This Blog provides an insight on the Kashmir-issue, India and Pakistan. The articles on this Blog can be best described as thought-provoking. The articles thrive to trigger debate about the miseries enslaved Kashmiris are facing and discuss also possible solutions to this long standing conflict. It also aims to convince readers why Independent Kashmir is the best solution for all parties involved.



Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Proposed solution to the Kashmir conflict

Kashmir! 'Freezing To De-freeze'

Kashmir: the flash point

Kashmir issue has become Damocles sword hanging on the heads of nearly 1.35 thousand million people of the subcontinent. Any dangerous event like that of hijacking of an Indian airliner in December 1999 can bring the two countries to the brink of a destructive atomic war. And if that happens, the people of the entire subcontinent will go a century backward. Apart from that, the future generations will have to bear the brunt of this catastrophe for many centuries to come. The people of the entire subcontinent will be afflicted with poverty, ignorance, hunger and disease. The cause of all this destruction will be the Kashmir issue.

Horrendous scenario

On both sides, precious resources are diverted to stockpiling of arms and preparations for war machine. An ugly turn that this issue is likely to take is that of wrecking the communal harmony and the sentiment of peaceful coexistence of different religious entities in the subcontinent. If religious sentiments of the people of the subcontinent in general and in India in particular, are aroused, and the people are set to cut one another’s throat, the results will be only horrible. The world will write us off as human beings. We will be called semi-brutes and beasts and nothing less.
We must know it clearly that if we fight a war on the basis of religion against Indians in or outside Kashmir, then evidently we are doing nothing short of issuing a death warrant against 200 million Muslims of India. We will be playing with the lives, honour, dignity and future of these Muslims. The Kashmir ’s must make an assessment of the happenings of last ten years. Our achievement during this period is nothing but death and destruction, mutilated bodies and decimated habitats, increasing number of widows and orphans, razing of school buildings to the ground and wrecking of institutions of public utility. Bombs and guns have rent our social structure as under.

In order to restore the dignity of Kashmiri nation, honour and respect of our mothers and daughters, and to restart our lives with a futuristic vision, we need peace and order enabling us to move ahead on the path of progress. We need to enter the new millennium along with other communities and societies. We need to get rid of bomb blasts, gun culture, destructive philosophy and negative approach. Intellectuals in both the countries and also those in Kashmir shall have to ponder over this situation in all seriousness. The question is did the people of India and Pakistan gain anything by prolonged animosity for last half a century? Do human problems get resolved by blasting bombs, firing guns and shedding innocent blood? A destructive war has ravaged a beautiful country like Afghanistan , and turned it into a heap of rubble. Nuclear bombs, too, have not been able to resolve the differences between the two countries. All that they could achieve through nuclearisation was to keep the pot of dissension simmering. The Kashmir ’s, too, shall have to come out of a syndrome of sentimentalism and realize that without ideological and intellectual guidance it will be impossible to arrive at the destination. How long are we going to let our generations grope in darkness? We must ask ourselves a simple question: whether by just raising pro-communal slogans and shedding the blood of some innocent people in the name of religion, has any religion been eradicated from the surface of the earth lock, stock and barrelo? In Europe , many wars were fought. But ultimately they realized that there was no escape from peaceful coexistence among people of various faiths.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The story of pain and prosecution

India is known to the world as a big democratic country. Great Indian leaders like Gandhi Ji and Nehru were respected because of India being a democracy. But when we come to the case of Kashmir, it is generally said that democracy and justice neither move beyond Lakhanpur nor are these two boons available to Kashmiris within Indian Union. Never did the people of Kashmir elect a true government after late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah. All governments in the state were formed in accordance with the wishes of New Delhi. The more recent examples are the regimes of Mufti Muhammad Saeed and Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Today, I have taken up the theme of justice. I would be touching on the cases of those who are languishing in the jails for many years. I want my readers to be sensitive to the plight of these unfortunate human beings. Even if the J&K Courts finds them innocent and orders their release from the prison, the have to face the ire of the administration and are sent back to the jails. They are again subjected to Public Safety Act (PSA), and interned for two years. This process has continued for ten, twelve and even fifteen years. The Executive has thrown to winds the orders of the court not once or twice but innumerable times. No system and no structure raise its voice against this injustice. People are implicated in various fake cases as a result of political and administrative vendetta. These unfortunate victims have to shuttle between their residence and the courts of law, police stations and the jails a thousand times. The result is that they begin to nurse hatred against the system and those who run it. It also creates bad impression in their minds against Indian democracy and her system of public justice. They would seek revenge for putting them to a miserable condition. They lose no opportunity to give expression to the simmering hatred.

