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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Monday, September 26, 2016

Say no to politics of violence !


Attacks on tourists and Mumbai bombings are part of a conspiracy to isolate Kashmiris and instigate communal trouble in other Indian states
 
Hashim Qureshi
 
Tourists and visitors are treated as respectable guests by all religions and cultures of the World and every religion has stressed decent treatment of guests. Our Prophet (SAW) used to take special care of guests and even the Holy Quran stresses decent treatment to guests. The great Sufi saint of Kashmir, Sheikhul Aalam has said: (translation) “It is the Almighty who accompanies the guest and to take good care of guest is to win God’s benevolence...”
 
Peoples’ culture and civility is known by the attitude they have towards guests and those who visit them from outside. And when the visitors are tourists, their visits become the back-bone of that place’s economy. Kashmir’s economy is in a shambles from past 16 years. Hoteliers, houseboat owners, shikara pullers, pony-wallas, those dealing with handicrafts – all have been devastated economically. The tourist industry is virtually at the verge of collapse. Lack of opportunities of employment has given birth to serious social issues and the tendency of suicide is on an alarming increase amongst unemployed boys and girls.
 
While attacks on tourists are aimed at destroying the already fragile economy of Kashmir, by targeting Yatris, the conspirators are attempting to ignite communal clashes and to encourage a backlash against Indian Muslims residing in different Indian states. It is a dangerous conspiracy which may have very dangerous consequences. It is a fact that the local militants did not target tourists because Kashmiris have all along been rated as very decent hosts besides these local militants were aware of the fact that tourism is the only industry that has a potential to strengthen Kashmir’s economy. But with the passage of time such elements jointed the militant struggle who without understanding culture, traditions and heritage of Kashmir started targeting everyone and anyone just for the sake of publicity. No doubt these elements got publicity but at the cost of our movement and our sacrifices. Their actions brought bad name to a movement which was indigenous.
 
The kidnapping of five foreign tourists by Al-Faran and subsequent murder of the Norwegian one was the worst thing that could have happened to Kashmiri movement. Entire world saw the slaughtered body of Norwegian tourist and even those who were our sympathizers started having second thoughts about our movement. Even today, nothing is known about the rest of the four tourists. Although some sources say that they too were killed but after seeing the world reaction to Norwegian tourist’s murder, the bodies of the four tourists were dumped somewhere in the mountains under instructions from an outside agency. But the damage was done. Kashmiri movement was movement of oppressed people; of those who were betrayed; of those who were suppressed by the agents appointed by New Delhi; of those whose institutions of justice were crippled; and of those who were struggling for democracy, justice and human dignity. But in the killing of Norwegian tourist, world saw the oppressed people becoming oppressors and thus the peoples’ movement was branded as terrorism. What else could world do when it saw academician, doctors, scholars, teachers, ulema and others getting killed by those who were supposed to fight against oppressors? And now in fresh turn of events, tourists and pilgrims too are being targeted.
 
A pilgrim, no matter of which faith he or she may be, has a right to visit his/her places of faith freely anywhere in the world. There is no religious, political or moral justification of attacking the pilgrims who visit the shrines of Amarnath in Pahalgam or Vaishno Devi in Katra. Those who attack Yatris should be asked that in reaction if some fanatic Hindu group or relatives of any of the Yatris who was killed here, attack our people who go every year for Hajj pilgrimage or Muslims pilgrims of any other state, how disastrous it would be? In such an atmosphere how can people of different faiths live and exist together. Where will this madness in the name of religion lead us to?
 
Coming back to the attacks on tourists, we all know that in today’s world no individual, society or nation can live in isolation. If our human resource or our fruit, or our other products are rejected by outsiders, where would we stand economically? Even for essential commodities we depend on outside states and if they decided to boycott, where will we go? Let us keep in mind that if we deny outsiders the right to visit Kashmir by attacking and killing them, people will not allow us to visit their states and countries. Isn’t attacking tourists a shame?  These innocent people work hard for whole year, make some savings and come to see Nature’s beauties in Kashmir alongwith their families. They save money to spend it here in Kashmir and in return we kill them! By killing innocent tourists, the killers can neither end Indian rule in Kashmir not push out Indian Army from Kashmir. Why tourists then are being targeted on the instructions of outside agencies. There are other troubled areas in the world but tourists are not targeted there. Take the example of Nepal, Maoists are at war with the rulers but nobody touches tourists.
 
