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Kashmir, From Lahore to Islamabad what Pakistan gained or lost

13 October, 2010

By Amjad Malik


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Pakistan and India went through a lot from Lahore to Islamabad in between 21st February 1999 to 5th January 2004. People of both countries suffered even more. In 1999 Mr. Vajpaee visited Lahore on the invitation of an elected Prime Minister with 2/3 majority who was willing to take bilateral relations on to a new route. From 1999 to 2004 Mr. Vajpaee remained at the same position even after dismissing his top military aides as India a strong democracy with a top judiciary as a back up believes in people`s power. They rewarded their nuclear scientist Mr. Azad by appointing him on the highest Constitutional position. Whereas, in Pakistan Mr. Sharif went through hell for even thinking about it and we should not even discuss the state of Abdul Qadeer Khan. That tells the sad story of democracy in Pakistan where power lies in military, accountability is improvised as a "tool of revenge" and justice is delayed up to the extent where it looks that "justice is denied". That I believe was not the vision of dying founder of Pakistan in 1948 or the Quaid e Awam who gave Pakistan the strength and nuclear power to bring matters nearer to resolution on equal level. 

The journey which PM Sharif started in order to resolve issues with India was restarted by General Musharaf. If we see the Islamabad Declaration closely we read the following:

Islamabad Declaration

The President of Pakistan and the Prime Minister of India met during the SAARC Summit in Islamabad. The Indian Prime Minister while expressing satisfaction over the successful conclusion of the SAARC Summit appreciated the excellent arrangements made by the host country. Both leaders welcomed the recent steps towards normalization of relations between the two countries and expressed the hope that the positive trend set by the CBMs would be consolidated. Prime Minister Vajpayee said that in order to take forward and sustain the dialogue process, violence, hostility and terrorism must be prevented. President Musharraf reassured Prime Minister Vajpayee that he will not let any territory under Pakistan`s control to be used to support terrorism in any manner. President Musharraf emphasized that a sustained and productive dialogue addressing all issue s would lead to positive results. To carry the process of normalisation forward the President of Pakistan and the Prime Minister of India agreed to commence the process of the composite dialogue in February 2004. The two leaders are confident that the resumption of the composite dialogue will lead to peaceful settlement of all bilateral issues, including Jammu & Kashmir, to the satisfaction of both sides. The two leaders agreed that constructive dialogue would promote progress towards the common objective of peace, security and economic development for our peoples and for future generations.

Now in order to compare the above declaration we will have to see where we were in 1999 as far as the stance of Pakistan is concerned. Prime Minister Sharif also took some promises & discussed some issues and resumed dialogue which was hurdled by the events of "Kargil" where the people of Pakistan suffered once again as a result.

Let`s see what was agreed in 1999, Lahore Declaration says following;

Lahore Declaration

The Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of India:-

Sharing a vision of peace and stability between their countries, and of progress and prosperity for peoples; Convinced that durable peace and development of harmonious relations and friendly cooperation will serve the vital interests of the people of the two countries, enabling them to devote their energies for a better future; Recognizing that the nuclear dimension of the security environment of the two countries adds to their responsibility for avoidance of conflict between the two countries; Committed to the principle and purposes of the Charter of the United Nation, and the universally accepted principles of peaceful co-existence; Reiterating the determination of both countries to implementing the Simla Agreement in letter and spirit; Committed to the objectives of universal nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation; Convinced of the importance of mutual ly agreed confidence building measures for improving the security environment; Recalling their agreement of 23 September, 1998, that an environment of peace and security is in the supreme national interest of both sides and that the resolution of all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, is essential for this purpose;

Have agreed that their respective Government:

Shall intensify their efforts to resolve all issues, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. Shall refrain from intervention and interference in each other`s internal affairs. Shall intensify their composite and integrated dialogue process for an early and positive outcome of the agreed bilateral agenda. Shall take immediate steps for reducing the risk of accidental or unauthorized use of nuclear weapons and discuss concepts and doctrines with a view to elaborating measures for confidence at prevention of conflict. Reaffirm their commitment to the goals and objectives of SAARC and to concert their efforts towards the realization of the SAARC vision for the year 2000 and beyond with a view to promoting the welfare of the peoples of South Asia and to improve their quality of life through accelerated economic growth, social progress and cultural development.

