Jammu and Kashmir: 2011, Year of Change

REPORT ON THE STUDY TOUR OF BEERSMANS PAUL, PRESIDENT OF THE BELGIAN ASSOCIATION FOR SOLIDARITY WITH J&K TO INDIA AND THE INDIAN J&K STATE FROM 26 JUNE TO 23 JULY 2011

Published on the Belgian Association for Solidarity with Jammu and Kashmir BASJAK, Fall 2011.

1. INTRODUCTION:

a. his is the report on the yearly study tour to Kashmir and Ladakh (Kargil and Leh Districts).  I had meetings with the common man in the street,  representatives of J&K State Government, of political parties, of separatist leaders, of  different organisations, of social, religious and educational institutions, of the press, etc. You find the “highlights” of these meetings in Part 2. In Part 3. you will find the conclusions of our Association.  For Jammu Region: see the report ‘Jammu and Kashmir: Moving Forward’ on the study tour of January/Februar … //   

… 3. Conclusions:

a. The general feeling is that militancy and the presence of terrorist organisations went down and is under control.  Nevertheless, a hard-core group is still there and if felt necessary ‘new blood’ can be inducted.  There are many trained, brainwashed militants waiting on the other side of the LoC to cross to the Indian side.  Initiative is in their hands.  Only by drying up the source of terrorism in Pakistan, violence will stop in J&K State.  Attacking and killing terrorists in J&K State is therebut it is not sufficient as those who are killed can be replaced easily.

b. Islamic fundamentalist organisations, supported ‘from across the border’, operating in J&K State, have their own agenda.  For them the Kashmir-issue is an occasion, a motive, a cover-up for spreading their ideas.  They have nothing to do with a genuine nationalist movement.  In their eyes, a secular, democratic approach is not a solution and even if one presumes that a solution could be worked out between India and Pakistan, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiris, it is clear they will not stop their activities as the Kashmir-issue is not their final goal, it is just a phase … //

… q. Generally speaking, all agree that Kashmir is the ‘core component’ of any permanent solution, and its voice has a dominant influence on the final outcome although no one seriously believes that resolving the Kashmir-issue is only a matter of meeting Valley needs.  The other regions of J&K and other constituencies of J&K factor equally in the final solution.  Each region must engage with the other in a civil dialogue with mutual respect and with equal considerations. Failing that the status quo will continue.  In  order to find a permanent solution a dialogue is necessary on three levels, as we emphasise already since so many years:

  • (1) bilateral level: between India and Pakistan;
  • (2) national level: between the Government of India, the J&K State Government and the representatives of the civil society of the three regions;
  • (3) internal level: between the different regions of J&K.

r. Pakistan supports the cry for the right of self-determination of separatist leaders in Kashmir. However, accession to Pakistan is the only accepted option.  Indeed, according to the Azad J&K, Interim Constitution Act, 1974, Par 7. (2): “No person or political party in Azad J&K shall be permitted to propagate against, or take part in activities prejudicial or detrimental to, the ideology of the State’s accession to Pakistan”.  Thus, Pakistan limits the right of self-determination for the Kashmiris to accession to Pakistan.  Other options such as accession to India, azadi (= freedom), total independence, partition or any other solution are totally excluded.

s. According to international law, Pakistan has  no legal stand in J&K.  Pakistan invaded J&K in October 1947.  In doing so, Pakistan is at the origin of the de facto partitioning of the State.  As early as 13 August 1948 the UN Commission for India and Pakistan requested Pakistan to end this illegal occupation and to withdraw its troops from the State as a pre-condition for organising the plebiscite.  The same Commission repeated this request in its resolution of 5 January 1949. Until this date, Pakistan didn’t withdraw its armed forces and still occupies illegally Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.  Consequently, the plebiscite has not been held. (full long 25 pdf-pages text).

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