Nation special report S.M. Irfan Tahir
LEEDS: A seminar to discuss the controversial ‘Karachi Agreement’ was held under the auspices of JKNAP here at Bordesley Community Centre and a number of Kashmiri leaders spoke on various aspects of the accord. Subject of the seminar was Karachi Agreement of 28 April 1949 between the AJK , the Pak Government and its implementation of the National Independence movement of Jammu Kashmir,.
Kashmiri stakeholders and different party leaders were present at the event. They said Kashmiri people do not accept the Karachi Agreement as it imposed by outsiders. It does not protect basic rights of the Kashmiri nation. It will cause further divide in parts of Jammu and Kashmir.
Kashmir seeks interdependence for the whole state of Jammu and Kashmir. They also said Kashmiri people want a responsible government in Kashmir. The speakers were of the view that this agreement is against the interests of Kashmiri nation and should be rejected without any further delay.
“We Kashmiri will never accept any agreement which would contrary to their wishes and interest and the ‘Karachi Agreement’ is one of them”. They detailed the agreement which executed on April 28, 1949, between the Government of Pakistan and the then Government of Azad Kashmir, the Karachi Agreement was very much in Pakistan’s favour and deprived the people of Kashmir of significant powers and responsibilities.
“While critically analysing the agreement, we get to know that Pakistan was made responsible for the administration of the region, not for the development of the region. Not even a single point is mentioned about Pakistan establishment developing the region. You took control of a large area and declared 4,000 square miles of area independent (Azad Kashmir), while you gave control of the 28,000 square miles to Pakistan without taking assent of the legitimate local administration.”
The 1949 Karachi Agreement was essentially formulated by Islamabad to ratify Pakistan’s administrative control over the region without consulting any shareholder of the region. Pakistan has since then been perpetrating worst forms of humanitarian crimes on the people of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
“When Pakistan took control of this region, then instead of giving people their fundamental, political, social, democratic and national rights, they declared the name of the region as Northern areas. This region was removed from our syllabus and was added to Pakistan and a narrative was built for the people of Pakistan that this region was being added to Pakistan and this is not even remotely connected with the reality,” they added.
The people in AJK and Gilgit Baltistan are now demanding an immediate abolishment of the agreement with all rights conferred to citizens in letter and spirit. “We reject all aspects (of agreement) in fact, the whole Karachi Agreement. Today, the circumstances are completely different from the time when the agreement was signed and if the Pakistani government is really serious about resolving the issues of these two regions (Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan), then it should abolish both the councils of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan and merge them into one with an appropriate representation from both regions,” Maqsood said.
The people of AJK and Gilgit Baltistan have suffered decades of discrimination and persecution, owing to skewed policies and agreements framed by Islamabad. There have been massive social and economic depredations in the region at the hands of state sponsored machinery.
It is high time that Pakistan takes cognizance of the growing resentment amongst the people of the region before it transmutes into something unmanageable.
The leaders who spoke and attended the seminar were including Sajjad Raja – President JKNAP UK, Dr. Shabbir Ch UKPNP, Councillor Ghulam Hussain, ZaffarTanveer, SaminaRaja, Sardar Amjad Yousaf, Councillor Ali Adalat, Shamas Rehman, Aslam Malik, Shakeel Mirza, Sardar Tariq Khan, Sardar Farooq Khan, Muhammad Junaid Kayani, Rizwan Siddique, Naveed Khan, Waheed Sheikh, Qamar Khalil, Shaukat Hussain, Yasir Ikhlaq, Qasim Zia, Mohammed Akhraiz, Zaheer Ahmed, Raja Dildar, Saiem Manzor Khan, Ajmal Khan, Majid Mir, Mohammed Azeem, Zoheeb Hasrat, Raja Ghazanfar, Ibrahim Ali, Amjid Nawaz Khan, and others.