Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Kashmir dispute and peace in south Asia

Kashmir dispute and peace in south Asia

Dr Shabir Choudhry

1. Introduction
2. A Brief History
3. Kashmir after the British Raj
4. Kashmir at the United Nations
5. India's Pledges Regarding Kashmir
6. Two Nations Theory and Kashmir
7. Election or Plebiscite?
8. Present Situation
9. Conclusion
10. Appendix

In a public meeting held in May 1974 in Mirpur, he said: ' we have taken oath to fight for independence of Kashmir, but important question is who are we going to fight this war of independence? We must know who has usurped our independence? Who has denied us our right of self-determination? We must know who is our enemy-until and unless we are clear on that we could not fight war of independence. Let me tell you our enemy are all those people, groups, army, police, individuals and bureaucrats who deny us right of self-determination and oppose it.'

'Be clear on this that our struggle is against those members of ruling class who oppose our right to national independence whether they are in Azad Kashmir or in the Indian occupied Kashmir. All those who create obstacles in our way are our enemies and enemies of the independence movement. Prepare yourself for jihad against those who are acting as agents of Pakistan on this side of the border and act as agents of India on the other side of the border. We will have to fight them on every stage be it political or military- if they come in our way remove them by force. Movements of National independence are fought at every level and all workers, peasants, merchants, businessmen have to play their due role in it.'

1. Introduction

Over the years the Kashmir dispute has come high up on the international agenda, and there is call from many quarters of the world that it must be resolved through a process of dialogue. But there are some who oppose the idea of dialogue and insist that Kashmir has to be conquered - India has to be defeated militarily in Kashmir, and then join Pakistan. Indian policy on the other hand is to crush the militants, and maintain the status quo.

People of Kashmir have paid great sacrifices for the cause of independence, but they are still forcibly divided and still suffering. Both India and Pakistan have their own agendas on Kashmir, both want Kashmir for territorial, economic and strategic reasons. Interest of the Kashmiri people is not their top priority. Whereas India is accused of gross human rights violations in Kashmir, Pakistan is also responsible for denying people of Kashmir their basic human rights. Purpose of this small booklet is not to give details of human rights violations, as there are dozens of booklets are available on the subject. It would be, however, appropriate to mention that there is no comparison between human violations committed by India which include indiscriminate killings, rapes, custodial deaths and destruction of property etc; and the denial of basic rights by Pakistan.

The present struggle in Kashmir started as a war of liberation and aim was unification and independence of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. This movement was later taken over by groups who wanted to wage 'Jihad' in Kashmir. Their aim was to liberate 'Muslim Kashmir', make it part of Pakistan; and then proceed to other areas for Jihad. These groups have upper hand in militancy but they have 'successfully' communalised the movement, and as a result of that the Kashmiri struggle is no longer perceived as a movement for independence.

The Kargil conflict in Summer of 1999 very nearly escalated into a full scale war between India and Pakistan. It is because of this and some other factors that there is a greater emphasis to resolve the Kashmir dispute. There could be no peace and stability in the region until and unless the Kashmir dispute is resolved; and if appropriate measures are not taken soon then there is a danger that the conflict could lead to another war between India and Pakistan. Before we look at any possible solution of the Kashmir dispute it is important that we have some understanding of the history and the legal status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

4. A Brief History

The State of Jammu and Kashmir, comprising an area of around 85,000 square miles, borders on India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and China. A small strip of Afghan
territory known as the Wakhan Corridor divides the state from Central
Asia. The State is divided in to four parts. One third of the State is under
direct and indirect control of Pakistan, while the bulk of the country
and its people have been under Indian occupation since 27th October 1947. Two portions of the Kashmiri land are under Chinese control. China took Aksai Chin from India in a war, and Pakistan ceded the other small area to China in a border adjustment in 1962.

(Print a map here showing these areas. I can provide you one or take from my book AK role)

The Kashmiris have always striven to break the chains of oppression and
foreign subjugation in their quest for national emancipation. The present
militancy in Indian occupied part of the country is therefore
neither accidental nor a flash in the pan. However it could be said that the
recent changes and dismantling of oppressive regimes in Eastern Europe, and events in Iran and Afghanistan provided impetus for the intensification of the uprising, the roots of
discontent have been gathering strength ever since Indian Para - troopers were
dropped in Kashmir to suppress a war of liberation against the autocratic
and despotic Dogra Maharaja.

The mass uprising by the Kashmiris against Indian occupation is thus a manifestation of the Kashmiris' desire to secure the most basic and fundamental human right to determine their future with out any restriction imposed on them. In order that the situation may be clearly appreciated and understood in its proper context, a brief account of this unfortunate nation's glories, sorrows and oppression under foreign subjugation needs to be given.

'The history of Kashmir is the history of a living people. From ancient times they have passed through days of joy and sorrow, of affluence and penury. But whether in sunlight or shade, the Kashmiris stuck fast to their humanistic principles, and did not fall a prey to religious intolerance and narrow-minded bigotry'.1

The history of Kashmir is traceable as far back as 5,000 years. Twenty-one dynasties of Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Zoroastrians had ruled Kashmir until the 14th century AD when Muslims appeared on its political stage. Of these twenty-one dynasties, eighteen were native; under whom Kashmir enjoyed an independent status and comparatively high prosperity. During the period of Lalita Ditya, one of the most powerful kings of the pre-Muslim era, who ruled Kashmir from 715 to 752 AD, most of the present Punjab, part of Tibet and large area of Central Asia were under the Kingdom of Kashmir. Kashmir commanded high respect from all neighbouring states.

Muslims ruled Kashmir for 479 years (1340 to 1819 AD) and this period included 240 years of independence. Kashmir attained the peak of her glory during the reign of Sultan Zainul Abedin (1420 to 1470 AD), popularly known as Budshah. He was one of the noblest sons of the soil, hence his title Budshah, meaning the great king. People called him Budshah out of love and
affection. Even today he is held in great respect. Kashmir during his rule was a model of economic prosperity, social justice and communal harmony in the whole region. As a great centre of learning and culture, Kashmir attracted students from India, Persia, Central Asia and the Middle East. All the neighbouring states held Kashmir in high esteem while trade and commerce were at their peak.

Budshah's rule of 50 years is thus called the 'Golden Period' of Kashmir's history. Before Budshah, Sultan Shahabuddin, another illustrious son of Kashmir, had done a great deal to consolidate Kashmir's independence, making it possible for Budshah to create a true welfare state. With the death of Budshah began the gradual decline of the golden period. His Shamiri dynasty was later overthrown by Chacks, who ruled Kashmir for quite some time.

In 1586 AD the independence of Kashmir came to an end when Akbar, the great Mogul King of India, annexed Kashmir-but only after having suffered two defeats (and perhaps the only two during his reign) at the hands of the Kashmiris The Moguls ruled Kashmir for around two centuries. As lovers of beauty, they added to the loveliness of Kashmir, but did not much care to
improve the conditions of ordinary people. On the contrary they introduced the Kashmiris to a way of life, which gradually deprived them of their bravery and self-confidence.

With the decline of Moghul power, the Afghans annexed Kashmir. Afghan rule over Kashmir, which lasted 67 years (1752 to 1819 AD), was one of cruelty and looting. Most Afghan rulers of Kashmir crushed the people ruthlessly. Their only aim was to extract money from the country, and they robbed Kashmiris on one pretext or another. But there was worse to come for
the peace loving Kashmiris. The state was conquered and colonised by Sikhs. Sikh rule lasted only 27 years but was far worse than that of Afghans.

Continuous slavery and ruthless suppression by alien rulers badly demoralised the Kashmiris, who could not put up a concerted resistance against them. The Kashmiris were further subjected to slavery when, in 1846, the British conquered Kashmir as a result of inflicting defeat on the Sikh ruler of the Punjab, with the help of the treacherous Gulab Singh, a minister of the Sikh court.

For strategic and economic reasons the British sold Kashmir to Gulab Singh for a sum of 7.5 million rupees (less than £300,000) like a commercial commodity. This most ignominious and
inhumane transaction took place under an agreement called the Treaty of Amritsar in 1846. Gulab Singh and his successors ruled Kashmir with an iron hand, known as the Dogras, these rulers subjected Kashmiri patriots to the most inhumane atrocities including some, especially in the Punch area, being flayed alive while others were drowned in the beautiful lakes of the Kashmir Valley. Those drowned only complained about the shortage of food, and as a result the full load of the boat was thrown into the lake.

This wave of oppression continued unabated until the Muslims of Kashmir realised that they would perish if they continued to let the ever-increasing oppression go unchecked. Thus they abruptly rose in revolt against the despotic ruler in 1931, and in a period of two years forced the
Maharaja to concede to them a number of political, economic and social rights. It must be borne in mind that the Kashmir people never accepted alien rule, and their quest for independence continued despite these nominal concessions.

5. Kashmir after the British Raj

In 1946, a year before the British rule came to an end in India, the Kashmiris had risen in open revolt against the Dogra rule. The political movement, known as the 'Quit Kashmir Movement', was ruthlessly put down and its leaders were sentenced. So at the dawn of Indian independence from British rule (15 Aug 1947), the popular struggle for emancipation and human rights had taken a firm hold in Kashmir. The unsuspecting Kashmiris, whose popular movement for democratic rights took great encouragement from the anti-British struggle in pre-independent India, were to face the might of independent India's army.

The Maharaja had his own strong reasons for not acceding to either the new Dominions, and despite all the pressure, he did not accede. On 15 August 1947, the British Raj ended in India, and with it ended the British paramountcy that released the State of Jammu and Kashmir from all its obligations to the British, hence Kashmir emerged as a fully independent country. After the lapse of paramountcy, the State of Jammu and Kashmir possessed all the attributes of a sovereign state, which were enshrined in the Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention held in 1933, to work out details about rights and duties of states.

