By Rutaba Ali.
The Weekly Pakistan: Narendrea Modi said that we will deal Kashmiri resistance with affection not hostility. What do you make of this statement?
Mushaal Mullick: Their statements always have double meanings, you know that. Sometimes they say that they will inject money into the region but that actually means that they will economically empower their occupation forces in the region to replenish them. This statement does not mean what they’re implying. They have been slitting the throats of Kashmiris and they have been strangling Kashmiris. And secondly that is a past reference. So yes, he means that he will bring them closer to strangle them.
The Weekly Pakistan: On the Kashmir issue, why doesn’t the international community take Pakistan’s stance seriously?
Mushaal Mullick: Primarily, I think, sometimes the international tides are in favor of struggle, sometimes they’re not; international interests keep changing. Especially in today’s world of globalization and capitalism, its economic interests that matter most. India is a big country and it provides bigger economic opportunities to the world and a lot of multinationals invest there. But after CPEC which is going to start soon, there are so many countries apart from China like Russia, Turkey and so many others that want to build up their ties with Pakistan to be a part of this economic corridor. Because it provides so many opportunities to the world, almost one third of the global trade will be starting from here.
Now Pakistan has an opportunity to counter the Indian edge; that they have the bigger market. So there they should try and merge their national concerns because that is a large portion of the global trade and if it needs to be convened from here then the requirement is peace and stability and I believe that this economic corridor can turn into a peace corridor and only then will it be successful. Otherwise you’ll see a lot of instability, a lot of terrorism and other various designs. China should also look into this and all those countries that are participating in this project should also look into the security aspects.
The Weekly Pakistan: 1700 youth were killed as a result of pellet firing. This was also not condemned by international communities that otherwise proclaim to be ambassadors of peace. Why is that?
Mushaal Mullick: That’s because idealism has come to end when there was talk of peace and humanity. Now only business partnerships are brought to the table. And you must’ve seen that after Donald Trump and Narendra Modi coming to power there’s been a revival of bigotry politics and politics of extremism and racial supremacy especially in USA with white people subduing blacks and so forth and it’s the same in India with racial prejudice. The whole world is going through a global order shift. Because its important to give a historical perspective; the concert of Europe, league of nations all of these failed because whatever people suffered after world war 1 and 2; these organizations were set up to bring peace and stability. When they failed UN was formed. Now the question is, is the UN just a chatterbox or is it going to exercise its powers?
You already see a lot of things changing in the world right now; for example the P5 countries themselves are not on the same page. So against Kashmir, viewed from a global eye, there have been a lot of factors that have been counterproductive. So what I try to portray on global platforms, being an economy student myself, is that you need to resolve outstanding issues if you want economic stabilities. I pitched this analysis even before CPEC. These legitimate causes need to be addressed. And if you cannot resolve legitimate causes that are sanctioned by UN how do you expect to resolve occupations are terrorism and authentic demands of oppressed people? If this is the case then the world is becoming a very unsafe place to live in.
Mushaal Mullick in conversation with The Weekly Pakistan.
The Weekly Pakistan: Wherever in the world has there been a movement, women have played a vital role in it. In Kashmir, even student girls are on the streets protesting. How do you view this movement?
Mushaal Mullick: People do not know this, but before partition, during the Dogra rule, the most crucial role in his downfall was played by Kashmiri women. They stopped catering to their homes and their children and came out on the streets and protested and raised the movement “Quit Kashmir” against the Dogra rule. The Dogras were defeated and after that, the Indians occupied Kashmir. Wherever there’s been strife for independence, if you look at the Pakistan movement, the women alongside Fatima Jinnah; that was a family’s movement and a grass root movement. In Kashmir, even new born children are on the street’s in their mothers’ laps in tear gas shelling. The youngest victim of this movement is a baby that died in his father’s lap due to a pellet.
It is highly commendable gesture, as you pointed out, that school girls in their uniforms are coming out on the streets and that is because they’re not safe anywhere. It has nothing to do with them wearing colored clothes or uniform. The main thing is that they are terribly insecure because of the Indian occupation there. The kind of state sponsored terrorism that is going on; girls are being abducted, harassed and raped on a daily basis. So when there’s no security anywhere, they eventually turn to the streets
The Weekly Pakistan: There’s a committee in Pakistan on Kashmir issue. Are you satisfied with their performance?
Mushaal Mullick: Its not just the committee that I would talk about. The foreign policy of Pakistan needs to be more aggressive. The kind of war that has been waged upon those innocent civilians that have no way of defending themselves; their houses are being burned, they’re being raped, abducted, harassed and the Indian forces are not held accountable for it. Pakistan needs to do diplomacy on war footing on Kashmir. And on this front, all year round and for years and years together, Pakistan needs to send International high powered delegations for this. Pakistan has international desks all around the world, it’s a nuclear state and a sovereign country and now there’s also CPEC. The survival of CPEC is dependent upon a better and aggressive foreign policy
The Weekly Pakistan: Does OIC have any role in Kashmir dispute?
Mushaal Mullick: They do voice their concerns a lot of the times and pass resolutions but there’s no actual practical role in raising awareness in the Islamic world. This front also needs to be explored by Pakistan by using diplomatic stints. As far as Palestine is concerned, its resolution is supported by the Arab world. Like there’s a Kashmir day celebrated here, there’s a Palestine day in the Arab countries. They’re educated on that day about Palestine through seminars. We also need to go there and explore the possibilities because there are various commonalities between that.
The Weekly Pakistan: Madam, Yasin Malik sahib is ill. The Indian government locks him up every now and then without cause. What message do you have for the Indians?
Mushaal Mullick: He’s been under severe duress. There’s not a single spot on his body that hasn’t been tortured. He’s had a great strife along with the rest of the leadership there. He’s been electrocuted, locked up in a mental asylum in Agra, in a death cell which had an open toilet for two years. He was kept in the mental asylum for two years with no clothes among psychotic patients. Words cannot describe the amount of torment he’s been through. It’s had a severe impact on our personal lives, our family is separated. I’m not allowed to travel there; Modi isn’t issuing me a visa. First the Kashmiri leadership suffers, then the public does.
The Weekly Pakistan: A few questions about your personal life. Where have you studied from?
Mushaal Mullick: I’ve done my Bachelor’s in economics from LSE. I did my A Levels and O’levels from Beaconhouse Islamabad. I was born to an intellectual family. My father was a lecturer and my mother was in politics. So there was a literary atmosphere in my house. My parents would always encourage me to be friends with children that came from countries like Somalia and Chechnya because they’ve come troubled from their homes and are living in shabby conditions. So my parents encouraged me to help them and be there for them. My parents stressed more upon becoming a better human being than getting straight A’s or becoming an Engineer or a doctor.