Is Pak- Kashmir Separatists’ axis coming un struck?
By M.M. Khajooria
Unfamiliar voices were being heard from familiar personages in Kashmir separatist front. Skeletons were tumbling out of closets kept securely locked till the other day. Forbidden words bordering on blasphemy were being spoken, There is an air of expectancy. What does it portend?
A significant segment of “over ground “separatists in Kashmir have come a long way- from strikes to seminars . The tactical shift from “Muzafarabad Chalo” to intellectual acrobats was equally phenomenal.
Recent seminars ,one on “United Nations Resolutions-A legal Base to Kashmir Dispute’ organized by Hurriyat (M) and the other titled ‘Role of Intellectuals in Freedom Struggle’ under the auspices of JKLF in Srinagar were conspicuous by the presence of leaders of both the Huriyat (M) and JKLF and a smattering of Kashmiri intellectuals mostly advocating what had come to be known as the “Third Option”. what motivated or propelled this shift is the moot question?
Deceit, falsehood and subterfuge have largely been the hallmarks of the separatist politics from day one . The attempts to mask their real identity – tools in the hands of Pakistan establishment or willing victims of their machinations -and masquerade as the “freedom fighters ” were indeed pathetic. The sham played out for the last about six decades fooled no one ,Certainly not the people of Kashmir. The vastitudes of history and the experiences of prolonged political struggle characterised by great commitment and sacrifices on the one hand and treachery on the other had imbued them with an uncanny almost telepathic power to smell such dirty tricks. But they let the secessionist leaders live in the world of make believe practicing the dictum _ “SAMAJJH TU HAR EK RAAZ KO MAGAR FARAIB KHAAY JA”.. May be the common man could no more put up with the charade . The irrelevance of these outfits highlighted during the Geelani led Stone pelting misadventure sent the warning signals. Was the fear of open public expression of total lack of faith discernable during June-August turmoil , behind the show “some guts” or tactical , exposure of few “secrets” as part of damage control exercise.? Take for instance Senior Hurriyat leader, Professor Abdul Gani Bhats’ call to the intellectuals on the need to speak truth. “We should speak out who killed Abdul Ahad Wani, fathers of Mir Waiz Umar and Bilal Gani Lone”, he demanded .The fact , however was that he had already spoken about this in the POK Assembly couple of years back. And who in Kashmir did not know the identity of the assassins of Mir Waiz Farooq,? The “disclosure” by DGP Kuldeep Khoda that both late Mir Waiz Moulvi Farooq and his assassin were buried in the same grave Yard ironically called Mazar Ul Shahuda merely affixed the official seal on what was common knowledge. This unacceptable insult to the memory of Mir Waiz Moulvi Farooq was in fact greatly resented by his close followers who , it was given out were restrained ” to prevent further blood shed and harm to the person of the succeeding Mir Waiz, his son Umar Farooq”. Otherwise how could the assassin of the Mir Waiz be declared a martyr and buried in the same Mazar Ul Shuda.? As regards Abdul Gani Lone , his son Sajjad Lone had publically named the foreign agency behind the crime on the date of his assassination Itself. Yasin Malik now goes public and declares that. “He (Prof. Abdul Ahad Wani) demanded Independence for Kashmir and that is why he was killed.” Why does not he talk about the murder of Dr. Guru ? The list of people who committed the blunder of trusting Pak ISI as a genuine ally in the “struggle for independence” and became victims of Pakistan’s insatiable lust for territorial gains in Kashmir is unfortunately too long to be recounted here. But what exactly motivated the Hurriyat (M) till yesterday in cosy relationship with Pakistan establishment and the JKLF who despite ISI treachery maintained cool relations with the agency to go public on these now? Has the realisation that Pakistan was using them as mere tools in furtherance of her agenda of territorial aggrandisement finally dawned upon them ? Do these initiatives and disclosures indicate quest for a new political strategy ?We may have to wait for some more developments to unfold to find answers to these vital questions .
‘United Nations Resolutions-A legal Base to Kashmir Dispute’ was the subject of the seminar held in the Hurriyat ‘s Rajbagh headquarters. There , however was not even a passing reference either to the origin, history and dimensions of “the dispute” or to the exact connotation and implications of the UN resolutions. The Mir Waiz vaguely spoke of “our strong case ” and launched a tirade against UNO calling it “a failed Institution” ,which for decades was projected as the repository of justice . Again, whom is he trying to fool? Do these secessionist leaders seriously believe that they can black out history and lead blindfolded a generation groomed in an era of information explosion and global politico-economic regime?
Now about the “dispute” which arose out of tribal invasion of 1947 , planned, organised and led by regular Pakistan army officers ,the fact is fully documented even in the accounts published by Pakistani and other participants in the aggression including the commander of the invasion force Col. Akbar Khan code named Gen. Tariq. In the latter stage of “the campaign”, the involvement of a brigade of its army was conceded by Pakistan government.. Remember the aggression was launched against state of Jammu & Kashmir which had become completely independent after the lapse of British Suzerainty on the 14th of August, 1947.Maharajah Hari Singh was clearly inclined to stay independent and in this decision he had the support of Muslim Conference leadership including the then Mir Waiz Yusuf Shah the grand uncle of Umar Farooq. How Pakistan leadership forced the Muslim conference to reverse its decision to support the Maharajah and his vision of an independent Kashmir was history.
Indian army entered Kashmir legally and constitutionally and only after the Ruler of the State formally approached India for accession . The instrument of Accession was signed and sealed.. Therefore, those looking for the army of occupation would be well advised to caste their glance across the LOC and Gilgit Baltistan where the army of occupation was actually entrenched. Talking of occupation , I am reminded of the proceedings of a 2005 -seminar in New Delhi in which representatives from both sides of the LOC and Jammu & Kashmir Diaspora participated. While dictating a draft resolution as chairman of the drafting committee I used term Pakistan Administered J&K , This provoked strong protest from delegates hailing from the area who insisted that it be termed as Pakistan Occupied Jammu & Kashmir because that is what it was. one of the youth leaders was so incensed that he pulled up his shirt . I was horrified to see deep and knotted marks of lashes on his back.” Isn’t this enough to convince you that we are condemned to live in the territory under occupation.? he. demanded. I wonder how the parties and leaders demanding Independent Jammu & Kashmir can remain completely so insensitive and unconcerned about the oppression and persecution that have become the fate of our fellow citizens living in bondage in POK.
The Indian army landed at Srinagar make shift air base when the raiders were knocking at the doors of Srinagar, the winter capitol of the state and immediately got down to the task of evicting the invaders , a job they did with commendable speed and success thanks to the active support of Kashmiri people. The . Kashmiri Muslims rose to the occasion and made history by putting into practice their secular beliefs rooted in their religion, culture and tradition. Considering that all around the state the country was burning and murder, rape and mayhem were the order of the day, the performance was super human. This was in sharp contrast to the horrors of murder, loot and rape perpetuated by the tribal / Pak invaders -the un Islamic “Jehadi cult” versus the Sofi Islam steeped in indigenous Rishi tradition. The shameful barbarous deeds of the invaders were still fresh in the memory of people. Those in doubt can check with the surviving members of that generation, many of whom were still around.
At the point of time when the raiders were on the run and “In order that the objective of expelling invader from Indian territory and prevent him from launching fresh attacks should be quickly achieved, Indian troops would have to enter Pakistan territory; only thus could the invader be denied the use of bases and cut off from the sources of supplies and reinforcements in Pakistan “, India . filed a complaint in the United Nations against aggressor Pakistan “The Indian complaint further pointed out that “Since the aid which the invaders are receiving from Pakistan is an act of aggression against India, the Government of India are entitled under international law, to send their armed forces i across Pakistan territory for dealing effectively with the invaders./ However, as such action might Involve armed conflict with Pakistan, Government of India, ever anxious to proceed according to the principles and aims of Charter of the United Nations, desire to report the situation to the Security Council under article 35 of the Charter.”Thus India approached the UN in good faith to have the remaining part of its territory cleared from invaders through the intervention of the world body without running the risk of war with Pakistan which as it is, was in a mess. Peace in the region and the world continued to be objective of India foreign policy. The complaint was listed in the UNO as “the India-Pakistan question” . Kashmir was not mentioned. Significantly, the issue did not figure on the Security Council’s active agenda since November 1965.. Incidentally, under the relevant articles the UN had only recommendatory powers. Its resolution could not be enforced. Moreover the world body had no authority whatsoever to confer any “legal rights” and that too on a third party in a “dispute” between two member states.
