is still on the table. But as the Indian government deliberates, this year's bloody summer in Kashmir is already becoming a recruiting tool for jihadists. The group claiming responsibility for the Sept. 19 attack at Delhi's largest mosque mentioned this summer's violence in Kashmir as one of its motivations. If India fails to defuse the stone throwers' anger, it may be only a matter of time before one of the groups operating in the region finds a way to ignite it.
— With reporting by Madhur Singh / Mumbai

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2021259,00.html#ixzz10UETuzfT

Thursday, 23 September 2010

So called Azad Kashmir and security zone

So called Azad Kashmir and security zone
Presentation made by Abbas Butt on behalf of Kashmir National Party in a seminar arranged by NGO at the UN Human Rights Council Geneva on 22 September 2010.
Mr Chairman

Topic of my presentation is ‘So called Azad Kashmir and security zone’. This area of the former State of Jammu and Kashmir is occupied by Pakistan, and it is called Azad Kashmir, which means free or independent. Reality, however, is that this area is not free or independent. It is a colony of Pakistan and Pakistan exploits resources of this area, just like imperialist powers of the 18th and 19th century did with their colonies.

From among the Kashmiri collaborators, Pakistan selects those people who are best to serve their interests and keep control over the people. Pakistan and these puppets use name of religion to keep control over the people and spread extremism and hatred.
This area appears to have a Parliamentary democracy, but those who disagree with policies of Islamabad and promote united and independent Jammu and Kashmir are not allowed to contest elections. Pakistani politicians and Pakistani secret agencies decide who can contest and who will win the elections.

All those who become members of the Assembly are pro Pakistan and subservient of Pakistan, but Islamabad still does not trust them. They have set up Kashmir Council which is always chaired by Pakistani Prime Minister or Chief Executive when Islamabad is ruled by a dictator.

This Kashmir Council has majority of Pakistanis as its members, who are appointed by Prime Minister of Pakistan; and it is strictly controlled by Pakistani bureaucrats. Kashmir Council takes all the major decisions regarding Kashmir and Kashmir Assembly, its President or Prime Minister cannot challenge any of the decisions.

In reality four Pakistanis namely, Chief Secretary, IG Police, Finance Secretary and Accountant General control and manage all the affairs of this territory, which we like to call Pakistani Occupied Kashmir. Apart from that Military Chief based in Murree, known as GOC Murree, ISI, Intelligence Bureau and Military Intelligence have the last say in matters of this area; and political leaders, ministers, even President and Prime Minister of this territory have no say before them.

More than once Rulers of so called Azad Kashmir were dismissed by Islamabad, and when Azad Kashmir's Prime Minister, Mumtaz Rathore was arrested and dismissed in 1991, Benazir Bhutto commented:
“Pakistan had arrested the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir, rigged the state election, and alienated the Kashmiris to such an extent that they want an independent Kashmir.” Quoted in ‘Reclaiming the Past’, by Vernon Hewitt, page 119

Mr Chairman, this explains the real situation and independence of this area.
Furthermore, Lal Hussain, a liberal minded Pakistani wrote:

‘If the Indian army has the biggest concentration of military forces in Indian-Held Kashmir, then it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that Azad Kashmir is a garrison and cantonment for the Pakistan army. There is hardly any aspect of life in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir where there is no interference of the army, whether overt or covert. Ministers and politicians in Azad Kashmir are often seen lining up outside the offices of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Muzaffarabad.’
There are powerful forces in Pakistan who want to spread extremism, violence and hatred in name of religion. They want constant state of tension and war between India and Pakistan to justify existence of Pakistan and out of date and illogical Two Nations Theory, which divided the Sub Continent of India in name of religion and caused death and destruction; and people continue to suffer because of that.

Lal Hussain claims:
‘The two-nation theory requires constant rivalry and hatred against the Indian adversary. It is Kashmir that provides the material for this conflict.’

Pakistani ruling elite want to destabilise the region through their policy of exporting jihad or a proxy war; and for this purpose they propagate jihad in Kashmir and use this slogan to recruit people to advance their agenda.

They have training camps in so called Azad Kashmir which are controlled and financed by the secret agencies of Pakistan. The jihadi groups cross the LOC to wage jihad on the other side of the LOC and as a result people of Jammu and Kashmir suffer on both sides of the LOC.

