Tag Archive | "KASHMIR"

Thousands attend funeral for Kashmir rebel commander


Kashmiri men carry the body of slain commander Zeenatul Islam of the Al-Badr group gather during his funeral procession for at Sugan village of Shopian, south of Srinagar, on January 13, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Thousands of mourners gathered in disputed Kashmir on Sunday, January 13, for the funeral of a commander of pro-independence fighters, Zeenatul Islam, who was killed in a battle with government forces.

Islam and another fighter were killed in a gunbattle with Indian troops late on Saturday. Police said further clashes erupted on Sunday after government forces in the southern Shopian area tried to stop mourners from attending the funeral, which led to injuries to at least 16 people.

Most Kashmiris support the pro-independence cause that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.

India and Pakistan each claim the divided territory of Kashmir in its entirety. Pro-independence fighters have been combating Indian illegal control since 1989.

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An Open Letter to the Army Chief


NOVANEWS

Image result for Kashmiri RESISTANCE LOGO

– Kavita Krishnan

Dear General Bipin Rawat,

You have warned Kashmiri civilians that if they fail to cooperate with Army operations, the Army will not hesitate to fire on them. You have added, for good measure, that not only those who pelt stones but even those who raise anti-India slogans or display anti-India flags will be likewise treated as “terrorists.”

By doing so, you have admitted that the Indian State is at war with the people of Kashmir. You have admitted that contrary to the claims of the Indian State based on election participation, ordinary Kashmiri civilians are not supportive of the Indian State or Indian Army.

Why do Kashmiri youth and women pick up stones, raise anti-India slogans and obstruct Army operations against militants? Is it simply because they are brain-washed by Pakistan? To find an answer, I read about Waqar Ahmad Moharkan (http://kashmirreader.com/2017/02/21/5-months-jail-psa-20-firs-waqar-loved-india/) and what put a stone in his hands and an azaadi slogan on his lips.

Waqar, now 24 and facing a slew of cases relating to last year’s uprising, says that he “loved India once” but “the word India now makes me mad…I was living in a dreamland till I met with reality of their brutality.”

During a curfew break in the 2008 protests, Waqar went out on his bike to buy milk, and was stopped at a petrol pump by CRPF troopers. “I greeted them politely. I told them curfew has been lifted and I had to buy milk. There were about 12 of them there. They encircled me and beat me up with lathis and gun butts. One of them thrust the barrel of his gun into my mouth so that I wouldn’t shout,” and declared that all Kashmiris were “traitors and Pakistanis.”

He says, “When they finally stopped I got up, parked my bike and for the first time in my life picked up a stone and threw it at them with all my strength and all by myself I said ‘hum kya chahte, azadi.” He then sought out stone throwers to learn the art of stone pelting.

I also read about 13-year-old Saqib in this (https://kafilabackup.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/kashmir-fft-report.pdf) enquiry report into the 2010 mass uprising. Saqib – much like every Kashmiri child I and other members of a solidarity team that visited Kashmir in November 2016 met – was very sure that azaadi for him means self-determination, a choice made between India, Pakistan or an independent Kashmir, a historical commitment that he insists India owes the people of Kashmir.

The team members probed how Saqib imagined azaadi: “What possibly could azaadi mean to Saqib? A major criterion emerges a little while into the conversation: azaadi means in part, to be free of “Major Sharma”, the local army commander who made it a regular routine to swagger into Saqib’s school in the company of other soldiers from his unit – all displaying lethal firearms – to threaten children that they should participate in protest demonstrationsonly at enormous risk to their lives.”

