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Friday, 31 December 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 365 of 2021

0751hrs:

An early start for the last day of the year, in Muzaffarabad.

Not just an early start but a very late finish too...that broke the midnight barrier too...and not just any midnight barrier, it broke the annual barrier too! We began 2022 where we left 2021...in the field. A year earlier, we witnessed the same procedure in jail.


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Thursday, 30 December 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 364 of 2021

0858hrs:

The time has arrived for us to begin comparing our governance model with the one prevailing in AJK.

Watch this space.....

.....

The following is a disturbing account of how information, knowledge, creative learning and wisdom is stifled in AJK. This is particularly disturbing considering it is female students on this ocassion that have been targeted. I produce the report almost ad verbatim as it was sent to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP):

Dear HR Team

Female students at Women University Bagh were having a study circle on Kashmir History. As most of the books on Kashmir history are banned by Pakistan in Kashmir (AJK+GB), this study circle triggered the agencies and they forced the university to ban these students and the study circle on the ancient history of Kashmir. The leaked internal documents attached to this letter can show you that the university also initiated disciplinary action against the girls.

The women in Kashmir already have strict rules and regulations to follow from parents to society. As these young women try to break some chains the authorities are again trying to put them in line - in accordance with colonial rule - and for trying to learn their own ancient history.

The names of the students against whom the university have initiated disciplinary action for trying to conduct a study circle are:
 
1) Anisa Imtiaz 
2) Bakhtawar
3) Zainab Imtiaz
4) Ayesha Jabbar
5) Minahil
6) Ambreen Yaseen
7) Ayesha Ajaz
8) Laiba Basharat
9) Laraib Shafiq
10) Maryum Bibi
11) Mehvish Saleem
12) Uzma Yousaf
13) Shamah Manzoor
14) Samman Qaidat
15) Aneesa Akram
16) Ayesha Saddique
17) Samman Qayum
18) Aqsa Rasheed
19) Kinza Nadeem
20) Malaika
21) Tuba Altaf
22) Javeria Khan
23) Irum Saleem

The books in question are:   

1) 'Rajatarangini' by Pandit Kalhana - written in 1148 CE
2) 'History of Kashmir' by Muhammad Din Fauq - written in 1910 CE
3) 'Kishwar e Kashmir' by G.M Mir - written in 2004
4) 'Jammu Kashmir Book of Knowledge' by Muhammad Saeed Asad - written in 2015    

This was the invite:


Letter from Head of Department (HOD) and Women Student List:
 


HR Team 

The people of Kashmir already lack basic human rights; from freedom to take part in elections, freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly and freedom to learn their own history. The people in Pakistani Controlled Kashmir’s two administrative regions: Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB) do not have any freedom of expression under the pretext of national security. The appeasement of Islamabad by the Pakistani-imposed administrations of AJK and GB has led to a climate of fear for activists in the region and now this fear is being spread to students.  

End of report (copied almost ad verbatim) from an activist affiliated to HRCP, who describes themselves as 'Kashur Sheen'.

.... 

On this day, female activists of the area led by Nusrat Qureshi also conducted a press conference on this issue, threatening to conduct a sit-in protest outside the university if it did not reverse its decision and allow the female students to pursue their extra-curricular enquiry of Jammu Kashmir's territory and history: 



When the citizens of AJK, in particular student groups from throughout the territory and in its diaspora began agitating on this issue the University authorities issued the following - somewhat appeasing - press release:



I'll translate it here:

Women University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir - Bagh

Public Relations Office

Press Release: 30/12/21

Along with curricular activities the Women University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir also encourages positive extra curricular activities. Indeed, such activities are also organised within the institution. In particular, on the 'Kashmir Issue' and 'Kashmir History' 4 seminars have been conducted this year. 

Yesterday, some female students had held a study circle on their own accord, without seeking permission from the administration of the women's university. Note that it is compulsory to seek formal permission from the university administration before organising any (such) programme, which wasn't sought. 

The university administration in this respect merely demanded a report and did not enact any form of disciplinary action against the female students, neither do they intend to do so. The purpose is simply to maintain discipline as without discipline institutions cannot function (as an educational entity). 

The women's university encourages such programmes and 'Kashmir studies' is formally taught as a subject at this institution in Bagh. If anybody wishes to organise a seminar on 'Kashmir History' or 'Kashmir Issue' this institution would welcome such an initiative. 

We hold as dear the future of the female students in our institution and are as concerned about it as are the parents (of these students). 

End of translation......

