From Kashmir to Kalat — the unresolved agenda of 21st century

By Raj Dixit

Edited by Ashok Kumar

JammuThe outbursts of violence after the killing of Burhan Wani, an alleged commander of Hizbul KalatMujahidin and a few others by the Indian security forces has made us think how peaceful the Jammu and Kashmir state is?

The foreign secretary of Pakistan not only decided to internationalise this issue with U.K. and U.S.A, the Pakistan’s ambassador (Permanent Representative to UN Security Council) Mrs Maliha Lodhi in Human Rights Council, United Nation had raised this issue which was vehemently opposed by Indian envoy Mr. Syed Akbaruddin. Strangely enough Chief of Pakistani Army staffs General Raheel Sharif has expressed his concerns in public. Moreover, the Prime Minister of Pakistan and his colleagues were repeating the old narrative i.e. self-created narrative of “peaceful resolution of Kashmir based on the resolution of United nations security council”.

Let me share with you the primary conditions (as per the United Nations resolution) that are required to be fulfilled before asking for the demand of plebiscite to be conducted in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir(POK) along with the Indian occupied Kashmir which are as follows:

1. Pakistan should first, demilitarize occupied Kashmir, which includes all soldiers, regular and mujahideen, and religious entities they deployed in 1947. This withdrawal is to be deemed satisfactory by the UN Security Council body. 

2. If the security council body is convinced of the above mentioned demilitarisation by Pakistan, India is to then demilitarise as well, however, the council says India will be permitted to leave behind, in Kashmir, a limited security force to defend itself against potential Pakistani aggression. ( By this, the UN acknowledges Pakistan as aggressor)

3. Conditional to the security council’s satisfaction of steps 1 and 2, a plebiscite will be held and the Kashmiri people will decide their fate, India, Freedom or Pakistan.

Before we draw any conclusion let us study and understand the words of the resolutions carefully. As it is clearly stated in the condition no: 1 that it is the responsibility of the Pakistani government and the establishment to meet the precondition as stated as above to the satisfaction of UN Security Council.

Has anybody come across or recall an incident where any media or civil society asking Pakistan to withdraw its forces from its illegally occupied Kashmir in order to satisfy the precondition no: 1 of the security council resolution of the united nation? The obvious answer is NO because our diplomatic corp. has miserably failed in presenting Indian perspective in regard to the Kashmir issue before the international fraternity in the past whereas the Pakistani diplomatic corp. (and the ISI controlled foreign policy) are highly trained in spreading lies and canard on the Kashmir issue.

(NO BODY ASK/QUESTIONS THEM- AND SAY – TO PLEASE GO AND READ AND FULFILL THE SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION PRECONDITION NO: 1 BEFORE THEY RAISE THEIR VOICE ON KASHMIR ISSUE).

It is important to take a look at the present circumstances. Would Pakistan be ever in a position to fulfil the above mentioned, where a large portion of Gilgit and Baltistan region-in Pakistani occupied Kashmir is being illegally given to China? Moreover, the proposed construction of highway connecting the China to Gawader Port in the Baluchistan province under the CPAC-CHINA PAKISTAN AGREEMENT CORRIDOR is under active consideration.

There is another phrase which is often used in regard to Jammu and Kashmir and that is it’s a disputed territory. In this regard, the United Nations decision of November 2010 is more emphatic. As per the UN resolution, the issue of Jammu and Kashmir does not exist in the List of international disputed territories or unresolved disputes.

The recent fiasco of the visit of the Hon. Home minister of India Mr. Raj Nath Singh at the CONFERENCE OF HOME MINISTERS OF SAARC MEMBER STATES held at Islamabad. As reports suggest he was not even been given a salute by a Pilot besides being received by a junior officer of the Pakistani establishment at the airport. Secondly, the absence of Pakistani host, the interior minister Chaudhary Nissar from the lunch session, itself, shows how discourteous the Pakistani establishment could turn out to be if you are not well prepared to face the contingency situation. It eventually lead to the early departure of the Mr. Singh from Islamabad without even presenting his point of view i.e. not having a press conference in the Pakistani media. This was actually a failure, attributed to our staff at the Indian High Commission located in Islamabad who was ill prepared/trained to face such exigencies.

