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

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