Dr Shabbir Choudary - Pakistani born sepratist speaks on Kashmir

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by ejazr, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Oct 8, 2009
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    They are angry because I promote a pro Kashmir agenda
    Dr Shabir Choudhry 12 August 2010
    Dr Shabir Choudhry's blog: They are angry because I promote a pro Kashmir agenda
    Agents of Pakistan and those who represent forces of extremism, communalism, violence and hatred have, once again, on instructions of their handlers and pay masters started a nefarious campaign against me after the Press TV Kashmir debate in which I also participated.

    As they have different agenda to that of mine, they ought to be angry, frustrated and demoralised. They don’t want anyone to promote a Kashmiri agenda. They don’t want pro peace and pro people agenda. They don’t want environment of toleration and coexistence. Their business which is stained with blood of innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir can only flourish if the Kashmir pot keeps on boiling; and they can justify the Two Nations Theory and propagate communalism and hatred.

    Key points I asserted in the debate were as follows, and the readers can draw their own conclusions, as to who is right and who is wrong; but one thing is for sure that I will not be intimidated by these extremists and agents of forces of communalism and hatred:

    1. Clarified that the Kashmir dispute is not a domestic issue of India;
    2. Emphasised that Kashmir is not legally part of India or Pakistan;
    3. Clarified that Kashmir is not a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan;
    4. Asserted that Kashmir is not a religious dispute;
    5. Emphasised that the Kashmir dispute concerns Kashmiri peoples unfettered right of self determination but;

    6. A distinction has to be made between a right of accession and a right of self determination; our right of self determination was restricted and changed to right of accession on request of Pakistan in the second UNCIP Resolution of 5 January 1949;

    7. Emphasised that India and Pakistan have no right to decide future of people of Jammu and Kashmir;

    8. Emphasised that there is no military solution to the Kashmir dispute; and the dispute has to be resolved by a process of dialogue; and people of Jammu and Kashmir must be made part of that process;

    9. Criticised and opposed human rights violations taking place on the Indian side, as no civilised society could accept that; but emphasised that Muslims are not the only Kashmiri community to suffer human rights abuses, and we must promote human rights for all;

    10. However, emphasised that human rights abuse also take place on the Pakistani side of the LOC, and people on the Pakistani side of the LOC do not speak out against these abuses because of fear of repercussions. Also there was no media and no human rights organisations in that area;

    11. Clarified that the proposed plebiscite could not take place because Pakistan refused to withdraw her forces from POK and Gilgit Baltistan, as demanded by the UNCIP resolution of 13 August 1948. India was only asked to withdraw ‘bulk’ of her forces after the withdrawal of Pakistani forces. Withdrawal of forces in this order was a prerequisite to the UN Plebiscite;

    12. Clarified that the Soviet Russia vetoed a UN draft resolution on Kashmir in 1957; and Pakistan refused to withdraw her troops and irregulars in 1949/50, so there was no direct link between the two;

    13. Explained that Pakistan virtually became ‘irrelevant’ in the Kashmir dispute as only 2% of the people of the Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir expressed their desire to join Pakistan; and that exposed the Pakistani stand on Kashmir which claimed that the people of Jammu and Kashmir wanted to join Pakistan. Pakistan has made itself relevant once again by manoeuvring things in the Valley in which innocent people are being killed; and has made India defensive on the issue of Kashmir and human rights abuses;

    14. Clarified that not all people of Kashmir were part of these protests, as people of Jammu, Ladakh, Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistani Administered Kashmir were not part of this.

    15. But emphasised that people of other regions must not only rely on the sacrifices of the people of the Valley and expect unification and independence; urged that people of other regions must struggle in their regions while coordinating their activities;

    16. Explained that militancy and infiltration from the Pakistani side of the LOC is back in full swing, which is creating enormous problems for the people of Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of the divide, especially people in the Neelam Valley were affected by this;

    17. In a reply to another participant, explained that innocent local people in the Valley were being killed, but guns and money was sent by Pakistan.

