Kinza Fatima, a sixteen years old Kashmiri girl wrote to me three weeks back, “Death and blood, cries and shrieks, injured, smashed and emaciated bodies of our dear and near ones; what else we are left with? You writers! Keep on writing but be sure that no one among the Indian Army deputed here in the valley of Kashmir, is going to read what you write. The world around us is deaf and dumb; there will be a time when you would realize that you have been wasting the energy of your words. Your words could never bring back my brother because he is now somewhere in the realms beyond your imaginations, high above the sky.” She further said, “My seventeen years old brother Ahmed Ali was kidnapped by a team of the Indian Army one evening while he was on his way back to home six months ago. We tried our best to locate where they had detained him but we could find nothing. Five days later we found scattered parts of his body floating in a clear water stream.” The most painful sentence of her mail which really watered my eyes; “Dear writer, do you know why the people of valley get frightened when they see a shrieking crowd of wild crows circling around a mountain top: because their circling and shrieking indicates the presence of some dead body brutally thrown there by the Indian security forces.”
This mail of innocent Kinza Fatima must be very much agonizing for all those who have a humane heart. I personally feel that it is something very easy to pen down the brutality and portray the hardships the people of Indian occupied Kashmir have been facing for more than seventy years but almost next to impossible is to bear these atrocities even for a single moment. It is simply the courage and determination of the people of Kashmir which has still kept them energetic and alive. If it were the Americans or the British or the Israelis, they would have lost all their hopes very long ago, in the very beginning. Ask the innocent children of Kashmir; ‘who is going to be our saviour?’
The people of Kashmir are of the opinion that it is nothing but the presence of the Indian army in the valley which has deprived them of their basic human rights. But the Indian Army Chief General V.K. Singh has a different point of view in this context. In his recent statement he said, “The basic reason behind the flare up in the Kashmir Valley is the failure to build on the gains that had been made by the security forces in the ‘troubled state’. The army had brought the situation under control to a certain level from where other steps should have been taken to carry forward the process and bring peace in the Valley. There are people who are passing instructions on phone. They have to be identified. The situation in the valley of Kashmir is nothing but the result of the loss of confidence.” This statement of the army chief has many important points which require a very keen type of analysis. First of all he has admitted that there is a situation of ‘flare up’ in the valley. Secondly he has admitted the failure of the security forces and thirdly he has accepted that Kashmir is a troubled state. And above all is his admittance of the fact that the people of Kashmir have lost their confidence in the government of India and the Indian forces. The situation can be very easily improved if all these factors pointed out by the Army Chief are taken care of sympathetically.
Farzana Versey is a Mumbai-based author and columnist. Here is an extract from her recent piece of writing published in the Countercurrents. ‘It does not need to be reiterated that the Kashmir issue is a complex one, but when the armed forces fight civilians, it is not only a matter of separatist aspirations. It is also about a badly-administered state that is not providing basic infrastructure and opportunities to the citizens. The freedom of individuals to express their own anger is being manipulated by various power centers, it is a precious irony’.
Sumit Ganguly holds the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University at Bloomington. In one of his recent articles he states, ‘The problem that the government confronts has no military solution. The anger that has spilled out into the warren-like streets of Kashmir’s villages is not the work of Pakistan-supported jihadi terrorists or organized indigenous separatists. Instead it is the spontaneous outburst of a generation of young Kashmiris who have witnessed much hardship over the last two decades of the insurgency. This anger has its roots in economic stagnation. The coalition state government has done little to attract investment into the troubled state. Kashmiris, especially young men, have limited employment opportunities’.
Let us put together the statement of General V.K.Singh, the opinion of Farzana Versey and the analysis of Sumit Ganguly to form the real picture of Kashmir. The only reason behind is nothing but injustice and human rights violation. The Indian political and military hi-ups are never ready to pay any heed to the actual root cause. They always try to deny the facts and mitigate the situation by commenting the Kashmir issue as an internal affair of India. Kashmir has never been an internal affair of India; it is the actual bone of contention between the two neighbouring countries India and Pakistan. It is because of the Kashmir conflict that India is always eagerly ready to drag Pakistan into every incident of terrorism which takes place on the Indian soil. The Mumbai attacks of 2008 are the worst example in this regard. The Indian hi-ups are mistakenly of the opinion that Pakistan is supporting the people of Occupied Kashmir through different jihaddi groups. They are also of the opinion that all these groups are trained and financed by the ISI. The Indian Minister for External Affairs S.M.Krishna also expressed the same thoughts during his visit to Pakistan in the second week of July. He said that the peace process could never be successful unless Pakistan puts behind the bars the perpetrators of the Mumbai Blasts. He also criticized the statements made by Hafiz saeed. Same type of comments was made by the Indian Home Secretary G.K. Pillai in Indian Express. He said, ‘The ISI did not have “just a peripheral role” in Mumbai assault. They (ISI) were literally controlling and coordinating it from the beginning till the end’. As far as Hafiz Saeed is concerned, he has always been the most favourite target of the Indian politicians and Indian media. This religious scholar is being continuously blamed for his connections with the Kashmiri militant groups which are fighting against the Indian atrocities in the Indian Occupied Kashmir. These groups have nothing to do with Pakistan same in the manner as those of the Naxalites and the Maoists. All these groups are nothing but the ‘Indigenous Protestants’.
The South Asian Region can become a peaceful paradise if an amicable solution of the Kashmir issue is sought on urgent and compassionate grounds. This is the only way to compensate and pacify the innocent Kinza Fatima who is helplessly mourning over the brutal murder of her brother Ahmed Ali.