In their struggle against the despotic ruler, the people of Kashmir declared on 4th October 1947 the Provisional Government of Kashmir.2 The Maharaja's government was on the verge of collapse, especially after the tribal attack his army was on the run, and the morale of government officials, including the Maharaja himself, at its lowest ebb.

It is widely believed and there is plenty of evidence to prove that Pakistani authorities masterminded the tribal invasion. But not all members of the Pakistani government were in favour of involvement of the Tribesmen. Some thought the support of tribesmen was crucial to win Kashmir without directly involving Pakistani troops. Others thought this policy could backfire and 'probably precipitate the whole State of Jammu and Kashmir into the arms of India, and persuade the Maharaja to sign instrument of accession to that Dominion'. 3

Anyhow anticipating the fall of his capital, Srinagar, the Maharaja fled to Jammu for the safety of his family. It was at this time, when he felt defeated and demoralised, and had virtually lost control, that he was approached by V.P. Mennon on behalf of the Indian Government, who asked for accession of the State to India. Defeated and panic-stricken, the Maharaja did not need any convincing to sign the document. And on 27th October 1947, the Indian forces landed in Kashmir, hence started a new phase of foreign rule in Kashmir.

The latest research by prominent writer Alaister Lamb shows that the Maharaja did not sign an Instrument of Accession, but there is no conclusive evidence to prove this. If this claim is true then India's position on Kashmir could be challenged. But since this claim, made in 1994, no one has taken an initiative to challenge India on the basis of fraud and illegal occupation of Kashmir.4

This so-called 'accession' was contrary to the publicly expressed will of Kashmir people, and the Indian government, including Mountbatten, the new Governor-General of an Independent India knew that. Mountbatten, as a Governor General of an independent India in response to the Maharaja's letter, made it clear that the so-called 'accession' was 'provisional'. He wrote:

'Consistently with their policy that, in the case of any state where the issue of accession has been the subject of dispute, the question of accession should be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people of the state, it is my Government's wish that, as soon as law and order have been restored in Kashmir and her soil cleared of the invader, the question of the State's accession should be settled by a reference to the people.'5

India, now, claims that the State of Jammu-Kashmir is an integral part of the Indian Union, because the Maharaja signed the 'Instrument of Accession', but they have forgotten that the 'accession' was provisional and subject to a plebiscite where people of Kashmir had to decide future of Kashmir. Perhaps it would be pertinent to quote a few sections of the 'Instrument' to check the Indian claim.

Section 7: Nothing in this instrument shall be deemed to commit me in any way to acceptance of any future constitution of India or to fetter my discretion to enter into arrangements with the Government of India under any such future constitution.

Section 8: Nothing in this instrument affects the continuance of my sovereignty in and over this State, or, save as provided by or under this instrument, the exercise of any powers, authority and rights now enjoyed by me as ruler of this State or the validity of any law at present in force in
this State. 6

The Government of Pakistan protested against this unconstitutional and invalid Act of 'Accession', and ordered its forces to attack Jammu. The idea was to cut the supply route of the Indian army to Kashmir. But unfortunately this order was later withdrawn under pressure from British Military chiefs in India. Pandit Nehru, the Prime Minister of India, realising the Pakistan Government's anger, wrote to the Pakistani Prime Minister on 27th October 1947, and gave this assurance:

'I would like to make it clear that the question of aiding Kashmir in this emergency is not designed in any way to influence the State to accede to India. Our view which we have repeatedly made public is that the question of accession in any disputed territory or state must be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people and we adhere to this view.' 7

This is, what Nehru said about the future of Kashmir. On the other hand, Mr. Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the Governor-General of Pakistan, asserted that:

'The States were fully entitled to say that they would join neither of the Constituent Assemblies. Indian States were sovereign states for every purpose except insofar as they entered into treaties with the Crown. The Crown was under certain obligations to them and they to it, according to terms of treaties and agreements, which had been entered into.' Again, in a statement on 17 June 1947, Mr Jinnah declared that after 'the lapse of paramountcy the Indian States would be constitutionally and legally sovereign states free to adopt for themselves any course they wished. It is open to States to join the Hindustan Constituent Assembly or decide to remain independent.'8

Mountbatten also explained the legal position of States: 'Now, the Indian Independence Act releases the States from all their obligations to the Crown. The States will have complete freedom-technically and legally they become independent.'9

6. .Kashmir at the United Nation

Despite Indian military intervention in Kashmir to deprive the freedom fighters of total victory over the tyrant Maharaja, the Kashmir people made important advances. The Indian Government after failing to achieve military success decided to bring Kashmir under international jurisdiction and sought the help of the United Nations. The Security Council of the UN looked into the Kashmir problem in great detail and set up a Commission to investigate the matter by visiting India, Pakistan and Kashmir. After detailed investigation the following resolution was passed by the Security Council on13 August 1948:

'The Government of India and the Government of Pakistan reaffirm their wish that the future status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall be determined in accordance with the will of the people and to that end, upon acceptance of the Truce Agreement, both governments agree to enter into consultations with the Commission to determine fair and equitable conditions whereby such free expression will be assured'. 10

When the question of the future status of the State arises, it is believed that the State could have three possible options: accession to India; accession to Pakistan or complete independence.
It was the third option, which Maharaja had in mind, and this was why he refused to accede to any Dominion before the lapse of Paramountcy, despite enormous pressure from Mountbatten and the powerful Congress leadership.

The Pakistan Government was not keen about complete independence of the State. The Pakistan Foreign Office wrote a letter to the UNCIP, and enquired if the 'future status' implied the independence of the state. UNICP replied that the State could also become independent if the people of Kashmir decided in favour of that. As this was not desired by the Pakistan Government, the Foreign Minister, Sir Zafarullah Khan, in a letter to General McNaughton, President of the Security Council, proposed that 'for the words future status of Jammu and Kashmir substitute the following: the question of the accession of the State of Jammu Kashmir to India or Pakistan.' 11

The Pakistan Government's attitude indicated two things:

1. The Pakistan Government, in principle, could accept the whole State becoming part of India, if the people of Kashmir so desire, in a proposed plebiscite, but she was not prepared to accept the Kashmir people's verdict to stay independent. It must be remembered that the UN resolutions asked Pakistan to withdraw her forces from Kashmir whereas India was allowed to retain 'bulk' of her forces for maintaining peace and security. Part 2 and section 2 of the resolution reads like this:

' The Government of Pakistan will use its best endeavour to secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purpose of fighting'.12

If a plebiscite was to be held when Indian forces were present there and Sheikh Abdullah, most popular Kashmiri leader, at the helm of affairs, it was more than likely that the outcome would have been against Pakistan. Despite that Pakistan agreed with the resolution, it is however different thing that Pakistan was not very keen to vacate the Kashmiri territory under Pakistani control. Alastair Lamb, who is considered to be pro Pakistan in his approach, made the following observation:

'In the early days of dispute it is unlikely that a majority of the population of Kashmir and Jammu province would in fact, had they been given the chance to express their preference, have opted for union with Pakistan.'13

2. The Pakistan Government's support to the Kashmiris' right of self-determination is not purely in the name of 'Muslim brotherhood', humanity or sympathy, as was generally assumed. This is because the Pakistani Government's support was not extended to help the Kashmiris emerge as an independent nation; rather it was given in anticipation that Kashmir would become part of Pakistan. Of course, Pakistan had political, material and strategic interests in Kashmir, but these should not have been obtained at the price of the Kashmiri peoples right of self-determination.

The result of the Pakistan Government's political and diplomatic endeavours
was the Second Resolution of UNICP, passed on 5 January 1949. Fearing the possibility of an independent Kashmir, The Pakistan Foreign Office, in a letter to the Security Council, enquired if the words 'future status' could mean an independent Kashmir. The reply was that the Kashmiri people could have an independent Kashmir if that was the majority decision. After receiving this reply, the Pakistan government decided to suggest an amendment to this resolution. It was unfortunate that the Pakistan government in its letter to General A. G. L. McNaughton, President of the Security Council, dated 28 December 1948, wrote to propose a change in this clause:

Paragraph 1 (A) reads,

For the words "the future status of State of Jammu and Kashmir" substitute the following:
"The question of the accession of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to India and Pakistan. 14

As a result of this request the next resolution which was passed on 5 January 1949, read like this: 'The question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India and Pakistan, will be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite'.15

The Pakistan Government inflicted serious damage to the Kashmiri freedom struggle by circumscribing the internationally accepted and practised concept of right of self-determination. And because of this, the Kashmir problem appeared to the outside world like a territorial dispute, rather than a struggle for the emancipation of oppressed people. It is obvious that other governments do not wish to be involved in territorial disputes, but they find it easy to take a stand on a principle of right of self - determination.

7. India's Pledges Regarding Kashmir

When the Kashmir question was a major international issue debated in the UN, Indian Government officials made a number of solemn pledges, some of which are produced here:

It is not for India or Pakistan, whatever our wishes, to decide the future of Kashmir. Kashmir and the people of Kashmir are not commodities for barter or for bargain. It is inherent right to determine their own future. It is this right we openly acknowledged long before Pakistan came into this picture. We are convinced that only the people of Kashmir could finally decide their own future and we stand by every assurance we have given to the UN in this behalf. 16

On 15 January 1948, at the UN Security Council, the leader of India's delegation to the UN, on behalf of the Government of India, declared that '….whether she (Kashmir) should withdraw from her accession to India and either accede to Pakistan or remain independent with a right to claim admission of as a member of the UN. All this we have recognised to be a matter of unfettered decision by the people of Kashmir after normal is restored there.'

