For some time in some parts of the valley, especially South Kashmir, activists of LeT, Jaishe Muhammad and Hizbul Mujahideen are martyred in encounters with the army. Properties are destroyed. A new situation has arisen in which the youth, both males and females, of the adjoining localities come out in crowds and throw stones at the security forces. Some civilian lives have been lost. In Kakpora a girl and a boy were killed in these tragic events.
Thousands of guns taken up by the Kashmiri youth could not change the situation in Kashmir. Security forces have seized about 95 thousand guns and huge quantities of ammunition from active or surrendered militants. It springs me surprise whether a few gunmen of LeT or JM coming from Pakistan or about a hundred odd HM gunmen can change the status of Kashmir. Some questions arise:
Do the people doing gun politics believe that gun is the only source of their liberation? Can Pakistan continue to support Kashmiri gun wielders in the light of international scenario?
Let us try to answer these questions: Nobody on international level is going to support the struggle waged in Kashmir either with or without the gun if it is for accession to Pakistan. During last 26 years not a single nation out of 200 of them supported us whether our struggle was a freedom struggle or terrorism?
No international organization stands by us, not even a single Muslim country? However, some human rights organizations did occasionally speak about us but at the same time they denounced violation of human rights by some of our organizations even if we were among the oppressed. All that they did was to advise India and Pakistan to resolve their dispute through peaceful dialogue.
Kashmir Diaspora in foreign countries especially from PoK could not make any effective impact on international organizations. About 15 lakh people from PoK and IoK are settled in England. PoK Diaspora has formed some organizations there. Not more than a hundred persons attend their gatherings. At times other than the President and the Secretary, there is some who attending the meeting. Their activities are limited to staging a demonstration in front of Indian Embassy in London. Some of them based in the US may make a stray demonstration in front of the UN. They are usually sponsored by the Pakistan Embassies. Remember world community rendered help to freedom struggle in Palestine, Vietnam and East Timor. Kashmir could not register international support. The reason is that their cause is not freedom but accession either to Pakistan or India.
Ordinary people in Kashmir should, by now, understand that they cannot throw out 12 lakh Indian troops from Kashmir. Their leaders and thinkers should have understood it much earlier but they refuse to do so. Ordinary people are becoming the victims of destruction. It is not going to work. If it did, Pakistan’s 6-7 lakh soldiers would have launched attack on Kashmir and thrown out Indian troops. Pro-Pakistanis consider Kashmir part of Pakistan. As such Pakistani army should snatch Kashmir from Indians if pro-Pakistanis want accession to Pakistan?
Division of the State placed Gilgit-Baltistan and Pok in the hands of Pakistan and Pakistan further divided the two parts namely PoK and GB. India retained Ladakh, Kashmir and Jammu. In 1962 China illegally occupied Aksaichin. The State was divided into four regions. Previously there was no regionalism though sometimes very feeble voices were raised in Ladakh and Jammu. After the armed struggle in Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh began to feel more insecure. Jammu began demanding separation from Kashmir and Ladakhis demanded union territory status. Pakistan created wedge between the Shias and Sunnis in Gilgit and Baltistan. Seeds of hatred were sown against Kashmir and Pok. Sentiments of nationalism were sacrificed at the altar of communalism and factionalism. Hurriyat supported this line of thinking with the result the State was distributed in three parts on our side of the LoC and in two parts on the other side. This indeed was the big conspiracy behind the launching of armed struggle in Kashmir. Conspiracy was given a go with the extirpation of the Pandits from the valley.
In 1970s Maqbul Bhat introduced armed struggle for freedom of Kashmir. People of Kashmir were under the spell of Sheikh Abdulla and they called Maqbul Bhat a “murderer and criminal”?. That was a time when freedom struggles in Algeria, Vietnam and African countries were advancing. But here in Kashmir, people gave no importance to the ideology of Independent for JK trough of armed struggle of Maqbul Bhat. Pakistan crushed National Liberation Front through the Ganga hijacking case. Pakistan never wanted struggle for independent Kashmir to succeed. They do not accept it even today ?
The world considers gun as the symbol of terrorism. How come that we become scapegoats of terrorism by handling a few guns.
My article titled “why not Civil Disobedience in place of Armed Struggle,” written in 1993 is included in my book The Unveiling of Truth. But some people were day dreaming that freedom is round the corner. I had then predicted the destruction that gun would bring in trail.
Hurryat does not do anything beyond issuing statements or publicizing their photos during participation in condolence meetings. They do support armed activities because if they don’t do that, “their politics will reach the dead end.” They also get the quota for engineering and medical seats in the name of orphans. Therefore we are right in concluding that their superficial activities bring them only material comfort? Propagating among youth to participate in armed conflict is meant only to further their political ends and status?
Some political parties are part of the Jihad Council of Muzaffarabad. It is not compatible with the thinking of a political thinker. Political organizations that have abandoned armed struggle or are not indulging in armed struggle but are represented in the Jihad Council? What does it mean? Maybe they are accomplices in the funding which Jihad Council receives from Pakistan?
Speeches delivered by political leaders on the occasion of burial of martyrs reflect that they have full faith on armed struggle. But when we cast a glance and their own character we find that they have kept their children and themselves away from the gun but have also managed to obtain medical, engineering and business opportunities for their wards and children? Their business runs in hundreds of millions. For the kids of poor laborers, artisans and wage earners they deliver sermons of fighting jihad and finding beautiful girls in paradise as promised? For their own sons they make the paradise in this world and help them find beautiful damsels here and not wait for the paradise?
Foreign pressure on Pakistan has increased to the extent that Pakistani defence minister categorically stated Pakistan is not in a position to help Kashmiri jihad’s. Only the other day, the Security Adviser of Pakistani Prime Minister former General Naser Junjua conveyed to the Indian NSA, Ajit Doval the information that ten Pakistani terrorists had entered Gujarat. Call it whatever we may, one thing is clear that Pakistan is no more able to lend support to armed and terrorist activities?
I appeal to all well-meaning persons including serious media persons to pay attention to my above mentioned article without prejudice and without anger. I appeal to them to pull this nation out of the clutches of gun. In the course of civil disobedience there is no rationale of keeping AFSPA in place. India will have to account for each killing happened in a civil disobedience movement? We have seen the happenings in JNU. The gun has taken our struggle as hostage? It is for the people to decide whether they pay heed to my article written in 1993 or whether after gaining experience of twenty six years of struggle they will shift to civil disobedience movement? But remember the civil disobedience movement has to be disciplined and organized and active in all the regions of the State. If you are going to thrown a stones during encounter on security forces and they open fire on stone-palters, leading to bloodshed, then those supporting violence will find a pretext to give calls for strikes. By doing so they will be able to get additional pecuniary benefits from their beneficiaries? But under the international law, Indian forces cannot be held responsible because you are standing with “Militants” at the time of encounter? It will be a situation of war? If your adversary rains bullets on you he has a justification in self defense during a encounter?
