The Pakistan visit

Of Hurriyat initiative and the hard realities we must not ignore

ANALYSIS

HASHIM QURESHI

“Telling the truth is the right way to act. Living with lies is harder than living a truthful life. Being truthful and honest is important”.

Of late Kashmir did not witness any big or small change of significance. However during harsh winter people braving the chill of winter stood in long queues on the roads and lanes to collect their quota of gas and kerosene oil. Government machinery sadistically enjoyed playing with the comfort and necessities of life of ordinary people. During this period the soft and delicate coalition called Hurriyat (M) had to face a jolt from its recent visit to Pakistan. The main reason for our nation not reaching its objective and remaining tied to slavery, and suffer loot, oppression and suppression, tyranny and use of muscle power is only the disunity among political parties.
What was the logic for the Hurriyat (M) to visit Pakistan when the sitting government there will be quitting after a couple of months only and the clarion for new elections has already been sounded? One would like to know the reason behind Hurriyat (M) being invited to Pakistan for a visit. What is the logic for the Hurriyat to have accepted the invitation when Pakistan is embroiled in internal problems? We like to know why a Hurriyat leader living in Indian controlled territory of Kashmir has been invited to Pakistan?. The amusing thing is that the Hurriyat (M) accepted this invitation when its partners like Shabbir Shah and Nayeem Khan said “that since elections were round the corner in Pakistan they would not think it proper to accept the invitation for the visit. They said they should undertake the visit only after the new government was formed in that country.” Geelani Sahib, too, was of same opinion. Many conscious people in Kashmir also corroborated this statement.
Even Jamaat-e Islami of Pakistan, Jamaat-e Islami of Azad Kashmir and Hurriyat chapter, all stood by the same view. Pakistani media pointedly asked why leaders like Geelani Sahib, Yasin Malik, Shabir Shah and others were ignored and only Hurriyat (M) group was invited. Obviously, the ruling party in Pakistan did not only want to revive Kashmir issue to serve its election purpose, it also intensified division among the tenuous union among Kashmir leadership.
Let us try to sort out the elements that worked behind the curtain for inviting the group to Pakistan.
Whenever a sincere commentator takes up his pen to write on problems and day to day issues of life of his community, people, political groups and intellectuals among the community try to interpret his observations from their own point of view. Actually the writer keeps in mind economic and political interests of the people at large. Whenever something is written in the context of politics, national survival and day to day problems of life, political parties and interested people accept or reject the facts in accordance with their selfish interests. If one subjects the administration to criticism in various spheres like civic amenities, corruption, power, water and gas shortage etc. the administration fails to take note of healthy criticism and does not try to make amends.
In the case of resolving Kashmir dispute, driving attention to facts on the ground does not suit interested segments. Even those who are committed to the accession of Kashmir either to India or to Pakistan also consider it faulty to bring forth the facts of the case on the ground. They turn inimical to the commentators and even try to seek revenge for telling the facts.
Hurriyat (M) is a conglomerate of 23 groups of Kashmir valley. All of them believe in accession to Pakistan. A similar group works under the leadership of Ali Shah Gilani and it also follows the ideology of accession to Pakistan. Despite that there is difference between them. Pakistani rulers have always taken Kashmiris for granted. By saying that the solution of Kashmir dispute has to be according to the Security Council resolutions, they actually want to convey that the people of Kashmir should accede either to India or to Pakistan. There is no third option in UN resolutions. Same is true of all those groups that have joined one of the two factions of Hurriyat. The pro-Indian political parties speak of accession to India. Thus these parties and groups serve the interests of either Pakistan or India.
Pakistani sources have disclosed that the visit of the Hurriyat (M) team to Pakistan did not, in any way, take forward the issue of solution of Kashmir dispute. It had never made any progress. Neither the political parties in Kashmir nor her intelligentsia ever tries to reflect why the international community is not interested in focusing on Kashmir issue. They actually play game with their own people as well as the people of Kashmir. Their indirect message for the people of Kashmir is that since they are enslaved, therefore, they would be given the right to choose one of the two masters.
It has to be noted that Shimla Agreement cannot be rescinded by one or the other country unless their respective parliaments endorse it. Even the United Nations Secretary General, Boutros Ghali had said in a press conference in Islamabad in 1991 that “unless both countries approached the UN for consideration of Kashmir issue, UN cannot talk about it”.
