Wednesday 28 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 59 of 2018


From Karan Singh to Tariq Farooq

In the interim.......

A fascinating 48 hours............

Tuesday 27 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 58 of 2018


Forgetfulness was responsible for not producing a blog on day 57, despite sitting in front of the computer since 2230hrs. I'm in Bhimber to witness the beginning of Mahmood Ahmed Musafir's 'Camel and Donkey March' from Bhimber to Muzaffarabad, which starts today.

Here's a facebook post from yesterday:

Please refer to Day 27 of this blog earlier this year for a detailed description of his demands in public interest.

Against all odds, he's been able to garner enough resources (through a combination of loans and contributions from the public) to obtain a female camel and 3 male donkeys for this journey. A fundamental theme in his 'peculiar' manner of protesting for the rights of people in AJK, is the lack of human will or ability to legislate on matters of public interest. Hence his marching with animals to ignite the necessary consciousness in human beings. "I'm in search of humans, perhaps these animals will help me find them", clarifies Mahmood.

Here are some photos of today's proceedings:

Here are a couple of video clips made in the morning for Mahmood Ahmed Musafir's Facebook page:

Clip 1 of 2

Clip 2 of 2

Here are some further video clips taken from Facebook Live courtesy of Jammu Kashmir TV:

Clip 1 of 5

Clip 2 of 5

Clip 3 of 5

Clip 4 of 5

Clip 5 of 5

Sunday 25 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 56 of 2018


Hopefully, when I eventually run at full steam, I should be blogging by midday. Anyway, this is some improvement. Possibly because it's a Sunday. Perhaps not.

The link above will take you to a page on the 'Birth of AJK Public Agency' where a discussion is taking shape.

I added the following comment earlier today:

In response to both Jatt Punyal and Reiss Haidar’s comments, I think it is important to initially identify the territory and in particular the geographical boundary of the polity where we seek change. Our rights as citizens are directly linked to the geographical boundary in which we reside. It would be hard – if not unfair – to concentrate on developing just one part of a territory and impractical to widen our efforts beyond the territory we live in. In other words, we should concentrate on defining and designing a system for AJK as a whole. Not for a part of AJK or for Pakistan or indeed other parts of the divided State of J & K. Pakistanis should concentrate on reforming the area within their jurisdiction and the citizens of Gilgit Baltistan, Jammu, the Valley and Ladakh should do likewise in their respective territories. In this way, we would be able to measure progress, make our public officials accountable and make sense of the link between taxation and representation. In AJK, we need to navigate ourselves out of the constitutional ambiguity we suffer from. In other words, the fact that we are not legally a part of Pakistan and neither are we an independent territory is precisely the vagueness that Pakistan is fully exploiting, whereby maximum power equals minimal responsibility.

Saturday 24 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 55 of 2018


A facebook post of an hour ago:

As an advocate of J & K's internal narrative, de-militarisation is a fundamental step towards a solution. The Pakistani State will gain more in dividends of peace, if it were to take the first practical step from #AJK 

Since 2012, I have been wondering how I could explain this reasoning to my co-citizens. In 2016, I even elaborated on this subject in an Urdu interview to a local media channel in Khuiratta. Here's the link:

Friday 23 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 54 of 2018


Here's an image of a news story in Urdu, which essentially explains that Pakistan's military power centre has 'vetoed' the prospect of Kashmir Council's abolition.

image to come....

The Pakistani State's civilian control structure in AJK (symbolised by the Kashmir Council) covers or shields Pakistan's military control of the territory. Abolishing the Kashmir Council would expose Pakistan's military to scrutiny by civil society in AJK. The former are not quite ready for that.

Thursday 22 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 53 of 2018


I almost forgot to post today. Drowned in a mixture of work and procrastination. I have very little leeway remaining for the latter.

AJK - amongst other descriptions - is a wall with many uses for the State of Pakistan. The seemingly never-ending and irreconcilable differences between civil and military power centres in Pakistan bounce their respective strategies against this wall at will.

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 52 of 2018


Leaving it late again......

I just want you to read the following today:

Written Answers - Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Kashmir: Armed Conflict (20 Feb 2018)
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The British Government is naturally concerned
by reports of increased terrorism and violence between Indian and
Pakistani troops in *Kashmir*. We are monitoring the situation closely
and call for both sides to exercise restraint.

