Merits of Martyr’s Week 


Awami Action Committee headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has announced a week long programme from 18 May to remember Kashmiri martyrs. Remembering the martyrs means endorsing the cause for which men, women, elderly and Kashmiri youth laid down their lives. It is commendable that Awami Action Committee has continued with its practice in this regard.

The programme for Hafta-e-Shahadat, includes a call for a shutdown on May 21 to commemorate the anniversaries of Mirwaiz Moulvi Muhammad Farooq father of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and of Hawal Massacre in 1990. Remembering martyrs is an endorsement of the cause for which Kashmiri have laid down their lives. Our hearts go out to the families, whose loved ones were killed by the Indian security forces.

When we revisit our political and armed strategy we are likely to find that there have been more than one weaknesses in our strategy. The first and foremost has been the lack of deep thinking and absence of an independent outside expert input. Martyrs have trusted our strategists and we have a duty to treat all martyrs in equity, as equals.

Week long programme has designated Mirwaiz Moulvi Muhammad Farooq as ‘Shaheed-e-Millat’, Khawaja Abdul Gani as ‘Shaheed-e-Hurriyat’, those killed during the funeral of Mirwaiz Moulvi Muhammad Farooq as Hawal martyrs and rest have been given a generic tag as ‘all martyrs of Kashmir’. In fact the tenable definition is ‘martyrs of Kashmir’. The other three definitions, namely, ‘Shaheed-e-Millat’, ‘Shaheed-e-Hurriyat’ and ‘Hawal martyrs’ lack the genuineness. More thought should have gone into before creating these special categories.

Kashmiri leadership needs to flag the fact that there is no dispute on the question of a UN supervised Plebiscite in Kashmir. We should not give up upon the jurisprudence of our case. The hiccup is on the process and procedure.


A Fateha Khawani will be held at martyrs’ graveyard at Eidgah where ‘Hurriyat leaders will address the gathering and take a pledge to carry on the peaceful struggle for the right to self-determination.’ Chapter II article 2 (i) of Hurriyat Constitution adopted on 31 July 1993, sets out the objective to “make peaceful struggle to secure for the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir the exercise of the right of self-determination in accordance with the UN Charter and the resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council, however, the exercise of the right of self-determination shall also include right to independence.”

The Martyrs Week programme has been announced by Awami Action Committee and Hurriyat leaders would “take a pledge to carry on the peaceful struggle for the right to self-determination”, does not make sense. It is likely to be seen a disjointed, an unimpressive and a less thought out mode of action. It may not be so intended, but the ‘pledge’ would be interpreted as distancing from the component of armed struggle.

Hurriyat under its Constitutional Discipline and as a consequence of its ‘peaceful struggle’ needs to move from ‘shut down calls’ and routine ‘statements’, to a full-fledged campaign seeking immediate demilitarization in Kashmir, securing the roads and streets of Kashmir for the people of Kashmir, demand full respect for the rights guaranteed in the UN Security Council resolution of 21 April 1948 and the return of 2.5 million Kashmiri refugees living in various provinces of Pakistan.

The right manner of honouring the memory of martyrs would be that Awami Action Committee and Hurriyat leaders, not only reiterate their pledge for a peaceful struggle, but also unfold a peaceful work programme. It is the 26th birth anniversary of Hurriyat and it should have a lot to show to the people at home and the world at large. Hurriyat should spread out with a peaceful programme and on the top of the agenda should be the question of the ‘number’, ‘behaviour’ and ‘location’ of Indian soldiers as envisaged in the UN Resolution. 

Hurriyat would not be discharging the Constitutional duties or serving the cause of the people if, it continues to content itself by demanding the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan and raises the scare crow that Kashmir is a nuclear flash point. Good friendly relations between India and Pakistan, are an obligation under the UN Charter. Both countries are bound to work for peace and security. They shall have to engage each other and a nuclear war is not an option. Therefore, India and Pakistan do not need Hurriyat as a priest or a guide. India and Pakistan have intra-State responsibilities as well.

Kashmiri leadership needs to flag the fact that there is no dispute on the question of a UN supervised Plebiscite in Kashmir. We should not give up upon the jurisprudence of our case. The hiccup is on the process and procedure. Right of self-determination could not be held hostage to a disagreement on the number of forces that each party wanted to have during the UN supervised vote. The way forward could be resolved through mediation.

However, if the mediation fails, Security Council could seek the intervention of the International Court of Justice. ICJ could either consider the hiccup itself or appoint arbitrators to arbitrate a reasonable way forward. As opposed to Mediation, Arbitration is always final.

The best way to “take a pledge to carry on the peaceful struggle for the right to self-determination” is to carry out an audit of strengths and weaknesses of all the constituents. If a constituent does not have its Constitution setting out its aims and objects, it would not be of any help to the collective of Hurriyat. Such constituents would not be able to make any input. Once Government of India is convinced of the merits of Hurriyat’s peaceful programme and Hurriyat starts building a prevailing argument, machinations of the state could not defeat it. There is a long list of works that Hurriyat has failed to carry out. It has given an undeserved advantage to New Delhi. 

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