Visitors

Monday, 30 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 120 of 2018

2305hrs:

Today was most certainly the busiest and most fabulous of days in public interest for many a year, if not unprecedented.

Rawalakot in particular and the citizens of Poonch in general proved that they are way ahead of the rest of us when it comes to advancing public issues....

Here's a video which captures the mood of the city:

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 119 of 2018

Update: 2100hrs

Here's more footage from the 'revolutionary' camp in Rawalakot: I was asked to give my views on the arrest of 3 citizens for making a public announcement. You will find this interview of 3 minutes between 6: 20 and 9: 20 of the clip below:



Update: 1851hrs...
The local administration has just arrested 3 young political activists about half an hour ago, who were making a public announcement for a total closure of Rawalakot city tomorrow. So, the situation will become more tense as we edge closer to the 30th of April. Here's a live video broadcast from the camp yesterday in Urdu:



1622hrs:

This is the eve of possibly the most important events in the 71 year history of AJK. I'm in Rawalakot since midday yesterday, where a sustained sit-in by local citizens against the 'unjustified' killing of Naeem Butt (shot on the 16th of March and succumbed to his injuries on the 21st) has been continuing outside the DC's (Deputy Commissioner - Poonch) office since the 19th of April.

The action committee 'Justice for Naeem Butt Shaheed Committee' has decided to paralyse public life throughout the district of Poonch tomorrow (30/04/18) in an effort to move towards a just resolution of this killing by AJK Police, whereby the AJK Government made a range of promises in the aftermath of Butt's death, none of which have been fulfilled. Here's Sardar Anwar giving a detailed description last night, of events over the past month or so:

   

Friday, 27 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 117 of 2018

2313hrs.....

Have spent a lot of time thinking this morning. This novel opportunity was created on account of sitting indoors all day - as opposed to springing out in public every morning and conducting heavy duty public activism till the late hours of the night - except for a break for lunch in the afternoon when I couldn't help but capture the following absurd antic on my way back indoors:



Thursday, 26 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 116 of 2018

0000hrs:

Damn.....net speed or my absent-mindedness or too consumed in other work.......???




If for nothing else, Mahmood Ahmed Musafir will always be remembered for activating the thought-process involved in making the above tweet a reality in AJK.



Today, we took the struggle of Mahmood Ahmed Musafir to the podium at Central Bar Association - Muzaffarabad. His speech was followed by me summarising the constitutional history of our territory and explaining the importance of freedom of speech, amongst other concepts. In fact, here's a bullet list of points that I made for my speech:

- In order to get the world to take us (The citizens of Jammu & Kashmir) seriously, we need to develop a consensus on public policy in our territory - with a clearly defined narrative - which reflects public opinion here.

- Jo khud apney hal ke liye jad o jehd karey usi ko dunya tawajo deti hay..na ke wo jo insaani huqooq ki khilaf warzi khud karey - dunya us ki wakaalat par tawajo de.....

(Translation: The world only gives attention to those who take the initiative to struggle for a solution...not those who commit human rights violations themselves - for the world does not take their advocacy seriously)

- Public opinion & future decision of territory...layers of hijack in sequence.

- To address our lack of agency, our public have never done tasks in sequence here...or read or understood in sequence either....

- K H Khursheed - most important politician to study - for forward movement in AJK

- Sardar Qayoom - If you want to study how AJK regressed. Cite example of 'Operation 70'....of 1990s - 10 nationalists times 7 districts (at time).

- Maharajah's stance:
For Jammu & Kashmir to be neutral like Switzerland
From autocracy to symbolic monarchy like Great Britain (United Kingdom) while transferring powers to Praja Sabha (People's Assembly).
We need to study documents of communication between State of J & K and British India pre 1947.

1947 timeline:

Beginning of Poonch Rebellion.....instability invoked/created.

Indian Independence Act - 3 June announcement
7.2 ...Rulers deciding fate
Jinnah Sb's press info on 17 June...a constitutional expert's interpretation validating independence.

Standstill Agreement (an instrument of IIA)....understand...constitutional relationship starts here...how was that broken?

Pakistan's role...breaking agreement through witholding supplies and creating instabilty in State.

