Anti-India demos mark martyrdom anniversary of Islamabad youth
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
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