Posted Fri, 04/09/2010 – 15:39
By -Farooq Rehmani
The struggle of Kashmiris against the illegitimate Indian occupation of Kashmir and for the right to self-determination is on; its arduous journey spanning over 50 years period. The fact of the matter is that the India’s founder leadership, soon after Indian invasion of Kashmir in 1947 was the first to recognize the principle of right to self-determination, and the UN at the asking of India confirmed that future of Kashmir was to be decided through a fare and impartial plebiscite, the later IJNSC deliberations, lucid and frank addresses by the Indian and Pakistani representatives at the UN and the listing of the whole Issue stand a testimony to this incontestable fact.
Despite the assurances given at the UN and the statements made in the parliament, India continued pushing through a large bulk of legislations for effecting an integration of the occupied state into the Indian Union, extended laws of the union to the annexed state; and in total contravention of her pledges of plebiscite Kashmir was proclaimed as an ‘Utoot Aung’.
Consequent to this negative Indian conduct, the situation at the cease-fire line remained tense all these past five decades and Kashmiris kept up their freedom movement
During this period of Indian prevarication and vacillation, India on oneside continued upping the numerical strenght of her armies in the held state in flagrant violation of the UN resolutions, and on the other hand entered into bilateral negotiations with Pakistan.Pacts were inked at Tashkand(1966) and Simla (1972), and in March this year Lahore declaration was pronounced.
Wars and military measures executed for Kashmir liberation and in defense of the geographical frontiers have brought to the fore the tragic chinks in the strategies employed. Likewise the deficiencies in the bilateral pacts Pakistan was forced into, are obvious and clear to all and sundry. It is why the principle underlying the freedom struggle, not to recognize any such bilateral pact that anyway puts any limits to the right to wage struggle for the right of self-determination, is forcefully clung to.
It has been the consistent Indian policy that the territory of the J&K State it occupied should never be let go-neither in the shape of its accession to Pakistan nor as an independent state-and to use all military means as the situation might warrant to the extent of even waging an all out aggression
of AJ&K, is also a part of Indian aggressive strategy. India’s ultimate aim is to change disputed LOC into a permanent boundary between herself & Pakistan. Whether talks or pacts, she keeps this aim in mind. Tashqand pact implicitly advanced this line of thought; Simla pact changed the name of ceasefire line into Line Of Control. Lahore pact confirmed Simla agreement and Washington declaration by declaring LOC a sacred line sent shock waves throughout Kashmir & Pakistan. True, in order to remove such apprehensions the Pak govt. reaffirmed tat Mujahideen struggle was above these things, however,it is a fact that international agreements and pacts become questions of integrity and probity in the eyes of international community, and no party to such agreements does find it convenient to risk the consequences of their violation.
The history of Indo-pak bilateralism fully corroborates this stark reality that India has never been a sincere party,neither has she at any point of time betrayed any such flexibility as could indicate her willingness to accord even a little bit of respect to the wishes of Kashmiri people. All along, her policy remained one of maligning Pakistan and bullying her into adopting measures whereby Kashmiris faith was jolted and were thrown into a situation full of uncertainties.
Here, I find it very pertinent to present before you an important reference of Kasbmir history. The British ex-Deputy High Commissioner of India, Sir Morrice James who later served as a high commissioner in Pakistan as well, commenting on sixty-three’s Butto-Swaran Singh talks says: “During Bhutto-Swaran Singh talks I met with a former Common Wealth secretary of India Mr Gundevia and said to him. Ayub was taking a major risk politically in agreeing to hold talks. If talks failed Ayub’s position would be weakened and Indian’s should realize that they were not likely to get another leader like Ayub in Pakistan for a long time.Gundevia said that they were not going to give Kashmir to Pakistan just to keep Aub in power. Mr Morrice further explains that Guandevia told me in Dec. 28 that the only real solution was for each side to keep what it now held. If the present Pak regime did not accept this, then some future one would have to do so willy nilly.”
Juxtaposing this reference to the present circumstances,I ask whether Pakistan and the Kashmiris should not display more alertness and vigilance.
After the Washington declaration Pakistan govt. is busy convincing the people that this time round Kashmir has got not only very much internationalised,but the American Presedent, Bill Clinton for the first time has committed himself to take ‘personal interest’ in the Issue; however, it is very imperative to evaluate and examine this govt. claim in the perspective
of the sole super power’s practical conduct,and to have a better view of things, it becomes a must to get an insight into the dynamics of American polity where institutions enjoy supremacy and collective decisions govern this States’ conduct. Here the system does not revolve around personalities but it is the other way round.