Because of the presence of the Jihadi groups, people of Azad Kashmir suffer. They are intimidated and harassed; and those who criticise very often lose their lives. Their activities are promoting extremism and violence and people of this area are seriously worried about this.

Lal Hussain further comments on this situation:
‘The rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Azad Kashmir is not just because of the political vacuum or the objective situation, but because it has been promoted by the politics of expediency of the Pakistani rulers.’

Mr Chairman,
Azad Kashmir is not azad – free from foreign occupation, but surely it is free from responsibilities of education, trade, economic planning, health care, infrastructure, social and welfare of its people.

My request is NGOs and International community should take this matter seriously and take some action to prevent this matter getting out of control.
Thank you for your patience.

Kashmir and Muslim Umma

Kashmir and Muslim Umma

Shoaib Baba aslamo alaykam

1. I don’t know you but let me tell you, you are debating with people who live in a fantasy world and you cannot stop any one dreaming. They tell lies and twist facts to advance their agenda.

2. This issue of Umma is raised to block independence of State of Jammu and Kashmir. We are not against unity but unification and independence of J&K must not be blocked in that name, especially when there is not a remotest chance of that taking any shape.

3. No religious solution could be applied on Kashmir, unless you want to divide the state on religious lines and then divide Muslims of J&K on Shia, Sunni, Ismaili and Noor Bakshi lines to ensure that there is no peace and stability in J&K and in South Asia.

4. If that is their agenda then they have all the right ingredients. Perhaps they don’t know that J&K is multi religious and multi ethnic State, and certain areas are dominated by either followers of one faith or the other, which means division of the State on district or sub district level.

5. The Two Nations Theory did not apply to Kashmir and other Princely States, and they had choice to join India, join Pakistan or make other arrangements with these countries. If the Two Nations Theory was applicable to the Princely States then State of Junagarrh which had 80% non Muslim population with a Muslim Ruler should have gone to India? As the Two Nations Theory did not apply to Princely States, the Ruler of Junnagarrh chose to join Pakistan even though it had no land access with Pakistan. Mohammed Ali Jinnah as a Governor General of Pakistan and as a man with legal and constitutional expertise accepted that accession. Did Mr Jinnah know more legal and constitutional position of the time or these people who have perhaps read few books on religion and history?

6. UMMA Representative’s explanation of the UN Resolutions is also totally wrong, either deliberately or because of lack of knowledge, he says: ‘The two nation theory n UN resolutions are synonymous, there is no mention of a separate kashmir in the resolutions passed by UN. Our struggle to purely islamic n the UN resolutions is our diplomatic tool.Ja’.

6.1. The Two nations Theory divided British India on religious lines and even districts and sub districts were divided, causing enormous problems and death and destruction.

6.2. The UNCIP Resolutions do not prescribe division of the State on communal lines.

6.3. The UNCIP Resolution on 13 August 1948 talked of ‘Future Status’ of Kashmir which could mean accession to Pakistan, accession to India or an independent Kashmir; and fearing emergence of an independent Kashmir, Pakistan suggested that words ‘Future status’ should be changed with ‘accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan’.

If you want to insist on implementation of the UNCIP Resolutions then the Resolution demand total withdrawal of Pakistani troops, read details:

PART II TRUCE AGREEMENT (Resolution of 13 August 1948)

‘A. (1) As the presence of troops of Pakistan in the territory of the State of Jammu and Kashmir constitutes a material change in the situation since it was represented by the Government of Pakistan before the Security Council, the Government of Pakistan agrees to withdraw its troops from that State. (2) The Government of Pakistan will use its best endeavour to secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistan nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purpose of fighting. (3) Pending a final solution the territory evacuated by the Pakistan troops will be administered by the local authorities under the surveillance of the Commission.

B. (1) When the Commission shall have notified the Government of India that the tribesmen and Pakistan nationals referred to in Part II A2 hereof have withdrawn, thereby terminating the situation which was represented by the Government of India to the Security Council as having occasioned the presence of Indian forces in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, and further, that the Pakistan forces are being withdrawn from the State of Jammu and Kashmir, the Government of India agrees to begin to withdraw the bulk of their forces from the State in stages to be agreed upon with the
Commission.’

6.4. Is your Islamic Republic of Pakistan ready to vacate areas of J&K occupied by them?

6.5. You should also know that after the Simla Agreement, term of reference on Kashmir is not the UN resolutions but the Simla Agreement which only speak of bilateral talks; and it is because of this the Kashmir dispute has never been raised in the UN and we people of J&K never been made part of any negotiators on Kashmir.

