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.


Kashmir Question, India and Pakistan

 The ruling circles in India and Pakistan may or may not accept, but the intelligentsia knows that the vast populace of the South Asian subcontinent is sitting a top the volcano called Kashmir. In the past wars have been fought between the two countries in 1947 and 1965 on Kashmir.  Nearly half a century has passed since the dawn of independence, yet the two countries have not been able to establish mutual friendly relations.  Both of them are incurring billions of dollars in foreign debt and both are struggling hard to meet the basic needs of their people. Yet despite that, both are spending millions of dollars annually on military preparedness so that they may, at their choosing, bring the vast humanity of the subcontinent to the brink of a destructive war.  It is time that we bring under close discussion the past policy of all the three parties to the dispute, namely, the people of Kashmir, India and Pakistan, and also discuss the international commitments and the possibility of a lasting solution to the tangle.  

For more than forty years in the past, India could not make Kashmir an inseparable part despite the best efforts she has made.  Pakistan could not annex Kashmir despite two wars which she fought with India.  At the same time we need to throw light on the struggle and perceptions of the people in both parts of Kashmir, and in the process, one finds that the true face of the hypocritical and saleable leadership on both the sides is revealed. I may, therefore, appeal to the truth, justice and freedom-loving people, intellectuals, jurists, journalists and others to go through the contents of this article without any prejudice and only with a sense of pragmatism.  The people of Kashmir in general, and her youth in particular may re-evaluate their struggle and their line of thinking in order to take positive and realistic steps in regard to the future of Kashmiris.  In the first place, I would like to deal with the struggle and the line of action of the Kashmiri masses who are the real party to the Kashmir dispute. 

The people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) meaning 'Azad Kashmir' (AK) want re-unification of the divided Kashmir and to turn it into an independent sovereign state.  They are convinced that India cannot take AK and then reunite the original State making it a unit of the Indian Union.  Even if India does that, the people of Kashmir would not accept the solution. Likewise, they understand that Pakistan, too, cannot annex the India controlled part of Kashmir, recreate the original state and make it a province of Pakistan State. That  solution, too, would not be acceptable to the Kashmiris. The people of AK have a bitter experience of the last forty years of remaining with Pakistan. They have realized that economically, educationally, politically and in terms of defense strategy, Pakistan rulers have made AK their virtual colony.  In this connection, it may be reminded that once a former Pakistani Prime Minister invited late Maulana Yusuf Shah and late Chowdhury Ghulam Abbas to an exchange of views on the possible plebescite in Kashmir. The late Maulana said bluntly," Please be assured that the Kashmiri Muslims of the other side (meaning Indian controlled Kashmir) will cast their vote in your favour but the people of this side (AK) will not. Included among the people of AK are myself and Chowdhury Sahib  who is sitting in front of me." The exasperated Pakistani Prime Minister asked the reason for this. The Maulana said," The people  on this side have seen you but those on the other sided have not.  As such, those on the other side will cast their vote for you while those on this side, including myself and Chowdhury Sahib will not."     

Pakistani rulers were oppressive  with the people of AK, Gilgit and Baltistan. These areas were freed from the occupation of the  troops of Maharaja Hari Singh by Colonel Hassan Khan, who was interned by the Pakistanis.  For twenty-five years  the people of these regions were ruled by the black law of Frontier Regulations.  Today the people of Gilgit and Baltistan have not the right to make an appeal against the verdict of the Sessions Court or of the Divisional Commissioner before any superior judicial authority.  In 1979, I was interned in Haripur jail in NWFP.  There were 17 detainees with me three of whom were condemned to capital punishment  and the remaining 14 were given imprisonment ranging from 7 years to life imprisonment.  The punishment was given for the offence of  the murder of a clerk in Divisional Commissioner's office in the course of a broil.  The condemned approached all the High Courts of the four provinces of Pakistan and the Supreme Court of Azad Kashmir with their cases but all rejected these on the plea that Gilgit and Baltistan did not fall within their jurisdiction.  In 1953, Pakistani regular forces blasted the houses of people in Potla, Palandhari and Mang by using gunpowder.   People including women and children were subjected to repression. This had forced the Khan of Mang to flee to the Indian side of Jammu. In AK, till date four elections have been held . The first  elected President, late K.H. Khurshid, who also happened to be the private secretary of Mr. Jinnah, dismissed and interned in Dalai interrogation camp. Later on,  during the tenure of Z.A. Bhutto, the second elected President of AK, namely Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan , was removed from Presidentship by a Deputy Superintendent of Police in Muzaffarabd dragging him by his beard before he had completed his normal  tenure.  Third time during the regime of Ziau'l-Huqq, Sardar Ibrahim was arbitrarily removed from his post. And now, in fourth instance, Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan will be dismissed from presidentship because General Zia is no more who could come to his rescue. 

