Sunday, 28 November 2010

Dr Shabir Choudhry is to appear in a TV debate on Kashmir

Dr Shabir Choudhry is to appear in a TV debate

Dr Shabir Choudhry is to appear on DM Digital TV Sky 802, on Tuesday 30th November 2010, to take part in a debate on the situation of Kashmir. The programme is hosted by a prominent Kashmiri journalist and TV anchor Ijaz Sahib, and people can phone in to take part in the programme. The programme will start at 10.30 pm London time.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

‘I have faced Pakistani oppression and intimidation’, Shafqat Inquilabi

‘I have faced Pakistani oppression and intimidation’, Shafqat Inquilabi
Posted by K4Kashmir on November 27, 2010 in Kashmir, Pakistan | 0 Comment Edit
‘I have faced Pakistani oppression and intimidation’, Shafqat Inquilabi

Interview by Dr Shabir Choudhry 26 November 2010

During our Study Tour of Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, we interviewed many people and among them was Shafqat Inquilabi, a leader of Balwaristan National Front. A report on the visit is being compiled, but for the interest of people interview of Shafqat Inquilabi is released.

Shafqat Inquilabi was also of the opinion that their ‘fight is not against India. Those who are occupied by India and suffer at the hands of India should struggle against them according to their conditions. We are occupied by Pakistan and oppressed by their army and their secret agencies, so our fight is here and not on the other side of the LOC.’

He said, ‘Like my colleagues my first priority is to get independent Balawaristan – independent Gilgit Baltistan; and second choice is united and independent Jammu and Kashmir. However, if only two options are available, I will vote for India and not for Pakistan. I know what Pakistan is like. I have faced Pakistani oppression and intimidation. I was expelled from my home town just because I challenged government of Pakistan over the issue of Gilgit Baltistan Ordinance.

Perhaps this is the only case where a political activist is banned from entering his home town; people are barred entering from other regions or towns for various reasons, but not from his own region. He said, ‘I am not a criminal. I am a political activist and engineer by profession. My whole struggle has been peaceful, yet my hands were tired behind my back and then I was tied in a police jeep and taken to Pakistan on this bumpy road and extremely long and painful journey. My back is still painful because of that’.

The journey on this road even if one is sitting on a front seat of a luxury car is very troublesome and tiring; and if one’s both hands are tired on his back and thrown on a floor of a police jeep then one can imagine pain and suffering of that person. No wonder he is bitter and extremely angry.

Apart from that, according to Shafqat Inquilabi his business has been ruined by the ISI. As an engineer he had sub contracted two projects in Muzaffarabad and he invested 6- 7 lakhs of his own money which he borrowed from friends (including me – Dr Shabir Choudhry) as well. He was doing really well, but after this challenge to the Gilgit Baltistan Ordinance ISI people contacted the contractor and urged him to take Shafqat Inquilabi off from these projects otherwise he will lose other projects and suffer in many other ways.

In order to save his skin and his investment, the contractor expelled Shafqat Inquilabi from these projects, and he has not recovered anything from this. Pakistani secret agencies try to alienate their victims from the circle of friends and relatives by a campaign of negative propaganda; and then they strike at them financially.

As a last resort they implicate the person in some cases, imprison him or ‘terminate’ him by staging an accident, a robbery or some fake encounter. He said, ‘They have tried everything with me. They have created problems for me within family and extended family; they have unleashed a negative propaganda against me, they have tried to alienate me from my friends and social circle by accusing me of many things and they have crippled me financially, but they have not been able to crush my will and determination to continue my struggle’.

Shafqat Inquilabi said, ‘If we have to join a country then why not join a country which has democracy, which has some system, which has strong economy and which is emerging superpower; rather than a country which has no system, which is run by army and feudal lords, which promotes violence and religious hatred and a country which is subservient to America.’

Shafqat Inquilabi categorically asserted: ‘I don’t want to be a slave of American slaves; slaves who kill their own people and sell their own sons and daughters to get American dollars. I don’t want to be part of a country which, as a matter of policy, promotes religious intolerance and export violence and terrorism; a country which use gun and violence to silence dissidents’.

These views are expressed by Shafqat Inquilabi who has suffered at the hands of Pakistani secret agencies. He, of course, does not represent a majority view, but we met many who expressed resentment against Pakistani rule; and some espoused similar views to that of Shafqat Inquilaabi

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

View my blog and web:

Monday, 22 November 2010

The story behind deletion

The story behind deletion
Kashmir has lost its regularity on the UN Security Council agenda and remains alive under an annual reminder rule
Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani
The recent uproar in a section of press on both sides of LoC that Kashmir has been deleted from the UN agenda and subsequent planted clarifications in the press prove beyond doubt that Kashmiri leaders do not have a reliable understanding of Kashmir case and at the same time continue to act in a hypocritical manner on the subject.
If we don’t want to pursue the UN mechanism on Kashmir and seem to avoid a robust reference to it, it should not bother us if the UN deletes or keeps Kashmir on its agenda. UN is not a human person. Its collective wisdom rests in the collective wisdom of all member nations. Decisions are taken or skipped on the basis of interest or non-interest of member nations. Interests are not a natural reflex but need to be cultivated through a broad spread of diplomacy and active work of various NGOs.

It is true that something has happened to Kashmir case on November 11, 2010 and much more has happened on September 15, 1996. On November 11, 2010 Permanent Representative of the UK Mission to the UN in his capacity as President of the Security Council presented the annual report of the Council to the General Assembly as contained in document A/65/2. The report covers the period from August 2009 to July 2010. It makes a reference to long-running situations that remain unresolved. It is true that the list of unresolved situations makes no reference to Kashmir.

The non-inclusion of Kashmir in the annual report should have caused a serious concern to Kashmiri leaders, in particular, to all those who turn up at every social occasion organised by High Commission of Pakistan in Delhi. The report covers the period from August 2009 to July 2010. It means that all that has happened in Kashmir during this period has not been adequately presented outside the city of Srinagar. There is an All Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir (APPG) constituted in the British House of Commons. The decision of Sir Mark Lyall Grant, Permanent Representative of the UK Mission to the UN to skip reference to Kashmir in his report is a living example that APPG in the British Parliament or any other institution charged and resourced by Pakistan does not have much acceptability when it comes to a full scale test. Kashmir is used for self-serving purpose by these institutions.

The tent put up in Geneva and the so called hearing arranged in the European Parliament in the name of Kashmir all have meant to nothing when it came to the preparation of the annual report of the UN Security Council by Britain, during its Presidency of the Security Council. The non-inclusion of Kashmir as an unresolved issue in the UN Security Council could not be blamed on Britain alone because the introduction to the report was prepared by the delegation of Nigeria, which held the Council’s presidency in July. Nigeria is represented in OIC as well.

The responsibility of the non-inclusion of Kashmir as an unresolved issue falls on the shoulders of Pakistan as a party to the dispute and as a member nation of the UN. It means that Pakistan has failed to take advantage of the many open meetings of Security Council and has failed to take advantage of the live broadcast of its (Security Council) meetings on the internet. All Member States have a regular opportunity to take full advantage of the regular briefings by the Security Council during the course of the year, which provide details of the Council’s discussions on issues of the day. Pakistan, in the case of Kashmir, seems to have failed to sensitise the interest of the UN Security Council, as a long outstanding issue and in particular in respect of the civil unrest from August 2009 to July 2010. It appears that Kashmiri leaders have lost all moral and ethical anchor required to defend the Rights Movement.
It was not only the non-inclusion of Kashmir as an unresolved issue in the report but Kashmir has lost on the question of thematic focus that the Council maintained in much of its work. These themes are now well established on the Council’s agenda: conflict prevention and peacekeeping; protection of civilians; children and armed conflict; women, peace and security; and relations with regional organisations.

Kashmiri women could have benefited from the 10th anniversary of Resolution 1325 in October – on women, peace and security – which was a landmark event. The Council adopted a Presidential Statement that supported taking forward a set of indicators as a framework to track implementation of Resolution 1325 in situations of armed conflict, post-conflict and other relevant situations.
Ambassador Amjad Hussain B. Sial Acting Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN made a last minute effort and pointed out that the annual report did not make any reference to Jammu and Kashmir dispute “in the context of unresolved long-running situations. We understand this was an inadvertent omission, as Jammu and Kashmir is one of the oldest disputes on agenda of the Security Council.” Ambassador Sial does deserve a credit for his quick comment.

It does not make the annual report different in any manner to what it has been presented to the UN General Assembly. Kashmir could not find a mention alongside with other long-running situations, which included Middle East, Cyprus, Western Sahara and other issues where the Council has become engaged in recent years, including Nepal and Guinea Bissau.

It is unfortunate that we have continued to lie to our people even when much worse things have happened to Kashmir issue at the UN. In August 1996 UN Security Council under rule 11 of the provisional rules of procedure decided that as of “September 15, 1996 matters which have not been considered by the Council in the preceding five years will be automatically deleted from the list of matters of which the Council is seized”. As a result the matters which were included in the summary statement of the Secretary General for deletion attracted the India–Pakistan question (Kashmir) as well. It was found that Kashmir was last discussed on November 5, 1965 and had not been discussed for 30 years and 11 months. It was deleted and lost its regularity on the UN SC agenda which it had continued to occupy for 48 years from January 1948 to August 1996.

Once again a procedural stipulation came to the rescue of Kashmir. The Security Council, however, decided that “A matter will however, be provisionally retained in the list of matters of which the Security Council is seized for a period of one year if a Member of the United Nations notifies its objection to its deletion before September 15, 1996. If at the end of one year the matter has still not been considered by the Council, it will be automatically deleted”.

Our leaders should have the courage to tell the people that Kashmir has lost its regularity on the UN SC agenda and remains alive under an annual reminder rule. It was deleted in September 1996 from the UN SC agenda and now has lost its place in the annual report of the UN Security Council. It is time that every Kashmiri decides to exercise his and her right to intervene in the matters that concern him or her or their children.

Author is London based Secretary General of JKCHR – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations and can be mailed at

Friday, 19 November 2010

UN Security Council hasn't discussed Kashmir in 45 years

UN Security Council hasn't discussed Kashmir in 45 years

Indrani Bagchi, TNN, Nov 19, 2010, 02.15am IST

NEW DELHI: The "India-Pakistan question", which is a euphemism for the Kashmir question, was last discussed in the UN Security Council in 1965 having been first raised in 1948. Since then the Security Council has not discussed the issue.

