This is an important action which we needs to be planned , & executed in an organised manner as we know that this is going to effect India Economy and is now critical .
Although the honourable President of AZAD KASHMIR MR Masood khan has been suggesting it for some time for specific things but I feel it has to be across the board and I am encouraged by seeing yesterday a news report where 250+ prominent South Africans called for sanctions to stop annexation of Palestinain land by Israel under the BDS movement of Palestine against Israel .
Let us use our Kashmir Diaspora to peacefully picket the corporates all over the world to stop trade , investment in India while as the governments to impose sanctions and war crime cases against security officers who have done these war crimes in Kashmir so that they are made accountable.
See the video completely as there is work to be done
WAY AHEAD TO SETTLE KASHMIR – REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL DIMENSIONS
In order to settle kashmir there is a need to speak about the present reality of kashmir
KASHMIR’S PRESENT REALITY .
There is and has been a strong movement for freedom by the people of Kashmir through the RIGHT OF SELF DETERMINATION which has been guaranteed by the United Nations through different resolutions on the matter beginning numbers 47 to numbers 122 passed starting from the year 1948 the most important ones, being of free and impartial plebiscite .
At the present time, three powerful outside forces are standing in the way of this freedom of the Kashmir citizens: India, Pakistan, and to a limited, yet growing sense, China.
Pakistan and China we as Kashmiris are sure will decide to settle Kashmir as per the aspirations of the Kashmiri people , while India is putting all impediments to implement the plebiscite they have agreed to in the United Nations
Although the various outside forces have their own reasons for maintaining their hold on geographical areas of Kashmir, thus denying the freedom necessary for Kashmir’s people, they must recognize that in the long run this freedom will come about. Just look at the current and past events throughout history .
South Asia can be secure only if Kashmir is peaceful and tranquil.This was already told yesterday by Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party lawmaker Ali Sahin yesterday also and I emphasise it more . That tranquillity cannot be ensured through the barrel of the gun.Peace in the region is possible only when the legitimate aspirations of the people concerned are acknowledged and honoured by all the parties concerned.Kashmiris are not asking for the moon.Like every other nation we yearn for democracy,rule of law,human rights and good governance.
I take the opportunity here to thank Mr Ali Sahin for his statement yesterday that “”Children of Srinagar are the children of Ankara. Women of Kashmir valley are the women of Anatolia. Tears of the Kashmiri mothers are the tears of Turkish mothers.”and hope that this is the view of all countries who believe to work for the self determination of Kashmir We don’t want to be a bone of contention for the nuclear armed countries.We will be an excellent bridge for all the peoples of the region regardless of their ideologies.After all we were on the ancient silk route hosting caravans from different places resulting in well being all around.
For no fault of ours,we are responsible for the abysmal poverty of the region because all scarce and precious resources of the region are dumped in the arms race.We have illiteracy, disease,malnutrition because of arms race-only to subjugate us.
Why not turn the leaf-grant us our long- denied rights,guaranteed by the UN charter,sanctified by relevant UNSC. resolutions,international covenants regarding various rights— political, civil, economic, social and cultural and 4th Geneva Conventions.
History of last 73 years has proven that Kashmiris will not surrender their rights no matter what ploys are used to tame them.The urge for freedom is embedded in the DNA of all Kashmiris .
We continue to suffer physically,economically,mentally and are rendering enormous sacrifices to win our freedom.
The world has to understand that we have got lockdowns of 3000 days in the last 30 years and the people of the world realise now what a lockdown is like by facing varied lockdowns during COVID 19 .
What we want and as a Kashmiri who has suffered in various ways including internment of 4 months in a cell in Agra jail after they removed the 370 and 35 A of their constitution and have been booked for Sedition on a Facebook post advising people of Kashmir to put a collective fight against ‘settler-colonialism’ of India after they started issuing Domicile certificates
RIGHT OF SELF DETERMINATION
guaranteed by the United Nations through different resolutions on the matter beginning numbers 47 to numbers 122 passed starting from the year 1948 the most important ones, being of free and impartial plebiscite .