August Partition

India's role....Changing from pro-independence PM of J & K State Ram Chander Kak to Indian Gen Janak Singh..then in October replacing him with M C Mahajan who was part of Radcliffe's team that divided Punjab. Who now prepares de facto extension of that 'Radcliffe Line' through the State of J & K.

4 October...Announcement of 'Revolutionary Government' for Jammu & Kashmir
'Farzi naam' (superficial names of cabinet members)...announced in some hotel in Pakistan. Dubious in almost every sense.

22 October...
Qabaili (Tribal) attack from Pakistan

24 October.....Fresh Announcement of 'Revolutionary Government' for Jammu & Kashmir at Junjaal Hill - Palandri in what became the basis for AJK or Azad Kashmir.
False statements in declaration:
1) We have taken control of most of state....
2) Non muslims will be consulted..

27 October
Indian role - Moundbatten - proviso of people's decision when peace returns

1948
UN - not our forum (yet?)

1949
Karachi Agreement - 28 April (info made public many months later according to Sneddon...Sardar Ibrahim also gave conflicting statements about it.
Karachi Agreement - 27 July - An agreement between the militaries of India and Pakistan - which is the basic uderstanding of mutually agreeing to control the population of J & K on either side.

1) Hard power compared to soft power

2) Muslims...Non Muslims....discussion debate....

3) Water use...key technology but attention deficit...both India and Pakistan extremely inefficient in managing water..so is rest of world proportionately.
Singapore has done extensive research on water management.

World media and academia, think-tanks....not paying enough attention to these concepts.

- Freedom of Expression is methodology....not any specific ideology

(It happens to be No.11 of Mahmood Ahmed Musafir's 32 demands)

It also directly relates to the concept of self-determination

- I don't like terminologies like nationalist, tabqaati jad o jehd (class struggle), samraaj/mazdoor (imperial/ploretariat) etc...

- We are all citizens....and our organisational formation for a solution should voluntarily include each and every citizen...in the given defined territory (of AJK)...ascertained through State Subject Rule 1927.

- Trying to mobilise political party formation for delivery is impossible...politicking will damage any good work in public interest.

- Having grip of identifying difference between personal interest and public interest

- Change Dynamics
'Outside in' compared to 'Inside out'....latter is our approach using following 2 concepts

OBMs (Ownership-Building Measures) and Public Agency

- Have to streamline public opinion - to create genuine indigenous public policy.

- 1,000 most significant citizens proportional to tehsil population need to be identified and pitched..to develop a consensus in AJK

- There are 3 established means of ascertaining public opinion:

1) Elections - Under military occupation whereby format is designed and controlled by occupying power
2) Referendum - UK Brexit and Scottish Independence examples and how they were different from election results
3) Public Opinion Survey - cite example of Northern Ireland talks...survey used to advance table talk on peace..and develop agreement after many decades of conflict

Soft Power (What is it in the context of AJK?)

Make genuine space for religious minorities of our state in AJK

Examples:
1) Sharda for Kashmiri Pandits....boost civilization and economy...cite AJK Supreme Court Verdict....which became news on the 8th of February when Shujaat Bukhari wrote in Pakistan's Friday Times..

Quote Raja Farooq Haider and Pakistani Army opposition to Pandit re-entry (to Sharda) during discussion in 2010...
Interestingly, all my meetings with him have been while he was in opposition. I phoned his secretary last year..who put down phone when I asked for an appointment.
When I tried to contact Sardar Masood around the same time - his military sec/attache didn't give me an appointment.

2) Ali Beg Gurdwara for Sikhs of J & K - near district border of Bhimber and Mirpur (in close proximity to Upper Jhelum Canal)

- Meanwhile, an effort is being made to contact 650 MPs in UK Parliament..a 3 page document written by me has been circulated...to invoke a response and lobby for discussion in parliament.

- Question for Switzerland:
How much does it cost to pay for a neutral State?

- White flags in Azaadi Chowk - Muzaffarabad will send most powerul message to the world that we are ready for a solution.

- Open up narrative debate: (Competition between 3 nationalist narratives)

Create genuine public space

i.e. If someone in AJK can work for Pakistan, then how can working for India here be a crime? Particularly in the context of Pakistan's narrative that 'Kashmiris have only 2 options in the UN'.

- There is a lot of pent up intellectual curiosity in AJK...Educated members of the public desperately want to latch onto a constructive model for thinking and imagining a solution but can't see it even if it were decorated like a Pakistani truck.

That constructive model exists but needs an academic forum to discuss....and be cross-examined.

- Civil Society here doesn't have access to any international institution. Not even the United Nations Department for Political Affairs or UNMOGIP (Created by the disbanded UNCIP which in turn emerged via UN Security Council Resolution No. 47 of 21 April 1948)

Where's the space and scope for peaceful activism here?

- On 18th April, even Theresa May probably forgot to mention the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, in her hurried and tired response to a question from the opposition bench in parliament.

Finally, it should be mentioned that a sweet and sour bulldozer was metaphorically used by the AJK Government to combat Mahmood Ahmed Musafir's genuine quest for basic public service delivery here.

In my opinion, talks on Monday the 23rd April with the AJK Govt were merely the 2nd round of a boxing match of 12 rounds....

End..

Note:

Not all the points were mentioned due to lack of time (13 minutes). The above as stated at the outset of my speech are points more suited for an academic forum. At the end of my speech, I urged the lawyers of Muzaffarabad to help the rest of civil society arrange such a discussion at AJK University - Muzaffarabad. More importantly, for Mahmood Ahmed Musafir and his unique struggle.




Sunday, 22 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 112 of 2018

1245hrs:


Sunday is sometimes a typical languid day, as tradition has determined for many a territory throughout the world. Preliminary talks between Mahmood Ahmed Musafir and the AJK administration yesterday, developed a thaw between the 2 adversaries to some extent.

Our people are wonderfully understanding and helpful when they want to be but terribly cruel and apathetic otherwise. Those who genuinely work in public interest and consistently prove their mettle over the years, do get their fair share of the limelight and praise. However, the standards that the public at large and fellow activists expect of them can be considered as harsh or super-human even. For example, someone who spends their own money in public interest is expected to refrain from mentioning it in public. In other words, crying and complaing are not allowed.

The other 'micro' aspect of our collective behaviour is that the public expects 'the' activist to refrain from centralising all attention around him (or her). Other members who undoubtedly play key roles in advancing public interest, rightly expect their contribution to be acknowledged and discussed. On my part, I hope I can address these weaknesses in my person, which will undoubtedly advance public interest even further...

Meanwhile, talks with the AJK State and representatives of Pakistan's federation will possibly take place tomorrow or the day after. We remain camped at the revolutionary 'base camp' on Bank Road - Muzaffarabad.   

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 111 of 2018

0956hrs:

Its a bright day after almost 15 days of incessant rain. Mahmood Ahmed Musafir has also recovered his health to the extent of wanting to get back to his camp on Bank Road. We hope the public can become more pro-active in taking this effort to its logical conclusion.


Friday, 20 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 110 of 2018

And I missed the midnight deadline by seconds..mainly because I didn't realise till 5 minutes before and the speed here is so slow, that it could a few seconds more than 5 minutes to type the title and a couple of commas here before..........the clock changed date!

Time management is an elusive skill, at least in my case. The nature of public activity here usually has to conform to the erratic mind-set of the 'public' mind. It is difficult - even at the best of times to predict how one's day will be managed. When you haven't kept a single rupee in your pocket for days on end but still manage to travel wherever you want and almost always eat and drink what you want, you realise that whatever is happening is way beyond human control.

Heavenly bliss co-exists with blood, sweat, toil and sacrifice. That must never be forgotten. For every public engagement of a public activist, there is negligence of duty on a personal level. One's family suffers, is not able to exercise choice or variety in lifestyle in the manner that normal families do.

It should also be noted that the rich experience of public life one encounters every day accumulates as content for social science research amongst many other fields. How I am going to be able to formalise all of it for the academic record is a dilemma which increases in intensity with the passing of each day.

If only I could write a measured summary of each day's proceedings here on this blog, I would die a happy man.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Monday, 16 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 106 of 2018

1322hrs:

We're in Arja where the weather has prevented us from proceeding forward towards Muzaffarabad.

