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Articles

Why the Gun and not civil disobedience?

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled “                                                    

For some time in some parts of the valley, especially South Kashmir, activists of LeT, Jaishe Muhammad and Hizbul Mujahideen are martyred in encounters with the army. Properties are destroyed. A new situation has arisen in which the youth, both males and females, of the adjoining localities come out in crowds and throw stones at the security forces. Some civilian lives have been lost. In Kakpora a girl and a boy were killed in these tragic events.HQ

Thousands of guns taken up by the Kashmiri youth could not change the situation in Kashmir. Security forces have seized about 95 thousand guns and huge quantities of ammunition from active or surrendered militants. It springs me surprise whether a few gunmen of LeT or JM coming from Pakistan or about a hundred odd HM gunmen can change the status of Kashmir. Some questions arise:

  1. Does the international community consider these few incidents as our struggle for freedom?
  2. Can we defeat the might of the Indian military by these stray incidents?
  3. Can we foster unity among the people in Kashmir by undertaking these few activities?
  4. Is the use of gun considered struggle for freedom or terrorism?
  5. Do those, especially the Hurriyat, who give outright support to the gun, think that they will realize the purpose of accession of Kashmir to Pakistan? Is it not their political compulsion or political business?
  6. Political organizations supporting the gun too had their armed outfits. If they earnestly thought that armed struggle would bring success to their mission why did they disband their armed outfits then?
  7. Is not political representation a symbol of dissension?

Do the people doing gun politics believe that gun is the only source of their liberation? Can Pakistan continue to support Kashmiri gun wielders in the light of international scenario?

Let us try to answer these questions: Nobody on international level is going to support the struggle waged in Kashmir either with or without the gun if it is for accession to Pakistan. During last 26 years not a single nation out of 200 of them supported us whether our struggle was a freedom struggle or terrorism?

No international organization stands by us, not even a single Muslim country? However, some human rights organizations did occasionally speak about us but at the same time they denounced violation of human rights by some of our organizations even if we were among the oppressed. All that they did was to advise India and Pakistan to resolve their dispute through peaceful dialogue.

Kashmir Diaspora in foreign countries especially from PoK could not make any effective impact on international organizations. About 15 lakh people from PoK and IoK are settled in England. PoK Diaspora has formed some organizations there. Not more than a hundred persons attend their gatherings. At times other than the President and the Secretary, there is some who attending the meeting. Their activities are limited to staging a demonstration in front of Indian Embassy in London. Some of them based in the US may make a stray demonstration in front of the UN. They are usually sponsored by the Pakistan Embassies. Remember world community rendered help to freedom struggle in Palestine, Vietnam and East Timor. Kashmir could not register international support. The reason is that their cause is not freedom but accession either to Pakistan or India.

Ordinary people in Kashmir should, by now, understand that they cannot throw out 12 lakh Indian troops from Kashmir. Their leaders and thinkers should have understood it much earlier but they refuse to do so. Ordinary people are becoming the victims of destruction. It is not going to work. If it did, Pakistan’s 6-7 lakh soldiers would have launched attack on Kashmir and thrown out Indian troops. Pro-Pakistanis consider Kashmir part of Pakistan. As such Pakistani army should snatch Kashmir from Indians if pro-Pakistanis want accession to Pakistan?

Division of the State placed Gilgit-Baltistan and Pok in the hands of Pakistan and Pakistan further divided the two parts namely PoK and GB. India retained Ladakh, Kashmir and Jammu. In 1962 China illegally occupied Aksaichin. The State was divided into four regions. Previously there was no regionalism though sometimes very feeble voices were raised in Ladakh and Jammu. After the armed struggle in Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh began to feel more insecure. Jammu began demanding separation from Kashmir and Ladakhis demanded union territory status. Pakistan created wedge between the Shias and Sunnis in Gilgit and Baltistan. Seeds of hatred were sown against Kashmir and Pok. Sentiments of nationalism were sacrificed at the altar of communalism and factionalism. Hurriyat supported this line of thinking with the result the State was distributed in three parts on our side of the LoC and in two parts on the other side. This indeed was the big conspiracy behind the launching of armed struggle in Kashmir. Conspiracy was given a go with the extirpation of the Pandits from the valley.

 

In 1970s Maqbul Bhat introduced armed struggle for freedom of Kashmir. People of Kashmir were under the spell of Sheikh Abdulla and they called Maqbul Bhat a “murderer and criminal”?. That was a time when freedom struggles in Algeria, Vietnam and African countries were advancing. But here in Kashmir, people gave no importance to the ideology of Independent for JK trough of armed struggle of Maqbul Bhat. Pakistan crushed National Liberation Front through the Ganga hijacking case. Pakistan never wanted struggle for independent Kashmir to succeed. They do not accept it even today ?

 

The world considers gun as the symbol of terrorism. How come that we become scapegoats of terrorism by handling a few guns.

 

My article titled “why not Civil Disobedience in place of Armed Struggle,” written in 1993 is included in my book The Unveiling of Truth. But some people were day dreaming that freedom is round the corner. I had then predicted the destruction that gun would bring in trail.

 

Hurryat does not do anything beyond issuing statements or publicizing their photos during participation in condolence meetings. They do support armed activities because if they don’t do that, “their politics will reach the dead end.” They also get the quota for engineering and medical seats in the name of orphans. Therefore we are right in concluding that their superficial activities bring them only material comfort? Propagating among youth to participate in armed conflict is meant only to further their political ends and status?

 

Some political parties are part of the Jihad Council of Muzaffarabad. It is not compatible with the thinking of a political thinker. Political organizations that have abandoned armed struggle or are not indulging in armed struggle but are represented in the Jihad Council? What does it mean? Maybe they are accomplices in the funding which Jihad Council receives from Pakistan?

 

Speeches delivered by political leaders on the occasion of burial of martyrs reflect that they have full faith on armed struggle. But when we cast a glance and their own character we find that they have kept their children and themselves away from the gun but have also managed to obtain medical, engineering and business opportunities for their wards and children? Their business runs in hundreds of millions. For the kids of poor laborers, artisans and wage earners they deliver sermons of fighting jihad and finding beautiful girls in paradise as promised? For their own sons they make the paradise in this world and help them find beautiful damsels here and not wait for the paradise?

 

Foreign pressure on Pakistan has increased to the extent that Pakistani defence minister categorically stated Pakistan is not in a position to help Kashmiri jihad’s. Only the other day, the Security Adviser of Pakistani Prime Minister former General Naser Junjua conveyed to the Indian NSA, Ajit Doval the information that ten Pakistani terrorists had entered Gujarat. Call it whatever we may, one thing is clear that Pakistan is no more able to lend support to armed and terrorist activities?

 

I appeal to all well-meaning persons including serious media persons to pay attention to my above mentioned article without prejudice and without anger. I appeal to them to pull this nation out of the clutches of gun. In the course of civil disobedience there is no rationale of keeping AFSPA in place. India will have to account for each killing happened in a civil disobedience movement? We have seen the happenings in JNU. The gun has taken our struggle as hostage? It is for the people to decide whether they pay heed to my article written in 1993 or whether after gaining experience of twenty six years of struggle they will shift to civil disobedience movement? But remember the civil disobedience movement has to be disciplined and organized and active in all the regions of the State. If you are going to thrown a stones during encounter on security forces and they open fire on stone-palters, leading to bloodshed, then those supporting violence will find a pretext to give calls for strikes. By doing so they will be able to get additional pecuniary benefits from their beneficiaries? But under the international law, Indian forces cannot be held responsible because you are standing with “Militants” at the time of encounter? It will be a situation of war? If your adversary rains bullets on you he has a justification in self defense during a encounter?

 

Government has kept a prize of 7 to 15 lakh rupees for informer giving information us about militant movement? We most of the Kashmir’s are known for corrupt morals? The story makes rounds that one who has informed the police about the movement of militants are the first person to be in the funeral procession of the militant? What is the outcome of a struggle which you are unable to win through gun?

 

I was returning from my visit to Europe. At Delhi I boarded the airplane for Srinagar. Some big officers were also seated in the plane. Just to engage them, I asked them that they would be regretting the death of their soldiers in fight. The senior officer replied that “not to speak of their soldiers they even regret the death of the enemy.” I asked why authorities don’t think of solving the issue through dialogue. The senior officer replied that “they had neither the shortage of men nor of material.” He said “they had been fighting for last seventy years and they were prepared to fight for another 140 years.” He said that “India had no international pressure nor was there a fight against us like the one in Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq. If we Indians donate one rupee per head per day for war expenses, we shall collect 1.20 thousand million rupees in one day.”

 

I do not mean to stop people from bringing out peaceful demonstrations. But do not make demonstrations at a place where two parties are engaged in a gun battle? I would like to make it clear that if there is stone pelting at the place of encounter, be that Jama Masjid, Nowhatta or Khanyar, neither the Indian government nor the State government and nor the international body will consider it civil disobedience It is so because two crore people of the State are sitting silently in their homes, work places or offices? Eighty lakh people should coolly consider whether by stone pelting in downtown Srinagar, or South Kashmir or Sopor, does it means India will quit a go away by considering it a freedom movement?

 

The truth is that those running this movement have not considered programme and plan of running the movement? They raise slogans which can take anybody nowhere? Of course those who give call for the slogans want to be projected at the centre of the movement. All they do is to engineer the killing of innocent youth. Call for strike effective only in areas where shopkeepers apprehend damage to their shops. Shopkeepers of Lal Chowk appear to the most affected victims. Government functionaries consider strike a holiday and enjoy it. India has no impact of these strikes. Economists say that Kashmir has suffered a loss of 13 lakh crore rupees, J&K is a consumer State and it had to bear the brunt?

Keeping in view the suffering that we have gone through during past two decades and half, we should something to protect our future generations. We should hold seminars very frequently and we should open debate on this issue in each household, each street and each locality. We need to ask questions from those who give call for strikes and hartals?

