Truth on who killed Maulvi Farooq, Lone, made public by Hurriyat (M)

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by ejazr, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    news.outlookindia.com | Our Own Killed Lone, Maulvi Farooq, Not India: Bhat

    Exonerating the Indian forces of long-held allegations of assassinating prominent Hurriyat leaders- Mirwaiz Maulvi Muhammad Farooq, Abdul Gani Lone and JKLF ideologue Prof. Abdul Ahad Wani, leader of the Hurriyat Conference's moderate faction Prof. Abdul Gani Bhat admitted for the first time today, that the killings were actually 'an insider's job'.

    Prof. Abdul Gani Bhat, who was the chairman of the Hurriyat Conference when it was split into the hardline and moderate factions, categorically stated at a seminar on Sunday that the security forces had played no role in the killings of Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq, Abdul Gani Lone as well as Prof. Abdul Ahad Wani.

    "Lone sahib, Mirwaiz Farooq and Prof. Wani were not killed by the army or the police. They were targeted by our own people. The story is a long one, but we have to tell the truth," he asserted, stopping short of naming any terrorist group which killed them or delving into the circumstances under which the murders took place.

    The separatist leader was addressing a seminar on 'Role of intellectuals in the Kashmir movement' organised at a local hotel by JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik to commemorate Wani's death anniversary. The slain Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq's son, present Hurriyat Conference chairman Umar Farooq also did not contradict Bhat when he spoke at the seminar after him.

    Speaking at the meet, Bhat, a professor of Persian at Sopore Degree College, said: "if you want to free the people of Kashmir from sentimentalism bordering on insanity, you have to speak the truth. Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto once said that sometimes truth escapes the mouth. Here I am letting it out." He was also forthcoming in saying that the present movement against India was started by "us killing our intellectuals".

    He added: "wherever we found an intellectual, we ended up killing him. Let us ask ourselves: was Prof Wani a martyr of brilliance or a martyr of rivalry?"

    Mr Bhat, considered a moderate separatist, also seemed to be criticisng hardline leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, when he said: “There was a hartal for five months and 112 people died. And at the end of it there is nothing by way of achievement. This is what happens when there is no thinking, no strategy. If you want to rid people of Kashmir of sentimentalism bordering on insanity, you have to speak the truth.”

    Mr Bhat also criticised those who have been politicisng the deaths of Kashmiris: “These leaders still hail these sacrifices as if their only purpose is to get people killed... for the sake of it.”

    Taking potshots at the rival Hurriyat group for adopting double standards, he said: "when we entered into talks with New Delhi, we were accused of being kafir (non-Muslim), and when you (the hardliners) talk you get away scot-free. This dichotomy in Kashmir politics should end."

    Bhat also refused to be a part of any unity process between the separatist groups initiated by Umar Farooq. He avowed he would not be associated with any such move that would mean the "hegemony or aggrandisement of any person", making an oblique reference to Geelani.

    Commenting on the five-month long protests and strike which jolted Kashmir in 2010, he said the Kashmiris did not achieve anything through this, adding that the local intellectuals refrained from writing on the issue.

    Bhat, also expressed doubts if Pakistan would ever fight a war over Kashmir with India, "it is unlikely as both the nations understand its consequences." He also advocated against an armed movement against India in Kashmir, saying: "It will not have support from any quarter. What next? We should do the talking," he said.

    Spelling out the benefits, he said negotiation was an art and the right way to move forward.

    Earlier, JKLF chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik, in his address, said Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah was the tallest leader Kashmir produced in the past 63 years. But added the Kashmir conflict dwarfed even the Sheikh.

    "This holds true for all of us. Not one among the present crop of leaders should think that we are above Kashmir," he said.

    Malik felt that in the past six decades, the Kashmiris had gained nothing, "we have given sacrifices and gone through bitter experiences. But there has been no achievement," he said.

    Local Kashmiris as well as secessionists have long held the security forces responsible for the killings of Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq, Wani and Lone, slain in three separate incidents.

    Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq was murdered in cold blood on May 21, 1990 when unidentified gunmen barged into his Srinagar residence and assassinated him. Later, more than 60 people were killed when CRPF personnel fired upon his funeral procession near Islamia College in Srinagar. The firing on the mourners reinforced the ordinary Kashmiri's suspicions, aired by the separatists, that that government was behind Mirwaiz's killing.

