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Sunday, 17 November 2019

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 or could it have been avoided? It will become clearer tomorrow.

......

These questions will get increasingly pointed. My friend Baba Jaan has been through a lot and I know he will get through this:




Translated thus:

Will the esteemed court of Gilgit Baltistan grant permission to this innocent individual on account of ill health to obtain treatment in any city of Pakistan itself? What opinion do the federal minded advocates of PPP, PML-N and PTI hold on this innocent individual?

End of translation of tweet...

....




Saturday, 16 November 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 320 of 2019

2340hrs:

Mirpur is actually New Mirpur, as the grand old one was drowned so that our neighbours could prosper. Yet they didn't really prosper and we weren't readily altruistic either.

Our relationship has almost always been one-sided though, in favour of our neighbour cum occupier. We've witnessed a downward graph since 1947, except a minor jolt in 1970. 

The next jolt is more than due and will be substantial....

......

Friday, 15 November 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 319 of 2019

1359hrs:

There is much available on the internet to help us understand the concept of money. I have yet to see a better explanation than the following documentary by Deutsche Welle (DW), a German state-owned public international broadcaster:


Comment:

Yet another humane initiative in which the Swiss are playing a leading role. We in Jammu & Kashmir are being deprived of that status and stature that could make us more Swiss than the Swiss themselves.

.......

Now, why am I not surprised at the following?:



Or with the following?



......

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 318 of 2019

1603hrs:

Time is running ahead like a hare on a mission..... 

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Here's a post from the archives which will remain relevant, not least because it quotes Pakistan's founding father:



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Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 317 of 2019

1522hrs:

I picked up some sort of flu virus on Saturday and till today, have yet to recover.  

....

Many thanks to Younis Taryaby Sahaab for his hospitality and advice yesterday:



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I wonder if there could be similar measures adopted for J & K? After all, this is also in the list of British political legacies:



....... 

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 316 of 2019

1542hrs:

Hot in pursuit........fuel on the go.......in very unexpected ways at times.......living with faith in good outcomes........is living life to the full for me. Not everyone in my close circle is always enjoying it though......our work requires a cool temperament and long term view of economy. Where abundance would require a high level of skill to manage and to maintain social output.

The above would be cryptic to the unacquainted.

I missed posting yesterday even though if I were determined enough I could have avoided it. Afterwards, it felt like I lost my guard for a while and could prove dangerous for public interest.

I need to get as much thoughts out, in an orderly categorised manner....as soon as possible and not play the fool with death!

The following is what I wrote last night, in the absence of appropriate technology to post but before that, here's a lesson close to me:



Change in the 21st century should be measured by the quality of delivery in governance. Without independent public policy 73 years have proved what a disaster AJK is. Without security research work on public policy in AJK is highly vulnerable, as I found to my cost when my house was raided on the 24th of October. We - AJK Public Agency - need 10 young and 10 old aspiring citizens of the territory (2 from each district) to devote their life and live it to the full in pursuit of our natural disposition: free, sovereign, neutral and equipped.


....


Tuesday - 12/11/19


Missed my daily diary for the 11th..such is my access to technology at times...still creating too much content in the field...not enough uploading or management of that content.


The data management lag gets wider with each passing hour..


An encyclopedia of governance....is what the following domain should provide:


ajkpublic.agency


Need .ajk (TLD - top-level-domain)


Also need to shift from personal platform to public platform in virtual space.


4 immediate action-oriented research topics.....in conformity with grand structure improvised on the ground in AJK since 2009:


Security - local IG

Research - Population Census
Finance - Taxation
Culture - Re-open Mandirs & Gurdwaras

Developing a model of governance from the ground up, from within, using local resources and consensus as legislation. 


Every citizen must be equipped with the power to influence legislation, by direct democracy if public interest is so adjudged.


Meanwhile, Pakistan has been here for 73 years without documentation and stands in the way of our legal, democratic, ethical and peaceful battle with India. 


As long as Pakistan remains in control of AJK the longer the delay in our battle with India over 48% of J & K. We are at the most critical juncture of our history, yet we are also in the digital age which leaves little room for ambiguity and which has proved to be Pakistan's most effective weapon to date.


Even more than religious sentiment.


If the status quo in AJK persists...Pakistan will soon start spinning the security narrative in a direction which will see our safety in integrating ourselves within a province of Pakistan.


This will also rule us out of fighting a genuinely legal battle with India.


The trap of Indo-Pak bilateralism on J & K must end.


We want transparency and ownership over our dilemma, not back-door diplomacy by others.


In the words of the AJK PM at a function held for British Parliamentarians at Westminster Hall, ”We the citizens of Jammu & Kashmir want conflict resolution, not conflict management.”


By the way:

What is Pakistan's current annual financial expenditure on AJK and what is its income?

If Allah gives me life and health..I will have completed much more than a doctorate in each of:


1) National Question / Security / Water / Geography

2) Governance / Constitution / Data Management / Education 
3) Finance / Taxation / Banking / Tourism
4) Culture / Social Cohesion / History / Health

by 2022


I'm also still dreaming of the AJK football team travelling to Qatar to take part in the FIFA World Cup in the winter of that year.