Reaffirm their condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and their determination to combat this menace. Shall promote and all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Signed at Lahore on 21st day of February 1999.

Muhammad Nawaz Sharif                                                  Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Prime Minister of the Islamic                                            Prime Minister of the

Republic of Pakistan                                                           Republic of India

Seeing both the declaration there was a commitment of resuming dialogue and need to promote confidence building measures and then onwards peaceful resolution of Kashmir. In Lahore declaration Pakistan was not blamed for any terrorism or use of their soil for any such purposes but there was a joint condemnation of such menace. What is the point of signing these agreements when they will not be acted upon. If "Kargil" issue had not started we could have developed 5 years long association with India with a new relationship and determination to resolve the inherent issues. What happened in "Kargil" is still kept out of the jurisdiction of Supreme Court, though in Britain on one scientist`s death "Dr David Kelly" Prime Minister Blair knowingly that he may loos e his premiership as a result initiated a "Judicial Enquiry" headed by Lord Hutton. That is the difference between two democracy an open, fair and impartial one and a "controlled" one.

Pakistan already enjoys the benefit of UN resolutions on Kashmir as well as the determination of Kashmiri people who have lost 75,000 lives and stood firm against the aggression of 600,000 Indian army men. All it requires is to stand firm on the plight and achieve the unachievable on negotiation table. I think Former Diplomat, Agha Shahi`s voice is loud and clear in respect of UN Resolutions and its standing.

If we see those Resolutions we read the following:

UN RESOLUTIONS ON KASHMIR

Resolution 47 (1948) adopted by the Security Council at its 286th meeting held on 21st April 1948:

THE SECURITY COUNCIL

Having considered the complaint of Government of India concerning the dispute over the State of Jammu and Kashmir, having heard the representative of India in support of that complaint and the reply and counter complaints of the representative of Pakistan, Being strongly of the opinion that the early restoration of peace and order in Jammu and Kashmir is essential and that India Pakistan should do their utmost to bring about cessation of all fighting, Noting with satisfaction that both India and Pakistan desire that question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite, Considering that the continuation of the dispute is likely to endanger international peace and security. Recommends that the government of India and Pakistan the following measures as those which in the opinion of the council are appreciate to bring about a cessation of the fighting and to create proper conditions for a free and impartial plebiscite to decide whether the state of Jammu and Kashmir is to accede to India or Pakistan. The Government of India should undertake that there will be established in Jammu and Kashmir a Plebiscite Administration to hold a Plebiscite as soon as possible on the question of the accession of the State to India or Pakistan. In August 1948 a further resolution was passed in security Council. Resolution adopted by the United Nations Commission fo! r India and Pakistan on 13th August 1948:

PART 1: CEASE-FIRE/ORDER

PART2: TRUCE AGREEMENT

PART3: PLEBISCITE

The Government of India and the Government of Pakistan reaffirm their wish that the future status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall be determined in accordance with the will of the people and to that end, upon acceptance of the Truce Agreement both Governments agree to enter into consultations with the Commission to determine fair and equitable conditions whereby such free expression will be assured.

3.     Resolution adopted at the meeting of the United Nations Commission

1.      Resolution 122 (1957) adopted by the Security Council on 24 January 1957:

THE SECURITY COUNCIL

Having heard statements from representatives of the Government of India and Pakistan concerning the dispute over the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Reminding  the Governments and authorities concerned of the principle embodied in its resolutions 47 (1948) of 21 April 1948, 51 March 1951, and the United Nations commission for India and Pakistan resolutions of 13 August 1948 and 5 January 1949, that the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.

I think even if reader reads and listens to the speeches of Indian prime Minister Nehru, even he was agreed to hold a "plebiscite". I think our rulers need to read those speeches from Foreign Office archives. The will of Kashmiris is paramount in any of the future settlement of Kashmir dispute. That "will" can be respected more by a duly elected government and its representatives who themselves value the cost of a vote. Any person who does not have a clue of the value of vote can never understand the value of "plebiscite". In Pakistan a common phenomena has developed that one or more institutions are superior than the whole system. Power belongs to institutions that`s where the battle is lost, as in reality, power lies with the people of Pakistan and Sovereignty with God Almighty that principle if lost will have devastating effect for coming generations. Now Pakistan is on a cross road of decision making process, people who opposed Sharif could neither win "Kargil" nor could invade "Delhi", they now realise that shooting gun in the air is lot more easier to start a conflict but resolving it on a negotiation table is much difficult. Prime Minister of a country has a responsibility, a Pakistani PM has 160 million people on top of several hundreds of 22 grade officers including High Commissioners in more or less 54 countries as well as responsibility of a "nuclear capability" and "enemy on borders". That responsibility can not be given to one man as according to a famous quote "decision of wars cannot be left solely on  Generals".

Pakistan is an ideological state, in modern days conflicts can never be resolved through Wars. It should not be considered a weakness, but a reality. Since 1986 "Kashmir" as an issue got projection as far as it could. Then comes the dialogue which if derailed in Bhuttoo`s regime was startled in Sharif`s. It would have been lot more easier to resolve it or bring it near to resolution only in an elected government`s time. All other efforts will not only lack legitimacy but uncertainty of future guarantees soon the matter comes before an elected government. Pakistani rulers in the past has behaved in a way as if they will never get out of that chair of power so is the behaviour of today`s rulers who think that passing time is the need of time in the best interest of the country. When you pass time without purpose each minute and second count and affe ct the sovereign of the state, as each second one passes is not devoid of humiliation and inner weakness with knowledge of not being able to put it right.

Pakistan`s judicial system if stronger can only guarantee the smooth running of the Parliamentary system but both PM`s in their two reigns could not achieve that "unforeseen strength" which a democracy achieves by strengthening the Parliament. Ms. Bhutto left a lasting memory by appointing Mr. Ahmed Saeed Awan as High court Judge when he was a former Minister and had recently lost an election, In an other regime, NAB chair Saif ur Rehman allegedly interfered in Judicial matters when High Court ruling was expected in Ms. Bhutto`s trial where two of the judges had to resign and Supreme Court quashed the conviction. Same is the case now, when a man with strong political affiliation (Justice Deedar Shah former PPP elected parliamentarian and a retired judge) is installed as NAB head so we are back to square one, where we started. No impartiality in acco untability is a recipe for disaster for parliamentary form of democracy. I am appalled to see the progress of "Kashmir committee" working tirelessly for what we really yet to find out. Kashmir committee though failed to highlight Kashmiri people`s plight but recent events are enough to open the eyes of Indian rulers and the west that Kashmir is burning and is on a flash point and this time purely on the basis of home grown political advancement has put the Kashmiris to fight for their due right a "plebiscite".

I reiterate, Rule of law has its own price and at this moment Pakistan desperately needs a ruler who can make rule of law a distinctive feature of his governance and initiate a ruthless accountability process which include along with others "judiciary" and "military" as "all citizens are equal in the eyes of law" and he at least intends to eradicate all the evils in civil society and ensure justice at the door step of a common man. Justice delayed is justice denied and Justice should be seen to be done at least in an Islamic Society. Only fair, faster and firmer justice can ensure that no one dares to breach the core essence of Pakistan`s constitution. We need a strong system and reliance on that system and continuity where no institution start waiting for its term but institutions starts acting to protect the system of Parliamentary Democracy.

 

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