This article was written in 1998 and is part of my first English work “Kashmir: The Unveiling of Truth” (Order here)
‘Azad’ means free and freedom for the people means exercise of their right to self- determination, self-rule and sovereignty. The rulers ofPakistan controlled part of Kashmir call Azad Kashmir meaning “Free Kashmir”. Let us examine whether it is really free and thus entitled to be called Azad Kashmir?
“Azad Kashmir” comprises three region; Gilgit, Baltistan and the rest of the territory under the control of Pakistan. In regard to Gilgit and baltistan, one should not indulge in any wishful thinking. Had Pakistani rulers been sincere to Kashmiris,they would not have approached the Supreme Court on technical basis to annul the judgment of the Azad Kashmir (AK) High Court in regard to the status of these two areas.For fifty years,the people of Gilgit and Baltistan were sensitized to separation from Kashmir.Otherwise they would not been prompted to ask for representation in National Assembly of Pakistan. The deprived people of these areas do not have the right to appeal in the Supreme Court or the High Court of AK or Pakistan.Not even a criminal or civil case can be lodged with the High Court or the Supreme Court because Gilgit and Baltistan do not fall within the jurisdiction of the High Court or the supreme Court of AK or Pakistan.
All sincere nationalists call AK as Pakistan occupied Kashmir. If I call it so, I am only following the line of nationalist policy. To be precise, I advance the following arguments in support of the stand taken by the nationalists.
1) Despite Maharaja’s accession to India, we call it IHK just because India did not give Kashmiris the right of self determination. Despite a stand still agreement with Maharaja, Pakistanis engineered attack on Kashmirby tribals and their regulars (see Gen. Akbar Khan’s work Invaders of Kashmir). People in Gilgit and Baltistan liberated their areas without Pak assistance, but Pak ruled it trough a resident for 26 years under F.C.R as the British used to do. There is no High or Supreme Court in the area nor can the people there send their elected representatives to Assembly. Is this ‘Azaadi’?
2) Governments are made or broken en AK/POK at the behest of rulers in Islamabad. During Ayub regime, President late K.H. Khurshid was made to resign by an S.P. and later jailed in Palandari and Dalai Camp. He happened to be the private secretary of Mr. Jinnah at one time. In Z.A. Bhutto regime, another elected President, Sardar Qayyum was removed by a D.S.P of Federal Security Fores in Muzaffarabad holding him by his beard. During Gen. Zia’s regime, Brig. Hayat Khan was imposed on AK for seven years. When Zia was no more, PPP regime was installed in AK when the party came to power in Islamabad. PPP govt. was out and Abbasi, Minister for Kashmir Affairs told newsmen, ” I can send a policeman from Pakistan to arrest AK Prime Minister Rathore. ” It precisely happened and Rathore was brought to Islamabad in a chopper and made to sign letter of resignation.
Nawaz Sharif came to power and Sardar Qayyum became PM. Sharif’s statement during his first stint is on record. He said, “We shall give 12 mohajir seats in Pakistan to Sardar Qayyum as a gift”. Precisely he did it. Qayyum’s son Atiq belongs to Dherkot ( Gaziabad )pok, but was elected on a Kashmiri mohajir seat in Karachi. Thanks to dead bodies of Kashmiris dropping down in the valley owing to which Benazir did not oust Qayyum. However election brought in PPP regime. Everybody including Nawaz Sharif called it ‘selection’ not ‘election’.
3) High ranking officers like Chief Secretary, Finance Secretary, I.G.P etc for AK come from Islamabad. What is the difference between IHK and POK.
4) During Z.A. Bhutto regime, Azad Kashmir Rifles militia was disbanded by Pakistan government and amalgamated with Pak army only to lose its identity. This was to make AK totally dependent on Pakistan for security and maintenance of law and order. Does it speak about freedom and independence of Azad Kashmir.
5) No elections in AK can be fought without taking oath of allegiance to Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan. In preceding elections nationalist formed national alliance to fight elections. Their all nomination applications were rejected for not filling accession to Pakistanoath document. Are these people free or enslaved ?
