Is something wrong in Kashmir?


Dr Syed Nazir Gilani
Our response to Indian re-occupation, un-lawful and forced annexation of its controlled part of Jammu
and Kashmir on 5 August and 31 October 2019, has not been pointed, proportionate and in accordance
with the merits of Kashmir case. People of Kashmir continue to suffer an 11 month lockdown and we
seem to have given up on them. Is something wrong on Kashmir? We hope not. Government of Azad
Kashmir laments and rightly so, that it is not allowed to open up on the diplomatic front to represent the
Kashmir case. The grievance is partly true. But President and Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir and many
others find a way to go abroad and are free to discuss their case. At times they are accommodated in
Pakistani delegations and facilitated in various capitals for an appearance. Government of Azad Kashmir

has assumed duties under UNCIP Resolutions. It should interpret its duties accordingly and assert its
principal right to represent the Kashmir case. If we compare the temp ature that was raised at the UN
General Assembly by Prime Minister of Pakistan in September last year and the sentiment it had
generated, we see very little as a consequence. There was a talk that Pakistan would explore all avenues
of going to ICJ, there would a reconsideration of coming out of Shimla agreement and that Pakistan was
in the process of a holding a special session of OIC on the situation in Kashmir. All this has not happened.
Foreign Minister has written 8 letters, two to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and six to UN
Security Council and UN General Assembly. Prime Minister has been tweeting on Kashmir. Parliamentary
Committee on Kashmir has almost disappeared in the thin air. It raves s genuine suspicion that
something is wrong on Kashmir. We have introduced a new culture of ‘virtual conferences’ and it may
be a genuine left over means during Covid-19 lockdown, but it has its own limitations. Usually the
participants except a few are people of no consequence and are added as a number to run the
afternoon show. Most of these people have no direct physical link with Kashmir and would not be able
to visualise the pain. These conferences end up after spewing a truck-load of unwanted rhetoric, like our
Kashmir Conferences of non-COVID-19 times would lure people into fiction. People have started multi-
tasking on Kashmir and if it goes free for all, it would be a betrayal. We should not forget that all of us
who have subscribed to Hurriet politics, defended militancy at the UN or advocated in favour of a
political and militant resistance against India at the UN and at other forums, carry a liability as well. Each
one of us remains responsible for the death of a generation and for precipitating a situation that has
helped Indian soldier to descend from hills and become our neighbour for day and night. Our elders and
in particular women, who had only heard about Indian army became victims of their ill treatment. They
were humbled, humiliated, tortured and dishonoured. My activities at the United Nations in Geneva and
at the UN World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, infuriated Indian Government. My father, my
uncle, maternal uncle all elderly and my younger brother were arrested by Assam Rashtriya Rifles on 19
December 1995, “on suspicion of harbouring militants and having an arms dump in their orchards.” If it
were not for the United Nations Urgent Action, intervention from Pope, international organizations and
Supreme Court of India, they would have killed them in cold blood. At one point my father was asked to
write his will. My father told me before his death, that he started believing that the army would kill him
at that point. They were released on 4 January 1996. December was chosen for their arrest so that I
could not activate any action for their release during Christmas. (Para 207 of UN Report
E/CN.4/1997/7/Add.1 dated 20 December 1996). As a tradition and as a historical practice police would
not enter our village without the permission of my uncle – the Village Head. It was for the first time
since 1846, that Assam Rashtriya Rifles waded into our house on 19 December 1995. If nothing is wrong
on Kashmir, then we have to consider pointed, proportionate practical steps, bilateral, multilateral and
international to seek to vacate the Indian re-occupation of 5 August and annexation of a part of territory
on 31 October 2019. Unless, God forbidding, there has been any quid pro quo on Kashmir, the dragging
of feet and turning cold on Kashmir would be very disastrous for Pakistan itself. It would be a tragedy if
Pakistan loses the trust and faith of the people of Kashmir. Half a dozen or more Kashmiris sitting in
Islamabad or any other extension, would be treated as lepers in Kashmiri community and even
conscientious Pakistanis would not respect them. India will hold on to its February 1994 Parliament
Resolution and continue to lay its claim on AJK and GB. India has planned to start a rigorous interaction
with Diaspora as a policy and seek to dilute the anti-India sentiment. India has created a strong lobby at

the UN in Geneva, in New York and among the Diaspora in Europe. They are consolidating their
effectiveness. It will help the Government to be updated that, India has continued with its pointed and
well prepared policy to convince the OIC and other countries of the genuineness of its actions in
Kashmir. In this regard, Zee Media, hosted The 3rd WION Global Summit in Dubai on 5 March 2020 on,
“India and the Emerging World: Nationalism, Multilateralism and Creative Diplomacy.” It is interesting
that the first agenda item in the first session was “India’s geographically significant move – Kashmir an
Internal Matter.” The three Pakistani’s who were invited to the summit, were kept away from this very
important panel. It is disturbing that a member country of OIC should have allowed India to hold a
Conference describing Indian actions in Kashmir as a “significant move” and “an internal matter” for
India. India seems to have succeeded in disengaging OIC from its interest in Kashmir.-The author is
President of London based Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights – NGO in Special Consultative
Status with the United Nations