Prelude to Proxy War
"The only thing necessary for the triumph
of evil is for good men to do nothing"
India has always endeavoured
in the past 45 years to maintain friendly and amicable relations with Pakistan.
It left no stone unturned to placate the unplacable Pakistan. India's aim
has been to offer full co-operation to Pakistan in every field and see
her prospering. According to Treaty of partition in 1947, India had to
receive three hundred crores of rupees from Pakistan against fifty-five crores, which came to the share of Pakistan, as division of cash balances
of undivided India. Mahatma Gandhi, at the behest of Lord Mountbatten,
persuaded the Government of India to write off the share of Rs. 300 crores
and pay up Pakistan's share of Rs.55 crores. Gandhiji undertook fast unto
death for this purpose. When the Government of India accepted the demand,
Gandhiji ended the fast. This action took place at a time when lakhs of
Hindus and Sikhs were being slaughtered in Pakistan and Indian army was
fighting a bloody war with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir. The action cost
Gandhiji his own life. The Government of India established communal peace
within one month. The immigration of Muslims from India to Pakistan completely
ceased. Also Government permitted two million Muslims to return to India
and re-occupy their lands and property. On the other hand, no Hindu or
Sikh was allowed to remain in West Pakistan.
West Punjab (Pakistan) was widely irrigated.
Out of 25 canals in the united Punjab, 23 were in West Punjab (Pakistan)
and only 2 in East Punjab (India). East Punjab was almost dry and barren.
Millions of destitute Hindu and Sikh refugees who had taken shelter here
had to be provided food, clothing and shelter. Even then, peace-loving
India sacrificed her own vital interests and supplied water to Pakistan
from its Madhopur and Hussainwala headworks. When Pakistan was at war with
India, in the face of loud and long protests from the people, India paid
the annual instalment of Rs. 8 crores to Pakistan. A week after the cease-fire
in 1965, India let out water into Pakistani canals in the teeth of opposition
from her own Punjab State which included Haryana also at that time. During
the cease-fire period, Pakistani Sabre jets made frequent attempts to destroy
the Sutlej barrage at Sulemanki and the Sutlej bridge to cut off our supply
line. In spite of this, canal water continued to be supplied to Pakistan.
The Indus Water Treaty itself had been accepted by India after sacrificing
her own interests only to maintain brotherly relations with Pakistan. Since
1949, India has been offering to Pakistan a No-War Pact but Pakistan
has treated it with utmost contempt.
Pakistan's hatred against India knows no bounds.
The first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawabzada Liaqat Ali Khan purpled
with passion, stamping and fuming, shook his fist in the air pointing it
towards India, saying that the fist was their national emblem and with
it they would deal with India. Another Government of Pakistan declared
that every Pakistani would become Halaku and Changez Khan for India. Still
another Government of Pakistan threatened India to drown its soil in a
sea of blood. Ayub and Bhutto proclaimed a thousand years' war against
India. In the United Nations Security Council, Bhutto called the Indian
delegation led by the Foreign Minister, Sardar Swaran Singh Indian dogs
One has only to read Ayub Khan's book to realise how implacable Pakistanis
and their Governments have been in their hostility towards India. They
are prepared to go to any length to encompass its ruin. Kashmir merely
presents a pretext for the animus of the rulers of that country towards
India. And the rulers take the stand after finding the pulse of the people.
Pakistan is incorrigible, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan has said that
"even if India were to offer not one but half a dozen Kashmirs, India
would find that peace would not be established with Pakistan".
Having succeeded in seizing one-third strategic
area of Jammu and Kashmir by war, Pakistan bent all her energy and resources
to grab the remaining portion of the State by repeated wars and conquer
India, if possible. They draw inspiration from the exploits of the Muslim
invaders in the past. If Mahmud Ghazni could plunder India seventeen times,
if Shahabuddin Ghori could lay the foundation of the Islamic State here
by invading it ten times, if Babar could establish Mughal Empire in India
on his fifth attempt and if Ahmed Shah Abdali could over-run this country
eight times, Pakistan could also realise its aim by invading this country
again and again. To rally their ranks, they have a slogan :- "Hans ke
liya hai Pakistan, Lar Kar Lenge Hindustan". The jehad against India
has been going on from day one. A few statements out of numerous are given
"Pakistan is under no obligation, international or
otherwise, that prevents her from sending her troops to Kashmir."
(Sir Mohammed Zafarullah Khan, Pakistan Foreign minister
in Karachi on September 8, 1948.)
Speaking to a cheering mammoth crowd outside his
house, Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan declared: "From today onwards, our
symbol is this", and he held his clenched fist out of the window.
(Report in Dawn, Karachi, July 28, 1951)
"If the U.N. proves to be a band of thieves, we will
have nothing to do with it. We will prove that we can liberate Kashmir
with the strength of our arms".
(Mian Mumtaz Daulatana, Chief Minister, West Punjab
reported in Zamindar, Lahore, January 17, 1952).
"Division is the essence of Indian polity. The fierce
noise of linguistic riots in Bombay and elsewhere is heard from afar. Mr.Nehru
should not equate the authority of his person with any fundamental cohesion
in his country. In the absence of his cementing figure, these divisions
are bound to enlarge. We are the deadliest enemy India can possibly have
and it would be foolish for us not to take advantage of the foreseeable
deluge that will ensue after him. In the meantime, besides preparation
for the Kashmir front, we shall do our worst, and God-willing, we shall
confront them on all battle-fields of diplomacy and cold war, and prove
the bitterness of sting".
(Pakistan Times, Lahore, November 25, 1955).
"The question of Kashmir would never be solved until
every man in the country was militarily trained and armed with modern weapons.
I am sure Kashmir would never join Pakistan without force."
(Khan Jalal-ud-Din Khan, Pakistan Times, Lahore February
"Pakistan will not hesitate to march on Delhi and
teach a lesson to the Indians."
(A.M. Quraishi, Member of Legislative Assembly of
West Pakistan, reported in Mussalman, Karachi, March, 8 1956).
"The year of 1957, after a hundred year, is a year
of new hopes. This is a year to spread Muslim rule all over India. New
blood should run into our veins to see the year 1957 approaching nearer.
Seventy million Pakistani Muslims and fifty million Indian Muslims should
have new hopes that after one hundred years they are going to get authority
over the whole of India".
(Allama Mashriqui, reported in Waqt, Lahore November
"We are prepared to sign defence pacts, both offensive
and defensive, with any country which is prepared to help us against our
one enemy - India".
(Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, President Muslim League,
in Lahore on November 26, 1956)
"We want them (members of the Baghdad Pact) for our
defence purposes... Our first duty is to strengthen our defence particularly
against India no matter what others might say".
(Malik Feroz Khan Noon, Pakistan's Foreign Minister,
reported in Pakistan Times, Lahore, December 8, 1956)
"O Hindu! What have you to do with a thing like Government?"
"A Government is not something like cow's urine or cow dung: which you
may drink or make cakes of."
(Lines in Urdu printed in Waqt, Lahore, on December
27, 1956, at the head of an announcement of a public meeting to be held
on January 1, 1957, to welcome 1957 as the year of triumph over India.)
"I want to make it clear that Pakistan recognises
no international obligations with regard to the State of Jammu and Kashmir
except those it has voluntarily accepted together with the Government of
India in the resolutions of the United Nations Commission for India and
Pakistan dated 13 August 1948 and 5 January 1949".
Minister in the Security Council
on January 16, 1957)
"Puny nations like Egypt and India are defying U.N."
(Pak Prime Minister, H.S. Suhrawardhy during a tour
of United States reported in Pakistan Times, Lahore, July 16, 1957).
"We shall never develop friendship with India - our
(Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan, President, Pakistan Muslim
League at a public meeting on June 6, 1958).
"Kashmir is vital for Pakistan, not only politically
but militarily as well. Kashmir is a matter of life and death."
(President Ayub Khan in December, 1959).
"You might say, "Why cannot you give up Kashmir?"
Well, we cannot give up that dispute not because we are bloody-minded but
for example, for the reason that Kashmir is connected with our physical
security. Thirty-two million acres in Pakistan are irrigated from rivers
that start in Kashmir."
(President Ayub Khan at the National Press Club,
Washington on July 13 and reported in the Pakistan Times of July 14, 1961).
"Kashmir is important to us for our physical as well
as economic security."
(President Ayub Khan at Karachi on July as reported
in the Pakistan Times of July 20, 1961.)
"Pakistanis being the best fighting force can meet
any challenge thrown by India."
(Chaudhary Ghulam Abbas, President, Jammu & Kashmir
Muslim Conference reported in Dawn, Karachi, December 22, 1962).
"In the event of war, Pakistan would not be alone.
Pakistan would be helped by the most powerful nation in Asia. War between
India and Pakistan involves the territorial integrity and security of the
largest State in Asia".
(Z.A. Bhutto, Pakistan's Foreign Minister, speaking
in the Pakistan National Assembly on July, 17, 1963.)
"The alternative solution to Kashmir issue is war"
(President Ayub Khan in an interview with a BBC Correspondent
reported by Pakistan Times, Lahore, March, 5, 1964).
"Kashmir can never be secured without
(From editorial of Nai Roshni, Karachi, December
"There is a great fund of goodwill for Kashmiris
in North African and Middle-Eastern countries. Almost everywhere, the question
being asked is "When Pakistanis or Kashmiris will take up arms for the
Valley's liberation. In fact the Defence Minister of one Muslim country
has offered himself to participate in jehad if Kashmiris and Pakistanis
(Maulvi Farid Ahmed, reported in Pakistan Times,
Lahore, January 1, 1965.)
"Negotiations and protests cannot solve the issue
of Kashmir. It wants blood now."
(From the Editorial, Nai Roshni, Karachi, January
"It would be for the good of India if she voluntarily
transfers the areas to Pakistan, otherwise Pakistan would have to use force
for acquisition of the area and that would be a prelude to India's destruction."
(Nai Roshni, Karachi, February 24, 1965).
"China may conquer the whole of India. Even then
India would not fight China. India is a preacher of non-violence. She is
not a fool to fight with a bit of power like China... Poor India never
has the guts to fight even Pakistan, leave alone China, which is a mighty
(Mashriq, Lahore, March 5, 1965.)
"The time is not far off when the six-foot-six-inch
Sheikh Abdullah will catch the five-foot-two-inch Lal Bahadur Shastri by
the neck and take back Kashmir".
(Mashriq, Lahore, March 5, 1965).
"We are not afraid of war and we will not hesitate
to go to war when time comes."
(Dawn, Karachi, March 11, 1965)
"We are sure, President Ayub will teach Indians a
lesson which the Indian rulers would never forget."
(Jang, Karachi, March 18, 1965).
"If Pakistan makes up her mind to punish instead
of protest, better sense will dawn on Delhi)."
(Dawn, Karachi, March 19, 1965)
"We must take appropriate action, which means a tooth
for a tooth and an eye for an eye. If defence is to be aggressive, then
our Defence Forces must be ordered to retaliate".
(Dawn, Karachi, March 22, 1965)
"Though America has become a world power, she has
not been able to realise that Bharat whom she has been preparing to counter
China, would not dare fight even Nepal. All the military equipment America
is dumping in Bharat will one day fall into the hands of other countries."
(Mashriq, Lahore, 1965).
"These are the characteristics of the fighters for
Islam. They attain and see paradise under the shadow of the sword. Therefore,
they are prepared to roast the Indian brinjals on any front."
(Nai Roshni, Karachi, May 2, 1965).
"The Rann of Kutch, prescription should be applied
to the Kashmir front".
(Nawa-e-Waqt, Lahore, May 9, 1965).
"Thousands of Razakars are ready to breach the cease-fire
line and march into Occupied Kashmir to the rescue of their brothers."
(Rahmatullah, State Councillor, reported by Pakistan
Times, Lahore, May 17, 1965)
"When the fight in the Rann of Kutch was on, India's
only aircraft carrier, Vikram and several tankers had to run away in the
Arabian Sea at the sight of the single submarine of Pakistan."
(Jang, Karachi May 3, 1965).
"The Pakistan Government should renounce her obligations
in regard to cease-fire line and give free hand to Kashmiris in reorganizing
themselves for launching a full-fledged jehad."
(Abdul Qayyum Khan reported in Dawn, Karachi, May
"We shall go full out, and smaller though we are
than India we shall hurt India beyond repair."
(President Ayub Khan, Dawn, Karachi, June 20, 1965.)
"In the event of war with India, Pakistani troops
would march up to Delhi, would occupy the Red Fort and hoist the Pakistan
flag on it."
(Pakistan Times, Lahore, July 11, 1965, reporting
the proceedings of the National Assembly).
"India is to Asia today what South Africa is to rest
of Africa. What Israel is to the Middle East".
(Z.A. Bhutto, Pakistan Foreign Minister, Pakistan
Times, Lahore, July 14, 1965.)
"As a matter of fact, the State of Jammu and Kashmir
was Pakistani territory which India has usurped."
(Z.A. Bhutto, Pakistan Foreign Minister, reported
in Dawn on August 20, 1965).
It is erroneous to think that Pakistan's dispute
with India is derived from Kashmir. The Pakistani conflict is much wider
than the Kashmir problem. If the conflict had not arisen over Kashmir,
it would have sprung over any other area. If Kashmir is handed over to
Pakistan on a platter, it will claim Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bombay etc. Allama
Mashriqui, the leader of the Khaskar Party had publicly said that Pakistan
was only to be springboard from which the whole of India was to be eventually
conquered. His thesis was that Hindu India was inherently a hopelessly
divided entity which could never withstand a determined assault from outside.
This thesis was adopted by Ayub Khan, Z.A. Bhutto and Zia-ul-Haq. The Kashmir
dispute is merely one of the manifestations of a deep rooted disease. The
disease, is Pakistan's insensate and all pervasive hatred of India.
Inter-Services Intelligence (I.S.I.) of Pakistan
is the most powerful Intelligence agency in Asia. It has taken up the task
of breaking up India. Secession of Kashmir from India is the key to the
plan being implemented to achieve the aim. Before launching armed insurgency,
two pre-requisites were fulfilled. One was indoctrination on the basis
of Islamic fundamentalism. Its esssential adjunct was the simultaneous
launching of anti-India and anti-Hindu propaganda. The second pre-requisite
was the smuggling of arms into Kashmir valley. In both the case, what was
important was a carefully drawn plan under a thick cover of secrecy. Youngmen
infused with radical ideas were to be recruited by their local mentors.
Indoctrination of the masses along Islamic fundamentalism was a mission
which the Jamaat-i-Islami had already taken upon itself. They had spread
their tentacles through their schools (darsgah) in every village, mohallah
and town. Over the years, the Jamaat-i-Islami's hysterical fundamentalist
campaign of religious fanaticism and bigotry of hatred and intolerance,
of suppression on the voice of dissent, liberalism and of reason and enlightenment
had been spreading in Kashmir like forest fires. Also no one came forward
to douse and put out these fires. These were allowed to spread from city
to village, from one village to another, from one field to another, from
one house to another. Authorities turned a blind eye to the free flow of
an unending stream of inflammatory literature pouring in from Iran, to
the free flow of colossal funds from some Middle-Eastern countries to identifiable
source centres lying at the heart of the fundamentalist movement in Kashmir.
