The Kashmir Flag(L) & A Kashmir Girl Selling India Flag(R)
By Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
A symbolic march by Kashmirs to march towards north (Muzaffarabad) when they are harmed in the south (Jammu) has caused more lives for Kashmiris. It is indeed a shame for human civilization that India continues to be engaged n genocide of Kashmiris. As part of Indian strategy to kill Kashmiris in a sustained manner under different guises, some more Kashmiri Muslims were murdered by India in the background of the Hindus fascist fight for Sri Amarnath illegal land deal. After direct fire on Muzaffarabad marchers, at least eight persons, including a senior Hurriyat freedom fighting leader of Jammu and Kashmir, Shaikh Abdul Aziz, were killed as they were marching towards the Line of Control in Baramulla district leader and a boy were killed by Indian security forces in Srinagar district on August 15 a couple of days ahead of Indian independence day. Following the killing of six protestors including Sheikh Abdul Aziz, the authorities imposed curfew in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir. However, the freedom fighters have reiterated their resolve to continue their mach, come what may.
Economic terrorism unleashed by Hindus in Jammu region by blocking the movement of goods between Jammu and Kashmir have caused serious economic problems and this economic terrorism is resented by Kashmirs who have suffered badly and decided to mach to Muzaffarabad to show their anger. Economic terrorism is been used by USA and the Western powers against third world nations, now especially Iran, to cripple their economies. India has thought out similar strategy to make Kashmiris to bend completely and bow down to Indian military dictates. Economic blockade is a crude manifestation of the decades’ old policy of making Kashmir economy fatally dependent on others.
Notwithstanding arrests by police in different parts of Kashmir, Kashmiris in thousands marched towards North Kashmir to participate in the “Muzaffarabad March” to protest against the economic blockade of the Valley. In North Kashmir, the march to Muzaffarabad commenced from Sopore Fruit Mandi after people defied restrictions. Sopore Fruit Mandi was besieged early morning by police and CRPF men and five trade union leaders were detained and tyres of decorated fruit laden trucks were deflated by the troopers. After arrest of leaders, announcements were made through Public Address System (PAS) asking people to join the “Muzaffarabad March”. Thousands of people again joined march with women lined up on roadside yelling pro freedom and pro–Pakistan slogans. They were seen serving water and food packets to the protestors and praying for their safety. After the protestors reached Baramulla, the processionists boarded buses, trucks, scooters to move towards Muzaffarabad.
Amidst pro-freedom, pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans, the protestors, who were led by Huriyat leaders, Sheikh Abdul Aziz and Shabir Ahmad Shah reached Tachal, Uri, some 20 kms from Uri. They could not move ahead as the army had dug up trenches to prevent people and vehicles from moving ahead. When the protestors tried to march ahead, they were fired on by the troopers, causing injuring to at least 20 persons including Sheikh Abdul Aziz. Aziz received bullet injury in his abdomen and was rushed to nearby hospital, where from he was referred to SMHS hospital, where he succumbed. Meanwhile, thousands of people were on streets till late night at Sangrama, Delina, Sheeri, Hyderbugh, Zumgum, and Pattan. They were waiting for the sunrise to recommence their “Muzaffarabad March”.
There have been thousands of known and unknown Kashmiri martyrs who have laid down their sacred lives in their freedom struggle, much more than what the India had lost dung their independence fight under British rule. Abdul Aziz was a pro-Pakistan Kashmiri leaders fighting for the cause of gaining sovereignty back from occupying India. Muzaffarabad is legally a part of Kashmir, now the capital of Azad Kashmir with an independent premier administrated by Pakistan and which would be a part of new Kashmir when it becomes free from Indian military occupation.
Kashmiris have been at the receiving end since their nation was annexed by it neighbor India and hardships are nothing new to them either. Also, now this is not something new to the now fragile economy of Kashmir that it has been subjected to, over the last six decades. The backdrop in which the economy of Kashmir traveled along the time path included a focus on making Kashmir prone to dependency cult, intentionally pursued by New Delhi; priority setting as per the whims of policy planners at New Delhi. The horticulture, floriculture and other commodity sectors have suffered losses that have varied ramifications and most of the growers cannot possibly sustain these losses. These commodities are flooding the already saturated and impoverished local market of Kashmir.
The acute hardships faced by people in valley by scarcity of essential commodities, life saving drugs and medicine, even kids’ items, by the economic blockade does call for a new thinking based on self reliance. Of course, now it looks the popular uprising is not going to end until the Kashmirs obtain freedom and independence from India. First of economic terrorism must end followed by state military terrorism.
It is noteworthy that in this regard JKLF Chairman Muhammad Yaseen Malik went on a hunger strike unto death but fortunately freedom fighting leaders like Geelani persuaded him to end his long hunger strike. Geelani also reminded him saying, “We differ with the idea of fast unto death as it is not an Islamic way and that we must pray to the almighty for the continuity and eternity of the unity we have showed this time”. Besides, no one will care in India even if entire Muslim community in Kashmir goes on hunger strike until death. India promotes genocide in Kashmir, after all and death of Kashmiris and other Muslims in any manner is welcome to New Delhi.
But it is time the Governor of Jammu Kashmir NN Vohra considers recommending to New Delhi to grant independence to Kashmir so that the Kashmiris don’t have to stave and die like this and let them live with honor and resources. Any further day in decision-making in favor of Kashmiris could be disastrous for both Kashmiris and India. The Kashmirs do have the efficient leadership, resources and the capacity to govern their own nation in a peaceful manner.