'Thank you, I don't need this certificate'

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London: We people of Jammu and Kashmir are occupied because we are divided; and are not sure what we want as a nation. To make matters worse we are led by a bunch of people presented to us as leaders who are selfish and egocentric, and who clearly lack vision, sincerity and sense of direction. Moreover, they are more eager to promote agendas of New Delhi and Islamabad rather than protecting rights and interests of people of Jammu and Kashmir.

A policy was initiated to persuade people that areas under Pakistan were Azad - meaning independent and problem was only on the Indian side of the divide. This policy was instigated by the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs of Pakistan and their agencies, and launched with help of their political proxies known as Kashmiri leaders.

Plight of People of Pakistani Administered Kashmir and Gilgit and Baltistan and their basic human rights were swept aside and they were persuaded, rather pressurised to support the 'struggle' on the other side and speak against India. It is fact that people of that side had more rights and better facilities than we can even imagine on this side of the divide.

Test of one's sincerity was how strongly or eloquently one can yell against lack of rights on the Indian side and Indian atrocities. And how sincerely, explicitly and vigorously one can support and commend Pakistan's role in the areas under Pakistani control and in war of 'liberation'. If one could pass this test, he/ she was presented as a true leader of people of Kashmir and appropriately rewarded.

Unfortunately leaders of the nationalist movement or independence movement were also cultivated to pursue the same policy. People who had enacted this policy and fine - tuned it according to new situation had to persuade top leaders of nationalist groups, and it was left to them to handle matters within their parties. Any member or a leader who refused to follow this line of action or questioned a rationale of this policy was either sidelined or declared 'anti movement', 'anti organisation' or 'agent' of agencies and expelled from the party.

This policy worked for both the agencies and the top leadership of nationalist groups, who used this 'guillotine' frequently and mercilessly to advance their political interest and to please their paymasters. Pakistani planners were pleased that they have managed to trap Indian army in a quagmire of Kashmir; and propagate against Indian rule, actions against militancy, which included extra judicial arrests and custodial killings of innocent people.

Anyone who dared to speak for rights of people of Pakistani Administered Kashmir or draw attention to the plight of people of Gilgit and Baltistan were cautioned not to do so, as it would 'divert attention' from the Indian side to the Pakistani side of the divide. Many political aspirants and cautious people decided to follow this dictation and did not risk to be called 'anti jihad', 'anti movement', 'anti organisation' or 'pro India'.

They decided to remain quiet even though they knew what their leaders were doing in their name or in name of the party was wrong.

However many rebels and sincere people decided to challenge this doctrine and paid political and social price, as powerful forces and their proxies initiated consistent campaign to sideline and discredit people like me and many others. It is a stigma to be called an 'Indian agent', 'anti movement' or 'anti Pakistan' in a society whose values are determined by those who occupy us. People would go to any lengths to avoid this label and this pressure was even felt in European capitals where people like Shaukat Kashmiri, Mumtaz Khan, Afzal Tahir, Abbas Butt, Hamid Khan, Dr Nazir Gilani and of course me (Dr Shabir Choudhry) were opposing wrong policies and promoting pro people of Jammu and Kashmir agenda.

In spite of the problems and uphill struggle we sincerely continued with anti terrorism and pro people policies and fought back with vigour and determination. Even with a lot of awareness and available knowledge as soon as something appear in any media or any internet platform, which is construed as an attempt to 'divert attention', a systematic campaign is unleashed against that person. Even those people who do not understand basic requirements of the independence movement or fundamental character of the Kashmiri struggle start issuing edicts.

These stalwarts still want us to speak against India and focus our attention on the situation of the Valley only. No doubt India has done a lot of wrong things in Jammu and Kashmir, including human rights violations, and I condemn that. Also the Valley of Kashmir has its own importance, but there is life beyond the boundaries of the Valley; and the people who live outside the boundaries of the Valley also have some genuine problems which need to be addressed.

A situation has been created that if you write something or make a speech and not mention the Valley or not condemn India even when the topic is about upraising of Mangla Dam ( in Pakistani Administered Kashmir) or construction of Basha Dam (in Gilgit and Baltistan), you are perceived as not sincere with the cause of Kashmir.

Worried people or political aspirants don't want to annoy the crocodile while they still have to share the same water, are desperately making efforts to be in good books of agencies or their proxies. Some are even prepared to attack and malign their fellow colleagues or fellow nationalists in order to win favour and rewards.

Kashnet whether we like it or not links people of Jammu and Kashmir; and at times it also provides valuable information.

Nearly all political activists and many non Kashmiris are members of this platform. Apart from sharing information this platform is increasingly used to discredit genuine political activists and leaders by those who have made no contribution to> the cause in any form or manner; or by proxies of those who have made fortune of miseries and sufferings of the people. There are nearly 1100 members which include some fake IDs as well; and many people use these fake IDs to settle personal goals against each other. By Dr Shabir Choudhry (ANI)

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