by Hafeez Khan
State of Jammu and Kashmir is forcibly divided and occupied by more than one country, yet the majority of people only see one country as an ‘enemy’; and by and large, their struggle is against one country too. Not only people of Jammu and Kashmir are divided, but they are also deeply confused because hitherto they still don’t know who their enemy is and who their friend is. They regard India as their enemy because India occupies a large part of Jammu and Kashmir, but the majority have a soft corner for Pakistan even though Pakistan also occupies Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. The majority of them acknowledge that policies of both India and Pakistan are imperialist in nature; and that it was Pakistan that violated the Standstill Agreement and attacked the State of Jammu and Kashmir, which resulted in provisional accession and our present miseries, but still they have a different policy for Pakistan.
Indian Independence Day is celebrated all over the world by Kashmiris as a black day. India has no moral or legal justification to celebrate its Independence Day because on the other hand it is the regional, personal, ideological purpose of Kashmiris themselves#15AugustBlackDay pic.twitter.com/juq0Jzgaqv
— Hafeez Khan🇵🇰 (@iAmHafeezkhan) August 14, 2020
Call it confusion, lack of ideological clarity or hypocrisy,the majority will happily defend policies of Pakistan under different pretexts; and encouraged and helped by Pakistani establishment will happily demonstrate their anger and hate against Indi, as if India alone isa source of all problems related to Jammu and Kashmir. On 26 January, it was India’s Republic Day; and some Kashmiri parties observed that as a Black Day. I was contacted by oneValley-basedd Kashmiri who he asked me if I was making this day as a Black Day. I asked him why we should have this as a Black Day. He said because India occupies Kashmir. I said Pakistan also occupies some parts of Jammu and Kashmir State, do you observe 23 March as a Black Day. He had no reply, but after some hesitation he said, Pakistan is a Muslim country and helps us. I asked him, so in your view it is a religious struggle. He said, no, it is not a religious struggle, it isa nationalist struggle and we want independent Kashmir. I asked hi if it is a nationalist struggle; and Pakistan also occupies some parts of Kashmir then why don’t you observe 23 March as Black Day or 14 August as Black Day which is Pakistan’s Independence Day. He had no reply to this, apart from saying that Pakistan provides help to fight Indian occupation; and we cannot observe Pakistan’s Independence Day as a Black Day. I said if you are a true Kashmiri nationalist then your struggle should be against both occupiers. If you observe Independence Day of one occupier as a Black Day; and refuse to do the same on the Independence Day of the other occupier because that country is a Muslim, then your struggle lacks credibility as being a true nationalist struggle. At best one can say that you are advancing your religious struggle under the garb of nationalism; which is hypocrisy and religious parties stand better comparatively as they clearly say what they want to do. Furthermore, I said, taking help from one occupier to start the militant and political struggle against the other occupier, no matter how sincere you are and what sacrifices you have made, is not perceived as a nationalist struggle by the international community. I said you get all the help you need from Pakistan, be it military, political, diplomatic,c or financial, and most of you only talk of problems of the valley; and yet you are presented as ‘Kashmiri patriots’ and ‘representatives of Kashmiris’. However, when those Kashmiris living on the Pakistani side of the divide expose Pakistani policy on the Kashmir dispute, and no matter how sincere they are and what sacrifices they have made they are immediately declaredAsantii-movements’ and ‘agents’ of India. People of the Valley won’t accuse any political activist from the Valley as being anti-movements’ or ‘agent’ of someone even when they speak about the division of Jammu and Kashmir, or acknowledge that they receive money from Pakistan and promote a Pakistani policy on Kashmir. However, they don’t hesitate for a minute to issue an edict against Azad Kashmiri political activist when they speak against the Pakistani occupation; and sad aspect of this is that some Azad Kashmir political activists jump on the bandwagon to advance the cause of Pakistani establishment and leaders of the Valley. To take guns, training, bullet,s and money from one occupier and use that against the other occupier is called a ‘proxy war’ by the international community; but it is called ‘nationalism’ by some Kashmiri parties. This brand of ‘Kashmiri nationalism’ was prepared in GHQ of Pakistan and advanced by some Kashmiri groups under the watchful supervision of ISI experts. I have no problem if people of Jammu and Kashmir want to observe India’s Independence Day as a Black Day, but if they are true nationalists and are not advancing the cause of Pakistan then they should have the courage to do the same on the Independence Day of the other occupier. Furthermore, they need to understand that 15 August is Independence Day of Kashmir as well, because after a lapse of the British Paramountcy (on 15 August 1947) Jammu and Kashmir became an independent State; and we lost our independence as a result of Pakistani backed tribal invasion which started on 22 October 1947. Some parties of Jammu and Kashmir observe Black Day against India on the following days: 26 January – India’s Republic Day; 11 February – the day when Maqbool Butt was hanged; 15 August – India’s Independence Day and 27 October – when Indian forces landed in Srinagar. There are other days when they observe strikes to express their anger against India. I can suggest some days when true nationalists can observe Black Days against Pakistan: 22 October – when Pakistan violated Standstill Agreement and attacked Jammu and Kashmir; 24 October – when Pakistan in name of reorganization dissolved Revolutionary Provisional Government of Jammu and Kashmir announced on 4 October 1947, and replaced it with their puppets; 5 January – when Pakistan strangulated Kashmiri peoples right of self-determination and changed it to right of accession – meaning they cannot become independent and have to select between India and Pakistan; 28 April – when Karachi Pact was signed and Pakistan practically took over areas of Gilgit Baltistan, 9 September- when Pakistan in name of Gilgit Baltistan Self Empowerment Package made these areas practically a province of Pakistan. Of course, Simla Agreement – which made the Kashmir dispute a bilateral dispute between India and Pakistan; and Act 74 which practically made Azad Kashmir a colony of Pakistan can also be observed as Black Days. Although some Azad Kashmiri parties after some hesitation have started observing 22 October as a Black Day; but I doubt if any Kashmiri nationalist party will dare to observe 14 August as a Black Day, as some parties do on India’s Independence Day. I end this by a quote from my article titled: ‘Kashmiri nationalism has not matured yet’: ‘It is because of this misplaced loyalty and erroneous strategy that despite so many sacrifices we are not even perceived as a party to the Kashmir dispute, and India and Pakistan keep us away from the negotiation table. Furthermore, it is because of this wrong strategy that the international community, by and large, perceive the Kashmiri parties and alliances either ‘A team of ISI’ or ‘B team’. In A-team’ are those parties and alliances which openly adhere their allegiance to Pakistan; and in ‘B team’ are those who claim to struggle for an independent Jammu and Kashmir, but deliberately choose not to struggle against the occupation of Pakistan. They want to liberate the Indian side of the Jammu and Kashmir firs and have no policy in place to liberate the areas under Pakistan and where they live. Perhaps this is too much to ask from Kashmiris because minds that are accustomed to listening to propaganda, lies, twisted fact,s and religious hatred for the past 64 years will not be receptive to this suggestion. Furthermore, Kashmiri nationalists will also not tread on this road because of fear of repercussions; and, in any case, my view is that Kashmiri nationalism and Kashmiri nationalists have not matured yet. To qualify to be a true nationalist they have to learn many things and study other nationalist movements and character of those who lead them