Saturday, 21 January 2012

Kashmir, Pakistan and the Empowerment of the People, by Khurshid Khan

Kashmir, Pakistan and the Empowerment of the People, by Khurshid Khan

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 7:21pm

If we exclusively see POK, I see no leadership at all. How can POK have any credible leadership in the absence of any freedom of choice for the people? All AK governments are either an extension or installed and implanted by the politics and establishment in Islamabad. We have reached a level of bankruptcy in Pakistan due to our Kashmir policy and misplaced priorities.

We do not need a movement in POK; in fact, we need to have a movement in Pakistan which must explain to people why they are in this political and economic bankruptcy.

Invasion of Kashmir after partition divided the state and put Pakistan on a course to disintegration on the same day. Pakistan was a very poor new born country and it needed to put all its resources in health education and infrastructure building. Instead we were hijacked by vested interests of minority feudal elite rulers and we sank our resources in building a huge military complex.

India had China in mind but we created an enemy in India and started sinking our meagre resources to compete with India only in Arms Race. The result was big military complex created with borrowed money and internal resources spent by the corrupt rich and elite establishment. Poor people were left with "FAKAT WADA E HOOR".

We lost half of our country but did not learn anything.....instead of fixing our priorities, abandoning a policy of hypocrisy and deceit, we again embarked on a biggest lie of being born again MUSLIMS and created a business out of fake Jihad, where our military failed we tried to exploit the youth of the nation to win a proxy war for us from India.

Kashmir issue was again exploited to keep the budget and brain washing the youth, to be cannon fodder. After becoming a nuclear power, it was expected by the poor nation to get some dividends....but very cunningly, the establishment and corrupt rulers invented a perpetual enemy of war on terror.................with an open end policy of begging and spending but making sure not to admit our mistake and alter the course. Today we are nuclear power but a bankrupt nation at the mercy of others without any sovereignty to defend.

It is about time that we open our eyes and start with fixing our Kashmir policy from where this whole saga started. First we should educate the people about the reality of Kashmir which was not a part of India or Pakistan, nor it was in any agreement to be a part of India or Pakistan. This assumption is based upon the misplaced propaganda that Kashmir was suppose to be included in the newly created states but somehow India did not let us have it.

Reality is different…..Kashmir was an independent state ruled by a Hindu Raja and India and Pakistan under the partition act was to do nothing at the time. According to the British India partition act 1947, India, Pakistan and Princely states were three entities, given equal freedom from British rule and it was people of the Princely states who were suppose to decide if at all....where would they go and pre eminently staying independent was the first option.

We invaded Kashmir with the help of tribes (which I admire for many other reasons) and gave an excuse to the Maharaja to invite Indian forces in Kashmir. The rest is history. The second mistake in my view was made after we had UNO resolutions when we did not give any real autonomy to the POK and in fact created a ghetto for the people with a section officer in charge with real powers in Islamabad.

The Act of 1974 document leaves practically no powers with the President or Prime minister of AZAD KASHMIR. The rulers in POK were the twins of the rulers in Pakistan who have ruled for the last 60 plus years talking about liberating Kashmir as a tool to keep people engaged and distracted. Chanting the mantra of “Kashmir bunay ga Pakistan” yet asking the whole world to help secure the rights of self determination of Kashmiri people is the biggest contradiction in itself and no moral grounds to stand on. These were the same visionaries in POK, who were complacent in having invaded the state and were instrumental in its division.

Today the same lot talks about reunification under any terms. We have many missed opportunities of the past 63 years but I think once again, in this new world order where most wars would be fought for food water and economic survival in the future……Pakistan as a nation has an opportunity and an obligation to its people to revise its moral stand on Kashmir, by giving a complete autonomy barring few areas to the people of POK. People should be allowed to free and fair elections, a complete freedom of expression and choice to elect the representative assembly and thereafter an ability to help negotiate an honorable reunification with IOK.

This will help Pakistan to become an honest broker and with a moral high ground to provide the political and moral support for Kashmiri people in their just struggle for self rule. Pakistan has had no development done in POK in the last 63 years, probably due to the fear of separation but once a representative government is allowed in AZAD Kashmir, it will help develop the area and will increase its relationship in economic terms with Pakistan and an eventual economic integration.