General Rawat, it seems from these testimonies that the stone-pelting Kashmiris are being produced, not by Pakistan, but by the very presence of Indian armed forces in the Valley. The report https://kafilabackup.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/kashmir-fft-report.pdf cited above estimates that there are 90,000 Indian armed persons deployed in Kashmir (for a population of 5 million) on counter-insurgency operations alone (not counting those on patrolling, guard duty, on the Pakistan border and in artillery and air-defence units) – “already close to the number that the British Raj needed in terms of European administrators and military officers in order to control 300 million or so Indians.” The actual number may be much higher: “People in Kashmir believe that there is probably one armed person of the Indian Army and paramilitary for every 12 of them .” Why are Indian Army and paramilitary forces present in such concentration among Kashmiri civilians, if not to suppress and subjugate the will of a civilian population?

Will the fear of being killed by your troops deter Kashmiri civilians from protesting? To the people of Kashmir, it is hardly news that they may be killed during civilian street protests. In 2010, for instance, 112 Kashmiri civilians were killed over 4 months when CRPF and police fired at civilian protests and funeral processions across the Kashmir Valley. Last year, over 100 Kashmiri civilians protesting on the streets have been killed, 1178 received pellets in their eyes (52 of them were blinded, 300 including 150 minors partially lost vision) and 4664 persons received bullet injuries in different parts of the bodies. When Kashmiris know that they can be killed even for demonstrating on streets or mourning in a funeral, why would they be deterred by your threat that they may be killed while obstructing an Army operation against militants?

The sad truth is that you have only given voice to a policy that the Indian State has already been following – and it hasn’t worked. The official line of the Indian State used to be that they are out to “win hearts and minds” of ordinary Kashmiri people while cracking down on “terrorists.” A commentator, writing in robust defence of you, has reminded of the doctrine attributed to Theodore Roosevelt, “If you’ve got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.” (https://scroll.in/article/829668/counterpoint-general-rawat-has-only-stated-the-obvious-about-fighting-fire-with-fire-in-kashmir). Well, most Kashmiris will tell you that India has held them by the balls for decades and has still failed to win their hearts and minds.

Many Indians feel that to question the presence of the Indian Army and its right to use lethal force against anti-Indian Kashmiris amounts to an intolerable insult to the patriotic soldiers who are being killed in the Valley.

Can we pause and ask ourselves – how much do we really care, as a country, for the soldiers drawn from amongst the poorest Indians? They are a useful stick with which to beat up dissenters and questioners. They die – and their deaths allow us to be self-righteously and aggressively ‘patriotic’ at their cost. If any of them – like BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav – dares to complain about the indignities to which soldiers are subjected, he is treated just as ruthlessly as other dissenting citizens are treated http://indianexpress.com/article/india/bsf-cancels-tej-bahadur-yadavs-vrs-denies-wifes-claim-of-his-arrest-4504980/.

The Armed Forces of any country are meant to fight wars against enemies. Civilian discontent against a State and even civilian demands for self-determination, for azaadi from a State, have to be recognized as political not military issues. When our political masters refuse to recognize – let alone solve – the political question of Kashmir, they demand that our soldiers risk their lives and peace of mind to suppress the will and aspirations of the Kashmiri people. Is this just?

I’m sure you’re aware that of the alarming suicide and fragging rates among Indian soldiers http://www.oneindia.com/feature/suicides-graver-than-enemies-armed-forces-1487700.html. When reasons for these are discussed, one possibility is rarely ever admitted – the fact that being asked to kill and commit atrocities for a cause that you know in your heart is unjust, puts an incredible strain on the human mind and spirit.

For the sake of the Kashmiri people – but also for the sake of Indians deployed in the Armed forces – surely it is time we recognize the Kashmir issue as a dispute; demand a political solution; and seek withdrawal of Indian Army and paramilitary forces from civilian areas of Jammu and Kashmir as a necessary first step towards resolution of the dispute? 

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Maqbool Bhat: The Initiator of the Kashmir’s Struggle


NOVANEWS

Image result for Kashmir’s Struggle CARTOON

By Sajjad Shaukat

In order to pay homage to the initiator of the Kashmir’s struggle, the 11th of February is being

celebrated as the martyrdom anniversary of Maqbool Bhat who was hanged by the then Indian

regime on February 11, 1984 in Tihar Jail as the reprisal expressed by New Delhi. He was

hanged to take the revenge of the killing of an Indian Diplomat by some unknown organization

claiming to be Kashmiri. It was an act of shame for a country called India, as even after his

death, his body was not handed over to his family and people, rather buried in Tihar Jail

complex.