    Those who represent forces of extremism, violence and communalism got annoyed because they expected me to say that:

    • It was a Muslim struggle;

    • Right of self determination was same as right of accession;

    • People of Jammu and Kashmir were too eager to join Pakistan;

    • All the sacrifices given by the people were in name of Pakistan;

    • Pakistan did not supply any guns and funds – perhaps guns and money grow on Kashmiri trees;

    • Pakistan did not provide any training to militants;

    • Pakistan did not help militants to cross over to the Indian side of Kashmir;

    • People of Pakistani Administered Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan were living in a paradise and they were totally satisfied what Pakistan did to them.

    As I could not speak these white lies, I deserved to be criticised, accused and maligned. There are millions of people who know these facts. A small minority, armed with foreign weapons and acting on behalf of non Kashmiris is determined to impose their will and their brand of religion on the people of Jammu and Kashmir. They have terminated many sane voices in the past for speaking truth; and they feel no shame or hesitance to silence other such voices which are deemed as impediment to their future programmes.

    I detest that. I have expressed what I thought was in the best interest of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. I feel proud that I and my colleagues have courage, determination and intellectual ability to speak out against forces of communalism, extremism and hatred. This is our jihad against these people who are determined to intimidate and harass people of Jammu and Kashmir to promote a foreign agenda.

    I know by saying the above I could become their next target. I could become victim of their wrath. Their aim is to unleash nefarious propaganda against me, make baseless accusations against me and alienate me. I know I will not be popular by criticising these forces which control media, which control the Kashmiri struggle, and which have assumed a responsibility of issuing religious edicts and call Muslims as Hindu, Sikh and Jew.

    We might not win this crusade or this jihad against these powerful forces, but we don’t want to be among those who remained quiet when demand of time was to speak against these forces. We don’t want to become collaborators, as some have done in order to protect their skin and get rewards. We want to live with dignity and honour; and don’t want to be remembered as collaborators.

    By grace of Allah Almighty, our message is getting to more and more people and they have started to understand the reality; and many have shown their support. I am grateful to my colleagues like Abbas Butt, Nazam Bhatti, Masoom Ansari, Zubair Ansari, Asim Mirza, Nawaz Majid and others for supporting me and standing with me shoulder to shoulder in this fight against these forces.
    Writer is Director Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir
  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Dr Shabir Choudhry's blog: Q2. What was the ideology of JKLF – its core agenda since inception, and how it changed over time?
    Answer by Dr Shabir Choudhry

    A. JKLF was formed in Birmingham, England in 1977. It believed in united and independent Jammu and Kashmir free from both countries, of course from China as well.

    B. The JKLF Head Office was in Britain, but when Amanullah Khan was expelled in 1987, we transferred the JKLF Head Office to Pakistani Administered Kashmir. Perhaps that was the first serious tactical mistake we made, and I take responsibility for that as I forcefully advocated this change. Late Afzal Jatalvi and I were senior office bearers at that time, and we both agreed that it was in the best interest of the Party because we feared some action against the JKLF in Britain as a result of Mahtare Rawinder (Indian diplomat in Britain) kidnapping and subsequent killing in Britain.

    C. JKLF believed in non communal politics- religion to us was a personal matter and state should have no role in it. We strongly believed in equality for all citizens, rule of law, democracy and liberal ideals.

    D. To us both India and Pakistan were occupiers, hence equally bad as far as imperialism and occupation was concerned. Our struggle was against both.

    E. But when Amanullah Khan was expelled from Britain and he had Head Office in Muzaffarabad, he decided to take help from one occupier (Pakistan) to fight against the other occupier (India). With that deal of JKLF and ISI began a gradual shift in the JKLF policy as the party was used as a vehicle to promote a proxy war. The JKLF officially still adhered to the old policy, but gradually walked in to the trap and was forced to support communalism, regionalism and terrorism against innocent people, which opened wounds of the partition of India. In Kashmir policy of religious hatred and intolerance was unleashed where non Muslims were targeted and the struggle was presented as a Muslim struggle.

