The Valley Youth chant Azadi–from whom? And for what?
On the Independence Day this year, the Pakistani flags fluttered over rooftops and were also waved with great fervour at many more places in the Valley than in the earlier years. The cries for Azadi inter-mixed with pro-Pak slogans were raised by large number of people congregated in various places. In the past these anti-national activities were largely over-looked, for there were only isolated incidents, with only few people coming out in defiance. This year the violence following the killing of Burhan Wani, area commander of Hizbul Mujahi-deen, on July 8, never subsided. In fact it escalated and spread to even those areas which normally shunned violence.
Wani, who became a poster boy for the youth and infected them with the germ of militancy, has succeeded in his death in turning the youth in the valley against India, who are not afraid of facing armed CRPF jawans, in fact they have the courage to throw stones at fully armed security forces. Over 2000 CRPF Officers and jawans have been injured due to stone throwing.
Ever since the killing of Wani in an encounter the whole valley has been resounding with pro-Pak slogans while stone-throwers reach the locations assigned to them and be on ‘duty’ as per ‘schedule’. The regimented manner in which these hundreds of throwers are deployed gives credence to Arun Jaitley’s statement that these throwers are stooges of Pakistan and it pays them. How does one deal with pro-Pak elements, whose numbers have been proliferating at what Rahul Gandhi says ‘Jupiter speed.’
The whole of the Valley seems to be in control of the anti-India elements, although political analysts estimate that they are only four per cent, mostly the youth comprise this four percent. But the problem is that even those who are not involved actively have no sympathy for India and in fact any repressive action by Delhi to control the youth will incense the passive population.
Separatists Separate their sons from others who risk lives
The selfish and wily separatists send their own children abroad to learn and earn while they persuade others’ sons to face security forces. Has any son or nephew of separatists like Geelani joined stone throwers or any demonstration? The separatists whose souls and loyalty are mortgaged with Pakistan are a very selfish and clever lot. They, specially the Hurriyat Chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani, stoke the fires, and play the Pied Piper and bring out young boys on streets to demonstrate, throw stones and then bear the brunt of counter-action by security forces. It is these young men who get detained or injured and get categorised as `trouble-makers and thus are disqualified from government jobs while their own progeny are away from the valley and doing well.
These wily and mischievous lot use others children as pawns for their political shenanigans against Delhi, while they send their own for greener pastures. The people in the Valley have been fooled by these egomaniac and greedy lot for decades. The Kashmiri must realise that at the cost of injury and blacklisting of their progeny from any aid or jobs, these so-called gladiators trying for azadi from India, are earning millions from Pakistan.
Families in the valley might have to live eating bread and chai, these sharks have two or three storied houses. According to a Times blog, “The security agencies have prepared a dossier in which they have detailed how the children and close relatives of separatist leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Mohammad Ashraf Ali alias Ashraf Sehrai and Asiya Andrabi, head of the radical Dukhtran-e-Millat have been shifted out of India.
“These so called voices of Kashmiri youth have been playing this game for long. On the one hand, they provoke the Kashmiri youth to stop everything and take part in the struggle to make ‘Kashmir free’, while on the other hand they make sure that their close relatives do not become a part of this “revolution”. You will not find a single close relative of these leaders taking part in these protests. Most of them are working in ten-to-five jobs outside Kashmir or studying in schools and universities,” a senior official with the security establishment who has recently been to Kashmir has been quoted.
The two sons of Hashim Qureshi, the leader of the pro-independence Jammu Kashmir Democratic Liberation Party, who is presently undergoing treatment in New Delhi, are settled outside India. Muhammad bin Qasim, the 23-year-old son of Asiya Andrabi, is a college going student in Malaysia.
The 28-year-old grandson of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Tabush Gilani works with a Dubai based marketing and communication company. When he was in India, he worked as a cabin crew with Spice Jet until 2012. The son of Mohammad Ashraf Ali, alias Ashraf Sehrai, who studied computer engineering, too joined a company in Dubai.
Senior separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is married to Sheeba, who is the daughter of a Kashmiri doctor settled in Buffalo, United States. His wife has not renounced her US citizenship.
“Geelani, who has destroyed the future of so many young people of the valley, has made sure that his future generation is kept out of this so-called fight for freedom. Geelani, because of his perceived hold on the Kashmiri youth, manages to arm-twist the government every now and then, so much so that he spews venom against the same police which provides him all round protection.
“They are treated like privileged guests, allowed to go to foreign countries whenever they want and yet they leave no chance to fan violence in the valley”, the official said.
This report alone if widely circulated in the valley would be enough to get parents of the local youth very angry but the Indian state has been slow to circulate it. One does not understand why Delhi is hesitant. Now that inferno following Buhan Wani’ s killing is not abating, it might do some good if the crookedness of the Pak—nurtured separatists is let be generally known in the Valley.
“The drama, with the help of Pakistan, playing out in the streets of the valley is dangerous and not political by any means. It is as dangerous as the bombings and terror attacks in Turkey, Paris, Nice and Brussels and the government of India needs to realise this. When separatists in India talk to Pakistani bigwigs they know all too well that there is no Azad Kashmir— otherwise why would they raise Pakistani flags ever so often.” One wonders how much they get paid by Pakistan. Enough to get their progeny an education and a well paid job. Sedition and Treason can be paid for.
Ashali Varma has written, “I know this as all the hard working and employable youth of the valley can be found in Goa, and other such resorts and cities. They have been sent by their parents to escape the mayhem and earn a decent wage.”
