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Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 334 of 2021

1801hrs:

Communication with my co-citizens is getting increasingly intense. To the extent that I will soon have to pick and choose - in order of importance and priority - something which I've avoided thus far.

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Monday, 29 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 333 of 2021

1629hrs:

Missing a blog entry purely through absent mindedness probably just proves that we are humans after all. Such will be the record of Day 332 of 2021.

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Saturday, 27 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 331 of 2021

2033hrs:

I did arrive home at 2021hrs, having hitched a lift off a truck from Sehrmandi.....before that I travelled from Kotli to the former on public transport.....Earlier, I had travelled from Dadyaal to Kotli on public transport too...

Our main engagement of the day was attending and paying respects to a very rare public rights activist, the late Mir Afzaal Suleria:


Afzaal led a totally unblemished life while remaining consistent in his activity, yet tragically died young. My last memories of him were from the 25th of October 2019 at Laal Chowk - Upper Adda - in Muzaffarabad, when I had climbed up to the summit of its scaffolding, to raise awareness of the need to have our own Inspector General of police to oversee matters of security in this territory. Despite being a heart patient, he was the first to climb that ladder to intermediate between me and the local authorities.

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Friday, 26 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 330 of 2021

2257hrs:

After watching the following video yesterday I felt compelled to elaborate further on it, not least for its potential utility to help us clarify the constitutional status of Jammu Kashmir & Allied areas (JKA):


This video was an interview conducted by Syed Muzamil Hasan Zaidi - Managing Editor of Pakistan Now and the interviewee was Owais Anwar - Director of Research at the Research Society of International Law (RSIL) in Pakistan.

I will just transcribe some important parts of the footage, for possible current discussion and future reference.

Note: 
1) I have paraphrased some of the interviewee's sentences, including translation of some of the Urdu phrases he used.
2) I have made comments in brackets for clarity.
3) The time of that part of the conversation has been added for ease of reference.

1:06 
International Commission of Jurists do not accept India's steps to nullify engagement of international community (UN) in 1957 viz. Constituent Assembly of J & K.

1:22
What is the status of this 'thing'? 

(My note of clarification; The 'thing' he is referring to is the territory of Jammu Kashmir & Allied areas - JKA - n.b. I'm using the acronym JKA to simplify the territory in question without excluding any part of the erstwhile pre 1947 British Indian princely State)

Pakistan alleges that India is in Occupation of this territory. 

Occupation...Maqbooza Kashmir etc. has become a normal part of our language....it is a very legal term - an IHL term..a category of..international humanitarian law - essentially an occupation is a type of war...

..and what is its definition? An unconsented to..effective control...establishing control without permission...an unconsented effective control over a territory that you don't have sovereign title to....

(As an example) Title deed is what you have over your home and property...that is how it is your house...as you have that title deed..

Now...Say I come in and I kick you out of your house..I stay there..I've occupied it..as I have effective control over it...I'm not invited by you and I don't have sovereign title to this...I don't have title deed...it is not in my name..

2:12
This is essentially what Pakistan is claiming India has done.  

2:26 
at RSIL....Hum Kashmir ke liye jaan de ne ke liye tyar hain lekin research karney ke liye tyar nahi hain (translation: We are ready to give our lives for Kashmir but are not ready to research the subject)

2:34
India in response? (Question by interviewer)

It argues:
- (JKA) is an integral part of our territory..on account of Maharajah's accession.
- We then promised a plebiscite but the invaders never left 
- Then Kashmiris decided on joining us fully (viz. Constituent Assembly 1957)
- That ends matter but Pakistan is in occupation (of AJK and GB)

3:00 
So, what is an occupation?
No sovereign title...Does India have sovereign title? They quote Maharajah's accession...but sovereign title does not shift until all link with the previous sovereign ends

...If I transfer title (over my house) to you, it only becomes your house when I receive all my money and go my own way..that never took place...the maharajah in the (alleged) instrument of accession (as India doesn't have a copy of the original) says....I retain sovereignty over many things (apart from defence, communications/currency & foreign affairs) and that I can go into any other agreement after this.