This whole exercise will help Pakistan free the economic resources it is spending today maintain conventional forces to compete with India and will be able to spend that resource on EDUCATION, HEALTH and infrastructure to establish and promote badly needed economic and business environment. Tribalism can only reduce with education and sincerity of the purpose. People are unaware of the purpose; in recent pools only 6% of the people in AZAD Kashmir were aware of any talks between India and Pakistan. We want to liberate Kashmir with jalsas, long speeches and lots of "DAWATS".

We need to build a just society, free of corruption, equality and opportunities for all. There is no one who is restricting us to be honest and sincere to our society. We need independence from poverty, illiteracy and corrupt and corruption before we can claim to be ready for an independent should be an eventual goal not a pre requisite for a better society.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

JKLF played into ISI hands - Kashmir was never a Muslim struggle, interview of Dr Shabir Choudhry with Current news

JKLF played into ISI hands Kashmir was never a Muslim struggle, interview of Dr Shabir Choudhry with Current News.
Born in Nakker Shamali in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) Dr Shabir Choudhry has been in the UK since 1966 and holds dual nationality. He regularly takes part in the UN Human Rights (Commission) and has addressed many conferences and seminars opposing violence and highlighting the Kashmir cause. He has 40 books and booklets on various aspects of the Kashmiri struggle to his credit. Throughout his life he has worked for the cause of Kashmir as a JKLF founder-member since its inception in 1977. Due to differences with top leaders of the JKLF he parted ways and formed the Kashmir National Party (KNP). He spoke with RC GANJOO on a host of issues:

Current News: You were an active member of JKLF but what forced you to launch the KNP in London.

Shabir Choudhry: JKLF was formed in Birmingham, England in 1977, and I was among its founders. The JKLF believed in a united and independent Jammu and Kashmir free from both countries, and of course from China as well. The JKLF head office was shifted from Britain to Muzaffrabad when Amanullah Khan was expelled from Britain in 1987. Perhaps that was the first serious tactical mistake we made, and I take responsibility for that as I forcefully advocated this change. The late Afzal Jatalvi and I were senior office bearers at that time and we both agreed that it was in the best interest of the party because we feared action against the JKLF in Britain as a result of Rawinder Mahtare’s (Indian diplomat in Britain) kidnapping and subsequent killing.

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 India and Pakistan were occupiers, hence equally bad as far as imperialism and occupation was concerned. Our struggle was against both.

But when Amanullah Khan was expelled from Britain he decided to take help from one occupier (Pakistan) to fight against the other occupier (India). With that secret deal of Amanullah Khan and the ISI began a gradual shift in JKLF policy as the party was used as a vehicle to promote a proxy war. The struggle for independence or right of self determination was transformed into a ‘Jihad’ against Hindu rule or Hindus in which minorities were targeted. Cinemas, beauty parlours, tourists, religious festivals (Amarnath Yatra) were targeted. All this was against Islamic teaching, but unfortunately it happened, and the JKLF leadership unfortunately either remained quiet or became part of this communal game.

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 with dictatorial attitude. 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 Kashmir and their stooges since 1992. We sincerely worked hard to unite the factions of the JKLF and correct the wrongs. I have no hesitation in acknowledging our failure; the JKLF senior leadership with the help of the ISI won and we lost in our attempt to unite the JKLF.

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 Jammu and Kashmir.

CN: Now the two factions of JKLF, one headed by Ammanullah Khan and the other by Yaseen Malik have joined hands. What could be the politics behind their merger?

Shabir Choudhry: Unity of like minded people with a common agenda is must to advance a 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 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.

CN: What prompted you to observe 22 October as a black day in London?

Shabir Choudhry: Pakistan and pro-Pakistan political parties want people of Jammu and Kashmir to observe 27 October as a Black Day because it was on this date Indian troops landed in Kashmir. Under the influence of Pakistani propaganda and wrong history that has been taught to people, we all observed 27 October as a Black Day, and some still do. However, with time we realised that Black Day should be observed on 22 October, because it was on this date Pakistani sponsored tribesmen attacked the sovereignty of Jammu and Kashmir and killed, raped and looted innocent people of Kashmir, especially non Muslims.

