But why to be cross with the US? It has always been oppressive to freedom loving but subjugated nations. Its policy is to enslave countries politically and economically in modern age. Americans dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 20th century taking a toll of the lives of more than three hundred thousand men, women and children. The soil there cannot grow any greenery even today. Kids are born with various debilities and disabilities. Thousands of people were massacred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia in carpet bombing by the Americans. Rusted bombs are still recovered occasionally from the farms there. A scare of communism was created in Latin America, especially Chile. Widespread killings were done in African and Muslim countries.
Desecrating a dead body is such an insignificant event in face of these atrocities. US would not care for the living beings, leave aside the dead. But those who created the US did it on the basis of the principles of freedom and self-determination for the nations. Naturally the souls of those founding fathers must be turning in their graves on finding the US converting to a colonial country.
Innumerable write ups have been produced on the life and death of Osama bin Laden. From publicity point of view his death is the third biggest news of the 21 century. According to a conservative estimate the US spent tens of billions of dollars to locate him. Osama is the Frankenstein of the US being its creation. They used him against the Soviet Union in Afghan war. He was privy to many secrets of the US and its CIA. After the Afghan war was over, the US left Afghanistan leaving Afghans in lurch. When the Afghans realized that not Russia but the US and its colonialism were the real enemy of Muslims, they pledged to seek revenge from the US. They did all that cut at the roots of the American interests.
Unfortunately Osama or Taliban could not realize that their actions did more harm to the cause of the Muslims. It was just because they were obsessed with hatred towards the US. Osama was an educated person and many of his comrades had received their education in western or American universities. They found that the US was out to enslave the Muslims politically and economically. In particular, the US wanted general loot of the oil booty of the Arabs. They saw that the US adopted divide and rule policy vis-à-vis the Muslims; they saw that it protected illegal occupation of Palestine by the Israelis, and they saw that it was privy to the massacre of the Palestinians by the Israelis. All this created lava of hatred in their mind against the Americans. Thus not distinguishing between the oppressor or the oppressed, innocent or the culprit, Al Qaeda let loose terrible terror against the US and the European countries. The US did carpet bombing on Tora Bora hills, and deployed one and a half lakh American and European troops against war in Afghanistan which resulted in the killing of hundreds of thousands of Afghans.
Al Qaeda targeted American missions in foreign countries. In 9/11 attack the Twin Towers of World Trade Centre in NY and the building in Pentagon. This was the first attack of the enemies of the US on the American homeland which turned the US almost mad. The US began picking up anybody and every body in Afghanistan and Pakistan whom she suspected of involvement in 9/11. The arrested persons were interned in Guantanamo Bay prison.
Al Qaeda attacked a train in Spain that killed about 250 persons. On 7/7 it made the British underground rail system its target that resulted in the killing of many innocent people. Many of its horrible missions did not materialize. The US and the western countries got exasperated by these recurrent attacks. The US challenged Muslim countries, including Pakistan that “those who were not with the US in war on terror were against the US and would be sent back to Stone Age”. At the same time the US put a heavy prize of millions of dollars on the heads of Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders.
Pakistani governments made a good use of the situation. They picked up Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, handed them over to the Americans and in return received billions of dollars. General Pervez Musharraf has described it fully in one paragraph of his book “In the Line of Fire”.
Man rumours were floated during past one decade about the arrest and death of Osama. In 2003-4, I participated in a discussion in Europe. We talked about Osama, whether he was alive or dead and if alive, where was he hiding. I said with some analytical view that if he had managed to escape alive from Tora Bora bombardment then, surely he must be hiding in some city in Pakistan or must have taken shelter with some powerful elements in Pakistan. Now that we know he had been living first in Haripore and then in Abbatabad for last eight and a half years, it means that he had left Afghanistan as early as 2003 while the Americans and their allies were looking for him in Tora Bora and Waziristan. Drone attacks killed thousands of innocent Afghans and Pakistanis.
Conflicting reports are coming in in the aftermath of American raid on Osama hideout. On the one hand the US President and Pakistani rulers claim that Pakistan rendered significant service to CIA in getting Osama. President Obama thanked Pakistan for operation against Osama. But then the Pakistani’s suddenly made about turn and began saying that Pakistan was not informed about operation against Osama. It protested to Americans for violating Pakistani air space. But ours is the age of computers and everybody feels a compulsion to think that Pakistan was an accomplice with the Americans in their operation against Osama. And if it was not so, then is Pakistan a paralyzed banana state?
I for one cannot believe it. Pakistani army and its ISI are a highly trained force and the ISI is one of the world’s most efficient organizations. Despite several challenges looking straight into Pakistan’s face, it has opted to be the standard bearer of jihad in the world. It is unthinkable that three American helicopters stay put in Pakistani air jurisdiction for two hours and neither the Pakistani army nor the intelligence has any information about it. It has to be remembered that the site of operation was Abbotabad where Pakistani Army has its Divisional Headquarter and Kakol Military Academy. At a distance of just 20 kilometers from the site of operation is Kamrah air base. It is preposterous to say that Pakistan had no information of this operation.?
The fact is that Pakistan wanted to ward off the backlash from religious extremist elements among the Pakistani people, Taliban and Al Qaeda activists after the American operation was over. This was a gambit jointly contrived and executed by the Americans and Pakistanis. This has been confirmed by the statement of former Pakistani Corps Commander Salahu’d-Din Tirmizi who categorically said that “the entire operation was executed with full cooperation of Pakistan. Pakistan was forced to adopt this stand in order to escape the torment of terrorism. Now the US is not a foreign power for Pakistan. She is in fact the supremo of our rulers, and they are all the slaves who have no guts to say no to its diktat.”
Please come out of blind emotionalism. Don’t label them traitors who speak and write the truth. There are many around who could be on the pay roll of India or Pakistan. Islam is a religion of pragmatism. It repeatedly speaks of patience and enjoins upon Muslims to do deep thinking and introspection on issues. Imagine a man who carries a prize of 50 crores of dollars or 25 arab rupees on his head; here is a man who lives in a house in Abbotabad with three wives and eight children; here is a man who is a kidney patient and survives on the dialysis and needs medical support regularly, and here is a man who has to fulfill the daily needs of his household. And then Pakistani authorities aver that they had no knowledge on his being in Abbotabad. This is the biggest lie of 21st century.?
I am ready to accept that President Zardari and the Prime Minister, meaning political establishment and the bureaucracy had no wink of it but definitely the top brass of the army and ISI were in know of it. It has to be reminded that Pakistan has been an ally of the US in latter’s war on terrorism. Pakistan has given large sacrifices also. Pakistan even handed over to the Americans some top leaders of Al Qaeda like Khalid Shiekh and some Taliban leaders during the regime of Pervez Musharraf. Even an atomic scientist lady Arifa Sidiqe too was handed over to the Americans on accusations of supporting Al Qaeda. All this was done to convince American masters that Pakistan was their ally in war on terrorism.
As a person and as an entity, Osama is dead but his thoughts and his war against the US and the European countries will continue as long the US and the European countries do not stop exploitation of the entire world in general but the Muslims in particular. The British too had disposed the body of Bhagat Singh and his colleagues after hanging them but they had to leave India at the end of the day. Indira Gandhi ordered hanging of Maqbool Bhat and his dead body was buried within the premises of the Tihar jail. But today Maqbool Bhat is the brightest lighthouse for the people of the state. An organization may be liquidated, leaders can be butchered, and their dead bodies can be disposed off clandestinely or thrown into the sea. But staunch followers of truth and fighters for the rights of oppressed peoples have their thinking and ideas which cannot be buried or submerged under water.The US contrived the death of Che Govera in 1960s. CIA buried him secretly. But his grave was identified after a lapse of thirty years and he was re-buried with full rites and with great respect.
We need to remember that jurisprudence is the heritage of Momins. Unfortunately, Kashmir leadership has made her people a hostage to blind emotions. Movements in Kashmir have thrived on emotionalism and when emotions cool down the movements also get fossilized. In the past our leaders have generally made the armed organizations as their military wing and thus contrived the death of the youth in forests, along roadside, torture houses, prison cells, desolate lands, mountains and gorges. They left the orphans and the kith of the martyrs to their fate. When India wrested the gun from them, the same leaders bade farewell to the politics of violence and began condemning it. Geelani gave the name of Islamic commandos to those who pelted stones and then the same Geelani declared pelting of stones as anti-people act. Late Mualana Showkat and living martyrs like me often suggested against closing down of schools and unnecessarily stretching out the strikes. Nobody listened to us.
Whether Osama bin Laden was a terrorist or a great mujahid is not the point. There is a UN resolution against him and Al Qaeda. It declared Osama as the chief of Al Qaeda a terrorist organization. The US and European countries, of who the UN is a handmaid, spend over 3 billion dollars in locating Osama. They considered him responsible for the killing of thousands of civilians. If I open a discussion on whether Osama was a terrorist or not, I will provoke many followers of blind emotionalism against me. I would therefore remain content with the commentary of a famous Pakistani journalist Manu Bhai. This is what he says:
“There are many questions arising in the context of Osama bin Laden. In the name of service to Islam he became the prime cause for greatest decimation of Muslims and their destruction. He was the cause for humiliation of Muslim travelers especially Pakistani Muslim travelers at all international airports where they are required to undress and even take off their shoes for security reasons. There are many questions about projecting Osama first as a mujahid and then a terrorist.”There should be no need for any further comment on the subject. According to Quranic injunction, killing an innocent person is tantamount to killing all the humanity in the eyes of God.
It is true that after 9/11 event, Muslims came under great stress. They are being harassed at the airports under the pretext of security check. Western universities imposed a ban on the admission of Muslim students in universities and professional institutions. Even issuing of passport and visa too became very difficult. Previously Muslim missionaries visiting western countries on propagation missions were given visas but now these too have been stopped. Now if somebody announces that namaze janazeh (prayer in absentia for a dead) be performed, is it not doing harm to the struggle of Kashmiris? Will not Kashmiris be associated with Al Qaeda? I cannot understand the logic of offering namaze juma for the dead Osama after five days of his death. Since Jamaate Islami Pakistan and Lashkar-eTaayyiba and other religious organizations offered prayer in absentia for Osama on Tuesday and Wednesday, Geelani and Shabir Shah found no justification in not following the suit. Reports say that Geelani’s appeal for prayer in absentia was by and large ignored by the people in Kashmir so much so that the Imam of Batmaloo mosque slipped out of the backdoor of the mosque without offering the prayer in absentia.
Just two days prior to that, Mr. Tramboo had called a conference in Belgium in which some European Parliament members were present. Geelani and Shabir Shah talked to them on telephone about Kashmir question. Now we are prepared to tell the long tale of our woes of Indian oppression to any Tom, Dick and Harry coming from the US or a European country and on the other hand we do not take into account what impact will offering of Osama’s prayer in absentia have on our movement? Mind you the Americans and the Europeans considered Osama the greatest terrorist leader in the world.
Will Kashmiri leadership come out of egoism, urge for temporary popularity and thirst for media publicity? Will they not spare the helpless people of this state?
If we talk of pragmatism, then we shall have to speak about Geelani Sahib. The government does not allow him to offer prayers and puts him under house arrest so that he is not provoking the public. But when he announced offering prayer in absentia for Osama, the government immediately lifted the ban on him. The government made its point which was to convey to the US that the government in J&K is also fighting elements that support Osama. Thus happened what had to happen and Geelani Sahib has no inkling of what he was doing.? Our separatist leadership should think over these issues.
Generally when a house catches fire, people try to extinguish it. Indian media is a third rate media and Indian leaders have stirred hornet’s nest in the aftermath of the killing of Osama. India should know that the terrorist anywhere in the world have received their training in Pakistan or Waziristan. For last twenty years India has been struggling hard to get Pakistan declared a terrorist state. But since Pakistan is the need of the US and the western countries, none of them would declare her a terrorist state. India should remember that by unleashing propaganda against Pakistan and running away from solving the issues will not help reduce the problems facing India. It is a big misunderstanding to think that India can launch a US-like operation against Hafiz Saeed or other wanted persons. Any venture like that would be a precursor to horrible catastrophe. India should realize that Pakistan will never hand over the leaders of such organizations as are declared terrorist organizations and fighting against India. Pakistan will keep them alive and support them. It is so because it is Pakistan’s defence requirement.
Al outstanding issues including Kashmir should be resolved through dialogue. I would also advise Omar Abdullah not to challenge Kashmiri people by claiming that the people took part in assembly or in panchayat elections. This is their necessity. Kashmir is sitting on a keg of powder and a small mistake by the government can blow it up. We should recall the past years 2008 – 2010. This government has not been able to give a glass of pure water to the people. It is a mistake to think that a semblance of peace prevails here because of the deliverance of the government. The fact is that there is egoism among the Hurriyat groups, disunity, ideological contradictions and absence of a definite programme of carrying forward the struggle for freedom. This makes the government think that there is peace in the valley while it is only superficial. This nation is not deficient in making sacrifices. I wish the leadership had a concrete and definite programme to offer. Allama Iqbal has rightly said about this community:
Nahin hai naumid Iqbal apni kishte weran se
Zara nam ho to yeh mitti bahut zarkhez hai saqi
This article was published in "Daily Greater Kashmir" on 14th May 2011.