How have I been treated? It is an important question. I would like to recount something of injustice done to me. Whatever I put here in black and white is duly authenticated by substantial proof. On January 30 1971, an FIR was lodged against me in Sadar police station of Srinagar. It was registered under Act 3 of Enemy Agent Ordinance. Under this Act death or life imprisonment can be given. In addition, cases under Section 365, 120-B, 435 and 392 were filed in FIR No. 15. Before proceeding to state details of my prosecution under these provisions, let me take you into the history of the whole matter.

Introduction of Hashim Qureshi's latest book: 'Kashmir: The Undeniable Truth'.

Unprecedented changes have occurred in the world during past three decades. These are prominently visible in international relations, geo- political strategies and social configuration. Great leaps forward in technological and scientific advancement has abridged distances, shrunk time, and opened marvelous opportunities of economic progress; the quality of life is immensely improved. While developing countries had to re-fashion their socio-economic structures to accommodate and even absorb imperatives of rapid development, technologically advanced countries with strong economic thrust much faster innovative options on them. As a result, developing societies are feeling the pressure of transition to ultra-modernism. In such a prospect many irritants are likely to surface. In particular, there is growing demand for social justice and economic parity.

It is curious that economic progress and economic deprivation, though contradictory in essence, have both contributed to the activation of dormant as well as wakeful social aspirations among underprivileged segments of developing societies. Recognition of identity is an urge and an aspiration.

The most eloquent expression of this phenomenon is to be understood in the Islamic revolution of Iran under theocratic dispensation in 1979. Commentators are still debating why of all the countries Iran should have chosen to go theocratic when she had come so close to the fringe of modernism. We should not forget that Iran’s urge for recognition of her identity was articulated, albeit unsuccessfully, way back in 1950s. Did not that failure suggest that Iranian civil society recognized national identity not necessarily conditional to modernism? It was clear that Iran would look for new and effective options to realize her urge for identity? And the option was seized even if it came belatedly and perhaps erratically in a sense ---- after nearly four decades.

Soviet Union’s incursion of Afghanistan was a foolhardy act of a totalitarian regime undertaken at a very wrong time. As Iranian revolution progressed, Islamic world looked at it with a mixture of anxiety and an air of expectancy. In their thinking Islam was pitted against the greatest power on earth. Evidently, Soviet recklessness in Afghanistan could not have produced consequences other than what it did. It boosted Islamic orthodoxy and it facilitated casual camaraderie between extremist religious forces and powerful western democracy. The Soviet Union had to pay a heavy price; it broke.

The urge for recognition of identity among the Muslim world has become almost contagious. Some commentators try to dig into the history of western colonialism to look for the causes of Muslim resurgence. Today the US and her allies witness with anxiety the harsh consequences of a movement in whose resurgence they had a pivotal role. Those whom they once proudly called mujahedeen are now patently “terrorists” and “Theo-fascists”. People are divided, societies are divided and countries are divided on the basics of this phenomenon and the ways of tackling it.

Muslims and Islam are at the centre of this phenomenon. But notwithstanding Iran’s show of determination, the difference in the resurgence of Islam in Iran on the one hand and in Afghanistan-Pakistan on the other is vital. In Iran, popular Islam rose against theist American imperialism whereas in Afghanistan-Pakistan, political Islamic revival emerged out of opposition to atheist Russian imperialism. As we see, the Muslim world stands divided between supporters and opponents of western imperialism. To put it crudely, one may say that imperialism became an instrument of causing polarization of Islamic communities.

This divide has run into Muslim polity in another form --- revivalists and reformists. Curiously, the divide exists despite the proviso of ijtihad or re-interpretation of Qur’an and tradition. However, the divide is not of recent history; it has been there since the days of Caliphate. Exploiters count on this yawning chasm.

Statement of late K.H. Khurshid, Ex-President , Azad Kashmir before a Special Court in Pakistan (Ganga highjacking case 1971)

I was the Personal Secretary of the Quaid-e-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, from June 1944 to August 1947. Then I became the Personal Secretary of the Quaid-e-Azam in his official capacity as the Governor-General of Pakistan from 14th August 1947 till his death on the 11th September 1948. I took over as President of Azad Kashmir on the May 1, 1959 and I resigned on the 5th August 1964. My political party is known as the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation League. It was formed in 1962 and I hold office as the President of this party . In early 1971 when the Indian plane was hijacked to Lahore airport, I was in Lahore and had the occasion to meet the hijacker Hashim Qureshi.

On receiving a telephonic information on February 2, 1971 at about 7 P.M. that situation was tense at Lahore airport, I drove to the airport and was told that P.I.A had discontinued the food supplies to the hijackers on some technical ground. Sardar Abdul Vakil Khan, the S.S.P. of Lahore airport took me and Maqbul Bhat to the room where Hashim was sitting next to a table .Hashim told Maqbul Bhat that these officers had asked him to burn the plane. Maqbul Bhat suggested that burning the plane would not serve any purpose and instead it should be slightly damaged, glasses and windows may be broken. He thought this would get some publicity.

