Monday, 25 March 2013

We are fighting forces of extremism and violence, Dr Shabir Choudhry’s speech in the UKPNP European Convention held in Geneva

We are fighting forces of extremism and violence,
Dr Shabir Choudhry’s speech in the UKPNP European Convention held in Geneva

Mr President, friends and colleagues and aslamo alaikam and good evening.

It is an honour to be here among so many dignitaries and given an opportunity to express my views.

I want to congratulate UKPNP and Shaukat Kashmiri for arranging this splendid evening with so many dignitaries - Ambassadors, politicians, academics, political activists and human rights activist under one roof. They must have worked extremely hard to get so many people in this hall in this cold weather; and I applaud them for this success. Also I want to congratulate the new elected leaders of the UKPNP Europe Zone; and hope that they will strengthen our hands to promote the cause we are promoting.

People sometime say that I support Shaukat Kashmiri and UKPNP. I support united and independent Jammu Kashmir. I support culture of tolerance and coexistence. I support democratic and secular ideals. I support peaceful and non - violent struggle. I support peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute. This is what Shaukat Kashmiri and his party believe. So I support the above struggle and mission. It is my mission, and it is also a mission of Shaukat Kashmiri; and we promote similar policies.

Our struggle is similar in many ways. Both Kashmir National Party and United Kashmir Peoples National Party are fighting against forces of extremism and violence. We are fighting for peace and stability. We are fighting to empower local people. Our struggle is pro-peace and pro people. We are fighting those who promote religious hatred. We are fighting those who export violence and terrorism. We are fighting those who want Jammu and Kashmir to keep on bleeding.

Mr President

Our struggle may look easy to some, but believe me, it is full of problems and dangers, because in South Asia powerful forces have made it their business to promote religious hatred and terrorism; and those who oppose religious hatred and terrorism are perceived as enemies. These God Fathers of religious hatred and terrorism are very powerful and don’t feel shy to silence their opponents and kill innocent people to create chaos and advance their agenda.

It is unfortunate that through control of media, these people are in a position to present political activists who believe in democratic and secular society, as anti -Pakistan and anti - Islam. Apart from that this mafia has established parties to promote their agenda and fight those groups and individuals who want a rule of law, a system of accountability and democratic and secular society.

These people not only target true Kashmiri nationalists but they also harass and intimidate their family members and friends. One objective of this policy is to alienate the true nationalists from the support of close family and friends. Apart from that they target members of ethnic minorities; and there are tonnes of evidence to prove this.

Our school curriculum is prepared in Pakistan, which helps them to make us good slaves of the ruling elite and Pakistan. They teach us wrong history; and purpose of that is to fool us in name of religion and false notions.

History books written by them tell us that when Pakistan violated the Standstill Agreement on 22 October 1947, and managed a Tribal Aggression against Jammu and Kashmir State and its people it was done to help the people. The fact is that people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially non-Muslims were mercilessly butchered and looted. Their houses burnt, their women raped and kidnapped.

As a direct result of that unprovoked and imperialist attack our motherland was forcibly divided between India and Pakistan; and we people suffer on both sides of the divide. Those who planned this tribal attack, and caused so much misery and suffering demand that we Kashmiri people should regard them as our well-wishers and Mujahideen; and that the tribal attack was designed to save us.

True, we are divided and oppressed; and some of us are still confused as to what our future should be; but we are not fools. We know what are policies of those who occupy us; and what is in interest of people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Chairman, due to constraints of time I have to finish my speech here; and I thank you for your patience.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Constitution of AJK discussed.

Constitution of AJK discussed.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Human rights situation in Pakistan Speech of Dr Shabir Choudhry in a seminar arranged by CIRAC&ICRAC during the 22 session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

Human rights situation in Pakistan
Speech of Dr Shabir Choudhry in a seminar arranged by CIRAC&ICRAC during the 22 session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva
Mr Chairman, friends and colleagues aslamo alaikam and good afternoon
It is unfortunate that whoever speaks about problems of Pakistan is immediately declared as ‘anti-Pakistan’ and ‘agent’ of some country; and intimidated and harassed and in some cases killed. Let me declare that I am not anti - Pakistan; however, I am seriously concerned about what goes on there, as it also concerns me and my countrymen.
I want Pakistan to be stable, democratic and responsible country that promotes peace and tolerance; and that protects all citizens of Pakistan irrespective of their religious and ethnic background. It is sad that those who run affairs of Pakistan have different agenda. Their agenda seems to be promotion of religious hatred, extremism, and terrorism; and this policy has come to haunt Pakistan, hence the present chaos and terrorism which is tearing Pakistani society apart. I and many others strongly believe that destruction and disintegration of Pakistan is not in the best interest of people of South Asia, so we should help to make Pakistan stable and democratic.
It is prime responsibility and duty of the State to protect life, liberty and property of the people. However, in Pakistan and Pakistani Administered Kashmir and in Gilgit Baltistan, secret agencies and those religious and terrorist patronised by them have a licence to kill and torture innocent people.
Article 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan provides that “all citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law”. Reality, however, is that only some people benefit from this law; and majority of people feel unsafe in Pakistan. This is the country that was established in name of Islam and for Muslims; what to talk of rights and protection of minorities when even Muslims are not safe there.
Situation is so bad that every other day incidents of violence and terrorism take place and valuable human lives are lost. Members belonging to ethnic minorities or certain religious groups are systematically targeted and killed. Even places of worship are also attacked and destroyed. People in Balochistan, FATA, Gilgit Baltistan, so called Azad Kashmir and other parts of Pakistan are subject to massive human rights abuses.
Report of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances on its mission to Pakistan (10 to 20 September 2012), and presented to the UN Human Rights Commission on 26 February 2013, during 22 Session says and I quote:
‘Pakistan has endured several periods of military dictatorship throughout its history, which have resulted at times in massive violations of human rights. The perceptions of different groups in society of not being treated on an equal footing with others created frustrations and demands that were often countered by violent means and further inequalities’. Page 5    Unquote
It is good to note that Pakistan has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; but question is what has changed since this ratification. Killing of innocent people has increased, and different sects of Islam are targeted and killed mercilessly. Apart from that members of ethnic minorities are regularly attacked, their houses burnt, and at times, forced to convert or killed.
Pakistani officials claim that because they are fighting terrorism and that result in strict procedures and some abuse of human rights. First thing is who created and promoted these terrorist groups. One CIA report asserted that Pakistani agencies are God Father of the Taliban and groups that promote religious hatred and terrorism. Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the National Security Archive at George Washington University, titled: Pakistan – The Taliban’s God Father claim that and I quote:
 ‘State Department cables and U.S. intelligence reports describe the use of Taliban terrorist training areas in Afghanistan by Pakistani-supported militants in Kashmir, as well as Pakistan's covert effort to supply Pashtun troops from its tribal regions to the Taliban cause in Afghanistan-effectively forging and reinforcing Pashtun bonds across the border and consolidating the Taliban's severe form of Islam throughout Pakistan's frontier region’. Unquote