People and civil society of Jammu and Kashmir do respect him for his legendary struggle for the

restoration of freedom in Kashmir. He is now a hero and pioneer of the Kashmiri nation.

So as to pay tribute to Maqbool Bhat, People of Srinagar have already built and reserve a grave

for him in Martyrs Grave Yard of Eidgah, Srinagar. However, his formal burial is still awaited.

Maqbool Bhat, also known as Maqbool Butt was a Kashmiri freedom fighter and co-founder of

the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front. He was a leading voice of the struggle for freedom among

the Kashmiris. In the year of 1962, Maqbool Bhat formed a movement called Kashmir

Independence Committee (KIC). This group was later merged into the newly formed Jammu

Kashmir Mahaz-Rayee- Shumari (Plebiscite Front) in Azad Kashmir, which was a crusade for

complete independence from India. He was sentenced to death for murder by the Delhi High

Court and hanged on 11 February 1984.

Prior to the publication of ‘Shaoor e Farda’ (the vision of tomorrow) by Saeed Asad and Safeer e

Hurriyat ( the ambassador of liberation) by Khawaja Rafiq, there was little known about the

events which shaped Maqbool Bhat’s life, struggle and Political thoughts. It appears from his

letters written from various Pakistani and Indian prisons and interviews with various journalists

at different times that life became a struggle from the age when children needed to be carefree

and playing with their peers and toys.

His politics came into conflict with the state machinery of the Indian occupied Kashmir when he

led several agitations for the political rights of the people of Kashmir. Subsequently, as it appears

from his interviews and Rafiq’s narration confirmed by some his colleagues, he went

underground and then in 1958 crossed over to Pakistan along with his uncle.

Maqbool Bhat got admission in Peshawar University to do Urdu Literature and joined a local

newspaper ‘Anjaam’ to earn living. At Peshawar University, he met such people as Ahmed

Fraaz, one of the big legends of romantic and radical or commonly called progressive Urdu

poetry.

However, Maqbool Bhat formed Jammu Kashmir National Liberation Front (JKNLF) on August

13, 1965. Maqbool Bhat, Aurangzeb, Major Amaan Ulla and Kala Khan crossed the division line

to the Indian-held Kashmr in June 1966. The purpose was to explore the feelings of Kashmiris

there with the possibilities of forming some ‘cells’ there. It appears from the writings of such

activists as F. Rehman who was among those contacted during the three-month tour of NLF

guerrillas in different towns and cities that they managed to convince some people for national

liberation type of armed struggle as the only way to liberate Kashmir.

Most of the Kashmiri record on the history of NLF and Maqbool Bhat shows that on their way

back, they were intercepted by the Indian intelligence agencies and in a clash with one of the

security teams Aurangzeb, who was from Gilgit, and the CID inspector Amar Chand was left

dead. Maqbool Bhat and Kala Khan were arrested on September 14, September 1966.

Two First Information Reports were registered against Maqbool Bhat. The first one lodged at

Police Station Sopore, Kashmir (F.I.R. 84/66) alleged that he crossed the ceasefire line without a

valid legal permit with an illegal purpose to overthrow the lawfully established government of

Jammu and Kashmir.

The second F.I.R. filed at Police Station Panzala, Kashmir (F.I.R. 38/66) charged Maqbool Bhat

with the murder of Amar Chand. It alleged that Bhat and accomplices first took cash; ornaments

and other documents from C.I.D. Inspector Amar Chand’s house then abducted and killed Amar.

He was also charged with the enemy agent.

