Pakistan is an idea and an ideology. Pakistan is just not another State. It transcends the boundaries of time and space. Pakistan is a hope. The movement for the formation of Pakistan as a territory was essentially a movement for justice. Pakistan thus created on the edifice of justice to ensure justice and peace as its only goals. We often tend to timeline the history of Pakistan from 1947. But Pakistan pre-dates history. Every human that has strived for justice and liberty has actually strived for Pakistan. My Pakistan is thus a utopian ideology, a pure idea, a movement, a state, and a faith that has to ensure the defense of the helpless, occupied and abused. Every institution in Pakistan – the army, the Parliament, the courts, political parties, educational institutions, economic structures, and religious institutions are actually duty-bound to cut the cuffs of slavery wherever it exists. The people who have been occupied also need to understand and keep their hopes alive always that Allah has bestowed Pakistan with the power to act on behalf of them. No matter how weak or chaotic the situation is momentarily in Pakistan, Pakistan is coming Inshallah!, to break the shackles of slavery and to free you from the burden of injustice.
Long before the idea of Pakistan as a territorial entity was conceived, Pakistan existed in occupied Kashmir. Long before Allama Iqbal chose Qaid-e-Azam to lead Pakistan and gave him the responsibility of our nation, Allama – a Kashmiri himself wailed about the People of Kashmir and the Treaty of Amritsar, who had been sold by the British to a Hindu Dogra King. He wrote:
Their fields, their crops, their streams,
Even the peasant in the vale,
They sold, they sold all alas,
How cheap was the sale.” (Allama Iqbal)
He also wrote:
Aaj Woh Kashmir Hai Makhoom Majboor-O-Faqeer
Kal Jisay Ahle-E-Nazar Kehte Thay Iran-E-Sageer
Today that land of Kashmir, under the heels of the enemy, has become weak, helpless, and poor-
Once known among the wise as little Iran)
Allama describes his location and identity as:
Tanam Gulai Zi Khayanban-e-Janat-e-Kashmir,
Dil Az Hareemi Hejaze Nawa Ze Sheeraz Ast!
(My body comes from the earthy paradise of Kashmir; my heart belongs to the holy land of Hijaz, and my song to Shiraz.)
It was thus after his visit to Kashmir Allama envisioned a territorial power that would be created to break the shackles of slavery.
Jis Khaak K Zameer Mein Hai Aatish Chinar
Mumkin Nahi Hai Ki Sarad Ho Woh Khaaki Arjumand
(The earth that enshrines in its bosom the fire of Chinar:
This exalted earth can never be dead and cold)
One of the main objectives of the creation of Pakistan as a territorial unit was thus Kashmir. Kashmir isn’t just the Juglar vein of Pakistan, it is the soul (rooh) of Pakistan. The movement for freedom of Kashmir is thus the struggle of a body for its soul. A soul that is still in chains of slavery. Even if everyone conspires for abandoning Kashmir, even if the arguments are pseudo-rationale, the body would always search for its soul. Everything else can wait. Kashmir is embedded in the idea and ideology of Pakistan.
The people of occupied Kashmir need not pay any heed to political or economic maneuvering. The Kashmir question is intertwined with the question of Pakistan in such a manner that the struggle for Kashmir would always be reproduced and replicated organically even if there is no alignment for it. Pakistan doesn’t need to have a Kashmir policy or strategy either, because Kashmir is Pakistan and Pakistan is Kashmir. The Kashmir question is in its essence the Pakistan question. The question is existential and all existential questions don’t have answers and strategies. There is no escape from existential threats. Resistance isn’t a choice. It is organic. The positioning that we often adopt in language by referring to Pakistan and Kashmir rigidly as two entities are the barbarity of language and references. The day we use Pakistan and Kashmir interchangeably our doubts would erase. Our mutual doubts would disappear. We won’t need Kashmir committees and solidarity days. Our goals and means would come in unison.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani (RA) the face of resistance truly remarked:
“Hum Pakistani hai, Pakistan Hamaara hai”. (We are Pakistanis and Pakistan is ours.)
This isn’t just a hollow slogan but the essence of resistance in Kashmir. So, how can I abandon I?
(Adil Asad is PhD student in sociology)