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Posts Tagged ‘Independence’

Was It Just A Few Hectares Of Land? – I

In India, Kashmir, People on 19 September, 2008 at 1:06 pm

The city of Srinagar abounded with sparkling lakes, today just one survives, the rest having died unnoticed and silently. This one lake, the oft-quoted and oft-photographed, Dal Lake has withstood the onslaught of man’s greed and nature’s fury for centuries. This lake perhaps is the symbolic representation of a Kashmiri – one who has survived decades, nay centuries, of onslaught by foreign rulers, and continues to sparkle, like the lake, hiding its scars far within. Kashmir would see an era of Peace only when the seat of power was held by one of its own. Never have foreign rulers been able to control it for good and nothing has ever dampened the spirit of the people of this humble valley. A Vale surrounded by such tall mountains that it should never have been discovered by ‘the others’ to begin with. Invaders of all religions, colours, hues, wishes and desires have trampled this humble valley but never could they escape from the fire that burns within the heart of every Kashmiri, the desire to be free. Having lived under subjugation and enslavement, the Kashmiri body may have been enslaved, not the Kashmiri soul!

The year 1947 saw such turn of events, that Kashmir, instead of seeing a breather after an excruciating survival under the Dogras saw it being occupied by a country it did not know. A country it never had any ‘unconditional’ economic, social, political, cultural or religious ties with, any that it might have had were forced. The country was India and 61 years have passed without the slightest ebb in the hatred for the state of India in the hearts of Kashmiris.

Non-violent protest never seen in the past; art of subjugation learned from Israel by India; and a silent international community are the hallmarks of Kashmir since last three months. Was it a simply a case of the few hectares of land that were transferred or the blocking of the National Highway that has given birth to such staunch resentment in Kashmiri hearts? Are they willing to die of starvation rather than come on the table just because of these two issues? Even the rampant un-employment in the state never led to such massive civil disobedience. What is it then exactly? Is Freedom the uncomplicated and simple answer to this complicated and intricate problem that has been dragging on even before the states of India and Pakistan were created?

Freedom does suffice as an answer for a Kashmiri. A Kashmiri who is not well read may not be able to explain further this Freedom to a non-Kashmiri; a learned Kashmiri may elaborate to a non-Kashmiri as to what exactly this ‘Freedom’ means, but still the definition would be elusive. It has a thousand contours and colours, rather Oppression in Kashmir has a thousand contours and colours and the only way to even out those contours and the only antidote to this oppression, as all Kashmiris see it, is Freedom.

To think that it was just the Land Transfer or the Economic Blockade is naïve thinking, it would be murderous for India and the people of India to think of these two abstract reasons as the only and main cause of all the effect we have been seeing in Kashmir.

From a previous post on this blog 1521 For 1, written February 0f 2008:

For those who want to know, this is a clear indication that the fight in Kashmir is not just with the 460 odd always on run militants but something greater. What is that greater? That greater is the burning desire in every Kashmiri for Freedom. The never dying desire to breath the crisp fresh air of Freedom; Freedom from slavery, subjugation, torture and oppression or perhaps just the freedom from having to carry an Identity Card for moving outside our homes in our land or still just perhaps the freedom to know that every morning won’t bring the news of deaths by bombs and bullets. Increasing number of tourists visiting Kashmir or decreasing number of militants is not an indicator of peace, as the Government is trying to portray. Kashmir is a volcano about to burst, like it did in 1989.

And Kashmir did burst the summer of 2008.

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Zardari’s Good News May Be No News At All

In Kashmir, News, Politics on 11 September, 2008 at 12:57 am

Zardari, in his first press conference after being sworn in as President of Pakistan said:

“Insha Allah, we will have some good news” on Kashmir

and

he said [that] the PPP government will consult all political forces in Pakistan, both inside and outside Parliament, to forge some kind of a strategy to resolve the Kashmir issue.

