Pakistan’s Kashmir Policy
Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani
It is reported that Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani has said that Pakistan’s contemporary Kashmir policy was not in sync with the aspirations and sentiments of Kashmiris. He said this during an interaction with Pakistan High Commissioner Shahid Malik in New Delhi. Geelani Sahib has complained that Pakistan didn’t defend Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai properly. He has asked Pakistan to raise the human rights violations in Kashmir at international level to draw the attention of the world towards the issue.
Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is in New Delhi for the past few days, is also scheduled to meet the Pakistan High Commissioner.
The spokesman of the conglomerate said Mirwaiz will discuss human rights violations in Kashmir including, what he termed, indiscriminate arrests taking place here. It is reported that Mirwaiz will also discuss the present political situation of Pakistan and get an account of the situation there during the meet.
It is very unfortunate that our leadership should have such a concern on Pakistan’s contemporary Kashmir policy after 22 years of present struggle. Our leaders have failed to graduate in wisdom on the issue of self-determination. Kashmir policy in Pakistan is an exclusive subject of the military and civil establishment. Military bureaucracy has the final say and they have been using Hurriyat appointees in Islamabad no more than a failed proxy. Government of Pakistan has an obligation to pursue Kashmir policy under UNCIP Resolutions to sync it with the aspirations and sentiments of Kashmiris and watch its national interests as embedded in article 257 of the Constitution of Pakistan.
Our leaders shall have to understand the jurisprudence of Kashmiris title to self-determination and the character of Pakistan’s Kashmir policy to remain relevant. Pakistan’s Kashmir policy in fact has misdirected itself in wisdom when the government in AJK was forced to surrender its declarations of Independence made on 4 October and 24 October 1947. President Ayub Khan made an honest statement at the press conference on 10 and 30 October 1958 and said “Once there is a solution of the canal waters and the Kashmir dispute, we have no other grouse against Bharat”. (Page 186 Revolution In Pakistan by Herbert Feldman published by Oxford University Press in 1967). Water was an immediate interest in the foreign policy and Kashmir a little remote. After 32 years in 1990 a new Kashmir policy was embedded in the Hurriyat Constitution adopted on 31 July 1993. Just 13 years after President Musharraf came up with a third 4 point Kashmir policy in 2006.
Hurriyat leaders were ready to act as salesmen for Musharraf’s Kashmir policy. It included “..Demilitarise the identified region or regions and curb all militant aspects of the struggle for freedom. This will give comfort to Kashmiris, who are fed up with fighting and killing on both sides”. This opinion concluded the argument that the introduction of militancy for the freedom struggle had reached its dead end. President Musharraf’s third point was “..introduce self-governance or self-rule in the identified region or regions. Let the Kashmiris have the satisfaction of running their own affairs without an in international character and remaining short of independence”. This was a total rejection of the political agenda provided by the Hurriyat in its Constitution adopted on 31 July 1993 and a total rejection of the political faith held by JKLF or other like minded groups for an Independent State. Musharraf’s formula was in sync with the political philosophy advocated by PDP and NC.
Musharraf kicked the two factions of Hurriyat advocating the rights movement and others advocating the case of an Independent State in the face by proposing, “to have a joint management mechanism with a membership consisting of Pakistanis, Indians and Kashmiris overseeing self-governance and dealing with residual subjects common to all identified regions and those subjects that are beyond the scope of self-governance”. Musharraf writes in his book at page 303 “It ( his 4 point formula) would also need to be sold to the public by all involved parties for acceptance”. As a follow up to this desire Kashmir American Council organised a controversial Kashmir Conference in Washington and its declaration dropped the mention of UN Resolutions and the Right of Self Determination.
Geelani Sahib is very right to moan that Pakistan didn’t defend Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai properly. Fai is a State Subject and has been arraigned as an American for the reasons set out in the FBI affidavit. If Pakistan (establishment) found him of no further use or had reasons to somehow avoid any trial by the Grand Jury and avoid lids falling off here and there, while defending the charges, Hurriyat should have evolved a proper defence from its own resources and demanded that the government of AJK and the government of Gilgit and Baltistan take appropriate measures to defend a State Subject in USA.
One would respectfully differ with Syed Ali Shah Geelani or anyone else who for their personal reasons maintains that “Fai is an ambassador” of Kashmir. The details of FBI affidavit make him less worthy of this very gregarious and respectful title. If Fai had conducted himself in accordance with the jurisprudence of Kashmir case, FBI would not have been assisted by CW1, CW2, John (three witnesses) and he would have been referred in reference to the people of Kashmir and not in reference to his ‘handlers’. There is no evidence that Fai has raised the cause of Kashmir with the establishment in accordance with the jurisprudence of UNCIP Resolutions and article 257 of the Constitution of Pakistan. According to the FBI affidavit and other prima facie evidence, 80 % of his soul was possessed by the Lucifer. All these years he shrank in courage and erred to act as a dulcimer for the establishment and an escort for some regulars from Kashmir (Delhi and Islamabad) who would travel to USA.
Geelani Sahib has asked Pakistan to raise the human rights violations in Kashmir at international level to draw the attention of the world towards the issue. Mirwaiz is also slated to discuss human rights violations in Kashmir with the Pakistan High Commissioner. These two leaders need to address this question to all the member nations of UN and it is the duty of every citizen of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to defend the human rights.
Charging Pakistan with this duty has its down side as well. It may interest the two leaders to note that Pakistan failed to defend Resolutions L40 and L21 brought on the violation of Human Rights in Kashmir when there was no voice at the UN against the violation of Human Rights in AJK and Gilgit and Baltistan. The 673 page report compiled by J & High Court Bar Association and published with compliments of Kashmir American Council in August 1994 has never been regarded as a credible document and it has been eating dust in the archives of UN.
Over the years the constituency of interest in human rights of the people of Kashmir has been fragmented into three interest groups. Pakistan is faced with a strong voice of people from AJK, Gilgit and Baltistan and from its provinces in Baluchistan and Sind who cry foul on the question of human rights at the UN in Geneva. In the past MQM was also in its full gear in bringing up the violation of human rights of ‘Muhajirs’.
Kashmiri delegation, from AJK at the UN is considered as a routine and a prompted reflex of establishment in Islamabad. There is no single voice but there are three voices currently defending the human rights at the UN in Geneva. Non-Kashmiris have found employment opportunity on the issue of human rights. Other than this Pakistan has no policy on Kashmir.
Author is London based Secretary General of JKCHR – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations and can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org