Peshawar carnage: deadly portent
Terrorist attack on an army run school in Peshawar left 141 people dead, 132 of them children. 114 have been injured. A teacher was burnt alive to instil fear in the minds of young students. The attack is the deadliest ever by the Taliban in Pakistan.
PPP when in power created Taliban: General Babar its Governor in Sind was the key figure. ISI created a number of deadly terrorist organizations in Pakistan which her army owned as strategic asset. Pakistan governments absolve themselves of all responsibility by declaring the terrorists as non-state actors.
Pakistan under Zia was more than happy to have retained fifty per cent of enormous quantities of deadly portable weaponry, including stinger missiles, provided by the Pentagon for distribution among the Afghan mujahedeen to counter Soviet incursion. For the tribesmen of Waziristan and Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa, eternally wedded to lawlessness, it came as windfall. Soviets withdrew and Afghan Taliban ruled the roost in lawless lands.
Pakistani jihadi terrorist groups prospering under the patronage of the army were emboldened to the extent of declaring Afghanistan and Kashmir as their destinations in their bid of establishing the Islamic Caliphate Pakistan included.
Kashmiri jihadis, subtly indoctrinated by their local leadership with anti-India and anti-Hindu venom felt proud of a formidable support structure in Pakistans terrorist outfit.
Kashmiri jihadis wearing the mask of freedom/azaadi fighters got training in terrorism in the camps of the Taliban, arms from Pakistan army and ideology from fanatical organizations like Jamatud-Dawa, JI and other Sunni extremist organizations of Pakistan.
They let lose mayhem in Kashmir . Not only the Hurriyatis like Geelani and his flock but also political leaders with double speak felt proud of their killing instincts. Some self serving political parties pandered to their philosophy. Sections of media lent them unflinching support. A number of NGOs pretending to be human rights activists supported and encouraged terrorism. Foreign NGOs and so called researchers established close contacts with terrorist leadership in and outside Kashmir. Local politicians and pro-terrorist ideologues in Kashmir helped them develop hawala networks to provide huge amounts coming in under the name of relief, scholarships, and other nomenclatures. Saudi Arabia in particular, encouraged Kashmiri Diaspora and al-Rabita funded many organizations, NGOs and outfits working towards deepening the crisis in Kashmir.
Pakistan lent enormous diplomatic support to Kashmir terrorists projecting them as freedom fighters. It affected media blitzkrieg. World media was fed with falsehood and canard about Kashmir. Enormous material published with Saudi money was distributed in western countries to distort facts and propagate falsehood. A fear psychosis was created by giving media hype to Kashmir as the flash point for nuclear holocaust.
The like of Pakistani Taliban who undertook the massacre of 141 people in Peshawar, out of who 132 were school children, became the much eulogised and respected guest mujahedeen of Kashmiris. They provided for their hideouts, safe havens, good food, guidance, roadmap and other logistics, and consoled themselves for contributing to the cause of Islam. They accepted the slavery of the likes of Akbar Bhai in Sopor and the other in Chrar-e Sharif. They killed their own people like Molavi Muhammd Farooq and struck terror in the minds of people to the extent that late Maulavis progeny has no qualms of conscience in joining the ranks of the ones who killed their patriarch. Cowardice incarnate?
Many political parties in this country have played dubious role indirectly supporting terrorism. They have overtly and covertly supported terrorism for political interests. Muslim leaders aver that there is nothing like Indian Mujahedeen in India and that it is only a vicious circle of rightists in India who are spreading the rumours. But they forget that Bhatkal, the founder of IM now in Pakistan, issued a statement that he as chief of the IM was working in close liaison with the Taliban and TTP. Salahud-Din, the terrorist guru in Muzaffarabad messages his Kashmiri compatriots in the valley to send their boys to training camps in Pakistan to receive training in terror, and go back to Kashmir and get killed so that he can raise hue and cry of violation of human rights.
