Sunday, 3 February 2019

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 34 of 2019


The 5th of February as an annual day to show Pakistan's solidarity with (the Valley of) Kashmir, has always been contentious. Not only is it contradictory to the Pakistani State's hermetic posture in AJK and GB (Gilgit Baltistan) but it is merely self-serving. It is an annual act to refresh its perceived credentials as the world's sole advocate of freedom for the Kashmiris from Indian control. 

Indeed, it is the only nation-state in the world which wants the world to understand that the Kashmir Valley must be taken from Indian control and handed over to Pakistan. 

It dresses up this demand as 'the advocacy of the right to self-determination through a plebsicite under the aegis of United Nations Resolutions'.

The very same resolutions whose recommendations (non-enforceable) Pakistan failed to carry out, yet uses as a convenient alibi (provided by India and planned by Britain) to assume control over AJK and by extension GB.

It uses the same alibi to interfere in the Valley of Kashmir, not least by describing it as a 'disputed territory pending a plebiscite as prescribed by the UN'.  

It assumes that Muslims most necessarily want to be governed by Muslims and because the Hindus (Indians) are controlling the Valley through brute force, this is an assault on Muslims.

The 2 nation theory really kicks in here and as most of British India was divided in this fashion, including the princely states - although technically they had 3 options - rather than simply acceding to the country which represented the majority population's religion.

However, religion is potent when combined with politics - especially in areas where major religions converge and co-exist in distinguishable communities. 

When dividing (partitioning) a territory and making people panic because they may suddenly realise that a majority mob could come and attack them as a minority anytime, is a cruel act if done in a hurry, if done at all! There's much that Britain has to answer for in relation to partition and we'll have to come back to that topic at some point.     

Pakistan's interpretation of self-determination is strictly according to the narrow contextual version given in the (non-enforceable I repeat) UNCIP resolution of January the 5th 1949. So, their interpretation is against universally defined meanings of self-determination and contradictory to the UN Charter. From here, they develop another convenient assumption: That you can only vote for India or Pakistan in a plebiscite and that is the pre-eminent global forum, where this matter has been recognised as an 'international' dispute.

Well, assuming if we could just vote for India or Pakistan, then where is the public space for the Indian State narrative in AJK and GB?

In truth, the UN is not the only forum where this matter can be resolved.

India and Pakistan have always had an alternative bilateral channel in place ever since their birth as dominions of the British Commonwealth in August 1947, under the watchful and presiding eyes of their hitherto colonial masters. Indeed, there have been many bilateral agreements signed. Some even maintain that Musharraf-Manmohan were close to 'some sort of agreement' by February 2007, on a "non-territorial" solution to Kashmir.

It should be remembered that the UN resolutions were non-enforcable (I repeat for a third time) and neither is the UN keen to act as arbiter in a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan, however many Kashmiris the Indian army guns down in the Kashmir Valley. This then becomes a blood-sport between India and Pakistan. The casualties are the citizens of Jammu & Kashmir who are 'forced' to comply with a binary narrative. They are usually caught in cross-fire on the streets of Srinagar or along the LOC.

What the Pakistanis don't tell you is that they have much more in common with India than they would lead you to believe. Both countries may fight for influence over the Valley and inflict casualties on us but it should be remembered, that they are also in agreement that the State should not be independent. They would rather share control (as bilateral talks indicate) than let it go to the people that inherited it as state subjects. So much for democracy and so much for Pakistan advocating for a solution according to the 'aspirations' of the Kashmiri people.

Pakistan is in solidarity with the Kashmiris as long as the Kashmiris want to join Pakistan. After all, these are the terms on which Pakistan forcibly controls AJK and GB. The 5th of February is conditional love and the conditions have proved very expensive so far.

Some stats for Pakistan - according to Mahmood Ahmed Musafir outside Islamabad Press Club - Pakistan since 14th May 2018):

85% of the population is at some level of poverty or unaware of most matters of public policy.

13% of the population are into exploitation of all kinds.

That leaves...
2% who are actively working for a State which would be unbiased and humane in its approach. 

He further narrated in our evening discussion that he was reading an Urdu article in a newspaper, written by an AJK journalist from Bagh by the name of Saleem Chugtai.

In it was written the slogan:

Sab idaarey aik hay.....Ye mulk hum sab ka hay

Translated thus,

All institutions are on one page.....This country (Pakistan) is for all of us. 

Musafir's reply:

Not it is not. 

It does not belong to the majority of its population, which suffers from poverty; with no idea where it will find medicine, nutrition or clean water.

...end of Musafir's reply.

The Pakistani State must develop solidarity with its own population and give it the functional governing institutions - it so desperately has been waiting for since 1947 - without success.

I would say, territorial expansionism in such conditions in the 21st century is suicidal.

Here's another angle on the drama of 5th February:

Here's another insightful tweet in reference to GB:

Translated thus:

(The tweet is entitled as:) Baba Jaan's imprisonment and Gilgit Baltistan police

A good suggestion you have given (dear) spiritual guide, it should be implemented.

I went to Gilgit (jail) to visit Baba Jaan (from AJK) but I felt disgraced (by the police) all day. They mocked that I had come from 'outside' so I couldn't meet him. "What is your relationship to Baba Jaan?" they quizzed. Despite facing further offensive questions from them (GB police) I remained adamant on meeting him (Baba Jaan). Later, the DC (deputy commissioner) explained that, "Dear friend, this matter is in the hands of the ISI and thus beyond our control. Why don't you understand the actual problem?"...

I met some youngsters there. I swear, the conditions in Gilgit Baltistan are worse than the Valley (of Kashmir). 


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Daily Diary (DD) - Day 52 of 2020

1414hrs: For how long do we put up with this facade? ........