It must be noted that Indian troops came to Kashmir on a request of the Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir and after a treaty (provisional accession); but Pakistan sent in their warriors to capture Kashmir by violating a treaty (Standstill Agreement) with the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir. The Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir after lapse of paramountcy became an independent ruler; it was Pakistan which unleashed an unprovoked attack on Jammu and Kashmir. The Maharaja requested help from India when he realised that his forces were unable to save his country and his subjects from this savage attack and subsequent killing, raping, kidnapping and looting. In other words, if there was no tribal attack we could still have been an independent country and what happened on 27 October is a by product of events that started on 22 October and which have changed the course of our history. So to us the root cause to our past and present problems is 22 October and we should all observe this as a Black Day.

CN: POK and Gilgit-Baltistan are reeling under the authoritarian rule of Pakistan. How long will the people of these areas have to suffer?

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 that 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 Jammu and Kashmir have better living standards and economic development. Unless people of PoK and Gilgit Baltistan realise that they are occupied and denied of fundamental rights there can never be change on this side of the divide. Furthermore, they need to understand that our struggle is on the Pakistani side of the divide; and those who tell us to fight against Indian occupation only want to focus attention on the Valley. We are occupied by Pakistan and our struggle should be against the country that occupies us; and those who are occupied by India they can struggle over there according to their situation. However, we must not become tools in hands of agencies who want to advance their own agenda.

CN: Do you foresee a sinister game being hatched for Pok-GB regions where China’s presence is there in guise of development activity with the permission of Pakistan?

Shabir Choudhry: I have said this many times that policy makers of Pakistan want to make China part of the Kashmir dispute and in this regard some so-called Kashmiri leaders and political activists are also working hard. Till very recently China was not a party to this dispute even though China also occupies some territory of Jammu and Kashmir – some of this territory was occupied in 1962 Sino-India war; and some territory was gifted to China by Pakistan in 1963 to link both parts.
However, as Pakistan is getting weaker and more unstable and occupied in the civil war and war on terrorism, policy makers of Islamabad feel they need extra help on the issue of Kashmir to counter Indian hegemony.

Whereas I have no problem with China helping Pakistan with different development projects in Pakistan, I have serious concern with the presence of the Chinese army and other civilian and technical staff on my territory – Gilgit Baltistan and PoK. Both Pakistan and China under cover of different projects are looting and plundering our resources, as contracts and large areas are leased out to China for exploration without any knowledge and agreement of local administration and to the detriment of our interest. Furthermore, the presence of the Chinese army on our territory will only exacerbate the situation and attract challenges from those who also have interest in the region. What that means is that our territory could become a battle ground for competing military strategic and economic interests of very powerful countries of the world.

It must be understood that China is not part of South Asia and it will be wrong to drag China into the affairs of South Asia as it could prove disastrous for Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan and the entire region.

CN: Will Taliban ever get neutralized by Pakistan in a joint operation with Afghanistan?

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. Pakistan has to go through a transition – rather a blood bath, if ever it is going to put things right and live in peace and harmony with itself and with its neighbours.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Muhammad Sarwar - True Pakistani Ambassador

Muhammad Sarwar - True Pakistani Ambassador
Dr Shabir Choudhry 8 January 2012

Mohammed Aslam, Chief Editor of ‘Liberty International’ asked me many times to write a short piece on Muhammad Sarwar to appreciate his remarkable contribution to journalism; and what he has done to enhance the image of Pakistan in Britain and Europe. In his view Muhammad Sarwar is a true soldier of Pakistan who wants to see a stable, democratic and prosper Pakistan that can make positive contribution in world affairs; and help to eradicate culture of violence, extremism, communalism and hatred.

I agree with him, Muhammad Sarwar is a man with a mission. Despite ill health and meagre resources he works more than fourteen hours a day to accomplish his mission. His mission is to promote and protect interest of Pakistan and Islam; and this task is extremely difficult because there are powerful internal and external forces working against Pakistan and Islam.

Muhammad Sarwar is from the biggest and most disturbed city of Pakistan – Karachi, which is also economic backbone of Pakistan. After completing Masters from the Karachi University he joined famous Urdu daily ‘Nawa e Waqt’; and soon made his presence felt in the journalist community. Because of his skills, dedication and hard work more than one news paper wanted to benefit from his talent, but he chose to become News Editor of daily ‘Masawaat’.

Owners of the biggest media empire Jang Group of Newspapers do not like his rival papers to pose challenge to his dominance; and Muhammad Sarwar’s talent, public relations skills and news making abilities were becoming a major threat to his empire. So very wisely they decided to employ him and use his talent to advance their agenda. Muhammad Sarwar turned down very lucrative offer, but persistent efforts eventually won him over and he was requested to become a News Editor of Jang London.

This is where I first met Muhammad Sarwar. He was the News Editor of most popular and effective Urdu daily paper, and I went to see him in his London office. I was Secretary General of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front at that time; and because the Kashmir dispute was not commercialised at that time we always had problem in getting appropriate media coverage for our activities.

I found Muhammad Sarwar polite, friendly and accommodating. He spoke softly but chose his words carefully. He assured me that he would provide appropriate media coverage to our political activities. However, he cautioned me to ensure that we did not do anything against Pakistan, because his loyalty was with Pakistan and not Jammu and Kashmir. I said to him that we were well wishers of Pakistan and would not do anything against state of Pakistan; and added that we wanted help and support of Pakistani brothers.

Muhammad Sarwar honoured his words and provided us and other Kashmiri political activists appropriate coverage in his paper. This service he continues to do to date, despite competing interests and indomitable pressure from various powerful groups. The Kashmiri groups in Britain and Europe and the Kashmir cause has benefited from abilities, skills and the services of Muhammad Sarwar; but we people of Jammu and Kashmir have not been able to reciprocate, or at least, appreciate his services rendered in promotion of the Kashmir cause.

As a News Editor of the Jang London, he enhanced its reputation, improved quality of news and made his readers better informed. A number of challenges were made by powerful rival papers but none could compete effectively. After taking the Jang London to new heights, Muhammad Sarwar said good -bye to Jang and undertook a new project of starting the first electronic media known as TV Asia; and became its Director Current Affairs.

When TV Asia was up and running as a successful business enterprise he decided to return to print media, and became Chief Editor and Publisher of ‘Nation’. Nation, as a newspaper has provided extremely valuable service to the Asian community living in Britain. As a patriot Pakistani and a true Ambassador of Pakistan he advanced interest of Pakistan in places where it mattered.

Apart from that he has made strenuous efforts to promote culture of peace, harmony, toleration and coexistence among different ethnic communities living in Britain. He sincerely served all ethnic minorities, and encouraged them to live in Britain in peace and harmony; and respect law of the land by making positive contribution to the British society.

Not only he provides space to different religious sects and promotes Islam positively; he also provides space to those who want to advance cause of liberal, democratic and secular ideals. He positively advanced the cause of people of Jammu and Kashmir; and very boldly said Kashmir belongs to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and only they are entitled to decide its future.

Furthermore he said, apart from Kashmiris, people of Pakistan and India are also suffering because of the Kashmir dispute; and it is only appropriate that it should be resolved according to the wishes of the people that there can be peace and friendship between India and Pakistan.

When it was considered treacherous to present view point of India on the issue of Kashmir, or publish views of pro Indian Kashmiris he had courage to publish their views despite strong opposition and criticism. His view was that there are three parties to the Kashmir dispute, namely India, Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir; and he wanted his readers to know all three view points and make informed judgements.

Muhammad Sarwar has excellent public relations skills and his networking is second to none. He has very big circle of friends in all walks of social and political life. People in field of journalism highly regard his courage, skills, intellect and dedication; but there are some powerful people who want to end his journalistic career by forcing him to close down ‘Nation’, which he has nourished like his baby.

Despite all tactics and pressures of his opponents he has, on his own and without any financial support, survived in this field with honour and pride for so long; and without having any scandals to his paper or his name. He is not only regarded as a leading Asian journalist; but also admired as a true thinker, analyst and scholar. In many public meetings and conferences, especially meetings of political nature he is invited as a key note speaker that people can benefit from his wisdom and experience.

Mohammed Aslam, Chief Editor of ‘Liberty International’ commented: ‘Muhammad Sarwar is a journalistic genius. He is the biggest, most efficient and influential Asian journalist in Britain. He is a true Ambassador of Kashmir and Pakistan; and has done far more than Pakistani diplomats stationed in Britain have done for Pakistan and the Kashmir dispute.’

