Kashmir Truth Be Told Blog
Yus neereth gassan, pheereth cha yevaano: morda che gassan zinde (Kashmiri saying)

4/28/09

Kashmir: 2029

This post spawned it own blog site! Click here to visit the site

3 Edits since April 29
This is a draft. Keep visiting back as I complete this. Even better option is to help me write it..

It is the year 2029. Five years since Kashmir gained its independence from India and Pakistan. What a joyous day it was exactly six years to the day when the results of the plebiscite were announced and Kashmiris came out in throngs to cast their votes for which they had yearned for over 80 years.  The plebiscite was monitored by the UN and never before had an election been so closely monitored. All polling booths had 24 hour monitoring by security cameras. Although both India as well Pakistan still had a sizable military presence in the few bases they still occupied; however, the troops were barred from leaving their bases during the polling days without prior UN approval. 

People had the option of advance voting for upto six days before the main day of plebiscite which was on May 15. The plebiscite was being undertaken by the UN. All together more than 120 countries volunteered their resources for this plebiscite. The majority of the peacekeeping force consisted of EU forces and the military operations were supervised by a Turkish commander General Mustafa Sairgul. 

Voting started at 7 A.M and people had started lining up outside the booths from the night before. The last vote could be cast until 10 P.M the same day. As per UN directions, the results had to be declared within 12 hours. No one could sleep on that day. People had seen elections for the state assembly under India, but none had the legitimacy as this plebiscite. This would decide the fate of an entire nation. How could anyone sleep that night.

With people still camping out in the streets in the cool night in the month of May, and people dancing and singing traditional songs, Vanvun as Kashmiris call it, everyone was awaiting the results, how could anyone sleep on this night.

The UN appointed commissioner of elections, Mr Schwartzkopff, finally appeared on TV just after midnight and started to give a brief explanation of how the voting results were tallied and the procedure he had to follow. He explained that although there was regional variance in the results; however as per UN guidelines the former state of J&K would not be divided and he would therefore congratulate the people of Kashmir who have chosen independence. 

There was not a happier day in Kashmir. There were loud noises of music blaring through loudspeakers and fireworks that lit the sky. At one moment there were so many firecrackers in the sky that it seemed it was daylight.

Both India and Pakistan had earlier withdrawn a majority of their troops from all areas of Kashmir but still maintained a few bases in Srinagar and Muzaffarabad. Shortly after the results of the plebiscite was declared, both countries had been ordered by a UN sanction to vacate all remaining forces within 12 months. Thereafter May --, 2024 was declared as Kashmir's Indepedence Day.

As was aniticipated, there was widespread violence in Jammu city and Leh. Kashmir was still under UN supervision and the EU Commander in charge of all security in Kashmir , Gen. Sairgul requested more international assisstance in maintaining law and order in Jammu city and Leh.

It was agreed upon that there will be a transition period whilst India and Pakistan remove all their troops from Kashmir. Kashmir will be supervised by a UN military mission while a democratically elected government is in place. This way no single political party could manipulate the outcome in their favour. All parties, including the pro-India and Pro-Pakistan, as well as pro-Independence parties could participate in these elections. 

Miscreants in Jammu city and Leh had called for a complete boycott of all elections as they claimed that they had voted to join India in the plebiscite therefore all subsequent elections for the Kashmir parliament or for regional councils are meaningless. All political leaders had promised more autonomy to the Jammu and Ladakh regions and promised them complete autonomy and guaranteed representation in the governance of Kashmir.

The resolution to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir was put forth by a special UN committee, which was formed on the recommendation of the UN Security Council in August 2018. That resolution was subsequently debated in the UN General Assembly the following year. "This is a direct assault on the integrity of a sovereign nation, and it is only a matter of time before other sovereign countries will be asked to hold plebiscites in their own troubled regions.", the Indian envoy to the UN, Mr. Prashant Mishra, had warned other member states in his deliberation to the UN General Assembly. The American Ambassador to the UN, Ms Marianne Klassen argued in favour of the plebiscite and noted that, "...the people of Kashmir had been promised a plebiscite by the UN Assembly eighty years ago. It is time to live up to that promise and grant them the basic right of freedom of choice. It is imperative that democracy prevail. That is the least we can do for these beleaguered people.", she had said. The resolution was put to vote in April 2020 and passed with majority of the members voting in favour and only a few abstentions. India was the lone opposer. The security council subsequently held a series of meetings and ratified the resolution. Earlier, China and Russia were rumored to have promised India that they would use their veto power to halt the resolution. Chinese concerns were primarily affixed to the spillover this resolution might have in Tibet. And the Russians were wary of the parallelism that the Kashmir issue had with their troubled region of Chechnya. Inspite of these hurdles, the US had given assurances to both veto wielding powers that a plebiscite in Kashmir would not cascade into demands for plebiscites in Chechnya or Tibet. This seemed to have worked and with US backing, Kashmir was guaranteed a plebiscite.

Immediately after the resolution was passed, there were widespread riots in most states of India. The opposition BJP had threatened a mass procession right upto Srinagar where they had warned they would set up tent colonies in parks and roadsides to assert Indian dominance. "Kashmir is an integral part of our country and an inseparable limb of mother India. You cannot behead our mother and expect us not to react. We give little importance to the UN resolutions. We dare them to even lay a finger on Kashmir", an ailing L.K. Advani had warned from his bedside in Delhi's Apollo hospital. A mammoth procession of close to a fifty thousand heavily armed hindu fundamentalist supporters of Indian Member of Parliament from Pilibhit, UP, Varun Gandhi, were stopped while making their way to Delhi. Police had to use tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowds. He had warned that he would lead the procession to Srinagar within weeks as buses would become available. He never made it - the UN forces were here before.

"A new era of peace and prosperity will usher in South Asia", declared President Christina Williams in reference to the impending plebiscite in Kashmir. She was the first female US president and had served in the Obama administration as Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia under Hillary Clinton. She was later appointed as the Secretary of State during President Obama's second term. Her lasting legacy in her role as Secretary of State was bringing peace to the Middle-East and resolving the Palestine-Israel conflict. This made her an immediate favourite in the US as well as the rest of the world, and she easily cruised to victory in the 2016 US Presidential election. No other previous Democratic candidate in US history had won by a 73% popular vote. 

She was determined to resolve the longest unresolved conflict in the world. In 2016, during the last few months of President Obama's presidency, both India and Pakistan had successfully tested laser guided missiles capable of carrying nuclear payloads with a range of over ten thousand miles. The world was horrified at the prospect of yet another war, and none doubted that the Kashmir conflict needed to be resolved to eliminate the only remaining nuclear flashpoint in the world. Kashmir was the most urgent agenda at the Whitehouse. 

4/27/09

Debating the Taliban doctrine

This post is in continuation to the previous one where I had some harsh words against the Taliban murder of a young couple in Swat, Pakistan. Many of my fellow bloggers had advised that we should not jump to conclusions before all details of the event are fully known. While I agree that jumping to conclusions is not something I should do because at stake is the reputation of our great religion, and our society as a whole. But, at the same time, it is important to debate this issue, and I will be the first to happily tender an apology should it turn out that the news story was inaccurate.


It is without doubt our society has lost its moral bearings and immorality is sinking in, but defending these thugs as a knee jerk reaction to fighting immorality is also not an appropriate response from our society. It is important that we not shy away and have this debate prior to us being granting our independence, and not after the fact, as some Hurriyat leaders have suggested in the past. What kind of society do we envision ourselves living in? We clearly have several options before us, and the Taliban route is certainly one of them.

 

We need to debate this option very rigorously so there is no doubt what the people of Kashmir truly aspire. I have absolutely no personal interest in politics. This blog, even though political, is my contribution to my motherland for her freedom, because I feel everyone should give back to their motherland. But that does not mean I am a politician. I can be considered an academic, a researcher, a writer - but absolutely not a politician. I am able to write this blog because I am currently in Srinagar, working at a popular bookshop for a salary of Rs 1700 a month and will be here for about another year before moving back to my village and taking care of family and responsibilities such as taking care of trees. Therefore, once I move back to my village, I doubt I will be able to contribute here anymore. That is the reason I am very particular in not revealing my identity because I still have to get married, settle down, and exposing oneself as a separatist tends to be a good way of scaring away good families who might see you as a potential groom for their daughter because then they are afraid their daughter will likely live the life of a half-widow just like thousands of other young Kashmiri girls are.

 

The reason for the digression and the above tale is that I write what I truly feel and I have no hidden agenda in that one day I will finally reveal who I am and jump into the separatist political camp or contest elections once we are independent. That is not going to happen because politics as a career is not my idea of a satisfied life. I somehow do not think that life as a politician would be very attractive with people constantly judging you and also the fellow crop of people that call themselves politicians is pitiful. The only reason for this blog is that I like to write and through my writing I am adding my drop of water into the ocean of the freedom struggle of Kashmir.

 

But, if that freedom translates into trading one form of Slumdog oppression for another Taliban style government as we saw in Swat, then I am already calling foul. Not only do people of Kashmir deserve to know what options will be present before them while deciding the final solution to the Kashmir conflict, but we also deserve to know what sort of government our nation will form and the freedom parties need to disclose this in no uncertain terms to the Kashmiri public. This is important because the enemies of the freedom struggle will most certainly feed stories from Swat and mislead the Kashmiri people that after independence they will be heading straight that way. To be honest, as a Kashmiri, I am also in doubt as to where exactly does Hurriyat stand in terms of what sort of government will an independent Kashmir have.

4/26/09

Letter to Taliban

A few weeks ago a video was making its way on youtube showing the public flogging of a 17 year girl by the Taliban. Today there is another video making rounds on the internet which shows a young woman with the most petrified look on her face and running for her life, before being shot to death along with a male acquaintance of her's in the Swat region of Pakistan, which has been overtaken by the Taliban recently.

They say this is because Sharia Law is in place now.

This is an open letter to Taliban from Kashmir. 

There is no place for criminals and thugs like you people in Kashmir. Don't even think of crossing over and expect us to show any mercy just because you claim to preach your twisted version of whatever religion you practice. It most certainly is not Islam and you people definitely are not muslims. You hideous criminals are in fact Devil worshippers because only those who belong to the creed of Satan can commit murders in such cold blood without even a pang of conscience. We have seen the creed of Devil worshippers first hand here in the form of the Indian Slumdog Army who also commit murder with similar brutality, so we know Devil worshippers when we see them.

You criminals do not belong in Islam. It is not our Islam. Do not claim to be muslims, because your criminal actions are giving our great religion a bad name. This barbarity and criminal mindset has no place in Islam. Should you ever make the error of judgement to tread the waters of Kashmir and start preaching your hateful teachings here, be forewarned that your fate will be no different to how we treat the Indians.

Our hearts go out to the people of Swat and Buner. May you succeed in defeating these thugs and criminals and reclaim your cities.  

For more info..

4/22/09

Slumdog Soldiers

I have been pondering how best to characterize the Indian occupation forces here. And then it dawned on me that calling them "Slumdog Soldiers" would best convey what Kashmiris truly feel about them. It is no secret what Kashmiris call the Indian soldiers and whisper to each other every time we see these criminals on our streets. But for benefit of keeping this blog free of name-calling and obscene terms, "Slumdog Soldiers" seems an appropriate term because it accurately portrays the irony that the occupation is.

Most Indian soldiers join the army straight out of India's slums. The movie, Slumdog Millionaire, accurately portrayed the miserable lives of India's slum dwellers and one can only imagine what kind of professionalism to expect once you hand these slumdog soldiers a rifle and ask them to patrol the streets of Kashmir.