    A TADA court, however, jailed former militant Muhammad Ayub Dar last year for the killing. The CBI charge sheet said Dar, along with two other terrorists, shot the Mirwaiz. Its charge sheet named five Hizbul commanders also.

    Wani was killed on December 31, 1993, by unknown gunmen. He was a professor of law in Kashmir University and an advocate of the JKLF's views. The academic was in the vicinity of the Hazratbal shrine en route to the university when he was shot.

    Moderate Hurriyat Conference leader Lone, the father of Sajjad (the first separatist leader to stand in a general election) and Bilal, was killed on May 21 in 2002. He was gunned down by unidentified assailants at a rally to mark the death anniversary of Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq at Eidgah ground in old Srinagar city.

    The leader was fired upon seconds before the ceremony was to end. Bhat, then the Hurriyat Conference chairman, was also present at the rally. No charge sheet was filed either in the case of Wani's or Lone's killings.
     
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  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Hurriyat leader says ‘end lies’, our own killed Lone, Mirwaiz Sr
    RIYAZ WANI
    In the first such admission by a separatist leader in the state, top Hurriyat leader Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat said here today that Abdul Ghani Lone and Maulvi Farooq weren’t killed by government forces but “their own people”.

    “Time has come to speak the truth. Neither the Army nor the police killed Lone sahib and Maulvi Farooq sahib but our own people,” Bhat said while addressing a seminar on the role of intellectuals in the separatist movement.

    Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the son of Maulvi Farooq, didn’t contradict Bhat in his subsequent speech, and neither did Bilal Lone, the son of Abdul Ghani Lone.

    “This movement started with the assassinations of thinkers and the people who held an opinion,” Bhat said, adding that if the separatist movement had to get anywhere, its leaders in the state needed to take into account their own follies.

    “We have to first accept and speak the truth about ourselves. We can’t build a movement on lies,” Bhat said in what may be one of the boldest criticisms of the separatist movement. A former Hurriyat chairman, Bhat is a moderate separatist and one of the ideologues of the conglomerate.

    Maulvi Farooq and Lone were killed in 1990 and 2002, respectively.

    The seminar was organised by the JKLF in the memory of academician Abdul Ahad Wani, a JKLF ideologue who was also assassinated by unidentified gunmen in December 1993.

    Bhat said Wani too was the victim of “mutual rivalry” between militant organisations. “India didn’t kill him either.”

    Bhat also obliquely took on Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani, saying the policy of hartals and martyrdom, without any strategy, had only damaged the Kashmir cause. “There was a hartal for five months and 112 people died. And at the end of it there is nothing by way of achievement. This is what happens when there is no thinking, no strategy,” Bhat said. “If you want to rid people of Kashmir of sentimentalism bordering on insanity, you have to speak the truth.”

    Criticising deaths of people in endless strikes, Bhat said: “These leaders still hail these sacrifices as if their only purpose is to get people killed... for the sake of it.”

    Ruling out unity between the Hurriyat factions, he said the Geelani camp only wanted a “unity of hegemony”. “We are ready for unity. But if it is unity for dominance and unity for aggrandisement, we don’t want it,” Bhat said, referring to Geelani’s insistence that his hardline policies on Kashmir be the agenda of a united separatist alliance.

    He criticised Geelani for rejecting a dialogue with the Centre when it comes to other separatists, but expressing himself game for it. “When Geelani sahib meets parliamentarians, it is okay. When we do it, we are infidels,” Bhat said. “This dichotomy in Kashmir politics has to go.”
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  4. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    I still dont know what these separatists are fighting for? Can anyone explain it to me?
     
  5. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    ?Rivalry behind separatists? killings? - Hindustan Times
    Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times


    Senior Hurriyat leader Abdul Ghani Bhat said on Sunday that separatist leaders Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq and Abdul Ghani Lone, and prominent Kashmiri lawyer Abdul Ahad Wani were victims of an internal rivalry and had not been killed by the Army or the state police. Bhat was speaking at a seminar
    organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) to commemorate the death of Wani, shot dead on December 31, 1993.