    F. Struggle for independence or right of self determination was transformed in to a ‘Jihad’ against Hindu rule or Hindus in which minorities were targeted. Cinemas, beauty parlours, tourists, religious festivals (Amar Nath Yatra) of other religions etc were targeted, not to mention targeting of other political views, even if held by Muslims. All this was against Islamic teaching, but unfortunately it happened, and the JKLF leadership unfortunately either remained quiet or became part of this communal game. From then onwards it became a Muslim struggle and not a Kashmiri struggle; and the JKLF groups while still wearing a secular hat became part of this game for various reasons.

    G. Workers and lower to middle ranking leadership of the JKLF groups still sincerely believe that they are advancing the cause of an independent Kashmir. They wrongly think that the JKLF is still advancing policy of secularism and liberal democracy.

    H. Those who sponsored this campaign of terror and gun culture in Kashmir brought in Jihadi warriors from other countries which changed the fundamental character of the struggle. It was no longer a Kashmiri struggle- it became part of the Islamic fundamentalism which provided a big propaganda stick in hands of India and Europe.

    I. It is interesting to note that those who sponsored this campaign of terror or religious fanaticism had cinemas, beauty parlours, tourists etc in their own country but encouraged these extremists to target people who were using these services in Jammu and Kashmir. Aim was to promote religious hatred, intolerance, regionalism and communalism, and widen divisions among Kashmiris. They were successful in this. Freedom or independence of Jammu and Kashmir was never their aim, their hidden agenda was to ‘keep India engaged’ and ‘keep India bleeding’, and they were successful in that.

    J. A senior government official who I know very well advised me in 1992 that I should do something else and make a career as there was nothing in this struggle of Kashmir. He said that I was talented and educated person and should not squander my time in this, as Kashmir will not get independence because those who planned this struggle never envisaged that. They only wanted to engage India. He said, he told them not to start it in Kashmir as Muslims will become target of Indian wrath, and that it was ok to do it in Punjab, Asam, Nagaland etc, but he was vetoed out.

    K. I did not believe him as I thought he was just trying to discourage me; after all he was ISI man, and wanted to deprive the movement of my skills and talent. But by 1995/6, I was convinced that he was correct, and that we Kashmiris were taken for a ride by Pak agencies - they used us Kashmiris to keep the wolf away from their door. But it was too late.

    L. Amanullah Khan also realised this that he was used to advance a Pakistani interest, but he is stubborn man who believes in dictatorship in the organisation and strong hold on all institutions of the party with trusted and ‘yes man’ kind of people holding various ceremonial positions. He with support of ISI managed to keep his stature and his JKLF group. Some critics believe that one of his tasks is to ensure that the JKLF remains divided; and that all nationalists are divided too. Anyone who dared to challenge him was expelled from the party on charges of working for either ISI or RAW. Reality however is that he is the one who closely worked with ISI and continues to do so.

    M. Apart from that not all matters were under his control, as someone else called the shots. But being a stubborn man who was led to believe by flatterers that he is like Chairman Mao and infallible, he didn’t want to accept his mistakes or even abandon what he thought was a struggle. He thought once we get Kashmir internationalised perhaps we will get help from other countries and Pakistani influence could be neutralised, but he didn’t realise that the world has changed since 1970s. Mentally he is still living in 1970s. He failed to appreciate changes going on in the international politics, that the world DOES NOT help those who become proxy of other countries and promote agenda of a neighbouring country.

    N. Pakistan has very strong hold on media and all aspects of life in Pakistani Administered Kashmir, and majority of people tend to believe what is presented to them as they have no other source of information. Anti India feelings are embedded in minds of people right from child hood; and the establishment regularly devise policies to intimidate people and fear of being called an ‘India agent’ disciplines rebel members and people at large.

    O. But then there are dedicated and equally stubborn people like me who damn care what label is attached with their names - they fight their corner when they know they are right whether they win or lose. My friends and I have been fighting establishment policies on Kashmir and their stooges since 1992. We sincerely worked hard to unite factions of the JKLF, and correct wrongs in the JKLF. I have no hesitation in acknowledging our failure.

    P. In 1995 when Yasin Malik and Amanullah Khan had power struggle and the JKLF once again suffered split, we thought may be Yasin Malik will be little better than Amanulla Khan and supported him. We thought we will be able to correct wrongs of the JKLF and put the JKLF and its ideology back on track. Alas he proved worse. This is another topic and needs a lot of time.

    Q. When we realised that the top leadership of JKLF groups have abandoned ideology of Maqbool Butt, and that they are incorrigible, we decided to say good bye to the JKLF and formed Kashmir National Party to advance the cause of united and independent Jammu and Kashmir.
  4. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Dr Shabir Choudhry's blog: Q8. How important is the role of Pakistan in projecting Kashmir cause to the Western world?

    Answer by Dr Shabir Choudhry

    A. Role of Pakistan in the Kashmiri struggle needs a detailed reply. I have written books on this. In my opinion, which is shared by Kashmiri nationalists and many neutral scholars, respective Pakistani governments have messed up the Kashmir dispute, because of lack of proper understanding the dispute, lack of proper vision and selfish attitude. A brief details are as follows:
    B. Nehru asked Mohammed Ali Jinnah that people of Princely States should be allowed to decide future of Princely States. Mohammed Ali Jinnah refused this, and emphasised that the ‘Rulers’ should decide future of their states. Mohammed Ali Jinnah must have thought that this way he will be able to get Jammu and Kashmir as Maharajah Hari Singh and Pundit Kak, Prime Minister of Kashmir were in his confidence. He never got on well with Sheikh Abdullah, most popular leader of Kashmir, and if a right to decide was vested with the people Mohammed Ali Jinnah could have lost out.

    C. With this policy Mohammed Ali Jinnah aimed to get States of Hyderabad and Junagarrh as well. Both of these States had Muslim Rulers, but majority of population in both states were non Muslim. Rulers of both States were in his contact, and were not willing to accede to India; but if a right to decide was vested in the public then of course decision would have gone against Pakistan.

    D. Irrespective of Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s sermons on democracy and human rights, when it came to the crunch he supported autocratic rulers. He didn’t want people of the Princely States to take decision with regard to their future. He felt more comfortable with autocratic and unelected rulers.

    E. At one time Pakistan was offered to take Kashmir and keep hands off Hyderabad and Junagarrh. The Pakistani government of the time refused to accept this, as they wanted to get all three States, but due to wrong policies and lack of appropriate planning they lost all of them.

    F. Mohammed Ali Jinnah refused to talk to Sheikh Abdullah, most prominent leader of Kashmir, and insulted him at a crucial time of partition. Sheikh Abdullah secretly travelled to Lahore in second week of August 1947, to discuss and formulate some common strategy on future of Jammu and Kashmir, but Mohammed Ali Jinnah blatantly refused to meet him by saying ‘why should I meet him when Kashmir is already in my pocket’.

    G. Despite this insult Sheikh Abdullah sent two representatives to Lahore that they can talk to Mohammed Ali Jinnah. These leaders were never given a chance to meet Mohammed Ali Jinnah – they were still in Lahore waiting for a meeting when on 21st October 1947, Pakistani government managed a tribal invasion with disastrous consequences. We people of Jammu and Kashmir are still suffering as a result of that illogical and brutal invasion.
    H. Tribesmen invaded Barmullah on 24th October, and celebrated this victory for three days by dancing, pillaging and raping Kashmiri women (To them they were non Muslims; to me they were human beings and Kashmiris). They could have taken over Srinagar within hours as there was no defence of any kind as Maharaja’s army had deserted. Perhaps to these tribesmen and their leaders dancing, looting and raping was more important; and when they eventually decided to proceed to Srinagar, the Indian army had landed on morning of 27th October 1947.

