We must unequivocally denounce the gun culture, as a Kashmiri killed by Indian Army is as condemnable as a Kashmiri killed by our own people.
The success of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) lies in containing all militant organizations in Pakistan including Kashmir-bound jihadi groups. And LeT Chief Hafiz Saeed’s detention is a clear message to all armed groups working in Pakistan. The future course of resistance movement of Kashmiris, hence, has to be more evolutionary in nature and we must look for new methods of resistance as times are changing. In order to retain world support, whatever we enjoy, we must be ready for an all-inclusive strategy. Thereby, we can’t afford name calling and bad mouthing against our own people.
The protests, guns and grenades are part of a resistance movement, but these are not the only means of freeing a nation. There must be a multi-pronged, multi-dimensional strategy, and there can be no freedom if we continue to live in isolation. Guns have highlighted our case, protests have ripened our cause, and pellets have unmasked our enemy but now what? We as a nation can’t afford the hartal strategy, self-destructive protest trends and getting our boys killed anymore.
Let there be something new; let there be emancipation before political azaadi; let name calling and bad mouthing end; let National Conference, People’s Democratic Party, Mirwaiz’s Hurriyat, Geelani’s Hurriyat, JKLF and other independent groups devise a common minimum programme. As the secret of our success lies in unity, let us take the bull by its horn; let us initiate something worth mentioning as Kashmir’s very own. However, we must also not forget that there are certain compulsions for de-facto leadership because of the extreme positions they have taken over the years. Also, our leaders must not forget that unity means togetherness of people from different beliefs. Mirwaiz and Geelani’s sharing same platform cannot be called unison, for they share same school of thought. Actual unity means all inclusiveness, it can even include Sikh and Hindu organizations – it may even have Panun Kashmir’s support, and it may enjoy Bhimsingh’s green signal. Time needs us to draft a flexible programme, yet steadfast on its stance.
We need to understand the movement that we live and die for hasn’t been inclusive. Our conscience didn’t shake when Pandits were killed in Kashmir. Our conscience didn’t shake when Sikhs were butchered. We have been selective in our approach; we failed to garner support of our own people. We failed in establishing a proactive stance at different levels of our movement.
Those who believe in resolution through negotiations must remember that nobody comes to negotiation table to lose a battle; it is a compromising system of conflict resolution. We may lose something for now but undoubtedly we will win what we have been aspiring for. No Indian Prime Minister and none of the counterparts from Pakistan will come to negotiation table to lose their control over Kashmir. India and Pakistan are comparatively newly born independent states and they require decades more to be mature enough to give up their differences – and that doesn’t imply that Kashmir shall continue to bleed every now and then. We have to give both countries the required time, the required confidence to build methodology so that sensible heads and cooler senses may prevail on both sides. We must also understand that we cannot force India and Pakistan to come to negotiation table by pointing AK 47 towards them – nuclear powers won’t submit before unruly mobs.
Kashmiris must rectify mistakes committed in the past. We need to introspect as to why an SLF member turned into face of Ikhwan. We must relook as to why prudent Kashmiris were killed as “traitors” and “agents” by our own people. Until we refuse to accept our faults, we will continue to be at the receiving end. We must unequivocally denounce the gun culture, as a Kashmiri killed by Indian Army is as condemnable as a Kashmiri killed by our own people. We cannot afford the butchering of prudent Kashmiris like Molvi Farooq, Abdul Gani Lone, HN Wanchoo, Dr Guroo, Maulana Showkat, etc.
We must rethink and relook as to what went wrong. Yesterday’s traitor can be a statesman of tomorrow and they just need a chance. We can’t survive by calling every other person agent and traitor – we cannot survive in isolation. And if we have to move forward; we need to open doors of reconciliation and confidence building.