End of dream.....back to reality.......


....


The following tweet confirms that the unresolved sovereign status of Jammu & Kashmir is going to affect the UK's general election on December the 12th, like nothing hitherto:




Indeed, the following video discussion is a real show of intent at influencing the UK Elections, from an Indian point of view:




Now, in the UK how many voters are there of:

Indian origin - c. 700,000 in my estimate
J & K origin -  c. 400,000 in my estimate 

Given that those of Pakistani origin are inconveniently sandwiched between the 2 origins above and also given that some of J & K origin may side with India or Pakistan, the stakes of the 3 competing narratives on J & K will not be easily fathomable. This dilemma (for us as JKians without State agency) is compounded further by the fact that the UK has designed a structure which immunises itself from repercussions by insisting on Indo-Pak bilateralism as a conflict resolution mechanism.

We still need to define those of Pakistani origin, as distinct from those of J & K origin.

Pakistani origin - 150,000 in my estimate

I wonder if anybody could help me in trying to get a more accurate estimate of UK voters corresponding to the 3 origins above? 

......  

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 314 of 2019

1957hrs:

Full-time anguish:


Neither your God is some other
Nor is my God some other

The above is a translation of an emotion written in Urdu in the post below which juxtaposes the LOC with the freshly opened Kartaarpur corridor in divided Punjab yesterday:



........

Here's a good review of JKPNA's 22nd October event in Muzaffarabad:



......   

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 313 of 2019

1014hrs:

Now its time for another report. This one links the AJK public with the UNMOGIP forces operating in AJK, the AJK police and their shadowy masters from Pakistan, the right to protest for one's rights and the citizen's right to protect that right under international law.

Exhibit 1:

FIR launched against local activists for protesting in front of UNMOGIP

Translation of FIR:

Chapter Number: 24          Period Number: (1) 5

07

Page 13/ Bill of Indictment (Hand written Note)                

Book Number 1

First Information Report/Crime Reference: Culpable Interference - Police Reported Under Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code

Accusation Number: 197/19               Saddar Police Station Muzaffarabad

Date & time of occurrence         Date: 22/10/19       Time: 5:15 in the evening

1) Date & time of report            Date: 23/10/19       Time: 2:30 at night

2) Name & address of informant/complainant: The State via Syed Shuja ul Hassan Gilani Inspector SHO (Station House Officer) Saddar Police Station

3) Brief description of crime/section/clause of law/if anything is lost (etc.): 341/160 186/147 148/149 PC (Penal Code)

4) Place of occurrence/distance and direction from Police Station: Chela Bandi near PSO petrol pump 3 kilometres north

5) Name & address of accused: (void/empty)

6) If there is a delay (or gap in dates) of noted proceedings related to the investigation then write cause (explanation) here: None

(SHO's signature)

Syed Shuja ul Hassan Gilani

Rank: Inspector SHO  - Note the initial report below...

On the date of 22/10/19 this writer accompanied by Syed Azad Hussain SI (Sub-Inspector) Sahaab, Abdul Khaliq ASI (Assistant Sub-Inspector) Sahaab, Shafqat Hussain Naqvi, Zahoor Hussain Shah and Manzoor Ahmed Awan along with investigating head constables were stationed on special duty to restore peace in Upper Adda.

Whilst (stationed here) information was received that at the location of Chela Bandi, the main road had been closed (to traffic). As a consequence to receiving this information, this writer along with a contingent of policemen as a 'striking force' reached the location of Chela Bandi near PSO petrol pump at 5:15 in the evening.

We found a long queue of vehicles built up on both sides of the road. Near the petrol pump were namely 1) Yaris Awan s/o (son of) Nazir Awaan, 2) Shehryar Kayani s/o Safeer Kayani, 3) Hafiz Tanveer s/o unknown along with 10-15 rabble rousers (mobsters). They had forced the drivers of a dumper truck and an oil tanker to block the (main) road near the petrol pump and took their keys off them. This resulted in traffic being halted on both sides (of the main road).

Arriving from the Neelam Valley, commentators of the UNO (United Nations Organisation) were also besieged (surrounded by hostile forces). Upon seeing the police, these rabble rousers began pelting stones whilst condemning those on official duty (of the State) and then fled from the scene.

Meanwhile, higher officials and the district administration arrived on the scene whereby the main road was then re-opened for traffic. In this manner, the above named accused had created tumult (become riotous) in closing the main road and by condemning those on official duty they had systematically consigned themselves to the crimes of 341/160, 186/147 and 148/149 PC.

These rabble rousers were creating chaos throughout the city. On account of which this writer along with other (policemen) were kept engaged in official duty to restore peace.

This case noted (recorded) here is being handed over to case investigator Shafqat Hussain Naqvi SHC (Station House Constable). Copies are being sent wherever requested (ordered). The relevant action according to record is being conducted.

Written: 23/10/19 (Signature of SHO)

Inspector SHO

Saddar Police Station

End of translation....


