Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri was a professional lawyer in the Pakistani occupied city called Kashmir, Sadar was kidnapped twice by Inter-Services Intelligence, a Pakistani top-secret agency. He is now exile in Switzerland for more than a decade. He has been actively lobbying as a political leader of the United Kashmir People’s National Party and also a senior human rights activist to Highlight Human Rights issues in Pakistan and other parts of the world in United Nations Geneva and European Parliament. Eat News managed to obtain an exclusive interview with Sardar in late August.
How did you feel when the Pakistani top-secret agency kidnaped you?
Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri told Eat News, Inter-Services Intelligence is above the law when it comes to illegal kidnapping. Especially in Pakistan, the Judiciary system does not have the rule of law and fails to provide remedies to protect the victims. “At that time, I was helpless, and i can’t do anything, but I worry was my parents and my other dears, specially my children, and I was in detention for more than nine months. I had no access to my lawyer or judiciary.”
Sardar pointed out that his parents were unaware of his whereabouts. Ultimately, he was released due to the court pressure from the demonstrations and the international community, primarily from the United Kingdom Members of the EU parliament.
Sardar added, “especially the United Nations Human rights commission and their sub-committees and Amnesty International. Pakistani government finally released me. But when they released me, they warned me that next time you talk about human rights or terrorism, we will not only arrest you, but we will kill you, your family and your friends. Then I came to Switzerland and sought political asylum. Now I have been living in Switzerland for almost 20 years and they have accepted me as a refugee.”
How do you describe the concept that China is a modern day colonizing country?
Sardar analyzes Sri Lanka and Malaysia have reached a number of agreements with Chinese companies. “Now, their top leadership that China colonizing the areas and they’ve become a colony of China. This is why Pakistan’s economic experts, have declared that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) cannot be a project for Pakistan.”
Sardar indicated that CPEC is actually a modern-day version of the East India Company. When East India Company came to India, it was targeting commercial gain. Nonetheless, Britain still seized the whole of India, except some areas that were declared Princely states which were semi-independent. In addition, most of India in that time or now known as Pakistan, India and Bengal, was all under British colonization. In modern day, China is in the process of colonizing these countries. Areas that are strategically and geopolitically important, China feels they should send its People’s Liberation Army to occupy them. At present, many have witnessed the massive occupation of the Pakistani-controlled Kashmir region by China.
Sardar stressed, “In Balochistan, it is the Chinese military that deals with Chinese commercial companies but they do nothing. In the CPEC project it is actually the Chinese government and the Pakistani government that have installed the military that need funding. The Pakistani government is unable to protect Pakistan’s sovereignty and interests because they need funding and China is providing it.”
How you described the Ladakh situation and conflict between China and India?
Sardar clarify that Ladakh is part of the Jammu and Kashmir princely state, and even those were under Indian administration. They will remain a political entity until August 5, 2019.
Sardar said that Ladakh, Jammu, and Kashmir became the union territory of Indian union. Historically, the state of Jammu and Kashmir has signed a treaty with India and that is why Ladakh is a part of Indian controlled Kashmir. But there’s no doubt that China has nothing to do with Ladakh. China has not claimed Ladakh is a part of them. This conflict between India and China is slowly revealing a lot of facts.
Sardar continued, “After that, the Indian army started resisting and recently 20 Indian troops were killed and many more were injured. But I want to say that there is no historical evidence that Ladakh is a part of China. In the past, Ladakh and Tibet were independent states. Since 1846, Ladakh became part and parcel of Jammu and Kashmir, so I think China’s aim is to seize the land, which is its global policy. China wanted to create a conflict with the Indian border, not to take care of the people. China is trying to create a war situation.”
What do you think China One Belt One Road projects will create human rights issues in Kashmir?
According to Sardar, for a long time, these areas are already suffering from human rights violations, and their natural resources are already exploited by Pakistan. Peoples have no approach to any constitutional forum. “Although Pakistan has 4 to 5 provinces, these provinces are fighting with each other and this is why some regions are advocating for independence from Pakistan, they are very loudly saying that Punjab, the most populous province in Pakistan, is robbing them of their natural resources. But they do not have a constitutional voice in the constitutional court and also the judiciary in Pakistan is not independent enough, which leads to these regions living under pressure. “
Sardar said there is no freedom of speech in Pakistan, and no independent medias to report these issues. In fact, Pakistani government tries to silence every negative voice, along with the judiciary, has handed down jail sentences of 40, 60 or even 90 years for dissent. Recently, Baba Jan, a prominent human rights activist from Gilgit, and 12 of his colleagues are now facing charges of 40, 80 and 90 years in prison for speaking out the basic rights of the people and for those who have been displaced.
What are your views on China and Taiwan as an Ambassador for Peace? What do you think of these two countries?
From 1912 to 1947, China was ruled by the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang). Mao Zedong and the Communists came to power in 1948, when Kuomintang’s leader Chiang Kai-shek was defeated and fled to Taiwan. In Sardar’s analysis, Chiang declared that the Republic of China had nothing to do with Communist China. “It’s international policy, but in my opinion and experience, Taiwan is very democratic. Hong Kong used to be democratic, but now China is slowly taking away the basic rights that Hong Kong people have”.
Sardar believes that the international community should put more focus on Taiwan. He stated, “If China claims to be the champion of self-determination, why does it not accept Taiwan’s right to remain independent? Why does China always threaten them?” Sardar believes that from the point of international community, it is unfortunate that the international community is not paying attentions on Taiwan, and that the people of Taiwan have the right to live without fear and to enjoy sovereignty and independence.
A large number are flocking to the Eat News for quality news every day, and readers in Taiwan, United States, United Kingdom, India, Japan, France, Pakistan, China, Malaysia and more, now support us financially.
In these chaotic, perilous times, an independent, truth-seeking news organisation like the Eat News is essential. We believe everyone deserves access to trustworthy information. That’s why we choose to keep our reporting open for all readers, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.
The Eat News has no shareholders or billionaire owner, meaning our journalism is free from influence and vested interests – this makes us different. Our editorial independence and autonomy allows us to provide fearless investigations and analysis of those with political and commercial power. We can give a voice to the oppressed and neglected, and help bring about a brighter, fairer future.
If there were ever a time to join us, it is now. You have the power to support us through these volatile economic times and enable our journalism to reach more people, in all countries.
Every contribution, however big or small, makes a difference. Support the Eat News for better reporting.Support the Eat News ➔