Twice in just over a year, the Hurriyat hounds have been made pariahs by the Modi-led government of India. In August last year, India cancelled its scheduled Foreign Secretary level talks with Pakistan after the latter did not accede to our request of not having prior discussions with that bunch of people who are physically based in Jammu & Kashmir but have their heart and soul in the Islamic state of Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
This time around, there has been another reason why the “Talks” became “No Talk.”
In what was a suicidal move, Pakistan chose to include the K word when it was not even on the original agenda. And in what was a desperate act, it evoked the UN Security Council Resolution of April 1948 for the umpteenth time, forgetting, for the umpteenth time, that the UN recommending Plebiscite in Jammu & Kashmir State of India had almost become ancient history—for the United Nations itself.
In the end, Pakistan chose to do an Arvind Kejriwal and became a bhagoda, a coward who ran away.
However, the ultimatum on not involving the Hurriyat in the scheduled talks between the National Security Advisers of the two countries has raised the shackles of “experts”. Their argument is that the past practice of years and years should have been allowed to go on.
It has not yet sunk into this lot of people that our present Prime Minister is a pragmatist, and not the one who will make a heritage of a dangerous tradition. He is only doing what was needed to be done all these long years since the All Parties Conference came into being in March 1993 with a conglomeration of 28 parties which has since split now and again.
It’s actually naïve to believe that a bunch of Indian citizens who enjoy a luxurious life along with nationally provided security should believe in cutting off relations with their homeland and spreading that cult with persistent mischief and misdemeanour, stone-throwing and physical violence included.
For those who do not know, the Hurriyat ideology is summarised below:
- Misguide the youth in rebelling against their own motherland
- Keep cosy relations with Pakistan’s sick ISI which has long believed in bleeding India with a thousand cuts
- Stage fake freedom struggles
- Repeatedly call citizens to boycott their motherland’s elections and
- Refuse to contest elections themselves as, probably, a disdain for India.
Imagine a grandfather named Syed Ali Shah Geelani desperately needing an Indian Passport but conceding that he’s an Indian citizen only under duress and only in secret. He’s the one who heads the volatile Tehreek-e-Hurriyat faction.
And why is Pakistan still in bed with the Hurriyat?
Because the Hurriyat leaders believe that Jammu & Kashmir is a disputed territory, India’s control on it is not justified and therefore supports the Pakistani claim that Kashmir is the unfinished agenda of the 1947 Partition that needs to be solved as per (i) the agenda of Partition and (ii) the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan simply loves the fact that the Hurriyat perceives itself to be the sole representative of the Kashmiri people—never mind that that claim has been endorsed only by Pakistan!
That is also why, the other day on Pak TV, Sartaz Aziz, Pakistan’s NSA mentioned the Security Council Resolution No. 47 of April 1948 recommending a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir.
But, as usual for a Pakistani official, Aziz did not mention that what the Security Council recommended were “appropriate measures…to create proper conditions for a free and impartial plebiscite to decide whether the State of Jammu and Kashmir is to accede to India or Pakistan.”
The reality is that there were two crucial measures which the UN thought were essential to be accomplished before a Plebiscite. In the words of the UN itself, these were:
“1.The Government of Pakistan should undertake to use its best endeavours:
(a) To secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purposes of fighting, and to prevent any intrusion into the State of such elements and any furnishing of material aid to those fighting in the State.”
Read that paragraph again.
It not only concedes that Pakistan was the aggressor in that invasion into Jammu and Kashmir in October 1947, but, even more importantly, that Pakistan had to first withdraw all its fighting persons from Jammu and Kashmir to create conditions for a plebiscite.
Under the subject Resolution what was India to do? Here it is, the second major measure:
The Government of India should:
(a) When it is established to the satisfaction of the Commission set up in accordance with the Council’s Resolution 39 (1948) that the tribesmen are withdrawing and that arrangements for the cessation of the fighting have become effective, put into operation in consultation with the Commission a plan for withdrawing their own forces from Jammu and Kashmir and reducing them progressively to the minimum strength required for the support of the civil power in the maintenance of law and order;
Hence the trillion-dollar question: If Pakistan has not withdrawn its forces from Jammu and Kashmir and continues to occupy the so-called Azad Kashmir for 68 years besides giving away the Aksai Chin part of Jammu and Kashmir to China, where, in the name of Allah, Mr Aziz, is the question of India keeping its word in the UN?
There are more issues that Sartaz Aziz does not disclose to his citizens and to the uninitiated in India:
- The UN Resolution No. 47 was passed under Chapter VI of the UN Charter. But Resolutions passed under Chapter VI of the UN Charter are considered non-binding and have no mandatory enforceability as opposed to the resolutions passed under Chapter VII.
- In March 2001, the then Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, during his visit to India and Pakistan, remarked that Kashmir resolutions are only advisory recommendations and comparing with those on East Timor and Iraq was like comparing apples and oranges, since those resolutions were passed under Chapter VII, which make it enforceable by the UN Security Council.
- In 2003, then Pakistan President, General Pervez Musharraf announced that Pakistan was willing to back off from the demand for UN resolutions for Kashmir.
Then there’s the last point, often reiterated by Yasin Malik, of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, that a Kashmiri citizen has the right to have a voice in the future of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Now, Yasin Malik has never shown himself as possessing a high intellect. But he must surely know that neither the Constitution of India, nor that of the State Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir has a provision for the right of self-determination to opt for allegiance to this State or that nation.
Malik should realise that the Jammu and Kashmir State Constitution itself was an exercise of that right of self-determination. That Constitution itself came about in November 1956 from the State’s Constituent Assembly which was elected by the people on the basis of complete universal franchise.
There are even more important facts which Mr Malik should never run away from.
Section 3 of that Jammu and Kashmir State Constitution says that “The State of Jammu & Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India.”
The second fact: the cited Section 3 is not amenable to any amendment as per Section 147 relating to amendment of that State Constitution.
Lastly, Sartaz Aziz, Yasin Malik and all others in Jammu and Kashmir, must know that the so-called Azad Kashmir appropriated by Pakistan is in fact a part of Jammu and Kashmir according to the Jammu and Kashmir State Constitution itself.
Section 4 states: “The territory of the State shall comprise all the territories which on the fifteenth day of August, 1947, were under the sovereignty or suzerainty of the Ruler of the State.”
Weren’t the so-called Azad Kashmir and Aksai Chin under the Maharaja Hari Singh of the State of Jammu and Kashmir on 15th August 1947? Answer that, all of you in Pakistan!
If the Hurriyat has now been permanently atrophied, it’s good news for India. And if there’s no talk for now, or even for as long as the Hurriyat is not divorced from Pakistan, too bad for Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Pakistan can look at the UN Security Council Resolution No. 47, more honestly than it has ever cared to do.
If Pakistan does that introspection, it will dawn on them that India has nothing to discuss with it on the K word–except the terror there and the return of territories to India.
Let them grasp the simple fact that it makes the greatest possible sense for Pak to live peacefully and prosperously with India, always the good neighbour.
Arvind Lavakere has been a freelance writer since 1957. He has written and spoken on sports on radio and TV. He currently writes on political issues regularly. His writings include a book on Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.