This will be taken to the Kashmir Committee in Parliament, Zardari said, adding the work done through back-channel diplomacy will also be part of this. Indian Express

Definitely nothing is in the pipeline right now, one should really not expect anything huge (at most the good news may be opening of trade route) before (or even after) the Indian elections (and not certainly from this man, read later on why). His second statement makes it obvious that work (of whatever sort) has to be started and is not yet done on the Kashmir issue. As he says, PPP will consult parties, forge a strategy which will be taken to the Kashmir Committee. And one should also not forget that as fate has it for Kashmir, no news which has been delivered by external forces has been good for Kashmir since the last 61 years. The only good news Kashmiris should expect and look forward to is the news we, the Kashmiris create and deliver. As the present non-violent movement evolves, Kashmir may see a bright new day, not so soon maybe, but not too far either.

The separatists in Kashmir have welcomed the dialogue process cautiously and they should not pin too many hopes on it either, Kashmiris have been time and again packed under words and abbreviations, be it the CBMs, the Healing Touch, the Formulas and now Good News!

Geelani:

“We won’t accept any decision which is thrust on Kashmiris. Solution has to come according to the aspirations of the people of J&K
Greater Kashmir

Yasin Malik:

“In the eyes of people of Kashmir, dialogue institution has lost its sanctity, because for the last 62 years dialogue process couldn’t yield any results. To restore the sanctity, this dialogue process must be time bound and transparent,” Greater Kashmir

Mirwaiz:

“As Kashmiris we have always welcomed Indo-Pak dialogue, but unfortunately Kashmiris were never allowed to be part of it. We welcome Zardari Sahib’s statement, but till Kashmiris aren’t part of it, it won’t deliver.” Greater Kashmir

Hafiz Saeed of Jamaat ud Dawa (formerly LeT) has claimed that Zardari’s policy will be no different than Musharraf and warned Zardari of trouble if the policies are not changed.

…warned that if the president-elect Asif Ali Zardari and his government did not change the policies of the former president, Pervez Musharraf, then Pakistan would be in great trouble.

Hafiz Saeed claimed that Zardari’s policy would only strengthen Musharraf’s policies. Greater Kashmir

Musharraf actually had no policy on Kashmir, he just put a gag on the Jihadi organisations operating from Pakistan and that worried the top-bosses of these organisations, since liberation of Kashmir from India and merger with Pakistan appears to be their only goal. A goal a majority of Kashmiris are not comfortable with. Over 75% of Kashmiris want complete independence from India and Pakistan. Changing One master for Another is not really what the Kashmiris are demanding. The viability of independence as an option has been discussed elsewhere by Kashmir Bloggers and is not the topic of discussion in this post. Still, those who talk about Kashmir being a land-locked country, we do all know that no country in the world exists in isolation and Kashmir had survived fine without India till 1947, so no worries on that front. It should also be noted that the UN Resolution of Self Determination did include the option of Complete Independence but it was dropped after extensive lobbying by the then Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Sir Zafarullah Khan

The indulgence of the Jihadi organisations in any form at this point of time will be counter-productive for Kashmir. Kashmir has risen without any leader(s) asking them to and the protests will continue to evolve in a non-violent manner. Any act by the Jihadi organisations to lead or include guns will cause irrecoverable harm to Kashmir. Even Indian politicians are unable to peg this uprising on Pakistan, ISI or the Jihadi Organizations and they are looking for a chance to do so and Hafiz Saeed might give them just that.

And about Zardari, one should not expect much from Zardari, who is disliked in Pakistan apparently more than Musharraf was, here is a review of what Pakistani Bloggers think about this man:

Zardari [Picture Courtesy and Copyright of Adnan's Crazy Blogging World]

General Zardari As President

We are so lucky that we are ruled by drunk bearucrats, corrupt army generals and offcial dacoits!

Pakistan Zindabad!!

Adnan’s Crazy Blogging World

Zardari [Picture Courtesy and Copyright of Islamabad Metblog]

So We Get A New President

Allah save t[h]e country now … I wonder how many months it’ll take to have the whole country sold .. you think it can be done in Days?

Islamabad Metblog

This Is Zaradris Pakistan [Courtesy And Copyright of Lahhore Metblog]

Welcome To Mr. Zardari’s Pakistan

Benazir actually gave Pakistan as her last dowry gift to her widower. But I don’t think even she would have ever thought that Mr. Zardari would one day become “President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. In fact when I voted for PPP in last election, I never thought that PPP will make such a mockery of the mandate given by people of Pakistan.