Just in case you're not aware of who 'we' are or why 'we' are trying to proceed to Muzaffarabad, just imagine living in a territory which is not recognised by any institution or country in the world. Then imagine what kind of legal/administrative framework the people within that territory are living in.

'We' includes Mahmood Ahmed Musafir foremost, accompanied by yours truly, Sardar Shameem and his son Omar. 'We' are trying to peacefully and carefully address our 71 year old non-existence in the comity of nations. Otherwise, we describe our territory as the 'free' part of the State of Jammu & Kashmir or AJK (Azad Jammu & Kashmir).

We're particularly concerned at the use of the word 'Azad' (free) for a territory that doesn't give any meaningful space for freedom of expression, in any form.


Sunday, 15 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 105 of 2018

0017hrs:

I missed out on posting before the midnight deadline. Electricity load-shedding could be blamed without reserve.

Here are 2 facebook live videos (recorded) from this evening in Hajeera. A buzzing metropolis and by far the most active tehsil (subdivision) with respect to public interest in AJK.



This second facebook live video is an interview by Mohsin Mumtaz:



The following is commentary for those well versed in English



Finally, this video has got to be a gem, not least for its depiction of Musafir's resolve:



....

Friday, 13 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 103 of 2018

c.2200hrs:

Yes......another day in the field.

A creative activity:
The citizens of Kotli have performed a (symbolic) funeral prayer over the death of the State of #AJK in its current 71 year old incarnation.

What are we looking for in this 'second round' of Kotli to Muzaffarabad, while Mahmood Ahmed Musafir waits for his animals to be transported back to Kohalla?

1) For all citizens working for the State of AJK (local admin, judiciary and politicians) to make a conscious decision of whether they want to support public interest or the occupation.

2) For our citizens living throughout the United Kingdom to contact their MP in Britain and seek a written response to the letter addressed to their government. Furthermore, to seek their opinion on whether the contents of the letter can invoke a question/debate in the House of Commons.



3) That all citizens of AJK help us find volunteers to participate in this March to Muzaffarabad. We aim to mobilise at least 1,000 citizens on this journey before reaching Kohalla. These citizens should be willing to participate in a peaceful sit-in at Azaadi Chowk - Muzaffarabad, until the resolution of Mahmood Ahmed Musafir's 32 point public agenda.

Funeral prayers for the AJK Government:



.....

For the historical record:




...

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 102 of 2018

2336hrs:

I didn't actually get much sleep last night and I was up at 0800hrs........Yet another hectic day which hasn't finished yet.......

Here's a very frank explanation of how the 'occupying forces' control the public narrative in AJK:

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 101 of 2018

2208hrs:

Finally, some rest........

...

Here's an interview given yesterday afternoon to a journalist in City Thana (police station) - Muzaffarabad, after I was prevented from carrying out public interest activity at Azaadi Chowk.



Earlier, here's the first video of two from yesterday morning.....




Here's the second of 2 videos at Azaadi Chowk:



Two of my assistants on this critical public interest exercise were picked up along with me by the Muzaffarabad police, less than 10 minutes into the hunger strike.

The strike continued there until I felt morally compelled to end it at about 2130hrs...after deep and protracted discussion between local lawyers and local police at City Thana (PS) Muzaffarabad. We will discuss its implications in due course.

Despite a lot of time and effort going into the preparation of this do-or-die exercise - including the letter sent out to various global institutions - my compulsion of absorbing local collective wisdom had to relent one last time.

Hunger strikes are not a joke and one cannot repeatedly 'cry wolf'' on matters that have taken years of painstaking effort to take shape. There is time for further preparation. This will benefit public interest but there is simply no room left for another abortion or false alarm.

The powers-that-be better be prepared like me next time.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 100 of 2018

0320hrs:

Edging closer to the moment......

Here's a programme dedicated to the impending and indefinite hunger strike till death or resolution, in Muzaffarabad:

Monday, 9 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 99 of 2018

0203hrs:

It was a Sunday yesterday..............so some slack was warranted.....however.......it was still intense at times......

1131hrs:

Into the final stages of my preparation for a 'do or die' hunger strike in Muzaffarabad. This will be the banner describing my rationale.



