Published On: Sat, Nov 6th, 2010

People That Lie to Themselves

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Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani,
Secretary General – JKCHR.

The social and political character of all people in various habitats of the world has graduated from point zero to next higher point throughout history. It would be unfair to say that national character of the people of Jammu and Kashmir has not been driven by this engine of change. However, there is one single factor about the people of Kashmir which does not seem to have changed much. There is a tendency with the people of Kashmir that they wish to suppress history of their failings and without any great advantage continue to lie to themselves.

On 27 October 2010 people of Kashmiri origin in AJK (the Pakistani side of Kashmir), in Pakistan, in various parts of the world, joined by many well meaning people from Pakistan (very few Indians) came out to express their anger on the so called ‘occupation’ of parts of Kashmir by India. Expression of anger and visibility on the streets is very important. Unfortunately, it was not a natural reflex of our national character. We should have been on the streets in support of Kashmiri people ever since June this year when the common man and woman decided to use the instrument of civil disobedience. Support should not boil down to one single date to satisfy domestic compulsions in Islamabad.

There is no doubt that Indian troops landed in Srinagar on 27 October 1947. Life and habitat of Kashmir has suffered and has been hurt in particular from 1990 and in general from 27 October 1947. Why did it happen and who is responsible in the first place? We have to answer this question without lying to ourselves. October 27 1947 would have never happened if the Government of Pakistan had not made a serious error in its first diplomatic relationship with the Government of Kashmir. Government of Pakistan nudge passed the sentiments of the people and quantum of their sacrifices from 1846, when it accepted the Stand Still Agreement of the Government of Kashmir on 15 August 1947. The Government of Pakistan made no reference to 101 year old suffering of the people while accepting the agreement. Nor did it behave as a responsible State in defending the diplomatic relations with Kashmir.

Well ahead of Indian landing on October 27 1947 Pakistan was the first country to establish diplomatic relations with the Government of Kashmir and assumed control of Post and Telegraph and Transport in the State. Government of Pakistan without taking into account the sentiments of one other people decided to accept the request of Nawab of Junagadh to accede to Pakistan. It is unfortunate that Pakistan failed to live up to its diplomatic relationship with the State of Kashmir and did not defend the accession of Junagadh either.

Pakistan had secured a foothold in Kashmir at the request of the Government of Kashmir at least two and a half months earlier to the first landing of Indian troops in Srinagar on 27 October 1947. There was no need to allow invasion of any part of Kashmir when Pakistan had established diplomatic relations with the State and had assumed control of a part of the administration as well. Taking control of Mohura power house in Uri and switching off the electric supply affecting the people and forcing the administration of the Maharaja (Palace as well) into darkness was the final straw on the back of nervous Maharaja.

Landing of Indian troops on 27 October 1947 should have been resisted by the Government of Pakistan because it had a Stand Still Agreement with the State and a share in running part of the administration. Pakistan Government recognized the Government of Maharaja and later did not bother much to warn India that she could not land her troops in Kashmir during the diplomatic and administrative presence of Pakistan. Government of Pakistan has to explain the fact that if India is an occupier in Kashmir, why have the Governments of Pakistan continued to insert a ‘no prejudice clause’ in various bilateral agreements with India on the question of Kashmir. People of Kashmir in the course of their Rights Movement and the Government of Pakistan as a party to the dispute have failed to challenge the Indian troops for failing to keep to the terms of their admittance in the Valley. The role of Indian troops in Kashmir is supplemental and strictly defined to protect ‘life’, ‘honour’ and ‘property’ of the people. UN at a later date had set constraints on its number, behavior and location.

It is unfortunate that bulk of Kashmiri leadership has no clue in regard to the jurisprudence of Kashmir case and does not have the ability in its ranks to address it in the order of precedence. It starts with one single shout ‘Azadi’ and gets lost in another slogan “Kashmir Bane Ga Pakistan” or “Kashmir Bane Ga Hindustan”. These slogans do not embed the principle of Kashmiri people as equal people in the determination of self determination.

It is understandable that the People of Kashmir may have reasons to live by their self destructive denial. But the role of the Government of Pakistan in its administered parts of Kashmir has impacted the lives of the people of Kashmir in more or less in the same manner in which the landing of Indian troops has impacted the life in the State. The Provisional Governments of 4 and 24 October 1947 in AJK were not allowed to assume control. Pakistan also failed to honour its agreement of April 1949 on Gilgit and Baltistan with the Government and one faction of Kashmiri leadership based at Muzaffarabad. Establishment in Pakistan installed its puppet leadership/regimes in the area. The civil and political liberties even of the Maharaja manner disappeared from the life of the people. People felt colonized and vanquished until early 1970s. It is a bit better now but not as fulsome as claimed to be in accordance with the UNCIP Resolutions in the 1974 Act.

People of the State have failed to adjust their title to self determination without fear or favour in accordance with the principle of ‘equality of people’ and for all people of the State. The political culture seems to be living on conditioned reflexes and it is the non Kashmiri engine that drags it on the streets. It does not happen when highly desired by the suffering of the people but only when establishment in Pakistan wants to tickle the Indian Government in its ribs.

Kashmiri’s remain too eager to commit the first sin by allowing themselves to be the number in the game and not the quality in any protest on 27 October. They need to revisit the history of their struggle and decide not to lie to themselves any more.

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