It is against this back ground, people ask whether the American President can shoulder the Kashmir burden bypassing the powerful congress? Answer to this question can be gleaned to a reasonable degree from the proceedings at a seminar, conducted a few months before the Washington declaration in America under the auspices of the ‘Center for Strategic and International Studies’. The predominant view at the seminar addressed by renowned American researchers and diplomats was that in the sub-continent US does not have a role to step in & do the same kind of mediation role they did in the Middle East.The two sides will need to build a smaller structure of agreements before turning meaningfhlly to Kashmir. That, they said might allow time for the coming to age of young, self confident Indians and Pakistanis more keen on profiting from cross border commerce than in keeping alive old ethnic divisions & national hatreds. They said that Kashmir might be the last issue to be settled & till then it would remain a wailing wall.
Although the Kargil conflict is only one aspect of the Kashmir liberation struggle, however, it has acquired a bigger dimension in the context of its ramifications and repercussions. It is now the most fascinating topic of discussion with the media and writers & at the national level; numerous articles and editorials have been penned, questions asked and its consequences are being analyzed. As the government to justift her stand draws the horrid sketch of possible backlashes faced by the country in the face of impending Indian aggression, and Iraq’s doom and destruction in the desert storm operation is presented to lend weight to it, question arises as to why hopes were raised sky high in the first place, only to be replaced by talks of doom and gloom? Why prior analysis of the inherent risk and danger was not carried out by the experts, politicians and the concerned authorities? Presently, we see govt. and many expert exhorting about the merits of a peaceful cause over war path and emphasizing the point that in economic liability lied the key to national defense and security!If it is admitted then the govt. and the society must be purged of the cancerous vices of corruption, injustice and mismanagement. Formulation of a long term Kashmir policy is also advocated besides bilateral talks with India. However the question remains, to achieve these objectives whether positive and practical measures are taken up, to dislodge the foundations of the
deeply entrenched feudal system and to rectifV the ills of a capitalist system.
We Kashmiris never accepted any bilateral pact and it is because of this distinctive characteristic of our movement that we never felt ashamed of our struggle nor could be forced to adopt apologetic posture before the world. In case we are pressurized into accepting any such Indo-Pak bilateral pact wherein our right to self-determination was denied, there would remain no justification for our otherwise rightful struggle.
Different measures that Pakistan adopted during the last 52years showed a vacuum as against collective and domestic decision making; and that is why the arrow so for has missed the mark. The Kargil phenomenon had united the people from Kashmir to Khyber rekindling the memory of the epic slogan of sept.6,l965; but now polarization pervades the whole social fabric and govt.-opposition confrontation is at its worst.All this is fraught with dangerous consequences and needs a timely cure.
1 } To put down these raging fires of dissention and mistrust and explore all the possible means for Kashmir liberation in the view of surrounding environs a unanimous Kashmir policy is needed to be hammered out trough a consultative process gathering the views and opinions of Pakistani and Kashmiri leadership. The fact is that on the delicate, historical, ideological and the national issue of Kashmir,the government alone can not and stands hamstrung to devise a national Kasbmir policy.
2} Alongside comprehensive national Kashmir policy, an equally compact and clear-cut Askeri policy on the issue shall be formulated. The military experts and generals should enter into consultations with Kashmiri leadership identi~uing the deficiencies and ups & downs of the decade long armed struggle in order to conclude whether it needed any change and modifications and what sort of strategy the movement should adopt where-by India could be forced to enter into meaningful and result-oriented negotiations on Kashmir.
3 } Many revolutions of the 20th century have established the fact time and again that wherever peaceful means to just political objectives were obstructed, there originated an armed movement to achieve prominence of those objectives. If the world still is not prepared to understand our political objectives and goals, and keeps glossing over the significance of our national ideal, armed movement is not going to leave the field.
4} An indepth analysis of the decade old armed struggle is an imperative for us. We need to identify and desist from all those measures that have been creating impediments in our efforts to win the global support for our national liberation struggle. If our military warfare was rid off sectarian, racial and
regional prejudices and used purely for the sole goal of Kashmir liberation better results could be forthcoming.And we could have a new Kashmir free of communal, racial and sectarian tensions, honors of revenge and bloodshed.
~1 Against the backdrop of Kargil episode, a deep and exhaustive analysis of the armed role of Mujahideen and the defending role of Pak army becomes necessary for the experts. And if the army which is brimful of Jihadi spirit and counts the Kashmir liberation as a constituent of her faith, finds pleasure in searching for a role, why shall S it be ignored even after 52 years. The heroic achievements of all those martyrs belonging to army should be presented before the nation. When India does not hesitate in bringing her armies to Siachen, Kargil or any other part of our state for their unethical, and illegitimate goals why should Pakistan, particularly when she is on the side of what is right, moral and just?
5} A well defined, bold and sagacious political and military policy on Kashmir is very fundamental to restoring the trust and confidence of the people of Kashmir and Pakistan. It would be much better if a white paper on the situation that has left the nation stunned and unnerved, was issued by the government.