In a territory which describes itself as a democracy and bases its existence on securing the right of its people to decide their future, there appears to be zero scope for peaceful activism which can lead to resolution of matters in public interest. Hence, a 'do or die' scenario emerges whereby one either commits the 'powers that be' to seriously engage or.............

And here is that letter for the international community:


The Territorial Enigma that is AJK

(AJK is ‘officially’ translated as the ‘free’ part of the State of Jammu & Kashmir)

This is a letter addressed in particular to the:

1)      United Kingdom (UK)
2)      United Nations (UN)

and the

3)      European Union (EU)

Subject: An indefinite hunger strike till death or resolution in Muzaffarabad - AJK

By: Tanveer Ahmed (An independent researcher/activist based in AJK, un-interrupted since 2005)

Date: 09/04/18

Dear All,

I’ll begin by quoting a UK citizen in recent correspondence:

“I concede, as someone very comfortable with a Pakistani identity but unhappy with Pakistan’s political culture, that AJK is a sham democracy. This is not in dispute, numerous Pakistani journalists have reported on the status of your State as not “free”. Numerous books and NGO reports exist to that effect.”

By 2018, the human race has evolved to an unprecedented level of sophistication in communications technology and consensual governance. Despite which, I am writing this letter to emphasise that the territory which I’ve inherited along with my co-citizens in 1947, remains amongst the most deeply regressive and enslaved, in conscience as well as in physical structure.

Having lived in the UK for about 28 of my 46 years, whatever I have been doing in terms of research and peaceful activism here for the past 13 years, is a consequence of my upbringing in a democratic environment; where diversity of origin and expression were considered to be the binding strengths of that society. Where multiple narratives invoked intellectual curiosity and institutions facilitated economic opportunity, provided free justice based on merit and protected our life, wealth and honour as equal citizens.

AJK is usually described as “Pakistani-administered Kashmir” by the international community at large. Without legal or constitutional basis, its governing system adheres to a de-facto imposed mono-narrative whereby Pakistan’s perceived ‘national interest’ is strictly adhered to. This system is no less fascistic than Hitler’s Germany or Mussolini’s Italy, only that it doesn’t advocate racial supremacy but rather a contorted ‘version’ of Islam, which assumes in its ultimate analysis that only Muslims have an exclusive right to govern and dominate the world.

Western civilisation made a concerted effort to address their dilemma through instruments such as the UN Charter. Britain and other European colonialists gave access to their former ‘subjects’ to enter the ‘mother’ country and participate in their economic prosperity post World War 2. However, what we are experiencing today in AJK is a direct legacy of the British Empire. What the UK enjoys in terms of a tolerant multi-religious society is exactly the opposite of what they left us with.

Those of us who migrated bore fruit while those of us left behind inherited an inhumane structure, whose ill-effects are so deep that one sees no scope for a peaceful resolution, even after 13 years of consistent activism on the ground.

We also understand that the global structure of nation-states necessitates that other countries or global institutions – inadvertently in some cases perhaps – provide no recognised institutional framework for resolution of conflict. Contemporary frameworks only recognise nation-states - irrespective of their legitimacy or otherwise - and do not recognise people or nations occupied. Democracy is practiced in the developed world but not measured when assessing the role of transgressing nation-states in other territories.

We, as a disenfranchised people in AJK want to take control of our own public affairs - on a live and let live basis - not unlike Switzerland which has been neutral between much more powerful neighbours. We don’t want to be dragged deeper into a proxy war between our neighbours, who are essentially fighting over control of our water resources, under the ideological guise of ‘Pakistani nationalist Islamism’ vs ‘Indian nationalist secularism’.

We reside in a physical space just below the highest mountain ranges of the world and lie central to not only most of the world’s population but between various civilisations. It is simply un-natural for us to abide by a mono-narrative whilst continuing to act as fodder to a conflict that can quite easily be resolved by water management technology; a field of knowledge that even the developed Western world has not paid sufficient attention to. Human evolution requires us to be pro-active to avert future conflict.       

Our narrative as described above is not merely an individual’s opinion but a summary of 13 years of accumulated collective wisdom, derived from each and every category of citizen residing throughout this territory. We are also proud to have conducted the most comprehensive citizen public opinion survey (in proportion to the population) ever conducted throughout the world, although I remain open to correction if warranted.