Notes on above episode from the ground:

The university authorities have tried to present this episode as a 'permission' issue but this is not the case...study circles have been conducted before and this is just a face saving ploy. The university administration is still not giving permission to conduct the above referenced study circle. The latter are nevertheless keen to conduct a study circle that would be in line with the 'Sarkari' narrative (The State narrative which means the Pakistani narrative) and thus 'controlled'. 

However, with the issuance of this press release the university has announced that it hasn't and will not take any disciplinary action, subsequent to the agitation that occurred throughout AJK. That is the sum purpose/effect of the press release. They are still not willing to provide permission to the female students to conduct their extra curricular activity in an open learning environment. 

Meanwhile, the students continue to give multiple formal applications to the university administration but in response the latter is insisting that whatever the students want to conduct must be done in the supervision of the authorities viz. in a controlled manner.

In summary, such extra curricular activities have been conducted before but on this occasion - as the subject was the ancient history of Kashmir - the roving clandestine agencies (whose main function is to protect the Pakistani narrative in AJK, despite its fallacious intent and in contradiction to their public stance about supporting the people of JKA's right to self determination) swooped into action and ordered the vice chancellor of the university to prevent such 'open-minded' activity. Hence, the originally intended disciplinary action against 23 female students of the university.

End...

....

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 363 of 2021

2117hrs:

En route to Muzaffarabad for probably the thousandth time since April 2005. 

We make material as well as other advances at certain stages of our struggle.

......

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 362 of 2021

1124hrs:

Creating workable solutions for governance rather than endlessly sharing problems is our motto. For that, we remain vigilant and persistent in our efforts. It requires us to travel large distances at short notice. Such is our predicament today too.

.....

I was invited as chief guest to a youth cricket tournament in Bloh near Dagaar in rural Dadyaal today. This tournament also happened to take part on a piece of land adjacent or on my wider family's private property. I felt it opportune to remind/educate some of my adversaries about my relationship to Dadyaal, especially those who tried to propagate the perception that I was an outsider, in the wake of the Pakistani flag issue on 21 August 2020:


.......

Monday, 27 December 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 361 of 2021

1528hrs:

Marching on towards the storm....

......

We will continue to keep you posted on the pursuit of justice for 11 year old Kanwal Matloob. The following indicates the emergence of a diaspora committee of Dadyaal seeking justice for Kanwal and other children who have been sexually abused and killed.

Kanwal Matloob Action Committee UK:



.......

The following is a notable achievement for civil society in AJK in general and Muzaffarabad in particular. We congratulate the public rights activist Shahid Awan of Muzaffarabad for his consistent struggle to introduce the concept of 'Punishment and Reward' (Saza and Jaza in Urdu) in AJK governance, hitherto unheeded to since 1947 and which has operated inversely to date. That is, those deserving a reward have been punished and vice versa:

........

 

Sunday, 26 December 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 360 of 2021


1412hrs:

A lot of commotion happening on JKA. That's Jammu Kashmir & Allied. A nomenclature I'm using to make simple sense of c. 85,000 square miles of territory, geographically situated between (six) of the largest collection of mountain ranges in the world and in the vicinity of almost half the world's population. Among other strategic factors, it is the most contested freshwater source of the world too. 

Yesterday evening a notable personality of our territory, asked me for a note on happenings over the past few days, in relation to JKNSF Azad's emphatically successful convention on the 24th and 25th of December in Kotli.

He wanted to send it to some foreign diplomats.

There's a lot of untoward happening in the United Kingdom too. We are investigating obstruction and illegal surveillance of the internal narrative in AJK there.

Here's the note:


















Growing tension emerged between pro Pakistani influences and pro freedom voices over the past few days in AJK. This was in the wake of 27 year old chairman of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) Manzoor Pashteen's invitation to attend Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation's (JKNSF Azad) convention in Kotli on the 24th and 25th of December 2021.

Despite being a peaceful movement of Pashtuns seeking redressal of grave human rights violations on their people by the military organ of the Pakistani State, PTM's genuine grievances rather than being heard have led to them being proscribed and targeted for raising their voice. Such a movement's chairman being invited into AJK by a decades old students organisation in this territory - known for its 'resistance of occupation' politics - created panic in Pakistan's establishment circles.

The latter reacted by issuing a notification to ban Manzoor Pashteen's entry into AJK on the 22nd of December. They also underwent a propaganda drive to counter NSF's (short for JKNSF and used hereon) convention. A previously obscure organisation 'Tehreek e Jawanaan Kashmir' (referred to as TJK hereon) led by Irfan Ashraf of Rawalakot led this propaganda drive in favour of the Pakistani State, by announcing that they would celebrate M. A. Jinnah's birthday in Kotli on the 25th; as a show of power to drown out nationalistic influences in the territory. Meanwhile, the Pakistani State also tried to prevent the NSF convention from going ahead as announced.