In his broadcast on All-India Radio on 2 November 1947, the late Jawaral Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, announced 'We have decided that the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by the people. The pledge we haven given and the Maharaja (the ruler of Kashmir) has supported, it is not only to the people of Kashmir but the world as well. We will not and cannot back out of it.'

In his telegram to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on 31 October 1947, Mr. Nehru said: 'Our assurance that we withdraw our troops from Kashmir as soon as peace and order have been restored and leave the decision regarding the future of the State to the people of the State, is not merely a pledge to your Government, but also to the people of Kashmir, but to the world as well.'

On 9 July 1951, Mr. Nehru, while submitting a report to the All-India
Congress Committee, said: 'Kashmir has been wrongly looked upon as a prize
for India or Pakistan. People seem to forget that Kashmir is not a commodity
for sale or to be bartered. It has an individual existence and its people
must be the final arbiters of their future.'

The above quotations clearly show that even the Indian government did not take the so-called 'accession' as final. And it was because of this the Government of India agreed in the United Nations Security Council to hold a plebiscite to determine the future of Kashmir. Otherwise no government can possibly agree to hold a referendum in a territory which it genuinely believes to be its own to determine its future. Furthermore successive Indian governments have held talks with Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir dispute, again confirming that the 'accession' was not final.

An Indian leader Jaya Prakash Narayan eloquently put this point, he said:

'I may be lacking in patriotism or other virtue, but it has always seemed to me to be a lie to say that the people of Kashmir had already decided to integrate themselves with India. They might do so, but have not done so yet. Apart from the quality of the elections… the future of the State of Jammu and Kashmir was never made an election issue at any of them…. Lastly, if we are so sure of the verdict of the people, why are we so opposed to giving them another opportunity to reiterate it.'17

8. Two Nations Theory and Kashmir

Pakistan was created as a result of Two Nations Theory and since the State of Jammu and Kashmir has a Muslim majority, by and large people of Pakistani believe that Kashmir should become part of Pakistan. Many Kashmiris share this view as well.

It is strange that People have forgotten the State of Junagarrh, a State which, according to the rules agreed by Muslim League and Congress at the time of Partition, acceded to Pakistan. They have even forgotten the loss of East Pakistan, now known as Bangla Desh, which at one time was a legal part of Pakistan. But when it comes to Kashmir people become very emotional.

Leaving emotions and rhetoric aside let us see the legal and constitutional position. The demand for a separate homeland for Muslims was put forward in a resolution in 1940, and it is known as a Pakistan Resolution. Let us see if this resolution demands the inclusion of Kashmir in this new country. The resolution reads:

"…That the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North - Western and Easter zones of India, should be grouped to constitute independent states in which the constitutional units shall be autonomous and sovereign".

It must be noted here that the British Raj in India consisted on two units, namely British India and Princely India; whereas the British directly ruled the former the latter was semi- autonomous. The Two Nations Theory was applicable only to the British India and those who passed (Muslim League and Mohammed Ali Jinnah) the "Pakistan Resolution" were aware of this legal position, and did not include Kashmir in their demand of a Muslim State.

This Resolution, as we all know, was passed in 1940, and Pakistan emerged as an independent State on 14 August 1947. No where between these two dates Mohammed Ali Jinnah, President of Muslim League or any other Muslim League leader demanded that Kashmir should be part of their demand for Pakistan. Between 1940 and August 1947, literally hundreds of speeches were made by different League leaders, and dozens of resolutions were passed by the Muslim League, and at no time they demanded that Kashmir should be part of their demand for Pakistan. Even at that time they knew Kashmir had Muslim majority and that it was adjacent to proposed Pakistan territory, with all its routes, but they did not demand for its inclusion in Pakistan. One wonders why? The answer is very simple. They all knew that it was the British India which was to be divided, and the Two Nations Theory was not applicable to the Princely States whether they had Muslim majority or not.

As the time for the partition of British India became near people genuinely got worried about the future of Kashmir. Some of them were not clear about the legal position of Kashmir, and others wanted Kashmir to be part of Pakistan. They went to Mohammed Ali Jinnah and asked him about the status of Kashmir, to which he replied:
"..After the lapse of Paramountcy the Princely States would be constitutionally and legally sovereign states, and free to adopt for themselves any course they wished. It is open to the States to join the Hindustan Constituent Assembly or decide to remain independent. In my opinion they are free to remain independent if they so desire".18

Mohammed Ali Jinnah made a similar statement on 11 July 1947 to the Kashmiris leaders Choudhry Hamidullah Khan and Professor Isaaq Qureshi. Apart from these statements Mohammed Ali Jinnah practically demonstrated that the Two Nations Theory was not applicable to the Princely States. When the case of Hyderabad came under discussion, Mr Jinnah was very forceful in his views. He said that the Nizam of Hyderabad had every right to become an independent ruler if he wished, but he could join either of the constituent assemblies as well. Similarly Mr Jinnah accepted the accession of State of Junnagarrh, and like Hyderabad it had clear non- Muslim majority. If the Two Nations Theory was applicable to the Princely States then both of these should have automatically become part of India as they both had non-Muslim majority. Since Mr Jinnah knew the legal and constitutional position he supported the Princely States right to either become independent or choose between the constituent assemblies.

Apart from the above formidable evidence I want to produce what Mountbatten had to say on the status of Princely States. In his speech to Princes in the Chamber of Princes on 25 July 1947, he said:

The Indian Independence Act releases the States from all their obligations to the Crown. The States will have complete freedom - technically and legally they become independent".18

Apart from these quotations I could produce many more statements made by various Pakistani leaders who clearly support the Kashmiri peoples right to independence. They say we would naturally like Kashmir to become part of Pakistan but it is for the Kashmiris to decide what they want to do. There is no need to discuss this any more as legal and constitutional position is established beyond any doubt.

As for wishes of people are concerned we can wish anything, and we know that not all wishes come true. Also wishes do not change the legal and constitutional position and ground realities. Millions of Kashmiris wish to live in peace and harmony in a united and independent Kashmir; millions of Pakistanis wish Pakistan to be stronger, prosperous and stable, but it is not happening. There are some Pakistanis who still wish if Bangladesh was East Pakistan, but the ground reality has changed, and we have to learn to live with these changes.

9. Election or Plebiscite?

The former Indian Prime Minister, Rajieve Gandhi, claimed that in Kashmir (Indian-occupied) a number of elections had taken place in which people had used their democratic right to vote, and that there was no need to hold any kind of plebiscite. It is quite clear that elections are no substitute for a plebiscite. As a result of Rajieve Gandhi's remarks, the Kashmir people decided to boycott the General Election held in November 1989, and less than 3% of the people turned out to vote. This clearly shows that the people of Kashmir do not want to live with India.

Apart from that, when such a plea was raised by India in the Security Council, the Council rejected it and adopted a resolution on 30 March 1951, in which it stated:
'that the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed in the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations. The convening of a Constituent Assembly recommended by the General Council of the 'All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference' and any action that Assembly might attempt to take to determine the future shape and affiliation of the entire state or any part thereof would not constitute a disposition of the State in accordance with the above principle.' 19

It must be noted here that the State Legislature of Indian-occupied Kashmir, which ratified the so-called 'accession', had 75 members, and in the election, which India
claimed to hold, 73 candidates were returned unopposed. In the previous
election, of 1951, all 75 candidates were so 'elected', unopposed. So one
could see, in the first place, the legality of the so-called 'accession''
secondly, the legitimacy of the State Assembly's 'election' and subsequent
'ratification'. India's claim is wholly based on this 'accession' which was
provisionally accepted by Mountbatten and rejected by the United Nations;
and the 'ratification' of this 'accession', which was also unacceptable to
the UN and the Kashmiri people. The Security Council of the UN, in its
Resolution on 24 Jan1957, reaffirmed that:

'the convening of a Constituent Assembly as recommended by the General
Council of All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference and any action that
Assembly may have taken or might attempt to take to determine the future
State and affiliation of the entire State or any part thereof, or action by
the parties concerned does not constitute a disposition of the State in
accordance with the above principle'. 20

The word 'principle' refers to the Resolution of the Security Council,
where it was stated that the Kashmiri people must be allowed to express
their will in a democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite under
the auspices of the United Nations.

10. Present Situation

The armed struggle in the Indian occupied Kashmir has seen many twists and turns. It has seen loss of more than seventy thousand lives, rape of honourable Kashmiri women, destruction of property, business and imprisonment and torture of innocent civilians. The struggle has also seen two unilateral cease-fires and has moved high on the international agenda. It certainly has seen a lot more than what we Kashmiris expected -as we have seen massacres of innocent Kashmiris, Muslims and non-Muslims; and above all we have seen the Kargil fiasco which could well prove to be Waterloo for Kashmiris. And tragedy of the Kashmiri nation is that despite all these sacrifices, Kashmir still remains a bilateral dispute in the view of the international community, which has to be resolved by India and Pakistan.

Another sad aspect of the Kashmiri struggle is that the international community takes the Kashmir dispute as a problem that is mainly related to the Indian occupied Kashmir, and especially the Valley. Although the armed struggle is going on only in the Indian occupied Kashmir but it does not mean that only this part is disputed. The entire State of Jammu and Kashmir, namely Azad Kashmir, Gilgit and Baltistan, Jammu, Valley and Ladakh, is disputed; and the future of all these areas is to be determined.

