Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust’s annual Kashmir Solidarity Day conference was held in Lahore yesterday. Speakers included the always-delightful Majid Nizami, chairman of the Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust and Waqt Group, and the well-known pacifist and respected academic, Professor Hafiz Mohammed Saeed. The theme of this year’s conference was clear. The U.S. has been vanquished in Afghanistan. India’s leverage over Pakistan is at an end. The Kashmir issue is no longer on the back burner. Freedom fighters are about to return to the Valley. Excerpts of their speeches follow:
Majid Nizami: Kashmir cannot become a part of Pakistan without jihad. I am willing to sacrifice my life for Pakistan. We can win Kashmir only through arms, missiles and atom bombs, not through dialog or trade. And until the issue of Kashmir is solved, Pakistan must not have any relations with India of any kind.
Hafiz Saeed: In the past, we have been unable to resolve the issue of Kashmir because our political and military leaders were disunited. When Pakistan became a nuclear power in 1998, India was despondent, and [prime minister] Vajpayee — whose links are with the BJP, which was recently identified as having terrorist affiliations by India’s Home Minister — rushed to Pakistan to save face.
Similarly, when it appeared in 1999 that India was about to lose Kashmir (and I am personally aware of what our position was in Kargil), India appealed to the U.S. It was because of U.S. interference and our own internal differences that we were not able to win in Kargil. But there is no need for pessimism. I propose that a committee be formed under Majid Nizami, which will examine the reasons for our past failures and propose future plans for the resolution of the Kashmir issue.
As a consequence of 9/11, the freedom struggle in Kashmir was negatively affected. During the U.S.’s invasion of Afghanistan, India tried its best to cause harm to Pakistan. India set up terror training camps along our border with Afghanistan and interfered in Balochistan. But India’s ambitions in Afghanistan now have been severely hit with America’s retreat.
The issue isn’t just Kashmir. India plans to stop the flow of river water into Pakistan; there is a project to build over 250 dams to prevent river water from flowing into Pakistan, of which 62 have already been built. But India knows that it is failing in its designs against Pakistan. It brings up dialog and “aman ki asha” when it realizes that its American friends have have been forced to leave the region. We salute the Kashmiris for not having given up hope these 11 difficult years.
Pakistan’s priority must be to solve the Kashmir problem. We can talk to India, because issues can also be resolved through dialog. But on the condition that India stops its aggressive behavior towards Pakistan, withdraws its troops from Kashmir, and stops damming the rivers flowing into Pakistan. Let India decide if it wants to resolve the Kashmir issue through dialog or through war. Hafiz Saeed and those under his command are ready for jihad. [نواےوقت]