Note: Anything written in brackets is for clarity, context or ease of understanding

Exhibit 2:

The public of Muzaffarabad lay in front of oncoming UNMOGIP vehicles in order to ask them what they were doing as observers in the territory, whilst the public here were being chased and tortured for conducting a peaceful protest:




Further videos of the conversation that took place between the public and the South Korean representative of UNMOGIP can be found in this blog, on the actual day they occurred viz. 22/10/19


Exhibit 3:

Photos



Photo 1 of 3


Photo 2 of 3

Photo 3 of 3

Additional Notes:


Since that day (22/10/19) various raids have been conducted by the police who have told local public sources that they are under immense pressure from agents of the Pakistani State to arrest the activists involved in blocking the UN vehicles (as well as other traffic).


The local public has been able to repel the threat of arrests thus far.


At one stage and perhaps in frustration at the lack of success achieved, Pakistan's clandestine agents have been noticed lurking around the homes of those they want to arrest and consider responsible for blocking the vehicles of UNMOGIP. At times, some units of the local police force have been stationed on the routes leading to and out of Lower Chela. Members of the public and shopkeepers have been questioned and data sought on those they want to apprehend. In particular, details of family members of the accused and their source of income is being sought. The latter is a very oft used weapon by Pakistan's clandestine agencies to disrupt the livelihood of activists and their family members, as part of a concerted bid to force them to conform to the Pakistani narrative.


Our intelligence sources on the ground cite Colonel Abdur Rehman and Major Ashfaq of ISI as being particularly active in trying to monopolise security in Muzaffarabad, without even a hint of due process of law of course.

Action:

As can be seen from the videos referenced above in Exhibit 2, generally from what has happened in AJK over the past 73 years and in particular since the 22nd of October in Muzaffarabad this year, we - the aspiring citizens of AJK - can no longer afford to live in such an opaque system. We understand that the Indians and Pakistanis do not even consider replying to letters from UNHRC in Geneva, most of the time.

Given that we do not have agency over our own security and given that if the police did not ruthlessly repress the peaceful protestors of PNA on the 22nd of October - under the opaque instructions of Pakistan's clandestine agencies who operate in this territory without legal reference - there would have no road blocks or tension between our own police and our own public. This could be fairly described as invoking instability within our already virtually pulverised society. 

In such conditions we have remained peaceful and striven to bring our plight to the attention of humane, civil and democratic forces wherever they may be in the world. As the UN have been operating here almost since the onset of Indian and Pakistani occupation, given that they profess neutrality, given that they monitor and report from the ground of imposed conflict, given that they - the UN - have received hundreds of thousands of memorandums (combined) over the years; from the disenfranchised inhabitants of J & K at the various offices where UNMOGIP is stationed in the territory and given that the UN was declared to promote and protect global peace with a rules based world order, we - the aspiring citizens of AJK - wish to explore the reason why we are being punished and persecuted for peacefully, ethically, legally and democratically pursuing our fundamental rights.

Our territory is being contested at our cost, without our say. 

Since the above cited event on the 22nd of October, more than 20 activists have been on the run, fearful of torture and worse if they are apprehended. The South Korean representative of UNMOGIP promised that he would write a report on the event. 

How do we - the public of AJK - obtain access to that report? 

How do we pursue transparency and accountability in governance here while the UN remains aloof and distant from the people here?

Why does the UN's political office in New York or other relevant departments not engage in meaningful dialogue with civil society in and across J & K? 

How do we ensure the safety and security of our aspiring citizens, who remain as vulnerable as ever despite the UN's presence here?

We do not ask for anything from the internationally community except empathy based on the values that have driven progress throughout the developed world.

We want the UN to be relevant to today's global challenges. In the context of J & K, it doesn't exist from a practical point of view.

End of report.....

Friday, 8 November 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 312 of 2019

1357hrs:

The conversation on an internal political process in AJK needs to crystallize into a daily working format:



........

You can watch the video directly from this embed:


......

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 310 of 2019

2157hrs:

Today was another tragic day in 1947. 2019's version could have been eventful too - albeit rather more peaceful - but for the incessant rain throughout the territory of AJK.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Monday, 4 November 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 308 of 2019

1221hrs:

Consultation in full swing.....

.....

I wonder if he understands the full extent of his own statement:



.......

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 307 of 2019

0940hrs:

So, I am now sitting down to write a report on what has transpired over the past couple of weeks in AJK:

As with previous such reports where public interest activity has been directly disrupted by Pakistan's clandestine agencies, I will follow a chronological format identifying the main aspects of this most recent disruption.

Previous such reports:

1) 2011 - Baghsar - Smaahni

2) 2015 - Leepa

3) 2016 - Abbaspur

Thus, this would be the 4th such report which provides the reader with direct insight into how governance in AJK is run - not by the local administration/government in AJK - but by shadowy figures originating from Pakistan's GHQ (General Head Quarters) in Rawalpindi. Without any writ, justification, accountability or transparency of any kind. This 73 year old governing structure in AJK ensures that everything of public interest value here is repeatedly sacrificed at the altar of what are perceived to be goals promoting Pakistani national interest in Jammu & Kashmir.

