The Kashmir

November 30, 2006

Yasin Malik – A killer who has gone unpunished

Muhammad Yasin Malik, Chairman JKLF is a very strange and intriguing character. In fact, I find him the most interesting to study and he epitomizes the character of Kashmiris – confused, guileful, opportunist, emotional, brave, cautious and full of tantrums.As a militant commander he rose above the ranks of others despite his shortcomings in formal education and disadvantaged family background.

He survived many splits within his party as well as militant threats and fully established himself and his JKLF – partly because of the tacit support of the Indian establishment and security agencies. He is the only Kashmiri separatist who has pockets of support within the intelligence agencies of both India and Pakistan and now he is courting Americans with the blessings from both India and Pakistan.

Yasin Malik is a great survivor. He surrendered in the early 1990s and gave hundreds of JKLF arms and ammunition to the Indian forces which raised the Special Operations Group (SOG) from that using the same arms to kill fellow militants, some from his own group. Yet he called it a cease-fire and got away with it at a time when surrender meant sure death from separatist militants.

Then he established a network of informers for the Indian security agencies to overcome the influence of Hizbul Mujahideen and Jamiatul Mujahideen, particularly in the Srinagar district. Despite the Hizb’s opposition to him, he not only survived but surged ahead. Later, he established direct contact with Indian Prime Ministers – Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh – both clandestinely and openly and when the news was out, he managed it very well. He had very good contacts with Indian leaders Rajesh Pilot and George Fernandes as well.

Last year, when the trans-Kashmir bus service was inaugurated and Pakistan’s then Information Minister Sheikh Rashid was planning to visit his ancestral family in Kashmir, Yasin Malik betrayed Sheikh Rashid and said publicly that he offered help and shelter to the Kashmiri militants. As a result, Rashid was refused visa. There are reports which suggest that Yasin Malik spilled the beans at the behest of Indian intelligence, as they were not happy for Sheikh Rashid to come being certain that he would have received an overwhelming public reception, undermining the Indian position in Kashmir.

More recently, Yasin Malik courted a bigger controversy in Washington when he and Ghulam Nabi Fai of Kashmiri American Council openly supported the Indian position on Kashmir by opposing the right of self-determination. This was so-far Yasin’s biggest shift and that too in public. Despite huge outcry, he seems to have survived it though Fai’s appeal for both Kashmiri separatists and the Pakistani establishment has eroded. Yasin Malik has ever since refused to comment on the Washington Conference, but Afzal Guru’s death sentence seems to have provided him with a new opportunity to divert public attention and use the occasion to his maximum advantage like other Kashmiri politicians from all persuasions.

Yasin Malik is intelligent as well. Despite not being much educated, he speaks good English and has studied immensely to develop a good understanding about the situation around him. After the return from his first visit to the US in 2001, he lied to the Hurriyat leaders in Srinagar to have met with Condolezza Rice, now Foreign Secretary to seek concessions. 

 He is a ‘drama queen’ too, throwing tantrums every now and then to seek sympathy and secure attention. Some people believe that he is an incarnation of the legendary Sheikh Abdullah though on a much smaller scale. Despite all this, Yasin Malik is still uncontrollable at times and loses his temper. On one occasion he assaulted his fellow Hurriyat leader Prof. Abdul Ghani Bhat during a Hurriyat session. He also attacked popular weekly ‘Chattan’ for publishing an article against him and destroyed its office. He is known for his bad language – he swears and smokes regularly despite a heart condition.

He has tremendous support within the Indian establishment. Currently he is close to Ghulam Nabi Fai who is busy to sell ‘an American solution’ to Kashmiris that is without self-determination.

 Yasin Malik comes from Maisuma in the heart of Srinagar’s Lal Chowk – a place that has seen umpteen upheavals and is witness to the tumultuous history of Kashmir.

This interview was conducted at his Maisuma residence in May this year.

How do you view the current situation in Kashmir? The situation is pretty bad. In fact, there is no improvement as claimed by both India and Pakistan. The Kashmiri people are suffering as usual.

If nothing has changed as you say, why are you supporting this ‘peace process’ between India and Pakistan? Well we have to move forward. If we do not work towards peace, Kashmir can slide into another Iraq and we could become the breeding ground for Al-Qaeda terrorists and other fundamentalist Islamic forces.