 

ع۔   ًسچ کہہ کےکسی دور میں پچھتائے نہیں ہم۔ کردار پہ اپنے کھبی شرمائے نہیں ہم ً

 

“ Sach kah ke kisi daur main pachhtae nahin ham

Kirdar peh apne kabhi sharmae nahin ham.”

 

THE KASHMIR MAGAZINE

 

Hashim Qureshi

Chairman JKDLP

عقیدت کے پھول

عقیدت کے پھول !
مقبول بٹ کی تٗربت پر ! جو لاکھوں دلوں میں ہیں

پانچ صدیوں کی جدوجہدمیں مقبول بٹ کاثانی کوئی نہیں؟

مغلوں کے کشمیر پر قبضے کے بعد آج تک ہزاروں محبِ وطن وطن کی آذادی کے لئے قربان
ہوتے رہے اور آذادی کی دیوی کے قدموں میں گرم گرم لہو نچھاور کرتے رہے اور نہ جانے کتنے
لوگوں نےتشدد گاہوں اور جیلوں میں سسِک سسِک کر اپنی جانیں تاریک راہوں میں قربان کی؟

ع۔ ہم جو تاریک راہوں میں مارے گئے                                                              ۔ 10306262_608890045910134_5719422388863314351_n

،مگر اُس  فلسفہ ساز،نظریہ ساز،عشق  کی انتہا، نئ سوچ کےخالق،آذادی، انقلاب، عزت
غیرت آبرو، برابری،اور غریب پروری کاغم خورجیساان پانچ صدیوں میں کوئی نہ تھا جس نے
کشمیرکے لوگوں کو،اس جمِ غفیر کو اپنی پہچان  کرائی تھی؟ قوم اور قومیتوں کا درس دیا تھا؟
آذادی کے اصل مہفوم  کی تشرع کی تھی؟آذادی کو جبری قابضوں سے صرف آذادہونا ہی نہیں
بلکہ آذادی کو استصال کے خلاف،ظلم و جبر،تشدد، سامراجیت،اور قبضہ گیروں کےخلاف اعلان
جنگ کا نقارہ قرار دیا تھا اُنھوں نے پاکستان کی نام نہاد عدالت میں گرج کر کہا تھا:

”میں فرسودگی دولت پسندی استحصال غلامی اور منافقت کے خلاف
بغاوت کا مرتکب هوا هوں”

مقبول بٹ! نظریاتی بیماروں اورکوڑھ کے نظریاتی مریضوں کامسیحابنا تھا۔دلوں اوردماغوں میں
انقلاب پیدا کرنےوالے،جزبوں اورسوچوں میں ذلزالہ لانےوالاطوفان بنکر آیا تھا وہ؟آج انقلاب اور
سوشل ازم ،قومی جمہور کی باتیں اور نعرے لگانے والے کہاں تھے اُس وقت جب صرف الحاقیوں
کو ہی حُبِ وطنی کی سرٹیفیکیٹ ملتاتھااور باقی سب غدار کہلاتے تھے؟مسلم کانفرنس میں شامل
نہ ہونے والے کو ”مسلمان” ہی نہیں مانا جاتا تھا؟1526765_742683559197448_532092767762225948_n

اس منجمندالحاق کی بیمارسوچ سے باہر لانےوالے،سقراط،ارسطو،افلاطون اور اناالحق کے وارث
مقبول بٹ جیسے عظیم رہبر اور درویش صفت تو نئ سوچ، نئے خیالات اور نئے نعرے لیکراس قوم
کی پانچ صدیوں کی فالج ذدہ سوچ کا علاج کرنے کے لئے لقمان بنکرآیا تھا؟وہ نفس کےقطب تھے!

آدمیوں کے جِم غفیر کےساتھ اس عظیم انسان کو جو بھی تولتا ہے؟ اُس کے شعور پر، اُس کی
عقل پر اوراُس کے انسان ہونے پر ہی شک کیا جاسکتا ہے؟ہاں یہ سچائی ہے کہ جموں کشمیر کی
دھرتی نے لاکھوں شہید پیدا کئے لیکن اُن میں کتنے تھے جو مقبول بٹ کی طرح آذادی کے جزبوں،
شعور کی بلندیوں  اور وطن کے مکمل اتحاد کے ساتھ آذادی اور استصال کے خلاف شعور پیھلاتے
اور ان آدرشوں کے لئے جنگ لڑتے ہو ئے پھانسی کے پھندے کو چوم کر گلے میں مسکراتے ہوئے قبول
کرتے رہے؟اس انقلاب کے پیغمبر کی عزت کرو تاکہ کل آنے والی نئ نسل تماری عزت تو کریں؟
مقبول بٹ شہید کے گلے میں جو رسی ڈالی گئ وہ اس کے اپنے ساتھیوں نے تیار کی تھی مگر
مقبول بٹ ذندہ باد کے نعرے لگانے والے بہت سارے لوگ یہ سب جانتے ہوئے بھی ان ”قاتل مجاوروں”
کو اپنا ”لیڈر” سمجھتے ہیں؟ کھبی تو حساب ھوگا؟ کھبی تو انصاف ھوگا؟ کھبی تو قاتلوں کے
چہروں سے نقاب تو اُتارا جائے گا؟

مقبول بٹ صرف ایک نعرہ اور ایک فرد نہ تھا؟ وہ تو چلتا پھرتا انقلاب تھا۔ ہر وقت انقلاب کے اُستاد
کے فرائض ادا کرتے تھے۔ وہ صرف چہرےبدلنے اور مقامی لوگوں کے اقتدار منتقل کرنے کو آذادی نہیں
کہتے تھے اُنھوں نے واشگاف اور اعلانیہ کہا تھا:

” آزادی سے هماری مراد صرف کشمیر کی مقدس دهرتی سے غیر ملکی
تسلط کا خاتمہ ہی نهیں بلکۂ بهوک وافلاس جهالت بیماری معاشی اور
سماجی نا همواریوں کو شکست دینا هے ”

کاش تم میں سےکسی ایک کو اس انقلاب کے پیکرکے ساتھ انقلابی جذبےاور وطن سے عشق کرنے
کےپاگل پن کے ساتھ رہنےکا شرف حاصل ہوتا؟قطب اور آسمانوں کے وارثوں کا تقابل نہیں کیا جاتا؟
ذرا سوچو مقبول بٹ کے انقلاب اور اُن کے ںظریہ ان کی جدوجہدسے پہلے ہم کیا تھے؟ کیڑے مکوڑے؟
الحاق جیسی بیمارئ اور کوڑھ کے شکاراور بزدلی کا طعنہ اور لاچاری کا کینسر کہلاتے تھے؟

آج ہم سب وہ لوگ شہید کی موت مر رہے ہیں جو فلسفہ آذادی اور انقلاب کےلۓ اوراستصال کے
خلاف اٹھ کھڑے ہوۓ ہیں اور مقبول بٹ کے نام لیوا کی حثیت سے مو ت کو گلے لگالینگے؟کوئی تو
اِن پانچ صدیوں میں مقبول بٹ جیسالیڈر اور انقلابی کی کوئی مثال ریاست کی تاریخ میں نکال
کر تو دو ؟جس نےپوری قوم کو غلامی اور الحاق کی غداران و بیمار سوچ سے چند لمحوں میں
آذاد کیا ہو؟ آج تک ریاست میں سبوں نے مذہب،ذات، برادری، علاقہ پرستی اور اُونچ نیچ کی بنیاد پر
لوگوں کو منتشر کیا مگر کشمیر کے اس عظیم سپوت نے بار بار کہا کہ:

” کشمیر کی آذادی جو بھی مذہبی بنیادوں یا ذات و برادری یا اونچ نیچ  و علاقہ پرستی
کی بنیاد پر لڑیں گے وہ کشمیر کو ٹکڑے ٹکڑے کرنے کے ذمہ دارہونگےایسی کوئی بھی
جدوجہدآذادی کی جدوجہد نہیں بلکہ تقسم در تقسم کرنے کی سازش ہوگی”

اے پیکر وفا! صدیوں کے بعدپیدا ہونےوالےانقلابی! تم نے کشمیریوں کی آنکھوں سے غلامی کا پردہ
چاک چاک کیا! تم نےہم کو غیرت اور عزت کےمعنئ سکھادیۓ! اےنظریہ خود مختار کے فلسفہ ساذ!
تم نےالحاق کے نظریہ ساذوں کے نہ صرف بت توڈ دیۓبلکہ ”مجاہد اور غاذی اور شیر” کہلانے والوں
کے القاب نوچ کے پھینک دئے! تم کو اپنے وطن اور اپنے ہم وطنوں کے ساتھ محبت اور عشق کے بدلے
میں کن کن الزامات کا سامنا کرنا پڑھا! لیکن تم نے اپنے عشق کوکھبی کم نہ کیا! تم نے کہا:

”حق پرستی اور حق شناسی کے دعوے رکهنے والوں کیلے بهترین زندگی وه هے جو
سچاهی کا شعور حاصل کر لے اور اس شعور کی روشنی انفرادی اور اجتماعی
زندگی کی تزهین و آراهش میں صرف هو”

اےحوصلےاورچٹان کے پیکر! تم ” اپنوں” کی ساذشوں کا شکار ہوۓ اور تم آمر ہوۓ ابن علی کیطرح !
تم نے ثابت کیا کہ تم کشمیر کے حسین ابن علی ہو ! تمارے قاتل رسوا ہوۓ بھی اور ہونگے بھی ،
ذرہ میرے اور تیرے عوام کو شعور تو آنے دیں؟ تم جن کو غاصب قرار دیتےتھے؟ تمارےنام کا استصال
کرکےان ہی غاصبوں کے، تیرے قاتل اتحادی بن کر تیرے قوم کو فرقوں، مذہبوں ،ذاتوں، علاقوں اور
برادریوں میں تقسیم کیا گیا؟

اے آذادی اور روشنی کے مینار نور! آج تیرا دیش تقسیم در تقسیم ہوگیا ہے, علاقوں میں، برادریوں میں،
سوچوں میں اورتنظیموں میں اور سب تیرے ” وارث “بھی کہلاتے ہیں؟ جس قتلِ ناحق کے بدلے میں تمیں
انتقاماََ قابض قوت نے پھانسی کا پھندا پہنایا اُس قتل کے بارے میں آپ نے نہ صرف اپنے آپ کو الگ کیا
تھا بلکہ واشگاف لفظوں میں  اپنے آخیری لمحات میں اعلان کیا تھاکہ:

” مجھے اُس جرم کی سزا دی جارہی ہے جو یہاں سے سات ہزار میل دور ہوا ہے”

اے انقلابیوں کی عظیم روح ! تمارے ساتھ ! تماری تربیت ! تمارے جذبوں ! تمارے افکار سے ایسا
محسوس ہوتا تھا کہ تم آج تک پیدا ہونے والے انقلابیوں کی تمام روحوں کو اپنے اندر سموۓ ہوۓ ہو !
تم جب لیکچر دیتے تھے تو ایسا لگتا تھا کہ تم تمام فلسفیوں کے امین ہو!

