- War Mongers & Apostles of Peace
Syed Nazir Gilani
states India and Pakistan have charter obligations to peace and
security. Peace is a prelude to any script of progress and
development in these two countries. India and Pakistan have
subscribed ‘to maintain international peace and security and to
that end, to take effective collective measures for the prevention
and removal of threats to peace and for the suppression of acts of
aggression or other breaches of peace and to bring about by peaceful
means and in conformity with the principles of justice and
international law, adjustment or settlement of international
disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace’.
In addition to this principal obligation in regards to peace India
and Pakistan, have taken upon awkward positions vis a vis the two
governments of Jammu and Kashmir at Srinagar and Muzaffarabad.
non-government actors, in the form of two oppositions in Srinagar
and Muzaffarabad too have a role in the dispensation of a political
and social justice to the people of Kashmir. There are myriad more
components working to promote the general welfare in the civil
society. Unfortunately the government in Srinagar has insulated
itself against its duty to the people across the line of control.
The government in Muzaffarabad too forgets its duty to people on the
other side of the line of control. Both Srinagar and Muzaffarabad
perpetuate their respective interests by crying wolf and sit idle to
watch the daily death and destruction caused by the exchange of
firepower between India and Pakistan.
are warmongers out to see the two countries edge forward to a
massive destruction. The apostles of peace have a higher burden of
responsibility to steel their resolve and bring the two neighbours
back from the brink of war.
would be a tragedy if the people of Kashmir, held in respective
pockets of control by India and Pakistan, while executing their
desire to self determination, trigger a war, that piles death upon
destruction. The debris of war destruction would bury the Kashmir
cause for many generations to come. It is only peace in India and
Pakistan that would act as a catalyst, in turning the sympathy of
the decent Indian and decent Pakistani, in favour of the genuine
grievance of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
based Kashmiri politics and the Islamabad based militant leadership
has a higher burden of responsibility to secure peace – a habitat
essential to execute the resolution of the Kashmir dispute. It is
important that we understand the existing jurisprudence of the
Kashmiri governments at Srinagar and Muzaffarabad. This
understanding would be incomplete if it fails to stretch out to the
people of Northern Areas suffering under April 1949 agreement.
any genuine and serious movement on the dispute of Kashmir, it is
principally essential that the leadership of Kashmir is ‘mature in
judgement’ and ‘enlightened in conscience’. As a pre-requisite
it has to understand the jurisprudence of the case in entirety. The
first step in this process is to position itself vis a vis India and
Pakistan in ‘equity and good faith’.
leaders on the list of APHC in particular and others outside this
fold in general have failed to make a case in favour of their basic
right of self determination. Majority in APHC has volunteered to
substitute the ‘basic right’ for a ‘dispute’ between India
and Pakistan. On the question of a basic right one has no problem to
poise in accordance with the jurisprudence of the case. While as in
the event of a dispute, the affinity and positioning is always
suspect and biased?
and Pakistan, in their bilateral agreements in particular Tashkent
and Shimla have subscribed to the insurance of no ‘prejudice
clause’ in regards to their claimed positions. Any future
dispensation of Kashmir question would at core be in settlement of
the basic grievance of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The UN
resolutions, Tashkent, Shimla and Lahore agreements and declarations
are the essential jurisprudence on the subject.
respective controls of India and Pakistan, judgements of various
courts, the legislative assemblies at Srinagar and Muzaffarabad and
day to day conduct of public affairs in various parts of Jammu and
Kashmir, have also created a direct and relevant jurisprudence
around the case. The
constitutions of India and Pakistan too reserve an interest in this
is disheartening to note that the understanding of the Kashmiri
leadership of this vast flux of jurisprudence is sufficiently
unreliable. Their political vocabulary and diplomatic phrase has
failed to move with the times and as such has become obsolete.
Kashmiri politics has an overbearing punitive component and is not
prepared to model itself on tolerance and a popular mandate.
other important hue missing from the fabric of Kashmiri politics is
the non-existence of a sense of accountability, responsibility and
culpability. There is no regular mechanism, which a common citizen
can invoke or resort to for pressing a grievance against the
failings of a leader. A leader is a leader – ‘lock, stock and
equally suffer a continued disadvantage because they do not have an
‘informed choice’ to make. They are lead or coerced across a
dark alley by the use of violence by the state and non-state
parties. Our leaders and their support structures tend to confuse
the people of Kashmir on the question of elections and the use of
violence. Elections are far distinct a right from the right of
the people of Kashmir into non-participation in elections on the one
hand raises the prospect of a counter coercion by the state
machinery and security forces seeking participation. It exposes men
and women and the civil society to a vicious circle of coercion
aimed to seek respective compliance. On the other hand it deprives
the people to maintain at least a very minimum control over their
representatives. At the same time the forces that ought to be
impeded and restrained – sleep walk into power for a full power
in genuine, free and fair elections, is a basic human right. UN
General Assembly has held that participation in genuine elections is
necessary to secure and enjoy a vast regime of other human rights.
leadership is either ignorant at core on the question of elections
and self determination or remains guilty of wilfully pedalling a
mala fide on the subject. United Nations has settled the
jurisprudence of elections and self-determination in Kashmir.
Elections in Kashmir have been categorically rejected as a
substitute for the dispensation of a free and fair plebiscite to
decide the question of self-determination.
people of Jammu and Kashmir have only two occasions when they could
authority and instruct the behaviour to carry out their mandates.
The first and immediate is the participation in elections and affirm
an agenda of social justice. It will help them to remain effective
and visible in the running of day to day affairs of life, involving
insurance of a vast regime of human rights. The second occasion is
their participation in a free and fair plebiscite, to determine
their title to self-determination. Those who oppose elections, in
effect, make the voice of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, feeble
and weaker, to be heard for any dispensation of self-determination.
and war are a distraction from the two basic rights of participation
in elections and a gradual build up for a participation in
self-determination. Unless the leadership of Kashmir is
knowledgeable on the jurisprudence of the Kashmir case and the
people have an informed choice – they shall continue to wander in
a ‘political wilderness’.
author is the Secretary General of London based NGO Jammu and
Kashmir Council for Human Rights.
Bachao Andolan as
an organization does not subscribe to the views and opinions
expressed in the article.