She spoke to a polite young Muslim man from the valley in Goa early this year and he told her that he had to travel far to get away from the madness. There are no jobs in the valley he said and no tourism. His parents want him to be safe far from home.
One hopes that Delhi politicos of all parties would be shamed enough after reading what Tavleen Singh recently, to take action, “the sooner the Indian state recognises that the valley is getting Pakistan’s help to foment terror the better we can handle it.”And we need to get the Kashmiri Pandits back.
India can’t allow what the Germans did to the Jews happen to Hindus in Kashmir.”
by Vijay Dutt
The other major problem is that the although almost all youth who are intent on Azadi have no leader, groups in different regions have independent identities, their objective is the same as far as it means cutting off from India, but they differ on whether they should join Pakistan or make the valley a lslamic state. This is not just a figment of imagination but based on the geopolitical situation. Member of Parliament and former Jammu & Kashmir deputy chief minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig, a PDP member, has in fact cautioned that the six-decade-long conflict in Kashmir is on the verge of joining the global religious war. Its resolution requires a defter strategy than hitherto deployed, he added.
Noting that there have been three preceding stages of the conflict, Baig said, “This, the fourth stage in the struggle of Kashmir, is in danger of becoming religious extremism, which is not a political goal but a religious vision; that Muslims must have their own state and they cannot live in a Hindu state.” “It was not a part of a world vision for the revival of Khilafat (the movement for an `Islamic state’) and hegemony of religious extremism. Now, there’s a danger of it becoming a part of the international struggle,” he said. Violence in Kashmir, he feared, “will be magnified from now on”.
“It appears religious extremism is infecting the hearts and minds of youths,” he said, adding, “Even women are participating in the struggle, not in a big way, but since the excessive use of force and pellet guns, they’ve started coming to the centre stage,” he said. Earlier the objective, whether `azadi’ or accession to Pakistan, was political but the fourth stage, with a religious vision, arrived with the Arab Spring. “Many states intervened in the Arab phenomenon and tried to manipulate it. Because of those mistakes, there was a revival of religious extremism and Khilafat across the world. When there used to be Khilafat, the entire Muslim world was under one political leadership. And this time, the claim for Khilafat is made not by a political party but by an extremist religious organisation (IS) that believes in the use of terror,” he said.
“With the emergence of this phenomenon, many countries have been affected, and there is danger that it might penetrate into the minds and hearts in Kashmir unless we do something farsighted and effective,” he said. As it is the Valley that has suffered a lot in last 47 days. About 70 have died; many more have got injured including local residents and armed forces. Pellet guns have been used a lot due to which old, girls and boys have all got injured. Ghulam Nabi Azad and some others say that to control the situation instead of using gun, the government should have opted for talks. But as the saying goes one is wiser after the event.
Recently, a joint delegation of Kashmir Opposition parties, led by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who expressed his deep concern and pain over the situation. Modi, while expressing sadness at things happening in the valley, asked all political parties to work together to find a permanent and lasting solution to problems in the state. Meanwhile, Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the Government of alienating people and appealed to Home Minister Rajnath Singh who was on his second visit to Srinagar to meet all stakeholders. Singh’s second visit was exactly a month after his first visit following protests and the death of civilians after Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani, in South Kashmir’s Bumdoora village. On that occasion, he met delegations of various mainstream political parties and some private delegations and reviewed the security scenario in the Valley.
This visit was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after a delegation of J&K’s opposition mainstream political parties led by former J&K chief minister and NC working president, Omar Abdullah had a detailed meeting with him in New Delhi. They also wanted all-party delegation to visit the valley. In his address Modi told the agitators that he was ready to listen to their demands provided they are within the Constitution.
In the last almost 64 days, there seems to be no significant improvement in the situation on the ground in the Valley as most areas are still under curfew and a strict curfew is clamped across Kashmir after 5 pm when security forces don’t entertain even curfew passes. The violence also continues. A week or so ago, a 20-year old youth was killed in south Kashmir even as the Home Minister was on his way to the Nehru guest house to meet political delegations and senior officials of the state government. J& K opposition leaders said the recent meeting with the Prime Minister
was very “positive” and Modi tried to listen to the views of all the participants. However, the PM stopped short of giving any sort of concrete commitment to the opposition leaders who are still doubtful about how serious the Centre and the state government are about taking any initiatives to calm down the situation in the Valley.
Such prolonged violence will have serious repercussions both for the protesters and the authorities. The army and paramilitary forces are already feeling the heat. Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh and General Officer Commanding Northern Command, Lt Gen D S Hooda have advocated talks with all the stakeholders including the separatists. However, so far the Centre has not sent any positive message to the people on the streets or to the separatist leadership; instead more forces have been dispatched to the Valley to quell the protests.
The dialogue being demanded by all parties and even the army is not a very viable solution. How does one hold talks with a large number of groups that have sprouted post-Wani’s death? YES, it’s true that dialogue is the best way for restoring peace in the valley. But time is of essence.
The protests have a touch of religious fervour because of the government at the Centre being of the BJP. It would be easy for bigoted elements to turn the protesters into IS robots as feared by Baig. The protesters must be brought in the mainstream before the IS or any other dogmatic elements lead them into their trap. For this whatever method is effective, use of force or dialogue or both has to be tried. The time has come when the people in Kashmir, especially in the valley, are made to consider themselves Indian. Then only peace in Kashmir will be permanent.