اے میرے بےلوث رہبر! دکھوں اور ظلمت کے اندھیرے راستوں میں روشنی کے مینار نور !
تم جاہل اور عام انسانوں کو سنگتراشوں کی طرح انقلاب ! انقلاب کے لۓ تراشتے تھے !
تم عظمت کے ایسے مینار ہو جس کی روشنی ہر اندھیرے دلوں کو روشن کرتی ہے!

اےدلوں میں ذندہ رہنے والے منزل کے نشان ! تماری قبر تو نہیں ہے مگر ہر اس دل میں تماری
یاد اور اور انقلابی جذبے ذندہ ہے جو انسانوں اور کمزور طبقوں، مظلوموں پسے ہوۓ لوگوں
کے لۓ جدوجہد کررہے ہیں ! تم ذندہ ہو اور ہر ذمانے میں ذندہ رہو گے !غلاموں کی غلامی کے
خلاف، مظلوموں کی ظالموں کےخلاف نا انصافی اور استصال کے خاتمے کے خلاف جہاں کہیں
بھی جدوجہد جاری رہے گی ! تم ہر اُس جگہ مینارِ نور بن کے رہو گے !

” جو رُکے تو کوہِ گراں تھے ہم۔ جو چلے تو جاں سے گزر گئے ہم
رہِ یار ہم نے قدم قدم تجھے یاد گار بنا دیا”

تمارے جذبوں ! تمارے حوصلوں ! تماری محبتوں ! تماری جدوجہد وتماری عظمتوں کو تمارے
وفادار شاگرد کا لاکھوں سلام! لاکھوں سلام! لاکھوں انقلابی سلام !

خود مختار کشمیر،انقلاب زندہ باد ! مقبول بٹ اَمر ہیں!

ہاشم قریشی condolence

جموں کشمیر ڈیموکرٹیک لبریشن پارٹی کے چیرمین بھی ہے

Is the gun our friend or foe?

Like a good physician, a political leader keeps a constant watch over his people. He makes prescriptions according to the changing mood of the people as does the physician prescribe according to Health State of his patient.     
 
When a nation begins its struggle for realization of its rights, the leadership takes full care that the people are made to make as little sacrifice as is possible. If the objectives are not realized through civil disobedience, then the prescription for political struggle can be changed. In 1918, Gandhiji had launched the struggle against the colonial power. A crowd in Calcutta got enraged and set a police station on fire in which a few Englishmen and some local police personnel were killed.  Gandhiji immediately stopped his movement saying that he would not place the foundation of his freedom movement on the blood of innocent people. He knew that a violent movement would consume the lives of millions of people. 
 
Unfortunately, pseudo-leadership leads the people in Kashmir. It is neither able to diagnose the disease nor prescribe a proper remedy. Their prescription at the moment is violence and the use of gun, which serves the interests of many actors on the scene. They do not mind if the patient dies by inches just for the improper treatment meted out to him. In a struggle of violence when weapons are used, one with larger resources, weaponry, manpower and better technology has the upper hand. However, in some cases, the world opinion did help the weaker struggling nations to achieve their goal as in Vietnam and in Afghanistan. The truth is that at both the places, the real fighting was between two superpowers of the day, the USA and the erstwhile Soviet Union. 

What has the gun given to Kashmir’s? 

The gun has brought an end to the culture of coexistence in Kashmir society.It has exacerbated extremism and sown the seeds of communalism secular polity has been devoured by the monster of communalism. The gun has consumed the generation of Kashmiri youth in streets and market places, in mountains and gorges, in streams and over glaciers. Thousands of young women have been widowed and thousands of children have been rendered orphans. The gun has actually strengthened the criminal elements in society. Family feuds and personal vendetta are being settled through the use of gun. On the basis of gun, properties have been acquired forcibly and declared the act as legal and permissible. The weapon is being used for petty purposes and interests to the extent that under the fear of gun, matrimonial relations have been imposed upon unwilling partners. The gun has destroyed all such institutions as are essential infrastructure for the social and cultural development of a society like the schools, colleges, hospitals, bridges and other structures. The gun has closed the path to reason and found a short cut to the resolution of political differences by liquidating the political opponents. This difference of opinion has consumed many a distinguished scholar, intellectual, physician, and many others whom the society finds after centuries of waiting and expectation. What a tragedy that this enormous national treasure has been reduced to dust by the gun. 
 
Take whatever dimension of Kashmir politics during the last one decade, you will find that violence and gun culture have spread nothing but wholesale destruction of Kashmir and the new generation of Kashmir’s. Indian and Pakistani armies both claim to be the friends of Kashmir’s while painting each other as the enemy of the Kashmir’s. But when both of them play with ammunition and gunfire on the line of control, it is only the Kashmir’s who get destroyed, their houses are razed to ground, and their cattle are killed. Their fields are turned into ruins and their crops are set on fire. Thus Kashmir’s become the targets of the bullet of both the armies. A closer study reveals that while Pakistani army supplies guns to the Kashmir’s thus contriving his death, the Indian army guns him down while trying to disarm him. Kashmiri leadership has become a hostage to this death drama of Kashmir’s. Of course, while sitting in closed-door rooms, these leaders condemn the gun and call the violence as poison for political process.  
 
Every conscientious person is aware that killing any person on the basis of his political differences is in fact the butchering of the concept of political opposition. This in fact is the death of political evolution. Activists of National Conference are being killed on the basis of difference in political views. If this is the practice then what can stop National Conference activists meting out the same treatment to their political opponents? We know of such reprisals enacted by JKLF and Hizbul Mujahedeen groups some time back. This is what took place between the activists of Hizbul Mujahedeen and Kuka Parry group also. Today the renegades are being butchered and they respond in the same manner. How unfortunate that the entire Kashmiri nation is engaged in a fratricidal killing. We know of no other community that is so seriously engaged in destroying its own generation. If the tempo of this fratricide continues, what will be the end result for the Kashmiri nation? Where shall we find succor for our orphans and where shall we find suitable matches for our young girls of marriageable age? What will happen to our progeny?. And then the million dollar question shall remain, viz. the purpose for which we had taken up the gun, did we achieve it?  Have we achieved even ten per cent of our goal? Have we made any progress in making Kashmir part of Pakistan or independent? To what extent have we been able to mould world opinion in support of our cause? The simple answer to all these questions is a big NO. 
On the ground  :
 
The ground reality is that a decade of unrelenting violence has rent asunder the fabric of our society and polity. Today we stand divided on ideological basis. Violence has rapidly increased the number of our graveyards, our widows and orphans. External elements have been provided full freedom to interfere in our affairs and matters. Today we are more than 85 per cent in the control of these external elements. Our economy has shattered. Educational institutions have seen decline and downfall. Ignorant elements deliver life threats to the honest journalists for saying the truth. In other words those leaders and political entrepreneurs claim to be the upholders of the birth right of Kashmir’s, namely the right to self-determination, are not ready to allow the Kashmir’s to speak the truth. Thus the permanent victims of gun and brutalities today in Kashmir are the youth and the truth.  
 
Calls for strike :                                                                              
 
Day in and day out, calls for hartals and strikes are given, The pseudo-leaders consider these calls and their results as a symbol of their power and strength although they knew it better than anybody else that these strikes are observed only out of fear of gun and not out of any sincere sentiment. A common Kashmiri is fed up with these calls and strikes. This is what could be gathered from the speech made by Yasin Malik, which he made at the grave of the martyrs after being released from the jail. He said,” people should take note talking of peace and peace alone, the outside world gets a wrong signal.” This means that ordinary people were now talking of peace only. Many years ago, I had advised the Kashmiri leadership to put only that they can carry much of burden on the shoulders of the people as without distress. If the people get the impression that they could not get anything in return of immense sacrifices they have made, then they would get disappointed and distance themselves from the struggle. This is precisely what is happening today. More than 35 thousand Kashmiri young boys and girls have migrated to other parts of India to receive education and training for career making. There are many chances that the Indians will benefit from this special manpower in final analysis. 
 
International public opinion
 
Human Rights Commission holds its meetings at Geneva twice a year. For last ten years, India and Pakistan along with some Kashmir’s on either side have been trading accusations of human rights violations against each other. Till date the UN did not appoint a Commission that would conduct inquiry into these allegations. The OIC raised hue and cry that in Indian part of Kashmir, the Indians subjected Kashmiri Muslims to repression. But with the passing of each day, these OIC member countries increased the quantum of their trade with India. Larger and larger labour force from India is coming to these countries and helping the home country with foreign exchange remittances. Thus India’s economy is receiving a boost through it. After Kargil fighting, India made it known to the whole world that whatever is happening in Kashmir is because of Pakistan’s interference. The world was convinced with India’s allegation of “cross-border terrorism sponsored by Pakistan.” The pressure mounted on Pakistan by world opinion in the matter of Kargil shows that India had succeeded in making them concede what she had been alleging against Pakistan. 
 
