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Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

The Baggage Of Kashmir

In Kashmir, Politics on 19 October, 2008 at 8:26 pm

For almost six decades Pakistan has been carrying the baggage of Kashmir, unable to resolve it. Musharraf was Kashmir’s best bet, his efforts now rest in history. Unable to bear the baggage of Kashmir anymore, Pakistan through a well thought of policy is throwing off the same. While as it might have been an over-sight and not much credence should be given to news items such as these

“Federal Information Minister Sherry Rehman was thrilled over the fact that everybody was convinced with her presentation highlighting the government’s policy during the in-camera session of the Parliament,” a participant told The News. He said that some PML-N members protested saying one of the maps used in the briefing showed Occupied Kashmir as part of India. The PML-N raised a lot of hue and cry over it. However, a federal cabinet member told The News that three maps were shown during her presentation and that two maps very clearly showed Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) as disputed territory but one map shown in the briefing was blurred which misled the PML-N members.
The News

…however, it does though show Pakistan’s efforts at gentle shifts in its Kashmir Policy and it also shows that it is testing its domestic waters at the same time. When Zardari termed the Kashmiri Militants as Terrorists; there was the usual expected opposition from the politicians, however the people of Pakistan seemed to take it in stride, to some extent it could be because of being bogged down by the back-breaking inflation, but more so because the people of Pakistan, the younger generations, no longer see Kashmir as their problem with the same lens they did in the past. This shift will in itself shall help Kashmir’s cause more than their support, since India would no longer be able to label the Kashmir Struggle as Cross Border Terrorism. And also so because the younger generations of Kashmir do not identify themselves as easily and sympathetically with Pakistan as the older generations did. To the young people of Kashmir, Pakistan is as far off as say Saudi Arab. One would make a mistake though if one were to say their desire for freedom is that far, it is closer than ever before.

 

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Zardari’s Good News Was No Good News At All, As Predicted

In Kashmir, News on 7 October, 2008 at 3:27 am

Zardari has termed the Kashmiri Freedom Fighters (including the Hurriyat Conference) as Terrorists.

President Zardari termed the Hurriat leaders in occupied Kashmir as “terrorists”, adding that he had no objection to the India-US nuclear cooperation pact so long as Islamabad was treated “at par” with New Delhi. The News

In his first press conference after taking oath as the President of Pakistan, Zardari had said that the world would soon hear good newon Kashmir. Having called Kashmiris terrorists he has doled out tons of good news for India, not for Kashmir! For me this is no surprise as I blogged earlier about Zardari’s claims:

….one should really not expect anything huge (at most the good news may be opening of trade route)…

And trade routes are already in the process of being opened

…And about Zardari, one should not expect much from Zardari, who is disliked in Pakistan apparently more than Musharraf was…

Read the entire post Zardari’s Good News May Be No News At All here.

Much before he was elected a President, in March, he suggested that Pakistan would put the Kashmir issue on the back burner, for the future generations to solve. It was obvious since then, Zardari wanted to concentrate on trade ties with India! A single person though can not change what an entire nation thinks, therefore he had to back-track on his first comment on Kashmir. The vibes of how he felt about Kashmir were sent across nevertheless. He may draw some flak in Pakistan for his latest quip, however the effect it will have (and is supposed to cause) will not reverse. I just blogged about The End Of Hurriyat, and it appears to be a lot more truer and closer than I imagined; Pakistan is finally pulling the plug on Hurriyat and that would be Hurriyat’s last nail in the coffin.

I sincerely hope that a new, free from bias, young leadership emerges in Kashmir. In October of 1947 Kashmir was occupied by India, and it appears in the October of 2008, the equations in Kashmir will change drastically.

UPDATE: Statement Retracted

As expected, the Government of Pakistan has retracted the statement:

She [Pakistan's Information Minister] said that President Asif Zardari had never linked Kashmir liberation struggle to terrorism. In a statement, the federal minister reiterated government’s resolve to hold talks with India on the dispute. The News

All the pro-Independence leaders have flayed Zardari’s remarks; though the remarks are not even half as critical of Zardari as a simple out-of-the-box suggestion from Musharraf usually led to.

Greater Kashmir’s anger is obvious, being the most widely read newspaper, it is a pleasure to see that it did ED-AI321 Winter D 20081002140713not mute down the expression of anger against Pakistan. With Begging Bowl In Hand , Zardari calls Kashmiri Militants ‘Terrorists’ is how Greater Kashmir reacted. JKLF’s response makes it clear that they have been shocked beyond comprehension; JKLF wants Zardari to take a History course. DeM (Duktaran – e – Millat), who are still living in the delusion that Musharraf’s fall was a consequence of his Kashmir policies, now await Zardari’s fall. In Baramullah, a town where sentiments for Pakistan are the strongest and which has produced the largest number of Pro-Pakistani leaders, people burnt an effigy of Zardari, a first since 1979 when effigies of Zia-ul-Haq were burnt against his decision to hang Zardari’s father-in-law Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

To read Zardari’s interview on Wall Street Journal, click here, Also read the orders Zardari has given to track and arrest those who write jokes on him; you may also be interested in Zardaris’ T.G.I.F. in Manhattan.

 

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Was It Just A Few Hectares Of Land? – I

In India, Kashmir, People on 19 September, 2008 at 1:06 pm

The city of Srinagar abounded with sparkling lakes, today just one survives, the rest having died unnoticed and silently. This one lake, the oft-quoted and oft-photographed, Dal Lake has withstood the onslaught of man’s greed and nature’s fury for centuries. This lake perhaps is the symbolic representation of a Kashmiri – one who has survived decades, nay centuries, of onslaught by foreign rulers, and continues to sparkle, like the lake, hiding its scars far within. Kashmir would see an era of Peace only when the seat of power was held by one of its own. Never have foreign rulers been able to control it for good and nothing has ever dampened the spirit of the people of this humble valley. A Vale surrounded by such tall mountains that it should never have been discovered by ‘the others’ to begin with. Invaders of all religions, colours, hues, wishes and desires have trampled this humble valley but never could they escape from the fire that burns within the heart of every Kashmiri, the desire to be free. Having lived under subjugation and enslavement, the Kashmiri body may have been enslaved, not the Kashmiri soul!

The year 1947 saw such turn of events, that Kashmir, instead of seeing a breather after an excruciating survival under the Dogras saw it being occupied by a country it did not know. A country it never had any ‘unconditional’ economic, social, political, cultural or religious ties with, any that it might have had were forced. The country was India and 61 years have passed without the slightest ebb in the hatred for the state of India in the hearts of Kashmiris.

Non-violent protest never seen in the past; art of subjugation learned from Israel by India; and a silent international community are the hallmarks of Kashmir since last three months. Was it a simply a case of the few hectares of land that were transferred or the blocking of the National Highway that has given birth to such staunch resentment in Kashmiri hearts? Are they willing to die of starvation rather than come on the table just because of these two issues? Even the rampant un-employment in the state never led to such massive civil disobedience. What is it then exactly? Is Freedom the uncomplicated and simple answer to this complicated and intricate problem that has been dragging on even before the states of India and Pakistan were created?

Freedom does suffice as an answer for a Kashmiri. A Kashmiri who is not well read may not be able to explain further this Freedom to a non-Kashmiri; a learned Kashmiri may elaborate to a non-Kashmiri as to what exactly this ‘Freedom’ means, but still the definition would be elusive. It has a thousand contours and colours, rather Oppression in Kashmir has a thousand contours and colours and the only way to even out those contours and the only antidote to this oppression, as all Kashmiris see it, is Freedom.

To think that it was just the Land Transfer or the Economic Blockade is naïve thinking, it would be murderous for India and the people of India to think of these two abstract reasons as the only and main cause of all the effect we have been seeing in Kashmir.

From a previous post on this blog 1521 For 1, written February 0f 2008:

For those who want to know, this is a clear indication that the fight in Kashmir is not just with the 460 odd always on run militants but something greater. What is that greater? That greater is the burning desire in every Kashmiri for Freedom. The never dying desire to breath the crisp fresh air of Freedom; Freedom from slavery, subjugation, torture and oppression or perhaps just the freedom from having to carry an Identity Card for moving outside our homes in our land or still just perhaps the freedom to know that every morning won’t bring the news of deaths by bombs and bullets. Increasing number of tourists visiting Kashmir or decreasing number of militants is not an indicator of peace, as the Government is trying to portray. Kashmir is a volcano about to burst, like it did in 1989.

