I have followed the UN GA debate and the narrative of India and Pakistan on Kashmir. Prime Minister of Pakistan asked to “free all Kashmiri political leaders”.
It would have been just and proper if we had highlighted like Donald Trump, at least one case at the General Assembly. Syed Ali Shah Geelani has been put under house arrest since 2010. His age and length of house arrest made a strong case for the world to know. Islamic world should have highlighted it. No OIC member made any reference to Kashmir at the UN GA.
OIC is confused because Pakistan’s position on Kashmir has not remained consistent. In the past Islamabad has been cutting deals with Delhi, as and when convenient. Islamabad has accommodated Delhi on Kashmir in rolling back its core position and including it into 13 other outstanding issues.
It is not clear either whether President of Azad Kashmir and the Hurriyat representative who addressed the OIC Contact Group made any reference to Syed Ali Shah Geelani. There was no time limit on their statement in the OIC Contact Group on Kashmir. They could have continued, if they liked, with the story of Kashmir, till the cows came home.
On Thursday 28 September 2017, on the occasion of the death anniversary of Imam Hussain (RA), Geelani Sahib was very poorly, his voice was very weak and he could not remember things. People sitting in the audience had to help him recall incidents and Urdu couplets. Geelani sahib admitted for the first time, ““But now I forget things.” It is very sad.
There is an urgent need that Government of Azad Kashmir and the Government of Pakistan, should take a fresh look after what happened on the streets of Geneva and what happened at the UN General Assembly. India has found a constituency amongst Pakistanis and Kashmiris, to pitch against Pakistan and pitch against other Kashmiris in Geneva? We have come out on the streets to challenge each other.
We are enemies of our own case. We have watched people open their accounts with a gun in Kashmir, abandon the gun and get into a peace making mode, skip over to cutting deals in Onion export from Muzaffarabad to Srinagar, share responsibilities between wife and husband, husbands holding a ticket in the Hurriyat and the wives slipping into the power politics of Azad Kashmir. The moral base of our struggle is corroding. This kind of a managed politics in the name of Kashmir has no future.
Kashmiris need to listen to the voices of the suffering people and the final voice of their own conscience, in deciding to keep one or many roles for themselves. Dangling a letter of representation from their parent groups based in Srinagar is no qualification. Unless you deliver, your accreditation has no merit.
Government of Azad Kashmir and the Government of Pakistan should not be a party and should not encourage such corruption in Kashmiri politics.