In other words they established these groups, used them to advance their agenda; and now in name of security and terrorism create environment that lead to further human rights violations; and perpetrators have a licence to kill and torture innocent people. Pakistani establishment is so sincere in export of terrorism and religious hatred that despite acute economic problems they somehow find funds to help these groups which promote religious hatred, extremism, violence and terrorism.
The Working Group heard many reports about the situation in Balochistan, where, according to some reports hundreds of people are missing; and some of those who were missing since 2010, their dead bodies were found with signs of torture. Some dead bodies were decomposed so badly that their relatives were unable to identify them.
The Working Group heard similar reports from the Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where relatives were asked to collect dead bodies and ‘ordered to bury them within 30 minutes’, which practically meant not all relatives could see the dead person and mourn his death or give the dead person last bath and religious prayer before burial. The authorities know how important it is for a Muslim to be given the last bath and hold a prayer for the deceased, but in the land of pure not all are entitle to this last ritual.
Mr Chairman
Religious fanatics have become too powerful in Pakistan and in areas of the State of Jammu and Kashmir controlled by Pakistan. Because of the official patronage they call the shots and continue to harass and intimidate people and some cases kill and torture them. According to a report of The Asian Human Rights Commission, one human rights organisation, which operated in Gilgit Baltistan and advanced the rights of women and children, was banned due to the pressure of Muslim extremist group.
The Association of Global Humanists and Ethics (AGHE) was registered in 2005 under the Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Registration and Control Ordinance1961 (XLV OF Pakistan). Its registration number (2005) JC-16 (91) and was registered on September 26, 2005. The AGHE worked in various districts of Gilgit Baltistan on the issues of tolerance in society, women rights, and education of girls. How religious fanatics with tunnel vision could tolerate education of girls and promotion of rights of women. They started a campaign against this, and the government of Gilgit Baltistan could not handle the pressure; and in order to appease the fanatics, who have killed many innocent people in sectarian violence, decided to ban the activities this human rights organisation.
No matter how many International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights Pakistan may sign, their policy and treatment is unlikely to change. Who know better than us people of Jammu and Kashmir who are forcibly divided and are subject to inhuman and degrading treatment? Mohammed Ali Murtaza lived in district Kotli which is part of Pakistani Administered Kashmir. He went to visit his sister who lived in a village near the Line of Control. Pakistani Security men abducted him and took him away to their torture cell.
I agree that area near the LOC is perceived as sensitive, and the secret agencies have to keep watch for terrorists and infiltrators. However, the man they arrested and tortured was not a suspect. He was not doing anything suspicious. He had his Identity Card with him that clearly showed who he was and where he lived. He had his mobile phone with him as well. The secret agency people could have proved his credentials within minutes if they wanted; and he could have been released.
Instead of doing the obvious, they stripped him naked, tortured him by hammering nails and drilling various parts of his body. After killing this innocent man with inhuman torture brave soldiers of Islamic republic of Pakistan ordered the relatives of the deceased that the body could only be released if they tell people that he entered red zone and got killed by the Indian bullets in cross firing. Also they told them the body must be buried immediately at night without opening the coffin; and that they must not complain against this. They did not forget to give threat to grief- stricken family that it is in your own interest that you follow these instructions and keep your mouths shut.
Mr Chairman
Due to shortage of time, I had to skip certain details about the case of Ali Murtzaza. Also I cannot give you details of other forms of human rights abuses that are taking place in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. I request the UN Human Rights Council to send a fact finding mission to the area; and help us to get our fundamental rights including right to determine our own future.
Writer is a political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Death of two Kashmiris - Afzal Guru and Mohammed Ali Murtaza, speech of Dr Shabir Choudhry in a seminar in the UN Human Rights Session in Geneva

Death of two Kashmiris - Afzal Guru and Mohammed Ali Murtaza, speech of Dr Shabir Choudhry in a seminar in the UN Human Rights Session in Geneva   
Seminar arranged by International Committee for the Respect and Application of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights ICRAC (CIRAC) during 22nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

Title of the seminar: Human rights in South Asia    
12 March 1213

Mr Chairman, friends and colleagues aslamo alaikam
Despite remarkable work of the UN Human Rights Council and other human rights organisations, and power of mass media, situation of Human Rights in South Asia is getting from bad to worse. One can write books and booklets on the situation of human rights in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan; and divided State of Jammu and Kashmir.

In these countries human rights organisations, civil society and powerful media and social media expose the perpetrators of the human rights abuses, and explain the plight of the suffering people; and, at times, these governments under pressure from human rights organisations and civil society take certain measures to alleviate suffering of the people.

If these governments are serious about improving human rights situation in their countries or areas under their control, they have to take practical steps to improve situation of human rights in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India and Jammu and Kashmir.

However, it is not possible to explain situation of human rights in all parts of South Asia; therefore, I will focus on deteriorating situation of human rights in Pakistani Occupied Kashmir.

Mr Chairman

Before I elaborate my point, I want to say that month of February 2013 has proved that people of Jammu and Kashmir are killed on both sides of the LOC. Afzal Guru lost his life in Delhi Jail on 9 February 2013. Mohammed Ali Murtaza lost his life in Kotli, Pakistani Administered Kashmir on 18 February 2013. Afzal Guru was hanged for providing logistic support to those who attacked the Indian Parliament on December 2013. Despite his role in that tragic event, which, of course, was highly sensitive target because the attack on Parliament is conceived as an attack on pride of a nation; many believe he should not have been hanged.

However, Afzal Guru was hanged and his body was not given to his relatives and he was buried inside the prison.  People of Jammu and Kashmir claim that we are subject to inhuman treatment on both sides of the LOC; and both governments have similar policies, as both want to hold on to Kashmir. That was the Indian response to one Kashmiri - Afzal Guru; now let us see response of Pakistan to another Kashmiri, Mohammed Ali Murtaza who was not involved in any crime and did not provide any logistic support for any attack on the Pakistani Parliament or involved himself in any other illegal activity.

Mohammed Ali Murtaza lived in district Kotli which is part of Pakistani Administered Kashmir. He was a man of good character and memorised the whole Quran, a task which only selected and talented individuals could accomplish. He went to visit his sister who was married and lived near the LOC near Seri.

‘Brave’ and proactive secret agencies of Pakistan, who are law in their own rights, always look out for soft targets that they could exploit innocence and vulnerability of the people living in Pakistani Administered Kashmir, especially those who lived near the LOC. Vulnerable and not so clever, 27 years old Mohammed Ali Murtaza, who had whole life before him was picked up by the Pakistani secret agencies and tortured to death.

As this topic has been covered extensively by my colleague Abbas Butt, I leave out these details. However, it would be pertinent to point out that the brutal killing of Mohammed Ali Murtaza could have gone unnoticed if it was not for the social media and new technology. Young angry men were devastated by the inhuman treatment, and within minutes news and photos of the deceased were sent to various people and posted on social media. That encouraged the local daily newspapers to publish news about this incident. The secret agency personnel and the compliant local administration tried to control the situation, but the genie was out of the bottle. In this regard, Tanveer Ahmed, a British Kashmiri did a tremendous service by visiting the grave of the deceased and interviewed his family and put it on Youtube.

After a long time the local people have strongly expressed their anger and resentment against this inhuman act. They strongly condemned this act; and demanded that Pakistani forces of occupation must leave this territory. This news and inhuman torture at the hands of the Pakistani army which is a Muslim army and which is supposed to ‘defend borders and provide security’ infuriated the local people and there were strong protests against Pakistan and presence of Pakistani army.

In the past local people of Azad Kashmir saw many dead bodies of people in the rivers flowing from the Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir to the Pakistani side. It was always stated that these were bodies of those Kashmiris killed by India after torturing them. However, after what has happened to Mohammed Ali Murtaza, many local people say it is possible that all those people were actually killed by the Pakistani army and then shifted the blame.

It must be pointed out that Pakistan and pro Pakistan Kashmiris claim that the Pakistani army is there to provide them security and defend the borders. Fact, however, is that in private conversations majority of the people regard them as forces of occupation; and some brave nationalists openly say they are forces of occupation and demand that they should go back to Pakistan.

