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.



Kashmir struggle in the backdrop of international scenario
              “Truth will rise above falsehood as oil floats above water”
There is turmoil all over the world today. People get killed in large numbers and cities and towns suffer destruction. Killing of children and woman shows that human values have sunk to nadir.
Muslims are in a predicament. Usually we bring allegation against the Jews or Americans or Russians or the western countries that they conspire to destroy one or the other Muslim country. If it is so then why steps are not taken to neutralize their conspiracies? How come 150 thousand million Muslims cannot contain a small country like Israel with a tiny population of 65 lakhs? Muslims can do no harm to them because the Israelis are united and staunchly patriotic.
Muslims joined hands with the Americans and brought about the destruction of Iraq and the Middle East. Arab countries came together and created terrorist organization in Libya and Syria which projected Islam as a “terrorist and violent religion” in the whole world. Gulf war not only made millions homeless but forced millions more Muslims, including their women, to become destitute across the ocean on the streets of the towns of western countries.
Neighbouring countries in the Gulf like Saudi Arabia shut their doors on the fleeing Muslim refugees. Islam teaches that “if a Muslim is in trouble in the East, the Muslim in the West should feel his pain.” We Muslims have become victims of a diseased mentality. Western countries that gave shelter to fleeing Muslims were made targets of worst kind of terrorism. Thousands including children and women were basted in Paris for no fault of theirs. Recently terrorist attacks were made in Belgium, Germany, Spain and Turkey only to defame Islamic religion. Saudi Arabia forged a military alliance of some Arab countries that undertook the mission of destroying Yemen. Recently, Saudi airplanes targeted a condolence gathering in Yemen and killed 150 mourners.
Some among Muslims consider Saudi Arabia as the leader of the Ummah. How amusing that despite possessing major economic resource and comprising second largest population in the world, Muslims are bent upon killing and decimating one another like animals and brutes.
Since many years Afghanistan has been accusing Pakistan of exporting terror to that country and providing arms and ammunition to the terrorists. The fact is that from a small terrorist group to as big a terrorist as Osama bin Laden, it is Pakistan that is providing safe haven to them. This necessitated Pakistan army to fight against its own people in tribal areas. People were butchered in thousands. Tehreek Taliban goons also slit throats of hundreds of Pakistani soldiers and struck at Pakistan’s mosques, imam barhas, schools, bazaars and Pakistani Generals and Brigadiers, too, became the victims of the bullets of TTP.
After Pakistani Taliban attack on school children in Peshawar, Pakistani army launched massive military operation against Pukhtoons of PK pressing F-16 and Drones into service that killed thousands of Pukhtoons in the war-torn area. Their towns and villages were turned into rubble.
And yet Pakistani rulers continue to categorize the terrorists into good and bad terrorists. Those who work in the interests of Pakistan are good terrorists and those who do not work for them are bad terrorists. This definition was forged after the emergence of terrorism, and Pakistan holds it by teeth.
Unable to convince world community that she is not a terrorist State, Pakistan had to manufacture the theory of good and bad terrorists and also the misleading idea of “non-state terrorists”
In Afghan war against the Soviets, Pakistan put at stake her own security. Pakistan provided shelter to lakhs of Afghan refugees and western countries including some Arab countries extended support to them. Yet today Afghans are not friendly to Pakistan. Why Afghanistan refuses to recognize the 1500 kilometres long Durand Line as the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan although it was recognized when Daud Khan was the President of Afghanistan. Afghanistan claims its border with Pakistan at Attack.
Why Bangladesh considers Pakistan a terrorist state? Whenever a terrorist is captured anywhere in the world, interrogation reveals he is linked to Pakistan or has received terrorist training in Pakistan. Pakistan is under foreign debt of 73 billion dollars. When India said she would isolate Pakistan, somebody twitted “How can world leave us alone; we are the debtors of entire world?”
Some people consider China a friend of Pakistan. China is an atheist country and does not recognize the God of any faith. Xinjiang in China is a Muslim dominated region where anti-China movement is going on and it has been declared a terrorist movement. Uighurs from Xinjiang was receiving training in terrorism in Pakistani terrorist training camps. China reprimanded Pakistan for this and imposed ban on fasting by government functionaries during Ramadhan month.
