Nyla Khan at Portland Community College

Uploaded by PCCvideos on 28.04.2012

Well, thank you all for coming, my name is Kate Chester,
and I am the community relations manager here at the PCC Sylvania campus.
Thank you for coming to todays presentation,
Kashmir, the politics and history of a people.
It's a delight to have you here with us, and we are delighted to have this special speaker
today here with us.
So first, before we get into some of the specifics of the presentation, I wanted to also note that
todays event is produced by the colleges Internationalization Initiative effort
and this is one in several events that has been
produced by the faculty coordinator of the initiative, and that's Bryan Hull here,
so let's give Bryan a round of applause.
Bryan has put a lot of work into this, and has done a wonderful job,
and this is an initiative that is also supported by Dr. Chris Chairsell who's with us today.
She is the vice president of academic and student affairs, so thank you Dr. Chairsell,
big round of applause.
So we have a treat for you, we have Dr. Nyla Ali Khan with us to Bryan's left.
She is a scholar on the Kashmir valley, and a visiting professor
with University of Oklahoma.
In terms of background for you, Kashmir is seem as the biggest obstacle
in terms of developing a friendly relationship between Pakistan and India.
And in the Muslim world, Kashmir, perhaps after Palestine,
is seen as one of the key places where Muslims have faced hardship for decades
due to outside influence.
Dr. Ali Khan will address some of this in her presentation today.
She is a native from the Kashmir Valley, she grew up there,
She was born in New Delhi India.
In terms of her educational background,
as I said, she's a visiting professor from the University of Oklahoma,
that is actually where she also garnered most of her graduate degrees,
she got her doctorate and her masters in English Literature from the University of Oklahoma,
she also has a masters in English Literature from the University of Delhi
in New Delhi, India.
She's also an author of several books,
The Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism,
Islam, Women, and Violence in Kashmir: Between India and Pakistan,
and she'll have a book coming out this coming September,
The Parchment of Kashmir: History, Society, and Polity.
So, without further adieu, I think I'll turn it over to Bryan and Dr. Khan,
and we'll begin the conversation, and then we will have time for a Q and A with all of you.
So as you listen to the discussion, think of questions that you have,
and when I get the green light, I'll come with the microphone to all of you and you can
pose your questions to Dr. Khan. Thank you.
-Nyla, a lot of people have with them a map here,
so maybe you situate us and talk about the geography of the area,
the diversity of different groups in the area.
Just, give us a sense of the complexity of the situation.
-Today I will talk about the state of Jammu and Kashmiri in India
as most of you know I'm sure
India was partitioned in 1947
into the nation states of India and Pakistan
so there was no Pakistan before 1947.
India was a British colony.
Just before the British left,
they divided the country, as I said, into two nation states
and that division, or that partition
occurred along religious or communal winds.
So Pakistan supposedly was created as a country
for the Muslim inhabitants of India.
and India remained a constitutionally secular republic.
at the time, 1947
Jammu and Kashmir was a principality
ruled by the monarch Hari Singh.
Soon after the partition of India, soon after India gaining independence
and then the partition of the country into two nation states,
the independent principalities around the country
were required to choose a side.
Either India or Pakistan.
The monarch of Kashmir stalled for the longest time
because he wanted to maintain Jammu and Kashmir
as an independent principality.
That was a pipe dream that he nurtured.
So he stalled as I said for a long time,
but in October of 1947
tribal invaders from Pakistan who were this organized militia
but aided and abetted by the very well organized Pakistani military
attempted to invade Kashmir.
And into order to keep the invaders at bay
the monarch requested military help from India.
Which the government of India promised to give him on the condition
that he would sign the instruments of accession
that would enable the legitimate accession at the state of Jammu and Kashmir to India.
Now, when the monarch signed the instruments of accession he was told categorically
that the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India at that point was provisional.
That soon after a political stability had been established in the subcontinent
a plebiscite, under UN auspice would be held in Kashmir.
-Who told him that? Who gave him the, his is only...