    I. Initially Kashmir was registered as a ‘Kashmir problem’ in the UN, clearly showing that the matter related to Jammu and Kashmir. It was government of Pakistan which got it changed to ‘India and Pakistan problem’, hence making it a territorial dispute, to which world powers were hesitant to take sides; but at that time were eager to support right of self determination and oppose imperialism.

    J. The first UNCIP Resolution (13 August 1948) had inbuilt option of an independent Kashmir, which reads as follows: The Government of India and the Government of Pakistan reaffirm their wish that the future status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall be determined in accordance with the will of the people…

    K. The phrase ‘future status’ of the state, implied accession to Pakistan, accession to India or an independent Kashmir. It was Pakistan and not India, which got it changed in the second UNCIP Resolution of 5th January 1949 to the following: ‘The question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite;’

    L. The purpose of this change was to ensure that ‘Kashmir dispute’ remains a territorial dispute; and that people of Jammu and Kashmir must not get independence. In other words for policy makers of Pakistan, it was acceptable if in a referendum Kashmir goes to India, but not acceptable if Kashmiris were to become independent.

    M. The outcome of a referendum could have gone against Pakistan, especially when Sheikh Abdullah was at the helm of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir, and Indian army was also present there. It is precisely why Pakistan did not honour conditions of the resolution and refused to withdraw her forces from AJK and Gilgit and Baltistan.

    N. Pakistan as early as 1950 agreed to divide Kashmir; and had many rounds of talks afterwards to get maximum area of Jammu and Kashmir, which means Pakistani rulers had no interest in right of self determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. To them safety, welfare and prosperity of people of Jammu and Kashmir was not priority; they were more interested in territory, strategic security, water and other resources of Jammu and Kashmir.

    O. Once we have established what Pakistani game plan on Kashmir is then we can see how well they have done to project the Kashmir dispute. When ever they project Kashmir dispute or take any action on Kashmir, be it diplomatic or political manoeuvring, some kind of war or a proxy war the planners always have Pakistani interest in mind, whether they achieve that or not it is a different matter.

    P. Some critics argue that Pakistanis are not even concerned with interest of their own country, so why should we criticise them for not doing enough for Kashmiris. That is not a valid excuse. It is true they don’t have a proper system in place to discuss, plan and execute policies with sincerity and dedication, but that is not fault of Kashmiris. They are responsible for the mess they have created for their own country and neighbours including Jammu and Kashmir.

    Q. Role of Pakistan is crucial in matters related to Jammu and Kashmir. It is because of their de – facto control of Jammu and Kashmir territory, and enormous influence which result in many problems in Jammu and Kashmir. It is because of their direct and indirect involvement which has helped to keep the Kashmir pot boiling; hence we see the present shape of the Kashmir dispute.

    R. Kashmir was not the only Princely State to have rough deal at the time of Partition, but today we don’t even hear about their plight; but Kashmir dispute is still perceived as most dangerous spot on earth; and that is mainly due to the Pakistani involvement in this matter. People of Pakistan have also suffered due to the Kashmir dispute in many ways; and I believe Pakistan’s consent is crucial to any final settlement on Kashmir.
  5. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Oct 8, 2009
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    Dr Shabir Choudhry's blog: Q1.Could you please brief me about what happened in 1988, which led to first local uprising in Kashmir?

    1. Answer by Dr Shabir Choudhry

    A. Roots of that uprising could be traced back to many years of mismanagement, maladministration and proxy politics by New Delhi. Turning point was rigged elections of 1987. People finally realised that they cannot have rights or positive changes by ballot. This frustration and anger was visible in the Kashmiri youths. At that time war or ‘Jihad’ in Afghanistan was coming to an end which could have made thousands of people ‘redundant’. These people were not employable in the sense of real employment, as the only skill they had was to use gun in guerrilla warfare and kill and destroy. A skill hardly useful for peace time and development or political stability. The authorities in Islamabad, who managed this ‘jihad’ in Afghanistan, were seriously concerned as these jihadi warriors could have created problems for the Pakistani society, so they had to find some thing for these jihadi warriors to keep them occupied.