Background:

Since the 5th of August 2019, when the Indian government decided to de-operationalise Article 370 of the Indian constitution and consequently downgrade and bifurcate 48% of the territory of J & K, an unexpected wave of unbroken sentiment in favour of the citizens here has erupted throughout the world. This Indian maneuver also instigated a reaction in AJK - with many hitherto sympathisers of the Pakistani narrative in AJK - now convinced that the Pakistani State was complicit in permanently dividing the territory of J & K.

In such a scenario, my action-orientated research had to be accelerated in order to devise an appropriate ownership-building process (for reference please read: From CBMs to OBMs). Amidst various protests throughout AJK since the 5th of August, there have been 4 major protests (events) which I also happened to have had the opportunity to cover:


1) 26th of August 2019 - PNA (People's National Alliance)
 


2) 7th of September 2019 - JKLF (Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front - Sagheer faction)


3) 4th of October 2019 - JKLF (Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front - Yasin faction)


4) 21st of October 2019 - PNA (People's National Alliance)


Note: Some of the most notable footage or text relating to each event maybe found in subsequent diaries to the dates linked above. Reading through each day's diary will provide further clarity and context. 


Amidst all this commotion, I had been pro-active in raising the issue of internally securitising AJK under a transparent and accountable mechanism, which would protect public interest and ensure an internal political process is developed to resolve our outstanding national question.


Here is a chronological sequence of important notes/events - written/conducted to bolster this internal political process:


1) 6th of August 2019 - Protest in Dadyaal in reaction to India's seemingly unilateral action the day before


2) 28th of August 2019 - The most succinct clarification of J & K's legal status by retired Chief Justice of High Court AJK Abdul Majeed Malik


3) 1st of September 2019 - The UK's insistence on UN resolutions and an Indo-Pak bilateral conflict resolution process which gives zero agency to the legal inheritors of J & K: its people


4) 3rd of September 2019 - Details of 2 online petition rejections by the British government


5) 9th of September 2019 - Written Structures for an internal political process in AJK (c. 10,000 words divided into 4 parts)


6) 17th of September 2019 - Raising the issue of security and a local IG (Inspector General) in AJK


I have spent most of the last month involved in intense public activity to cover what probably measures as unprecedented in the 73 year history of AJK. Most of this time has been spent either in the capital of AJK or its vicinity viz. Muzaffarabad. Discussions with various senior members of the AJK government have indicated their will to build consensus in AJK on its empowerment, which tallies with the internal political process being developed on the ground here. 


3 features are very clear (to us in AJK):


1) The sentiment for independence in AJK has surpassed the 73% extrapolated by July 2017 ref. Citizen Public Opinion Survey - AJK 


2) The Pakistani State is complicit in wanting to divide the territory of J & K as part of what can only be described as an 'out of court' settlement, without due democratic procedure. Over 73 years, they fooled many of our people into thinking that they (Pakistan) were present in AJK and GB only to help us reclaim the rest of J & K. It is now clear to most of us that they cannot retrieve the Valley of Kashmir but are content in trying to make AJK and GB their own legal entities, to be integrated into adjacent parts of Pakistan proper. To then fight another day for the Valley. 


3) The State of AJK and GB (Gilgit Baltistan) are being governed by shadows which prevent any meaningful internal discourse in or between these 2 territories that have emerged out of the Dogra State of J & K in 1947. This has intensified the security dilemma for local citizens who could be sentenced for up to 90 years in prison, merely by expressing their views in public interest, without any accountability or even the right to nominate the culprits, who conveniently remain in the shadows. Ref. Iftikhar Hussain Karbalai Indo-Pak bilateralism supported and encouraged by the UK, USA and - in its own way - China is a cul de sac which can only manage conflict and not resolve it. This is unsustainable, undemocratic, unethical, illegal and based on 'might is right' rather than 'right is might'. We believe it was the latter metaphor which influenced the creation of the UN Charter.


In this frenetic and charged environment it has increasingly become 'a matter of life and death' that the security of this region is handed back to its legal inheritors through a gradual ownership-building process that ensures that no security vacuum or vulnerability arises in the interim.


Whatever we the people decide between ourselves should be respected by all, within the disparate parts of J & K as well as throughout the world at large. Our struggle is strictly:


1) Peaceful

2) Democratic
3) Legal/Constitutional
4) Ethical

What happened on the 22nd of October 2019 in Muzaffarabad was proverbially "the straw that broke the camel's back".


Here's a link to a video report I made barely half an hour before the police violently pushed back the protestors of PNA, who simply wished to march from Uppar Adda (Laal Chowk - Muzaffarabad's Red Square equivalent of Srinagar) to the Assembly Secretariat, where they wished to put their demands (for empowerment of AJK and GB) before the AJK Legislative Assembly. Indeed, a minister of the AJK government namely Mushtaq Minhas (Minister for Tourism) went to chairman PNA Zulfiqar Ahmed Advocate's residence a few days hitherto and agreed on this arrangement, on the condition that the protestors would not conduct a sit-in protest after presenting their demands.