What transpired on the 24th and 25th of December is that the NSF convention went ahead as scheduled in Kotli. Many other pro freedom voices and parties announced their solidarity with the NSF and condemned the Pakistani State's attempts to muzzle internal voices here once again. Even advising the NSF to defy these obstructions.

Irfan Ashraf known to work very closely with Pakistan's intelligence agencies - which almost won him a legislative seat at the recently concluded elections here - couldn't muster more than 20 people for TJK's birthday celebration of Pakistan's founder on Christmas Day. This is despite the heavy propaganda campaign leading up to this event. A day before in Kotli (on the 24th) they had tried hard to persuade the public of Kotli - by loudspeaker announcements throughout the city - to participate at this event. It is clear from photos, videos and local knowledge that hardly any local participated. Those who did were either from Rawalakot or were Pakistani citizens.

Whereas JKNSF Azad engaged a few hundred people at both their convention on the 24th and their public gathering on the 25th, as photos and videos will indicate. They were able to gain sympathy and credibility at home and abroad while those sponsored by the Pakistani State could hardly gain any traction in Kotli at all.

There was heavy police presence throughout Kotli over these couple of days, as anything was possible. The 'authorities' did jam communications through part of the day on the 25th, which prevented Manzoor Pashteen from addressing NSF's convention via electronic communication.


It has been noticed particular in the last couple of years - post August 2019 - that whatever the Pakistani State does to counter Jammu Kashmir & Allied's internal narrative - tends to backfire on them - leaving them humiliated and exposed in the eyes of local public opinion as well as among our diaspora. Countless examples can be referred to in this respect.

End of note...

Here are a couple of photos to show the contrast:

1) Pro Pakistan forces in Kotli on Christmas Day


2) Pro freedom forces in Kotli on Christmas Day


The following video gives you a dynamic contrast of the 2 events (2 narratives) occurring in such close proximity to each other and simultaneously at that:

 

Earlier in the day, JKNSF Azad's procession from Shaheed Chowk in the following video can also be compared to TJK's procession to Abshaar Chowk in the previous video:


.........

Meanwhile, on this very day an interview of former prime minister of AJK Raja Farooq Haider was conducted by JK News Urdu in Smaahni:


Here are some salient points that he mentioned during his interview:

AJK is not recognised anywhere in the world and Pakistan has never taken this point seriously. The latter is adamant on representing us.

There is a concerted effort to dilute the 'Kashmir Issue' and permanently divide the territory of Jammu & Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Pakistan's attempts to merge Gilgit Baltistan into its federation is a step in that direction.

The recently concluded 'Russell Tribunal' in Sarajevo (Bosnia) has nothing to do with the Pakistani government. It was something instigated by our diaspora. Pakistan's role is effectively non-existent.

Demographic change is taking place on both sides of the Line of Control and Pakistan was first in conducting such measures (in GB).

Raja Farooq Haider reiterates the point that until the people of this territory are not given the opportunity to represent themselves, Kashmir will continue to be perceived as a land dispute between India and Pakistan. In such a scenario, the world will always give precedence to the rising economy of India rather than the sinking economy of Pakistan. Thus, we have no face value, he contends.

The State of Jammu & Kashmir is a multi religious society, not a fundamentalist Muslim entity.

His concluding message to all citizens (young and old) of Jammu Kashmir (& Allied) as it stood on the 14th of August 1947 is to do whatever is possible to save this State, if you want to continue your existence.

He recognised that our plight is because we are surrounded by large nuclear powers and that we need to instigate democratic institutions throughout the developed world. He also recognised that there is barely any democracy in the Muslim World. Raja Farooq Haider considered social media to be a powerful tool and urged our people - local and in the diaspora - to persistently highlight our plight.

End....

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Saturday, 25 December 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 359 of 2021

1815hrs:

It's been a phenomenal past 24 hours or so. I didn't sleep a wink. Constant and almost uninterrupted communication face to face complimented the usual electronic format. Much to report. Stay tuned. Don't go away.

.....

Merry Christmas to all my Christian siblings in humanity.

