Friday, 27 April 2012

Why forces of occupation attacked KNP, Dr Shabir Choudhry

Why forces of occupation attacked KNP Dr Shabir Choudhry 27 April 2012 Every action has reaction, we are told; and it is a fact as well. I have pro active approach to politics; but at the same time, like others, I also react to events. In other words, one can say my politics is reactionary as well; and this article will show how actions generated different reactions. A few days ago a dedicated member of the JKLF contacted me and enquired about my research on Poonch rebellion. I was very frank with him said because of this smear campaign going on against me for the past four months; I have not been able to pay any attention to this. He laughed and said, but you declared on many internet forums that you would find facts about this and requested people for help and information. I said, yes I did, but I have been busy dealing with some parts of this smear campaign and could not do any new work on this topic. He laughed and said: ‘Choudhry Sahib that is what happens when you declare to do controversial and sensitive things in advance; and people who want to hide those facts would keep you busy in other matters. For the past four months I have seen you either defending one allegation or the other; and your reputation of being a sincere and dedicated soldier of united and independent Jammu and Kashmir has been tarnished.’ He said many other things as well; but it might not be appropriate to give details of that at this stage. However, his interjection not only gave me another perspective; but also provided me with an opportunity to explain why I am under attack and why Kashmir National Party suffered a split. I was first elected Secretary General of JKLF in 1985. This showed that I had my own standing and contribution to the struggle; and the JKLF delegates present in the Convention acknowledged that fact. The JKLF constitution of that time regarded Secretary General as a ‘Chief Executive’ of the party and the President, although a party head, had less executive powers. At that time JKLF in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan was in infancy; and there was no JKLF on the Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir. Afzal Jatalvi and I provided leadership to the JKLF during very difficult time, as we had to deal with matters with which we had no connection – kidnapping and killing of an Indian diplomat, which was done by Kashmir Liberation Army. To make matters worse for us Amanullah Khan was also arrested in 1985 and then deported to Pakistan in 1987. Anyhow, in order to continue with my research for PhD, I decided not to contest for any post in the convention of 1992. The elections produced results which Amanullah Khan did not like; and on advice of some people in Britain he disbanded the elected body of JKLF after three months of its election. It was an unconstitutional act; and there was a strong reaction against this. The JKLF was once again split in to two groups. Choudhry Qurban Hussain (now Lord Qurban Hussain) and Choudhry Sabir Hussain arranged a meeting of both groups and an agreement was reached to unite the JKLF. I don’t know on whose advice and without hearing the concerned people this agreement was rejected and Azmat Khan and Abid Hashmi were expelled from the JKLF. I challenged that decision, as it was totally unconstitutional and said to Amanullah Khan that JKLF is not your fiefdom that you take decisions as you like; and if you cannot give democratic rights to the JKLF members how can you give rights to the ordinary people. For this courageous and principled stand, Mohammed Younis and I was expelled from the JKLF, and we started working as a separate group; and I had to accept the post of Secretary General again in order to face new challenges. Anyhow, when our group of the JKLF was firmly established, I decided to leave my post. As Azmat Khan suffered a defeat in the previous election for the post Secretary General, it was decided that he should be given a chance to take over responsibilities of the Secretary General. However, senior people (kitchen cabinet) of the JKLF met in Hounslow and decided to correct the power imbalance in the posts of Secretary General and the President in favour of the President, because they thought Azmat Khan was politically too immature to digest powers of the Secretary General. That apart, my and Abbas Butt’s interaction with different Think Tanks, diplomats, NGOs and experts of the region, helped us to formulate policies that were more practical and appropriate to the Kashmiri struggle for independence; but they were clearly at variance with the JKLF headed by Amanullah Khan. By that time we believed there was no military solution to the Kashmir dispute; and that we need to promote democratic, secular and peaceful struggle to win support of other ethnic minorities of Jammu and Kashmir, people of India and the world at large. Also we strongly advocated a peace process involving all three parties to the dispute. Moreover, we thought we must struggle on the Pakistani side of the LOC. In other words those who are occupied by India, they should struggle there according to their requirements; and those who are occupied by Pakistan they should struggle on this side of the LOC. We firmly believed that it was wrong to put all eggs in the basket of the Valley of Kashmir and make that focus of all the attention; which proved to be detrimental to our national struggle as the international community thought it was only the Valley that was disputed because there was no real struggle or unrest in the remaining parts of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. We actively promoted the above policies; and activities of Kashmir National Party were noticed; and certain quarters felt uneasy because of what we did and what we promoted logically and effectively. Because of our concerted campaign and of course of other like minded people, Gilgit Baltistan emerged on the political radar and it became apparent that it was not part of Pakistan, but constitutional part of former State of Jammu and Kashmir. KNP leaders, as a political