In terms of economic development, AK has been left to backwardness. This is in spite of the fact that POK emigrants working hard in Arab and Western countries make enormous remittances of foreign currency to Pakistan.  In 1977 these remittances crossed  seven thousand million rupees worth foreign exchange which has now (1984) risen to 12 billion rupees. 

A few days back a minister stated that  a sum of rupees 24 billion remained deposited in Pakistani banks by the people of AK . But notwithstanding such large credits, no industry has been installed in AK which could provide means of subsistence to the people nor have the  agriculture and  horticulture sectors been given any attention. During the regime of Sardar Abdul Qayyum, Pakistan agricultural laboratory rejected a particular potato seed for cultivation in Pakistan but the same seed  was imported by the son of Sardar Qayyum to AK and sold to the AK government. In educational sector, the position is that in Gilgit and Baltistan areas with a population of 3 to 3.5 million, there is neither any medical college nor an engineering college nor a university complex.  In the 'Neelam Ghar' serial, Tariq Aziz asked his audience which was the greatest university in the world.  Oxford, California etc. were named.  But Tariq Aziz said it was Azad Kashmir University because it was spread over all the four regions of AK by virtue of its classes being held in the Degree Colleges of all the four regions.  One subject is taught as Mirpur Degree College, the second at Kotli Degree College, the third at Poonch and the fourth at Muzaffarabad Degree College. There is no campus of the university at all nor is there any technical college either in AK or in Gilgit and Baltistan.    

This is the state of education in AK. And about administration and political affairs, the less said the better  In AK, the senior posts like I.G Police, Secretary Finance , DC's of all the four districts, some SPs  and a few other administrative posts  are occupied by Pakistanis.  In the name of Constitution, Pakistan gave AK in 1974, an 'Interim Constitution'  which is nothing less than a document of slavery.  This Constitution provides a Council for AK with the Prime Minister of President of Pakistan as its Chairman. About 54 heads were identified whose dispensation passed into the hands of this Council. Grant and  cancellation of state subject hood, public services, copy right, banking , laws of insurance, planning for economy, highways, estates, newspaper and printing, custom duty, export duty, agricultural tax and also railways (which do not exist at all in POK) were included in the jurisdiction of the Council chaired by the President or the Prime Minister of Pakistan. 

If anybody desired to bring out a newspaper in AK, it is the Council which must allow or disallow it. What is more. Under Section 7 Article 2 of this document of slavery, the following restriction has been imposed on the true freedom fighters and parties struggling for the freedom of Kashmir. " No person or political party in Azad Kashmir shall be permitted to propagate against or take part in activities prejudicial or detrimental to the ideology of the State's accession to Pakistan." This means  that  before a plebiscite is held, like India, any opinion other than accession to Pakistan is illegal. Is there any difference in the views of India and Pakistan on Kashmir? In like manner in this 'Constitution', under Section (6) 5 and Section (4) 13 pertaining to oath of office for the President and Prime Minister of AK, Kashmir's accession to Pakistan and struggle for bringing about the same and remaining loyal to Pakistan are compulsory. In following the example of India, the oath of accession has become a part of the 'Constitution" because both the countries are conscious of having occupied Kashmir territory illegally. 

Apart from these tyrannical administrative measures  and oppressive treatment, the youth in AK have been inculcated with the spirit of Kashmiriyat (identity), keeping Kashmir independent in the colleges and universities of Pakistan by their interaction with progressive strands among students and academics. POK students with Jamaat-e-Islami linkages have been nursing the dream of Kashmir as an Islamic theocratic state.  Furthermore, the struggle  of  Ganga hijacking, Plebiscite Front, National Liberation Front and Liberation Front  together with the relentless effort and 'martyrdom' of great leader Muhammad Maqbool Bhat also infused in Kashmiri younger generation with the spirit of supporting independent and sovereign state of Jammu and Kashmir. Three months ago, Sardar Ibrahim Khan, Chairman Peoples Party AK also advocated in Karachi and other places independent Kashmir as the only realistic solution of Kashmir question.  He appealed the friendly countries all over the world to recognise AK as an independent state so that an embarrassing situation is created for India in its part of Kashmir.  In other words, he wanted that AK be given the status of North Vietnam. But this would never happen because like India, Pakistan, too, has hardly any concern for the freedom, sovereignty, honour and prestige of the Kashmiris. She has hardly any sympathy with them, except that she covets the territory of Kashmir.  