It would be completely wrong to assume that the people of these areas are satisfied with the present situation. Struggle for unification and independence is going on in all parts of Kashmir, the difference is in the nature of struggle as in some places it is armed and in other places it is political. It must also be noted that Kashmir is not a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan that they can resolve it bilaterally. The Kashmiri people are the main party to the dispute and there could be no lasting solution without their agreement. Mr Yasin Malik, Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, makes this point eloquently in an interview with India Today. To a question, "Can you envisage J and K divided into three, obviously on religious lines?", he said:

"No. It is not a religious issue. We want a total reunification of the whole of Jammu and Kashmir. It is not a religious issue. We are not demanding the right of self -determination on the basis of religion. When we speak about the self-determination of the people of Kashmir we say that the right of self -determination must be given to 13 million people of the united Jammu and Kashmir"

To another question about the participation of Pakistan in talks, he said:

" I am not an advocate of Pakistan. When I talk about Pakistan my concern is that one part of Kashmir is under the occupation of Pakistan. Because when we talk about Kashmir we talk about the whole of Jammu and Kashmir- the part which is under the occupation of Pakistan and the part which is under occupation of India."21

This is coming from a chief of most popular and liberal political party in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. No party, group or individual should assume that the problem is only related to the Indian occupied Kashmir. Our struggle was, is and will remain for a united and independent Kashmir; and we are not going to abandon this until we achieve our objective.

The fact that there is no armed struggle going on in the areas of Kashmir under Pakistani occupation does not mean that these people are satisfied with the situation there. For some reason these people have assumed that we should only have political activity here and support the movement in the Indian occupied Kashmir, and the armed struggle there could also pave way for the liberation of the whole Kashmir. It is this belief together with some other factors that have kept peace here. It must be noted that people of so called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit and Baltistan are also denied their basic rights. One only has to look at the following fact file on Gilgit and Baltistan to understand the situation:

11. Fact file on Gilgit and Baltistan

• Legally and constitutionally part of State of Jammu and Kashmir;
• On 26 March 1935, Gilgit was leased to the British by the Maharaja for 60 years;
• On 1 August 1947, these areas were returned to the State Government by the British;
• Maharaja Hari Singh appointed Brigadier Ghansara Singh Governor/Administer for Gilgit and Baltistan;
• Campaign against the Maharaja also spread to Gilgit and Baltistan, and on 1 November 1947, the Gilgit Scouts revolted and arrested the Governor;
• On 16 November 1947, the first Muslim Political Agent assumed administrative responsibilities;
• Area is much larger than Azad Kashmir - some 72,496 sq kms;
• It is divided into six districts called Hunza-Nager,Gilgit, Koh-e -Ghazer, Ghanchi, Diamer and Skardu;
• Diamer is a Sunni majority area, other districts have Shia majority;
• Total population is 1.5 million of which 50 % are Shia, 35% are followers of Agha Khan and 15 % Sunni
• UN resolution of 13 August 1948, (accepted by India and Pakistan) calls upon India and Pakistan that 'the future of the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall be determined in accordance with the will of the people…' This of course applied to the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan;

• On 28 April 1949, the Government of Pakistan, Azad Kashmir Government and Muslim Conference signed the Karachi Pact. This delegated powers to Pakistan to control Gilgit and Baltistan through a Political Agent. Also many other powers were delegated to Pakistan in relation to Kashmir issue, and Azad Kashmir government's role was considerably curtailed;

• It is claimed that on enforcement of the Jammu and Kashmir Government Act 1970, the Karachi Pact of 1949 lapsed;

• In 1963, Pakistan Government transferred a sizeable area of Gilgit and Baltistan to Republic of China in a 'border adjustment';

• On 16 March 1963, India protested to the UN that Pakistan has violated the UN resolution by giving away this area to China;

• Mr ZA Bhutto replied to the Security Council, "The Boundary Agreement (between Pakistan and China) does not affect the status of Jammu and Kashmir… It does not derogate one jot or title from the right of self-determination of the people".
• An Advisory Council for the Northern Areas was formed in 1971;

• Frontier Crime Regulation lifted in 1972 by ZA Bhutto;

• In 1982 Pakistan's military ruler General Zia Ul Haq proclaimed that Northern Areas belonged to Pakistan. Which was clearly against the UN resolutions on Kashmir and Pakistani stand on Kashmir;

• People of Northern Areas are deprived of basic human rights. Tariq Hussain in his article 'The Last Colony', published in a reputable Pakistani monthly magazine, 'Herald' of April 1990, wrote:

'The continuing sectarian violence, economic neglect and feelings of mistrust towards 'Pakistani administrators' in the Northern Areas constitute a strong case for giving it the right to self - rule and self-management in economic matters. Unless these rights are conceded at an early date, the situation could develop into a serious embarrassment for the federal government and Pakistan'.

He further wrote:

• 'While policy makers and ordinary Pakistanis watch and debate the developments in Kashmir, sectarian violence has once again raised its ugly head in the Northern Areas. As Pakistanis from all sides of the political spectrum proclaim Kashmir's right to self -determination, it is time to observe that this very right has yet to be given to the people of the Northern Areas'.

• Moeen Qureshi announced a reformed package in 1992, and appointed a Chief Executive based in Gilgit with the status of Federal Minister - this took away some of the powers previously exercised by the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs;

• Benazir Bhutto revised the package of Moeen Qureshi in 1993. The Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Northern Affairs to exercise all powers of Chief Executive. Post of Judicial Commissioner abolished and Chief Court established;

• In March 1993, Justice Majid Malik in his historic judgement declared that Northern Area is Kashmiri territory and directed the Azad Kashmir Government to take over administration of that area;

• In 1994 the first party based elections to the Northern Areas Council were held.

• In 1996, Major (retired) Hussain Shah organised Muttahida Qaumi Party. In an interview with reputable Pakistani daily 'The News' on 14 December 1997, he said:

" We don't want to break Pakistan. What we want is that our basic right to live freely in our own land is recognised…. What we want is AJK like government, our own assembly, our public commission, and right our resources…We have uranium, diamond, emerald, and other precious stones. With such resources, why do we live in so much poverty…While almost 3000 of our graduates are unemployed, the government is paying Rs 32 lakh to the Frontier Constabulary for maintaining law and order in our area, despite the fact that in the last ten years not even a single person of the Northern Area has been recruited in the FC…Two thirds of Pakistan's tourism revenue comes from the Northern Areas and people of the area say that just that will be enough to meet most of our needs".

12. Conclusion

India, Pakistan and the international community must understand that the Kashmir dispute could not be resolved bilaterally. The people of Kashmir are the main party to the dispute, and it is they who should decide the future of the State. For the peace, stability and prosperity of South Asia it is imperative that trilateral talks are held, preferably under supervision of the United Nations, that a mechanism could be worked out to determine the aspirations of the people.

History shows that territorial issues could be resolved bilaterally, but issues relating to peoples right to self-determination could only be resolved by giving them an opportunity to express their will. The approach to resolve the Kashmir dispute was and is wrong. Since Kashmir is not a territorial issue it could not be resolved by bilateralism. A new approach, "trilateralism" is needed urgently, and the international community must realise the danger Kashmir dispute pose to the peace and stability of South Asia.

President Clinton has rightly called Kashmir dispute a "core issue" between India and Pakistan, and he understands that in a nuclearised South Asia it is a flash point that can destroy the region. Apart from the USA and other countries of the world must understand that it is not prudent to leave this flash point as it is in highly charged and volatile region of the world. And if the international community is serious in resolving the Kashmir dispute then it should emphasise on trilateral talks, as this is the only way forward.

There are many in India and Pakistan who support of an idea of a limited war. But the question is could a war be contained? Wouldn't a country losing this 'limited war' on one side be tempted to expand it; or even think of using nuclear weapons? Anthony Davis in his article, 'No limits on a "limited war"' wrote:

'… Moreover, as Indian units battled their way toward training camps well inside the Pakistani-run part of Kashmir, divisions of Pakistan's 10th Corps would be counter-attacking in strength. The upshot is that second-echelon Indian forces would probably be pulled in. "The real danger is that it escalates outside the [intended] geographical bowl," says a Western military analyst. "It's naive to assume you can contain it." Escalation would almost certainly mean a spread of hostilities across the international border - and full-scale conventional war. After Indian shortcomings were highlighted at Kargil, some analysts believe the Pakistan army to be better trained and better led than their foes. But unless international pressure could impose a swift ceasefire, the sheer weight of Indian numbers and equipment would soon begin to tell against the Pakistanis, who geographically have no strategic depth to speak of. At that point, fear war-gamers, Pakistani planners would seriously consider a nuclear response.' 22

If the Kashmir dispute is not resolved then the scenario explained above could become a reality, and that would be a disaster not only for the people of Kashmir but also for all South Asia. We must all work together to avoid this tragedy taking place. It is in the best interest of the people of Kashmir, it is also in the interest of Pakistan, India and the rest of the world.

There is no military solution to the dispute - India despite huge army and all the oppression has failed to crush the militancy, Pakistan is not in a position to defeat India in Kashmir and liberate it; and militants could not be expected to drive out India from Kashmir. So the best way forward is a dialogue between all three parties to the dispute, and the USA could support this process as indicated by Assistant Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth:

"I believe it is possible for India and Pakistan to resolve this (Kashmir issue). I don’t think it is beyond the grasp of the two countries. With political will and courage, it could be addressed. US should do everything we can to support that process. There is an expression about the Kashmir issue that India cannot lose it, Pakistan cannot win it and the Kashmiris themselves cannot survive it. It must be addressed and I hope the United States can continue to play a useful role there", 23

1. 'Kashmir and Power Politics', PNK Bamzai

2. Ghulam Nabi Gilkaar declared this Provisional Government on 4 October, but another pro Pakistan government replaced this on 24 October 1947. Majority of people only remember the government announced on 24 October, and only Kashmiri nationalists make reference to the Provisional Government declared on 4 October.

3. 'Birth of a Tragedy Kashmir 1947', by Alastair Lamb, Roxford Books, 1994

4. ibid, page 79
5. A quotation from the letter written by Mountbatten on 27 October 1947, and produced on page 211 by Guru Raj Rao in his book, 'Legal Aspects of the Kashmir Problem'.

