Rage in Kashmir-By Muhammad Farooq Rehmani
Ever since the Autumn of 1947, when under the pretext of a controversial letter of accession by the last Dogra ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, to the last British Governor General of India Lord Mont Batten, followed by India’s invasion on the former princely state, the history has been recording frequent street skirmishes, and bloody episodes between India and the Kashmiris. Although every time India trumpeted her victory on the ”separatists” in the name of fake and farce elections, but it could never think of pulling out her military and paramilitary forces from Jammu and Kashmir. Each post- 1947 decade, has its own history of turbulence very different from the law and order problem of a country. The failure of the Indian leadership to respect the free will of the people disturbed and complicated the whole affair and led to a repressive and bloody state policy, resulting in the current quit Kashmir agitation against the armed forces of India by unarmed youth who are the product of post 1990 Indian policies, ordinances and laws in Jammu and Kashmir.
The rage of the Kashmiris is like flying sparks and fire- balls, which can’t be measured in terms of simple local grievances, and hence this fire can’t be easily extinguished or simmered down. It is after every innocent killing and atrocity that people find a genuine cause to come out on the streets in huge numbers; highlight their basic demand of the right of self determination and pour scorn on the Indian army and police which enjoy immunity under some draconian laws since 1990.Nodoubt every state in the world has some internal trouble, but the turmoil in Kashmir can’t be attributed to some economic or social problems; it is more than that.
We must go back to the genesis of the Kashmir dispute and the history of Indian rule in Kashmir. India broke her promises with the people not once but many times during the last several decades. Therefore, there is hate against Indian occupation of Kashmir—rooted deep in their ethos and blood. India should not pretend to be ignorant, she should not say why. India must ask her military men in the field as to how humiliatingly they have been treating the Kashmiris, men, women and children; they have been plundering their green gold and meadows in the forests for the last two decades. India is reaping its harvest in Kashmir.
Again India’s total refusal to grant the right of self determination to the Kashmiris fanned unrest and discontent in Kashmir. A young generation in every decade spearheads the movement of freedom and a retiring generation leaves space for the fresh blood. Nowadays our youth is the torch bearer of freedom. It has been experienced in every decade –before and after the death of Sheikh Abdullah.
Unfortunately India always maligned Kashmiris, and spread malice against them across the country. In her malicious propaganda, India was encouraged by the lusty politicians and rulers of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. They still enjoy reveries and wishfully think that Kashmiris patience would exhaust, to finally give in before India. But the idiom” water off a duck’s back” is not applicable here.
Having said all this, I would caution the people on two vital points. First is the peaceful and popular character of the current political struggle. It must be maintained at all costs and further strengthened by isolating the elements of duplicity, destruction and sabotage. This will ensure support of an overwhelming majority to it. Peaceful public struggle is more lasting than any mode of armed disturbance, which cripples a poor nation and ruins its socio-economic fabric more easily. Moreover, in the present scenario an armed struggle for a just and noble cause has to face the opposition of a global nature. Here India is the sole benefactor. Pakistan is our moral and diplomatic supporter. It is also an active member of the war on terror.” Yet the country is dubbed as ”the current Al Qaeda epicenter. ” Kashmiris must understand well that the Muslim rulers in spite of their land, population and energy potentials tremble by one statement of the US or West. In a high level meeting with the leadership of the AJK, I had suggested only one day shutter down call before the base camp Govt. to show solidarity with the people of Kashmir. But they didn’t go beyond condolence messages.
My second point and I would suggest humbly that the current agitation must not deviate from its national agenda of the right of self determination. We had no global agenda, never, ever. We have no extra-territorial political and strategic ambitions. Our right to self determination has been recognized by the United Nations and this is now our national slogan. It is the duty of the torchbearers of the current awakening to plead and protect these objectives of the nation, and try to win over the world opinion. The real leadership—vanguard of the present uprising must take all possible measures to project the voice of the people in a manner that would accord it world vide sympathy, and acceptance. It is the duty of this leading generation to protect the movement against all types of mischief by saboteurs, exploiters, and hypocrites—politically ambitious elements of the society. The goal of the freedom fighting Kashmiri must be unambiguously noble and humble—to promote the cause of the tortured humanity of Kashmir, and gain maximum support for it from the international community.
It is sad that the issue of Kashmir—the right of self determination is in the eyes of many a foredoomed and forgotten question, and the glorious sacrifices of our people are being ignored by the world. Surprisingly our own Ummah is silent over the bloodshed of the Kashmiris. The slogans of freedom, wailing cries of suffering people; the army and police operations against civilians don’t find any space in the newspapers. No television channel has the time to show the tragic episodes of Kashmir to their listeners. Yet they say that Kashmir is an international question; for Pakistan it is a national issue. As per the coverage of the national issue is concerned, we should ask our well wishers to watch the screen, judge the coverage of Kashmir and put the news stories under microscope. In this gloom how can we tell others to focus upon the current situation in Kashmir? We are in a deep slumber, not that we don’t watch or read anything; but in the sense that we have developed vested interests here and there, in and out. The time calls on us to weed out the dead wood from the forest. The freedom in the box or prison is no freedom at all. Rage in the present day Kashmir reflects a lasting message for the world.
Note: The write is Chairman Jammu and Kashmir People’s Freedom League and Senior Executive member of APHC AJK/Pak