Hijacking of an Indian airliner from Nepal by Kashmir related militants gave another handle in the hands of the Indians to tell the world that Pakistan was interfering in their matters and exporting terrorism in the country. Three persons set free against the released of the passengers went to Pakistan. 
 
Track II :
 
In today’s international political strategy, most of the matters are discussed under Track II dispensation. It means discussing in closed-door meetings on informal levels but with formal recognition. India has a host of evidences to prove that Pakistan is sending foreign Militants to fight in Kashmir and that she is providing training facilities to Kashmiri militants for “terrorist and subversive” acts. The world has not only accepted this stand of India but has turned a blind eye to the use of excessive force by Indian security forces to quell the movement in Kashmir. Of course, occasionally the Amnesty International or some other human rights organizations may speak a word or two to assuage the hurt feelings of the
 
Kashmir’s. However, India has been able to convince the world that human rights violations in Kashmir might occasionally take place because of the use of gun and the cross firing that follows it. When an infiltrator from the other side of the line of control seeks shelter in some house, the security forces arrest them. In the course of this action also some innocent people get killed because there is firing on both the sides.  In short on international level, it is confirmed that international opinion cannot be smoothened in favour of Kashmir struggle because of the indiscriminate violence to which the militants have resorted.  
 
Might of the State: 
 
The world endorses the principle that those using the gun to get their demands accepted should be met with the full might of the state. All countries in the world apply this principle. In 1954-55, Pakistan, resorting to this option, brutally suppressed the rebellion in POK. The Punjab Constabulary blasted private house with detonators. Should I venture to write in detail about this event, readers may attribute it to my bias. As such, I shall refer to Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan’s book titled” Muqaddima Kashmir,” published by Jung Publishers in 1987 for the first time. Three or four times the President of PoK, Sardar Qayyum is an ardent supporter of Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan. He writes as this (pages 110 – 111):  “The entire area was given in the control of army. There was exchange of fire between the army and the rebels in Rawlakot, Barel and Palandhari and people on both sides got killed. Punjab Constabulary was deployed. The repression unleashed by this force on our people is too horrendous to recount. They indulged in misbehaviour and excesses to the farthest limit. In the bazaars of Palandhari, they put ropes in the necks of many an honourable citizen and dragged them along the streets like cattle. They would order their captives to give out a dog’s bark or a cat’s mew. Then they were subjected to lashing. They huddled no fewer than fifty persons in one prison cell normally made for one prisoner. They left no stone unturned to oppress and tyrannise the people ”. Sardar Qayyum writes:
 
The policemen would suspend a whip on a pole along the pathway and then order the people to salute it. This was one way of humiliating the people. They would under orders assemble the people in the locality and then make them hold their ear lobes.They were allowed to go back to their homes after dusk many people had to pawn their cattle and even their womenfolk to raise funds to pay the land tax. In many cases the taxes were realized for the fourth or fifth time because each revenue officer would want to realize it during his tenure.” 
 
Clinton’s visit :
 
President Clinton’s South Asian visit generated hope among the Kashmiri people. Some of the Kashmiri leaders even thought of fixing a meeting with President Clinton. They were heard saying that if India did not obstruct, the meeting had almost been fixed. This speaks for classical innocence of Kashmiri leadership. International protocol lay down that if the head of a state visits another state, nobody could stop even the staunchest of that state’s opponent from meeting the visit dignitary. Clinton did make a formal reference to Kashmir, which meant nothing. But of course, addressing the people of Pakistan on TV during his stopover, he exhorted them to give up violence and come out of the siege of Kashmir issue. The way in which President Clinton changed his airliner while landing in Pakistan gave a clear signal to the world that Pakistan was involved in the politics of terrorism. Nobody was left with any doubt about it.  
 
Those who do not try to understand international politics and those who do not see beyond the veil of human rights of western countries, they will not be able to know where the interests of these countries lie. An American Congressman said on TV that India talks business with the US while Pakistan talks of Kashmir. The US must decide in the light of her interests. This is what not only the Asian but also the people all over the world need to understand. Western countries care for their interests. That has been their policy in the past and shall remain in future as well.
 
 Religious extremism :
 
Religious extremism has engulfed the entire world. There is bloodshed in Algeria. There is terrorism in Egypt. There is fighting in Chechnya. There is talk about Osma bin Laden. There is the question violence in Kashmir and the Philippines. There has been the New York Trade Fair bomb blast. In all these incidents, there is reported to be the hand of religious extremists groups. The activities of religious extremists have brought a bad name to the Muslims all over the world. The impression everywhere is that Muslims are extremists. It is regrettable that a religion like Islam that teaches peace and which literally means peace should be tarnished by the unbecoming acts of the militants among the followers of this faith. How then can a common Muslim accept that these people are fighting a war for Islam? Moreover when we say that Islam is the second largest religion in the world, the question is what and where is the threat for Islam? Are these so called Islamic fighters bringing anything but death and destruction to Muslims?  More than 65 per cent of the total drugs produced in the world are produced in Afghanistan. But the rulers there claim to have established an Islamic theocratic regime.  How can one convince the world that Afghanistan is an Islamic state? What type of Islamic State is it when it brings death to the entire world in the shape of drugs? 
 
During Yeltsin’s president ship, Chechnya got autonomy and they chose their own President. They should have rebuilt their country, provided educational facilities to the people and worked towards their upliftment. They should have entered the computer age and become rivals of the Russians. But instead of this they blasted bombs in Moscow, or kidnapped the Russians in buses. The result was their total destruction. Russia razed it to the ground. In Algeria and Egypt, the Islamists mercilessly butchered their own men in buses, cars, on the roads and in houses. Bombs were planted which shattered buildings and cut people into pieces. What did the terrorists gain from it? What did the Muslims get from unleashing killing and loot and arson in Somalia? In Pakistan Shia-Sunni sectarian conflict consumed innocent lives in mosques, Imam Bargahs, market places and in crowded places. 
 
India is let off the hook: 
 
Violence and gun unleashed by the militancy give a free hand to India to perpetrate oppression. The proliferation of gun goes in favour of India. In the first place, India finds vast training field for its forces in guerrilla warfare in Kashmir. Like Afghans, no country in the world is prepared to provide political or military support to the Kashmiris. The arms supplied by Pakistan are of light caliber, which can be countered by India easily. India can continue with this type of conflict for a century. She has no dearth of manpower not of weaponry. The arms and ammunition seized by India from the militants in Kashmir can equip one full Brigade. The gun has given the Indians a clear opportunity of liquidating Kashmiri youth after arresting them on charges of colluding with militants. The security forces of the land where Ram and Sita and Gandhiji preached the lesson of non-violence learnt for the first time in Kashmir that they had a license to kill human beings and humanism. The outside world is a silent spectator to all this because there are vested interests. 
 
Pakistan’s role :
 
Pakistan has helped its people and nation to come to the brink of insolvency. Her military rulers and intelligence agencies have anchored their existence on fomented enmity against India. Entire Pakistani nation has been made a hostage to this scenario. No institution in Pakistan is safe from the jackboot of neither military nor it ever. So much so that even the Supreme Court too has been made hostage to the whims and wishes of the military dictators. Be it the verdict of Justice Munir in favour of Governor Ghulam Mohammad and against democracy or be it the verdict of “necessity” by Justice Anwarul Huqq during the regime of Zia, or be it the recent decision of the Supreme Court on the seizure of power by General Musharraf, the institutions of justice have always submitted to the power of the gun. Is it not unfortunate that the Supreme Court has given the military ruler a right to rule for three years and has thereby given the military rule the legal support for dismissal on October 12, 1999 of a democratically elected government? What is more, a gun wielding military man can now change the constitution unanimously framed during Z.A. Bhutto’s regime. Like this is not to found anywhere in the world. 
 
There have been rebellions. People in power have been assassinated. Constitutions have been abrogated. But the judiciary has seldom legitimized oppression. The question is how can Pakistani institutions speak of justice before her military rulers? The former Law Minister in Nawaz Sharif government namely Khalid Anwar was presenting the case against military intervention in the writ petition against the dismissal of Mian Sahib. He said that the army was the most corrupt institution in the country. He said that all the institutions in the country together spend nearly 69 billion rupees while as the army alone spends 145 billion rupees.
 
The Chief Executive remains outside the purview of Ehtesab or accountability. In this way, Pakistani army has found only one source to sustain itself on this huge expenditure and that is the Kashmir issue. How then can Pakistani army wish that Kashmir issue be resolved? If the Indian army is shelling from the control line and thus killing the people in PoK, why does the Pakistani army return fire when it know that only Kashmiris will be killed as a retaliatory action? Why don’t they shell the border villages in Punjab and Rajasthan so that not Kashmiris but Indians would be among the killed?  The politics of gun is a necessity with Pakistan army. Likewise Indian security forces and some Indian extremist politicians to find a necessity in continuing the policy of gun because the Indian security forces have found a training field in Kashmir. But have the Kashmiris and their leadership ever tried to ask what did they get out of this gun?. The answer is that they get nothing but death and destruction. 
 
Further division of Kashmir:  
 
Hurriyat Chairman Mr. Geelani has proposed further trifurcating of Kashmir. In truth he has not committed a crime by making such a statement. Jamaat-e-Islami never made a secret of the fact that it has been fighting for Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan. According to Pakistan’s plan called Operation Topic, the aim is to acquire Kashmir Valley. Will further division of Kashmir resolve the tangle? No, it can never happen. Therefore the only solution for Kashmir issue is that both India and Pakistan allow Kashmir to be united and Jammu and Kashmir becomes a secular state giving internal autonomy to all regions of which it is comprised. 
 