In the Jamaat-i-Islami schools, young boys with impressionable minds were
raised on the staple diet of religious fundamentalism and bigotry. In these
schools deliberate efforts were made by the hysterical fundamentalists
to stamp out from minds, the last lingering traces of the culture of tolerance
of their inherent Kashmiri heritage. It was in the schools that the dark
medieval mind of the present day fanatics came to be shaped. The Jamaat-i-Islami,
long before the terrorists' violent outburst, found to its glee that its
campaigns were proceeding smoothly unchallenged as these were, both by
administration and mainstream political leadership. There are proven facts
that the Jamaat received overt and covert support, tacit and direct encouragement
in spreading the network of its schools, in sending incendiary fundamentalist
literature to homes in each town, in each village and in each district.
The two battalions of Kashmir Armed Police were raised with the Jamaat
trained youths forming their core, that the Jamaat cadre found its way
into the vital limbs of the administration especially the Department of
Education, Co-operation, Agriculture, Food and Civil Supplies which have
wide public dealings in the rural areas.
Auqaf (endowment), nazool (State land),
Khalsa Sarkar (aligned to State) and Kahcharai (grass-lands) wherever available
in the valley were occupied and Jamaat-i-Islami schools were built on them.
Private lands wherever required, were also acquired for the purpose. Artisans
like masons, carpenters, and skilled and unskilled labourers, who were
deployed in the task of building mosques were foremost to fall in the line
with their indoctrinarian propaganda. They considered it their religious,
moral and social obligation to render either free service in the constructional
enterprises or charge only nominal wages for their labour. The mosque became
a platform of a two-pronged attack; indoctrination of fundamentalism and
spreading of anti-India and hate Hindu frenzy. The elite and the upper
class Kashmiri Muslims in concert with the section of bureaucrats, which
controlled the nerve centre of the entire ruling outfit, and cadres of
ruling political parties (N.C.) all converged on overt and covert support
to the insurgency movement and related conspiratorial activities. The upper
class of Kashmiri Muslim society of which the bureaucrats and the clear
pro-Pak propensities formed the core, concentrated on the mosque and religious
practices affiliated to it. Top-ranking Muslim officials misused official
position and influence to make the mosque the centre of all propaganda
machinery. Hundreds of new mosques came up in the length and breadth of
the valley. Special sanctions were made to provide roads, drinking water,
electricity and sanitation facilities to the mosques. Forest officials
provided timber on nominal rates to be used in the construction of mosques
and also firewood to meet the winter requirements of the hammams (baths)
in the mosques. Funds poured in from Saudi Arabia, Iran and U.S.A. Rich
Muslims in the valley made substantial monetary contributions to win a
certificate of religiosity. The elite and the upper crest made stupendous
show of Godliness and religion abiding behaviour so as to dilute the anti-elitist
feelings, which had made inroads into the middle class of Kashmiri Muslim
society. In these activities, Jamat-i-Islami emerged a hero trying to convince
the masses that its mission had divine sanction. Allah Wallai, another
Muslim organisation with its headquarters in U.P. also directly helped
in whipping up religious frenzy. They held huge congregations in Kashmir
where they openly spoke to Muslims exhorting them to strive hard for the
Islamic Rule and Islamic Law. Many young Muslims were taken to U.P. for
training. In August-September, 1988, a week long conference-cum-camp in
which delegates from many states of India and a few Arabs participated
was held at Idgah, Srinagar. Many high ranking State Government officials
attended the said conference. In fact, in almost all the mosques of Srinagar
City and towns like Sopore and Baramulla, the chief Imams were not Kashmiri
Muslims but youngmen from U.P.
In August, 1984, an Amir from Kuwait had
remarked at a meeting held with the local people at Chasma Shahi tourist
resort, Srinagar that secular politics of India is quite conducive for
spreading of Islam and asserting Islamic Laws. The role of the now defunct
B.B.C.I. in providing funds to Kashmiri Muslims was not visible. But it
was there. The drug traffic in the region mostly through Afghanistan and
Pakistan resulted in the promotion of charas cultivation in the valley.
Everybody including government officials appeared benefitting from it.
The drug money and foreign funds raised a new economic power to compete
wit the Central aid. In 1980, a mass convention of Jamaat-i-Islami
held in Idgah, Srinagar. On 9th March, 1981, there was rioting and vandalism
in Anantnag. Wine shops mostly owned by Hindus were attacked, looted and
smashed by unruly mobs. In 1981, an Iraqi goodwill delegation led by Iraqi
Minister for Religious Affairs, Noorie Faizal Abshahni visited Srinagar.
The delegation handed over lot of money as gifts to Islamic institutions.
As a result, College of Oriental Studies, Srinagar, run by Islamic Trust,
was renamed Saddam Hussain College. Lot of money was also handed
over to many newspaper owners. Some new weeklies got started. There was
a spate of Urdu dailies in the market. Then Iran joined the fray. The Cultural
Attache of the Embassy of Iran in India came to Srinagar. He gave huge
donations to the media and many other organisations. Then mainland Iran
sent a lot of money. With the rise of fundamentalism in the valley, the
propagators began to talk more and more of Nizam-i-Mustafa. People thought
that wearing of baggy Salwars and flowing Kameez, the national
dress of Pakistan was a big step towards realisation of Nizam-i-Mustafa
in Kashmir. Ruling politicians and sycophants, ministers and cadremen made
an impressive show of their Khan dress imported from Pakistan. Every
Government office became something like a mosque, particularly on Fridays.
Puritanic slogans like Namaz ko quaim rakho and aapko namaz ke
liye fursat nahin - taajub hai written in chalk and on tin plates profused
the walls, doors, window-panes and electricity poles of the cities and
the towns. College and University students began wrapping a spotted kerchief
around their necks after the fashion of the Arabs. The Shia section toed
the Khomeni line. Show and exhibition of religious fervour was done to
such an extent that even while travelling on roads, they stopped the cars,
came out, spread the piece of cloth on the road, offered prayers there
and then. This was used more as a show rather than religiousness. On 13th
October, 1983, a Cricket Match was held between India and West Indies in
Srinagar. Srinagar was selected to help boost Kashmir's economy. A new
stadium was built costing about Rs. 75 lakhs. The match was disturbed,
Indian players were hooted and stoned and West Indies was made to win.
Immediately after the match there were large number of bomb blasts in the
city. Some people were arrested and later on released. It was never revealed
who the people were. Farooq Abdullah was the Chief Minister.
State administrative machinery controlled by pro-Pak
cadres dovetailed the entire administrative function to promoting the interests
of the Muslims even if it meant gross violation of rules and procedures.
A Muslim and his interests were supreme and above all rules. Tenor of hate
India and hate Hindu propaganda could be gauged from the subject material
published in local papers onwards of 1984. The underground insurgency movement
was receiving support from all quarters. Indoctrination worked.
The second pre-requisite of actual launching
of armed insurgency, viz, smuggling of arms and ammunition into the valley
from Pak-occupied areas was an operation that asked for foolproof secrecy,
trust and planning. Infiltration into the ranks of the state police and
intelligence outfit was pivotal to the big adventure. Once responsible
cadres in these two wings promised their overt and covert support, half
the game had been won. Prospective volunteers who would run the errand
got into contact with their guides on the borders, particularly in Kupwara
and Uri sectors. Harsh topography of the mountain passes was taken into
account. One safe device was to seduce local persons on the border in agreeing
to dump the smuggled stock of arms and ammunition. Pretending haystacks
and brick kilns etc. were made use of. It will be found that a large number
of brick kilns sprang up in villages along the border line during several
years preceding the armed rebellion in 1989. Most of the entrepreneurs
of this industry received fairly large amounts of industrial loans from
the Government. Transportation of the arms from the sites of storage on
the borders to the city of Srinagar and other towns was mostly done by
trucks of J&K State Road Transport Corporation or by those of Police
Department. RTC trucks unloading ration in distant villages on the border
line returned with arms-loads and disgorged it in the city. Sopore became
a vital link in the process of transportation of smuggled arms and ammunition.