When an Indian airplane was hijacked in 1971, Kashmiris on both sides had hailed the adventure. The sentiment of independence surfaced  with full fervor. Kashmiris resolved to wage an armed struggle like the Palestinians and the Vietnamese. But Pakistani rulers saw to it that this did not come about.  A vicious propaganda and a false case were framed against us all including Shaheed Maqbool Bhat charging us as Indian agents.  A special court was  established  to trial us. This is how Pakistani authorities treated us and our struggle.  

Let us now take stock of the plan of action and struggle of the people of Indian controlled Kashmir. It is very painful and demoralizing to note that the people of the valley have always been used by its leadership as the ladder for their ascendency.  What is more surprising is that even the educated section of people in that part of Kashmir has been often becoming a victim of emotions.  Kashmiri masses supported Shiekh Muhammad Abdullah  at every step and offered sacrifices of their precious lives on his bidding.  It is a reality that Shiekh Abdullah gave his compatriots a practical lesson of fighting oppression. But when the same Shiekh Abdullah overlooked the long and arduous struggle and the privations of incarceration to which Kashmiris were subjected and concluded Indira-Shiekh Accord of 1975 which put the final seal on Kashmir's accession to Indian Union.  At this point of time Kashmiris should have asked their beloved leader that if after spending  thirteen years  in prison and demanding debilitating economic, political and physical sacrifices from thousands of Kashmiris for freedom, he had to accept the finality of Kashmir's accession through Delhi Accord, where then was the need to foment the uprising of 1953 and besides himself, asking the people to make prolonged sacrifices from 1953 to 1975?  But Kashmiris did not ask these questions.  Conversely,  they ensured Shiekh Abdullah and his party's  landslide victory (over 70 per cent) in the elections.  Bankruptcy of sensibility with the Kashmiris crossed its limits when the same masses accepted  Ghulam Mohammed Shah (nicknamed Guleh Shah), the Chief Minister of yesterday as a leader of Muslim United Front although as Chief Minister, he had declared Kashmir's accession to India as final. He was in the cabinet of Shiekh Abdullah and was a party to Delhi Accord.  But when New Delhi took away power from him, the same Guleh Shah raised the slogan of accession to Pakistan. This is how the Kashmiri leadership has blackmailed Indian government and have been demanding sacrifices from Kashmiri masses in the name of freedom. They carry these sacrifices to New Delhi to sell them to the prospective customers who would ensure their perpetuation in seats of power and influence. 

By raising the slogan of accession to Pakistan, this leadership extract millions of rupees from Pakistan's military rulers. Thus by becoming the agents of both the parties, they make the Kashmiris a sacrificial goat only to build palaces for themselves and their future generations.  And when they come to possess power, they do not hesitate to unleash a reign of terror and oppression on the common masses. They must keep their Delhi masters in good humour. In 1974, Dr. Farooq Abdullah came to AK from England and toured the entire AK. He did not only make a promise to the people at every place to continue the struggle but, addressing a mamoth rally of a hundred thousand people in Mirpur, he lifted a gun in his hand along with Maqbool Bhat (Shaheed), Ashraf Qureshi, Abdul Khaliq Ansari and Amanullah Khan, took the oath that he would fight for the freedom and sovereignty of Kashmir to his last breath.  He announced," If my father makes a deal with Indira Gandhi at the cost of Kashmir's freedom, I shall be the first rebel agains him." A hundred thousand  people besides the journalists and news reports of the day stand witness to these pronouncements. Dr. Farooq's photographs with Maqbool Bhat also stand a testimony to the statement. But there is a limit to shame-facedness and imbecility.  During the tenure of the same Farooq Abdullah, and with his consent, the doyen of Kashmir freedom movement, Maqbool Bhat was sent to the gallows.  And when at that critical juncture, he was contacted and told to use his influence to save the life of Maqbool Bhat, he had said," Do you think I should put my authority at stake for the sake of Maqbool Bhat?"  How ironical that only a few months later, Delhi Durbar removed him from his seat of power. 

