Turning point of Kashmir freedom movement and our responsibility
Prof Khursheed Ahmad
May 17, 2020
The world has badly shaken up by the corona virus. But still the Indian government and its army is not ready to reduce the state terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian government is getting the full advantage and consistently taking aggressive measures to change the social, political and national situation of Jammu and Kashmir. All the reasonable and fair people of the world should keep an eye open for the prevailing situation in the Occupied Kashmir and try to stop the Indian aggression.
I have been observing every aspect of the freedom movement of Kashmir for the previous seventy years. I have been pondering on its history and the ups and downs of the movement of the right of self-determination. I have been writing on this topic for sixty years also. My heart foretells that the phase of this movement that has begun after 2016 and especially the situation that has been occurred after 5th Aug, 2019, this movement has entered in its final phase. It is difficult to predict the duration of this phase. There are some signs that it is the last stage of this movement. We all should adopt an effective and consistent line of thinking and action. We can delay some matters in the struggle of our collective life as a nation. We can ignore few things for some reasons. But we cannot ignore Kashmir or give it a second position as a Pakistani and a Muslim. It must have a main position. If we shall give awareness to the nation on this issue, put a stress on political parties and the government, it will be better for this purpose. Moreover, firstly and most importantly it is the responsibility of the people and the Government of Pakistan and the overseas Pakistanis to raise the issue at international level. They shouldn’t leave no stone unturned to pressurise India internationally. This target cannot be achieved only by statements and messages on twitter. Basic and effective efforts are needed for this purpose. If we shall care for it, positive results will be produced inshallah!
The present stage of the Kashmir Movement
The present stage of the Kashmir movement is effective and decisive. It’s both levels are sound and positive. It has a positive change on quantitative basis and the qualitative difference has also appeared. According to the qualitative change, the force of resistance against the occupied forces in Kashmir and the rulers of Delhi has risen up to such a level, and the fear of death has ended to such an extent that it is considered the most prominent and commendable quality of this freedom movement. In the meantime, the pro-Indian Muslim leadership has exposed there in such a manner that it has completely damaged the meaningless narrative of Kashmir in the Indian framework. No doubt, this danger has not ended completely. But this basis has become ineffective before the people who have been misled. It is a major development. Similarly, there is also an important development that Indian statesmen, media and political groups are discussing the change of status and human rights violations in Kashmir. It is something unusual. It is a positive change. This aspect has a lot of possibilities in itself. There is one more aspect that in spite of, Indian political position, geographical role and trade interests with other countries, accountability is being demanded on international front. Though, these demands seem weak and ineffective but are being raised. All these aspects exhibit that we are heading towards a decisive era or perhaps we have entered in it. It is a great challenge for us that how we can turn these possibilities in to right direction effectively.
The responsibility of Kashmiri leadership
The most important battleground is in Occupied Kashmir. The respected Syed Ali Gillani Sahib has kept this movement active and strong on right lines with his wisdom, courage, energy and extra-ordinary consistency. But he has serious issues of health these days. We should pray for his health with all sincerity. In spite of, his declining health and Indian restrictions, he utilizes all opportunities for guiding his nation. Now it is the need of the hour that a supportive leadership for Ali Gillani Sahib should emerge. It should be consisted of the people who have revolutionary ideas and constructive thoughts. This leadership should have the qualities of a strong faith, complete awareness of history, great courage and wisdom like Gillani Sahib. It shouldn’t be emotional but tolerant. A movement up to low levels should be made effective and organized there that should be popular, democratic, coherent and have a real sense of destination. All the people who are in favour of the people of Jammu and Kashmir should stand up for their support. So that, their applause and favour can give them strength. Now India is trying to create a local leadership on different political fronts that appears in favour of freedom or raise the false slogans of independence. Though, the objective of the recent steps of India is to change its occupation on Kashmir with the permanent annexation, to harm the identity of Kashmiris and to change the majority of Muslim population in to minority. It is the worst example of imperialism. The term independence is nothing but an illusion. We should understand its reality. This term is basically a trick to fulfil the Indian agenda. Although, they are still unsuccessful in this connection. However, they are trying their best to break into.
