By Tufail Ahmad, New Age Islam
16 September 2016
On September 13, the first day of Eid
Al-Azha, major mosques were shut down in Kashmir. Amid the continued rioting,
78 lives were lost and a thousand people were injured over past two months. In
present times, nations are invaded by ideas emerging from internal and external
sources. There are two recent examples of this argument. One, Syrian refugees
arriving in Europe have practically invaded local cultures, disturbing the rule
of law in European countries. Two, in India television debates about pellets
guns have emerged as more powerful than bullets, thereby posing a threat to
peace in Kashmir. The tragedy of the Indian mind is that, in responding to the
war in Kashmir created by the Pakistani-jihadi mind – it is seeking a political
In this context, discussed below are some
difficult ways to resolve the Kashmir issue but first look at a brief history
of the conflict. At the Partition in 1947, Jammu & Kashmir was an
autonomous state ruled by Maharaja Hari Singh. The newly created Pakistan
invaded the princely state in October 1947. Hari Singh could not fight and
sought military help from India. Lord Mountbatten who was the governor general
of free India initially refused to send military aid. However, Indian troops
arrived in Kashmir after Hari Singh signed an Instrument of Accession to India.
At that time Pakistanis, who included jihadi fighters from the Pakistani tribal
region, were seen as invaders by local Kashmiris who joined hands with Indian
troops to fight against them.
Against the advice of Indian military
generals, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru took the issue to the United Nations
Security Council which passed, among others, the Resolution 47 of April 21,
1948. As per the resolution, the first step was for Pakistan to withdraw all
its troops from Jammu & Kashmir. The second step was for India to
progressively reduce its forces after it was established by the UN that
Pakistani troops were withdrawn. The third step was to hold a plebiscite. Since
Pakistan was seen then by Kashmiris as an invader state, it did not like the
idea of a plebiscite and did not fulfil the first step of withdrawing troops.
Consequently, the second and third steps did not materialise. Also, Resolution
47 is contained in Chapter VI of the UN Charter which is not binding.
And, the Kashmir conflict has a typical
Islamic lineage. As per Islamic teachings, Islam protects non-Muslim minorities
living in an Islamic state. However, it does so only when non-Muslim minorities
accept to live as Dhimmis (second class citizens) and pay Jizya,
which is a tax on non-Muslims. However, this is not merely a tax in neutral
terms. This is essentially a religious tax which must be paid by non-Muslims to
get their life protected by an Islamic ruler, which means that a non-Muslim
must pay Jizya to buy a right to life and renew it every year. It means
that Islam is not merely a religion, but also an ideology of power.
While there are cases where the majority
non-Muslims have lived under Muslim rulers, generally speaking Islam's
followers, when they are in a majority, do not accept non-Muslims as rulers.
For example, the Pakistani Constitution expressly bars non-Muslim Pakistani
citizens from becoming head of the state because Islam does not foresee any
possibility in which a non-Muslim can be the head of a Muslim state. In
Kashmir, the majority non-Muslims accepted Muslim rulers, notably when Shah Mir
became the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir in 1339 CE, starting the Salatin-e-Kashmir
dynasty. But now non-Muslims are expelled from Kashmir.
So, now that Muslims are in the majority in
Kashmir it is unacceptable to them that they can live under Hindu-Indian rule.
While there is an exception to this argument given the fact that the majority
Muslims lived under Hindu King Maharaja Hari Singh, the Islamic idea of
non-Muslims being second-class Dhimmi sand unacceptable as rulers was indeed
radicalised at the end of the 1980s when the Pakistani military's
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which had emerged victorious in Afghanistan,
introduced a copy-cat jihadi war in Kashmir. Since then, Kashmir has become a
battleground of Pakistan-backed jihadi war. India must not allow the creation
of a mini-Pakistan in Kashmir.
In 2010, Dukhtaran-e-Millat leader
Asiya Andrabi justified the Kashmir war as a jihad saying: "My perception
is that… (the protests) might intensify during Ramzan. Ramzan is the month of
jihad. The first war against the infidels happened on the… (17th) day of
Ramzan" – a reference to the Battle of Badr, Islam's first war led by
Prophet Muhammad against infidels. In 2010, Syed Ali Shah Geelani of the
Hurriyat Conference described the Kashmir war as "a religious issue"
and noted that "Islam teaches that Muslims must follow the guidance of
Islam in every action of theirs – not just in prayers but also in matters such
as war." In 2008, Geelani said: "Osama (bin Laden) has come only
during the last few years. People like me have been fighting for this all our
It is time for India to recognise the
nature of the Pakistan-backed jihad in Kashmir and consider some options. One,
the roots of Kashmir jihad are inside Pakistan. We learnt from the Cold War
that internal movements of enemy countries can be successfully sponsored by
external powers. As a result of such a Western policy, the nuclear super power
Soviet Union broke up. India must try to break up Pakistan from within through
non-nuclear means. Two, moderate leaders in Kashmir must be strengthened,
argues Sanjay Kumar, who has worked in conflict situations involving Kashmiris,
Maoists and Ranbir Sena as part of peace initiatives by the Art of Living
Foundation. He notes that during the recent visit of the all-party delegation,
moderate religious leaders of Kashmir like Ghulam Rasool Hami were not allowed
to meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Three, there are constituencies of people
who have a share in Kashmir's future. Sanjay Kumar says that a large number of
ex-militants can be engaged in a process of dialogue through mediation by
neutral spiritual leaders such as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. He also says that
thousands of educated Kashmiri women are forced to remain unmarried because
there are no suitable boys. These women can be brought in a conference as part
of the political process because their life's priorities are different. Even
today Kashmiri youths including children of secessionist leaders look to join
the Indian civil service, Sanjay Kumar points out. Four, the elected
governments in Jammu & Kashmir have not worked enough to build local
democratic institutions. The last rounds of Panchayat elections did not succeed
due to threats from Pakistan-sponsored Jihadis. Yet, this process must be
encouraged by increasing women's seats in Panchayats to 50 percent. Because the
nature of jihad is anti-women, it is essential to bring women to the front of
politics in Kashmir.
Five, India must cease talking to
pro-Pakistan secessionist leaders. Various factions of the Hurriyat Conference
are essentially the long arm of the ISI. Their leaders should be facing
sedition charges, not invited for dialogue. For the secessionists and
Islamists, dialogue is a bridge they think they can walk over. However, there
is a need for involving the elected members of the Jammu & Kashmir
legislative assembly, who are the only authentic representatives of the
Kashmiris, in a continuing series of talks with local groups as well as with
the central government. Know the nature of this enemy: it is always prepared to
fight, whether in Ramzan or on Eid Al-Azha.
Former BBC journalist Tufail Ahmad is executive director of the Open
Source Institute, New Delhi. He is the author of "Jihadist Threat to India
– The Case for Islamic Reformation by an Indian Muslim." He tweets
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Mr Tufail Sb is an anti-democratic, anti-social, anti-humane writer, who
simply wants to encash the anti-Muslim and anti-Islam Islamophobic sentiments.
his writings, it has been very clear long long ago, he has no interest in
resolving any issues related to Hindus or Muslims residing in any corner of the
world, his only intention is to please his masters.
If anything, the government needs to be
vary of Muslims like Tufail Ahmed who may be too ready to parrot what it wants
to hear. As long as the government keeps looking for anti-Islamic Muslims and
encourages them, it will fail in solving issues involving Muslims.