Solidarity with Dr Fai

Media these days is discussing the issue of Dr Shakil Afridi, who played the role of CIA informer which resulted in the Abbottabad operation on May 2 last year. They are also referring to Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai who has been arrested in the US for what they call spying for the ISI. It would be absurd to argue that if the US can track down Dr Fai on charges of spying for Pakistan, why can’t Pakistan charge Dr Shakil Afridi on the now proved charges of spying for CIA?

In Washington Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai voiced his continuing belief that Pakistan and India alone cannot solve the 65-year-old Kashmir conflict, and that genuine leadership of the people of Jammu & Kashmir must be included in all kinds of dialogue. He was speaking at a reception arranged by Captain Shaheen Butt at Royal Banquette Hall, Brooklyn, New York. The event was organized to express solidarity with Dr Fai. “More trade between India and Pakistan will do nothing to end the indigenous Kashmiri resistance, which is fueled by shocking human rights abuses perpetrated by 700,000 Indian military and paramilitary forces and the denial of self-determination plebiscite for 17 million Kashmiris that the United Nations Security Council has prescribed. And no power or combinations of powers can bargain away the rights of Kashmiris; only they can determine their own political destiny.”

“In Kashmir, during its centuries of virtual independence, communal violence or abrasiveness was unknown between Muslims, Pandits, Buddhists, and Sikhs. Kashmiris, Fai added, shared values and a heritage that far transcended religious divides. But this serenity was destroyed by the onset of India’s illegal military occupation of Kashmir on October 27, 1947.” With good faith by all parties, Dr. Fai maintained, common ground leading to a final settlement of the Kashmir tragedy can be discovered. If it can happen in East Timor, South Africa, Kosovo and Southern Sudan, then it can happen in Kashmir, which is even more urgent because of nuclear and missile proliferation in the region.

Captain Shaheen Butt, while appreciating the contribution Dr. Fai has made to the cause of Kashmir said that the international community should not abandon Kashmir to the whims of India and Pakistan. They should be persuaded to permit outside intervention to resolve the Kashmir conflict. They should also be persuaded to permit Kashmiris to participate as full partners in the negotiating enterprise. Sardar Sawar Khan said that the Cease-fire Line (CFL) that divides Kashmiris between India and Pakistan is as ugly and sinister as the Berlin Wall. But why is there no international outcry? Suggestions that the CFL becomes a permanent international border is flatly unacceptable to Kashmiris, and it is their sovereignty which is at stake.

Sardar Sawar Khan said that non violent movement in Kashmir is popular, spontaneous and indigenous. This needs to be strengthened and the people of Jammu & Kashmir need to be give the right of self-determination to decide their future. Sardar Haleem Khan explained that a free and fair plebiscite in Kashmir would yield a decisive vote in favor of independence. India, by giving a deaf ear to that understanding, has resorted to horrific human rights violations to crush Kashmiris into submissiveness. Sardar Taj Khan said that India is living in a dream world if it thinks it ever has or ever will capture the hearts and minds of the 17 million people of Kashmir.” Mr. Rohil Dar said that India’s illegal insolence to the Security Council resolutions has persisted for many decades, but no sanctions or even moral reproaches have been forthcoming because of India’s military, economic, and political muscle, the epitome of squalid “might-makes-right” international diplomacy.

Dr. Khalid Luqman explained the urgency of American intervention because of the importance of South Asia to the future of the United States in particular and mankind in general in light of the dangerous ongoing nuclear and missile proliferation in the area. Choudhary Sarwar said that experience and human nature teach that violence begets violence and leads to nowhere, while dialogue and peaceful dissent based on universal democratic and moral principles marks the path of progress and success. Naseem Gilgaati called for greater moral suasion and non-violent measures to persuade India to cease its persecution of Kashmiris. Sardar Zahid said that peace in South Asia in general and Kashmir in particular is too important to be left to two rivals alone with their own self-interests guiding their maneuvering. Dr. Mohammad Shafique urged that Kashmiri representatives must be brought to the negotiating table as equal partners for progress on a solution to the 65-year-old conflict. Rana Mohammad Saeed explained that Kashmir was about the people and their destiny, not about religion or terrorism. India and Pakistan should both cease diverting attention from this primary fact. Sardar Imtiaz Garalvi, while moderating the event maintained that direct and effective participation of the people of Kashmir was indispensable to a successful resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

The case of Dr Fai is not linked to Dr Afridi. If these are to be the instances, then Dr Afridi stands proved as a traitor and the sentence is correct but as some of the analysts say the timing of sentence is not right as it would add to further driving the agenda of the superpower as an operation similar of May 2 last year is possible that would threaten once again the sovereignty of Pakistan.