Who is a bigger threat to Kashmiris – India or what you call Islamic fundamentalist forces? I personally think Islamic fundamentalism is a bigger threat, though many may not agree with me.

And why is it so?

You can talk to India, negotiate with it, but not with the fundamentalism.

The Second Round Table Conference is a few days away and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has invited all the Kashmiris. Are you attending it?

No, I am not attending it as this is not going to solve any problems.

Isn’t it strange that you meet the Indian Prime Minister one to one in New Delhi, but not in the Round Table Conference which at least has some agenda. What kind of message does that give to Kashmiris?

Well as I said it is not the right time and therefore I don’t think I should go.

Does that mean you support the point of view of Syed Ali Geelani who says that all such exercises are useless?

I didn’t say that. All I say is that I don’t think this round table business will help anyway. When I feel something is helpful for the Kashmiris and our cause, I will certainly support it and participate in it.

Earlier you said that the present India – Pakistan Peace Process has not helped Kashmiris, but still you support it?

Listen! I said it has not helped, but I also said that such things are important to break the ice or we will further slide into chaos.

I have noticed something very strange about you. You have many cases of killings registered against you and yet India is very lenient with you allowing you to move freely within India and abroad all the time?

They realize that they can not put me behind bars all the time. They have tried it previously many a time, but failed.

Sorry am I missing anything here? You are free to go anywhere in the world you like, but Syed Ali Shah Geelani can’t even move within Kashmir. He is more influential than you and a more senior politician; why is India doing this?

I don’t know. May be they think Geelani sahib is a fundamentalist and they don’t like that.

So in other words you are saying that the Indian government likes you?

I don’t know, I didn’t say that.

 I find it strange, because it was your organization JKLF that killed most of the innocent Kashmiri Pandits and yet the blame goes to the so-called fundamentalists.

[No answer]

What do you say about the brutal killings of the Pandits? They were all innocent.

What can I say…. that is a dark phase of our history when everybody was killing each other. It was never our policy to kill Pandits. But some of our boys thought they were legitimate targets because they were pro-Indian and perceived as conspiring against the majority community.

You are saying that you never killed any Pandits?

Of course not.

But I have heard that as JKLF Chief Commander you ordered such killings?

That is simply not true.

So who killed them?

 I don’t know.

But you are responsible for such killings as Chief Commander?

No I am not… and I don’t want to talk about it further.

 Okay let us talk about the killings of the Indian Air Force men. You have a case registered in this regard.

 I said that I don’t want to talk about it. I am no more a militant. In fact I left the gun soon after and now I believe in non-violence. I am following Gandhi and he is my inspiration.  

Does that mean you are against the militant struggle in Kashmir?

 Well I don’t believe in it and that is all I want to say. What other people want to do is their business.

Recently another faction of JKLF was launched by Javaid Mir; how many factions has JKLF now got?

You should ask that to Kashmiris as to how many JKLFs do they recognize. You will get the answer.

There is a lot of dissatisfaction among Kashmiris against the so-called separatist leadership. What is your opinion?

 Well I think people are angry against them for not being able to do anything. In addition, they believe that these leaders have amassed wealth which is partly true as well. The people are not happy about that.

Many people have the same opinion about you as well. When you went to Pakistan after the earthquake last year, you claimed to have taken one crore rupees with you for the relief work. Where did that money come from?

People donated it to me for the relief operations.

Who are those people? I heard reports that the money came from Indian agencies.

That is not true. This is propaganda launched by these fundamentalists and Jamaatis.

Interview Source : Kashmir Affiars

Plebiscite not in Kashmiris’ interest: EU report

Filed under: India, Kashmir, Pakistan, Politics, Terrorism In Kashmir, UN — TheKashmir @ 7:09 am

Brushing aside Pakistan’s persistent demand for plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir, an European parliament report has said that such calls were “wholly out of step” and against the “interests” of the people there.

“Continuing calls for a plebiscite on the final status of Jammu and Kashmir are wholly out of step with the needs of the local people and thus damaging to their interests,” said the report on Kashmir being debated by EP’s foreign affairs committee in Brussels, the EU headquarters.

Click HERE to read the complete article

November 29, 2006

Kashmir is not okay

……Providing jobs for the kin of terrorists is a ‘healing touch,’ but doing the same for a Kashmiri Pandit is nowhere in the agenda. What is Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed trying to prove? Does he want to say he has taken care of terrorism and all is fine in Kashmir? Does he seriously think industrialists will pump in money at a place where the common man’s life is uncertain and terrorists are released to kill innocents?

