Kashmir’s Che Guevara taken out in cold blood
Recently, a very popular Kashmiri rebel leader known as Burhan Wani was killed in military action by the Indian Armed Forces on his hideout. Soon after his death, Indians that are supportive of military action in Kashmir started to share his post death images on various social networks with offensive and disrespectful captions calling him a terrorist and criminal.
Sympathisers of Burhan Wani asking any wreath laying ceremony being organised to pay last respect to their debonair militant commander.
— Mohit Kandhari (@mkandharii) July 8, 2016
His crime was that he was or rather has become a symbol for the Kashmiri freedom struggle. The young man did not contribute a lot towards military offenses carried out by the rebels but served more as their online presence – the primary recruiting tool utilized by government and anti-government outfits today.
As a result of the action that was taken against him it becomes pretty much evident that the figure of Burhan Wani was iconic and very much popular among the younger generation of the region. To them he represented the prime archetype of the hero – and killing the hero never resulted in a positive outcome for the regime. The after effects of taking out a leader symbolic of freedom always results in a spark in the public outrage against an oppressive regime that targets singular freedoms on a regular basis.
The Domino effect of such a move always ends with settlement that forces the government and the rebels onto the negotiating table. The events that are happening in the South Asian region today seem to point towards this direction.
After Burhan Wani was killed the Kashmiri people took to the streets in a display of rage against the government action – they were met with a spray of pellets that resulted in a loss of sight and other bodily damage. Soon after this particular event the intensity of protests continued to increase in heat until boiling up to the death of a 13 year old child killed by a tear gas shell. Another 10 year old boy was pronounced dead soon after sustaining multiple pellet wounds – Nasir Shafique Qazi was found dead near a stream close to his home – and his father claims his son was bashed in the head besides being the victim of the dreaded pellet guns and also had his right hand broken.
Rebel Retaliation on Indian Forces
After the string of human rights violations by the Indian Armed Forces during the multiple protest sessions a lash back was certainly expected from the rebel forces as there was no attempt of bringing forward a negotiation. The whole timeline of events gave a clear message that all grievances against the Indian rule will be addressed with a show of brute force.
The rebel forces launched an attack in response to the activities of the Indian Armed Forces which resulted in the deaths of 17 soldiers – This event happened during the time Pakistan was pursuing the case for Kashmir in the United Nations. The intersection of the two events at a time when tensions in the region are beyond resolution by dialogue resulted in a typically ill calculated diplomatic lash back by India – shifting the blame of the attack onto Pakistan.
The after effects of taking out a leader symbolic of freedom always results in a spark in the public outrage against an oppressive regime that targets singular freedoms on a regular basis.
Such a move is not unusual for the country, which has always blamed the results of its own internal diplomacy failures on its neighbor. Pakistan also routinely brings up the issue of Indian interference in its own political matters and has even brought into public notice the arrest of an Indian intelligence official whom the government owned as a citizen of their own country. The intelligence officer confessed to being involved in the Baluchistan unrest in Pakistan. Whether the confession was obtained under duress (as was stated by the Indians) or was a real confession – the concept of Indian funding of terrorist outfits based in Pakistan holds as much credence as the Indian idea of Pakistani support of rebels in Indian held Kashmir.
The Pakistani Status
Pakistan not very long ago also floated a confessional video of Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) commander who was handed over to the Pakistani authorities by US Special Forces in Afghanistan that extracted him from an Afghan intelligence convoy that was escorting him to a ‘meet up’. The ‘meet up’, as per the confession video, was with a handler of the Indian intelligence service who was aiding the commander of the banned terrorist outfit with weapons and money. Pakistan has long been a victim of atrocities at the hands of such terrorist attacks – attacks by whom – have resulted in countless civil and military deaths. While these terrorist outfits routinely target schools, universities, mosques and hospitals the rebels in Indian held Kashmir primarily focus on targeting military convoys and outposts.
The Indians are turning a blind eye to an actual problem that can easily be solved via a few diplomatic maneuvers. Rather the Modi government always pushes the idea of turning South Asia into a theater of conflict. The large amount of economic progress in the South Asian region will come to an abrupt halt and all development programs funded by the International donor agencies that focus on medicine, education and business will be harmed and their effects reversed. The actual counter to terrorism will be non-existent and an act of war by a neighboring country will push entire segments of Pakistani society into extremism.
The current face-off between Indian and Pakistan as per routine and happens every few years in close liaison to re-elections and passing of military budgets in both the nations. The Pakistani approach has always been to counter these threats via International diplomatic channels while the Indians have always resorted to a school bully approach. This was evident a few years ago during the governance of President Zardari when a call made from the Indian Defense minister’s office threatened an all out attack. This sent Pakistani jets scrambling in the air to secure the border region and fight off any unprovoked attempt to attack. Whether this was a trick to test the preparedness of the Pakistanis by the Indians or a real attempt at threatening the result was a failure to carry forward with the agenda as the Indians later denied the happening altogether.
The two countries have always had their horns locked since 1947 and the situation today repeats itself every few years – the reason is clear: The Kashmiri issue needs to be settled & settled very quickly as the situation is moving towards a complete civil was within the province. India needs to eliminate the human rights violations and come to terms with the rebels – this seems to be the only plausible way forward.