-Lord Mountbatten, as well as Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India,
and the United Nations was involved, so the people were told
that a plebiscite would be held under UN auspices,
giving the people of Kashmir the right
to either veto or validate the accession.
But that promise has not been kept, has not been fulfilled.
Now the state of Jammu and Kashmir is a conglomerate
that comprises diverse ethnic groups,
diverse linguistic and religious groups as well.
The Kashmir Valley which is considered a prized possession by the governments of
India and Pakistan is predominantly Muslim.
The Jammu province of the state of Jammu and Kashmir
is predominantly Hindu.
There are a couple of areas in Jammu that are predominantly Muslim.
By and large, Jammu province is Hindu.
The Ladakh region the state of Jammu and Kashmir is predominantly Buddhist.
Now, the native language of the Kashmir Valley is Kashmiri.
The language spoken, the languages spoken in Jammu, are Dogri, Ladakhi,
Dogri is spoken in Kashmir as well
and the language spoken in Ladakh is Ladakhi.
So it is a conglomerate, right, but was brought together through several invasions,
through several treaties.
And there is a lot of diversity -And and they're not uh...
They're populated to different densities, right?
Like the Leh Ladakh area is not as well populated.
-Not as well populated as the rest of the state. Also, I want to point out that
the Kashmiri dispute was taken to the United Nations by the government
of India in January of 1948
and after a cease-fire between India and Pakistan was finalized in January of 1949
the state was partitioned
with the prodominantly Punjabi speaking areas
like Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, Gilget, Baltistan, Hunza
becoming part of Pakistan
and the state of Jammur and Kashmir was politically assimilated into India.
-And you can see this on the map, where it says the line of control,
north of the line of controls is what she's talking of versus south.
So, there's a lot of talk about but I think one of the things that I want to skid out at the outset
is for them to understand in brief,
how Pakistan has affected the people of Kashmir,
How India has affected the people of Kashmir,
and then finally how US involvement has impacted the people of Kashmir
The last one's very important because we can see Kashmir as
displaced, it's far far away and not connected to our lives, and yet
I think it's more connected than most of us realize, so that's why
I want to talk about all three.
-I think in this globalized world, it's very important to keep in mind that
everything is interconnected.
Nothing is out there any longer.
That countries have a huge impact on another.
Cultures, peoples have a huge impact on one another.
Now, after the accession of Kashmir to India
there was very strong demand for self-determination for a long time.
The commonality that the people of the Kashmir Valley have with
the people of Pakistan is religious.
Right? Pakistan is an Islamic republic,
and the kashmir valley as I mentioned is predominantly Muslim.
So because of that religious commonality and also because the people
of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947 were not absolutely certain
that their interests would be safeguarded within the Indian union.
The demand for self-determination was quite strong
and Kashmir was given
a large measure of autonomy in 1947.
Soon after the accession of the state to the Indian union
A government headed by Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah who was the in term prime minister
was formed. That government had a representative character
that government represented and hoped to protect the democtratic aspirations of
the people of Kashmir.
It is very interesting that the land reform program
that took place in the state of Jammu and Kashmir soom afterwards accession was
the most powerful with the most significant impact in the entire country.
It was in the state of Jammu and Kashmir that the feudal class was dispossessed,
that lands were given to the peasants who tilled the land
who up until then had had no rights at all,
who up until then had be persecuted and repressed by the feudal lords they for,
that the land reform movement enabled peasant proprietors to take control of the lands they tilled
to become, in a manner of speaking,
masters of their own destinies.
And the feudal class was dispossessed by the government without compensation.
-I think this without compensation a key part of it.
-Yeah, so I think that was a huge leap, huge step towards the process of democratization.
It was also in the late 1940's early 1950's that the
government of Jammu and Kashmir
established a program of free education
for men as well as for women, up to the university level.
And the state of Jammu and Kashmir had its only constituent assembly
which was established in 1951
and in theory at least,
women were given an equals space in the workforce, women were promised equal wages.
Women were given the right to vote, the right to run for public office
Women were given the right to be care takers, to take care of their families and children,
to be given insurance,
but it also has to be given an equal and respectful space in the work force
again in theory.