In conclusion I may add that Muhammad Sarwar can be a true soldier of Pakistan, and he may be a true Ambassador of Pakistan as well. I can agree that he is a sincere and dedicated man and would not compromise on his principles. I can also agree that he may be a genius in his field; but he must understand that lone warriors do not win wars. He needs to build a team and an institution that others can also make some contribution to his cause.
Writer is Director Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir View:

Monday, 16 January 2012



How many have been killed? Weren’t over the ground worker supporting terrorist like this

About K4Kashmir

Pakistan: ‘Free Kashmir’ Far From Free | Human Rights Watch

Pakistan: ‘Free Kashmir’ Far From Free | Human Rights Watch

‎(Islamabad) - In Azad Kashmir, a region largely closed to international scrutiny until a devastating earthquake hit last year, the Pakistani government represses democratic freedoms, muzzles the press and practices routine torture, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

CAT IS OUT OF BAG- JKLF (r) for implementation of UN resolution

JKLF (r) for implementation of UN resolution
South Asian News Agency (SANA) ⋅ January 7, 2012 ⋅ Share/Save
SRINAGAR (SANA): Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front ( R), at a meeting held with its chairman Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bita Karatey in chair, urged the United Nations Security Council to take effective steps for the implementation of its January 5, 1949 resolution.
Addressing the meeting, Karatey said, “The international community has resolved almost all the international issues but the Kashmir issue is pending its resolution despite the UNO has passed several resolutions on it.”
He said the UN Resolutions provided the best solution to Kashmir issue. “So its implementation is imperative for resolving Kashmir issue which is the stumbling block in the relations between India and Pakistan and it has the potential to trigger a nuclear

Thursday, 5 January 2012


Dr Sajid Chairman Kashmir Canada Freedom Forum
One could surprise to see such comments from a person like me who stood all years long to defend JKLF and Amman sb,but when things get to a point where you cannot give even the benefit of doubt to leadership actions, then ,this is better to call a spade a spade.Amman sb fell pray to ISI tactices in 1990 leading to the ist blood drawn from JKLF cadre.In 1996 the present ISI sponsored chairman Mr Malik ,collaborated with RAW to get himself out from behind the bars,and JKLF witnessed another division among its ranks.But over the period of years Mr Malik succeffully developed ties with ISI and helped them promoting their agenda under the guise of national liberation and is now, ISI darling from last few years.
I wrote earlier when MR Fai,ISI agent in USA got exposed. that ISI will try to find other alternates,and infact she did,when ISI approached Ammanullah khan to bring Mr Malik on board to give him not only more weight but, to slaughter, all those elements within the ranks of JKLF who challage both India and Pakistan in the same tune and don,t look towards Dehli or Islamabad for personal aggrandizement.

What Mr Fai was doing in USA is not a secret.So could I ask Mr Malik or Amman sb
1-Is JKLF is struggling for accession to Pakistan?
2-Is this ok to be on ISI pay roll at the cost of your idealogy?
3-Why should not, Abdul Qayom khan, Chaudary Ghulam Abbas and Atique khan should be national heros for JKLF,because they are doing the same what Mr FAi was doing ,I mean struggling for accesion of Kashmir to Pakistan.

So here is the difference between the approach and idealogy of Mr Malik ,Mr Amman and the rest of nationalist forces in Kashmir
1- these two people are calling Mr Fai a hero,where as we nationalist consider him an agent of an occupational force.
2-these two people are extremely valley centric that is why neither Amman sb made any concrete progress in Gilgit Baltistan nor Mr Malik did any thing in Ladakh or Jammu.
3-neither Amman sb speaks agaist injustices in GB and AK nor Malik speaks agaist Pakistani injustices in AK or GB.
Dr Sajid
Chairman Kashmir Canada Freedom Forum

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Kashmir profile, BBC

Kashmir profile, BBC

Continue reading the main story
Kashmir Flashpoint

Voices of fury
Viewpoint: ‘Killing the truth’
Desperate housewives
Back to frontline
The former princely state of Kashmir has been partitioned between India and Pakistan since 1947, to the satisfaction neither of the two countries nor the Kashmiris themselves.

Failure to agree on the status of the territory by diplomatic means has brought India and Pakistan to war on a number of occasions, and ignitied an insurgency that shows no signs of abating.