    B. Also keep in mind that Pakistani government always suspected India, perceived as arch enemy, and was worried that India might attack Pakistan, especially when Rajiev Gandhi was Prime Minister of India, so they wanted to ‘engage India’ and ‘keep India bleeding’ that she cannot consider any military adventure against Pakistan.

    C. Apart from that Islamabad wanted to take revenge from India for 1971 defeat; and take revenge from Kashmiris for not ‘helping’ them in war of 1965 and in 1947.

    D. But there is another aspect to this. In 1987 Amanullah Khan, Chair of JKLF was expelled from the UK because of alleged anti state activities. He felt very disappointed and frustrated, and envisaged no future for himself, as not many people like to abandon life style of Britain and live in Pakistan. Frustrated and demoralised Amanullah Khan became easy prey of ISI, elite secret agency of Pakistan which masterminded the ‘Jihad’ in Afghanistan. They offered him a deal which was previously rejected by a representative panel of senior leaders of the JKLF, as it was not in favour of the party, the movement and the Kashmiri nation.

    E. The JKLF delegation which met senior ISI personnel consisted of five senior leaders of the JKLF, namely late Sardar Rashid Hasrat, Dr Farooq Haider, Hashim Qureshi, Aslam Mirza and Zubair Ansari who was Secretary General at the time of this meeting. Zubair Ansari told this writer that during the course of this meeting he bluntly told the officers that: ‘you are looking for sacrificial lambs (qurbani ke bakray) to target India and advance the interest of Pakistan’. He further said: ‘let me make it clear to you that we will not be part of your proxy war in which people of Jammu and Kashmir will suffer and it will not help our national struggle’.

    F. Other members of the delegation, notably Hashim Qureshi was also very forceful in rejecting this deal. But to Amanullah Khan it was an opportunity of life time and he grabbed it with both hands, hence the JKLF provided raw material which was to be used in this ‘proxy war’ to advance Pakistan’s national interest.

    G. What you got to remember is at that time there was no JKLF in Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir. Yasin Malik, Javed Mir, Ashfaq Wani, Hamid Sheikh and some others were asked to come to Muzaffarabad for training. The result of this training was the first violent action carried out by the JKLF on 31st July 1988.
  6. sean

    sean Regular Member

    Jul 9, 2010
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  7. ace009

    ace009 Freakin' Fighter fan Elite Member

    Sep 15, 2010
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    Didn't you get the message from the posts above? No one wants Kashmir valley alone - they want all the four regions together. Pakistan wants to have all of it for their own purposes - natural resources and direct EASIER access to China!

    Kashmiri nationalists (read brainwashed muslim youth) cry out about persecution by "Hindu" India, while they remain silent about worse persecution by Pakistan in PoK, gilgi-baltistan and other areas of Pakistan. The JKLF and JKLA were persecuting and killing Hindus and Sikhs in Jammu valley themselves - do create the muslim majority there. So, the so-called "Kashmiri nationalists" want all of the Kashmir region, after "pogroming off" those who disagree - Hindus, Sikhs, secular Muslims and Muslims belonging to other sects.

    For India and all Kashmiri secular minded people, the choice had been made a LONG time ago - by Pakistan - either Kashmir goes to India or to Pakistan, (or the region is split into two parts one to India and one to Pakistan). And as the economic differences between India and Pakistan increase, more and more Kashmiris would choose to stay with India - in a 2007 BBC held poll (I maybe wrong about the year), 48% kashmiris wanted a country of their own, 36% wanted to stay with India and only 2% wanted to go to Pakistan. If India's economy keep on growing and the development reaches more Kashmir, In another 10 years or so, the numbers will be reversed and more than 50% kashmiris would choose to stay with India.

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