Lahore Metblog

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Rebirth Of Kashmir

In Kashmir, Politics on 9 September, 2008 at 7:12 pm

The Rebirth Of Kashmir is a beautiful post by David Lepeska, an American journalist who has done a stint of reporting in Kashmir.

This post of his captures and does justice to the emotions of Kashmiris apart from being a decent analytical view on the present situation in Kashmir -and he is honest to Kashmir, since having stayed and interacted with the people of Kashmir he knows the ground reality – unlike the desktop Indian journalists who, often never having visted Kashmir, write what they feel and think, not what the truth is.

The police and Indian army troops, armed to the teeth and out in force earlier in the day, have melted away. How do you attack someone laughing and dancing joyously as he denounces you and your country?

Yes, many protesters are vehemently denouncing their oppressor, India, and celebrating Pakistan and Islamist militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. But these are less acts of allegiance, more expressions of Kashmiri unity, as separatist and Muslim.

So while Kashmir remained beautiful the shadows of the past and a lingering threat darkened the days.

No longer. The floodgates have opened and Kashmiris are releasing two decades of pain, anger, fear, frustration and loss – the pent-up emotions of the conflict generation. It is not a revolution as much as an evolution. We are witnessing the rebirth of Kashmir. For now, the insurgency is over, giving way to a broad-based non-violent movement for azadi.

And for my money, this is how freedom arrives. Not from the barrel in a gun. Not with a knock at your door in the dead of night. But from a seething, jeering, bopping mass of one.

All Over The Place

David Lepeska had also written about Kashmiri Bloggers for The Kashmir Observer. His blog has some other interesting posts and pictures on Kashmir also.

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I Will Quit If…

In Kashmir, Politics on 8 September, 2008 at 11:47 am

Omar Abdullah, a sad progeny of one of the greatest leaders of Kashmir, however controversial, Sheikh Abdullah, is no different than the gun-wielding Special Task Force personnel desperate to kill a Kashmiri. He is no different than the other henchmen of Indians in Kashmir, be it the Muftis, the Azads or the Ansaris or the hundreds of shameless and guiltless Kashmiris on the payrolls of one of the biggest daemon-cracy of World. These same people claimed all these past years that all is well with Kashmir on one hand and on the other helped execute one of the worst possible state-sponsored terrorism on the hapless people of Kashmir. These idiots had forgotten all along, rather stupidly that the desire for freedom can not be quelled by force- direct, indirect or psychological. I call them idiots, for their lack of understanding, for what they have done to our home, not theirs , since their homes stand protected by their paymasters away for Kashmir, for in Kashmir they should never imagine a home.

Omar Abdullah, the chameleon that he is, recently had claimed that

I WILL QUIT IF unbridled force IS UNLEASHED ON MY INNOCENT PEOPLE!

This statement, widely circulated in the press, and put on a blog by another henchman of India, a Kashmiri Leader, who claims the impossible in his introduction:

I am a kashmiri but i love both India and Kashmir.

For Victory Always

First of all I do not know how Omar claims Kashmiris to be my people, even if one would ignore the fact that he has no moral right to call Kashmiris my people and take the sham elctions as a yard stick, he lost from the National Conference’s stronghold rather shamelessly. He has not been elected even once and there he goes!

And if all that India has been unleashing all these months is not unbridled force, I wonder what would be! Ofcourse he has not resigned.

Then, to save his vote bank, and gain with a possible BJP government at the centre in the future, National Conference has welcomed the Amarnath Land Accord:

“a very good sign”.

This accord has been called as Immoral and Illegal by noted columnist A. G. Noorani and Mr. Noorani further elobaorates on how India will treat a demand for restoring the Article 370, the political gimmick used by Abdullah since long.

If the State can thus bend its knees before the Sangh parivar on an issue like this, what hopes of justice can Kashmiris entertain when it comes to restoring the raped Article 370 to a status of worth and respect?

And Now, Omar Abdullah Has Turned To Guiding The people Of Kashmir.

