Pakistan: The Jammu Kashmir People’s National Party (JKPNP), including structure, leadership, objectives, activities and support for independence of Kashmir; requirements and procedures to become a member, including documents issued to members; treatment of members by society and authorities (2011-November 2018)

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

Information on the JKPNP was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response. For further information on the JKPNP and its activities from 1995 to 2010, see Response to Information Request PAK103657 of January 2011.

1. Objectives

The daily newspaper Pakistan Today describes the JKPNP as "the first Marxist-Leninist party" in Pakistan, adding that it was the first party that "not only raised the status of Kashmiris as a nation [,] but also linked the … national liberation movement with the issue of class conflict" (Pakistan Today 30 July 2017). The same source states that the party was founded in 1985 "with the objective [of bringing] a national democratic revolution in Azad Kashmir by ending the jagirdari [land tenancy] system and evicting the non-Kashmiris [who] had 'usurped' political power" (Pakistan Today 30 July 2017). Further and corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

2. Structure

An opinion piece published in the newspaper Jammu Kashmir Newspoint (JK Newspoint) mentions that the JKPNP has a student wing called the Jammu Kashmir People[']s National Students Organization (JKPNSO) (JK Newspoint 15 Apr. 2016).

Further and corroborating information on the structure of the JKPNP could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

3. Leaders

Sources identify Zulfiqar Ahmed Raja as the "central" Chairman of the JKPNP (Pakistan Observer 5 Oct. 2018; The Nation 30 May 2018; Parliament Times 28 Sept. 2017). In May 2015, the Pakistani newspaper The Nation described, Pir Syed Salim Gillani as the "Chief" of the JKPNP (The Nation 11 May 2015). According to sources, the JKPNP's founder, Qurban Ali [Khan], died in July 2012 (Pakistan Today 30 July 2017; The Express Tribune 8 July 2012).

The news agency Asian News International (ANI) identifies Ishaq Mir as "a leader" of the JKPNP (ANI 5 Dec. 2016). Without providing further details, the Pakistani newspaper Dawn mentions "Imran Shan" as being affiliated to the JKPNP (Dawn 3 Apr. 2017). JK Newspoint identifies "Comrade Taifor" as chairman of the JKPNSO (JK Newspoint 15 Apr. 2016).

4. Relations with Other Groups

Without providing further details, the Pakistani newspaper The Express Tribune reports that, under the leadership of Qurban Ali, the JKPNP "forged close links with other progressive political organisations internationally[,] including [in] India and Pakistan" (The Express Tribune 8 July 2012).

The Express Tribune states that the JKPNP is a nationalist party that held, in 2013, joint protest demonstrations with other nationalist groups, including the Jammu and Kashmir Plebiscite Front and Jammu and Kashmir National Liberation Conference, calling for the release of two Kashmir residents, described as "peace activists," who were being held with their hosts by Indian authorities in Mirpur on charges of travelling without valid travel documents (The Express Tribune 17 Jan. 2013).

Sources report that the JKPNP is part of ten left-wing and progressive parties that have formed a "united front" (The Nation 30 Dec. 2017; Newsclick 3 Jan. 2018), whose objective is "to take forward the working class struggle" (Newsclick 3 Jan. 2018). According to sources, the other parties are the Pakistan Mazdor Kissan Party, Awami Workers Party, Communist Party of Pakistan, Jeay Sindh Mahaz, Pakistan Trade Unions Defence Campaign, Mazdoor Mahaz of Pakistan, Balochistan National Movement, Awa Jamhoori Party and Jammu Kashmir Awami Workers Party (Newsclick 3 Jan. 2018; The Nation 30 Dec. 2017). The Indian news site Newsclick states that "the five broad principles on which the front will conduct their struggle are class struggle, people[']s democracy, secularism, socialism [and] peace with our neighbours," and that the members of the united front agree "that mainstream political parties of the ruling class have miserably failed to present [a] solution to the growing economic and political crisis in the country" (Newsclick 3 Jan. 2018).

According to the Pakistani newspaper The Nation, in May 2018, the JKPNP hosted a meeting of the "top leaders of the Kashmiri nationalist parties," including of the Jammu Kashmir Plebiscite Front, Jammu and Kashmir Workers Party, and Jammu and Kashmir Freedom Movement (The Nation 30 May 2018). According to the same source, "[t]he meeting discussed and debated in length the current affairs in the backdrop of the Kashmir freedom movement" (The Nation 30 May 2018).

5. Other Activities

According to the Nation, in May 2015, the chief of the JKPNP Pir Syed Salim Gillani called for resistance against an Indian policy of settling "non-state Hindus" in India-held Kashmir, stating that this was being done to change the demographics of the Muslim-dominated region (The Nation 11 May 2015).