STOPPAGE OF DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE India stop any moves towards changing the demographic structure of Indian Administered Kashmir as they are illegal and in violation of international law, particularly the 4th Geneva Convention.
HALT HUMAN RIGHT VIOLATIONS
India halt its human rights violations, stop indiscriminate use of force including the use of pellet guns, lift the unabated military siege and inhuman lockdown, repeal its draconian emergency laws, allow exercise of fundamental freedoms, and release all illegal detainees;
RELEASE OF PRISONERS
The Indian govt needs to release all prisoners without any delay particularly who have been taken under preventive detention after 5th August 2019 .
The whole kashmir has been aptly described in an article as a “”Crisis Constitutionalism, Permanent Emergency and the Amnesias of International Law in Jammu and Kashmir””
Unfortunately in India in case of Kashmir , the courts have become an extension of the executive and this law of PSA has been used on everyone and everybody where the highest Indian court has also failed us as the basic thing of individual liberty has been compromised and in case of kashmir even their own directions
Now after discussing I put forward the
REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL DIMENSIONS
We expect all nations devoted to justice,equity, democracy and fairplay to join our struggle for freedom.It would be negation of their conscience and political ethos to barter away our rights at the altar of trade considerations in relation to our oppressors.
Keeping above in view and the Principals involved in the above there are many grey areas as it is not an ideal world and there is a see the view of the regional countries first and then in turn the world .
We have to understand that in everything particularly in case of Kashmir each regional country will think through its national interest first and then other things .
Out of the extended region of Asia and Middle East besides Central Asia which I consider the regional area of ours as we have been connected to this area for centuries which unfortunately got blocked after 1947 how many countries support us in our endeavour . I think majority of them led by China , Pakistan and Turkey openly support us while as others have still not come out in the open . The latest communique of the OIC has given hope that it will be a start of the settlement of kashmir based on truth and Haq and if we go through the points particularly which have been decided will be known to everyone like
a) rescind its unilateral and illegal actions, and allow the Kashmiri people to freely exercise their right to self-determination through a UN-supervised plebiscite; ( RIGHT OF SELF DETERMINATION )
b) India halt its human rights violations, stop indiscriminate use of force including the use of pellet guns, lift the unabated military siege and inhuman lockdown, repeal its draconian emergency laws, allow exercise of fundamental freedoms, and release all illegal detainees; ( HALT HUMAN RIGHT VIOLATION ) ( RELEASE OF PRISONERS )
c) India stop any moves towards changing the demographic structure of IOJ&K, as they are illegal and in violation of international law, particularly the 4th Geneva Convention. ( STOPPAGE OF DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE )
d) India provide unhindered access to the OIC, IPHRC and UN Fact Finding Missions, OIC Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir, and international media to investigate into human rights violations in IOJ&K;
What needs to be done:
Keeping in view that the situation is dynamic all the time there is a need to do the following
Breaking the status quo in favour of Kashmiris
India has broken the status quo which was there from 1947 on 5 th August 2019 when they took away the 370 and 35 A articles of their own constitution which were giving a nominal autonomy which had been diluted already except that Kashmiris still enjoyed a guarantee on ownership of land and domicile reservation for Kashmiris which now is removed completely by change in laws which has given rise to the fear and certainly a possibility of demographic change which is a fact of life in Palestine and will become a fact in Kashmir soon .
So how to change all this in favour of Kashmiris .
I suggest the following :
Being a person who has been connected with the economy of Indian administered Kashmir I had advocated from the day, I became President Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry in 2006 that the Indian Govt declare our side of Kashmir as a Free economic zone which converted into a demand for declaration for whole of Jammu & Kashmir as a FREE ECONOMIC ZONE when I became the President of the Joint Chamber of both sides of Kashmir ( JKJCCI) in which besides the kashmir chamber we had the jammu chamber as well as AJK chamber and I take the opportunity of this platform to advocate to the Govt of Pakistan to declare WHOLE OF AJK a FREE ECONOMIC ZONE and not specific areas as Special Economic Zone as presently done . With its natural connection with CPEC it will make a difference to the whole AJK and at the same time give hope of thinking out of box as the solution to KASHMIR by advocating the declaration of whole of J&K as a FREE ECONOMIC ZONE which will help the cause internationally as well and break the status quo . The Pakistan Govt through its friends and countries like Saudia Arabia, UAE and USA who have good relations with India can push india for declaring their side also with the same status .This model of mine is now further relevant by the action of the Chinese govt to safeguard the CPEC as everybody believes the recent incursions in Ladakh point to and the region as well as the world can not afford the risk of nuclear war not only between India and Pakistan but now between China and India . This will be a win win situation for everyone particularly to the 65.46% of human population living in China (31.35%,1.42 billion ) , India (29.72% 1.35 billion ) Pakistan (4.39% .20 billion ) . I have written papers on it on my blog Kashmir “ THE ULTIMATE OASIS” as long back as 2015 https://kashmirultimateoasis.wordpress.com/2017/01/08/kashmir-the-ultimate-oasis/ and once CPEC became operative wrote a document on the same impact of CPEC to explain the above concept https://economykashmir.home.blog/2020/04/26/impact-of-china-pakistan-economic-corridor-on-kashmir/
If the above is not possible then Pakistan has to declare the AZAD KASHMIR GOVT ( AJK ) INDEPENDENT IN ALL RESPECTS IN MUZAFFARABAD to fight the freedom war and to get it recognised like Palestine with the AJK govt representing the voice of the Kashmiri people
If Pakistan has reservations on the second option the third option is to declare a J&K govt in exile having representation from the AJK govt besides people from the NRK community in a country which supports Kashmir like Turkey or Malaysia.
All the above is important to take things forward and which need to be done urgently like
• Approaching organisations like INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE AND INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT AS SUGGESTED BY LORD NAZIR Yesterday It is important that Pakistan or regional countries who support us need to go to the ICJ for kashmir in regard to war crimes against Kashmiris which is a disputed area as well as explore the possibility of taking our issue of PSA detentions and other human rights . One of the worst lawless law is the PSA under which our people are reeling and application of this law on civil society activists which include lawyers , businessmen , doctors , teachers etc is the reason Kashmiri are not able to even dissent and speak out against the laws they are applying
• Implement and work for the decisions taken in the latest communique of the OIC as stated already time is of essence and it need to be emphasised that by a dedicated team and people focused on getting these implemented .
• KASHMIRI BDS movement against India
“”Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions” movement against India over its atrocities in Kashmir.
This is an important action which we need to be planned , & execute as we know this is going to effect India Economy and is now critical . Although the honourable President of AZAD KASHMIR MR Masood khan has been suggesting it for certain time for specific things but I feel it has to be across the board and I am encouraged by seeing yesterday a news report where 250+ prominent South Africans call for sanctions to stop annexation of Israel under the BDS movement of Palestine against Israel . Let us use our Kashmir Diaspora to peacefully picket the corporates all over the world to stop trade , investment in India while as the governments to impose sanctions and war crime cases against security officers who have done these war crimes in Kashmir so that they are made accountable.
NEED OF INTERNATIONAL ICONS IN ENTERTAINMENT / SPORTS FIELDS
There is also a need to have international icons in the entertainment / sports fields to communicate our true and justified narrative to the world just like which has been recently created by Turgay Evren “””Kashmir is my name “”
This is the proposal I mentioned and spoke about in a International conference held by Istanbul university on June 29-30 , 2020 .
Below is a proposal by which we can break the status quo in favour of #Kashmiris and not against #Kashmiris which unfortunately has happened on 5th August 2019
Breaking the status quo in favour of Kashmiris
India has broken the status quo which was there from 1947 on 5 th August 2019 when they took away the 370 and 35 A articles of their own constitution which was giving a nominal autonomy although that had been diluted already , except that Kashmiris still enjoyed a guarantee on ownership of land and domicile reservation for Kashmiris which now is completely removed by change in laws . This has given rise to the fear and certainly a possibility of demographic change which is a fact of life in Palestine and will become a fact in Kashmir soon .
So how to change all this in favour of Kashmiris .
I suggest the following :
Being a person who has been connected with the economy of Indian administered Kashmir I had advocated from the day, I became President Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry in 2006 that the Indian Govt declare our side of Kashmir as a Free economic zone which converted into a demand for declaration for whole of Jammu & Kashmir as a FREE ECONOMIC ZONE when I became the President of the Joint Chamber of both sides of Kashmir ( JKJCCI) in which besides the Kashmir chamber we had the Jammu chamber as well as AJK chamber and I take the opportunity of this platform to advocate to the Govt of Pakistan to declare WHOLE OF AJK a FREE ECONOMIC ZONE and not specific areas as Special Economic Zone as presently done . With its natural connection with CPEC it will make a difference to whole AJK and at the same time give hope of thinking out of box the solution to KASHMIR by advocating the declaration of whole of J&K as a FREE ECONOMIC ZONE which will help the cause internationally as well and break the status quo .
The Pakistan Govt through its friends and countries like Saudia Arabia, UAE and USA who have good relations with India can push india for declaring their side also with the same status .
This model of mine is now further relevant by the action of the Chinese govt to safeguard the CPEC as everybody believes the recent incursions in Ladakh point to .
The region as well as the world can not afford the risk of nuclear war not only between India and Pakistan but now between China and India . This will be a win win situation for everyone particularly to the 65.46% of human population living in China (31.35%,1.42 billion ) , India (29.72% 1.35 billion ) Pakistan (4.39% .20 billion ) .
Who is Dr Mubeen Shah? The Kashmiri whose freedom US lawmakers are so worried about
Srinagar:Over the past month, two US Congressional hearings have debated a host of issues related to Kashmir, including the communications lockdown, mass detentions, alleged human rights abuses, denial of access to foreign journalists — and one Dr Mubeen Shah.
At the first hearing, which took place on 22 October, Indian-American legislator Pramila Jayapal spoke on Shah’s detention in Kashmir and asked if the US State Department had raised the matter with New Delhi.
Jayapal was assured by Alice Wells, the Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, that the US had “explicitly raised the case of Shah” with India.
Shah was also mentioned at a 14 November hearing, this time by his cousin and human rights lawyer Yousra Fazili.
So, just who is this Dr Mubeen Shah, and why are some US lawmakers interested in his freedom?
Shah is currently lodged in Agra jail
Shah, a prominent name in Kashmir’s business community, was one of those detained after the Narendra Modi government stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status granted under Article 370 on 5 August.
After his detention, Shah was transferred to Agra Central Jail, where he has been lodged since, a police source said.
Shah is based out of Malaysia, where he has handicraft business, but he used to visit Kashmir, where his extended family stays, at least once a year.
He once headed Kashmir’s strongest trade body — the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He also headed the Jammu and Kashmir Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a body that represents business interests of all regions on both sides of the Line of Control.
Shah would regularly attend seminars and debates on Kashmir in India and abroad.
Police officials in Kashmir said Shah’s detention was a result of his “activities that could hamper peace in the Valley”, a charge vehemently denied by his family.
Following his detention, Shah’s family and friends in the US have reached out to American lawmakers and human rights groups to highlight his case.
“Our family and extended family members in the US have been aggressively approaching human rights groups and authorities there to take up the issue of my husband’s detention,” Shah’s wife Asifa told ThePrint over phone.
Asifa stays in the UAE with her daughter. The couple also has two sons, both settled in the US.
Shah had come to Kashmir in May from Malaysia. Although his trip was supposed to be a short one, it got extended because of the deaths of his sister-in-law and father-in-law.
“His health also started to deteriorate during the summer. He has a condition with his kidneys and was to be operated upon in the United States. But he developed an infection for which he was receiving treatment at a Srinagar hospital. We were waiting for his recovery from the infection when he was arrested. We were supposed to travel to the US,” Asifa added.
‘He is not a kid throwing stones in the streets’
At the Congressional hearing last week, his cousin, Fazili, said: “His imprisonment sends a strong message to the people of Kashmir that money, status and family mean nothing in the face of Indian capriciousness.”
Describing Shah as a voice of moderation, peace and economic progress, Fazili added, “My cousin was taken in a midnight raid. He is not a politician, he is not a dissident, he is not a freedom fighter, he is not even a kid throwing stones in the streets, he is just a businessman. His life’s focus has been to bring economic opportunity to Kashmir.”
She also said Shah’s wife had filed a petition in the Supreme Court over his detention. The court has asked the J&K administration to respond to the plea.
Shoaib Shadad, Shah’s brother-in-law in Kashmir, said he had shifted his handicraft businesses to Kuala Lumpur, where he has been staying for over a decade.
“We don’t know why he was detained. He would visit his extended family in Kashmir. This year, too, he visited. His visit got lengthened because of the tragedies the family faced,” Shadad said.
Sheikh Ashiq, president of Kashmir Chamber Of Commerce and Industry, said Shah might have been detained because of his political views.
“We were surprised, too, when we heard that he had been detained. We are still not sure why, though. Maybe because of his opinions or political views. He would speak at seminars and debates, but he was not as active as before,” Ashiq said.
I spoke about the above subject as a panelist at a seminar organised by Kashmir Institute held in Srinagar in 2017 and reproduced now is the speech I made then and which is relevant today also .
It is important to bring it to the knowledge of the general public also .
Let me be clear that whatever I am speaking here are my own views and do not represent the view of any organization I have represented before previously whether trade or civil society groups .The things I am telling here I feel is the way ahead and could be a pathway and temporary arrangement till final settlement of Kashmir .
I think the people of Kashmir have been waiting for an initiative which has the potential to break the status quo which can be done if our people besides the resistance leadership and the so called main stream politicians come on one page at least to the first step for peaceful settlement of Kashmir by asking both Pakistan and India to declare their administered parts as FREE ECONOMIC ZONES which as President of Kashmir chamber of commerce & industry as well as President Joint Chamber of Commerce and industry I aggressively advocated which culminated in a resolution by the joint chamber where Jammu chamber also was a part of .
I have also read almost all what is written by all type of people on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) but I hardly have seen writings on CPEC vis a vis Kashmir .
I have seen the statements of Madam Mehbooba Mufti wherein she is trying to hoodwink people on the slogan of connectivity to the outside world through LOC which we need to label as Cease Fire Line as that is the actual status of this blood line. The slogan is as deceptive as their contention of starting the LOC trade which had nothing to do with J&K state governments as it was decided by both Pakistan and India because of dialogue which we know was started under UN resolutions of 1998 and agreed upon by President Mr Asif Zardari and Prime minister Mr Manmohan Singh in an agreement signed in New York wherein the modalities of Trade were to be decided by the local Chamber, and because of that the role of trade associations became important. In order for her to advocate a peaceful settlement it is better to inform her mentors or partners in the government that the only way she can get us connected is the following::
Take up the matter of declaring Indian Administered Kashmir, and the Pakistan Administered Kashmir as Free Economic Zone with the concerned governments. Passing this will be the first two steps if she is serious about it. Already there is a resolution by the Joint Chamber which represented all the trade bodies of both sides asking for same “
which I had worked with late SY.Joffe to produce and I want to quote one important thing which many may have overlooked and that is “”””In our way of thinking Kashmir could be a bridge between the occupying powers. In a sense it could be the moral and spiritual hub of a new union of South Asian countries.”
Having said this will CPEC , have an impact on the political issue it will be clear that once a free economic zone is agreed automatically we will become a part of CPEC as already the Pakistan administered Kashmir is a part of CPEC and particularly through Gilgit Baltistan the basic accessibility to whole of Pakistan is through that area which is legally a part of whole J&K what it was in 1947 .We have also to keep in mind that at least India is on record previously that they want the LOC to be irrelevant in context of trade and travel between the two parts .If they stick to that concept then we could overcome the first barrier as at least the LOC trade is still continuing with all its shortcomings and warts and has not been closed although there have been lot of ups and downs in relationships between Pakistan and India from 2008 when it started first .
It is important that India which is to be the main stumbling block in the above although to be fair to them Pakistan also is not forthcoming on this aspect although the joint chamber gave the same representation to both governments at official level and it may be surprising that both did not reply to our demand and on an issue of increase the no of items on trade both governments had the same answer of justifying a limited no of items although our contention to both was as both consider the other parts their own and as such there should be no restriction on items traded as it is between Jammu and Srinagar or Muzaffarabad and Mirpur .Both countries need to be sincere while dealing with Kashmir and make their position clear .
CPEC is the vehicle through which India through Kashmir can get the shortest route to Central Asia which is the target of the road and belt initiative of china to connectivity and according to a study an increase in the distance by 1% there is reduction of trade by 2.3% generally .
The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, also known as The Belt and Road (abbreviated B&R), One Belt, One Road (abbreviated OBOR) or the Belt and Road Initiative of CHINA. The coverage area of the initiative is primarily Asia and Europe, encompassing around 60 countries. Oceania and East Africa are also included. Anticipated cumulative investment over an indefinite time scale is variously put at US$ 4trillion or US$ 8trillion. One Belt, One Road has been contrasted with the two US-centric trading arrangements, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership .
As rightly asked by the Institute that whether India and Pakistan think that by connecting J&K with CPEC , J&K can become the buffer for economic relationship between the two disgruntled nuclear neighbors my contention is that it will not only become the buffer for economic relationship but as previously pointed out that if they go the whole hog J&K can become the moral and spiritual hub of a new union of south Asian countries if they also decide the sovereignty issue and there are different models to it after the free economic zone declaration and could be the next step in settling Kashmir once for all .There are different models after the free economic zone declaration and it could be the next step in settling Kashmir once for all https://kashmirultimateoasis.wordpress.com/2017/01/08/kashmir-the-ultimate-oasis/
The world has to play the role to avert a nuclear war between India & Pakistan and as recently pointed out recently while appearing before the senate committee by the Centcom General Joseph Votel of United states that it is a possibility with the present situation between the two countries Pakistan and India.
Now is the other important part which lot of people want to know is what is the scenario if we become a part of CPEC and what is the fall out for China,Pakistan as well as India economically besides Kashmir .
Pakistan and India external threats are from each other while India has a threat from China and by all three agreeing to what has been said already by me certainly the enmity between Pakistan and India will reduce and reach a level of bettering each other in sports ,culture and economic betterment which automatically will come by reduced expenditure on Defence by both countries and for India although for its relationship with China other world matters may effect but all will agree that defence expenditure of India which is presently in the vicinity of 51 billion dollars and of Pakistan is 7 billion dollars will get reduced and the saved money used for development and as we know that in the Inclusive development index (IDI) of 79 developing economies recently India was standing at 60 while as Pakistan is 52 while China is on 15 .
Now in respect to economy India will get benefit as told by defence expenditure reduction and also accessibility of trade with central Asia through road which will be cheaper and nearer and as pointed out previously any decrease of 1% in distance will increase the trade by 2.3%. By the same study conducted by Pradeep Agarwal and Seema Sangita for the Institute of Economic growth ,the inherent potential of trade for India with the central Asian countries can be multiplied by 10 times which presently is to the extent 654 million dollars( exports 401 while as imports 252 ) not to speak about the energy available from these countries which can be transferred through pipelines and electricity through transmission lines .
Now where does Kashmir get economic benefits and political benefits it is clear that by inclusion in CPEC we have a hope and a strong possibility of starting the process of final settlement while for economy besides being the transit point for the Indian trade to Central Asia besides Afghanistan and other countries . We have to keep in mind according to calculations, made by using standard gravity model the annual potential trade volumes between Pakistan administered Kashmir and Indian administered Kashmir are estimated to be around US$ 974 million but current trade volumes are only 8 per cent of potential trade flows .
By the process of settlement we can imagine the benefits which can come in many important sectors were we have an edge for example tourism which we can increase at least 10 times , horticulture ,high end textiles and handicrafts.
We would get further benefits by adopting the model of United Arab Emirates where they have created 30 free zones within UAE while as we could have a lesser no specific to the advantages we have in Jammu, Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, Gilgit, Rajouri or Srinagar etc. According to me based on my experience we have the potential of Academic clusters, biotech parks, flower centres, Health care city, International Financial centre, Gem & Jewelry park, textile parks , IT parks, Mineral parks as well as horticulture parks.These will be either based on raw material available or skilled workers available and can be expanded into other fields as per demand and supply.