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Words of wisdom
Dr Abdul Majid Siraj
Politics as a profession carries a high level of job satisfaction and is nurtured with motivation based on love for the community they live in and the nation they aspire to flourish. Politicians in the process work hard to develop their own personality and intellectual ingenuity but most important of all it is issues with dire consequences facing the nation that impact on their minds. They are prepared to make any sacrifice and in extreme case their own life is on a cliffhanger. Such are brothers and sisters from where heroes are born and goals are cherished. One characteristic that stand them out from the rest is their full understanding of the crisis that faces their nation and their self-less commitment to the cause. They know how their basic rights important to their fulfillment of life are being ill-treated and by whom? They come out and seek remedies. This is the ideal. What is reality may not come near. I want to examine Kashmir in this context and enlighten our community with the words of wisdom that we hear on a daily basis.

Kashmir's maelstrom is in such a state of confusion that even those who open their shirt buttons to receive bullets in this upheaval breathe their last words with just 'freedom' on their lips. They die with the added burden of perfidy meted out to them. We make them sarpanches and offer 73rd Amendment to empower them while they drop dead on wayside. In our world human bondage is sealed with written and unwritten agreements. In Kashmir it is a cosmic phenomenon to witness how Standstill Agreement vanished and Instrument of Accession made its appearance. Why do all agreements become debatable, erroneous, surreptitious and legally flawed if they relate to Kashmir. IOA (26 July 1947) has been shredded by experts, 1952 Agreement (24 July 1952) for complete autonomy and appellate jurisdiction of Supreme Court was framed in order not to be validated. Contravening this legal arrangement 262 Union laws and 28 constitutional orders were incorporated into Kashmir.

Senior Congressman ML Fotedar is emphatic that 1975 Accord (12 Feb. 1975) sealed accession. In this space only a limited reference is possible. Fotedar met Sheikh and Beg 4 times in prison before the 1975 deal matured. Surely the two leaders must be under duress incarcerated and not elected to any office with a mandate from people to sign a deal from their cell. No treaty is valid if an element of duress is used. A-370 came like a canopy covering Kashmir and where did it go? J&K Constitution sprung on people (5 Nov. 1951) the surprising section 3 confirming accession. There was no debate and no mandate. This unique constitution that international community rejected received endorsement and people were made to bow down to it in some audacious manner.

Why people of Kashmir are subject to such peremptory sanctions and punished if they do not show tractability? Autonomy is the pigeon in the hat that keeps popping to amuse or bemuse people. They are told sky is the limit; what actually that means is; only as far as the pigeon can fly. Senior bureaucrat B R Singh analyzed the bogey of autonomy and offer made by PM Narasihma Rao to put the crown of Waziri-Azam and Sadri-Riyasat back on the heads of Kashmir but realistically only possible in agreement with Pakistan. These are half- truths and placating ploys employed in the time people suffer and wait.

Words of wisdom emanate from groups like Centre for Peace & Progress on Indo-Pakistan relations who insist on bilateralism between the two big countries. Likewise PDP say India and Pakistan must remove hurdles, CPI say war between the two was a blunder, and every leader that has taken the stage will pronounce truce and amity between India and Pakistan as panacea for a solution of Kashmir. The small detail of daily suffering is ignored. Words of wisdom from historians in politics reveal all the poignant moments of Kashmir fiasco like, Jinnah ignored people of Kashmir, Abdullah was taken for a ride, Mountbatten was the villain who machinated accession, Nehru reneged on entrenched State policy on Kashmir, Parthasarthy played finesse on Beg, scuffles broke in the ranks of NC, India Pakistan fell out and fought bitter wars that impacted Kashmir or 1989 events of the past turned sour that aroused people to rebel with guns.

Films, documentaries, publications, UN and parliamentary debates here and internationally all revealed an exhaustive account of the treacherous human rights violations in Kashmir. In order to assuage pain felt in the community erudite writers of Kashmir play their part and make people feast on their rich heritage and culture. The natural beauty of mountains and lakes receive wide publicity to attract tourism with very little said on damage to environment. Awami Ittihad takes stage when they notice a niche in political space. PDP, Congress and NC vying for power call each other names like Hind Nawaz or take up thematic single issues like Guru's remains or AFSPA as armour for elections. Some analysts say Kashmir's political process has come to an impasse at all levels and the only hope is an accord between India and Pakistan to unlock the progress. Struggle for right to self-determination has failed they say.

Words of wisdom have flown in all directions as illustrated in preceding paragraphs but the burning question still remains on clarity of the demands, lucid enough to demand answers. Union Home Minister Mr. Shinde who rose concern about lack of clarity and stated; what is it they want? The real problems may not feature in the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister or UPA Chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. As expected the dissident groups will be invited in order to commission a dialogue. A rebuttal from these groups will only serve the mission not only as a gesture to placate public but also put some iron in the works where factions will stir. It is expected to invite separatists to soften up and may be concede to share in power.

Wisdom flies in the face of citizens who have no love lost with governing structures. India has a circled policy to administer Kashmir. A constant worry that occupies their planners is revival of revolt with minimum provocation and concern that educated youth are turning rebellious. There is a distancing process on between masses and the State and patriotism is nominal. Electric meters are defunct, tax offices struggle; traffic rules and control on commodities are tenuous. This process feeds corruption and anarchism. In UK I can make a citizen's arrest for example if I find an errant damaging a post box. In Kashmir the end product is a morass in living environment and development. In ten years from now Kashmir will be a frozen blob on earth and growth of pike will consume all small fish. The societies that make speeches with words of wisdom will not remain and those who look at Kashmir with avarice and without hesitation hack their way inside to have possession of its mountains and lakes will only get desolation.

I claim no expertise on clarity but certain points become apparent as we begin to examine the Pandora's Box of Kashmir containing tangled threads. Like Pandora, the first surviving woman created by Zeus in mythology sent to Earth with box of evils, Kashmir was violated on its borders and its integrity breached. Nothing more would be clear than sending back Pandora to restore Kashmir as it stood with all its title, status and identity in 1947. This is basic. There were ways expressed to demand this fundamental right. Single issue campaigns launched by Plebiscite front based its slogan on statutes of Indian foreign policy and UN Resolution. The party was banished and buried. In Italy irredentists wanted the parts dismembered back from Austro-Hungarian Empire. The principle was used in reunification of Germany. There is nothing more 'clear' than reclaiming Pakistan Administered Kashmir and Aksai Chin back. Likewise parties like JKLF that demand independence have a clear stand. They want reunification of the State which is similar to the Italian stand except the demand for independence. Independence for Kashmir is not secession or withdrawal from the Union of India. A civil war erupted when Southern states of America seceded. Kashmir once reunited assumes its autonomous stature by default and the pigeon of autonomy will be released.

Wisdom fails doubters of independence question on the basic status of Kashmir at the threshold of decolonization. Was Kashmir a sovereign country? Montevideo (-1) 1933 convention states pre-requisites for a country are ' well defined borders', 'permanent citizenry state subjects' 'Political structure with effective governance' and existence of 'foreign treaties'. Kashmir qualified. Treaty Of Amritsar , Stand Still Agreement, Treaty with Tibet and one negotiated with Germany and FOI for trade & Tariff to Central Asia are on record. How can a 'country' become a 'Res Nullius' non-country' overnight in law?

Kashmir army was exemplary in the subcontinent. Restoration of the army will exclude presence of any other force. A1 (1) UN Charter (1945) forbids 'wrongful military intervention against express wishes of its people. 1947 invasions were all illegal on the soil of J&K. This process only happened as part of decolonization and UN was duty bound to reverse this fragmentation process by virtue of statute Uti Possidetis Juris. A wrongful military intervention is Aggression. There is clarity in law on Aggression. UN Res. 3314 spells out that aggression is unacceptable. This thematic slogan for Kashmir is also very clear.

As postscript I say words of wisdom are used to argue that International treaties are a binding and make the entrenched foreign policy of any country. The overlap of Treaty of Amritsar, Standstill Agreement with Pakistan and subsequent treaties like Delhi Agreement 1952 superimposed by Delhi Accord 1975 have made interstate relations and relations between people and the governments very belligerent with a big question mark on lawfulness of any association. Treaties cannot overlap on a single issue and no one can terminate it unilaterally as the law says 'Lex Posterior desorgat Priori'.

My last words support sanctions on human rights violations. Customary Law, Natural Law and all moral humanitarian norms have robust arraignments on any state responsible for violation of human rights. These methods of governance are denigrating and demean humanity at large.

News Updated at : Tuesday, June 25, 2013
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