7. Before Pakistan emerged as a nation there were other Muslim countries, why it did not join Afghanistan or Iran to strengthen this concept of Umma.

8. Because of treatment and anti Islam and imperialist policies East Pakistan became Bangladesh, again resulting in death of millions of people – reward of hatred and wrong policy of 1947, but advocates of Umma remained quiet.

9. After collapse of USSR, in Central Asia six countries emerged as Muslim states, but it did not affect Umma movement, but as soon as we talk of united and independent J&K some people have stomach ache and they block our path because they fear Pakistan will also lose Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, area of more than 32,000 sq miles.

10. Pakistan lost 57000 sq miles when they surrendered and lost East Pakistan, they want to make up that loss by occupying parts of J&K, as they have already done by annexing Gilgit Baltistan.

11. Brother, you will never succeed with policies which generate extremism, communalism and hatred, if anything; fear is that Pakistan will disintegrate in to more pieces, again resulting blood shed and destruction.

12. So it is still not too late, say Toba, abandon policy of getting of Kashmir, stop spreading hatred – (Islam teaches peace and love), and concentrate your resources in saving Pakistan and have, peace and justice there ; and that will be the biggest service to Islam.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Let Kashmiri Muslims know these facts

Let Kashmiri Muslims know these facts

• While the separatists want the children of the common man to come out on the roads to protest and leave their studies for a ‘bigger cause’, their own children and family members are getting the best education in other parts of the country and even abroad.

• The Tribune has a list of some of the senior separatist leaders whose
children and relatives are studying in other parts of the country or abroad.

• Nayeem Geelani, son of the chairman of the hard line faction of the All Party.

• Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Syed Ali Geelani, who has been spearheading the agitation for the past more than three months, is a medical practitioner in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

• Nayeem’s wife is also in the same profession there.

• Geelani’s second son, Zahoor Geelani, along with his family lives in New Delhi.

• Izhaar Geelani, grandson of Syed Ali Geelani, is a crew member of a private airliner in India.

• His daughter Farhat Geelani is a teacher in Jeddah and
her husband is an engineer there.

• Gulam Nabi Fall, a cousin of the octogenarian separatist leader, lives in London.

• Rabia Farooq, sister of chairman of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, is a doctor and lives in the USA.

• Jugnu, son of Ghulam Mohammed Sumzi, general secretary
of the Geelani faction, is a management student in New Delhi.

• Abid Sehrai, son of Mohammed Ashraf Sehrai, another general secretary of the Geelani faction, is a computer engineer in Dubai.

• Mariyam Andrabi, sister of head of the radical Dukhtran-e-Millat Asiya
Andrabi, along with her family lives in Malaysia. Asiya wanted to send her elder son to Malaysia for further studies, but he was denied a passport.

• Rooma Maqbool, son of head of Mass Movement Farida Behanjee, lives and works as a medical practitioner in South Africa.

• Sarwar Yaqub, son of a spokesman for the Geelani faction, Ayaz Akbar, is a management student in Pune.

• Two sons of another leader of the Geelani faction Abdul Aziz Dar, Umer Dar and Adil Dar are studying in Pakistan.

• While for the past three months the education of the children of common people in the Valley has suffered a severe blow due to the ongoing unrest, a majority of the separatist leaders in Kashmir have made it sure that their children get quality education outside Kashmir. More than 100 persons, mostly youths, have died in the ongoing unrest in the Valley.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Leaders must have pro peace and pro people policies Dr Shabir Choudhry, London 20 September 2010 Kashmir National Party leader Dr Shabir Choudhry s

Leaders must have pro peace and pro people policies

Dr Shabir Choudhry, London 20 September 2010

Kashmir National Party leader Dr Shabir Choudhry said, “Suffering of people of Jammu and Kashmir must come to an end; and leaders with economic gains in mind must not be allowed to make business out of suffering of people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Dr Shabir Choudhry said, “It is sad that people of Jammu and Kashmir are suffering on both sides of the LOC with varying degrees and people in the Valley suffering the most with death of innocent young men and children but those who claim to lead this movement have no idea what they are doing and what is their ultimate destination.”

KNP leader said, “Some of these so called leaders have personal interest and economic gains in mind and interest of people of Jammu and Kashmir is not their top priority. They promote such policies which create divisions among different sections of people of Jammu and Kashmir and promote extremism and hatred that could lead to division of the State.”