    “If you want to rid the people of Kashmir of sentimentalism bordering on insanity, you have to speak the truth. Was Wani sahib a martyr of brilliance or a martyr of rivalry? Neither the Army nor the police killed Mirwaiz, Lone sahib and Wani sahib, but our own people,” the septuagenarian leader said.

    Moderate Hurriyat’s chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, People’s Conference chairman Bilal Lone, JKLF chief Yasin Malik and senior lawyer Zafar Shah attended the seminar.

    The junior Mirwaiz has claimed that Indian agencies killed his father, Muhammad Farooq, on May 21, 1990.

    On Farooq’s death anniversary in 2002, Hurriyat leader Lone, the father of Bilal and Sajjad Lone, was killed by unidentified gunmen in front of the junior Mirwaiz in Srinagar’s Eidgah area. This killing was also blamed on Indian agencies.

    Bhat, who was part of the moderate Hurriyat Conference group that held talks with the Central government in 2001, attacked hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani for failing to achieve anything through his five-month-long agitation since June 2010 “except inflicting losses”.

    “Those who were averse to talks with Delhi when we engaged with them are now meeting parliamentarians and civil society members. Such political contradictions have to end,” Bhat said.

    The Mirwaiz, who spoke after Bhat in the seminar, chose not to touch the controversial subject. But he did not describe the 2010 summer unrest as a waste.

    “A movement goes through ups and downs. If there are shortcomings and the

    leadership is not able to deliver, then the intellectual class should come forward with suggestions rather than mere criticism for the sake of it,” said the Mirwaiz.

    Malik, who organised the seminar, criticised hardline voices of Kashmir. “It goes against the (dispute) resolution process when we take aggressive tone and threaten to conquer the world. It suits our rivals,” he said.
     
  6. brain_dead

    brain_dead Regular Member

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    ego issues i believe, with no particular vison and goal in mind.
    everyone wants to project himself as the leader and messiah.
     
  7. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    So in the end Kashmir is not the issue. Darn...WhatEver!
     
  8. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    Ejaz is it that they want Geelani out of the game and cut him down to size.This might not be breaking news to the central government all this might have been known from a long time.What is the purpose of revealing it now?.It seems to be that they are going to eleminate Geelani from this hurriyat scene.The last years protests seems to have pissed the indian government
     
  9. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Well its no secret that Hurriyat (M) was in talks with the GoI and Chidambaram in particular. Last year Qureshi, Mirwaiz's Uncle was shot and is almost a vegetable just for talking to the government. So this is definitely to counter Geelani's politics. I wouldn't be surprised if there are attempts to revive the Musharraf-Singh deal again through backchannel talks. Almost everyone except Geelani had agreed to the formulation then.

    Whats important is for the state and central govt. to appreciate the candidness and cash in quickly on the prevailing peace. The Kashmiri people need to know the truth. At the same time, this no reason to be complacent when it comes to security or HR issues and starting talks with the separatists groups. Maybe even start a much need Truth and Conciliation commission.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2011
  10. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://www.dailykashmirimages.com/K...f-bhat’s-statement-generates-debate-6889.aspx

