Defence Day, Floods and Kashmir

Defence Day, Floods and Kashmir

Prof Dp

By: Omer Zaheer Meer

An extremely important aspect of modern life, greatly neglected in Muslim societies more so in Pakistan is the independent research and development of practical solutions. Therefore any institution striving for this is a blessing in this age of brain-drain, more so when it not just pay lip-service but also act in line with its motto of “Deliberate, Decipher & Decode”. That’s what attracted me to the idea of founding Millat Thinkers’ Forum (MTF).

Following its tradition of celebrating the national days by focusing attention on issues of national importance unattended by others, MTF focused on the issue of Kashmir on this defence day. It’s a sad tragedy that our younger generation is not educated on vital issues. Even when they’re, mostly the narrative used is the one set by opposing contenders. What can be more tragic for a nation than to be robbed of its history, identity and awareness? Nothing can be.

Noam Chomsky once famously wrote how the masses are deceived without them realizing that they’re misled. This is best suited to people of Pakistan. How many Pakistanis know that the alleged accord Dogra Maharaja Hari Singh signed with India was illegal as he was not a hereditary ruler but a British appointee whose legitimacy was over with the end of the British rule in India? Moreover not many today know that the same Maharaja had already signed a stand-still agreement with Pakistan to hold till will of the Kashmiris can be determined.

Let’s ask that how many times have the Pakistani Foreign Office raised the issue of the hypocrisy that India has shown with regard to Hyderabad and Junagarh both of which were mirror images of Kashmir in that they had a majority of Hindu population but Muslim rulers. Unlike Hari Singh, these were hereditary rulers having their legitimacy intact. Nawab of Hyderabad, one of the biggest and the richest state in India announced its independence while the King of Junagarh signed accession to Pakistan. However the Imperialist India enslaved both with its military might claiming the aspirations of Hindu majority had to be taken into account. But when it comes to Kashmir the same India forgets about the aspirations of the Muslim majority but rather focuses on the so-called accord of a ruler who had no legitimacy.

What more ironic is the fact that India conveniently forgets that it was she who took the issue to the United Nations and pledged a plebiscite under UN’s command to determine the will of the people. Now India doesn’t want to talk about keeping its pledges to the international community as well as the Kashmiris. Such despicable behavior of treachery, broken pledges and hypocrisy would shame even the worst of tyrants.

Fair enough that Pakistan is facing several crises today but they’re all tied up with the Kashmir issue and an amicable and just resolution of the Kashmir quagmire will end most of the problems facing Pakistan today. Let’s be more elaborative about it. Be it the support to the TTP miscreants from Indian consulates in Afghanistan or the supplies and training provided to BLA type terrorists in Balochistan from the same source, the root cause lies in Kashmir issue. Similarly the pattern of water shortage in years of rain shortage due to Indian water reservoirs in Kashmir (many illegally built) closing down the water flow and the devastating floods in years of heavy rainfall due to India opening the floodgates from the same reservoirs are again a direct result of the outstanding Kashmir dispute. The reliance on expensive IPP’s using furnace oil to produce electricity and resulting shortages are also a consequence of Pakistan not getting its due share of water. All these problems particularly the water issues are a death-trap for Pakistan which is essentially an agricultural country.

Having said that, it is also true that successive governments in Pakistan have not only failed Kashmiris but also didn’t take corrective steps within their powers such as building water reservoirs on the available resources to address Pakistan’s ultimate survival issue. Unfortunately the focus seems to be on cosmetic and temporary measures for cheap publicity. Despite losses of billions of rupees in infrastructure destruction, crops devastation and loss of output besides irrecoverable human loss, those in power seems to be failing the nation on the front of water management too.

All this was discussed at the highly successful Defence Day event organized by Millat Thinkers’ Forum at Karachi Shouhada Hall, Lahore High Court on the topic of “Kashmir: The forgotten jugular vein. Past, Present and the way forward” A presentation of real-life atrocities on innocent Kashmiri women, children and elderly by occupying Indian forces sent from Indian Occupied Kashmir by Millat Facebook members was also presented. Amongst the prominent dignitaries at the event was the host, Mr. Zaheer Ahmad Meer Advocate (Patron Millat Thinkers’ Forum, Managing Partner Professionals’ Social Network and President Hum Kashmiri Lawyers) and other eminent guests included:

Justice (R) Allah Nawaz (ex Chief Justice Lahore High Court)

Justice (R) Sharif Hussain Bokhari (ex Judge Lahore High Court)

Admiral (R) Javaid Iqbal,

General (R) Rahat Latif,

Mrs. Ayesha Qazi (President Lahore Tax Bar Association),

Mr. Munim Sultan (G. Sec Lahore Tax Bar Association),

Mr. Absar Abdul Ali (Director, Hameed Nizami Press Institute),

Mian Khalid Habib Elahi (Advocate Supreme Court & ex D. Attorney General Punjab),

Mr. Mansoor Ur Rehman Afridi (Advocate Supreme Court, ex VC Punjab Bar Council & ex President Lahore Bar Association)

and

Mr. Sajjad Mehmood Butt (Advocate Supreme Court & Patron Hum Kashmiri Lawyers)

The closing proposals adopted unanimously as resolutions were that the Government of Pakistan should take concrete steps to build water reservoirs, build an effective narrative on the Kashmir issue and spread it globally, standby Kashmiris and provide them all possible support, internationally highlight the UN resolution and the lack of legitimacy of Hari Singh, a British appointee whose rule ended with the British rule and do not give up on its principled stand. There will come a time when Pakistan and Kashmiris will be able to get their right, just like the China-Taiwan case. Determination, resilience and steadfastness would be required as even a century is not much in the lives of nations. Otherwise the nations who start squandering their rights end up surrendering their independence too.

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The author is Director of the think-tank “Millat Thinkers’ Forum”. He is a leading economist, chartered accountant, qualified financial analyst and anti-money laundering expert with international exposure who can be reached on Twitter and www.myMFB.com @OmerZaheerMeer or omerzaheermeer@hotmail.co.uk

Kashmir: The Forgotten Jugular Vein

The following article has been published in the Sunday Edition of Pakistan Today, dated 31st August 2014
(For online version: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2014/08/30/comment/kashmir-the-forgotten-jugular-vein/ )

(For Published Version, Page 9:   http://issuu.com/abidoon/docs/dna_issue_39/9?e=3820687/9123742 )

Kashmir: The Forgotten Jugular Vein

What it still means to Pakistan

Prof Dp

By: Omer Zaheer Meer

The author is a Director of the think-tank “Millat Thinkers’ Forum”. He is a leading economist, qualified accountant and anti-money laundering expert with international exposure who can be reached on Twitter and www.myMFB.com @OmerZaheerMeer  or omerzaheermeer@hotmail.co.uk

Just like all beautiful things in this world, Kashmir, the heaven on Earth has been a victim of its own charm. While most people in the sub-continent and world over know of the miseries of Kashmiris since 1947, their hardships and slavery has dated back long. It was the fateful year of 1820 when tyranny took over the beautiful region with Ranjeet Singh annexing it. However it was yet to see the worst. In 1846, following the defeat of Sikhs in the first Anglo-Sikh war, the so-called “Maharaja” Gulab Singh “purchased” Kashmir along with all its inhabitants for a paltry 7.5 million Rupees from none other than the torch bearer of civilization and human-rights, the then British Empire. After the worst possible atrocities and subjugation a nation has been subjected to in human history, Kashmiris saw ray of hope with the arrival of 1947.

A new Muslim state was been carved out in the subcontinent named Pakistan. The region comprising this new state shared natural, logistical, economic, cultural, religious as well historic ties with Jammu and Kashmir. The overwhelming majority of Kashmir at the time, according to some studies over 80% was Muslim. The masses believed it was their democratic right as well as natural to become part of Pakistan. However there was a catch. According to the Independence Plan the Indo-Pak region was divided on the basis of religious majority of Muslims and Hindus but the independent princely states were to decide their own faith but encourage to join India or Pakistan while taking into account geographical contiguity and the wishes of their people. Any disputes were to be resolved by holding plebiscites.

The subjugation of Kashmiris ultimately led to an internal revolt in the “Poonch” region against the “Dogra Raj” resulting in declaration of “Azad” Kashmir government. The cries for support against the ruthless Dogra oppressors were answered by the poorly armed Pashton tribes from the mountainous terrains of Pakistan, sharing a strong bond of religion. As a result Hari Singh asked for help from India and was forced to sign an alleged accession document as per Indian claims despite having already signed a “standstill” agreement with Pakistan.

Worried by Indian aggression, Quaid-e-Azam ordered the British commander-in-chief of Pakistan Army, General Gracey to send in Pakistan Army units to aid Kashmiris but he refused setting a despicable blot on his name. A few low-ranking Pakistan Army officers voluntarily joined the warring tribes and reached the outskirts of Srinagar. However unnecessary changes of command, lack of proper arms and ammunitions and deficiency in numbers of the rag-tag militiamen meant they were no match materially for the regular Indian Army. However their passion, skill and bravery they fought with led them to not only liberate a vast region but inflicted such damage that the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru himself took the matter to the United Nations (UN) requesting a cease-fire and asking for a plebiscite in Kashmir under the UN watch, accepting it to be a disputed territory.

Before proceeding further, let me share an interesting excerpt from a historic address with you: “It (Kashmir) is a people with a soul of its own and an individuality of its own. Kashmir is not the property of either India or Pakistan. It belongs to the people of Kashmir, and the people of Kashmir alone will decide as to what their future affiliation and course of action will be”. The excerpt you just read is not said by any Pakistani or Kashmiri leader but these are words of the Prime Minister of India Mr. Nehru himself.

It is a sad tragedy that the so-called largest democracy in the world has enslaved an entire people against their will and back-tracked on its own commitments to not only them but the whole world for the seventh decade now. What’s more pitiful is the hypocrisy practiced by India. It annexed Hyderabad and Junagargh, both ruled by Muslim rulers despite the first declaring independence and the latter signing accession to Pakistan. India claimed that since the majority of the population was Hindu in both states, the independence and accession agreement do not hold. But when it came to Kashmir which was exactly a mirror image with a majority of Muslim population ruled by a non-Muslim ruler, India changed its own stance claiming the alleged accession agreement was to hold in this case. In effect, India practiced imperialist hypocrisy null of any principles. What’s more it even refuses to date to honor its own pledge of a plebiscite in Kashmir, which it made to the international community.

As of today, despite the partially successful 1948 liberation war and subsequent events including 1962 Indo-China war, the state of Jammu and Kashmir stands divided into three regions, the Indian-Occupied Jammu, Kashmir Valley and Ladakh, the Pakistan-administered Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan and the Chinese-administered regions of Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract.

On its part, Pakistan fought several wars with India over the Kashmir dispute but missed some golden opportunities. During the 1962 Indo-China war, Kashmir was virtually “empty” of Indian Army and Pakistan was sent a message by Chinese to move in and take over what was rightfully theirs. However the dictator at the time, Field Marshal Ayub Khan let the opportunity slip. Earlier during the 1948 liberation war, Pakistan accepted a ceasefire when its tribal militia without support of regular Pakistan Army was inflicting serious damage to regular Indian Army, letting an opportunity to liberate Kashmir slip away.

Reading this all, you may be wondering why is Kashmir still so important to Pakistan and do Kashmiris still want to join Pakistan? While the latter can be determined by a plebiscite we can examine the first. All of Pakistan’s rivers flow from Kashmir. The Indian occupation has pursued controversial projects to implement a water control strategy designed to starve Pakistan of its lifeline of water supplies. The consequences of water scarcity require a detailed write-up but it can be safely said that it’ll put the very existence of Pakistan at risk.

It was not without reason that the wise Quaid-e-Azam said “Kashmir is the jugular vein of Pakistan and no nation can allow its jugular vein to be held by the enemy”. Even if one was to think beyond the atrocities by Imperialist India warranting a compassionate response, an independent Kashmir with defense pacts would be better for both Kashmir and Pakistan compared to an Indian Occupied one. Pakistan should therefore continue to stand beside the brave Kashmiris who have given unprecedented sacrifices for freedom and lend all the support possible for their just cause.

Press Release: PTI achieved Unprecedented Success for the cause of Pakistan – The furthermost part of the Peace March Reached within kilometers of Jandola despite threats and hurdles by Government and pro Status-Co Parties: Mr. Omer Meer

(8th Oct 2012, Lahore) – Chief Co-Ordinator of PTI’s Election Cell (Punjab) and ex-Member Executive Council, Insaf Youth Wing, Mr. Omer Zaheer Meer congratulated the nation and specially the youth for the successful Peace March. He said that despite a web of lies, misinformation and threats by Government and pro status-co parties, PTI’s supporters and the entire Pakistani nation stood brave and therefore succeeded in achieving the aim of highlighting the issue of drone attacks against innocent civilians as well as violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, internationally.

He said that the Government and its’ allies should be ashamed of their lies and tactics with Interior Minister spreading lies about nine suicide bombers and water being poisoned whereas the local security establishments on duty threatened the participants with “roads paved with IED’s” at several places including at “Mian Mohram Sultan”. The distribution of threatening leaflets and even the announcement from Masjids organized by a certain political party, calling for “Jihad” against the Peace March alleging it was bringing “Jews and Christians” along with, could not deter the brave people of Pakistan united under the colors of red and green. Government than resorted to delaying tactics by putting obstacles on the route and digging up the nearby foot routes resulting in a lot of time being wasted.

Despite all these threats and tactics, people of Pakistan broke free the shackles of fear under the leadership of Chairman Imran Khan. The rulers and their cronies should now be afraid of the moment this passion descends upon Islamabad to break it free from the shackles of slavery. Entire nation and specially the youth are ready for the call.

Mr. Meer further said that although no media outlet reported it but the foremost part of the historic Peace March reached within kilometers of Jandola where he was himself present and helping party workers and leaders remove the obstacles. They had a standoff with local Political Agent who arrived accompanied by forces under his command. The tigers of PTI remained peaceful as per Chairman’s instructions and thus set a glorious example. He also broke news that tens’ of thousands of people had gathered in KotKai, Wana and surrounding areas and this was the reason why Governor KPK sent the political agent with strict instructions not to let the Peace March reach Jandola, “even if heavens may fall”. He pointed out that if you saw the enthusiasm in Tank where the entire city came out on streets, you can imagine what would have been the scenes in KotKai. The “Jalsa” in Tank was done in a rush and thousands of people were still ahead and behind the Jalsa. The nation should be proud of what we achieved and the bravery on its’ sons and daughters.

Media Team, Election Cell (Punjab) PTI

Source: https://www.insaf.pk/Default.aspx?tabid=60&articleType=ArticleView&articleId=13473