Police trucks were not subject to checks at any post, particularly when
these were escorted by senior police officers. Once insurgents were assured
of police abetment, everything became smooth for them.
Involvement of increasing number of Muslim
youth in the impending insurgency needed cohesion of action. They had to
be educated and trained in logistics of mass insurgency. The mass base
had to be created and everything had to be done in secrecy. The conspirators
devised the intelligent method of forming Cricket Clubs throughout the
length and breadth of the valley. Hundreds and thousands of Cricket Clubs
were established in each mohalla, each village and each town. These enrolled
youth in large numbers and one would find himself amused on beholding a
staunch Jamaati with beard, shalwar and kurta and sometimes a rosary in
hands, playing or directing a so-called friendly cricket match. These clubs
served the purpose of fostering close liaison among the youth of the valley
and were preparing them for a higher adventure. In those years (1984-89),
if one walked down the streets of downtown Srinagar, one found that youth
amused themselves with cricketting exercise in narrow lanes sometimes to
the chagrin of passer-by whom the plastic ball would hit by chance. Nobody
took cognizance of imperatives behind this apparently child-like activity.
On being informed that cricket club culture had made deep impact
on Kashmiri youth and that its ulterior purpose was being well served,
President Zia of Pakistan announced in cavalier fashion his interest
in watching the Indo-Pak cricket match in Jaipur, and made a gallant visit.
It was a one-day match. New Delhi thought it a feather in its cap and befooled
itself and the public by telling that the General had now embarked on a
policy of fraternisation with its big brother. In fact, the visit gave
a tremendous boost and encouragement to the Cricket Club Culture
in Kashmir where schemes and plans for logistics were drawn to make insurgency
a full success. To this day nobody understood the motive behind Zia's sudden
visit to Jaipur.
As a matter of fact, game cricket has been
playing havoc with India with Hindu minority in Kashmir. During India-Pak
cricket matches which have been very frequent in the four decades, Hindus
have always been with hands up praying to God for safety. If Indian team
won the match, Muslims in Kashmir would become ferocious, observe hartal,
government employees would abstain from their offices and there would be
widespread demonstrations through out the valley. If Pakistan won the match,
there would be unprecedented jubilation. People would go amuck dancing
and dangling in the streets and roads. In both situations Hindus had to
remain indoors. They had to be doubly cautious lest some word might drop
from their mouth this way or that way. It was due to exemplary self-restraint
on the part of the Hindus that the situation was never allowed to go out
of hand. But this grim situation created by cricket politics of Gen. Zia
was never understood by our cricket bosses and the government. The Indian
cricket's repeated forays in Sharjah were taken full advantage of by the
Kashmir secessionists. They are so sure of final outcome at Sharjah that
victory celebrations begin well in advance. Indian cricketers' forays into
Sharjah are for lure of money, big money, bigger than that is available
anywhere else in cricket for players, as well as for Indian Cricket Board.
Ever since the Sharjah cricket matches were launched in 1981 by the local
Sheikh Bakhtiar under management of Asif Iqbal (the former Pakistan Captain
who migrated from India in 1960) they have been purely commercial ventures.
Only the kind of show that will satisfy the paying public, being almost
entirely composed of Pakistani expatriates, interested only in the spectacle
of India's defeat and humiliation. At the end of the match, the partisan
crowds go home cheering while people in Pakistan, and India's mini Pakistans
burst crackers to celebrate the manipulated Pak victory. India's cricket
officials don't seem to mind since they are paid handsomely enough. So
whenever a Sharjah Tournament comes along, our cricket team is led there
like ancient Roman prisoners being thrown to hungry lions to provide amusement
to crowds - except that here everybody - the lion, the crowds as well as
the prisoners are happy and all the sorrow is left for the Indian cricket
fans and (now there are no Hindus in Kashmir). That Gen. Zia-ul-Haq played
the cricket card as a diplomatic smoke screen to implement his plans in
Kashmir is another much more tragic story. Apparently, the story of Prithvi
Raj and Mohammad Ghori is being replayed. Fearing India may dilly-dally
next winter in going to Sharjah, Mr.Asif Iqbal came to India as match referee
for the India-Zimbabwe test. He canvassed in his own way and told newsmen
in New Delhi on 18th March, 1993 that he had every hope that India will
participate in the Sharjah test in November 1993. It appeared that his
aim in coming to India was to persuade the Board of Control for Cricket
to forget the past humiliation and send the team to Sharjah. Presenting
an apology for the past events, he said the last test was a low key
affair held for the sake of continuity. After the terrible Black Friday
event in Bombay on March 12, 1993 Pakistan again used cricket as one of
the means to soften India. Its Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif proposed a
cricket match between the foreign correspondents based in Delhi and the
Lahore Gymkhana team. The Delhi team included mainly Brits and Indians,
the only foreign correspondents who play the game. In fact, the Indian
Captain was so anxious to form an eleven, despite the extremely inappropriate
timing of the visit, that he even approached the British and Australian
High Commissions to inquire if they could persuade some cricket playing
diplomats to join the team. Though the diplomats declined, the final team
of 16 which flew to Pakistan in the first week of April, 1993, included
at least two non-journalists. From Lahore the team was flown in a special
plane to Islamabad. There was a convoy of seven Mercedes cars to transport
the players to the Cricket Club. The Cricketers and their families drank
(despite the official prohibition policy) and dined while staying at the
Five Star Pearl Continental Hotel. The Pakistanis even diplomatically allowed
the match to end in a draw and Sharif took time off from domestic crisis
to cheer the players. Each cricketer was presented a carpet, outdoing Zia-ul-Haq's
standard gift of lamp shades and pen-holders. Dazzled by Pakistani hospitality,
it is a little wonder that a section of the Indian Press, including a leading
news-magazine bewailed the Indian Government's hasty conclusion
of linking the blame for the Bombay blasts on the I.S.I. of Pakistan.
The pioneers of insurgency made its secrecy
foolproof. They never conveyed messages either in writing or on telephone.
Only dependable and trusted messengers were pressed into service. It will
be found that onwards of 1984, the number of motor cycles, scooters and
Maruti cars sold in Srinagar and the towns of Kashmir rose sharply. Most
of the two wheelers were plying on the rural areas. Infiltration into police
and intelligence cadres made it possible for the militants to identify I.B. personnel who were the victims of their initial strikes. Those who
try to convince themselves that insurgency in Kashmir has economic reasons
will better revaluate their perception when more and more facts about Kashmir
conspiracy come to light. Anybody who thinks or analyses Kashmir crisis
in isolation of regional or global dimensions of current politics is mistaken.
Nor shall the crisis come to an end unless the regional scenario changes
altogether. In Kashmir, India has to reckon with the greatest state-sponsored
terrorists of the world. One of the numerous guidelines of this jehad
is an offensive, which will destroy the will of the enemy, damage his political
capacity and expose him to the world as an oppressor. This was Gen. Zia's
directive to I.S.I. The cause of Islamic fundamentalism was taken over
by the same elements who were responsible for the partition of India and
establishment of a separate homeland on the basis of two-nation theory.