“These people are not well wishers of the people; and peace and stability is not their agenda”, added Dr Choudhry. He said, “These people are enemy of our identity and independence and want to promote such policies which advance communalism, extremism and hatred that people of Jammu and Kashmir remain divided and these so called leaders could benefit from their misery.”

Dr Shabir Choudhry said, “KNP condemn human rights abuses and politics of extremism; and promote politics of tolerance and coexistence. KNP believes violence, terrorism, extremism and non cooperation is not the way forward to resolve the Kashmir dispute.”

Dr Choudhry said, “Right of speech and right to protest is a fundamental human right, but we must not allow extremists among us to hijack the agenda and make this movement violent by throwing stones and burning buildings.”

“KNP believes in politics of dialogue and we urge all concerned to abandon obstinacy and stop playing politics with lives and future of Kashmiri people. India and Pakistan must review their Kashmir policy and make appropriate changes to make it pro people and pro peace”.

“We urge all sides to sit around the table and explore ways of resolving the Kashmir dispute by keeping aspirations and welfare of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their minds.”

Dr Shabir Choudhry said, “Those who want to walk away from the dialogue or those who want to ignore aspirations of the people are not well wishers of the people; and they don’t want peace and stability in Kashmir and South Asia. Our struggle is not for Muslims of the Valley or against one occupier. Our struggle is for rights, welfare and dignity of all citizens of Jammu and Kashmir, and against all those who have usurped our rights.
Email:drshabirchoudhry@gmail.com

Hurriyat moderates, JKLF want Kashmir committees in India, Pak

Hurriyat moderates, JKLF want Kashmir committees in India, Pak
PTI, Sep 20, 2010, 07.47pm IST

SRINAGAR: Making a fresh demand for a result-oriented dialogue, the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) today demanded setting up of Kashmir committees in India and Pakistan to find an everlasting solution to the Kashmir issue.

"We look forward to entering into a dialogue based on shared commitments...Let the Government of India establish and empower an official body, a Kashmir Committee, consisting of senior representatives of major political parties to develop and enter into a process of engagement with representatives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir," Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and JKLF Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik said in a joint memorandum.

"We believe that a similar Kashmir Committee, bringing together all political forces, should also be established in Pakistan. We will suggest to political parties in Pakistan that this be done," the memorandum addressed to the all-party delegation said.

The memorandum said, "This (setting up of Kashmir Committees) will ensure that all major political forces in India and Pakistan are on board with the peace process and it will help institutionalise and sustain the process to resolve the Kashmir problem.

"On our part we are ready and willing to engage and sustain a meaningful and irreversible process of dialogue designed to avoid the failures of the past and to jointly develop and implement a solution to the Kashmir dispute that is acceptable to all sides - India, Pakistan and above all the people of the state," it said.

"We must render the process immune from domestic politics and tendencies to act as spoilers," it said adding "achieving a solution to the Kashmir issue should now rise above vote bank politics and be taken up as a national agenda shared by all, worked for by all, and risked for by all major political parties of India."

Defending the decision of Mirwaiz and Malik to skip the meeting with the all-party delegation, the memorandum said "...to voice our unequivocal condemnation of the killings of our children and youth, we choose not to meet with your delegation."

"We are now wary that your visit today, however well-intentioned, represents only an effort at short-term crisis management and that there is no clear commitment nor path towards effective resolution of the Kashmir Issue and addressing the aspirations and interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir," it said.

"We ask not for unilateral political concessions but rather a joint commitment to a meaningful process that guarantees results. We believe this is possible only if serious efforts are made to create a conducive environment for dialogue by removal of the harsh and repressive measures that are in force here, to suppress our aspirations and our fundamental democratic rights," it said.

"We have seen in the past that it is only when a major crisis erupts that visible efforts are made to engage and understand our aspirations. And as soon as the immediate crisis subsides, the demonstrated and inherent political complacency and negligence is restored," it said.

"To create a beginning and to sustain the process of dialogue we need to create a process in which all views and options - most of all Kashmiri aspirations will be considered and explored before arriving at an acceptable solution.

"Let resolving the Kashmir dispute in accordance with aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir become a Common Minimum Programme shared by all political parties in India and in Pakistan," the memorandum said.

