Dr Syed Nazir Gilani
Kashmiris have chosen to be free, to make the impossible possible. They too have a dream, a dream of liberty, and it is not a pipe dream. They will fly beyond the stars,” is a tweet from the President of Azad Kashmir. “India calls Kashmir dispute “Outdated agenda item.” Much is being made of the fact that seven decades have passed since the principled solution for Kashmir was formulated by the United Nations with almost universal support. Mere passage of time or the flight from realities cannot alter the fact that these resolutions remain unimplemented until today. The United Nations resolutions can never become outdated or obsolete, or over taken by events or changed circumstances,” writes Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum. These are two views of two State Subjects from both sides of the cease fire line. Our President has remained a long serving diplomat. The Government service constructs and deconstructs a diplomat, with every change at the top. AJK President is not an exception to this process of construction and de-construction. He has remained a diplomat at the UN in New York and Pakistan had the Presidency of UN Security Council in 2013. Our President of the State today, did not exercise his powers to cause a genuine stir on Kashmir. As President he could add an item on the agenda as many other Presidents do during the currency of the Presidency. He failed to act in the interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Dr. Fai has rigorously argued against Indian view that Kashmir case is “outdated”. It may be because he has not endured the process of construction and deconstruction. He is in exile in Washington and has a dream. Our President has dreamed like Icarus who had a dream to fly with his wax wings. You don’t fly too close to the Sun if you have wings of wax. Icarus ignored his father’s instructions not to fly too close to the sun. I carus had a wild dream and he came close to the Sun. The wax in his wings melted and he tumbled out of the sky and fell into the sea where he drowned. Our President is asking Kashmiris to fly too close to the Sun with ‘waxed wings’. We have lost a generation. They all had a dream. The flying has to graduate from wax wings into the wings developed by The Wright brothers. Azad Kashmir Government is coming close to its five year term and President would be completing his 4 years on 25 August 2020. He would also pack up with the new elections in Azad Kashmir unless he is re-constructed for new job. His appointment was part opposed and part endorsed. A Government servant is always a misfit for a public office. It has its own etiquettes, mannerisms and width. Azad Kashmir Constitution recognises the President to build the institution of Plebiscite as required under UNCIP Resolutions. Unfortunately he has avoided to undertake this serious work. He has ignored all the advice on the subject and remains in contempt of Court since April 1999. There is a full court judgement of Azad Kashmir High Court on a constitutional petition filed by Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights (JKCHR) in December 1992 and decided in April 1999. Islamabad’s experiment to induct an English speaking diplomat as the President has failed. He started with is six point formula in 2016 and the items in the formula increased to seven points in 2017, slipped down to six in 2018 and spiralled again to 9 points at the OIC Meeting in Jeddah in 2019. His diplomatic contribution has ended in two major failures on Kashmir. The first painful failure is that Saudia has refused to hold a special session of OIC on Kashmir. The second failure that has remained away from public eye is that India has succeeded to have her actions of 5 August 2019 endorsed on the soil of an OIC member country. WION (World Is One News) an International news channel owned by Zee Media, hosted the 3rd WION Global Summit in Dubai on Thursday 5 March 2020 on,”India and the Emerging World: Nationalism, Multilateralism and Creative Diplomacy.” It is disheartening to point out that the first agenda item in the first session was “India’s geographically significant move – Kashmir an Internal Matter.” The panellists in the session on Kashmir, wereall Indians. Three Pakistani’s who were invited to the summit, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, Former Foreign Minister, Pakistan, Salman Bashir, Former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan and Reham Khan, Journalist, Commentator and Broadcaster were not part of this very important panel. They were very cleverly inducted in the summit, as panellists in the 3rd session on “Balancing and Recalibrating Pakistan’s Diplomatic Strategy: Economy, Security and Internal Political Stability”. The 3rd session was further sub divided into seven sections. It appeared as if the first session was designed to legitimise Indian action in Kashmir and coerce Pakistan in the 3rd session to explain its position on seven issues. The organisers succeeded to revive a reference to terrorism by introducing a sub section titled “Pakistan’s Fight against Terror Funding- Creating an Overarching Strategic Stability Regime”. India continues with its 406 days of imprisonment of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Our President does not have an immediate stake in the tragedy of Kashmir. He has failed as custodian of the constitution and as a complement to Kashmir constituency. He is happy appearing as chief guest in Webinar discussions, local receptions, receiving guests and creating a self-serving constituency. Construction and deconstruction during service has made him ‘file smart’. Islamabad has to revisit its regimented approach on Kashmir and the practice of bringing in an English speaking President has failed. It had to fail because, President had been a failure on Kashmir during his Presidency at the UN Security Council in 2013.
(-The author is President of London based Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations.)