Kashmir Will Become Gaza If India Does Not Talk To Pakistan: Decoding Farooq Abdullah’s Threats: OPED

Farooq Abdullah has been dreaming of ruling Kashmir. To align himself with the people of the state, he wants the government in Delhi to talk to Pakistan. Little does he realize that India has changed: it is now governed by Indian nationalists and not sectarian or divisive forces.  

Pakistan se bat nahin karogey to Kashmir Gaza banega” (if you don’t talk to Pakistan, then Kashmir will become Gaza) is former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah’s latest war cry in Kashmir.

The Indian Opposition’s criticism has become shriller and more chiding as the parliamentary election proceeds in full force. Abdullah is an opposition leader and never tires of criticizing the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.

Talking to Pakistan is his mantra for resolving the Kashmir issue. He does not hesitate to issue a warning: If you fail to do that, Gaza will be replicated in Kashmir. The former Chief Minister does not say who the government should talk to or talk about what.

Some years ago, his representative, a former MP of his party, was commissioned to conduct secret talks with the Pakistani top brass. For more than a year, the anonymous representative shuttled between Srinagar and Islamabad, according to the disclosure made by no less a person than Omar Abdullah, Farooq Abdullah’s son and also a former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister.

These secret visits and talks were held when the Congress was in power in Delhi. Simply put, that means the mission to Pakistan could not have been undertaken without the green signal from the ‘high command.’

The outcome of those talks remains a closely guarded secret that only Farooq Abdullah and his cohorts are aware of. The tangible outcome, however, could not be kept hidden for too long because the result was seen on the ground.

The talks resulted in the 1986 attack on Kashmiri Hindus in Anantnag district. That was followed by bombings and shootings from 1986 to 1989-90. In short, Farooq Abdullah achieved what he wanted through the Congress-endorsed year-long talks between his accredited representative and the Pakistani intelligence establishment.

The story of atrocities perpetrated against the Hindu religious minority in the Anantnag district in 1986 was suppressed with amazing swiftness — no regional vernacular or national paper was allowed to have a whiff of it.

The reason why Anantnag district was selected for a communal clash was two-fold: First, the kingpin of the conspiracy, the Pradesh Congress chief, was a popular leader of the Anantnag district; and second, Anantnag district has been traditionally a stronghold of the Jamaat-e-Islami, whose activists played a major role in the loot and arson of Hindu properties.

Later on, the “secular” Indian nation chose the same person as its Home Minister. He ordered the army and police forces to remain confined in their barracks while the genocide of the Hindus of the Valley continued. The end of the secret mission begun a few years ago ended in the complete ethnic cleansing of Kashmir.

The “free and fair” press of “democratic and secular” India did not even publish a single paragraph on the fate of the Hindu minority of rural South Kashmir.

With support from the Pakistan-based armed jihadis, who were helped by receptive and obliging hosts in the Valley, the actors behind the curtains achieved their two-pronged mission — ethnic cleansing of Kashmir and the unleashing of Islamic extremist ideology — in concert with their Delhi sultans.

My question to Farooq Abdullah is: In this backdrop why do you want talks with Pakistan when you have already achieved more than what you had planned in the 1980s or even in 1974?

In 1974, Abdullah had flown from London and landed in Mirpur (Pak-controlled Kashmir) to address a huge meeting. On the dais, he had taken up a gun, lifted it high, and declared that if Kashmir was not given Azadi (freedom), the Kashmiris would take up the gun. Photos of this gun-wielding charisma had gone viral then. Farooq Abdullah always wanted a Kashmiri Gaza way back in 1974 and the dream lingers on.

Farooq’s NC goons massively rigged the J&K Assembly elections of 1986, manhandled and pilloried the Jamaati Islami-sponsored Muslim United Front (MUF) candidates, and thereby became instrumental to the creation of a strong pro-Pakistan constituency in the valley out of which jihadist organizations like KLF, JKLF, HuM and others mushroomed later on.

Sayyid Salahu’d Din, the supremo of HuM, now based in Muzaffarabad (Pak-controlled Kashmir), is a product of the same MUF. MUF’s strong protest appeals to the Union government authorities against a blatantly rigged election had no takers because the Congress regime was in cahoots with Farooq’s NC.

