Shabir Choudhry: JKLF was formed in
The JKLF believed in non communal politics — religion to us was a personal matter. We strongly believed in equality for all citizens, rule of law, democracy and liberal ideals; and to us both
But when Amanullah Khan was expelled from
From then onwards it became a Muslim struggle and not a Kashmiri struggle and the JKLF group while still wearing a secular hat became part of this game.
Amanullah Khan also realised that he was used to advance a Pakistani interest, but he is a stubborn man who is dictatorial. He with the support of the ISI managed to keep his stature and his JKLF group functioning. Anyone who dared to challenge him was expelled from the party on charges of working for either the ISI or R&AW. The reality, however, is that he is the one who closely worked with the ISI and continues to do so. My friends and I have been fighting establishment policies on
In 1995 when Yasin Malik and Amanullah Khan fell out we thought maybe Yasin Malik will be better than Amanullah Khan and supported him. But he proved to be worse. When we realised that the top leadership of JKLF had abandoned the ideology of Maqbool Butt, we decided to say good bye to the JKLF and formed Kashmir National Party to advance the cause of a united and independent
Shabir Choudhry: Unity of like minded people with a common agenda is must to advance and common agenda; but that unity must be based on certain principles and there must be sincerity. In my opinion it is not unity of JKLF groups, as two individuals met and without taking any senior leaders in to confidence announced this unity.
Still people are questioning the real motives behind this unity. If it was a JKLF unity then the question is why other JKLF groups were left out. Even in the final declaration prepared by the working group of both J Amanullah Khan and Yasin Malik, only urged Rauf Kashmiri to abandon his group and join them; but they completely ignored the Aftab Group and Bitta Karate or Farooq Dar Group.
It must be noted that Indian troops came to
Shabir Choudhry: It is true the people of POK and Gilgit Baltistan are manipulated intimidated, oppressed and deprived of their fundamental rights. It is unfortunate I don’t have any good news for the people of these regions.
However, the facts are totally different and the people on the Indian side of
Shabir Choudhry: I have said this many times that policy makers of
Whereas I have no problem with
It must be understood that
Shabir Choudhry: The issue of Taliban and their politics is directly related to the mindset of the Pakistani establishment. In my opinion, those forces which promote communalism and regard these “jihadi” outfits and Taliban as strategic assets are very powerful in Pakistan and as long as they call the shots and determine foreign policy and other issues related to security and stability of Pakistan, I am afraid not much is going to change.