By: Azam Inqilabi
In a situation where anomaly and discrepancy in political demeanour has become hallmark of those who profess, ostensibly, allegiance to the cause of resistance; when culture of vulgarity and licentiousness is supplanting the puritan mystic culture of Kashmir; when pseudo-activists of the freedom struggle are seeking ways to skulk, funk and flit through smokescreen of escapades, reveries and eccentricities; when adversaries are hell-bent on creating scission and schism within the gullible and credulous sections of our civil society; when global political sadists relish the helplessness of this valiant nation−it is imperative to remember those who sacrificed their precious lives for the great cause, the cause célèbre− our right to self-determination. When the Indian armed personnel− who are enjoying immunity and impunity and who have been assuredly indemnified against accountability by AFSPA, the draconian law− are going berserk and killing the innocent people with perfect dictatorial prerogative, it is obligatory for us to pay homage to those who displayed indomitable will and valour while resisting the onslaught of the alien forces during the past 427 years.
Just visualize the moment with eidetic vision when the autocratic ruler Gulab Singh literally skinned the freedom zealots Sabaz Ali Khan and Malli Khan alive in the presence of his son Ranbir Singh and other prominenti. This tragic episode of state terrorism marked the beginning of the atrocious and tyrannical Dogra rule in Kashmir which lasted 100 years. In the coercive and repressive Dogra dispensation impoverished and pauperized people of Kashmir were mortified, fidgeted and tormented through corvee, taxes, persecution and discrimination. And Dogra rulers were proud of their culture of aristocratic arrogance, domineering demeanour and superciliousness. It was the bigotry and bias of Dogra megalomaniacs which made them harsh while dealing with the demonstrations of freedom loving people of Kashmir. Martyrs of July 13, 1931 triggered off political upheaval and uprising in Kashmir against the Dogra oppression and suppression. Valiant people were asserting to break the fetters of servitude and slavery when Muhammad Maqbool Butt was born on Feb. 18, 1938 at Trehgam. He became an active student leader of plebiscite Front in 1957-58. So he had to go into hiding. Just after the completion of his graduation in 1958 Maqbool Butt migrated to Pakistan where he, after passing M.A. in Urdu, began to co-opt the revolutionaries like Amanullah Khan for a revolutionary movement aimed at the liberation of Kashmir. Maqbool Butt, along with Aurangzeb, Kalay Khan and maj. Amanullah Khan, entered Kashmir valley in June 1966. He was arrested in an encounter and his proud colleague Aurangzeb died as a martyr. Maqbool was sentenced to death on Aug. 17, 1968.
However the ingenious strategist, adventurist and expeditionist Maqbool Butt adroitly and dexterously managed his escape from central jail Srinagar on Dec. 9, 1968. In May 1976 the ingenuous resistance icon Maqbool re-entered Kashmir Valley to extricate Kashmiris from the whirlpool of despair and despondency. People were feeling disillusioned and disenchanted due to Shimla Agreement of 1972 and Indra-Abdullah accord of 1974. Heroic and chivalrous Maqbool’s presence in the valley rejuvenated and invigorated the freedom sentiments of dejected people. Maqbool and his committed friends Hameed and Riyaz were arrested on June 7, 1976 at Langate. Maqbool Butt, after spending long eight years in solitary confinement in Tihar Jail Delhi, recited Kalima Toiba and kissed the noose. Thus Maqbool was gibbeted and haltered on Feb. 11, 1984. Protomartyr Maqbool metaphysically motivated Kashmiris to adopt all modes of resistance to achieve the objective of Azadi. Subsequent events testified that martyrdom of Maqbool marked the beginning of insurgency and insurrection in Kashmir.
Gen. Ashfaq Majeed Wani− the 22-year old revolutionary leader of JKLF in league with his undaunted friends like Yasin Malik, Javaid Mir and Hameed Sheikh− instilled indefatigable spirit of revolution into the benumbed hearts of Kashmiris by adopting the course of brawn-assertion. Gen. Ashfaq, the resistance-shuttle, visited Azad Kashmir several times to rope in the revolutionaries there for a protracted guerrilla warfare. Ashfaq was martyred on March 30, 1990 by Indian armed personnel. Lakhs of people joined his funeral procession. I forged an alliance of eighteen militant outfits in the form of United Jihad Council’ at Muzaffarabad in Nov. 1990. Ideological polarization within the forum precipitated confidence-crisis which eventually resulted in the split of the forum− deplorable episode indeed. Pro-independence and pro-accession militants got, unfortunately, entangled and entrenched in infighting. And Maqbool Malik, the senior leader of Mahaz-e-Azadi, fell a prey to the scourge of intolerance.