And Kashmir did burst the summer of 2008.

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Zardari’s Good News May Be No News At All

In Kashmir, News, Politics on 11 September, 2008 at 12:57 am

Zardari, in his first press conference after being sworn in as President of Pakistan said:

“Insha Allah, we will have some good news” on Kashmir

and

he said [that] the PPP government will consult all political forces in Pakistan, both inside and outside Parliament, to forge some kind of a strategy to resolve the Kashmir issue.

This will be taken to the Kashmir Committee in Parliament, Zardari said, adding the work done through back-channel diplomacy will also be part of this. Indian Express

Definitely nothing is in the pipeline right now, one should really not expect anything huge (at most the good news may be opening of trade route) before (or even after) the Indian elections (and not certainly from this man, read later on why). His second statement makes it obvious that work (of whatever sort) has to be started and is not yet done on the Kashmir issue. As he says, PPP will consult parties, forge a strategy which will be taken to the Kashmir Committee. And one should also not forget that as fate has it for Kashmir, no news which has been delivered by external forces has been good for Kashmir since the last 61 years. The only good news Kashmiris should expect and look forward to is the news we, the Kashmiris create and deliver. As the present non-violent movement evolves, Kashmir may see a bright new day, not so soon maybe, but not too far either.

The separatists in Kashmir have welcomed the dialogue process cautiously and they should not pin too many hopes on it either, Kashmiris have been time and again packed under words and abbreviations, be it the CBMs, the Healing Touch, the Formulas and now Good News!

Geelani:

“We won’t accept any decision which is thrust on Kashmiris. Solution has to come according to the aspirations of the people of J&K
Greater Kashmir

Yasin Malik:

“In the eyes of people of Kashmir, dialogue institution has lost its sanctity, because for the last 62 years dialogue process couldn’t yield any results. To restore the sanctity, this dialogue process must be time bound and transparent,” Greater Kashmir

Mirwaiz:

“As Kashmiris we have always welcomed Indo-Pak dialogue, but unfortunately Kashmiris were never allowed to be part of it. We welcome Zardari Sahib’s statement, but till Kashmiris aren’t part of it, it won’t deliver.” Greater Kashmir

Hafiz Saeed of Jamaat ud Dawa (formerly LeT) has claimed that Zardari’s policy will be no different than Musharraf and warned Zardari of trouble if the policies are not changed.

…warned that if the president-elect Asif Ali Zardari and his government did not change the policies of the former president, Pervez Musharraf, then Pakistan would be in great trouble.

Hafiz Saeed claimed that Zardari’s policy would only strengthen Musharraf’s policies. Greater Kashmir

Musharraf actually had no policy on Kashmir, he just put a gag on the Jihadi organisations operating from Pakistan and that worried the top-bosses of these organisations, since liberation of Kashmir from India and merger with Pakistan appears to be their only goal. A goal a majority of Kashmiris are not comfortable with. Over 75% of Kashmiris want complete independence from India and Pakistan. Changing One master for Another is not really what the Kashmiris are demanding. The viability of independence as an option has been discussed elsewhere by Kashmir Bloggers and is not the topic of discussion in this post. Still, those who talk about Kashmir being a land-locked country, we do all know that no country in the world exists in isolation and Kashmir had survived fine without India till 1947, so no worries on that front. It should also be noted that the UN Resolution of Self Determination did include the option of Complete Independence but it was dropped after extensive lobbying by the then Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Sir Zafarullah Khan

The indulgence of the Jihadi organisations in any form at this point of time will be counter-productive for Kashmir. Kashmir has risen without any leader(s) asking them to and the protests will continue to evolve in a non-violent manner. Any act by the Jihadi organisations to lead or include guns will cause irrecoverable harm to Kashmir. Even Indian politicians are unable to peg this uprising on Pakistan, ISI or the Jihadi Organizations and they are looking for a chance to do so and Hafiz Saeed might give them just that.

And about Zardari, one should not expect much from Zardari, who is disliked in Pakistan apparently more than Musharraf was, here is a review of what Pakistani Bloggers think about this man:

Zardari [Picture Courtesy and Copyright of Adnan's Crazy Blogging World]

General Zardari As President

We are so lucky that we are ruled by drunk bearucrats, corrupt army generals and offcial dacoits!