6} India has dubbed our noble and legitimate war of liberation and Pakistan’s support to it as barbarism, proxy war and cross border terrorism, and many a western countries seem to have bought it; is not it necessary for us to evolve some sort of stratagem to effectively counter this wrong perception?
7} India is projecting hypocritically her image among Muslim countries as the home to 2nd largest Muslim community with a cradle of Islamic civilization to justify her claim over Kashmir. But her anti-Muslim and anti-Islam practices belie her claim. India is carrying a systematic campaign of genocide against her Muslim citizens and has been maligning the culture and history of Islam since its very inception. Pakistan should initiate necessary steps to counter this false Indian propaganda in the Muslim world and simultaneously protect interests of smaller South Asian nations against India’s cunning military, political, cultural and economic onslaught. Reports on the plight of Muslims and other Indian minorities in India should be updated for the Muslim world and OIC.
8} The performance and achievements of Pakistan embassies and the lobbies working for Kashmir cause in America and Europe should be reassessed and investigations be carried as to why we did not see any sense of purpose and urgency on the part of those bodies in the thick of the Kargil crisis. Why they have not been able to convince the west about the
indispensability of mediation on the Kashmir issue and why it has been keeping mum over the endless human rights violation in Kashmir? Answers to these questions need to be found.
9} During and after the Kargil duel, this minor issue was over blown by the west to the extent that the fundamental issue of Kashmir got overshadowed and paled into insignificance and all along we heard talks of sanctity and inviolability of the disputed LOC, while completely ignoring the view point of Pakistan and Kashmiris . America, G-8 and several other countries continued clamouring in this vein. We have to see why all this happened, and now how could these obstacles be cleared away?
10} Pakistan would have to work with a missionary zeal abroad launching a fresh drive at the diplomatic level on Kashmir.
11] If the American president really made any personal commitment visa-vis Kashmir at the time Washington Declaration, then their should be no delay in its practical manifestation. The nation would like to know if there is any time frame for the Nawaz-Clinton understanding or otherwise it would surely be a hollow promise.
12 } Can the government explain whether the Washington accord could pull Kasbmiris out of no-peace, no-war situation and if not, how long should Kashmiris on both sides of the disputed LOC continue being butchered,and graph of their genocide and destruction keep rising?
13} At the moment, the counsel on Kashmir Issue is limited. It could acquire a viable and genuine status only if its parameters were extended to all freedom fighters. This objective can be realized from the establishment of a national Council for Kashmir liberation.
14} To create awareness in Pakistan at village and city levels about the Kashmir question, all national institutions should be geared to the task, and in all educational institutions seminars, mushairas and declamation contests among students be organized.
15 } To gain political and moral support on Kashmir at the international level, full-fledged delegations comprising of genuine and prominent Kashmiris be sent to various world capitals, and all the necessary facilities be provided to them. Dispatching people not knowledgeable about the history and struggle of Kashmir, for petty political considerations was useful neither then nor should be now.
l6} In the decade long tortuous struggle, thousands of people have got devoured by the water and the earth while unscored number of innocent
children were orphaned and turned as waifs and strays, women widowed, houses devastated but no proper system of relief emerged till date. Although some local agencies in Pakistan have contributed a good measure, but it is in
no way commensurate with the quantum of what is actually needed.UN should be involved as it is the world body’s obligation to the devastated
people of Kashmir. For the purpose concrete efforts should be directed at the member states of the UN and its secretary general. World and the UN owes
it to the people of the state, whose near and dear ones have been consumed in the fires of Indian terrorism and have been rendered homeless. Their
rehabilitation is a pressing need of the hour.
Indian state-terrorism forced unscored Kashmiri families over this decade to find shelter Pakistan and AJK. They face many problems. Pakistan should remain aware of their economic, educational and other problems and should take all required steps to help children of Muhajireen to continue their education by creating special quotas for them in every institution of the country.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Pakistani press which adopted the policy of popularizing the concept of Kashmir struggle all through these ten years of extreme turbulence across the entire length and breadth of the country. I am sure that not only would the patriotic journalists of Pakistan and media representatives continue projecting the ongoing liberation struggle but would also do an extensive research on various facets and dimensions of the movement and bring to light its real characters and history minoring a lucid and true picture of the noble enterprise, there by precluding any dubious attempts to malign its grandeur by those resorting to exaggeration and baseless propaganda for some ulterior considerations.
Lastly, I feel it my honour to salute all martyrs of Kargil, the jawans who shed their blood for a noble cause and to achieve Allah’s pleasure Hats off to all those valiant Jawans of Pak army who in defending the frontiers of their mother land kissed martyrdom They wrote history by following in the foot steps of the great warriors of early Islam. At this stage we also rewrite our pledge and commitment to continue our record struggle until our oppressed nation achieves freedom from the demonic and illegitimate Indian rule. #END#Note: Scan tracing if any mistake we apologize.