6) No Minister, Prime Minister or President in AK can assume office unless he takes the oath of Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan. Is that President, PM and the ministers ‘Azaad’ to call their land Azad Kashmir?
7) Nobody in AK can be appointed on any government job unless he/she expresses loyalty to the concept of Kashmir’s accession toPakistan. This is only what the enslaved people have to do, not the free people.
8) AK does not get royalty of Mangla Dam or its share of foreign exchange earnings nor the share towards tax realizations and sales tax. A region and people providing energy resource to others without asking for its cost and allowing its own people to remain deprived. Looking another Side NWFP get royalty of Terbela Dam.
9) For the last 50 years, people in AK have been held hostage to “so-called freedom of Kashmir”. People finding no avenues of subsistence in their land, emigrate to Middle East, Europe and other lands to labor untiringly and keep themselves living. During past 8 years of turmoil in the valley very few people have emigrated to foreign countries, but in AK innumerable numbers have emigrated in search of livelihood. Thousands of AK youth do menial jobs in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Lahore etc.
10) AK youth working hard in foreign country’s remit enormous foreign exchange to Pakistan. In 1977, the amount was computed to seven thousand million rupees. In1988 the Pak Finance Minster said in a statement that AK deposits in Pakistani banks was in the neighborhood of 24 hundred thousand million rupees. Despite this huge remittances, there are no industries in to employ the youth. With these enormous foreign remittances industries in Karachi, Lahore, Hasanabad and Faisalabad are run. My poor compatriot in AK has to rest content with a menial’s job, and nobody feel proud to call it ‘Azad’ meaning ‘Free’ Kashmir.
11) Azad Kashmir have no medical college or en engineering college or a polytechnic-institute or agricultural college or a forestry college in AK? None. A university for the sake of mere runs classes in four or five towns. On the other hand, in IHK whomsoever you meet is either a doctor, engineer, professor, technocrat or scientist etc.
12) From my freedom in 1980 till my exile in 1986, I was active in AK and Pakistan politics. Eight times I was banned to enter the district and four times I was arrested. I was the first Organizing Chairman of Liberation Front when it was intercepted in 1982. Our medical teams went from village to village to provide medicare to the needy. My entry in districts was banned or I was arrested because of my popularity with the masses. Being different from self-seeking leadership of AK, I dedicated myself to the service of the people, my compatriots in that part of Kashmir. I was clubbed by police for making AK a base camp. They inflicted head injuries on me. Let me not say about many others.
13) Whatever I said on current matters years ago has come out true. please keep in mind that I am a student of Maqbool Bhat, the martyr and a staunch nationalist. It will help find an answer on many questions. On Internet I said the very first day that there is no point in indulging in meaningless discussions. I have given the formula of the solution of Kashmir with two options. If the first option is not acceptable why should not the second option be implemented if Pakistan is sincere with Kashmiri people?
People in POK are aware, that “Azad Kashmir” is a part of land occupied by Pakistan. But there are some persons who have a large interests with Rulers, Agencies and political parties, they will never accepted truth whatsoever you do, even if GOD will speak by his own. I know some, they are on pay roles of agencies and they get expenses for big offices, travels, and for making noises. Sardar Qayyam Khan is alleged to have misappropriated 54 crores from the Kashmir Liberation Cell. Last week in the press-conference,the director of Liberation cell accused his secretary of embezzling 8 crores of rupees. There are also, some who are more dangerous because of little knowledge.
‘INTERIM CONSTITUTION OF AZAD KASHMIR ACT, 1974’ is enough proof to know why Azad Kashmir is called POK. For example:
1) Section 7.2; “No person or political party in Azad Jammu&Kashmir shall be permitted to propagate against, or take part in activities prejudicial or determential to, the ideology of the state’s accession to Pakistan”.