6. ibid page 213

7. White Paper on Kashmir, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan.

8. Statements of Mr Jinnah made on 17 June 1947 is produced on page 337 of 'Legal Aspects of the Kashmir Problem'.

9. Lord Mountbatten's address to a special meeting of the Chamber of Princes held in New Delhi on 25th July 1947, and produced on page 190 of 'Legal Aspects of the Kashmir Problem'.

10. Full text of the resolution could be seen in many books including authors book, Kashmiri struggle: role of Azad Kashmir Government.

11. Reports On Kashmir, Ministry of Kashmir Affairs, Government of Pakistan, page 7.

12. A quotation from the resolution of 13 August 1948. See full text in Kashmiri struggle: Role of Azad Kashmir Government.
13. Crises in Kashmir, Alastair Lamb, page 78

14. Reports on Kashmir Ministry of Kashmir Affairs Government of Pakistan, page 10

15. Resolution of 5 January 1949.

16. Prime Minister Nehru, in a telegram (No.PRIMIN 21602) to the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

17. 'The need to rethink' published in Hindustan Times on 14 May 1964

18. Press statement by Mohammed Ali Jinnah on 17 June 1947, produced in a book called "Qaaide Azam Ka Peghaam" Syed Mohammed Qasim, and published by Pakistan Academy
19. See text in appendix of ' Legal Aspects of the Kashmir Problem'.
20. ibid
21. Full text of the interview could be seen in 'India Today' dated 18 August 2000. Alternatively see it at: www.india-today.com/ntoday/extra/kashmir/phone-in
22. http://cnn.com/ASIANOW/asiaweek/magazine/2000/0331/nat.indiapak.war.html
23. Inderfurth said this in a panel discussion on the American university radio.
Kashmir Record & Research Council (KRRC)

Appendix 1
Resolution 47 (1948)
On the India-Pakistan question submitted jointly by the Representatives for
Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, the United Kingdom and United States
of America and adopted by the Security Council at its 286th meeting held on
21 April, 1948.
(Document No. 5/726, dated the 21st April, 1948).


Having considered the complaint of the Government of India concerning the dispute over the State of Jammu and Kashmir, having heard the representative of India in support of that complaint and the reply and counter complaints of the representative of Pakistan. Being strongly of opinion that the early restoration of peace and order in Jammu and Kashmir is essential and that India and Pakistan should do their utmost to bring about cessation of all fighting. Noting with satisfaction that both India and Pakistan desire that the question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite, Considering that the continuation of the dispute is likely to endanger international peace and security, Reaffirms its resolution 38 (1948) of 17 January 1948;

Resolves that the membership of the Commission established by its resolution 39 (1948) of 20
January 1948, shall be increased to five and shall include, in addition to the membership mentioned in that Resolution, representatives of... and ..., and that if the membership of the Commission has not been completed within ten days from the date the adoption of this resolution
the President of the Council may designate such other Member or Members of the United Nations as are required to complete the membership of five;

Instructs the Commission to proceed at once to the Indian subcontinent and there place its good offices and mediation at the disposal of the Governments of India and Pakistan with a view to facilitating the taking of the necessary measures, both with respect to the restoration of peace and order and to the holding of a plebiscite by the two (Governments, acting in co-operation with one another and with the Commission, and further instructs the Commission to keep the Council informed of the action taken under the resolution; and, to this end.

Recommends to the Governments of India and Pakistan the following measures as those which in the opinion of the Council and appropriate to bring about a cessation of the lighting and to create proper conditions for a free and impartial plebiscite to decide whether the State of Jammu and Kashmir is to accede to India or Pakistan.


1. The Government of Pakistan should undertake to use its best endeavours:

(a) To secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and
Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purposes of fighting, and to prevent any intrusion into the State of such elements and any furnishing of
material aid to those fighting in the State;

(b) To make known to all concerned that the measures indicated in this and the following paragraphs provide full freedom to all subjects of the State, regardless of creed, caste, or party, to express their views and to vote on the question of the accession of the State, and that therefore they should co-operate in the maintenance of peace and order.

2. The Government of India should:

(a) When it is established to the satisfaction of the Commission set up in accordance with the Council's Resolution 39 (1948) that the tribesmen are withdrawing and that arrangements for the cessation of the fighting have become effective, put into operation in consultation with the Commission a plan for withdrawing their own forces from Jammu and Kashmir and reducing them progressively to the minimum strength required for the support of the civil power in the maintenance of law and order;

(b) Make known that the withdrawal is taking place in stages and announce the completion of each stage; When the Indian forces shall have been reduced to the minimum strength mentioned in (a) above, arrange in consultation with the Commission for the stationing of the remaining forces to be carried out in accordance with the following principles:

(i) That the presence of troops should not afford any intimidation or appearance of intimidation to the inhabitants of the State;
(ii) That as small a number as possible should be retained in forward areas;
(iii) That any reserve of troops which may be included in the total strength should be located within their present base area.

3. The Government of India should agree that until such time as the plebiscite administration referred to below finds it necessary to exercise the powers of direction and supervision over the State forces and policy provided for in paragraph 8, they will be held in areas to be agreed upon with the Plebiscite Administrator.

4. After the plan referred to in paragraph 2 (a) above has been put into operation, personnelrecruited locally in each district should so far as possible be utilised for the re-establishment and maintenance of law and order with due regard to protection )t minorities, subject to such additional requirements as may be specified by the Plebiscite Administration referred
to in paragraph 7.

5. If these local forces should be found to be inadequate, the Commission, subject to the agreement of both the Government of India and the Government of Pakistan, should arrange for the use of such forces of either Dominion as it deems t(effective for the purpose of pacification.


6. The Government of India should undertake to ensure that the Government of the State invite the major political groups to designate responsible representatives to share equitably and fully in the conduct of the administration at the ministerial level, while the plebiscite is being prepared and carried out.

7. The Government of India should undertake that there will be established in Jammu and Kashmir a Plebiscite Administration to hold a Plebiscite as soon as possible On the question of the accession of the State to India or Pakistan.

8. The Government of India should undertake that there will be delegated by the State to the Plebiscite Administration such powers as the latter considers necessary for holding a fair and
impartial plebiscite including, for that purpose only, the direction and supervision of the State forces and police.

9. The Government of India should at the request of the Plebiscite Administration, make available from the Indian forces such assistance as the Plebiscite Administration may
require for the performance of its functions.

10. (a) The Government of India should agree that a nominee of the Secretary-General of the United Nations will be appointed to be the Plebiscite Administrator. The Plebiscite Administrator, acting as an officer of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, should have authority to
nominate the assistants and other subordinates and to draft regulations governing the Plebiscite. Such nominees should be formally appointed and such draft regulations should be formally promulgated by the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Government of India should undertake that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir will appoint fully qualified persons nominated by the Plebiscite Administrator to act as special magistrates within the State judicial system to hear cases which in the opinion of the Plebiscite Administrator have a serious bearing on the preparation and the conduct of a free and impartial
plebiscite. The terms of service of the Administrator should form the subject of a separate
negotiation between the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Government of India. The Administrator should fix the terms of service for his assistants and subordinates.

The Administrator should have the right to communicate directly, with the Government of the State and with the Commission of the Security Council and, through the Commission, with the Security Council, with the Governments of India and Pakistan and with their representatives with the Commission. It would be his duty to bring to the notice of any or all of the foregoing (as he in his discretion may decide) any circumstances arising which may tend, in his opinion, to interfere with the freedom of the Plebiscite.

11. The Government of India should undertake to prevent to give full support to the Administrator and his staff in preventing any threat, coercion or intimidation, bribery or
other undue influence on the voters in the plebiscite, and the Government of India should publicly announce and should cause the Government of the State to announce this undertaking as an international obligation binding on all public authorities and officials in Jammu and Kashmir.

12. The Government of India should themselves and through the Government of the State declare and make known that all subjects of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, regardless of creed, caste or party, will be safe and free in expressing their views and in voting on the
question of the accession of the State and that there will be freedom of the Press, speech and assembly and freedom of travel in the State, including freedom of lawful entry and exit.

13. The Government of India should use and should ensure that the Government of the State also
use their best endeavour to effect the withdrawal from the State of all Indian nationals other than those who are normally resident therein or who on or since 15th August 1947 have entered it for a lawful purpose.

14. The Government of India should ensure that the Government of the State releases all political
prisoners and take all possible steps so that:

(a) all citizens of the State who have left it on account of disturbances are invited and are free
to return to their homes and to exercise their rights as such citizens;
(b) there is no victimisation; minorities in all parts of the State are accorded adequate protection.

15. The Commission of the Security Council should at the end of the plebiscite certify to the Council whether the plebiscite has or has not been really free and impartial.


16. The Governments of India and Pakistan should each be invited to nominate a representative to be attached to the Commission for such assistance as it may require in the performance of its task.

17. The Commission should establish in Jammu and Kashmir such observers as it may require of any of the proceedings in pursuance of the measures indicated in the foregoing paragraphs.

18. The Security Council Commission should carry out the tasks assigned to it herein.

The Security Council voted on this Resolution on 21-41948 with the following result:
In favour: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Syria, U.K. and U.S.A.
Against: None
Abstaining: Belgium, Colombia, Ukrainian S.S.R. and U.S.S.R.

Appendix 2
24TH JANUARY, 1957

Having heard statements from representatives of the Governments of India and Pakistan concerning the dispute over the State of Jammu and Kashmir,

Reminding the Governments and authorities concerned of the principle embodied in its resolutions 47 (1948) of 21 April 1948, 51 (1948) of 3 June, 1948, 80 (1950) of 14 March 1950 and 91 (1951) of 30 March 1951, and the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan resolutions of 13 August 1948 and 5 January 1949, that the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations,

1. Reaffirms the affirmation in its resolution 91 (1951) and declares that the convening of a Constituent Assembly as recommended by the General Council of the "All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference" and any action that Assembly may have taken or might attempt to take to determine the future shape and affiliation of the entire State or any part thereof, or action by the parties concerned in support of any such action by the Assembly, would not constitute a disposition of the State in accordance with the above principle;
Decides to continue its consideration of the dispute.