In practice, things don't always translate as well as we would like them to.
-So Nyla, I have a question about land reform.
We haven't talked about this and I kind of want to get your take on this.
So, obviously the land owners didn't disappear into thin air, they went on and I wonder
if they became a thorn in the side of any attempt to...
-They did. They absolutely did.
That's a good question, you asked me a long question, a difficult one before this one
that I will respond to eventually -Right, we'll get to that, but I don't want to lose
the whole land form because...
-Okay, well of course feudal aristocracy, the feudal class that had been dispossessed
was resentful, it was alienated, it became antagonistic toward the government.
That was a class that couldn't be won over by the democratic government.
And in 1953, Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, the prime minister of Jammu and Kashmir
was ousted by the government of Jawaharlal Nehru.
Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah worked toward retaining the autonomous status of Kashmir.
I think i should mention that according to the instrument of accession
the government of India would have control over defense, foreign affairs and communications.
The government of Jammu and Kashmir would have control over every other area and aspect
so it was given a large measure of autonomy and wild functioning
as a part of the Indian union,
local organs of state government retained their autonomous position.
But in 1953, the government of Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah was ousted by
the Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru
who felt that the autonomous aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir at the time
needed to be stifled.
That Jammu and Kashmir needed to be integrated into the Indian Union like other states.
So the government of India undemocratically
undemocratically employed centrist measures,
integrationist measures that eroded the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir
and that legitamized the integration of the states
without the will of the people into the Indian union,
And in 1953, one of the classes that was very disillusioned,
was alienated, and supported this move made by the government of India
was that of the former feudal aristocracy.
the former feudal, the landed gentry
-So, I don't know if you want to talk about this but the rationale that the Indian government used
to put Abdullah into jail, there was a Pakistani connection, accusations of their connections
with Pakistan, do you want to talk about that at all?
-In 1958, Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, not just Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah but his loyalists
and some members of his family as well
were accused by the government of India of being aided and abetted
by the government of Pakistan
for propagating the right os self-determination
for the people of Jammu and Kashmir
for a supposedly propagating the division of the Indian Union.
This was in 1958 that these allegations were leveled
against Sheikh Abdullah, his loyalists, and as I said some members of his family as well.
But these allegations were later dropped. The people who had made them were discredited,
and any kind of legitimacy that these allegations might have claimed to have
was completely eroded.
-This sort of thing is like peeling layers of complexity.
I want to get on the table that Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah is your maternal grandfather.
It's not just that have have a Kashmir expert here, we have the Kasmir expert here.
So, your grandpa gets put in jail, and then that leaves
your grandmother with four of five kids? -With five kids.
-They not only put him in jail, but they say you know what, you're not going back
to your house either, right?
-Well, he remained in incarceration for twenty two years from 1953 until 1975,
and he was in externment for a long period, so he was inprisoned outside the state
and he wasn't allowed to return to the state of Jammu and Kashmir until 1975
when he was we reinstalled as head of government.
So, in 1953, my grandmother, with her five children, the family was in dire straits.
Her children were young, a couple of them were school going, a couple of them college going
capable of fending for themselves.
My grandmother was a political and social activist, and she supported her husbands cause
and she remained loyal to that cause until the day she died. But she was not...
She was independently wealthy, she belonged to a wealthy family, her father
an Austrian was a hotelier in pre partitioned India.
Her father owned a couple of hotels in Kashmir, he owned a hotel in Pune,
and they owned a hotel in Lahore.
This family had migrated from Austria to pre partition India
and as I said, they were wealthy people.
Her mother was a Gudjer, so she belonged to a nomadic tribe of Kashmir,
and I find that story incredibly romantic and incredibly interesting
how this well-to-do well educated Austian man
could have fallen in love with an illiterate tribal woman is mind boggling.
Completely different backgrounds, completely different lifestyles,
but it happened.
So my grandmother was independently wealthy
and during that very difficult period she was supported by her mother.
