By Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani
The people of Jammu and Kashmir in the three administrations on both sides of cease fire line and in the diaspora need to have amongst them one or more like Lieutenant General Asif Ghafoor (now) who could boast of saying to the Government of India that we have known, studied and endured your repression for the last 72 years and we will surprise you in due course. Could this convincing boast be possible? The answer is, yes.
It is possible if we return to the merits of Kashmir case and Pakistan, raves courage and aggregates genuine interest and helps the people of Kashmir in amplifying their voice. As a start Government of Pakistan has to revisit the Provisional Declaration of Government of Azad Kashmir made on 24 October 1947 and in particular examine the reasons as to why the AJK Government drifted away from the role mentioned in the declaration, in particular para 7 – which states “The Provisional Government entertain sentiments of the utmost friendliness and goodwill towards its neighbouring Dominions of India and Pakistan and hopes that both the Dominions will sympathise with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their efforts to exercise their birth right of political freedom. The Provisional Government is further anxious to safeguard the identity of Jammu and Kashmir as political entity.”
Pakistan does not have to do anything more, than rejuvenate its proverbial statement that it will provide “political, moral and diplomatic support” to the people of Kashmir, in their just cause of self-determination. We have witnessed that Kashmir militancy has failed and so has the institution of politics, represented by Hurriyat. The signal was up on the political mound, when Hurriyat packed Kashmir Awareness Bureau, which acted as our first embassy in Delhi. There was no reason for Kashmir militancy or Hurriyat to fold and it would be unwise to debate on their failure in this column. There is a need to examine the reasons of a sudden collapse.
Kashmiris too carry a sack full of blame, either out of ignorance or out of selfishness for remaining most obedient servants of various Governments in shrouding their non-interest and further acting as a kind of ‘sales agents’ as identified by General Musharraf in his book.
It was out of frustration that the Foreign Minister of Pakistan has recently gone public and has surprised us that there had been a ban on the use of “K” word in the foreign office.
Pakistan’s senior diplomat and former High Commissioner in India Abdul Basit has a chapter in his coming book “Hostility” on how Nawaz Sharif Government has conducted itself behind the scenes on Kashmir.
Every Kashmiri on either side of CFL has an opportunity to sell his soul to Lucifer and betray the Kashmir cause. You don’t need to be one of them. I left my comfortable home and rich history in the cause of Kashmir and continued to hold on to my views todate. I have helped the people of East Timor and I am helping the Palestinians. My loss of senior class first Gazetted position in Pakistan at a young age, loss of position as first Muslim Director of Millan Asian Centre in UK and my resignation as the first Muslim Refugee Counsellor with UKIAS and UNHCR in London have been either as a cost for my views or to free myself and devote more time to Kashmir.
My experience teaches me that we have yet to fight India in accordance with the jurisprudence of UN Resolutions on Kashmir and under the agreements of Government of India made with the people of Kashmir, prior to despatching her army into Kashmir. We are being told that world has changed. So what. The Charter of the UN has not changed and the work of the Security Council on Kashmir, has been in accordance with UN Charter. No veto could be used against the UN SC Resolutions already concluded and against the UN template already finalised on Kashmir.
India may be a big market and it may have turned into a monster in Kashmir. But her tail is out and could be pulled and stamped on any time. The spokesperson of the UN Secretary General, Stephane Dujarric took notice of the protesting Indian farmers and said on 4 December that “People have a right to demonstrate peacefully and authorities should let them do so.” The key is “play your cards right.”
We have not played our cards right. We have been misinforming our people at home and abroad of our achievements on Kashmir. What makes it worse is, that Government of India knows about the integrity of our claims and so do our friends and sympathisers in the House of Commons or in the European Parliament or at the UN.
My column in Daily Times published on 30 November has generated a debate on “Plebiscite”. Chairman Kashmir Solidarity Council Javed Rathore based in USA has uploaded a video on the issue of the failure of AJK Government to institutionalise the work on ‘Plebiscite’. Unfortunately, the system of Government and bureaucracy in Azad Kashmir does not have a taste for general knowledge. More so if views and opinions are expressed in English it is considered all Greek.
The Director General of Kashmir Liberation Cell, who could have alerted the Prime Minister or the President, has an intermediate degree. He is the Kashmiri counter part of Sohail Mahmood foreign secretary of Pakistan, Harsh Vardhan Shringla foreign secretary of India
and Antony Blinken US Secretary of State, sitting in Kashmir House in Islamabad. You don’t sell bananas for mangoes.
We can defeat India, provided Government Pakistan, the opposition and the people of Pakistan help us in all fairness and full sincerity, in amplifying our voice at the United Nations and around the world. If United Nations could reprimand India and support the right of the Indian farmers to protest, why would it not support the Kashmiris right to self-determination. UN Security Council has accepted a positive duty to Kashmir.
We have defended the use of a gun as our right to undo the Indian occupation. The attempted use of a gun has failed. India can’t defeat us in international diplomacy and India cannot stifle our voice, if Pakistan acts as a resourceful engine, and helps us to amplify our voice. There are saner voices across India, that have helped us in the past and would help us again, provided we play our cards right. The day Government of AJK decides to commit its 50% budget to self-determination, Government of Pakistan releases resources held on behalf of Kashmir, and we decide to take India head on as provided in the jurisprudence of Kashmir case.
We can prove that India has committed a “very grave offence” against the “solemn agreements by the two Governments” of India and Pakistan. This offence has been committed against three parties namely, “the other party (Pakistan), United Nations, and against the right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to self-determination.” India is defeatable.
(The author is President of London based Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations.)