Published On: Mon, Nov 30th, 2015

Resolutions and merits

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By Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani –

My attention has been occupied by the reported references made by Farooq Abdullah on Saturday during a civil society discussion on ways ‘for bringing peace and reconciliation between the two countries.”  We have always supported the civil society efforts made in India to give peace a chance.  It is unfortunate that Indian establishment has used the instrument of free discussion to gain time and seek exhaustion of the common people and disable the dissenting leadership in Kashmir.

The first major steps when any peace talk was a taboo was structured in November 2000 by Institute of Regional Studies, Pakistan and International Centre for Peace Initiatives, India at Bristol Hotel in Gurgaon. It was attended by all sections of political opinion and Hurriyat to explore “Next in Jammu and Kashmir: Give Peace A Chance”. Indian establishment has used these forums to cultivate a constituency of people from various travel stops, and has used them time and again to keep under curtain all adverse that is happening in the Valley.

Farooq Abdullah has a point that “Even if the entire Indian Army comes then they will not be able to defend against the militant. The only way left is to hold dialogue and find a solution.” However, he has as always, not addressed the case of Jammu and Kashmir as seriously, correctly and as cautiously as required. He is wrong at core to equate the Indian Parliament resolution of 1994 with the UN Resolutions of 1948.

Indian Parliament resolution of 22 February 1994 has no merit because the distribution of the territories has continued from 26 October 1947 and the Indian claim of a provisional accession has been referred to United Nations in January 1948.  The Government of PaK was established on 4 October 1947 much ahead of a request made by the Srinagar Government to Government of India for a military support. The Indian Parliament resolution of February 1994 stands at war with the Report of The State Autonomy Committee published in July 2000 by his Government. According to this report Kashmir has ceded only areas of Defence, External Affairs and Communication to India and the State has not merged with India. The State has its own flag and its own constitution.

Sheikh family is mainly responsible for the current mess on either side of the ceasefire line. It has been misleading the international community and the people at home, when and as the Indian State needed such a deception. Sheikh Abdullah a symbol of Kashmir politics sinned against his own people at the UN Security Council when in his speech as leader of Kashmir he said, “…we could not decide this all-important issue before achieving our own liberation and our own slogan became Freedom before accession… I requested them (Pakistan) not to precipitate this decision upon us but to allow us time, supporting our freedom movement the while. I added that once we are free they should allow us an interval to consider this all-important issue. I pointed out that India had accepted this point of view and was not forcing us to decide”.

The interval was granted to Sheikh Abdullah under the UN Package on Kashmir. He had to set up an interim administration under the supervision of the United Nations and appoint an Administrator for Plebiscite for carrying out a free and fair vote of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The interim Government has to represent all the three administrations of Jammu and Kashmir and all the communities. The new interim Government had to invite all those who had left their homes during disturbances and return in safety and dignity to take part in the free vote. Sheikh Abdullah failed to keep his word given at the UN Security Council and failed his own people. In fact his administration exiled many more Kashmiris from various parts of Valley to Pakistan-administered Kashmir. It is not the UN Resolutions that have not been implemented but it has been the long tenure of Sheik Abdullah in administration which did not carry out the work outsourced to it by the United Nations.

I have always carried respect for Sheikh Abdullah and considered his non-achievement as a failure of his times. However, whenever Farooq Abdullah surfaces with new political jargon, one is inclined to reconcile it with an intriguing doubt as to whether Sheikh Abdullah conducted himself truthfully at the UN Security Council. It seems that what Farooq Abdullah is mandated to do in 2015, Sheikh Abdullah was induced to do in 1948. Sheikh Abdullah addressed the UN Security Council and made a case, stating “We want a plebiscite; we want to obtain the free and unfettered opinion of the people of Kashmir. There should be no pressure exerted on the people and they should make the free choice as to the State to which they wish to accede”. He said “Accession will be subject to ratification by the people”.

It is disappointing to State that Farooq Abdullah has decided to assume a trust on behalf of the people of the State living under three administrations and has tried to grant a legitimacy to Indian claim made in February 1994 Parliament Resolution. A person whose father has committed himself to a discipline and process on Kashmir at the UN and on the streets of Kashmir and one who has been elected many a time and has been under oath to do good to the people of Kashmir, has taken upon to distort the jurisprudence of the Kashmir case at home and abroad.

There is no legal or moral sanction behind the Indian Parliament Resolution of 22 February 1994 and to equate it with the UN Resolutions on Kashmir is a mischief.  It is apple and orange equation and has no merit. UN Resolutions have the legal force behind them and 194 countries of the world have a duty in this regard. India and Pakistan have consented to the UN Package on Kashmir. The first assurance came from Sheikh Abdullah, when he said to the UN Security Council, “What do we request? We request nothing more than that the Security Council should send some members to this area to see for themselves what is happening there”.

Sheikh Abdullah has advocated “Freedom before Accession” at the UN Security Council and his son is preparing us to let go the ‘freedom’ and embrace 22 February 1994 Indian Parliament Resolution.  Farooq Abdullah needs to be supported on his concern that “even entire Indian Army comes then they will not be able to defend against the militant.” However, he has once again played foul with historical evidence. He should have explained that Indian army came to do four duties and any role outside the terms agreed for their admission is unlawful and many activities may attract criminal liability and war crimes. These forces are also subject to a well spelt UN discipline.

Farooq Abdullah has aged, as we all age on our turn. Unless he commits himself to a routine mental exercise in Kashmir case, he cannot be trusted as an authority. Even a young Farooq Abdullah has not been any asset to National Conference or the people of Kashmir, who offered an undisputed trust to his father.  Sheikh Abdullah would be accredited for all good and discredited for more bad that has happened to the people of Kashmir. His tall boast at the UN Security Council, that, “There is no power on earth which can displace me from the position which I have there. As long as the people are behind me, I will remain there. Once the people cease to have any faith in me, I will not be there”, was thrown to wind by the Indian establishment in the years to come.

Sheikh Abdullah soon after his bid at the UN Security Council and in the years to come, was jostled from pillar to post. It was not any power on earth but a simple appearance of a policeman that razed his pride to the ground. He paid in rebuke and in humiliation for many sins committed during his speech made at the UN Security Council. Farooq Abdullah owes fraction of a heed to his father, who told the UN Security Council, “After all, we are not logs of wood; we are not dolls. We must have an opinion one way or the other. The people of Kashmir are either in favour of Pakistan or in favour of India”.

It is equally unacceptable to refer to Kashmir as ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’. Farooq Abdullah cannot disobey his father’s advice that “freedom” should come before “accession”. It does not increment his credibility when he turns out as an Indian when the people of Kashmir have not exercised that choice highlighted by his father at the UN Security Council. Indians had to enter into Kashmir on a permit until 01 April 1959. His father and Bakhshi Ghulam Mohammad are responsible for all this loss of honour and dignity. Farooq Abdullah should not jump the guns and preach a new narrative in 2015. The UN Resolutions are the basis of Kashmiri sovereignty and the package provides for a solution.

Farooq Abdullah is right that even the ‘entire Indian army would not protect him from a militant’. He has missed on a major point that even the entire army of NATO would not save him from the curse of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Indian army or any army on earth cannot win a war against a people.

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