Published On: Mon, Aug 10th, 2015

Merits of Pakistan’s no invite to JK speaker

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By Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani –

Jammu and Kashmir Assembly will be losing out on the in-depth discussions that would take place at the upcoming Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) in Islamabad from September 30 to October 8, 2015. Jammu and Kashmir Assembly will not benefit from the theme of the conference, that is, to renew commitment to pluralism and inclusive democracy in commonwealth nations. Over 70 percent of the delegates from 53 countries have confirmed their participation. Pakistan does not recognize the J & K assembly and therefore has decided not to invite its speaker Kavinder Gupta to the CPC.

India in return has decided to boycott the Commonwealth Parliamentary Union meeting in Islamabad in September in protest against Pakistan not inviting the speaker of Jammu & Kashmir assembly. India has taken up the matter strongly with the CPA chairperson and secretary general against leaving out Jammu & Kashmir speaker.

Pakistan has taken this decision of not inviting the JK speaker in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir. Although Indian Government has pleaded the sovereignty of the people and State Government at the UN, it has never allowed it to grow either in accordance the common democratic traditions or in accordance with the advice given in the UN Security Council Resolutions. The sovereignty of the State legislature is upheld by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in its two decisions of 1953 and 2015.

It may be legally so (Sovereign), but in practice the State assembly has been brought into a serious disrepute by the revelations of former army chief General V K Singh and former RAW chief A S Dulat. The RAW chief in his book “Kashmir-The Vajpayee Years” at page 205 writes, “The IB had a sinister reputation in the Kashmiri mind. Part of it was because since Independence, the IB had basically been running Kashmir, advising the home ministry and reporting directly to the prime minister on whatever happened there”. Dulat adds, “The IB, in J & K had a fair amount of Kashmiri Pandits. One should not forget that when Sheikh Abdullah was arrested a conspiracy case was filed against him. It was put together by the IB”.

Very little or no debate ever takes place around the credibility and sovereign status of J & K assembly. The no invite from Pakistan has put the issue on the table. Is Pakistan justified in not inviting the J & K speaker? How does it compromise UN Resolutions on Kashmir? These two questions and many others need to be answered.

As a start it has to be borne in mind that J & K Government has a principal role allotted to it by the UN to prepare for a UN supervised referendum. India has no role in the referendum, except that it has to provide support in maintaining law and order. However, if the J & K Government could make out a case that it is capable to maintain law and order on its own, Indian Government may rightly be asked to pull out its security apparatus from the State. This demand could be made by the four Kashmiris living at Srinagar, Muzaffarabad, Gilgit and the Diaspora. Government of Pakistan could take a lead in making this demand formal.

Jammu and Kashmir Government at Srinagar has failed to establish itself in accordance with Para 6 of UN Security Council Resolution of 21 April 1948. It has continued to violate the UN stipulation on the manner of Government and Government of India has failed to ensure the UN designated administration in Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir Government has failed to reach out to other two Governments at Muzaffarabad, Gilgit and to Government of Pakistan which is a party to the UN Resolutions on Kashmir and to the Kashmir dispute.

United Nations Resolution of 30 March 1951 recognises Jammu and Kashmir assembly, as “elected from only a part of the whole territory of Jammu and Kashmir”. Therefore, it is not a fully representative assembly of the State of Jammu and Kashmir as defined in article 4 of the J & K Constitution. The representative status of J & K assembly is set out in Para 6 of UN Security Council Resolution of 21 April 1948 and would be incomplete without equitable and full representation from Muzaffarabad and Gilgit. The broad spread of Kashmiri diaspora is a recent development and it could not be left out from this representative administration identified by the UN Security Council Resolutions.

In addition to setting up a responsible Government in Srinagar, J & K assembly has a duty to establish “a Plebiscite Administration to hold a plebiscite as soon as possible on the question of the accession of the State to India or Pakistan”. This remains as one of the undertakings of the Government of India as well.  The non-honouring of United Nations outsourced duties by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and the Government of India encouraged a militant movement in Kashmir. Massive loss of life and unprecedented abuse of human rights is a by-product of this failure to discharge the trust duties assigned to Srinagar and Delhi.

Absence of J & K speaker at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference is unfortunate and a loss. Srinagar will not take part in the debate on “Impact of terrorism on State and society, fostering religious freedom in commonwealth nations and enforcing anti-corruption measures.”  Indian protest has no merit because Srinagar and Delhi have done very little to make J & K assembly a true representative institution as commonly understood and specifically decreed by the United Nations.

We welcome that Pakistan has endorsed the UN jurisprudence on Kashmir case. As against this it is unfortunate and we do not take it kindly to note that, men like M K Narayanan (DIB) would advise A S Dulat before taking up his duties as an intelligence officer in Srinagar, “Please make sure that Dr. Farooq is kept in good humour, that our relationship with him is okay and that he’s on our side. Please see to that”. (Page 202 “Kashmir-The Vajpayee Years”).

J&K speaker Kavinder Gupta, should have carried the due sense of his higher burden of responsibilities in the context of J & K State at the meeting of speakers of all other states (that have merged in the Indian union) which unanimously decided that India will boycott the meeting of the CPU if the speaker of the Jammu & Kashmir assembly is not invited. A vote of thanks by him would have been okay but calling Pakistan a terrorist state could have been avoided in the interests of the people of the State. A good Speaker is one who is guided by the Jurisprudence of the Kashmir case and fact of infirmity of the assembly highlighted in UN Resolution of 30 March 1951 and article 48 of the J & K Constitution.

J & K assembly should have summed its special session to discuss the matter and should have addressed the concerns directly to the Government of Pakistan and to the citizens of the State. A people’s intervention is only desired when J & K assembly corrects itself in accordance with UN Resolutions and J & K Constitution. The conduct of J & K speaker Kavinder Gupta at speakers meeting has failed to represent the interests of the State. Pakistan’s no invite to J & K speaker has merit.

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