• The Pakistani establishment has no intention of giving Kashmiris the vote to decide their own future

    Posted by Administrator on 15/04/2013

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    "The possession of Kashmir can do nothing to the economy of India nor to the strategic interests of India. On the other hand it is vital for Pakistan... If Kashmir should accede to India, Pakistan might as well from both the economic or strategic point of view, become a feudatory of India or cease to exist as an independent sovereign state." Excerpt of speech given to the Security Council by the late Zafarrullah Khan, Pakistan's former Minister of Foreign Affairs (1947 - 1954).

    We pose the following consideration.

    In light of this candid admission on the part of a high ranking Pakistani official concerning the princely State's strategic importance to Pakistan, Pakistan's exploitative dealings of Pakistan-administered-Kashmir ('Azad' Kashmir) is all the more compelling proof that it cares little for the peoples of Azad Kashmir but more for its natural and human resources. Pakistan has no intention of giving the peoples of Azad Kashmir a plebiscite to decide their future, it merely seeks to offer lip service to internationally recognised principles of allowing nations the right to decide their own future whilst offering no tangible means to achieve such goals. Pakistan is simply not faithful to its own stated cause of giving the peoples of Jammu and Kashmir the right to decide their own future, either becoming part of Pakistan or India.

    The constitution of Azad Kashmir forbids prospective legislators of demanding a course outside the scope of Pakistan's sanctioned policies; to become part of this legislature, members must swear an oath of allegiance to Pakistan; independence parties are therefore barred from participating in such elections. Instead it has sought to dismember its 'Kashmir' into the Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir, the former in political terms being denied any connection with the latter and being directly governed by Islamabad; the latter being given a nominally independent government strictly controlled by the Ministry for Kashmir Affairs.

    Pakistan has sought to change the demography on the ground in the Northern Areas by encouraging and actively supporting the settlement of peoples from the North West Frontier Province thereby reducing the overall majority of the native population. Pakistan's security services particularly the ISI has encouraged sectarian violence, with its own Deobandi and Wahhabi-inspired factions victimising the native Shias, who have been targeted and killed for simply being Shias. Similar travesties exist in Azad Kashmir where peoples from the 'Punjab' and 'Khyber Pukhtunkwa' districts are encouraged to find work in Azad Kashmir, settling in their thousands in the hope that people loyal to Pakistan given their roots will influence a status qua in Pakistan's favour. 

    For the Pahari contingencies of Mirpur, they will continue to have their lands exploited and their limited fertile fields flooded for Pakistan's water and energy needs; their on-going remittances will continue to benefit the economy of Pakistan whilst their money diminishes in its exchange value in corrupt Pakistani Banks. They will continue to be treated as second class citizens of a country that doesn’t even recognise them or their lands constitutionally.

    In a nutshell the peoples of Pakistan-administered-Kashmir are merely pawns in a much larger game, they have no significant rights but are tolerated given the advantage they bring to bear on Pakistan.

    Would this be a fair assessment of the facts?

    Please discuss the issues within the limits of proper comportment; extending respect and courtesy to those whose views you may not necessarily agree with. Offensive and hate-filled comments (normally reflective of intellectually-challenged people) will be deleted.

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