‘I do not believe that independence for Kashmir is a feasible or a viable option and I stand by that,’

Whoever told you that the people of Kashmir care for what you think?! Just like the ancient times you have strong political and family relation with India, there was a time when Kings and Queens would marry into different empires to strengthen their ties, that is what you have done, don’t we all know that your sister married Sachin Pilot. Strong ties anyone would say.

‘I believe that you can give Kashmir independence but you cannot give Kashmir freedom under the circumstances that prevail within the subcontinent – India, Pakistan and China,’ Abdullah argued.

So maybe we should shift Kashmir to a more viable location?

Be that as it may, it’s not my job to follow popular mood,’

You are a jobless politician vying for attention and some media space and let me gaurentee you you have got media space.

‘It needs political handling.

You had 61 years, you won’t get a day more Mr. Abdullah. We want no more of your task forces and unholy matrimonies.

What happened was a spontaneous eruption, arising out of the fear that the economic blockade brought into people’s minds,’

Economic blockade! You kidding who? Bullets haven’t stopped Kashmiris demand for Freedom, you think an Economic Blockade will put fear into peoples minds??

it’s not as bad as 1990, because in 1990 people like myself, my party colleagues, we were all fleeing,’

Ofcourse all of your people were fleeing for their lives. Why are you lying though, you didn’t flee. Wait a minute! You were not exactly in Kashmir then, had you even visted kashmir in 1990’s? When was it that you learnt Kashmiri, 2001?

And, A Question For You Omar Abdullah

When was the last time you saw a crowd such as this attend your political rally? And you call it popular mood! It is not facebook where you set your mood, it is a pity you have not yet understood Kashmir and if you and your henchmen don’t, you will soon be fleeing Kashmir, and the next time you return it will be to answer a Tribunal on War Crimes.

However Bad, Atleast They Playing Along.

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Welcome To Indian Kashmir!

In Human Rights, Kashmir, People on 3 September, 2008 at 6:56 pm

Alistair Scrutton on Reuters

Might Of The State

The world’s largest democracy locks up protest leaders without charge, shoots dozens of demonstrators dead, beats and intimidates ordinary citizens and raids homes without warrants.

Welcome to Indian Kashmir, where the biggest separatist protests in two decades have clashed with the might of the state.

Anger Against India

The crackdown may also be counter-productive. Residents say the deaths and violent crackdown have fuelled anger against India and boosted the separatist cause after years of relative peace.

Coercion

“The government of India does not have a strategy,” said Siddharth Varadarajan, diplomatic editor of The Hindu newspaper.

“It is relying heavily on coercion, arresting top and middle-level leaders in the hope it will break the back of unprecedented protests.”

Most Militarised Region

For decades there has been simmering resentment at the hundreds of thousands of Indian troops stationed in Kashmir, making it one of the most militarised regions on earth.

Target Killings

One surgeon, who asked to remain anonymous because of fear of retribution from Indian authorities, said he has received around 400 wounded people in three weeks, 150 of them hit by bullets.

“These are target killings. It’s simple to see,” said the doctor, explaining that many of the chest wounds were from weapons such as AK-47s. “Most of these were intended to kill. They were not to disperse a crowd.”

For complete article click here.

SAFMA Is Silent Because…

In Kashmir, News on 30 August, 2008 at 9:01 pm

…all it believed in all the time was P0r n0graphy of Peace

p3safma[1] edImtiaz Alam (left), Secretary General SAFMA

…and as Kashmir burned on the 14th and 15th of August, SAFMA was busy in a ‘Cultural Peace Mela,’ – a midnight party…

Peace Mela, India - Pakistan BorderSit In Protest By Kashmiri Journalists

… it is strange that Kashmiri Journalists are still asking questions from organisations that never had any respect for or a desire to see peace in Kashmir!

Media fraternity in Kashmir has taken a strong exception about South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) remaining silent over curbs on media in the Valley .

Gujrat In Kashmir

In Human Rights, Kashmir on 29 August, 2008 at 5:48 pm

“I pleaded before the troopers that I am expecting a baby and have to immediately reach the hospital. But they hit my stomach and private parts with rifle butts and batons. I helplessly cried for mercy but they continued to thrash me. Finally I started to bleed profusely and fell unconscious,” she said and broke down.