*The Security Council voted on this Resolution on 24-1-1957 with the following results:-
Infavour: **Australia, China, **Columbia, **Cuba, France, **Iraq, **Philippines, **Sweden, U.K. and U.S.A .
Abstaining: U.S.S.R.
**Non-Permanent Members of the Security Council.

Appendix 2

The Simla Agreement
2 July 1972

The Government of Pakistan and the Government of India are resolved that the two countries put an end to the conflict and confrontation that have hitherto marred their relations and work for the promotion of a friendly and harmonious relationship and the establishment of durable peace in the subcontinent, so that both countries may henceforth devote their resources to the pressing task of advancing the welfare of their peoples.

In order to achieve this objective, the Government of Pakistan and the government of India have agreed as follows:

(i) That the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations shall govern the relations between the two countries;

(ii) That the two countries are resolved to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations or by any other peaceful means mutually agreed upon between them. Pending the final settlement of any of the problems between the two countries, neither side shall unilaterally alter the situation and both shall prevent the organisation, assistance and encouragement of any acts detrimental to the maintenance of peaceful and harmonious relations;

(iii) That the pre-requisite for reconciliation, good neighbourliness and durable peace between them is a commitment by both the countries to peaceful co-existence, respect for each other's territorial integrity; and sovereignty and non-interference in each other internal affairs, on the basis of equality and mutual benefit;

(iv) That the basic issues and causes of conflict which have divided the relations between the two countries for the last 25 years shall be resolved by peaceful means;

(v) That they shall always respect each other's national unity, territorial integrity, political independence and sovereign equality;

(vi) That in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations they will refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of each other.

Both Governments will take all steps within their power to prevent hostile propaganda directed against each other. Both countries will encourage the dissemination of such information as would promote the development of friendly relations between them.
In order to progressively restore and normalise relations between the two countries step by step, it was agreed that:

(i) Steps shall be taken to resume communications postal, telegraphic, sea, land including border posts, and air links including overflights.

(ii) Appropriate steps shall be taken to promote travel facilities for the nationals of the other countries.

(iii) Trade and co-operation in economic and other agreed fields will be resumed as far as possible.

(iv) Exchange in the fields of science and culture will be promoted.
In this connection delegations from the two countries will meet from time to time to work out the necessary details.
In order to initiate the process of the establishment of durable peace, both Governments agree that:

(i) Pakistan and India shall be withdrawn to their side of international border.

(ii) In Jammu and Kashmir, the Line of Control resulting from the cease-fire of December 17, 1971 shall be respected by both sides without prejudice to the recognised position of either side. Neither side shall seek to alter it unilaterally irrespective of mutual differences and legal interpretations. Both sides further undertake to refrain from threat or the use of force in violation of this Line.

(iii) The withdrawals shall commence upon entry into force of this Agreement and shall be completed within a period of 30 days thereof.

This agreement will be subject to ratification by both countries in accordance with their respective constitutional procedures, and will come into force with effect from the date on which the Instrument of Ratification are exchanged.

Both Governments agree that their respective Heads will meet again at a mutually convenient time in the future and that, in the meanwhile, the representatives of the two sides will meet to discuss further the modalities and arrangements of the establishment of durable peace and normalisation of relations, including the question of repatriation of prisoners of war and civilians, resumption of diplomatic relations.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto
Islamic Republic of Pakistan Indira Gandhi
Prime Minister
Republic of India

My Press Conference held in Mirpur

My Press Conference held in Mirpur Dr Shabir Choudhry 24 June 2012 My last visit to Pakistani Administered Kashmir was a private one; but despite that I was faced with a situation where I had to hold a press conference in Mipur. Many people approached me and explained to me about corrupt practises going on unchecked in Mirpur University of Science and Technology, known as MUST. In one sense it was a local issue and did not warrant an intervention from me – a man known for speaking on issues which have national and international dimensions. Then I was surrounded by some community leaders who said Kashmir National Party must play its due role in highlighting and resolving issues which concern local people. They said there was no point in fighting for independence of the State of Jammu and Kashmir when the area that is considered to be ‘independent’ is on verge of collapse because of nepotism, tribalism, regionalism and corrupt practices. They said if you cannot help us to stop this corruption and mismanagement that goes on unchecked in the University, which is a national institution and which should promote merit, equality and justice and prepare students to lead the nation and help to build civil society institutions, then you might as well stop your struggle and stop fooling people that you are fighting for their fundamental rights. After listening to them I decided to gather more information on this topic, and I learnt that what these people said seem to be correct; and senior officials of MUST openly violated rules, and make political appointments by discarding merit and ability. I was told that the Vice Chancellor himself was not a competent man; as he did not have a Doctorate; and relevant experience which was essential for the post of the Vice Chancellor. He is alleged to have won his post by greasing the hands of the President who appointed him. I was told the man who himself is a product of corruption and political appointment cannot promote merit and purge practise of inequality and injustice. To me all these were serious issues, and Kashmir National Party as a political party, and I as a writer, reformist, political leader and human rights activist have always taken a leading role in highlighting issues that concerned people; and opposed inequality, injustice, tribalism, regionalism and nepotism. I thought I had to demonstrate that the KNP cared for the rights of the local people and would help them to resolve their problems and help them to fight those forces which promote extremism, regionalism, nepotism, injustice and inequality. With that in mind I obtained various documents related to the issue and asked my friends to arrange a press conference on 08 June 2012 in Mirpur Press Club. After welcoming more than 30 electronic and print media journalists I said: 1/ Throughout my life I and my friends have struggled against injustice and inequality. We have always promoted merit, peace, political and economic stability; and today’s press conference is continuation of our struggle and tradition. Since 1995, I visit Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, almost every year. However, this time I have come after two years and eight months. Last time I came with a delegation of Kashmir National Party which came here on a Study Tour of Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. I prepared a comprehensive report of our Study Tour and one part of the report was launched in the British House of Lords and the full report was launched in Geneva during the UN Human Rights session. We also published Urdu translation of that report for Urdu readers. I have given this background because after the publication of this report some well – wishers suggested that I should not travel to this region until dust settles down, hence my absence from this region for so long. Normally when I travel to Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, I send out a press release about my visit, make appointments to meet diplomats, political leaders and journalists; and hold a press conference on my arrival in Rawalpindi/ Islamabad. However, because this was my private visit I did not do any of the above. This press conference is my first, and to date, the only political activity after arriving here; and main reason for this is the issues related to MUST, where people claim all is not welcome as the University has become centre of corruption, nepotism, misconduct and unprofessional conduct. Many community leaders and individuals have approached me and requested my to help them to fight corruption and mismanagement in the University, which is having very serious negative impact on the students. They said what lessons will students learn when they see open violation of merit, rampant corruption, tribalism and favouritism? They further said there is corruption in Pakistan too, but those responsible for corruption in Pakistan feel ashamed when they see naked corruption of Azad Kashmir. Those nations which want to progress and compete with other nations and face new challenges courageously they try to root out corruption and promote merit and justice in society and in all institutions. They do not appoint corrupt, uneducated, unscrupulous and inefficient people to run national institutions, especially those which impart education and professional skills. Institutions are not built over night. Institution building requires hard work, honesty, dedicated staff and above all educated and experienced staff. However, to destroy them you do not need to plan anything. You only need to appoint head of the institution a weak and inefficient person, he will do the rest, as he will appoint inefficient and corrupt people to various posts and they will ensure its downhill journey continues. This University does not belong to any tribe – it is not Jat or Rajput – it is an educational institution and belongs to people of Jammu and Kashmir. Therefore, its lack of progress, inefficiency, mismanagement and chaos should worry all of us. I am educated and honest person. Also I am hard working and sincere, but if I am appointed head of an Atomic Energy Commission, then surely that institution will greatly suffer, because despite my honesty and good intentions it will not make the desired progress because I do not have the relevant education, relevant experience and relevant know how. Similarly, the Vice Chancellor may be honest person with good intentions, but question is, does he have the relevant education and experience to qualify for this post and manage this educational institution and make it a vibrant and successful university. There is a lot of criticism on his ability, qualifications and style of running this university. People say he is running like a head – less chicken and doesn’t have a clue what he is doing as he is subject to different pressures from various quarters because of lack of relevant qualification and professional skills. One London based newspaper Nawa e Jang published an article on the Vice Chancellor written by Mohammed Abbas Khan. He has very strongly criticised the Vice Chancellor Mr Naib Hussain and questioned his ability and skills. Mohammed Abbas Khan writes and I quote: ‘In University Calendar (which the Vice Chancellor produced) there was nothing about annual plan, exams, or future programmes of the University; and to insult intelligence and common sense, the Calendar with a photo of the Vive Chancellor were hung in shops, markets and rooms of the University to promote the Vice Chancellor. Name of the Vice Chancellor of MUST is Choudhry Naib Hussain. By producing this Calendar the Vice Chancellor has made this fact known that he is far removed from academia and education, otherwise he would not have brought shame to Choudhry tribe and Hussain who was a son of ‘door of Knowledge’ (meaning Hazrat Ali). However, he has proved that he is Naib – meaning assistant. It would be better to say that if he was ‘an assistant messenger’, then he would have performed better. I appeal to President, Prime Minister and government of Azad Kashmir to get his educational certificates verified; and his ability to Head this institution analysed. If appropriate action is not taken then this University (MUST) will only produce assistant messengers and not experts in science and technology’. Unquote I have not met the Vice Chancellor, but I heard he is from the Jat Tribe, but that does not qualify him for this post. If Choudhry Naib Hussain has any self – respect, or respect and care for education and knowledge, or has any love for this university or future of this region then he should honourably resign from his post and let some competent person take over. Furthermore, my request to him is not to bring more shame to the Choudhry Tribe and leave the post with dignity; and do what you are good at. 2/ Now I want to discuss some other important issues which are close to my heart and which are fundamental to the KNP ideology and struggle. Kashmir National Party actively promotes the cause of united and independent Jammu and Kashmir. We believe accession to India or Pakistan is not possible, viable or practical. Jammu and Kashmir is multi ethnic and multi religious State and any attempt to impose any kind of accession will ultimately lead to division of the State which will create enormous problems for the entire region. 3/ We strongly believe that the Kashmir dispute is political in nature and it is not a fight against any religion. Those who want to present it as a jihad and religious struggle are essentially paving way for the division of the State on religious lines and creating hatred and divisions in name of religion. There is no danger to Islam in Jammu and Kashmir; however, interests of some people could only be protected and promoted by using the religious card. 4/ Also KNP believe use of a gun cannot provide any solution to the Kashmir dispute; but surely it could add to our miseries and problems. Because of militancy and gun culture already we have lost a generation. Our women have been harassed, intimidated and raped. Our young men have lost their dignity and died in torture cells and some are still languishing in jails. Militancy and gun culture have resulted in many other social and economic problems for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Those who sponsored this militancy and those who agreed to become proxies of forces of occupation are directly responsible for all these ills; and they must be made accountable for their actions. 5/ KNP leaders feel people of Jammu and Kashmir were fooled by agencies of one occupier in believing that they were fighting a war of liberation. In actual fact, they were perceived by the international community as proxies that advanced the interests of one occupier that provided them with arms, training, funds and other logistic support. It is because of this wrong policy that despite great sacrifices we are nowhere near our goal of independence. Those who sponsored this militancy never wanted independence of Jammu and Kashmir – they have achieved what they planned; and we people of Jammu and Kashmir have only suffered because some among us sided with them and agreed to become their proxies. 6/ We believe it was a wrong policy that we should all fight to liberate the Valley of Kashmir, whereas the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir is occupied. Those who promoted this policy either intentionally or inadvertently advanced the policy of the Pakistani establishment; and they wanted the Valley of Kashmir to be the focus of attention because it helped them to keep attention away from areas of Jammu and Kashmir under their control. In view of the past experience the KNP leaders formulated this practical policy that those who are occupied by India should struggle against that occupation; and those who are occupied by Pakistan should struggle on this side of the divide. We do not advocate use of gun on this side of LOC, or in any part of the State; but we have to ensure that we tell the world community that we are also occupied on this side of the divide. Pakistani establishment has been clever that they have mentally enslaved people on this side of the divide; and many people are unable to differentiate between independence and occupation. People on the Indian side of the divide can talk about their occupation, can shout slogans against India, can have demonstrations against India, throw stones, set up fires, burn their flag and use gun; but people on the Pakistani side of the divide are not even allowed to call themselves as occupied people. Last year during the UN Human Rights session in Geneva, Miwaiz Omar Farooq also addressed a seminar. He did not speak one word about Jammu, Ladakh, Azad Kashmir or Gilgit Baltistan. After the seminar I walked with him out of the hall and started talking to him, suddenly I heard loud voices coming from the hall; and I saw my friend Abbas Butt, Chairman of the KNP surrounded by 4 Pakistani men who were trying to intimidate him. They asked Abbas Butt where he was from. Abbas Butt in his own style replied: he was from Pakistani occupied Kashmir; and after hearing this, these people surrounded him and tried to harass and intimidate him. I rushed back to help my friend. Point to be noted is that he was harassed inside the UN building during the UN Human Rights session; and his only crime was that he said he was from the Pakistani occupied Kashmir. What that means is that we people are not even allowed to say that we are occupied; and starting a struggle against that occupation is totally different thing. 7/ KNP leaders believe dialogue is the only solution to resolve this complicated dispute. But this dialogue should not be between India and Pakistan. We people of Jammu and Kashmir are the principal party, and we must be part of the dialogue process. Having said that, I want to acknowledge that there is a big problem, as to who should represent people of Jammu and Kashmir at the negotiation table. We are deeply divided and have no national leader who commands respect and authority. We have many regional, tribal and religious leaders and they are not in any position to represent all ethnic groups of Jammu and Kashmir. To overcome this problem we suggest that out of three schools of thought – namely pro India, pro Pakistan and pro-independence, only the last group is not represented. Interests of the other two groups are represented either by India or by Pakistan; and the third group – pro-independence should get a seat at the negotiation table. Once that principle is acknowledged then pro – independence groups can sit down and decide which people are best qualified to protect and promote interests of people of Jammu and Kashmir. 8/ KNP strongly protest against violation of State Subject in Azad Kashmir. Already by violation of the State Subject, Pakistan has changed demography of Gilgit Baltistan; and non – local people are now controlling trade and business there. We demand that the State subject must be respected in both regions under Pakistan. 9/ We are also disturbed about the news that the Pakistani authorities are planning to make Azad Kashmir a province of Pakistan. We condemn this planning and express our determination to oppose it as well. 10/ KNP also protest against exploitation of Kashmiri resources by the Pakistani officials and demand that there must be an immediate end to this policy of exploitation and using our resources to prop up Pakistani economy and reward some individuals. 11/ Lastly, I want to demand that missing people from Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan should also be located and released, as the Chief Justice of Pakistan is locating the missing people of Pakistan. End Email: drshabirchoudhry:gmail.com

