Posted Sat, 04/10/2010 – 15:01
Convener All Parties Hurriyat Conference AJK/Pakistan Chapter Before Kashmir Conference Birmingham, UK
(June 02, 2004)
At the outset I would like to pay homage to the soul of Dr. Ayub Thakur who was the founder president of the World Kashmir Freedom Movement. I remember he was a fearless freedom fighter and a lone voice of Kashmir for years together and led a relentless political and diplomatic campaign for the freedom of Kashmir for about 2 decades in the west. We spent years in seventies in Srinagar in discussing the methodology for freedom fighters of Kashmir. It was the Kashmir University Srinagar where we would sort out political and intellectual dimensions of the Kashmir movement. Before paying farewell to Kashmir both of us spent some months together as political detenus under the Public Safety Act in Srinagar Central Jail. In 1980s after settling in London he became an invincible pillar of our movement and campaign the great cause of freedom in UK. In 1996 when I visited London I had again the opportunity to discuss the future of Kashmir with him for about two months. I can say he had only one passion and that was Kashmir and Kashmiris. He had no fatigue or fear and he worked tirelessly day and night for this cause. Indian threat in London failed to silence his voice but Alas! Death alone silenced this noble and courageous son of Kashmir.
Before making my point let me tell you frankly that no doubt the landscape, rippling and glittering waters and waterfalls and quite lakes, snow capped mountains, thick murmuring forests, sparkling valleys and flora and fauna of Kashmir which have no parallel in the world is full of paradoxes, meaning misfortune for Kashmir but enjoyment for others. For centuries Kashmir has often attracted greedy eyes of alien adventurers and military Generals who devastated the country and killed its inhabitants. India is the latest addition of aggressors in the history of Kashmir.
It is our unprecedented scarifies that as the political thinkers of east or west Kashmir or non-Kashmir thousands of miles away from Kashmir, you are here to discuss and address the urges and aspirations of Kashmiris, whose first and last aim is to be recognized as a nation fighting for freedom and basic rights and values of humanity.
Everybody amongst you knows who and how the tragedy of Kashmir was created so I will not discuss the history of our woeful tale rather I would fix my mind on how to bring the people of Kashmir out of the whirlwind. Mother of all ills is to think in terms of recognizing status co. Those who want to make Kashmir a part of India by dint of share force only perpetuate this unnatural relationship, communal disharmony, political and economic exploitation and corruption and above all militarism which would be catastrophic for the whole region from Kashmir to the tail of South Asia.
Here all of us should declare with one voice that Kashmir belongs to Kashmiris and should be reunited and consolidated under the charter and the UNCIP resolutions. This should not only be the spoken rhetoric but we should mean what we say and pratise what we declare as truth. This would bring a major change in the mind of every statesman and clergy. Kashmir is not a peace of precious property to be sold, divided or bartered away but it is an abode of great men and cradle of great civilizations, and above all home of thousands of martyrs, their sons, daughters and ancestors. Thank God world is recognizing though slowly the sacrifices of the people of Kashmir. The credit goes to the will of the sons and daughters of Kashmir, although India has seen little reason to offer flexibility at a just and durable settlement of Kashmir dispute. The world should note that during 1990s the popular freedom struggle of Kashmiris noticed several vicissitudes and suffered deep wounds under the militarism. However, the fact has been established that the right of self-determination is the only way out and pragmatic application of this doctrine is a need of the hour.
Its good that India and Pakistan for sometime have been expressing peace overtures and exchanging CBMs but nothing is moving forward. India continues to treat Kashmiris as sub humans and dumb driven cattle. Therefore Kashmiris have every reason to distrust India and be skeptical. Unless and until Kashmiris have confidence in any process of dialogue between India and Pakistan and their genuine leadership is associated with the process of dialogue, the road to peace would remain full of thorns and obstacles. Unfortunately when in 1949 Pandit Nehru the first prime minister of India declared that India could not concede luxury of democracy for Kashmir, her calm of sincerity vis-à-vis plebiscite dashed to the ground like a house of cards. This has been the ideology and policy of India over years. The present Indian rulers do not see the problem from any different angle. Because it is not sheep or goats or cows that have been sacrificed. It is our right to say with pride that all the martyred sons and daughters were human beings who laid down their lives for freedom but never for perpetuating Indian occupation of Kashmir. These endless human scarifies pose a big question mark before the architects of civilized world. Had the case been different as is being interpreted by India, there would never be graves and graveyards of martyrs and mothers would never mourn and wander to and fro in search of their loved ones.
Kashmir is inhabited by the sons and daughters of one and the same Adam and Eve as is the case with any other human being in this world. The skin of people may vary from place to place but blood is everywhere same.
Of course, 9/11, post 9/11 measures, political and military measures adopted by the world, especially by Muslim countries and their organizations had demoralizing effects on freedom movements and Kashmir is no exception as for the implications go. But, still the UN resolutions provide the legal basis for this dispute. It is also a peaceful roadmap to plebiscite. A peaceful settlement of the dispute would require flexibility and understanding between the parties for applying pragmatically the doctrine of the will of the people—till that roadmap to resolution is agreed upon, Kashmiris should not be forced to pull back their political movement. Rather the curbs on their free political activities in and out should be lifted.
We should not underestimate the trickiness of the Indian mind and the policy makers in Pakistan and Kashmiri thinkers of the resistance movement should take note of important speeches and writing by the Indian top statesmen and generals, in order to get a closer idea of Indian perceptions and motivations. In this connection I would like to quote from the latest book of a veteran Indian diplomat (India and Regional Developments) providing a good Insight into current Indian thinking about Pakistan—related issues. As a former Indian Foreign Secretary and also ambassador to Pakistan he speaks authoritatively on these issues. Dixit is against territorial alienation against Kashmir. He repeatedly accuses Pakistan of carrying out “cross border terrorism” in Kashmir and asserts that Musharaf was “mendacious” in his denials on this issue. Dixit says, “ I am advocate for structured responses were it is necessary.” He disagreed with the BJP Government’s approach to the issue. “You do not talk in advance about preemptive strikes, especially when you are in the government. You do it and then say this is why we did it.” Regarding the peace overtures since April 2003. He cautions and reaffirms that a solution to the Kashmir issue should in no way compromise India’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Besides Kashmiri leaders should also underscore the present world trend of wait and watch policy on Kashmir. Some of our friends in the international community also are in favor of postponing final status talks on Kashmir Question. They suggest that Kashmir be perched on a back burner for the indefinite future while confidence grows. Some call Kashmir a wailing wall while others captioned it as “A Stalemate Forever.” Even often repeated meaningful dialogue on Kashmir today or tomorrow is also ruled out by political observers and military thinkers but they opine that India and Pakistan won’t go to war over Kashmir. These are some basic facts to which I have hinted. Kashmiri experts, political thinkers and all the well wishers in west and east sitting in this conference should ponder over every dimension of our struggle they should never mince words but initiate solid steps with realistic approach to over come hurdles in our freedom movement. Talk of road maps and options looks irrelevant when Kashmiris lack real unification and consolidation in their rank and file. The call of the hour is that all the freedom fighting forces who share a common angle on occupation of Kashmir should sink their differences, take political initiatives unitedly and state loudly before the world that bilaterism failed in the past and it would again fail if oppressed people of Kashmir are not associated with a decision. I would also like to add a note of caution that any delay in the resolution of Kashmir would amount to decline of political ethics and more and more sons of Adam would be slaughtered in this volatile region of the world.
This conference should give a clear-cut message to the world but it should also tell Kashmiris to unite all over the world. They have nothing to loose except their chains.
Lastly I would like to quote here some English translated verses of a renowned Kashmiri poet Abdul Ahad Azad he says:
I do not turn around
But only forge ahead.
A flower I am not
To pause for a dress-up,
Nor a bulbul am I
To weave my nest.
I’m happy in my convulsions
And in my rebellious mood,
And enjoy life’s charm
In an endless journey.
I toss against boulders
And smash against odds,
And keep busy in collecting
Of my loneliness.
I break rocks
And make way in forests
And enjoy life’s charm
In an endless journey.