Source Greater Kashmir

What can you say about a woman eight months pregnant who begged to be spared. Her assailants instead slit open her stomach, pulled out her fetus and slaughtered it before her eyes.

Source Boloji

But this then is the character of the Nation called India, it matters not whether the assailants are wearing government approved uniforms or not, they have the approval from the corridors of power. Be it the blue turbaned Manmohan Singh or the poet Atal Behari.

Declare Independence!

In India, Kashmir on 29 August, 2008 at 2:05 pm

For Kashmir,

Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!

Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!

Start your own currency!
Make your own stamp
Protect your language

Declare independence
Don’t let them do that to you
Declare independence
Don’t let them do that to you

Make your own flag!

Raise your flag!

Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!

Damn colonists
Ignore their patronizing
Tear off their blindfolds
Open their eyes

Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!

With a flag and a trumpet
Go to the top of your highest mountain!

Raise your flag!

Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!
Declare independence!
Don’t let them do that to you!

Raise the flag!

–Bjork

I Am The Supreme Commander…

In India, Kashmir on 28 August, 2008 at 2:55 am

Indian President!

… of The Indian Armed Forces And This Is What You All (the people of Kashmir) Shall Get and Should Expect From The State Of India!

President of India posing with an AK-47 (Assault Rifle, allegedly recovered from Militants) on a Visit to the Indian Occupied State of Kashmir.

Nor Blocked Nor Hacked However The Embargo Continues

In Kashmir, News on 24 August, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Continuing with its embargo on outflow of news from Kashmir, Greater Kashmir, Kashmir’s most read and popular newspaper’s web-site had been previously blocked by the government and was not accessible. However, as of now Greater Kashmir has not been blocked but is rather undergoing maintenance and can be accessed through the URL www.GreaterKashmir.net.  It is pertinent to mention that Greater Kashmir is reporting extensively on the current scenario and is the only newspaper from Kashmir giving real time updates. Kashmir Observer, another local newspaper, had been hacked sometime back, but is now accessible. Etalaat.net, owned by mainstream politician Iftikhar Ansari, is accessible as is Rising Kashmir.

However embargo on reporting of news continues as journalists are being beaten up by the Indian Armed Forces, for they fear truth will be reported!

On Sunday, several journalists were beaten up by police and three were hospitalised, an association of Kashmiri journalists said.

Reuters

Local media say 15 journalists were among those beaten by Indian police as they tried to cover the protest, despite having curfew passes.

BBC

Inflammatory, What?

The local news channels in the meantime have been told to immediately stop telecast of their news and current affairs programmes.

This follows a directive by the district magistrate of Srinagar. “The DM has issued orders to stop with immediate effect, the telecasting of all news and other items, which are inflammatory in nature and thereby disturbing the peace and tranquillity of general public.”

Rediff

Can I Still Visit Kashmir?

In Kashmir, Srinagar, Tourism on 24 August, 2008 at 8:30 pm

An update to two previous posts, How Safe Is Kashmir For A Tourist? and Is Kashmir Still Safe? It is advised not to visit Kashmir and to put on hold any plans of visiting Kashmir in the near future.

Massive non-violent protests have erupted against the illegal Indian occupation. On Friday, the 22nd of August 2008, 1 Million people assembled and demanded Complete Freedom.

On Monday, the 25th of August 2008, an Independence Rally has been planned and people are bound to come out in massive numbers and will be undeterred by the indefinite curfew that has been imposed or the reinforcement of the already 0.7 million strong Armed Forces.

Go India Go! We Want Freedom!

Authorities imposed the indefinite curfew ahead of a separatist rally planned for Monday, but thousands of people defied the order in the latest in a series of demonstrations against Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan region.

In Srinagar, Kashmir’s summer capital, a 60-year-old man was killed and his son critically wounded when police fired at a group of protesters, police said.

On Saturday evening, hundreds of Muslims took to the streets in Srinagar carrying torches and shouting: “Go India go! We want freedom.”

Reuters

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