Saturday, 31 October 2015
Is this hypocrisy or nationalism? Dr Shabir Choudhry
Is this hypocrisy or nationalism? Dr Shabir Choudhry
London 31 October 2015
Where India is wrong, oppose and condemn; but where Pakistan is wrong, be courageous to criticise that as well.
The former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir is forcibly occupied by India, Pakistan and China, claim Kashmiri nationalists. Is it not strange that despite this claim their struggle seems to be against India only; and there is tons of evidence to support this?
No matter how much you like or dislike Narendra Modi, the fact is that he is an elected Prime Minister of India. We have a right to oppose his policies and hold demonstrations against him, but we don’t have a right to use foul language against him and hurt sentiments of millions of Indian people. Remember we need support of civil society of India and Pakistan to win our case against their governments.
Prime Minister Modi is visiting Britain on 12 November 2015; and Kashmiri nationalists living here appear to be more eager than Pakistanis or pro Pakistan Kashmiris to hold demonstrations against him.
One Kashmiri nationalist leader urged me to support these demonstrations and hold a TV debate on this. I asked him why we should do that. He said because India occupies Kashmir.
I said Pakistan also occupies Kashmir. When Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Britain a few weeks ago, did you organise a demonstration against him? Apart from that, Army Chief of Pakistan also visited Britain recently, did you or any other nationalist party organise any demonstration against him?
He was not ready for this response, so he had no logical reply to this. I further said: Kashmir watchers and the international community are not fool. We claim to be against occupation of all three countries, and working for united and independent Jammu and Kashmir; but our actions do not support this contention.
When Pakistani Prime Minister visits Britain we remain quiet; and when the Pakistani Army Chief visits Britain we also remain quiet. There is news that even some Kashmiris desperately tried to meet these officials or their subordinates.
Furthermore, when the Chinese President visited Britain a few weeks ago, we also remained quiet. There was no demonstration of any kind. No one expressed any interest to organise any demonstration or a picket; or even issue a statement against him.
This behaviour of Kashmiri nationalists clearly demonstrate that their struggle, in practise, is not against all occupiers. Despite this obvious contradiction and a big flaw in their policy, Kashmiri nationalists expect the world community to support their cause. Which cause, one may ask? Either they are fooling themselves or they wrongly think they are fooling the world community.
No matter what we Kashmiri nationalists think of ourselves; many Kashmir watchers think we are a confused lot, and are only wasting our time. How can we get support of other countries when our struggle lacks credentials of a genuine nationalist struggle? How can they support us when our struggle is perceived as an extension of GHQ of Pakistan and aimed at targeting India only?
Kashmiri stalwarts of Pakistani establishment are very active in organising demonstrations against India in some cities of the world. All this is done in name of the Kashmiri struggle. New and attractive slogans are used to attract people and to camouflage their real intentions. It is debatable if these efforts will help or support the genuine Kashmiri struggle for independence.
This is the same policy which was formulated by the Pakistani establishment in September 1947; and successfully sold to the people of Jammu and Kashmir with different labels. When they realise that some people are becoming suspicious of their policy, they either change the label on the bottle or defame those people with some silly allegations.
Some Kashmiri nationalists eventually understood the game plan of Pakistani establishment, and formulated a policy that those who are occupied by Pakistan, they should struggle against the Pakistani occupation; and those who are occupied by India, they should struggle against the Indian occupation.
These nationalists understood that policy of liberating Jammu and Kashmir under India was formulated by the Pakistani establishment, and its aim was to keep India bleeding; and give this impression that only the Indian side of Kashmir was disputed. Furthermore, a man chained in one room cannot help his brother chained in another room; hence both have to struggle against their captors.
However, it is sad to note that some people with this thinking are also at the forefront of organising demonstrations against India, knowing full well that the stalwarts of the Pakistani establishment are working on a script prepared by the Pakistani establishment.
To conclude, this policy of Pakistani establishment can promote some people and reward some others; but it will never help us to liberate Jammu and Kashmir. Furthermore, it will help to send a wrong signal to the world community, confuse people of Jammu and Kashmir and keep them divided.
Thinking people can decide if they want to promote the cause of the Pakistani establishment; or support the cause of united and independent Jammu and Kashmir.
Writer is a political analyst, TV anchor and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs. Email:drshabirchoudhry@gmail.