Written Answers - Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Kashmir: Armed Conflict (20 Feb 2018)
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: ​The UK's longstanding position is that it is
for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political resolution to the
situation in *Kashmir*, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri
people. We encourage India and Pakistan to maintain positive dialogue
and good relations, but the pace of progress must be for them to

Note how the word *Kashmir* is in asterisks. What they are referring to is the (un-divided) State of Jammu & Kashmir.

This conversation should be connected with the ongoing discussion on the 'Abolition of the Kashmir Council', here in AJK.

How do I achieve this?

By working on it..... 

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 51 of 2018


Today, I was intent on 'turbo-boosting' my activity......and did so by walking frenetically throughout the afternoon and throughout various urban and rural spaces in and around Dadyaal.

Tired but energised too.

Monday 19 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 50 of 2018


Leaving it late today. I was invited to a facebook live discussion on 'The Abolition of the Kashmir Council' or more pointedy 'The Relationship between AJK and Pakistan'.

In light of the programme and what was discussed in terms of bringing the AJK public into the picture, I have suggested the following:

Whatever is being discussed in relation to the abolition of the Kashmir Council; should be made public - as a paper - then it should be scrutinised by 1,000 citizens of AJK, followed by a report collectively commissioned by those 1,000 citizens. In this manner, public interest can succeed.

Sunday 18 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 49 of 2018


Data Agency:

Taking in information and making it into meaningful data, for the purpose of fulfilling public interest needs, in a society with no such tradition in place. Further, that the dominant public narrative in media and all 'official' circles is not what the majority of the public subscribe to.

Interrogating the relationship between Pakistan and AJK in a meaningful public discourse is what should accompany moves to abolish the 'Kashmir Council'.

Security Agency:

For another time.....

Saturday 17 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 48 of 2018


Influenza has been affecting me for the past few days. At this point in time, it is even affecting my ability to write.

Suffice to say that the constitutional debate in AJK is finally being discussed beyond social media. Will the Kashmir Council (which acts effectively as an unnaccountable 'Upper House' doing all the meaningful legislation in AJK) actually be abolished? If it is, would that change the balance of power between AJK and Pakistan?

Friday 16 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 47 of 2018


Plodding along but not without imagination or intelligence. This may be an apt way of assessing the past decade or so.

Every problem has a workable solution. The brain breaks barriers that brawn can not. In writing this blog daily, at times one is tempted to go ex tempore but restraint is the better part of valour. Every event and every sentiment has its right time and place. Yes, day 47 is about to end and the tempo of daily public activity is yet to reach its optimum level. It is only then that this blog can attempt to accurately reflect the challenge involved in the mission at hand.

Thursday 15 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 46 of 2018


The image above is a kind of mutation or even a derivative of the campaign that is currently being exercised in the UK. While it is right and appropriate that the citizens of the Valley of Kashmir highlight the human rights violations committed against them by the Indian state and that it is also important that we stand in solidarity with them over their justifiable grievances. However, that is not the be-all and end-all of the 'Kashmir Issue'. In AJK (and amongst our diaspora), we have been taught to focus precisely on that, at the cost of analysing our own state of affairs - and much less - those of Gilgit Baltistan, Jammu and Ladakh. This would perhaps be the most convenient juncture to delve into our current predicament....

Meanwhile, it was a busier day than has been the norm this winter. I am still trying to get used to publishing the written word on a daily basis. I am even less prepared to accurately describe my daily activity in a succinct enough manner.   

Wednesday 14 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 45 of 2018


Have been watching Partition - 1947 the movie (directed by Gurinder Chadha). Re-opening wounds that are still a million years away from healing, or so it seems.

Meanwhile, opening the minds of the public or improving the standard of freedom of expresssion in AJK, was the theme of this evening's discussion in Dadyaal.

Tuesday 13 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 44 of 2018


Many experiences have been captured via video, audio or photos but many more have yet to be written about in detail.

Writing about the journey and categorising the data emerging from it is perhaps most important of all, yet the least amount of time has been devoted to it.

Monday 12 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 43 of 2018


Just over 70 years ago, we took a wrong turn in almost total innocence. We travelled so far in the wrong direction - en masse - that at any given moment, a change in direction for an increasing volume of traffic seems almost impossible.