Offer for talks :
 
The release of Hurriyat leaders from the Indian prisons created the worldwide impression that India is talking to the people. Some of them are reported to have secret talks also. A 100-minute secret meeting was held in the private residence of the Kashmir University Vice Chancellor between a senior Hurriyat leader and the Indian Defence Minister. But at the same time the APHC has put the entire Kashmiri nation into confusion in regard to their talks with the Government of India. The State Department of the US has appreciated India’s initiative of talking to the Hurriyat leaders. Pakistani leaders have expressed their indifference to these talks thereby adding to the confusion of Hurriyat. It is out of this confusion and chaos that the Hurriyat has demanded tripartite talks. From this the entire world community got a signal that by demanding inclusion of Pakistan in the talks, Hurriyat is performing the role of a supporter of Pakistan.  
 
The question is not that APHC has made any wrong demand because Pakistan is a party to Kashmir dispute because she has occupied Gilgit, Baltistan and PoK. The question is that in the context of Indian part of Kashmir, talks will take place between India and the Kashmiris on that side. Pakistan joining the talks at a certain stage is but natural. But why should Kashmiri leaders advocate the case of Pakistan? Therefore the demand of the Hurriyat betrays lack of political sagacity. At the same time, why should not Pakistan offer the PoK leadership to talk with Islamabad as is done by the Indian government? If India gives Hurriyat leaders to meet anybody including the Pakistani High Commissioner in New Delhi, why should not Pakistan given the same freedom to PoK dissidents to meet the Indian High commissioner in Islamabad? 
 
If there is no gun?  
 
Kashmir and Kashmiri leadership should immediately reject the politics of gun. Not only that, they should declare gun as the enemy number one of Kashmiris. They should declare that the gun and violence are the worst enemies of their movement. They should adopt the path of non-violence as their line of action to bring them to their cherished goal. Yasin Malik and his colleagues have presented an example to this effect in recent days. When the Kashmiri nation rejects gun and gun politics in letter and in spirit, then the only sources responsible for violence in Kashmir would be the Indian and Pakistani forces. Kashmiri youth will no more be victimised for border crossing, arrest for alleged gun running and of custodial killings. But in civil disobedience scenario, killing of innocent and unarmed people will strengthen international opinion in favour of Kashmir’s. Indian rulers will not more find an excuse to tell her people and the world at large that she is obliged to fight terrorism in Kashmir. This will also bring to an end the business of those who are making fast buck from gun diplomacy. Any oppression or repression against the journalists will go into the account of Indian or Pakistani forces or renegades. At the top of it, Kashmiri intellectuals will find space and confidence to write the truth and convey it to the people. Those who have left Kashmir will find opportunity conducive for returning to their places of origin. Kashmiri nation will not be tarnished for alleged murders on the basis of political differences and more women and girls of our land will be saved from becoming widows and orphans. No more graves will have to be dug for the Kashmiri youth.  
 
The last thing that I think I have a right to say in the capacity of the son of the soil. The pain that has accumulated within my breast for Kashmir and Kashmir’s is that Kashmiri leadership should try to realize the pain and suffering of a common Kashmiri. The pain inflicted by a prospect of arrest or by becoming a victim of terrorism or getting killed in the process. The pain that is inflicted by the dark prison cell turns the black nights into a monster. They should realize the pain suffered by a widow who is obliged to look after the orphans. They should realize what it means to the young generation of Kashmir’s who find nothing to sustain them. They should realize what happens to the parents of those dear ones who have been put to eternal sleep in their graves. This all is beckoning them to play the role of an efficient physician, diagnose the disease and make the proper prescription. The prescription of gun has brought the Kashmiri nation to the brink of disaster. This is the time that strategy should be changed keeping in view the ground realities. This is the time that non-violent movement is given a chance. This is my appeal to the leadership and I hope they will listen.               
 
        Above article was published in various Newspapers in India Pakistan and Jammu Kashmir.
written by :  Hashim Qureshi
 
  01Jan-2008          

GLOBAL EXTREMISM & SOUTH ASIA

Covering an area of almost two million square miles and home to over a quarter of the world’s population, current regional and global developments between the West and South Asia necessitate greater security cooperation in order to guarantee mutual strategic interests and address global security challenges.Eastward-march-of-terror-696x390-300x168

EXPANSION OF ISIL IN THE REGION

ISIL developed large ‘market penetration’ in South Asia by overcoming language barriers, exploiting sympathies amongst authorities and locals, as well as, building underground cells that have allowed ISIL to successfully recruit more jihadists to join the battlefields in Syria and Iraq.

The recruitment and rise of South Asians in the ISIL hierarchy has specifically enabled the group to carry out extremely successful linguistic market penetration. Recruitment videos and propaganda materials are released in the Indian-subcontinent in Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and Tamil besides other regional languages and dialects.

ISIL has also been gaining considerable ground in Afghanistan due to an extremist conversion from Taliban to ISIL which has inspired members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to alter their allegiance as well. While, monetary benefits are stated as the main reason for the conversion, through rapid expansion, the announcement of a Caliphate and their anti-Shia ideology, it is proven the romanticism of ISIL is the main influence.

If radicals of other Pakistani groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and the anti-Shia group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, flip sides as well there could be a snowball effect. The conversion can be interpreted as thinking that their own organizations have compromised too much on their radical ideology with the Pakistani military in order to maintain their protection.

Additionally, Bangladesh witnessed the rise of Pro-ISIL outfits who carry out a sophisticated online and on the ground recruitment policy. A newly created front called Jund al-Tawheed wal Khilafah (JTK) is the main and most vocal platform for recruits and fundraisings from Bangladesh. It aims to establish a new ‘caliphate’ encompassing Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

JIHADIST COMPETITION IN THE REGION

The remarkable expansion of ISIL has not only sent shockwaves throughout the Western world, but has also instigated other extremist forces like Al-Qaeda to strengthen their reach and adopt new strategies in South Asia.

Worried by ISIL’s international ambitions, Al-Qaeda decided to bring at least a dozen independently operating extremists groups (mostly from Pakistan and Afghanistan) together into one branch. These groups have longstanding, extremely extensive networks in the region supplemented by the formidable infrastructure of thousands of Madrassas. These Madrassas mostly promote religious education based on the doctrine of extremism, which serves as ideological foundation to these groups.

This new branch in South Asia, called Al-Qaeda in the Indian Sub-continent (AQIS) has proposed several locations for potential operations including: Kashmir, Gujarat, Assam, Burma and Bangladesh are part of this ambitious and dangerous coalition.

Whether the establishment of the branch is an announcement to counter ISIL’s expansion or an invitation to work together with them is debatable. But by all means, both scenarios are extremely dangerous.

NATO’S GLOBAL PARTNERS

Since 9/11, NATO has focused more on addressing global threats stemming from areas beyond the North Atlantic. Thus, NATO´s global partnership program was created in 2011, which to date, includes Pakistan and Afghanistan.

There is an urgent need to work more closely and diligently to eliminate the global security concerns emanating from South Asia. Bilateral conflicts of interest between Pakistan and Afghanistan should urge NATO to formulate well-defined mutual goals much like the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI). The self-differentiation and diversity components of ICI have been good improvements as compared to previous agreements. The objectives as stated in the current Tailored Cooperation Programmes are too vague and thereby vulnerable.

The government of Afghanistan needs to be strengthened financially and militarily in order to tackle the various extremist forces in the country. Economic development and mainstream education should become the tenets of progress and de-radicalization. The current NATO Mission ‘Resolute Support’ focuses on training and advising Afghan forces which creates a strong foundation, however it should remain flexible by giving due attention to the ANA Trust. A recent increase in violence, casualties and the overall expansion of Taliban and ISIL warrant for an extended mission. Therefore, the Afghan Army has not been successful in countering the resurgence of Taliban forces in the south and east of Afghanistan. In the interest of peace in Afghanistan and maintaining the strategic gains made by NATO forces, the current changed scenario would justify a longer mandate for the Resolute Support Mission.

The Pakistani civil government and its military establishment need to coordinate regarding the country’s stand vis-á-vis terrorism. The Pakistani Army is the seventh largest army in the world and should be ensuring the objectives of NATO’s partnership which is crucial to provide an effective international security structure. NATO must ensure that the political and security perspectives of the military establishment in the country are comparable, compatible and have equal commitment and dedication from all involved parties.

NATO’S ROLE FOR POTENTIAL COOPERATION

Economic interdependency amongst countries in South Asia is key to regional stabilization. South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established to pursue this objective with integration in South Asia, but needs to be strengthened through diplomatic facilitation from NATO Allies and Partners.

Opportunities to formalize intelligence sharing policies among the region ought to be availed. The spread of extremist forces in addition to their interrelated networks and infrastructure should compel the nations in South Asia to overcome mistrust. Instead, they should embark upon a path of institutionalized cooperation regarding timely and accurate intelligence sharing.

Besides providing expertise and experience to these countries on this matter, NATO should avail opportunities of engaging in bilateral agreements of intelligence sharing, counter-terrorism policies and maritime security with the respective countries in South Asia. The Wales Summit Declaration emphasizes that there is a need for a coordinated international approach to counter ISIL. Considering the true spirit of this Declaration, the recruitment wave of ISIL in South Asia should act as a trigger to widen the formal coalition against ISIL and enhance it by bringing South Asian countries onboard.

Sharing best practices from NATO’s Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I) into its recent Capacity Building Initiatives (CBI) in Jordan, Moldova and Georgia have had an enormous beneficial impact in these countries. They have succeeded in strengthening their respective national security apparatus against external threats as the main focused areas of training, mentoring, equipment donation and coordination from the NTM-I were continued and incorporated into these CBI’s. NATO’s contribution to international stability, security and conflict prevention could also prove to be a robust base for cooperation in South Asia. As there is an urgent need to expand NATO’s advising and assisting expertise in security and defense reforms while aiming to encourage the establishment of self-sufficient security institutions in these countries.

The training and education components of these initiatives include providing for the infrastructure and transforming these engagements into long term bilateral security cooperation that could prove to be extraordinary fruitful in countries like Afghanistan, which struggles with high illiteracy rates among their armed forces and security establishment; and Bangladesh, which struggles with a highly politicized military.