2) Section 21; Azad Jammu&Kashmir council –
– There shall be an Azad Jammu&Kashmir council consisting of:
a) the Prime Minister of Pakistan;
b) the President;(AJK)
c) five members to be nominated by the Prime Minister of Pakistan from time to time from amongst federal ministers and members of Parliament;
d) the Prime Minister of Azad Jammu&Kashmir or a person nominated by him; and
e) six members to be elected by the Assembly from amongst state Subjects in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.
f) Prime Minister of Pakistan shall be the chairman of the council.
3) section 31.3; Neither the council nor the Assembly shall have the power to make any law concerning.-
b) the defense and security of Azad Jammu&Kashmir;
c) the current coin or the issue of any bills, notes or other paper currency;
d) the external affairs of Azad Jammu&Kashmir including foreign trade
and foreign aid.
4) Section 35; Authentication of bills past by the council shall not require the assent of the President ( AJK ) and shall, upon its authentication by the chairman of the council, become law and be called an act of the council.( Please remember, that the chairman ofthe council is the PM of Pakistan with five nominated cabinet and parliament members and the minister of Kashmir affairs. When there isno democratic government than the president of Pakistan or Martial Law Administrator are all in all about POK
Please note, that there are more than 55 matters, in which the President, prime Minister and whole Assembly of POK cannot interfere according to INTERIM CONSTITUTION ACT, paragraph, Third Schedule.
Some important matters from those 55 are;
1) Nationality, citizenship and naturalization, migration from or into Azad Jammu&Kashmir, admission into, and immigration and expulsion from AJK including in relation there to the regulation of the movements in AJK.
2) Post and telegraphs, including telephones, wireless Broadcasting and other like forms of Communications; Post Office Saving Bank.
3) Council public services and Council Public Service Commission.
4) Administrative courts for Council subjects.
5) Mineral resources necessary for the generation of nuclear energy.
6) Aircraft and air navigation; the provision of aerodromes; regulation and organization of air traffic and aerodromes.
7) Copyright, inventions, designs, trade marks and merchandise marks.
8) Banking, that is to say, the co-ordination with the Government of Pakistan of the conduct of banking business.
9) The law of insurance and the regulation of the conduct of insurance business.
10) Stock-exchange and future markets with objects and business not confined to Azad Jammu&Kashmir.
11) Planning for economic coordination, including planning and coordination of scientific and technological research.
12) Highways, continuing beyond the territory of Azad Jammu&Kashmir, excluding roads declared by the Government of Pakistan to be strategic importance.
13) Extension of the powers and jurisdiction of members of a police force belonging to Azad Jammu&Kashmir or any province of Pakistan to any area in such province or Azad Jammu&Kashmir, but not so as to enable the police of Azad Jammu&Kashmir or such province to exercise Powers and jurisdiction in such province or Azad Jammu&Kashmir.
15) Mineral oil and natural gas; liquids and substances declared by law made by the Council to be dangerously inflammable.
16) Development of industries, where development under Council control is declared by law made by the Council to be expedient in the public interest.
17) Removal of prisoners and accused persons from Azad Jammu&Kashmir to Pakistan or from Pakistan to Azad Jammu&Kashmir.
18) Population planning and social welfare.
20) State Property.
21) Curriculum, syllabus, planning, policy, centers of excellence and standards of education.
22) Sanctioning of Cinematographic films for exhibition.
24) Duties of customs, including export duties.
25) Taxes on income other than agricultural income.
26) Taxes on corporations
Please note, that this INTERIM CONSTITUTION OF AZAD JAMMU & KASHMIR ACT 1974 is made by Ministry of law and Kashmir affairs of Pakistan at the time of Z.A. Bhutto’s regime.
1) Oath of office.
“That as a President of Azad Jammu&Kashmir I will remain loyal to the country and to the cause of accession of the state of Jammu&Kashmir to Pakistan”
2) Here is the oath from IHK for the head of state.
“……..That I will faithfully execute the office of Governor of Jammu&Kashmir and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the constitution and the law and that I will devote myself to the service and well being of the people of the state”.