Kashmiri nationalism has not matured yet

Kashmiri nationalism has not matured yet, Dr Shabir Choudhry 15 August 2011 Today is 15 August, and people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially from the Valley and those who promote proPakistanagenda observe this day as a ‘Black Day’. Many towns of the Valley have shown their support for the call to observe this day as a ‘Black Day’. With this shut – down or a strike, people of this region have shown their anger and resentment againstNew Delhi. Some may point out that this shut down only hurt economy of the Valley and has not hurtIndia; but the counter argument is that in struggle for independence people have to make sacrifices, as long as goal is clear and the leadership is sincere with that goal. Let us look at the rationale of having a Black Day on 15 August. It was on this date the British Raj ended andIndiabecame independent -Pakistan achieved its independence on 14 August. People blinded with religious sentiments, propaganda ofPakistanor hatred ofIndiaforget that on this date –15 August 2011, we people of Jammuand Kashmiri also became independent. Mohammed Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, as a President of Muslim League said inNew DelhionJune 17, 1947: “Constitutionally and legally, the Indian States will be independent sovereign states on the termination of Paramountcy and they will be free to decide for themselves to adopt any course they like. It is open to them to join the Hindustan Constituent Assembly, the Pakistan Constituent Assembly, or decide to remain independent. In the last case, they enter into such arrangements or relationship with Hindustan or Pakistanas they may choose.” So legally and constitutionally we became an independent country on15 August 1947; and when we observe this day as a ‘Black Day’ what message are we giving? Are we saying that Kashmir should not have become an independent country and it was a ‘Black Day’; or it is a Black Day because India also got independence on the same day? I must admit that my colleagues and I have also observed this day as a Black Day in the past, mainly because those were senior to us advocated that it was necessary. However, with political maturity, knowledge and research made us realise that it was a strategy of Pakistani agencies that we people of Jammu and Kashmirobserve this day as a Black Day; and for this they generously rewarded people and over the years it has become a lucrative business for some. I asked some people why they observe 15 August as a Black Day. First reply of all is that because India occupies Kashmir(parts of Jammu and Kashmir). Pakistan also occupies parts of Jammu and Kashmir, and has imperial and exploitative policy on Jammu and Kashmir, then shouldn’t there be a ‘Black Day’ on 14th August as well – one Black Day on day of Pakistan’s Independence Day and one on India’s Independence Day? To this they say, well it won’t be appropriate, because Pakistanis a Muslim country; and this is the only country that helps us in our fight against India. What does this say? It means it is a religious struggle in view of these people. Who would benefit if the Kashmiri struggle is presented as a religious struggle? Won’t this divert attention from what Pakistan do in Gilgit Baltistan and so called Azad Kashmir; and won’t this provide justification for the division of Indiaon religious lines and justification for the existence of the remainingPakistan? In reply to my points, one ‘freedom fighter’ expressed his agreement to these arguments but said, “Without Pakistan’s help and weapons, we cannot sustain this struggle against India, so we cannot annoyPakistan”. I said to him: “You people are presented as freedom fighters, mujahideen and patriots because you are getting help and weapons from one occupier – Pakistan- to use that against the other occupier – India; what if one day India supply weapons to people of Gilgit Baltistan and people of so called Azad Kashmir and they start militancy, will they be regarded as freedom fighter, mujahideen and loyal to the movement?” He said, “No”. Then continued to say that he was a freedom fighter; and not a politician like me (Dr Shabir Choudhry), who can articulate different points eloquently and persuade other people. I said to him there is a fundamental problem with our struggle and strategy. As a nation – people of Jammu and Kashmirare divided and confused, despite all the sacrifices and decades of struggle which resulted in suffering and misery we still are not clear what we want; and worrying thing is that we are not prepared to learn from the past mistakes or even revise our strategy. It is because of this misplaced loyalty and erroneous strategy that despite so many sacrifices we are not even perceived as a party to the Kashmir dispute; andIndiaandPakistankeep us away from the negotiation table. Furthermore, it is because of this wrong strategy that the international community, by and large, perceive the Kashmiri parties and alliances either ‘A team of ISI’ or ‘B team’. In ‘A team’ are those parties and alliances which openly adhere their allegiance to Pakistan; and in ‘B team’ are those who claim to struggle for an independent Jammu and Kashmir, but deliberately choose not to struggle against occupation of Pakistan. They want to liberate the Indian side of the Jammu and Kashmirfirst, and have no policy in place to liberate the areas underPakistanand where they live. Some people I have spoken to or have interacted with over this point said: we observe Black Day because India has no respect for human rights, and a country that has no regards to human rights and independence of others have no right to celebrate independence. Good point, but record of Pakistan on the issue of human rights is not that bright either, especially if we take in to consideration what happened in the former East Pakistan– nowBangladesh, and what is happening in Balochistan, FATA, Swat and other parts of Pakistan. Situation in Gilgit Baltistan and so called Azad Kashmir is not satisfactory to put it mildly; and the fact that there is no militancy going on in these areas DOE NOT mean that everything is rosy here. Because Pakistani record on human rights is also bad, should have a ‘Black Day’ on every year on 14 August? How would Pakistani people, Pakistani government, their agencies and pro Pakistan Kashmir is perceive this activity? Believe me I have no problem if people of Jammu and Kashmir and their supporters have Black Day on 15 August against India; but it is also my independence day. Jammu and Kashmirafter lapse of the British paramountcy became an independent country on 15 August. We lost our independence when on22 October 1947; we were attacked by Tribesmen sent by Pakistan because that forced the Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir to seek help from India which was only provided after the ‘Provisional accession’. Don’t you think we should be observing a Black Day on 22 October when in clear violation of the Standstill Agreement, officials of the Pakistani government sent in hordes of tribesmen to capture Srinagar that resulted in partition of the State, hence our miseries since that date? Perhaps this is too much to ask from Kashmiris because minds that are accustomed to listening to propaganda, lies, twisted facts and religious hatred for the past 64 years will not be receptive to this suggestion. Furthermore, Kashmiri nationalists will also not tread on this road because of fear of repercussions; and, in any case, my view is that Kashmiri nationalism and Kashmiri nationalists have not matured yet. To qualify to be a true nationalist they have to learn many things and study other nationalist movements and character of those who lead them.