ANI reports that, in December 2016, the "National Action Front," described as "a coalition of several nationalist parties" from Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, including the United Kashmir People's National Party (UKPNP), held a protest, at which at least one leader of the JKPNP was present, "to demand a ban on the activities of extremists in their territory" and against "the use of religion as a tool to mislead the youth of Kashmir" (ANI 5 Dec. 2016). Further information on the coalition and on whether the JKPNP is a member could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

Sources report that, in October 2016, UK-based representatives of Pakistan Kashmir parties, including the JKPNP and the UKPNP, presented a joint memorandum to the Pakistan High Commission in London calling on the Pakistan government "to reconsider policies on Kashmir and stop the export of extremism [and] terrorism" (Newsd 24 Oct. 2016; PTI 24 Oct. 2016).

According to the Pakistani newspaper Parliament Times, in September 2017, the JKPNP chairman Zulfiqar Ahmed Raja called on the government of Pakistan to give the UN Security Council an offer of withdrawal of its troops from Kashmir, to push India to do the same, while noting that "Pakistan has always been prepared to grant the right of self[-]determination to the people of Jammu & Kashmir under the spirit of the UN Security Council's resolutions" (Parliament Times 28 Sept. 2017). The same source states that Zulfiqar Ahmed Raja also criticized India's actions and policies in Kashmir (Parliament Times 28 Sept. 2017).

6. Membership

Information on JKPNP membership, including the requirements and procedures to become a member, documents issued to members, and treatment of the party's members by society and by the authorities, could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

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.

References

Asian News International (ANI). 5 December 2016. "Stop 'Jihad' in the Name of Religion, Say POK Leaders." [Accessed 6 Nov. 2018]

Dawn. 3 April 2017. Aamir Yasin. "'Works of Bhagat Singh, Dada Amir Haider Commemorated'." [Accessed 6 Nov. 2018]

The Express Tribune. 17 January 2013. "Detention: Protest for Release of Two Indian Peace Activists." [Accessed 9 Nov. 2018]

The Express Tribune. 8 July 2012. Farman Ali. "Demise of Kashmiri Marxist Leader: Barrister Qurban Ali Dies in Britain." [Accessed 7 Nov. 2018]

Jammu Kashmir Newspoint (JK Newspoint). 15 April 2016. "In POK; Pakistani Robs Locals of Jobs, Crushes Dissent." [Accessed 6 Nov. 2018]

The Nation. 30 May 2018. "Nationalist Groups Vow to Step Up Kashmir Struggle." [Accessed 6 Nov. 2018]

The Nation. 30 December 2017. "10-Party United Front Formed." [Accessed 9 Nov. 2018]

The Nation. 11 May 2015. "JKPNP Flays Non-Kashmiris’ Settlement In Valley." [Accessed 6 Nov. 2018]

Newsclick. 3 January 2018. V. Arun Kumar. "Pakistan: Left Parties Form United Front to Counter Extremism, Imperialism and Capitalism." [Accessed 6 Nov. 2018]

Newsd. 24 October 2016. "Stop Pushing Terrorism in J&K: Pok Parties to Nawaz Sharif." [Accessed 6 Nov. 2018]

Pakistan Observer. 5 October 2018. "Kashmir Issue Involves Self-Right of 14m Kashmiris: British MP." [Accessed 6 Nov. 2018]

Pakistan Today. 30 July 2017. Basharat Hussain Qizilbash. "A Kashmiri Comrade." [Accessed 6 Nov. 2018]

Parliament Times. 28 September 2017. Altaf Hamid Rao. "JKPNP Chief Suggests Pakistan to Take Up Kashmir Issue in UN Security Council." [Accessed 6 Nov. 2018]

Press Trust of India (PTI). 24 October 2016. "End 'Export Of Terrorism': Memorandum Submitted to Pakistan High Commission in UK." [Accessed 6 Nov. 2018]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Human Rights Commission of Pakistan; Pakistan International Human Rights Organization.

Internet sites, including: Amnesty International; Australia – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; BBC; Council of Europe; Council on Foreign Relations; ecoi.net; EU – European Research Council; European Council on Refugees and Exiles; Factiva; Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l’homme; France – Cour nationale du droit d'asile; Freedom House; GlobalSecurity.org; Human Rights Watch; International Crisis Group; Ireland – Refugee Documentation Centre; IRIN; Jammu & Kashmir – General Administration Department; Janes' Information Group; Kashmir Newz; Minority Rights Group International; The News International; Organisation suisse d’aide aux réfugiés; Pakistan Times; Pakistan – Official Gateway to the Government of Pakistan; Peace Insight; Political Handbook of the World; Radio France internationale; South Asia Terrorism Portal; UK – Home Office; United Kashmir People's National Party; UN – Refworld; US – Department of State.