Government has kept a prize of 7 to 15 lakh rupees for informer giving information us about militant movement? We most of the Kashmir’s are known for corrupt morals? The story makes rounds that one who has informed the police about the movement of militants are the first person to be in the funeral procession of the militant? What is the outcome of a struggle which you are unable to win through gun?
I was returning from my visit to Europe. At Delhi I boarded the airplane for Srinagar. Some big officers were also seated in the plane. Just to engage them, I asked them that they would be regretting the death of their soldiers in fight. The senior officer replied that “not to speak of their soldiers they even regret the death of the enemy.” I asked why authorities don’t think of solving the issue through dialogue. The senior officer replied that “they had neither the shortage of men nor of material.” He said “they had been fighting for last seventy years and they were prepared to fight for another 140 years.” He said that “India had no international pressure nor was there a fight against us like the one in Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq. If we Indians donate one rupee per head per day for war expenses, we shall collect 1.20 thousand million rupees in one day.”
I do not mean to stop people from bringing out peaceful demonstrations. But do not make demonstrations at a place where two parties are engaged in a gun battle? I would like to make it clear that if there is stone pelting at the place of encounter, be that Jama Masjid, Nowhatta or Khanyar, neither the Indian government nor the State government and nor the international body will consider it civil disobedience It is so because two crore people of the State are sitting silently in their homes, work places or offices? Eighty lakh people should coolly consider whether by stone pelting in downtown Srinagar, or South Kashmir or Sopor, does it means India will quit a go away by considering it a freedom movement?
The truth is that those running this movement have not considered programme and plan of running the movement? They raise slogans which can take anybody nowhere? Of course those who give call for the slogans want to be projected at the centre of the movement. All they do is to engineer the killing of innocent youth. Call for strike effective only in areas where shopkeepers apprehend damage to their shops. Shopkeepers of Lal Chowk appear to the most affected victims. Government functionaries consider strike a holiday and enjoy it. India has no impact of these strikes. Economists say that Kashmir has suffered a loss of 13 lakh crore rupees, J&K is a consumer State and it had to bear the brunt?
Keeping in view the suffering that we have gone through during past two decades and half, we should something to protect our future generations. We should hold seminars very frequently and we should open debate on this issue in each household, each street and each locality. We need to ask questions from those who give call for strikes and hartals?
ع۔ ًسچ کہہ کےکسی دور میں پچھتائے نہیں ہم۔ کردار پہ اپنے کھبی شرمائے نہیں ہم ً
“ Sach kah ke kisi daur main pachhtae nahin ham
Kirdar peh apne kabhi sharmae nahin ham.”
عقیدت کے پھول !
ہوتے رہے اور آذادی کی دیوی کے قدموں میں گرم گرم لہو نچھاور کرتے رہے اور نہ جانے کتنے
لوگوں نےتشدد گاہوں اور جیلوں میں سسِک سسِک کر اپنی جانیں تاریک راہوں میں قربان کی؟
غیرت آبرو، برابری،اور غریب پروری کاغم خورجیساان پانچ صدیوں میں کوئی نہ تھا جس نے
کشمیرکے لوگوں کو،اس جمِ غفیر کو اپنی پہچان کرائی تھی؟ قوم اور قومیتوں کا درس دیا تھا؟
آذادی کے اصل مہفوم کی تشرع کی تھی؟آذادی کو جبری قابضوں سے صرف آذادہونا ہی نہیں
بلکہ آذادی کو استصال کے خلاف،ظلم و جبر،تشدد، سامراجیت،اور قبضہ گیروں کےخلاف اعلان
جنگ کا نقارہ قرار دیا تھا اُنھوں نے پاکستان کی نام نہاد عدالت میں گرج کر کہا تھا:
بغاوت کا مرتکب هوا هوں”
انقلاب پیدا کرنےوالے،جزبوں اورسوچوں میں ذلزالہ لانےوالاطوفان بنکر آیا تھا وہ؟آج انقلاب اور
سوشل ازم ،قومی جمہور کی باتیں اور نعرے لگانے والے کہاں تھے اُس وقت جب صرف الحاقیوں
کو ہی حُبِ وطنی کی سرٹیفیکیٹ ملتاتھااور باقی سب غدار کہلاتے تھے؟مسلم کانفرنس میں شامل
نہ ہونے والے کو ”مسلمان” ہی نہیں مانا جاتا تھا؟
مقبول بٹ جیسے عظیم رہبر اور درویش صفت تو نئ سوچ، نئے خیالات اور نئے نعرے لیکراس قوم
کی پانچ صدیوں کی فالج ذدہ سوچ کا علاج کرنے کے لئے لقمان بنکرآیا تھا؟وہ نفس کےقطب تھے!
عقل پر اوراُس کے انسان ہونے پر ہی شک کیا جاسکتا ہے؟ہاں یہ سچائی ہے کہ جموں کشمیر کی
دھرتی نے لاکھوں شہید پیدا کئے لیکن اُن میں کتنے تھے جو مقبول بٹ کی طرح آذادی کے جزبوں،
شعور کی بلندیوں اور وطن کے مکمل اتحاد کے ساتھ آذادی اور استصال کے خلاف شعور پیھلاتے
اور ان آدرشوں کے لئے جنگ لڑتے ہو ئے پھانسی کے پھندے کو چوم کر گلے میں مسکراتے ہوئے قبول
کرتے رہے؟اس انقلاب کے پیغمبر کی عزت کرو تاکہ کل آنے والی نئ نسل تماری عزت تو کریں؟
مقبول بٹ شہید کے گلے میں جو رسی ڈالی گئ وہ اس کے اپنے ساتھیوں نے تیار کی تھی مگر
مقبول بٹ ذندہ باد کے نعرے لگانے والے بہت سارے لوگ یہ سب جانتے ہوئے بھی ان ”قاتل مجاوروں”
کو اپنا ”لیڈر” سمجھتے ہیں؟ کھبی تو حساب ھوگا؟ کھبی تو انصاف ھوگا؟ کھبی تو قاتلوں کے
چہروں سے نقاب تو اُتارا جائے گا؟
کے فرائض ادا کرتے تھے۔ وہ صرف چہرےبدلنے اور مقامی لوگوں کے اقتدار منتقل کرنے کو آذادی نہیں
کہتے تھے اُنھوں نے واشگاف اور اعلانیہ کہا تھا:
تسلط کا خاتمہ ہی نهیں بلکۂ بهوک وافلاس جهالت بیماری معاشی اور
سماجی نا همواریوں کو شکست دینا هے ”
کےپاگل پن کے ساتھ رہنےکا شرف حاصل ہوتا؟قطب اور آسمانوں کے وارثوں کا تقابل نہیں کیا جاتا؟
ذرا سوچو مقبول بٹ کے انقلاب اور اُن کے ںظریہ ان کی جدوجہدسے پہلے ہم کیا تھے؟ کیڑے مکوڑے؟
الحاق جیسی بیمارئ اور کوڑھ کے شکاراور بزدلی کا طعنہ اور لاچاری کا کینسر کہلاتے تھے؟
خلاف اٹھ کھڑے ہوۓ ہیں اور مقبول بٹ کے نام لیوا کی حثیت سے مو ت کو گلے لگالینگے؟کوئی تو
اِن پانچ صدیوں میں مقبول بٹ جیسالیڈر اور انقلابی کی کوئی مثال ریاست کی تاریخ میں نکال
کر تو دو ؟جس نےپوری قوم کو غلامی اور الحاق کی غداران و بیمار سوچ سے چند لمحوں میں
آذاد کیا ہو؟ آج تک ریاست میں سبوں نے مذہب،ذات، برادری، علاقہ پرستی اور اُونچ نیچ کی بنیاد پر
لوگوں کو منتشر کیا مگر کشمیر کے اس عظیم سپوت نے بار بار کہا کہ:
کی بنیاد پر لڑیں گے وہ کشمیر کو ٹکڑے ٹکڑے کرنے کے ذمہ دارہونگےایسی کوئی بھی
جدوجہدآذادی کی جدوجہد نہیں بلکہ تقسم در تقسم کرنے کی سازش ہوگی”
چاک چاک کیا! تم نےہم کو غیرت اور عزت کےمعنئ سکھادیۓ! اےنظریہ خود مختار کے فلسفہ ساذ!
تم نےالحاق کے نظریہ ساذوں کے نہ صرف بت توڈ دیۓبلکہ ”مجاہد اور غاذی اور شیر” کہلانے والوں
کے القاب نوچ کے پھینک دئے! تم کو اپنے وطن اور اپنے ہم وطنوں کے ساتھ محبت اور عشق کے بدلے
میں کن کن الزامات کا سامنا کرنا پڑھا! لیکن تم نے اپنے عشق کوکھبی کم نہ کیا! تم نے کہا:
سچاهی کا شعور حاصل کر لے اور اس شعور کی روشنی انفرادی اور اجتماعی
زندگی کی تزهین و آراهش میں صرف هو”
تم نے ثابت کیا کہ تم کشمیر کے حسین ابن علی ہو ! تمارے قاتل رسوا ہوۓ بھی اور ہونگے بھی ،
ذرہ میرے اور تیرے عوام کو شعور تو آنے دیں؟ تم جن کو غاصب قرار دیتےتھے؟ تمارےنام کا استصال
کرکےان ہی غاصبوں کے، تیرے قاتل اتحادی بن کر تیرے قوم کو فرقوں، مذہبوں ،ذاتوں، علاقوں اور
برادریوں میں تقسیم کیا گیا؟
سوچوں میں اورتنظیموں میں اور سب تیرے ” وارث “بھی کہلاتے ہیں؟ جس قتلِ ناحق کے بدلے میں تمیں
انتقاماََ قابض قوت نے پھانسی کا پھندا پہنایا اُس قتل کے بارے میں آپ نے نہ صرف اپنے آپ کو الگ کیا
تھا بلکہ واشگاف لفظوں میں اپنے آخیری لمحات میں اعلان کیا تھاکہ:
محسوس ہوتا تھا کہ تم آج تک پیدا ہونے والے انقلابیوں کی تمام روحوں کو اپنے اندر سموۓ ہوۓ ہو !
تم جب لیکچر دیتے تھے تو ایسا لگتا تھا کہ تم تمام فلسفیوں کے امین ہو!
تم جاہل اور عام انسانوں کو سنگتراشوں کی طرح انقلاب ! انقلاب کے لۓ تراشتے تھے !
تم عظمت کے ایسے مینار ہو جس کی روشنی ہر اندھیرے دلوں کو روشن کرتی ہے!
یاد اور اور انقلابی جذبے ذندہ ہے جو انسانوں اور کمزور طبقوں، مظلوموں پسے ہوۓ لوگوں
کے لۓ جدوجہد کررہے ہیں ! تم ذندہ ہو اور ہر ذمانے میں ذندہ رہو گے !غلاموں کی غلامی کے
خلاف، مظلوموں کی ظالموں کےخلاف نا انصافی اور استصال کے خاتمے کے خلاف جہاں کہیں
بھی جدوجہد جاری رہے گی ! تم ہر اُس جگہ مینارِ نور بن کے رہو گے !
رہِ یار ہم نے قدم قدم تجھے یاد گار بنا دیا”
وفادار شاگرد کا لاکھوں سلام! لاکھوں سلام! لاکھوں انقلابی سلام !
Covering an area of almost two million square miles and home to over a quarter of the world’s population, current regional and global developments between the West and South Asia necessitate greater security cooperation in order to guarantee mutual strategic interests and address global security challenges.
ISIL developed large ‘market penetration’ in South Asia by overcoming language barriers, exploiting sympathies amongst authorities and locals, as well as, building underground cells that have allowed ISIL to successfully recruit more jihadists to join the battlefields in Syria and Iraq.
The recruitment and rise of South Asians in the ISIL hierarchy has specifically enabled the group to carry out extremely successful linguistic market penetration. Recruitment videos and propaganda materials are released in the Indian-subcontinent in Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and Tamil besides other regional languages and dialects.
ISIL has also been gaining considerable ground in Afghanistan due to an extremist conversion from Taliban to ISIL which has inspired members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to alter their allegiance as well. While, monetary benefits are stated as the main reason for the conversion, through rapid expansion, the announcement of a Caliphate and their anti-Shia ideology, it is proven the romanticism of ISIL is the main influence.
If radicals of other Pakistani groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and the anti-Shia group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, flip sides as well there could be a snowball effect. The conversion can be interpreted as thinking that their own organizations have compromised too much on their radical ideology with the Pakistani military in order to maintain their protection.
Additionally, Bangladesh witnessed the rise of Pro-ISIL outfits who carry out a sophisticated online and on the ground recruitment policy. A newly created front called Jund al-Tawheed wal Khilafah (JTK) is the main and most vocal platform for recruits and fundraisings from Bangladesh. It aims to establish a new ‘caliphate’ encompassing Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The remarkable expansion of ISIL has not only sent shockwaves throughout the Western world, but has also instigated other extremist forces like Al-Qaeda to strengthen their reach and adopt new strategies in South Asia.
Worried by ISIL’s international ambitions, Al-Qaeda decided to bring at least a dozen independently operating extremists groups (mostly from Pakistan and Afghanistan) together into one branch. These groups have longstanding, extremely extensive networks in the region supplemented by the formidable infrastructure of thousands of Madrassas. These Madrassas mostly promote religious education based on the doctrine of extremism, which serves as ideological foundation to these groups.
This new branch in South Asia, called Al-Qaeda in the Indian Sub-continent (AQIS) has proposed several locations for potential operations including: Kashmir, Gujarat, Assam, Burma and Bangladesh are part of this ambitious and dangerous coalition.
Whether the establishment of the branch is an announcement to counter ISIL’s expansion or an invitation to work together with them is debatable. But by all means, both scenarios are extremely dangerous.
Since 9/11, NATO has focused more on addressing global threats stemming from areas beyond the North Atlantic. Thus, NATO´s global partnership program was created in 2011, which to date, includes Pakistan and Afghanistan.
There is an urgent need to work more closely and diligently to eliminate the global security concerns emanating from South Asia. Bilateral conflicts of interest between Pakistan and Afghanistan should urge NATO to formulate well-defined mutual goals much like the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI). The self-differentiation and diversity components of ICI have been good improvements as compared to previous agreements. The objectives as stated in the current Tailored Cooperation Programmes are too vague and thereby vulnerable.
The government of Afghanistan needs to be strengthened financially and militarily in order to tackle the various extremist forces in the country. Economic development and mainstream education should become the tenets of progress and de-radicalization. The current NATO Mission ‘Resolute Support’ focuses on training and advising Afghan forces which creates a strong foundation, however it should remain flexible by giving due attention to the ANA Trust. A recent increase in violence, casualties and the overall expansion of Taliban and ISIL warrant for an extended mission. Therefore, the Afghan Army has not been successful in countering the resurgence of Taliban forces in the south and east of Afghanistan. In the interest of peace in Afghanistan and maintaining the strategic gains made by NATO forces, the current changed scenario would justify a longer mandate for the Resolute Support Mission.
The Pakistani civil government and its military establishment need to coordinate regarding the country’s stand vis-á-vis terrorism. The Pakistani Army is the seventh largest army in the world and should be ensuring the objectives of NATO’s partnership which is crucial to provide an effective international security structure. NATO must ensure that the political and security perspectives of the military establishment in the country are comparable, compatible and have equal commitment and dedication from all involved parties.
Economic interdependency amongst countries in South Asia is key to regional stabilization. South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established to pursue this objective with integration in South Asia, but needs to be strengthened through diplomatic facilitation from NATO Allies and Partners.
Opportunities to formalize intelligence sharing policies among the region ought to be availed. The spread of extremist forces in addition to their interrelated networks and infrastructure should compel the nations in South Asia to overcome mistrust. Instead, they should embark upon a path of institutionalized cooperation regarding timely and accurate intelligence sharing.
Besides providing expertise and experience to these countries on this matter, NATO should avail opportunities of engaging in bilateral agreements of intelligence sharing, counter-terrorism policies and maritime security with the respective countries in South Asia. The Wales Summit Declaration emphasizes that there is a need for a coordinated international approach to counter ISIL. Considering the true spirit of this Declaration, the recruitment wave of ISIL in South Asia should act as a trigger to widen the formal coalition against ISIL and enhance it by bringing South Asian countries onboard.
Sharing best practices from NATO’s Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I) into its recent Capacity Building Initiatives (CBI) in Jordan, Moldova and Georgia have had an enormous beneficial impact in these countries. They have succeeded in strengthening their respective national security apparatus against external threats as the main focused areas of training, mentoring, equipment donation and coordination from the NTM-I were continued and incorporated into these CBI’s. NATO’s contribution to international stability, security and conflict prevention could also prove to be a robust base for cooperation in South Asia. As there is an urgent need to expand NATO’s advising and assisting expertise in security and defense reforms while aiming to encourage the establishment of self-sufficient security institutions in these countries.
The training and education components of these initiatives include providing for the infrastructure and transforming these engagements into long term bilateral security cooperation that could prove to be extraordinary fruitful in countries like Afghanistan, which struggles with high illiteracy rates among their armed forces and security establishment; and Bangladesh, which struggles with a highly politicized military.
From the expansion of ISIL and its worldwide recruitment policies, it has become evident that the threat of terrorism is not restricted to its region of origin anymore. The mass use of Internet and social media has obscured the borders of extremism in South Asia as well and pose an undeniable menace to global peace. South Asian allies and partners should be formally incorporated and take a lead in implementing policies that compliment NATO objectives and stem the tide of radicalization in the region as this situation demands a collective approach from the West and the East as equal partners and stakeholders.
Junaid Qureshi is a writer/columnist for Kashmiri, Indian and Pakistani newspapers on topics ranging from Terrorism, Human Rights and Geo-Politics of the Subcontinent. He is also a Human Rights activist and a speaker at seminars at the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva. His main areas of expertise are South Asia, Terrorism, India-Pakistan relations and the Kashmir-Issue. He advises various NGO’s, European Union Institutions, Foreign Affairs Committees of European Governments and Think-Tanks regarding the political situation of the Subcontinent and Terrorism. He is a regular contributor to the ATA by writing research based articles on the potential of collaboration between NATO and South Asia. He is a senior member of the JK Democratic Liberation Party based in Srinagar, which strives for a peaceful solution to the Kashmir-issue.
On November 13, the blood of humanity was spilt mercilessly on the streets of Paris. ISIS barbarians shed the blood of humanism in the name of peaceful religion of Islam. The title of the one who brought the message of Islam is one the grace for the two worlds. Among all prophets, he is the one ordained to bring the message of bliss. The Creator of the Universe has not given authority to anybody of killing anybody. He has not permitted any human being to usurp the right of another human being. He has considered killing of a person equal to killing entire humanity.
In his name more than 150 innocent people were killed and over 300 persons were wounded, many critically. How can anybody have the right to indulge in such heinous crime?
Regrettably, I cannot summon courage to write on this carnage in Paris. I am trying hard to record my protest on this inhuman act of massacre. Humanism demands that I should distance myself from these barbarians. That is why I am struggling to script these lines here.
People know Paris as the city of infatuation; the city of bright springs and freedom and equality. The innocent people gunned down in this city never knew what was their fault or crime. We also know that the innocent people of Iraq, Libya and Syria, too, had no fault whatsoever. However, the first principle of seeking justice is that the oppressed should not stain his hands with blood. Gunning down one innocent in revenge of gunning down another innocent person is not just and permissible. It is revenge.
Pakistani columnist Wusatullah Khan wrote: “that two and a half months ago the dead body of Alkurdi was found lying on the seashore of Turkey. Except a few rich Muslim countries, the rest of them were shocked. Europeans opened their doors for Syrian refugees.” He writes “that 95 per cent Muslims do not accept the jihad concept of al-Qaeda and Daesh. Various Muslim groups like Shia, Sunni, Deobandi, Barelvi, Wahhabi, and Salafi etc. sometimes admit each other into the Islamic fold and sometimes exclude them from the fold. Sometimes they link them up. Was ever until today a decree (fatwa) issued during last twenty years from Islamic centres like Al Zahra University, office of the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Darul ulum Deoband or Madrassa Rahimiyah Qom to the purpose that al-Qaeda, or Daesh or their advocates are excluded from the Islamic circle for perpetrating disturbance on the earth. Whenever such a question is raised, its answer is evaded”.
More than twenty million Muslims reside in European countries. Their youth are excelling in education, science, business and many other fields of activity. They are adequately supporting their parents and family members left behind in mother countries. In addition, they are using all clandestine methods to obtain citizenship for their relatives in European countries.
I can bring an instance to memory when in Holland. “A case of brother and sister marrying was reported to an Asian Embassy. A person trying to obtain citizenship for his brother would show marriage with the wife of the brother. If a brother and his wife are settled in Europe, he tries every possible way of bringing his brother and brother’s wife to that country as citizens. They do it by administering divorce and then remarrying of course on paper. After five years, they again submit divorce papers. Many religious scholars have declared it disallowed (haram). Late Maulavi Noorani had often said that this was a prohibited and illegal practice.” However, the axiom is that necessity is the mother of Invention.
The point I want to make is that the Muslims and the people of the East have played a hundred and one tricks to wriggle out of poverty and destitution. In the process, they also got enlightened with education. The father of Pakistani nuclear bomb Abdul Qadir was also studying in Holland and was associated with the atomic energy institution of that country. He came to Pakistan equipped with atomic formula. Thousands of scholars from Asian and African countries received education from European universities. Great intellectuals like Qaed Azam Muhammd Ali Jinah, Allama Iqbal, Gandhiji, Pandit Nehru, Dr, Ambedkar, Zulfikar Ali Bhutoo, Chou En Lai and others received education in European universities and worked to contribute to the welfare and uplifting of human beings. This Europe opened doors for more than two million Muslims from Syria and Iraq. The Arab States, who go about trumpeting the Islamic lesson of goodwill, did nothing except becoming mute spectators of their death dance. “How brazenly they give long sermons that if the Muslims in the west are in trouble, their brethren in the East should become partners in their pain.”
A few self-styled leaders, maulavis and Islamic scholars try to justify such barbarian acts by claiming that these are not terrorist Muslims. Were Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin Muslims? That time is gone. We should remember that even during that period, Muslims had not lagged behind in perpetrating bloodshed and massacres. During Ottoman period, thousands of women from European and Asian countries were taken prisoners and made servants and concubines. Were not our ancestors resorting to such inhuman treatment to innocent people? We need to come out of the past and no excuse can wash off the atrocities that we perpetrated in the past.
Consequences of such attacks in Europe and in the US (after 9/11) have been simply awful. For Muslims travel in Europe and the US is fraught with much trouble and hassle. Admission of Muslim students in professional and non-professional colleges has become very difficult. Muslims receive humiliating treatment in buses, trains and airplanes. At immigration counters, they are meted out insulting treatment. Hatred is expressed towards them in shops and offices. Obtaining a job has become extraordinarily difficult for them. “It is true that not every Muslim is a terrorist but it is also true that every terrorist who is caught is a Muslim.”
Ultra nationalists in Europe are becoming stronger and stronger with each passing day. Political parties that could never make any mark are now making coalition governments frequently. The day is not far away when these parties will converge into majority and then it will become difficult for the Muslims to live in Europe. They will not be able to breathe freely. They will be left with no alternative to run away from Europe to save their lives and honour. The type of attacks made in Paris will change the psychology of the people and European secularist and the avalanche of hatred will sway liberals. All the factories of so-called human rights will pull down their shutters. “This is precisely what one Mayor of France has demeaned. Right wing ideologue and French Mayor Robert Chardon has demanded complete ban on Islam in France. He has said that France needs a Martial Plan according to which Muslims have to be thrown out of France and sent to those countries where Islam is prevalent.” We should not forget that more than sixty lakh Muslims from Arab countries, Africa and Asia are living in France.
Let us examine our conscience and ask how many Islamic countries have protested against Paris carnage? In how many countries Muslims came out on streets on the call of their rulers to protest against this inhuman act? In which Muslim country did the national flag fly half mast in the memory of the innocent people murdered in cold blood? Which Islamic university issued a fatwa against this carnage? The French people got killed in the sea for bringing foodstuff to the Palestinians in Gaza Strip.
In Peshawar, Taliban barbarians killed 130 schoolchildren. Entire world expressed shock and sorrow and condemned the barbaric act. However, when the Pakistani army did carpet bombing in Waziristan and tribal areas as a result not a leaf survived on the tree branches not to speak of houses, schools, hospitals and other structures, no human being raised voice against this inhuman act? The reason was that the grim picture of dead bodies of Peshawar schoolchildren was fresh in the minds of people. However, when gruesome murders like this happen in other places like India, USA or Europe, why do we become mute spectators? Are we not becoming prejudiced and hypocrites’?
