Predictions of Molana Azad on future of
Sunday, 27 November 2011
Saturday, 26 November 2011
Lord Nazir Ahmed and issue of Kashmiri nationality
Dr Shabir Choudhry
Lord Nazir Ahmed knows how to stay in news. There are other Kashmiri and Pakistani Members of the British Parliament, but very rarely they make headlines. Lord Nazir Ahmed, on the other hand is always in news, especially in Kashmiri and Pakistani media.
This time he is in news because of his help to a
Lord Nazir Ahmed and I belong to same region and have had friendly relations, but we don’t see eye to eye on many issues. I don’t like his politics; and he hates my political ideology and activities I conduct to promote pro peace and pro
Both Lord Nazir Ahmed and I hold dual nationality – we are British and citizens of
The Azad Kashmiri Cabinet passed a resolution stating that: ‘Lord Nazir Ahmed is “a despicable person” and the government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) has the right to take legal action against him, the AJK cabinet declared in a unanimous resolution when it met in Muzaffarabad late on Thursday.’
Critics say Lord Nazir Ahmed is a Member of the British House of Lords, but it looks that Pakistani politics is closer to his heart; and he spends more time with Pakistani leaders and issues related to
This policy of Lord Nazir Ahmed is not only loathed by the MQM leaders and stalwarts; but also fiercely opposed by the Pakistani government, as they fear that activities of Dr Zulfiqar Mirza could annoy the MQM to the extent that they could once again walk out of the coalition making the unstable
But Asif Ali Zardari had a few cards up his sleeve, and he thought he can try to discipline Lord Nazir Ahmed through his puppets in Azad Kashmir. The puppet Prime Minister of Azad
The puppet Prime Minister of Azad
He should read Act 74 again and see for himself that Azad Kashmir government has no control over 55 important subjects, and that includes laws concerning: Nationality, citizenship and naturalisation, migration from or into Azad Jammu and Kashmir, admission into, and immigration and expulsion from AJK including in relation there to the regulation of the movements in AJK;
Furthermore, Kashmiri citizenship was not granted to Lord Nazir Ahmed by any puppet government. He is a Kashmiri by birth, and no one can take that away from him. Maharajah of
‘That all emigrants from the
This State Subject Notification was issued by the Maharajah of Jammu and
Lord Nazir Ahmed has very rightly said that no one can revoke his Kashmiri nationality; and that no one can stop him going to his motherland. Furthermore, no one can legally take over his property. I know Lord Nazir Ahmed is a fighter; and I am sure he will fight back and defeat these puppets of Zardari government who want to deprive him of his Kashmiri identity, and may be his property.
If these puppets can illegally revoke Kashmiri nationality of Lord Nazir Ahmed and deprive him of his property, then it will open a flood gate and corrupt officials will do same to millions of other citizens of Jammu and Kashmir living in Britain, Europe and America and confiscate their properties by revoking their Kashmiri nationality or blackmail them by giving them a threat of revoking their Kashmiri nationality.
We can all find reasons to oppose Lord Nazir Ahmed; but in this fight we must support him because it is not only his fight it is our fight, as any changes to the State Subject Notification of 1927 will have far reaching consequences for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. I suggest that Lord Nazir Ahmed should pack his bags and travel to Azad Kashmir to challenge these puppets on their home ground; and I am willing to travel with him and support him. Of course I will pay for my own expenses.
Writer is Director Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs.Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, 25 November 2011
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Shabir Choudhry: JKLF was formed in
The JKLF believed in non communal politics — religion to us was a personal matter. We strongly believed in equality for all citizens, rule of law, democracy and liberal ideals; and to us both
But when Amanullah Khan was expelled from
From then onwards it became a Muslim struggle and not a Kashmiri struggle and the JKLF group while still wearing a secular hat became part of this game.
Amanullah Khan also realised that he was used to advance a Pakistani interest, but he is a stubborn man who is dictatorial. He with the support of the ISI managed to keep his stature and his JKLF group functioning. Anyone who dared to challenge him was expelled from the party on charges of working for either the ISI or R&AW. The reality, however, is that he is the one who closely worked with the ISI and continues to do so. My friends and I have been fighting establishment policies on
In 1995 when Yasin Malik and Amanullah Khan fell out we thought maybe Yasin Malik will be better than Amanullah Khan and supported him. But he proved to be worse. When we realised that the top leadership of JKLF had abandoned the ideology of Maqbool Butt, we decided to say good bye to the JKLF and formed Kashmir National Party to advance the cause of a united and independent
Shabir Choudhry: Unity of like minded people with a common agenda is must to advance and common agenda; but that unity must be based on certain principles and there must be sincerity. In my opinion it is not unity of JKLF groups, as two individuals met and without taking any senior leaders in to confidence announced this unity.
Still people are questioning the real motives behind this unity. If it was a JKLF unity then the question is why other JKLF groups were left out. Even in the final declaration prepared by the working group of both J Amanullah Khan and Yasin Malik, only urged Rauf Kashmiri to abandon his group and join them; but they completely ignored the Aftab Group and Bitta Karate or Farooq Dar Group.
It must be noted that Indian troops came to
Shabir Choudhry: It is true the people of POK and Gilgit Baltistan are manipulated intimidated, oppressed and deprived of their fundamental rights. It is unfortunate I don’t have any good news for the people of these regions.
However, the facts are totally different and the people on the Indian side of
Shabir Choudhry: I have said this many times that policy makers of
Whereas I have no problem with
It must be understood that
Shabir Choudhry: The issue of Taliban and their politics is directly related to the mindset of the Pakistani establishment. In my opinion, those forces which promote communalism and regard these “jihadi” outfits and Taliban as strategic assets are very powerful in Pakistan and as long as they call the shots and determine foreign policy and other issues related to security and stability of Pakistan, I am afraid not much is going to change.
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Memogate’s Mansoor Ijaz was once an NDA guest, Iftikhar Gilani
The Pakistani-American businessman played a key role in facilitating talks between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir dispute
Soon after lush green meadows started reappearing from beneath the melting snow, the Indian Army and the paramilitary forces had begun relentless search operations and a crackdown in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district in the spring of 2000.
Reason—the military intelligence (MI) sleuths from across the LoC had informed that Abdul Majeed Dar, chief operational commander of the only formidable Kashmiiri militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) was missing from its headquarters in Muzaffarabad. According to intelligence inputs gathered by the MI and some other agencies, Dar was last seen travelling towards a border village to sneak into Indian territory. The air was already thick with rumours about his movements and meetings with the top brass of HM.
Little did they know that external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) had a major scoop up its sleeve. In a successful operation, they had airlifted Dar to Srinagar via Karachi, Dubai and Delhi in May 2000, to enable him to announce a unilateral ceasefire. And the man, who negotiated and mediated the short-lived truce, was believed to be Mansoor Ijaz, a Pakistani American businessman, now at the centre of controversy, nicknamed ‘Memogate’, that is taking a toll on the civilian government of Pakistan President Asif Zardari in Islamabad.
Later, Ijaz was also involved in brokering a Kashmir solution between India and Pakistan in 2000 and 2001, as an unofficial interlocutor, it was claimed, for then United States President Bill Clinton.
Though India opposes any third party mediation on Kashmir, the then National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee accorded Ijaz a status that befits only high-profile emissaries and, at least, on two occasions he visited Delhi on special “out-of-passport” visa, with full secrecy of his identity and itinerary. Ijaz made half a dozen trips to India and Pakistan at that time to arbitrate the Kashmir dispute.
In an interaction with the media at a hotel in the outskirts of Delhi, he denied acting on behalf of the US government but claimed that he was drawn to the Kashmir problem because “oppressed people have no capacity to speak for themselves and stop violations that occur against them in the name of religion or politics or money.”
Ijaz, a nuclear physicist and a New York-based investment banker as also a member of the influential US Think Tank Council on Foreign Relations, had given contours of his efforts in an interview to Pakistani daily The News International on 25 December, 2001, seven months before the Agra summit between Vajpayee and President Musharraf Pervez failed, dashing the initiatives he had taken. He described the HM ceasefire as “a momentous event in the tumultuous history of the Kashmir valley,” which opened a door to search for an earnest resolution of the conflict.
Recalling his visit to Delhi, Ijaz heaped praise on Chandar D Sahay, then point-man on Kashmir in the RAW, (he later became its chief). Sahay, he believed, was the key man who made India’s hawks understand that peace in Kashmir meant giving the Kashmiris a stake—economic, moral, emotional— in the success of their choice to remain with India or become a semi-autonomous region.
“In my hotel suite in New Delhi in November 2000, I brought Sahay and a prominent Kashmiri activist, Yasin Malik, together after nearly a year of painstaking negotiations following the military coup in Pakistan,” he claimed. Maintaining that Malik had taken unprecedented risks in dealing with Sahay secretly, Ijaz claimed having persuaded even the toughest Kashmiri loyalist, Syed Geelani, to not oppose progress towards permanent peace.
Ijaz revealed that Khalid Khawaja, a former ISI official, who had piloted Osama bin Laden’s aircraft in Afghanistan during the Afghan resistance, had also taken unprecedented risks in bringing him in contact with Syed Salahuddin, the chief of HM and also allowed him to hand-carry his written messages back to President Clinton at the time. Khawaja was murdered by Taliban militants in April 2010.
In his interview with The News International, Ijaz had claimed: “The process of empowering both civilian and militant Kashmiri voices remains the central objective of our efforts at present because a strong Kashmir provides Pakistan and India with face-saving exit strategies.”
Ijaz also spoke of a mid-January 2001 meeting of political and militant leaders in Islamabad to set a common agenda for talks with New Delhi and take General Musharraf into confidence about the merits and rationale for the talks. “There will also be a clear effort made to deal with the so-called mercenary problem whether or not to allow non-indigenous Pakistani-backed insurgents a seat at the peace table. Once the internal agenda is agreed upon and the various Kashmiri parties are united on a message and a delegation, Indo-Kashmiri dialogue can begin,” said he.
Ijaz also referred to ground ceasefire modalities and a possible Musharraf-Vajpayee summit and said in that interview that “the Kashmiris will be free to suggest Pakistan’s inclusion either partially or wholly in political dialogue aimed at a permanent solution. Delhi understands this as a condition for beginning talks with the Kashmiris.”
Stressing that “Pakistan is a party to the (Kashmir) dispute, Ijaz had gone on to affirm: “But General Musharraf is rapidly, flexibly and correctly adapting the Pakistani position to the reality that Islamabad’s pursuit of Jihad-based resistance in Kashmir has not worked.
As head of state rather than just head of the army, his responsibility to the larger interests of the Pakistani people go far beyond the narrow pursuit of an ideological war that is decimating an innocent population while deeply scarring the image and vitality of Pakistan as a nation.
“That is why General Musharraf is wisely preparing the people of Pakistan for a policy of maximum flexibility in its negotiating stance. By doing so, he accommodates growing Kashmiri willpower to test India’s sincerity for peace and resolution while maintaining a firm bottom line that protects Pakistan’s security interests.”
Ijaz’s ‘Mission Kashmir’ did not take toll on the Vajpayee government for allowing a mediator against India’s declared policy as he always maintained a low profile unlike an article he wrote for a British paper last month to strengthen President Zardari’s stance, which boomeranged. He narrated how he felt threatened from encroachments by Pakistani Army chief General Ashfaq Kayani.
If he is to be believed then Zardari had sought him out, after the US Navy Seal raid to extract Osama bin Laden from Abbottabad in May, to convey its insecurity to Admiral Mike Mullen, the then Chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff and avowed “friend” of General Kayani to fend off a possible coup. Ijaz reportedly drafted and dispatched a secret “memo” portraying the Pakistani military as being part of the problem rather than the solution to America’s dilemma in Afghanistan.
Once the “memogate” became public, Ijaz tried to prove his credibility by revealing all, even though he may no longer be sought by anyone any longer as a credible and confidential interlocutor. It is because of his reveal-all mess that the Pakistan military has turned its guns on Hussain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington. Running afoul of Musharraf in 2002 for his critical newspaper columns in Urdu and English, Haqqani had fled to the US where he wrote his seminal book on the unholy historical nexus between the mosque and military in Pakistan. Since he was appointed ambassador to Washington in 2008, the Pakistan military has since embarked upon a campaign to defame him, he reasoned.
Iftikhar Gilani is a Special Correspondent with Tehelka.com.
US state department removes India-Pakistan maps
The US state department says it has removed what it called "inaccurate" maps of India and Pakistan from its website.
The maps failed to show the divided territory of Kashmir as a disputed region, Indian media reports say.
India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir and both countries claim the region in its entirety.
Most maps depict Kashmir as a disputed region provisionally split into areas under Indian and Pakistani control.
"We have taken the map [of India] off the website. It did contain some inaccuracies which were associated with the boundaries of some geographic features," state department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters on Monday.
"We will put up the new map when we acquire one that we are confident is accurate," she said.Highly sensitive
The move comes after Delhi reportedly raised objections with the US that the India map ignored India's claim on Kashmir while the corresponding map of Pakistan showed Pakistani-controlled Kashmir as part of Pakistan without acknowledging its disputed status, according to Indian media reports.
The disputed border between India and China in the Aksai Chin region in the north, however, did reportedly acknowledge an Indian claim.
"The government has consistently rejected incorrect depiction of India's borders on maps used by the US government," the Indian ministry of external affairs said.
Earlier in November, China's ambassador to India became involved in a heated exchange with an Indian journalist at a business function over a map that showed parts of India within China's border.
The map showed the state of Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh in China and a disputed part of Kashmir as Pakistani territory.
Correspondents say the depiction of the disputed borders between India, Pakistan and China are highly sensitive and potentially incendiary issues in the region.
Dr Shabir Choudhry
I know many Pakistanis will not like this, but the fact is that they are fighting a monster which their government and secret agencies worked hard to create; and sad aspect of this fight is that despite more than 35 thousand deaths and loss of billions in business and property, some sections of the Pakistani society continue to support the monster which is destroying them and threatening very foundations of the Pakistan State.
True, extremism is not confined to
What pains us more is that despite so much suffering and partnership in war on terrorism, one can see the continuation of that policy in different forms and shapes. And instead of taking concrete actions to put things right, policy appears to be still denials and allegations against those who point fingers at this disastrous policy, by calling them anti
A columnist of
Religious extremism and intolerance has increased in
Mumtaz Qadari killed Governor of Punjab, a man he was supposed to protect even at the cost of his life, but despite this premeditated murder which he committed by breaching his oath and by using a gun which was given to him to protect the Governor. He is hailed as a hero for killing the Governor in some sections of the Pakistani society. What surprised many was that Mumtaz Qadari was not a hero of illiterate or religious fanatics, among his ‘fans’ are lawyers who are supposed to uphold rule of law and promote equality and justice.
Arshad Mahmood, a columnist and a writer, in his article published in Viewpoint (http://www.viewpointonline.net/peace-as-last-priority.html) asserted:
‘Our state has policy always focused on “keeping the
‘On the other hand the militants and their supporters have become so powerful that the state has surrendered before them. All sects have taken up arms against each other and all minorities are living in fear, while the state is but a silent spectator and the political leadership follows a policy of opportunism. The government is only interested in affairs of the state on a daily basis. It does not have the will and the capacity to take critical decisions, while the deep state obstructs them to function effectively.’
This policy, despite criticism and opposition from various countries continued; and situation is getting worse with international patience running out. America, which was also a partner in creating such extremist groups in fight against Communism find itself at the receiving end now; and accuse Pakistan for its failures in Afghanistan. Situation in
Americans cannot have the desired outcome without the help and support of
Tension, or more precisely low intensity war between Pakistani establishment and the American security agencies is increasing; and some kind of showdown is not ruled out in near future. Apart from other serious areas of conflict, there is apparently serious dispute over role and future of Haqqani network.
Many experts believe that among others, the Haqqani network is very valuable strategic asset of the
The NATO, Americans and others who oppose Pakistani sponsored interference in
English ‘Daily Times’ of Pakistan in its editorial ‘Baloch blood on our hands’ on 21 Nov 11, wrote: ‘This is astonishing considering that the money is being spent on the same forces that the Baloch people hold responsible for their miseries. A military operation is going on in the province and the ‘kill and dump’ policy being pursued by the military and its intelligence agencies is no secret. … Killing innocent Baloch whose only fault is to ask for their basic and just rights is criminal. Thousands of Baloch are missing. Tortured and bullet-riddled bodies of Baloch missing persons are found every other day in the province. Under these circumstances, pursuing a repressive policy is not just the height of injustice but also a threat to the country’s unity. The military made the same mistake in
Situation is getting from bad to worse in all respects – relationship with
‘Ironically, many of its terror groups have long – standing ties with the Pakistan army and its intelligence services, making Pakistan both patron and a victim of the Frankenstein it helped to create, which may eventually destroy it.’
Writer is Director Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs.Email:email@example.com
Sunday, 13 November 2011
Indian Muslims feel secure under secularism, by Farooq Suleria
Leaders like General Musharraf, patronized the Taliban as many did before him (Benazir Bhutto for one) without bothering to analyse the consequences it would have for secular thought and the nation
“Secularism is not about lifestyle, it is about ideology and thought. Some of the most liberal souls in
Why has secularism not taken root in the Muslim world? If Islam and secularism are incompatible?
Islam and secularism are totally compatible, as is any religion practiced in its true sense.
I strongly believe that secularism has not taken root in parts of the Muslim world—I hesitate to club all countries together----because it is always easier for rulers, Dynastic or otherwise, to use religion to consolidate nations. The powerful appeal and threat that defines the use of religion in politics is used to mesmerize and subdue the populace in a manner that eventually becomes autocratic, repressive and brutal. Unfortunately even the leaders professing secularism in the Arab countries have not remained immune from autocratic rule, and have used force to suppress opinion and dissent.
I am not going into specifics as there are details peculiar to each of these countries you have mentioned. But speaking generally, secularism has to absorb, modify, interact, convince. And this has to be done through persuasion and not force. Unfortunately in some countries force has been used instead of persuasion and that always allows fundamentalists to gain ground.
Also, Opposition in the Muslim countries to largely secular regimes has used religion to consolidate its support base, as it is easier (as we have seen in South Asia) to mobilize on grounds of religion than on the basis of a concrete, comprehensive alternative agenda. This also suits the agenda of countries like
Many Muslim leaders considered secular were in fact repressive dictators. Can we have secularism and tyranny simultaneously? Isn’t it the case that secularism is and should be a by-product of democratic revolutions?
Yes of course. Secularism ideally should be a by-product of democratic revolutions but then this world is far from ideal. In my view it is great to see many leaders adopt the secular mantle, despite the dissent within. Theirs has not been an easy path to follow and yet they did keep fundamentalism at bay while in power. Unfortunately unbridled power and dynastic rule creates repression, that has not been effectively challenged in the region. It must be pointed that often governments in so-called democratic and secular nations have been repressive and guilty of human rights violations. And if the US and Nato had not intervened the secular states would have found it easier, in the long term, to get rid of dictators than the repressive, religious regimes.
Secularism is not about lifestyle, it is about ideology and thought. Some of the most liberal souls in
Ignorance, and an unquestioning belief that religion can be the balm for all ills. This is because nations have not developed, and the people have been led to believe by the political class that religion can answer all the problems of non-governance. In
What should be done to foreground the secularist ideas in the Muslim world and occlude the hegemony of anti-secularist discourses?
Difficult question as a great deal has to be done but there is no uniform solution. What holds good for
Farooq Sulehria is working with Stockholm-based Weekly Internationalen (www.internationalen.se). Before joining Internationalen, he worked for one year,2006-07 at daily The News,