Dr Shabir Choudhry
Only a few weeks ago, this man known as Prime Minister of Pakistani Kashmir was hailed as a hero, because many erroneously thought that he challenged his political master in Islamabad and demanded abrogation of imperialist laws known as Act 74.
I was among those who seriously suspected this; and wrote an article: Will Pakistan empower people of Azad Kashmir? I wrote:
‘…relationship between Azad Kashmir and Pakistan is that of occupier and occupied. Pakistan’s policies with regard to Jammu and Kashmir have been imperial in nature; and have been camouflaged in name of religion to hoodwink people’.
‘An imperial country does not empower occupied people. They exploit their resources; and systematically create a class of collaborators to serve and protect their interests. Occupiers and imperialists enslave people, mentally and physically, by use of massive propaganda; and by depriving them access to their history, culture and appropriate education’.
It must be pointed out that a country which does not give fundamental rights to its own citizens WILL NEVER grant rights to the people under their occupation. In Gilgit Baltistan and so called Azad Kashmir, we are under occupation of Pakistan; and the occupying country will never empower us. They will have likes of Raja Farooq Haider to belittle us, accuse us and ridicule us; and where necessary torture us and use force to curb our genuine peaceful political activities.
As expected, a puppet Prime Minister of so called Azad Kashmir, who works under ‘Lent Officers’ of Pakistan and the Pakistani secret agencies has come out with true colours. He has used very abusive language against those who believe in united and independent Jammu and Kashmir. He has openly called them ‘bastards’ and ‘agents of India’; and expressed his determination to crush them.
How can a person with this mentality see his political masters in eyes and challenge them for the fundamental rights of the people of this disputed region? Hitherto, struggle of people of Azad Kashmir have been peaceful, as they don’t want to take law in their hands. They don’t want bloodshed in this region. They want to pursue their struggle peacefully.
Some people of so called Azad Kashmir tried to deflect these allegations; and in a way tried to take this matter rather lightly by saying that Raja Farooq Haider was under influence of some drugs he allegedly takes. I disagree with narrative. He has instructions from his bosses, for example, GOC Murree, GHQ, ISI and other secret agencies to curb growing political activities of these nationalist citizens who are ‘polluting’ minds of those who are mental slaves of Pakistan.
We citizens of Jammu and Kashmir who are not mental slaves; and espouse pro people, pro peace and pro-independence policies need to understand that Raja Farooq Haider and other traditional politicians are part of the Pakistani infrastructure, which was established to keep us enslaved. Their task is to ensure that we remain loyal to Islamabad; and regard Pakistan as a Messiah; and not an occupier.
Because anti India narrative sells and people in general accept nearly everything said by officials, Farooq Haider has also alleged that pro-independence ideology is pro India ideology and sponsored by New Delhi. He even said, those who don’t adhere to ideology of accession to Pakistan have no space to live in ‘Azad Kashmir’. This is clearly an attack on our integrity, our loyalty to Jammu and Kashmir and our ideology; and against the UN Resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir.
This extremely abusive and humiliating language could be an attempt to provoke us that we become violent; and provide Police and Pakistan army an opportunity to crush us. We must ensure that our struggle remains peaceful. However, we have every right to protest and campaign against these merchants who are selling us to Islamabad.
It is a considered policy of the Pakistani establishment to prepare youths of ‘Azad Kashmir’ for ‘Jihad’ against ‘Hindu India’; and liberate the Kashmir under their control. They see everything in light of policy of hatred and, in doing so, they take hot headed youths of ‘Azad Kashmir’ across the LOC to be killed.
The Pakistani establishment fears that if these hot minded youths stay here in ‘Azad Kashmir’, they can be a threat to their designs in this region, as these pro action people can pick up gun against Islamabad. They still have not forgotten the armed conflict of 1950s; in which more than 120 soldiers of Pakistan surrendered in Rawalakot, Azad Kashmir.
While remaining peaceful, we need to understand that we are occupied by Pakistan and DONOT have fundamental rights; and even a right to protest. How can we forget our status, our powerlessness and go across the Line of Control to help our brothers and sisters?
It is sad that we are forcibly divided and occupied by more than one country. They disagree on everything under the sky; but agree that people of Jammu and Kashmir must not get independence. While keeping that in mind, we have to understand that we cannot liberate other regions of the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir when we ourselves are occupied and oppressed. Therefore, our struggle is here, against the country that occupies us.
Writer is a renowned write and author of many books. He is also a leader of UKPNP and Chairman South Asia Watch, London.
Email: Drshabirchoudhry@gmail.com Twitter: @Drshabir