Imams and Maulvis from U.P. sprang up in the valley. Most of them were
given State Subject Certificates and were thus made permanent residents
of the state. They were associated with such organisations
Ummat-i-Islamia etc. Simultaneously, a well planned offensive was
launched through the state's broadcasting system named Radio Kashmir
and T.V. Centre (Doordarshan) against India under the guise of catering
to the local population. Muslims picked up as Kashmiri authors were invariably
given Central awards. Many of these recipients of awards played the double
trick. When the Government of India announced an award for a particular
author, he would go round fundamentalist centres declaring that he was
not going to accept an award announced by these dhotiwallas. He
would swear that he had not made his book available to them. They must
have obtained a copy on their own. The concerned author would show hate
and contempt for India in public gatherings in the city and towns. But
would confidentially send a request to the Sahitya Academy, New Delhi that
he was having some cardiac problem and it would be difficult for him to
travel to Delhi to receive the award. He would, therefore, be obliged if
the award money was sent to him by a draft payable at Srinagar. The Academy
has been doing the needful faithfully. In fact, it was typical of votaries
Kashmiriyat to flaunt their Islamic and separatist credentials
while at the same time thrive on Central subsidies. Two years after the
death of Sheikh Abdullah, his autobiography under the title Atish-e-Chinar
was published. It was said that he had dictated this to Mr.Mohammed Yusuf Teng, Director General of Libraries and Director, J&K Academy of Art,
Culture and Languages. The book is full of venom against Jawaharlal Nehru.
It also contains most defamatory accusations against Kashmiri Pandits.
Sheikh Abdullah, his wife, and Mr.M.Y.Teng had every right to write whatever
they liked. They were free to do so. But it was an act of appeasement on
the part of Sahitya Academy to select the book for National Award. Normally,
biographies or auto-biographies are not given awards. The award was given,
which was received by Mr.M.Y.Teng, who was himself member of the Sahitya
Academy, on behalf of Sheikh's wife, on the personal directive of Rajiv
Gandhi the Prime Minister of India. Rajiv had asked the Security Wing of
the Cabinet to go through the book and point out objectionable material.
But simultaneously he directed that the award be announced. It could not
be known under what pressure Rajiv had done so. There was furore in Parliament.
Congress M.P.s were bitter that a book denigrating Nehru had been awarded.
But since Rajiv had done it, all were silenced in no time. But this action
gave sufficient signals to the State administration and politicians both
pro-India and anti- India about Indian Government's perception. And in
no time, more or less, the entire administrative apparatus including police
found it expedient to switch over their inner loyalty to fundamentalists.
In May, 1983, Syed Shahabuddin addressed
the students of Kashmir University on the occasion of seminar on Allama
Mohammad Iqbal. He spoke in a highly communal vein and raised it to a highly
emotional pitch. His words were full of communal outbursts and bitterness.
Only an anti-Indian foreigner could make such sentimental and violent speech.
His speech moved the students to raise anti- India slogans. Chief Minister,
Farooq Abdullah and other Ministers were also present. From August 15,
1983 onwards, there were a series of bomb explosions. On October 13, 1983,
extremely seditious acts were witnessed during the one-day international
cricket match between India and West Indies. The Indian players were humiliated,
harassed, hooted heckled, abused loudly and assaulted with rotten fruits,
pebbles and flag poles. Pakistan's National flag was waved extensively.
Attempts were made to dig up the pitch. Kapil Dev had a narrow escape.
On May 29, 1984, a violent procession was taken out by Muslim fundamentalists
and Sikh terrorists in Srinagar. Several vehicles of Army and B.S.F. were
attacked and five jawans injured. Slogans of Pakistan zindabad and Khalistan
were raised. On June 4, 1984, another combined procession was taken out
in Srinagar in which naked swords were freely brandished. The crowds went
on rampage and set a number of shops and houses on fire including a school
run by the Arya Samaj and the `Nirankari' Bhawan. The Hanuman temple was
also attacked, the `Pujari' beaten and the idol thrown into the river Jhelum.
A bomb was exploded in Srinagar stadium on 15th August, 1983. On 13th August
1983, India Coffee House was the target of bomb blast. On 18th November,
1983, a bomb explosion occurred in house compound of Justice A.S.Anand,
a judge of Jammu and Kashmir High Court. A crude time bomb was exploded
at Nagbal, Anantnag on 29th March, 1984. Administrative block and the library
of the Kashmir University were subjected to bomb explosion on 11th April,
1984. On 22nd April, 1984, a bomb was thrown at the house of Shri Neelkanth
Ganju, retired Sessions judge. On 26th April, 1984, a bomb was thrown at
old R.T.C. Bus stand at Sopore.
When Farooq Abdullah became the Chief Minister
third time in March, 1987, heading a coalition Government with the Congress(i),
the voters alleged that the national Conference and Congress(I) alliance
had indulged in mass rigging. This charge was confined to local circles.
In the rest of the country none except the B.J.P. took up the cause of
voters. The Congress(I) was itself the major beneficiary of rigging so
it ridiculed the B.J.P propaganda as communal. V.P.Singh was a senior Congress(I)
Minister at the Centre. So nothing prickled his conscience. Elections had
been held to West Bengal and Kerala Assemblies also and leftists had won
in both the states. Therefore, for them the world was fine. For the rest,
all hues of Dals: (A) Ajit, (B) Bahuguna now Bommai, Lok Dal (C) Charan,
Lok Dal (D) Devi Lal, any cause supported by the B.J.P was a fit case for
going opposite. They need not even know what the cause was. Now all parties
including Congress(I) have found out that there had been massive rigging
and that was the cause of militancy. Seeking immediate return for helping
in rigging, Kashmir's bureaucrats prevailed upon disco dancer, Farooq to
raise the retirement age of Government employees by three years with retrospective
effect. This was the first decision taken by the new Government. While
there could be no objection to the decision as a matter of principle, it
was the most inopportune in the context of Jammu and Kashmir at that point
of time. It completely blocked the employment of youth in Government jobs
for three years. The bureaucrats and technocrats having entrenched themselves
now began to fraternize with fundamentalist secessionists. This paralysed
the administration at all levels. On 16th of May, 1987, the day of Id-ul-Zuha,
Farooq was not allowed to offer `Namaz' and address the Id congregation
at Idgah, Srinagar. It was a miracle how he was rescued by the security
forces and saved from being trampled. Simultaneously, violence broke out
in other parts of the city notably at Polo ground, Maulana Azad Road and
Budshah Chowk. In panic, Farooq announced top administrative changes the
same evening and next day left for Delhi for a change.
On April 8, 1988, at a Friday prayer meeting
at Anantnag, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Delhi, Abdullah Bukhari made a
virulent speech. He fomented pro-Pak sentiments and stoked the fire of
fundamentalism. His inner motivation was evident from his reference to
U.N. resolutions on Kashmir and the emphasis which he placed on their implementation
both in letter and spirit. He thundered:
"accession of Kashmir to India
is not final. Kashmir problem is a live issue needing solution." Muslims
became restive with his provocative speeches some of which he delivered
in Srinagar also. If the Imam of Delhi (India) says this, who can prevent
us from saying so. In a single political stroke, the morale of secessionists
was sky high. The Shahi Imam's (of Delhi Jama Masjid) activities during
his visits had surcharged the atmosphere. Immediately after this speech,
large scale disturbance broke out. These disturbances coincided with the
visit of Sri Lanka's Prime Minister, Late Mr.Premdasa to Srinagar city.
The agitators shouted slogans against India and also against Mr.Premdasa
for killing of Muslims in Sri Lanka. Simultaneously, sympathy demonstrations
were held for those Muslims who got killed due to a series of explosions
in a Pakistani ammunition depot near Rawalpindi. There were widespread
disturbances in Srinagar, Anantnag and other towns in the valley. The emergence
of fundamentalist leader Qazi Nissar had transformed the entire political
and social scenario in Anantnag District. The visit of Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Delhi (India) to Anantnag and his close-door parleys with Qazi
Nissar transformed the Qazi himself drastically. He proclaimed to be the
Mirwaiz of South Kashmir and like Abdullah Bukhari said he was above Indian
laws. After his talks with Bukhari, the Qazi began to mention Iran frequently
in his discourses
From July-August, 1988, a low-key terrorism had
begun. On the night between July 31st and 1st August there were two bomb
blasts and one dacoity. On August 4, one electronic watch time bomb was
found at Lakhanpur. On August 12, there was an explosion in an auto-rickshaw
in one of the main bazars of Jammu. On August 14, Pakistan's Independence
Day, Pak flags were hoisted in Srinagar city and other towns of the valley.
