Thank you, I don’t need this certificate

By Shabir Choudhry

(June 01, Srinagar, Sri Lanka Guardian) We people of Jammu and Kashmir are occupied because we are divided; and are not sure what we want as a nation. To make matters worse we are led by a bunch of people presented to us as leaders who are selfish and egocentric, and who clearly lack vision, sincerity and sense of direction. Moreover they are more eager to promote agendas of New Delhi and Islamabad rather than protecting rights and interests of people of Jammu and Kashmir.

A policy was initiated to persuade people that areas under Pakistan were Azad - meaning independent and problem was only on the Indian side of the divide. This policy was instigated by the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs of Pakistan and their agencies, and launched with help of their political proxies known as Kashmiri leaders.

Plight of People of Pakistani Administered Kashmir and Gilgit and Baltistan and their basic human rights were swept aside and they were persuaded, rather pressurised to support the ‘struggle’ on the other side and speak against India. It is fact that people of that side had more rights and better facilities than we can even imagine on this side of the divide.

Test of one’s sincerity was how strongly or eloquently one can yell against lack of rights on the Indian side and Indian atrocities. And how sincerely, explicitly and vigorously one can support and commend Pakistan’s role in the areas under Pakistani control and in war of ‘liberation’. If one could pass this test, he/ she was presented as a true leader of people of Kashmir and appropriately rewarded.

Unfortunately leaders of the nationalist movement or independence movement were also cultivated to pursue the same policy. People who had enacted this policy and fine - tuned it according to new situation had to persuade top leaders of nationalist groups, and it was left to them to handle matters within their parties. Any member or a leader who refused to follow this line of action or questioned a rationale of this policy was either sidelined or declared ‘anti movement’, ‘anti organisation’ or ‘agent’ of agencies and expelled from the party.

This policy worked for both the agencies and the top leadership of nationalist groups, who used this ‘guillotine’ frequently and mercilessly to advance their political interest and to please their paymasters. Pakistani planners were pleased that they have managed to trap Indian army in a quagmire of Kashmir; and propagate against Indian rule, actions against militancy, which included extra judicial arrests and custodial killings of innocent people.

Anyone who dared to speak for rights of people of Pakistani Administered Kashmir or draw attention to the plight of people of Gilgit and Baltistan were cautioned not to do so, as it would ‘divert attention’ from the Indian side to the Pakistani side of the divide. Many political aspirants and cautious people decided to follow this dictation and did not risk to be called ‘anti jihad’, ‘anti movement’, ‘anti organisation’ or ‘pro India’. They decided to remain quiet even though they knew what their leaders were doing in their name or in name of the party was wrong.

However many rebels and sincere people decided to challenge this doctrine and paid political and social price, as powerful forces and their proxies initiated consistent campaign to sideline and discredit people like me and many others. It is a stigma to be called an ‘Indian agent’, ‘anti movement’ or ‘anti Pakistan’ in a society whose values are determined by those who occupy us. People would go to any lengths to avoid this label and this pressure was even felt in European capitals where people like Shaukat Kashmiri, Mumtaz Khan, Afzal Tahir, Abbas Butt, Hamid Khan, Dr Nazir Gilani and of course me (Dr Shabir Choudhry) were opposing wrong policies and promoting pro people of Jammu and Kashmir agenda.

In spite of the problems and uphill struggle we sincerely continued with anti terrorism and pro people policies and fought back with vigour and determination.

Even with a lot of awareness and available knowledge as soon as something appear in any media or any internet platform, which is construed as an attempt to ‘divert attention’, a systematic campaign is unleashed against that person. Even those people who do not understand basic requirements of the independence movement or fundamental character of the Kashmiri struggle start issuing edicts.

These stalwarts still want us to speak against India and focus our attention on the situation of the Valley only. No doubt India has done a lot of wrong things in Jammu and Kashmir, including human rights violations, and I condemn that. Also the Valley of Kashmir has its own importance, but there is life beyond the boundaries of the Valley; and the people who live outside the boundaries of the Valley also have some genuine problems which need to be addressed.

Situation has been created that if you write something or make a speech and not mention the Valley or not condemn India even when the topic is about upraising of Mangla Dam ( in Pakistani Administered Kashmir) or construction of Basha Dam (in Gilgit and Baltistan), you are perceived as not sincere with the cause of Kashmir.

Worried people or political aspirants don’t want to annoy the crocodile while they still have to share the same water, are desperately making efforts to be in good books of agencies or their proxies. Some are even prepared to attack and malign their fellow colleagues or fellow nationalists in order to win favour and rewards.

Kashnet whether we like it or not links people of Jammu and Kashmir; and at times it also provides valuable information. Nearly all political activists and many non Kashmiris are members of this platform. Apart from sharing information this platform is increasingly used to discredit genuine political activists and leaders by those who have made no contribution to the cause in any form or manner; or by proxies of those who have made fortune of miseries and sufferings of the people. There are nearly 1100 members which include some fake IDs as well; and many people use these fake IDs to settle personal goals against each other.

Whenever something is written or spoken about the plight of people on Pakistani side of the LOC, these proxies are activated to discredit the writer for the crime of ‘diverting attention’ away from the Valley and for not swearing at India. Apart from some dedicated people most political activists choose to remain quiet, and let few be cursed and condemned.

One writer spoke about the situation in Pakistani Administered Kashmir in following words: ‘Corruption practices, nepotism, favouritism, blackmailing, mismanagement, injustices, misuse of authority, violation of merit, discrimination govern so called Azad Kashmir’. When the situation is so bad and people suffer as a result of bad polices and exploitation of Kashmiri resources, I for one cannot remain quiet. Call me whatever suits you, but I will speak about the plight of the people of Gilgit and Baltistan and Pakistani Administered Kashmir.

I have recently visited the Neelam Valley with KNP delegation. The situation there cannot be explained in words, it is much worse than what we have in the Valley or any other part of the State. I cannot be expected to remain silent on this human tragedy and systematic and consistent exploitation of our resources.

I will write and expose those responsible for this human tragedy. I know I will be criticised for this, but do I care? I don’t need a certificate from anyone that I am sincere to my cause. Actions speak louder than any certificate. I know ‘Jihadi warriors’ and ‘liberal fascists’ who are assigned a task of opposing all those who want to educate people and tell them that we are occupied by more than one country; and that a large scale exploitation of our resources and political and economic strangulation is going on in Gilgit and Baltistan and Pakistani Administered Kashmir.

In the past we have opposed culture of intimidation and fear. We have also opposed proxy politics and proxy war. While supporting a right of expression we need to oppose this culture of proxy politics unleashed on Kashnet with sole aim of discrediting genuine political activists and to discourage those who want to speak for rights of people on this side of the divide.

Writer is a Spokesman of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs. Email:

-Sri Lanka Guardian

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The Editors said…
Mr. Shabbir's unmitigated bigoted drivel is biased, it has serious errors in it and is typical of the anti-Pakistan tripe so pervasive these days.

After all the help Pakistan has given Lanka in defeating the Indian sponsored LTTE, it is most disappointing how the Sri Lankan Guardian blogsite chose to reproduce such a rambling crypto-racist screed.

Mr. Shabbir's Teutonic bloviations are an admixture of discredited Neocon assertions, unsubstantiated, or outright Indian distortion, and pure unadulterated balderdash. His nauseating fixation upon and paranoid conspiratorial delusions about Pakistanis are a transparent attempt to justify the murderous rampage, carnage and barbarism faced by West Asia. The twaddle fails to illuminate the confusing deluge of eerily inept and counter-intuitive claptrap masquerading as fact in the clumsily stage-managed "global war on terror" environment. Mr. Shabbir's selective amnesia fails to consider the fact that more than 1000 Pakistanis have died fighting the so called “war on terror”, and Pakistan has been a US ally since 1947. Pakistanis say “we don’t want your favors or your hate”. Leave Pakistan and Pakistanis alone.
Unknown said…
AfTer a Long time I have found a kashmiri muslim trying to view the problem from the realistic angle. one must have the courage to call a spade a spade. Today kashmiri muslims talk about human rights violations by the security forces but they forget that pre1989 era, there used to be no security personnel on the roads of kashmir. An old kashmiri proverb" I bought the nettle, sowed the nettle and the nettle stung me" aptly describes the so called struggle of kashmir.I am happy to see the writings of Dr. Shabir from a realistic point of view and I would like to add that there are people who have suffered much more rights violations, agony and miseries by the action of kashmiri muslims. I pray to God to bestow upon them the good sense so that the peace returns to the kashmir valley and people once again start to live in amity and brotherhoood.