When India and Pakistan gained independence from British rule in 1947, the various princely rulers were able to choose which state to join.

The Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh, was the Hindu head of a majority Muslim state sandwiched between the two countries, and could not decide. He signed an interim “standstill” agreement to maintain transport and other services with Pakistan.

In October 1947 tribesmen from Pakistan invaded Kashmir, spurred by reports of attacks on Muslims and frustrated by Hari Singh’s delaying tactics.The Maharaja asked for Indian military assistance.

India’s governor-general, Lord Mountbatten, believed peace would best be served by Kashmir’s joining India on a temporary basis, pending a vote on its ultimate status. Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession that month, ceding control over foreign and defence policy to India.

The mountains of Kashmir, scene of a violent territorial dispute
Indian troops took two-thirds of the territory, and Pakistan seized the northern remainder. China occupied eastern parts of the state in the 1950s.


Whether the Instrument of Accession or the entry of Indian troops came first remains a major source of dispute between India and Pakistan. India insists that Hari Singh signed first, thereby legitimising the presence of their troops. Pakistan is adamant that the Maharaja could not have signed before the troops arrived, and that he and India had therefore ignored the “standstill” agreement with Pakistan.

Kashmir is renowned as a source for the fine wool known as cashmere
Pakistan demands a referendum to decide the status of Kashmir, while Delhi argues that, by voting in successive Indian state and national elections, Kashmiris have confirmed their accesson to India. Pakistan cites numerous UN resolutions in favour of a UN-run referendum, while India says the Simla Agreement of 1972 binds the two countries to solve the problem on a state-to-state basis.

There has been no significant movement from these positions in decades. In addition, some Kashmiris seek a third option – independence – which neither India nor Pakistan is prepared to contemplate.

Line of Control

The two countries fought wars over Kashmir in 1947-48 and 1965. They formalised the original ceasefire line as the Line of Control in the Simla Agreement, but this did not prevent further clashes in 1999 on the Siachen Glacier, which is beyond the Line of Control. India and Pakistan came close to war again in 2002.

Continue reading the main story
Jammu and Kashmir

Status: State of India
Area: 222,236 sq km (85,806 sq miles)
Population: 10.1 million
Continue reading the main story
Azad Jammu and Kashmir

Status: Autonomous territory of Pakistan
Area: 13,297 sq km (5,134 sq miles)
Population: 4.5 million
Continue reading the main story

Status: Autonomous territory of Pakistan
Area: 72,496 sq km (27,990 sq miles)
Population: 1.8 million
Furthermore an Islamist-led insurgency broke out in 1989 and remains significant. India gave the army additional authority to end the insurgency under the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act. Pro-Pakistan and pro-independence public protests erupted in the Kashmir Valley in the summer of 2010, and clashes with Indian security forces left more than 100 people dead.

Given that India and Pakistan both have nuclear weapons, the stakes in the dispute are high.

A thaw in relations after 2002, which saw some road and rail communications into Pakistan reopened, ended abruptly with the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. India blamed Pakistani and Kashmiri Islamists, in particular the Lashkar-e-Toiba group, for the attacks. Talks between the two countries on improving ties across the Kashmiri Line of Control did however resume in 2010.


The population of historic Kashmir is divided into about 10 million people in Indian-administrated Jammu and Kashmir and 4.5 million in Pakistani-run Azad Kashmir. There are a further 1.8 million people in the Gilgit-Baltistan autonomous territory, which Pakistan created from northern Kashmir and the two small princely states of Hunza and Nagar in 1970.

The government of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir has often been led by the National Conference, a pro-Indian party led by the Abdullah political dynasty. Pakistan runs Azad Jammu and Kashmir as a self-governing state, in which the Muslim Conference has played a prominent role for decades.

Dal Lake Srinagar, once a popular tourist spot
The National Conference moved from an almost pro-independence stance in the 1950s to accepting the status of a union state within India, albeit with more autonomy than other states.

Jammu and Kashmir is diverse in religion and culture. It consists of the heavily-populated and overwhelmingly Muslim Kashmir Valley, the mainly Hindu Jammu district, and Ladakh, which has a roughly even number of Buddhists and Shia Muslims.