Ten years later, in 1996, the Congress recalled the same Farooq from London to which destination he had run away after setting Kashmir on fire. While playing golf in London, he enjoyed the sadist satisfaction of ruining the land over which his dynasty had ruled for more than five decades. J&K State was once again offered to him on a platter in the manner in which it was offered to his father by the Congress leadership on October 28, 1947.

Yes, we know why Farooq Abdullah wants the NDA government to talk to Pakistan. He has understood very clearly that nationalist India has torn away the mask of pseudo-secularism that the Congress stalwarts made him wear for six decades. Abdullah’s gnawing frustration is that the bride of power has been eluding him and the distance has been growing with each passing day.

As the election in the country in general and in Kashmir, in particular, is at its high watermark, Farooq Abdullah has ratcheted up his anti-Modi tirade. The reason is not too far to seek.

Modi has been campaigning against dynastic rule from day one. The Chairperson of the Gupkar Alliance, an alliance that wows for Kashmir’s full autonomy, has become part of the gang that wants to ensure dynastic rule. (The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration is a political alliance between several political parties in Jammu and Kashmir campaigning for autonomy for the region by restoring special status along with Article 35A of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.)

In desperation, he has finally clung to the trump card he has been using often, albeit disguisedly. He feels the doublespeak, in which he has mastery, has no takers.

Hence, casting aside all inhibitions and antics, Farooq Abdullah has shown his true color. “They are 77 crores, and we are 24 crores. They cannot suppress us”, is his recent hyperbole.

He thinks the “they” and “we” cacophony will deliver him and his party in the litmus test of the true popularity of leadership. He refuses to take a lesson from the two previous elections that have established for good that India will be ruled by nationalist and not sectarian or divisive forces.

Secondly, India’s real strength lies in its Sanatan Dharma, or the ideology of universalism. By wearing the holy thread over the jacket or applying a vermilion dot on the forehead, the fake politicos make a laughingstock of themselves. Time, not people, has made them redundant.

The story has another side. Recent jihadi attacks in Poonch, Surankot, Rajouri, Kokarnag, Baramulla, Sopor, Basant Garh, and other places in the state show that hundreds of jihadis of various terrorist groups based in Pakistan are active with updated tactics and logistics.

File Image: Farooq Abdullah stands between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President of India Pranab Mukherjee with Vice President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari on far left at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India in 2013.

Militancy is not finished in Kashmir. Abdullah is right in saying that terrorism will never come to an end. The reason is the existence of thousands of Islamic seminaries in which students are indoctrinated in jihadism from a very early age.

What he is afraid of, in reality, is the imminent backlash of doubly energized Islamic radicalism, which he and his cohorts of the Gupkar Alliance have assiduously but covertly nurtured in Kashmir over the years. It has reached its saturation point. The sitting ducks have flown to other wetlands and are not visible in Kashmir. The jihadists are looking for targets.

Islam has penetrated public and private life, nay all walks of life in Kashmir, by design, and by stealth. It has spread its tentacles into peoples’ narratives, conversations, kitchens, restaurants, groceries, hospitals, eateries, vegetable and fruit vending nooks, taxi stands, railway stations, bus stands, barber shops, boutiques, tourist cabs, houseboats, pharmacies and every walk of life one can imagine.

Hence, Farooq Abdullah is right in inferring that extremism — of which he is the beneficiary– is bound to boomerang in the shape of the Arab Spring and will never go away from Kashmir.

The Kashmir Sultanate is lost to the Kashmir dynasts, not because of any inimical machination of the Modi government — a line that Farooq Abdullah would very enthusiastically like to embrace — but because of his intransigence to read the writing on the wall. He treads the same path that the Kashmir Sultans walked during the Middle Ages: the result will not be something different.

Nobody will tell him that he has already made Kashmir the second Gaza. If his sadism is not satiated, he can opt for the grand finale of the Kashmiri Gaza.

  • Prof. KN Pandita (Padma Shri) is the former director of the Center of Central Asian Studies at Kashmir University.
  • This article contains the author’s personal views and does not represent EurAsian Times’ policies/views/opinions in any way. 
  • The author can be reached at knp627 (at) gmail.com