Pak- Kashmir Separatists’ axis

Is Pak- Kashmir Separatists’ axis coming un struck?

By M.M. Khajooria

January 2011

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 )