..so that is how India got permission to send its soldiers in and defend it against the tribal invasion (which the interviewee Owais Anwar describes as an act of defence against the Maharajah's brutal killings there)

..so sovereignty never shifted...even Mountbatten had put in a condition that there had to be a reference to the people and only then will this instrument of accession fully happen. So, this accession was never fully executed.

Is Indian army a hostile army? 
Yes...because that is the tool they are using to deny the local people their right to self determination. So, India exercises effective control.  

(Interviewer asks) What can we do (As in Pakistan?)

We can't do anything in the UN Security Council as India is diplomatically much stronger than us and we would likely face a veto from the US, Britain and France (as we previously saw with the Soviet Union/Russia)

ICJ (International Court of Justice)?
All routes to the ICJ has been closed by India...there are essentially 4 ways of taking it there..all blocked by India

Namely:
1) That we are commonwealth countries and cannot be adversarial in ICJ.
2) J & K is an internal matter.
3) Cannot bring up security issues at this forum. 
4) Cannot bring up matters of determining territory here.

6:40
These are (effectively) their (India's) terms for accepting the jurisdiction of the ICJ. India's terms have more weight than Pakistan at this forum.

Other option is getting an advisory opinion (which is not binding) but has weight because it has ICJ judges..

(political gamble there too? interjects interviewer) 

Indeed...again do you have enough votes in its General Assembly or any of the UN's special organs that have the authority to send a reference to the ICJ for an advisory opinion?

7:24
It would be very embarrassing for Pakistan if we weren't able to muster enough votes there.

(Ref. Revocation of Article 370)
The Indians re-interpreted article 370 in order to revoke it and didn't use due procedure ....(which I thought was a good description)

........End of transcription notes

..............

I thought it refreshing that a learned Pakistani was using reasonably neutral language to describe India and Pakistan's respective counter claims. I didn't agree with everything he said and noted some important omissions. For example, what doesn't give sovereign title to India is also what doesn't give sovereign title to Pakistan. 

In the context of my Pakistani flag lowering case in Dadyaal (21/08/2020) I contend that this discussion could provide important reference in due course.

Thus, I began sending the above video's link to a small number of co-citizens (legal experts, academics and activists) and a few foreign academics too who take an interest in this region's affairs.

This was my pitch to them:

I just want to be clear. Does Pakistan not have the same status as India in this equation and hasn't Pakistan taken similar steps to India in integrating the parts under it's control...political/constitutional wizardry, demographic change, bifurcation etc.?

I particularly liked, "We want to die for Kashmir but don't want to research it."

........

This morning I began receiving some responses:  

Manzoor Gilani 
(Retired Chief Justice of Supreme Court of AJK who also has the rare honour of having practiced law in Srinagar, Delhi, Islamabad and Muzaffarabad during his career)

The answer is now India has streamlined the parts of Kashmir in main land under constitution & made Kashmiris purportedly equal to Indians under threat of gun. 

It is negation of Indian independence Act, UNCIP resolutions, even against accession document and condition attached to it by Governor General and commitment of its leaders. 

People of Kashmir valley are 99% averse to Indian control by force, it makes Indian control an Occupation. 

Pakistan has also practically streamlined parts of Kashmir in its control but not under constitution and with out rights equal to other Pakistanis, however people here are not averse to Pakistani control but seek empowerment equal to other Pakistanis, pending resolution of issue, it is not Occupation.

India claims whole of the state as its part & has included it in constitution, but  Pakistan has not and does not, it has a political claim only under UNCIP resolutions; 

India does not accept UNCIP resolutions but Pakistan does, however it too has violated some  parts of it e.g. merger of Kashmir armed forces and absence of local authority. 

As for withdrawal of forces is concerned in case of plebiscite, both are responsible. 

End...