I have yet to come across a foreign diplomat or any western political leaders of past and present who had ever raised a concern with respect to non-implementation of the condition no:1 of the united nations security council by the Pakistani state. The western media that too British and the Americans alike have always hold pro-Pakistani view on Jammu & Kashmir issue because of the influence of not only of cold war but also Pakistan being a member of Central Treaty Organisation(CENTO).

Jammu and Kashmir is a secular composite state comprising Hindu, Sikhs, Jains, Christian, Muslim both Sunni in the valley and Shias, who speak Balti, in Kargil region and Gujjars Bakarwals besides the people of Ladakh who are largely Buddhists and the Pakistan occupied Kashmir- Muzaffarabad, Gilgit, Baltistan. Kashmir became a part of Dominion of India through an accession treaty signed between the then King, His Excellency  Maharaja Hari Singh and Governor General of India Sir Louis Mountbatten, signed (in the backdrop of disguised Pakistani invasion on Kashmir of the Independent India) on 26 Oct 1948. The young Yuvraj Karan Singh became the regent on 9 July 1949 when Maharaja Hari Singh decided to abdicate his position due to health reasons and later on become the first Sadar-e-Riyasat .He remained  to be Governor of Jammu and Kashmir for more than a decade.

Later, he became a part of Congress party and held various positions such as union minister for health, tourism, Education and Culture (Chaudhary Charan Singh’s Cabinet). Dr Karan Singh is one of the most respected politicians in India who is not only known for his erudition and learning but also his standing and stature as a parliamentarian. He became the Indian Ambassador to United States of America. Presently, at the mature age of 85 years, he is one of the senior most members of upper house (Rajya Sabha) of Indian Parliament.

Sheikh Abdullah played a vital role in the Kashmiri Politics as a first Prime Minister of the State. As per the agreement of 1952, which is known as Delhi Accord, he agreed to cede some more subjects to the centre than as contemplated in the original instrument of Accession. The state accepted the national flag, limited jurisdiction of Supreme Court and fundamental rights of the Indian Constitution besides its right to frame a separate internal constitution. But the personality clashes between Mr Nehru and Mr Sheikh Abdullah and his larger than life political ambition led him to his imprisonment. It only came to an end in his agreement with Mrs Indira Gandhi in 1975 with the installation of his government. But the damage was done due to the corrupt regime of Bakshi Gulam Mohammad, his deputy who was installed in his place while he was under imprisonment. The death of Sheikh Abdullah on 8 September 1982 left a big vacuum in the politics of Jammu Kashmir.

Dr Farooq Abdullah, a foreign trained medical doctor, son of Sheikh Abdullah replaced him as the leader of National Conference tried to lead the state with alliance and support of Congress Party.However, in 1987 assembly elections there were incidence of mass rigging of polls repeated as happened in 1983 assembly elections (though partly), people such as (Syed Mohammad Yusuf Shah) popularly known as Syed Salahudin and who contested the election. He not only allegedly lost at the behest of National conference and Congress alliance but also arrested and placed in prison till 1989. So he did not reconcile to its fate and decided to seek the assistance of Pakistani ISI across the borders became a member of Hizbul Muzahaeedin. Besides this, JKLF (Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front) took out mass rallies and protest marches against the rigging of polls but nothing happened.

That had turned the tide against the Indian government. This had not only led to rise of militancy and the self proclaimed proponents of Azadi but led to the mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley in 1989-90. Consequently, this resulted in the surge of terrorist wave (1990-2000) due the massive inflow of arms and ammunition from Pakistan in the backdrop of Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan and the establishment of Taliban supported government at Kabul. The weak coalition governments in New Delhi during this time fail to handle the situation.

The above stated events emboldened the Pakistani ISI and the army to take advantage of disgruntled youth and engaged them on the path of insurgency and terrorism (1990-2000) under the leadership of Lt.General Hamid Gul who had been at the helm of ISI as its Director General. He was a great supporter of the Pakistan Afghan policy of expanding its influence of idea of Greater Pakistan in the Central Asia. But after the massive defeat/disaster of Kargil at the hands of Indian forces led to change of Government in Islamabad.