The Violations of Human Rights and demand for the Right of Self-determination
The aspect of human rights has a great significance in the issue of Kashmir. It should remain important. The people and institutions can easily understand it that India is violating human rights mercilessly in Kashmir. According to international human rights it is committing genocides and war crimes there. This point should be raised in the whole world, especially in the UN, International Court of Justice and European Human Rights Commission. But the most important is that the real issue is the Indian occupation. The internationally settled solution to this problem is a plebiscite for the right of self-determination. This issue is the central point. India wants that people should forget the UN resolutions on Kashmir. The issue should be resolved by a so called arbitration instead of the resolutions of the Security Council. No, not at all. The main issue of the right of self-determination should be raised at every level. It should have the central position. It is also necessary to avoid the arbitration. India needs to be pressurised internationally and the process of solution to the issue should be made active and effective. The people of Jammu and Kashmir can decide the future of Kashmir permanently according to the UN resolutions and the agreements between the leaderships of India and Pakistan. I would like to announce that the freedom of Kashmir was an international issue, is an international issue and will remain an international issue, until it is resolved.
India took the issue to the UN. The UN and International community promised with Pakistan and Kashmiris that the issue will be resolved according to the wishes of the people of Kashmir. It was never an internal affair of India. Pakistan, India and the people of Kashmir are its basic stake holders. The UNO and international community are also a part of it and are responsible for its solution. This point should be included in our diplomatic efforts. It is necessary to put the international pressure on India effectively. The facilitation, intervention and pressure of international community is needed for it. On the other hand it is dangerous to go to arbitration. We should avoid it at any cost. There is only one solution namely, the right of self-determination according to the UN resolutions.
No doubt, Indian fascism and discrimination against Muslims and other minorities should be exposed in our foreign politics. It is necessary to make a separate strategy and system for it. It should be a part of our strategy that we should present it as a main and separate issue because of its own dynamics. We should also talk about the rights of Indian Muslims and the other minorities. But it shouldn’t be mixed with Kashmir issue.
The right of self-determination and resistance
It should be kept in mind that unfair occupation leads to resistance. The UN charter also acknowledges it. 150 out 200 members of UN have been liberated because of this right of self-determination. It is continued. The UN admits that if right of self-determination is not given democratically and this right is prevented from power, then you have a basic right of resistance for your safety. No one can deprive you. It means that the use of this right is not terrorism. But after the 9/11 India tried to connect the movement of Kashmiri freedom fighters with terrorism. Recently, Afghan Taliban who have been regarded as terrorists, have rejected the aggression and hostility of powerful countries. But today the matter is being resolved by discussions and settlements.
The responsibility of the Kashmir Committee
It is a fact that the Kashmir committee of Pakistan has been an absolute failure for the previous 15 to 20 years. The Kashmir Committee did not have any chairman in the first eight months of this government. When the head was appointed, he didn’t perform very well. Probably, it has happened for the first time that the Chairman of Kashmir Committee participated in the cabinet meetings but Kashmir Committee has not shown any progress. Now this seat is again empty. It is the need of the hour that party politics should be put aside and Kashmir Committee should be changed into a national committee. A competent and active person should be appointed as its chairman. He should present the case on national and international level with full devotion. It is also necessary that a special advisor to Kashmir Committee should be appointed. He must be an expert in diplomacy. The Kashmir Committee and its head should run the Committee with the same passion as in the battle of Ohad the Holy Prophet (PBUH) appointed a team on a position of Ohad Mountain and said, “Whatever may happen you mustn’t leave your position.” But they left their positions and the state of Medina suffered severely.
The target of Azad Kashmir government
It is also needed that the government of Azad Kashmir should play its role effectively to promote the Kashmir cause on Jammu Kashmir and international levels. It should take the initiative and design a careful strategy. The president and the PM both are reasonable leaders. A committee should be made on the government level of Azad Kashmir with their consultation. Ex-foreign ministers and efficient ambassadors should be included in it. The people who are present in Europe, Far East, America and Arab world should be invited to play their role. The political and social boycott of India should also be considered. This factor played a key role in the freedom of South Africa. The recent freedom movement of Palestine is working efficiently.
We should try to present the case of Kashmir legally in international institutions and international court on the basis of the UN resolutions, reports of human rights institutions and the resolutions of General Assembly. International conference has its own importance on national and international levels. But it is most important that meetings should be held with the parliamentarians of the different countries. They should try to present the resolutions on Kashmir in their parliaments. Contacts should be made with human rights organizations and try to pass resolutions there.