Now at the time, my grandmother's two brothers were burgeoning hoteliers
and they didn't want to antagonize
the government of Jammu and Kashmir, or the government India because they were concerned
about the well-being at their business
and in order to protect their own interests
in order not to rob the powers that be on the wrong side
they distanced themselves from their sister and her children.
So the only kind of financial help or support that she got was from her mother.
And it's very interesting how isolated this family was in the 1950's and the 1960's as well.
My mother and her siblings told me that
physicians were afraid to treat them.
That physicians were afraid to get to their house to be seen
hobnobbing with the family.
To be seen associating with them in any way at all.
And how this family felt completely insulated at the time.
also with my maternal grandfather in jail,
the political activism of his organization dwindled,
but there was a leadership vacuum,
there were other loyalists who were willing to further the cause
there were other loyalists who were just as passionate
about the work that my grandfather had initiated.
But without a leader, there wasn't a clear direction.
That was lacking.
So politically also, that was a very difficult time for the family.
-Though, I did interrupt you, we were talking about the impact of India on
Kashmir, Pakistan and the US, so... Let's flush it out a little bit.
-Alright, I'm going to try and flush this out as well as I can. The impact of India was,
in 1953 to begin with, Jammu and Kashmir had a democratically elected government
with the democratically elected prime minister
who was arguably the most popular leader at the time.
His government was undemocratically ousted
which was seen as an infringement by the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
That gave them and the very clear impression
that they had no democratic rights.
That they did not have the right to elect their own prime minister,
that they did not have the right to elect their own ministers.
Because the governments of India, at it's own whims and caprices
could dislaunch whatever government have been chosen by the people.
So that alienation was awful.
And the trust deficit that came in as well between the poeple of Jammu and Kashmir
and between the government of India,
The trust deficit that has been growing over the years
made the people feel isolated, make them feel helpless,
make them feel like they lacked civil and political liberties.
And over the years, heads of government in Kashmir
were installed by the government of India
without the consent of the people.
-Weren't there sometimes fake elections, like... -Yes, rigged elections.
Dictators were installed who were not popular
who were known for their brutal methods.
dictators who are known for their
repressive blood curdling methods were installed and allowed to reign for long periods of time
because they enjoyed the support, they were given legitimacy by the government of Inida,
which made the people feel like they had no say in the matter of governance at all
And as I said, that is terribly alienatingn and over the years, the government of India
deployed measures, constitutional measures
that eroded the autonomy of Kashmir.
The centrist measures that were employed by the government of India
eroded the constitutional autonomy of Kashmir,
eroded the political autonomy of Kashmir
made kashmir a part of the Indian union
fiscally and politically, extended the jurisdiction of the Indian supreme court
the Indian election commission to Kashmir
which wasn't there when the state had acceded.
So all these corrosive measures undermined the autonomy,
and then came a point where the people of the state
particularly, and I don't mean to... I don't mean to reinforce or validates any kind communal divide
but particularly the Muslims of the Kashmir Valley.
When they felt like they didn't have a place within the Indian union, I think it is important to point out
that during...It is important to point out that before
the establishment of a democratic regime in Jammu and Kashmir in 1949,
when Kashmir was ruled by a monarch.
The Muslims of the Kashmir Valley
were quite downtrodden to put it mildly.
The Muslims of the Kashmir Valley were repressed politically, economically,
educationally and socially as well.
it was after the nationalist movement of the 1930's and the 1940's
that was lead by Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah and his loyalists.
It was after that nationalist movement made a foray into the political scenario
that the Muslims of the Kashmir Valley began to assert their rights,
their political rights as well as their economic rights.
And it was a especially after the installation of the democratic government in 1948
that the Muslims of Kashmir, of the Kashmir Valley
felt like they a legitimate say.
-So I think we have a sense of India but because of time, I'm going to... So what about Pakistan?
-Well Pakistan is well... Number one would be the tribal invasion that I
mentioned a little while ago. The tribal invasion that was
aided and abetted by the Pakistani military
which was very cruel, it comprised
militiamen who were completely disorganized, who were brutal
and while on their way to the capital of Jammu and Kashmir, the summer capitol
Jammu and Kashmir is Srinagar.
