There is a lot of dissonance in our collective struggle - as erstwhile state subjects of an erstwhile autocratic Jammu & Kashmir - straining to become citizens of a reunited democratic Jammu & Kashmir.
Most of us talk about a peaceful struggle, establishing a consensus and protecting an ethos that claims 'unity in diversity' but...........a lot of that dissonance is cognitive.
The example of Mahmood Ahmed Musafir is perhaps most significant in this respect, not least because I've been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to document his struggle.
He's been camping outside Islamabad Press Club since the 14th of May 2018. Eight months, two weeks and still counting...
His struggle is for the public, he desires nothing for himself yet is not willing to listen to the very public, who wish to strengthen his struggle by creating a public process in AJK, whereby his contribution would be a reference. He's adamant on wanting to go abroad to pursue his alternative electricity power generation model. He also wants to expose the inhumane governance system prevailing in AJK and Pakistan in his own inimitable style. He has suffered a lot, his struggle has spanned decades and he's been consistent. His efforts must be utilised in public interest and dividends achieved on behalf of the public.
That cannot happen by the rest of us abiding by his strategy and him insisting on such. Collective wisdom must be garnered and a 10 member committee (corresponding to one public interest activist from each district of AJK) should assess his strategy and pass judgement as appropriate, for each stage of his consequent struggle. We even suggested that he decide who those 10 citizens should be but he declined to take that responsibility. Subsequently, 10 citizens were proposed who we considered to be likely to pass judgement in public interest. Mahmood Ahmed Musafir vetted each of them and agreed.
However, he remains adamant on the public of AJK arranging a visa and other travel requirements for him to emigrate. We feel the problems of AJK need to be resolved in AJK. If indeed, he has the means to create alternative electricity, then that invention should emanate in AJK, with our public money which is otherwise squandered by the adherents of the Pakistani narrative in AJK.
The struggle - in every sense - continues...