Our future is in bold outspoken hands:
The 4 x 4 Mountain Exercise for Humanity in Jammu & Kashmir
Bridging narratives internally and communicating externally...
Since 2005, this writer has been voluntarily working as an independent researcher on the ground in AJK, a public policy activist and aspiring technocrat for the State of J & K via AJK: through public consultation, funding and protection; with working experience of international journalism, global media and UK parliamentary affairs.
A solution to Jammu & Kashmir's unresolved status can only be executed if the citizens of the territory create that solution without external interference - Tanveer Ahmed
Since the beginning of 2018, I've been publishing a daily diary at: ajkpublicagency.org
Written Structures for an internal political process in AJK (c. 10,000 words):
1) Reclaiming AJK for her people - 4K words
2) An Internal Political Process - AJK - 3K words
3) The Jammu Narrative - 2K words
4) Lecture Notes - 1K words
Ownership Building Measures (OBMs) in AJK:
OBMs were quoted and critiqued by British professor Richard Bonney at a Kashmir Conference in a room at the House of Lords in 2011.
A step by step process striving to reclaim ownership over Jammu & Kashmir by the exclusive inheritors and proprietors of the unnecessarily contested territory; according to their capacity to understand, process and execute initiatives required in public interest.
Action Oriented Research Sequence:
1) Over 40 Civil Society Forums from Bhimber (AJK) to Hunza (GB) - 2009 to 2012
2) Public Opinion Survey - A representative sample of 10,000 citizens of AJK, randomly collected on the ground - 2011 to 2016
3) Consensus Building - A representative sample of 1,000 influential citizens of AJK, verified by each subdivision's population at large - 2018 onwards
4) Legislation/Constitution/State Admin. - Seeking a majority from 29 locally elected MLA's.
4 Point Consensus Agenda derived from extensive public opinion research, since 2009 in particular:
1) Demilitarisation - Through a gradual tehsil (subdivision) - wise process
Opinion - ensuring public policy from within. There's an unresolved national question which cannot be delayed indefinitely.
AJK has devoted 72 years in trying to get the Indian army to vacate the Valley of Kashmir. while being 'led' by Pakistan.
Can we spend some time on getting the Pakistani army to vacate a single tehsil (subdivision) here, without being led by anybody but each other?
Can we inverse the Muslim brother and sister emotions?
What I mean is: We listened to them as siblings of faith for 72 years and can they now listen to us as reciprocation of faith in return?
3 layers of dispute:
- An internal political process.
- Parties > Alliances > Consensus
- There should be formal understanding between the State & Public
- Reconciliation, accountability, reparations, negotiating corrupt practices, merit and transparency in approach are all matters that need further deliberation internally.
- These should all be conducted by giving space to all narratives and social categories.
- Take steps for the demilitarisation of tehsil Khuiratta and devise alternative security arrangements.
- British army who implemented divide on the ground should stand between us and Indian forces.
- Once this tehsil is secure and stable then put similar proposal to India to vacate one similar sized tehsil in the Valley of Kashmir.
- Indo-Pak bilateralism has no future in the context of Jammu & Kashmir
- India's narrative of having democratic, secular, pluralistic, multi religious, multi cultural and big economy credentials should compete and be seen to compete with our narrative on these very concepts in J & K.
- This competition for peace narrative should replace the religious identity contest and war narrative between India and Pakistan.
- Do away with the UN Mechanism
- As it reaffirms Indo-Pak bilateralism and shifts responsibility away from the United Kingdom
- It should be noted that there are many conflicts in the world that have been resolved outside the UN mechanism
- British transfer of power process viz. Indian Independence Act 1947 Article 7.1 (b)
- It was the British empire that changed our dilemma from our 'Right to Rule' to a supposed 'Right of Accession' which in actual fact is a backdoor means of permanent division of Jammu & Kashmir between India and Pakistan
- Lobbying the British parliament directly through its MPs and Councillors
- Global civil society - humanism / pro-life - legality - morality - neutrality - peace narrative vs. war narrative
- Democratic tools.......
- White Flag....why? It signifies an open canvass to create our future without negative historic baggage. It is non discriminatory, it suggests demilitarisation in our context and it is the most recognised symbol for peace in the world. It will help us bridge internal narratives while we cannot agree on a common flag.
2) Population Census (Governance - Constitution - Public Policy)
- A population database of all our citizens who qualify under State Subject Rule (SSR) 1927 wherever they may be residing
- Launch electronic smart ID Card in AJK based on SSR 1927
- Research: develop an apolitical historical timeline for the past 200 years (1820-2020)
- Neutrality to avoid conflict as Switzerland has done since 1515. Precedent in Europe provides a model for Asia. Note that the last autocratic ruler Hari Singh and his 2 main internal political foes in 1947, namely Sheikh Abdullah (National Conference > India) and Sardar Ibrahim (Muslim Conference > Pakistan) disregarded the Maharajah's proposition of neutrality pre 1947, only to recommend the same once they fell out of favour with their respective allies.
3) Taxation - Economy and Environment
- This would entail control of all derivatives of fiscal and monetary policy in AJK
- Both economy and environment are Interconnected on account of us having the most precious resource (water) and geography in the world
- Building our economy and preserving our environment entails devoting our focus on: Water Management, Soil Management and Waste Management.
- Eradicating economy of war and building economy of peace
4) Cultural Diversity - Society, Human Rights and Soft Power
- The Jammu Narrative: Divided Jammu is the key to resolving Valley's propensity to be subdued by conquest. A centre that should be protected by the 360 degrees of mountains surrounding it as well as by all the polities adjacent to it. As envisaged by all conquerors, they tended to take some of these adjacent areas around the Valley before subduing it. Reversing this historic tendency or retrieval of the local 'Right to Rule' would also require empowerment in a periphery before it reaches the Kashmir Valley.
- The Valley has been at the centre of the Indo-Pak religious conflict and contest for resources. Subdued under a suffocating war narrative and then exploited with money to pacify them at one end (India) and provoke them at the other (Pakistan) has left zero space for a solution to be initiated from there.
- That space exists in divided Jammu
- As a matter of priority, facilitating the revitalisation of Mandirs and Gurdwaras for our Hindu & Sikh brethren is the most obvious form of soft power that we in AJK have almost ignored.
- Instead we pandered to Muslim majoritarianism by assuming that to be our strength
- Facilitating our Hindu and Sikh citizens in AJK should be part of a mutual cross LOC facility, whereby Muslims from this side would visit shrines and other places of heritage there too.
- Opening first facility for cross LOC travel in Jammu division via Khuiratta.
The number 4:
In 1947, India took control of 4 subjects in its sovereign agreement with J & K, subject to referring the future of the territory to the people within it, as promised by its British Governor General Louis Mountbatten, which never happened.
Let's remember what our neighbours tried and failed in achieving, not least because they didn't consult the actual stakeholders of the territory with due process.
1) The UNCIP mechanism
2) Chenaab formula
3) Simla agreement
4) Musharraf's 4 point formula
Webster's dictionary suggests 4 possible categories of constituents of a political process:
1) social groups and 2) political institutions
3) political leadership and 4) public opinion.
We include all 4 in our internal political process in AJK. This is further indication that we wish to devise a democratic structure arguably amongst the most horizontal, creative and consultative ever devised in the history of nation States. We also wish to tally the quality of our system of governance with the quality of our natural environment.
We understand that most of our aspiring citizens are fascinated by number 3) and some even decide to disregard everything apart from that category, irrespective of how much effort is generated or how timely that initiative might be. We feel that all efforts in public interest should be appreciated and supported wherever possible and we should not create an unnecessary dichotomy between individuals and political parties.
Jammu & Kashmir is a unique dilemma in the history of nation States - it's closest historical similarity being Switzerland ref. "FROM CANTONMENTS TO CANTONS" - and it requires a unique solution. We need all the energy, resources, creativity and intellect we can muster to arrive at a peaceful and humane solution; which the world can acknowledge to be a viable alternative to what we have endured since 1947.