Kashmiris should have also asked Maulana Farooq why he had been vacillating from one end to another end? This religious and political leader of the poor masses in Kashmir built himself a grand and  imposing palace for which stones were imported from abroad.

He had no qualms of conscience in joining hands with Dr. Farooq Abdullah when it suited him.  Today, he has become his opponent. The members of Liberation Front met with Maulavi Farooq in Saudi Arabia and he flatly refused to join the struggle for freedom saying that it was impossible to liberate ourselves from India's control.  On his return home, his passport was impounded by the Passport Director.  In his application he said he was a loyal Indian citizen and his passport be released. Should not the people in Kashmir  have asked Maulana Farooq what sacrifices were given and what lessons were taught by the holy  prophet whose religion he had been propagating from the pulpit? Our beloved prophet (PBUH) used spread out a mat to sit upon.  The caliphs used  bricks as pillows.  Why did not the masses of people in Kashmir have as much  sense as to bring these hypocritical leaders and religious entrepreneurs to book?  Why could they not  point out the variance between their precepts and practice?  Why could not they  realize that these leaders made a brother fight a brother in the name of religion.  Indeed these are the people who exploit Islam.  Our religion  has called dowry system a cause. What had the holy prophet (PBUH) given to his daughter Hazrat Fatima in dowry?  How many Kashmiri leaders have launched anti-dowry campaign? The rush to partake of a feast wherever they sniff  it.   

It does not surprise the people of Pakistan alone but on international level, Kashmiris have to hang their heads in shame when they find that while Kashmiris are prepared to make sacrifices of their lives on a particular event  taking place in Pakistan, yet they show no reaction when the same situation develops in Kashmir itself. In 1979, Pakistan's elected Prime Minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was hanged.  The people in the valley strongly protested against this barbaric and tyrannical act.  They burnt the houses of their brethren (of Jamaat-e-Islami ideology) and the episode cost 13 people their precious lives.  But in Pakistan, not a single life was lost on that day for the same incident.  In  1987, a huge fire engulfed Ojrhi camp near Rawalpindi in which a large quantity of military hardware meant  for supply to Afghan mujahids was destroyed. Many lives were lost in this incident.  Again the sentimental Kashmiris protesting on the incident saw to it that another 4 or 5 precious Kashmiri lives were lost .  No public demonstration of resentment took place in Pakistan on the subject and no protest rally came out on the streets. But of course, in defense of the army, the military dictator of Pakistan, General Zia, dismissed the civilian government of which he himself was the creator. The reason for this action was that Junejo government wanted to take some action against the military commanders on Ojhri camp disaster issue.  

How blind did emotions make the Kashmiris that when General Zia was killed in an air crash, they made such violent demonstrations as to take a toll of 5 or 6 innocent lives. One should not forget that when the same Zia ordered the hanging of Z.A. Bhutto, again the Kashmiris sacrificed precious lives in support of Bhutto and against Zia. And now they sacrificed lives on the death of a tyrannical person as well. One would like to put a simple question to Kashmiris. Which of your sentiment is real one? The one you demonstrated at the time of hanging of Bhutto or the one you showed at the time of the death of Zia?  For  eleven long years, Gen. Zia  imposed  the burden of a debt of billions of dollars on Pakistan.  He divided the entire Pakistani nation into the politics of fraternities, tribes and localities exacerbating the sense of deprivation among the smaller nationalities in that country. He exploited Islam to the limits that its spirit began to cry. In the name of Islam, he ordered whipping of political activists; in the name of Islam he made military courts pronounce punishments for the people with political  clout. In his death, Pakistani people heaved a sigh of relief after eleven long years of dictatorship. Participation of a hundred thousand or two hundred thousand people in a population of 110 million people in the funeral procession of the dictator is no evidence of his popularity. In Pakistan nobody sacrificed his life on the death of Zia.  Why then did the Kashmiris risk  some precious lives on this incident when these  could have been put to  the service of the motherland? 