However, the shadows running AJK behind the scenes - read Pakistan's clandestine agencies - who only report to their GHQ in Rawalpindi, had other ideas. Less than an hour before the AJK police were directed to prevent the public from proceeding to the Assembly Secretariat, DIG (Deputy Inspector General) Muzaffarabad Sardar Ilyas was commanded to report to the 'White House'. This is an office/military complex in Jalalabad which is in fact the headquarters of Pakistan's ISI in Muzaffarabad. On his return to Upper Adda, where the public was becoming increasingly incensed at the government's behaviour, DIG Ilyas whispered something in DSP (Deputy Superintendent) Riaz Mughal's ear. He in turn commanded his police colleagues to charge forward and disperse the crowd by hook or crook. Violence erupted, tear gas shells were fired, batons were used and stones began being exchanged between public and police. Both affectees of shadow governance had been trapped into diverting public interest away from their genuine needs.


Confrontation lasted for many hours in various parts of Muzaffarabad city. Many homes were tear gassed too and on each occasion viz. Upper Adda, Chela, Gilani Chowk and later in the evening at the central press club, DSP Riaz Mughal was the chief agent provocateur


Later in the evening, a delegation of the PNA leadership met the prime minister of AJK. He confessed ignorance over knowledge of what happened throughout the day. In other words, he was by-passed. He could not even dare to sack or discipline DSP Riaz Mughal because the latter was acting as prime proxy in executing the will of the shadowy Pakistani governing set-up in AJK. It is ironic that the very agencies who prevent Raja Farooq Haider from acting as chief executive of AJK commanded him to visit the central press club the very next day; to apologise for 'his' police's behaviour the previous evening. This move was to embolden the perception that somehow the AJK prime minister is responsible for whatever happens in AJK and that he was apologising for behaviour under his 'charge'. However, he patently 'enjoys' no such charge or control.         


These events motivated me to 'up the ante' and bring the discussion over the importance of a local IG more intensely into the public domain. Most of us felt that we cannot afford to let the genuine sentiments for freedom in our society be repeatedly curbed in such a manner. We now had to pinpoint and identify the culprits exploiting our minds and extrapolating our resources in the name of religion. We were obviously rattling our enemy's cage and true to their character, they reacted. 


My ancestral home in Gurutta, tehsil Sehnsa which has been unoccupied for the last 2 years but lies on the main road between Kotli and Rawalpindi in Pakistan and barely 2 kilometres from the tehsil headquarters, visible from many kilometres in a 360 degree radius - where my own tribe has effectively ruled for the past 700 years - it is also adjacent to the main masjid and local bazaar but it was still raided in the early hours of the morning of the 24th of October


What should have been the most secure location for my record-keeping of material in public interest, had been rudely and slyly penetrated by Pakistan's clandestine agencies. They must have spent at least a few hours there as the bed underneath which much paperwork from my life pre-2005 was safely kept, was rifled through and it takes at least a couple of people to dislodge the bed, in order to get to the paperwork. Contrary to certain reports in social media, none of my post 2005 work in AJK was affected, as it wasn't kept there.


The next morning which of course remained the 24th of October; my cousin who lived nearby informed me of what happened. I promptly asked him to contact the local police station in Sehnsa and obtain a report. This didn't happen and I spent the rest of the day in Upper Adda and Laal Chowk (Muzaffarabad) in particular, engaging with the public in a form of sit-in protest. I wanted to spend the night there but couldn't obtain a charpoy (mobile bed) in time. 


Having spent the night nearby in someone's residence, the next morning (the 25th of October) I began making efforts to try and convince the government of AJK to take the matter of the raid on my house seriously and understand that it was directly connected to campaigning for a local IG; so that we could make sense of the security of our territory.    


I arranged for a banner to explain my message, a charpoy to conduct my sit-in protest at Laal Chowk with ease. However, by about 4pm (1600hrs) a mobile police unit headed by Younis Bhat ASI (Assistant Sub-Inspector) categorically explained to me that I couldn't put up a charpoy in Laal Chowk. Further, that I should seek permission from DC (Deputy Commissioner) Muzaffarabad. When he departed from the scene, I made an impromptu decision to mount the ladder used for constructing Laal Chowk and climbed to the highest perch possible. This was about 30 to 40 feet above the ground. 


In a matter of minutes the public began converging on Laal Chowk and suddenly the AJK government was all ears to find out what was disturbing me. Various local citizens felt it their moral duty to mediate and I learned that DC Kotli was ready to file an FIR (First Information Report) and even identify the accused as 'clandestine agents of the Pakistani State'. On the matter of installing a local IG I was told that this is an impossible task. In response, I took pains to explain that we can no longer afford to be governed by shadows in the digital age. Public interest in AJK had suffered for the past 73 years on this count. Many of us have been killed and many others have expended their health, wealth and honour in the pursuit of freedom. If we cannot develop consensus among ourselves on this sensitive matter, how on earth will we attain the larger target of freedom? Further, that nothing is impossible but everything requires a format and process. We the people of AJK are sovereign, not the AJK government and most certainly not Pakistan. How can the Pakistani State insist on controlling us and advocating for the Kashmir Valley what it suppresses in AJK and GB?


