Kashmir — Indian dilemma and Pakistani dilemma

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Syed Nazir Gilani

India is faced with a serious dilemma in the part of Jammu and Kashmir, which it re-occupied on 5 August 2019. Re-occupation would not have happened if PDP had an understanding of RSS interest in Kashmir. On 20 December 1931 RSS volunteers paraded on the streets of Lahore in favour of Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir and his army and against the Muslims of Kashmir who had risen against the ruler. Maharaja’s army had killed 22 Muslims on 13 July 1931. RSS waited for 83 years from 1931 to 2014, when it fooled PDP and sucked it into an alliance to find a foothold in Kashmir. India has used deceit as a tool. Maharaja imposed first ever curfew in Kashmir on 24 September 1931. Political activists and supporters were ‘designated’ as ‘turbulent’ people and mass arrests were made. Ruler could not continue this curfew beyond 11 days and the notification was withdrawn on 5 October 1931. There is an element of concern today that BJP military siege of 5 August 2019 has entered 434th day and we are still grappling for means to vacate it. There is no option but to stand firm with the people of Jammu and Kashmir, who are fighting the Indian rule. The misrule and repression of the Muslims of Kashmir has continued for the last 172 years. It was first identified by Sir Henry Hardinge, Secretary to the Government of India, in his letter of 7 January 1848, in which he cautioned the Maharaja, stating that, “British Government whilst it will scrupulously fulfil all its obligations for the protection of its ally, it never can consent to incur the reproach of becoming indirectly the instrument of the oppression of the people committed to the Prince’s charge.” We have a strong case to press a grievance against the British government. There is an urgent need to replace the dead wood, free it of its mediocrity and induce a new spirit in Kashmir policy. It has to enlist expertise and reliable inputs India has to address the consequences of her written pledge of 27 October 1947 made to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and copied to Britain and Pakistan that her armies have entered the State on a provisional basis and the accession would be voted upon by the people of the State. India has made a pledge before going to the UN Security Council in January 1948 for making a reference to the people. India petitioned the UN SC under article 35 of the Charter and on 15 January 1948 has surrendered the contested accession at the Security Council for a UN supervised vote. The character of the accession of 26 October 1947, changed on 15 January 1948. India is faced with the consequence of her surrender to the jurisdiction of UN Security Council and UNCIP. It is subject to the investigation and reports of the UNCIP made under article 34 of the Charter. There is a final template to demilitarise Jammu and Kashmir and hold a plebiscite. India has offered to keep a 14 thousand non-arms bearing army in the State. Her army remains under seven restraints. The people of Jammu and Kashmir have challenged the Indian rule. The militancy and political (Hurriet) components of the struggle may seem to have been outsmarted by the Indian deceit, but the innate merits of the use of a gun to undo occupation and use of a Constitutional Disciplineto undo occupation continue to hold their merit. It has remainedan error of judgement to call other political parties as ‘pro-India” without a punctuation and a caution. We should have supported the Jammu and Kashmir Government, on its finding about its relationship with India. The Report of The State Autonomy Committee constituted in November 1996, published in July 2000 and adopted by both Houses of Jammu and Kashmir Legislature, has found that “the accession of J & K State was limited only to the areas of Defence, External Affairs and Communication and that the State has never signed any instrument of merger.” It was a formal domestic challenge to Indian rule in Kashmir. We should have seized upon these findings and encouraged the ‘pro-India’ political parties in their internal challenge to Indian position in Kashmir. ndia is faced with the consequences of The Report of The State Autonomy Committee, consequences of Hurriet demands made in its Constitutional Disciple adopted on 31 July 1993 and the consequences of the recommendations made in two OHCHR reports of June 2018 and July 2019. The UN Secretary General’s report on Children in Conflict Zones presents serious consequences of attracting ‘war crimes’ on the question of using minor Kashmiri children for military espionage.  After Gupkar Declaration of 4 August 2019, India does not have any constituency left in its occupied part of Kashmir. Eighteen leaders from seven political parties have resolved to stand against any Indian “attack, onslaught or aggression” and “protect and defend identity, autonomy and Special Status of J & K.” RSS run administration imprisoned all political leaders and activists in their homes or at other State run ‘safe houses’. Pakistan has its own dilemma as well. The main one is how and when to consolidate and have faith in its constituency in Indian occupied Kashmir, AJK, GB, refugees living in the four provinces of Pakistan, the Diaspora and the UN template on Kashmir. The pro-India school of politics has turned away from India and is half way on our side. There is an urgent need to replace the dead wood, free it of its mediocrity and induce a new spirit in Kashmir policy. It has to enlist expertise and reliable inputs. Government of Azad Kashmir has to return to drawing board and examine its failures from 8 July 1948 when the President of AJK wrote a letter to the chairman UNCIP and from the first meeting of the Supreme Head of AJK and President of AJK with UNCIP on 4 September 1948. Keeping the UN course and keeping the faith is very important. Indian deceit has passed its sell by date.

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

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