Kashmiris celebrate 14 August as Pakistan Day. This gives a right to the Indian officials to take legal action against those who celebrate the enemy country's day. Not only that, in spite of wanton waste of precious lives,  there is not even a two line news for the reading public on international level.  International community is hardly concerned whether Kashmiris support accession to India or make sacrifices for accession to Pakistan because in either case it becomes a territorial and regional dispute. But of course if Kashmiris make sacrifices for the freedom of Kashmir and her sovereignty,  that is likely to register international support.  But in case Kashmiris die for the cause of  Kashmir's accession to any country, nobody in the world will be pained.  Those people of Kashmir valley who raise the slogan of 'Pakistan Zindabad' or  of accession to Pakistan on the occasion of  death anniversary of Maqbool Bhat, do great injustice to his soul and his entire struggle.  In fact in doing so they  make a mockery of his mission.  His entire life and mission were dedicated to national liberation of Kashmir and her self-determination. He was no less against Pakistan's  occupation of Kashmir than India's.  He was first and last a Kashmiri. In the Special Court trying him in Pakistan, he had boldly said that he had revolted against oppression, slavery, lust for power and exploitation. For three and a half years, he was tried in a court of law allegedly for being an  Indian agent.  In  the Shahi Fort where he remained interned, he was subjected to inhuman torture for more than three months.  When he declined to depose in accordance with the wishes of the interrogating authorities, he was served with a threatening that his wife would be brought to the Shahi Fort and humiliated.  If on the death anniversary of the same Maqbool Bhat, Kashmiris raised the slogan of Kashmir's accession with Pakistan instead of Kashmir becoming independent, does it not mean negation of that martyr's  struggle and mission. He embraced death for Kashmiris and Kashmiris alone.  

Many people in India and Kashmir know that during the internment of Maqbool Bhat, Indira Gandhi had offered to set him free and even invest him with political power only if he agreed to abandon his ideology and struggle for independence of Kashmir. Had Shaheed Maqbool Bhat not been faithful to Kashmiri nation, he could have very well saved his life  like selfish and spineless Kashmiri leaders and would have additionally won a handsome reward. Maqbool Bhat's answer to Indira Gandhi was as this," I want to break the tradition of Kashmiri leaders putting themselves on  outright sale and their game of deceiving the nation. I would do that even  if I have to pay with my life." 
Let me now  apprise the Kashmiri nation and the people of Pakistan  of the role of Pakistani rulers on international platform along with India in the context of Kashmir. When in 1947, the British decided to divide British India into two dominions, the princely states were either to remain independent or to accede to any one of the two emerging states. Pakistan accepted the accession of Junagarh whose ruler was a Muslim Nawab but where Hindu population predominated. The Nawab had decided to accede to Pakistan. When  Maharaja Hari Singh acceded to India, Pakistan did not accept it on the plea that Kashmir was a predominantly Muslim dominated state.  This shows that from the very outset Pakistan adopted contradictory policy in regard to identical positions in two different princely states.. Not only that.  Maharaja Hari Singh had concluded a stand- still agreement with Pakistan till a decision was taken about the future of Kashmir. The ink had hardly dried on the instrument of standstill agreement when Pakistan dragged her feet back. She  engineered tribal attack on Kashmir.  The Maharaja left for Jammu, signed the State's accession to India and   approached the Government of India  for military assistance. This resulted in a war between India and Pakistan.  Then came the time when cease fire was ordered and our motherland was divided into two parts.  We Kashmiris were divided and  were rendered unable to meet one another in our own land.  We were  rendered helpless in sharing one another's joys and sorrows; the father was separated from his son and the brother was separated from his sister. In the history of mankind, another tragic chapter of dividing lands and people came to be written  in letters of blood.  This situation continues to prevail for last forty  years.  If a person living in Baramulla wishes to meet his brother or sister in Muzaffarabad in AK, he has to obtain a passport. Thereafter he has to travel all the way to Delhi to obtain a visa from Pakistani mission. He has to cool his heels for a month or two at the Pakistani embassy before he can obtain a valid visa.  Having got it, he must travel from Srinagar to Amritsar and then to Lahore and Muzaffarabad. This circuitous journey covers more than a thousand miles although the distance between Baramulla and Muzaffarabad is a bare three or four hours run. 

However with Kashmir question before the United Nations, Pakistan, on December 22, 1949 proposed an amendment in the text of a resolution.  The proposal was that  words  "the future of Jammu and Kashmir" be replaced  by  "the question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan ...."   Let  fair and impartial people in Kashmir and Pakistan speak out whether Pakistani rulers have been honest towards Kashmiris. Assuming that the people of Kashmir decide to accede to India then this decision becomes acceptable to Pakistan in the light of her own amendment of the resolution.?  In the original draft resolution the stipulation was that the Kashmiris would  themselves decide their future.  It meant that Kashmir could also remain independent.  The right of self-determination could also mean free and sovereign Kashmir. This  (amendment brought by Pakistan) became the basis for the United Nations to recognise Kashmir as a regional dispute between  two countries. Thus we Kashmiris were deprived of moral and financial support of the UN.  The amendment in question made it a dispute between the two countries. 