I gave the appropriate link to the 'internal political process' in AJK to Afzaal Suleria, press secretary of PNA and prime mediator - at the time - between the AJK government and myself.


By 10:30pm (2230hrs) the AJK police swarmed to the scene and began dispersing the public. They located Mahmood Ahmed Musafir within the crowd and began employing him as the mediator. He climbed half-way up the ladder and suggested that I nominate someone in Muzaffarabad to speak to the administration about my concerns and try and find a way of amicably climbing back down. I explained that I had already given my statement on video and Afzaal had been provided a link for the AJK government to read. He insisted on me nominating someone and said he would return in 15 minutes.


By the time Mahmood returned, a lot was happening behind my back, While engaged with Mahmood in conversation I was pounced on by someone who described himself as part of the 'rescue services'. He had climbed up using a rope and the scaffolding attached to the monument of Laal Chowk. I could have done much to drop him from there but decided otherwise. After a scuffle, I gave way to the next phase of my struggle. Contrary to some reports in social media, at no point did I ever threaten to immolate myself.


As I was escorted to a waiting police wagon, AC Muzaffarabad requested the police to not use violence on me. What this confirmed was that violence was a norm to combat peaceful protests in AJK. What it also meant in coded form was to ensure that I was thrashed into submission. Sitting roughed up in the police wagon before me was Mahmood Ahmed Musafir. By the time we reached City Thana (police station) it transpired that Mahmood had been used and subsequently abused by the police, in order to get to me. Who was the instigator of this tactic? None other than Pakistan's most effective proxy on the ground in Muzaffarabad: DSP Riaz Mughal. 


At the station, we were ushered into a room where apart from SHO (Station House Officer) Raja Ansar Sajaad (of Pateeka) at least 3 other plain-clothed personnel entered the room too. It soon became clear who these shadows were. Slap upon slap and kick after kick ensued. Musafir who has not eat anything that contains wheat, maize, barley, oats or rice for more than 18 months; under protest from being ignored by both the AJK and Pakistani governments for his demands in public interest, was already physically fragile but he was not spared either. His repeated protests that he was engaged by DSP Riaz Mughal in mediation fell on deaf ears. I decided to keep quiet and ride the momentary storm.     


Mahmood Ahmed Musafir's profile can be read here.

In the presence of Pakistan's clandestine agencies, the SHO had to prove his efficiency to his illegal masters. While trying to beat the hell out of us we witnessed some memorable slurs and questions he demanded answers to. 

Why are you conducting protests in Muzaffarabad?

Why can't you conduct protests in Kotli?

You're an aatankwaadi (Hindi for terrorist) and funded by India!

Take his clothes off!

The IG (Inspector General) is our father. Why do you have a problem with him?

Sodomise him!

Kaan pakar! (Hold your ears!) This term is normally used to humiliate someone and force them to repent.

All the above was addressed to me or in reference to me, amidst the multiple physical blows I was receiving. Thankfully, they only took my jumper off and half of my kameez (long shirt) off before they tired themselves out. They then used my chappals (sandals) to thrash the soles of my feet. I never saw my chappals after that! One of my torturers then decided to stand on my thighs, presumably to check if I could withstand his weight.

To my relief they didn't attempt to sodomise me and I certainly wasn't going to hold my ears. Indeed, I had nothing to repent over.

The police and clandestine agents also used this opportunity to mock Mahmood Ahmed Musafir's struggle while he continued trying to explain to them that he had nothing to do with my action.

In such circumstances, I always make a point of avoiding dialogue and eye contact. I have a habit of only responding to questions in an amicable environment.

I was then dragged along the floor to my cell where I learned that there were no bathroom facilities available. Yes, a range of empty plastic bottles were available to urinate in at will. 

It wasn't long before we were woken and dragged to an adjacent cell holding about a dozen inmates, including 2 juveniles (aged 12 and 14). We found out that this was because a recent female accused had to be accommodated in that cell. Of course, this police station only had a total of 2 cells to go around.

The next morning was the 26th of October and my physical torture hadn't ended yet. In the meantime, the police provided a window of opportunity to relieve ourselves in conventional bathrooms, which were across a badminton court. I used this opportunity to try and reclaim my sandals but to no avail. This discussion ended with further blows to my face and kicks to my body by a number of policemen. Some drops of the blood that oozed out of my nose fell on my jumper and are still there almost 10 days later.

When the first group of visitors came to see me, I explained all that had happened. I asked them to pursue medical attention for myself and Mahmood. The latter had complained of acute pain in his ribs all night. I also asked one of the visitors to contact the British High Commission on my behalf and explain my status. When we were arrested on the previous night and brought to the police station, the police had not followed procedure in confirming with me the possessions of mine that they were confiscating from me. We were tortured, abused and then dragged into a cell.

It was also decided by our well wishers that we move an application for bail as an FIR had been lodged against us. The charges were APC 325/109. I had been charged with trying to commit suicide while Mahmood was declared as the mastermind behind my protest. While I agreed with receiving bail and fighting through the courts to prove the validity of my public protest, Mahmood was against receiving bail as he felt he had been trapped by DSP Riaz Mughal and thus his stance was (and is) that the charges against him should be dropped, without him having to resort to a court to prove his innocence. 