While on their way to Srinagar, they commited
heinous crimes, inflicting atrocities on the civillian population of Kashmir
which made that tribal invasion terribly unpopular
and it was at that time that the people of Jammu and Kashmir, regardless of
religious affiliation, regardless of political ideology or political affiliation come together
to keep it the tribal invaders at bay.
And that tribal invasion was seen by a lot of people at the time
as an active betrayal by the government of Pakistan.
Now, since... In 1989 a separatist movement resurfaced in Jammu and Kashmir.
The separatist movement, which is now fragmented started out as
vocally and vociferously espousing the right of
self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
It was a militant movement.
In the late 1980's, young men, young Kashmiri men
who were dissolutioned
who felt politically disenfranchised
who felt economically dispossessed
who felt alienated, crossed the line of control.
Line of control which is between Pakistani administered Kashmir
and Indian administered Kashmir.
They crossed a line of control over over into Pakistani administred Kashmir
where they were trained
given training in arms and ammunition by the Pakistani military.
And these young men returned to Indian administered Kashmir in late 1989
Some of these groups unleashed a reign of terror and unbridled violence.
There were other groups that espoused peaceful methods
or that is espoused peaceful negotiations
so that the people have Jammu and Kashmir
would get their political rights.
Now the government of Pakistan has never vocally avowed
or has never openly declared its support
of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.
It has never vocally avowed its financial as well as military support
to the militan movement in Jammu and Kashmir.
but the general perception of India is
that militancy in Jammu in Kashmir is encouraged,
is funded by the formidable Pakistani interest service intelligence.
That is the general impression.
-And obviously since for many years, up until recently so much
US aid went to Pakistan's military, been there probably as an indirect connection
or do you think that's pushing it too much?
-Well, no that's interesting.
Pakistan is a very old ally
and it's interesting that although the US
spouses progressive politics
and the US spouses emancipatory politics
the rule of General Zia-ul-Haq, a Pakistani dictator
and that islamization took place during his reign
was funded by the US. You know, I'm not saying that they funded that
drive to Islamize the country
but they definitely gave military aid to General Zia-ul-Haq's regime.
So perhaps that kind of indirect support, and it's also interesting that
prime minister, late prime minister Benazir Bhutto
who was a western educated, emancipated, progressive, democratic politician,
woman politican, in order to gain political mileage in the late 1980's
advocated and espoused jihadi elements
in the state of Jammu in Kashmir.
So perhaps that kind of indirect support. But I also want to point out
that in the twentieth century and the twenty first century as well,
India is a burgeoning economic power.
In the Asia pacific region, one-way to offset the growth of China, the economic growth of China
would be to support India,
which is what the US administration is doing particularly the Obama administration
is very openly supporting India.
And I don't think at this point in time,
whatever human rights violations might take place in Kashmir,
i don't think the US government
would openly condemn, or be critial of
those human rights violations.
For its own political and economic interests.
-So, we're in a period of relatively... Not as many poeple are
dying right now in Kashmir as before but as you have said, it is
highly militarized still by the central Indian government. So here we are in present
You go back every year. What do you see as a next step?
Or next steps out of this long torturous situation?
-Yeah, that's a very good question.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir, though violence has abated
militancy has dwindled there are not as many militants in the state of Jammu and Kashmir
any longer. There was not of as much counter insurgency in the state of Jammu and Kashmir
any longer. But the political fabric is fragmented,
and the sociocultural fabric is fragmented as well.
I think I should point out that from 1989 until 1987
the state of Jammu and Kashmir was ruled, governed
well, ruled by the president of India,
and his representative int he state, the governor.
There was no democratically elected civilian government in the state
for about ten years.
An election was held in 1997, which
enabled the installation, which enabled the establishment of a
democratically elected civilian government.
But during that period, the early 90's
when militancy was at its apex
every Kashmiri, regardless of political affiliation
suspected of being of militance
was suspected of being sympathetic toward a militant organization
and at the time, neither the Indian military
nor the government of India
was prepared to handle an armed insurgency.