The implementation of UN resolution cited by the separatists day in and day out as the panacea of all the troubles in Jammu & Kashmir and problems between India and Pakistan had mandatory pre-conditions attached . These had to be fulfilled before the Plebiscite was conducted. A paper read by Khalid Hassan , an eminent political Pakistani analyst in the Third International Kashmir Conference in Washington deals with the package of exercise of the so called ” Right of Self Determination” by the people of Jammu & Kashmir state as it existed on 14th of August, 1947.”Assuming that India agrees to the full acceptance and total implementation of the UN resolutions” he said “the ball will land in Pakistan’s court. Will Pakistan be prepared to pull out every single soldier now stationed on its side of line of control.? Will Pakistan agree to the expulsion of the Islamic fighting groups which continued to operate freely with the permission or connivance of the official authority in Azad Kashmir?.Will Pakistan agree to the holding of Plebiscite that it demands in the entire state, only 64 percent of whose population is Muslim, 33% Hindu and three percent is Buddhist? Will Pakistan be prepared to accept that Northern areas are an integral part of former princely state of Jammu & Kashmir as it stood on 14th August of 1947?” he asked .Islamabad, he pointed out ” has also failed to honour the 1999 judgment of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Supreme court that declared the Northern areas (Galgit-Baltistan) to be a part of Azad Jammu & Kashmir.” “While the UN resolutions offer only two choices- India or Pakistan- will Pakistan be prepared to accept what has come to be known as the Third Option in the event that the people of the state demand independence”?, he questioned “The answers to all these questions frankly are in the negative” he concluded. This was just the sample.
Media and analysts in Pakistan have argued in the same vain on different occasions and varied platforms.
The pre conditions for the proposed plebiscite were mandatory which no government in Pakistan could afford to comply with . Those who talk of solution of Kashmir tangle under the UN resolutions are either hallucinating or trying to fool the people of Kashmir. More ever , legally speaking the Indian complaint to United Nations against Pakistan became infractuous after the signing of the Shimla Agreement of July 3, 1972 where under both India and Pakistan ” resolved to :-
a) “Settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations or by any other peaceful means agreed upon between them”.
b) Respect the Line of Control In Jammu & Kashmir resulting from without prejudice to the recognised positions of either side.
And that” neither side shall seek to alter it unilaterally irrespective of mutual differences and legal interpretations”.
The attention of those separatist leaders who were seeking to carve out an independent Jammu& Kashmir with aid from Pakistan is invited to the official stand of the Pakistan government of the demand for independence. The press had reported that “The Foreign Office Spokesperson ,Tasnim Aslam has said that Kashmir’s legal framework is based on UN resolutions which give Kashmiris two choices either accede to India or to Pakistan. There is no third choice for them according to UN resolutions.” And added “If we talk of independent Kashmir then we will be out of Kashmir’s legal framework which give the Kashmir dispute an international legality”. The then Pak president Musharraf also ruled out independence as an option to resolve the Kashmir issue. According to his 25 January,2007 statement in Islamabad “he did not support the idea of independent Kashmir on the grounds that it might not be achievable as both India and Pakistan were opposed to it.”
Addressing the seminar on the ‘Role of Intellectuals in Freedom Struggle’ JKLF leader Yasin Malik exposed his fascist mindset reducing intellectuals to bonded labour when he declared that: “The writers and intellectuals cannot be impartial. Either they are state-centric or side with people. In a direct insult to the Kashmiri intellectuals he accused that “Presently, 99 percent intellectuals work on the ‘government aid’. But all this need not be taken too seriously. How much he actually meant and how much was for “local consumption” remained to be seen. In any case Political beings have a knack and means of mending fences with the ” “intellectuals” many of whom reside in the media space.
Numerous reservations and misgivings not with standing, it would be a serious mistake to ignore the breach in relations between Kashmiri separatists and Pakistan establishment ( read PAK ISI) and , its potential of altering political positioning and re alignment of political forces in Kashmir valley . According to Umar Farooq, the Hurriyat (M) chairman ,” people of the valley are the masters of their own land”. That was the constituency to which his vision and focus was actually confined . May be more than six decades old alliance between Pakistan establishment especially the ISI and a segment of Separatists in Kashmir was about to come unstuck .
*(The writer is former DGP, J& K State )