Pakistan: The Jammu Kashmir People's National Party (JKPNP), including its history, its members, the address of its regional offices, its principles, and its symbols; the treatment of members of the JKPNP by the general population, Pakistani authorities, nationalist religious groups, and other groups; the relationship between the United Kashmir People's National Party (UKPNP) and other groups seeking Kashmir's independence (1995-2010)
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Publication Date||27 January 2011|
|Citation / Document Symbol||PAK103657.FE|
|Related Document||Pakistan : information sur le Parti national du peuple du Jammu-et-Cachemire (Jammu Kashmir People's National Party - JKPNP), y compris son histoire, ses membres, l'adresse de ses bureaux, ses principes et ses symboles; information sur le traitement réservé aux membres du JKPNP par la société, les autorités pakistanaises, les groupes nationalistes religieux ou d'autres groupes; information sur ses liens avec le Parti national uni du peuple du Cachemire (United Kashmir People's National Party - UKPNP) et d'autres groupes en faveur de l'indépendance du Cachemire (1995-2010)|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Pakistan: The Jammu Kashmir People's National Party (JKPNP), including its history, its members, the address of its regional offices, its principles, and its symbols; the treatment of members of the JKPNP by the general population, Pakistani authorities, nationalist religious groups, and other groups; the relationship between the United Kashmir People's National Party (UKPNP) and other groups seeking Kashmir's independence (1995-2010), 27 January 2011, PAK103657.FE, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4d5a3e8c2.html [accessed 21 October 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
According to its website, the Jammu Kashmir People's National Party (JKPNP) is a revolutionary organization founded in April 1985 to restore Kashmir's independence from India and Pakistan and to establish a "Sovereign Socialist Kashmir" (JKPNP n.d.a.). The JKPNP also calls itself an "internationalist party" that stands in solidarity with oppressed people around the world (ibid.).
Principles and symbols of the JKPNP
In correspondence sent to the Research Directorate on 8 January 2011, a retired professor of sociology at the University of Birmingham in Great Britain, who is also a member of the JKPNP, explained that the JKPNP is a secular party founded on "socialist" principles and that its symbol is a red flag with stars and stripes (8 Jan. 2011).
Members of the JKPNP
The retired professor from the University of Birmingham provided the following information about party members:
JKPNP was founded in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, in 1985. Its power base is in educated professionals in education, students, and lawyers. Since its foundation, it has been working to help workers from trade unions, students organisations and women and peasant organisations in POK.
Its membership is spread across the globe wherever there is a presence of sizeable Kashmiri communities. In addition to its strong organizational power base inside Pakistan Occupied Jammu Kashmir, including Gilgit and Baltistan (the so-called Pakistan's Northern Territories), it has a very sizeable zonal organisation in the UK, United States of America, Middle East and with membership/sympathizers in Canada (Professor 8 Jan. 2011).
According to the JKPNP website, Zulifiqar Ahmed, Amin Baig, Habib-ur-Rehman and Imran Shan are the Zonal Secretary General, District President, Central Spokesperson, and Central Assistant Secretary General, respectively, of the JKPNP (JKPNP n.d.b). In a document published on the JKPNP website, Qurban Ali is the founding president of the JKPNP (ibid. n.d.c). The JKPNP's website also indicates that Nazir Nazish signed an article on 3 April 2010 as the Director of the International Committee of the JKPNP (ibid. 3 Apr. 2010). A letter published on the site and dated 30 March 2010 bears the signature of Tahir Bostan as President of the JKPNP, United Kingdom zone (ibid. 30 Mar. 2010). In a report published in June 1997, Amnesty International (AI) called Shaukat Ali Kashmiri the Secretary General of the JKPNP (AI June 1997, 12).
Treatment of JKPNP members
Information on the treatment of JKPNP members by society, the Pakistani authorities, and nationalist or religious groups was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
Amnesty International (AI) indicates in a June 1997 report that in 1994, Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, the Secretary General of the JKPNP, was detained for several weeks without charge. The report states that Shaukat Ali Kashmiri "was initially blindfolded and did not know who held and interrogated him" (AI June 1997, 12). However, according to AI, Shaukat Ali Kashmiri "believes he was in the custody of the military intelligence service, the [Pakistani] Inter Services Intelligence, because of his advocacy of an independent Jammu and Kashmir" (ibid.). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
Relationship between the JKPNP and the UKPNP
The website of the United Kashmir People's National Party (UKPNP) explains that Shaukat Ali Kashmiri changed the name of the Jammu Kashmir People's National Party (JKPNP) to the United Kashmir People's National Party (UKPNP) in 1994 to better support the idea of creating a state independent of India and Pakistan, which would be called the United States of Kashmir (UKPNP n.d.). Information on the address of the JKPNP's offices could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
According to the Professor of Sociology at the University of Birmingham, the UKPNP is a breakaway group from the JKPNP, distancing itself on the issues of policy and strategy (professor 8 Jan. 2011). The professor added that the JKPNP does not currently work with the UKPNP (ibid.). The professor nevertheless pointed out that the JKPNP does work with other secular parties in Jammu Kashmir who believe in a unified and sovereign state, but did not provide the names of those parties (ibid.). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Amnesty International (AI). Juin 1997. Pakistan: Time to Take Human Rights Seriously. (ASA 33/12/97)
Jammu Kashmir People's National Party (JKPNP). 3 April 2010. "A Shameful Indictment". <<http://www.jkpnp.org/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3&Itemid=56> [Accessed 15 Dec. 2010]
_____. 30 March 2010. Tahir Bostan "Letter to Pakistan PM". <<http://www.jkpnp.org/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=41%3Aletter-to-pakistan-pm&Itemid=50> [Accessed 25 Jan. 2011]
_____. N.d.a. "Welcome to Jammu Kashmir People's National Party Website".
_____. N.d.b. "Mirpur Residents Send a Clear Message to Authorities- Enough is Enough". <<http://www.jkpnp.org/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=56%3Aenough-is-enough&Itemid=50> [Accessed 25 Jan. 2011]
_____. N.d.c. "Book Inauguration Ceremony in Bagh". <<http://www.jkpnp.org/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64%3Abook-inauguration-ceremony&Itemid=50> [Accessed 25 Jan. 2011]
Retired professor of sociology from the University of Birmingham. 8 January 2011. Correspondence sent to the Research Directorate.
United Kashmir People's National Party (UKPNP). N.d. "What is United States of Kashmir? Crossing Lines - KBCTV Interview".
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral sources: Attempts to reach representatives of the Pakistani newspaper The Nation and the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), the Kashmir International Front and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) were unsuccessful.
Publications: Europa World Year Book 2010, Political Hand Book of World 2010, Political Parties of the World 2009.
Internet sites, including: Agence France-Presse (AFP), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Council of Europe, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), European Country of Origin Information Network (ecoi.net), European Research Council (ERC), Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l'homme (FIDH), Le Figaro [Paris], Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Kashmir Newz, Minority Rights Group International (MRG), Le Monde [Paris], Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Organisation suisse d'aide aux réfugiés (OSAR), Pakistan Times, Radio France internationale (RFI), Reuters, United Nations - Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United States - Department of State, World Organization Against Torture (OMCT).