Published On: Mon, Jun 15th, 2015

‘Ikhwan and Pakistan are back’

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By – Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani –

We have a locally ‘elected’ (from a part of the State) Government in Srinagar. It represents only a part of the geography and people. This time it is far less independent than it ever has been since 1947. We should have a Government in Srinagar as envisaged in para 6 of UN Security Council Resolution S/726 of 21 April 1948.

The jurisprudence of UN Resolutions on the settlement of the question of self-determination based on the principle of equality of the people of Jammu and Kashmir questioned in the past couple of years in Musharraf’s rule is making its merit felt. Some Kashmiri leaders and some sections in the Government of Pakistan who had lost heart in the merits of UN Resolutions on Kashmir (for their personal reasons) have all purged their heart clean of all ambiguity and have endorsed the inalienable right under the UN supervision.

Government of Pakistan as a party to the dispute is considered to set the resistance compass in the Valley. Therefore, it has a higher burden of responsibility towards the rights movement and its national interests. As long as there is a fair balance between Pakistan’s role as a member nation of UN and as a party to the dispute, the interests of Kashmiri Muslims have an insurance. In fact all member nations of the United Nations are a party to Kashmir dispute except that Pakistan is a candidate for the free and fair vote of the people of Kashmir. Pakistan has a constituency in the Valley and Indian Government has to compete as provided under the UN Resolutions.

It is unfortunate that Delhi has abused the trust of Kashmiri Muslims and reneged on all promises made at home and at the United Nations. It has continued to treat them as subjects of the A4 size in their files. Members of its administration and members of its forces in the Valley feel free to act with no holds barred. They are free to kill and seek immunity under AFSPA, free to pitch one sect of Muslims against the other, and demonise the Muslims as barbarians.

Indian administration and its security apparatus created Ikhwan to kill non-Ikhwan in the past. The season of Ikhwan’s is over but there are indications that symbols like ISIS and Taliban are introduced in the Valley to drive the Kashmiri struggle for self-determination out of favour. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement of killing terrorists by terrorists, indicates that Indian administration has a plan to recreate Ikhwan to kill another generation of Kashmiri Muslims.

The decision of the army to recruit Gujjar youth in particular in the army does not reflect well on the principle of equal opportunities. Grinding the teeth of Kashmiri Pandits to keep a killing instinct in the reserve is equally a disappointing development. It is a threat to historically traded communal harmony and cohesion in the Valley. Jammu has failed the test in 1947 when it carried out a mass massacre of fellow Muslims. Ever since Jammu has been lapsing into spells of bad behaviour as required by Delhi.

It is not clear whether Delhi wants to continue its efforts to strip the Valley Muslim of all his self-respect and dignity and introduce new maharaja’s to rule them or that it would keep its promise to ascertain their vote on the principle of “equality of people” as agreed under UN Resolutions. Placing Kashmiri leaders under house arrest, barring them from practicing their religion (restraining from Friday prayers) and disallowing them to hold seminars to debate and express their opinions in a peaceful manner is no solution and it has to be resisted at all levels. Disallowing Syed Ali Geelani to hold a seminar and arresting the participants takes us back to cursed days of Hindu Rule of Maharaja.

The two killings of Sheikh Altaf-ur-Rehman on Tuesday 9 June 2015 and Khursheed Ahmad on Friday 12 June 2015 are seen as a return of Ikhwan regime sponsored by the intelligence agencies in early 1990s. It is not only unfortunate but equally a serious situation that the two killings bear a relationship with the statement made by the defence minister to use State sponsored terrorists to kill terrorists.

Sheikh Altaf-ur-Rehman and Khursheed Ahmad may have had their political views. It does not make them a terrorists and it is understandable that Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed State. All its citizens have a guaranteed right to express through a free and fair plebiscite organised under the supervision of the United Nations. Indian security forces are directly liable for any loss of life in the State both under the terms of the bilateral agreement with the J & K Government and as envisaged under the UN Resolution of 21 April 1948. Any attempt which is at variance to the conditions set out in the provisional accession and later identified in the UN Resolutions would make the Indian soldier an erring soldier and part of an occupation force. It is for Delhi to decide the vires of its forces in the Valley until matter is pending justiciation at the UN.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Omar Abdullah have expressed their concerns on the return of Ikhwan as an instrument to stage unidentifiable killings in the Valley. A beginning seems to have been made from Sopore. Omar Abdullah has linked the two killings in Sopore to the statement made by the defence minister of India, that terrorists would kill terrorists. We are equally concerned that Muslims in the Valley have fallen on bad days and are facing the Government in Delhi and its extension in Srinagar. It is a difficult situation and the anti-Muslim propaganda around the world and a bearded Muslim youth in Kashmir is a fit symbol for Indian State apparatus to mislead the world. The Jewish youth have a much larger beard and a pony tail as well. It is not highlighted as an adverse or threatening symbol.

There is a ray of hope surfacing from the neighbourhood. China and Pakistan seem to have rejuvenated their faith in the jurisprudence of UN Resolutions on Kashmir. Strengths of Kashmir politics in Hurriyat, non Hurriyat and mainstream are becoming clear. Hurriyat (inclusive) is faced with a challenge and a competition around the questions of its Constitution, UN Resolutions and failures or successes in administering a credible regime of encouraging politics. Kashmir politics can’t survive on letterheads or single man units any more. Government of Pakistan has gained its experience through the disappearance of Kashmir Awareness Bureau in Delhi and disappearance of Kashmir Centres in Washington, Brussels and London. The emergence of CW1, CW2 and John as witnesses against the merits of Kashmir diplomacy and the return of indictments on Abdul Akif, Saeed Bajwa, Javed Rehmat and one other sets out the weaknesses in the circle of wisdom drawn on Kashmir.

Prime Minister of Pakistan came out very strong on the UN Resolutions on Kashmir at the 69th session of UN General Assembly in September 2014 and Government of Pakistan seems to have set its clock for the 70th Regular Session of the UN General Assembly scheduled at UN Headquarters from Tuesday, 15 September 2015. In this regard Pakistan army chief has set the strengths of Kashmir narrative stating that Pakistan was “ready to pay any price to protect our nationhood, safeguard interest, be it Kashmir, development of new ports or exploitation of natural resources”.

Pakistan army has continued to have a defining say in the foreign policy in particular on the question of Kashmir. It is for the first time that Foreign Office and Pakistan military leadership are on the same page on the jurisprudence of Kashmir case. A reappraisal of this co-operation has paid Pakistan at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and at the UN ECOSOC in New York. UN’s Committee on Non-Governmental Organisations has withdrawn consultative status (roster) from two African NGOs namely, African Technology Development Link and the African Technical Association on the complaint made by Pakistan that the two NGOs were being used as conduits to make unfounded and false propaganda against Pakistan.

The withdrawal of consultative status is unfortunate and no genuine NGO would subscribe to such a decision. The two NGOs could not defend their lack of interests in Africa and their store of interest in Baluchistan, Pakistan. Charity always begins at home and the two African NGOs were found uncaring about their own home and people. The withdrawal of the status of African Technology Development Link was a result of a vote of 12-5 and the decision to withdraw the status of African Technical Association was by a vote of 13 in favour to 5 against. Both votes were requested by Pakistan.

If Ikhwan is back its sponsors are accruing a criminal liability and are likely to fail. Pakistan is also back and should discharge its UN trust on Kashmir. 70th Regular Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2015 is the test.

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