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.

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