The Kashmir Saga & Solidarity Day

By: Zafar Sultan

Ghulam Muhammad Mir, a noted Kashmiri researcher and intellectual, laments that Kashmiri
leaders themselves became a rai·son d’ê·tre of all atrocities which befell Kashmir. He moans:
every day in the calendar is a Martyr’s Day. It is an unforgiving fact that barbarous invaders
Mehr Gul and Zilchu Khan who annihilated the Kashmiris wantonly, enjoyed the indigenous
support. Similarly, the Mughals, the Afghans, and the Sikhs (who were no less brutal than Mehr
Gul and Zilchu Khan) were also invited to invade Kashmir by none others but the Kashmiris

It is hard to deny the fact that none of the rulers of Pakistan and Kashmir made any sincere
effort(s) to engage the international community to get the Kashmir issue resolved. While there is
no denying that wars of 1947 and 1965 were fought to liberate Kashmir but due to lack of proper
planning, uncanny haste and gross insincerity of civ-mil leadership, those efforts bore no fruit:
the military endeavours failed to alleviate the griefs of the people of Kashmir.

Every year, On 5 February, Kashmir Solidarity Day is observed AJK and Pakistan to express
support to Kashmiri brethren. But would mere on a day to celebrate and make speeches help
liberate Kashmir or garner the international opinion in its favour? In this context, one must not
forget the historical speeches delivered very eloquently by erstwhile foreign minister Sir Zafar
Ullah khan (1954) and Premier Imran Khan (2019) in the UN. Did those eloquent orators make
any difference to the plight of people in Kashmir?
While observing the Kashmir Solidarity Day, people must not forget that in Shimla Agreement
(1972), Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto altered the status of cease fire to line of control (LOC), thereby
practically dividing people of Azad Kashmir and the occupied Kashmir. Later, the infamous four
point formula advanced by general Musharraf followed by Asif Ali Zardari plan to freeze
Kashmir for thirty years further damped and dumped the Kashmir issue. Nawaz Sharief also
chose silence on Kashmir issue and preferred trade over the tragedies of Kashmir. Shockingly, he
suggested the Kashmiri leadership to seek the solution to Kashmir, staying within the ambit of
the Indian constitution.
Equally appalling are the recent revelations about Gen Bajwa’s plans to invite Indian PM,
Narendra Modi to join the annual four-day pilgrimage to the Hinglaj Mata Mandir in Lasbela,
Baluchistan. The subsequent plan to open Hinglaj corridor between the two countries by
connecting Barmer to Hinglaj Mata Mandir and clandestine meetings with Indian National
Security Advisor, Ajeet Doval in Dubai to open trade and resume cricketing ties with each
other, traumatised people in Pakistan and AJK.

Even more scything reality is that gross indifference of Kashmiri leadership, to Kashmir issue
has confused our new generation as regards its significance, nature of struggle and any viable
solution. The more agonising fact is that the Kashmiri leadership, by and large, is insensible to
the historical, civilizational and cultural realities of Kashmir. It is more concerned with power
corridors in Muzaffarabad and Islamabad than sufferings in Srinagar In this backdrop, it is hard
to expect any substantial contribution from them.
Today when we are yet again observing the Solidarity Day 5 February 2023, we must recall the
ghastly incidents that unfolded in early 1930s. On 5 February 1932 in a mosque in Uri, on day of
juma -tul -widah, the Muslims, having offered prayer, protested against the tyrannies of Dogra
Raj. It prompted the army to fire, butchering 9 and injuring more than forty people. Before that
carnage, the killing spree in Srinagar Jail had maimed seventy some and more than one fifty
Kashmiri Muslims.

In the aftermath of Jamia Masjid closure, and the desecration of The Quran, wide protests
erupted which resulted in more deaths. Those incidents incited Maha Raja to devise heinous
plans quell the protesters. After sacking George Wakefield, Maha Raja appointed Raja Hari
Kishan Kaul as the prime minister of the state, who committed to repress the movement within
four months.
To bring the situation under control the government cobbled a Glanci Commission in November
In the meantime Mr. Jivan laal Minto, one of the agents of the Prime Minister Kaul,
kindled a movement in Mirpur and Rajuri, provoking people to non-pay the land tax to the
government. In fact his sinister plan was to infuriate the government, irritating it to launch a
severer action.
Feeling visibly agitated, to put down the massive unrest, the Maharaja asked the British Indian
government for military aid and action. As a result, for the first time, two Irish Infantry Divisions
and one Horse Cavalry Regiment launched an assault on the armless farmers of Mirpur and
Rajuri. That outright butchery resulted in murder of around a thousand Muslims in Mirpur and
around four hundred in Rajuri. The number of injured farmers was never revealed.

After carnage in Mirpur, Sheikh Abdullah who was in Srinagar jail, telegrammed the
government, completely dissociating himself with the movement in Mirpur and Rajuri and the
subsequent murders of Muslims there. Following that announcement, Sheikh Abdullah was
released from jail, compounding miseries of the Muslims.
Last year, on February 5, the then PM Imran Khan addressed the Kashmir Assembly in
Muzaffarabad and asserted to serve as an ambassador to the people of Kashmir. This time, PM
Shahbaz Sharif is planning to visit Muzaffarabad and address the AJK Assembly.
Is merely observing the Kashmir Solidarity Day, an answer to angsts of the Kashmiris? Do
Kashmiris have any strength, liberty and farsightedness to chalk out and pursue a plan to
liberation, honour and peace?

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