Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Those who serve humanity do not die.
Dr Shabir Choudhry 20 November 2012
While speaking to a public meeting arranged by UKPNP in North London to commemorate life and contribution of famous Kashmiri writer and thinker Abbas Ahmed Azad, Dr Shabir Choudhry said:
Mr Chairman and friends today we are here to observe death of a famous Kashmiri writer and thinker Abbas Ahmed Azad. Yes, Abbas Ahmed Azad has physically died; but if he was really dead we wouldn’t be here tonight in this cold weather to speak about him and hear about him. This means he is still alive – he is in our thoughts and in our minds and is probably among us; and we are here to offer our respect to him.
He is in our minds not because he was very rich or a strong man; but because he was a writer and author of fifteen books. Throughout his life he promoted tolerance, democratic values, coexistence and rights of people of Jammu and Kashmir. He promoted united and independent Jammu and Kashmir. His bank balance was his books, and I hope the future generations will benefit from his wisdom and vision.
Whereas the majority of people live in the past or are unable to properly comprehend current trends in society which shape their lives, writers and philosophers have this ability that they look in to future by analysing the current trends. Many ordinary people are either unable to comprehend their message, or do not want to understand it because of their interests; and some people are too afraid to extend support because of the wrath of those who control the society.
I got my first Urdu romantic novel published at the age of 19; and my second Urdu novel was published two years after that. However, after that I have only written on history, politics and current struggle in Jammu and Kashmir. I have written against extremism, violence and hatred. I have written what forces of occupation do to keep us divided and occupied. I have explained who has done what in name of the Kashmiri struggle; and how they have fooled people of Jammu and Kashmir to advance their personal and economic agenda.
In this jihad to promote rights and interests of the Kashmiri people; and for exposing culprits and agents of forces of occupation I have paid a big price and continue to do so. However, I have no regrets. I did what I thought was right for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, for the peace and stability of South Asia and for our struggle of united and independent Kashmir.
Throughout my struggle for united and independent Jammu and Kashmir I have been subject to multiple pressures, some pressure from my colleagues or senior leaders and some from those who did not like what I did to promote an independent Kashmir, and expose black sheep in the struggle.
Time and again ban was imposed on my thinking and writings. I was asked not to write as it created problems for the top leaders (who had mortgaged their struggle and conscience for the sake of political and monetary gains) because their bosses in Islamabad were angry because of what I wrote. In one such situation my friend and colleague Abbas Butt, who succeeded me as the President was asked to take some action against me. Abbas Butt replied action against him for what. He has not done anything against the party, party constitution or the struggle for an independent Jammu and Kashmir.
Despite this bold stand, Abbas Butt had to set up a committee to scrutinise my articles. The committee after analysing my articles concluded that my articles were in line with the party constitution and represented true ideology of united and independent Jammu and Kashmir. After this the top leader ordered that Shabir Choudhry should not write anything for the period of six months; and when he writes he should submit his articles to a committee of three men; and if they were satisfied then they would allow him to publish the articles.
This was a great insult to my wisdom, talent and research on Kashmir; and to rub salt they included a name of a man in a committee who had only seen colleges and universities from a distance, as the man was only educated to class 7 from Pakistani Administered Kashmir. I thought it was better not to write anything on Kashmir, or write another novel instead of submitting my articles to those who lacked wisdom, qualification and intellect. I did not write anything for many months, but when Abdul Ghani Lone was massacred for opposing a dictation of Islamabad, I started writing again by saying that it was criminal negligence to remain quiet now.
Forces of occupation and their agents know a pen of a true nationalist writer is very effective weapon. It is because of this they try to impose restrictions on free thinking and debates and try to gag writers and analysts, as they don’t want people to know their game plan. These directionless people promoted as leaders want the status quo to continue, as this suits their agenda and agenda of their pay masters. When I get personal attacks and abuse on social media, I understand why that was happening. I say to myself, once again I have hit the target and upset those powers that want the status quo to continue. I feel I have upset forces of extremism, violence and hatred; and attracted their wrath.
Friends and colleagues, you can call me whatever you like, but I will continue my jihad against those forces that promote extremism, communalism, hatred and violence. I will openly say that we were fooled by the top leaders on behest of the Pakistani establishment to work to liberate the Valley of Kashmir and focus our attention on the Indian side of the divide. It must be understood that the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir is disputed; but our struggle is on the Pakistani side of the divide.
My message is very simple: those who are occupied by India they should struggle against that occupation; and those who are occupied by Pakistan they should struggle against the Pakistani occupation. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that both countries are occupiers and they have their agents at different levels to oppose and malign true Kashmiri nationalists. They want to confuse people and divide people by playing religious and regional cards; and by promoting extremism, violence and hatred.
I acknowledge people of Jammu and Kashmir are subject to human rights abuses on both sides of the divide; and innocent people are killed, tortured and imprisoned. Also I acknowledge that tens of thousands of innocent people have lost their lives in the Valley of Kashmir; however, many insurgency experts and journalists claim that India alone is not responsible for all the killings. Pakistani sponsored militancy, their agents and so called jihadis created that situation, where innocent people became targets of bullets; and in some cases they also killed innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir to settle personal scores and for ideological reasons.
It must be understood that some people are deliberately distorting history and facts; and they do that to advance agenda of those who occupy us. Tribesmen did not come to liberate us in 1947. They came to occupy us and loot us. They came to Kashmir by violating the Standstill Agreement concluded between Pakistan and the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir. Once they entered the State territory they killed and looted; they raped women and kidnapped young girls and sold them in the Pakistani cities. Sad thing is that these savage killers are promoted as mujahideen and those traitors who invited them to attack Jammu and Kashmir are promoted as leaders and patriots.
It is unfortunate that majority of Kashmiri nationalists are a confused lot, as they are unable to differentiate between Kashmiri nationalism and ‘Muslim nationalism’. What some of these so called nationalists are promoting is ‘GHQ brand of nationalism’; aim of which was to confuse people of Jammu and Kashmir and advance the Pakistani interest in the region.
If both India and Pakistan are occupiers then why is it that these so called nationalists happily have a Black Day on 15th August, India’s Independence Day; and remain quiet and in some cases wave the Pakistani flags on 14th August, Pakistan’s Independence Day? Why is it that they have a Black Day on 27 October because Indian army landed in Srinagar on that day and remain quiet on 22 October; yet the Tribesmen came uninvited and by violating the treaty obligations and the Indian army came on the invitation of the Ruler and as a result of a treaty?
This struggle, which was engineered by Pakistan to advance their agenda, is a Muslim and regional struggle under the garb of Kashmiri nationalism; and we true sons of Jammu and Kashmir need to understand that, and educate our youths that together we can defeat forces of occupation, extremism and violence.
Writer is a political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs.Email: