Amidst Signs of Unrest : PoK Demands Self-rule
All is not well in PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan regions. It is in turbulence. This was in evidence when Jammu Kashmir National Liberation Conference (JKNLC) took out protest march on October 4 to commemorate the 4th October 1947 ‘Republic of Kashmir’ declaration.
Former president General Pervez Musharraf’s open admission in an interview with German Magazine Der Spiegel that Pakistani security forces trained militant groups to fight against India in Jammu and Kashmir speaks volumes of Pakistan’s evil intentions on India. Between the lines,his statement carries considerable weight.
Witness the procession taken out by JuD (Jamaat-ul-Dawa) on September 28, 2010, in 1000 vehicles carrying activities belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Harket–ul- Ansar and Dawat-e-Islam drawn from different parts of Pakistan. It passed through Mirpur, Kotli, Rawalakot and Bagh under Tehreek-e- Azadi-e-Kashmir (TAK)banner and also held conferences at these places. The TAK chairman Saifullah
Mansoor said “You announce any programme, Pakistanis will follow it. They will offer their money and children for Kashmir,” Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir (TAK) is an organisation launched by JuD in Pakistan to provide a platform to all political and religious parties, campaigning for the Kashmir movement. According to Arif Shahid, President Jammu Kashmir National Liberation Conference (JKNLC), PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) has practically been controlled by militant originations with the support of Pakistan’s secret agency. “The militants have regrouped and launched ‘jihadi’ activities in the Neelum valley on the Pakistani side of the LoC, and these militants are not from PoK,” he told this writer. He believes that militants are planning to sabotage the ongoing peace negotiations between India and Pakistan. “They have set up camps in the region and many are crossing the border”. This is the start of another proxy war after 1989 when the Kalashnikov culture was brought to Jammu and Kashmir State. “This was not indigenous just as the stone pelting culture is not indigenous,” he said with confidence.
The separatists also demanded the abolition of “The Azad Jammu & Kashmir Interim constitution Act, 1974”. They also sought withdrawal of “Lent Officers” and replacing them with the local talents.
Arif Shahid pointed out that “there were no ‘lent officers’ in Indian Jammu and Kashmir, yet that part of Jammu Kashmir is called occupied and its government puppet, while we call ourselves ‘free’ (Azad) despite all handicaps, for which we should feel ashamed”.
It is pertinent to mention here that the All Party National Alliance (APNA), an amalgam of several political outfits in Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Gilgit and Baltistan, has been fighting for their political and constitutional rights against Pakistan. According to Section 7.2 of the PoK constitution "No person or political party in Azad Jammu & Kashmir shall be permitted to propagate against, or take part in activities prejudicial or detrimental to, the ideology of the state's accession to Pakistan Under Section 5(2) (vii) of the POK Legislative Assembly Election Ordinance 1970, a person would be disqualified for propagating any opinion or action in any manner prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan, the ideology of State’s accession to Pakistan or the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan.” The same caveat applies to anyone who "defames or brings into ridicule the judiciary of AJK of Pakistan or the Armed Forces of Pakistan. In preceding elections APNA candidates nomination applications were rejected for not filling accession to the Pakistan oath document.
Giving brief account of Kashmir dispute, Shahid said that when India was divided in 1947 and Pakistan emerged out of it as an independent country, there were two political parties in India with different points of view – Indian National Congress (INC) and All India Muslim League (AIML). He further said, “when the ‘Tribal Lashkar’ invaded Valley at the behest of Pakistan, the ruler of Jammu Kashmir had to appeal to India for help, which it refused initially on the pretext that there was no such agreement between them to help each other. Then the ruler of Jammu Kashmir had to conclude an agreement of accession with India to get help to counter the Pakistan’s onslaught and invasion.” He said, according to the resolution of 13th August 1948, the people of Jammu & Kashmir were given option to join Pakistan, India or to remain independent. According to the same, Pakistan had to vacate whole of the Jammu Kashmir including Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) by withdrawing its troops and civilians in total leaving not a single soul in the state; whereas India was to vacate only by withdrawing bulk of her troops leaving a part of it to help the administration. Pakistan is signatory to this resolution.
Pakistan’s print and electronic media have been harping on the resolution of 19th July, 1947, but doesn’t mention the genuine resolution passed by the genuine executive committee of the Muslim conference chaired by Hameedullah, acting on behalf of the President of Muslim Conference Ghulam Abass, who was in prison. The resolution was passed in favour of independent Jammu Kashmir. He candidly admitted that the decision was yet to be made for the whole of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state (Jammu, so called ‘Azad Kashmir’, Valley of Kashmir, Muzaffarabad, Ladakh and Gilgit-Baltistan). The state of Jammu Kashmir is not exclusive heritage of any single sect or religion, but is the motherland of all the people living in its forcibly divided religions comprising – Muslims, Hindus, Budhists, Sikhs and Christians.
The other region under the illegal occupation of Pakistan, Gilgit-Baltistan is not peaceful.
APNA also held demonstration in Gilgit to raise the demand of withdrawal of Pakistani forces from the region. According to Manzoor Hussain Parwana, Chairman Gilgit-Balatistan United Movement (GBUM), “the security forces on the directive of Pakistani rulers have made the people’s life hell and there is no check on human rights violations in the Gilgit-Baltistan region.” He said “terrorists are coming in the region dumping arms and ammunition with the active support of those who are at the helms of affairs in Gilgit-Balatistan”. Parwana squarely blamed Raziuddin Rizvi, the member of GB Legislative Assembly and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee as he has termed the situation in Gilgit-Baltistan even worse than the Pakistan Held Kashmir. He said Gilgit-Baltistan was neither constitutional nor legal part of Pakistan but is under its administrative control on a temporary basis.