China is working on CPEC project. The corridor helps China extend trade to Gwadar seaport in Baluchistan besides giving her overland access to the Middle East. However the corridor is not bringing any benefit to the people of Gilgit and Baltistan, rather it is going to spoil the ecology of that region. It will adversely impact the glaciers in the region and this is the reason why the local population is opposing CPEC.
Today international scenario is one that makes the world community call “Islam a terrorist religion.” Muslims are engaged in killing Muslims. Through media we come to know how Muslim countries want to win a victory over other Muslim countries by butchering their own people.
Have any of these Muslim countries extended any help to Kashmir’s during past thirty years of turmoil in Kashmir? No. Lip service is one thing and concrete help is another thing. At the best some countries say that they are with the stand taken by Pakistan. But what is Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir especially when she has illegally occupied a large chunk of Kashmir territory and cut it into pieces. Pakistan calls Kashmir its life line and the government of Azad Kashmir requires government functionaries to adhere to the stand of Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan if they want to retain their service in the government. Anybody fighting election in Azad Kashmir and aspiring to become a minister has to confirm his loyalty to accession to Pakistan. Even judges of High Court in AJK are required to be the subscribers of the policy of Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan. In my view, accession to Pakistan is tantamount to accepting Pakistan’s yoke of slavery.
About a hundred of Kashmiris have died in the on-going turmoil. Hundreds have been blind and wounded by pallet guns, tear gas shells and other lethal weapons. Not one of them is the son or ward of a politician, bureaucrat, doctor, engineer or professor or a business magnate. The victims are the sons and wards of poor daily wagers and petty shopkeepers for whom nobody cares. For last 26 years nobody has taken care of a large number of orphans, widows and the destitute. There is no plan of their rehabilitation. This is the treatment meted out to the families of those who are asked to come out on streets and make sacrifices of their lives or limbs.
I need to ask some questions that haunt every thinking person but owing to the fear of the gun and stone throwing youth and hollow slogans of freedom they dare not speak out in open. I will ask some questions here:
1. Pakistan and Iran has reserved some seats for the wards of Kashmir martyrs in various professional colleges like Medical and Engineering Colleges. We want to know whether Hurriyat has recommended admission against these reserved seats in any professional college in Pakistan for the wards of the martyred Kashmir’s.
2. How many women widowed during the freedom struggle have been extended support for remarriage by the Hurriyat or provided them with support for sustenance.
3. How many educational institutes have been raised by the Hurriyat where the wards of our martyrs would receive education and how many children have been provided financial support to continue their education? Everywhere in the world communities have raised institutions to help the kids of martyrs to receive education in them. Ours is an exception.
4. How many wounded people have been provided support by the Hurriyat as long as they were in the hospital and were receiving treatment there?
5. How many kith of martyred youth have been provided source of sustenance or financial support on monthly basis.
6 Kith and kin of most of the martyred youth received support and sustenance from the government and the Hurriyat provided them only copies of holy Quran.
7. Did anybody take care of the imprisoned and did anybody take the trouble of obtaining their release through simple ways.
8 Why was not martyred Afzal Guru given legal support as was the case of S.R. Geelani? Afzal Guru had complained about it in his last interview.
9. Is it not a fact that Hurriyat split into three groups which wee indulging in in-fighting?
10 Did Hurriyat propose any long term programme for Kashmiris to reach the goal except calls for strikes?
11. Isn’t our struggle confined to events and incidents only? In 2008 appeared the mass movement in the backdrop of Amarnath agitation. 2010 happened owing to the martyrdom of Wamiq Farooq andTufail Mattoo. The movement emerging in 2016 in the aftermath of killing of Burhan Wani ended up in stone throwing, strikes, waving of Pakistani and ISIS flags. What else did Hurriyat give to this nation?
12. Has any civilized nation worked for closure of educational institutes and abandoned their homes to darkness banishing light. Can our students compete on international level after saying good bye to education? Are you not walking on the footsteps of Taliban in the matter of education?
13 Has Hurriyat ever thought that continued strikes in Kashmir do not have any impact on the economy of India especially when Kashmir imports everything from a hair pin to a bulldozer and from poultry to vegetables from India?
14. Is it not a fact that by indulging in stone throwing and breaking private vehicles, their windscreens and windows etc. the fresh materials or repairing material again comes from India? Whose loss is it — of Kashmir is or of Indians?
15. Have not calls for long strikes shattered the life and source of income of street vendors and daily wagers and have not they been reduced to a state of penury?
