By Liah Qureshi
Respected Hurriyat Leaders,
I would like to ask you certain questions, I hope you won’t mind answering them.
It’s been since 2008 when I had just passed Class 12 that these questions struck me in my Heart, Mind and Soul, but I couldn’t ask you. I was a kid and thought whatever you leaders will decide is better for us.
I found the same questions in my mind in 2010, and now again in 2016.
Before people start judging me I’m born and bought up in Downtown Srinagar, and I stand by the Idea of an Independent Kashmir, I have, like everybody else lost my loved ones (not one but two), to state violence.
The struggle for freedom demands Sacrifice, and Sacrifice we have given. Yes, each one of us, each one of the people fighting on the roads or staying inside their homes, we have sacrificed one thing or the other, a friend or a relative, we have lost many, and have lost a lot and YES, Kashmir is ready to do more. You know much more than I do, you have seen things more closely than any of us have, that is why you are the leaders. We respect and abide by the protest calls given by you.
Kashmir was an Independent Kingdom, before Pakistan overtook and Kashmir had to ask for help to India and then this good neighbor turned bad and occupied our place. This is the bitter reality each of us knows.
To make things clear for reader, it was Pakistan who CREATED this Kashmir Dispute, who tried to FIRST ILLEGALLY OCCUPY Kashmir. And India followed, because you see India cannot stay behind in anything that Pakistan does.
Kashmir has been on the receiving end of a lot of mental, emotional and physical abuse from both sides. Yes both sides. We do not hear about Pakistan’s brutal behavior with PoK people for the same reason why the people of India don’t know about what Indian government and Indian Army has been doing in this part of Kashmir. The news never makes it on the TV screens and Newspapers.
History is witness, a freedom struggle is successful only if it is neutral, only if the true essence of the Struggle is Freedom. Freedom for us means Independence from India AND Pakistan, not from India alone.
People will ask me as to why I decided to bring up this topic today, because TILL NOW, it was the people, the crowd without a name who were waving Pakistani flags during protests, who were shouting the pro-Pakistani slogans, I couldn’t blame them, I couldn’t find them and tell them what our struggle is about, they are naïve kids, they need to be guided, guided about what our freedom struggle is all about.
I don’t know why some people want to give this freedom struggle a communal touch, it was never our goal and we have witnessed, it has never helped us ever. The people who think this is going to help us in any way should ask themselves that is this really helping our struggle, it this really worth the blood of more than 1 lac Kashmiris and counting.
Why aren’t the young minds of Kashmir picking up the right flag in their hands, our flag the most beautiful flag on earth for every Kashmiri. More than 50% of the Kashmiri youth doesn’t even know what our flag is.
Isn’t this your responsibility to make them aware about what the Identity of Kashmir is, because you call yourselves the Hurriyat Leaders, you will be the stars when the History of Kashmir will be written, isn’t it your responsibility to guide people on the right path.
Let me tell you what a common Kashmiri girl who has been under house arrest for more than 34 days now thinks:
The crowd waves Pakistani flag during Protests, in-front of Indian forces, what do you think will happen, more bloodshed than if they have had waved Kashmiri flags, that by logic does define the right to self determination.
The bloodshed will not be because People are waving the flag of a the country involved in the Kashmir Dispute, Naa.. the bloodshed will be because the fight between India and Pakistan is not only about Kashmir, they are the US and USSR in the making, they will kill to make each other feel inferior. And that is what is happening in Kashmir.
The people of Kashmir are getting killed not only because they are asking for their right to self-determination, but also because the waving of Pakistani flag is provoking the Indian forces to kill us.
This act of our children not only is the reason of more deaths but is also responsible for the pushing away of the Kashmiri minorities from this struggle for freedom, because when they logically think they prefer to be better off in Indian control than to be in control of Pakistan.
This not only increases the number of people who die at the hands of Indian forces but also makes our struggle unauthentic and illogical.
Today you, the leaders of this nation, the Hurriyat leaders we follow blindly, you people issued a Protest Programme.
In that Programme August 15 is referred to as Black Day, it is no doubt a Black Day for us. But the same stands for August 14. Why have you named August 14 as Pakistan Day, it is their Day, let them celebrate it, it is for us a Black Day like August 15.
With due respect, I try to remind you time and again in this open letter that Pakistan is as much responsible for our situation as India, why are you giving so much importance to them, they don’t deserve it.
Yes, Pakistani government is demanded the plebiscite of Kashmir now, we as Kashmiris respect that, but that is that, we JUST respect that like we respected Atal Ji’s take on Kashmir, we do not and we cannot be a part of that country or this country.
It is time to leave the personal benefits that we get from being a part of India and Pakistan and work on the freedom struggle of Kashmir, and that is what Kashmiris are doing. I hope, you being the leaders will understand your responsibility in controlling and containing the role of communal forces in this struggle, I hope you have understood the thought that strikes this common girl’s mind.
The writer is a 25 year old “curious” Kashmiri who is using a pseudonym, writes poetry and dabbles in journalism. This article appeared in Young Citizen and does not reflect U4UVoice Policy