My Response (hereafter MR)

Thank you for that informed response. Much appreciated.

.....

A senior bureaucrat in the AJK Government 
(whom I can't name at this stage to avoid complications)

Taking similar steps as India means that we have merged one part of the kashmir territory in Pakistan which is against the UNSC resolutions on Kashmir. This may have weaken our position on Kashmir. 

Secondly as far as the matter of demographic change by the indian side is concerned, as such this matter is not relevant to us as we have 100% Muslim population in AK.

End....

MR

Thank you for your informed response, although I think your second point about demographic change in AJK and GB may not hold water, as settling people of other nationalities in these territories still constitutes demographic change. Settling Muslims here gives India all the more rationale for settling Indian Hindus on the other side. 

This also makes this dilemma a political problem motivated by religion. Given that Jammu Kashmir & Allied areas are a multi religious territory in total, this renders the matter unsolvable. 

It also gives the impression to the wider international community that we want Muslim majoritarianism to apply here but demand equal rights for Muslims wherever they are minorities elsewhere. Thus, our humane arguments are rendered contradictory and self-fulfulling.

End...

.....
 
Nazir Gilani 
(A jurist and authority on the UN mechanism on JKA. He is also head of Jammu Kashmir Council on Human Rights - JKCHR - an NGO which is in special consultative status with the United Nations)

1) It has been 74 years, 3 months and 14 days since the Standstill Agreement between Jammu Kashmir and Pakistan.

2) It has been 72 years, 6 months and 30 days since the divisive Karachi Agreement between Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK).

3) It has been 74 years and 30 days since the conditional and limited accession between Jammu Kashmir and India.

4) It has been 73 years, 10 months and 11 days since the Indian government surrendered its accession document at the United Nations (UN).

5) It has been 844 days since India's (seemingly unilateral) action on the 5th of August 2019.

6) It has been 3 years, 5 months and 12 days since the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) published its first human rights report on this territory.

The question is: What have 'Kashmiris' done during this period of time?

Just making demands to India and Pakistan is not the solution to the problem.

Neither is posting published statements of local newspapers in AJK - on social media - the solution.

Sitting down and putting our heads together for creating unified action is needed.

End...

MR

Thank you. Your last sentence is crucial.

End...

.....

I was also able to post a comment on the Facebook page where this video is hosted too:

I know Indians and Pakistanis have diametrically opposite views on this subject but from an internal Jammu Kashmir & Allied areas (JKA) narrative; this interview has done much to clarify the concept of sovereignty of this territory. 

It is clear that no country holds sovereign title (title deed of ownership) to this territory and that every change that has happened since the 15th of August 1947 is conditioned or subjected to the people's reference (the local inhabitants as classified according to the state subject rules of 1927). This gives sovereign title to the people of this territory. 

Both India and Pakistan as well as the rest of the world should respect the local people's 'Right to Rule' and defer to them any possible future decision to accede or enjoy any other relationship with any other country. No country and indeed many of the people of this territory have not respected that fundamental, legal and constitutional right.

End.....

...........

I also felt it opportune to highlight this thread as part of a retweet of the following message:

.........

 

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 329 of 2021

2200hrs:

As we continue to navigate through the minefields of a conflict zone.......a lot of ducking and diving develops in our character........partly because there is lots to do and much more than what one could possibly achieve in a lifetime. This is the point where one searches earnestly for economies of scale.

.... 

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 328 of 2021

1751hrs:

A day out amongst the public of Dadyaal. Love, smiles and appreciation galore. 

On the other hand, a trip around Maqbool Bhat Shaheed Square left an angry impression on my mind. The square is in a state of neglect. There is litter and animal faeces everywhere. The monument in the middle of the square is also in decay. Some of the floor tiles are broken and some of the stone on the walls has been chipped off. So much for the Secretary of the Municipality stressing in court that this is State property. 

.....  

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 327 of 2021

1959hrs:

Everything is limited and one must make the most of what they have, especially time. 

...  