Conspiracy against Kashmir National Party

Conspiracy against Kashmir National Party Dr Shabir Choudhry 29 June 2012 Kashmir National Party is comparatively a new party; but it has left a lasting mark on thinking of the Kashmiri politics. It courageously articulated policies that were logical and practical and were best to promote true nationalist struggle for unification and liberation of the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir For example: The KNP said the Kashmiri struggle was not religious or jihad of Muslims against other ethnic groups of Jammu and Kashmir; There was no military solution to the Kashmir dispute and that the struggle should be peaceful, as the gun has only brought disaster to the people and the Kashmiri polity; and it would give excuse to the occupiers to crush us; The entire State of Jammu and Kashmir was disputed and enslaved; and those who are occupied by India should struggle against that occupation and those who are occupied by Pakistan should struggle against the Pakistani occupation; The KNP strongly advocated that those who advocated this policy that all of us should first liberate the Valley was a policy given by one occupier and fundamental objective of that policy was to focus attention over there and keep attention away from the areas occupied on this side of the Line of Control. These policies were obviously disliked and strongly opposed by people and groups with vested interest; and those who made this struggle in to a business. First they started a malicious campaign against the KNP senior leaders by levelling illogical and totally baseless allegations against them. Later on they encouraged and manipulated a split in the ranks of the KNP by using tribalism as a weapon. Some people, once again, were manipulated in name of ‘unity’. The KNP leaders, and even those who subsequent left the KNP strongly believed that there could be no unity with them because they were not sincere with the cause of united and independent Jammu and Kashmir and were only advancing the interests of secret agencies. Despite these strong views some people were wooed to leave the KNP in name of unity; and KNP Treasurer wrote the following letter to the KNP Chairman Abbas Butt and sent me a copy of that: from: QuicPrint quicprint@btinternet.com reply-to: QuicPrint to: DrShabirChoudhry, AbbasButt date: 23 February 2012 14:21 subject: Resignation salam I, Muhammad Masoom Ansari, am resigning from the membership of KNP. And I have no relations to this party any more. I think this is the need of the time that we should be united for the bigger cause which is (independance) of the Kashmir and we all should forget our internal disagreements and should be united. The aim of my life is to struggle for the (independance) for the Kashmir and i will continue in my rest of my life. Wasalam Muhammad Masoom Ansari Author of this letter, as one can see from the letter, is not that educated. He is very gullible and one phone call from call can change his thinking, hence his role was confined to collection of funds in the KNP, as he is not dishonest in these matters. His other colleagues who left the KNP also had a meeting with the KNP Chairman in presence of Zubair Ansari, who is their relative. They said they wanted to leave the KNP. The KNP Chairman said if you have decided to leave I could not stop you; but let us depart like civilised people and as friends – no one will issue any statements. It was agreed that these two people will also leave the KNP; and they will go as friends and without causing any bitterness. Perhaps, when they discussed this matter with those who were pulling the strings from behind, they were told you are fools by leaving peacefully, and without causing problems. You have to do something to damage the KNP; and credibility of its top leadership. So a conspiracy was hatched to expel me by making allegations and by saying that what Dr Shabir Choudhry was writing and promoting, was causing problems in the KNP and in the movement; and that was why some people left – reference was the above letter of resignation. The Zonal President of KNP expelled me, and as he had no such right to do that, the Chairman challenged his statement. The Zonal President issued another statement saying that he had expelled the Chairman as well. This was like a foot constable expelling IG Police. Many people laughed at this absurd statement. The former KNP Treasurer was appointed the new ‘Chairman’ of 3 men of ‘rebel’ KNP. If people see the letter of resignation of the KNP former Treasurer, it does not say that he left the KNP because of my policies; if anything he sent me his resignation. If a Zonal President was legally allowed to expel anyone then he would have been in a position to accept resignations as well. Both KNP Zonal President and the Treasurer lived in Birmingham and they are relatives as well, yet the Treasurer did not send his resignation to the Zonal President, because he knew he was not the person to accept or reject resignations of the Central leaders. He had no right to expel any central leaders. There is a procedure in place to expel people. First, a charge sheet is given to the person concerned. He is given a right to defend himself in the Supreme Council. The letter of resignation also speaks volumes about thinking, personality and character of the individuals involved – they voluntarily left the KNP, and then on instructions of someone agreed to become a ‘Chairman’ of a ‘rebel’ party. Those who were pulling strings from behind wanted to create problems for the KNP. They knew the people they were using did not have what it takes to become a leader or a true political activist. In any case, they had no desire to promote them as leaders, so within few weeks they realised that three men bandwagon could not continue in the name of the KNP; and cause the real KNP anymore damage, especially when all three of them were not educated, and were not capable of speaking to media or send out statements. Hired people could only do so much. So they were told to join another party, which they did without any hesitation, and they called it a ‘merger’; and the biggest achievement of the past decades. The fact that this 3 men ‘merger’’ was given so much publicity itself shows that there was a lobby with a vested interest to damage the KNP and its struggle. They were propagating that the KNP had merged. Even today, on 29 June 2012, someone from the Valley of Kashmir asked me if the KNP had finished and if I also had ‘merged’. My reply is, no, we have not merged. How can we merge with those who have caused so much damage to the struggle of united and independent Jammu and Kashmir; who have communalised the nationalist struggle; and who were used as proxies by one occupier against the other occupier and called it a ‘nationalism’ to confuse people. We are here to stay and expose all those who have betrayed our Movement and those who have run it like a business and caused enormous miseries to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. After these 3 people left and ‘merged’, within a week the KNP Chairman went to Birmingham and set up very active branch. In the meeting, there were more than 80 people present. Those who left the KNP were never in a position to muster so many people in any meeting. The KNP Birmingham branch President Basharat Khan Raja is very dedicated and active man, and within days he has made his presence felt; and we hope he will help us to promote the cause of united and independent Jammu and Kashmir. I know some people don’t like me because what I promote; and I am their main target. I know for sure, what I promote is demand of the genuine struggle for an independent Jammu and Kashmir. People who want the status quo to continue can manipulate or fool some simple people; but they cannot manipulate everyone. More and more people are appreciating our message and I am moved by the fact that none Kashmiris are also appreciating what we do. After reading my views on Jammu and Kashmir, a non- Kashmir, Gene Rossano, whom I have never met in my life, wrote on 24 June 2012: ‘Such truth is wonderful to read! All interested in the future freedom and independence of Jammu and Kashmir should read, understand and preach this same doctrine….It is refreshing to witness the truth from dedication. Your detractors never seem to be able to muster up any truth or facts so they become like barking dogs behind a strong and high fence, noisy with big teeth but no threat whatsoever. Please continue your most important work on behalf of your people in J&K….You are absolutely correct. I completely understand the concept and the meaning of a “mission”. Happy to be associated with you, Shabir Choudhry!’ These words are much more to me then criticism of some hired people. Gene Rossano is not a Kashmiri, and he has no axe to grind. He has no personal agenda on situation of Jammu and Kashmir, but after reading and analysing different comments and articles on the subject he came to the conclusion that what we promoted was the correct policy and the way forward to resolve the Kashmir dispute; and counter those who promote petty interests and encourage extremism, violence and hatred. He expressed his happiness to be associated with us, my hat off to him for speaking truth and for providing us this moral support, when many were sitting on the fence watching. Our message is loud and clear, despite all the problems and hurdles created by those who are threatened by our policies, the KNP is here to stay and fight for the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Long live struggle for democratic, liberal and an independent jammu and Kashmir and long live KNP. Writer is a political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs. Email:drshabirchoudhry@gmail.com View: www.drshabirchoudhry.blogspot.com www.k4kashmir.com