I and every respected person will always condemned the brutality of Indian security forces against innocent people in Kashmir. I am struggling for more than 29 years for the independent and sovereign state of Jammu&Kashmir.Please note that every state in the world including western states who always are crying for Human Rights, (for western states Human Rights matter is a face saving issue) or response against armed struggle with brutal methods including India and Pakistan. What the Indian security forces are doing today in IHK against the people of Kashmir, Pakistani forces had done with Kasmiris in Poonch district including Mang in 1954. In 1971 Pakistani forces had killed thousands of Muslim brothers in East-Pakistan ( now Bangladesh ) they also raped Muslim women in figure of 200.000. But for Indian people,Security Forces brutality is against the principles of Great Gandhi called by Indian Nation as a “BAPU”.
PLEASE NOTE, WE ARE NOT ADVOCATING FOR BRUTALITY OR ANY KIND OF SUPRESSION FROM THE STATE POWER AGAINST THE PEOPLE, BUT WE WANT TO GIVE EVIDENCE FOR OUR AIMS AND OBJECTIVES. THAT IS ; INDIA AND PAKISTANARE BOTH AGGRESSORS AGAINST THE KASHMIRIS AND BOTH PARTS OF OCCUPIED KASHMIR MUST BE CALLED IOK AND POK.
Recently AJK High court made a decision on the status of AJK. This decision is also substantial proof, that Azad Kashmir must be called P.O.K.
AZAD-KASHMIR HIGH COURT DISMISSES PETITION ON ITS AUTONOMOUS STATUS.
Muzaffarabad; 23 February, 1998: The Azad-Kashmir high court has ruled that the area under Pakistani control is nothing more than a province of Pakistan and that its much acclaimed ‘autonomous status’ is only a myth and that its Interim Constitution as well as the position taken by the UN on Azad-Kashmir status does not make it an independent state. Justice Manzoor Gelani ruled that” the Articles 31-33 and 58 of the Azad-Kashmir Constitution-1974, surrendered Foreign, Communications, Defense and Trade powers to federal government of Pakistan and that Azad-Kashmir government was no more ‘powerful’ than any other Pakistani provincial government”. His ruling came in response to a legal petition entered by Mirpur based Amin Shipping Corporation which questioned the legitimacy of Foreign Imports Tax Duty charged to them by Pakistan Customs Offices.
The Azad-Kashmir region, which some perceive as a semi-autonomous country with its own prime minister and president, has effectively been ruled by Pakistan since 1947, and since 1974 most decision making powers have gone to the chair of the Kashmir Council – Prime Minister of Pakistan.
One question and answer from the Azad Kashmir assembly relating to our subject.
Muzaffarabad; 6th March: The Azad Kashmir government has admitted that it has no official record of billions worth of properties inPakistan which belong to the State of Jammu-Kashmir. In an answer to a question by Jamaat-Islami’s only MLA in the puppet state assembly the Speaker said that “only those questions which were in the jurisdiction of the state assembly could be asked in the House. we have no control over a single inch of Kashmir property in Pakistan and the position is the same in Gilgit/Baltistan area”, he added.
Azad Kashmir MLA’s and ministers have been unable to obtain the exact figures of income and expenditure from Kashmir properties located within Pakistan, which historical belonged to the Maharaja of Kashmir and provided a lucrative income for him.
Azad Kashmir would be really free if the sovereignty rested with her people; if it could chalk out its independent policies and courses of action; if its administration was run by its own sons and daughters; if its President was treated at par with any president of a foreign country. Where a President is made to stand in line to receive the Under Secretary from Islamabad. That land cannot claim to call it self ‘Azaad’. That is a misnomer.By calling it POK, I have not played in the hands of anybody, but I have only said what is literally
and factually true meaning that Pakistan has occupied (the part of) Kashmir called POK.
According to principles, the meaning of patriot is ‘someone who loves his country and feels very loyal towards it’. The people who want accession with any other country can not be called a patriot by the sons and daughters of soil.