Who will host the Afghan Taliban in Kashmir?
In Kashmir we have third generation, second generation and first generation politicians. We could safely say that we have been introduced to a first generation militants and militant leadership as well. However, the fate of the latter was sealed by President Musharraf in his four point formula in 2006. The claim made by Hurriyat (M) leadership that that if Kashmir dispute was not resolved by 2014 before the exit of USA from Afghanistan, we shall have a Taliban spill over in Kashmir is very interesting.
How would this political opinion reconcile its claim with the fact that Pakistan which holds the Presidency of UN Security Council for this month has proposed a “ministerial-level open debate on a comprehensive approach to counter terrorism on 15 January”. Five days after the Taliban claim made by Mir Waiz in Srinagar, Pakistan Ambassador Masood Khan on 3 January 2013 told at the UN that “This will give an opportunity to Council members and the general membership to have a holistic view of the continuing threats and challenges posed by international terrorism, and the best ways of formulating and implementing a coherent and comprehensive response to this menace.”
If one were to believe the Taliban claim as a reality, the question remains who will host the Afghan Taliban in Kashmir. We have yet to come to terms with the after effects of Kashmir militancy of 1990s and Mir Waiz has informed us about a general feeling in Pakistan of Taliban coming into Kashmir. Taliban would not be air dropped and would of course need a safe cross over, shelter, guns, bullets, food and medicine. Would the people who have been selling the Musharraf’s 4 point formula since 2006 and gradually turning their backs on militants, intervene and help the Talibans? The answer is no.
If any surreptitious attempt is made on a commercial basis to welcome this kind of Albatross curse, it is going to trigger the wrath of those who have lost a generation and feel betrayed. Pakistan has made a quick statement at the UN on terrorism and decidedly killed the Taliban hoax so quickly. Hurriyat (M) should convene a meeting to ponder over their failure of having misjudged the feeling about Taliban in Pakistan and misleading their own people on their return from Pakistan.
JKLF Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, a first generation politician has made a touching observation that the Kashmir Movement has been orphaned. He has alerted the common citizen about some preparations in the making for seeking a role in the governance and has urged the intellectuals to assume their role. While, I am writing this column JKLF chairman became the first instalment of his “jail bharo” movement and has courted arrest. He may or may not have consulted the other political opinions and in particular the intellectuals (civil society) in advance on the merits of his decision. The question would remain whether he needs to be punished for his non-consultation or that the rest should act differently and act in a responsible manner to increment his effort.
We would not begrudge any genuine desire of any faction of Hurriyat or others to take part in future governance in Kashmir. However, as it stands a practice that most of the members at the UN explain their vote before voting, our leaders shall have to explain their approval of a different manner of politics and militancy from 1989 to date. They have a freedom to revisit their past and select the manner of their future politics after explaining the merits of their turn around.
Their decision to service their people by taking part in governance should be a welcome move, if the new governance is in accordance with article 4, 13 and 48 of the J & K Constitution. It entails that this set up shall re-negotiate the role of Indian security forces according to the stipulated terms of the provisional accession and have due regard for UN Security Council Resolution of 30 March 1951 on legislative ability and UN Security Council Resolution of 21 April 1948 on the Indian security forces. The U turn in the manner of their politics would always be living in the close proximity of public eye and public anger.
Mir Waiz Umar Farooq and Omar Abdullah represent a third generation politics and as such carry a heavy burden of responsibility for today and for years to come. History does not shut its eyes and keeps a leader under its microscope 24 hours, 7 days a week. It has passed the early and less informed days of Mir Waiz Yusuf Shah and Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. Today the news travels faster and around the world in seconds.
Hurriyat delegation after its 10 days visit of Pakistan has reported to the people of Kashmir that “During our visit to Pakistan, we found that there is an element of fear in the political leadership, media and civil society in the country that if the Kashmir dispute was not resolved before America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, Taliban, who, except Kabul virtually rule Afghanistan might turn to Kashmir,” have been contradicted at core by Pakistan at the United Nations. It puts Hurriyat (M) reliability into a serious disrepute.
It adds to the merits of Yasin Malik’s claim that the movement has been orphaned. In fact no movement would feel comfortable to have such a combined parentage. It is right time that the civil society steps in and calls all the politicians to “Bar” and conducts a public enquiry.
The civil society should ask Hurriyat (M) delegation that if they were given a feeling about Taliban entering into Kashmir, how is it that Pakistan has taken a different stand at the UN about terrorism. Why should the people of Kashmir, feel helpless and not gear up to saying a definite no to any such future incursion into Kashmir. They should have known that Pakistan has been a member of UN from 30 September 1947 and about is non-permanent membership of the Security Council for the two year term 2012-2013.
It was also known to everyone that Pakistan would be taking up rotating presidency of the Council for this month and Hurriyat (M) should have asked Pakistan in regard to Pakistan’s role during the rotating Presidency and during the two year term of 2012-2013 as a non-permanent member of the Security Council.
Pakistan has previously been member of the Security Council on six occasions in 1952-1953, 1968-1969, 1976-1977, 1983-1984, 1993-1994 and 2003-2004. Civil Society and every section of our society should be asking Hurriyat (M) to explain a wide gap between their feelings gathered in Pakistan about Taliban and the reality check presented by the Pakistan at the UN about terrorism.
These leaders need to be asked to explain that why is it so that during the meeting on 15 January the Security Council will focus on “on a number of issues this month that are part of its regular agenda, including developments in the Central African Republic, the Middle East, Sudan and South Sudan, and Darfur, among others”, and not the ‘core issue of Kashmir”.
Yasin Malik may have a merit in his claim that the Kashmir movement has been orphaned. We have a reason to listen to him and much more a reason to play our role in respect of our own people. Without drifting away and branching into a pro freedom and main-stream tags we have a role in respect of our people. We should be able to enforce a politics in accordance with article 4, 13 and 48 of the J & K Constitution. Primarily the Civil Society should see whether there is a due regard for UN Security Council Resolution of 30 March 1951 on legislative ability of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and UN Security Council Resolution of 21 April 1948 on the Indian security forces.
Civil Society has to bear in mind that Pakistan has continued to use the people and habitat of Kashmir for exacting an advantage from India to serve its own case, without sharing it with the people of Kashmir. In the first week of its counter complaint at the UN in January 1948 it succeeded to have its share of cash balances held by the Indian Government released. It has continued to treat the Kashmir question as the question of a disputed territory and not as a question of the right of self-determination of an ‘equal people’. As against the Indian application at the UN, Pakistan has blocked any discussion on the option of an independent State of Jammu and Kashmir and has restricted its counter claim to accession only. Militancy was equally allowed in the Kashmir theater to bleed India and sensitise India to Pakistan’s ability to be able to use a proxy against it in Kashmir.
Have we lost the common conscience and the ability to feel a belated remorse for selling our soul to the Lucifer?
(Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani:Author is London based Secretary General of JKCHR – NGO in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations. He could be reached on email firstname.lastname@example.org)