    Prof Bhat’s statement generates debate
    Srinagar Jan 03: The statement made by Prof A G Bhat, a senior leader of Hurriyat (M) regarding the killing of Mirwaiz Molvi Mohammad Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone has generated a debate with some lesser known separatist groups attacking him for his remarks while as people on streets appreciating the candidness.
    While speaking at a seminar Sunday, Prof Bhat had said that leaders like senior Mirwaiz and A G Lone where killed by ‘our own people.’
    Reacting to the statement, Dukhtran-e-Milat and some lesser known groups –Farzandan-e-Milat, Shuhda Brigade, Al-Nasreen and Ithhad Salasa – have attacked Prof Bhat saying his utterances were anti ‘movement.’
    Dukhtran-e-Milat acting chairperson Rifat Fatima in a statement issued to KNS said that both Bhat and Bilal Gani Lone have unmasked themselves.
    “Pro-movement leaders are being put behind bars while others are facilitated to organize seminars and other things,” Fatima said.
    However, people on streets have welcomed Prof Bhat’s statement describing it ‘better late than never.’
    “Had the leadership gathered courage and spoken truth earlier, several lives would have been saved,” said a Kashmir University teacher on the conditions of anonymity for obvious reasons.
    “Kashmir is a very small place and people here know who has killed whom,” said Ejaz Ahmad, a social activist, adding: “Now that the leadership itself has decided to spell out truth, it will definitely have very positive impact on Kashmir polity.”
    Peoples Conference chairman, Sajad Gani Lone while commenting on Prof Bhat’s statement, said that it was yet another chance for the nation to evolve.
    “Truth however bitter must prevail. The least we owe to the people is the right to know who killed whom,” Sajad said.
    In fact Sajad was the first separatist leader to say publicly that his father (A G Lone) was killed by Pakistan’s ISI and Prof Bhat’s statement only vindicates Sajad’s stance.
    “Dividing line between the institution and individual representing the institution is so blurred that one doesn’t know whether it is the institution or individual who has carried out the killing,” Sajad said.
    Chairman Hurriyat (G) Syed Ali Geelani refused to comment on the statements.
    "I have nothing to say about their remarks," Geelani told PTI.
    CPI(M) state secretary M Y Tarigami said Bhat's statement was "revealing" and the incidents need credible investigation.
    “A credible investigation should be carried out so that responsibility for the killings is fixed," Tarigami said.
    Jammu and Kashmir's Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda said that "the person involved in the killing of Mirwaiz Farooq is also buried in the same 'martyrs' graveyard' where the senior Mirwaiz was laid to rest".
    "So this explains a lot. The killer and the killed are both declared as martyrs by them," Khoda said.
    "Bhat has said what we have been saying all along," Khoda told the media, adding "Now, when a separatist leader himself makes this disclosure, all I can say is that our stand has been vindicated," he added.
    A senior Hurriyat leader, who did not wish to be named told PTI thaqt there was nothing new in Bhat's remarks.
    "Bhat has made the same speech in Azad Jammu and Kashmir Assembly five years ago," the leader said.
    State Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar described the admission by separatists as a "good development".
    "It has taken them very long to admit the reality but it is better late than never," Sagar said.
    He said the separatist leaders have to be "realistic" if they are serious about resolution of the Kashmir issue and should stop treating the mainstream parties as "untouchables".
    "We have to sit together if Kashmir issue has to be resolved permanently. The separatists should support and strengthen the efforts of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in this direction," he said.
     
  11. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Tehelka - Will truth set Kashmir free? Candid Bhat believes so
    BY ZAHID RAFIQ
    There are several truths in Kashmir that everyone knows of but no one reveals, except in moments of anger, informal chats or off the record. Out of the thousands of people killed in the past two decades of conflict, there have been several political killings by ‘unidentified gunmen’. In many cases, everyone knew the hidden hand behind the gun, but the word ‘unidentified’ continued to mask the killers like the shroud hid the dead.

    More than 20 years after ‘unidentified gunmen’ assassinated Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq, the father of Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar, Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) ideologue Abdul Ahad Wani and separatist leader Abdul Ghani Lone, senior Hurriyat (M) leader Abdul Ghani Bhat chose to reveal an open secret. “Was Wani a martyr of brilliance or a martyr of rivalry? Let me speak the truth today,” Bhat said. “It was not the army or the police who killed Farooq or Prof Wani or Lone sahib. It was our own people.”

    Bhat was speaking at a seminar organised on the death anniversary of Wani, who was killed on 31 December 1993 by gunmen after he was kidnapped from the Kashmir University where he taught law. On 21 May 1990, armed men barged into the house of Farooq and shot him dead. Twelve years later, Lone was killed at a rally marking Farooq’s death anniversary.

    Bhat’s statement reverberated across the Valley’s political divide, even drawing a statement from state police chief Kuldeep Khoda, who said Mirwaiz and his killer are both buried in the same martyrs’ graveyard. “Everyone knew the harsh realities of political killings in Kashmir. Bhat revealed what everybody knows. I don’t know the reason for him to say this at this moment. But that is the truth,” Khoda said.

