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             Guests For  WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 16, 2009

                                            (Originally aired: Feb. 1994)




                              Freedom Fighter




             Former Prime Minister Azad (Free) Kashmir








The program can be viewed in its entirety by clicking the you tube link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXoxGUveBpU - SARDAR MOHAMMAD ABDUL QAYYUM KHAN





Sardar Mohammad Abdul Qayyum Khan

Sardar Muhammad Abdul Qayyum Khan is a former prime minister of

 Azad Kashmir. In 2005 he visited India as part of the “Intra J & K ‘Heart

to Heart Meet”[1]

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Pakistan Times (PakistanTimes.net | DailyPakistanTimes.com)   Kashmir


Qayyum visualizes ‘United States of Kashmir’ as Solution
Pakistan Times Kashmir Desk

MUZAFFARABAD: The Supreme Head of ruSupreme Head of ruling AJK Party, All Jammu & Kashmir Muslim Confrence Sardar Muhammad Abdul Qayyum Khanling AJK Party, All Jammu & Kashmir Muslim Conference Sardar Muhammad Abdul Qayyum Khan says he visualises United States of Kashmir with sub-sovereignty status as the potential solution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute, with both Pakistan and India exercising joint paramount control over the State.

But he did not elaborate the viability of this possible geographic configuration of the Himalayan State.

Making these remarks during the course of his budget speech to the ongoing AJK Assembly session in Muzaffarabad he said: ‘I have reached this conclusion and this imaginative map (of possible Kashmir settlement) emerges in my mind’.

Praising the role of the Kashmiri mujahideen Sardar Qayyum Khan advised working together by politicians and the mujahideen in future to advance the cause of Kashmir.

However he cautioned that along side this great role of theirs jehad was defamed by the character of some of them . ‘The process needs great carefulness and in future both the mujahideen and the politicians need to work together’, he advised.

Thanks World Powers

He regretted that effective endeavours were not being mounted on ‘our’ part to counter the global propaganda dubbing the Kashmir liberation struggle as terrorism. However he thanked the world powers for their ‘interest’ in the Kashmir issue.

Sardar Qayyum observed that for some time past efforts were being made that Azad Kashmir should be kept aloof from the liberation struggle.

‘This time by not including the president and prime minister of AJK in talks (referring implicitly to occupied Kashmir APHC leaders’ meetings with the highest executives of the country) the state machinery has demonstrated its strategy’, he remarked.

He described the recent visit to Pakistan/AJK by Held Kashmir APHC leaders as useful and said that attempt by some (AJK) Assembly members to respond to their (APHC’s) certain points in the House were prevented by him.

‘I am satisfied over my role and responsibilities’, he added. This was an apparent reference to the political criticism made by the JKLF chairman Yasin Malik in his address to the informal joint meeting of the AJK Assembly and Kashmir Council on June-3, 2005 in Muzaffarabad.●



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Kashmir Cell

Official Website of Kashmir Centers, Government of       AJ&K.


Message Board
Foreign Delegations

Letter of Sardar Muhammad Abdul Qayyum Khan for: Excellency Chairman of the EU And Members of the EU Parliament.


This is with regard to the report recently submitted by Baroness Emma Nicholson about India-Pakistan dispute on Kashmir. I am sure it is no secret now. However, my request is to give it due consideration before it is adopted. Its adoption as it is, God forbid, will grossly mislead more than half of the world opinion, if not all. We do not know where exactly to attribute it, strategic ignorance or conscious overlook of the factual position. It is not only clearly one-sided but it also defeats the very purpose for which the report might have been called for. My view about the report is shared by the largest chunk of the community represented by the Muslim Conference, the ruling party in Azad Kashmir (Librated part of the Jammu & Kashmir State). Many others with hardly an odd exception also voice the same opinion. In any case most of the report is based mostly on hundred percent incorrect information.  

1.                  Azad Jammu & Kashmir though not an independent sovereign state, has got legislative Assembly of its own which comprises of 49 members elected on the basis of adult franchise. The Assembly, at present, has among its members six women out of whom two are Ministers in the Government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir. The Legislative Assembly is the major political institution in the territory. Though there are more than half a dozen political parties in AJK, yet it practically boils down to two which is as fine as elsewhere. There have been an effective local bodies system in vogue for a pretty long time. After a spell of a few years, it is being revived, hopefully within a few months. Besides, there is a Council, the Upper House, chaired by the Prime Minister of Pakistan to maintain link with Pakistan. The Council, among others, comprises of six members who are elected by Members of the Legislative Assembly of Azad Jammu & Kashmir. Moreover, there is President, Prime Minister, Supreme Court, High Court and adequate number of subordinate courts right from Civil Judges to District and Session Judges. In presence of the aforesaid institutions, the claim that Azad Jammu & Kashmir lacks democratic structure is just unintelligible.  

2.                  Another farce contained in the report is “major deficiencies in the rule of law and justice”. As to what are those major deficiencies, is not even remotely alluded to. Fact of the matter is, as clarified in the earlier part of this document, there is a complete judicial set up in Azad Jammu & Kashmir right from the lowest to the highest judicial forum catering to the requirements of dispensation of justice. Insofar as rule of law in Azad Jammu & Kashmir is concerned, suffice it to say that there is not even a single person throughout the Azad Jammu & Kashmir territory detained in any sort of judicial or other custody except under due judicial authority and on a specific charge under validly enforced laws which in themselves ensure due process for custody with full opportunity of defence to the accused. The report can well be analyzed  placing it in juxtaposition to the Indian occupied part of the State of Jammu & Kashmir where thousands of the people are under incarceration without any authority of law, and who are undergoing such incarceration for years together without being tried for any offence. Thousands have been removed from homes by the Indian armed forces without any information as to their whereabouts. The inhuman laws like TADA and POTA besides, which authorize the Indian army to arrest anyone without assigning to him any reason and on mere suspicions. 

3.                  As for poverty level is concerned there is no doubt that Azad Kashmir is, for one reason or the other, much well off in comparison with other adjoining areas. It is also no secret that some of the areas in AJ&K are much better off than many others around. Therefore, it dose not justify to declare the entire area as of extreme poverty. It may also be mentioned that the better economic conditions in AJ&K are also due to our people abroad. It is a middle class society no doubt, but it is one area where there is no begging so far, as one finds in under-developed places. Doesn’t one know that in neighboring country not one or two persons but hundreds of thousands live under inhuman conditions, homeless and hearthless. That was not sighted by the worthy rapporteur. In any case Azad Kashmir can by no standards be declared as of extreme poverty area. Even if it were so how does it concern or affect a Peaceful Resolution of the dispute.   

4.                  The other fallacy of the report is in assessment of the literacy rate in Azad Jammu & Kashmir. Starting from Zero percent at the time of Partition, it has gone up to sixty percent. And the way it is progressing one can easily say that much before long AJ&K will acquire hundred percent far earlier than other adjoining areas. I have the honor to be considered as the architect of that policy and plan. I simply wonder who that ignorant person might have been to give that false information to the honorable lady. Yet how does it concern Resolution of the real issue. 

5.                  As to how the “impact of the earthquake and vast humanitarian situation has completely changed the political conditions on the ground in Azad Jammu & Kashmir” is again incomprehensible. One fails to understand as to why the people of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, and for that matter the people of the State of Jammu & Kashmir as a whole, should be denied their legitimate and well acknowledged right of deciding their future themselves on the ground that “they are already among some of the most disadvantaged in the region” and that “the already exceptionally sparse basic needs have further been exacerbated by the earthquake”. It is too harsh and unjust to deprive them from their universally recognized right on the ground that “continuing calls for a plebiscite on the final status of Jammu & Kashmir are wholly out of step with the needs of the local people and damaging to their interests.” Conversely, such people deserve all the more sympathy and humanitarian as well as political assistance in getting their aforesaid rights.  

6.                  The report which refers to “child-trafficking in the aftermath of the disaster” is against facts. Again it contains no element of truth while claiming that “mechanism for child protection was virtually non-existent even before the earthquake.” The report fails to refer to any evidence, documented or otherwise, on the point. The report also fails to take into consideration a variety of laws enforce in Azad Jammu & Kashmir guaranteeing and protecting the rights of women and children including their maintenance, education, protection against child labour, non-discrimination etc. 

7.                  The report has tried, in vain, to exploit the boggy of no rights to women. Our women folk are equal voters in elections at all levels. They enjoy both facilities of reserved seats and contesting direct elections to the Legislature. No doubt we have a traditional social structure with its centuries old obligations. However, they form part of the Govt. and are in a much better position that way. It will be unfair to judge it by European standards. 

8.                  The report follows the fallacy that people in Azad Jammu & Kashmir had “minimal basic rights before the earthquake” and fails to notice the fact that these people were among those enjoying all basic needs of life including free education and healthcare, prior to the earthquake and they, if not atop, were much ahead in this regard as compared to other areas around. 

9.                  The report goes other way round when it requires a change of policy from Islamabad, which, according to the report, “maintains that all of Kashmir is an integral part of Pakistan’s territory”. This part of the report alone tells much about the “truth” contained in the report. There has never been such a claim from Islamabad which has all along been supporting the Kashmir’s demand of grant of right to self-determination in accordance with UN Resolutions. Pakistan Constitution is evident on the point which, as against India Constitution, does not lay any claim with regard to the State of Jammu & Kashmir and leaves the future of the State to be determined by the people of the State. Conversely, it is India who, in defiance of its commitments and solemn pledges given to the international community, has been claiming the State of Jammu & Kashmir as its integral part. It is just ironical to blame a party for the deeds of another. 

10.             Deficient arrangements of Earthquake by the army, yet an-other out of context allegation. Pakistan Army after the Earthquake is considered to be the savior of the Kashmiri people. It was entirely because of them that the human life was rescued and restored to normalcy. In a huge out-of- proportion calamity like this no army in the world could do any better. That question could be addressed to any layman in the affected area. Some disgruntled element is always there but they represent much less than half a percent of the people. One simply wonders how fallacious the report is. I also wonder how some one dare inform that highly responsible forum with such faulty information based mostly on hearsay and conjectures. No doubt many other prestigious organizations and institutions also played commendable role in rescue and relief, yet the role of Pakistan army will ever be remembered. The whole nation is proud of their performance. We are also grateful to other organizations who came to help.  

11.             With regard to the information about health care it is also surprising to find how poorly informed that honorable lady has been. Without any disrespect, one feels as if the report was prepared in a cozy drawing room without any reference or knowledge about the ground environments. She seems to have been surrounded by some rotten element. I can say with authority and responsibility that the health care network in Azad Kashmir is much better than anywhere in the adjoining areas. If one takes the terrain into consideration it would surprise any one to see how this care service has been deployed in that Himalayan Range. We had tried to provide health care on the basis of five thousand people as a yard stick. Besides other institutions like hospitals and other health care centres the Government provides free treatment in all hospitals for some major diseases like Cancer, Cardiac problems and Hepatitis. The Christian community, however small, has the privilege of free treatment throughout AJ&K.  

12.             Coming to another objection raised by the honorable EU representative criticizing bar on elections against Accession to Pakistan, I wish she had spared some time to give us a hearing. I am absolutely sure that she could never submit that report. I am solely responsible for providing in the AJK Constitution the clause which restricts the election to those who favour Accession with Pakistan. Government of Pakistan never had any thing to do with this. The reason why we did that was: 

a)     Any thing other than Accession would conflict both with the partition plan and the UN resolutions which called for plebiscite and provided for two options only-Accession to India or Pakistan. We are not in a position to alter that position. 

b)     Pundit Nehru had in the very beginning declared that India will not accept Independent Kashmir as it would lead to disintegration of India. 

c)      Any alteration in the status quo would upset every thing, reverse the order and deprive the Kashmiris of the right conceded to them by the UN. 

d)     Declaration of Independence of Azad Kashmir was declared by India as an act of war. It would open a Pandora box with never ending problems. It would raise unlimited questions about the future of Kashmir and for both the countries, Pakistan and India.  Therefore, the clause under dispute is the best step in the interest of peace and peaceful settlement and to avoid any confusion.  

As a whole option of Independent Kashmir was debated and duly addressed in the UN Resolutions. The UN while adopting the last resolution had fully examined this position by according unanimous acceptance by that world forum which incidently included the two Kashmiri representatives Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan and Sheikh Abdullah, representing both sides of the Cease-Fire Line. In addition concept of Independent Kashmir carries in its wake deep-rooted secession concept which is in conflict with peace anywhere. 

However, one is also astonished that the honorable lady found it necessary to mention that clause but she ignored the defiance by India of the UN resolutions, its forcible military occupation of the State and finally declaring the State as integral part of India. Conferring constitutional authority to the military occupation forces in the Jammu & Kashmir state is yet another unique anomaly as it brings into question both much acclaimed democracy and freedom. Is it not the highest form of violation of human rights? 

A unique phenomenon, in clear defiance rather repudiation of all pledges, commitments and understandings at all international levels by India failed to draw the attention of the lady. Unparalleled human rights violations in Kashmir by India also failed to invoke her sympathy and attention. No other country could have survived such offensive behavior. Even if the report was correct yet one would like to know how does it concern the UN-promised plebiscite. Were the contents of this report a pre-condition to plebiscite. If every thing in AJ&K was so bad then is it not all the more reason to hold plebiscite, as soon as possible. Fairness and justice demanded to point out who has been intransigent obstructing plebiscite. Is it because India is comparatively much bigger in size, weight and military prowess therefore, truth becomes irrelevant. Economic interest and international clout besides. Evidently these factors can easily influence not only individuals of whatever their stature but also the Governments and countries. It is common place knowledge, no secret. We in this part of the world have always recognized and respected the role played by Europe and have trusted that even if the EU is not in a position to do much, it will in no case do injustice and will not accept to be influenced against their own political culture and global responsibility. 

