Kashmiris: The children of the lesser god
It was back in October 2003 when a young Palestinian girl, Hinadi, unexpectedly changed into a detached and quiet girl. Her routine was also gradually altering. This innocent girl happened to be a law student. She did not talk much now. However, reciting the Holy Quran after the fajr prayers became her routine. She would return home quite late but her parents, who had blind faith in their sibling, would not ask for an explanation. Nevertheless, one day when she did not go to college, her mother asked her the reason. She gave her the reason why she was not going to college.
In the evening, she left her home with a bag in her hand. After three hours, people heard about an explosion in an Israeli hotel in the town where more than a dozen Israelis, including some soldiers, were killed. Nobody knew who did it until the next day when Hinadi’s video revealed that she paid her life as a price for that action. Whenever I recollect Hinadi of Palestine, Master Muhammad Afzal of Al-Mustafa Liberation Tigers, who sustained the torture of Inspector Sharma of RAW at the Sonawar torture cell, instinctively comes to my mind. But then I miss Nazir Ahmed Lone and many other Kashmiri mujahidin also who went towards the Indian torture cells on their feet but only few of them could reappear, crippled and without their limbs.
I miss all of them today. Sadly, we have not been able to take care of the Pakistan that the freedom-lovers had kept alive in their dreams. An innocent teenager, Waqas, also dreamt of an independent Kashmir. Do we know Waqas? What to talk of our youngsters, many of our elders do not know about him. Those who sacrificed their today for Pakistan’s tomorrow are least known to them. Just to tell you about Waqas, he was that spirited and motivated boy who raised the slogan “Pakistan Zindabad!’ when a lofty six was hit by some Pakistani player against an Indian pacer. He was apprehended right away. When he was being dragged away to some unknown destination, hundreds of people heard him cry, “Mother! Please save me. They will kill me”, but no one could do anything. Unfortunately, his cadaver left by his helpless mother.
A few days ago, while doing some research about Kashmir in my library, I came across a book, Raiders in Kashmir, written by Major General (retd) Akbar Khan. I am sure General Akbar’s name would be as ‘familiar’ to our young generation as Waqas’. General Akbar’s name was taken in the famous Rawalpindi conspiracy case. Only the Almighty knows how much truth was there in the gossip. In chapter seventeenth of this book, General Akbar has made some startling predictions. For example, about the UN’s role vis-à-vis the Kashmir issue, he writes, “Some months after the ceasefire I wrote a paper under the title, “What next in Kashmir”.
The paper is in the Rawalpindi conspiracy case documents. The purpose of this paper was to show that since in the ceasefire agreement nothing existed to compel India to hold a plebiscite, it would, in fact, not do so and meanwhile delay and times would favour India, not us. The reason that was being advanced in the higher circles was that we needed time to increase our military strength before we could settle the problem of Kashmir. But it was clear to the simplest of minds that during that time India could strengthen herself many times more. Basically, what was wrong with this philosophy was the idea that anything done in Kashmir would inevitably bring war, and that our strength was to be measured simply by material and numerical comparisons alone.”
After the submission of this paper through proper channel, General Akbar had a detailed meeting with Liaquat Ali Khan, the then prime minister, and was hopeful that the latter had understood him. Months passed and nothing happened. Not that the prime minister was not sincere to the cause, a number of intermediaries like the Inspector General police Qurban Ali Khan, who stopped the scheme of local production of small weapons, played a negative role. General Akbar further writes, “About a year later, I wrote another paper under the title “Keep the pot boiling in Abdullah’s Kashmir” (This too is kept in the record). I suggested that as we could no longer violate ceasefire in the presence of UN observers, the right course of action for us was to help the people of the occupied Kashmir to strengthen and accelerate their own internal freedom movement against the Indian occupation. On this too, no action was taken and those in authority seemed satisfied merely repeating their requests to the UN in the matter.”
I do not know when Palestine and Kashmir would be unshackled since the most important thing for the success of such freedom movements lies in the unity of the nations. Here, the ruthless disruption of Muslim unity is the ill-fortune. The Palestinian freedom movement is already thwarted where one can easily find Hamas and Fatah getting blood thirsty for each other. One thing is for sure; Yasser Arafat will never be absolved and forgotten for the failure of the Palestinian freedom movement. Whosoever thinks of serving the Kashmir cause will definitely meet the same fate.
About a decade back, Osama Musa, the Palestinian ambassador in India, while giving interview to an Indian magazine The Week, made a disgraceful statement that there was no resemblance between the Kashmir and the Palestinian issue and that the Palestinians do not consider the Kashmiri militants as mujahidin. In the same interview, Osama declared the Indian atrocities against the ill-fated Kashmiris as rightful action. I wonder where that ignorant and ill-bred Osama Musa is now but I want him from the bottom of my heart and the other members of the “Arafat gang” to closely watch the fate of the Palestine liberation movement, for the failure of which directly and many other struggles like Kashmir, indirectly only and only they are responsible. If they still have any doubt the best thing for them is to consult their conscience.
The misfortune of the Kashmiris is that they are the flag bearers of a Muslim freedom movement so we should be rest assured that they will always be interrupted and ignored. Well, if they had even a faintest resemblance with the issue of the East Timor, an area with the Christian in majority, then the sole super power of the world would have ensured their freedom a long time back.
Few years back, in one of the talk shows of a channel, the Kashmir policy vis-à-vis the future government was also talked about. All the participants, except one, and the host were of the opinion that the freedom of Kashmir is very crucial for Pakistan’s existence. To support the point, the Quaid’s saying, “Kashmir is Pakistan’s jugular’s vein”, was quoted. The only odd man out in the talk show was one Pervez Hoodbhoy who is well-known for his bitterness and ‘different’ views. The gentleman was of the view that Pakistan should take care of its internal affairs instead of carrying around the Kashmir freedom flag. He summed up his argument by saying, “… and that’s it”. The irony is that such a person is allowed to pollute the innocent minds of the future of Pakistan in the academia and yet we yell at the top of our voice that we support the Kashmiris.
It’s a hard fact that people are very well aware of the felonies for which they are being punished, whether they plead guilty or not, while the ill-fated majority does not comprehend the crimes for which they were served with rigorous life imprisonment. Unfortunately my brethren from the bleeding Chinars and the flaming valley belong to the latter category while a prosecuted inhuman criminal, an Indian spy Kashmir Singh who was released on ‘humanitarian grounds’ belonged to the former group.
I have just one simple question to ask that if Kashmir Singh could be pardoned then why the Valley of Kashmir can’t be set free, that is suffering at the hands of the Indians since the last over half a century. Why the civilised nations of the world do not care for the bleeding wounds of the Valley? Why the champions of human rights, friends to the oppressed nations and intellectuals do not raise their voices that, “if just one person named Kashmir Singh could be set free, why couldn’t Kashmir the name of millions also be allowed to breathe freedom”?
Will someone clear the confusion?