Ironically, the creator of Kargil –the then Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf later on the then President of Pakistan at the result of September 9/11 event of 2001 and because of presumably American pressure became the instrument of bringing peace in Kashmir when he decided to exercise restrain from supporting any Jihadi groups or terrorist organisation for period (2001-onward). He remained true to his words.

Moreover, as stated above, the UN removed Jammu and Kashmir from its list of disputed territories. Its results became evident when that culminated in to a conducive and peaceful environment across the border during the tenure of Dr Manmohan Singh (2007-onward). His governments did announce some good policy decision in 2011, such as Prime Minister scholarships of about a few hundred crore programme to engage Kashmiri youth to be an integrated as a part of India besides the announcements of infrastructural developmental projects of about 20,000 crores . The loss of Pakistani support along with the change of United Nations perspective on Kashmir as discussed above and the world at large besides the rise of Islamic terrorism around the world resulted in a state of despondency and desperation among the separatist about its Kashmir Cause (to separate J-K from India) as a lost case.

One should try to understand and analyse the state of the recent political unrest/protests in Kashmir who claims themselves to be the supporters of Azadi uses young children and the teenagers as a shield and incite them in throwing stones on the security forces rather than young responsible leaders lead protest marches in the non violent ways in the light of above stated.

These kind of protests where children and teenagers are used shows the inabilities and act of desperation after losing international support based on false claims and propaganda of the Kashmiri militants and the leaders of Hurriyat conference-a group of about 23 political parties and self proclaimed associations. Nevertheless, it is certainly true that nobody would support the use of pallet bullets on the protesters. The government and the specially the (PDP- Peoples Democratic party and BJP (Bhartiya Janata Party ) alliance) present state government must share the blame and responsibility of intelligence failure and its inept handling and allowed the situation to go out of hands.

The best recourse now available to the Indian government is that it should make a sincere effort to organise an all inclusive attempt to talk  to all sections (including separatists) of Kashmiri’s irrespective of their political affiliations and ideologies whoever agrees to talk within the ambit of Constitution of India.

Secondly, it should review its past and present programmes and policies. It should acknowledge the deficiencies, if any, in the delivery system and take the necessary steps to strengthen it. This would only enable the state government and its allied agencies to disengage youth and people of Jammu Kashmir from being victim of unproductive and sinister design of terrorists and extremists.

Once Kashmiris are gainfully engaged in creating a value system based on just and fairness-a bedrock required for the development of democratic state. This is the only way to win the hearts and mind of the people of state and engage them in the building of Kashmir of 21 st Century.

Please remember, some of the leaders of Hurriyat conference and other associations know that they have more to fear from Pakistani ISI than anybody in India and Indian state. It may be recalled, when Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s father-Maulvi Mohammad Farooq was killed on 21 May 1990 by Hizbul mujahideen at the behest of Pakistan or Shabnam Lone’s father Mr Abdul Gani Lone, both were considered to be the moderate in Kashmiri politics.

India has resolved such problems in the past and therefore It must vigorously pursue its case to focus on the Pakistan occupied Kashmir not only Muzzafarabad area but also Gilgit and Baltistan area.

Before I conclude, I would like to draw the attention to and share the grief and deep concern about another unresolved issue of this century. Everybody was worried about the happenings in the valley region of Jammu and Kashmir of India (one should be!). However, none is bothered about the incidences happening in our neighbouring region of Pakistan where Pakistani forces killing thousands of Baluchi’s. As report suggest about more than 14,000 people are untraceable in the Baluchistan province of Pakistan. At the time of writing , about 80 Senior members of the Bar of the Quetta got killed whereas more than 70 members of the legal fraternity were injured and struggling for their lives in the hospital because of massive bomb attack at Quetta, capital city of Baluchistan, the erstwhile region of KALAT crying and seeking help…. would anybody (especially western media and policy makers) listen to it?

(To be Continued)

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About Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar is an accomplished journalist with over 38 years of experience in the profession in various capacities. He was a sub-editor in Patriot and later Chief Sub-editor in The Hindustan Times, New Delhi. He has several published articles and reports in Patriot and HT. Published reports in The Blacktown Sun in Sydney. He had also been a tutor in journalism in the University of Western Sydney. He is currently Editor at The Indian Sub-continent Times, Sydney.

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