party arranged a Study Tour and visited Gilgit Baltistan, interviewed people and compiled a detailed report. They also conducted a survey in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan to ascertain views of the people on the current situation and on the future status of Jammu and Kashmir. The survey was launched in the British House of Lords with help of Baroness Emma Nicholson; and the full report of KNP Study Tour was released in a form of book in Geneva during session of the UN Human Rights Council. Also KNP was the first party to reveal presence of the Chinese Army in Gilgit Baltistan; and explained the hidden agenda of both Pakistan and China. Later on KNP provided photographic evidence to support all this. KNP also provided Urdu translation of this report and provided literature on various aspects of the Kashmiri struggle; and exposed some myths related to our struggle and independence. Furthermore, we exposed many people who were working as proxies and used the name of struggle to promote their personal, political and economic agenda. Those who wanted to make the Valley of Kashmir focus of attention and keep attention away from areas under Pakistan wanted all of us the hold Black Day on 27 October, a day when the Indian army landed in Kashmir on the request of the Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir. KNP, however, took lead in this matter and proved with evidence the real agenda of those who managed the Tribal Invasion and unprovoked attack on independence and sovereignty of our mother land on 22 October 1947; and asserted that the Black Day should be held on 22 October. Furthermore, KNP published materials related to the tribal attack, which was launched by violating the Standstill Agreement. We also gave details of atrocities committed by the tribesmen on innocent citizens of Jammu and Kashmir. While all this was appreciated by all members of the KNP at every level, and by other freedom loving people who were kept in dark because of murder of history, especially on the Pakistani side of the divide; those groups and powers that were exposed and hurt because of our work got anxious and decided to strike back. Perhaps to make matters worse for myself and the KNP I declared that I wanted to provide facts about the Poonch rebellion which was brutally crushed by the Pakistani authorities in mid 1950s. Of course my purpose was to give true account of the events and assert that we people of Jammu and Kashmir are occupied on both sides of the divide; and that all armies are trained to kill when ordered to do so. The powers and groups that were uncomfortable by all this quickly hatched a conspiracy to counter our work; and a malicious campaign to tarnish my work, honesty, sincerity and dedication to the cause of united and independent Jammu and Kashmir was initiated. Proxies of these anti Kashmir groups propagated, as if in the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir problem was Dr Shabir Choudhry. In order to control what we planned to do and discredit what we did in the past, they first tried to persuade us that KNP should merge with JKLF headed by Yasin Malik and Amanullah Khan. They knew once we become part of the JKLF they would be able to control our activities; and discredit over struggle from platform of the KNP. In the meeting of KNP Supreme Council it was decided that we should not join the JKLF because of clear differences over ideology and strategies. Despite this decision, Masoom Ansari decided to resign from the KNP to join the JKLF; and sent his resignation to Abbas Butt, Party Chairman, and sent a copy to me. When this smear campaign against me was in full swing, some senior members tried to pressurise Abbas Butt to take some action against me. Abbas Butt knew that KNP policies are not formulated by one individual, and one individual could not be held responsible for any policy, because the KNP policies are discussed in meetings and after reaching consensus they are adopted; so there was no need to take any action against me. Some members from Birmingham requested Abbas Butt for a meeting, which was held on 25 March 2012. In that meeting Mohammed Nazam Bhatti and Mumtaz Mirza told Abbas Butt that they were leaving the KNP to join the JKLF headed by Yasin Malik and Amanullah Khan. Both sides decided to part like friends; and gentlemen’s promise was that no one will issue any statements. Later on some quarters with Machiavellian mind advised them not to join the JKLF as they won’t be able to teach lesson to Dr Shabir Choudhry and harm the KNP. They were urged to stay in the KNP and take action against Dr Shabir Choudhry, illegal and unconstitutional as it was. Those who planned this move knew that Abbas Butt, who had been, by and large, neutral in these matters would be forced to step in to clarify the legal situation that action taken by Mohammed Nazam Bhatti was totally unconstitutional. When Abbas Butt did that, Mohammed Nazam Bhatti also ‘expelled’ Abbas Butt from the KNP as well. Many people with understanding of parties and procedures regarding expulsion of members; and especially the Central Leaders and the Chairman are laughing at this, as they know a foot soldier cannot expel the army chief. However, it would be interesting for the KNP members and the JKLF members to know that in 1985, Mohammed Nazam Bhatti, as a President of JKLF Birmingham branch, expelled Amanullah Khan who was the Chairman of the JKLF. Anyone can understand that a branch President cannot expel a Chairman; but Mohammed Nazam Bhatti has his own rules. This time he expelled another Chairman of a Party- Abbas Butt. The joke is that the man who extended his resignation because he wanted to join the JKLF, I don’t know under what pressure or under what incentive accepted to become ‘Chairman’ of breakaway group of KNP. However, I want to conclude that people representing tribalism, extremism, violence, hatred and forces of occupation can only create temporary hurdles and create confusion; but they cannot hold back our struggle and hide facts. 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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