Earlier this week, the Pakistan envoy to the UN, Amjad Sial, opened the lid on what is probably the worst kept secret in the UNSC -- that Kashmir as an issue has not been raised in the Council for almost half a century, even during the worst of India-Pakistan relations.

The Pakistan envoy protested in the General Assembly earlier this week that the Kashmir issue was "missing" from the UNSC annual list, describing it as an "inadvertent error." Indian diplomats maintained that it was not inadvertent at all, but that the Kashmir issue was a "dead letter".

Later, UNSC spokesperson Farhan Haq clarified that the annual list submitted to the General Assembly only published issues discussed in the Council from January 1, 2007, and that the full list of issues that had ever been discussed by the Council was in an addendum published in March 2010. That list, Haq said, includes Kashmir, which means Kashmir remains a "live" issue in the UNSC, unlike the Indian interpretation that it was a "dead letter".

However, the addendum in question, posted on March 8, 2010, lists "items which were identified in document S/2010/10 as subject to deletion in 2010 because they had not been considered by the Council at a formal meeting during the three-year period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2009". According to UNSC's own rules, these items would be removed from the list in 2010. Which, say, Indian officials, is what was done.

In 2005, the then UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, declared that the "plebiscite" issue could not be enforced or self-implemented. But it was after Annan's remarks, made in the context of the resumption of the India-Pakistan dialogue in 2005, that the UNSC dropped the reference to the dispute. In the past five years there has been no such mention.

Read more: UNSC hasn't discussed Kashmir in 45 yrs - The Times of India

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Terrorist, insurgent and Jihadi groups India and Jammu and Kashmir

Terrorist, insurgent and Jihadi groups in India and Jammu and Kashmir
Some very interesting data about militant groups in India and Jammu and Kashmir.
Posted by K4Kashmir on November 17, 2010 in Historic Documents, India | 0 Comment Edit
Terrorist, insurgent and Jihadi groups in India


1. United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA)
2. National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)
3. United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS)
4. Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO)
5. Bodo Liberation Tiger Force (BLTF)
6. Dima Halim Daogah (DHD)
7. Karbi National Volunteers (KNV)
8. Rabha National Security Force (RNSF)
9. Koch-Rajbongshi Liberation Organisation (KRLO)
10. Hmar People’s Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)
11. Karbi People’s Front (KPF)
12. Tiwa National Revolutionary Force (TNRF)
13. Bircha Commando Force (BCF)
14. Bengali Tiger Force (BTF)
15. Adivasi Security Force (ASF)
16. All Assam Adivasi Suraksha Samiti (AAASS)
17. Gorkha Tiger Force (GTF)
18. Barak Valley Youth Liberation Front (BVYLF) 1. Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam (MULTA)
2. United Liberation Front of Barak Valley
3. Muslim United Liberation Front of Assam (MULFA)
4. Muslim Security Council of Assam (MSCA)
5. United Liberation Militia of Assam (ULMA)
6. Islamic Liberation Army of Assam (ILAA)
7. Muslim Volunteer Force (MVF)
8. Muslim Liberation Army (MLA)
9. Muslim Security Force (MSF)
10. Islamic Sevak Sangh (ISS)
11. Islamic United Reformation Protest of India (IURPI)
12. United Muslim Liberation Front of Assam (UMLFA)
13. Revolutionary Muslim Commandos (RMC)
14. Muslim Tiger Force (MTF)
15. People’s United Liberation Front (PULF)
16. Adam Sena (AS)
17. Harkat-ul-Mujahideen
18. Harkat-ul-Jehad
Jammu & Kashmir

Terrorist Outfits
1. Lashkar-e-Omar (LeO)
2. Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM)
3. Harkat-ul-Ansar (HuA, presently known as Harkat-ul Mujahideen)
4. Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT)
5. Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM)
6. Harkat-ul Mujahideen (HuM, previously known as Harkat-ul-Ansar)
7. Al Badr
8. Jamait-ul-Mujahideen (JuM)
9. Lashkar-e-Jabbar (LeJ)
10. Harkat-ul-Jehad-i-Islami
11. Al Barq
12. Tehrik-ul-Mujahideen
13. Al Jehad
14. Jammu & Kashir National Liberation Army
15. People’s League
16. Muslim Janbaz Force
17. Kashmir Jehad Force
18. Al Jehad Force (combines Muslim Janbaz Force and Kashmir Jehad Force)
19. Al Umar Mujahideen
20. Mahaz-e-Azadi
21. Islami Jamaat-e-Tulba
22. Jammu & Kashmir Students Liberation Front
23. Ikhwan-ul-Mujahideen
24. Islamic Students League
25. Tehrik-e-Hurriat-e-Kashmir
26. Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Fiqar Jafaria
27. Al Mustafa Liberation Fighters
28. Tehrik-e-Jehad-e-Islami
29. Muslim Mujahideen
30. Al Mujahid Force
31. Tehrik-e-Jehad
32. Islami Inquilabi Mahaz Other Extremist and Secessionist Groups
1. Mutahida Jehad Council (MJC) — A Pakistan based coordination body of terrorist outfits active in Jammu and Kashmir
2. Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF)– The dominant faction of this outfit declared a ceasefire in 1994 which still holds and the outfit restricts itself to a political struggle.
3. All Parties Hurriyat Conference(APHC) — an alliance engineered by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of 26 diverse political and socio-religious outfits amalgamated to provide a political face for the terrorists in the State.
4. Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) — an outfit run by women which uses community pressure to further the social norms dictated by Islamic fundamental groups.

1. United National Liberation Front (UNLF)
2. People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
3. People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK)
The above mentioned three groups now operate from a unified platform, the Manipur People’s Liberation Front (MPLF)
4. Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP)
5. Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL)
6. Manipur Liberation Tiger Army (MLTA)
7. Iripak Kanba Lup (IKL)
8. People’s Republican Army (PRA)
9. Kangleipak Kanba Kanglup (KKK)
10. Kangleipak Liberation Organisation (KLO)
11. Revolutionary Joint Committee (RJC)
12. National Socialist Council of Nagaland — Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM)
13. People’s United Liberation Front (PULF)
14. North East Minority Front (NEMF)
15. Islamic National Front (INF)
16. Islamic Revolutionary Front (IRF)
17. United Islamic Liberation Army (UILA)
18. United Islamic Revolutionary Army (UIRA) 1. Kuki National Front (KNF)
2. Kuki National Army (KNA)
3. Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA)
4. Kuki National Organisation (KNO)
5. Kuki Independent Army (KIA)
6. Kuki Defence Force (KDF)
7. Kuki International Force (KIF)
8. Kuki National Volunteers (KNV)
9. Kuki Liberation Front (KLF)
10. Kuki Security Force (KSF)
11. Kuki Liberation Army (KLA)
12. Kuki Revolutionary Front (KRF)
13. United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF)
14. Hmar People’s Convention (HPC)
15. Hmar People’s Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)
16. Hmar Revolutionary Front (HRF)
17. Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA)
18. Zomi Revolutionary Volunteers (ZRV)
19. Indigenous People’s Revolutionary Alliance(IRPA)
20. Kom Rem People’s Convention (KRPC)
21. Chin Kuki Revolutionary Front (CKRF)

1. Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC)
2. Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC)
1. People’s Liberation Front of Meghalaya (PLF-M)
2. Hajong United Liberation Army (HULA)

1. National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) – NSCN(IM)
2. National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) – NSCN (K)
1. Naga National Council (Adino) – NNC (Adino)

1. Babbar Khalsa International (BKI)
2. Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF)
3. International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF)
4. Khalistan Commando Force (KCF)
5. All-India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF)
6. Bhindrawala Tigers Force of Khalistan (BTFK)
7. Khalistan Liberation Army (KLA)
8. Khalistan Liberation Front (KLF)
9. Khalistan Armed Force (KAF)
10. Dashmesh Regiment
11. Khalistan Liberation Organisation (KLO)
12. Khalistan National Army (KNA)

1. National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT)
2. All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF)
3. Tripura Liberation Organisation Front (TLOF)
4. United Bengali Liberation Front (UBLF)
5. Tripura Tribal Volunteer Force (TTVF)
6. Tripura Armed Tribal Commando Force (TATCF)
7. Tripura Tribal Democratic Force (TTDF)
8. Tripura Tribal Youth Force (TTYF)
9. Tripura Liberation Force (TLF)
10. Tripura Defence Force (TDF)
11. All Tripura Volunteer Force (ATVF)
12. Tribal Commando Force (TCF)
13. Tripura Tribal Youth Force (TTYF)
14. All Tripura Bharat Suraksha Force (ATBSF)
15. Tripura Tribal Action Committee Force (TTACF) 1. Socialist Democratic Front of Tripura (SDFT)
2. All Tripura National Force (ATNF)
3. Tripura Tribal Sengkrak Force (TTSF)
4. Tiger Commando Force (TCF)
5. Tripura Mukti Police (TMP)
6. Tripura Rajya Raksha Bahini (TRRB)
7. Tripura State Volunteers (TSV)
8. Tripura National Democratic Tribal Force (TNDTF)
9. National Militia of Tripura (NMT)
10. All Tripura Bengali Regiment (ATBR)
11. Bangla Mukti Sena (BMS)
12. All Tripura Liberation Organisation (ATLO)
13. Tripura National Army (TNA)
14. Tripura State Volunteers (TSV)
15. Borok National Council of Tripura (BNCT)
1. Bru National Liberation Front
2. Hmar People’s Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)

Arunachal Pradesh
1. Arunachal Dragon Force (ADF)

Left-wing Extremist groups
1. Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)
2. People’s War Group
3. Maoist Communist Centre
4. People’s Guerrilla Army
5. Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) Janashakti
6. Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC)

Other Extremist Groups
1. Tamil National Retrieval Troops(TNRT)
2. Akhil Bharat Nepali Ekta Samaj(ABNES)
3. Tamil Nadu Liberation Army(TNLA)
4. Deendar Anjuman
5. Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI)
6. Asif Reza Commando Force
7. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
8. Kamatapur Liberation Organisation (KLO)
9. Ranvir Sena
Source: SATP