13.             The report goes beyond horizons when it suggests India to consider granting Ladakh the same provincial status as that enjoyed by Jammu & Kashmir. The Indian administered Kashmir, according to the report, “enjoys a unique status under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, granting it greater autonomy than other states in the Union”. Isn’t it a covert effort on behalf of the Honourable Lady to lead the EU declaring the State of Jammu & Kashmir including Ladakh as part of India, as against UN Resolutions and commitments of Indian Leadership which say otherwise and recognize the State of Jammu & Kashmir as a disputed territory.  

14.             The report seems to have gone astray when it narrates “too difficult situation faced by homosexuals”. Leaving aside the narration of any difficulties faced by the homosexuals in the state being totally against facts, one fails to understand what concern the nice lady of the statuture of Baroness Emma Nicholson had with such an aspect which does not have any bearing on the Kashmir issue, muchless the Kashmiris right to plebiscite. 

I undoubtedly believe that lady Emma’s report is not worth presentation to the EU Parliament. On the other hand it qualifies to an impartial delegation, to probe a little deeper so that a correct assessment and analysis could lead to correct and fair decision or recommendation.                              



(Sardar Muhammad Abdul Qayyum Khan) 

Excellency Chairman of the EU

And Members of the EU Parliament.



Kashmir Centers
Government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir © 1998.

Tel: 92-51-4413620, 4455222: Email: klcajk@klc.org.pk


SikhSpectrum.com Quarterly                                                            Issue No.22, November 2005
‘Heart to Heart’with Sardar Muhammad Abdul Qayyum Khan

Ashima Kaul

Sardar Muhammad Abdul Qayyum Khan, former Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir (Pakistan-Administered Jammu and Kashmir) and Supreme Head of All J & K Muslim Conference was in New Delhi to participate in “Intra J & K ‘Heart to Heart Meet” held on 20th and 21st of September 2005 and organized by the Indian Council of World Affairs and the Coordination Committee of J&K Leaders and Intellectuals. In this interview with Ashima Kaul he speaks about the Kashmir conflict and the possibilities of resolving it.

Question: Is this your first visit to India? What were your thoughts before coming?

Yes this is my first visit to Independent India. I last came here in 1946. It has been sixty years. I see a lot of development and that is understandable. However I do not find any difference in the essence of India. It is the same and I am very comfortable here. There was no specific agenda other than the ‘Heart to Heart’ talk with Kashmiris from the other side (of Kashmir). I had no idea as to who all were coming for the interaction. I myself was in doubt whether I would be able to visit Delhi or not. But here I am, and by and large it was a successful meeting, far more than our expectations.

Question: You met people from different political parties and intellectuals having diverse opinions and ideologies. What are your comments after listening to these voices?

First of all, let me say that there is lack of information about each other on both sides. There is an impression on this side that there has been no economic development in Azad Kashmir. Everybody was asking me if there has been any development in my area. Similarly, people in Azad Kashmir have an impression that the environment in India is inimical for different communities to co-exist. There is a feeling among some people on our side of Kashmir that there is deep polarization among communities in India but I do not have such an impression.

Question: How do you think we can promote a culture of understanding and peace?

By simply promoting more and more contacts with different constituencies like women, children, youth, parliamentarians, lawyers etc. The false impressions about each would dissolve and melt by meeting each other.

Question: What role can the media play in this regard?

Media has played a vital role both sides in promoting good ideas as well as in spreading bad ideas. Overall, however, the media has not played a constructive role. But now there is a positive shift. We have initiatives like SAFMA (South Asia Free Media Association), which brings the media of both sides on a common platform to discuss and debate issues. But a lot more has to be done in this direction. There needs to be more writing and discussion on addressing issues which concern both sides. For example, organizations like SAFMA could discuss and try to bring a consensus on various issues.

However the official media on both sides have been very negative and destructive. There were many good things planned in the past. But they were thwarted by the negative elements, which are very strong on both sides, and, in fact, in all countries. They can destroy and sabotage anything. There is no specific media policy to address this. And there seems to be no other remedy for this other than proper leadership.

