UK 21 april 2014. While talking to journalists before flying to Azad Kashmir via Islamabad, Dr Shabir Choudhry said, ‘I sincerely and honestly believe that Jihadi groups and the Pakistani agencies have done enormous damage to the cause of Kashmir; and because of this I have systematically and consistently opposed them, and exposed their designs on Jammu and Kashmir. In order to expose them I have written many books, articles, made public speeches, talked in the TV shows, TV interviews, and have exposed them in the UN Human Rights Sessions in Geneva’.
‘As a result of my campaign I have been getting threats and personal abuses by unknown people; or people with fake IDs on social media. These people pretended to be Kashmiris who wanted to join Pakistan, or who promoted militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. Some of them claimed that Jihad was the only solution to the Kashmir dispute, and clearly said that people with my views – who promote secular, liberal and united and independent Jammu and Kashmir, must be silenced’.
On many occasions I was called a ‘Kaffir’ and warned that if I put my ‘foot on any part of Jammu and Kashmir State, they will eliminate me’.
In view of these threats I avoided going to so called Azad Kashmir and Pakistan; and when I had to visit, I avoided addressing public meetings. But that meant giving in to the threats of these thugs and terrorists. I don’t want them to get this pleasure that they can intimidate me and the civilised society by use of gun.
So I am defying their threats and have decided to travel to Azad Kashmir and Pakistan, where I will address public meetings; and again in a place like Muzaffarabad which has offices of many jihadi groups and where Pakistani secret agencies are very active. I am going there to promote a peaceful struggle for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute, and advance the cause of democracy, equality and fundamental human rights for all. Occupiers and oppressors need to be reminded that you cannot silence our voices, and our struggle will continue.
My struggle is against forces of occupation, terrorism, extremism, violence and intolerance; and no matter what, my struggle will continue. However, if I am attacked during my visit to Azad Kashmir and Pakistan or even in Britain the Jihadi groups like LeT and Jaish, and the ISI section that deals with the Kashmir will be responsible for this attack.
Dr Shabir Choudhry, leader of Kashmir National Party, writer, author, TV anchor and human rights activist.