Kashmir: Rising Or Uprising?
The small shops selling kahwa and buns and other tit-bits of daily need littered all over the crowded Lal Chowk are true barometers of whether Kashmir is rising or Kashmir is in rising. Ask anyone who knows Kashmir, most will agree that serenity in the valley should not make one comfortable or complacent. This sounds strange but one intelligence officer said that in the past years youth used to take to arms or stones to kill but today they would take to arms to kill and be killed. This is alarming, given the fact that ISI-encouraged Hurriyat leaders, used to gloved hand treatment from ‘secular’ Congress-led governments, are now being disallowed to meet the Pakistan High Commissioner or any other senior person from Islamabad. They are being disallowed from flying out to attend any meet that is sectarian or anti-India.
The Centre on September 22 suspended passport of Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani for four weeks thus abstaining the leader from visiting US to attend meeting of Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) (Read: Geelani decides to participate in OIC meet in New York). “We got an email from the passport office stating that the passport issued to Geelani Sahib has been suspended for four weeks. The passport office didn’t cite any reason,” Ayaz Akbar, spokesman of Hurriyat Conference led by Geelani told Mail Today. The meeting of the foreign ministers of Islamic Countries was held on September 27 in New York.
Akbar said Geelani had applied for visa with the US embassy and they had given green signal. “It seems the Government of India was puzzled with the response to visa application of Geelani Sahib and suspended his passport,” he said. Condemning the decision, Akbar said it has become a practice of India to stop Kashmiri leadership from raising issues confronting Kashmiris. “This is an attack on freedom of expression. The Government of India doesn’t want our leadership to aware the world community about India’s suppressive tactics in Kashmir,” he said. “There is no democracy in India. India is an intolerant country,” he added.
Where The Malaise Lies
Pakistan violated ceasefire 192 times along the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir till July 26 this year, government told Lok Sabha, adding that measures have been put in place for “immediate and effective retaliation” to such provocations. The House was also informed that the Centre proposes to have a provision for giving Rs 5 lakh compensation, in addition to what the state government pays, to the families of those who get killed in firing from across the border. Terrorism is a product of a system that is rooted in a neighbouring country’s diseased social construct whose leadership has often said in no ambiguous words that it is hell bent on unlashing a war of civilizations. In reality the Islamic extremists are regularly and systematically indoctrinated in the philosophy of Islamic doctrinal supremacy, hatred for other faiths and the denial of right to life for other religious identities.
Says director, Centre of Central Asian Studies, Kashmir University, that this is the programme of Al-Dawa wal Ershad organization with its powerful base in Pakistan. The Pakistan’s military does not consider it necessary to uproot the menace. Those who consider it an act of terrorism or just condemn it as inhuman should have the moral courage to call upon the military in Pakistan to come down with a heavy hand against the organizers of Al-Dawa and its philosophy. But they do not do so. The harsh and unfortunate reality is that these people are indoctrinated to take up arms against the non-Muslims and serve the cause of the proposed Islamic Caliphate. The Indian government, the political leadership and top bureaucratic echelons routinely said, “We condemn the act”. This was the language of cowards. Hopefully, the new regime will have more spine.
Geelnai had accepted the invite from OIC to participate in its meeting in New York. Hurriyat had said Geelani, if allowed to visit, would try his level best to represent the voices and concerns of the subjugated Kashmiris. “He will impress world leaders to work for the resolution of the long-pending Kashmir dispute according to its historical perspective,” Hurriyat had said while accepting the invite. The Ministry of External Affairs in July released travel documents to the separatist leader after he applied for a passport saying his daughter was seriously ill in Saudi Arabia. Even though he had declared himself an Indian in the passport application form, he later insisted that he did it out of compulsion. “I am not an Indian by birth. It is a compulsion,” he said.
Geelani’s demand had found support, not surprisingly, in the ruling People’s Democratic Party in the state. “I believe that no government can, on humanitarian grounds, deny a father the right to meet his daughter,” said PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti. It is such statements that encourage the separatists against India and makes others suspect. A government formed in alliance with a rightist party dares, in effect, encourage separatists to fight for weaning Kashmir away from India. This itself has caused tension. And although Mufti government is quite tolerant as Hurriyat helped him in the Assembly polls, Hurriyat being increasingly circumscribed by the Centre, is trying to find ways to engineer trouble or uprising among youth over which it has considerable following and also by among the elders by putting fear in them that Delhi would abolish Article 370.
With India asserting that a meeting between Pakistan NSA Sartaj Aziz and Kashmiri separatists was unacceptable, Hurriyat member Mirwaiz Umar Farooq hit back saying there should be no red-lines and pre-conditions in diplomacy and politics.”The reported drawing of red-lines by India coupled with its pre-conditions is not non-political. There are no red-lines in politics and diplomacy,” Mirwaiz said addressing Friday congregation at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar. The separatist said Hurriyat feels if both the countries are able to carry forward the dialogue process with sincerity, the amalgam has no issue whether to join the process of dialogue now or later. “Hurriyat is desirous of a meaningful dialogue (between the two countries) to settle all outstanding problems, especially the core issue of Kashmir,” he said adding, “Sidelining Kashmir or ignoring the Kashmiris won’t help.”
“Kashmir is not a boundary dispute or a regional problem but linked to the future of 1.25 crore population. The issue could be resolved only by taking into consideration the wishes and aspirations of the people of the state,” he said. “The biggest hurdle between the two countries is not terrorism but the issue of Kashmir,” he added. In such a state how can one expect it is all well in the valley? Many points out that in five years over 500 mosques have come in the valley. “Most are air-conditioned and have floors covered by expensive carpets. These are built from money from Islamic banks. The account holders are not known. The Pandits and others say that these mosques would be safe houses for the Taliban and terrorists.
Although senior intelligence sources dismiss fear from mosques, one officer said that Mufti has been warned that the Hurriyat could one day throw him out. Hurriyat leaders were very abusive with a few top intelligence people that if they do not correct themselves, they could be air-dropped across the LoC, which will render them useless for their present mentors. It is speculated that the central government has some specific plans to end secessionism in the Valley. But for the present, Kashmir of today is in crisis. If it is not resolved soon, India could be drawn into a long-drawn struggle, to use a mild term.
By Vijay Dutt