Political vandalism in Kashmir & our duty


Political vandalism in Kashmir & our duty

Dr Syed Nazir Gilani


Indian politics under the leadership of BJP and surrounded by officers who have Kashmiri blood on their hands, woke up to an idea of committing political vandalism in the disputed State of Jammu and Kashmir on 5 August 2019.

BJP started with a low grade technical “assault on decency and democracy” by fraudulently encouraging the dissolution of Kashmir Assembly and imposing the Governor Rule in Kashmir. New Delhi committed mischief and converted the Governor’s Rule into Presidential Rule, with an ulterior motive to aggress, occupy and imprison the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are imprisoned for the last 35 days.

It is pure vandalism, aggression, occupation and imprisonment. Indian soldier in the disputed State is not a prevailing soldier. He has been granted admission into the State to protect ‘life’, ‘honour’, ‘property’ and defend the ‘territory’. This admission allegedly became valid on 27 October 1947. However, the situation was reversed on 15 January 1948, when Government of India surrendered the conditional agreement of the presence of its army in Kashmir at the UN Security Council for a UN supervised referendum. United Nations accepted a good behaviour certificate tendered by Sheikh Abdullah in their favour and added three more restraints on their number, behaviour and location.

Indian forces in Kashmir are supposed to be a supplement and a subordinate force. They are subject to seven bilateral and international restraints. Their number, behaviour and location in Kashmir at this point is aggression and violation of bilateral and international prescriptions, duly accepted by the Government of India. The number, behaviour and location of Indian forces in Kashmir has to be acceptable to Government of Pakistan as well.

It is time to restructure a policy, keeping the Kashmiri ‘principality’ at core and start using the UN, UN Human Rights Council and all available forums

Government of Pakistan as a member nation of UN and arraigned as a party to the dispute by India has a higher burden of responsibility. This responsibility has increased over the years and seems to have reached its limits after 5 August 2019, when Modi Government decided to commit a political vandalism in the part controlled by it. The earlier control has degenerated into an occupation.

One can do very little in the beginning when a State lies before the world on its human rights record. But eventually the lying State could be lynched if one has worked hard to collate the evidence of its blatant lies. Syed Akbaruddin Indian representative at the UN Security Council was far from truth in his interaction with the press at the UN Security Council on 16 August 2019, when he said “UN did not say anything” or no ‘intergovernmental organization has said anything” about India’s human rights record.

In fact the journalist at that point should have countered the claim or Government of Pakistan could have held another press briefing and exposed India’s claim. A simple reference to two OHCHR reports of June 2018, July 2019 and the third UN Secretary General’s report of July 2019, on the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir in Particular Indian administered part of Kashmir and many other reports should have been flagged to lynch the Indian ‘truth’ on the subject.

Kashmiris have a title of self-determination in dispute. It is easy to convince the world community on the three components of self-determination, namely, ‘Rights and dignity’ and ‘security and self-determination’. Pakistan has a strong constituency in Kashmir and in the Diaspora all over the world. It has constitutional arrangements with the Government of Azad Kashmir and the guidance of article 257 in the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It has an embedded interest under the UN Resolutions on Kashmir.

Therefore, adding new slogans in public meetings, on solidarity days and allowing Azad Kashmir politicians cheap outbursts of flattering slogans, in fact not only hurts the interests of the people of Kashmir, it also allows India to exploit such slogans and optics, and mislead the world community – about the jurisprudence of Kashmir case. Kashmir case at the UN is not a Hindu-Muslim case. India would love to take it in that direction and frustrate the UN definition of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It is important that Pakistan reigns in such elements who are hurting the Kashmir case and whip unhelpful sentiments.

If British Army could not deliver ‘British India’ for long, Indian rag tag army (compared to British Army of the time) cannot defeat the people’s will in Kashmir. When Pakistan says it will fight until its last soldier and last bullet, Indian occupation is doomed to fail. We have a halted UN mechanism to resolve the dispute by arranging a UN supervised vote on Kashmir. People of Jammu and Kashmir all over the world, people of Pakistan, sympathisers and people of good conscience are out on the streets of world capitals poring contempt on Modi Government and demanding vacation of occupation of Indian occupied Kashmir.

Government of India and the RSS ideology are exposed. We need to think out of our A4 size files mind set retained in the foreign office and accept that the old disciplines have run out of steam. There is a need to move away from the ‘minimum and maximum’ of a statement of ‘political, moral and diplomatic’ support.

It is time to restructure a policy, keeping the Kashmiri ‘principality’ at core and start using the UN, UN Human Rights Council and all available forums. The uproar on a recourse to ICJ has died down. It is unfortunate. Referring the matter to Ministry of Law is a routine and is no answer. The matter should be referred to Kashmiri jurists and activists living in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan and spread all over the world. There are not that many. Kashmiri jurists and activists are more knowledgeable than many of the Government officers sitting in the foreign office or in the Minster of Law. There would be a marked difference of commitment and reliable understanding of these two schools as well.

It is important that Azad Kashmir leadership, trained in day to day mediocrity to retain power and keep the ‘chest close’ relationship with their leaders in Pakistan, do not indulge in political tourism in the name of Kashmir case. Marchers of the successful London Freedom March of 3 September, did not approve of their merit and work. Public displeasure should be used as a barometer for any future, desire to travel all the way from Muzaffarabad and lead Diaspora on the streets of London. It fractures the unity of Kashmiri Diaspora and hurts the Kashmir case. World is moved by argument and ideas. It has no time – if you keep on pressing your emotional button, unless you are giving evidence as an individual. As a leader world wants to hear about the merits of Kashmir case. We have to prove that Modi Government has committed political vandalism. It has aggressed, occupied and imprisoned the people of Kashmir.

The author is President of London based Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations