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.


Kashmiri Nation: Requirements for Survival and Dignity

Kashmiri nation has had a bitter experience. I have in front of me a few newspapers of Kashmir including the Weekly Chattan. Its editorial says," At a time when the survival of Kashmiri nation is at stake, Pakistan's fleeing away from the arena is a treachery with Kashmiris. A close examination of the events happening during the last two years shows that Pakistan's support to Kashmiri youth was not for the liberation of Kashmir but for harassing India. Some Kashmiri youth were given such instructions for operation in Kashmir as would lead only to harming Kashmiris without the resistance movement gaining anything. Division of Kashmiris into a number of groups is also the handiwork of Pakistani rulers. The attitude of Pakistani rulers amply depicts that they are interested in their own political aggrandizement and not in the survival of Kashmiris. That is the reason why they are overplaying Kashmiri card."

Another article under the title 'Kashmir ka Taqaza' (Kashmir Urgency) has appeared in the fortnightly Jung appearing from Srinagar. Stressing on the struggle for national liberation, the paper wrote that, “this year a mammoth gathering of 1.5 million people demonstrated in Srinagar. At this stage, another massive demonstration of the same pattern could have proved more effective and result-oriented than a year long painful and harrowing war, the type of war which is fought in the streets and lanes of the valley. For the time being, it is important for the Kashmiri people to reiterate the public response of their earlier demand on international level and consider the gun only an unavoidable partial need of the hour."
This is being stated only to remind the Kashmiri nation and the freedom fighters that from the very beginning of the liberation struggle, I had warned them on the basis of my own experience about the real objectives and the demands of freedom movement. I had done so on the basis of my personal and close knowledge of Pakistani rulers, politicians and a multitude of political parties in AK. 

At no time did I allow emotions to lead me astray from the path of truth. If Kashmiri intellectuals and the Kashmiri nation re-study my articles and writings since 1988, they will come to know that the experience gained by the Kashmiri journalists, freedom fighters and the people at large during past two years of bloodshed, is precisely what I had said at the very outset of the launching of the movement. I had warned against going astray from our destination and allowing ourselves to be sacrificed for somebody else's benefit. Unfortunately instead of pondering over what I said, and instead of drawing a proper plan for the movement, allegations were leveled against me for the truth I spoke. My sincerity and integrity were doubted. But since I stood for the truth, the result is that today Kashmir tells the same story which I had said two years ago.

Kashmiri youth will have to think seriously that without a definite plan and futurist programme and without the full support of a sympathetic power, it will be unrealistic to expect success of the movement with the help of a few guns. It is true that we were the people who had initiated the gun. Under the  leadership of Shaheed Maqbool Bhat, we had taken up the gun to win the freedom war because in those days imperialism and its stooges understood no language other than that of the gun. Moreover, the public opinion then recognized an enslaved nation's struggle for freedom only through the language of the gun. Many third world countries which had themselves won their freedom after bloody struggle, invariably supported the struggle of the oppressed nations. Geopolitical situation prevailing around Kashmir also went in favor of our freedom movement. For example, China had turned a bitter enemy of India and the US was not happy with India because of India's growing friendship with the Soviet Union. The US and the USSR were locked in grim rivalry for the leadership of the world. 

China had also decided to support us. But it was the misfortune of Kashmiri nation that at this critical juncture, it was mystified by the political gimmicks of Shiekh Muhammad Abdullah and his son. It had got bogged down in factional feuds of sher - bakra. Owing to utter negligence of the nation, the life of a great national leader the like of whom is born in centuries, namely Shaheed Maqbool Bhat, was staked by a few self-seekers for personal interests. In spite of making this immense sacrifice, we did not learn anything from history. The reason is simple. Those who controlled the movement, supported it and guided it, were neither sympathetic nor faithful to the Kashmiri nation. They cannot ever be so. The result was that instead of a proper planning of the resistance movement , equality and temporary emotionalism were given tactical preference. The need of the hour was to keep a close watch on the situation developing around us and the trend of international geopolitics. Who does not know that today the voice of public protest has more listeners on the international plane than the sound produced by firing of bullets, the wielding of the gun receives the title of terrorism against which garb all legal and illegal methods of suppressing the people of the state become permissible.

However, I do agree that Kashmir needed the gun so that the freedom sentiment could be awakened in the people. But whenever a movement wins public support , then it becomes incumbent upon the leaders of the resistance movement to plan at every step and all groups and parties have to assume the role of military headquarters. The leadership must take into account the policy of the enemy, treachery by friends, movement's losses, public opinion about the enemy, economic problems of the people and the plan for keeping the public engaged in a long drawn struggle. Had this happened, then, of course, today we would not find the "Musulman in India become a law and order problem created through the instrumentality of Pakistan in the context of extremism and terrorism".

What we need to do as a nation at this point of time is to take stock of our achievements of two years of intensive struggle. We should weigh our achievements and our failures ; we must evaluate two- year long actions of so-called friends for whom our struggle was only a game of their vested interests. This evaluation has to be just and impartial and we must learn to be self-reliant depending on our own resources available through public enterprise. We must also discard the claims of those who are staying outside the state in safe havens because an individual or a leader staying outside the sphere of resistance movement cannot take realistic decisions conducive to the interests of the nation and the country. It is so because they are not personal witness to the bloodbath that takes place around; they remain centered in their person, their leadership and their authority and interests. Their decision is always within these parameters no matter how much detrimental such decisions might be for the nation. The decision of owning the responsibility of the murder of Vice Chancellor Mushiru'l-Huqq was of Amanullah Khan who was at that time in New York. At a time when the resistance movement should have won acceptance by the world as a nationalist movement, this one decision made the world dub it a terrorist movement having gunned down a renowned intellectual and scholar and head of a university. India was justified in imposing a long curfew as the aftermath of this killing.

In short, it is against the fundamental requirements of a freedom movement to impose on it leadership from outside. The leadership is always on the battlefield where the struggle is going on because it has to take stock of the situation every hour; it has to come to grips with the problems of the people and has to change or modify its strategy in the wake of changing tactics by the enemy. Hashim Qureshi staying in Holland or Muzaffarabad or Rawalpindi is not capable of taking any correct decision in regard to the tactical moves of the movement. The decision which can be taken by Yasin Malik or Azam Inquilabi or Hamid Shiekh cannot be taken by Hashim Qureshi because the former are physically present at the scene of operation. Therefore leadership should emerge from within the struggle and during the struggle and real command should be in the hands of this leadership. Another important thing to be attended is that children of ten years of age and youngsters are getting killed while trying to cross the cease - fire line and enter Gilgit or Muzaffarabad. In this context, I would like to place some facts before the leadership of the resistance movement and also the nation. In the name of training, these kids are given training in Muzaffarabad or elsewhere in handling Kalashnikov and grenades for a period of seven to nine days.

If after receiving the one-week training they are sent back to the valley within one week, then they have to spend as many as six months in the camps without taking any further training. They do not receive training for more than eight days although fighting for national liberation should entail full-fledged and up-to-date training. Those who force Kashmiri youth to take on the highly trained Indian army after having received training just for a week and no more, may be playing a game of their own interest. They do not want the Kashmiri youth to receive full training because if they are fully trained and equipped with sophisticated weapons, it will not be difficult for them to take on Pakistan army one day. These external masters think that if Kashmiris with a bare one-week's training could take on the might of the Indian State, it should be no problem for them to stand up to Pakistani forces. This is the real reason why the youngsters are pushed back into the valley after a bare one week's training. In a group of ten or fifteen, only one or two persons are given a pistol or a Kalashnikov gun with the promise that " more arms will be provided in the valley". When they are challenged by the security forces or the army while crossing the border, they have neither arms nor ammunition to resist the enemy. Thus for their motherland, they meet martyrdom because of the selfish interests of 'enemies in the garb of friends'.

On July 23,1990 thirty freedom fighters fell while crossing the border. On September 6,12 innocent Kashmiris were martyred while crossing the border and on 15 October another 17 freedom fighter fell. In the month of December that year, the tally of Kashmiri youth falling to the bullets was 28. Their dead bodies were found buried under snow. In the month of January 1992, three persons were killed while crossing the border. They included a ten year old child. This is only the tip of the iceberg. We do not know in reality how many brothers of young sisters were snatched away from them, how many parents lost the hope and support of their old age and how many newly wed brides lost their youthful husbands. And for what? Only to receive eight day training course. Is there nobody in the valley to stop this bloodshed of the innocent? Is there no leader in Kashmir to realize this tale of agony of the people, to protect the pious blood of the sons and daughters of the soil and to guard the honour of mothers, sisters and daughters? Why have the claimants to leadership in Kashmir mortgaged their head and heart and their struggle to actors beyond the border? Why do not the 'freedom lovers' of Kashmir inform their nation about the deplorable condition of nearly five thousand freedom fighters in the camps in Muzaffarabad? Did not Javed Mir say that the freedom fighters in Muzaffarabad were no better than beggars; they did not have warm cloths to protect themselves from cold, not a footwear and not food enough to eat.

Let me tell my readers that Javed Mir talked to me on telephone for 50 minutes on 29th December 1991 and related this sordid story in detail. The description has been endorsed by several other sources. It says that Kashmiri youth, the apple of the eye of their parents, instilled with the spirit of martyrdom and freedom , have become victims of dejection and despondency to the extent that they have turned into drug addicts. Their frustration is of the extent that in the third week of December 1991, Kashmiri freedom fighters made a massive demonstration in the streets and lanes of Muzaffarabad, destroyed the offices of Jamaat-e-Islami, Peoples League, Hizbul Mujahideen and Liberation Front (Amanullah), and stoned a cinema hall. On the following day, Sardar Qayyum Khan sponsored a counter demonstration by the Muslim Conference activists who raised slogans that Kashmiri freedom fighters are sent away from AK. Kashmiri freedom fighters had raised slogans against the governments of Pakistan and AK demanding that the blood of the martyrs be not betrayed. ( In this context, an article written by Hamid Mir appeared in the Daily Jung, London, of 8 January 1991 and is appended to this article).

Let Kashmiri blood not be spilt for a game of personal aggrandisement. The calumny of sacrificing the lives of youth under the pretext of imparting training in arms to them is stopped. If Kashmiris are to be subjected to genocide under the pretext of giving them training, then the same one-week training can be given to them by their seniors in Kashmir itself so that the innocent blood shed by being gunned down while crossing over the tortuous mountains and passes does not turn the waters red. If only one fourth of the number of Kashmiri youth killed while crossing the border had fallen during public demonstrations at the hands of the Indian security forces, the soul of the entire world would have been shaken and within India as well the people prompted by the voice of conscience would have raised their voice against the Indian authorities. Let the self- styled leaders of the resistance movement answer this question. But what actually happens is that innocent and worthy sons of the soil area being labeled as terrorists while crossing the border and in this way the international voice is silenced at their killing. Indian authorities say that subversives trained in Pakistan are being used against them in Kashmir. I wish Kashmiri leadership could come together and think exclusively of the interests of Kashmiris and save Kashmiri youth from being sacrificed at the altar of so-called friends. I may tell my compatriots that a few days ago Azam Inquilabi had gone on hunger strike in Muzaffarabad in protest against the treatment and policy of Pakistan and AK towards Kashmiris. 

Let us now turn to some more serious aspects of the story. For the last two years, I have been crying at the top of my voice that the logic of a guerrilla war is that you are able to inflict ten times more losses on your enemy because he is non local whereas you are fully knowledgeable about every inch of your land. You are fighting a war of liberation and that too against a powerful and trained organization and the enemy is 80 times bigger than you are. What you have to do is to exhaust the enemy's stamina by making him pursue you in jungles, over mountains, across the streams and in the recesses of the land where you can make a lightning attacks on him and subject him to severe losses. You can force the enemy to get scattered over a wide area and then select the ground of your choice and embark on hit and run. This tactics is going to yield far better results. In forest and isolated places, there will be sparse habitation and the security forces will have none to turn their wrath on like indiscriminate killing, burning and indulging in rape. The urban areas would not get more involved in the ensuing conflict which would ensure your supply line besides providing human resource for public demonstrations and civil disobedience. This would, in final analysis, prepare a base for a decisive victory in our favor.

But for last two years, you have been carrying the battle to the densely populated towns and villages. You have been carrying the fighting into the residential areas and individual houses. While running away, you do carry away your gun but then you expose the innocent and harmless civil population to the wrath of the security forces either to be roasted in burning buses or made the target of their bullets. You provide the grist to molestation spree. We agree that by this tactics, you can exacerbate anti-India and anti-security forces hatred and this sense of hatred cannot be turned into a catalyst of success against India without consolidating and reinforcing it. But if you plan to launch an 'urban warfare instead of 'guerrilla warfare', then its precondition is that you arm the citizens en masse. If that is not the case, then you are putting your own people to severe test and are imposing on them a burden much heavier than their capacity to bear. When the people are face to face with a prospect of collapse, then frustration and despondency overtake them. Then not 15 lakhs come out on the streets; the number falls to 40 or 20 thousand and then downwards of 5 thousand. Should not this reality be taken note of?

If our respected and honorable freedom fighters do not change their strategy and continued with the heinous acts like the killing of Vice Chancellor Mushirul Huqq and Dr. Shian Koul and his wife allowing a few elements to depict the entire movement as a communal uprising based on two-nation theory, then I should be permitted to say that in return of this movement, we Kashmiris will find nothing but a bundle of sufferings, martyrdoms, rapes, exiles, arson and destruction. We will have to become the victims of unimaginable suffering. I am afraid lest the frustration of the common people should come to a point when they might say that the cause and source of their suffering has been none other than the freedom fighters and their resistance movement . This frustration can come handy to any political juggler to forge a compromise. A heavy responsibility has devolved on Kashmiris in as far they are locked in a grim battle for their survival and perpetuation. It is a life and death struggle they are in. But as against it, India and Pakistan, while pursuing their respective interests, watch Kashmiris spilling their own blood. Pakistani rulers have reaped a hearty harvest by laying their hands on enormous arms stockpiles of Afghan war. With these borrowed arms, they are determined to shed the blood of Kashmiri youth only to achieve their objectives. It is only the Kashmiri who gets killed and destroyed while the two countries are engaged in a proxy war. Therefore only some dedicated and honest Kashmiri will have to come forward to fight the battle for the survival and interests of Kashmiris. This battle can be bloody as well as procrastinated. Those who think that it would be a short affair of a few months or years, they are mistaken. Such a wishful thinking would tantamount to taking the people along the path of suicide.

That path leads to disappointment and defeat. If we compare our losses vis-a-vis India's during the two years of struggle, we shall find that not only have we suffered much more but additionally we have not been able to create public opinion in our favor on the international level. In terms of men and material, we have suffered much more. If we continue the war in the present style, then India may well go on with it for over half a century on diplomatic, political and military level. Can we sustain it for more than five years? Certainly we cannot because we are not organized, the freedom fighters are not given proper and adequate training and finally we have not been able to obtain the support of any neutral country. In tactical terms, we have not been able to draw regular troops of Indian army onto the streets. Only security forces and BSF have been taking on us whom we drag into our houses and towns and thus we voluntarily make our position vulnerable to heavy losses.

In conclusion, I would repeat my appeal to the people of Kashmir not to become the sacrificial goats for anybody. Political leaders of Pakistan occupied Kashmir have made our death and destruction a source of their survival and sustenance. You have still time. The gun has to be treated as avoidable supplement but mass power is to be organized as in the case of Lithuania and civil disobedience movement is to be strengthened. That will be our own movement; it will be in your hands. If only ten per cent of our border crossing casualties take place in that civil disobedience movement, the attention of the whole world will be diverted towards us because you will be without arms.

Dated ;15.01.1991

Post script: Six years have elapsed since I wrote the above article. If my compatriots care to study it with attention and make an analysis of the past six years, they will find that I was not unaware of the results that are now before us. Bargaining over the corpses of Kashmiri youth continues and people with selfish interests are determined to convert Kashmir into another Afghan ruin. (May 1997) 

This article is published in my book "Kashmir: The unveiling of truth"