Published On: Tue, Apr 8th, 2014

Six-points and the black box of Kashmir politics

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By Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani-

People who feel free to take a plunge in the politics of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, in particular in the matters of four Kashmiris, living at Srinagar (J&K), Muzaffarabad (PaK), Gilgit (GB) and the Diaspora, fail to remember that no single individual or organization has ever completed the circle of wisdom. It could not be any different in Kashmir. It is the people who matter and are the final determinants.

This view has been duly addressed by the former chairman and senior Hurriyat Conference (M) leader Prof Abdul Gani Bhat in his statement on the poll boycott, that “I can only vouch for the people of Kashmir what side they support when it comes to a cricket match but am not sure on which side they are about anything else. It was up to the people to decide whether to cast their vote or not.” He added that “People of Kashmir are mature enough to decide whether to vote or not.”

Twenty-four years down the road since 1990 we have reasons to be more mature so that our political narrative is no more a mismatch between our theory and practice. We (Hurriyat) remain responsible for the consequences of a new political (alliance) and militant faith introduced in Kashmir politics in 1990 and placing it formally before the public in July 1993. The costs have been too heavy and it has changed our community life from what we used to have before 1990. A generation has been killed and a new generation of Kashmiris has found it convenient to settle in PaK, Pakistan and abroad on the basis of their short participation in politics or militancy.

The death of a generation on numerical grounds means the death of self-determination for a long time to come. We can’t sit by the grave and the pyre but have to find means to have a better tomorrow. It does not mean that we shall continue to have a no holds barred plunge in the politics of Kashmir.

At a time when we are preoccupied in debating the UN mechanism, Hurriyat agenda and the 4 point Musharraf formula on Kashmir and do not seem to accept that these resolutions are tailored to our needs, that a newly floated group “World Kashmir Awareness” in USA has come up with a “Six-Point Agenda To Resolve Kashmir Crisis.”

Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General of “World Kashmir Awareness” has announced a six point agenda to set a stage for the resolution of Kashmir issue. According to his circulated news release “he was addressing a well-represented seminar entitled ‘Kashmir: A reminder to the American policy makers’” at Fremont, California. The event was sponsored by the American Muslim Alliance and Pakistani American Democratic Forum. What are the democratic merits of this new organization and new formula are not clear. The relevance of this new organization and its six points remain anybody’s guess.

Fai is a State Subject (except that his oath at the time of accepting American nationality requires him to abjure all his previous identification) and up until 2011 carried the trust of Hurriyat and Islamabad, in a manner in which many others carry from time to time. He excelled all others in his patience and is never known to have said “no” to anything. From 1990-2011 he sold (represented) self-determination and qualified his sale by citing his association with APHC + 1 (Shabir Shah), 70,000 Kashmiri martyrs, violation of human rights, rape in particular, his association with militancy and then taking pride in his proximity with the militant leadership to act as their representative in regard to a cease-fire announced by Hizb. It drove him to write on the death of Dr. Ayyub Thukar – “He will not have lived in vain if Kashmiris are crowned with self-determination over their future political destiny, like East Timorese, Montenegrins, or Eritreans.”

Unfortunately he decided to change his horses mid-stream. If it were not for Washington based Khalid Hasan (a Kashmiri) of Daily Times, Pakistan and Washington based Nayyar Zaidi (a Pakistani) of Daily Jang, Pakistan no one would have known that the establishment in Pakistan used the services of Association of Humanitarian Lawyers & Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center at a Conference in July 2006 in Washington to enlist support for distancing from ‘self-determination’ of the people of Kashmir and sell 4 point formula of Pervez Musharraf.

JKLF leader Yasin Malik, Khalid Hasan, Nayyar Zaidi and many others took him to task for his disgraceful machinations at the Washington Conference (July 20th & 21st, 2006). What remains especially unpardonable is his decision to abstain on the question of self-determination. One would not expect a Kashmiri, who lead Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center to cascade from an agent of self-determination to a lower level as an agent of opportunity. Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center has partnered with Association of Humanitarian Lawyers, an NGO lead by an American Desdemona, Karen Parker from 1990-2011. Therefore the new partnership starting in March 2014 between new titles namely “World Kashmir Awareness” and American Muslim Alliance and Pakistani American Democratic Forum does not encourage in any manner.

On Thursday July 20th and 21st, 2006 Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center waged a war on self-determination as part of a brief from a section of establishment in Islamabad. One could sympathise with Fai if he was carrying a brief of the people and all opinions of politics in Pakistan in accordance with a democratic vision embedded in article 257 of the constitution of Pakistan. Far from any such popular brief, he became a ready-steady mule to carry the rubbish of his employer.
I have pointed out in my Column titled “Agents of Self Determination Roller Skate Self-Service” published after the conference in July 2006 that “Of course the employer is not larger than life or larger than Pakistan. He (employer) does not seem to have any respect for his constitutional duty or the Trust Obligations under UNCIP resolutions. He may have a ‘get away’ car ready but Fai shall have to return to his own community with egg smudge on his face.”

On July 24, 2006 Fai boasted about “The Grand Finale to the Kashmir Conference Washington” and on July 26, 2006 he defended the defeat of pro self-determination resolution by saying that the anti-self-determination Declaration was ‘passed overwhelmingly’. JKLF leader Yasin Malik, Khalid Hasan and Nayyar Zaidi and many others were deeply upset to find that Fai stayed away from the vote on Self-Determination and voted on anti-self-determination Declaration. Most of the participants from India, Pakistan, Kashmir and other places fully hosted in all manner at the conference obliged Fai’s desire to kill the pro self-determination resolution and vote on the anti-self-determination declaration.

One need not have an issue with any input made into the collective thinking of Kashmiri people. All such contributions enrich the merits of the constituency of Kashmir debate. However, the fact that Fai has represented Hurriyat from 1990-2011 makes one wonder, whether after proposing six points he has rejected the Hurriyat take, in particular the take of Jamat-i-Islami on Kashmir. Fai remains well informed that his six points shall have to gel in with the narrative currently followed by Hurriyat (M), Hurriyat (G), Hurriyat JK, JKLF, various disciplines of opinion and in particular with the benefit of the common man and woman. It is not clear whether the “World Kashmir Awareness” and its six point agenda for the resolution of Kashmir issue is a clean break from the past which ended with his Plea Agreement made on 7 December 2011 with the United States of America and points to a new start in 2014.

One would like to know whether the constituency of support attempted through huge funds spent on political theatrics staged by Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center from 1990-2011 is still there for “World Kashmir Awareness” or it too has evaporated in thin air. How would this new title reconcile with World Kashmir Freedom Movement, Mercy Universal, Hurriyat agenda, 4 point formula and Islamabad are issues that need to be addressed.

Before taking the six points seriously, one would be tempted to ask Fai (as I have always queried), as to what happened to his statement made at the WKFM Conference in 1995 in Leicester that the Security Advisor of Clinton had whispered into his ear that Kashmir would be free by “November 1996”. Fai advised the audience that the Security Advisor had asked him not to probe further for any details, therefore, the Kashmiri and other participants at the Leicester conference too were advised to accept the prophecy and not bother to probe any further. On my part I wish him every success and hope that he has graduated into an ability to say “no” as well. It is our reference to our people that matters the most and we have to rave courage to add “no” to our narrative. The black box of Kashmir politics lost in the ruins of Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center tells it all.

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