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Tuesday, 16 November 2010

J&K in UN list; mystery still on

J&K in UN list; mystery still on
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 16 (AGENCIES): The controversy, raked up following the appearance of baffling media reports about the alleged UN move to remove Kashmir from its list of unresolved disputes, today had yet another interesting turn as the Pakistan's premier news agency APP running the rebuttal of earlier reports.
Paradoxically the United Nations, the origin of controversy, continued to maintain an eerie silence on the issue which has created flutters in Indo-Pak diplomatic circles. No official from the United Nations bothered to clear the air even today i.e., two days after the controversy erupted.
Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), however, reported: 'The Jammu and Kashmir dispute remains on the United Nations Security Council's agenda, a UN spokesman categorically stated Monday, while rejecting as "inaccurate" reports that it has been removed from the list of unresolved issues.
"Some articles today on Kashmir are inaccurate," UN Spokesman Farhan Haq said, referring to those reports. He said the latest list of matters the Security Council is seized of "continues to include the agenda item under which the Council has taken up Kashmir which, by a decision of the Council, remains on the list for this year," the spokesman added.
Earlier, a spokesman for the Pakistan Mission clarified that Pakistan's Acting Ambassador Amjad Hussain Sial, in his speech to the General Assembly on Friday, November 12 had referred to the omission of Jammu and Kashmir dispute in a statement by the President of the Security Council, and NOT from the Council's Annual Report-as reported in a section of press.
"The agenda item entitled, 'India and Pakistan Question', which covers Jammu and Kashmir dispute, is duly mentioned in the Annual Report of the Security Council and is also present on its agenda," Spokesman Mian Jehangir Iqbal said in a statement.
In his statement, the 15-member Council's President for the current month, British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, while presenting the Annual Report to the 192-member assembly, did not mention the Kashmir dispute in the context of unresolved long-running situations, despite the fact decades-old issue is included in the Annual Report.
"We understand this was an inadvertent omission, as Jammu and Kashmir is one of the oldest disputes on agenda of the Security Council," Ambassador Sial remarked, after Grant's statement. Meanwhile, Pakistan's UN Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon, who is on a visit to Pakistan, said there was no question of the Kashmir issue being dropped from the Council's agenda. "The Security Council Report in its annexures is explicit," he said in a statement.
"The President of the Security Council, the Permanent Representative of the UK, is amply clear on the subject and is cognizant of the matter. I would request all concerned not to speculate unnecessarily upon the subject."
Earlier the development drew a protest on Monday from the Pakistani envoy to the U.N., Amjad Hussain B Sial. Pakistan has regularly been asking the international body to intervene in the controversy.
Speaking at the General Assembly during a discussion on Security Council reforms, Sial said, "Jammu and Kashmir was not mentioned in the context of unresolved long-running situations. We understand this was an inadvertent omission, as Jammu and Kashmir is one of the oldest disputes on agenda of the Security Council." The discussion was organized by the United Kingdom, which is presiding over the Security Council this month.
India hailed the exclusion of J&K from the list of unresolved international disputes. Minister of State for External Affairs, Preneet Kaur, while speaking to reporters on Monday said, "We have always firmly maintained that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.this is a very welcome step and we hope that in same way the U.N. addresses our bilateral issues."
It has been Pakistan's perennial stand to ask the U.N. to intervene into the matter and help it resolve with India, while India remains of the view the Kashmir issue must be bilaterally resolved between the two neighbors. Sial's opposition came after it was found that Kashmir did not figure in the recent annual report of the Security Council presented to the General Assembly.
The issue came to light when, mentioning disputed land issues throughout the world, the UK envoy to the U.N., Mark Lyall Grant did not name Kashmir as one of them. Grant said, "Some long-running situations, including in the Middle East, Cyprus and Western Sahara remain unresolved, as do issues where the Council has become engaged in recent years, including Nepal and Guinea Bissau." He further added that "huge challenges" remained unaddressed in countries such as Sudan, Somali and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Some time ago, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the international body would wait until asked to intervene and would not intervene unless asked by both the parties. In October, Ban said, "As far as this role of good offices is concerned, the United Nations normally takes that initiative when requested by both parties concerned."
Significantly, the UK also reiterated its support for India's candidature as a permanent member of the Security Council during the debate in the General Assembly.
This time, it was deputy envoy Philip Parham, who said that keeping within the structure of the Security Council, the UK remained supportive of Brazil, Germany, India and Japan, as well as permanent representation for Africa.
The India-Pakistan question over Kashmir has not found mention in Security Council reports since 2000.

Text of the Kashmir remarks by UN

Text of the Kashmir remarks by UN



KASHMIR REMAINS ON SECURITY COUNCIL AGENDA: Asked about media reports suggesting that Kashmir had been removed from a list of Security Council agenda items, the Spokesperson said that the authors of the media articles may have only looked at the most recent addendum to the Summary statement of matters on which the Security Council is seized, which publishes only the list of matters which have been considered in a formal meeting since 1 Jan. 2007. They missed in that addendum a paragraph explaining that the full list appears in Add.9 of Mar. 2010. That list continues to include the agenda items which the Council has taken up, including Kashmir, which, by a decision of the Council, remains on the list for this year.

UN Says Kashmir not removed from UNSC’s agenda

UN Says Kashmir not removed from UNSC’s agenda
Posted by K4Kashmir on November 17, 2010 in Kashmir | 0 Comment Edit
UN Says Kashmir not removed from UNSC’s agenda

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 16 : The Jammu and Kashmir dispute remains on the United Nations Security Council’s agenda, a UN spokesman categorically stated Monday, while rejecting as “inaccurate” reports that it has been removed from the list of unresolved issues.“Some articles today on Kashmir are inaccurate,” UN Spokesman Farhan Haq said, referring to those reports. He said the latest list of matters the Security Council is seized of “continues to include the agenda item under which the Council has taken up Kashmir which, by a decision of the Council, remains on the list for this year,” the spokesman added.

Earlier, a spokesman for the Pakistan Mission clarified that Pakistan’s Acting Ambassador Amjad Hussain Sial, in his speech to the General Assembly on Friday, November 12 had referred to the omission of Jammu and Kashmir dispute in a statement by the President of the Security Council, and NOT from the Council’s Annual Report-as reported in a section of press.

“The agenda item entitled, ‘India and Pakistan Question’, which covers Jammu and Kashmir dispute, is duly mentioned in the Annual Report of the Security Council and is also present on its agenda,” Spokesman Mian

Jehangir Iqbal said in a statement. In his statement, the 15-member Council’s President for the current month, British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, while presenting the Annual Report to the 192-member assembly, did not mention the Kashmir dispute in the context of unresolved long-running situations, despite the fact decades-old issue is included in the Annual Report.

“We understand this was an inadvertent omission, as Jammu and Kashmir is one of the oldest disputes on agenda of the Security Council,” Ambassador Sial remarked, after Grant’s statement.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon, who is on a visit to Pakistan, said there was no question of the Kashmir issue being dropped from the Council’s agenda. “The Security Council Report in its annexures is explicit,” he said in a statement.

“The President of the Security Council, the Permanent Representative of the UK, is amply clear on the subject and is cognizant of the matter. I would request all concerned not to speculate unnecessarily upon the subject”.

US envoy says Kashmir a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan

US envoy says Kashmir a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan

New Delhi, Nov 16 (ANI): Echoing the recent comments made by President Barack Obama, U.S. Ambassador Timothy Roemer, urged India to restart dialogue process with Pakistan.

Speaking to reporters here on the sidelines of a seminar, Roemer asserted increased communication between the two restive neighbours was in the best interests of both nations.

On Kashmir being excluded from the UN list of unresolved disputes, Roemer said it was an "internal issue" of India and should be resolved bilaterally through negotiations with Pakistan.

"This is an internal issue for India. It is a bilateral issue between Pakistan and India, to discuss term, scope, character and pace," he added.

Roemer also revealed that the US was working towards making India a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

"He (Obama) is unequivocally and fervently in favour of India having a permanent seat in a reformed United Nations. It was one of the many highlights of the President's visit to India to make this historic announcement. We applaud that and now we will be working to see that happens," Roemer. (ANI)

US envoy says Kashmir a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan

US envoy says Kashmir a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan

New Delhi, Nov 16 (ANI): Echoing the recent comments made by President Barack Obama, U.S. Ambassador Timothy Roemer, urged India to restart dialogue process with Pakistan.

Buzz up!
Speaking to reporters here on the sidelines of a seminar, Roemer asserted increased communication between the two restive neighbours was in the best interests of both nations.

On Kashmir being excluded from the UN list of unresolved disputes, Roemer said it was an "internal issue" of India and should be resolved bilaterally through negotiations with Pakistan.

"This is an internal issue for India. It is a bilateral issue between Pakistan and India, to discuss term, scope, character and pace," he added.

Roemer also revealed that the US was working towards making India a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

"He (Obama) is unequivocally and fervently in favour of India having a permanent seat in a reformed United Nations. It was one of the many highlights of the President's visit to India to make this historic announcement. We applaud that and now we will be working to see that happens," Roemer. (ANI)

UN panel adopts draft reaffirming peoples’ self-determination right

UN panel adopts draft reaffirming peoples’ self-determination right
United Nations: A committee of the UN General Assembly on Thursday adopted a Pakistan-sponsored resolution reaffirming the right of peoples to self-determination, and called for cessation of foreign military intervention, occupation and repression. The resolution, which was approved by consensus, serves to focus the world’s attention on struggle by people for their inalienable right to self-determination, including those in Kashmir and Palestine. Pakistan has been tabling this draft in the 192-member assembly’s Third Committee since 1981 and each year it passes without a vote. The text—sponsored by over 50 countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America will come up for endorsement in the General Assembly next month.

The resolution reaffirms the universal rights of people to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Charter and international covenants on human rights. By the text, the Assembly reaffirmed that the universal realization of the right of all peoples—including those under colonial, foreign and alien domination—to self-determination is a fundamental condition for the effective guarantee, observance, preservation and promotion of human rights. The Assembly also declared its firm opposition to acts of foreign military intervention, aggression and occupation, since those have resulted in the suppression of the right of peoples to self-determination and other human rights in certain parts of the world.

It also called on those States responsible to cease immediately their military intervention in and occupation of foreign countries and territories, as well as all acts of repression, discrimination, exploitation and maltreatment. By further terms, the Assembly deplored the plight of millions of refugees and displaced persons who have been uprooted as a result of these acts and reaffirms their right to return to their homes voluntarily in safety and honour. It also requested the Human Rights Council to give special attention to the violation of human rights, especially the right to self-determination, resulting from foreign military intervention, aggression or occupation. It also requests the Secretary-General to report to the 65th Session of the General Assembly on this question.