It said "let this process be transparent and designed to deliver a negotiated solution to the Kashmir issue that is mutually worked towards by and acceptable to all parties concerned.

"For an entire generation, more than 20 years, we have engaged in multiple exercises of dialogue and talks with the Government of India.

"We took risks to do so and some amongst us sacrificed their lives to tread the path of peacemaking, while others amongst us paid with our credibility. We give some suggestions with a view to generating a favourable political climate for a purposeful dialogue like revocation of draconian laws, release of political prisoners, withdrawal of troops and zero tolerance for human rights but these suggestions were not taken seriously yet," the memorandum added.

Read more: Hurriyat moderates, JKLF want Kashmir committees in India, Pak - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Hurriyat-moderates-JKLF-want-Kashmir-committees-in-India-Pak/articleshow/6593544.cms#ixzz105Rh2cIV

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

KNP leaders meet British Foreign Office

KNP leaders meet British Foreign Office

Kashmir National Party leaders Abbas Butt and Dr Shabir Choudhry had a detailed meeting with senior officials responsible for issues related to Kashmir and South Asia at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

Issues discussed by the Kashmiri leaders included human rights abuses, terrorism, extremism, communalism and militant infiltration. They also emphasised that there was no military solution to the Kashmir dispute; and that it was not a religious or a bilateral dispute. The dispute has to be resolved by a peace process and by making people of Jammu and Kashmir part of the process.

The KNP leaders also handed in a letter for British Foreign Secretary William Secretary; and text of the letter is produced below.

08 September 2010
Rt Hon William Hague, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Dear Sir
Re: Kashmir dispute

We want to draw your attention to the plight of the people of Jammu and Kashmir who are forcibly divided and suffer with varying degree on both sides of the Line of Control; and many Kashmiris hold the British responsible for their miseries as it was they who failed to resolve the Kashmir dispute before relinquishing their imperial rule in India.

Sir, Britain and other European countries make lofty claims about human rights and democracy. They claim to promote democracy and rights of suffering people; but they have virtually ignored the plight of the people of former State of Jammu and Kashmir.

We appreciate economic and strategic interests are important, but principles and human values are also very important; and members of the International Community must uphold human values and right of self determination.

Sir, people of Jammu and Kashmir also deserve to enjoy fruits of democracy. They must not be denied fundamental human rights, including right of self determination. They must not be subjugated, oppressed, abused and humiliated.

The people of Jammu and Kashmir have self respect and they want to live in peace and harmony. They don’t want to be victims of extremism, communalism and hatred. They don’t want to be victims of terrorism, violence and state terrorism.

Sir, how many more innocent people have to die, how many more children have to be orphaned and how many women have to lose their dignity before the international Community feels it necessary to take some action to alleviate miseries and suffering of the people?

The Kashmir dispute is not religious in nature; and it is not a territorial dispute either. The dispute concerns our unfettered right of self determination. People of the former Princely State must be allowed to determine their future without any fear or intimidation. The State must not be divided on religious or ethnic lines as this will create more problems for the people and for the peace and stability of the entire region.

On behalf of Kashmir National Party which promotes liberal, democratic and secular politics, we want to suggest the following to provide some relief to the suffering people:

1. Both India and Pakistan should ensure that human rights abuse in their respective parts of Jammu and Kashmir must come to an end;

2. Political prisoners should be released without any delay; and preferably before Eid – Muslim Christmas;

3. People uprooted because of the conflict must be resettled and appropriate measures must be taken to ensure that all sections of the society are protected;

4. Pakistan must be urged to ensure that there is no infiltration across the LOC and militant activities are stopped immediately in areas of the State under their control;

5. Pakistan must also ensure that people uprooted because of the earthquake in 2005, and because of the recent floods must be appropriately helped and supported; and that the help destined for them must not end up elsewhere;
6. As there is no military solution to the dispute, both sides must stop use of gun and ensue the peace process;
7. As the Kashmir dispute is not a territorial dispute and concerns right of self determination of the people, people of Jammu and Kashmir must be made part of the peace process to ensure that there is amicable solution to the dispute.

Sir, we believe Britain still has an important role to play in the matter of Kashmir; and we hope that you will take some positive steps to help resolve the Kashmir dispute.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely


Presented on behalf of Kashmir National Party by Abbas Butt (Chairman) and Dr Shabir Choudhry (Head of Diplomatic Section).
Email: drshabirchoudhry@gmail.com
Tel. 07790942471