Thousands of our children are studying in different states of India. If some mischievous forces instigate the emotions of revenge among the people of those states, what will happen? Would our children, who are our future, be safe there? Thousands of Kashmiris are doing trade in different states. If, as a reaction to attacks on tourists, they are thrown out of those states, what would happen to their families? The intention behind these attacks is to isolate Kashmiris and thus destroy them academically as well as economically. This conspiracy is not limited to Kashmir alone but is aimed at Indian Muslims too. Indian Muslims are still busy dressing the wounds of partition and if the conspiracy of instigating communal trouble succeeds, they will be fully destroyed.
The attacks of tourists in Kashmir, Mumbai bombing, earlier attacks on temples, parliament, Lal Qila – all are a part of this greater conspiracy. The game plan is to be understood particularly by Indian establishment. When so called analysts come on TV’s and start searching connections between SIMI and Jaish, they actually are strengthening the conspirators by instigating Hindu fanatic groups to react. Indian establishment has to understand that in the wake of such attacks, it is not fair and neither politically correct to raise fingers towards a particular section of the society.
 
This is a conspiracy that has been hatched from outside India. Indian people have to defeat it and also the Indian Police, security and intelligence agencies have to behave impartially without bias or prejudice against any particular society. Those involved in these terror attacks can’t be followers of any religion because no religion justifies terrorism. So, need is to identify the killers and book them under the law of the land but at the same time ensure that no innocent is victimized during the process.
 
As for as Kashmir is concerned, a definite change is visible. People caught the one who hurled grenade at tourists near Tourist Reception Centre, Srinagar; People of Tangmarg took to streets protesting against the attack on tourists at Gulmarg; People of Ganderbal observed strike against a grenade attack that left two dead and several injured. All these reactions should serve as ‘writing on the wall’ for those who condemn such attacks publicly but privately back the politics of violence. They are the people who call strikes when someone “from their camp” is killed and never utter a word when innocent people are slaughtered and bombed. These elements have to understand that any conspiracy against the lives and economy of Kashmiris will never succeed.
Kashmiri people have to come out against the killings of tourists, yatris or any other unarmed person. They have to launch a movement against politics of violence. Unless we do that, our struggle for freedom will continue to hang in air with no destination.
 
While oppression is a crime, to remain silent and not speak against oppression too is a crime. We have to launch a war against the enemies of humanity because by these attacks they are earning a bad name for Kashmir. The blasts found echo in G-8 meeting too and India called off its secretary level meeting. The statement of Pakistan’s external affairs minister regarding Mumbai blasts, wherein he related these blasts with resolution of Kashmir, was undiplomatic and also voluntarily projecting his country as a suspect. India and Pakistan were walking on the path of peace and reconciliation from past few years. The CBMs had created an atmosphere where one could hope that the future may have some better promises for the people of the sub-continent, particularly people of Jammu and Kashmir. But it seems that the violent forces are succeeding in derailing the peace process.
 
I was told by a very responsible source that sometime back, in Pakistan, a militant commander had talked about his intentions in a private get-together. He had said: “If this peace process continues and Kashmiris are allowed to visit each other in both the parts freely and trade is started, it will dilute the hatred against India and also neutralize the intensity of Kashmir issue. We have to do something to destroy this peace process.” In this backdrop, India and Pakistan have to behave responsibly and reasonably. They should not allow the three year old peace process to get derailed because of the bombings or some violent attacks that may take place in future. Kashmiris too have to come out against violence otherwise our future generations too will be victims of bombs, grenades and land-mines. We have to warn the people and leadership that such violent attacks would isolateKashmir in the world and our destination will be dumped in some dark abyss.