Besides Pakistan, the co-sponsors included: Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Bolivia, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Congo, Cote dlivorie, Ecuador, Egypt, El-Salvador, Eritrea, Ghana, Hondouras, Iran, Jordan,Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Maldives, Namibia, Niger,

Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan,Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Thailand, Tanzania, Togo, United Arab Emirates,Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Speaking on behalf of the co-sponsors,Pakistan’s Acting Ambassador Amjad Hussain Sial said, “The realization of the right to self-determination is an essential condition to guarantee the observance and promotion and protection of individual human rights.... “The international law accords centrality to the universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination. It signifies that the realization of this right is a sine qua non for the enjoyment of all other rights, civil, political and economic, social and cultural rights.

“The exercise of this right has enabled millions of peoples suppressed and disenfranchised by racist regimes to achieve equality before law, in society, and state politics. The realization of the right to self-determination helped millions of people across the world in seeking liberation from colonialism, apartheid, foreign occupation and alien domination.”

Monday, 15 November 2010

Jammu and Kashmir National Democratic Alliance - a step in right direction

Jammu and Kashmir National Democratic Alliance - a step in right direction
Dr Shabir Choudhry 15 November 2010

Jammu Kashmir National Awami Party called a meeting of all nationalist parties of Azad Kashmir, which was attended by all parties apart from JKLF of Amanullah Khan. His boycott of the conference was expected. This conference is against his undeclared mission - that is to ensure that nationalists of Jammu and Kashmir are not united. The man has always been divisive and ego centric and his politics thrives on divisions and splits – may Allah put him on right path.

This initiative of NAP should be appreciated and all those who took part in this important conference should also be commended; as their hard work resulted in an alliance which could be of immense importance for the Kashmiri struggle, and especially for politics of Pakistani Administered Kashmir.

National Democratic Alliance wants to plan its strategy for the forthcoming elections in Pakistani Administered Kashmir. Nationalists of this region were kept away from the process of elections by a stipulation of Act 74, which states:

‘No one can contest elections of any kind in AK without taking oath of allegiance to Kashmir's accession to Pakistan. If someone refuses to sign this allegiance, his nomination would be rejected for not filling in accession to Pakistan oath document.’

What this means is that no one can contest elections in Azad Kashmir without declaring loyalty to Pakistan; and no one can get a job either unless he declares that he will be loyal to Pakistan. Because of this clause nationalists of Azad Kashmir were kept away from the elections and Pakistan has built a strong pro Pakistan structure which aims to minimise the influence of nationalists in all walks of life.

During elections people take part in the public meetings and ask candidates to spell out their programmes; but because of the above clause which was designed to keep nationalists away from the masses that their message could not reach people. Some individuals understood this trap and fought elections, but they were unable to break the structure set up by Pakistan.

Kashmir National Party was the first party, which as an organisation took initiative and included in its constitution that we should take part in the electoral process on both sides of the LOC. Some so called leaders of Kashmir justified elections on the Pakistani side of the LOC, but strongly opposed elections on the Indian side of the LOC, even though they knew elections did not substitute a plebiscite.

They boycotted elections because they feared they would even lose their deposits and that would expose their credentials as leaders of the movement. Increasingly those who wanted to take part in the electoral process increased and in the last elections people ignored boycott plea of these so called leaders and actively took part in the elections held in Indian Administered Kashmir.

Amanullah Khan’s role has been a subject of great controversies in Kashmiri politics. Many regard him as a collaborator of Pakistani secret agencies; and some even accuse him of being a murderer of Maqbool Butt, as it was he who ordered the killing of an Indian diplomat in England which resulted in hanging of Maqbool Butt in retaliation.

After being expelled from Britain on alleged charges of terrorism Amanullah Khan was at the mercy of Pakistani secret agencies and it was at that time, from a position of vulnerability he forged an alliance with the ISI to advance the cause of Pakistan in name of independence and Kashmiri struggle, which was later transformed in to Jihad and was labelled as a ‘proxy war’.

His brief from the ISI is to ensure that:
• No unity takes place among Kashmiri nationalists,
• No militancy takes place on the Pakistani side of LOC,
• Only the Indian side of Kashmir, especially the Valley remains centre of focus,
• And when nationalists on this side take an initiative which could be against interests of Pakistan, he should take a counter initiative and lead them in opposite direction, as he did at the time of quit Kashmir movement on this side of the LOC.

Some genuine nationalists on this side of the LOC started a quit Kashmir movement on Pakistani side of the LOC. Fearing that this movement might get some momentum and people might start some actions against forces of occupation here, Amanullah Khan was, once again, activated from his semi retirement to take the lead.

If a genuine quite Kashmir movement is started on this side of the LOC then demonstrators should march towards Kohala Bridge a border with Pakistan or towards Islamabad, as everyone knows it is forces of Pakistan which are in occupation here. Amanullah Khan, on the other hand, took the protestors to Chakothi, a border or LOC which divide both parts of the State, implying that it is the Indian side of Kashmir which is occupied and everything on this side is ‘rosy’.

After the news of National Democratic Alliance and Amanullah Khan’s boycott of this conference was published on net - Face Book, I criticised his move. In reply to that a leader of National Students Federation, Raja Azad wrote back:

‘Well done Doctor Sahib. This is not the first time Amanullah Khan has done this. He has always remained away from the nationalists’ platform. I was in college around the time of 1990 when NSF tried to unite nationalists in Kotli, you must remember Doctor Sahib. Even at that time Amanullah Khan did not turn up. He is a mere puppet and puppets are told what to do and not given choices. Even to this day he will celebrate the remembrance of Shaheed Maqbool Butt with Muslim Conference and Peoples Party members but will not share platform with nationalists there. This happened in Luton last year as well. I am merely talking about Amanullah Khan; I know there are many members of the JKLF who are against this.’

Raja Azad is correct in his analyses. I just wanted to add that in 1990 when the militancy in the Valley was at its peak and India was very defensive, and many thought Indian rule had virtually collapsed and was on its way out, all nationalist parties of Azad Kashmir met Amanullah Khan and offered to dissolve their parties and join the JKLF and accept Amanullah Khan as the Chairman, he still did not accept this unity. His excuse was that: ‘these people will not allow me to work as I want’. Of course, these nationalist leaders would not have allowed him to take instructions from the ISI, so he was wise to keep them away.

People might remember that Amanullah Khan forged an alliance with a pro Pakistan and anti independent Kashmiri leader Sardar Abdul Qayym Khan and became Secretary General of Kashmir Liberation Alliance with Sardar Qayyum as the President of this Alliance. He feels more comfortable with pro Pakistan parties. What kind of independence he wanted to get when he decided to become a Secretary General of an Alliance headed by a person like Sardar Qayyum Khan?

We are not against Amanullha Khan as a person, and we are not against all member of his JKLF. There are, of course, some very dedicated and honest people in his party, and he is exploiting their sincerity and dedication, as he exploited many dedicated people in the past. We are against anti nationalism and anti independence policies of Amanullah Khan, wrapped in colourful slogans of azadi and national independence.

Coming back to formation of National Democratic Alliance, the Alliance has elected Professor Khaleeq as it Spokesman. We hope that they will work out a practical strategy to counter those forces which are against our most cherished cause of independence. National Democratic Alliance might not win any seats, as it is not easy to break hold of the Pakistani establishment supported and nourished over the past 63 years.

But winning is not everything. In my opinion, if they can win minds and hearts of the people and get their message across to them that itself will be a victory. People know what India is doing in Kashmir through powerful propaganda machinery, but people of Jammu and Kashmir must also know what Pakistani designs on Kashmir are. Like Indian policy and exploitation in Kashmir is exposed, similarly Pakistani policy and exploitation must also be exposed.
Writer is Head Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir

View my blog and web:

The Jammu and Kashmir situation: What after the Obama visit? By Mr. Salim Haq

The Jammu and Kashmir situation: What after the Obama visit? By Mr. Salim Haq
Posted by K4Kashmir on November 15, 2010 in Kashmir | 0 Comment Edit
The Jammu and Kashmir situation: What after the Obama visit? (Part 1)

2010-11-15 16:40:00
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A question frequently asked in Jammu and Kashmir is where do we (India) go from here. An equally valid question in the Valley now is where do the separatists go from here.

The Obama visit was being looked upon with anticipation of some major development, as the climax of the five month long agitation. It was supposed to have put the Kashmir issue firmly on the international map and drowned India in a chorus of opprobrium led by the world’s most powerful man. Net result would have been to force India to start talking about conceding Azadi.

The people had been led to believe that since Obama had talked about Kashmir in the run-up to the presidential elections in 2008, he would, on Indian soil, certainly articulate his vision about it.

Instead, Obama came; he praised India to high heaven, offered a global partnership and a seat on the high table of the UNSC. In the bargain he took back badly needed jobs for the US economy and talked about human rights in Burma.

Salt was rubbed on their wounds when Obama expressed support for India’s membership of the Security Council despite the separatist chat of non-implementation of the UN resolutions on plebiscite in Kashmir

The Valley was stunned, the separatist leaders even more so. They were embarrassed at having been found out, at having led the ordinary people up the garden path, at having disrupted their lives, causing huge economic losses and worse, causing the death of 111, mostly young, people. There is a palpable sense of disillusionment and betrayal with the separatists.

he people of the Valley are now asking searching questions and demanding answers from the separatists. Quite suddenly even the tech-savvy faceless Facebookers seem to have faded, leaving the masses in the lurch just like the separatists have left them.

The separatists have a tough time in trying to explain why Obama did not comment about the 111 deaths since June 11 while he waxed eloquent about Burma. Not a word of sympathy for those who had lost loved ones?

Clinging to morsels, the separatists are flogging the point, indeed celebrating it, that Obama recognized Kashmir as a long-standing dispute that needed to be resolved. Geelani credited this to the recent uprising and the sacrifices made by the people in the last five months. Mirwaiz, with his two lakh signatures seeking US intervention, saw in this as a sign of US facilitation. Yasin Malik welcomed the statement as helping in the resolution of the dispute.

But the people are aghast that this response to a question was being touted as a victory by the separatists. 111 deaths for a mere reiteration of a long-standing US position and too, in reply to a question? Did so many have to die for this? People are openly questioning if so many sacrifices and such massive economic loss was needed only for this statement.

Worse, it has not escaped notice, that Obama underlined that the starting point of the Indo-Pak dialogue should not be ‘that particular flashpoint” (i.e. Kashmir), echoing the consistent Indian position. He also made it clear that the US was not interested in unsolicited intervention on the subject. Topping it ll was his praise for Indian democracy and secularism

The separatists have clearly been discredited. Not only the Obama visit, but there are other signs of change, too. Despite Geelani’s resistance, schools reopened on Sept. 27 and were marked by gradual increase in attendance. More recently, scores of people protested in Lal Chowk against shutdowns. There has been dismay when in Shopian, two civilians died when the vehicle in which they were travelling turned turtle following acts of stone pelting. Many traders and transporters have defied the protest calendar and carried on their business as usual.

With the obvious declining impact of total shutdowns, Geelani has been forced to tone down drastically his protest calendar with only 2-3 days of strikes in the latest 12-day period. In the past, the equation was the reverse.

What has been noticeable is that the shutdowns started running out of steam soon after the arrest of Masarrat Alam on October 18, 2010. This further reinforces the perception that it is not Geelani that is/has been in control.

Geelani, of course, is making his way to his house in New Delhi’s upmarket Malviya Nagar for the winter, leaving the hapless stone-pelters and the distraught parents of those who lost loved ones to their own devices.

In seeking continued sacrifices from the people, Geelani and company have failed to recognize that Obama’s focus was the economy and job losses in the US. The world sees a ‘risen’ India in a very different light than what Geelani would like to see India in. Perhaps the salubrious winter in Delhi will help him rethink his strategy for 2011 and come up with an alternative to getting innocent people killed so that he can continue to retain his hold.

However, disillusionment with the separatists and with Obama’s silence coupled with petering of agitations should not be seen as the problem having gone away. Clearly, prolonged hartals have lost their sale by date. As Omar Abdullah called it ‘hartal fatigue’. But the political problem remains.

This has significant and potentially dangerous implications for the future of the Valley. These will be elaborated in Part II of this article. by Salim Haq (ANI)

Attn: News Editors/News Desks: Mr. Salim Haq has authored the above article and the views expressed in tem are his.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

‘Kashmir struggle is a legitimate one, can’t be suppressed by force’,Gautam Navlakha

‘Kashmir struggle is a legitimate one, can’t be suppressed by force’,Gautam Navlakha
Posted by K4Kashmir on November 14, 2010 in India, Kashmir | 0 Comment Edit
Exclusive Interivew:
Gautam Navlakha
‘Kashmir struggle is a legitimate one,
can’t be suppressed by force’
Kashmir Times correspondent AKSHAY AZAD recently caught up with prominent civil rights activist, journalist and writer GAUTAM NAVLAKHA in Jallandhar during the huge three day congregation organized by Gaddar Party loyalists on the occasion of 19th annual Ghadar Party fair and spoke to him in detail about Kashmir crisis. Excerpts from the interview:
AKSHAY AZAD (AA): Is the Kashmir struggle genuine and how?
GAUTAM NAVLAKHA (GN): Wherever the aspirations of masses will be suppressed with brute use of force a movement against that oppression will definitely arise which is legitimate in every sense. Kashmir issue is not restricted within UN resolution or the Instrument of Accession signed between Maharaja Hari Singh and Jawahar Lal Nehru. The onus of making this struggle legitimate lies upon Indian government which used repressive and undemocratic means including bunglings of elections, unabated killings, rapes, molestation, disappearances and made Jammu & Kashmir economical dependent. All this resulted in the uprising of masses in valley.
AA: How do you view the leadership, divided between several options, in the Valley? Where does that lead us?
GN: Not a single man or party is leading the masses of Kashmir. In the last few years there has been witnessed a change of opinion among masses vis a vis the leaders. There may be some leaders who want to go with Pakistan, others with India or some may want J&K to remain independent. But the masses will decide about the future of Kashmir. There is also change in the opinion of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani who admitted that opinion of masses is different from his personal opinion and he would respect the opinion of masses.
AA: By considering the Kashmir struggle legitimate are you raising fingers on the integrity of India?
GN: It is the masses who build a nation and nation’s integrity will not be disintegrated by accepting the demand of self determination of masses. It is the Indian State not the people which are endangering the integrity of the nation. After 63 years of independence 80 percent population is unable to spend Rs. 20 per day, 45 percent children between 0-6 age are malnourished. Life of majority population is moving towards darkness. Mentally and practically Indian state is very careless about the issues of masses and in this perspective slogans of ‘Integrity of Nation’ are false propaganda of Indian state.
AA: The government’s perception is that stone pelters are being paid by separatists and Pakistani agencies including Lashka-e-Toiba. What is your take?
GN: Three months earlier Indian intelligence agencies and corporate media propagated that Lashkar-e-Toiba was behind the stone pelting but now Indian state led by P Chidambaram is saying that stone pelters are being paid. Whether the Indian Government was actually right three months earlier or now? For a second, if we assume that the propaganda of Indian media and government was right, is it possible that a person will come out on the road and be ready to die only for Rs. 500? Is it possible for merely Rs. 500 Kashmiri youth are ready to die?
AA: Stones are replacing weapons. Is Kashmir moment is going in the right direction?
GN: One can never decide the ways of peoples protest. Its very easy in Kashmir to get armed training but Kashmiris want to organize peaceful protest demonstrations, seminars, discussions, meetings but are restricted from doing so. Inspite of restrictions they are not taking up guns which is a very wise step of Kashmiris. Kashmiris are so much intelligent and wise that now they have made a platform of their own for projecting their demand not only in India but in the entire world. Kashmir moment is going in an absolutely right direction.
AA: Is Kashmir is not an integral part of India?
GN: Only in slogans Kashmir is considered as integral part of India but if someone goes through the atrocities committed by forces in valley and other states, stone pelters were tackled by weapons only in Kashmir not in other states. In the last 20 years the massacre of thousands of people, unprecedented rapes and murders, illegal confinements, disappearances, gang rapes, besides other brutal atrocities have been committed by forces in Kashmir valley, against which none of the country’s citizens had raised voice. But on the other side if such atrocities are committed in any other part of country whether in Bastar, Gujrat, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, many people come forward but not in case of Kashmir. Then how it can be deemed a part of India? It was also the failure of us peace loving people of India who didn’t raise voice against the atrocities. Kashmir was always treated as a colony and all atrocities are being committed upon the colonised people of Kashmir by the Coloniser Indian state forces.
AA: But don’t you think heeding voices of separatism in Kashmir or resolving the Kashmir issue on lines of some kind of independence will lead to disintegration of India?
GN: India is a union of several nationalities and if some nationality will be acceded in the Union by its choice, other will have the right to remain independent if it wants. Indian government should consider the demand of freedom of Kashmiris.
AA: Majority masses of Jammu and Ladakh do not support the ongoing moment of Kashmir and are quite against it. Then what about their aspirations?
GN: Right to self determination of people of Jammu and Ladakh must be considered in the resolution of Kashmir issue. Firstly the opinion of masses of entire state including all regions of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh must be considered during the resolution of issue.
AA: What do you think of Pakistan’s role in Kashmir and designs of Pakistan establishment?
GN: Due to the unwise and undemocratic decisions implemented in Kashmir by Indian state, Pakistan got a chance to claim about Kashmir. In the last three years situation in Pakistan was also out of control from Pakistan government and Pakistan role in Kashmir moment has become negligible. Putting the onus of entire movement on Pakistan is totally false. Kashmir moment is an indigeneous moment and in the prevailing situations Kashmiris left the weapons and took out protests to projecting their demands.
AA: But isn’t Kashmir movement a religious one?
GN: The character of Indian state is Hindu in real sense. Take the example of banning the militant outfit of Maoists and students Organization SIMI but on the other side state has not banned the biggest Hindu fundamentalist private goons army of Bajrang Dal, Rashtriya Sawayem Sewak Sangh (RSS), dozens of whose activists and leaders are inside bars for several crimes committed by them including planting bombs in mosques and other minority religious places in entire country. They had also planned massacre of minorities in many states of country, then why such outfits are not banned by Indian government. Sympathisiser of Hindu fundamentalist organizations are in state assemblies, in bureaucracy, intelligence agencies but moving freely and continue with heinous crimes but are not banned. What does it depict? Does this not represent the nature of Indian state which is Hindu in real sense. It could be obvious that the resentment against such religious states would be religious. But go through the series of events that happened in Kashmir in past 20 years. Since 1990, curfews were relaxed in valley on Friday and after Friday prayers, people gathered and held protest demonstrations and it was obvious that the language and slogans used by the protesters would be religious in nature. CRPF and Army personnel deputed on roads taunted the protesters with provocative slogans like “Hindustan Teri Mot Aai, Lashkar Aai, Lashkar Aai” (Lashkar means protesters). Someone can say that all protesters were Lashkars but no one favoured Lashkar in slogans till date and they always raised slogans of freedom “Hum Kaya Chahte Azadi”. If one will talk to the people of Kashmir they always engage in political discussions, not talking about Lashkar.
Indian government should realize the resentment of Kashmiris who instead of atrocities and suppression are still favouring execution of real democracy. Except Manipur and Nagaland, most atrocities were committed by Indian forces in Kashmir but inspite of this, Kashmiri’s desire for freedom was not suppressed by Indian state. Then it is impossible to win the hearts of people of Kashmir by such means in future also.
AA: Is there any peaceful resolution of Kashmir problem which will be accepted by all masses.
GN: Majority of Indian masses and people of Jammu and Kashmir want peaceful resolution of Kashmir but the fanatic organizations like Bajrang Dal, Bhartiya Janta Party, other fundamentalist and also the Congress party don’t want resolution of Kashmir problem.
Indian government does not want to strengthen the roots of democracy in country. If the roots of democracy will be strengthened then the decisions against the will of majority masses will not be implemented. Then adivasis will not be evacuated from the jungles for the mining projects for the benefit of big corporate houses, farmer’s agriculture land will not be encroached on the name of SEZ’s, condition of education and health sector, public undertakings will not deteriorate in the country. If democracy will be strengthened profit motivated interests of corporate houses will be not be accomplished.
AA: If Indian government does not want resolution, then why is it sending interlocutors to J&K?
GN: Interlocutors visit, All Party Delegation, Prime Minister visit, Home Minister P Chidambaram visit all are the tactics adopted by Indian government to pacify and weaken the ongoing moment of Kashmir.
AA: Then who will solve the issue?
GN: Indian government is not serious in solving the issue so the responsibility lies upon the common masses and civil societies to compel the government to strengthen the democracy in country and in all states.
AA: What about the Kashmirs Pandits who were forced to migrate from Kashmir?
GN: Migration of Kashmiri Pandits was very unfortunate and onus of migration lies on Kashmiri majority population but not completely. Responsibility of migration of Kashmiri Pandits also lies on Indian state which inspite of providing assistance to Kashmiris in valley provide vehicles to leave the valley. Majority community of Kashmir had the responsibility to provide security to minorities during 90s but they failed to accomplish that responsibility. Many families of Sikhs and Hindus are still residing in Kashmir but they were not forced to migrate when militancy was at its peak in Kashmir. Kashmiri separatist leaders still consider Kashmiri Pandits as the integral part of their culture and visited Kashmiri pandits camps in Jammu.
AA: What about Arundhati Roy’s views about Kashmir?
GN: One can be satisfied or not with the views of someone but that does not mean people having divergent views have no space to express their views in democracy. Anyone who is not satisfied with Arundhati’s views should express his or her dissent with democratic ways but attacking her house and calling her antinational can never be justified in a democratic country. Why can’t people with divergent views hold press conference in Delhi to express themselves?
AA: Arundhati talks only about Kashmiris but not about Jammu and Ladakh?
GN: In a democracy every one has the right to express his personal views and if someone is not satisfied with someone’s views, he has the right to express his divergent views in a peaceful manner. That does not means that someone has the right to harm the person with divergent opinion. She raised voice in favour of Kashmiris along with Geelani; people of Jammu should have to come Delhi and expressed themselves.