    Bhat told Tehelka he had always chosen to speak the truth. “When Qazi Nisar was killed, I said he was not killed by the men in uniform but by our own people. I said the same when my brother was killed. And this time too at the seminar, I chose to speak. Before me, Bilal Lone was speaking and he insisted on the need for truth,” said Bhat. “This statement doesn’t mean that I exonerate the excesses of India in Kashmir. Truth is powerful and it must prevail. Had we chosen to say the truth in the 1990s, our movement would have gone in a better direction.”

    Bhat, a moderate face of the Hurriyat now, was once a staunch believer in Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan. In the undivided Hurriyat, it is believed that Syed Ali Shah Geelani voted for him as the chairman because of his pro-Pakistan stance. But Bhat fell out with Geelani and then with Pakistan after Gen Pervez Musharaf was ousted from power. As the hardliners again became the favourites of Pakistan, and India pushed the moderates to the fringe, the moderates felt sidelined.

    Geelani has emerged as the loudest spokesman of the Kashmir movement forcing the Centre to send a Parliamentary delegation to his doorstep. Bhat said when the moderates talked to India, they were called ‘infidels’, but when they (Hurriyat G) talk to the mps, they go scot-free.

    Bhat has not been in the thick of things for the past three years when the political realities on the ground changed. But what does one do with the truth spoken after a long time? Truth is not redemption. But Bhat says truth will save Kashmir from going from one wrong to another.
     
  12. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Where mourning is a luxury GreaterKashmir.com
    Sajjad Lone

    I was in Raj Bagh with some friends when I was informed that my father had been attacked. I rushed to my house and was scared by the melancholic sight of people. I saw them in restless huddles, head deep in grief and anguish, spread in sad clusters, sitting or standing, entering or leaving the house, milling about in an air rife with sorrow, ominous of the pain in the offing. Unhinged by the force of the shock, my knees wobbled as I scurried past the crowd, entered my home moved towards the garden, host to a, ululating crowd. Two shrouded bodies lay motionless in a mournful crowd amongst discordant sobs of anguish and wails. It now dawned on me with certainty that my father had not made it and the crowd was of mourners, mourning the murder of my father. I knelt down near the first body and lifted the shroud and lifeless young Mushtaq with a pregnant wife at home, stared at me. This was my Dad’s personal security officer. I moved on to the next body, and lifted the shroud and there he was- my Dad- lifeless, stone cold, eyes closed, hair curled back, in a state of eternal slumber. My Dad’s journey of life had ended.
    In the crowd I saw my mother, squatting, hands stretched upwards her upper body making pendulous movements back and forth, wailing in sync. She had just become a widow. I went up to her and she hugged me tightly and both mother and son wept together. I got up filled with anger and began to shout hysterically and out came from my mouth the infamous statement blaming the ISI for my father’s killing. I was unmindful of the TV crews and their cameras. And in the evening it was all across the TV screens. I remember when I was shouting- well wishers, relatives trying to stop me, dissuade me from making any accusations. What surprised me was my mother on her feet among others trying to stop me. She should be there mourning the loss of her husband.
    We planned to bury Dad the next day. His body was placed on a slab of ice in the garden and we maintained a vigil through the night. Around six in the morning a friend took me aside and told me that my mother wanted to see me. I went into the house into what was my parents’ bed room. It was full of women and my mother was sitting on the bed. Her face was not wet with tears. It was dry. I found her behaviour strange. Her composure saddened me. I felt she was not distraught enough. She got up and requested all the women to leave as she wanted to talk to me in solitude. She went up to the door and bolted it. Next she sat on the edge of the bed, her feet placed on the floor. She called me and I stood in front of her. She held my hands and looked deep into my eyes and said, “ retract the statement you made last night”. I took my hands away with a wild swing and replied, “dad has been killed. I am not retracting”. She remained silent for some time and then went down on her knees, took off her veil and gently placed it on my feet and hugged my legs, her arms thrown across my knees and she sobbed and sobbed, “I have lost Lone sahib. I will not lose you. I will not allow a second dead body with bullets in this house. May you see my dead body if you don’t retract the statement.” I stepped back, held her at the elbows and helped her stand up and made her sit on the bed. I sat on the floor and rested my head in her lap. And I promised her that I would do what she wants. She stopped crying. I gazed at her and stroking her hair, wiping her tears and cupping her face in my hands, kissed her forehead and broke down and hugged her tightly. I was not mourning my father. I was mourning my mother's loss of right to mourn. She deserved a right to mourn. She was not mourning. She was ensuring that her son is not harmed.
    Mourning is a luxury for the mourner. The society affords moments of mourning to the mourner to reconcile with the loss of a loved one. The mourner transcends into a subconscious state- hysterically beating chest, pulling the hair, crying, wailing, shouting, and venting it out. The mourner is unmindful of the people around him or her and behaves as if in a trance. The whole act of mourning is a process of healing, overcoming the pain of losing a loved one. It is truly a luxury. I found my mother not distraught enough. She was denied the transcendental luxury to mourn and was instead forced to focus on how to protect her son.
    I had lost a father not to disease or old age but to bullets of the brute. In retrospect I don’t think I should have accused an institution of the killing. But Prof. Bhat has shown the way, when he stated that it was our own people who killed Lone Sahib. For all those cynics and sermonizers who are questioning his timing, his intentions, I- a son who lost his father to bullets would want to put my appreciation on record. Truth however bitter has to prevail. It is never late to speak the truth. Lone Sahib , Mirwaiz Sahib have left this world. We cannot get them back. But if we do not learn any lessons from their killings we will be doing a great disservice to the very nation whose aspirations we claim to espouse. There is nothing like a good murderer and a bad murderer. A murderer is a murderer. For us as Kashmiris, the sanctity of the Kashmiri life should be supreme and unless we do not show that sanctity towards our fellow Kashmiris we should not expect India to show that sanctity towards us. I have to thank my father that in his sacrifice he endowed me with a luxury- the feeling of pain of having to lose a loved one to bullets. For all those sacrifice-less sermonizers out there deluded into a belief of having a monopoly of right and wrong- may I in my humble capacity ask who has given them the right to shield a killer. Far too long we have tried to justify hostile and violent actions against fellow Kashmiris by those whom we treat as our very own conveniently using the fig leaf in the interests of the movement. The culture of unaccountability, impunity cultivated and nourished by a select group of “intellectuals”, “thinkers” has only emboldened the killers to indulge in more heinous acts, aimed at disempowering the Kashmiri voice and coercing it into submission. It is time that the select band, decide whose side they are on- the murderer or the murdered. And it is time the Kashmiri nation to facilitate a true process of evolution. Therein lies the key to attainment of objectives.
     