Kashmir is not okay, Mr Sayeed. Kashmir is not fine. Why can’t you see it? Fourteen years, thousands of lives, billions of rupees and not a lesson learnt.

In fact, the conflict is at its worst today. The series of attacks on army camps, increased number of encounters and heightened security operations all support this — a view that both the state and central governments are at pains to contradict.

The recent spurt of violence, they say, is just a spurt. Another wave that will soon subside. Perhaps they don’t understand it is the 10 major strike after Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s government took over power in the state. As per his healing touch plan for the Pandits’ return, they are to be kept in two security zones, where all security will be provided and the Pandits would be herded in worse than a concentration camp-like situation. Even if the plan succeeds, is this the solution to their plight?

Looking at the present scenario it seems Kashmiri Hindus serve only one purpose for the country: as convenient political footballs. Leaders kick them as per their needs and they get torn between the whims of politicians.

Read the complete article by clicking HERE

The writer, Seema Kachru is a freelance writer and PR consultant in Houston, Texas, USA

November 25, 2006

Endangered Race !


November 24, 2006

What justifies my pain?

A Kashmiri Pandit still wonders:-

What on earth happened overnight in the valley – that the face of my neighbour changed suddenly? Was I in comatose for some unknown period – not to see this coming? Or have I been cheated by the neighbour who had been conspiring for so long, sending his kith-kin across the border to get trained in aiming his gun at me when he returns? And he is today holding me responsible for his agony – for not supporting him in his demands – demands which he was conspiring for behind my back – demands which I don’t agree to at all.

 If his son died in the ambush at the border – his kith are saluting him as a mujahid, a shaheed. He died for some cause – even though I don’t understand what his cause was – nor relate to that cause. But why was my brother killed? He had no demands, no cause, no claims. He didn’t get trained to hurt anyone. He didn’t come to kill or steal anything. 

He eulogized the terrorists; he invited them home and thought they were His messiahs. He made a mistake and pushed my dear valley into a period of war and strife… and where there is war – overt or covert, there will be death, pain, sorrow and agony. But why was this pain and agony in my share – I didn’t invite any terrorist, I didn’t want a war, I didn’t want a messiah… I just wanted to live a simple straight life… a life which my neighbour just high-jacked.   

My kith-kin got killed at hands of terrorists – just because I don’t pray in the same mosque as his, just because I didn’t agree with the cause he was motivated for, just cause I still loved my land and tri-colour. My kith was branded a mukhbir and killed in cold-blood, and he applauded the killer – calling him a Mujahid. Last month, he welcomed and garlanded this killer in those very streets… and yet expects me to empathize with his pain. Did he really ever share my pain? Never, beyond lip-service. If he really had, he wouldn’t have garlanded that black-belt killer…

Click HERE to read the complete article

November 23, 2006

Wandhama Massacre – A Poem

Written by Dr K.L.Chowdhary 

All that remains of the Pandits
is a dark cloud in the Wandhama sky
hovering like a huge question mark:
what was that terrible compulsion
that drove the fanatics
to pump eighteen bullets
into the tender constitution
of a tiny kid
that had just begun its locomotion
when a single would have done?

Read the complete poem by clicking HERE

November 20, 2006

MUFTI SYED – He Preaches Hatred ?

In an article published in many news papers including Kashmir Observer , Chief patron of the PDP and former chief minister, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, today said that his party’s self rule formula envisages subordinate assemblies in all the three regions of the state and wants restoration of aKashmir that was ruled by Yousuf Shah Chak 400 years ago.

 Mufti was mobilizing public opinion on the PDP’s self rule proposal at a rally of party workers at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium before leaving for
New York.

Not many would be knowing what the Chak rule was like ? It is absolutely shocking that the previous chief minister of the state wants the state to be like what it was during Chak rule . Kindly read the below article to know what Mufti Syed advocates , he advocates an era in which hindus were killed inKashmir ……Is this what is called peace building exercise ?

Kashmir teetering on the verge of collapse was destined to witness the advent of Chak rulers, who consolidated their political position through intrigues and political murders. Belonging to the Dardic descent, the Chaks had entered the borders of Kashmir during the hegemony of Shah Mir. It was actually Ramchander as the chief of the Kashmirian army, who rising above narrow considerations, provided shelter to Lanker Chak and his rullowers defeated in their native land by the forces inimical to them. The Chaks were ferocious and barbarous and that is what made them to grab the political power of Kashmir. At the behest of Shams-ud-din Iraqi, a proselytiser from Talish on the shores of Caspian, the Chaks were converted to the Shia sect of Islam. They were equally ruthless and showed no mercy to the Kashmirian Hindus, whose numbers had been fast dwindling under the onslaught of the fanatical zealots. Iraqi had no support-base in Kashmir. He cleverly operated under the protective wings of Sheikh Ismail Kubravi, who had shown lots of zeal for furthering the cause of Islam in Kashmir.1 He manipulated a sharp division in the followers of the Sheikh by boosting up Baba Ali Najar, who was idiotic but wielded considerable influence over the Kashmirians. The Complete story of Chak Rule is available

November 16, 2006

Clemency for Afzal Guru – I am not Concerned

By Kamal Hak 

“Afzal Guru will not be hanged,” a friend informs me while my driver is trying to maneuver through the heavy evening traffic near the ITO crossing. This place otherwise, holds a special place in my heart as it was a nearby unknown and unfamiliar lane where I found myself pausing for breath after running away from the baton wielding constables of Delhi police immediately after our exodus in 1990. Our fault, holding an anti- Pakistan rally. I find myself in a state of confusion and unable to prioritize my concerns about negotiating the chaotic traffic and politics of appeasement behind ‘Pardon Afzal’ campaign. I quickly decide Afzal is not my immediate concern. In fact I dismiss Afzal as not worthy of my thoughts and tell myself his hanging or commutation of his sentence will make no difference to me. Some time latter, we pass by majestic Akshardham temple which is fast becoming an important landmark in the national capital. And like every time I pass by that road, I give it a long look and appreciate its grandeur. Suddenly I remember the terrorist attack on similar temple in Ahmedabad a few years back and feel a strange twist in my guts……………..

To read the complete article click HERE

November 15, 2006

Gandhigiri !

Gandhiji and the three wise monkeys are symbols for ”Speak no evil, hear no evil and see no evil” are harbinger of peace in the world. Modern followers of Gandhi make him a play boy toys as a joke.

One monkey sees no evil? Musharraf showed Kashmir as a part of Pakistan in the map to publish in his book: In the Line of Fire. These books are being sold in India without restriction. Even our government doesn’t protest this. Acourding to our law nobody can publish or sell such map which contains false bountdaries of India. This foreign hand government is blind, deaf and dumb.

Other monkey hears no evil: When we say there should be protest by Govt against the anaming of redlight area afterm Mahatma Gandhi then they will not hear.

Third Monkey doen’t see Gandhi caps? Gandhi caps in Lucknow present flowers seeking closer of wine shop near the temple. Than 10 Janpath Gandhi has not a single word to assure them.  ………………………………..

Afzal’son Vs Refugee Kashmiri Pandits’ sonsAfzal Guru’s seven-year-old son Ghalib accompanied Guru’s wife Tabassum to Rashtrapati Bhawan, requesting clemency for him, told the President that his dream was to become a doctor and for that he needed his father around. Ghalib should allow meeting with the kids of those Kashmiri Pandits who are lying on the streets for that they needed their fathers around. Seekers of pardon for Afzal should bring back their fatheres who are killed without reason by many Afzals. Afzal did crime to attack parliament and to kill security forces. But what is the fault of those killed Kashmiri Pandits? Justice should be for all equally. Is there should be quota or reservation system? Who punish vote bank politicians?  

Read the complete article by clicking HERE

November 13, 2006

Islamic terrorism and Pakistani connection

From a long time the islamic terrorism has ravaged the world with mindless violence and killings. India has been suffering by the same from two decades by the name of kashmiri freedom struggle. The kashmiri terrorists are backed by indian neighbours to achieve and secure their political future. The terrorists who are fighting in india are majority non-kashmiris and non-indians supported by Hijbul Mujahideen, Lashkar etc.. which are headquarted in Pakistan and one can not ignore the involvement of pakistani intelligence agency ISI in giving training and logistical support to the so called freedom fighters…

To Read the complete write up , kindly click HERE

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