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.


Why civil disobedience and not armed struggle ? 

For the last four years, the people in Kashmir are faced with bloodshed and destruction.  In December 1992, in a barbaric action in Sopor alone, more than a hundred innocent persons were done to death.  These figures emanated from Indian newspapers.  It was also reported that some people were burnt alive by the security forces.  Some  were butchered inside a passenger bus while it was on the move.  The incident was reported by  the  Jammu - based daily  Kashmir Times under the headline 'Murder in Uniform'.  The newspaper gave the bus number along with details of  this gruesome murder.  In the Sopor arson incident more than 500 houses were gutted.  Fire extinguishing personnel and medical staff were not allowed to come anywhere close to the site of this incident.  Passengers in a private car were also burnt alive.

This naked play of the angel of death has become an everyday affair in Kashmir.  Such barbaric scenes were enacted in  Khanyar locality  in May 1991 and in Chota Bazar on 11 June 1991.  The entire market in the town of Handwara was reduced to ashes.  According to a reliable source more than nine thousand innocent lives have been consumed by the orgy of violence in Kashmir till date.  They have become martyrs at the hands of Indian security forces.  Many people are untraceable, and still many more have been either killed by the Indian security forces while crossing the border or were buried under snow over the mountains.  The  pain and agony through which the parents and close relatives of these young people are passing can be felt only by those whose skin is deeply grazed by it.

The phenomenon has brought economic destruction to Kashmir.  Economic activities like handicraft, carpet weaving, tourism, horticulture etc. which form the backbone of Kashmir's economy, have met with a disaster.  Apart from the people belonging to the religious minority of Pandits, more than 600,000 Kashmiri Muslims also have been forced to seek shelter in various parts of India.  Kashmir is now in the grip of a scourge of destruction.  What is more, even the educational system in Kashmir has crumbled giving rise to apprehensions that our next generation may be totally of illiterates.  Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in the Indian Union where the rate of literacy had touched 47 per cent.

The most depressing thing in this dark scenario is that no organization, no individual and no group is coming forth with any concrete proposal or plan to put an end to the suffering of the people in Kashmir.  Some people are disposed to allude to Afghanistan-like situation while speaking about the struggle in Kashmir.

Today Afghanistan is in ruins; organizations fighting 'freedom war' are at war with one another indulging in fratricide.  Rockets are rained on Kabul which take a heavy toll of life each day.  The people there are seeking shelter in remote places not because of Russian troops but because of inter-group fighting among the mujahideen themselves.  In two preceding weeks, the so-called champions of Islam and 'freedom' have murdered more than a thousand persons mostly the poor and the innocent.  We pray to God Almighty that He may spare the Kashmiris Afghanistan type of freedom because that type of freedom brings nothing but ruination, devastation  besides sharpening the sense of revenge.

The question is this: Should all this be allowed to happen just either not to endanger one's life or to escape repudiation which is likely to result from telling the truth? The other alternative would be to  invite Kashmiri intellectuals, literati, journalists, teachers, students, true nationalists and the suffering people to re-examine the entire movement, its parameters and its  achievements during these four years.  We must also compare and contrast losses we have suffered and our enemy has suffered.  We should also have a look at the support we have received from our friends.  If we are in a better position  in political, diplomatic and military terms, and if the cause of national liberation is actually served by our struggle, then we must agree to let the on-going struggle go ahead.  But if we find that we are on the side of more losses and that our nation reached the brink of the precipice, then we shall have to reconsider the entire gamut of our struggle.  We shall have to discard our self -aggrandisement and bring about a change in our policy.  This means a new path shall have to be found to save ourselves and the entire nation from the great tragedy.  This is a tragedy which may as well submerge the entire nation into despondency.

I must say in very soft but clear words that I have made it an article of faith to dedicate my life to the welfare of my compatriots, to respect their sentiments and promote their aspirations.  This necessitates looking for and speaking the truth.  Of course one always needs courage to speak the truth.  At a time when the ISI of Pakistan had projected a particular person as a towering leader for Kashmiris in the context of on-going struggle, I opposed him on the basis of  my strong reasons.  Time has proved me true for what I had predicted two years ago.

