Published On: Tue, Nov 6th, 2012

Pakistan’s Admission

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Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani

Strange are the ways of ‘State Craft’. The observation is based on reading the statement made in para 5 of the six page report submitted by Ministry of Interior Government of Pakistan on 2 November 2012 in the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the Balochistan Unrest Case, on behalf of the Federation.

The admission in the paragraph has stirred a conscientious debate in the thinking circles of Pakistan, AJK, and in the Diaspora. I would not say for sure what would be the response in J & K.

Government of India and the State machinery in charge of Kashmir in Delhi would be in a state of shock and disbelief. Politicians in J & K, AJK and other Kashmiris on either side of cease fire line (LOC) and in various parts of the world, who have credibility reference, financial and other interests linked with the establishment in Pakistan would be finding it hard to adjust their public posture.

Ministry of Interior has tried to rush fast to make a correction. This correction adds more to the ‘admission’ and supports the political rebuke, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 23 October 2001 said that Pakistan was an opportunist State. In fact it should have been that the State machinery (not the State) in Pakistan was opportunist.

In para 50 of the interim order on 12 October 2012 Supreme Court of Pakistan had ordered the Secretary Interior Government of Pakistan and the Chief Secretary, Government of Balochistan to “put up a comprehensive report in respect of the steps which have been taken in pursuance of this interim order by all the Constitutional functionaries both in the Federation as well as in the Province on fortnightly basis”.

On 2 November 2012 Ministry of Interior in para 5 of the report submitted as follows:

“…We would take a leaf from Indian experience where in the States like Kashmir, East Punjab, Nagaland, Asam and Mizoram, armed insurgency and partial breakdown of government machinery took place for a number of years, still democracy and successive elections afforded the people and the government a good chance to overcome their difficulties and defeat the militants with political process which was allowed to continue unhindered, undisturbed, compromised or violated”.

There has been a criticism from some quarters and Ministry of Interior has run to add a clarification stating that “in para five of a report submitted in the Supreme Court on Friday, the word ‘disputed’ was omitted due to an oversight.” The Statement further adds “that occupied Kashmir is disputed territory till such time that right of self-determination and plebiscite is conceded to the Kashmiris to exercise their free will to live according to their wishes”.

This clarification has added more to the admission than helping the Government of Pakistan to fool the people on the substantive merits of the statement made in para 5 as a whole.

It is for the first time at the national level that State Machinery in Pakistan has made a statement on Kashmir accepting it as Indian State. It has further observed on, Insurgency, Elections, Defeat of Kashmiri Militants and the benefits of democracy and successive elections to the people.

The opportunism of the State machinery in Pakistan should not surprise a Kashmir watcher at all. In fact the agenda item“Jammu and Kashmir Question” was renamed as “India-Pakistan Question” at the request of the Government of Pakistan. India opposed the change but Pakistan maintained that Jammu and Kashmir was one of the many issues pending with India.

The second serious opportunism is documented in UN Security Council President Gunnar Jarring’s report S/3793 of 21 February 1957 submitted to the UN SC on 29 April 1957. In part II under item 8 Gunnar Jarring documents, “During the last debate in the Security Council, the representative of Pakistan had stated that his country recognised, “no international obligations with regard to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, except those she had voluntarily accepted …in the resolutions of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan dated 13 August 1948 and 5 January 1949”.

The third opportunism surfaced in November 1948 when Government of Pakistan offered to the Government of India that “he (Governor General) would warn them (AJK Government or independent tribesmen) in that if they did not obey the order of cease fire immediately the forces of both Dominions would make war on them”. If India would have struck a quid pro quo with Pakistan on Kashmir, Pakistan had been willing to join India to wage a joint war on the Government of AJK and tribesmen supporting the revolt of Kashmir. (Document III Particulars of Pakistan’s Case at UN Item 23 (i)).

State machinery in Pakistan has successfully used its duality of approach on Kashmir to fool its people, people of Kashmir and the international community. It has not only harmed the case of Kashmir but has done a serious harm to the State itself and denied the people of Pakistan a Rule of Law.

There is a quick clarification from the Interior Ministry that in para 5 it should have been ‘disputed’. Even if one offers a benefit of doubt to the Ministry of Interior (which one should not) on the omission of the word, yet it could not manage to cover up its admission that the so far rigorously hyped resistance movement in Kashmir has been admitted as an ‘armed insurgency’. There is an admission that ‘militants had been defeated with political processes, and that India had “allowed the process to continue unhindered, undisturbed, compromised or violated”.

In para 5, one finds that Pakistan has made an admission in regards to the status of Kashmir. The State of Kashmir is defined in article 4 of Jammu and Kashmir Constitution. It means all the territories which were under the sovereignty or suzerainty of the Ruler of the State on 15 August 1947. One has to wait to see how India would pursue its claim that the Provisional Accession has been in respect of the State as it existed on 15 August 1947, which include AJK and Gilgit and Baltistan. Or would it sleep over the matter and accept the present status quo of respective controls. It adds to the responsibilities of Kashmiri leaders to revisit their wisdom on the inclusive character of representation. The position maintained in para 5 of the report is similar to the position set out in UN SC resolution of 30 March 1951, in regard to the territories of the State and the representative character of J & K Assembly as elected from a part of the territory.

The political and militant struggle of the last 22 years has also been redefined as an ‘armed insurgency’. It would have serious legal and psychological implications for the militants and the victims in Kashmir. The report distinguishes the people and the government on one side and the militants on the other. Militant leaders in Kashmir have a claim that they wanted to give dialogue a chance and have decided to seek a peaceful solution using peaceful means.

However, the Ministry report has made a different admission. According to the report, “democracy and successive elections afforded the people and the government a good chance to overcome their difficulties and defeat the militants with political process which was allowed to continue unhindered, undisturbed, compromised or violated”. It means all propaganda that has been made against the merits of democracy and elections in Kashmir was false. Indian position on insurgency, elections and democratic process in Jammu and Kashmir has been proven correct.

The admission of armed insurgency and defeat of militants has its legal repercussions for Jihad Council and surrendered militants as well. It has a serious problem for the establishment which controls a broad spread of politics on either side of Kashmir. If the admission is one of those characteristics called ‘opportunism’, the establishment has a well-considered input in it.

How would the leaders and the people living in the three administrations react to this new development remains an important question. Supplants and surrogates hired in the project would be getting ready to put their self-serving spin on it. This time the task is too difficult to be managed by them. Ministry of Interior can’t recant and afford to be booked for perjury. Does it matter to Kashmiri leaders or it would be once again water down the ducks back?

Author is London based Secretary General of JKCHR – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations. He could be reached on email dr-nazirgilani@jkchr.com


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