Pakistan Zindabad!!

Adnan’s Crazy Blogging World

Zardari [Picture Courtesy and Copyright of Islamabad Metblog]

So We Get A New President

Allah save t[h]e country now … I wonder how many months it’ll take to have the whole country sold .. you think it can be done in Days?

Islamabad Metblog

This Is Zaradris Pakistan [Courtesy And Copyright of Lahhore Metblog]

Welcome To Mr. Zardari’s Pakistan

Benazir actually gave Pakistan as her last dowry gift to her widower. But I don’t think even she would have ever thought that Mr. Zardari would one day become “President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. In fact when I voted for PPP in last election, I never thought that PPP will make such a mockery of the mandate given by people of Pakistan.

Lahore Metblog

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Welcome To Indian Kashmir!

In Human Rights, Kashmir, People on 3 September, 2008 at 6:56 pm

Alistair Scrutton on Reuters

Might Of The State

The world’s largest democracy locks up protest leaders without charge, shoots dozens of demonstrators dead, beats and intimidates ordinary citizens and raids homes without warrants.

Welcome to Indian Kashmir, where the biggest separatist protests in two decades have clashed with the might of the state.

Anger Against India

The crackdown may also be counter-productive. Residents say the deaths and violent crackdown have fuelled anger against India and boosted the separatist cause after years of relative peace.

Coercion

“The government of India does not have a strategy,” said Siddharth Varadarajan, diplomatic editor of The Hindu newspaper.

“It is relying heavily on coercion, arresting top and middle-level leaders in the hope it will break the back of unprecedented protests.”

Most Militarised Region

For decades there has been simmering resentment at the hundreds of thousands of Indian troops stationed in Kashmir, making it one of the most militarised regions on earth.

Target Killings

One surgeon, who asked to remain anonymous because of fear of retribution from Indian authorities, said he has received around 400 wounded people in three weeks, 150 of them hit by bullets.

“These are target killings. It’s simple to see,” said the doctor, explaining that many of the chest wounds were from weapons such as AK-47s. “Most of these were intended to kill. They were not to disperse a crowd.”

For complete article click here.

SAFMA Is Silent Because…

In Kashmir, News on 30 August, 2008 at 9:01 pm

…all it believed in all the time was P0r n0graphy of Peace

p3safma[1] edImtiaz Alam (left), Secretary General SAFMA

…and as Kashmir burned on the 14th and 15th of August, SAFMA was busy in a ‘Cultural Peace Mela,’ – a midnight party…

Peace Mela, India - Pakistan BorderSit In Protest By Kashmiri Journalists

… it is strange that Kashmiri Journalists are still asking questions from organisations that never had any respect for or a desire to see peace in Kashmir!

Media fraternity in Kashmir has taken a strong exception about South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) remaining silent over curbs on media in the Valley .

Declare Independence!

In India, Kashmir on 29 August, 2008 at 2:05 pm

For Kashmir,

Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!

Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!

Start your own currency!
Make your own stamp
Protect your language

Declare independence
Don’t let them do that to you
Declare independence
Don’t let them do that to you

Make your own flag!

Raise your flag!

Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!

Damn colonists
Ignore their patronizing
Tear off their blindfolds
Open their eyes

Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!

With a flag and a trumpet
Go to the top of your highest mountain!

Raise your flag!

Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!

Raise the flag!

–Bjork

Chameleons

In Kashmir, News, People, Politics on 22 August, 2008 at 8:01 pm

The mainstream politicians, scared of being the target of public ire, are talking the good talk these days. Be it Abdullah or Mufti, both of them have supported the Hurriyat demand of opening of trade routes between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, revocation of special powers to the forces in Kashmir, release of prisoners languishing in Jails and even of Azadi. What one remains amazed at is that were they blind till now to the true desire of every Kashmiri? Why did they, as the rest of the India, need to see hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris on roads to know what the heart desires? Abdullah has dared to speak about Azadi, only after some prominent Indians have done so. Are they so naïve to think that a Free Kashmir will put the reigns of power in their hands?! That will never happen! Ms. Mufti & Mr. Abdullah should better keep quite and not indulge in chameleon talk, for they have damaged the cause of Kashmir like no other.

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