In 1947, the last autocratic ruler of this territory - Maharajah Hari Singh - wanted the whole of his inherited State to be a neutral country like Switzerland, where he would transfer all matters of governance to an elected assembly of political representatives while remaining a symbolic monarch, not too dissimilar to Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom. When the Maharajah wrote to the Governor General of India for military assistance to quell the tribal invasion from Pakistan, the response from Louis Mountbatten was pre-conditioned with a proviso that when peace is restored in the territory, then the question of the State’s future would be decided by its inhabitants. In 1948, when India made its opening argument in the UN in reference to its complaint against Pakistan, it specifically and category expressed its desire for the State’s future to be decided by its people: whether they wanted to accede to India or Pakistan or remain independent. 71 years later, the people’s will is yet to be considered as the exclusive arbiter of the State’s future.

From historical context to today’s letter - which in all probability could be the last letter that I ever write - recent events in our territory have forced my hand and I am left with no option but to adopt the tool of last resort for peaceful activism viz. a hunger strike till death or resolution. I don’t want to physically fight with my immediate occupier (Pakistan) and I have no bone to pick with the world. I want our political representatives, our judiciary and our administration to be free of external influence and exclusively accountable to the citizens of this territory, which constitutes barely 6% of the whole of the erstwhile Princely State of Jammu & Kashmir. I understand that there is no single member of the AJK Government who can successfully wrestle back our usurped rights. Any politician who tries, is immediately or gradually marginalised. Indeed, the current ‘Prime Minister’ of AJK appears to be suffering from this very predicament.

Two recent events have shaken me and brought me to this juncture:

1)      Naeem Butt – Was a dedicated political worker representing JKLF. He was shot on the 16th of March by AJK police, for peacefully protesting against the mounting deaths of civilians caused by cross-LOC firing between India and Pakistan. He succumbed to his wounds on the 21st of March.

2)      Mahmood Ahmed Musafir – Is a seasoned activist since 1984 who annually conducts a ‘creative’ public event in favour of the basic rights of the citizens of this territory. On the 27th of February, he began a walk for 300 kilometres from one end of AJK (Bhimber) to the other (Muzaffarabad), armed with 32 demands in public interest and accompanied by 3 donkeys and a camel, in search of humans who may assist in creating genuine legislation in AJK. On the 5th of April, Mahmood was prevented from proceeding about 35 kilometres short of the capital Muzaffarabad. The police were directed to forcefully stall his efforts and return him and his animals to his home district of Kotli. He remains in hospital fighting death with life, after the enormous amount of mental torture he was put under. As the AJK Government doesn’t possess the necessary legislative powers to consider his demands, they felt it expedient to brush him ‘under the carpet’.

This pattern of repression, consistent since 1947 motivated me to forego my journalistic career covering other global hotspots and settle in the territory of my birth. Activism in pursuit of public interest in this territory is the most difficult, dangerous, time-consuming and expensive (in terms of opportunity cost) activity to do here. Society as a whole is nurtured, engineered and structured to assist the imposed mono-narrative by only paying attention to issues from which private/individual monetary benefit can accrue. This applies to all walks of life and is precisely what sustains the occupation.              

We, the citizens of AJK are in search of humans to understand our plight....and recognition from the outside world that we are proactive in trying to create an appropriate forum to resolve our issues with our neighbours.

Best wishes

Tanveer Ahmed

Contact: 00 92 (0) 345 5044252
Blog: tanveerandkashmir.blogspot.com
Twitter: @sahaafi

end.....

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 98 of 2018

0140hrs:

The past few days are developing a certain time pattern. Today (rather yesterday) was hectic........

Just as I'm writing, I got a call....




Here's the audio of the call:



....

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 97 of 2018

0037hrs:

AJK is yet incapable of negotiating peaceful public protest and dialogue on public policy. A 300km journey on foot by Mahmood Ahmed Musafir, armed with 3 donkeys, a camel and cart with a list of 32 pending issues in public interest, is being disregarded by the governing structure here.

