Friday, 18 September 2015

Presentation made by Dr Shabir Choudhry in a Seminar during the UN Human Rights 30th session in Geneva

Presentation made by Dr Shabir Choudhry in a Seminar during the UN Human Rights 30th session in Geneva
The seminar was arranged by Association Dunenyo ECOSOC on 17 September 2015, Room 27 at 3pm

In name of Almighty I begin. Mr Chairman, friends and colleagues, aslamo alaikam and very afternoon to all of you.

Before I make my presentation, I would like to make brief comments on the speeches made before me.

I agree with honourable guests that territories of Jammu and Kashmir under the Pakistani occupation are not legally part of Pakistan; and that no Pakistani laws, be it Anti Terrorism Act, Pakistan Protection Ordinance, National Action Plan or any other laws are applicable to Pakistani Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.

I further agree that the Pakistani establishment still has policy of a good Taliban and a bad Taliban; or a good terrorist and a bad terrorist. Those militants who are willing to fight India or do ‘Pakistani sponsored jihad’ in Jammu and Kashmir are respectfully cared and generously rewarded. However, those militants who have developed religious or ideological differences with Pakistan; and have started their ‘jihad’ against Pakistan are targeted, and killed by use of jet fighters, artillery and torture.

I agree with honourable speaker from Gilgit Baltistan, Mr Senge Hasnan Sering that people of Gilgit Baltistan are facing injustice and oppression; and it is sad to hear about alarming incidents of rapes in Gilgit Baltistan. However, I would like to add that many of problems are there because Gilgit Baltistan is occupied by Islamabad; and their imperialist policies are hurting people. Pakistani government violated State Subject Law and allowed tens of thousands of Pakistanis to settle in Gilgit Baltistan.

These Pakistani migrants have not only changed demography of Gilgit Baltistan and control the local economy; but they also have brought their bad habits of hatred, intolerance and sectarianism, which has resulted in violence and alarming increase in the crime rate in the region. My family members have served in this area and they witnessed that these areas were very peaceful, and in some areas had completely no law and order issues and crime rate virtually none existent.
Mr Chairman
Pakistan can only give us what they have; and what they have is not what we want. It is unfortunate to note that the Pakistani society is a rotten society plagued with all sorts of ills. You can call me what you like, but I for one don’t want to be part of this society, which promotes hatred, intolerance, regionalism, sectarianism, xenophobia, injustice, oppression, systematic killing of ethnic and religious minorities.

Just look at what happened in a city called Kasoor in Pakistan, where hundreds of innocent children were systematically raped and videos of their ordeal were made to blackmail them and their families. If they can do this to their own kids, it should not surprise us if rapes have taken place in Gilgit Baltistan and videos were made of suffering women.

Before I talk of territory where I live, known as Azad Kashmir, I want to give you example of Pakistani democracy. Pakistan was established in 1947, but first elections on basis of one man one vote took place in 1970. The military dictator of the time, General Yahya Khan promulgated a Legal Framework Order after receiving intelligence reports from Inter Services Intelligence, Militancy Intelligence and Intelligence Bureau that no political party was in a position to win a majority and that it will be a hung parliament.

According to the LFO the new elected National Assembly had to prepare a new constitution for Pakistan within 120 days. The Military dictator was assured that no party will have a majority; and as a result there was no possibility of them agreeing on a constitution. The LFO said: ‘The Constitution was to be framed within 120 days otherwise the National Assembly would stand dissolved.’ 1

What that meant was a new elections and the military rule would continue. In order to ensure that his rule continues, General Yahya added in the LFO that if the elected Parliament agreed on a Constitution within 120 days, still he had the power ‘to authenticate, amend, or reject the Constitution promulgated by the National Assembly’. 2

This shows that in Pakistani democracy the men in uniform are law in their own right, and they have a power to amend or reject law and constitution which is passed by the elected parliament. This is the attitude of men in power in Pakistan to democracy, rule of law and human rights.
Mr Chairman
Right of expression is a fundamental human right, and no human society can progress or flourish without these essential rights. In Azad Kashmir, a territory of Jammu and Kashmir State occupied by Pakistan, right of expression is suffocated by puppets of Islamabad. They have banned many books which promote Kashmiri identity and explain true history of Jammu and Kashmir that has been very seriously distorted by those who occupy us.

Among these banned books include my book, ‘Why Arif Shahid was killed’? The man who composed my book, Mr Talat Mahmood Ansari was arrested by police under draconian laws like Anti Terrorism Act and Pakistan Protection Ordinance. Because of the police actions environment of fear and intimidation was prevailing, and some lawyers refused to take up the cases of Talat Ansari and the publisher Muhamamd Rafiq Khawaja who was running around to get a pre arrest bail.

After a lot of effort Talat Ansari got a bail against FIR of Thothal Police Station ( Mirpur), but before he could get out he was arrested by the City Police Station under the same charge that he has committed an offence of ‘terrorism’ by composing this book. The poor guy was an employee of Kashar Publishers and was paid only £50 per month.

If the authorities could do this to the man who composed my book, just imagine what they would have done to me if I was arrested there.

Apart from that, three shops of the Publisher Muhammad Rafiq Khawaja were illegally closed. Book sellers in Azad Kashmir are directed not to store or sell any book written by Dr Shabir Choudhry. I am author of more than 50 books and booklets on Kashmir and India Pakistan relations; and have consistently opposed and fought against violence, terrorism, extremism, hatred and religious intolerance.

How sad that my books have become target of Pakistani establishment on the allegations that I was promoting hatred and terrorism. How sad that people of so called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan are charged with anti state and sedition. All our activities and efforts are pro Kashmir and pro peace. We are not Pakistanis and Pakistani laws are not applicable to us. We don’t have to be loyal to those who occupy us and oppress us.
Mr Chairman
What Pakistan and their puppets are doing in Azad Kashmir is against the Pakistan constitution. It is also against obligations Pakistan has under the UN Resolutions on Kashmir. It is against International law. It is against Human Rights covenants. Moreover, it is against Islamic law; and Pakistan claims to be an Islamic country.

Mr Chairman and friends and colleagues, an appropriate action is necessary to help and support fundamental rights for people of Jammu and Kashmir State.
1/ East Pakistan - The Endgame, by Brigadier Abdul Rehman Siddiqi Page 36
2/ ibid
Writer is Director Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir

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