We need to find practical solutions for India & Pakistan's lack of resolve towards water management, environmental concerns and religious identity friction. Crying for help from influential powers in a shrill voice at every opportunity or cursing our destiny and everything under the sun till death, will not help.
Our public efforts must run parallel with each other and converge wherever practical. This is not just a political struggle. It has 3 other essential components viz. research for clarity, economy for resistance and culture for power.
All 4 need undivided attention and thus our collective duties must be divided according to our skill-set. We cannot all aim to be political leaders, speak at each other incessantly rather than to each other or speak as much as possible and listen as least as possible. We need to understand the importance of each and every act in public interest - no matter how minute or major - and give priority of attention to consistent, focused and sincere work on the ground here in AJK. Not pray for some superpower to come to our rescue!
Under no circumstances should the territory of J & K be divided without the consultation of each divided part with each other, in an internally devised political process. This would by default give the right of secession to any and all constituent parts of the proposed confederation.
There can be no back door or 'out of court' settlement.
We cannot escape from the people's reference. So, let's not play the fool with our status.
Facilitate Dr Karan Singh's visit to AJK for reconciliation and exchange of thoughts with the public here as well as with constituent parts of the internal political process.
I aim to present this lecture to all tehsil (subdivision) bar associations, government degree and post graduate institutions, prominent press clubs and the AJK Assembly.
(Update: 25/09/19 at 1632hrs):
I did ask about 250 of my co-citizens to read the 'Lecture Notes' above and confirm the content as correct and/or suggest otherwise. Thus far, I have received 37 responses.
Some asked for further time. in the meantime, I wish to reproduce the constructive responses here to enrich the debate:
The lecture points out the real issues and possible solution. No right minded individual can disagree to the reasons described as why the solution to JK issue has not been found.
The Kashmiri leadership has been seeking a solution from outside by outsiders.
Acting as an owner of our land representative of our people is the first step towards the movement. The UN's injustice has not been understood by most of the leading activists. They need lectures like this.
The extended study done by Tanveet Ahmed is unprecedented. Such a study as well as diplomatic efforts for JK by JK citizens is imperative. I pay tribute to Tanveer Ahmed for his hard work teaching people how to act on their own resources.
Excellent. Thank you so much for your feedback. It itself is a lesson.
Read the lecture notes very good thinking and research for way ahead. At the moment we have battle of egos.
Yes, we do.
I have been a reader and admirer of your updates. May those be your travel dairies, suggestive posting, encounters with the local authorities or people. My suggestion would be to bring it into a book form, downloadable from the net via Amazon or others.
It would be the biggest book in the world perhaps..with thousands of pages...and almost 15 years of experience....However, I will be publishing some critical reports in book form.
Sooner the better
Yes l have read through your lecture notes and I have no issues with them. I will apart from one clarification. BRITISH ARMY SHOULD STAND BETEEWN THE INDIAN AND PAKISTANI ARMY.. Are you suggesting British army to replace the Indians and Pakistanis?
The rest is fine. However sudden appearing of Karan Singh makes one startle... May be a line or two can be added for rationale.
Not quite....I want the British army to stand between the Indian army and the AJK army for this first tehsil of Khuiratta on the LOC...Subsequent options to internally securitise our region will depend on our capacity to adapt and ability to protect our people and territory....We should take one step at a time...secure and stabilise the areas vacated by the Pakistani army...and then work on getting the Indian army out of one tehsil of the Valley....etc. etc.
The British army rather than any other army for a number of reasons...
Apart from the history...our largest diaspora is in the UK...so checks and balances on British troops will be relatively more effective c.f. any other country or trans national entity.