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Various significant personalities of AJK are making a point of visiting the home of Kanwal Matloob in Dadyaal. The 11 year old child who was brutally raped and beheaded by a Pakistani citizen who apparently remained undetected for 25 days. On this occasion, the chief justice of AJK High Court Raja Sadaqat paid a visit to the victim's home:


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My speech at the night convention of JKNSF. It was short, sharp and in Pahaari:


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Friday, 24 December 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 358 of 2021

1452hrs:

It is always uncomfortable to know that despite working all hours of the day, there are still various important matters that remain pending and people's security is at stake.

.... 

Thursday, 23 December 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 357 of 2021

1835hrs:

We drive on..............conscious of all those specks of information that undesirably get ignored along the way.

....

Manzoor Pashteen (27 year old chairman of 'Pashtun Tahafuz - Protection - Movement') is dominating public space in AJK for the past few days, particularly after JKNSF (Jammu Kashmir National Student's Federation) invited him to their convention, to be held in Kotli on the 24th and 25th of December. 
 

Yesterday, the 'home department' of AJK came into action with the following notification to effectively ban Manzoor Pashteen from entering as well as publicly speaking in AJK:

 

 Since, this issue emerged I have been requested by various co-citizens - including the current chairman of JKNSF namely Faran Mushtaq - to give my opinion on these latest attacks on freedom of speech, expression, assembly and movement conjured up by Pakistan's clandestine agencies; on this occasion by using the obscure 'home department' of AJK as a proxy:

This evening, a programme involving Faran Mushtaq, anchor Khwaja Kabir Ahmed and 2 barristers of Poonch - both based in Canada - namely Junaid Bahadur Khan and Hamid Bashani, discussed this issue threadbare on JKTV:

  


At some point during the day, Liaqat Hayat of NAP (National Awami Party) who has his own version of JKNSF as a student wing, also challenged the Pakistani State to prevent Manzoor Pashteen from entering AJK, as follows:


Update 24/12/21:

I also chipped in with my Pahaari version of a statement in reference to this critical issue:


......

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 356 of 2021

2111hrs:

Everything is a choice,an opportunity, a risk and a fight between some variation of good and bad. 

....

Although this programme actually took place after midnight my time (which is AJK time), in consideration that this discussion took place with someone in the UK namely Claire Bidwell and with somebody in the USA namely Mary Scully, both representing 'Let Kashmir Decide' and both of whom were in a time zone reflecting today's date, I've embedded the programme here:


Now, in just the past few days I've been engaged in two web programmes that were diametrically opposite in their approach. The earlier programme last Sunday was presented from a pro Indian angle and this latter programme today approached the subject with an overwhelming focus on India's role in Jammu Kashmir & Allied areas. 

Every angle is entitled to their views just as much as I am entitled to mine, which focuses on neutrality and developing water management technology in this overly contested region.

......

Tuesday, 21 December 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 355 of 2021

1530hrs:

According to some very senior analysis in this territory it seems the knives are out for me, just like they were for my predecessors (some of whom I didn't agree with). Namely, K. H. Khursheed, Maqbool Bhat, Sardar Qayoom, Sardar Ibrahim, Mirwaiz Yusuf, Choudhary Ghulam Abbas and Mumtaz Rathore. All these were gigantic/titanic personalities but the State (read: Pakistan) did not allow them to flourish. We have everything available but when we go against the State, they have the apparatus, the machinery, they have other resources available to kill us and kill our work..and they succeed. For example, they (read: Pakistan) promote Raja Najabat Hussain who perhaps cannot even write his name (simply meaning that he isn't able to articulate much in writing) but they need him as the latter is ever ready to sell his soul. In reference to me, if they (the Pakistanis) arrest me again, through some pretext or the other (maybe by planting some drugs in my home or whatever), its a strange world.

On my part, I will continue to remain vigilant and preempt anything untoward by Pakistan's clandestine agencies - using the various methods at my disposal - to transition from an economy of war to an economy of peace. Will this make the Pakistani State's raison d'etre and military dominance of society evaporate? I don't want to speculate but pursuing pro life policies for the sake of humanity at large cannot be stalled for the sake of intermittent destruction that benefits the few. 

An albatross on the neck of the world's conscience.   

.....

Monday, 20 December 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 354 of 2021

2318hrs:

It's a shame that I can't detail everything that I notice in public interest every 24 hours. The amount of calls I get on a daily basis informing me of something or the other that merits my attention is unmanageable. One such example was the following protest that blocked the main road between the district capital of Kotli in AJK and Rawalpindi/Islamabad in Pakistan at Potha in Sehnsa, my home subdivision. The issue: Many retired Pakistani army personnel of our territory have not been paid their pensions for months and I understand similar complaints have emerged from other parts of AJK too.