Question: You are a leader. Why don’t you take the initiative?

There are no mathematical answers for such issues as leadership. If you have a strong leadership then the path would be created on its own, if it is a weak leadership, which is dictated by the people down below, then there is no meaning.

Question: In your presentation during the “Heart to Heart” talks, you mentioned that if the LoC (Line of Control) converted into an International border it would have security and economic implications for Pakistan. Could you elaborate?

Yes. For example take the case of Baglihar Dam. There was an Agreement between the two countries (the Indus Water Treaty 1960) according to which the Dam was meant for producing electricity. Just a small reservoir had to be built. But the Government of India has violated that Agreement and has built a huge reservoir which could stop the water flow for quite some time to Punjab and other areas in Pakistan. This is a major wheat-growing area. Intrinsically linked to this is the defense of the country, and this, therefore, has security implications for Pakistan. If the LoC becomes permanent then India would have the capability of stopping all river waters, without exception, into Pakistan. This has serious security and economic implications. The leaders of the two countries and high officials should sit with each other and share their respective concerns about this and other such issues.

Question: What are your suggestions?

For the time being let the borders become irrelevant. For example in Cyprus, the borders are still there but peoples’ movement has become so common that nobody talks about borders. However some political rhetoric is such which is unwanted and undesirable. Nobody was challenging the borders but unnecessarily Prime Minister Manmohan Singh talked about ‘No redrawing of borders’. Now why do you have to say it? Nobody is discussing it. So it irritates people on both sides and the hawks take advantage.

Question: But the border issue is connected with the issue of Kashmir. Even if we make borders irrelevant, that still does not solve the Kashmir problem, is it not?

Yes it does not resolve the Kashmir issue, but major tension is resolved. The expenditure which is being incurred to maintain this tension is huge. All the troops deployed on that side, troops deployed on this side and maintaining the forces involves lot of defense expenditure. The Defense expenditure impacts severely on the economy of both countries.

Question: In this context, in which areas do you see the possibility of joint or co-operative ventures?

There are several such possibilities. For instance, the governments of both sides of Kashmir could plan Tourism, Trade and social services, like electricity and medical care projects, jointly. There could be sharing of expertise both sides.

Question: What about the cultural differences between the two parts of Kashmir? How do you foresee the possibility of people of the two sides, with different ethnicities, co-existing?

Jammu and Kashmir is a multicultural region. (Laughs) It is like one whole India, When borders would go away we would exist like we existed in the past. These were the same people with same entity. We lived amicably and peacefully in the past, and we would be able to do so now.

Question: The opening of the Srinagar-Muzaffarbad road is a Kashmir-centric confidence-building measure CBM. Can you suggest any other such measures?

This bus service is very limited. In 100 years only few thousand people would be able to travel to and fro. This should be made free. Just like Cyprus.

Question: But what about security implications, especially for India?

That is imaginary There is no security issue. Agencies create security issues for their own benefit. They create a situation and say, “Here is a security problem”.

Question: So what other such confidence-building measures do you propose?

All natural traditional routes—six of them, which were in existence in the past in Kashmir—should be reopened, just those six routes and no other new routes. Besides that, free the prisoners, reduce the number of troops, ease out of the fauji tension, promote cultural exchanges, trade and tourism. Then we can sit and talk to each other about other issues without any reservations. Then we could sit and think and decide what could be done in the future.

Question: After this visit what would be your message to people on both sides?

The conference ‘Heart to Heart’ is the message itself. It was a historic meeting. In comparison to many other initiatives this one has great significance and relevance because people from two parts of Kashmir, with diverse views and ideologies met for the first time to know and understand each other.

Question: Can you hare some of the finer benchmarks of your personal journey. What transformation have you experienced over the years?

I do not know whether transformation happens or not because whatever my thought process was in my childhood and youth, the same has expanded, magnified and broadened. If you talk of humanity, I always had a soft corner for the minority. In the middle of the war in 1947, when we were fighting I protected a friend’s family from the other community and did not allow a single forcible conversion to take place. I am following the same ideology now.

Question: But you have not come out openly against violence.

One should not ignore facts but face them. There is a huge presence of forces in this part of Kashmir [the part controlled by India]. Their simple presence, even if they do not do anything, is the greatest violation of Human Rights. Occupation will always generate resistance. Whether you want it or not, occupation and resistance go hand in hand. Pakistan-based violence has been completely finished by President Musharaf. There is no such thing as Pakistan-based militancy anywhere in Pakistan now.

Copyright©2005 Ashima Kaul. About the author

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