Monday, 22 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 326 of 2021

2156hrs:

A radically different day today. After every downturn an upturn is inevitable. I'm thankful to the Lord.

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Saturday, 20 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 324 of 2021

1854hrs:

Very little power left.....load-shedding is in full swing...inertia receding though..

Friday, 19 November 2021

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 322 of 2021

1920hrs:

Sitting in darkness. Electricity is out. We haven't overcome this devil yet despite being a net exporter. Just one example of occupation. 

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 321 of 2021

2051hrs:

Relaxing at home once again. Travelling does take a lot out of you and a few days out on the road can require a whole day to recuperate. 

.....

The following is in reference to my most recent tweet which had a video whose view count seemed to be stuck at 666 views for an eerily long time despite the continuation of viewers from other parts of the world:


..... 

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 320 of 2021

2009hrs:

Time is ticking away......at times I do wish I gave my family more time but I don't find anyone that inspires confidence about public policy. Those that did have passed away.....but I do have an extended family of over 20 million people and there are many that inspire confidence.

......  


Monday, 15 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 319 of 2021

1955hrs:

Still on the road, as in I'm still in travelling mode. I did want to get home today but love and associated hospitality of my co-citizens is evident at almost every step of the journey. I've camped in icy Rawalakot tonight.

..... 

Sunday, 14 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 318 of 2021

2233hrs:

Engagement with the public has been incessant today. It has no sign of receding until at least midnight at the earliest.

.........

The following relates to a speech by Beverly Hill at a conference organised by Kashmir Global Council, at Middle East Institute in Washington DC on November the 11th 2021.

Beverly Hill background in short:  

She is a doctor by profession, an human rights activist, a politician and a close friend of Hilary Clinton. She is very well connected in official circles and has travelled the world including India on official invitations. She also commands great respect amongst law makers)

Here are some excerpts from her speech:

(Washington DC)

“I stand here to express my solidarity with the people of Kashmir and endorse their call for independence."

"It is time to free Kashmir from a binary choice, forced on it in haste, by a departing colonial overlord. Nearly 75 years have passed since Great Britain left. The question is no longer whether Kashmir should accede to Pakistan or to India, but rather, how can Kashmir release itself from all powers to become an independent country."

"I will continue calling upon my fellow Americans to make US foreign policy consistent with our democratic principles." 

"We will continue urging Congress to create a pathway toward Kashmiri independence." 

 “When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. Let us send the elephants home.”

An Urdu translation of her speech can be read below:


The whole event can be watched here:
 
 

(Update: 15/11/21)
Reactions to the above were being felt where it mattered:

 

So much so, that I had to make the following comment myself:

Well, I consider this to be progress in some shape or form. I hope these events connect to a sustained meaningful dialogue amongst all shades of opinion in Jammu Kashmir & Allied areas (JKA), whereby a measured national narrative encompassing all concerns within this territory can be easily interpreted in the 4 capitals quoted above - but include a 5th namely London - where the genesis of this issue can be located. Thank you Beverly for taking these steps. 

(Update: 18/11/21)
A week after this event Beverly Hill made the following comments embedded below: 


.......

Saturday, 13 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 317 of 2021

2112hrs:

Travelling but have matured enough in routine to ensure consistency is maintained. Compound effects are also becoming increasingly visible.

.....


Friday, 12 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 316 of 2021

2221hrs:

In reverse gear today after yesterday's dividends. However, did spend some quality time engaging with a broader range of people than normal, on Sharda:


........

Thursday, 11 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 315 of 2021

2303hrs:

Changed my routine a bit today and reaped much reward. Later. the evening was dedicated to the other Cricket T20 World Cup semi-final. I think Pakistan played quite well but their fielding let them down once again. I was gunning for Australia - probably the first time in my life - and felt natural justice had to mediate after Warner was incorrectly given out caught behind, despite no connection with the bat. The Australians like most other 'Western' nations went about the task methodically and calmly. If Warner didn't get out he could've finished the game by the 15th over rather than the 19 it took.

