Until recently the liberation of Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan (PoJK/GB) seemed like a far-fetched dream. However, with the increase in the intensity in armed conflict between the Pakistan army and the Baloch freedom fighters as well as the periodic bloody skirmishes taking place at the Chaman border between Afghanistan and Pakistan military and the recent lethal attacks on the Pakistan army conducted by the Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan, the dream to end of the oppression of the people of POJK/GB seems in our reach.
Six things would be of utmost importance in making the dream of freeing my people come true.
First and foremost is the establishment of an umbrella organisation that could unite all political parties and organisations which are fighting for social, political and economic justice in PoJK/GB.
This would include the 14 party strong People’s National Alliance lead by advocate Zulfikar Ahmed as well as the workers, farmers, students, shop stewards, doctors, engineers, women and above all the larger sections of the middle class in PoJK/GB.
Secondly, a mass campaign inside the occupied territories that challenges the Pakistan establishment’s anti-India narrative, and to replace it with facts based truth. (The fact is that it was Pakistan and not India that attacked the state of Jammu and Kashmir on October 22, 1947 and occupied parts of Kashmir and west Jammu as well as Gilgit-Baltistan).
Thirdly, establishing a consensus among all organisations to agree on a one-point political agenda to free PoJK/GB from the occupation of Pakistan and reunite with the republic of India.
Fourth is to enable the movement to spread all over the occupied territories that leads the struggle for freedom from Pakistan and follows the one-point agenda mentioned earlier.
Fifth is an unwavering vocal support from the people of Jammu Kashmir inside the union territory in particular and from the Indian digital and broadcast media.
And sixth, a well-coordinated international diplomatic campaign to help the world community make sense of what is at stake and how liberating PoJK/GB will help in abolishing terrorist activities in the region and beyond.
India would not even have to fire a bullet of put one soldier on ground to liberate PoJK/GB. If we examine closely it will become even more clear that the people of PoJK/GB have been protesting for more than two years on a daily basis against social and economic atrocities that are being committed by Pakistan.
Last week speaker after speaker at protests conducted by the civil society in Gilgit-Baltistan said that if Pakistan was not going to solve their problems and if wheat shortage and load shedding issues are not resolved than they will have no other choice but to look in the direction of Kargil.
This means that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan have shown their willingness to join Laddakh and the Indian republic.
In PoJK, on more than one occasion, individuals as well as nationalist political party leaders have warned Pakistan that they will march to join Srinagar if Pakistan does not meet their social and economic demands.
To achieve the above mentioned goal, speedy discussion sessions are currently being conducted with likeminded political activists, leaders as well as with the broader civil society.
My appearance on Indian television channels has contributed in a big way in bringing awareness about the atrocities taking place in the PoJK/GB.
Regular daily news bulletins broadcasted through Radio Himalaya are a window that provide a daily update on the situation on ground in PoJK/GB and have played an instrumental role in scraping the Islamic jihadist terrorist narrative of the minds of millions of people from PoJK/GB. Radio Himalaya has broken, what was until few year ago, the backbone of Pakistani military establishment’s anti-India propaganda.
What has been missing so far is a vigorous international diplomatic propaganda campaign based on facts about the history of the so-called Kashmir conflict and how Pakistan has used this conflict to inflict violence on the innocent people and especially religious minorities living in the Indian union territory of Jammu Kashmir.
For this I suggest that an envoy of PoJK/GB should be nominated who should visit as many European capitals as possible, as well as Washington and London, and hold meetings with their respective foreign ministers and parliamentarians. This activity can easily be coordinated through the Indian foreign missions.
The enemy of the people of India and the oppressed people of PoJK/GB is a common one. Our enemy is the jihadist Islamic terrorist military establishment of Pakistan and the enemy is at its weakest today.
Pakistani banks have barred foreign currency holders from withdrawing their savings in dollars. This is because Pakistan has no foreign exchange reserves. Foreign currency account holders are being paid their foreign currency savings in rupees.
The situation is so dire that the Combined Military Hospitals (CMH) have stopped issuing medicine to ex-servicemen and their families due to non-availability of funds.
Pakistan’s economy is under huge pressure and defaulting on payments to its lenders is most likely in the near future. Pakistan army is deeply bogged down in Balochistan where Baloch freedom fighters are defeating an occupying Pakistan army.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is attacking Pakistan military convoys and check posts on almost daily basis.
Relations between the Afghan Taliban and Pakistan military are at an all-time low and border clashes have become a weekly occurrence.
The people of Sindh province have been devastated by an early monsoon that has caused devastating floods and left millions without home and food. Things are so desperate that any untoward incident could spark a rebellion in Sindh at any time.
Therefore, if the above mentioned six points are taken on board the people of PoJK/GB will be able to rid themselves of Pakistani occupation and become free to join Indian republic without a bullet spent.
Now, it is only a matter of the will of all stake holders whether they want to take advantage of this once in a life time opportunity and turn 2022 into the last year of Pakistani occupation of the erstwhile Indian territories? Perhaps, this is time to search your soul.
(Dr. Amjad Ayub Mirza is an author and a human rights activist from Mirpur in PoJK. He currently lives in exile in the UK)