Indian and Pakistani rulers know that Shimla Agreement has been signed and there is a clear clause in it that “India and Pakistan will resolve all their outstanding issues including Kashmir through bilateral talks and if they are not able to find a solution they can together approach a third forum for the resolution of outstanding issues”. Ceasefire line according to the wording of the Agreement indicates that war is still on though of course cease fire has been affected. The two countries have agreed to call it LOC
In this background, the parties or groups that claim to be representing Kashmiris have no right whatsoever to make the claim that they are representing the people of Kashmir. They are only pleading for the interests of either Pakistan or India.
The question is in what capacity did Hurriyat (M) visit Pakistan to talk on Kashmir issue? The fact is that during the past five years, PPP has not been able to play any role in the context of Kashmir issue which would have given them a plank to be used in forthcoming elections. That is why some fertile brains among PPP leadership struck at the idea of inviting pro-Pakistan Hurriyat faction.
Although Yasin and Geelani, too, were invited to visit Pakistan but both of them adopted a realistic stance that the sitting government was close to complete its term in office, elections are round the corner, therefore prudence dictates that they undertake the visit after the elections are over. By that time political landscape of Pakistan would be clearly visible.
The fact is that within the Hurriyat (M) there were differences on accepting the invitation for a visit. Shabbir and Nayeem did not only oppose the proposition, Shabir went to the length of saying that “Mirwaiz did not consult him even”. Though of course, before leaving for Pakistan, Hurriyat (M) had exchanged ideas with some like-minded traders, groups of maulavis and some leaders of religious parties and lawyers and intellectuals who usually support them. This was trumpeted as having sought the views of the community.
When 40 or 50 or 60 per cent people cast their vote in favour of pro-India parties in elections, this election is labeled fraud and rigged and oppressive and suppressive. Here the Hurriyat (M) has talked just to a few selected persons of selected class and category and then calls it people’s mandate. What justification is there for such a claim? Please stop treating the people of this nation as dumb driven cattle as is the wont of pro-India parties.
PPP has used Hurriyat (M) as photo show piece. In matching the cynical act of PPP, other political parties in Pakistan did not lag behind in photo show case exercise with the Hurriyat (M) delegation. It was only to make a grand show of interest in Kashmir issue during the forthcoming election campaign. Each segment, meaning the Hurriyat (M) group and Pakistani political parties displayed these photos to support their profile and interests.
Pro-Pakistan people claim that Pakistan is their advocate and elder brother. What was then the pressing need of talking to the Pakistani leadership which is on its way out and that too without talking with the Indian leaders? Mirwaiz is reported to have declined to talk to Indian leaders. The question is that India is holding much larger chunk of Kashmir territory than Pakistan. How come any talk with Pakistani rulers will be meaningful when a major chunk remains under Indian control? How can the question be resolved without talking to Indian side? Moreover, Hurriyat (M) has already been talking to the Indian Prime Minister and Indian Home Minister in the past and even has been expressing satisfaction on the course of deliberations. Why does it shun the talks with Indian leadership now? How can Hurriyat (M) explain this dichotomy in its Kashmir negotiations process?
By accepting the invitation and traveling to Pakistan, the Hurriyat (M) has deepened differences among the allies. We should never forget that in the past also, Pakistani rulers exploited Kashmir freedom struggle for their political interests. They created more than a hundred armed groups. Although the purpose of these groups was the same yet they jumped at the throats of one another.
In final analysis, I would like to ask one question on behalf of this oppressed, helpless and forsaken nation. What magic wand is there in the hands of Hurriyat (M) that, leave alone Pakistan,even Indian rulers gave them VIP treatment and allowed them to proceed to Pakistan without the smallest obstruction. One member of the delegation did not have the passport and the passport of the other member had expired. Indian authorities got them passports ready within two days.
According to UN resolutions, people of the two parts of Kashmir have the right to travel across the LOC. An under-aged person had gone to Azad Kashmir in 1990. Neither he is allowed a passport nor are his relatives given a passport to perform hajj. They are not provided any facility. I know a person whose father held the rank of Captain in Indian Army. His three brothers were employed in Police department. This person was a participant in freedom movement. Despite all this his mother was not issued a passport when she wanted to perform Hajj. No travel documents were issued to her despite the fact that she was the widow of a late Captain in Indian army. Everybody understands what lies beyond this movement of sphere?

(The writer is Chairman of JKDLP)

Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 9 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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