However, in the final I'll be gunning for New Zealand. Not least, because Australia have already won too many competitions.

.....  

On a much more serious note:


............ 

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 314 of 2021

2248hrs:

A day of respite, which had to involve ignoring everything else, except a commitment to watching the first cricket T20 World cup semi final match between England and New Zealand. Once upon a time I used to support Pakistan. Now the tables have turned and I've proved Norman Tebbit wrong (at least in my case).

A pity England lost. They could have done a bit better with the bowling at their disposal. Congratulations to New Zealand though for toughing it out and finishing with a flourish.

.....  

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 313 of 2021

2025hrs:

I have changed my environment. From one scene to another.  The demand for my attention has not receded though.

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Monday, 8 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 312 of 2021

2320hrs:

There is too much to do. Adapting constantly is an acquired skill. Of course, there is always the compound effect.

.....

We can learn a lot from this video about the past, present and future of Jammu Kashmir & Allied areas:


......

Saturday, 6 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 310 of 2021

2121hrs:

The timing goes with the year but I have so much to do. So many requests for information (research data/analysis), so many communications to inquire about my well being, so many invitations to attend various functions in the forthcoming future and then so many other important matters of life that I constantly and painfully have to neglect.

What is certain is that winter must be utilised for hibernation more than anything else.

.....

Friday, 5 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 309 of 2021

1726hrs:

Its been many a day since I last relaxed at home. Having a lie in beyond midday is a luxury most cannot afford in this age.

Meanwhile, what government ministers say when in government is usually tantamount to 'all is well'. Here's an example:


.....

We do remember Ved Bhasin, who died 6 years ago today. A great human being as well as a dedicated public interest journalist. A pity I didn't spend as much time with him as I should have:

 

....... 

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 308 of 2021

2322hrs:

Yet another version of JKLF - (Sagheer group) on this occasion - held its district convention in Kotli today. Their banners also made it clear that the people of this territory are against the permanent division strategy resulting from Indo-Pak bilateralism and created by colonial Britain.

Here's just one example of the strength they showed today:


......

At the same venue (as above video footage) was of course another faction of the JKLF (Toqeer group) conducting their 19th day of a sit-in protest against the confiscation of their literature (ref. Declaration of Independence at Palandri on the 4th of September 2021):


...... 

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 307 of 2021

2146hrs:

Day 306 of 2021 was not to be either. Again despite ample opportunity. Perhaps this is an indication of how consuming life can be in AJK's capital Muzaffarabad.

....

Monday, 1 November 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 305 of 2021

1007hrs:

I'm trying to leave Muzaffarabad but Muzaffarabad isn't leaving me. Various trials of endurance seem to occur most when I'm in the capital.

I will try again today.

......

One important item on the agenda in Muzaffarabad was to re-visit the Department of Tourism & Archaeology, in reference to unsettled matters from the 13th of September:

Urdu video

 

In summary:

1 Nov 2021 outside Department of Tourism & Archaeology in Muzaffarabad after meeting Secretary Imtiaz Ahmed ref #Sharda Peeth 

3 matters agreed: 
1) Portraits will be restored inside sanctum 
2) Notice of request to take off footwear will be restored outside sanctum 
3) All restoration work on Peeth will involve prior consultation with the Kashmiri Pandit community

Camera work conducted by: Waseem Malik  

English video


.......

It's not often that we get to hear the 'real deal' in Gilgit Baltistan, more so on the day that commemorates the 1st of November 1947 rebellion against the Dogra governed State of Jammu Kashmir & Allied areas. Here's an apt example from an opposition leader Amjad Advocate (President of the PPP - Pakistan People's Party - GB Chapter) in the Gilgit Baltistan Assembly:


Translated thus:


Daily Diary (DD) - Day 341 of 2021

2110hrs:  I didn't finish the missing historic links of Sharda translation until 0900hrs this morning. I had been working on it intermit...