Because of wrong policies of respective Pakistani governments, people of Pakistan and other areas are also suffering. There are powerful groups which under official patronage promote religious hatred, intolerance, violence and terrorism; and this policy is root cause of many problems in Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir, as this policy is exported to other areas. In Pakistan we can see ethnic minorities being systematically killed and their houses burnt; and this policy was successfully implemented in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Chairman

Exploitation and intimidation in Pakistani Administered Kashmir takes place in many forms and shapes. All aspects of our lives are controlled by Islamabad or their lent officers and puppets. The syllabus our children read in our schools and colleges is prepared in Islamabad, which imposes Pakistani history and culture on us. How ironic, Study of Pakistan is compulsory for children of Azad Kashmir; but Study of Kashmir is not part of our curriculum. History and politics we are taught is a Pakistani history or their version of it; and true history of Jammu and Kashmir is hidden from us.

If some people produce facts about what Pakistan has done to us, and present true version of history those people have to suffer for this. I am prime example of this victimisation. Because of what I write to expose Pakistan’s imperial designs and tactics, a systematic malicious campaign is unleashed against me; but they cannot intimidate or break me. Those people who publish my books and promote them also come under fire.

It is disturbing to learn that Pakistani secret agencies are harassing those booksellers who sell books which expose Pakistan’s Kashmir policy. In this regard those books that have strongly criticised Pakistan’s blunders and human rights abuses which started with the brutal tribal aggression in October 1947 have been targeted.

Book sellers in various parts of Azad Kashmir were visited by secret agency men. One bookseller told my publisher that he could not sell these books anymore because secret agency people have given him stern warning. These people are so frightened that they have hidden these books and have requested the publisher to take them back.

When one book seller was threatened with severe consequences if he continued to sell books that expose Pakistan’s Kashmir policy, the poor man said I only sell books, and have no time to read books to find out which books expose Pakistan’s Kashmir policy.

Mr Chairman

What this means is that the Azad Kashmiri book sellers can only sell books which promote Pakistan, or are written by Pakistanis and their puppets; or they can sell pens, pencils and writing pads, and not any books on history and politics. It also means people of Azad Kashmir are deliberately kept oblivious of facts and Kashmir history. Is this not against right of expression, right to education, right to know about one’s history and culture?

To conclude, I want to add that the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir is disputed; and the Kashmir dispute is not religious in nature. Furthermore, it is not struggle to become part one country or the other. Our struggle is to determine our own future without any conditions or intimidation. India and Pakistan cannot decide our future by bilateral talks; we people of Jammu and Kashmir must be part of the dialogue process.

Mr Chairman, I thank you for your patience.

Dead body of Mohammed Ali Murtaza clearly showing signs of torture.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Video of UKPNP convention held in London

Video of UKPNP convention held in London

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Gun culture and politics of intimidation must end in Kashmir

Gun culture and politics of intimidation must end in Kashmir

Speech of Dr Shabir Choudhry in the UKPNP Convention held in London
Mr Chairman, friends and colleagues aslamo alaikam