.....

The following is an example of something being published today that I submitted yesterday but had been due many days earlier, if not for the swamp of work at hand:

........

 

Sunday, 19 December 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 353 of 2021

2219hrs:

Speaking to someone 43 years older than me and he's sharper than I ever could be. 

He's 92 and I'm 49.

He remained sharp throughout the conversation which lasted for over 1 and a half hour.

........

Earlier, I was engaged in a somewhat novel TV discussion aired from Srinagar, which is clearly pro-India in its approach. It was interesting trying to gauge the relative merits or otherwise of India coming to take over this part of Jammu Kashmir & Allied areas compared to the merits of locally conceived strategies for water management and neutrality that I am pursuing. It would also have been meaningful for a Pakistani perspective to have been featured too, rather than seeking answers to Pakistan's ills from me. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the discussion and hope we can build on the engagement in future:

On Youtube:


On Facebook:

I did leave the following comment on their Facebook video:

Thank you for an engaging conversation. I hope we can build on such engagements in an open-minded manner and include further perspectives that exist throughout the State of Jammu Kashmir & Allied. 

End.....

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Saturday, 18 December 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 352 of 2021

1647hrs:

The weather is getting chillier by the day. The absence of rain is a major factor.

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Friday, 17 December 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 351 of 2021

2032hrs:

Very smooth sailing today, except for a couple of minor shortcomings which had been overlooked by public agency....


Just before that a brief interview with a local channel:


.......

Here's advance notice of an upcoming programme on JKTV, to be hosted by 'Let Kashmir Decide':


......

I had to make a note of the following video, for its quick witted humour as well as a short yet valuable history lesson:


The above is a screenshot, as alas I cannot embed it here. However, I can provide the link.

My immediate reaction upon watching this video was:

British arrogance or sharpness of mind needed to deal with geopolitics of 21st century?

I then decided to ask Portmir founder Reiss Haidar on what he made of it:

British humour is dry, and you need to live amongst Brits to appreciate what they're like - so I would say alacrity to assimilate information quickly. 

I grew up amongst Brits, and this is why I don't feel threatened by them. I understand the humour, the banter, the joking at one's expense, they're just people, ordinary people - the clip you sent is Brits laughing at themselves.

I can put my hand on my heart and say I've experienced more humanity from Brits than I have members of my own ethnic community, and this is me being honest. They don't take liberties, Apne (our people) do, or at least, that's been my experience.

Tribal loyalties borne of deep seated grievances can blind a person, we need to take our intellectual cues from the West because they've become redemptive. We don't need to take sides anymore.

No Brit would have ever dragged you across the floor for removing the Union Jack from Parliament, they're just not like that (white supremacists excluded), but if you listen to people constantly conjuring up the past (Islamists, Marxists, Pan-Africans, Communists, Russians, etc etc) you'd be left with the residue of observations that no longer apply. 

They've moved on massively from the days when people were chanting "rule Britannia..." Britain is a very different place today, it's not perfect, but compared to Pakistan and AJK it's a breath of fresh air.

However, I will say that there does seem to be a lot of envy against them, not least because they can lay claim to a heritage that they're still connected to - one that is respected across the world. 

It doesn't erase all the bad things of colonialism, but we come from Zamindar backgrounds. How did our people view people lower in the social hierarchy? How do we treat women, children, even the elderly?

Old people's homes? The usual put-down. When I get older I would like to retire to an old people's home even though I took care of my dad before he passed away, because that was his culture, and I honoured his wishes. I know the difference between realities and sentiments.

So, yup geopolitics requires an understanding of raw realities, and not sentiments.

We need to keep these discussions going :).

....

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 350 of 2021

1554hrs:

Preparing for my first public address in my home tehsil of Sehnsa, which will be tomorrow in Jammu Chowk Sehnsa, after Jumma prayers.

...

Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 349 of 2021

1830hrs: 

Rolling along....health equals real wealth equals real possibilities......

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Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 348 of 2021

1856hrs:

As any regular reader of this weblog can assess, we move from logging one issue to the next - usually without much respite - and the following issue demanding our attention relates to 'Evacuee Properties' or 'Matrooka Jaidaad', as they are referred to in Urdu. 

Like most problems affecting the public here, they all either originate from the needless conflict imposed on this region in 1947 or relate to governance - usually the absence of it - and both aspects are usually inter-related or even inter-dependent, when searching for sustainable solutions.

...... 