COLLECTIVE APPROACH

From the expansion of ISIL and its worldwide recruitment policies, it has become evident that the threat of terrorism is not restricted to its region of origin anymore. The mass use of Internet and social media has obscured the borders of extremism in South Asia as well and pose an undeniable menace to global peace. South Asian allies and partners should be formally incorporated and take a lead in implementing policies that compliment NATO objectives and stem the tide of radicalization in the region as this situation demands a collective approach from the West and the East as equal partners and stakeholders.

Junaid QureshiJQ-300x251-300x251

http://atahq.org/2015/12/global-extremism-south-asia/

DAILY KASHMIR IMAGES

VOICE OF VIENNA

Junaid Qureshi is a writer/columnist for Kashmiri, Indian and Pakistani newspapers on topics ranging from Terrorism, Human Rights and Geo-Politics of the Subcontinent. He is also a Human Rights activist and a speaker at seminars at the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva. His main areas of expertise are South Asia, Terrorism, India-Pakistan relations and the Kashmir-Issue. He advises various NGO’s, European Union Institutions, Foreign Affairs Committees of European Governments and Think-Tanks regarding the political situation of the Subcontinent and Terrorism. He is a regular contributor to the ATA by writing research based articles on the potential of collaboration between NATO and South Asia. He is a senior member of the JK Democratic Liberation Party based in Srinagar, which strives for a peaceful solution to the Kashmir-issue.

 

ISIS (Daesh) attack on Paris: impact on Muslims by Hashim Qureshi

On November 13, the blood of humanity was spilt mercilessly on the streets of Paris. ISIS barbarians shed the blood of humanism in the name of peaceful religion of Islam. The title of the one who brought the message of Islam is one the grace for the two worlds. Among all prophets, he is the one ordained to bring the message of bliss. The Creator of the Universe has not given authority to anybody of killing anybody. He has not permitted any human being to usurp the right of another human being. He has considered killing of a person equal to killing entire humanity.

In his name more than 150 innocent people were killed and over 300 persons were wounded, many critically.  How can anybody have the right to indulge in such heinous crime?

Regrettably, I cannot summon courage to write on this carnage in Paris. I am trying hard to record my protest on this inhuman act of massacre. Humanism demands that I should distance myself from these barbarians. That is why I am struggling to script these lines here.

People know Paris as the city of infatuation; the city of bright springs and freedom and equality. The innocent people gunned down in this city never knew what was their fault or crime. We also know that the innocent people of Iraq, Libya and Syria, too, had no fault whatsoever. However, the first principle of seeking justice is that the oppressed should not stain his hands with blood. Gunning down one innocent in revenge of gunning down another innocent person is not just and permissible. It is revenge.

Pakistani columnist Wusatullah Khan wrote: “that two and a half months ago the dead body of Alkurdi was found lying on the seashore of Turkey. Except a few rich Muslim countries, the rest of them were shocked. Europeans opened their doors for Syrian refugees.” He writes “that 95 per cent Muslims do not accept the jihad concept of al-Qaeda and Daesh. Various Muslim groups like Shia, Sunni, Deobandi, Barelvi, Wahhabi, and Salafi etc. sometimes admit each other into the Islamic fold and sometimes exclude them from the fold. Sometimes they link them up. Was ever until today a decree (fatwa) issued during last twenty years from Islamic centres like Al Zahra University, office of the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Darul ulum Deoband or Madrassa Rahimiyah Qom to the purpose that al-Qaeda, or Daesh or their advocates are excluded from the Islamic circle for perpetrating disturbance on the earth. Whenever such a question is raised, its answer is evaded”.

More than twenty million Muslims reside in European countries. Their youth are excelling in education, science, business and many other fields of activity. They are adequately supporting their parents and family members left behind in mother countries. In addition, they are using all clandestine methods to obtain citizenship for their relatives in European countries.
I can bring an instance to memory when in Holland. “A case of brother and sister marrying was reported to an Asian Embassy. A person trying to obtain citizenship for his brother would show marriage with the wife of the brother. If a brother and his wife are settled in Europe, he tries every possible way of bringing his brother and brother’s wife to that country as citizens. They do it by administering divorce and then remarrying of course on paper. After five years, they again submit divorce papers. Many religious scholars have declared it disallowed (haram). Late Maulavi Noorani had often said that this was a prohibited and illegal practice.” However, the axiom is that necessity is the mother of Invention.
The point I want to make is that the Muslims and the people of the East have played a hundred and one tricks to wriggle out of poverty and destitution. In the process, they also got enlightened with education. The father of Pakistani nuclear bomb Abdul Qadir was also studying in Holland and was associated with the atomic energy institution of that country. He came to Pakistan equipped with atomic formula. Thousands of scholars from Asian and African countries received education from European universities. Great intellectuals like Qaed Azam Muhammd Ali Jinah, Allama Iqbal, Gandhiji, Pandit Nehru, Dr, Ambedkar, Zulfikar Ali Bhutoo, Chou En Lai and others received education in European universities and worked to contribute to the welfare and uplifting of human beings. This Europe opened doors for more than two million Muslims from Syria and Iraq. The Arab States, who go about trumpeting the Islamic lesson of goodwill, did nothing except becoming mute spectators of their death dance. “How brazenly they give long sermons that if the Muslims in the west are in trouble, their brethren in the East should become partners in their pain.”

A few self-styled leaders, maulavis and Islamic scholars try to justify such barbarian acts by claiming that these are not terrorist Muslims. Were Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin Muslims? That time is gone. We should remember that even during that period, Muslims had not lagged behind in perpetrating bloodshed and massacres. During Ottoman period, thousands of women from European and Asian countries were taken prisoners and made servants and concubines. Were not our ancestors resorting to such inhuman treatment to innocent people? We need to come out of the past and no excuse can wash off the atrocities that we perpetrated in the past.

Consequences of such attacks in Europe and in the US (after 9/11) have been simply awful. For Muslims travel in Europe and the US is fraught with much trouble and hassle. Admission of Muslim students in professional and non-professional colleges has become very difficult. Muslims receive humiliating treatment in buses, trains and airplanes. At immigration counters, they are meted out insulting treatment. Hatred is expressed towards them in shops and offices. Obtaining a job has become extraordinarily difficult for them. “It is true that not every Muslim is a terrorist but it is also true that every terrorist who is caught is a Muslim.”

Ultra nationalists in Europe are becoming stronger and stronger with each passing day. Political parties that could never make any mark are now making coalition governments frequently. The day is not far away when these parties will converge into majority and then it will become difficult for the Muslims to live in Europe. They will not be able to breathe freely. They will be left with no alternative to run away from Europe to save their lives and honour.  The type of attacks made in Paris will change the psychology of the people and European secularist and the avalanche of hatred will sway liberals.  All the factories of so-called human rights will pull down their shutters. “This is precisely what one Mayor of France has demeaned. Right wing ideologue and French Mayor Robert Chardon has demanded complete ban on Islam in France. He has said that France needs a Martial Plan according to which Muslims have to be thrown out of France and sent to those countries where Islam is prevalent.” We should not forget that more than sixty lakh Muslims from Arab countries, Africa and Asia are living in France.

Let us examine our conscience and ask how many Islamic countries have protested against Paris carnage? In how many countries Muslims came out on streets on the call of their rulers to protest against this inhuman act? In which Muslim country did the national flag fly half mast in the memory of the innocent people murdered in cold blood? Which Islamic university issued a fatwa against this carnage? The French people got killed in the sea for bringing foodstuff to the Palestinians in Gaza Strip.

In Peshawar, Taliban barbarians killed 130 schoolchildren. Entire world expressed shock and sorrow and condemned the barbaric act. However, when the Pakistani army did carpet bombing in Waziristan and tribal areas as a result not a leaf survived on the tree branches not to speak of houses, schools, hospitals and other structures, no human being raised voice against this inhuman act?  The reason was that the grim picture of dead bodies of Peshawar schoolchildren was fresh in the minds of people. However, when gruesome murders like this happen in other places like India, USA or Europe, why do we become mute spectators? Are we not becoming prejudiced and hypocrites’?

Those who seek to find justification for violence and killing in scriptures are the worst enemies of humanity. No scripture and no religion in the world preaches killing of human beings. Those who do these heinous acts are the worst enemies of Islam, a religion of peace and fraternity.

Terrorism gives birth to violence, injustice, prejudice and extremism; it is antidote to progress and development. Humankind has gone through a long struggle to achieve the level of education, knowledge and scientific advancement. Terrorism negates all these achievements. It is a poisonous snake and before it is able to spread its venom all around, the head of this snake has to be smashed.

I do not expect that fluttering of Pakistani and ISIS flags in our mosques and public gatherings will be given up after the tragic event in France. We know these flags are hoisted in the expectation of “remuneration” from concerned quarters. However, based on my knowledge of Kashmirian emotionalism and the element of hatred, I am confident that people with conscience and human instincts will hate terrorist acts like these. Experience has shown that terrorism turns civilization into ruins. After all, terrorism is an enemy of progress, humanism, respect, human fraternity, religious tolerance and science and art.  It breaks God’s finest creation meaning humankind into pieces. It does not allow the dearest sons of parents even to find a shroud for their dead bodies.

Writer is: Chairman, JK Democratic liberation Party
 E-Mail :jkdlphq@gmail.com, hashimqureshi6@yahoo.com
 Please visit:
 hashimqureshi-jkdlp.blogspot.com
 www.jkdlp.org

 

CHINA PAKISTAN ECONOMIC CORRIDOR AND JAMMU & KASHMIR

Junaid-QureshiBy Junaid Qureshi
The impact of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor on the region is a very broad subject with many layers and interrelated dimensions. As a State Subject of the State of Jammu & Kashmir, I will mainly concentrate on the implications of this corridor on the State of Jammu & Kashmir and try to elaborate its effects on the people of this region and on the future of the wider Kashmir-Issue.

The people of Gilgit Baltistan are equal stakeholders in the Kashmir-Issue and are as much Kashmiri as the Kashmiris living in other parts of Junaid QureshiJ&K. Unfortunately, for all of their history they have been forgotten, neglected, insulted and exploited.