Those who seek to find justification for violence and killing in scriptures are the worst enemies of humanity. No scripture and no religion in the world preaches killing of human beings. Those who do these heinous acts are the worst enemies of Islam, a religion of peace and fraternity.
Terrorism gives birth to violence, injustice, prejudice and extremism; it is antidote to progress and development. Humankind has gone through a long struggle to achieve the level of education, knowledge and scientific advancement. Terrorism negates all these achievements. It is a poisonous snake and before it is able to spread its venom all around, the head of this snake has to be smashed.
I do not expect that fluttering of Pakistani and ISIS flags in our mosques and public gatherings will be given up after the tragic event in France. We know these flags are hoisted in the expectation of “remuneration” from concerned quarters. However, based on my knowledge of Kashmirian emotionalism and the element of hatred, I am confident that people with conscience and human instincts will hate terrorist acts like these. Experience has shown that terrorism turns civilization into ruins. After all, terrorism is an enemy of progress, humanism, respect, human fraternity, religious tolerance and science and art. It breaks God’s finest creation meaning humankind into pieces. It does not allow the dearest sons of parents even to find a shroud for their dead bodies.
Writer is: Chairman, JK Democratic liberation Party
E-Mail :firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
By Junaid Qureshi
The impact of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor on the region is a very broad subject with many layers and interrelated dimensions. As a State Subject of the State of Jammu & Kashmir, I will mainly concentrate on the implications of this corridor on the State of Jammu & Kashmir and try to elaborate its effects on the people of this region and on the future of the wider Kashmir-Issue.
The people of Gilgit Baltistan are equal stakeholders in the Kashmir-Issue and are as much Kashmiri as the Kashmiris living in other parts of Junaid QureshiJ&K. Unfortunately, for all of their history they have been forgotten, neglected, insulted and exploited.
Throughout history, Pakistan has attempted to change the demographics of Gilgit Baltistan. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor can be best classified as deliberate attempt to carry this tradition forward and even aim to change the demographics of the actual Kashmir-Issue.
In 1949 the area of Gilgit Baltistan was named ‘The Northern Areas of Pakistan’ and put under the direct control of the Federal Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas Affairs, which de facto is run by Islamabad. Afterwards, it was Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who abrogated the State Subject rule in this part of J&K. The next Pakistani ruler, Zia-ul-Haq, unleashed anti-Shia forces in the region during his term, which caused extreme socio-political polarisation in especially Skardu. After that, ‘Tribal Lashkars’ started the institutionalized abduction of women and massacred thousands of Shias in 1988.
Pakistan’s stance on Gilgit Baltistan in particular and on Jammu & Kashmir in general has been full of paradoxicalities. In 2009, the Pakistani government passed the Gilgit Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance order. The order turned Gilgit Baltistan into a province while Gilgit Baltistan has never been constitutionally a part of Pakistan. It has even no mention in the Constitution of Pakistan.
To make matters more complicated and perhaps even incomprehensible, the Pakistani Supreme Court in 1994 observed that these areas ‘are part of Jammu & Kashmir State, but are not part of Azad Kashmir’.
Utterly contradictory to its actions, Pakistan has officially been rejecting the full integration of Gilgit Baltistan by propagating that such an action would be unjust considering its international obligations with respect to the Kashmir-Issue.
A few months ago, Pakistan again raised the Kashmir-Issue in the United Nations and propagated an independent and impartial plebiscite under UN supervision, which would enable the Kashmiris to claim their inalienable right to self-determination.
As a nationalist Kashmiri who believes in the ideology of an Independent, united and secular Jammu & Kashmir, the UN Security Council resolutions hold no relevance for me, but perhaps some other Kashmiris who have been victims of propaganda need to understand the duplicity of Pakistan’s role in the UN vis-à-vis the Kashmir Issue.
The right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination was abrogated by Pakistan itself in the UN Security Council. It was the Pakistani Foreign Office which in a letter to the Security Council signed by Zafrullah Khan -the then Foreign Minister of Pakistan- enquired if the words ‘future status’ as stated in the resolution of 13August 1948 could mean an Independent Kashmir. An affirmative reply from the Security Council, caused the Pakistani governmentto suggest an amendment to this resolution.
In a letter to General McNaughton, President of the Security Council, dated 28th of December 1948, Pakistan wrote to propose a change to this clause. It requested to substitute the words “the future status of State of Jammu and Kashmir” by the following:”The question of the accession of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to India and Pakistan”. India did not object to this amendment and subsequently, on the initiative of the Pakistani Government, the question of the future of Jammu & Kashmir and its inhabitants was transformed into a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan.
As a result, the resolution of 5 January 1949, changed into: ‘The question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India and Pakistan will be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite’.
Even Pakistan’s call for a plebiscite is mere lip-service, as it is Pakistan which will have to act first if such a plebiscite has to take place. Part II of the Truce agreement puts all liabilities on Pakistan. Three important clauses of this agreement are: 1) As the presence of troops of Pakistan in the territory of the State of Jammu and Kashmir constitutes a material change in the situation since it was represented by the Government of Pakistan before the Security Council; the Government of Pakistan agrees to withdraw its troops from that State. 2) The Government of Pakistan will use its best endeavour to secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purpose of fighting. 3) Pending a final solution, the territory evacuated by the Pakistani troops will be administered by the local authorities under the surveillance of the commission.
Coming back to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, I would like to emphasize that I am not averse to economic development, solutions to Pakistan’s growing economic crisis or the eradication of poverty. I welcome that and wholeheartedly wish that the friendship of China and Pakistan will flourish into eternity. However, as a Kashmiri, I have my strongest reservations regarding this new economic corridor, the origins of which can be traced back to the Border Agreement of 1963 in which Pakistan ceded more than 5000sq miles of Jammu & Kashmir to China.
The people of Gilgit Baltistan have no constitutional guarantees of their political liberties. They have no say over their natural resources and minerals. All decision-making powers in relation to forest, power, tourism and minerals are under the direct control of the Gilgit Baltistan Council, which is headed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan.All the mining licenses are also directly issued by Islamabad.
The economic potential of Gilgit Baltistan is such, that had the people been masters of their own destiny and not treated as a colony by Pakistan, Gilgit Baltistan could finance the complete construction of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. There is an abundance of water resources, minerals worth billions of dollars andan ocean of undiscovered tourism potential in this part of Jammu & Kashmir.
There are at least 5000 glaciers, including three of the largest in the world outside of the polar regions in Gilgit Baltistan. It has almost 2500 glacial lakes. The potential of Power is 52.000MW, while the requirement of the indigenous population is just 150MW.
