| by Dr Shabir Choudhry
(April 04, 2012,London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Over the past weeks and months a systematic campaign has been unleashed against me by agents of forces of occupation, extremism, tribalism and hatred. For most part I have remained quiet hoping that common sense will prevail; and these people might feel shame of what they are doing.
A woman holds food for her cattle aloftas she passes through the bed of the
Chanab River in Sialkot, Pakistan.India’s Baglihar Dam is affecting Pakistan’s water flow.
I could have given appropriate replies to all of them, but I refrained because I didn’t want to bring down to their level. When people get to that level it shows their true class; and it also shows that they have no logical arguments to continue debate. My upbringing tells me not to even use foul language for those who are younger than me; perhaps their upbringing tells them to swear at a person who is old enough to be their father.
Some of the people behind these degrading posts are old friends; and some of them still phone me and assure me that they are my friends and well wishers. Allah swt will see to their hypocrisy, either in this world or on the Day of Judgement.
People have accused me of many things including working for India; but no one has come out with any evidence. Those who work for India they support Kashmir’s accession with India; and those who work for Pakistan they support Kashmir’s accession with Pakistan; or do not talk about Pakistani Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. I have challenged every one to provide me one sentence from my writings – more than 40 books and booklets or provide one word from my speeches where I have supported Kashmir’s accession to India. Or where I have stated that Jammu and Kashmir is not occupied by India; or where I have stated that accession to India is final? Or where I have said that people there should not struggle against India.
5. However, I demand that I should have the same right – struggle against the country that occupies me. My struggle is on the Pakistani side of the LOC and not on the Indian side of the divide. Majority of those who struggle against India, do not speak a single word about grave situation of Gilgit Baltistan and POK, and regard these areas as either independent or part of Pakistan; and yet these people are presented as patriots. Whereas, I say the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir is disputed, and human rights abuses take place on both sides of the divide; and I am accused of being an ‘Indian agent’. What is logic of this; and where is the evidence against me?
If APHC leaders and other leaders from the Valley of Kashmir meet Pakistani diplomats, get money from them, meet ISI and MI it is halal (justified), some of them even meet Indian agencies and get money from them; they meet in darkness of night and keep it secret that is also halal, but we are accused just because we speak about the Pakistani occupation. If meeting Pakistani diplomats is halal -justified or appropriate, then why meeting the Indian diplomats is haram – unjustified or inappropriate? Are they not party to the Kashmir dispute?
This propaganda is illogical that by attacking Pakistan we are supporting enemy (India). To some the man using his stick or gun in Kashmir is enemy; to me the man creating that situation where gun and stick is used is also enemy, and the man who ensures that this situation continues is also enemy. To some enemy is on the Indian side of the LOC, we feel enemy is on both sides of the LOC. I don’t stop anyone to struggle against the country that occupies him; but tragedy is some people are not prepared to give the same right that I expose the country that occupies me.
Indian policy on Kashmir, despite its faults is totally exposed, to spend more time to expose it is like flogging a dead horse. Despite that there are Kashmiri human rights organisations, Indian human rights organisation and international human rights organisations, vibrant local media, Indian media and reporters of international media which highlight human rights abuses. Apart from that foreign diplomats and members of various Think Tanks and civil society visit there. Furthermore, the Valley based political parties, Azad Kashmiri parties, Pakistani parties and other Kashmiri and Pakistani groups around the globe spend extra time to highlight what goes on there. So every thing is reported.
All the above are not available on the Pakistani side of the divide. Some people may say that the Pakistani army is not doing what the Indian army is doing. Counter argument is that on the Pakistani side there is no Indian sponsored militancy going on, so Pakistani army does not need to do what the Indian army is doing. Pakistani army and secret agencies have been cleverer and they have used other methods to harass, intimidate and control people on this side of the divide. All armies are trained to kill; and the Pakistani army is also very good at doing this. If you have any doubts ask what they did to Palestinians in Jordan in 1970; what they did to people of East Pakistan in 1970/71; what have they done to people of FATA and Balochistan and what they do to people of Gilgit Baltistan.
To me and many other true Kashmiri nationalists both India and Pakistan are occupiers; and both have same agenda on Kashmir – to make Jammu and Kashmir part of their country. Those who are occupied by India they have every right to protest and fight against that occupation; and I don’t stop them. All I ask is give me the same right – let me speak against the country which occupies me; but as soon as I ask for this right people start a vicious campaign, generally supported by Pakistani agencies and their touts.
As I said earlier Indian policy is already exposed, whereas the Pakistani policy on Kashmir is camouflaged under cover of Islam and brotherhood; so more time and effort should be utilized to expose this hypocrisy. Ask yourself, who is more dangerous – open enemy or hidden enemy?
I hope this explanation will satisfy people with common sense.