Was prepared to look for ways of negotiating politically
in order to curb that armed insurgency in order to nip it in the bud.
So the methods employed by the Indian military in the early 1990's
were highly repressive.
That was an era in which custodial disappearances
and custodial deaths were absolutely rampant.
A custodial disappearance is when a young man
is suspected of being a militant, is suspected of being affiliated with a militant organization
and without of formal charge, is taken into custody,
imprisoned for long periods of time,
tortured, not given access to any kind of legal counsel
and not given access to his family either. The whereabouts of that person are unknown.
Custodial disappearances are rampant in latin america,
they were rampant in Kashmir in the early 1990's.
There were some draconian laws and measures like the public safety act of 1978
for example. Or the terrorists and disruptive activities prevention act.
Or the armed forces special powers act which give the military
which gave the military carte blanche.
These draconian laws, these draconian measures insure
that the military as well as the police
are unaccountable. That if person is, as I said suspected of being affiliated with a militant
organization, is suspected of being a threat to public order and security the person can
be detained for up to a period of a couple of years
without a formal charge,
without being given access to legal counsel
and these draconian measures seriously curbced, seriously undermined
whatever freedom of political expression,
freedom of speech, freedom of political activity
people of Kashmir might have employed
all of these measures seriously curbs those freedoms.
I forgot your question.
-No you didn't. You secretly answered it.
I do want to leave a few minutes for question and answer
So, before we get to that... -Okay,you asked me how I invisioned
the future of Kashmir -But you sort of implied it.
It seemed like what you were saying was democracy has to come back to Kashmir
-Democracy has to come back, we need to restore the pluralistic ethos of Kashmir.
Traditionally the society, the culture,
the sociocultural fabric of Jammu and Kashmir traditionally is pluralistic.
We have a Kashmiri Muslim community, we have a Kashmiri Hindu community.
We have Hindus in Jammu, we have Buddhists in Ladakh.
We have a very small Christian minority, we have a very small Sikh minority.
So I think that pluralistic ethos of Jammu and Kashmir needs to be restored,
democracy needs to be restored,
also the autonomy that Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed before integrationist measures
undermined that autonomy, that needs to be restored as well.
I mentioned that before the ouster of Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah in 1953
that only areas that the government of India had control over were
foreign affairs, communications and defense.
In 1952, the prime minister, the democratically elected prime minister of Jammu and Kashmir
Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, and the democratically elected prime minister
of India, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, signed the Dehli agreement of 1952.
-I think that's what the picture's of. Is that what this is?
-No, that's the land reform bill. -Oh, okay, sorry.
-Enabling Kashmir to retain its autonomy while functioning as a part of the Indian union.
I think the Delhi agreement of 1952 needs to be restored
and I think the Kashmiri Hindus who left Kkashmir in the 1990's,
there was a mass exodus in the 1990's.
Soon after the onset of armed insurgency and armed insurgency
the Kashmiri Hindu minority felt persecuted,
were afraid that there.... There was fear of loss of lives, fear of loss of property,
fear of loss a freedom of religion, fear of persecution because of which the
Kkashmiri Hindu minority migrated to other parts on India.
I think they need to be rehabilitated.
I think they would need to return to their homeland
in order to restore the syncretic and pluralistic ethos of the state.
-So what do you think guys? What questions do you have for this person?
-You mentioned the US and our relationship with Pakistan as well as the US's alliance
on India's economy doing well. We obviously have a strong alliance on China's economy
doing well, and my question would be, being that Pakistan is one of our major allies,
in the quote on quote war on terror, and being that India in order for their economy to continue
to succeed, it needs US aid. What would be the US's role in facilitating peace in Kashmir
and how is our relationship to both countries hurt, if at all, our relationship with it?
-Oh, that's a really good question. I think that the US, I think the international community
can play a very large role as it has done in the past
in bringing about negotiations between the governments of India and Pakistan.
There was... Do you guys know anything at all about the cargo war of 1999?
Well the cargo war of 1999 was fought by
India and Pakistan, the military's of India and Pakistan.
