By Wilson John
The pro-azadi slogans we hear and the Pakistani flags we see in the Kashmir Valley are self-contradictory. Or are they? What Farooq, Malik and Shah dream of is no different from what Geelani hopes for: Kashmir becoming Pakistani territory
A lot has been written about the protests and the cry for azadi in theKashmir Valley in the national and international media. The arguments and counter-arguments have been loud, often raucous, and almost rabidly emotional, clouding in the process certain important facts which the people of Jammu & Kashmir, and India, should know.
Of great urgency is to understand the conspiracy behind the violence and pro-Pakistani voices in the Kashmir Valley. The loud calls for azadi and more shrill pro-Pakistan slogans are contradictory in their very nature, and therefore betray the conflicting stands taken by the various self-appointed leaders of Kashmiris and the helping hand of Pakistani terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Tayyeba which have been the ISI's key instruments in propagating anti-India sentiments and violence.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the key proponent of azadi, is a Pakistani stooge and has been playing the Islamabad tune for quite some time despite his secessionist rhetoric, which should have put any ordinary Indian behind bars without bail under the National Security Act. He wants Kashmir to become another 'federally administered' colony of Pakistan like FATA or Pak-Occupied Kashmir where people do not even have the fundamental right of expression -- if someone dares to do so, as Mr Geelani and his acolytes indulge in with abundance on this side, they would be summarily shot or stand trial for treason.
So should be the case of All-Party Hurriyat Conference leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, former Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front leader Yasin Malik and Shabbir Shah who have been misleading the people over the issue of Sri Amarnath Shrine Board land allotment and inciting them to protest and indulge in violence against India. Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik and Shabbir Shah have been quick to scamper on to the Geelani bandwagon but espouse a different agenda of independence. As in the past, they are leading the gullible people of Kashmir on a path of violence, instigated by forces which are inimical to India.
One such potent force is the LeT, created by Osama bin Laden during the Afghan jihad and supported by the Pakistani Army and the ISI since then. All the Kashmiri leaders have been in constant touch with the LeT leadership during the past two months. Geelani, in fact, has been a frequent visitor to Islamabad and other cities in Pakistan, taking part in bogus conferences on Kashmir. He has been particularly active in the ISI-LeT network before and during the renewed violence in Kashmir.
The LeT has been working, assiduously for several years now in Kashmir, marginalising the local militant outfits like Hizb-ul Mujahideen, taking over the responsibility of training and funding of terrorist activities, particularly after 2003, and making deeper inroads into the civil society by establishing mosques and madarsas in the area and front organisations like Kashmir Elder Council. It is well-known that the LeT has been instigating and leading protests over power breakdowns and security operations. Kashmir is the core agenda of the LeT and it has, in its manifesto called Why Are We Doing Jihad, justified violent means to achieve its objective of 'liberating' 'Muslim' land from 'kafir' India.
The group has been consistently holding rallies and conferences on jihad in Kashmir, increasing the rhetoric and actions since early-2007. In February 2007, for instance, the LeT (see www.jamatdawah.org) organised a huge rally in Lahore where LeT chief Hafiz Saeed said: "India does not have any moral right to keep on occupying Kashmir. Pakistan firmly stands with their Kashmiri brethren in their legitimate struggle for the right of self-determination." He said Kashmir could be India's 'atoot ang' (inseparable part) but it is Pakistan's jugular vein.
A message was read out at this rally from Syed Ali Shah Geelani, in which he said: "We will continue our struggle and achieve our freedom even if the whole world decides to oppose us."
In February 2008, the group organised 'Kashmir Solidarity' rallies in 32 towns of PoK. Shabbir Shah and Geelani addressed some of the rallies via phone. The 11-point resolution adopted at the biggest of the rallies, addressed by Geelani, declared that "Pakistan will remain insecure as long as its jugular vein is in the clutches of its arch enemy".
The evidence of the terrorist group's close coordination with elements on the Indian side of Kashmir was betrayed by the LeT's elaborate plans to welcome the 'Muzaffarabad Chalo' march. While a large section of the media projected the march, led by pro-Pakistani Kashmiri leaders, as a 'spontaneous protest', the LeT was clearly preparing for such an event. The group's members, workers and supporters had gathered near the Line of Control in thousands and were chanting, "Sabeeluna, sabeeluna; al-jihad, al-jihad" (Our path, our path; al-jihad, al-jihad) and "Kashmirioun say rishta kya? La ilahe il allah" (Our connection with Kashmiris: There is no god but allah). While Geelani said "India cannot crush the freedom movement of Kashmiris", Umar Farooq said the "relationship of bullet and hatred with India will continue".
It is also quite obvious that the renewed violence in Jammu & Kashmir and the repeated attempts to push in terrorists, trained in camps of Swat and Dir in North-West Frontier Province, are part of a script written by the LeT, often called an Al Qaeda clone, supported and sustained by Pakistan Army ever since its creation in 1993.
Source: The Pioneer, New Delhi