Let me start by expressing my unhappiness that many PNP speakers before me repeatedly addressed to Shaukat Kashmiri as a ‘former Chairman’ or ‘X Chairman’; it was sufficient to make that point once to explain the legal position. However, when each speaker repeat this more than once during his short speech then it becomes troublesome. No matter how you and few others regard Shaukat Kashmiri, in my view and view of Abbas But, Shaukat Kashmiri was Chairman yesterday, he is Chairman today and he will be Chairman in future. You people need to understand that Shaukat Kashmiri does not need UKPNP; but UKPNP needs leadership and guidance of Shaukat Kashmiri. I have no doubt that Shaukat Kashmiri and the new leadership elected today will be able to control the situation soon and promote the cause of united and independent Jammu and Kashmir.
Before focussing my attention on the topic of today’s function, I want to thank Ali Adalat for his kind words about my struggle and literary work. Ali Adalat is an old colleague- a man with versatile qualities. He is an author, a researcher and dedicated political and social analyst. He has done great work to promote local language which he calls A ‘Pahari’ and I call it Punjabi. Also he has done tremendous work on the issue of Kashmiri identity in Britain and Europe and I wish him all the best for his future projects.
Mr Chairman
Some speakers have spoken on various aspects of history of Jammu and Kashmir; and I will try not to repeat anything that has been said before me. I will focus my attention on the contemporary history, especially which deals with the events leading to forced division of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Friends, we need to be careful when we use certain words and phrases, as these are formulated by those who occupy us and they give totally different meaning to historical facts. For example, they say, Kashmir is unfinished agenda of the Partition of India; because of Two Nations Theory, Kashmir should be part of Pakistan; Azad Kashmir and Occupied Kashmir, Base Camp, Black Day on 15 August and 27th Oct etc.
Let us look at these events in light of facts. True, the British India was divided in line with the Two Nations Theory, but it must be emphasised that this Theory was only applicable to the British India which was directly ruled by the British; and it was not applicable to the Princely States, including State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Mohammed Ali Jinnah founder of Pakistan not only acknowledged this fact, but practically demonstrated that the Two Nations Theory did not apply to the Princely States. On two different occasions he stated that Kashmir had right to join India, join Pakistan or remain independent. If the Two Nations Theory was applicable to the Princely States then it should have automatically become part of Pakistan; and there was no need for Mr Jinnah to say about other options available to Jammu and Kashmir.
Similarly when Ruler of Junagarr expressed his desire to join Pakistan, Mohammed Ali Jinnah accepted that accession, even though this State had nearly 80% non -Muslim majority; and under rules of the Two Nations Theory this state should have automatically become part of India. Also Mohammed Ali Jinnah supported State of Hyderabad’s right to become independent, even though that State also had more than 80% non - Muslim majority.
This clearly shows that the Two Nations Theory was not applicable to the Princely States, and all those who say Kashmir dispute is unfinished agenda of the Partition of India, try to make Kashmir a religious dispute and annex it by fooling people in name of religion. It must be remembered that State of Jammu and Kashmir is multi ethnic and multi religious state; and there is no danger to Islam there.
Pakistan came in to being on 14 August 1947, and when the British Raj ended on 15 August, India also became independent. However, people forget one fact that all those Princely States which did not join either India or Pakistan also became independent. That means Jammu and Kashmir also became independent on 15 August 1947; and when people of Jammu and Kashmir hold Black Day on 15th August, in reality, they hold a Black Day against their own independence.
Furthermore, if these people are true nationalists then they should hold Black Day on 14th August as well, because to us both countries are occupiers; and when we only observe Black Day against India, it shows that it is done on behest of Pakistan or to please them- which is known as proxy politics.
People need to know that government of Pakistan signed a Standstill Agreement with the Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir. When the Pakistani government realised that the Maharajah wanted to remain independent and had no desire to join Pakistan, they violated the Standstill Agreement and on 22 October 1947 launched a tribal attack to capture Kashmir.
The tribesmen butchered innocent Kashmiri people, looted their houses, kidnapped and raped girls and women and burnt houses and shops. The forces of Kashmir were unable to check this brutal attack, so in order to save his throne and people of Jammu and Kashmir the Maharaja asked India for help, which was only provided after he signed the ‘Provisional accession’.