A copy of the FIR can be read here.

We remained confined in City Thana Muzaffarabad until Monday the 28th of October (3 nights and 2 days) when we were taken to the district courts to appear before a judge. My sandals were still not returned to me and PC (Police Constable) Azhar gave me his sandals to wear in the meantime, while assuring me that my sandals would be found. Indeed, we appeared before a judge as well as a Qazi (someone trained in Islamic jurisprudence) and we reiterated our need for medical attention. We later learned from one of our lawyers that an application for medical attention had already been put to the judge on Saturday (the 26th of October).

It also transpired that our bail application had not yet been processed and thus we followed a number of other prisoners into a police truck, which transported us about 11 kilometres down the Kohalla road to an over-crowded Raara jail.

During my incarceration in Chinari sub-jail for 16 days in 2016, the judge handling my case had explained that he had made repeated requests for Raara jail to be expanded or other jails to be built to accommodate a growing number of prisoners in our society. As his requests remained unheeded, he suggested that I lobby for this facility when I eventually attain my 'freedom'. I remembered his words as soon as I entered the jail. There were just 3 barracks holding about 145 prisoners, whereas the capacity was around 90 prisoners. In our barrack there were 45 inmates and Mahmood and I had to sleep for 3 nights in a crowded corridor huddled between other prisoners.

The next day (Tuesday the 29th) DC Muzaffarabad, SSP (Senior Superintendent of Police), a couple of lawyers and some shadowy figures presenting themselves as human rights workers visited the jail, ostensibly to check on the conditions there and note any complaints of the prisoners. When I sought clarity on who these human rights workers were I received a jumbled answer. However, DC Muzaffarabad assured me that the much larger prison being constructed adjacent to these tin barracks would be ready within a maximum of 2 months from now. SSP Yasin Baig also informed me that my bail had been approved, subject to a guarantor providing a bond.

During our 3 days there, I was able to identify many victims of the LOC who not only face Indian firing but are also likely to be used by the Pakistanis to collect information or send 'goods' to and from across the LOC. When they are no longer needed or a dispute arises or the Pakistanis feel that they have too much information, these tormented citizens are abducted by Pakistan's agencies, tortured for months and years, usually taken to Pakistan and hence disregarding the Geneva conventions, put up before a military court, further tortured before being transferred to a jail in AJK. No habeas corpus here. In some cases, it is also alleged that the womenfolk of these abductees are enticed into visiting Muzaffarabad on the pretext that their case will be heard by senior military officialdom or compensation will be transacted for the bereaved. Once reaching Muzaffarabad, they are allegedly taken advantage of in the most morally reprehensible way possible. I have assured these victims that I will fight for their right to be presented before a proper court and the allegations against them thoroughly examined.

It was also painful to meet a number of juveniles languishing in jail too.

On the evening (Wednesday the 30th of October) before we were released on bail, I made a fresh attempt to get the AJK government to sit down and seriously discuss the growing dilemma of governance in AJK. 

Soon after lock-down at 4pm (1600hrs) on Thursday the 31st of October Mahmood and I were summoned to the gates of the jail where a police wagon was waiting for us. No paperwork was exchanged or signatures taken. We were informed that bail had been granted. However, as we soon discovered we were not yet free. The police wagon instead of turning right at the bottom of Raara hill towards Muzaffarabad moved in the direction of Kohalla, beyond which was the State of Pakistan!

I suddenly felt agitated and anxious. I had not visited Pakistan since my first abduction by Pakistan's army in 2011 (referenced at the beginning of this report). I had no documentation to visit Pakistan viz. no visa and no ID card to lay claim on a Pakistani nationality. If I were dropped off there, I could very easily be picked up and never heard of again, without any access to habeas corpus. I could be killed or any number of unpleasant ordeals could transpire. The PI (police inspector) given charge of us - Ijaz Abbasi - was kind enough to confirm that we were to be taken to Pakistan on the orders of those very shadows who we seek deliverance from. 

Many a citizen including some lawyers who represented us became involved and convinced the police to drop us anywhere in AJK. We were finally dropped off in Arja (district Bagh) where I was handed over most of my belongings that had been confiscated by the police on the 25th of October. I checked the itemised list which should have been shown to me when I was initially arrested, to confirm what belongings of mine were being confiscated. However, upon checking I noticed that 7 items remained missing and I wrote to that effect on the itemised list.

Missing items not returned by City (Thana) police station Muzaffarabad:

1) Sandals (by Clarks of UK)
2) Glasses (Rodenstock frames from Germany and reactolite lenses)
3) Black sleeping bag and cover
4) Perfume (by Dior of France)
5) Microphones x 2 with lead
6) Thermos 
7) 500 PK Rupees (given to PC Azhar by a visitor to the police station on my behalf)

Now:

I have spent the last few days since my 'release' in tehsil Dheerkot, in heavy consultation with civil society over how to proceed with public interest in AJK. Indeed, after spending a night in Arja, I proceeded the next morning (the 1st of November) to the tehsil courts of Dheerkot, where I tried to meet the president of the lawyer's bar association. I engaged some journalists too so that I could update them on our status. During this activity, DFC (Detective Foot Constable) Qamar Shah also appeared on the scene and began taking notes. As every government servant in AJK is compromised and compelled to share his or her notes with the shadows who actually govern AJK without licence, some locals decided that we proceed to the citizen stronghold of Rangla.

