I am highly obliged to the organizers of this event for conducting this seminar on this important subject. It is an honor to be present here and share my views regarding terrorism and instability from a Kashmiri perspective.
Today’s topic is terrorism and its impact on the region. This is undoubtedly a vast topic which has been discussed numerous times over the recent years and has also been the subject of various books. I consider ourselves very unfortunate that we not only are reading about terrorism in books, but are actually facing it, fighting it and perhaps even part of it. Terrorism in this era has taken various shapes and we have been suffering from this phenomenon continuously in the form of wars, subjugation and oppression.
I, myself have seen terrorism from very close. At seventeen years old, my aim and objective was national freedom for Kashmir and its oppressed people based on armed struggle. While some may disagree, I do not consider that my intentions nor my actions would classify as terrorism. However, I am thankful to time which taught me through literature and experience what terrorism actually is. Terrorism ruins dreams, futures, cultures, civilizations and eventually corrupts humanity and human values.
I fail to find a bigger sin than a suicide attack. A suicide attack which murders humanity while it tears apart the bodies of children, women and the elderly. What happened recently in Peshawar when more than 145 people including 135 innocent children became the victims of terrorists is beyond all comprehension. Words fell short to condemn such a heinous crime and condemnation made way for anger and hate against the perpetrators. For a second people lost faith in the Almighty and his creations. Religion, morality, principles and human relations and human values based on the tenets of humanity lost all meaning. History has taught us that even the most barbaric people have been merciful regarding children. The terrorists responsible for the massacre in Peshawar proved history wrong and it is a shame for all of us that we have allowed such a thing to happen. We must all stand up, condemn and fight these evil demons.