Before we enter into specific details of the case I am focussing on; let's provide an overview of the status of the revenue department (Mehekma e Maal) in AJK, courtesy a video report by Dunya News (a prominent Pakistani media channel) on March the 1st 2018:


Let me provide a word for word translation of the video above:

Tazeem Yasin (presenting journalist)
According to jail records there are about 800 prisoners in Azad Kashmir, of which most prisoners have (allegedly) committed a crime - in relation to land disputes - and have landed behind bars in prison.  

Lawyer in Muzaffarabad
Our whole judicial system relies on cases generated by the land revenue department. Of which the basic framework begins with the patwari (lowest rung of land record keeping and collecting staff) system, that has held all the public of Azad Kashmir as hostage and I think that if there are reforms conducted within the revenue department, the courts would just have 20% of cases left to resolve.  

(Another) Lawyer in Muzaffarabad
Those who are in jail at the moment, those who are facing trial or serving sentences, most of them are comprised of those people who are embroiled in land disputes. Due to the revenue department, particularly due to their incorrect inputs on land record documents. There are murder cases, of which many are due to these incorrect/false inputs on land record documents.

Tazeem Yasin (presenting journalist)
According to judicial statistics too, the cause of most crimes committed is the weak and bogus system of the revenue department. 

Journalist in Muzaffarabad
Disputes over land have increased so much, that prisons are being filled and there are thousands of cases which transfer from one generation to the next. The fundamental cause is that written note of the patwari, which who knows developed in which era. 

Tazeem Yasin (presenting journalist)
In this modern information technology age we (are still) using a land revenue system developed in the 16th century, which has not been reformed yet. Whereas the hand of the criminal is equipped with modern tools to alter the land record.

As the revenue department's system is outdated and bogus, large financial scandals in Azad Kashmir are also emanating from this very department.

End of translation of video report......

Let's now move on to the private land of Ratan Singh (his widow Kishna Bi) and Sardar Singh (his widow Guru) of Naluchi in Muzaffarabad city, which so happens to be adjacent to the land of the 'Chatti Badshahat' (translated as 'sixth kingdom') in reference to Guru Gobind Singh, the 6th Guru of the Sikhs, after whom this Gurdwara is named.

In old(er) records the names Ratan Singh and Lakha Singh (both sons of Santoo Singh), Sardar Singh, Balwant Singh, Kishna Bi (widow of Ratan Singh), Guru (widow of Sardar Singh), Virnaam Singh, Jagat Singh, Bhagat Singh and Preetam Singh (all aforementioned four were sons of Hukam Singh) who had shared landholdings with Pakka Singh, all feature. Most, if not all of these Sikhs would have very likely had some devotional or even occupational connection with the 'sixth kingdom' of the Sikhs of Muzaffarabad:


We are in search of their descendants wherever they may be in the world, after being forced to flee in the 2 nation theory based 'operation' in 1947. Not least, so that they can help prevent the same tragedy happening to someone else, as happened to them in 1947. Everything does come full circle and humanity has a tradition of biting back.  

We know that Ratan Singh and Sardar Singh had children. We also know that the Sikhs living in the area of Naluchi and Gojra - in the vicinity of the gurdwara - were one of the first areas that the tribesmen from Pakistan's then North West Frontier region and beyond attacked around the 22nd of October 1947.

This particular issue has been brought to my attention by Malik Waseem, the son of Ghulam Qadir, whose father was Ahmed Malik, whose wife was Sarwar Jan, the paternal grandmother of Malik Waseem. After Waseem's paternal grandfather Ahmed Malik died in 1952 his paternal grandmother Sarwar Jan later married Sher Khan in 1958. The following is the original certificate confirming proprietary rights ('maalkana huqooq' in local parlance) to this family (to Sarwar Jan) of the land of Ratan Singh (and his descendants) on 25/06/1986:


The above certificate of ownership cannot be obtained without the following declaration form, which clarifies details of the land in question, construction on those lands, details of members of family with proprietary rights, date of initial habitation (occupancy) and date of being allotted:


Malik Waseem's family (grandparents) had migrated to Muzaffarabad from Kupwara in 1947, which came on the Indian side of the divide. Specifically they migrated from what is now Union Council Luderwan, in tehsil (subdivision) Handwara - which was then part of district Baramulla - and is now a part of district Kupwara. 

They began habitating on this land in 1949 since when they have been settled here, prior to which they had lived in a refugee camp, since they migrated in 1947. On 16/05/1968, Waseem's paternal grandmother Sarwar Jan was allotted 12 kanaal and 5 marla.