In his defence Maqbool Bhat denied all charges except that he had without a valid legal permit

crossed the ceasefire line in June 1966. He said that he did not think it necessary to obtain a

permit for moving around in his own country.

The biased Indian court found him guilty and passed death sentenced on him, while others were

given the life sentence. It is also reported that upon announcement of the death sentence by

Judge Neil Kant Ganjo Maqbool Bhat said, “The Rope has not yet been made that can hang

Maqbool Bhat…if Indian authorities of occupation think that by hanging me, they can crush the

Kashmir struggle. They are mistaken. The struggle actually will start after my hanging.”

Nevertheless, Bhat’s execution further contributed to the sense of alienation among most

Kashmiris, and he continues to be a major source of inspiration for the Kahmiri freedom fighters.

Bhat, like Afzal, was buried inside Tihar Jail. Kashmiri activists continue to demand Maqbool

Bhat’s remains, and in fact, a grave is kept vacant in Srinagar’s martyrs’ graveyard for his mortal

remains. He was the first Kashmiri to be judicially murdered on Indian soil-making him the first

authentic martyr of the Kashmiri independence movement. His execution day is celebrated as

Martyr Day every year.

By sacrificing his life, Maqbool Bhat played a key role in the struggle of Kashmiris, which has

continued unabated, despite Indian state terrorism. He infused a new spirit into their movement.

His martyrdom anniversary provides an opportunity to ponder over the fact that various countries

of the world got independence by sacrificing their precious lives. On this vary day, the best way

to pay homage to the pioneer of Kashmir’s struggle, Maqbool Bhat is that all the Kashmiris must

renew their pledge to take the war of liberation to its logical end.

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Afzal Guru: Kashmir Movement is Alive


NOVANEWS

Image result for kashmir cartoons

 

By Sajjad Shaukat

Every year, the martyrdom anniversary of Muhammad Afzal Gur is being celebrated on the 9th

of February to pay homage to him, as India secretly hanged him and buried inside the Tihar jail

complex on February 9, 2013. His martyrdom resulted into protests in Kashmir and widespread

condemnations from various political and human rights organisations. Afzal Guru was convicted

in 2001 Parliament attack case and awarded death sentence. Afzal had always denied plotting the

attack, which left 14 dead, including five militants.

In the past three years, during his martyrdom anniversary, a complete shutdown was observed in

the Indian occupied Kashmir and protest demonstrations were held to demand the return of

mortal remains of Afzal Guru.

Call for the strike had been given by pro-freedom leaders and organizations to mark the

anniversary of Muhammad Afzal. Indian authorities had arrested Kashmiri leaders, Yasin Malik,

Shoukat Bakhshi, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash and Mukhtar Ahmad Waza along with several

other Hurriyet activists and lodged them in different police stations and jails. The authorities also

placed Hurriyet leaders, Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Nayeem Ahmad Khan

and Ayaz Akbar under house arrest.

All Parties Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani, in a statement had denounced

the arrests and vowed that the Kashmiris were struggling for their basic right and would succeed

in their mission at the end of the day.

In their statements and meetings, all the leaders of the freedom movement of Kashmir paid

glowing tributes to the martyr Muhammad Afzal Guru who sacrificed his live for the Kashmir

cause.

Even, the Sikh organization, Dal Khalsa President H S Dhami, while paying tributes to

Muhammad Afzal Guru on the eve of his second martyrdom anniversary, in a statement in

Amritsar criticized India for failing to hand over his mortal remains to his wife.

In fact, the very tragedy of Kashmiris had started after 1947 when they were denied their genuine

right of self-determination. They organized themselves against the injustices of India and

launched a war of liberation which New Delhi tried to crush through various forms of brutalities.

It is notable that since 1947, in order to maintain its illegal control, India has continued its

repressive regime in the Occupied Kashmir through various machinations.

However, various forms of state terrorism have been part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian

army and paramilitary forces against Muslim Kashmiris, especially since 1989. It has been

manifested in brutal tactics like crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted

killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, breaking the legs, molestation

of Muslim women and killing of persons through fake encounter.