When China attacked India in 1962, Indian leaders were apprehensive that Pakistan, taking the time by forelock, might embark on adventure. Indian leaders exerted pressures on Islamabad via the US expressing their willingness to enter into a dialogue with Pakistan on Kashmir issue after the Sino-India war was over but on condition that Pakistan did not launch an attack on India. Sino-India  skirmish came to an end and on 27 December 1962, talks between Swaran Singh and Z.A. Bhutto, the two foreign ministers, began on Kashmir. These talks continued till May 1963 and ultimately met with failure.  

Here, it is only pertinent to cite from the book titled India Pakistan Relations  authored by the Federal Minister G.M. W. Chowdhury. On page 13 he writes," In Calcutta meeting, Pakistani delegation presented its plan of division of Kashmir. According to this plan the boundary line was to pass over Pir Panchal ranges to the north of Jammu allowing Poonch, Riasi and Mirpur districts to go to Pakistan. According to the existing  boundary line, which has come into being as a result of cease-fire line, Riasi and parts of other district area in the control of India. Riasi is vital for Pakistan. In return, Pakistan was willing to defer the final settlement of Kashmir valley for some time. The Indian delegation said that Kashmir Valley was of crucial importance to India  because in absence of  India's  control over the valley, it would be difficult to run the administration of Ladakh. The author  further writes that both the countries, India and Pakistan, had presented two different plans for the partition of Kashmir. In 1965, Pakistan inducted her commando forces into Kashmir without the knowledge of Kashmiris.  But when India, in a counter offensive, attacked from Amritsar, she forced Pakistan to withdraw the commandos from Kashmir.  Despite the fact that  houses of many Kashmiris were torched on allegations of supporting India and thousands were pushed to Pakistan, nefarious propaganda was made in Pakistan that the Kashmiris were cowards and did not support us rather  got our people arrested by the Indians through perfidy. 
In Tashkent talks, Kashmir was once again taken up for a deal.  In 1972, India and Pakistan virtually settled the Kashmir question under Shimla Agreement. By offering Kashmir card, Pakistan managed the release of her 90 thousand war prisoners and return of five thousand square miles of the  territory occupied by India in the war. In a sense, India almost obtained Kashmir from Pakistan according to Shimla Agreement since the present division of Kashmir was accepted as the permanent solution to the problem.  The cease-fire line was renamed as the line of actual control; both the countries agreed not to take up Kashmir question at any international forum without each other's consent; no party will cross the line of control; no country will allow any such  organization to  come up  whose activities might result in straining relations between India and Pakistan.  In  other words, the  impression of a temporary cease fire created by the term' cease-fire line' was obliterated by the term 'line of control' conveying the sense that control of each country on its respective part of Kashmir was permanent  In 1973,  a conference of the heads of Islamic countries was held in Lahore. The Imam of the Shahi Mosque in Lahore was given special instructions not to pray for the liberation of Kashmir in the course of his address to the Friday congregation. Yasser Arafat was received  like a head of the state but Sardar Qayyum Khan, the President of AK was not allowed to meet any head of the state participating in the conference leave alone entering the conference hall.  When the parties promised not to cross the control line, it naturally mean that  both the countries de facto agreed on the present division of Kashmir along the cease fire line as the final solution of Kashmir dispute..  By agreeing not to allow any organization to grow so as to strain the relations between the two countries,  it was clear that in the first instance organizations like National Liberation Front, Liberation Front, Plebiscite Front and NSF were to be destroyed by different pretexts and methods. AK regular forces were disbanded soon after the signing of Shimla agreement with the objective that Kashmiris did not have any troops of their own. Yet another step was to bring in PPP into  AK just as the Congress (I) had been brought into Kashmir.  Z.A. Bhutto made an attempt of making AK a province of Pakistan.  For this purpose he undertook an extensive visit to the entire AK. People in and outside AK opposed the idea of integrating AK into Pakistan. But by giving the 'Interim Constitution' of 1974 - virtually a document of enslavement- AK was made a colony of Pakistan. 

