Monday, 30 July 2018

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 211 of 2018


I have just been trying to complete some work for one of the very few people in this territory, who have staked their all for public interest here: Mahmood Ahmed Musafir

In the absence of a response from UNHCR: Mahmood, now into his 77th day of a hunger strike outside Islamabad Press Club, has asked me to send a letter to these 5 countries. Of course, he never wanted to leave his beloved motherland but he is almost convinced that his talent and skill will be wasted here. Only for our co-citizens to celebrate his death and eulogize him eternally. That is the custom thus far:

Here it is:

An Appeal for Parity in Opportunity for Aspiring Citizens throughout the World

This letter has been separately addressed to the ‘Heads of State’ of 5 countries of the world via their consulates in Islamabad - Pakistan


1                                   Germany - Addressed to Her Excellency: Chancellor - Angela Merkel
2                                   Japan - Addressed to His Excellency: Emperor - Akihito
3                                   United Kingdom (UK) - Addressed to Her Majesty: Queen Elizabeth II
4                                   Philippines - Addressed to His Excellency: President Rodrigo Duterte
5                                   Malaysia - Addressed to His Excellency: King - Muhammad V of Kelantan

Your Excellency

We live in a territory which is constitutionally ambiguous as well as a conflict zone. Both these characteristics were imposed from outside and have endured for almost 71 years. Though the official title of this territory is Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) which translates to ‘The free part of the State of Jammu & Kashmir’, the only freedom available here is that which associates with no responsibility.

The point of addressing this letter to your country is to alert you to the personal quest of Mahmood Ahmed Musafir who has been a public rights activist in AJK for the past 34 years (since 1984). Every year he has conducted various creative activities to highlight prevailing issues in public interest throughout AJK. In the particular context of this letter, he has tried to convince the AJK government to invest in alternative electricity generation from wind and mechanical power, not least to resolve the persistent shortage of electricity in AJK and Pakistan.  

As you will no doubt understand from the details below, there has been no will shown by the government of AJK or the State of Pakistan to pay due attention to what he has to offer. Hence, as he’s entering the twilight of his life he wishes for some thoughtful country to provide him the necessary environment, whereby he could utilise his skills to create alternative power generation. He would concentrate on wind and mechanical power without resorting to established methods such as water, diesel, petrol, gas, kerosene/paraffin, coal, solar power, atomic power, dry battery, sea waves and waste/rubbish.

This year, on the 27th of February Mahmood began a c. 300 kilometre walk from Bhimber (in the south of AJK to Muzaffarabad (in the north of AJK) with 3 donkeys and a camel in tow, to highlight the absence of governance and legislation in AJK. The donkeys pulled a cart which had a banner enlisting 32 demands in public interest:

The local government of AJK did engage with him on a couple of occasions but they expressed their helplessness, on account of all crucial powers vesting with the State of Pakistan. In between, they tried their best to avoid having to sit and talk with him.

Subsequently, Mahmood began an indefinite hunger strike outside Islamabad Press Club on the 14th of May. It has been 77 days (at the time of writing), though he is just taking liquids to sustain himself while refraining from solid food altogether. At no point did any representative of the Pakistani state do as much as visit him or enquire about his well-being. Meanwhile, he tried to engage with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) representative in Islamabad but found it difficult to maintain a conversation with them. Here are links to the communication that he had:

1) His first letter to them:

2) Their response:

3) His follow-up:

4) His as yet un-answered reminder to the follow-up letter:

In summary, the example of Mahmood Ahmed is not so unique, given the status of our territory. Anybody who has talent in any particular field is not able to develop themselves in a territory operating under constitutional ambiguity along with 2 neighbours fiercely contesting it, thus converting it into a conflict zone. As yet, there is no scope for genuine democracy, governance or human progress here in AJK.

We hope your country can provide a convenient environment for him to proceed in his pursuit to serve humanity, by assisting him to develop alternative energy via wind and mechanical power. A technology that our region can so desperately do with but where the structure of governance provides no scope for such endeavour, rather all they can do is to inhibit it.


Mahmood Ahmed

Contact: (00 92) 0306 5838206 / 0341 5935557


Notice that I haven't used my name or that of AJK Public Agency. This was at the specific request of Mahmood Sb. I will deal with this strategy or thought process in due course.

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Daily Diary (DD) - Day 56 of 2020

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