Here's the document (Allotment Chit in local parlance) confirming this:


Kanaal = a unit of area measuring 605 square yards (505.857 square metres) or 1/8th of an acre.
Marla =  there are 20 marlas in 1 Kanaal

Malik Waseem's paternal grandmother had over the years forfeited a total of 9 kanaals and 3 marlas to 6 other refugee families who she felt were needy and deserving while retaining the remainder of her entitlement (3 kanaal 2 marlas) for her descendants. 

The land in question (3 kanaal 2 marlas) is documented below with the land revenue department ref. 27/06/1986 (2 days after receiving the ownership certificate as shown at the beginning of this post):


Khevat =  was Zamindar\'s record of rights prior to Zamindari Abolition

The fifth and final official document outlining her entitlement can be witnessed in the following image, which in local parlance is described as 'Khasra Gardaawari' as recorded before the re-distribution of land in 1997, in reference to the area in question namely 'Naluchi':


.....

(Update 18/01/22 at 0134hrs):

A lot happened yesterday viz. 17/01/22 and remains unresolved....

I received a call from Malik Waseem at about 1630hrs and sent out the following message when the call ended:

Our friend Malik Waseem has been evicted from his home by AJK police. His family migrated here from Kupwara in 1947. The land belongs to a Sikh family (Evacuee Property) who we have been trying to trace for the last month or so. His whole family is now conducting a sit-in protest on the road and he is threatening to commit suicide in the next hour or so if the Commissioner Muzaffarabad division does not intervene.

The following video was attached too:


The rest of the evening yesterday and up to this point have kept me engaged with Muzaffarabad, a couple of other places in AJK, the UK diaspora and their North American counterparts.

Just over an hour later....

His father has suffered from a suspected heart attack while sitting on the road after being evicted. His elderly mother, wife and 2 young children are also on the road and the police are still giving them a rough time. Meanwhile, Malik's father has been rushed to Ambor hospital:


Malik Waseem's father at Ambor hospital, Muzaffarabad:


At about 2100hrs I am informed that the commissioner suggests that there must be a written complaint in order for official action to be taken. I know Malik Waseem is in no condition to write a complaint and thus I suggest that he send me an audio clip with the necessary details to intimate to the commissioner, which I will then summarise in written form on his behalf.


Here's the letter to the Divisional Commissioner of Muzaffarabad: 

Complaint ref. Land issue/eviction from evacuee property

Complainant:
Malik Waseem s/o Ghulam Qadir
ID Card number: 82203-5742876-9
Address: Mohalla Naluchi, Ward number 25, Muzaffarabad - AJK

Addressed to: Divisional Commissioner - Muzaffarabad
Copies to: Global human rights organisations & related miscellaneous

Date: 17/01/2022
Time: 1947hrs

Dear Commissioner

My family (ailing parents, wife and infant children) and I have been sitting outside on the 
street since around 1500hrs (3pm) today when we were forcibly evicted from our home by 
Saddar (Thana) police - earlier while only womenfolk of the house were present - and they were accompanied by tehsildar Syed Sabir Hussain Naqvi. Our property was sealed in an 
opportune manner, without prior notice.

No such legal order to evict us and/or seal our property has been passed by the civil, 
session, custodian, high or supreme court. We do not know who ordered this 'action'.

At around 1800hrs (6pm) while sitting with my family on the roadside and whilst trying to 
fend off the police and local administration my elderly father suffered a heart attack - he 
wasn't allowed access to his medicine at home either - and has since been admitted at 
Ambor hospital.

On the 14th of January our stay of execution had been dismissed from civil court number 
one. We appealed against this in the district judge's court and received another stay of 
execution this morning. Having received this order and before I could reach home I 
received a call from my parents that the police had forcibly entered our premises, 
frightened my children and humiliated the womenfolk of my house.

Over the past few years, I have been writing excessively on these issues and raised them at 
various public forums over the past few years but never received appropriate remedy. 

Background:

Raja Tariq Khan was a judge in the Custodian court who visited England some years ago 
and during that visit my adversary in this case namely, Sheikh Faisal s/o Fayaz Qureshi 
(who resides in the UK) fed many people money in the (land revenue department) chain 
from top to bottom, including judge Tariq.

The term 'zaid ul mayaad' (English translation means overdue) was quoted in the earlier 
supreme court hearing. Our argument is that we have been living here since 1949 and fraud has been conducted to evict us. It is been allotted to someone else whilst we were still 
residing here.

These lands belong to those non Muslims who were killed or driven away from this 
territory. 

As refugees ourselves, we were allotted this land in 1968 and had been occupying it since 
1949. In 1985, we also paid 'maalkana' to the custodian for effective formal occupancy. 
Since then, nobody has questioned our presence till 2019 when an application was made in 
the tehsildaar's office. Patwari Ghulam Abbas Qureshi at the time misguided my father to 
challenge the allotment claimed by the other party (our adversary), which didn't even have 
legal status. Thus, the patwari instead of correcting our record put my father on a 
deliberately misguided course, as a result of which a 'miyaadi' (effectively time limitation 
clause) was enforced.

Demand:

What I am demanding is a comprehensive re-inquiry be conducted of this whole case, 
which I allege widespread fraud has been committed over. A commission should be formed comprising of honest people. All the manipulation of land records in the revenue 
department should be investigated. For example, the land that we have been allotted (to my paternal grandmother Sarwar Jan); if we cannot stay here then where is the land that we 
have been allotted? Who has committed fraud and at what stage was it committed?                      
I feel that this act is simply a conspiracy to spread anarchy in this region and to spoil the 
peaceful environment of AJK. This I understand. The authorities have humiliated and 
disgraced us. They have forced us to conduct a sit-in protest on the roadside with nowhere 
to go in this freezing cold.

My father is in hospital at the moment and if anything untoward happens to him, I did say 
that I will immolate myself (burn myself to death). I have momentarily retreated from that 
because the administration is saying that they will now measure the land in question. I 
responded that if they do so, then we will get up from the roadside. If indeed the land 
measurement exercise clarifies who is entitled to occupancy.

I also put these questions and dilemma to Muzaffarabad's social and political organisations. Furthermore, even local human rights organisations, the press and lawyer's bodies. Is 
trespassing into a home of womenfolk and disgracing them an act of humanity? Is this the 
standard we have set ourselves? Is duplicity in all matters the norm and are we all resigned 
to that?

We remain peaceful. It should be remembered that it was this very AJK government that allotted this land to us and we do not want to fight. All we can do in reaction is sit on the road and protest. At the moment my father is critical in hospital. May Allah give him life and 
health. Everything now depends on his unfolding condition and we will lay out our next 
plan of action accordingly.

If anything happens to my father I will immolate myself as well as my wife and children; 
either in Gilani Chowk, outside the press club or even inside the supreme court itself.   

Yours sincerely 

Malik Waseem

n.b.
The above letter is a translated summary derived from an audio message in Urdu and sent 
to Tanveer Ahmed, an action-oriented public policy researcher working uninterrupted on 
the ground in AJK since April 2005.

The audio message as well as further background details on this issue can be accessed at 
the following link: 

https://tanveerandkashmir.blogspot.com/2021/12/daily-diary-dd-day-348-of-2021.html 

End of letter......

I'm obviously working now beyond midnight and I do know that a range of negotiations 
are taking place near Malik Waseem's 'home'. Here's an example:


As I wrap up for the day - at 0350hrs - some people may wonder why I'm stretching myself to assist Malik Waseem. Well, he has always stretched himself to assist me in matters of public interest - whenever I contacted him - since 2010. He has assisted me in all aspects of our pursuit to revive religious harmony in AJK in general and revitalise the pre-eminent centre of learning at Sharda. 

He suffered and faced victimisation as a youth in his student politics days when he was with the JKNSF, facing jail and the prospect of sectarian violence. He feels that he has been targeted more intensely when he acted as one of the hosts of the Hindu (Vijay Abrol) and  Sikh (Devinder Singh Behal) in Muzaffarabad, when they visited from across the LOC in 2013.


Needless to say, there are a lot of people who don't like the idea of co-existence, especially between the Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims of Jammu Kashmir & Allied areas (JKA). Anybody working on that line is automatically targeted. Most of us know what happened to Arif Shahid soon after this visit.

According to Malik Waseem, matters intensified when he assisted me in hosting a Hindu couple from Hong Kong when they visited Muzaffarabad in October 2019. The couple achieved a milestone by conducting the first Hindu puja (worship/ritual) on the banks of the river Neelam (Kishenganga) in AJK since 1947.


All told, everything has to be taken into consideration, given that we are part of the most contested territory in the world. The word 'land' takes on new dimensions here. The role of the land mafia ironically connects internal land-grabbing of 2022 with external land grabbing in 1947! 

.......

Daily Diary (DD) - Day 269 of 2022

2258hrs: Day 113 at Maqbool Bhat Shaheed Square - Dadyaal. 0757hrs My punctuality deficit has decreased to 42 minutes. Punctuality percentag...