This Blog provides an insight on the Kashmir-issue, India and Pakistan. The articles on this Blog can be best described as thought-provoking. The articles thrive to trigger debate about the miseries enslaved Kashmiris are facing and discuss also possible solutions to this long standing conflict. It also aims to convince readers why Independent Kashmir is the best solution for all parties involved.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Are our youth destined to get killed?


Local people in Pattan peripheries stumbled on the bodies of three murdered youth in an orchard. The brutal murder disgraces humanism; nay humanism hangs its head in shame in Kashmir. This has become a recurring phenomenon in the State. Amusingly, State establishment has given a new name to the perpetrators of these brutalities, viz. “unidentified gun men”. Taking death as inevitable reality, we shamelessly accept any kind of death without demur.  During past two decades and half, parents have carried on their shoulders innumerable dead bodies of their kids. How tragic! Regrettably, for last twenty-five years our reaction to these tragedies was either to give a call for strike or take out two or three protest rallies and then leave the matter there? It is ostrich-like reaction. Our other reaction is to raise the finger of accusations towards the security forces without ascertaining the truth?
 
We made wild accusations on the murder of many prominent personalities like Mirwaiz Maulana Muhammad Farooq, Maulana Masudi, Dr. Guru, Qazi Nisar, Dr. Ghulam Qadir, Abdul Ghani and many more. These false accusations are leveled despite knowing for certain whom the assailants were and in what brutal way they murdered. This has caused two grave losses to our community

Firstly, whosoever wanted to commit murder for ideological differences or satisfaction of personal ego did so but brought the onus to the doorsteps of the security forces or described the perpetrators as “unidentified gun men”. This suited the black sheep among the security forces to call the killers as unknown gun men or blind killers. They played it up against Kashmiri youth. By appending the sobriquet of ‘unknown gun men’ there is no inquiry, no court case and punishment and no demand for blood money.

Secondly, the grave damage was that we exempted the entire struggle from accountability. Murderers and their mentors both escape scot free from being brought to book and made accountable to the law. After committing one murder and facing no accountability, they prepare for another act of brutality. 

A few months ago, in attacks on mobile towers in Sopor, some youth of Jamaat-i- Islami and Hizb were gunned down. Geelani and Salahud Din immediately brought allegation against the police. They condemned attacks on towers. Within days reports came that this was the result of in-fighting in the Hizb and somebody by the name of Qayyum Najjar was behind these murders. Salahud-Din named him before the pressmen. But by that time we had already gone on strike and staged demonstrations.

Whether these protestations and strikes do us any good or not, the point is that institutions of the State, New Delhi and the world at large pay no heed to our cries and loud slogans. They have turned blind and deaf. However, we need to ascertain that the enemy may be within our fold taking advantage of our lack of planning, our disunity and our ideological confusion.

In 2010, we were made to continue civil strike for five long months. Or schools going children suffered in their education, our shopkeepers lost in crores of rupees, labourers and daily wagers had to go to bed without food. What was the outcome of going through the ordeal? The government could not be dislodged. During the NC government of Omar Abdullah, 117 boys were martyred. Tired of unending hartals, people called it off themselves. The result is zero.

We have authentic news that three murdered youth were linked to Hezbul Mujahideen. They became victims of inter-groups rivalries. God knows better or the murderer? 

1) Who murdered them? Allah’s law does not spare a murderer. I would say that the responsibility of such killings ultimately is that of the government. The Government is supposed to provide security of life and property of all citizens? “Geelani Sahib has said in a statement that all the three youth were murdered by the security agencies. He asserted that Mujahideen do not murder each other with such brutality” I do not challenge the first part of his statement because he can bring the onus to anybody. After all security forces are not angels. We know of many custodial deaths at the hands of security forces. My and Ashraf Qureshi’s younger brother Altaf Qureshi was killed after taken into custody. This notwithstanding, Geelani Sahib should not distort history. I may remind him that many Kashmiris propagating the ideology of Independent Kashmir were done to death in utter brutality. Let me cite two examples
  
      Manzoor Mir was kidnapped in Sumbal Safapore and murdered. His body was cut into pieces, stuffed in a sack and thrown into the river. Sumbal went on three months strike in protest. At that time Manzur happened to be a member of a JKSLF. He was very popular among the people of his area. At this incident JKLF demanded of Hurriyat Conference to punish his murderers. Hurriyat Conference constituted an inquiry committee which held Hizbul Mujahideen responsible for the killing of Manzur. By not punishing the murderers they gave way to the rise of Kuka Parey God knows how many killings are attributed to him thereafter. He became a scourge for this community and destroyed the fabric of civil society. It is true that the army gave him full support in his destructive designs. The question that everyone asked at that time and asks even now is this: is not the local leadership responsible for divisiveness and disunity and also mutual killing and vandalizing?

      2) Permit me to ask whether Maqbul Malik of Qaumi Azadi was not sprayed with bullets and then his eyes were gouged out and his dead body was dragged on the road? Was not his beard set on fire? Let us have the courage to say the truth and face the truth. When will our people muster courage to tell the truth? The people here in Kashmir often say that those who kill are first among mourners and the pall bearers. 

A few days back some “leaders” who had left Hurriyat (M) joined Geelani’s Hurriyat faction. No reason was given for this move. Whenever the drama of shifting between the two groups is played, nobody has sought the reason for doing so. People did not ask why this somersaulting was taking place. Nevertheless, I muster courage to put a question to Geelani Sahib. Geelani Sahib, some years back I paid a visit to you in Soura hospital (SKIMS) where you were convalescing. I requested you to unite with Hurriyat (M) and carry everybody with the organization. I entreated you to carry forward the movement keeping a few fundamental points in view. Your answer was; “With whom shall I unite? They are all Indian agents”.

You have made this comment in many meetings and before the press so often. I shall be risking my life by saying, and let me say with full conviction, whether those who change floor are really puritanical and angelic and without blemish? Does any army officer, disguised as priest, baptize them and then shift them from one to another group? 

Once, suddenly we came to know that a friend had shifted from this to that group. He spoke candidly when I called him. He said, “What could I do?  I got a telephone call late in the night to immediately shift to other Hurriyat group just that very moment failing which ……… In compliance of this order, I immediately proceeded to headquarter of the other group. Incidentally, I found that in haste I had worn my shalwar inside out.” 

I believe the story.  My question to this nation is how long will you be thrusting fear of life to your future generations by sealing your lips and not telling the truth? If you have not the courage to open your mouth at least impart a lesson to your future generations to muster courage and speak out the truth?

I had just finished writing the concluding lines of this article when very heart-rending news came from Sopor that a former militant who had been released from the jail was shot dead at a time when his three year old son Burhan was sitting in his lap. The kid was seriously wounded and later on passed away. We have become brutes. 

Propagators of Islam know that according to our belief killing a human being is tantamount to murdering entire humanism. Basic values of our society have eroded.  Our children are not secure against our bestiality. 

Only recently Gilani Sahib said that mujahideen do not kill each other brutally like that. His statement was still resounding in the air when the father and his infant son were done to death in Sopor. Whenever I cast my glance on a gun and the destruction it has wrought to Kashmiri nation, I am reminded of the words of Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sa’adu’d-Din who had declined to initiate armed insurgency in Kashmir through Jamaat-i-Islami. At that time (1985) I invited him for dinner at the house of Dr. Farooq Haider in my capacity as Chairman of JKLF Pakistan and Azad Kashmir zone. He was accompanied by Maulana Bari, his secretary Bhat Sahib, Hisamu’d-Din (late) and a couple of other persons. 

“I asked Sa’adu’d-Din why he had not accepted the invitation of General Ziaul Haq of initiating armed struggle in Kashmir when he firmly believed in Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan.”  This man of great foresight told me that “I was still a kid in the game of politics and that I was not fully aware of the temper of Kashmiri nation. Whenever they became powerful, they foremost of everything else finished their own brethren. Without creating the sense of dedication in the people, be it for accession or freedom, arming Kashmiris would men arming them for killing their own brethren.” 

I need not elucidate the vision of this upright man because we are its witness. However, I would like to ask a question to the adherents of Jamaat-i-Islami. The question is this: Keeping in view the ground situation of past twenty-five years and taking the entire community a hostage to a few guns have you not helped India to enforce AFSPA and PSA in the State? Have you not provided sufficient evidence that makes the entire world call your armed struggle a terrorist movement? Is Jamaat-i-Islami incapable of producing farsighted and sensible leaders like Sa’ad Sahib who could call a day to the twenty-five year old destruction and killing of our youth and silence the few guns in the hands of their operatives?

Is not there a leader among the Jamaat-i-Islami who could organize civil disobedience movement in letter and in spirit? You cannot throw out India with a few guns that you are wielding. In terms of numerical strength, Kashmiri nation is at a disadvantageous position. We have differences and on that basis we are killing each other. We are witnesses to the destructions of our homes and our families. The holy Prophet (PBUH) had concluded Hudaiba truce after realizing what the ground reality was. Of course, those who actually hold the control of this armed struggle are from across the border but the Kashmiri nation can reverse their diktat. I do not rule out the possibility of the masses of people in Kashmir rising in an enormous crescendo. The people in general cannot bear the consequences of prolonged and inconclusive armed struggle. They are not left with the strength of carrying the dead bodies of their children on their shoulders any more. People are getting killed day after day and the outcome of thousands of martyrs who sacrificed their precious lives during past twenty-five years is nothing. It brought no results either on regional level or on international level. All that we find is the two countries, India and Pakistan, are dragged to the brink of war and firing and shelling takes place on the LoC on both sides.

Ay zulm ke mato lab kholo chup rahne walo chup kab tak

Kuchh dur to nale jaenge, kuchh hashr to un se uthega.

This article was published in different newspapers in Kashmir in October 2015.