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India, Pakistan And The Kashmiri Struggle

By Dr Shabir Choudhry

28 February, 2011

Speech of Dr Shabir Choudhry in a public meeting of UKPNP arranged in Nottingham, England 21 February 2011

Mr Chairman Usman Kayani, Chief Guest Shaukat Kashmiri, KNP Chairman Abbas Butt, friends and colleagues aslamo alayakam.

Normally people accuse me and my colleague Ababs Butt for being ‘anti Pakistan’. Their main allegation is that we don’t speak about human rights abuses on the Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir. That is not true. Time and again, we have spoken against human rights abuses on the Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir; but our contention was and still is that men in uniform are not the only source of human rights abuses on the Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir.

Apart from that, we think Indian policy on Kashmir is known to all concerned, what more can you say about that policy, they have put all their cards regarding Kashmir on table. However, Pakistani policy on Kashmir is not fully exposed. They have disguised their Kashmir policy and their real intentions in name of Islam. They have kept their cards related to Kashmir close to their chest; and have been advancing their Kashmir policy under the cover of religion and Muslim brotherhood.

Both countries want to get all of Jammu and Kashmir, or at least, retain what they have. One country is using name of religion to advance its imperialist policy and the other country is using name of democracy and secularism or relying on that provisional accession.

Question before us is to use our meagre resources to expose a policy of that country which is already exposed, and more than 95% of Kashmiri political activists, either on their own or under directions of Pakistani agencies are only focussing to expose that country; or we be loyal to our cause and our people and tell them what they don’t know - tell them designs of the country which is using name of a religion to advance their agenda, rather than tell them what they already know.

Unpopular as it was, but we decided to expose the country which was perceived as a friend, yet its policies were no different to any other country with imperialist designs; a country which was fooling us and damaging our cause in name of religion and jihad. It was very easy for us to be a part of the crowd and go with the tide and be declared as loyal and patriots by those who control and direct the Kashmiri struggle.

However, to us, that was not in the interest of our struggle, it was not in the interest of united and independent Jammu and Kashmir. It was not in the interest of our norms and traditions of tolerance and coexistence. We thought policies that are designed and promoted by secret agencies of Pakistan could not be in the best interest of all people of Jammu and Kashmir and could lead to division of the State on religious lines.

We don’t say India has not committed human rights abuses, but we should also expose those who commit human rights abuses and put that in the account of the Indian army. Our contention is that there are many accounts or many sources of killings, but because of convenience some people like to put everything in the account of the Indian army. We feel sorry for those who have died in name of Kashmiri struggle, and we also feel sorry for their families, but we also need to note the following sources of killings:

1. Indian army;
2. Militant groups fighting each other;
3. Militants killing their opponents and so called informers;
4. People killed in personal revenge or family and tribal disputes;
5. People killed in cross firing mainly because these mujahids engage Indian army and para - military forces in crowded place and cross firing results in killing of innocent people;
6. Cross border firing;
7. And targeted killings of Pakistani secret agencies and their proxies in Jammu and Kashmir.

So we can see there are many sources of killings but for convenience there is only one account – Indian army has killed innocent people. We say where army is responsible for killing of innocent people, do oppose it and condemn it, but when there are other culprits, don’t shy away from exposing them. It is no good to tell people after two decades that Abdul Ghani Lone and Miwaiz were not killed by Indian army, but they were killed by ‘our own people’, just like Professor Abdul Ghani Bhat has done.

Apart from that we thought our struggle should be against the country which occupies us. It is illogical that people of Pakistani Administered Kashmir go to liberate people of the Valley, whereas they are also occupied; and one slave locked up in one room cannot help the other slave locked up in another room.

People sometime accuse me of criticising Amanullah Khan. I don’t dislike Amanullah khan as a person; I dislike his wrong policies; just like I don’t dislike India and Pakistan as countries, but I don’t like their Kashmir policies.

It was Amanullah khan who made a secret pact with ISI a secret agency of Pakistan to launch militancy in the Valley of Kashmir which has proved to be disastrous for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and for struggle of an independent and secular Kashmir because militancy was transformed in to jihad. It was his idea (which was given to him by the ISI) that militancy should only be used against India, and once India is defeated Pakistan will also leave areas under their control. How India will be defeated by a gun borrowed from Pakistan; and how and why Pakistan will vacate areas their illegal control he never elaborated. He told us and others what he was told by middle ranking officers of the ISI.

So it was his secret agreement with Pakistani secret agency which proved to be disastrous, for this crime and other blunders should I blame him or a villager called Nathoo Khan? As a person Amanullah Khan is a decent man, but he is not judged in his personal capacity as a man. He and his followers claim he is leading an independence movement, so he should be judged as a leader and a tactician; and in that capacity he proved to be a disaster for his party and the Kashmiri struggle.

We can criticise both India and Pakistan for their Kashmir policies, but in my opinion, the Kashmiri leaders deserve more criticism for advancing anti Kashmir and anti people policies. It is unfortunate that some leaders of Jammu and Kashmir have been more loyal to India or Pakistan than to their motherland – Jammu and Kashmir. They have deliberately chosen this policy, not because it was in the best interest of Kashmir and people of Jammu and Kashmir, but they chose that policy for the sake of rewards from these countries. They have promoted such policies which caused confusion among people and actively promoted extremism, communalism and hatred.

Chairman, I thank you for your patience.

Writer is Head Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs.Email:drshabirchoudhry@gmail.com

View my blog and web: www.drshabirchoudhry.blogspot.com




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