  13. Indianrabbit

    Indianrabbit Regular Member

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    thanks Ejaz for posting this, unfortunately in Kashmir security forces are the one everyone likes to bash. No body thinks their job is not fun at all.
     
  14. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    HT editorial on how to react to the change in heart/speech by sepratists (M)

    Many shades of truth

    In all the anxiety about Andhra Pradesh, the angst over the corruption churn and the concern over the possible unravelling of our violence-ridden neighbour, we have, it seems, forgotten all about Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Or perhaps — and this may be why things end up where they do — we only pay
    attention to the state in moments of crisis. But, almost on the quiet, something deeply significant happened in the state this past week.

    There was, for the first time, an admission by a Kashmiri separatist leader of a truth that previously could not — or would not — be spoken. In a startlingly frank moment, Hurriyat representative, Abdul Ghani Bhat, the maverick politician who once taught Persian, conceded that two key assassinations of separatist leaders were the brainchild of men within their own ranks. For Kashmir watchers, the import of this utterance was not its content per se (known already to many over the decades) but that it was said at all, and said out loud.

    Both the senior Mirwaiz and, more recently, Abdul Gani Lone, Bhat said, were killed not by the army or the police or any other security agency, but “by our own people”. Then he added in his characteristically twisty turn of phrase that it was time to free the Kashmiri people from “sentimentalism bordering on insanity” by speaking the truth. We forget that insurgencies are often rooted not just in history, the alienation of ordinary people and omissions of justice — but also in the power of the popular narrative. And here, after two decades of unrest in the Valley, the narrative, as it has been constructed over the years, was being challenged.