Gilgit Baltistan and its ecological habitat will also be effected negatively. Researchers have concluded that the current rise of temperature will dry up the glaciers in the Karakorum and Himalayan region within a century. The toxic gasses and heavy traffic flow related to the construction of this corridor will only enhance the melting of the world’s largest reservoir of fresh water glaciers.
The factories which will emerge during the construction of this corridor will use all the minerals of Gilgit Baltistan as raw material for which the population will not be paid any royalty. The proposed shifting of the Sost Dry port from Gilgit Baltistan to Havelian will also result in devastating loss of whatever little business the inhabitants have.
Based on facts, one is compelled to conclude that not the people of Gilgit Baltistan, but thePakistani Army and Navy will be the actual economic and strategic beneficiaries of this corridor. One of the arrangements of this deal is that Pakistan will purchase eight attack submarines and six patrol vessels from China. Thisarrangement will elevate China as Pakistan’s primal arms provider, a contract to the tune of 5 billion dollars, while it will seriously disturb the equilibrium in the Indian Ocean and thereby threaten the already fragile peace in the region.
I firmly believe that the construction of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is illegal. Gilgit Baltistan is part of Jammu & Kashmir State, the future status of which still needs to be decided according to the wishes of the people living in Jammu, Ladakh, the Kashmir Valley, Pakistan Administered Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
The construction of this corridor, complimented by the military benefits for both China and Pakistan and an investment of 46 billion dollars, has all the ingredients to exacerbate the complexities of the Kashmir-Issue, threaten peace and cement China’s stake in Jammu & Kashmir.
Any kind of solution to the long standing Kashmir-Issue will only be jeopardized by these kind of intrusions. China is not investing billions of dollars to simply withdraw if any solution is found to the Kashmir Issue. Its investment guarantees their strategic interests in the region.
The people in Gilgit Baltistan are not in need of economic corridors of exploitation. They are longing for basic human rights and their political liberties. Admittedly, we Kashmiris have also been culpable of neglecting Gilgit Baltistan as we were too pre-occupied trying to liberate just one part of Kashmir on the behest of intelligence agencies, working in their national interests, while they usedus Kashmiris as cannon fodder.
We Kashmiris must comprehend that Kashmir is more than the Valley only and protest against the China Pakistan Economic corridor as it is an attempt to further destabilize the region in general and the Kashmir-Issue in particular. No country, not even our so-called elder brother and benefactor, has the liberty to impose economic corridors on us by force.
There is a need to unite and contemplate on what we need to change in order to defeat this new ‘Game-Changer’.
The author can be reached at junaidqureshi8@yahoo
First national of independent Kashmir
By Hashim Qureshi
Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered my release from jail on 7 May 1980. In its verdict, “the court said that Hashim Qureshi is originally a Kashmiri. Under Pakistan’s Citizenship Act of 1951, he can live in Pakistan like other Kashmiris living in Pakistan.” On the basis of this verdict, I lived in Pakistan from 1980 to 1986. I took part in politics. Pakistan government issued an identity card and passport in my favour. With that passport in hand, I travelled to London and returned to Pakistan.
Towards the closing days of 1984 and the beginning of 1985, I declined to compromise with ISI. In 1985, I approached Pakistani authorities for the registration of my two children, Junaid and Sana, as Pakistani citizens, I received a letter from the Director General of Registration of the Pakistani Ministry of Interior (No. 3/2/78-79 of July 10, 1985: copy attached) saying that I was an Indian national, and as such, under National Registration Act of 1973, my children could not be registered. Sometimes later, I received another letter from this office (I have misplaced the original but am looking for it) telling me that an identity card and passport were issued to me through a mistake and these have to be withdrawn.
I filed a writ petition against this order in Lahore High Court at Rawalpindi. Late Yusuf Saraf was the defence counsel. He obtained stay order from the court till the writ petition was decided and status quo was maintained. In the second or third hearing of the case, Yusuf Saraf told me that he had fears Pakistani government would arrest me. He told me that no doubt the Pakistan Supreme Court had set me free and that I had been living in Pakistan, have a Pakistani passport and identity card, but notwithstanding all this, there are institutions in Pakistan much above the law and the constitution. They are the parliament and the constitution all rolled in one. He candidly advised me to leave Pakistan if I wanted the safety of my person. On asking wherefrom had he got this information, he said that he was not in a position to reveal many things that he knew. The judge who was hearing my case was under pressures. I could gather who were behind this conspiracy. I had rejected ISI’s plan of giving Kashmiri youth to wanton killing. But some people wanted to adopt the plan on the bidding of Amanullah Khan in London.
It was I who had organized JKLF in my capacity as its chairman. Some activists of JKLF hatched a conspiracy with the ISI of removing me from their way. Leaving my wife and children behind, I, with assistance from some friends based abroad, managed to leave Pakistan even though my name had been entered in the exit list. My wife and two children joined me in a foreign country after some time. Amnesty International, some Human Rights organizations and the lawyers of Holland helped my family members to leave Pakistan without a visa. A top military officer of Pakistan Army posted at GHQ had helped me in this adventure.
In the light of the letter cited above, Pakistan Government has admitted that Kashmiris are Indian nationals. My children are born in Pakistan. My wife is born in Pakistan; her parents and close relations all are Pakistani nationals. They were not given visa for 15 long years.
How India treated me
The State of Jammu and Kashmir is part of the Indian Union according to the Indian Constitution. My children repeatedly requested for Indian visa, which was not issued till 1995. They wanted to meet me and their grand-parents. My son Junaid Qureshi aged 13 at that time made a petition to the Prime Minister of India, the European Parliament, Amnesty International and other Human Rights Organizations. He succeeded in obtaining Indian visa. I and my children were granted Dutch citizenship in 1992. With that we obtained Dutch passports as well.
In 2000, I returned to India. I was arrested on arrival and sent to prison. Under double jeopardy law, I could not be tried because I had already been punished for 1971 hijacking case in Pakistan. It is now fifteen years that I am tried at a special Sessions Court in J&K. The case against me has been revived. Seven years after my return to India, I applied for State citizenship on the basis of being a subject of the State of J&K. This application was made u under Section 5:1(a) of Citizenship Act 1955.
In 2012, I was told to apply afresh for State citizenship because (as they said) the file had perished in the fire. I filed another application for citizenship to the Home Secretary, under the old file number 186/207/5447 of 2007. On March 5, 2015 Under Secretary, Home Ministry, GOI sent a letter (26013/0156/2014-IC; to the Secretary Home Department J&K with a copy to me. It said.