16. Are not the owners of matadors, mini buses, and sumo taxi and auto rickshaws groaning under the heavy burden of bank interest on the loans they have taken to buy the vehicles and earn two square meals for their families? Have they any knowledge about the hoteliers and house boot owners who are under the burden of bank loans.
17. By waving the flags of ISIS, Lashkar and Jaish-e-Muhammad have not we projected our present movement as a terrorist movement on international plat form?
18. By waving Pakistani flags have we not proved to the world that the hand of Pakistan is behind this movement?
19 Gandhi ji’s movement against the British rulers turned violent in Calcutta where in an attack on a police station some policemen were burnt alive. Gandhi ji withdrew the movement saying he was leading a non-violent movement in India. Against this, our activists have attacked police stations, snatched rifles from policemen and given the movement the colour of a violent movement?
20. Will not the present Intifada be adversely affected by indulging in violence in the course of the movement?
21. Will 200 militants succeed in throwing out 7 lakh Indian force in Kashmir to make Pakistan? The on-going movement does not need militancy but non-violence. Peaceful movement will not give any justification to our oppressor to decimate our generation and the world will listen to us?
22. By leaving entire Jammu and Kashmir and focusing this movement only on Kashmir valley what we are actually doing is that out of a total area of 84771 square miles of the State we have confined ourselves to just 8,000 square miles of the valley for 80 lakh people. A glance on the map of J&K which show us that we are concentrating only on a small point in this map?
23. Have not mainstream parties’ added fuel to fire by striving to obtain self interests from this movement and thus given fillip to terrorism?
24. What other option do we have except that of talking to the Indian Government? If the MPs of India come to our doorsteps to talk to us should we not talk to them and tell them about the oppression let loose by the security forces and put our stand before them. By declining to talk to Indian parliamentarians have we not given an opportunity to the Indians to propagate in the world that we Kashmiris do not believe in dialogue? By this attitude have we not silenced the voice of those in the Indian Parliament who would speak out our woes to the Indian parliament and the Indian civil society?
25. In past 27 years, did we ever gone to Pandits, talked to them, owned them and helped them in their rehabilitation in Kashmir?
Handlers of this movement shall have to answer these questions today or tomorrow. Has not the slogan mongering of Hafiz Saeed and Salah-ud-Din and Nawaz Sharif in Pakistan given our movement religious and pro-Pakistani colour? How then are we justified to accuse the international community that their conscience is not pricked by all the oppression unleashed against us including the use of pallet gun that blinds the people outright? Today entire world is pitted against terrorism. Islamic countries are uniting to destroy terrorist bases. If they declare their support to you as you expect them to do, what face will they show to their own people?
The leaders of movement have to ensure that in the course of the struggle their gains are more and the losses of the enemy are also greater. What have we gained except destroying our people, undermining our economy and turning our educational institutions into ruins?
By forcing the security forces to destroy the EDI building, actually great damage has been done to the youth of Kashmir who were to learn skills in it and then support their lives and income. It was a channel of earning a livelihood for Kashmiri youth. In a prospect of India quitting Kashmir these structures and institutions would have served our student generations. These would have been our public property. Can anybody explain to me what benefit it brings to destroy these institutions? Why our people cannot distinguish between suicide and freedom struggle? Our civil society, our intellectuals, our religious leaders and our student community should stop giving an impression that we are carrying forward the agenda of terrorism and violence?
I am raising these questions because I feel the pain of ordinary people. I have seen a life of poverty and hunger; I have earned bread through hard labour and I cannot help raising these questions again and again. I have been castigated and poison was spread against me. But I have stuck to the great lesson of truth and care for the people at large taught to us by our Master, the holy Prophet (PBUH). I know that in this world of falsehood, truth and those who speak the truth both had to suffer maximum agony and torment.
Burn me alive, cut me into pieces, disseminate poisonous propaganda against me and killme by administering hemlock, I will not deviate from the path shown by Husain bin Ali. I will never leave the path of truth.
“Apne bhi khafa mujh se hain begane bhi nakhush                                          
Main zahre hilahil ko kabhi kah na saka qand”      
Hashim Qureshi is chairman of: JK Democratic Liberation Party.  

Published in Kashmir Images, Daily Excelsior, Chattan, Monthly Kashmir Magazine and other Urdu newspapers