    I still remember the exact moment in May 2002 when Lone was killed. Ironically, it was at a rally in the Eidgah grounds of Srinagar to commemorate the death anniversary of the senior Mirwaiz who had been murdered in 1991. I was standing along with other journalists at the base of the dais, expecting the proceedings of the day to be routine and unremarkable. Suddenly, towards the end of the ceremony, in the blink of an eye, two gunmen emerged from within the crowd, charged towards the stage and shot Lone with brutal precision.

    As people dispersed in panic, the gunmen disappeared into the maze-like bylanes of downtown Srinagar, never to be found or identified. This was Srinagar in the era before mobile phone connectivity, and I ran down the deserted streets, desperate to find a phone booth to relay the news back home. This was a watershed in the state’s troubled history. It was clear, even then, that the 70-year-old Lone had been assassinated because he had been publically supporting a dialogue process and condemning violence as a means of protest.

    Later that night, I remember meeting his emotionally overwrought son Sajad who, unmindful of the consequences, shrugged off the restraint being urged by the flood of mourners at his house and blamed Pakistan’s Inter-State Intelligence (ISI) and rival leaders of the Hurriyat conference for the fact that his father was dead. The next morning, possibly reeling from the violent backlash his bluntness generated, he retracted his comments and, in an interview to me, said the remarks were an “emotional outburst.” But in the same interview he said his father had been murdered by an “ugly convergence of interests” and it could be the work of “any agency, either from India or Pakistan.” Today, after Bhat’s admission, he is urging an end to what he has called “half-truths” saying that the people have a “right to know who killed whom”.

    Indeed. Now, how should we react to the new willingness to call a spade a spade?

    It would be utterly short-sighted for New Delhi to respond with a gloating, we-told-you-so smugness. The hardline narrative on J&K questions the liberal media’s nomenclature of ‘moderate separatists’. But the truth is that at every stage those separatists who have spoken in favour of reconciliation have paid with their lives. Think of Fazl Haq Qureshi who went from being an architect of the azadi platform to an architect of a state’s search for peace. He brokered the first and only dialogue between the government and the Hizbul Mujahideen in 2000. More recently, as he revived his attempts at a dialogue process, an assassin’s bullet tore open his skull.

    As unpalatable as the sentiment of secessionism may be to strategists in New Delhi, there has to be recognition of the risks being taken by those within the separatist ranks who are engaging with the truth. In fact, if you chronicle the state’s history, every time governments have failed to engage with the more moderate voices in the Valley, the radicals have become emboldened to hijack the agenda.

    We must also pause to reflect on the relative quiet in the state since the summer of unrest last year. The media’s commentary on J&K cannot be restricted to happily hauling chief minister Omar Abdullah over the coals when the chips are down, but looking the other way in disinterested silence when things are comparatively better. Doesn’t the changed environment need acknowledgment, comment and, yes, debate as well? And no, not because a political problem can be solved by tourists or trade — it absolutely cannot — but because the truth comes in many, ever-evolving shades, and it is our job to reflect all the colours, not just the ones that fit in with our prejudices.

    Finally, remember Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece- Rashomon on the nature of truth? The film depicted how one crime was recounted in widely contradictory ways by different witnesses. “We all want to forget something, so we tell stories,” says one character. That may be true, for all sides, across the divide, in Kashmir.
     
  15. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    We should have exposed our father's killers: Lone's sons

    Hurriyat Conference leader Bilal Lone and his brother Sajjad broke their silence on the assassination of their father and separatist leader Abdul Gani Lone, 11 years after his death in 2002. The Lone brothers' response comes almost a week after former Hurriyat Conference Chairman Abdul Gani Bhat created a flutter by saying that Abdul Gani Lone was killed by their own men.
    Speaking to rediff.com on the phone from Srinagar, Bilal said he had no shame in admitting that he could not muster enough courage after the murder of his father by some miscreants in the Valley.

    "I have no shame in admitting that I failed as a son on moralistic grounds. I should have spoken out against the murderers of my father, who was killed by some rogue elements in Kashmir in 2002. The element of fear within me prevailed and I kept mum. It was wrong on my part to do so and I should have exposed those who were behind the murder," he said.

    His brother Sajjad expressed similar views. "I know that two gunmen from Pakistan killed my father. Whether they were acting on their own or at someone's behest, I cannot say for sure," Sajjad, who is currently in Delhi, told rediff.com.