On August 15, black flags were put up at a number of places. On August
16, a pro-Pakistan mob attacked the police party on Nalla Mar Road, the
mob shouting anti-India slogans. A police jeep was burnt down and some
shops were damaged. On the night of August 16, an attempt was made t set
on fire the famous Hindu shrine of Peer Pandit Padshah popularly known
as Rishi Peer in down town Srinagar. After the sudden death of Zia-ul-Haq
in an aircrash on 17th August, 1988, virtual hell was created for several
days. Anti-India and anti-Russia slogans rented the air. Shias were also
made target of attack. Consequently, prestigious Moharrum procession of
Shia community in Srinagar was abandoned. Administration had prostrated
before Sunni fundamentalists. On August 31, there was a bomb explosion
in a stationery bus at Anantnag. One person standing nearby died. On September
10, 1988 some unidentified persons started indiscriminate
firing at Rani mandir, Magarmal Bagh, Srinagar. On the night intervening September 17
and 18, an attempt was made on the life of D.I.G. Police, Kashmir range
and I.G., C.I.D. was subjected to indiscriminate firing. On the night intervening
between September 24 and 25, motor-cycle borne terrorists fired at the
sentry on duty at the Srinagar museum. From the beginning of 1989 onwards,
sporadic bomb blasts and frequent hartals on some pretext or the other
was organised. In these, India was the main target of condemnation without
consideration of the merits of the case. For instance, India was the first
country in the world which banned the book `Satanic Verses' by Salman Rushdie.
India showed the way even to the fire-brand Islamic countries of Iran and
Pakistan, Saudi Arabia etc. yet in the protest demonstrations in Kashmir,
all the abuse and filth was reserved for India for this book.
By 1988, the realisation emerged in Pakistan
in a limited way that Khalistan could not be created. So, now onwards,
terrorism in Punjab was used as a base operation of secession of Kashmir
from India. Pakistan's I.S.I. and its Chief, General Hamid Gul were totally
committed to jehad in Kashmir. Gul was convinced that Kashmir could be
taken by force. In March 1989, state police unearthed 36 Kalashnikov guns.
Ansar-ul-Islam of Muslim liberation front was arrested. He gave details
of Pakistani plans. On 14th and 17th March, '89, two major bomb blasts
occurred in Hari Singh High Street, Srinagar killing two people and injuring
many. The bombs had affected the two Punjabi business householders who
were living there for more than one hundred years. The accused were arrested
but later released on parole. One of them was related to some police officer.
A blast occurred in a cinema hall injuring many. The residence of Deputy
Super. of Police was also blasted. During 1989, there was not a single
day when some incidence did not occur in the valley. Bomb blasts, killing
clashes amongst the mobs and police and cross firing between the terrorists
and armed police were the most common events. One could hear the sound
of the gun-fire everywhere. These events became daily routine and people
got accustomed to it. Rajiv Gandhi government pushed Kashmir in the present
turmoil hoping to use the Kashmir card to divert people's attention to
a decisive victory in the forthcoming elections for stability and national
integrity. Abdul Rasheed Kabli, who was M.P. from Srinagar, issued umpteen
statements blaming Farooq Abdullah for turmoil to black-mail the Centre.
Earlier Mustaffa Kamal, Farooq's youngest brother and a Minister had accused
Governor Mr.Jagmohan for sending `wrong' reports to the Centre. Farooq
himself behaved like a hot balloon drifting with the wind in all directions.
His actions never matched his words. On 11th february, 1989, violence occurred
in fairly large-scale. Disturbances continued on 12th, 13th 14th, 16th
and 26th February. India was condemned for hatching conspiracies against
Islam. After 11th February, '89 bandh, Farooq Abdullah left on a foreign
tour to Australia. From May 8 to may 13, 1989, there were 14 bomb blasts.
A tourist bus proceeding from Srinagar to Gulmarg was fired upon and two
tourists were injured. In Vicharnag, an important locality near the prestigious
Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, a Hindu priest was murdered
in the premises of the temple. In July 1989, a holy relic was reported
to be missing from a mosque at Soura, Srinagar. There was violent agitation
but luckily the holy relic was soon found to have been surreptiously restored
at its original place. Anantnag and Bijbehara, However continued to have
violent demonstrations till the end of July 1989. On July 14, 1989, a C.R.P.
picket on duty in Srinagar was fired upon and two jawans were killed and
two seriously injured. The J.K.L.F. announced on July 17, that such
attacks would be continued till our goal is reached. Another terrorist
organisation, Hizbullah Islamia Jamhooria made a similar announcement.
On July 20, a bomb was exploded in the ladies' toilet in Khyam Cinema.
On July 29, acid was thrown on two young Muslim ladies who were moving
about without a burqa. In the first week of August, 1989, the Chief Minister
and President of the national Conference addressed a few public meetings
at Sumbal, Kulgam, Badgam and one or two other places. In his speeches
in these meetings he confessed that corruption was widespread in the state
but his hands were tied by the High Court. He complained against functioning
of Police Stations saying that S.H.O.s were not entertaining people's complaints.
He said teachers in schools never attended their duty instead kept an undated
leave application with the chowkidar to be dated and presented if there
was a check. In a desperate mood, he confessed that he himself was confused.
In his home, he added, if he wanted to talk to his elder daughter, he would
call the younger and vice-versa. His speeches gave the impression that
his government was helpless and situation had turned beyond redemption.
He advised the people not to smoke and complained that his two Cabinet
Ministers (he named both) and the Chief Secretary were smoking even in
Cabinet meetings. He told his audience that he had enemies on all sides
but God always came to his help.
August 14, Pakistan's Independence Day was
celebrated with gusto and gaiety. India's Independence Day, August 15,
was declared as a black day. Indian flag was burnt at several places with
policemen standing nearby on duty. Next say, Aizam Inqalabi issued a statement
that India's flag had been burnt at several places by his organisation
Operation Balakot. Black flags were hoisted even on some Government
buildings. Black-out was organised during night. Traffic was not allowed
to ply. School children were warned not to participate in any function.
Bomb blasts left almost sixty persons injured during the day. Street lights
were switched off. Even the Secretariat building was engulfed in darkness.
Ministers belonging to Congress and National Front also had to observe
black-out in their official residences. A State Government bus was hijacked
near Tangamarg and blown up after ordering passengers to get down. On August
18, about 50 persons were injured in violent incidents. There was massive
bomb blast in the house of Abdul Samad and a car was destroyed. On August
18, Mohammad Shafi Qureshi, President of the Jammu and Kashmir Congress
Committee(I) gave the following comment to the press:
"It was for the
first time that secessionists had become so bold as to organise Pakistan
Independence Day celebrations under the very nose of the Government. A
march past was held at the Government stadium and even 21 rounds were fired
symbolising 21 gun salute. My own house was badly damaged when a bomb exploded
in a garage. My Maruti was damaged beyond repair. The Government did nothing."
Qureshi's party chief and the Prime Minister of India was parroting: hamain
dekhna hai, hum dekhengay, humne dekha hai,
dikhaya hai. On August 21, Mohammad Yusuf Halwai, a leader of the National
Conference was shot dead in the heart of Srinagar for having flouted the
black-out order on 15th August. By August, 1989, many innocents lives had
been lost. Everyone became apprehensive that something terrible was going
to happen. As a matter of fact, bandh calls and hartals became frequent.
Government called a meeting of traders against hartals. There was a big
bomb blast in the building where meeting was held. All participants dispersed
On September 14, an unshakable patriot,
senior Advocate of High Court and also senior Vice-President of the J&K
unit of Bharatiya Janata Party, 58 year old Pandit Tikka Lal Taploo was
coming out of his house in Chinkrala Mohalla, Habba Kadal, Srinagar. Two
youngmen wearing helmets appeared before him. One of them greeted him -
Salaam - presumably to confirm his identity. The other suddenly pulled
out a Kalashnikov and pumped in five bullets in close range into the abdomen
of Taplooji. He laid motionless in a pool of blood. Half a dozen other
bullets which sailed past his body and got embedded in the nearby wall
spoke of the ruthlessness of the attack and the cool confidence with which
it was carried out. Fear of authority did not exist at all. The assailants
walked away. Time was 10 a.m. Habba Kadal is the vast locality in the heart
of the city and was predominantly inhabited by the Hindus. Through Tikka
Lalji's gruesome murder, signal had been hoisted for the Kashmiri Hindu
community that it was at the mercy of the terrorists. If a Hindu was not
safe in and around Habba Kadal, how could any of them be safe in the isolated
pockets of far flung and scattered villages. Fear gripped the Hindus in
Kashmir. The State Government announced the relief of rupees one lakh for
the bereaved family. But next day, the family received a stern warning
from J.K.L.F. that if it accepted relief from the Government, the entire
family would be wiped out. So after the post-death religious `kriya karm'
was over, the family members of Taplooji, for whom even the Muslim women
had wailed, abandoned their ancestral home and left the state for unknown
destination and uncertain future.
Shri L.K.Advani and Shri Kidar Nath Sahni
came to Srinagar on 15th September to pay homage and attend to last rites
of the departed leader. At the airport, they were met by Mr.Saifuddin Soz
who was a Member of the Lok Sabha. Soz had been sent by the Chief Minister
Dr.Farooq Abdullah to request the two leaders to meet him at the Secretariat
before proceeding to the cremation ground to attend the last rites of Taplooji.
After all, the Secretariat was on the way. The two leaders met Farooq who,
as usual, moved his arms back and up and complained that the Central Government
was responsible for all mess in Kashmir because it had failed to stop infiltration
from across the border. On 18th September there were a number of violent
incidents in the Valley. Two Chinese made hand grenades were hurled at
a police party injuring 16 persons including ten policemen. The Deputy
Inspector General, C.R.P.F., N.K. Tiwari was attacked by two hundred strong
mob at Basant Bagh, a police patrol car was also fired upon. Safa Kadal
branch of J&K Bank was attacked and damaged. Kalashnikov rifles were
flaunted and firing was resorted to by large number of subversives in Ali
Messrs I.K.Gujral, Pran Chopra, Kuldip Nayar
and Rajinder Sachar came to Srinagar. They went to meet Mirwaiz Moulvi
Farooq at his home. But they were forced to come back without being able
to meet him. There was cross firing at many places. They later used Moulvi's
own car and went to see him. He presented them apples. Newspapers now began
publishing details of the activities of the terrorists. Interviews with
terrorist leaders were published and carried through cassettes. While photographers,
media persons from outside Kashmir including those from abroad were able
to meet the terrorist leaders easily and openly, the police authorities
showed their inability in tracing them out. The son of a Dy. Superintendent
of police was arrested in Anantnag for subversive activities but was later
released. Two ministers of the Farooq government were alleged to be financing
the terrorists. A senior Minister in the Farooq government, Mr.Rajinder
Singh Chib resigned from the Cabinet in protest against the soft policy
adopted by the Congress(I)-National Conference coalition Government towards
terrorists and subversive elements. In the first week of September, '89,
there was a big fire in the famous shrine of Baba Rishi near Gulmarg. Warnings
and warrants were sent to those who were working in the Central Government
Departments like Intelligence Bureau, Doordarshan, Radio Kashmir, Telecommunications
etc. Hit lists were published in the press.
A prominent secessionist leader, Sahbir
Ahmed Shah, President of the People's League had been `dodging' the authorities
for quite some time. Going to Pakistan and coming back had been his routine.
He was reported to be in touch with Afghan rebel leaders also and it was
claimed on his behalf that he had contacted Hikmatyar, the Mujahideen leader
of Afghanistan. The entire district administration of Anantnag appeared
to be subservient to him, although police was supposed to be leaving no
stone unturned in trying to arrest him. On 27th September, 1989, he took
a taxi in Anantnag and left for Rajouri on way to Pakistan. En-route, he
calmly and in a dignified manner acknowledged salutes from policemen on
duty at various check-posts. However, when he halted at a hotel in Ramban
for lunch, he was arrested by the Central Intelligence Bureau officials
who handed him over to the State police. The State police instead of taking
him to Jammu brought him to Srinagar on orders from the higher authorities.
This was a signal for trouble in the valley. There were widespread disturbances
and complete hartal for several days. Subversion was raised to high peaks
and the government got totally paralysed. A number of public buildings
were set on fire. These included Handicrafts Centre at Sopore, sheep husbandry
office at Baramulla, Boys School at Tahab in Pulwana District. A girl's
school in Ratnipora also in Pulwana district and a bridge near Pahalgam.
A Chinese made hand-grenade was also hurled at Lal Chowk. Two relatives
of policemen were gunned down in village Wagoora. There were many cases
of arson of schools, shopping complexes, government offices, public buildings
etc. When Shabir Shah was brought to Srinagar, Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar
refused to sign his warrant of detention. Deputy Commissioner of Anantnag
also flatly refused. When he was produced in the court, the government
Advocates refused to appear against him. The Advocate-General decided to
get off the situation. He submitted his own resignation and returned to
Delhi adopting Loyyd George's formula of Safety first. In Delhi,
he was alter appointed as Additional Solicitor-General of India. In this
connection, it has to be noted and noted markedly that it was September
1989, and Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister and the state was ruled by
Congress-National Conference Coalition government headed by Dr.Farooq Abdullah
and among the Cabinet Ministers were the senior Congress leaders like Ghulam
Rasool Kar, Mangat Ram Sharma, Iftikhar Hussain Insari and others. What
were these worthies doing in the meanwhile? Farooq, his ministers and high
Government officials were listening music and viewing dance at Gulmarg.
There was a week-long programme jointly organised by the State Government
and the Times of India group of newspapers. Yamini Krishnamurthy was dancing
and classical music was on. The Union Home Ministry behaved like a bunch
of headless chickens mechanically doing cluck, cluck sounds totally unaccompanied
by any action. Sardar Buta Singh was the Home Minister.
On 9th October, 1989, a large delegation
from Pakistan visited Kashmir under official patronage. There were 60 people
-- many V.I.P. wives. Government provided them all facilities while they
got busy with their mission. The total collapse of government authority
resulted in utter demoralisation in the ranks of National Conference and
Congress(I). The organisational structure of these parties collapsed like
a house of cards. From then onwards local daily newspapers were full of
advertisements inserted by leaders and workers of these two parties announcing
their complete dissociation from their organisations and begging Shabir
Shah to forget and forgive them. In the month of October, terrorism had
begun to grow slowly but steadily. Violent incidents continued unabated.
There were about 50 bomb explosions causing injuries to 39 persons and
scores of cases of arson. There were 15 incidents of firing by terrorists
in which some people were killed and several injured severally. The objectives
of the first phase of subversion and terrorism was to create a general
fear and paralyse the government. From November onwards began the second
phase. This phase was to achieve a decisive object. This object was to
clear the valley of Hindus better known as Kashmiri Pandits so that Kashmir
could become a de facto pakistan. In his autobiography, Atish-e-Chinar,
Sheikh Abdullah has called Pandits as fifth columnists of India in Kashmir.
So the religious cleansing began in Kashmir valley as per plan. On 4th
November, 1989, the fourth attempt was made to kill Pandit Neelkanth Ganju,
retired District and Sessions judge of Kashmir. He was gunned down by three
young terrorists in broad day light at the busy commercial market, Hari
Singh High Street, Srinagar, which is a very sensitive and well guarded
area. The object of this murder was not only to dramatise the ascendancy
of subversives and frighten the Hindus, who had taken Taplooji's murder
in their stride, but also to instill fear in the minds of the judiciary.
The signal did not go unnoticed as the subsequent behaviour of the local
judiciary showed. What was the fault of judge Ganju on whom several attempts
had been made? As a presiding judge of a special court, he had sentenced
Maqbool Butt who had taken to terrorism in mid-sixties. He had gone to
Pakistan, married there. He had infiltrated into the valley and killed
an Inspector of police for which he was under prosecution. While on trial,
he had slipped out of jail and gone to Pakistan. He again returned from
there and looted a branch of the Jammu and Kashmir bank in the border area
and killed its manager. He was apprehended again. The prosecution team,
the approver in the case and all prosecution witnesses were Muslims. The
offence was such that as per law only death sentence could meet the ends
of Justice. His appeal had been heard and rejected by the Muslim judges
of the High Court. Supreme Court had also rejected his appeal. His mercy
petition had also been turned down by the President of India. The friends
of J.K.L.F., who were in plenty in India, held the view that this was an
act of political revenge and had no communal overtones. But these ladies
and gentlemen failed to say why in the whole hierarchy only a local Hindu
was picked up for the murder. Why was not a single Muslim killed as a revenge?
Butt's case had been handled at all stages by .local Muslims only. Then
why was only a local Hindu picked up? From November 22 to November 29,
there was total hartal in Kashmir. These were the days during which General
Elections to the Lok Sabha were to be held. No voter dared to go somewhere
near to polling stations. No candidate dared to hold even an indoor meeting
or canvass for votes. So the matter ended. However, the formality was completed
by declaring all the three National Conference candidates as successful.
One was declared elected unopposed and two with a few hundred votes which
were stated to have been polled.
The month of November saw 50 bomb and grenade
explosions. Jawahar Lal Nehru's birth anniversary on November 14, was observed
as Black Day. The entire State apparatus had by now come under the
spell of terrorists. Almost all the Muslim employees at all levels especially
at the senior and higher levels were keen to become collaborators. Farooq
had left the state under the pretext of helping Congress(I) in its campaign
in the rest of the country. AICC arranged his campaign tours in U.P. and
Bihar. Many senior Congress leaders also did the same. Many Congress(I)
men belonging to the Mufti group also left for Muzaffarnagar in U.P. to
canvass for the Mufti who was contesting from there on the Janata Dal ticket.
Ladakh district has one seat in the Lok Sabha. However, a treachery was
committed on the Buddhist population both by the Congress and the National
Conference by their mutually agreed strategy. In the electoral agreement
between the two parties, Ladakh seat was given to the Congress. The Congress
nominated Shri P.Namgyal, a sitting Congress member and a junior Minister
in the Rajiv government. However, local Congress bosses in clandestine
arrangement with the National Conference leaders wanted to have a Muslim
instead of a Buddhist from Ladakh. Congress put up a Congressman as independent
and called him a rebel; but ensured that this rebel Congress candidate
was elected. With the support of National Conference this rebel Muslim
Congress candidate from Kargil was elected and Buddhist official candidate
was defeated. For the first time, Buddhist region was left out from the
national mainstream as an act of deliberate conspiracy hatched by the Muslim
lobby both at the Congress High Command level and at the State level. Earlier,
when the Congress(I) - National Conference Alliance government had been
formed under the Chief Ministership of Farooq Abdullah in 1987, Buddhists
had been left out of the Ministry also. In the fairly large sized Council
of Ministers there was not a single Buddhist from Ladakh, not even at the
level of Deputy Minister.
After elections were over and Congress lost
power, Farooq Abdullah left for England. From there he had plans to visit
America. The Central and State governments had ignored all the violent
events as playful acts of youth. Actually people had become fed up with
Farooq blowing hot and cold in his public addresses. The terrorists and
fundamentalists never took him seriously but instead considered him as
a helpful element for their smooth functioning. That was substantially
true because Farooq government never made even a show of opposition to
terrorism. The almost daily incidents of subversion and terrorism, particularly
from July 1989 onwards fairly indicate that a guerilla war had been launched
in the valley. What was the response of the government to the unprecedented
violent situation? Between July and December, 1989, seventy hardcore terrorists,
who actually constituted inner war council set up by I.S.I. were released
by the Congress-National Conference alliance state government. The detention
of these terrorists had been confirmed by the Advisory Board headed by
the Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
These seventy people were chiefs or deputy
chiefs of various secessionist outfits. On release from detention, these
terrorist leaders who had been trained in arms and had been fully indoctrinated,
organised their outfits and recruited hundreds of youngmen for their
They had already had personal contact with I.S.I. and it is the groups
led and organised by these seventy people, who are fighting the guerilla
war with India on behalf of Pakistan. The situation in Kashmir by the end
of October, 1989, was the upsurge against Farooq government's inefficiency,
corruption and inept handling of mass protests had converted itself into
an anti-India movement under the command of the secessionists, who were
in the vanguard. Subversion of police force and government machinery had
been successfully achieved by the militant subversives. No one at the Central
Government level or in the State Government took stock of the situation.
No strategies were devised to counter the pro-Pak anti-Indian trends. No
thought whatsoever was ever given to the serious problem of unhindered
movement of weapons and ammunition across the Line of Control. There was
no direction given from the top. Union Home Ministry remained most inactive
and passive. Sometimes, orally concern was expressed over the increase
in terrorist activities. The Union Home Minister, Mr. Buta Singh merely
on one or two occasions
advised the state government to strengthen
vigilance on the border, improve intelligence collection and try to isolate
the elements trying to whip up anti-India feelings. The Congress leaders
of the state were only busy in securing favours from the Central agencies.
Being the ruling party at the Centre, they thought they had an inherent
right to obtain out of way and out of turn favours. They were least concerned
with what was happening within the state. The government machinery and
the political process remained dormant at this critical juncture. Farooq
Abdullah was deeply engrossed in his own pastimes and politically and administratively
his role was confined to the show of a lung power without any worthwhile
action on the ground. Finding the situation out of hand, ha started blaming
the Centre for keeping `Kashmir' backward and attributed the unrest to
the discriminatory policy of the central government. Addressing the Kashmir
Chamber of Commerce in Srinagar, he said that the promise made to him By
Rajiv Gandhi at the time of accord had not been kept in as much as one
thousand crores of rupees had not been provided by the Centre for State's
development as Rajiv had promised immediately after reaching an accord
with him. This kind of childish talk and rhetoric sent wrong signals in
all directions. The mass protests were intensified and demand for Azadi
became more strident. The secessionists had also been busy in creating
discord between Hindus and Sikhs in Jammu, just on the same lines as they
are now trying to do between local population in Jammu and those who have
gone their from Kashmir for shelter. Even the Army authorities were found
to be complacent relying too much on civil administration and letting the
Border Security Force to be responsible for its behalf. The Home Ministry
was kept informed regularly and confidentially. Its own Intelligence Agencies
had been doing their job under very trying and dangerous conditions. But
they were doing it very efficiently and keeping the Government of India
informed through their regular reports. The leaders of the minority community
based in Srinagar were also doing their best in this regard. They were
receiving back the `acknowledgement due' forms duly signed in the Home
Ministry in token of having received their communications. But it became
clear that nobody in the Home Ministry had bothered to go through the reports
and communications so received.
"Ujaad gulistaan karne ko bas aik hi ulloo
Har shakh pe ulloo baitha ho anjami gulistaan