Throughout history, Pakistan has attempted to change the demographics of Gilgit Baltistan. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor can be best classified as deliberate attempt to carry this tradition forward and even aim to change the demographics of the actual Kashmir-Issue.

In 1949 the area of Gilgit Baltistan was named ‘The Northern Areas of Pakistan’ and put under the direct control of the Federal Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas Affairs, which de facto is run by Islamabad. Afterwards, it was Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who abrogated the State Subject rule in this part of J&K. The next Pakistani ruler, Zia-ul-Haq, unleashed anti-Shia forces in the region during his term, which caused extreme socio-political polarisation in especially Skardu. After that, ‘Tribal Lashkars’ started the institutionalized abduction of women and massacred thousands of Shias in 1988.

Pakistan’s stance on Gilgit Baltistan in particular and on Jammu & Kashmir in general has been full of paradoxicalities. In 2009, the Pakistani government passed the Gilgit Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance order. The order turned Gilgit Baltistan into a province while Gilgit Baltistan has never been constitutionally a part of Pakistan. It has even no mention in the Constitution of Pakistan.

To make matters more complicated and perhaps even incomprehensible, the Pakistani Supreme Court in 1994 observed that these areas ‘are part of Jammu & Kashmir State, but are not part of Azad Kashmir’.

Utterly contradictory to its actions, Pakistan has officially been rejecting the full integration of Gilgit Baltistan by propagating that such an action would be unjust considering its international obligations with respect to the Kashmir-Issue.

A few months ago, Pakistan again raised the Kashmir-Issue in the United Nations and propagated an independent and impartial plebiscite under UN supervision, which would enable the Kashmiris to claim their inalienable right to self-determination.

As a nationalist Kashmiri who believes in the ideology of an Independent, united and secular Jammu & Kashmir, the UN Security Council resolutions hold no relevance for me, but perhaps some other Kashmiris who have been victims of propaganda need to understand the duplicity of Pakistan’s role in the UN vis-à-vis the Kashmir Issue.

The right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination was abrogated by Pakistan itself in the UN Security Council. It was the Pakistani Foreign Office which in a letter to the Security Council signed by Zafrullah Khan -the then Foreign Minister of Pakistan- enquired if the words ‘future status’ as stated in the resolution of 13August 1948 could mean an Independent Kashmir. An affirmative reply from the Security Council, caused the Pakistani governmentto suggest an amendment to this resolution.
In a letter to General McNaughton, President of the Security Council, dated 28th of December 1948, Pakistan wrote to propose a change to this clause. It requested to substitute the words “the future status of State of Jammu and Kashmir” by the following:”The question of the accession of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to India and Pakistan”. India did not object to this amendment and subsequently, on the initiative of the Pakistani Government, the question of the future of Jammu & Kashmir and its inhabitants was transformed into a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan.

As a result, the resolution of 5 January 1949, changed into: ‘The question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India and Pakistan will be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite’.

Even Pakistan’s call for a plebiscite is mere lip-service, as it is Pakistan which will have to act first if such a plebiscite has to take place. Part II of the Truce agreement puts all liabilities on Pakistan. Three important clauses of this agreement are: 1) As the presence of troops of Pakistan in the territory of the State of Jammu and Kashmir constitutes a material change in the situation since it was represented by the Government of Pakistan before the Security Council; the Government of Pakistan agrees to withdraw its troops from that State. 2) The Government of Pakistan will use its best endeavour to secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purpose of fighting. 3) Pending a final solution, the territory evacuated by the Pakistani troops will be administered by the local authorities under the surveillance of the commission.

Coming back to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, I would like to emphasize that I am not averse to economic development, solutions to Pakistan’s growing economic crisis or the eradication of poverty. I welcome that and wholeheartedly wish that the friendship of China and Pakistan will flourish into eternity. However, as a Kashmiri, I have my strongest reservations regarding this new economic corridor, the origins of which can be traced back to the Border Agreement of 1963 in which Pakistan ceded more than 5000sq miles of Jammu & Kashmir to China.

The people of Gilgit Baltistan have no constitutional guarantees of their political liberties. They have no say over their natural resources and minerals. All decision-making powers in relation to forest, power, tourism and minerals are under the direct control of the Gilgit Baltistan Council, which is headed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan.All the mining licenses are also directly issued by Islamabad.

The economic potential of Gilgit Baltistan is such, that had the people been masters of their own destiny and not treated as a colony by Pakistan, Gilgit Baltistan could finance the complete construction of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. There is an abundance of water resources, minerals worth billions of dollars andan ocean of undiscovered tourism potential in this part of Jammu & Kashmir.

There are at least 5000 glaciers, including three of the largest in the world outside of the polar regions in Gilgit Baltistan. It has almost 2500 glacial lakes. The potential of Power is 52.000MW, while the requirement of the indigenous population is just 150MW.

Gilgit Baltistan and its ecological habitat will also be effected negatively. Researchers have concluded that the current rise of temperature will dry up the glaciers in the Karakorum and Himalayan region within a century. The toxic gasses and heavy traffic flow related to the construction of this corridor will only enhance the melting of the world’s largest reservoir of fresh water glaciers.

The factories which will emerge during the construction of this corridor will use all the minerals of Gilgit Baltistan as raw material for which the population will not be paid any royalty. The proposed shifting of the Sost Dry port from Gilgit Baltistan to Havelian will also result in devastating loss of whatever little business the inhabitants have.

Based on facts, one is compelled to conclude that not the people of Gilgit Baltistan, but thePakistani Army and Navy will be the actual economic and strategic beneficiaries of this corridor. One of the arrangements of this deal is that Pakistan will purchase eight attack submarines and six patrol vessels from China. Thisarrangement will elevate China as Pakistan’s primal arms provider, a contract to the tune of 5 billion dollars, while it will seriously disturb the equilibrium in the Indian Ocean and thereby threaten the already fragile peace in the region.

I firmly believe that the construction of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is illegal. Gilgit Baltistan is part of Jammu & Kashmir State, the future status of which still needs to be decided according to the wishes of the people living in Jammu, Ladakh, the Kashmir Valley, Pakistan Administered Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.

The construction of this corridor, complimented by the military benefits for both China and Pakistan and an investment of 46 billion dollars, has all the ingredients to exacerbate the complexities of the Kashmir-Issue, threaten peace and cement China’s stake in Jammu & Kashmir.

Any kind of solution to the long standing Kashmir-Issue will only be jeopardized by these kind of intrusions. China is not investing billions of dollars to simply withdraw if any solution is found to the Kashmir Issue. Its investment guarantees their strategic interests in the region.

The people in Gilgit Baltistan are not in need of economic corridors of exploitation. They are longing for basic human rights and their political liberties. Admittedly, we Kashmiris have also been culpable of neglecting Gilgit Baltistan as we were too pre-occupied trying to liberate just one part of Kashmir on the behest of intelligence agencies, working in their national interests, while they usedus Kashmiris as cannon fodder.

We Kashmiris must comprehend that Kashmir is more than the Valley only and protest against the China Pakistan Economic corridor as it is an attempt to further destabilize the region in general and the Kashmir-Issue in particular. No country, not even our so-called elder brother and benefactor, has the liberty to impose economic corridors on us by force.

There is a need to unite and contemplate on what we need to change in order to defeat this new ‘Game-Changer’.

The author can be reached at junaidqureshi8@yahoo

 

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First national of independent Kashmir

First national of independent Kashmir
By Hashim Qureshi

Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered my release from jail on 7 May 1980. In its verdict, “the court said that Hashim Qureshi is originally a Kashmiri. Under Pakistan’s Citizenship Act of 1951, he can live in Pakistan like other Kashmiris living in Pakistan.” On the basis of this verdict, I lived in Pakistan from 1980 to 1986. I took part in politics. Pakistan government issued an identity card and passport in my favour. With that passport in hand, I travelled to London and returned to Pakistan.
hq3
Towards the closing days of 1984 and the beginning of 1985, I declined to compromise with ISI. In 1985, I approached Pakistani authorities for the registration of my two children, Junaid and Sana, as Pakistani citizens, I received a letter from the Director General of Registration of the Pakistani Ministry of Interior (No. 3/2/78-79 of July 10, 1985: copy attached) saying that I was an Indian national, and as such, under National Registration Act of 1973, my children could not be registered. Sometimes later, I received another letter from this office (I have misplaced the original but am looking for it) telling me that an identity card and passport were issued to me through a mistake and these have to be withdrawn.

I filed a writ petition against this order in Lahore High Court at Rawalpindi. Late Yusuf Saraf was the defence counsel. He obtained stay order from the court till the writ petition was decided and status quo was maintained. In the second or third hearing of the case, Yusuf Saraf told me that he had fears Pakistani government would arrest me. He told me that no doubt the Pakistan Supreme Court had set me free and that I had been living in Pakistan, have a Pakistani passport and identity card, but notwithstanding all this, there are institutions in Pakistan much above the law and the constitution. They are the parliament and the constitution all rolled in one. He candidly advised me to leave Pakistan if I wanted the safety of my person. On asking wherefrom had he got this information, he said that he was not in a position to reveal many things that he knew. The judge who was hearing my case was under pressures. I could gather who were behind this conspiracy. I had rejected ISI’s plan of giving Kashmiri youth to wanton killing. But some people wanted to adopt the plan on the bidding of Amanullah Khan in London.

It was I who had organized JKLF in my capacity as its chairman. Some activists of JKLF hatched a conspiracy with the ISI of removing me from their way. Leaving my wife and children behind, I, with assistance from some friends based abroad, managed to leave Pakistan even though my name had been entered in the exit list. My wife and two children joined me in a foreign country after some time. Amnesty International, some Human Rights organizations and the lawyers of Holland helped my family members to leave Pakistan without a visa. A top military officer of Pakistan Army posted at GHQ had helped me in this adventure. hq2
In the light of the letter cited above, Pakistan Government has admitted that Kashmiris are Indian nationals. My children are born in Pakistan. My wife is born in Pakistan; her parents and close relations all are Pakistani nationals. They were not given visa for 15 long years.

