Monday, 22 April 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 112 of 2019


Back in Dadyaal.

I'd been almost bombarded with cruelty over the past week but this evening I was hit with some kindness. 

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 111 of 2019


We condemn all acts of terror wherever they may occur in the world and by whoever:



Various parts of district Kotli are facing cuts of electricity anywhere between 0800hrs and 2000hrs for over a week now. We are informed - informally - that this is to re-set electricity cables in the wake of the ongoing 102 MW Gulpur (Braali) hydro-power project which we understand - like virtually all other such projects - is going to produce electricity (here in AJK( to directly deliver it (there to Pakistan).

The lower riparian climbs up with his military to warn us of another lower riparian killing our people because they are 'the other'. The 'warner' claims to be your genuine sympathiser, after-all he is your co-religionist. Sooner rather than later. both lower riparians decide to share the water between themselves without consulting the upper riparian. Who is conveniently divided between the two lower riparians using identical propaganda. One in the name of democratic secularism, the other in the name of militarised religion.   

This is just one of many hydro projects undertaken by the Pakistani State in AJK, all without due process, legality, environmental concerns, proprietary rights and many more questions within the framework of international law. Our Western neighbours are making the most of their de facto presence here. We now have to do without electricity throughout the working day for an unspecified period of time. This is load-shedding times six.

These imposed sacrifices are just heaping up, almost by the day.


Saturday, 20 April 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 110 of 2019


Dabbling in a bit of poetry to express one's feelings is perhaps as old as human kind. We still have facebook today:


Finding the ways forward on Kashmir is an article by Nitasha Kaul (Associate Professor in Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster in London) published by the Centre on Constitutional Change in the UK.

My comment on the article:

This is probably the most lucid and compact commentary on present day Jammu & Kashmir. On the last sentence, I would suggest "credible nonpartisan internationally supported spaces" should be complimentary or even symmetrical to genuine activism on the ground within the territory.


Friday, 19 April 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 109 of 2019


At this mature stage of public interest activism on the ground, the most obvious barrier to change - that the majority of us aspire to - is how we think about public rights and our approach to obtaining them.

If we cannot convince our Pakistani neighbours to exploit us just a little less than they do, how on earth can we convince India or any major power in the world to give us political concessions?

In the last 72 years, we've grouped together with the Pakistanis - because they are nominally Muslim - and used the strength of our diaspora and devoted local resources to help Pakistan advocate on behalf of the Valley Kashmiris, on the perceived strength that they are majority Muslim too.  

So, we clearly have a majoritarian Muslim lobby advocating in non-Muslim Western capitals for political concessions at the expense of another non-Muslim country, which could soon become the 3rd largest economy in the world and which incidentally also has a size-able Muslim minority that is larger than the population of AJK, GB, the Valley of Kashmir and Pakistan combined.

We are willing to sacrifice all aspects of governance in AJK to continue pursuing this illogical, mob-like stance to somehow 'pressurise' the world into accepting our demands. 

Incredulously, we blame our absence of success thus far on an anti-Muslim bias in the West without as much as thinking twice about how we present 'our' case. 

Our diaspora in the UK which constitutes the largest community of our people outside AJK are particular culprits in this regard.

They enjoy the fruits of 'rule of law' and economic opportunities there only to dissuade activists in AJK from struggling for the very same.

"Don't waste your time here. It is pointless fighting for rights here. The big powers will decide this issue whenever it suits them." So said someone in my village who has enjoyed the best part of 6 decades in the UK.

If we have no value for our own environment and public space, how can we expect the world to take us seriously?

If we don't give due attention to what is in our own capability, why should anyone else use their capabilities for our benefit?

Geo-politics doesn't do free lunches.

If we can't agree on the need of a consensus for a political process that could ensure AJK controlling its own public affairs, how can we convince any major power to force India to surrender the Valley of Kashmir, that which we have foolishly surrendered to our Muslim neighbour?


Thursday, 18 April 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 108 of 2019


Still in the village. Meeting villagers from morning till evening doesn't leave much time to oneself or the work that prevents me from returning to the UK, where I would be likely to meet even more villagers.


Daily Diary (DD) - Day 112 of 2019

2220hrs: Back in Dadyaal. I'd been almost bombarded with cruelty over the past week but this evening I was hit with some kindness. ...