I have mentioned it before and I will repeat it again that Indians need to get out of their self-imposed mental barrier and see that they are wasting their precious little resources on occupying a neighbouring country when they can be using the same resources to feed their starving millions and truly develop their country so they dont become the laughing stock of the world again with similar movies that will be made in the future.

India recently launched an Israeli made satellite to monitor the Kashmir border with Pakistan. This satellite cost no less than a few hundred million dollars of Indian tax-payer money. (Read the news story here) What is more important to the illiterate, miserable, and unfortunate Indian slum-dwellers? Their hopes of getting that night's meal or that their government is spending the meagre resources of their nation in useless spending on military technology sold to them by the world's most racist and hated country? If anyone had any doubts the most racist hated country in the world is of course Israel (Read relevant context here).

How long  can they sustain this false rhetoric of "atoot ang" politics and demonizing Pakistan to distract their gullible populace from real day-to-day issues like those portrayed in the Slumdog movie? All they have to do is grant Kashmiris freedom, and there will be peace in South-Asia the very next day. Israel will not be getting rich off the poor slum-dweller's lunch money.

EDIT:
Please read "Slumdog Army" instead of Slumdog Soldiers as aptly explained by Kashmir Center.

4/21/09

Sajad Lone

I was watching Sajad Lone's interview on the local channel here a few minutes ago, and was going to write something altogether different, and favourable after reading an article about him in an overseas paper (read the article here) but watching his interview changed my views.  

In his interview, he repeatedly mentioned his stand of not speaking against the NC or PDP during his bid for the Lok Sabha seat. Yet he did not mince any words while speaking against Dukhtaran-e-Millet chief Aasiya Andrabi. He called her an "obnoxious" person. 

In order to discredit Aasiya Andrabi, he repeatedly questioned the interviewer who gave Ms Andrabi the authority to speak her views. In the same breath he called himself a Kashmiri leader. Then could someone not ask the same question to Mr Lone who made him a Kashmiri leader?

Ms Aasiya Andrabi has been a women's rights activist for longer than I can remember. I may not approve of many of her tactics to get her message across and may even disagree with a lot of her messages, but I would not question the fact that she represents the might of Kashmiri women and has a large following among Kashmiri women. To call her names on a television interview, like Mr Sajad Lone did is absolutely reaching a new low.

4/14/09

Psychological price

Sometime back I asked a fellow blogger of the ~Kashmir~ blog why he is not as regular in posting new blogs as he used to. He replied at the time that writing about Indian oppression on a regular basis just wears you out after a while. What he said is accurate, and anyone being unfortunate enough to suffer through a continuos barrage of bad news one after the other can empathize. It is like receiving shocking news of the death of a loved-one day after day, everyday. Consider how harrowing that experience would be. Kashmiris consider themselves part of one big family; therefore, the murders, torture, rapes and kidnapping by the Indian occupation forces are in fact like receiving news of the death of a loved-one day after day, everyday. While most Kashmiris are directly affected by Indian oppression in one way or other, some are better able to cope with the occupation than others. Those who are incapable of desensitizing themselves to this deluge of news about atrocities, humiliation, killings, rapes, and the terror unleashed by the Indians here unfortunately take the extreme step of ending their own lives.


Pick up any newspaper and the only news making headlines these days is about who the pro-India parties decided to give their mandate to contest in the upcoming elections for the Indian Parliament . Who cares? 


A few days back there was commotion in the news world when Sajjad Lone decided to contest the Lok Sabha elections. The Hurriyet Conference has called for a complete boycott of these elections. I could not get motivated enough to write about Sajad Lone's decision to contest these elections. Therefore I will leave it at that.


How am I supposed to be motivated about writing about another set of these farcical elections when people, unable to cope with Indian oppression, are resorting to suicide. Last year, I had written about this pandemic ravaging through the valley which seems to be more prevalent among females. Why this steep increase in suicide rates in Kashmir? And why is it more prevalent among females? (click here to read last year's post)


I mentioned earlier that reading about stories such as these just robs a person of all creativity. You can decide for yourself which story deserves more attention. Click here to read the news story.