Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Dubai meeting- other side of the story, Dr Shabir Choudhry

Dubai meeting- other side of the story
Dr Shabir Choudhry 18 April 2012

Dr Nazir Gilani needs to get out of this illusion that he is a brain box of the Kashmiri politics; and that he has monopoly over wisdom and use of pen, and that only he knows ‘jurisprudence’ of the Kashmir dispute. There are many who are much wiser than him and know better how to make use of the pen. However, they might not have army of fake ID’s at their command to ridicule others.

Like many others in Kashmiri politics I also make a deliberate effort to avoid confrontation with him, as I believe I can make positive contribution without pulling someone’s leg and without belittling anyone. Also matter which he was highlighting in his own name by telling half truths and by taking things out of context also concerned four other individuals and Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front as an organisation, I thought someone will show him a mirror.

For reasons best known to the other four individuals, namely Raja Muzaffar, Barrister Majid Tramboo, Usman Rahim and Farooq Papa, have decided to remain quiet; and as the JKLF is still in more than one group and perhaps not sure what to say on the issue; I decided to tell other side of the story related to the Dubai meeting, which Dr Nazir Gilani has deliberately avoided.

After long time when he deliberately presented statement of JKLF Central Diplomatic Bureau related to the Dubai meeting in a negative way, I asked him to explain: who convened this meeting? What was its agenda? And above all who else participated in the meeting apart from the names he had given out.

He went quiet on this, as he knew that reply to those questions would not only expose him but many other things. However, after two weeks of silence he produced a press cutting of JKLF CDB statement published in Kashmir Times on 28 April 2002. In order to advance his agenda, he took things out of context and said: ‘It is relevant to point out that A.G. Lone was killed within a month on 21 May 2002 on his return to Srinagar’.

Few days after that he wrote a lengthy article titled ‘Time please’ which was published on 16 April in ‘Rising Kashmir’. He is making desperate efforts to implicate the JKLF statement with the callous murder of Abdul Ghani Lone. After reading that, despite my recent health problems, I said to myself that the man needs to be shown a mirror and set historical records straight.

After this introduction now let us analyse the events. Dr Nazir Gilani in his article mentioned above writes: ‘The first serious and transparent move to debate the various aspects of Kashmir situation began with the Dubai Meeting of mid April 2002. Khawaja Abdul Gani Lone, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq (APHC), Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan, chairman National Kashmir Committee of Pakistan, Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai (KAC), Mushtaq Jeelani (KCC) and Syed Nazir Gilani (JKCHR) met in Dubai to discuss the interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir’.

He claims it was a ‘transparent move to debate the various aspects of Kashmir situation’, yet he is too afraid to tell who organised that meeting? What was its agenda? And above all who else was present? Why is he not speaking the whole truth? The fact is that those who arranged the meeting and paid for its expenses were also present in the meeting to tell them what should be done in name of Kashmir dispute inside the Valley of Kashmir and around the world.

Every citizen of Jammu and Kashmir know that Dr Nazir Gilani’s JKCHR doesn’t have a second member, similar is the case with KAC and KCC. All three organisations can fit in a Toyota saloon; and still there will be some space for another such organisation. So with that kind of power behind them who gave them the right to represent Kashmir?

Dr Nazir Gilani has worked hard over the past few years to establish that Dr Fai, Mirwaiz Umer Fraooq and APHC work for the Pakistani establishment to advance their agenda on Kashmir. The other participant, Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan openly says he works for Pakistan; and that he is ‘unpaid soldier’ of Pakistan. Dr Nazir Gilani, at that time, was also reported to be a senior stalwart of the Pakistani establishment; and he proudly claimed that before he landed in Islamabad his meetings with the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan was scheduled.

So one can safely guess who arranged the meeting and for what purpose. I can agree that people of the Valley have suffered immensely because of the militant struggle; and, from time to time, we all claimed that it is ‘our struggle’, fact however, is that we only suffered, struggle was in control of those who planned it and provided resources for it to ensure that the Kashmir pot keeps on boiling to suit their agenda.

Those who called the Dubai meeting and paid for its expenses, like always, came out with a list of demands – one can call it ‘do more’ list. This very senior officer of the Pakistani establishment after giving his briefing to mainly subservient audience promised them of new rewards and urged them to implement the agenda.

News filtered from the meeting was that Abdul Ghani Lone spoke out against this dictation. He reportedly said, enough is enough, we have lost a generation by following your instructions and we are no where near our destination. Your policies have only added to our problems and miseries; and from now on we will do what we think is in our interest. There was heated exchange of views between him and the big man from Islamabad.

Docile and subservient minds felt very uncomfortable with the courageous stand of Abdul Ghani Lone. They had no guts to oppose the boss, but didn’t want to fall out with Lone Sahib either. They tried to cool down the matter but Lone Sahib stood his ground. His view was that interest of Kashmir is paramount to the Pakistani interest; and the meeting ended with bitter taste in mouths, and some were subdued like frightened rabbits. Some felt that the bold stand might cost Abdul Ghani Lone his life; and he was advised not to go to Srinagar until dust settles down. Abdul Ghani Lone went to the United States and spent some time meeting the Americans and the Kashmiri Diaspora.

The news cutting which Dr Nazir Gilani has produced to implicate the JKLF reads:
‘JKLF joins Geelani in criticising Dubai conclave’. Title of the news clearly shows that before the JKLF statement, a senior Kashmiri leader Ali Shah Geelani also criticised the Dubai meeting; and the JKLF only joined those who criticised that conclave. So, why Dr Nazir Gilani’s gun is pointing towards the JKLF statement? Does he have some personal agenda or an axe to grind; is he advancing someone else’s agenda?

When Abdul Ghani Lone was shot dead in a public meeting held to commemorate death of Mirwaiz Mohlvee Farooq in Srinagar, his politician son, Sajad Lone, openly said that Pakistani ISI has killed his father. There were some who tried to shift blame to India, however, Professor Ghani Bhat another senior leader of APHC last year declared that it was wrong to accuse India for deaths of Mirwaiz Mohlvee Farooq and Abdul Ghani Lone; they were killed by our own people.

So it is clear that the JKLF statement had no impact, what so ever, on life of Abdul Ghnai Lone; however, Kashmir watchers assert that what transpired in the Dubai meeting ultimately sealed the future of Abdul Ghani Lone. Perhaps some of the participants have guilty conscience over this issue; may be they have not, as tens of thousands of other innocent Kashmiris have also lost their lives and no one is prepared to acknowledge culpability over this. Alas, it has become a business for some.

It might be interesting for readers to know that one of the participants of the Dubai meeting was also having secret meetings with the Indians and passing on the information. Pakistani scoops may have formulated wrong policies, especially with regard to Kashmir dispute, but they are not fools. They soon found out the mole and sacked him from his post. The poor guy, out of favour from the Pakistani establishment has been running from pillar to post since that date to get his job back. During his last meeting with them he, once again, begged them for his old job, or any job with reduced perks, but alas, to date, no luck for the poor guy, hence his frustration and anger. May Allah put him on a right path?

Writer is a political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs. View:

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