Discarding The ‘Conditions Apply’ Tag!

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Even what is advertised as being the most ‘genuine’ sale with ‘no strings attached’ invariably has an asterisk that signifies the “conditions apply” clause which belies the widely publicised claims. Unfortunately, the same also seems to hold good for those who claim to be the ‘genuine’ representatives of Kashmiris. On the face of it, accusing our leaders of following the ‘conditions apply’ proviso may sound outrageous, but even a casual scrutiny will support this claim because when it comes to expression of outrage and anguish on killing of Kashmiris, isn’t joint resistance leadership (JRL) of the Hurriyat a bit too selective? 

A glance at happenings of the last fortnight is enough to conclusively prove this point. On March 13, an army deserter named Showket Ahmad Naik was shot dead in Pinglina village of Pulwama district. The very next day, National Conference Block President Mohammad Ismail Wani was shot at and badly injured in Bijbehara area of Anantnag district in broad daylight. The same night, another civilian named Manzoor Ahmad Lone of Beighpora village in Awantipora area was abducted and shot dead. Two days later, a female Special Police Officer Khusboo Jan was shot dead outside her home in Vehil area of Shopian. 

In all these cases there are two factors that are common – one, all assailants were “unidentified gunmen” and two, the JRL did not condemn these cold blooded murders or give any shutdown call to protest the brutal killing of these Kashmiris. Even after Thursday’s heartrending incident in which 12 year old Aatif Mir of Hajin Village in Bandipora district was taken hostage and then killed by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants, the JRL said nothing. Many believed that since there is growing public resentment against frequent shutdowns, the Hurriyat had probably decided to end its ‘hartal politics’. However, just three days later when a school teacher named Rizwan Pandit of Awantipora who had been arrested by the police died while in police custody, the JRL called for a shutdown as a sign of protest. 

It’s not intended to criticise the Hurriyat for condemning Pandit’s killing or observing a shutdown because this deplorable incident rightly deserves to be univocally condemned by all. However, it is necessary to reiterate that by raising a furor over this death but maintaining stoic silence on the other killings, the JRL is only compromising its own claim of being ‘genuine’ representatives of the Kashmiris. The Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farook has very appropriately described Pandit’s death as a “brutal killing (that) once again exposes the helplessness, vulnerability and insecurity of the lives of Kashmiri’s as impunity of the authorities keeps rising.” However, it is quite unlikely that this attempt of Mirwaiz will draw attention of the international community because while he has spoken up about the ‘rising impunity’ of the establishment, he has turned a Nelson’s eye to other the killings by militants!

Niloofar Qureshi

niloofar.qureshi@yahoo.com

New Delhi


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