“ Shri Muhammad Hashim Qureshi has been rejected by the competent authority due to his involvement in some case of illegal activity.”
Contrary to the wishes of the people of Kashmir, three adjoining countries, namely India, Pakistan and China, have divided and occupied parts of Kashmir. Therefore, Kashmiris living in these parts have the compulsion of seeking citizenship of respective occupied parts. They need to go out and as such they have to have passport, identity card and other such documents. If they apply and ask for it, that does not mean they become citizens of the occupying country.
However, those who fight election in any of these parts for membership of their assemblies or parliaments after taking an oath of the existing constitution in these parts, or seek a public office in the respective part under no compulsion, betray their conscience if they raise voice against that part’s occupational forces.
Asking for passport is a compulsion but fighting elections, not once but five times, and winning three of them, which would fill a period of eighteen years, then taking an oath of allegiance to the constitution of the occupying country and getting all accruing benefits including pension, is no compulsion. Obviously, all this is done consciously. But despite all this, it is rank hypocrisy to castigate the benefactor and instigate the people in favour of the adversarial occupant.
Kashmiris have to be careful about such misleading propaganda.
I must state here that despite being a Kashmiri by birth, both of the occupying countries viz. India and Pakistan have denied me their citizenship against the provisions in their respective constitutions. As such, I am justified in claiming to be the first national of independent Kashmir.
” ککرناگ اور ڈکسوم !
Silence by the Indian media over the recent mass uprising in Kashmir has surprised me. There was a continuous curfew for 9 days, civilians participating in peaceful protests were killed, there was a scarcity of essential needs, political activists were detained, local TV channels and local newspapers were banned, journalists were beaten up and wounded but the Indian media did not care.
The Supreme Court of India in 1986 in the case Indian Express v. Union of India held “that the press plays a very significant role in the democratic machinery and the court ruled that Freedom of press has three essential elements. 1) Freedom of access to all sources of information, 2) Freedom of publication and 3) Freedom of circulation.” In the case Maneka Gandhi v. Union of India the Supreme Court held “that the freedom of speech and expression (press freedom is part of this right) has no geographical limitation.” It seems as if these judgments do not apply on Kashmir? The media in Kashmir were subjected to restrictions but the Indian media did not use their tools and their freedom, which are guaranteed by the Supreme Court of India, efficiently to prove solidarity with the media in Kashmir. Was this just because this inalienable right was under suppression in Kashmir and not in Delhi or Mumbai? Was this just because the journalists who were injured belonged to ‘Greater Kashmir’, ‘Kashmir Images’ and Local News Papers’ not to ‘Hindustan Times’ or ‘Times of India’?
Many reports and TV programs are made in India which strives to make politics and government establishments more transparent and accessible for the common man. Innumerable corruption cases, accountability committees and investigation processes have been brought to light by the Indian media. But the Indian media has failed to make such reports or programs about Kashmir. Has the Indian media ever thought that violence only, could not be the sole cause of corruption, poverty and bad governance? The Indian media has never published reports investigating government’s expenses in Kashmir. The Indian media has never tried to investigate why the Dal Lake still is a drain whereas millions of Rupees have been spent on its clean-up. The Indian media has never tried to discover that almost every government’s job is either given to relatives of Ministers or sold for Lakhs in Kashmir. My humble question to the Indian media is the same as the Indian media and the inheritors of knowledge and truth should ask themselves: Why?
Section 167 of the CRPC grants the right to every person in custody to be released on bail if no charge sheet is filed against him/her within 90 days of custody. In Kashmir there are numerous detainees who are languishing in jail under the Public Safety Act which allows detention for up to two years without charge or trial on the purported presumption that the arrested may in the future commit acts harmful to the state. This law has its origin in the Defense of India Act (DIA) during Colonial British Rule. The DIA was described by Gandhiji as a draconian and black law. Why isn’t the India media reporting this abortion of Human Rights and thereby upholding Gandhiji’s values? Is Kashmir that hard to find, whereas Amnesty International and other international bodies are having no problem in locating Kashmir and have already published various reports condemning the PSA. Again my humble question to the protectors of freedom is: Why?
There are 6 Lakhs youngster in Kashmir who are suffering because of unemployment. Many of them have University and College degrees. Indian media has been quick to attribute this sky high unemployment rate to militancy. Has the Indian media ever tried to research whether the militancy could be attributed to the high unemployment rate? No report or article has ever tried to outline what the government is doing about this high unemployment rate. The Kashmiri youth is only interesting for the Indian media when their hands are cuffed by the suppressors. But they are not worthy of news when their hands hold a pen and a degree while their stomach is empty.
Noted columnists like Arundhati Roy, Vir Sanghvi and Swaminathan A. Aiyar have tried to bring the recent developments in Kashmir to the common man in India and made Kashmir’s secession a matter of common debate. They defied the mainstream mindset of the Indian media of neglecting the uprising and wrote on the basis of truth and morality. The approach of the mainstream Indian media has proved that the estimate of Reporters without borders, which ranks India 120th worldwide in Press Freedom Index, is close to reality.
Life comes to a standstill in India and live telecast is shown on all major channels whenever there is an encounter between militants and security forces. It is quite common that a grenade blast by militants captures the headlines for two days in every national Channel and newspaper. This time there were no grenades or Kalashnikovs involved. There were a million men, women and children on the streets demanding the right which was promised to them by Indian leaders like Mr. Pandit Nehru. Protestors were holding peaceful demonstrations and were still attacked by the security forces which used lathe-charge, teargas and even bullets to suppress and oppress the popular uprising. Even women and children were not spared. People were injured and killed by ‘Democracy’ and the heirs of ‘Democracy’ watched the dance of death as silent spectators. How humiliating for the Kashmiris and how hypocritical and shameless of the Indian media that these events were not good enough to capture the headlines in major newspapers and were not showed on news channels. Is the Indian media afraid that by showing these events in a truthful way it will trigger the same reaction from the Indian people as the reactions of American and French people during the excesses of their security forces in Algeria and Vietnam?
We Kashmiris are also human beings and entitled to some inalienable rights. The duty of the media is to report our wishes, grievances, problems and thoughts in order to provide citizens with information and trigger common debates. It is not the duty of the media to judge whether the wishes, grievances, problems and thoughts are right or wrong or in the national interest of India. The judgment should be left upon the people.
Chairman: JK Democratic Liberation Party.