According to a report on human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, since 1989,

there have been deaths of 1,00000 innocent Kashmiris, 7,023 custodial killings, 1,22,771 arrests,

1,05,996 destruction of houses or buildings, 22,776 women widowed, 1,07,466 children

orphaned and 10,086 women gang-raped/molested. Indian brutal securities forces have continue

these atrocities.

While, Indian forces have employed various draconian laws like the Jammu and Kashmir

Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act and

Public Safety Act in killing the Kashmiri people, and for the arbitrarily arrest of any individual

for an indefinite period.

Besides Human Rights Watch, in its various reports, Amnesty International has also pointed out

grave human rights violations in the Indian controlled Kashmir, indicating, “The Muslim

majority population in the Kashmir Valley suffers from the repressive tactics of the security

forces.

In its report on July 2, 2015, the Amnesty International has highlighted extrajudicial killings of

the innocent persons at the hands of Indian security forces in the Indian Held Kashmir. The

report points out, “Tens of thousands of security forces are deployed in Indian-administered

Kashmir…the Armed Forces Special Powers Act allows troops to shoot to kill suspected

militants or arrest them without a warrant…not a single member of the armed forces has been

tried in a civilian court for violating human rights in Kashmir…this lack of accountability has in

turn facilitated other serious abuses…India has martyred one 100,000 people. More than 8,000

disappeared (while) in the custody of army and state police.”

In this respect, European Union has passed a resolution about human rights abuses committed by

Indian forces in the Indian held Kashmir.

It is mentionable that in 2008, a rights group reported unmarked graves in 55 villages across the

northern regions of the Indian-held Kashmir. Then researchers and other groups reported finding

thousands of mass graves without markers. In this respect, in August, 2011, Indian Jammu and

Kashmir State Human Rights Commission officially acknowledged in its report that innocent

civilians killed in the two-decade conflict have been buried in unmarked graves.

Notably, foreign sources and human rights organisations have revealed that unnamed graves

include those innocent persons, killed by the Indian military and paramilitary troops in the fake

encounters including those who were tortured to death by the Indian secret agency RAW.

Meanwhile, like the previous year, Pakistan’s recent serious and sincere effort at the annual

session of the United Nations—the speech of Pakistan’s prime minister, highlighting the Indian

atrocities, Kashmir dispute and demanding its solution has infused a new spirit among the

Kashmiri people.

But, New Delhi is still showing its intransigence in order to resolve Kashmir dispute with

Pakistan by neglecting the fact that Kashmir remains a nuclear flashpoint between both the

neighbouring countries.

Nevertheless, this time, the very day has come at time when the people of Kashmir have

accelerated their legitimate struggle in the aftermath of the martyrdom of the young Kashmir

leader Burhan Wani by the Indian security forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) in wake

of continued sieges and prolonged curfews. Since July 8, 2016, Indian forces have martyred

more than 150 innocent persons who have been protesting against the martyrdom of Burhan

Wani and for liberation of their land.

By manipulating the false flag terror attacks at a military base in Uri and Baramulla, the BJP-led

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also intensified war-hysteria against Pakistan. After

deployment of heavy arms and weapons at the Line of Control (LoC), Indian forces have

increased troops and continue shelling in Pakistani side of Azad Kashmir. And Pakistani troops

are giving matching response to Indian unprovoked firing across the LoC and are well-prepared

for Indian another surgical strikes, as threatened by Indian new army Chief Army Chief Gen.

Dalbir Singh Suhaag. New Delhi’s main aim is to deflect the attention of the international

community from the new phase of Kashmiri Intifada, while pressure has been mounting on the

Modi government both domestically and internationally to resolve the issue of Kashmir with

Pakistan.

In response, Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa on January 5, 2016 rejected claims

by his Indian counterpart Gen. Bipin Rawat about “so-called surgical strikes” and their possible

recurrence.