Despite all that, it is possible. Communicating the right directions to the majority - in an orderly and understandable manner - is the challenge.

Sunday 11 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 42 of 2018


Taking into account the voluntary nature of participation; crowds throughout AJK, the Valley of Kashmir and various cities throughout the United Kingdom, this date in the annual calendar re-inforces the posthumous influence of Maqbool Bhat.

Not just a martyr but the very icon of a freedom struggle against occupation. Much more substantive detail needs to be written about the man who 34 years after being hung in a Delhi jail, haunts the corridors of power in Pakistan as much as in India.

Saturday 10 February 2018

Thursday 8 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 39 of 2018


The Absent Agency

With so much meaningful content generated over the past few days, a well needed rest was due. While we try and surge ahead, there is so much else that merits our attention and such is life's dilemma.

There is only so much that is possible by one individual. How he or she manages their relationship with society is what needs to be taken into consideration.

There is always a key to being more productive. The season of Spring always brings with it many opportunities. The mountains help us imagine of a calmer solution even as we hear of deaths of our citizens on the LOC, every day without fail.

We have no way of delivering our wisdom to Islamabad (Rawalpindi) or New Delhi. The world is waiting for something spectacular to happen before getting engaged on the ground. In the meantime, the people of AJK need to pay attention to each other in order to build the agency that is absent.

Tuesday 6 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 37 of 2018


So, I did try and get in a word or two before the midnight date change connection to the net didn't stand up to the task....

Overall, yesterday was a strange but engaging day, filled with much contemplation and permutations.

Sunday 4 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 35 of 2018


A lot is always happening behind the scenes, especially whenever annual events related to the Valley of Kashmir or even the State of Jammu & Kashmir are commemorated. Tomorrow is one such day, at least from the point of view of Pakistan's solidarity with the Valley of Kashmir.

This evening, it occurred to some of us that given Nawaz Sharif's planned visit to Muzaffarabad tomorrow; there may not be a more opportune time to clarify his party's position on AJK's constitutional relationship with Pakistan. The PML-N's AJK chapter is ruling here since the summer of 2016 and the public of AJK is still waiting for 'major surgery' (to use Raja Farooq Haider's words from an interview to this writer in January 2016) to the adopted Interim 'Constitutional' Act of 1974. 

While we the public in AJK engage in a 'Consensus-building' exercise, to build on the Citizen Public Opinion Survey - AJK , this is an important juncture to ascertain the level of commitment shown by the ruling political framework in AJK, towards governance and the enduring constitutional ambiguity of AJK.

It should also be understood and not forgotten that: the ruling political framework in AJK (right from election campaigning to legislation in the assembly) does not in any way question or reference the 3 most dominating questions in the citizen's mind. Namely:

1) The state's resources

2) The state's control

3) Enduring National Question (Identity/Constitutional ambiguity)

As discussed in at least one earlier post, as the citizens of this territory have to date created their own solutions to address many of the deficiencies of governance, after 70 years of adopted and interim ad-hoc-ism, they have little choice but to create their own solution.

The above points need to be intimated in the clearest of terms to the 'powers that be', in as civilised a manner as possible.

Saturday 3 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 34 of 2018


Yes, there are times when one's mind goes totally blank when deciding what to write. Then I read an interview of Maqbool Bhat, given while imprisoned in Tihar jail in 1983................

Friday 2 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 33 of 2018


A whirlwind of activity by various individuals, parties and pressure groups appear to be on the horizon through-out 2018. I intend to follow all of them as much as is practically possible.

I'm even hoping that they might converge into a clear consensus by the end of the year.

Thursday 1 February 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 32 of 2018


It was the 1st day of February but it remained uneventful, unless you consider the citizens of AJK that live close to the LOC in Khuiratta as civilians affected by Indo-Pak cross-fire. At least 7 people were injured by Indian fire and shelling this morning.

These un-invited yet recurring tragedies require thorough documentation. What our citizens endure on either side of the LOC in any given year, when multiplied by 70 would formulate such a clear narrative that it would - by itself - dwarf the constant ideological bombardment espoused in the cause of Indian and Pakistani nationalism.

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 59 of 2024

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