*The author can be contacted at

Dishonesty of Arundhati or Media?
By Mahtab Alam
‘Vicharon ki Be-imani (Dis-honesty of thought) cries the heading of the lead article of Dainik Bhaskar’s editorial page on 1st November 2010. The article is written by Venkateshan Vembu, foreign correspondent of DNA English daily, a newspaper published by the same group of publications. It was originally published on 27th October with the headline reading ‘Arundhati Roy is dangerously wrong on Kashmir’. The writer of the article claims that whatever Arundhati has said is not only dangerously wrong and beyond the tolerance level of any law-abiding citizen but, it also has the potential to arouse feelings of anger and violence among the masses. “Yeh kuch is tarah ki beimani hai, jo janmanas me krodh aur aakrosh ki bhawna upjati hai (This is a kind of dishonesty which generates feelings of anger and violence among the people”). Ironically, this turned out to be a ‘prophetic’ disclosure, as right after four days of publication of the original version in DNA, Arundhati’s house in Delhi was attacked by the writer’s ‘Janmanas’, the BJP’s women wing ‘Mahila Morcha’.
On the same date (1st november), another hindi daily by the name of Hindustan, published two articles on its editorial page relating to Arundhati’s recent public statements on the issue of Kashmir. While the heading of the lead article by Vir Sanghvi, editorial consultant of HT Media Private Ltd says, ‘Arundhati ke khel me na phasen (Don’t fall in Arundhati’s trap), the heading of a small write-up on the same page by Gopal Chaturvedi reads, ‘Lekhak ki Aazadi (Freedom of a Writer)’. Sanghvi article was originally written in English and published with the heading ‘No damage to India from Arundhati Roy’s remarks’ on 31st October 2010 in Hindustan Times, an English daily published by the same group which owns Hindustan. In his article, he concludes, “Hamein Arundhati ke bayano se naraaz hone ka poora haq hai, lekin jis chann humane un sidhaanton se samjhauta kiya, jo humein ek udaar samaaj banate hain, toh hum Arundhati ka khel khelne lagenge. Hum ek damankari, varchasav-vadi samaaj ban jayenge, jaisa ki unhone kaha hai (We have every right to be angered by Arundhati’s statements. But the moment that we compromise with the principles that make us a liberal society, we start playing Arundhati’s game. And then we’ll become a repressive and totalitarian society as she has said)”.
But if one tallies the original articles with their translations in Hindi published by the respective dailies, one finds the real dishonesty – the Dishonesty of translation and commission, as well as omission. Like in Sanghvi translated article in Hindi, one would not find an important paragraph which reads, “There is no reason to believe that these statements will have consequences that are any more serious. In fact, they would have faded from the news in hours had the TV channels not continued fuelling public outrage.” Likewise, Vembu’s article has also been mistranslated. The sentence, “.Kashmir finally stands exposed before the world as having been propelled all along by Pakistan-backed jihadis who are playing for much larger stakes: the disintegration of secular India”, has been translated as “Duniya janti hai ki Azadi ki is awaaz ko Pakistan-samarthit jihadiyon dwaara badhaawa diya jaa raha hai, jinke mansoobaun ko mamooli nahi kaha ja sakta (The world knows that the voice of freedom has been encouraged by Pakistan-backed jihadis, whose plans are not considered to be ordinary )”.
What is more interesting is that both Vembu and Chaturvedi could not hide their jealously and envy in regard to Arundhati Roy. Vembu writes, “There’s a mesmeric seductive quality to Arundhati Roy’s prose. For all its verbiage, it teases, tempts and torments the mind and lures it into the parlour of a contrarian world; it then persuades it, with the sheer power of its eloquence that the natural order of things in the ‘real’ world as we know it is wholly unnatural and completely flawed.” Chaturvedi in his column, while commenting on Arundhati’s statement about a writer’s freedom says, “Lekhakiye swatrantay ke vishav me yeh maulik aur nayab khayalat kamtar, adane hindi ke nahi ek mahan lekhak ke hain. Wah do karano se mahan hai. Ek to isliye ki wah angrezi me likhta hai, dusare is liye ki wah England ke booker puruskar ka vijeta hai (Regarding writer’s freedom, these original and unique views are not of any Hindi writer but a great writer, great because of two reasons. One, that he writes in English. And the other that he is the winner of England’s Booker Prize).” In fact, the above views by the said writers indicate that they suffer from acute inferiority complex. Moreover in their respective articles, the writers hardly have any valid point to make except celebrating their ‘victimhood’ of being lesser ‘men’ and acting as spokespersons of Hindutva Nationalism.
In addition to this, on 2nd November, Dainik Bhaskar published another editorial page column, ‘News Analysis’ by Satyendra Ranjan with the heading ‘Do charam-panthi chhor aamne samane (Two extremist forces face to face) ‘. Following the lines of its precedent, the writer claims that, “Arundhati Kashmir ki ‘Azadi’ ki baat karte samay yeh sawal kabhi nahi uthayengi ki kya kattar-panthi sangthan, jinki bunyad me vyakti ki niji azadi aur aadhunik mulyon ka hanan shamil hai, ve hi wahan ‘Azadi’ ke vahak honge? (While speaking about ‘Azadi’ of Kashmir, Arundhati would never raise the question that can the radical organisation, which is based on the curtailment of personal liberty and involved in violation of modern values, be the bearers of ‘Azadi’ over there?”
Is this so, one would want to ask. Has she never spoken or questioned the notion of Azadi of the separatist organisations? She has. Time and time again. In August 2008, in her famous article tilted Azadi published in Outlook and in a recent interview to Tehelka, she has raised many questions concerning the nature of the Azadi of Kashmir. Referring to her Kashmir visit in August 2008 and recalling her thoughts while attending a rally, she writes in Outlook, “Briefly, I had another thought. I imagined myself standing in the heart of an RSS or VHP rally being addressed by L.K. Advani. Replace the word Islam with the word Hindutva’ replace the word Pakistan with Hindustan’ replace the sea of green flags with saffron ones’ and we would have the BJP’s nightmare vision of an ideal India.”
She further wonders, “Is that what we should accept as our future? Monolithic religious states handing down a complete social and moral code’ “a complete way of life”? Millions of us in India reject the Hindutva project. Our rejection springs from love’ from passion’ from a kind of idealism’ from having enormous emotional stakes in the society in which we live. What our neighbours do’ how they choose to handle their affairs does not affect our argument’ it only strengthens it.”
“Arguments that spring from love are also fraught with danger. It is for the people of Kashmir to agree or disagree with the Islamic project (which is as contested’ in equally complex ways’ all over the world by Muslims as Hindutva is contested by Hindus).Perhaps now that the threat of violence has receded and there is some space in which to debate views and air ideas’ it is time for those who are part of the struggle to outline a vision for what kind of society they are fighting for. Perhaps it is time to offer people something more than martyrs’ slogans and vague generalisations. Those who wish to turn to the Quran for guidance will no doubt find guidance there. But what of those who do not wish to do that’ or for whom the Quran does not make place? Do the Hindus of Jammu and other minorities also have the right to self-determination? Will the hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits living in exile’ many of them in terrible poverty’ have the right to return? Will they be paid reparations for the terrible losses they have suffered? Or will a free Kashmir do to its minorities what India has done to Kashmiris for 61 years? What will happen to homosexuals and adulterers and blasphemers? What of thieves and lafangas and writers who do not agree with the “complete social and moral code”? Will we be put to death as we are in Saudi Arabia? Will the cycle of death’ repression and bloodshed continue? History offers many models for Kashmir’s thinkers and intellectuals and politicians to study. What will the Kashmir of their dreams look like? Algeria? Iran? South Africa? Switzerland? Pakistan?” she asks.
Is this not more than enough from Arundhati’s side? What more would one want in clarification of ones stand on being a supporter of Azadi? Here, it is also noteworthy that she does not only say Kashmir needs Azadi rather, “India needs azadi from Kashmir just as much, if not more’ than Kashmir needs azadi from India.”
Above all, what is the most startling is that the news of attack on Arundhati’s house hasn’t made it to the pages of either Dainik Bhaskar, Hindustan or Prabhat Khabar. The last Hindi daily had also published a balanced lead editorial on Roy’s stand on Kashmir. One wonders what could have been the reason behind the black out of news of the attack. Was it a mere mistake or a deliberate attempt? One would not be sure about the answer but at the same time, what can be said is that it is nothing but the Dishonesty of media, not only to Arundhati, but its readers as well.
Note: The articles cited here are published in the Ranchi edition of the respective dailies.
(Mahtab Alam is a civil rights’ activist and freelance journalist. He can be reached at )
-(Counter Currents)
Will Kancha’s “Post-Hindu India” be Possible?
A Reflection on Kancha Ilaiah’s book “Post-Hindu India”
By Madhu Chandra
This article attempts to reflect Kancha Ilaiah’s “Post-Hindu India” published by Sage Publication, New Delhi in 2009 in specific reference to caste civil war, in which, he predicts, will bring an end to Casteism.
First, will Kancha’s “Post-Hindu India” really be possible? If yes, then how? India has one Kancha now who has campaigned Dalit-Bahujans rights globally. India will have over 20,000 Kancha(s) in 20 years down the line across the nation. Then the campaign against casteism and Ambedkarites will be raised 20,000 times powerful!
Second, Kancha believes Hinduism is a dying religion and will die in India as it has in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indonesia. Brahmans and Hindutva fascist accused Islam and Christianity as major causes of Hinduism dying. He kept referring to Nepal, which is taken over by Maoist’s, as a rejection of Hinduism from the Himalayan kingdom. In India, Hinduism is losing ground in the North East Indian states – Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and partially Manipur. In the Southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, a huge number of Dalits have left Hinduism and embraced casteless religions in recent years.
Third, Hindutva fascism, fanatics and militants hold responsibility for the down fall of Hinduism. Anti-democratic and anti-secular nature of these Hindutva forces has damaged the image of Hinduism. The upper castes attack Dalits and Shudras in the name of castes is termed as one of the highest violations of human rights. Attack on Muslim and Christian minorities are seen as attacks on Indian secularism. The Kandhmal episode has proven this. It was ethnic cleansing of tribals and Dalits converted to Christianity. Attacks were more on their socio-economic and educational which became better after embracing Christianity. Hindutva forces specifically targeted to uproot the economic, educational sources rendered by Christian missions so Dalits and tribals would remain in a backward condition as it has been for centuries.
Eruption of Civil War – then the end of Casteism
Kancha’s last chapter before his conclusion of “Post-Hindu India” deals with civil war. This chapter on civil war is the end solution for Dalit-Bahujan communities to take in response to his preceding chapters – Unpaid Teachers, Subaltern Scientists, Productive Soldiers, Subaltern Feminists, Social Doctors, Meat and Milk Economists, Unknown Engineers, Food Producers, Social Smugglers, Spiritual Fascists and Intellectual Goondas. Kancha predicts that the civil war will turn into physical violence between upper castes minorities and majority communities of Dalit Bahujans.
Civil war is a violent conflict within a country fought by organized groups that aim to take power at the center or in a region, or to change government policies. In American Abraham Lincoln accepted Civil War as the only means to save the Union. The prediction of Kancha is civil war, which will bring about equality of Indian society by dismantling the caste hierarchical society, which will then bring an end to casteism. Reading the signposts around India, the symptoms of civil war have erupted in recent past and likely to erupt in the future.
What kind of civil war, is Kancha predicting rather desiring? It is a civil war of ideology in quest for equality among all sections of society against Brahmans and upper caste. It is also a civil war of spirituality between spiritual democracy, which Dalit-Shudras are longing and spiritual fascism in search of spiritual equality irrespective of caste, creed, religion, race and color. It is also a civil war of nerves and physical violence, which is desired to be avoided if the earlier form of civil war could resolve the caste base inequality among Indian societies.
Symptoms of Civil War
The physical civil war has been attempted by upper caste time and again, particularly when any affirmative initiative steps are taken by either Union Government of India or State Government. The implementation of Mandal commission during the time of Prime Minister of India, Vishwanath Pratap Singh in 1990 and the United Progressive Alliance Government’s OBC reservation in higher technical institutions in 2006 have witnessed a civil war like violence by upper caste against the Dalit Bahujans communities. Shudras and Dalits refrained from any physical form of civil war until today, yet no one should underestimate the volcanic boiling underneath as reaction against the caste oppression. Kancha testifies Gujarat 2002 carnage, Kandhmal 2007-2008 and red corridors of Maoists uprising in tribal dominated regions of India are the symptoms of civil war between upper caste and Dalit Bahujans. The momentum of the anti-reservation movement in 2006 shows the same arrogance demonstrated by upper caste as in 1990.
The highest form of civil war is the war of nerves, which will lead to the war of weapons causing massive causalities, damage and destruction; perhaps it will kill caste. Spiritual civil war will erupt before the eruption of civil war of the nerves and physical violence. The spiritual civil war will erupt between the spiritual democracy and spiritual fascism. To fight the spiritual fascism and get rid of caste oppression in search of spiritual equality, a spiritual civil war in the form of spiritual migration from one religion to other will erupt. Indeed this migration began with Ambedkar when he renounced Hinduism and embraced Neo Buddhism in 1956 along with a half million Dalits at Nagpur. Ever since, this migration never ceases in small and large scale. This spiritual migration will leave Hinduism as a micro minority religion and it will suffer the most if they continue to hold on their caste practice even then.
The Brahmans and upper caste forces will retaliate against this spiritual migration through the might of political and legislation by attempting to establish the anti-conversion bill which is already law in eight different states of India. Kancha believes that spiritual liberation is much harder than the physical liberation but it eradicates casteism permanently.
What Causes Civil War and who is Responsible?
Unquestionably, the oppressive and destructive nature of Brahmanic religion is leading the exploited poor and Dalits to challenge and rise against the very religious system that has been keeping them under bondage for centuries. Hinduism teaches untouchability, inequality and designates degrading caste based jobs to oppressed societies. Doctrines of creation taught by the Law of Manu, in which Brahman are created by God from the head to dominate all human beings and to control all temple economics, Kshatriyas from the shoulders to rule and control the tax economy under the instruction of Brahmans, Vaisyas from the thigh to control market economies under the supervision of Brahmans and Kshatriyas, and Shudras the lowest caste created from the feet to enjoy oppression and serve the preceding caste hierarchy. Dalits who represent one fourth of Indian population are taught in the Law of Manu that they are not created by God, meaning they are outcaste or casteless, considered less than human beings and polluting communities. The Law of Manu sanctioned highest form of human rights violence meted to Sudra and Dalits thus Manu’s doctrine of creation is the solemn responsibility for causing civil war.
Unwillingness to do away with caste in Indian society and upper caste will be responsible for Shudras and Dalits in search of equality and liberation from oppression, migrating out of Hinduism to other religions. Unwillingness of the policy makers to provide and implement affirmative actions along with the anti-reservation movements will cause civil war.
Anti reservation propaganda in All India Institute of Medical Science during Mandal Commission 1990 and OBC reservation 2006 provokes the breakout of civil war. The campaign against anti-reservation in Jawaharlal Nehru University is today a symptom of civil war between students belonging to upper caste and lower caste communities.
What can avoid the Civil War? Civil war could be avoided, if Brahmans and upper caste communities are willing to do away the casteism in Hinduism, but it is next to impossible because Hinduism can not survive without casteism and visa versa. Affirmative actions and programs for Dalits and Shudras both in educational and employment arenas could help avoid civil war.
Madhu Chandra is a research scholar and social activist based in New Delhi. He works as Regional Secretary of All India Christian Council (, Spokes Person of North East Support Centre & Helpline ( and National Secretary of All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations (

The Contemporary Arab Reader on Political Islam
Book Review: The Contemporary Arab Reader on Political Islam
Edited by: Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi
Publisher: Pluto Press, London
Year: 2010
Pages: 312
ISBN: 978-0-7453-2889-8
Reviewed by: Yoginder Sikand
Recent decades have witnessed the birth of a veritable ‘political Islam’ industry, with hundreds of books having been published on the subject in just the last decade and many millions of dollars being poured in, by governments and think-tanks, to research the phenomenon.
Much of this writing has been by Western, non-Muslim, researchers and analysts, many of who continue to view the subject through an inherently biased and heavily distorted neo-Orientalist lens. The bulk of this literary output sees the phenomenon of what is controversially called ‘political Islam’ or Islamism from the point of view of its real, alleged, perceived or imaginary security threats and implications, and not as representing a potentially positive agenda as such. On the other hand, very little has been written by Islamist ideologues in English and geared particularly to the non-Muslim general or specialist reader.
This timely book makes a very valuable contribution to ongoing debates on ‘political Islam’/Islamism. It consists of translations of articles by almost three dozen leading contemporary Arab Islamist activists, ideologues and spokesmen, most of which have been published in English for the first time. The articles cover a wide range of themes of contemporary interest central to the subject of Islamism.
The first section of the book deals with the theory of Islamism in the contemporary Arab world. In his essay, Muhammad Said Ramadan al-Buti refers to contemporary Arab Islamism as ‘Salafiyah’, as going back to the Quran and authentic Sunnah, and refusing to being restricted by centuries of human interpretation of the divine revelation and the tradition of fiqh. In this way, he argues, Islamism seeks to provide a specifically Islamic response to modern challenges, fashioning anIslamic modernity, rather than seeking to deny modernity altogether, as is sometimes alleged. Fathi Yakan builds on this to provide a critique of some literalist and radical tendencies in contemporary Islamism, arguing that these pose a major danger to the very Islamic project itself. At the same time, he argues that the Islamist movement is the answer to the cultural, moral, economic and political crisis facing Arab and Muslim communities. This, too, is broadly what Ahmad Kamal Abu al-Majd insists in his piece titled ‘Towards a Modern Islamic Perspective’, where he stresses the need for ijtihad, or contextually relevant understandings of scripture and jurisprudence, and the need for, and legitimacy of, and benefiting from the experience and knowledge of others. The last essay in this section, by the noted Egyptian scholar Muhammad al-Ghazali, titled ‘The Headscarf Battle’, stresses the need for some revision in traditional gender roles and the need to recognise and respect women’s autonomy and freedoms within a broad Islamic paradigm.
The second part of the book consists of essays on Islamism and jihad. The first, by Abdullah Anas, an Arab who spent years in Afghanistan fighting the Soviets, is about people like himself, called ‘Afghan Arabs’. He describes the passionate commitment to the Muslim ummah that attracted such people to Afghanistan in the first place, and relates how they were dumped by the USA and its client Arab states
once their agenda in Afghanistan-expelling the Russian forces-was fulfilled. He also reflects on the implications of their experiences fighting in Afghanistan for domestic politics in their own countries. The second essay is by Abdullah Azzam, ideological mentor of, among others, Osama Bin Laden. His essay, titled ‘What Jihad Taught Me’, brings out clearly how without placing US imperialism, Israeli
brutalities in Palestine and the slavish subservience of Arab regimes to US diktats at the centre of analysis the phenomenon of contemporary Al-Qaeda-style jihadism cannot be understood. This is further elaborated on in an essay by Muhammad Said Ramadan al-Buti, who talks about jihad as a means for securing justice and ending oppression, and specifies the clear moral and ethical rules that must circumscribe and guide it. Sayyid Muhammad Hussain Fadlallah, head of Lebanon’s
Hizbullah, makes much the same points in his contribution.
The third section of the book contains three essays on the Palestine issue, which is central to the ideology and politics of Islamism notjust in the Arab region but, rather, globally. Ismail Faruqi’s essay ‘Islam and Zionism’ castigates Zionism as a politically as well as religiously illegitimate ideology and project and insists that Muslims (and even Jews) can have no truck with it, arguing that it represents a total betrayal of traditional Judaism as well. It is inherently expansionist and imperialistic, and there is no option but resolute and consistent option to it, he stresses. Muhammad Abu Sway repeats this argument in the light of the consistent opposition of Israel to Palestinian demands. An incisive and well-documented piece by Ataullah Bogdan Kopanski and Mohsen Saleh details the immense influence of the pro-Israeli lobby in the USA, both Zionists as well as Christian evangelicals, without recognizing which the consistent American support for Israel, American imperialist offensives in the Muslim world and America’s generally hostile attitude to Islamist parties cannot be understood.
Part Four of the book discusses the need for Islamists to engage in self-critique and introspection. In their respective essays, Abdul Qadir Awdah and Ramadan Abdullah Shallah warn Islamists against cooptation by the state, while Shaykh Umar Abdel Rahman points to the often hypocritical manipulation of Islamic symbols and sentiments by Muslim states allied to the West in order to serve their own purposes and to subvert the Islamist opposition. Four other essays, by Sami al-Aryan, Rashid al-Ghannoushi, Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Jamil Hamami, warn against extremism, excessive literalism and harshness, plead for Islamists to seek to engage with democratic and progressive forces on issues of common interest, and argue the case for Islamists to reflect a more socially-engaged understanding of Islam that goes beyond the prescriptions of traditional fiqh or Muslim jurisprudence. They press the need for Islamist parties to become much more active and inclusive as civil society pressure groups and to take up and incorporate into their agendas a wide range of social issues.
The book’s fifth section consists of six essays on Islamism and the West. Taken together, they argue that the West has failed to understand Islamism on its own terms, and is ignorant of the positive agenda that it stands for. But besides berating the West for its sometimes deliberate ignorance and blind opposition to Islam, these writers plead for the need for inter-civilisational dialogue, insisting that Muslims, who are entrusted with the task of communicating God’s word to all peoples, take up a central role in this task.
The final section of the book consists of country-specific case studies that look at the emergence and development of Islamist parties in several parts of the Arab world-Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Syria, the Gulf and Iraq. These show broadly similar patterns, with such movements articulating demands for cultural ‘authenticity’, protesting against Western cultural invasion and continued Western neo-colonialism, and articulating widespread opposition to dictatorial regimes and their client ulema. The articles also reflect on the problems these movements have faced, including repression by ruling regimes and the West, which have limited their appeal, their political prospects and their ability to facilitate meaningful transformations in their societies.
Bringing together a diverse range of influential Arab Islamist voices on a wide spectrum of issues, this book is a very valuable contribution to studies of forms of contemporary Islamic expression, and cannot afford to be missed by anyone interested in the phenomenon. That said, numerous lacunae remain. Crucial issues, most notably Islamism’s economic agenda and its controversial attitudes to democracy, gender relations and women’s statuses, are excluded from this selection of writings. Many of the articles are repetitive, and not a few sound like crude propaganda. Yet, despite all of this, this book excels.