Maqbool Malik, my friend, was an ideal ambivert; metaphysically he was wedded to the cause of Sufi’ism and temporally he was a high-profile pro-freedom protagonist of Kashmir resistance movement. I was still recuperating, after a road accident, in a hotel in Rawalpindi (Pakistan) when Dr. Ghulam Qadir Wani called on me and explained how Maqbool Malik had been martyred on July 30, 1992. I felt shocked and traumatized and resigned as Secretary General of “Tehreek-e-Hurriyat”, the 11-party alliance of pro-freedom political organizations of Kashmir. I migrated to England where I launched ‘Save Kashmir Movement’ in London in Jan.1993 and asked the resistance leaders of Kashmir Valley to forge a political alliance to introduce ‘democratic political resistance’ as a potent and formidable substitute to armed resistance. Here it is pertinent to mention that Sardar Abdul Qayoom Sahab, the senior resistance leader who ruled over Azad Kashmir for several years, was always prompt in sharing my grief and sorrow whenever I felt shocked due to some unwholesome development within the resistance movement of Kashmir. He facilitated my visit to Saudi Arabia and England where I addressed seminars and Conferences.
Maqbool Malik’s martyrdom was in itself a tragic traumatizing episode. Nevertheless, it inspired the pro-independence leaders to have a reappraisal of the resistance-strategy with fortitude, stoicism, equanimity, sobriety, sagacity and altruistic prudence. Maqbool Malik was an admirer of Maqbool Butt and staunch supporter of independence movement. So all the resistance leaders of Maqbool Parivaar tried to cogitate and meditate on the situation so exacting. We were all sedate, dispassionate, discreet, circumspect and nonchalant in reviewing our strategy to achieve the cherished goal of Azadi. Pakistani English and Urdu dailies published derogatory and denigratory articles when Yasin Malik, the JKLF chief, declared unilateral ceasefire on May 21, 1994. I and Dr. Gh. Qadir Wani (martyr) expressed solidarity with JKLF leaders and castigated Pak media for its vilification campaign against the resistance leaders who were very serious in ensuring the transition of resistance movement from brawn-assertion to brain-assertion. JKLF leaders remained steadfast in adhering to the doctrine of ‘peaceful democratic resistance’. Leaders of Mahaz-e-Azadi, People’s League, Jamaat-e-Islami and People’s Conference followed the suit and worked in unison, metaphysically indeed, to provide respite and reprieve to the suffering but heroic people of Kashmir. Today Kashmiri youth take pride in identifying themselves with the resistance political organizations. “Berlin Wall; it Will Fall” is the favourite slogan of Kashmiri youth who ardently crave for freedom and reunification of Kashmir that straddles the Loc. In fact the resistance movement has regained momentum under the banner of ‘peaceful democratic resistance’.
All Kashmiris should pay obeisance to Maqbool Malik, the shaheed-e-akhoowat who saved the Kashmir resistance movement from going haywire. He certainly commands respect as saviour of struggle. Our national resistance struggle is now ideally fortified. Our struggle for freedom is inherently potent and viable. Freedom votaries and zealots will continue to struggle relentlessly and strenuously for the accomplishment of the sacred objective of deliverance based on our inalienable right to self-determination. Freedom adherents will leave no stone unturned in the sustained struggle to break the barriers that obstruct and trammel our march to Freedom. Repose trust in God Almighty and follow in the footsteps of Maqbool Butt− the resistance supremo. Emulate the protomartyr while you knuckle down to the all-important job of strategic manoeuvre to facilitate a breakthrough in Kashmir log-jam and stalemate.
Today on July 28 Kashmiris are paying homage to Sajjad Meer, the resistance leader who was martyred by Indian forces on July 28, 1993. On July 25, 2012 Hilal Ahmad Dar, the 20-year old innocent village dweller of Bandipora, was shot dead by Indian security forces for no fault of the victim except that he was fond of saying prayers in a mosque. Kashmiris observed hartal on July 28, 2012 just to express solidarity with the bereaved family of martyr Hilal. What does this reprehensible act of state-terrorism insinuate? Does it mean that barter and water politics of Pakistan on Kashmir front has miserably failed? Yes, your apologetic Kashmir policy has emboldened Indian rulers. It has added to their intransigence and obduracy; their hardened hearts have become more indurate and ravenous. We, therefore, demand with emphasis, that Kashmir be immediately demilitarized on either side of the Loc to facilitate the demolition of the Berlin Wall (Loc) and installation of a single parliament of United Kashmir so that Kashmiris determine the political future of Kashmir through free and fair democratic verdict.
Patron JK Mahaz-e-Azadi