When Batla House incident happened, all pro-terrorist groups and parties in the country ganged up to pin down the government. The meek government of Manmohan Singh succumbed. When Afzal Guru, the kingpin in attack on the Parliament was sentenced to death, Kashmir leadership came out with the bluster that if he was hanged whole of India would be on fire. Was it not brazen support to militancy and terrorism? Entire three hundred thousand strong religious minority of Kashmir was subjected to ethnic cleansing and the government never even set up a commission of inquiry. Is it not brazen support to militancy and terrorism? And notwithstanding terrorist attacks taking place in Jammu and Kashmir, almost every week and infiltration bids across the LoC or IB seeing no relent, the Kashmir leadership harps on withdrawal of AFSPA as if it is something of Damocles sword hanging on the head of Kashmiris. With a single accidental killing of a civilian in Kashmir, there are calls for protest rallies, march to UN headquarters, bringing down shutters of shops, suspension of road traffic and everything that paralysis normal life. Hue and cry is raised about violation of human rights and letters, emails and telegrams are shot to UN and its various bodies and dubious NGOs like Amnesty International and World Watch about so-called violations of human rights in Kashmir. But when a police man performing his duty on the beat is killed by terrorists gunshot or by hurling a bomb at him, people around dance and sing in revelry in the tradition of barbarians. According to their ideology he has no human rights. Where will this character of servility and pretence carry the people of the valley?
People in Kashmir and especially the separatists and secessionists have heard about Peshawar massacre happening the other day. This is neither the first nor will it be the last of its kind. Let me remind them that 16 December 2014: Taliban attack on school in Peshawar leaves at least 141 people dead, 132 of them children. 22 September 2013: Militants linked to the Taliban kill at least 80 people at a church in Peshawar, in one of the worst attacks on Christians. 10 January 2013: Militant bombers target the Hazara Shia Muslim minority in the city of Quetta, killing 120 at a snooker hall and on a street. 28 May 2010: Gunmen attack two mosques of the minority Ahmadi Islamic sect in Lahore, killing more than 80 people. 18 October 2007: Twin bomb attack at a rally for Benazir Bhutto in Karachi leaves at least 130 dead.
My question to Kashmiri separatists, secessionists and dubious political leadership is this: Do you want to secede from India and join a country that has this record to present to the world? Are you confident that you are taking your Kashmiri nation to the right place where it will thrive and prosper? And lastly, do you think a country and a people with this record will really honour and respect your aazaadi aspiration? I would like to conclude by reminding them what late Maulavi Yusuf Shah told a Kashmiri group from the valley that visited him sometime before his death. He advised them to remain content with what they had and not think of PoK or Pakistan. It is the same Maulavi Yusuf Shah whom Sheikh Abdullah had labelled as Pakistani, and the Sheikh is the same person who hobnobbed with Chou En Lai in Algiers. Let history be the mentor of Kashmiris and not unsubstantiated emotions.
Lastly, I must sound the siren for the Indian government to consider ramifications of Peshawar massacre and related events with possible ramifications especially in the light of the recent statement of Jihadi Hafiz Saeed that he would carry jihad to India via Kashmir and prior to him the statement of Pervez Musharraf that lakhs of Pakistanis would march to Kashmir . Mr. Home Minister of India, are you listening Sir?
*K.N. Pandita: Born in Baramulla, Kashmir in 1929 did graduation from St. Joseph’s College in Arts with English literature. The tribal raid of October 1947 destroyed his family like hundreds of other Kashmiri Hindu families in Baramulla.
After doing M.A. from Punjab University, he served as Lecturer in State Degree Colleges and in 1958 earned a scholarship from the Indian Ministry of Education for higher studies at the University of Teheran, Iran. Four years of study and research at the University of Teheran earned him a Ph.D. in Iranian Studies. He joined Kashmir University in 1963 and it’s Centre of Central Asian Studies in 1976. He rose to become Professor and Director of this Centre till his superannuation in 1987. He is not only the first Kashmiri to obtain Ph.D. from Teheran University but is also the first to have worked in close collaboration with a number of Central Asian Academies of Science particularly the Tajik Academy. His travelogue titled My Tajik Friends won him Sovietland Nehru Award 1987.