Here's the precise moment from yesterday, when the local police on verbal orders from the Deputy Commissioner of Muzaffarabad, forcibly bundled Mahmood Sb into a police wagon and took him to Ambor Hospital. This was despite the Commissioner of Muzaffarabad earlier agreeing to Mahmood Sb staging his sit-in at an appropriate public spot near Kohalla. Thus, a subordinate officer over-ruled the decision of a superior officer. This is just one example of how dysfunctional this State is.

 

Meanwhile, here's a report in Urdu from outside AIMS Hospital in Ambor - Muzaffarabad today.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 96 of 2018

0200hrs:

Life whilst striving in public interest is hectic, engaging and tantalising. Particularly when it comes in direct contact with the 'State', as has been the case throughout Day 95. It was one of those days when I couldn't register a blog entry, purely on the grounds of an absence of net connectivity.

The dominance of the AJK narrative - in its purest possible sense - has been impossible to sustain because the Pakistani narrative has hitherto controlled all levers of power. Deliberately strangling net connectivity in AJK (and GB) in contrast to Pakistan (proper), has been just one of a range of tools at our neighbouring State's disposal.

Mahmood Ahmed Musafir and his Camel and Donkey's March from Bhimber to Muzaffarabad entered its 38th day where it resumed at around 11am from Numb Kohalla, just within the border of Poonch Division before it enters Gujjar Kohalla in Muzaffarabad Division. He was stalled an hour into his journey by the local administration of AJK, under the perceived directions of Deputy Commissioner (DC) Muzaffarabad at Kulyan Bridge. Later, at around 10pm, the latter took custody of the 3 donkeys and sole camel. While the animals remain at the local police post enroute to Muzaffarabad, Mahmood Ahmed Musafir refused to be transported in a government vehicle to the capital city. Instead, he chose to sit in a private vehicle and reached Muzaffarabad at around 1230am today. Talks with the 'State' will resume in some shape or form tomorrow.

What's my role in all of this?

Well I drove for 8 hours from Dadyaal to Numb Kohalla on rocky mountainous terrain in a rough vehicle the day before yesterday. Today, I've driven to and fro between Kohalla and Muzaffarabad twice, yet still missed out on the evening 'conflict' between the AJK administration and Mahmood Ahmed Musafir.

It's still relatively early in the morning today and I will try and get some sleep before another hectic day ahead.

Meanwhile, here's a video followed by some photo glances from yesterday:











Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 94 of 2018

1224hrs:

It must be said that life that is devoted to public interest should be lived as efficiently as possible, where public utility is maximised. I still feel that I am at least 30% short of being efficient. Most notable in deficiencies is that I am not accurately reflecting the extent of my daily activity in writing on this blog.

There is also a notable deficiency on the part of our public, particularly those that are in the diaspora (especially developed countries). In terms of governance, they enjoy everything we lack here:

1) Economic opportunities
2) Protection of life, wealth and honour
3) Justice on merit

Despite that, only a miniscule amount provide any sort of financial assistance for those working in the field here in AJK. Those who have claimed political assylum in the developed world and don't contribute here (to what they were ostensibly persecuted for) are particularly culpable.

After a few days rest,  I'm venturing out again towards Muzaffarabad. I have been using £100 of charity money sent from the UK a couple of weeks ago to momentarily finance current public interest activity. I hope I can retrieve it (£100) from the public and get that charity to those citizens who it was aimed for.

In summary, our external enemies cannot damage our work as much as our internal friends. This is what I've learned in 13 years.

Let's hope for the sake of this forsaken territory, that this scenario changes......

Monday, 2 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 92 of 2018

2343hrs:

The days ahead could become congested with public activity. It's almost time for that 'bridge' to be created between the shackled state of AJK and the increasingly alert public of the territory. The level of activism here has increased quite broadly and rapidly over the past couple of months.

Hajeera has been electric relative to other subdivisions for a few years now. Civil Society there was busy earlier today too...with a symbolic hunger strike over the local administration's misleading of the public over a sub-divisional rift between Hajeera and Abbaspur.


 

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 91 of 2018

2307hrs:

Today is a continuation from yesterday, in both sequence and form. This is 'downtime' in Mirpur, at a wedding which ends with the bridegroom's walima tomorrow.

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 321 of 2019

1913hrs: Mirpur, Kotli, Gulpur..................Gurutta It has been a while since my vehicle last broke down. Did it have to happen o...