Published On: Sun, Feb 11th, 2018

‘Pakistan Zindabad’ – NC spokesman’s tweet

Share This

dr-n-g1Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani
Jammu and Kashmir Assembly has witnessed many heated debates in the past. One such debate took place on Saturday 10 February 2018. There was an exchange over an attack at Sunjwan Army station in Jammu city in which two Junior Commissioned Officers were killed while a Colonel rank officer and daughter of an Army personnel were among six persons injured in the attack.
BJP MLAs were raising “Pakistan Murdabad” slogans to condemn the attack on Sunjwan Army station. Muhammad Akbar Lone, the sitting NC MLA from Sonawari Assembly constituency in Bandipora district, stood up and shouted ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogans.
NC spokesman, Junaid Mattoo, meanwhile, immediately went into damage control and posted on Twitter, “Hon’ble @JKNC_ President has said the NC MLA should not forget that he belongs to a party that rejected the two nation theory and he should also remember the oath he swears in the name of God at the beginning of his term. The party disowns and condemns his remarks.”
Polarised politics in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, does not service the interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir or India to say the least. There is a need to examine the merits of the slogans raised by BJP, Akbar Lone of NC and the tweet of NC spokesman, Junaid Mattoo. BJP members need to understand that they have been elected in an Assembly which has a higher burden of responsibility in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute.
J & K assembly is elected from only a part of the territory of the State. Therefore, it does not have the legal ability to represent all the people of the State living on both sides of the cease fire line and as a Kashmiri Diaspora in many countries of the world. Sheikh Abdullah and the Government of India have pleaded at the UN Security Council, that it should be recognised for the role to arrange a Plebiscite.
The first step in this regard is to have a fully representative Government, which would represent all the people and all the communities. United Nations and Pakistan have conceded this role to this assembly, provided it passes the test of inclusiveness. This assembly could not afford to act as a proxy for any Indian political party and more so if it has a communal taint.
BJP members should not have raised anti-Pakistan slogans at all. The attack on the army camp and the deaths are sad and condemnable. It does not mean that BJP members should engineer a rift between Muslim and non-Muslim members. Akbar Lone of National Conference, has a right to raise ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogan and so have the BJP members a right to raise a “‘Hindustan Zindabad’ slogan. But neither of the two BJP and NC could raise a negative slogan that is “Pakistan Murdabad” or “Hindustan Murdabad”. According to UN Security Council Resolutions there could be both opinions present in the assembly. The final opinion is yet be ascertained through a UN supervised vote.
NC spokesman’s tweet has said “that the party disowns and condemns his (Akbar Lone’s) remarks.” The tweet may be a self-serving compulsion, but these remarks have no merit. The NC Government’s appointed 9 member State Autonomy Committee report has concluded that Jammu and Kashmir has a limited accession with India, limited only to “the areas of Defence, External Affairs and Communication”. The report has said that Jammu and Kashmir has not merged with the Indian Union. The 253 page Report of the State Autonomy Committee published in July 2000 has concluded:
(1) The accession is limited to 3 subjects
(2) There is no merger.
(3) Right till the Delhi Agreement of 1952, J & K did not accept any provisions of the Constitution of India other than those agreed to in the Instrument of Accession and retained its autonomy.
National Conference member (and all other members) owes his first loyalty to the people of the State and not to any oath that remains adverse to the collective interests of these people. It may rightly be argued that according to Article 48 of the J & K Constitution Akbar Lone represents the people currently not represented in the assembly. Pakistan has a strong constituency in the State and Akbar Lone very rightly expressed a due regard for that constituency.
NC spokesman, Junaid Mattoo, is a State Subject and has to remain mindful of the fact that his party has held out an assurance at the UN Security Council. Addressing the 241st meeting of the UN Security Council on 5 February 1948 Sheikh Abdullah said, “The all-important matter for us was our own liberation from the autocratic rule of the Prince, for which we were fighting and had been fighting for the past seventeen years. We had not achieved that goal, and therefore, I told my people that we must do so first. Then, as free men, we should have to decide where our interests lay. Being a frontier State, Kashmir has borders with both Pakistan and India, and there are advantages and disadvantages for the people of Kashmir attached to each of the three alternatives to which I have referred”. NC remains honour bound.
The oath of a member of assembly under Fifth Schedule in the J & K Constitution adopted on 17 November 1956, has its own difficulties. No member of the assembly could be forced to take an oath which runs repugnant to the caution placed on the J & K assembly by UN Security Council Resolution of 30 March 1951. Any arrangements made by the J & K assembly with the union of India, if at variance with the UN Resolution of 30 March 1951, would not be regarded on behalf of all people of the State. Delhi Agreement of 1952 and the J & K Constitution of November 1956, were caused after the adoption of UN SC Resolution of 30 March 1951. Therefore, have problems of merit.
Delhi Agreement of 1952 and the Constitution of 1956, attract the UN caution and the statement made by India at the UN Security Council in regard to the Constituent Assembly. It depends on the understanding of the UN Resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir dispute and on the findings in the report of 9 member State Autonomy Committee, whether these Members of J & K assembly, represent the overwhelming interest of all the people of the State or misdirect their wisdom to stand out as proxies or agents of New Delhi. It is common sense that BJP communal political narrative is not going to benefit the plural fabric of the State.
Use of oath and the use of military machinery in denying the free choice to the people of the State currently distributed on both sides of cease fire line and the Kashmiri Diaspora, has hardly any future. New Delhi cannot enforce its politics and desire, to keep a part of the State, divided and separated from the other part. The February 5, 2018 outpour of Kashmiris all over the world could not be matched by any single or all members of the J & K assembly. After an overwhelming outpour of solidarity with the people of Kashmir living on the Indian side of cease fire line on 05 February 2018, does not need an attack on a military camp in Jammu. It is counterproductive and does not increment the constituency of solidarity.
Akbar Lone has matched BJP mischief with a valid counter expression. Disowning or condemning his remark has no merit. On the contrary it should serve as an eye opener for New Delhi and all other conscientious members in the assembly. BJP should not challenge the inclusivity – a highly regarded characteristic of the Valley. They should understand that Pakistan has a Stand Still Agreement with the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, since August 1947. It pre-dates the Indian limited accession of 27 October 1947. This agreement could also be invoked at any time or Pakistan could use its status as a party to the dispute in making a reference to ICJ.
Jammu and Kashmir assembly and its members remain under a caution of the United Nations. They could be prosecuted if their politics has contributed to an unending Muslim grievance or has adversely wronged the community. The daily loss of life and use of military force against a genuine dissent, in the name of Jammu and Kashmir Government carries, , a criminal liability.
‘Pakistan Zindabad’ has a strong constituency on the Indian side of Kashmir. It has a full complement in the Kashmiris living on the Pakistani side of cease fire line and the in the Kashmiri Diaspora. Akbar Lone is not the lone voice.
The author is the President of JKCHR – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations. He is on UN Register as an Expert in Peace Keeping, Humanitarian Operations and Election Monitoring Missions. He is a senior advocate of the Supreme Court. Author could be reached at

    Print This Post Print This Post

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>