At the time, India, because of its diplomatic methods,
because of it's...
Well the government of India at the time was less aggressive than the government of Pakistan,
so it managed to retain its credibility and it managed to have that credibility validated
by the US. The government of India in 1999 also, unlike the government of Pakistan
was able to deploy diplomatic methods and means
and also because of its powerful position
it had more leverage to ensure
that the Kashmir conflict wouldn't get international,
and at the time the US came to the support of India
nipping that war in the bud.
In preventing that war from becoming and out and out
devastating destructive nuclear war. As we all know, India and Pakistan
are nuclear powers on the subcontinent.
So at the time it was the US the played a huge role in preventing the conflict from escalating
And even today, I think the United States, if
given Kashmir's strategic location, it borders on China and Afghanistan,
given that interests that the United States has in Afghanistan
in Pakistan as well, given the funding, the huge funding
that it has been getting to the Pakistani military for a long time and
its economic interest in india, now look at that outsourcing that happens there.
Peaceful negotiations that could be brought about between the two countries
can be initiated by the US I think.
The democr... The restoration of democratic means and methods in Jammu and Kashmir,
the condemnation of human rights violations.
The restoration of fundamental constitutional rights in Kashmir.
Again, the US can play a huge role in that the restoration of civil liberties in Kashmir.
-I have a couple questions. You said that your grandfather was reinstated in 1975?
-He was.
-I was curious, was he elected again, or just..?
-Well in 1975, he signed at treaty with the then prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi
which was called the Indira-Abdullah Accord of 1975.
That accord has been seen by political analysts as a surrender,
as a capitulation to the wishes and the caprices of the governance of India.
According to a lot of people, a lot of political analysts, and according to
a lot of loyalists as well, signing the Indira-Abdullah Accord of 1975 was political hierarchy
and according to them, my grandfather basically committed political suicide by allowing
the government of Indira Ghandi to wrench his arm and get him to
validate that treaty and that treaty did...
It did validated, it did ratify
all the integrationist measures that had been taken by the government of India
up until then and it did seriously dilute the authority
of the government of Jammu and Kashmir.
So he was sent back in 1975
after twenty two years of incarceration
and he formed a coalition government
with the congress party, which is the national organization
which at the time was led by Indira Ghandi. He formed a coalition.
But soon after that coalition broke up,
factionalism occurred, fragmentation occurred, the coalition government broke up
and then the election was held in 1977
which according to another most political analysts
was one of the fairest and freest elections to have been held in south Asia.
And it was in that election that my grandfather and his organization won a landslide victory
and he was installed as chief minister of head of government.
-The other question I'm really dying to know is, you know you're almost
talking as if the Jammu and Kashmir is under India
you're not talking about trying to reunite the whole thing much.
-Yeah, yeah. Well, some people do.
Some people do taught... For some people that would be the ideal solution
to create the... To reunite the two parts of Kashmir and to create the region as a buffer zone
between the countries of India and Pakistan,
and there is an organization, a separatist organization in Kashmir called
the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front.
The credo of which is,
not either accession to India or Pakistan
but the credo of which is the reunification
of the two parts of Kashmir, and then the independence and sovereignty of that region
the security of which would be guaranteed, not just by the governments of India and Pakistan
but by world powers as well,
and I think that would be an ideal solution, but I don't think it's practical.
I don't think it's a pragmatic solution, I think the government of Pakistan cries itself horse,
in condemning the human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir
I think the government of Pakistan cries itself horse in advocating the right of self-determination
for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It has nothing to say
about the people of kashmir on its side of the border.
It has nothing to say about
the parts of Jammu and Kashmir, the human rights violations that occur there.
The ecological damage, the environmental damage, the economic damage
that occurs there. The government of Pakistan has nothing to say about that.
So I don't think it's very pragmatic. -I have something to say and that is that
I want these students to get to their next class on time and I want them to be able
to thank you, so that we all take this opportunity to thank Nyla Khan.
Those of you have to go, feel free to go, if you want to stand around and schmooze
for a little while i'm sure we can do that.
Thank you for coming.