Pakistan must be engaged, says Kashmir interlocutor

Pakistan must be engaged, says Kashmir interlocutor
Posted by K4Kashmir on November 14, 2010 in Kashmir | 0 Comment Edit
Pakistan must be engaged, says Kashmir interlocutor

Shujaat Bukhari
SRINAGAR: Advocating a role for Pakistan in finding an amicable solution to the Kashmir problem, academician Radha Kumar, one of the three interlocutors on Kashmir, on Sunday stressed the need for working towards credibility of the dialogue process. Before winding up the second visit to Kashmir and Ladakh, Prof. Kumar told journalists that dialogue was important to arrive at a consensus, though there were varied perceptions in Ladakh and Kashmir.

Emphasising that Pakistan’s role could not be wished away, she said it was a “necessity” to engage Pakistan in finding a permanent solution to the problem. “The year Pakistan got engaged with India, we saw considerable improvement on ground. We were close to the Kashmir solution. We would like to see the dialogue process restart from the point it was left off. Unfortunately, the Pakistan govt has shown disinclination to resume the dialogue from where they had left off. I hope they will change their position,” she said. She was accompanied by another interlocutor M.M. Ansari.

Jammu and Kashmir out of U.N. list of disputes

Jammu and Kashmir out of U.N. list of disputes
Posted by K4Kashmir on November 14, 2010 in Kashmir | 0 Comment Edit
Jammu and Kashmir out of U.N. list of disputes

UNITED NATIONS: Jammu and Kashmir has been removed from the United Nations list of unresolved disputes, in a setback to Pakistan which has been asking the world body to intervene on the issue.

The omission of Jammu and Kashmir from the list of disputes under the observation of the Security Council was noticed by Pakistan, whose envoy has filed a protest. “The Jammu and Kashmir dispute was not mentioned in the context of unresolved long-running situations,” Pakistan’s acting envoy to the U.N. Amjad Hussain B Sial said.

“We understand this was an inadvertent omission, as Jammu and Kashmir is one of the oldest disputes on the agenda of the Security Council,” he said, speaking at the General Assembly session, which was discussing the functioning and reform of the Security Council. It was organised by the U.K., which holds the presidency of the Security Council this month. — PTI

Between the military and militants, by Farhat Taj

Between the military and militants, by Farhat Taj
Posted by K4Kashmir on November 14, 2010 in Pakistan | 0 Comment Edit
Between the military and militants, by Farhat Taj

With the Haqqanis moved to the safety of Kurram, a military operation will begin in North Waziristan that will kill innocent civilians and also lead to large-scale human displacement. In all the areas of FATA where military operations have been conducted, people complain that the army deliberately targeted civilians and let the Taliban flee or avoided firing at the terrorists

Recently, there has been news in the national and international media that Jalaluddin Haqqani’s network, based in North Waziristan, is being shifted by the military establishment of Pakistan to Kurram to flee the relentless US drone attacks that have considerably damaged the group. Most media discussions about this development focus on external factors, like how difficult it may become for NATO and US forces to gather intelligence and strike the Haqqani group in Kurram, and the possibility of an extension of the US drone attacks to Kurram. The last possibility is also claimed as leading to more anti-Americanism in the wider society of Pakistan, which, unlike tribal society, seems to oppose the drone strikes as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.

No due attention is being paid to the impact of the arrival of the Haqqani fighters on the people in Kurram and the areas close to it. With the Haqqani network in North Waziristan, all the nearby districts were destabilised. D I Khan, with its mixed Sunni and Shia population, was rocked by sectarian attacks, the people in Tank and Bannu were attacked and the civilians in all frontier regions came under repeated terrorist actions.

The point is that Jalaluddin Haqqani is widely respected among the Taliban groups and he uses his position to influence them and to make peace among warring Taliban groups. When two Taliban groups anywhere in Pakistan or Afghanistan have a go at each other’s throats, Jalaluddin asks his sons to invite the two to one of his guesthouses in North Waziristan. He ultimately convinces them to stop fighting against each other by giving money to some and weapons to others. People in Waziristan constantly complain that our intelligence agencies always try to push all militants, Pakhtun, Punjabi and foreigners, into the ‘Haqqani loop’. Staunchly anti-Shia sectarian groups are also linked to the Haqqani network. So many militant groups now coming to Kurram, including the sectarian groups, will inevitably intensify sectarian violence against the civilians from Kurram to Kohat, the region with a mixed Sunni-Shia population.

This means that the Sunni IDPs from Parachinar (Kurram), displaced since 2007, and Shia IDPs from Sadda (Kurram), displaced since the 1980s, should forget about going back to their native areas in the near future. The Shias in upper Orakzai suffered at the hands of the Taliban and this was followed by the Taliban atrocities against the Sunnis in upper Orakzai. The Ali Khel, the biggest tribe in Orakzai, lost its entire mixed Sunni and Shia leadership (over 100 tribal leaders) in a suicide attack by the Taliban. The Shia area in lower Orakzai that has remained largely stable could face acute, violent attacks from the anti-Shia groups. Some of the Orakzai Sikh families displaced by the Taliban have been given refuge by the Shias in lower Orakzai. Instability in lower Orakzai could displace the Sikh families once more. Both Kohat and Hangu with their mixed Sunni-Shia population have already been victims of several sectarian attacks. There have also been suicide attacks on the general public in both cities regardless of sectarian distinction, including the attacks on markets and families of policemen. Residents of the two cities may now be exposed to intensified violence of the kind never seen by them before.

Moreover, the US is putting pressure on Pakistan to start a military operation in North Waziristan and, seemingly, Pakistan will give in. With the Haqqanis moved to the safety of Kurram, a military operation will begin in North Waziristan that will kill innocent civilians and also lead to large-scale human displacement from the area. In all the areas of FATA where military operations have been conducted, people complain that the army deliberately targeted civilians and let the Taliban flee or avoided firing at the terrorists. This is the key reason why so many people became displaced in the tribal areas where the military operations have been conducted. This is also precisely the reason why the people in FATA favour drone strikes on the militants instead of military operations; the former never miss their target, the latter always kills civilians in large numbers and have been unable to kill any leading Taliban commander in so many military operations. Despite the relentless drone attacks in North Waziristan, there is no mass scale displacement from the area. There would be large-scale human displacement from North Waziristan if a military operation begins in the area.

How long will the ‘strategic assets’ — the Haqqanis — of the military establishment be moved from one area of FATA to another to destabilise it along with nearby districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa? It has been years since the people of FATA and the adjoining districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been trapped between the military and the militants. The two have killed civilians when they are fighting each other as well as when they are not fighting each other. The recent media debate about the Haqqani’s new destination in Kurram is from the point of view of NATO and US forces, the strategic considerations of the military establishment of Pakistan, and state level relations between Islamabad and Washington. There seems to be no one to voice the local people’s perspective in the whole debate, the people who will most likely become innocent victims of the strategic transport of the Haqqanis from North Waziristan to Kurram.

The writer is a PhD Research Fellow with the University of Oslo and currently writing a book, Taliban and Anti-Taliban.

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