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Kashmir Day To Day – Book Review


‘Dialogue is the only way forward’

Book Review: Kashmir: Day to Day, Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani,

Gulshan Books, ISBN – 9788183392259, Pages: 707, Price: 2995

Daanish Bin Nabi

Kashmir Day To Day: An anthology by Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani (a jurist by profession) is a diverse anthology on contemporary politics of Kashmir, published by the Gulshan Books a primary publisher of the Kashmir Valley. Author masterly and proficiently argues at every point with reference to law, clause and resolution from the constitutions of United Nations, Pakistan administered Kashmir and Jammu and Kashmir making this anthology an inimitable to read.

The anthology aptly provides awareness for the people of Jammu and Kashmir to Rights Movement and deals with some fundamental question which people should have raised at the start of armed struggle.

On Hurriyat role

Syed Nazir Gilani representing Kashmir on various international forums first came in contact with Hurriyat leadership (united) in December 1994 when Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai and Gilani received Mirwaiz Umar and Maulana Abbas Ansari in Morocco during the Islamic Summit.

The anthology starts with positive criticism of Kashmir’s leadership. Author writes Kashmiri leadership continues to fail in its understandings of their cause and respective legitimized roles of India and Pakistan and argues Kashmir leadership to learn from the Palestinians.

On 31st July 1993; when 31 political, social and religious organizations adopted a constitution to follow have as a collateral to their political agenda, lost a generation in Kashmir and witnessed the massive violations of human rights, never witnessed in Kashmir history from 1846-1990. Pro freedom camp has yet to spell out and break down the “Freedom” phrase to include the best interests of all the Kashmir’s in the context of an independent state or accession to either India or Pakistan.

Further, taking a subterranean dig on both factions of Hurriyat (claiming to be representing the popular sentiment of Jammu and Kashmir); Gilani writes Hurriyat has to move in time and stop whipping the sentiments in the name of countless sacrifices. In fact it has to ready itself to face the argument that it never had a narrative of its own and the one that it formally adopted in July 1993 was never honoured. Hurriyat has to accept that its political and militant agenda of the last 22 years has killed the right of self determination for a long time to come by causing the death of a generation.

On Pakistan’s role in Kashmir

Quivering the belief of some Hurriyat leader who believes that Pakistan support the cause of Kashmir people, author asks a basic question; Is Pakistan sincere on Kashmir? What Hurriyat should have asked way back; was asked by the person least popular in Kashmir-Omar Abdullah.

Alluding examples from Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2012, Omar Abdullah asked Musharaff; Is Pakistan sincere to resolve Kashmir issue? Gilani virtuoso referring to the resolutions; Article 4 and 48 of Jammu and Kashmir Constitution and United Nations Resolutions 91(1951) of 30 March 1951 provide the necessary authority to raise this question. And due credit has to be given to Omar Abdullah for asking this question.

Author inquiring about the seriousness of Pakistan writes it’s clear that if Pakistan establishment failed to value the scope of number in Kashmir and remained unconnected at the loss of life, it could be rightly said that it has been and continues to remain insincere towards the Rights Movements of the people of Kashmir. Author referring to Article 257 of Constitution of Pakistan writes Pakistan doesn’t have a national policy on Kashmir, as this article is only reference to Kashmir in constitution of Pakistan.

Author using his expertise in law and quoting numerous resolution of United Nations on how Pakistan state machinery have failed its own people on Kashmir. Bluntly writing it would be fair to say that Kashmir is neither a territorial matter nor bedrock of Pakistan’s foreign policy (referring to Zardari statements at 67th session of United Nations).

It’s the duty of Hurriyat, writes Gilani, that they should not allow the platform to be used to endorse any kind of corruption associated with the internal or external work on Kashmir. Interested groups have turned Kashmir cause into a lucrative business and establishment in Islamabad has no choice but to use corrupt means to retain a minority from our ranks to carry forward their script at the cost of Kashmiri people pride, honour, and dignity.

On Kashmir and Dialogue

As time evade quickly, author describing “unity” is the need of hour. Jammu and Kashmir, PaK and Gilgit – Baltistan instead turning towards United Nation with different tales should come on one platform.

It’s encouraging to see Mirwaiz at United Nations; writes Gilani. He is lovable, humble and always out with a smile. One would have loved to see an elaborate inter-action and an inclusive schedule for Mirwaiz. He should have written, spoken or informed every opinion of Kashmir present in Geneva of his arrival. Gilani, highlighting short comings of these visits to United Nations and Geneva, writes visits lose merit and degenerate into self-serving non productive ritual.

Naive of their constitution Gilani says the demand for inclusion in India -Pakistan dialogue is an admission by the Hurriyat that Kashmir is a bilateral dispute between India and Pakistan. Thus demand does not reconcile with objective 2 (1) and 2 (2) listed in chapter 2 of Hurriyat constitution.
Illuminating further the above clause, writer writes under objective 2 (1) Hurriyat has to “make peaceful struggle for the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir”, in the exercise of “the right of self-determination in accordance with the United Nations charter and resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council.” According to this “the exercise of the right of se-determination shall also include the rights to independence.”

Explaining the loss of stressing the Kashmir issue in international forums; author writes, Kashmiri leaders have never agitated the fact that Kashmir issue was not raised at the United Nations from November 1961 to August 1996. For over 31 years Kashmiri leaders agreed to follow the Pakistani tactics of taking Kashmir issue off from the international radar. Kashmir remained a bilateral issue for 31 years and Kashmiri leaders share a criminal liability in causing harm to the universality of the Jammu and Kashmir case.

Emphasizing on dialogue, the author writes dialogue has remained an age old civilized instrument of settling disputes among communities. Kashmir cannot be an exception.

Further elaborating, Gilani writes it’s time for Syed Ali Geelani and his colleagues to make an extra effort and examine the substantive achievements and failures of previous talks by Hurriyat M, stressing dialogue has to be transparent and convincing from the start.

On Musharaff’s 4 Points

Gilani hammering out at Musharaff’s four point formula and its acceptance among some of the sections of Hurriyat writes Hurriyat leaders have sinned against their own people, when they accepted Musharaff’s four points to resolve Kashmir dispute. They agreed to distance away from resolution of United Nations, switch off the militancy (which was harming the people), gave themselves up to a joint control and a self-rule short of independence.

Author writes Syed Ali Geelani had the courage to infuriate General Musharaff in his own den and unless other leaders in Kashmir don’t have the same courage to say no to any non Kashmiri script, meant to keep Kashmiri divided and weak; it would be a proxy politics, likely to hurt the people of Kashmir and their cause.

Hurriyat main interests and demand has been that it should be included in any dialogue between India and Pakistan, writes Gilani. Kashmiri leadership has failed to develop its independent political narrative which could have been in consonance with United Nations mechanism on Kashmir. Hurriyat leaders endorsed and supported Musharaff’s Kashmir Policy. This was total rejection of Hurriyat’s own constitution and total rejection of the political faith held by JKLF. Musharaff’s formula was more in sync with the political philosophy advocated by PDP and NC.

The author is pursuing International Relation & Conflict Studies. He can be mailed at daanishnabi@gmail.com