On October 26, Indians were busy celebrating the Accession Day (Vilay Diwas) in different parts of the country, particularly Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). In far-away London, a group of miscreants could come up with nothing better and organised the rather fancifully rally named ‘Million March’.
A Pakistani group organised the rally on October 26, 2014 in London to demand a peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue. The rally was carried out from Trafalgar Square to Downing Street in London and was led by Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry, who is referred to as the former prime minister of Pakistan-occupied Kash-mir (PoK). According to the organisers, the march was “to protest against human rights violations by Indian troops in occupied Kashmir”.
Pakistan People's Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his sister Aseefa Bhutto Zardari also participated in the rally.
But despite the efforts, the rally was a flop show, from the beginning to the end. ‘Pakistani Pappu’ Bilawal Bhutto was bombarded with tomatoes and empty water bottles at this stage-managed show. He met this fate when he was taking the centre-stage in his attempt to internationalise the J&K issue, and the snub in London serves him quite right, said sources.
One understands now that it was named the ‘Million March’ not because of the number of marchers that were supposed to assemble, but because the bill for the event ran into millions! This is perhaps the money that Pakistan had to spend to orchestrate the event in the United Kingdom.
This attempt shows that our western neighbour is now trying to use proxies with renewed vigour since it has failed on every world forum to garner support for its stance on J&K. Earlier, for decades, it used the services of discredited and jailed Ghulam Nabi Fai (the high profile US citizen of Kashmiri origin (born Badgam, India) who was prosecuted in December 2011 for working as an unregistered lobbyist for Pakistan), to foment troubles in the state, an integral part of India.
Infact, even though Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) tried hard to keep its funding of Fai machinations under wraps, with time even it got unravelled.
In a similar vein, Pakistan this time tried to orchestrate an event in the United Kingdom hoping, against hopes, that it will be able to create an anti-India atmosphere. But the world has now seen through the Pakistani game-plan. Most world powers know it only too well that Pakistan is acting “like an arsonist who sets his establishment on fire, and then shouts fire, fire … to claim the insurance money”.
Pakistan has always been the one who attacks the state of J&K and then shouts that, it is the Indian Armed forces that’ve moved into the state. The fact is that the Indian Armed forces entered the territory of J&K only after Maharaja Hari Singh had signed the Instrument of Accession on October 26, 1947. There was not one Indian soldier in the J&K territory before that date.
The first Indian troops, led by Dewan Ranjit Rai, landed on Srinagar airport on October 27, 1947 unlike the marauding Pakistani troops which pillaged and killed in thousands. It was, and is, the Pakistani troops on J&K soil which were termed as “aggressors” by world body, the United Nations.
It needs to be recalled that Maharaja Hari Singh had entered into a Standstill Agreement with Pakistan. The latter backstabbed the Maharaja and attacked his state betraying his trust, and then pillaged town after town, with its troops killing and raping in thousands.
Thereafter, for long, one peculiar thing that Pakistan has been doing is—Denying its hand in fomenting the troubles in J&K. In October 1947, it had sought to attribute the attacks by its henchmen and Pakistan Army regulars on territories of J&K on “kabayalis” and “indigenous people”. It had, with a brazen face, and absolute shamelessness, denied any hand in the killings in Mirpur, Muzaffarbad and elsewhere.
It is very clear then that the event in London was masterminded in Pakistan and fully backed by it, even though they deny any association with the London event and terms it as a spontaneous event just like the previous events till date.
It had similarly created a smokescreen and termed the perpetrators of 26/11 attacks in Mumbai as “non-state actors” and tried not to invite an Indian retribution. Years later, we are all now very clear that the entire killings and attack on the financial capital of India were masterminded, financed and controlled from the Pakistani soil.
On Kargil heights, when the Pakistani intruders, its regular soldiers, had been found in 1999 by the Indian Army, the country had shamelessly (initially) even disowned its own soldiers. Pakistan Army chief Pervez Musharraf had then used the dictum of plausible denial and hoodwinked the world. But not for long because when the Indian Army started hitting its troops left, right and centre, Pakistan had to run for cover and admit its connivance and orchestration of Kargil war.
Some days ago, disgraced Musha-rraf had the temerity to say that Pakistan can always count on “Kashmiris” and all that was needed to foment trouble in the state was to “keep on inciting them every now and then”. This is a policy Pakistan has been following from day one of J&K’s accession with India and it continues till date. In J&K, Pakistan has been the aggressor, in different forms, over the last several decades, and continues parroting falsehoods about the legality of the accession. On the other hand, successive state governments of J&K have failed to take on Pakistan on this issue, and have not celebrated the day officially till date.
The information deficit about the Accession Day and attendant issues has deliberately been created by successive state governments. It is astounding that while there are official events on the birth anniversary and the death anniversary of Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, there is no official event on Accession Day in J&K. This is how the information deficit is being sought to be perpetuated by the Shiekh Abdullah dynasty, the last scion of which Omar Abdullah is the presiding chief minister of the state.
The deficit in information about legal issues pertaining J&K encourages Pakistan to foment and bankroll events like the one organised in London. The rally aimed to hoodwink the world and mislead everyone on the issue of J&K. Taken seriously, it’s time, India takes on Pakistan on the issue of J&K, on all the fora, at all the venues, worldwide, to demolish its nefarious designs.
In a clear message, it has already been made amply clear to Pakistan that any talks on J&K can be held only bilaterally. The cancellation of the foreign secretary level talks, scheduled for August 25, between India and Pakistan by the BJP government led by Narendra Modi at the Centre was just a beginning. If Pakistan fails to understand the message, there is a lot more that will come its way from the Indian side. Of course, it can continue to rake its brains and bankroll failed events like ‘Million March’ and more, to meet the same fate, again and again.
–Sant Kumar Sharma
(The writer is a Jammu based freelance journalist)