AUTONOMY FOR KASHMIR, Dr Nazir Gilani
A conscientious Kashmiri (State Subject) would advocate ‘equality’ of the People of Jammu and Kashmir (GB inclusive) in their right to Self Determination. We cannot be a sub-ordinate or unequal People.
I subscribe to the UN Mechanism on Kashmir and I have no doubt that the mechanism fully embeds all the three options, namely
1. Whether Kashmir should withdraw from her accession to India
2. Accede to Pakistan
3. Remain Independent, with a right to claim admission as a Member of the United Nations (This is the Kashmir Case at the UN).
There is also a strong advocacy in favour of Autonomy or Self Rule supported by Main Stream Political Parties in Jammu and Kashmir. This option is one of the options in 4 point Formula floated by President Musharraf during his rule.
It is important to point out that Hurriyat M (except Hurriyat G) took upon to advocate the Autonomy/Self Rule Option, not because political parties in Kashmir have been advocating it but because it was Musharraf’s desire. He wanted sales persons to sell the idea (Read his Book In the Line of Fire).
It is even more interesting that JKLF remained in close proximity with Musharraf formula and did not defend the Independence of the State. Its leadership decided to remain on the right side of Musharraf, which proposed a joint control and autonomy, short of Independence.
In addition to seeking the Hurriyat M and JKLF’s hand in support, the establishment, which has yet to socialize in Military Professionalism and respect for Democracy, invested in a national and international broad spread of Kashmiri salesmen to promote the 4 Point Musharraf Formula.
Self Determination and UN Resolutions were dropped in a Washington Conference, to the chagrin of many present in the Conference. Late Khalid Hassan of Daily Times and Nayyar Zaidi of Daily Jang wrote their critique on the attempt to distance away from the Universal Character of the Kashmir case.
Autonomy and Self Rule has a constituency of support. It would be interesting if this school of opinion could very kindly answer the following:
There are three ideal-typical variations of Autonomy, namely
Communal Autonomy finds expression in patriotism, national self-determination and the acceptance of the common good or public interest as an overriding standard.
Plural Autonomy takes form in the organization of subgroups based on affinities of identity, interest and belief.
Individual Autonomy is manifest in the belief that citizens should be left alone to pursue ends of their own choosing and in their right to arrive at their own political judgments and to act upon them independently.
Which one could be reconciled in our favour, to achieve social harmony, political stability and the balance of liberty?