They came to kill Hindu but killed Muslim: only Kashmiri died

This is a gigantic fall from grace for Kashmir valley and its people, who take great pride in calling Kashmir, a land of rishis and sufi saints
They came to kill Hindu but killed Muslim: only Kashmiri died
GK Photo

In an extremely tragic incident of terrorist attack, Pakistan backed militants yesterday killed a young Kashmiri Muslim salesman, Ibrahim Khan, who used to work at the shop of Sandeep Mawa in downtown Srinagar. Sandeep Mawa is son of a Kashmiri Pundit businessman Roshan Lal Mawa, who had left Kashmir valley during forced exodus of Kashmiri Pundit community in 1990s.

He returned back few years back to Kashmir and re-started his shop in downtown Srinagar much to the warm response of local Kashmiri Muslim community, who expressed joy and happiness at the return of their fellow Kashmiri Pundit brother. The militants had actually come to kill Sandeep Mawa, but he was alerted on time by police, who had prior intelligence of such attack and therefore Sandeep had left the shop in advance. In a case of mistaken identity, terrorists killed Ibrahim Khan, salesman at Sandeep Mawa’s shop, thinking him to be Sandeep.

It is really unfortunate that rogue and terrorism supporting nation of Pakistan that is under the control of feudal minded upper caste Punjabi Muslims has turned Kashmir valley into a reflection of Pakistan itself. Who would have thought that Kashmir would see a day, when Pakistan backed militants would be looking to kill a Kashmiri only because of his Hindu faith? This is a gigantic fall from grace for Kashmir valley and its people, who take great pride in calling Kashmir, a land of rishis and sufi saints.

When Roshal Lal Mawa returned back and reopened his shop, I was among those Kashmiri Muslims, who went to his shop and welcomed him back to Kashmir valley, which belongs as much to Kashmiri Pundits as it belongs to Kashmiri Muslims. I have ever since developed a personal bonding with the Mawa famiy and was overjoyed to see Kashmir slowly rolling back to good old peaceful days of Kashmiri Pundit and Kashmiri Hindu unity and brotherhood, which is often celebrated as the spirit of Kashmiriyat.

The killing of innocent civilian Ibrahim Khan comes in the wake of a spate of innocent civilian killings of non-Muslims and non-Kashmiri labor force working in Kashmir valley by Pakistan backed militants.

So, what does it all say about Kashmir?

This actually brings us back to the same old question that most people in Kashmir valley, especially from the majority Kashmiri Muslim community refuse to acknowledge or accept: the intensely communal, anti-Hindu, extremist and jihadist character of Kashmir’s separatist movement, which aspires to establish a Muslim religious theocracy, where there will be either no place for religious or sectarian minorities or they will be reduced to the status of second class citizens. Furthermore, even non-Kashmiri Muslim communities like Gujjar and Bakarwal won’t have the same economic, political and social status as ethnic Kashmiri Muslims. And what is worst, it will be an upper caste Kashmiri Muslim dominated jihadist state, where either Syed caste or Kashmiri Brahmin convert castes would dominate and Shudra caste and Dalit Kashmiri Muslim castes would be pushed to a lower social, economic and political status.

Tragedy is that most Kashmiri Muslims know that the militant separatist movement that is going on in Kashmir valley for last three decades is not a secular movement that is supported by all sections of Kashmiri society. They also know that Punjabi Muslims of Pakistan are using Kashmiri Muslims to take revenge from India for the creation of Bangladesh for which in reality, the atrocities of West Pakistani Punjabi Muslim dominated army against Bengalis of East Pakistan was mainly responsible. It is really unfortunate that Kashmiri Muslim community continues to fall prey to Pakistani Punjabi Muslim propaganda and ends up maligning the name of Kashmiris through these terrorist killings.

Kashmiri Muslim community also needs to confront prevalence of an intense Hindu phobia and religious extremist thinking among majority of its Muslim population, especially the younger generation. Contrary to what Kashmiri Muslims may believe, the world outside Kashmir valley perceives Kashmiri Muslims as radical, jihadist, extremist and violence loving Muslim community, just like Pakistan.

It is important to note that except for the rogue nations like Pakistan, Turkey and China, no one among wider global comity of nations as well as Muslim countries including OIC, supports Kashmir’s violent Pakistan backed separatist movement. The world and most Muslim nations including Saudi Arabia and Iran, do express concern for human right violations of Kashmiris but there is no support for the political demand for creation of “independent Kashmir”. It is not very difficult to understand that no country in the world will support any violence movement that is backed by a notorious country like Pakistan, which has already imposed a terrorist regime of Taliban in Afghanistan. If Kashmiri Muslims will continue having day dream that Pakistan with the help of China will “free” Kashmir, then unfortunately, they will be living in a fool’s paradise. This is the kind of delusional belief that pushed my father’s generation of Kashmiri Muslims in 1990s to throw Kashmir into fires of hell and never-ending violence from which Kashmir is yet to emerge. There are stories that Kashmiri Muslim community in 1989 thought that they will soon defeat India and within a week will have breakfast in Lahore. They even threw our Kashmiri Pundit community out of Kashmir, considering them to be an impediment in achieving so “independence”. It has been three decades since that time and unfortunately, Kashmiri community has still not learned anything. If at all, Kashmiri Muslims, especially the younger generation has become even more radicalized, intolerant, jihadist, extremist and violent. The recent attacks on non-Muslims in Kashmir are reflection of that mindset, which portrays violence in Kashmir as a battle between Muslims and Kuffar. This king of mindset will only bring disrepute to Kashmiri Muslims and they will lose whatever little sympathy that world has for the immense human sufferings of ordinary Kashmiris. I hope that majority Kashmiri Muslim community learns this quicker before it is too late.

Javed Beigh is Senior Political Leader & General Secretary of People’s Democratic Front. Views expressed his personal.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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