Furthermore, people need to differentiate between the two events – entry of the Pakistani troops and the entry of the Indian troops. Pakistani troops entered the State territory illegally against the wish of the Ruler and by violating the Standstill Agreement; and the Indian troops entered Kashmir on request of the Ruler and under a treaty. Of course one could criticise the subsequent role of the Indian army.
However, we should observe 22 October as a Black Day, because it was on this day we were attacked; and what happened on 26/ 27 of October 1947 was the by-product of events of 22 October 1947. In other words, if there was no Pakistani sponsored attack on Kashmir, there would have been no accession and then we could have been independent. What that means is, our present miseries and forced division is directly related to that tribal attack, so we should rightly observe 22 October as a Black Day.
We are urged to call areas under Pakistan as Azad Kashmir and areas under India as occupied and disputed. Whereas, fact is that the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir is disputed; and no part of the State is azad or independent. Apart from that we are repeatedly told that this area known as Azad Kashmir is a base camp to liberate the Kashmir under India.
Again meaning of this term, ‘base camp’, is that areas under Pakistan are azad – free; and only areas under India are occupied; and this ‘base camp’ should be used to wage a war to liberate the remaining areas of Jammu and Kashmir. It is because of this false notion that people of this region are fooled to forget about their own miseries and let Pakistan use this area as a launching pad to continue militancy in areas of Jammu and Kashmir under India. The result of this policy is that we people of Jammu and Kashmir are forcibly divided and suffer on both sides of the divide.
It must be pointed that because of the wrong history which we have been taught for many decades by our occupiers, many people still regard the tribesmen who attacked us in October 1947 as Mujahideen. What these savage warriors did was a shameful act. They attacked our country, looted our houses and shops, burnt houses and religious places, killed innocent people, raped our women and girls and kidnapped them and sold them in cities of Pakistan. These people were terrorists and criminals. To call them Mujahideen is insult to name of Mujahideen.
So we need to be careful what we call those who attacked our country; and those local people who helped foreign warriors to invade our country and killed and raped our innocent citizens. To me the local people who collaborated with the tribal invaders were traitors of Jammu and Kashmir. It is sad that those who occupied us presented them as leaders and freedom fighters.
I agree because of militancy tens of thousands of people of Jammu and Kashmir have lost their lives, women raped and many are still uncounted for; and the suffering continues. However, sad thing is that despite all the suffering, destruction and loss of human life we are not even considered as a party to resolution of the Kashmir dispute. Because of our wrong policy, we are only there to suffer; and India and Pakistan negotiate on Kashmir dispute and discuss what is good for people of this former Princely State.
Pakistani governments continue to fool us that a solution will be found in accordance with the UN Resolutions on Kashmir; fact, however, is that all the talks between India and Pakistan since 1972 are held in accordance with the Simla agreement. It is clear that the UN Resolutions give right to people of Jammu and Kashmir to decide whether they want to join Pakistan or India; the Simla Agreement has taken away that right from the people and made the Kashmir dispute a bilateral issue which has to be resolved by the two governments.
First, on request of Pakistan, our right to independence was restricted in the UN Resolutions, then our right to decide was taken away; which means we cannot decide our future and we cannot become Kashmiris. We are Kashmiris and like to remain Kashmiris; but governments of India and Pakistan are not prepared to give us that right; now whether we will become Pakistanis or Indians even that will be decided by officials of India and Pakistan.
I hear people demand withdrawal of troops of both India and Pakistan. May be these people are sincere. However, question is under what mechanism these troops should be withdrawn. Available and agreed mechanism was in the UN Resolution of 13 August 1948; which clearly stated that Pakistan should withdraw all the troops from the territory of Jammu and Kashmir; and India should withdraw ‘bulk’ of the troops. We know Pakistan refused to vacate the areas of Jammu and Kashmir under their occupation, hence no progress on withdrawal or on the plebiscite.
I can’t envisage a situation where both India and Pakistan will agree to any mechanism to withdraw troops from the Jammu and Kashmir, if anything, both are entrenching their positions because of suspicions against each other and other security related issues.
In this regard, I suggest that all kinds of violence must stop to end culture of fear and intimidation. Like UKPNP, our party Kashmir National Party also believes in peaceful struggle and strongly oppose use of gun, because gun has only created problems for us. Both countries should continue with confidence building measure, and create friendly and peaceful environment in which people of Jammu and Kashmir could also be part of the dialogue to decide future of Jammu and Kashmir.
Mr Chairman, thank you for your patience.
Writer is a political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir