London, Mar.14 : A leader campaigning for the Kashmiris right to self-determination has said that it is essentially upto the Kashmiris themselves whether to accept or not to accept the diktats coming out from the corridors of power in both Islamabad and New Delhi.
Referring to Pakistan specifically, Dr. Shabir Choudhury, the Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Diplomatic Affairs Committee, said: "Now it up to us - Kashmiris- to accept Pakistani version of democracy and standard of human rights or reject it; and tell rulers of Pakistan that you annot treat us like this anymore. We must tell them that you cannot nourish plant of democracy with guns and F16 fighters."
Choudhry, who recently delivered an address at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, further goes onto say that Kashmiris and the people of Pakistan are unhappy with Islamabad's policies, and don't want a continuation of them, whether it is in Sindh, Balochistan, the NWFP, Punjab of Kashmir.
"They (the people) want to enjoy the fruits of democracy. They want to have the rule of law and no more invasion of their capital by the army which is supposed to protect borders and not trample human rights inside Pakistan and Azad Kashmir and Gilgit and Baltistan," Choudhry said.
On the issue of terrorism, he said that in a way it has become politically fashionable to talk against terrorism "and yet continue with the same policies that breed more violence and terrorism."
"Either they are not sincere with this cause or they believe that they can put out fire by use of petrol; and by indiscriminately killing innocent people which include women and children," he added.
So was the case with human rights, where criticism was forthcoming even as the very same countries doing it were committing far worse atrocities in name of national security, national interest, establishing writ of government and fighting a war on terrorism.
He said Pakistan has mastered this art well.
"They can pursue imperialist policies in Kashmir and still call it Kashmiri peoples right of self- determination. They can interfere in neighbouring countries in name of jihad or self-determination of people; and train people to create chaos in name of national security, and 'strategic depth' in case of Afghanistan, and still claim to be champions of human rights and pursuing a 'principled' stand on issues," said Choudhry.
Internally, Pakistan was moving from one crisis to the next in the name of promoting its own form of democracy, he claimed.
"Pakistani officials have different standard of human rights then the rest of the world. One can say they are sincere in democracy and in providing Pakistani version of human rights to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. One can also say that they trained people to go to Kashmir with guns and hand grenades that people of Jammu and Kashmir could also be taught some lessons in their version of democracy and human rights. One can also say that they are sincerely promoting peace and human rights in Gilgit and Baltistan by not allowing them to have their own constituent assembly and an independent judicial system to protect their civil liberties," he said.
He ended his address by saying that Musharaf as a civilian ruler should accept the verdict of the people sooner than later.