How India treated me

The State of Jammu and Kashmir is part of the Indian Union according to the Indian Constitution. My children repeatedly requested for Indian visa, which was not issued till 1995. They wanted to meet me and their grand-parents. My son Junaid Qureshi aged 13 at that time made a petition to the Prime Minister of India, the European Parliament, Amnesty International and other Human Rights Organizations. He succeeded in obtaining Indian visa. I and my children were granted Dutch citizenship in 1992. With that we obtained Dutch passports as well.

In 2000, I returned to India. I was arrested on arrival and sent to prison. Under double jeopardy law, I could not be tried because I had already been punished for 1971 hijacking case in Pakistan. It is now fifteen years that I am tried at a special Sessions Court in J&K. The case against me has been revived. Seven years after my return to India, I applied for State citizenship on the basis of being a subject of the State of J&K. This application was made u under Section 5:1(a) of Citizenship Act 1955.

In 2012, I was told to apply afresh for State citizenship because (as they said) the file had perished in the fire. I filed another application for citizenship to the Home Secretary, under the old file number 186/207/5447 of 2007. On March 5, 2015 Under Secretary, Home Ministry, GOI sent a letter (26013/0156/2014-IC; to the Secretary Home Department J&K with a copy to me. It said.
“ Shri Muhammad Hashim Qureshi has been rejected by the competent authority due to his involvement in some case of illegal activity.”

Contrary to the wishes of the people of Kashmir, three adjoining countries, namely India, Pakistan and China, have divided and occupied parts of Kashmir. Therefore, Kashmiris living in these parts have the compulsion of seeking citizenship of respective occupied parts. They need to go out and as such they have to have passport, identity card and other such documents. If they apply and ask for it, that does not mean they become citizens of the occupying country. Hashim (1)
However, those who fight election in any of these parts for membership of their assemblies or parliaments after taking an oath of the existing constitution in these parts, or seek a public office in the respective part under no compulsion, betray their conscience if they raise voice against that part’s occupational forces.
Asking for passport is a compulsion but fighting elections, not once but five times, and winning three of them, which would fill a period of eighteen years, then taking an oath of allegiance to the constitution of the occupying country and getting all accruing benefits including pension, is no compulsion. Obviously, all this is done consciously. But despite all this, it is rank hypocrisy to castigate the benefactor and instigate the people in favour of the adversarial occupant.
Kashmiris have to be careful about such misleading propaganda.
I must state here that despite being a Kashmiri by birth, both of the occupying countries viz. India and Pakistan have denied me their citizenship against the provisions in their respective constitutions. As such, I am justified in claiming to be the first national of independent Kashmir.

KOKERNAG SAY DAKSUM TAK KI DAIRY

” ککرناگ اور ڈکسوم !

کیسے اور کس زبان سے رب کائنات کا شکر ادا کیا جاۓ؟
جس نےہمیں اسقدر دل کش، خوبصورت اور قدرتی حسن اور
آبشاروں صاف و شفاف پانی سے بل کھاتی ہوئ ندی نالوں
سےنوازا ہیں؟ اے میرے پروردگار میرا روم روم تیرا شکر گزار ہی
نہیں بلکہ قرض دار ہیں کہ تم نے مجھےاس جنت بے نظر کشمیر
میں پیدا کیا ہیں!!! اور میں نےساری زندگی تیری عظمت اور آذادی
کی جنگ میں حصہ لیا اور تیری عزت و آبرو کے لئے تحفظ کے لئۓ
اپنا سب کچھ قربان کرتا رہا !

   دو راتیں ککرناگ میں بسر کی۔ رات کو ٹھنڈ تھی دن کو ڈکسوم کے
اوپر تک چلے گۓ ڈکسوم سے پہلے ایک گاوں آتا ہیں جس کا نام
” ذلن گام ” ہیں جو یسئن ملک کےآبااجداد کاگاوں ہیں۔ آگے کشتواڈ جانے
کا راستہ ہیں مگر سیلاب کی وجہ سے راستہ بند تھا۔آج ہم ککر ناگ سے
” وتنار” کے راستے سے ویری ناگ چلے گۓ اگرچہ راستہ پہاڈی پر چڑھنے
اور پھر اترنے کا ہیں اور راستہ ابھی نیم کچا ہیں مگر وادیاں اس قدر حسین
اور دلکش ہیں کہ روح کی گہرائ تک شادابی محسوس ہورہی تھی۔جگہ جگہ
لوگوں سے وطن کے اتنے بڑے وسائل کے مالک ہونے کے باوجود لوگوں کے تہی دست
ہونے پر بحث ہوتی رہی۔ ککر ناگ سے لیکر ویری ناگ تک کا سارا ایسا علاقہ ہیں
جو جنگلات اور چرہ گاہوں سے بھر پور ہیں اور پانی بہت ہیں میرے اندارے کے
مطابق کم از کم صرف اسی علاقے میں10 لاکھ بیھڑ بکریاں اور 5لاکھ گاۓ اورBull
پالے جاسکتۓ ہیں۔ہم ایک اندازےکے مطابق ہر سال 15 سو کروڈ کا گوشت اور 7 سو
کروڈ سے ذیادہ مرغیاں ریاست سے باہر سے منگواتے ہیں؟ کیا ہم اپنی ہزاروں چراگاہوں
کو sheep اور cattle فارم میں بدل نہیں سکتے؟ اگر آسٹریا، فرانس،سویزرلینڈ ،ہالینڈ
اور ذنمارک و سویڈن جیسے ممالک گوشت،دودھ،مکھن اور دیگر ڈیری کی چیزوں کی
پیداوار سے کھربوں ڈالر کماکر اپنی اقتصادیات کو آسمانوں پر لےجاسکتے ہیں تو
ہمارے پاس اتنے وسائل ہونے کے باوجود ہم بےروذگاری کے ذخم کیوں چاٹتے جارہے ہیں؟
اور سرکاری نوکریوں کے لۓ ہر در پر دستک اور رشوت کیوں دینے پر آمادہ ہیں؟ ہماری پوری
ریاست چراگاہوں سے بھری ہیں مگر غلامانہ ذہینیت نے ہماری سوچوں کو ذہنگ آلود بنایا ہیں

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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’?

Many reports and TV programs are made in India which strives to make politics and government establishments more transparent and accessible for the common man. Innumerable corruption cases, accountability committees and investigation processes have been brought to light by the Indian media. But the Indian media has failed to make such reports or programs about Kashmir. Has the Indian media ever thought that violence only, could not be the sole cause of corruption, poverty and bad governance? The Indian media has never published reports investigating government’s expenses in Kashmir. The Indian media has never tried to investigate why the Dal Lake still is a drain whereas millions of Rupees have been spent on its clean-up. The Indian media has never tried to discover that almost every government’s job is either given to relatives of Ministers or sold for Lakhs in Kashmir. My humble question to the Indian media is the same as the Indian media and the inheritors of knowledge and truth should ask themselves: Why?

Section 167 of the CRPC grants the right to every person in custody to be released on bail if no charge sheet is filed against him/her within 90 days of custody. In Kashmir there are numerous detainees who are languishing in jail under the Public Safety Act which allows detention for up to two years without charge or trial on the purported presumption that the arrested may in the future commit acts harmful to the state. This law has its origin in the Defense of India Act (DIA) during Colonial British Rule. The DIA was described by Gandhiji as a draconian and black law. Why isn’t the India media reporting this abortion of Human Rights and thereby upholding Gandhiji’s values? Is Kashmir that hard to find, whereas Amnesty International and other international bodies are having no problem in locating Kashmir and have already published various reports condemning the PSA. Again my humble question to the protectors of freedom is: Why?

There are 6 Lakhs youngster in Kashmir who are suffering because of unemployment. Many of them have University and College degrees. Indian media has been quick to attribute this sky high unemployment rate to militancy. Has the Indian media ever tried to research whether the militancy could be attributed to the high unemployment rate? No report or article has ever tried to outline what the government is doing about this high unemployment rate. The Kashmiri youth is only interesting for the Indian media when their hands are cuffed by the suppressors. But they are not worthy of news when their hands hold a pen and a degree while their stomach is empty.

Noted columnists like Arundhati Roy, Vir Sanghvi and Swaminathan A. Aiyar have tried to bring the recent developments in Kashmir to the common man in India and made Kashmir’s secession a matter of common debate. They defied the mainstream mindset of the Indian media of neglecting the uprising and wrote on the basis of truth and morality. The approach of the mainstream Indian media has proved that the estimate of Reporters without borders, which ranks India 120th worldwide in Press Freedom Index, is close to reality.

Life comes to a standstill in India and live telecast is shown on all major channels whenever there is an encounter between militants and security forces. It is quite common that a grenade blast by militants captures the headlines for two days in every national Channel and newspaper. This time there were no grenades or Kalashnikovs involved. There were a million men, women and children on the streets demanding the right which was promised to them by Indian leaders like Mr. Pandit Nehru. Protestors were holding peaceful demonstrations and were still attacked by the security forces which used lathe-charge, teargas and even bullets to suppress and oppress the popular uprising. Even women and children were not spared. People were injured and killed by ‘Democracy’ and the heirs of ‘Democracy’ watched the dance of death as silent spectators. How humiliating for the Kashmiris and how hypocritical and shameless of the Indian media that these events were not good enough to capture the headlines in major newspapers and were not showed on news channels. Is the Indian media afraid that by showing these events in a truthful way it will trigger the same reaction from the Indian people as the reactions of American and French people during the excesses of their security forces in Algeria and Vietnam?

We Kashmiris are also human beings and entitled to some inalienable rights. The duty of the media is to report our wishes, grievances, problems and thoughts in order to provide citizens with information and trigger common debates. It is not the duty of the media to judge whether the wishes, grievances, problems and thoughts are right or wrong or in the national interest of India. The judgment should be left upon the people.

Hashim Qureshi
Chairman: JK Democratic Liberation Party.