Friday, 2 March 2018

Game of traitor - traitor is not new in Pakistan, said Dr Shabir Choudhry

South Asia Watch, London
Email:          Cell no: +447790942471    Date: 1 March 2018

Game of traitor - traitor is not new in Pakistan, said Dr Shabir Choudhry, while responding to a question about court verdict on issue of his ID card.

He further said, it is unfortunate that in Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir no one is safe from allegations and mudslinging. It is free for all. Everyone is at liberty to make any allegation against people he dislikes or perceive as a threat; and sad thing is that the accused has to prove that he is innocent, and the accuser only has to make allegations.

Dr Shabir Choudhry said, in some circles of Pakistan Mohammed Ali Jinnah was accused as being a ‘British agent’, and his sister Fatima Jinnah was accused of being an ‘Indian agent’. Some army Generals and Chiefs are accused of being American agents, and three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is accused of being an Indian agent. Imran Khan, a popular opposition leader is accused of being a Jewish agent. There is a long list of alleged ‘agents’.

In this kind of social and political culture what chance do I have who is a steadfastly struggling to establish united and independent Jammu and Kashmir. In this context, my struggle is also against the Pakistani occupation and exploitation of our resources.

Pakistani establishment and especially ISI abhorred my endeavours to expose their designs on Jammu and Kashmir; and educate people that Pakistan is also an occupier, and that we must struggle against the Pakistani occupation on this side of the divide, and let people on the other side of the divide to struggle against Indian occupation.

Their infamous tactics to defame me in social, political and family circles did not deter me, so to teach me a lesson, they instructed NADRA not to renew my ID card, which is absolutely essential for life in areas of Jammu and Kashmir occupied by them. Without a valid ID card one cannot even travel and could be stopped and arrested anytime. One cannot bank, buy or sell property/business, hire anything or even stay in any hotel.

Their vengeance did not stop there. In order to increase family pressure, and frighten others, they even stop renewal of my daughter’s ID card as well, even though she is married and lives separate from me, and has no role in politics. Through their network they even spread rumours that my other family members, friends and colleagues could also suffer if they kept their links with Dr Shabir Choudhry.

They made unfounded allegations against me, and through network of puppets they started nefarious propaganda that I was opposing CPEC and writing against Pakistan because I was funded by India.

I am author of 65 books and booklets. I have more than thousand TV interviews. No one will find a single sentence where I have supported India, or said Jammu and Kashmir is part of India; or that I wanted to be part of India. Those citizens of Jammu and Kashmir who are on pay role of Pakistan they yell with full voice that they want to be part of Pakistan; and that to them Pakistan is sacred just like Madina. These people who are not loyal to their motherland are projected as patriots; and those who love their motherland and earnestly oppose occupation of all countries are projected as traitors.

This policy of neo – colonialism, blind hatred and injustice had to be challenged, and I did that. I challenged them in Islamabad High Court.

The case lasted for more than 2 years, with total of 11 hearings. Those who blocked my ID card were not in hurry. They wanted to drag it on. They were funded by the state. I had to fund myself. They wanted to deplete my financial resources; and exhaust me, defame me and increase family, social and political pressure. I knew, to challenge number one, I also had to be number one. I kept my cool. I knew I am innocent. My family and handful of friends supported me.

By grace of Allah SWT, not a shred of evidence was presented against me. The honourable Judge gave them many opportunities to present some evidence in support of their allegations. No evidence was available and none was presented. The entire case was politically motivated; and one aim was to discipline me and other nationalists of Jammu and Kashmir.

Their whole case was like 35 punctures of Imran Khan. When the honourable Judge repeatedly asked them to present evidence, they said, ‘we have referred the case to the Ministry of Interior’. This went on for many months. It was a delaying tactic. My attorney, Nisar Shah, did a wonderful job and put up with all the pressure. The case was ‘disposed of’ on 29 January 2018. The honourable Judge reserved the decision.

Allegations of ISI against me
Allegations made by ISI against me in writing accused me that on directions of India I was opposing CPEC and ‘activating the local nationals of Gilgit Baltistan to rise against the proposed CPEC’.  The ISI letter says, ‘Some of the details are’:
‘He is author of 27 + books and booklets on various aspects of Kashmir, most of which are sponsored by RAW. Recently two of his books “Why Arif Shahid was Killed” and “Extremism, Terrorism and Threat to Peace in South Asia” with full of propaganda against ISI and Pakistan Army have been recovered and confiscated from AJK. He continuously disseminates, subversive and hate material against Pakistan Army, ISI and other intelligence agencies through his contacts in Pakistan and abroad’.
The ISI letter further states: ‘…nevertheless, we need to take immediate strict measures against the individuals openly involved in anti - Pakistan activities. Dr Shabir Choudhry, a Pakistani origin British national is one such prominent Kashmiri sub nationalist involved in anti-Pakistan activities sponsored by RAW’.

In addition, the ISI letter says, Dr Shabir Choudhry ‘attends seminars, conferences and meetings with foreign think tanks at international levels…He also conducts TV programmes in UK against the interests of the State for which he is paid by RAW.’ They also alleged that I was to start a KNTV and KNP News. The ISI letter presented in court ends like this:
‘Foregoing in view, it is requested that Dr Shabir Choudhry may not be facilitated in renewal of his NICOP due to his ante state activities’.

Directions of the Honourable Judge
The decision was made public after some weeks, and DOES NOT find me guilty of any allegations. (The allegations were politically motivated; hence no evidence was furnished). The honourable Judge said:

‘The Authority has misinterpreted the provisions of section 47 of the Ordinance of 2000 by seeking guidance from the Federal Government… The Authority is exclusively vested with power and jurisdiction under the said provision to cancel, impound or confiscate a card. The authority therefore, is required to take a decision independently and without being influenced by the Federal Government’.

‘For what has been discussed above, the Authority is directed to afford an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner or his representative and, thereafter through a speaking order either extend the expired NICOP card of the petitioner or cancel the same under section 18 of the Ordinance 2000’.

It is interesting that the section 18 mentioned above does not apply in my case, as it deals with forgery of documents and people who have more than one ID card. In other words, NADRA has only one option: Issue the ID card. It is possible that they just sit on the decision or use some other delaying tactic. That is why I said the war has not ended, it has just begun.

Where the honourable Judge referred to Federal government he means, ISI, because it was on instructions of the ISI the ID card was not renewed. The NADRA is clearly directed that they can take a ‘decision independently and without being influenced by the Federal Government’.

I wanted to prove these points: I am a patriot of Jammu and Kashmir. I don’t have to be loyal to those who occupy me. I am not a traitor. Secret agencies are not Gods, they can be challenged.

The writer is Chairman of South Asia Watch, London, and author of many books on Jammu and Kashmir and terrorism.

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