Intra-Kashmir matches not a good omen—Muhammad Farooq Rehmani
Islamabad, 08 Apr, 2011: Muhammad Farooq Rehmani Chairman Jammu and Kashmir People’s Freedom League has said that the right of self determination is the pivot round which the movement of Kashmir revolves, and the Kashmiris have never dreamt of sacrificing it at the altar of petty CBMs. In a statement to forewarn on the implications of the proposal of intra-Kashmir cricket match on the soil of Azad Kashmir or Srinagar between the teams of militarily divided state, as dreamt up by some quarters in the AJK Government, he termed it a cruel joke to the people who would be shocked, as it could bail out India from the deplorable Kashmir situation, which was quite embarrassed by a recent Amnesty International report on grave human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.
Muhammad Farooq Rehmani asked the advocates of intra-Kashmir Cricket CBM, if the past CBMs at any level did improve human rights conditions in Kashmir that the intriguing proposal of a Cricket match between the two parts would do better. It was a pernicious idea politically and diplomatically, he added. Whose flag the two teams of divided Kashmir would carry and whose national anthem to sing? The two establishments of Jammu and Kashmir label each other as puppets. Will the proposed match- diplomacy grant them legitimacy of self rule and independence? What would happen to the claim of AJK as the base camp of freedom movement? In brief from every count it is a moronic idea; if carried out the world would laugh at our thinking and jeopardise the principled stand of Pakistan as the champion of the right of self determination, he remarked. —-He also censured Indian army’s political agenda to organise Cricket teams of the Kashmiri youth in every District to launch district and provincial level matches to divert their attention from the suppression of rights and the right of self determination.
He said that the people will not fall in yet another trap of false CBMs. “India always used Cricket diplomacy to further her political interests against Pakistan and Kashmiri freedom struggle. Keeping popular challenge in view India, despite strong opposition and condemnation by Kashmiri freedom fighters and Pakistan, played one day cricket International against West Indies in Srinagar in 1984 preceded by large scale arrests, turning Srinagar into a no-go zone.
Although the Cricket Stadium of Srinagar echoed with anti India and pro freedom slogans throughout the match, India gambled and failed. Notwithstanding, today it is a different story.
If Azad Kashmir hosted it; and irrespective of the results of the match, political implications would go in favor of India both politically as well as diplomatically.
Therefore it is the moral and political duty of Kashmiris on both sides of the divide to reject any such proposal and demonstrate their national character by stopping authorities from rubbing salt on their wounds, especially at a time when the fundamental human rights of the kashmiris are being trampled ruthlessly by the regime”, he concluded.