What are the leaders of  today thinking and what is their perception of the situation?  First of all let me examine the interview given by Azam Inquilabi to the correspondent of Hindustan Times on February 4, 1993. He said," In the  last two years it has gone completely out of control.  It has become a story of in-fighting , kidnapping and killing on one hand and of State terrorism on the other.  All Indian offices had lost their control on the valley of Kashmir because of peoples' struggle.  State administration is now gradually reasserting.  People affiliated to various organizations are being apprehended every day .  Some of them are martyred after arrest and in the most gruesome manner.  

Those who are instrumental in their arrest are our own brothers who were formerly called mujahids.  Many former militants have turned informers after they were arrested. They got their own companions arrested, those with whom they had taken oath to remain faithful to the movement.  Previously,  common people  used to give shelter to these mujahids in their homes with respect and with pleasure. But now they are avoided.  Many people have set up gates at the entrance to their localities which are opened and closed by the local residents when they feel necessary to do so.  This was because many so-called mujahideen used to fire at security forces and then hide in densely populated localities.  The security personnel would then enter the locality and kill innocent people.  Many people and organizations were responsible for kidnapping persons in order to extract money or to cater to some selfish motive.  This practice continues even today.  The kidnapped are released only when ransom is paid.  One can cite many names  in this context.  I can also give the exact amount of money paid as ransom and the agency that received it.  

I once met a Kashmiri Muslim who was on kidnap list of the militants.  He was paying five thousand rupees per month as ransom. Yet he was kidnapped once and his son twice.  Then in a spate of inter-gang rivalry, activists contrived the arrest  of members of rival groups.  The Jung of Karachi carried a news in its issue of February 7, 1993 saying," The  opponents are liquidating one another in order to establish their sway over the  respective areas. Thus instead of becoming angels for the people, they have become the enemies of peoples' honour and respect as they are false mujahids."  On July 6, 1991, there appeared a statement of Hizbul Mujahideen in Al Safa of Srinagar.  It said," Kidnapping of innocent girls has become a routine.  A meeting of the superiors of Hizbul Mujahideen of district Srinagar was held under the chairmanship of General Musa. It was said that some persons posing as mujahids are using the name of the organisation and are committing crimes like kidnapping, loot, arson and murder in order to foment public hatred against the movement.  Killing of the innocent people and kidnapping of girls has become a routine."  It should be remembered that General Musa had a good reputation among his followers.  Now he is a martyr.  I can give the names with proof of kidnapping of three girls and the organisations involved.  But that brings us more shame and disrepute.  At best, I can send the proofs to the editors if not to our readers.

Whatever is happening in Kashmir, the full facts do not reach us.  If at all some facts are brought to our notice, we sift out the stuff to choose only that which suits us.  Moreover, more often than not, the we tend to exaggerate the reports of excesses committed by the Indian security forces and bring to light in the Indian press.  But when the same sources highlight the atrocities committed by the mujahids, we like to understate it or even block it out completely calling it  Indian propaganda.  But in this article I have mostly cited from local papers of the valley because these have been a part of the national movement.  The daily Aftab published a news item under the caption 'Alas! Martyr Noor Muhammad Kenu".  The news ran as this," From the residents of Zarechpora, Khanabal: On  May 25, unbridled gun-wielding youth killed a 22 year youth Noor Muhammad Kenu. He was a thorough gentleman, charactered and affable.  His brutal killing cast a pal of gloom over the entire locality.  Nobody knows why he was gunned down.  The leader of a known organisation called Al Jehad announced in Lal Chowk, Islamabad before a gathering of thousands of people that his murder was unjustified and promised to apprehend the culprits within 24 hours."  In another statement, the same organisation said," Every crime does not deserve death punishment".  Condemning such acts, it further said,"  The tendency of giving death punishment for every crime is on the  increase in Kashmir which is totally un-Islamic act.  This is the reason why the roots of freedom struggle are becoming hollow."

The highly negative and damaging aspect for the freedom movement is the rising  tendency of  mutual killing meaning killing the opponents.  According to an estimate till date more than 500 persons have been killed in inter-group rivalry in the valley.  In an incident, a particular organisation kidnapped an area commander of the Liberation Front.  When he was shot at, he asked for water.  His assailant brought him some dirty water from a  dirty drain in the hollow of a shoe and poured a few drops in his mouth.  I knew that youthful victim very well.
Such deeds are done by those in the name of freedom of Kashmir for whom Kashmiris put at stake their lives, property and their sons and daughters.  How sad that this great movement, and the sacrifices of our martyrs have been wrecked and spilt by some self-seeking and baneful elements.  It is unfortunate that various organisations seized  by group interests do not call to book these malevolent elements.  We the Muslims are prone to adopt ostrich - like behaviour.  

Let me remind my readers that in 1971 Indo-Pak war, Azad Kashmir Radio and PTV as well as newspapers continued to give upto December 15,  1971 tantalising news of Pakistani troops victoriously overpowering Mukti Bahini and Indian army contingents thus keeping their nation fed with false expectations. When on December 16,  the Pakistani army suddenly surrendered before Indian troops, this was almost life-snatching news for them.  For many people, this actually became the reason of  death by shock. If one rummages into the newspapers of those days, one finds that up to December 15,  General Yahya Khan was a hero and 'the protector of the nation". But a day later on  December 16,  he became a traitor to the nation and the country.  The newspapers published his pictures in a mood of drinking and dancing.

Likewise, the print media in Kashmir (meaning Kashmir outside the valley because the journalists within the valley are caught between the devil and the deep sea) and Pakistanis are putting under cover the negative and disastrous aspects of the on-going struggle in Kashmir.  This is tantamount to enmity against the movement and genuine mujahideen.  The entire movement is put on a track of  total disaster bringing dejection and despondency to the masses of people.  Without proper accountability a movement slips out of control notwithstanding how much sanctimonious it may be.  The worst thing is that when somebody with a penetrating eye is able to lay his finger on the malaise that has crept into the movement, and offers  the suggestion of taking timely action to eradicate it, then he is branded by self-serving people and those on the pay roll of agencies  and bidders on dead bodies of the Kashmiri youth as 'Indian agents'.  But can facts be changed just by levelling accusations without checking where the truth lies?  When the critics in Pakistan expressed objections to Mrs. Benazir Bhutto  — the former Prime Minister and now leader of opposition becoming chairperson of Foreign Affairs Committee, she said that she had accepted the office because until the other day , these very people used to call her an Indian agent and of its intelligence agency RAW.  In present -day Pakistani  politics it is common place to stick the label of 'traitor' and 'enemy agent' to one  who speaks the truth.

But we shall, in no circumstances, hesitate to tell the truth.  I must say that the ;prospect of gun going out of control in Kashmir, international situation and the  events of politicking on the dead bodies of Kashmiris, all have aroused my deep sentiments and forced me to express myself.  It has re-confirmed my belief that if Kashmiris are to obtain freedom at all, it can be got only through non-violence and civil movement.  Whatever analysis I have been making about this movement for the last three years, has been proved correct by history. Every one in the valley is going through the conditions I had predicted.  However, the nationalists in Azad Kashmir, intellectuals and farsighted people in Pakistan should know the conditions so that keeping our weaknesses in mind, we draw plans for our success.  In this connection, I would like to refer to the open letter of Jamaat-e-Islami leader, Ali Shah Geelani to the militant organisations published in the daily Aftab of  November 24,1992. The text of this letter was also published in the weekly Insaf of Rawalpindi.  Geelani wrote:  " We need the mujahids who speak the word of truth, who are pure and selfless and whom no enticement can induce into betrayal with the movement.  We need such soldiers with fortitude who can fight on empty stomachs. 

We regret to say that instead of unity, cooperation and organisational cohesiveness so necessary and unavoidable for this vanguard group, it is divided into various groups.  This groupism has adversely affected the heroic struggle on the one hand and on the other hand the hopes and aspirations of the oppressed and helpless masses have been bruised and mauled.  We tried again and again for unity and cooperation but  contrarily the heroic struggle has, sometimes, deviated from its targets assuming the shape of mutual clash and strife thus bringing discredit to the immensely valuable sacrifices made by the community."  Geelani continues," Emergence of various groups adhering to the objectives of accession to Pakistan and establishment of Nizam-e-Mustafa (meaning Islamic theocratic system) and their inter-group strife is extremely painful and regrettable putting to doubt their sincerity and  struggle."  He continues, " Militant groups should observe the code of non-interference in personal and group vendettas because such involvement would result in losing the sight of the targets.

Militant organisations should refrain from interfering in government offices and from seeking official favours.  It is so because the entire community is demonstrating its preparedness to make sacrifices alongside the heroic youth in order to uproot the oppressive system and liquidate its illegal existence and bring the people their fundamental right of self-determination.  By interfering with government offices and by demanding official favours, an impression is created that the existing system is lasting one and a struggle against it is neither serious nor result-oriented. Unintentionally the people become disinterested in this entire struggle.  They begin to seek assistance from militant organisations in order to surpass others in garnering for themselves benefits from the system."  Geelani continues,"  Looting the banks, accepting bribes and taking part in frauds is to put the whole effort of self-determination into doubt and subject it to abuse.  The militant organisations shall have to think seriously over giving calls for strikes which instead of damaging the enemy, would exacerbate the difficulties and problems of the oppressed community.  If we are to depend on strikes, then poverty stricken people will be forced to beg for a loaf.  All this will have adverse cumulative effect on the entire struggle."

In this letter Geelani Sahib has confirmed the mutual strife among militant organisations, acts of loot, arson and vandalism, interference in personal affairs and vendettas,  As such people in England or at other places, who are used to politicking on the dead bodies of Kashmiris without understanding or knowing the ground realities, should acquaint themselves with the hard facts of the on-going situation  failing which we may have to face the East Pakistan tragedy.

would now venture to present excerpts from an interview with Mr. Shabbir Shah, the chief of Peoples League.  It must be remembered that Amnesty International has called him " the prisoner of conscience."  The interview was given by  him to the Tribune News Service on November 3, 1992 from a nursing home.  This was published by The Tribune  of Chandigarh (India) in its issue of November 4, 1992.  He said," Kalashnikov was a part of the struggle.  In reality political struggle is needed which will force India to come to the negotiating table because Kalashnikov is not the solution of the problem.  If the militants think that they will throw out India through force of arms, they are mistaken because India's military might cannot be overlooked.  There is no solution to the problem except a tripartite dialogue."

While raising his voice against the oppression and tyranny of Indian security forces, Shabbir Shah has also protested against the excesses of the so-called mujahideen with the public.  He has appealed to them to make proper use of the gun giving an opportunity to political leaders like Abdul Ghani Lone, Sayyid Ali Shah Geelani, Maulana Abbas Ansari and Abdul Ghani Bhat to give the movement its real political colour and content.  He said," It is our misfortune that the movement has been hijacked by contractors, businessmen and bureaucrats who are making fortunes by exploiting Kashmiri youth." Shabbir Shah also pleaded for giving representation to Ladakh and Jammu regions and Kashmiri Pandits.  He conceded that in Kashmir, there were people representing anti-Pakistan views which, however, did not mean that people had turned pro-Indian.  A majority of people voted for independent Kashmir.  He said," Kashmiris were being used a guinea-pig in the war of wits between Islamabad and New Delhi."  Giving the example of Palestinians and Israelis, he said that if they could talk, why not India, Pakistan and Kashmiris?  Shabbir Shah has endorsed my stand that we can reach our goal only through political struggle.  He has endorsed my view that Kashmiri Pandits should repose trust in us and return to Kashmir.


Let us now examine what the political leadership on the other side of the line of actual control meaning Pakistan Occupied Kashmir say,  In this context, I would like to reproduce for our readers parts of the letter written by the Chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (Freedom Movement) Janab Farooq Rahmani in the monthly Gash appearing from London and Rawalpindi. The letter appeared in the issue No. 11 of  September 15  —  October 15,  1992 under the caption "Kashmir and Bosnia - a test for the Islamic World'. He wrote as follows:

" India has already been backtracking on her commitments on Kashmir.  But now Pakistan, too, is not fulfilling her promises  which she had made  to us in 1988.  Not only that, we are not told to stop this jehad because Pakistan apprehends a threat to its solidarity ..... It is surprising that on the one hand Pakistani rulers, politicians, and religious leaders claim that Pakistan is the protector of Muslims all  over the world, and on the other hand they see their daughters and sisters fallen in the clutches of cruel and uncouth Hindu soldiers and yet their sense of manliness is not touched.  During last couple of months there has been a spurt in acts of molestation of Muslim women and massacre of Muslim children in Kashmir at the hands of the Indian troops.  If despite receiving news of these atrocities Pakistani rulers sit together with their Indian counterparts in Delhi or Islamabad over lunch and dinners, and  various cultural delegations continue their exchange visits to two countries, or invite the enemies of Kashmir and Pakistan to their country,  and what inference should we draw from it? Does it not mean that those who are to die let them die; those who are to be vandalised let them be vandalised but we continue our business. It is interesting to note that the people of Kashmir and their children are not allowing the Indians to build the Wular Barrage in the name of navigation as that would choke Pakistan's water resource.  But the Pakistanis themselves are negotiating with India the construction of Wular Barrage thereby endorsing India's occupation of Kashmir."

Let it be reminded that accession to Pakistan has been an article of faith with Farooq Rahmani.  The group of Sardar Qayyum Khan never considered accession to Pakistan an article of faith because they carry the condition of sovereignty and power with their ideology.  It is Rahmani who made great sacrifices for his political ideology in Kashmir valley.

Another stalwart of Plebiscite Front in the valley namely Azam Inquilabi gave an interview to India Abroad and said," In the beginning, people supported the gun but now they want a political solution..... We are aggrieved by what the security forces are doing, but we are equally aggrieved by what our brethren are doing."  He has thrown full light on the murder of Maqbul Malik by the Hizbu'l-Mujahideen activists.  Speaking about the international support (to Kashmir movement), he says," We have been left to our  fate by the rest of the globe including the Islamic world."

Lessons we learn

It was  in the light of these events that Azam Inquilabi floated new organisation  by the name Kashmir Bachao Tehreek (Save Kashmir Movement).  He argues," Since people of Jammu, Ladakh, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit and Baltistan are not practically participants in the freedom struggle of the people of Kashmir, and perhaps they are satisfied with the present system (Jammu and Ladakh with India and Azad Kashmir, Gilgit and Baltistan with Pakistan), therefore, the valley of Kashmir may be made free for the present."  In this connection, he gave an interview to the Saudi Gazette also.  Taking ground realities into consideration, there is sense in what Azam Inquilabi says.  There has neither been an uprising against Pakistan in Azad Kashmir nor have the people in Jammu and Ladakh responded to the call from the valley.  Strange to say that one self-styled leader who calls himself the Hochi Minh of Kashmir has no following even in his own village.  He has styled himself as a leader not on any public following but on the  supreme sacrifices made by the people of the valley.

I may remind my readers that the proposition of Azam Inquilabi with regard to realities on the ground, meaning the political movement and political platform, are precisely the one I had put forth in 1990.  Those who have made politics their pastime at the cost of the precious lives of our youth in Kashmir, and make it a source of sustenance as well, have started a campaign against Azam Inquilabi and say that it is Indian idea.  In other words they want to convey that Save Kashmir Movement is India's brainchild.  Obviously they want that "Destroy Kashmir Movement" should be floated just as they  continue with ' Destroy Afghanistan  Movement '.

The matter of fact is that  a few paid agents, self -seekers and beneficiaries of Kashmir Affair Ministry in Islamabad have started a vilification campaign against those who as nationalists want to save Kashmir from destruction and devastation.  When drawn into a logical debate based on harsh realities, they find they are only incoherent  and speak only in terms of destruction and decimation of generations.  The point to note is that  the offspring of such critics and detractors live in luxury and comfort outside Kashmir, receiving education and training in excellent institutions.  It is argued that India is spending a thousand million rupees per month on Kashmir.  How long will India bear this heavy cost, they ask.  But they forget that the rulers on the subcontinent do not hesitate to starve their paupered people in order to maintain their false prestige.  In the clash of egos, they are prepared to drag the subcontinent to the brink of disaster.  A thousand million rupees a month makes one rupee per head per month in India.  In comparison to this, we have wrought immense destruction to ourselves.  We  have destroyed our economy, our art treasures and our educational system.  Has anybody cared to keep an account of this massive self inflicted destruction?  Bidding farewell to accepted ethics of war strategy, Kashmiri mujahideen have destroyed a large number of big and small bridges in the valley thereby inflicting inconvenience to common man.  This they  did with the intention of arresting the  mobility of Indian army.  We all know that  mobility is no problem for any army in modern times.  And then came the turn of school and college buildings in the valley.  Even the local newspapers issued appeals against burning these institutions.  In these appeals it was said  that bridges, colleges and schools are built with the sweat and blood of the nation.  A mujahid, Jamshed Khan by name, burnt Islamic College.  As the building was burning, crowds of people who had gathered on the spot, instead of trying to extinguish the fire and save the building, looted the library and the laboratory.  Let anybody contradict me.  Those who think of proving me false, I can lead them to the houses where the stolen books and apparatus are dumped. When  this Jamshed Khan was arrested, he turned to be the most prized informer of the security forces.

The attitude of the so-called mujahideen with the pressmen in the valley is best explained by the victims themselves despite the facta that press in the valley remained  biased towards the freedom movement from the very beginning. Not prepared to oblige the wishes and desires of certain groups, the vehicle of the owner of Srinagar Times was blasted by planting a bomb in it. The owner of Al Safa, Muhammad Sha'ban Vakil was shot dead for writing the truth. (I may mention here that a paid agent once warned me while speaking in the context of Muhammad Sha'ban Vakil.  He said. " Sha'ban Vakil was shot dead because he wrote the truth which did us harm.  You are writing the truth but you should take care that this truth does not do us harm.)"

The daily Al Safa  was forbidden by the militants to publish the paper; the building of weekly Chattan  was damaged, other papers were regularly intimidated; twice bombs were hurled in the house of Yusuf Jameel (the correspondent of BBC).  This is the treatment meted out to the press by the militant organisations.  If a newspaper reported kidnapping  and subsequent killing of a person, the perpetrators of the crime became its enemy forcing the proprietor to suspend its publication for a long time.  In its issue of October 19, 1992, the weekly Chattan of Srinagar wrote editorially under the caption ' Chiragh-e-tur jalao bahut andhera hai' It said,

" One of the biggest reasons of dejection for Kashmiris is that the honourable militants have divided the common national movement into different compartments and thus brought about its dispersal. They could not stop the gun getting out of control.  The sanctity which the mujahid had won for himself in the eyes of common man, could not be preserved and perpetuated by him  The dream of a colourful spring of hope and expectation which they had been dreaming during the initial days of the movement, soon turned into dull autumn of despair and dejection.  Political leadership remained interned during the same period.  It was evident from the very beginning that they could play any effective role only with the support of the militants.  But it is a harsh reality that except for lip service they did not get any substantial support worth the name from the militants.  Some militants perhaps only unconsciously got bogged down by the apprehension that political leadership could become a source of threat to the gun.  As such they adopted an attitude in which political leadership was ignored.  For example, when the political leadership opposed the tactics of forcing strikes , the militants sponsored a prolonged phenomenon of strikes.  Obviously they wanted to convey a message to the political leadership that only their (militants') writ could run.  They brought in the example of the neighbouring State of Punjab where, during its heyday, Sikh militants humiliated the Akali leadership now and then.  Recently two Sikh extremists, Jinda and Sukha were hanged for killing the former Indian Army Chief, General Vaidya.  Punjab Akali leaders gave a call for a strike in protest but nobody listened to them.  What is more, even the Sikh majority paid no attention to the call."

Two years after this editorial had been written, I said " In Kashmir political platform and political movement would by itself guarantee the security of the mujahids because unless common man  participates  through political platform and political movement, the mujahids cannot remain secure.  They are weak vis-a-vis Indian security forces.  Their strength lies in their sincerety to their stand and the masses of the people." 

Let anybody judge if  I was not right in what I had said.  The security forces are liquidating the mujahids one by one.  This then is the situation on the ground.

Pakistani politicians speak

Having said that, let us now cite a few statements of some Pakistani politicians in the context of international situation and Kashmir issue.  On the eve of her departure to London, the former Pakistani Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto said at Karachi airport on 30 December 1992," In regard to Kashmir issue, the government's policy has failed; on international level, it stands isolated.  The government is thinking of sealing the Kashmir border which would be dangerous for Kashmiris."  Maulana Noorani, too, has called Pakistan's Kashmir policy a failure.  Pakistani politicians, intellectuals, mediperson and progressive writers have been writing about Kashmir in detail laying emphasis on political struggle and political solution.  Adventure - loving people should understand that if at all India decides to leave Kashmir peacefully and without international pressure, she will do so only after a war with Pakistan.  This will be an atomic war resulting in colossal destruction on both
sides.  Therefore the question of Pakistan's own integrity and solidarity cannot be overlooked.  A Pakistani patriot said," If in the course of asking  annexation of Kashmir, Pakistan itself gets dismembered,  what will happen to us?  If Pakistan is declared a terrorist state, then India will be facilitated in launching an attack on her because as a declared terrorist state, Pakistan will get isolated in the international community."

Freedom movement or terrorism

If Kashmiri politicians have been the cause of failure of the movement, Pakistani bureaucracy is no less responsible because it failed to comprehend the import of the movement.  It discouraged formation of a political platform.  It broke all those political platforms and parties which refused to be subservient to it.  For example, in order to fragment Liberation Front, Pakistani bureaucracy and intelligence encouraged Amanullah Khan because this organisation could guarantee freedom and self-determination of Kashmiris.  We wish that political struggle in Kashmir had been encouraged so that this organisation would not have been labelled as a movement incited by Pakistan.  It would have been known widely as the movement of Kashmiris in real sense of the term.  Even Sardar Qayyum Khan said that Pakistan had not succeeded in mobilising international opinion on Kashmir in its favour (Jung of London, February 19, 19193)

Evidently, as a result, on international level, Indian ruling circles have been projecting the peoples' movement in Kashmir as Pakistan's interference  and her abetment of an armed uprising.  They argue that till 1988, Kashmiris used to take part in elections.  Even Jamaat-e-Islami also took part in the elections of 1988.  With the end of cold war, Pakistan is no more vital for the promotion of the interests of the US and the West.  As such, for them she does not enjoy the same importance as in  earlier days.  Pakistan's atomic programme is another reason for incurring West's displeasure.  Pakistan has not been able to control the drug mafia since heroin continues to be smuggled into the Arabian  and the western countries from Pakistan.  It has also become an irritant in the relations between the USA and Pakistan ( so far 40 Pakistanis have been beheaded in Saudi Arabia on charges of drug trafficking: December 1992 to February 1992)

Alongside these reasons, India raked the issue of Punjab and Kashmir.  The United States made much noise about Pakistan being declared a terrorist state.  This is the reason why I repeatedly wrote that a civil disobedience movement in Kashmir should be in the hands of local leadership.  In that case no blame would come to the doorsteps of Pakistan.  The four year armed struggle as part of disorganised movement,  has,  of course yielded one good or bad result on international platform.  We the Kashmiris have succeeded in distorting the respectable and dignified international image of India, the country that followed the non-violence ideology of Mahatma Gandhi ( I may mention that in a big park in Amsterdam in Holland, and also at a main square in New York, the statutes of Mahatma Gandhi have been installed).

International opinion

But unfortunately, international politics and our own actions, meaning making the gun our guide in the valley, only protected India's position on international level.  Powerful nations argue that since India is faced with externally launched terrorism, therefore, human rights violations will occur in the course of cross-firing.  Also at some places, in individual cases, the security forces may be carried away by acute sense of retaliation resulting in some excesses but proper action against them is taken.  If not the human rights organisations, but most of the western governments accept this line of argument from Indian side.  As far as the human rights organisations are concerned, these consider the excesses of the militant organisations or their punishment of the people for being alleged informers, also as human rights violations.  Owing to these conditions, the Labour Party in UK publicly announced its Kashmir policy in December 1992 as this, " Kashmir is a part of India and we condemn external support to the terrorists inside Kashmir." (Jung, London December 2, 1992)  Again the British Prime Minister, John Major said on India's Republic day  at New Delhi that political process should be initiated in Jammu and Kashmir. He demanded that external support to the separatists in Kashmir should be stopped and India and Pakistan should resolve Kashmir issue in accordance with the Shimla Agreement.  He also demanded that human rights violations should be stopped.  A few days earlier, Prime Minister John Major, while replying to a letter from a British MP, said," the real issue in Kashmir is that of interference by Pakistan.  India wants to hold elections there and initiate a political process."  Boris Yeltsin , the Russian President reiterated his country's known stand, viz " Kashmir is a part of India and we will support India in the matter of her territorial integrity."  The German Chancellor visited India.  He declined to accept the Kashmir question as a question of freedom and self-determination stressing that India and Pakistan should resolve the dispute according to the spirit of Shimla Agreement.

It will be noted that till date Pakistan has been projecting Kashmir as a border dispute between the two countries.  For example we find that Nawaz Sharif  refused the third option.  Benazir Bhutto, in a lengthy interview with Saudi Gazette declared that the solution of Kashmir problem was Kashmir's accession to Pakistan.

Even the US, the only super power of today has not adopted a clear cut policy on Kashmir.  She wants to bring Pakistan on the list of terrorist states just because of Pakistan's role in Kashmir.   International media is silent on the festering sore of Kashmir because of events like the loot and arson, and forcible occupation of Pandit houses and properties after their exodus from Kashmir, murder of Vice Chancellor Mushirul Huqq and kidnapping and subsequent murder of innocent civilians by the militant organisations.  A few days ago, Raja Munish Khan, a supporter of Sardar Qayyum Khan (who is a candidate for overseas Kashmiri Assembly seat) called a conference of Kashmiris in Nottingham.  A few British MPs participated in it. The news was given wide coverage in Urdu newspapers.  However, the British media did not publish a word about this conference nor about the visit of Sardar Qayyum Khan.  Srinagar - based BBC correspondent, Yusuf Jameel said, "Those who feel happy that a particular news has been given by the Urdu service of BBC, I must tell them that the news is what we have sent and they broadcast it so that we may hear what we have told them."

Why not react?

This copious analysis has been made with the purpose that the sympathisers of Kashmiris, so-called deliverers of Kashmiris from their agony and suffering should reconsider the on-going  struggle in Kashmir.  The gun has become uncontrolled,  bringing in trail acts of kidnapping, murder, loot and arson (Azam Inquilabi's words).  Both genuine and spurious mujahideen are faced with notoriety. Should we not react to this situation by initiating a peoples' movement of the type we found in connection with the theft of the holy relic?  If various organisations in Kashmir fail to converge on this point, then that would only spell more disaster for Kashmiris which has already reached its limits.  At the same time, I would also like to invite the attention of the intellectuals, politicians, secular section of people, lawyers, justice loving people and followers of Gandhiji's teachings towards the naked oppression and tyranny let loose by the security forces. They mercilessly fired at unarmed and peaceful demonstrators in Khanyar, Chota Bazar, Hawal etc. They dragged out innocent people from their homes and shot them dead on streets.  Will not this blood of innocent people weigh heavily on the conscience of India?  Is it not negation of the ethical principles of Gandhi Ji and Nehru Ji?  In December 1992, Indian security forces burnt innocent people alive in Sopor and brought a devastation to the town amounting to three thousand million rupees.  

It took a toll of more than a hundred precious lives. An  Indian newspaper brought out an editorial under the caption ' Murder in uniform'.  Which picture of India's secularism and democracy is presented by these acts?  Today the soul of Gandhiji, Subhash Chander Bose and Bhagat Singh will be shuddering at  the oppression let loose on Kashmiris.  We ask the Indian leadership whether actions like these are the pillars of her democratic, secular and non-aligned principles?  If the upholders of secular and humanistic principles in India expect Kashmiris to be faithful to India in the face of these oppressions and tyrannies, these killings and this destruction , as we find in the case of Sopor, the proposition sounds difficult.  Pronouncements of the official circles before the human rights organisations that security forces will be punished for excesses if any, carry no weight.  If justice is not done in open, if the oppressed are not shown the true face of justice, meaning without convincing the oppressed, then it is no justice but merely an eye wash.  Indian authorities would better follow the example of the incident of Tando Bhawal in Sindh, Pakistan where Pakistani army officers were court martialled for  killing  innocent persons, and given punishment.  We shall appeal to the Indian masses to raise their voice against oppression in Kashmir.  Indian authorities should demonstrate courage and find a solution to Kashmir problem through a tripartite dialogue.  Liberal and secular elements in Kashmir are prepared to cooperate with democratic sections in India and Pakistan in finding a solution to Kashmir problem in accordance with the wishes of the people of Kashmir.

In conclusion, I would like to ;appeal to the Kashmiri people also that we should
not sacrifice entire Kashmiri nation for the two countries.  We should keep international situation in sight and forge a political platform and organisation in Kashmir.  Those who have been forced to leave Kashmir should be invited to return without any preconditions.  Kidnapping and killing of innocent people should be stopped so that we demonstrate our sense of  responsibility of building our future generations.

February 26, 1993

This article is published in my book "Kashmir: The unveiling of truth", 1998