WHERE THE TERROR BEGAN
‘The Meadow: Kashmir 1995 – Where the terror began’ is a book recently released in March 2012. Adrian Levy & Catherine Scott-Clark are the authors of this book. The authors say they spent a long time on doing research and investigation and finally succeeded in finding out the reality that the Indian government itself is behind the long story of human rights violations in Kashmir. Commenting upon the kidnapping of six western tourists in 1995 from Anantnag the authors say, “It appeared that there were some in the Indian establishment who did not want this never-ending bad news story of Pakistani cruelty and Kashmiri inhumanity to end, even when the perpetrators themselves were finished.” The writers claim kidnapping of six western tourists in 1995 including two Britons, two Americans, one German and one Norwegian tourist in Anantnag district was carried out by a group of Kashmiri militants who worked for Indian Army. The tourists were kidnapped by a terrorist organization Al-Faran, which initially demanded release of 21 persons including Harkat chief Maulana Masood Azhar and Omar Sheikh. Later Azad Nabi, a pro-govt militant, bought four from Al Faran for 4 lakhs and shot them on 24 Dec 1995. In all this story of abduction the most interesting thing is the demand of release of Harkat chief Maulana Masood Azhar, who in fact has nothing to do with Al-Faran. His name was included in the demand list just to drag Pakistan into the affair and to give the world a false impression that Pakistan was behind this abduction. India authorities are still projecting the thought that Al-Faran, which claimed responsibility for the abductions, was part of the Harkat-ul-Ansar militant group but Harkat denies any ties with Al-Faran.
The Indian government is in a habit of using its own militants to kidnap and kill the foreign tourists and blame Pakistan for this heinous act of terrorism particularly in the paradise like valley of Kashmir. For more than half a century Kashmiris have been suffering a lot due to the extremely brutal Indian occupation. Since 1988 over 80 000 civilians including women and children have died at the hands of the Indian army and paramilitary forces. The people of Kashmir are being punished for their desire of liberty and independence. Their crime is they want India to end the brutal occupation of Kashmir, their homeland. More pathetic is the fact that their basic human right of freedom is always being neglected and ignored by the world peace makers and even by the UNO. It is only Pakistan which stands by the people of Kashmir in their war against inhuman brutal Indian occupation.
The people of Kashmir are entangled into the unseen strings of politics of terrorism. The government of India which claims to be the care-taker of their basic human rights, is itself involved in the violation of these rights. High rank military officers posted there in the occupied valley of Kashmir are busy in planning how to make the lives of the Kashmiri people more painful whereas the lower military officials are doing all their best to act upon their plans. To counter the struggle for independence in occupied Kashmir, the government of India has introduced different terrorist groups in the garb of Islamist extremist organizations. These fake organizations not only disrepute the preaching and teaching of Islam but also generate hatred against those who are actually busy in the real war against Indian atrocities in the valley of Kashmir. The story of kidnapping of six western tourists in 1995 as exposed by Adrian Levy & Catherine Scott-Clark is also same type of story. By adopting such immoral and unethical tactics, India is killing two birds with one stone; on one hand she is crushing the freedom movement and on the other hand she is shifting all blame onto Pakistan. And such tactics are surely not the new ones; India has been firing all her blame-shots towards Pakistan since independence in 1947. And ironically, Pakistan is not the only target of this blame game; Pakistan’s all weather friend China also has to face the bullets of this stray firing.
According to a recently issued report, India has erected an impenetrable wire along its border with Pakistan and the Line of Control in Kashmir. Yet, for each security failure of seven million strong Indian military forces in Kashmir, India finds an easy scapegoat in form of “cross-border terrorism” from Pakistan. Instead of wasting all her zeal and zest in playing blame game against Pakistan, India could have made situation far better by concentrating upon the remedy of actual issues which compel the people to revolt against the government. The matter of the fact is that it is not only the valley of Kashmir where people are striving to get freedom; there are numerous states where struggle for freedom and liberty is going on. Naxilite movement and the uprising for freedom in seven north-eastern states is no more a hidden story. Even Dr. Manmohan Singh, the honourable prime minister of India once admitted in 2009 talking to the media men that India is facing the worst threat from the Naxilite movement. He said with severe distress and anguish, “Naxilite movement is the biggest internal security threat for India.” The seven north-eastern states including Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura are also the worst example of India’s home-grown terrorism. These states cover an area of about 250,000 km2 which amounts to 7 percent of India’s total area and about 3.8 percent of India’s total population. A continuous state of disturbance and disorder in such a vast area could never be a negligible reality. Instead of targeting Pakistan, India must pay attention to this ‘biggest internal security threat’. Indian authorities must also be aware of the nexus between the Indian security forces personnel and the so-called militants they claim to fight against; with the passage of time this coordination is getting stronger.