Engineers would consider it repairing and that could give time to the Government of India to consider releasing the arrested persons. While leaving the place after about ten minutes, Sardar Abdul Vakil Khan S.S.P. uttered in Urdu

"Khuda ke lie hamari jan chhorh do jahaz ko urha do" (for God's sake spare our lives and destroy the plane).

Statement of Maqbool Bhat before a special court in Pakistan

Call it a coincidence or tyranny of the conditions, I have to stand today in this special court under a special order to defend the charges which are baseless and false. More appropriately these charges are the creation of a mind that is enemy of the freedom of my country and a cruel joke with the people of Jammu and Kashmir who are fighting for liberation. History has given the verdict against those conditions and self-acclaimed rulers of Pakistan who have made me stand in this witness box. This verdict of history is so clear that no further explanation is needed. It has drawn a clear line between us and our hypocrite opponents. I take this proceeding as a compliment for myself and my comrades as future generations will have no confusion about our identity.

Thus this command of Quran has proven true about this group of hypocrites: "And when they meet Muslims they say we have become believers and when they are alone with their Satans then say no doubt we are with you. We are just taking the fun. Allah takes the fun of them and develops their imprudence. Fact is that they have no vision."

By the crime this group is committing against the oppressed people, it was inevitable that they should trap themselves in a situation where they are unable to escape.

I have neither prepared any conspiracy nor been a part of any such group. My role is clear all the way through. However it is true that I have rebelled against obscurantism, slavery, capitalism, exploitation, corruption, cruelty, and hypocricy. If the ruling class of Pakistan, which is a product of imperialist system and is represented by the civil and military bureaucracy, call it conspiracy then I have no hesitation to accept it.

Open Letter to the Indian Media

Silence by the Indian media over the recent mass uprising in Kashmir has surprised me. There was a continuous curfew for 9 days, civilians participating in peaceful protests were killed, there was a scarcity of essential needs, political activists were detained, local TV channels and local newspapers were banned, journalists were beaten up and wounded but the Indian media did not care.

The Supreme Court of India in 1986 in the case Indian Express v. Union of India held “that the press plays a very significant role in the democratic machinery and the court ruled that Freedom of press has three essential elements. 1) Freedom of access to all sources of information, 2) Freedom of publication and 3) Freedom of circulation.” In the case Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India the Supreme Court held “that the freedom of speech and expression (press freedom is part of this right) has no geographical limitation.” It seems as if these judgments do not apply on Kashmir? The media in Kashmir were subjected to restrictions but the Indian media did not use their tools and their freedom, which are guaranteed by the Supreme Court of India, efficiently to prove solidarity with the media in Kashmir. Was this just because this inalienable right was under suppression in Kashmir and not in Delhi or Mumbai? Was this just because the journalists who were injured belonged to ‘Greater Kashmir’, ‘Kashmir Images’ and Local News Papers’ not to ‘Hindustan Times’ or ‘Times of India’?

Kashmir: India’s bilateral talk and China’s new stand

On international level as well as within India, there is sudden spurt in focusing on the solution of Kashmir problem. In this write-up I intend to reflect on two aspects, namely China’s new stand on Kashmir and the willingness of the Indian Home Minister and Prime Minister to pursue talks with the separatist groups.

Bilateral dialogue

These days much is said about bilateral talk. Indian leaders speak of dialogue with various groups in Kashmir. The Indian Home Minister has spoken of not making the content of the dialogue public. It is said that during his recent visit, the APHC (Umar Group) had a secret meeting with him. The Indian Prime Minister said during his visit to Thailand “That there existed some groups in the state that fell outside the mainstream politics and that he would like they were included in constructive dialogue.”

Analysing this statement, one is drawn to the conclusion that in talks with them, these groups are goaded into accepting a dialogue about accession to the Indian Union in the manner in which the mainstream parties profess. A vigorous propaganda is being made about developmental works undertaken in the State. India is providing billions of rupees in aid to these developmental enterprises. A general impression among the people is that one half of what India actually gives to Kashmir in the name of developmental works goes to the coffers of the mainstream politicians, workers and their kith and kin. From all sides we hear that general loot of funds is perpetrated in the name of development. Roads, bridges drainage and other constructions freshly undertaken do not last beyond six months. Engineers in public works departments are said to be amassing crores of rupees annually. Apart from them, those who sanction contracts and the ministers and their lackeys seek enormous kickbacks to give contracts to their close relatives and friends.