Kashmir conflict and Pakistan
Dr Muhammad Khan
ON two occasions, Fiazul Hassan Chohan, the Information Minister of Punjab exceeded the limits of decency while talking about Kashmir and Kashmiris. He uttered humiliating remarks about the Prime Minister of AJK, Raja Farooq Haider on a political statement. In his TV show, he not only humiliated Raja Farooq Haider but the State’s Prime Minister and people of Kashmir. It was height of disgrace to a nation which is fighting against India since 1947 to join the state of Pakistan. On another occasion, he named people of Sharif Family with Kashmiri prefixes, as if; it is a crime or disgrace to be a Kashmiri. Despite his crossing the limits of decency and humiliation, he has not been admonished or asked for these demeaning remarks by the Govt of Imran Khan which raises questions. Failure to hold Faizul Hassan Chohan answerable for his repeated delinquency on a national issue, Shahid Afridi, a Cricketer dared to trigger another controversy over Kashmir.
Recently, in a video tweeted by an ARY journalist, Afridi appeared to suggest that Pakistan should allow Kashmir to be independent country because Pakistan hadn’t been able to even manage its four provinces. This aspect was largely highlighted by Indian Press while defaming Pakistani State. Who told Shahid Afridi that Pakistan is unable to manage its provinces? Indeed, this is an inappropriate contention, beyond the perception of untutored people like Afridi. He should also realize that, Kashmiris have sacrificed their lives and property to join Pakistan; therefore let them decide their fate themselves. They are mature enough to decide their future course of action.
It is for the information of people like Faizul Hassan Chohan and Shahid Afridi that people of Jammu and Kashmir unanimously adopted a resolution on July 19, 1947 for the Accession of Jammu and Kashmir State with the State of Pakistan, which came into being later, on August 14, 1947. On July 19, 1947, prominent Kashmir leaders: Khawaja Ghulam-ud-Din Wani and Abdul Rahim Wani moved the resolution in the emergency session of the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference held in Srinagar. Since Pakistan was to become a reality for the Muslims of South Asia on August 14, 1947, therefore, Kashmiri people completed the legal formalities of State’s accession to their dreamland much earlier. Since they were not given their choice to join Pakistan, therefore, they are struggling for this right since last 71 years. Besides, the State of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan have historical relationship which dates back to centuries. This relationship has rooted in the joint history of these two areas over the years and later turned into a relationship of interdependency. Religion, common culture, joint races on both sides, migrations and inter-marriages further strengthened this bond between the people of two sides. Besides, these linkages, geography of the Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan are another compelling factor which essentially unite these areas. Apart from this the economy of these two areas created further interdependence. All natural routes to various parts of the Jammu and Kashmir are from Pakistan. The only link, India exploited in 1947, through Gurdaspur (Pathankot) was an unnatural link, which India manipulated through Radcliff Award, through an unjustified division of Punjab.
As per the Indian Partition Plan (June 3, 1947), Kashmir was to become part of Pakistan, based on will of the people and geographical contiguity of the State with Pakistan. The people of Jammu and Kashmir with overwhelming Muslim population (77%) were deprived of their right to decide their future, thus rose to occasion and revolted against the then Ruler of the State, Maharaja Hari Singh. Kashmiri volunteers, the freedom fighters liberated a portion of the state from the regular forces of Maharaja Hari Singh, established their own government, and named that as, “Azad Jammu and Kashmir”. Indeed, Hari Singh wanted to keep the state independent and even negotiated the Standstill Agreements with Pakistan and India, but Indian rulers, particularly, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, first Indian Prime Minister, ordered forceful military occupation of the State on October 27, 1947, and this occupation is continuing till-date.
Over the last 71 years now, Kashmiris of IoK did not reconcile with the Indian rule over their state and revolted many a time against forceful Indian occupation. In the last struggle, started in 1990, over 123,000 Kashmiris have lost their lives at the hands of brutal Indian forces. Indian Army and paramilitary forces are still continuing with their brutalities in IoK, taking cover of inhuman laws like; AFSPA and PSA, imposed ever since 1990. Despite heavy Indian military deployment in IOK, it could not defeat the will of Kashmiris for attainment of their right of self-determination. While there is an ongoing oppression and repression of Indian security forces in IoK (indeed, massive human rights violations) such discriminatory statements by imprudent people will hurt the spirit of Kashmiris. The Kashmiri youth protest the Indian forces with Pakistani flags in their hands and they are buried in Pakistani flags. Instead of outrageous and diverging remarks, let’s respect the spirit of Kashmiri for their supreme and gallantry resistance against a regional tyrant state, India. These ministers and cricketers must highlight the humanitarian dimension of Kashmir conflict. As a nation Pakistani love Kashmiris and the State of Pakistan has given top priority to Kashmir,as an issue of its national interest.