According to ISPR, Army Chief Gen. Qamar Bajwa made it clear that “Pakistan Armed Forces

were fully geared to respond to any aggression by India.”

It is of particular attention that like the teror asaults at Pathonkot air base, in Mumbai and at

Indian parliament were orchestrated by the Indian security agencies to obtain several sinister

designs against Islamabad such as suspention of the process of Pak-Indian dialogue, shift of

blame game to Pakistan’s primary intelligence agency ISI etc. While, on July 19, 2013, the

Indian ex-investigating officer Satish Verma disclosed that terror-attacks in Mumbai in

November 26, 2008 and assault on Indian Parliament in January 12, 2001 were carried out by the

Indian government to strengthen anti-terrorism laws.

Nonetheless, Indian authorities are not willing to talk with Kashmiri people on political grounds.

New Delhi reached to a conclusion that only bullet is the right way of dealing with Kashmiris,

demanding their right of self-determination. Surprisingly, Indian successive governments are

trying to ignore the dynamics of the freedom movement of Kashmiris for the sake of their alien

rule.

Undoubtedly, the martyrdom of Muhammad Afzal Guru infused a new spirit into the Kashmir

movement keeps is alive today. His martyrdom anniversary provides an opportunity to ponder

over the fact that various countries of the world got independence by sacrificing their precious

lives. On this vary day, the best way to pay homage to the hero of Kashmir movement,

Muhammad Afzal Guru is that all the Kashmiris must renew their pledge to take the war of

liberation to its logical end.

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KASHMIRIS WAVE HIZBULLAH’S BANNER


NOVANEWS

KASHMIRIS WAVE HIZBULLAH’S BANNER AND REJECT THE MOSSAD-RAW ATTEMPTS TO DIVIDE THEM ON SECTARIAN LINES
by Jonathan Azaziah

Here we go! Let it rock Kashmiris! In response to RAW’s agents burning pictures of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Bashar al-Assad and Hassan Rouhani last Friday, Kashmiris in Srinagar gathered in massive numbers–some brothers say hundreds, others say thousands–on Sunday to counteract the hatred, sectarianism and division represented by these degenerates in the pay of Hindutva and Zionism.

The defiant demonstrators waved Hizbullah’s flags, held up Ayatollah Nimr al-Nimr’s (R.A.) pictures and chanted against all forms of sedition. Shi’a, Sunnis, Sufis and even a few Sikhs were present as booming cries of “Death to India!”, “Death to ‘Israel’!” and “Death to Al-Saud!” rang throughout the Kashmiri capital’s streets. Just in case it needed to be said, and for some, clearly it does – THIS IS THE TRUE FACE OF THE KASHMIRI AZADI (FREEDOM) STRUGGLE. Unity and Resistance. And this isn’t a mere slogan either. It’s not even a way of life. It just is. That’s how Kashmiris are and this is what Kashmiris do. Being split on ethnic or sectarian lines is NOT in their nature and it is NOT going to happen; Kashmiris aren’t going to be bullied, nor will they be browbeaten into accepting something alien to their culture, history and identity.

Not by RAW’s subversion.

Not by the brutality of the Indian occupation army.

Not by the usurping Zionist entity’s thirst for expanding its global hegemony.

Not by Saudi Arabia’s petrodollar-fueled Wahhabi-Takfiri fanaticism either.

The fight for Azadi in the Vale is one that encompasses all peoples from all Islamic schools of thought and all faiths. Going on seven decades, Kashmiris have consistently rebuked every one of the Indian regime’s attempts to fracture and factionalize them. And nothing exemplifies that more than the raising of the Lebanese Islamic Resistance’s yellow banner. Hizbullah fights to unify the region. Kashmiris struggle to unify the Valley. The two go together like Wazwan followed by Kahwah on the day that the whole of Kashmir is liberated from the Indian occupation’s reign of terror.

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