Anti-In­dia de­mos mark mar­tyr­dom an­niver­sary of Is­lam­abad youth

Pakistan Observer - - KASHMIR -

SHUJAAT BUKHARI NION Home Min­is­ter Ra­j­nath Singh made a strong state­ment in the wake of the mil­i­tant at­tack in Pam­pore in South Kash­mir in which eight per­son­nel of Cen­tral Re­serve Po­lice Force (CRPF) were killed. It was in­deed an au­da­cious at­tack that rat­tled the es­tab­lish­ment from Srinagar to Delhi. Chief Min­is­ter Me­hbooba Mufti even in­voked the holy month of Ra­mad­han to de­nounce the at­tack, say­ing that those who car­ried the at­tack are ac­tu­ally dis­re­spect­ing their re­li­gion. Un­nerved by the at­tack, Singh di­rectly blamed Pak­istan for desta­bi­liz­ing In­dia. “Se­cu­rity forces have stand­ing or­ders not to fire the first bul­let, but not count bul­lets while re­tal­i­at­ing,” he said in strong mes­sage to those helped by Pak­istan.

An at­tack on a mil­i­tary or para­mil­i­tary con­voy in Kash­mir is not new, but the way both the sides – mil­i­tants and se­cu­rity forces – have upped the ante in past few months is sug­ges­tive of a new con­fronta­tion that has be­gun after, what many call, the new phase of mil­i­tancy dom­i­nated by the lo­cals.

A day be­fore the Pam­pore at­tack, seven mil­i­tants were killed in a gun bat­tle in north Kash­mir. The pat­tern that is shap­ing up in Kash­mir is akin to what had been hap­pen­ing in Pak­istan. The tit-for-tat game by the mil­i­tants is be­com­ing a rou­tine here too and that also brings home the point that de­spite be­ing killed on daily ba­sis, mil­i­tants are rais­ing their head and show­ing their pres­ence in South if they are un­der at­tack in North and vice versa.

USRINAGAR—Peo­ple staged force­ful profree­dom demon­stra­tions in Is­lam­abad town on the sixth mar­tyr­dom an­niver­sary of three teenagers killed by In­dian po­lice.

The youth, Shu­jat-ul-Is­lam (17), Imi­tiyaz Ah­mad Ye­too (15), and Ishtiyaq Ah­mad Khan­day (15) were killed by the po­lice in the com­pound of a house in Anchi­dora area of the town on June 29 dur­ing the 2010 mass up­ris­ing.

The lead­ers and ac­tivists of Tehreeke-Hur­riyet (TeH), Demo­cratic Free­dom Party (DFP) and Mus­lim League vis­ited the fam­i­lies of the mar­tyred youth and ex­pressed sol­i­dar­ity with them.

They also led pro-free­dom demon­stra­tions in Anchi­dora and SK Colony.

The pro­test­ers were car­ry­ing plac­ards and shout­ing pro-free­dom slo­gans. Ban­ners were also put on in th­ese lo­cal­i­ties.

Ad­dress­ing the gath­er­ing, the DFP leader, En­gi­neer Fa­rooq Khan, paid glow­ing trib­utes to the mar­tyred teen- agers.

He de­plored that the trig­ger-happy In­dian forces’ per­son­nel did not even spare th­ese young kids and killed them in cold blood.

TeH Tehsil Pres­i­dent Pa­hal­gam, Riyaz Ah­mad, and an­other leader, Sabzar Ah­mad, said that oc­cu­pa­tion was the root cause of atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted by In­dian forces in the ter­ri­tory.

Later, fateha was held in mem­ory of the three teenagers. Mean­while, Hur­riyet leader, Mukhtar Ah­mad Waza in a state­ment also paid homage to Shu­jat-ul-Is­lam, Ishtiyaq Ah­mad Khan­day and Imtiyaz Ah­mad It­too on their mar­tyr­dom an­niver­sary and ex­pressed dis­may that their killers were still roam­ing free de­spite the pass­ing of six years.

He said that the peo­ple of Kash­mir would con­tinue their just strug­gle for se­cur­ing their right to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion till tak­ing it to its log­i­cal con­clu­sion.— KMS with the gun wield­ing youth.

With Ra­j­nath Singh as­sert­ing that bul­lets won’t be counted in re­tal­i­a­tion, it makes the sit­u­a­tion wor­ri­some. His di­rect blame on Pak­istan also sug­gests that the bon­homie that started be­tween the two coun­tries with Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s visit to Lahore in De­cem­ber last year has waned.

After Pathankot at­tack no dis­cern­able for­ward move­ment could be seen. Even as In­dia gave ac­cess to Pak­istani in­ves­ti­ga­tion team in Pathankot but that did not bring a change in the stress­ful re­la­tions be­tween the two sides.

The talks at the level of Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sors did break the ice at one stage but it did not help in reach­ing a point where both coun­tries could start ad­dress­ing the crit­i­cal is­sues one by one. As of now there is no ef­fort to build even at­mo­spher­ics. Those keep­ing an eye on In­dia-Pak­istan sit­u­a­tion are of the opin­ion that there is stale­mate and the level of hos­til­ity has re­turned to its past.

Both coun­tries must move to­wards en­gage­ment and New Delhi also should recog­nise the re­al­i­ties on ground and reach out po­lit­i­cally to those who chal­lenge its rule. Vi­o­lence can­not be­come sub­sti­tute to a po­lit­i­cal ap­proach.

If Me­hbooba won com­fort­ably in a vi­o­lence-free elec­tion, this also needs to be seen as peo­ple’s urge of po­lit­i­cal rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, oth­er­wise it will be just an­other elec­tion. —Cour­tesy: RK [Writer is veteran

MUZAF­FARABAD: Bal­lot boxes are be­ing dis­patched to re­turn­ing of­fi­cers for gen­eral elec­tions in AJK.

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