Well 'Lecture Notes' is a summary of 10K words....he (Dr Karan Singh) has been discussed in the Jammu narrative article....I want to startle people a bit because Yuvraj is 88 though healthy and still of sharp mind with good memory. He visits Jammu every October...May Allah give him an even longer life but he is key to this polity and legally sovereign entity called J & K...Some in the Indian State dub him as the man who knows too much.
His arrival next month would be very timely....however...this discussion must be public before UN general assembly proceedings...The world should see us as pro-active.....and inventive...in pursuit of a solution..
That's fine. Let's begin the process and see the response.
Well organised & described. Your efforts are highly appreciated.
Thanks Tanveer sb. You worked very deep and very hard. I differ but can’t deny the thought underlying your effort. This is one of the ground realities though aspirations differ and very materially. Whatever the outcome, it will be a step ahead. Wish you keep up your pursuits successfully.
I have been following your pages and I think this is a good alternative idea...I cant see any issues however, i think you should have this translated into Urdu for distribution locally..the whole concept as an alternative path can be a university thesis project rather than a subject of a public debate...may be you should approach one of the universities to see if they have any scholars to take it up.
I always appreciate the work your are doing for long periods of time, I also go through your social media posts as well. I will definitely read all of your articles, some of them I have gone through! My sincere prayers are with you!
Each of the articles I went through seemed well articulated to me! Keep it up the good and hard work! May Allah give you strength and good health to continue! Thanks.
It is good and I am sure it is an academic work. You may translate in Urdu so that common man can understand your work .
I think it is new version of research work that is why common people may not take interest in it but it is real work.
I do not think I can suggest any change in it because it is perfectly done.
I continually read your posts.
Thanks for sharing. It covers wide ranging topics, some of them in depth with creative and transformative approach and solutions. However, some topics you are trying to scratch the surface - need more research - and could be presented as emerging indigenous lines of inquiry for further exploration and debate.
It would be good to divide your topics in three categories:
1- Internal political reconciliation and community development
2- Peace building and security
3- Conflict transformation and honouring right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to self-determination.
Thank you for your further suggestion......I must be able to relate the past to the future by how I have experienced it and then process that with thousands of other opinions on the subject...it takes a long time to get a train to run.....I just want to confirm whether you've read all the links in the Lecture Notes?
n.b. This post will be refreshed and updated as and when further comments or responses emerge.....It may be worthwhile bookmarking this page!
Thank you all for your attention....
.......Today’s google doodle honours Mother Teresa of Pakistan #DrRuthPfau on her 90th birthday. Her great service to #humanity will never be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/m7lnBycOdR— German Embassy Islamabad (@GermanyinPAK) September 9, 2019
While at the dharna (sit-in protest camp) in Tithrinote, we speculatively ventured ahead towards the gate:
Meanwhile, across the oceans we learn of sharp solidarity and advocacy in our favour. Thank you to the citizens of the USA and all the rest of global civil society:
On the 3rd day of this dharna (sit-in protest) global media was finally activated. We had discussed this possibility with Sardar Sagheer Khan on his visit to Dadyaal last week. We envisaged that global media would not be activated on the first day or even the second day but if the sit-in protest continued for a third day, anything was possible.
The title of this BBC Urdu news item can be translated as 'Why is there a sit-in protest near the LOC in Pakistani-administered Kashmir?'
’آزادی اور امن مارچ میں پاکستان کے زیر انتظام کشمیر سے ہزاروں افراد کی شرکت ایک ریفرنڈم ہے کہ ہم انڈیا اور نہ ہی پاکستان کے ساتھ ہیں بلکہ ایک آزاد و خود مختار، خوشحال اور استحصال سے پاک ریاست جموں و کشمیر کا قیام عمل میں لانا چاہتے ہیں۔‘#Kashmirhttps://t.co/PK65JMjqtn— BBC News اردو (@BBCUrdu) September 9, 2019
Al Jazeera English had this to say:
Pakistani police arrest 22 after clash between protesters, police at pro-independence demonstration by JKLF in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, police and activists say. https://t.co/t0Zh9A6bnn— Asad Hashim (@AsadHashim) September 9, 2019