Pakistan's internal conditions are in no good shape so much so that her leaders openly say that they are helpless in the case of Kashmir question and the Kashmiris must solve it themselves. They say that they are not going to wage a war with India on the issue and stake the entire country.  All the four provinces of Pakistan have different attitude towards Kashmir question. The Sindhis do not attach any importance to it in any case. For the people in Balochistan and NWFP,it is a non-issue But of course the Punjabis looked at it with some sentimentality till 1960.  But thereafter even for them, the issue gradually lost its importance. The reality is that Pakistan decided to rest content with Gilgit and Baltistan which was almost agreed in the Shimla Agreement. 

However, if the issue remained of any significance to anybody in Pakistan, it was the group of military rulers or the army which wanted to find pretext of disturbing India in Kashmir.   For this objective, the army occasionally provides some cash doles to a few leaders in the Indian part of Kashmir the details of which are fully known to me. Pakistani army wanted to use us - Liberation Front - also in  the Indian controlled Kashmir.  In May-June 1985, an attempt was made by them through one of our office bearers to talk to us.  At that time I happened to be the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of AK Pakistan Liberation Front and  all these talks took place under my leadership. The talks continued for three months.  Ansari and I told them categorically that we wanted to see Kashmir independent and sovereign and this alone was a solution to the Kashmir tangle. For three months, the discussion continued and it appeared as if Pakistani army had begun to understand what we were struggling for. Throughout these talks, we had thought that Pakistanis were supporting us as our friends.  But  we were taken aback when a senior army officer during one of our  sittings towards the final stage suddenly told us that we should concentrate our strength and effort on  recruiting Kashmiri  youth from the Indian occupied Kashmir, bringing them to some border post on the cease fire line and handing them over  for training and return to Kashmir. Our team comprised four persons Dr. Farooq Haider, Rashid Hasrat, Zubairu'l-Haqq Ansari and myself.  All of us became very angry on hearing what the Pakistani army officer conveyed to us. I told him that we were not agents but freedom fighters. We could neither become agents  for them nor could we provide them with some. They talks failed there and then. 

With the failure of talks, my life in Pakistan was made miserable.  Despite being a Kashmiri, I was called an Indian national.  Efforts were made to hand me over to the Indians. I  had to run away along with my family and children. But my sources have recently informed me that the leadership of the Liberation Front in AK has compromised with the army and internally efforts are being made to make Kashmiris the agents (of Pakistan) instead of making them freedom fighters.  Regarding this, I have some information from Srinagar also. 

But before making final analysis, I would like to remind the people, the rulers and the intelligentsia of India that their country has always extended full support to the freedom movements of oppressed nations.  This policy of India and her leadership in the  non-aligned movement has won India a high esteem in the eyes of international community. But the Kashmir  tangle has damaged that profile and India finds herself projected as an oppressor in Kashmir. India has not only promised the right of self-determination for  Kashmiris in the United Nations, but her  Prime Minister, Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru, a known  champion  of the oppressed nations,  and  the founder of the nonalignment movement, had also promised the Kashmiris to bring them freedom.  He had himself pleaded for their right of self-determination. Speaking before the United Nations on January 15, 1948, the Indian representative had said," whether she (Kashmir should withdraw from her accession to India and either accede to Pakistan or remain independent with a right to claim admission as a member of the UN, all this we have recognized to be a matter of unfettered decision by the people of Kashmir as the normal life is restored there."  Indians have great trust in Nehru and in many countries of the world, he is considered the champion of the freedom struggle of the oppressed nations.  In the Lal Chowk of Srinagar, the same Jawaharlal Nehru took Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah's hand in his own hands and promised that India would not coerce Kashmiris to accede either to India or to  Pakistan.  On  July  9, 1957 Jawaharlal Nehru presented before the Indian National Congress Committee a report in which the same promise had been made.

            It is a  matter of great regret that Jawaharlal Nehru and the democracy-loving people of India took Kashmir as a  prize for India and established India's control over Kashmir without the consent of the people. Promises made before the world were thrown to winds.  I would, therefore, appeal  to the Indian intellectuals, and law-knowing persons that if India's image is to be maintained in the eyes of the world and if Jawaharlal Nehru is to be projected before the world as the harbinger of freedom, and above all if justice is to be done, then they should exert pressure on their government to  grant the  people of Kashmir  the right of self-determination.                         
(This article was published in Weekly Chattan, Srinagar, 14-20 Nov. 1988)