I have written up this comprehensive report without glasses - for the first time in my adult life and now aged 47 - which still remain in the custody of the city police in Muzaffarabad. 

Intention:

This report is being forwarded to:

1) The AJK High Court 

- To aid a writ petition that will seek justice on torture conducted by the police, retrieve my possessions, clarify the right to peaceful public protest in the capital of AJK and obtain a stay order on any future attempts by Pakistan's clandestine agencies to evict me from my own territory, whereby my life would be put in immediate peril.

2) Local, regional and global civil society/media and academia

- To make them aware of how civility and democracy in AJK are sacrificed on behalf of Pakistan's calculated ambiguity over the territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
- We are dealing with a country that is totalitarian in its approach to governance and fascist in its delusion of Muslim superiority over people of all other faiths.
- Despite an autocratic regime in J & K pre 1947, our State had evolved more than most other nation States at the time. 3 elections had already been conducted and the activism in this territory was also correspondingly evolved. For example, Sheikh Abdullah's 'Naya Kashmir' manifesto in 1944 proposed rights for women that were more progressive than considered in Western Europe at the time. Public mobilisation for peaceful protests via social media began in the Valley of Kashmir in the summer of 2010, many months before the Arab Spring. Identification of subjects/citizens/residents had already begun in the 1880s and was finally formalised with the State Subject Rule in 1927, much before most other countries. Even labour strikes/activism in our territory preceded Chicago (USA) of 1886.
- Neither the autocrat (Maharajah Hari Singh) or his subjects (the public of J & K) were ever given consideration as to what they wanted for the future of J & K post British withdrawal in 1947. The Maharajah wanted our State to be neutral a la Switzerland with him as constitutional monarch a la the Queen of the United Kingdom. Our people wanted to progress away from autocracy towards representative democracy but they were thrusted into an accession debate in 1947. This confusion had been improvised over the preceding decades, particularly by the British administrative innovation that political constituencies should be based on religious identity.
- Today we wish to retrieve our territory over which - we the people - are sovereign but are occupied against our will since 1947. If any part of J & K wishes to accede to any country we will not obstruct that, subject to us being able to interact with each other unfettered. This is something we've collectively been deprived of since 1947. It would be folly to divide us legally (and permanently) as a fait accompli.
- We are cursed for our water and geography which if not for political expediency should be a blessing and boon for mankind. We want to avert future conflict over water and our guarantee for doing so would be to become the world's most efficient managers of water. India and Pakistan have both performed abysmally on this count and investing so much in militarised structures in our territory hasn't helped.

3) The UK Government and State

- To clarify that I am in no way a citizen of Pakistan and to make clear my resentment at any such association. I may have arrived in Pakistan in April 2005 on a British passport and Pakistani visa but I am first and foremost an aspiring citizen of Jammu & Kashmir, where my family have lived for over 700 years. Furthermore, I haven't travelled to Pakistan since my first abduction in 2011 and thus see no reason why I should obtain a Pakistani visa. I was born in Jammu & Kashmir and am working tirelessly for almost 15 years to address our enduring national question. It would be almost impossible for me to travel anywhere in the world without a direct link that bypasses the territory of China, India and Pakistan. I have never obstructed or worked against the genuine national interests of the United Kingdom and appreciate that at least 4 generations of my family and more than 8 generations (since the 1880s) of people from my territory have enjoyed the dispensation of justice. economic opportunity, security of life, wealth and honour among many other benefits including a world class education system. 
- However, the above does not in any way immunise the UK government from its share of responsibility for what happened here in 1947. Indeed, many people throughout South Asia are still suffering from that legacy. The UK's fixed stance of relying on Indo-Pak bilateralism is a closed door and qualifying that with asking both countries to take into consideration the will of the 'Kashmiri' people is a cruel joke given the standard of freedom of expression and assembly here. Quoting UN resolutions is equally cruel as we are not even a party in that framework, which is essentially a land dispute between 2 neighbours, both of whom invoke question marks over how they entered this territory in 1947. 
- We suggest that the UK takes the lead in recognising an internal J & K political process without external interference. The international community can do much to ensure our basic fundamental rights are protected in this regard. It is impossible for us to negotiate our future with a proverbial 'gun to our head'.       

End of report......

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Some thoughts about Kashmir's independence, from Germany:



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From Germany back to the United Kingdom - on opposite sides in the 1st and 2nd world wars of the 20th century - Germany seems to have learned from its mistakes but we are still waiting for the remnants of the British empire to come round:



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This is what I call biting off more than what one can chew! Thank you Pakistan:



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Daily Diary (DD) - Day 321 of 2019

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