To: Hon. Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
Prime Minister, Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Prime Minister House, Islamabad
Re: Felicitations on Becoming Prime Minister
Dear Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif,
I am writing to you this Memo on behalf of The Jammu & Kashmir People’s Freedom League, which is a constituent of The J&K All Parties Hurriyet Conference (G). I am greatly delighted to congratulate you on your record third term as Prime Minister of Pakistan and other members of the National Assembly of Pakistan on my behalf and on behalf of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Freedom League. We are happy; you have accepted very important responsibility of your country and with it, the challenges of national, regional and international dimensions. The Jammu and Kashmir People’s Freedom League has been offering great sacrifices for the freedom and the right of self-determination of the Kashmiris for over last 40 years in and outside of Jammu and Kashmir.
Today, it’s a defining moment of Pakistan’s history. The country is facing gigantic problems because of the monster in the shape of; internal and external terrorism and crimes, inflation, price-hike, energy crisis, load-shedding, devaluation, drone attacks and operations, volatile borders (East/West), relations with big powers, especially with America, in the light of dangers to the country’s sovereignty, integrity and solidarity. Pakistan’s ship is in whirlpool, and to propel it safely out of the current situation and the enormities of war would be a great miracle of the leadership. It is now your government’s sacred duty to give a right direction to the ship of democracy and the economic development of Pakistan in the coming years. This mission requires transparency in the government and strengthening of the government-opposition relations on good and sound basis.
As a Kashmiri, I would be failing in my duty, if I don’t appeal to you to address the Kashmir dispute—our oldest life and death question, with all caution, concern and wisdom. Kashmir relates to the destiny of 13 million people of Jammu and Kashmir. But, unfortunately it has every time been mishandled, prolonging travail of the Kashmiris, clouding neighborly relations of Pakistan and India with doubts and confusions, and wasting their energies in border skirmishes and wars but never been able to overcome the hurdles in the way of final and durable resolution of the Kashmir dispute. Some pertinent episodes having bearing on Kashmir:-
First, US invaded Iraq and after 9/11 it along with its NATO allies launched humanity’s devastating and plundering military adventurism against Afghanistan and began exploiting Pakistan as a front-line satellite state. Instead of using this occasion for resolving the Kashmir dispute with India, Pakistan preferred to follow an amazing theory of CBMs of commercial and cultural nature with India and that too via LOC. The trade and travel activity across LOC is of restricted and controlled nature and does not fulfill international standards of transparency, etc. It was as if to inflict deep slumber on the Kashmiris to forget India’s occupation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. India took the cue and immediately fenced the LOC, violating UN resolutions, but surprisingly without facing any objection from this country. All these steps were a strong blow on the resistance movement of Kashmir, causing disappointment among the Kashmiris. Moreover, the enormities of the Indian repression didn’t diminish after the so called CBMs.
Our friends and supporters across the world were surprised to find trade interests of business class superseding the people’s right of self-determination. The question is, if the two states have agreed upon some unwritten understanding to leave Kashmir alone, in a rotting state for future generations? Time will unfold the answer. Under these developments, India had nothing to lose but to gain much. It was obviously to throw Kashmir into oblivion or keep on back-burner to bury it in the archives of history. Under such odd circumstances, how the sympathizers of Pakistan and Kashmir cause could keep their hopes alive? One of the major negative developments of this policy was that India and her puppet politicians in Kashmir for the first time in history, daringly raised their heads up, they were invited here, welcomed by rulers, and received red-carpet welcome in Azad Kashmir/Pakistan by then leadership of AJK and Pakistan. It’s how they rubbed salt into the wounds of the Kashmiris.
In this background, I would like to remind you and the members of the National Assembly, that the dispute of Kashmir is never a dispute of some square miles of land; Kashmiris are not for sale like sheep and goats, who any powerful group may buy or any army can grab and relish the land for expansionism, or in whatever way they may like. Kashmir dispute is essentially an international question of freedom and self-esteem of a nation. Kashmir cause was most dear to the thinkers and founders of Pakistan in 1940s. It expects similar love, devotion and solid support from you.
The Almighty Allah after having taught human beings ways of worship gave them all basic rights and freedoms on the planet of Earth. The right to freedom is a universally recognized right of all human beings and nations. UNO has incorporated it in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As per Kashmir, both Pakistan and India have had in their separate as well as in their joint declarations vowed to settle the dispute by granting right of self-determination to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Second, in this regard the United Nation’s Security Council adopted a road-map for all regions of the state to hold a free, fair and impartial plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir. It’s a living promise, documented in as many as 12 resolutions of the Security Council, making a long history of speeches and debates by Pakistan, India and other members of the world body.
But some time later, India in order to deprive Kashmiris of their birth right-the right of self-determination and to justify her illegal and forcible occupation of Kashmir, passed ridiculous remarks on the UN resolutions, using the floor of her parliament for suppressing voice of freedom in Kashmir. India also tried to silence outside voices of support to plebiscite in Kashmir. India, for long has been avoiding plebiscite in Kashmir, and thus is responsible for creating impediments in the way of implementing UN resolutions and durable peace in South Asia. U.S and the West also should speak. If Sudan can be divided, and its southern Christian-dominated part separated from it by plebiscite, under the UN supervision; why not Kashmir?
Unfortunately, some quarters in Pakistan of late have been advocating close trade and cultural ties with India, at the cost of the right of self-determination of Kashmir; and frequently media-discourses to promote this view point are held and organized, without underscoring the importance of the right to self-determination for the Kashmiris. This baffling and ominous situation has encouraged India to further perpetuate terror on the innocent Kashmiris, strangulate their voice for basic civil and political freedoms; and make their future much more dark, uncertain and insecure. The Kashmiris are not against Pakistan and India becoming friends and benefiting from mutual trade, but this shouldn’t happen at the cost of our right of self-determination. Indian illegal occupation of Kashmir shouldn’t be made legal and thrust on Kashmir against their will, ignoring their right to plebiscite under the UNCIP resolutions.
Under these circumstances, we as Kashmiris believe that the time has come, when the democratically elected members of the National Assembly should put their heads together to draw the best possible line of action, to urge on the world community the importance of the right to self-determination as the birth right of the Kashmiris; and that only they (Kashmiris) have the right to exercise this right to determine their future. Your government and the Parliament of Pakistan should stand by the side of the Kashmiris, in their fateful times, and play your beneficial role towards a just, peaceful and durable resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. May Allah help you in these most odd times of Pakistan’s history. Ameen
Muhammad Farooq Rehmani
Chairman Jammu and Kashmir People’s Freedom League
Ex convener All Parties Hurriyet Conference AJK/Pakistan Chapter
Note: The J&K People’s Freedom League is a constituent of The J&K All Parties Hurriyet Conference (Geelani Group)