Najeeb Mubarki, a former journalist with the Outlook magazine has contributed a piece in the 25th July issue of the magazine in which he has described Indian Army’s presence in Kashmir as “most brutal and deceptive occupations of modern times”. The Outlook magazine, in its efforts to run down the current regime in Delhi, often asks such journalists or dignitaries to contribute pieces particularly if they add fuel to an already raging fire. That, however, cannot be questioned; it is, after all, a free country and everybody including the magazine and Kashmiris have right to air their views regardless of the shade they represent. But describing the Indian presence in Kashmir as “occupation” is certainly travesty of facts. Perhaps, this has been said either out of sheer ignorance of the state’s recent history or a deliberate effort to mislead the reading public.
There can be numerous opinions on whatever the Indian security force are doing in Kashmir. The perspectives are always different depending on the side one is on. But one thing must be realized that the Army is functioning in Kashmir as a part of its duty to the country and Kashmir is a part of the country. To suggest that it is an “occupation” army is an utter falsehood as the country never fought a war against Kashmir and it was never conquered by India.
That part of the history is never mentioned and blinkered commentators never try to dig into it and bring it before the Kashmiri common man to disabuse his mind of the wrong propaganda by vested interests. At the risk of repetition, one has to bring home to the Kashmiris that the question of merging with Pakistan or enjoying “aazadi” had been decided once and for all almost seventy years ago and in this decision the then Indian government played fair and absolutely by the rule. It is all there in recorded history that the late Maharaja Hari Singh was toying with the idea of remaining independent after India’s partition. His procrastinations made Pakistan under Mohammed Ali Jinnah impatient who organized a raid on Kashmir by the tribal warriors, ably assisted by Pakistani regulars and irregulars. On feeling threatened by Pakistan the Maharaja requested for Kashmir’s accession to the Indian state. Indian government refused to accept the request until the Maharaja obtained the consent of people’s representatives. The most popular people’s leader Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah was then languishing in a jail. The Maharaja consulted him who whole-heartedly supported the move to merge with India. In the process a lot of time was lost and the raiders were almost at the threshold of Srinagar. With herculean efforts and enormous sacrifices the Indian Army pushed the raiders out of the Valley which had by then become Indian territory. That is how Kashmir became an Indian state and not a territory occupied by India after waging a war. Describing the Indian Army as an “occupation” army, therefore, is not only false, it also is sinister and seditious.
Perhaps, in this respect the Indian administration as well as the state administration failed to inculcate in the people of Kashmir the urge to view what the truth was. In the Pakistan-inspired chaos and mayhem created from time to time Kashmiris are instigated by its ISI or its proxies to take an antipathetic, even hostile attitude towards the Indian security forces as this is in the interest of Pakistan. Kashmiris need to remember that if terrorists infiltrating from across the Line of Control and are instigating them to cause disorder and confusion the security forces would not be sitting on their haunches to watch the show. They have the duty to deal with them as effectively as they can even if meticulously collected brick-sized stones are hurled at them by the maddened, unthinking young men who are victims of whipped up emotions.
Kashmiris seem to have forgotten that it was Pakistan which made at least three attempts to annex Kashmir and every time it was foiled by them. The first attempt was, of course, the one when it tried to grab Kashmir by force in 1947 but succeeded in capturing only half of it and, that too, because of puerile and immature policies of the then Indian prime minister. But then the fact remains that at that time it was the sovereign power of the state came seeking help of the Indian government. The second time was in 1965 when the Ayub Khan-designed Operation Gibraltar was rendered a failure by people of Kashmir who exposed and handed over the Pakistani infiltrators sent across to engineer an insurgency in their Valley. Pakistan has been relentlessly trying somehow to dislodge India from Kashmir. It unsuccessfully tried again in 1998 in the Kargil War. Perhaps, the ongoing turbulence is another effort to lead the Kashmiris astray and work up enough loathing for India to weaken its hold on the state.
Pakistan is doing all this notwithstanding the terrorist attacks it is facing from Taliban. Having sown terror it is now reaping terror. Yet, when militant Burhan Wani was killed on July 8, 2016 he was declared a martyr in Pakistan and the date of his death was declared as Black Day with Pakistan prime minister assuring the Kashmiris of his country’s help till Kashmir became part of Pakistan. Even during the Indian Home Minister’s brief visit to Pakistan for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation meeting protest rallies were organized in Islamabad and the Lashkar e Taiyyaba chief incessantly spewed venom pledging support to Kashmiri resistance. The Hizbul Chief admitted it had 1000 militants operating in Kashmir Valley.
It is a pity that many of the Kashmiris actively participating in agitations against their own Police and the Central security forces have not read the recent book “Kashmir – the Vajpayee years” by the top Indian sleuth AS Dulat - now retired. He is one sleuth who talked extensively to everyone including militants of all hues trying to subvert the administration. Some of the quotes of the militants would surely act as eye openers for those who have become extremely allergic to India:
Hashim Qureishy, hijacker of Indian Airlines flight in 1971 said, “… Hurriyat people should give up accession to Pakistan, as should our people. 65 years have passed, another 500 years will pass, Kashmir will never become Pakistan. You can write it down... and people, (you) don't sacrifice your children.” Abdul Majeed Dar, another militant was so disillusioned with the ISI that not only he contrived to come away to Kashmir but also refused to take its calls. Obviously the ISI found him very precious for their designs in Kashmir and didn't want to let go him and eventually had him killed. Firdaus, assistant of Shabir Shah one of the leading separatist leaders told Dulat that each and every Kashmiri he met in Pakistan felt they were in an alien land. They also advised him to never merge Kashmir in Pakistan. When he was denied SAM missiles by the ISI he realised that it was not interested in escalating the proxy war and was not interested in the fact that the “Kashmiris had gone all out to fight their dirty war”.
Kashmiris need to pay heed to these few nuggets delivered by their own extremists as they tell all that is there to know about Pakistan’s diabolical intentions. Hopefully, wisdom will dawn on those who have fallen prey to its mischievous disinformation and propaganda and are needlessly wasting away their lives.