The Hindus of Jammu and the Ladakhis back India in the dispute, although there is a campaign in the Leh District of Ladakh to be upgraded into a separate union territory in order to reflect its predominantly Buddhist identity. India gave the two districts of Ladakh some additional autonomy within Jammu and Kashmir in 1995.

Kashmir’s economy is predominantly agrarian. The important tourism sector in Indian-administered Kashmir was hard-hit by the post-1989 insurgency, but has seen some recovery since 2009.

Kashmir want freedom from Pakistan

Kashmir want freedom from Pakistan

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Kashmiri struggle and traitors, Dr Shabir Choudhry

Kashmiri struggle and traitors
Dr Shabir Choudhry 03 January 2012

Traitor is someone who knowingly and deliberately involves in actions that are detrimental to interests of his/her nation, a tribe or a community. In other words, a traitor commits acts of treason by betraying. This betrayal or treachery does not have to be for the sake of monetary gains, as people do it for different reasons. Some do it for money; others do it for ideological or religious reasons. Some may do it for political gains and social status; and some may do it to take revenge from some perceived injustice to his/her family or tribe or for being let down.

In contemporary history of Jammu and Kashmir Sheikh Abdullah was the first leader to be called a ‘traitor’, fact, however, is that he was a great leader, and pursued pro Kashmir policies, which were not appreciated by rulers of Pakistan. He was a Kashmiri leader and promoted pro Kashmir policies. He did not want Jammu and Kashmir to become either part of Pakistan or India. He wanted Jammu and Kashmir to become independent, detached from India and Pakistan that they can have separate existence and promote their history and culture.

Rulers of Pakistan did not want Jammu and Kashmir to become independent. Despite Standstill Agreement with Kashmir they blocked food supply to Jammu and Kashmir and on 22 October 1947 managed a naked tribal aggression against Kashmir and killed innocent people, raped women and looted citizens of Kashmir.

The forces of Jammu and Kashmir were unable to defend this aggression; and dream of Sheikh Abdullah and the Maharajah of Jammu and Kashmir to remain independent was shattered. Fearing capture of Srinagar – summer capital and the main city of the State, the Maharaja fled to Jammu – the winter capital and requested India for help. India also wanted Jammu and Kashmir to become part of India; and this naked aggression provided India with an opportunity to gain accession of the State with India.

The Maharajah of Jammu and Kashmir had no choice but to accede to India in order to seek military help and save his state and citizens. This accession was provisional in nature and had to be ratified by the people of Jammu and Kashmir; and to date we had no opportunity to express our view on this matter.

Sheikh Abdullah, on this occasion, decided to side with the Maharajah and people of Jammu and Kashmir; and fought those who came to occupy his motherland. He was, no doubt, pro independent and not pro India, but when he was insulted by Mohammed Ali Jinnah fourth time in October 1947, he had made up his mind that he would not support State’s accession to Pakistan. However, the situation imposed on him and on Kashmir by Pakistan’s unprovoked attack, forced Sheikh Abdullah to support this ‘provisional accession’.

The Pakistani rulers failed to capture Kashmir and held Sheikh Abdullah and India responsible for this; and it was at that time they called Sheikh Abdullah a ‘traitor’; and many people under propaganda of Pakistan viewed him in that light. However, the situation changed when the same Sheikh Abdullah showed signs of rebellion and was paving way for an independent Jammu and Kashmir, he was sent to jail by India; and at that time Pakistani government forgetting what they called him in past, promoted Sheikh Abdullah as a ‘Lion of Kashmir’.

The point to be remembered here is that it was our Muslim brothers and neighbouring Pakistan that attacked us on 22 October 1947 once we became independent after lapse of the British Paramountcy on 15 October 1947; and it was the rulers of Pakistan who gave a title of a ‘traitor’ to a towering Kashmiri leader of Jammu and Kashmir. Furthermore, it was this attack that forcibly divided our country, hence our miseries on both sides of the divided line since 1947.

Since that date our so called ‘advocate’ and ‘liberators’ issued many fatwas (edicts) telling us who is a ‘Kashmiri traitor’ and who is a ‘Kashmir patriot’; and while doing this ‘great service’ to the people of Jammu and Kashmir they applied a simple criteria: a Kashmiri who was loyal to Pakistan was a patriot; and those who earnestly opposed accession to Pakistan were declared ‘anti Pakistan’ and ‘traitors’. This policy has not changed since that date.

