By Dr Shabir Choudhry
23 January, 2011
How sad, those who want to empower people and speak for rights of all people of Jammu and Kashmir are accused of being pro India; and those who want to communalise polity of the region by dividing people in name of religion are called ‘freedom fighters’.
How sad, those who want human rights for all citizens and express their concern about human rights abuses in all regions of the State of Jammu and Kashmir are called pro Hindu or pro India; and those who speak for rights of only Muslims are called ‘true representatives of Kashmir’.
How sad, those who want to promote peace, prosperity and democratic rights of all citizens of the State of Jammu and Kashmir are accused of speaking India’s language; and those who want to create chaos, disrupt normal life, promote culture of fear and intimidation, kill those who question or disagree with anti democracy and anti people policies are hailed as ‘heroes’.
How sad, those who promote pro people and pro Kashmir policies are accused of being in hands of India; and those who openly advance a Pakistani agenda in Kashmir, use their resources to advance extremism, communalism and hatred are projected as ‘leaders’ and ‘mujahids’.
How sad, those who advance violence, religious extremism and intolerance in Jammu and Kashmir, and present right of accession disguised under colourful wrapping of a right self determination are rewarded and promoted as ‘freedom fighters and leaders’; and those sons of soil who sincerely promote, peace, stability, prosperity, equality for all and expose and oppose forces of extremism, communalism and hatred are called ‘agents’ and ‘anti movement’.
How sad, that in summer of 2010 normal life in the Valley was disrupted in name of stone pelting, and schools and colleges, offices, shops were closed because of fear and disruption; and this caused loss to Jammu and Kashmir economy and damaged infrastructure worth 700 crors rupees. Those who talked of reason and opposed this disruption as it hurt ordinary people, it hurt education of students and it hurt local economy were called pro India and anti Movement; and those responsible for this loss were hailed as ‘leaders’ and ‘saviours’.
How sad, no one told them that the property and infrastructure they were damaging did not belong to Manmohan Singh or Sonia Gandhi, but it belonged to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. No one told them that students whose education suffered were ordinary sons and daughters of people of Kashmir (children of leaders study outside the boundary of the State); and economy that was shattered belonged to the local people, and protest and subsequent violence only damaged local interest and future of next generation.
How sad, those who were killed and injured in this wave of unrest they and their families suffered and continue to suffer, their concern for next meal and other necessities of life have grown; and those who were leading this stone pelting movement their kitchens never faced any shortage of supply.
How sad, some of the people at the forefront of the stone pelting movement only travel first class and enjoy luxurious life; and people who came out to throw stones and in some cases set light to property are suffering due to lack of appropriate facilities and low income.
How sad, APHC leaders decided not to speak truth and hide facts from the people and accused India of killing political leaders (Mir Waiz Farooq and Abdul Ghani Lone) when they knew some others were culprits.
How sad, when Professor Abdul Ghani Bhat decided to speak out about these killings after 20 years long silence, he only spoke half truth that ‘India was not responsible for these killings’; and still did not say who killed them? Is he too afraid to tell the truth or he and his colleagues think rewards from across the border could stop if he opens his mouth?
How sad, that sons (Mir Wais Umer Farooq, Bilal Lone and Sajjad Lone) of these two leaders killed in broad day light also decided to remain quiet over murder of their fathers. I remember Sajjad Lone speaking in a conference in London, where in reply to Banazir Bhutto’s speech, he said: At least you can say who killed your father (Zulfqar Ali Bhutto), I cannot even point finger out at those who killed my father.
How sad, that imported gun brought its own culture of fear and intimidation and forced weeping sons and daughters to remain quiet; and not to expose killers of their fathers. It also forced leaders and ordinary people to fall in line or be prepared for repercussion.
How sad, these leaders tell lies, fabricate facts and mislead people to enhance their personal and political agenda; and ordinary people seem to have no option but either to remain quiet or follow them.
How sad, those who were charged with the responsibility to lead are led themselves by others; and have lost all sense of direction.
How sad, that ordinary people cannot even tell their so called leaders that they have no agenda for azadi (independence); and that they were going in circles which result in death, destruction and suffering of the ordinary people. How sad.
Writer is Head Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs.Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
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