    The top leadership of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference firmly believes that the time has come to put an end to the bloodshed. "There is a need for introspection among the leadership in Kashmir irrespective of which party they belong to," Bilal said.

    Bilal and Sajjad also emphasised that political leaders in the Valley should work towards finding a peaceful resolution to the Kashmir problem by joining the dialogue process.

    On January 3 this year Abdul Gani Bhat made the sensational revelation at a seminar in Kashmir that the two separatist leaders Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone were killed by "our own people".

    "No police was involved; our own people killed them," Bhat said.

    Mirwaiz Farooq, father of the present chairman of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, was shot dead at his residence on May 21, 1990, while Lone was gunned down during a commemorative rally for the senior Mirwaiz on the same day in 2002.


    The Jammu and Kashmir government has held that then Hizbul Mujahideen commander Mohammad Abdullah Bangroo had killed Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq while a commander of Al-Umar Mujahideen had shot dead the senior Lone.

    Bhat said his brother Mohammad Sultan Bhat also fell to the bullets of those espousing the separatists' cause.

    Source
     
  16. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    As some of you may know, Gani Bhat made another controversy among the "sepratist camp" by saying that the UNSC resolutions are no irrelevant and we need to take into account this new reality. Soon after a hit list with his name on it has been passed around

    Bhat fear for life opens old wounds
    Srinagar, May 15: Senior Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Bhat’s fear, voiced at a gathering yesterday, that militants might kill him has opened old wounds in the moderate separatist camp where most leaders have borne the brunt of such attacks.

    Six top leaders have lost at least one member of their families in suspected militant attacks, apparently for their moderate views or alleged proximity to “Indian agencies”. A seventh had a narrow escape and is yet to get back on his feet. Two top moderates, S. Hameed and Shiekh Aziz, were killed by security forces.

    Bhat said in Handwara that militants might target him and his colleague Bilal Lone over his remarks that UN resolutions on Kashmir were “too complex” to be implemented.

    The comments are at odds with the views of both the moderate and the hardline Hurriyat factions, which have long flagged the implementation of the resolutions as the most basic demand.

    Bilal had described the statements as Bhat’s “personal views” but said everybody, including Bhat, should be free to express their opinion.

    A senior Hurriyat leader said Bhat’s remarks were not spontaneous but driven by a desire, at least in a section of the moderate camp, to “explore new ideas” on Kashmir and take the hardliners “head on”.

    “Of course, there is a need to fix responsibilities in a lot of the old cases,” the leader, who refused to be named but was referring to militant attacks of the past, said.

    Bilal, whose father Abdul Gani Lone was believed to have been killed by militants, said conspiracy theories were often floated before such killings to create mistrust about the victims. “But we feel the time has come to debate these things… the situation was hostile then but has changed now,” Bilal said.

    Other leaders who have lost family members in suspected militant attacks include Bhat, present moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Agha Syed Hassan, Naeem Khan and Qazi Yasir.

    Umar’s father Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq was killed in 1990, Yasir’s father Qazi Nissar in 1994, Bhat’s brother Mohammad Sultan in 1995, Agha’s brother Agha Syed Mehdi in 2000, Lone in 2002 and Nayeem’s brother Prince Khan a year later.

    Two years ago, suspected militants attacked separatist Fazal Haq Qureshi. He survived but is yet to recover fully. Barring Mehdi, all the victims were separatists. Mehdi was a prominent mainstream politician whose vehicle was blown to pieces in an explosion that killed four security personnel.

    Many of the suspected militants who killed these leaders were later themselves shot dead by security forces. A Tada court sentenced some Hizbul militants to life for the death of Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq.

    Although militant groups had claimed they attacked Mehdi, they never did so in other incidents, which were blamed on “unidentified gunmen”.

    Mirwaiz’s death was openly blamed on security forces and that version gained currency after forces killed dozens of protesters who participated in his funeral.

    It was Bhat who for the first time made damning revelations last year that it was not security forces who killed leaders like Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq, Lone or his brother but “our own people”, seen as an allusion to militants.
     
  17. lcatejas

    lcatejas Regular Member

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    Fool the people and full the bank account... every one know that Kashmir will get nothing joining PAK...
     
  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Geelani is the man behind all this.
     

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