With passage of time Jammu and Kashmir became hunting ground for secret agencies of both India and Pakistan where people were oppressed and intimidated for holding pro Kashmir views; and some were labelled as ‘traitors’ by respective governments. Many leaders and political activists of Jammu and Kashmir do not openly express their views because of fear that they will be declared ‘anti Pakistan’ and ‘Indian agent’. It is ironic that those who work against interests of Jammu and Kashmir and promote Pakistani interests are not considered traitors; if anything they proudly promote a Pakistani agenda and call themselves ‘patriots’.

In the past this task of labelling ‘traitor’ or ‘agent’ was assigned to the secret agencies; but now this task, by and large, has been taken over by people of Jammu and Kashmir and especially people of Pakistani Administered Kashmir. Leaders and political activists of the Valley can promote pro Pakistan policy or even division of Jammu and Kashmir, and both of these positions are against genuine interests of Jammu and Kashmir, yet they are considered patriots and no one from the Valley call them ‘traitors’.

But if leaders and political activists of Pakistani Administered Kashmir oppose accession to India, oppose accession to Pakistan and promote united and independent Jammu and Kashmir that caters for all its citizens irrespective of their religious or ethnic background they are labelled as ‘traitors’ by Pakistani secret agencies, and by some people with tunnel vision in Pakistani Administered Kashmir and in the Indian Administered Kashmir.

This labelling of each other as a ‘traitor’ and an ‘agent’ has made the task of dividing and governing us easier for India and Pakistan; and weaken our struggle so much that despite so many sacrifices there is no light at the end of tunnel. New Year has started, and many have wished Happy New Year, but I cannot see any happiness coming our way; if anything, I can see more trouble and misery descending on South Asia.

Seeds of extremism, communalism, hatred and violence sowed to destroy and unstable enemies of Pakistan have torn the Pakistani society apart. Extremism, communalism and violence which was, at one time, exported in holy name of Jihad has made Pakistan a battleground for competing interests and militant groups, each calling the other ‘Kaffir’ and in some cases enemy of Islam and Pakistan.

We Kashmiris protest that Pakistan has stabbed our struggle for independence and have been instrumental in division of our homeland that has brought misery and oppression on both sides of the divide. But what can you expect from Pakistani rulers and establishment? Those who have destroyed Jinnah’s Pakistan; and those who kill, oppress and torture their own people cannot be expected to be nice to us.

In a country where political culture is such that President, Prime Minister, Home Minister and the Army Chief are accused of being ‘traitors’ and ‘agents’ of other countries and working against integrity and sovereignty of the State; and where every leader is perceived as corrupt and working against national interests what can you expect from them? This political culture has filtered down to various parts of divided Jammu and Kashmir; and people of Jammu and Kashmir have made task of secret agencies of India and Pakistan easier because now we call each other ‘traitor’ and ‘agent’ of one country or the other.

This trend of labelling each other with titles of a ‘traitor’ and an ‘agent’ has further divided and weakened the people of Jammu and Kashmir; and people who are divided are easy to control and oppress. If we are to make progress and achieve our most cherished goal of independence then we have to carefully analyse the situation and see what went wrong. We are occupied by more than one country. True, militarily we cannot fight them all, but we must not be promoting agenda of those who occupy us; and say that one is an occupier and the other is not.

We must remember that Jammu and Kashmir is a multi religious and multi ethnic State; and the Kashmir dispute is not religious in nature. Kashmiri people on the Pakistani side of the divide cannot practically and logically fight to liberate the people on the other side of the divide; and they cannot come to liberate us or people of Gilgit Baltistan. Whether we like it or not, the struggle has to be done by the local people where they are occupied; and without fear of being called a ‘traitor’.

We can only be traitors if we are working to divide the State of Jammu and Kashmir, either in name of religion or some ideology. Our prime responsibility is to promote a Kashmiri interest; and if that clashes with the perceived national interest of those who occupy us then that should not be our problem. If we defend a Kashmiri interest and promote united and independent Jammu and Kashmir then we are Kashmiri patriots and not agents of any country; and those who view us like that could well be agents of those who occupy us.
Writer is Director Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir