Solidarity apart, no roadmap to get Kashmiris their rights

Some MPs talk of Jehad, while others involved in holy war to oust PM

By: Ashraf Mumtaz      Published: 04:10 PM, 5 Feb, 2020
Solidarity apart, no roadmap to get Kashmiris their rights

Pakistan has been observing Feb 5 as day of solidarity with the Kashmiris since 1990, when Benazir Bhutto was the prime minister. The idea had come from Jamaat-i-Islami’s then emir Qazi Hussain Ahmed, and endorsed by then chief minister Nawaz Sharif and subsequently by Prime Minister Benazir.

However, unluckily, there is no headway towards the solution of the seven-decade-old dispute despite countless meetings and visits of important leaders from and to Pakistan. On the contrary, the Kashmir situation worsened in August last year when the fascist Modi government annexed occupied Kashmir, unleashing a new wave of atrocities against the oppressed Kashmiris.

Time and again it has been said that occupied Kashmir has been turned into the world’s largest prison, but nobody has come up with any roadmap to force India to give the Kashmiris their rights. Even the ruling party is not in a position to say in categorical terms what it will practically do for the rights of Kashmiris, verbal rhetoric notwithstanding.

It will not be wrong to say that successive Pakistan governments have failed during their respective terms to get the Kashmiris any relief. There is no national unity required for the purpose and no national formula to pursue.

The lack of direction at the national level came to light once again when a Jamaat-i-Islami MNA Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali said during an NA session that the government should declare Jehad (holy war) for liberation of Kashmir.

He even suggested that Prime Minister Imran Khan should officially announce that Pakistan would start a war with India after Feb 10.

  • Activists of Al-Badar, a group that advocates jihad in Kashmir, shout anti-Indian slogans during a Kashmir Day rally in Peshawar on Feb 5. -AFP

According to media reports, some other speakers in the Monday session of the lower house of parliament stressed the need for taking “practical steps” to help the oppressed Kashmiris, arguing that mere speeches and resolutions would serve no purpose.

On the other hand, Monday’s newspapers quoted Maulana Fazl as saying at a conference in Peshawar that his party’s Jehad e against the Imran government will continue.

He even alleged that the Kashmir cause has been weakened as the government is staging mere protests to gain public sympathy.

The call for Jehad announcement from Imran Khan has exposed differences between two important religious parties on the methodology to get Kashmiris their due rights.

Isn’t it very strange that one religious party MP wants him to go for Jehad and head of another party, with a greater following across the country, questions his credentials as an elected leader.

Needless to reiterate that in an Islamic state the Jehad can be declared only by the ruler – Imran Khan in our case.

The J UI (F) has been consistently alleging that Imran Khan has been brought to power as a result of the massively rigged elections. This accusation amounts to questioning his legitimacy.

Everyone knows that a few months ago the Maualana had launched an Azadi march from Karachi to Islamabad to mount pressure on the PM to step down. The well attended Azadi march was followed by a sit-in in the federal capital. Major parties like PML-N and the PPP did support the objectives of the march but did not practically participate in it.

It failed to bring the prime minister under pressure and hence the march came to an end without achieving any results. Because of his anti-government initiative, at one stage Maulana Fazl appeared as the most towering and fearless leader of the country. However, after the march fiasco he stands totally isolated.

Now let’s see whether in the prevailing situation Pakistan is in a position to declare Jehad for the rights of the Kahmiri people. Personally the writer may be in favour of taking such a step to help the oppressed Kashmiris. But the on-ground doesn’t support such a line of action.

The major reason is lack of preparedness. At present Pakistan has a very weak economy and it is depending on the IMF support, against all conditionalities that add to people’s miseries.

To continue and sustain Jehad Pakistan will need abundant resources which are not there.

Another problems is that the nation is totally divided.  Various parties are continuing their struggle to grab power, turning a deaf ear to the oppression going on in occupied Kashmir.

Even the coalition partners are not fully united.

Then, the PML-N and the PPP are not expected to extend the required support for Jehad because of the situation their important leaders are facing.

Former president Asif Zardari, ANP leader Asfandyar Wali, PkMAP chief Mehmud Khan Achakzai, whose support is also important for Jehad, want to see Imran out of power at the earliest and will never join hands with him, come what may.

As for international support (or lack of it) in case of Jehad against India, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who remained Kashmir committee chairman for about 10 years and visited a large number of countries, may be in a better position to give an assessment.

Political observers are of the view that the Islamic countries who did not declare Jehad even for the liberation of Al-Quds, which is an issue of religious importance, can’t be expected to endorse such an announcement by Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.

Khwaja Muhammad Asif, PML-N MNA who remained minister for defence and foreign affairs during the previous tenure, in a recent NA session lashed out at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), saying that except for three or four Muslim countries, no one can be expected to speak in support of the Kashmir cause.

“The OIC is a dead horse,” he regretted, adding that these Muslim countries could not defend themselves how they would talk about Kashmir.

Everyone agrees that a Jehad without proper preparation will be suicidal.

Categories : Opinion