Consensus in Azad Kashmir and Pakistani politics
We should think if it is possible for the political parties of Azad Kashmir to set aside their affiliation with the political parties of Pakistan and form a national govt. Despite having a separate identity and being an opposition party, we shall work collectively with discipline for the freedom of Kashmir and form an ideal government in Kashmir. We shall not drag Pakistani politics in Kashmir. It should be noted here that all political parties have the same opinion up to 1972. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto pushed the Pakistani political parties in the politics of Kashmir for the first time. But the experience of 48 years shows that Pakistani politics in Azad Kashmir has damaged their struggle badly. All Pakistani political parties should take the position before 1972 with consensus. I would like to make it clear that though, JIP has been established since 1974 in Azad Kashmir but it never had interfered in their policies and decisions. Although, both have adopted same name but that is a separate organization in all respects and it is not a branch of the JIP.
The need for a paramilitary force of Azad Kashmir
We should consider a paramilitary force for Azad Kashmir. Azad Kashmir should not make a military force but must think about paramilitary force. Because when there will be demilitarization and Pakistan will take out its forces, then there should be its own security force to defend it. It will be possible only when there will be a national defence force like a paramilitary force along with the police. I remember that it has been mentioned in the documents of the UN Commission.
The establishment of Kashmir research group
Though there are already many research institutions but a Kashmir research group should be established. It should work consistently on Kashmir issue to provide latest information to the Kashmir Committee of Pakistan and All Parties Kashmir Conference. It should collect, analyse and present correctly the positive and negative statements and the writings on Kashmir. It should try to attract the attention of above- mentioned institutions. In India itself many books and articles are being published, in which there is a feeling of understanding the issue of Kashmir properly and to resolve it. It is stressed in those books that why Indian government is committing genocides in Kashmir? These points should be highlighted.
Steps for the awareness of Kashmir issue.
It is important that there should be an effective research on the history and the movement of the Kashmir Issue. The significance of the issue should be narrated almost in all important languages on social media. Documentaries should be made on the Kashmir issue. Conferences based on speeches and social gatherings are not sufficient. The result oriented conferences should be held. Targets should be set and strategies should be made. Then there is the matter of convincing the people. We should approach the important political and media forums and try to motivate and facilitate them. We should research and produce different material related to the Kashmir issue. The most important task is to send these projects through media and social media to the whole world. It should be done by Kashmiris living in Pakistan and the whole world. It is difficult to work inside the Occupied Kashmir. But it should be done outside the Occupied Kashmir systematically.
The future of pro-Indian leadership
The Kashmiri Muslims who have supported Indian government have confessed clearly that India has deceived them and they shouldn’t have confidence in it. But in spite of that Indian policy making institutions are contacting with those people in order to cheat them again. They may be used next time. If Indian elements become successful, it will be very dangerous. In this background, the forces who are against Indian aggression should come forward and join hands with these people and secure them. They should be allied on common issues. If they do not become a close companion, at least they will not be a part of Indian strategy again. It will be a useful step indeed. We can observe that now India is trying to produce a new pro-Indian leadership. It has brought before many people for this purpose but all in vain. On the contrary, we should expose those people who are indulged in such practices. Their relations and background should be revealed. But at the same time doors should be remained open for the new people for contacts and discussions.
The responsibility of the religious and political leadership
A point of view of Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman on the issue of real estate in Kashmir has been published in Tarjuman-ul-Quran in April, 2020. Similarly, the viewpoints of Muslim and Arab scholars should also be taken. It means that India is trying to buy the lands of Kashmiri Muslims in order to deprive them of their identity. It is justifying its occupation there. The religious and political forces have to confront it collectively. It is very important to create a favourable atmosphere in religious and political circles for this purpose. The Government of Pakistan shouldn’t be criticized merely. It should be compelled, made ready and willing to work actively, devotedly and coherently on the Kashmir issue. We should co-operate with the government for this objective. The doors should be opened for meetings and debates. We should ignore the narrow vision of party politics and the grouping and work for the Kashmir issue.
The establishment of international Kashmir fund
It is also necessary to establish an international relief fund for the Occupied Kashmir, especially, because of coronavirus. The traders and the common man of Kashmir have to bear a serious economic loss due to the complete lockdown ten months before. We can say that they were destroyed economically. They are surrounded by almost one million troops. They do not have the necessities of life. The medical facilities are poor. They need assistance on human basis at international level for their social and health recovery. The people of other countries should be attracted for this service. Resources should be collected and sent to them. It needs immediate attention.
I hope that the movement will make progress after this phase. This movement will be successful. Inshallah. May Allah bless us with a chance to see its success. Ameen.