Double dealers, double talk: The Double Whammy of Kashmir

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Sajad Lone, Mirwaiz Umar refuse to identify Pakistan as father’s killer

In a series of tweets, People’s Conference Chairman Sajad Gani Lone has been critical of the role of some bureaucrats in handling the Covid pandemic. Sajad has also censured the way some babus boss over doctors and rebuke them despite the unparalleled and selfless service of the medical community. He referred to a recent case in Srinagar where a doctor was shabbily treated by an officer of the rank of Additional DC.

Sajad is right. He also uses an excellent term – political pandemic. Babus in Jammu and Kashmir are a law unto themselves. They enjoying unbridled powers and are accountable to none. They even try to mislead Lieutenant Governor (LG) Shri Manoj Sinha, though Mr. Sinha is getting the feel of the ground through diverse channels. Sadly, Sajad seems to have discovered this sagacity during the current times, when as a politician he has little to do. After his election as MLA Handwara, Sajad was Minister for Social Welfare, ARI & Trainings and Science & Technology, and Minister for Animal, Sheep Husbandry, Fisheries and Science & Technology.

The Political Pandemic and Kashmir

One of the symptoms of the political pandemic is being constituency-centric. The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir had 87 Assembly segments. Sajad was consistently and unabashedly Handwara-centric. Sajad is part of the political royalty of Kashmir. In Handwara, he doled out favors like royalty. As for the sagacious principle of fair and equitable distribution of allocation to all across the state – No.  I don’t want to single out my friend Sajad for this symptom of the political pandemic. Every single political royal of Kashmir has been guilty of the same conduct. We have seen this virus in the political system for a long. I wrote about the constituency-centric political pandemic of Jammu and Kashmir in 2007.

I guess Sajad may agree with me that in many aspects, Jammu and Kashmir has been reeling under a political pandemic for decades. We must be honest in factoring in all these aspects.

The deadliest factor of J&K’s political pandemic has been conflicting entrepreneurship. The political class in Kashmir received money from India and Pakistan simultaneously for selling peace to one and conflict to another. This entrepreneurship of the political elites wreaked havoc on the people of Kashmir. We lost everything to this pandemic. The tragedy has been that every single Kashmiri was sold by the conflict entrepreneurs. My dear friend Sajad shall agree that double dealers are the only ones who are stinking rich in Kashmir. Stink – literally. The stink of their acts is forever in Kashmir air.  These Kashmiris managed a unique distinction which may have few parallels globally. The double dealers were rewarded by Pakistan for getting people killed. And these same persons were rewarded by New Delhi for saving the people.

What a tragedy of fate that Pakistan has always benefitted by the dead Kashmiri – and Pakistan has made the most of this benefit. On May 23, Sajad correctly tweeted that Pakistan will fight it out in Kashmir until the last Kashmiri.

Sajad’s word play for Pakistan

Frankly, Sajad, I am totally amazed at the play of words in your tweets to commemorate the death anniversary of your father Khwaja Abdul Gani Lone, whom we all held in great esteem. Let me first reproduce the content of your tweet. Remembering my father Abdul Gani Lone who was killed on this day nineteen years ago. Killed for expressing his ideas. Killed for speaking the truth. Truth is as much of a rarity now as it was then. But what gives me some solace is that those who opposed him and created that false narrative that culminated in my father being killed- that crowd some of them still alive were better dead than alive. they saw what my father was mercifully spared from seeing. My father left when dying the way he did symbolized dignity symbolized sacrifice. He went at the right time. He left a hero. As long as we do not stop collectively lying especially on who killed whom we as people will continue to be in the state that we r. People deserve to know-oppressors have many forms. And the worse form of oppressors r those who oppress under the fig leaf of fighting oppression. Such play of words from you, Sajad, for commemorating the death anniversary of such an honorable man!

My friend, how sad it is that you could not name the killers of your father directly! Even after 20 years, you take refuge in a vague statement! Why Sajad? Keeping all options open, my friend?

There is little doubt about who killed Khwaja Abdul Gani Lone. The killers were identified soon after they pumped bullets into his body. Minutes after his killing, an Indian intelligence agency intercepted a Lashkar-e-Toiba frequency naming three operatives. It was found out that Abu Hadid, Abu Hamza, and Abu Rahel had carried out the execution. Two among them were wearing masks when they approached Lone Saheb as he was leaving the podium on May 21, 2001, at a well-attended rally. The rally had been organized to commemorate the death anniversary of Mirwaiz Mohd Farooq, who had been killed by Hizbul Mujahideen operatives on the same date in 1990.

The killers first assassinated Lone Saheb’s PSO. And then they killed the man who was trying to change the destiny of Kashmir. The terrorists killed the man who was trying to save his fellow Kashmiris and also his beloved homeland. Pakistan-backed Hurriyat Conference put in all its might to brush the issue under the carpet. But all of Kashmir knew why Lone Saheb was killed. Since November 1997, Lone Saheb had been highly critical of Pakistan for infesting Kashmir with terrorists. He was also highly vocal about opening up communication channels for a dialogue with New Delhi. Sajad, you would recall that in an interview to Washington Post, Lone Saheb had said, “The biggest danger now is from the extremists.” What more proof of honesty and integrity was required in a man’s complete love for his homeland?

Do you remember, Sajad, that just days before he was assassinated, Lone Saheb had called me to your family’s Sanat Nagar residence. By this time, Lone Saheb had sent feelers of being open to the idea of contesting the Assembly elections due in 2002. This made Geelani come out with the statement that any departure from the constitution of Hurriyat Conference amounts to treason. Lone Saheb asked me to visit Geelani to convey him a message on his behalf. This was his message: It is more than treason if you refuse to acknowledge the changing scenario. I met Geelani at his house and conveyed the same to him in unambiguous terms.

Sajad, as we commemorated the 20th death anniversary of Lone Saheb, I expected that you would at least repeat what you had said in 2001: “Militants killed my father and Geelani facilitated the killing”. You are a courageous man, Sajad. Why this ambiguity in your tweets for your father? You have the guts to call Pakistan’s bluff.

Mirwaiz Umar treads on petals for Pakistan

Not Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who treads on petals where Pakistan is concerned. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq issued a rebuttal to what I wrote on the assassination of his father Mirwaiz Mohd Farooq in a recent edition of Mac letter. My write-up was titled May 21: The Date That Holds Up The Mirror To Kashmir Society. Look it up here 

In response to my article, Mirwaiz  said, “It is disturbing trend to misinterpret event with mischievous intent to promote a certain narrative through manipulation and half-truths in order to sow discord and create confusion in the minds of the people of Kashmir…”

Mirwaiz Mohd Farooq, I feel sad for you, and for your homeland which you loved so much. How unfortunate it is that your son refuses to identify your killers because he is a conflict entrepreneur himself.

It is now part of Kashmir history that by 1990, your father Mirwaiz Farooq Shah had realized that Pakistan was using him for their evil designs in Kashmir. In early May, your father wrote letters to Pakistan PM Benazir Bhutto, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan that the killings of innocent people in Kashmir must stop. You are aware that Mirwaiz Farooq Shah was willing also for talks with the Centre and the Governor of J&K. Pakistan and its ISI knew that the Mirwaiz would not be part of their diabolical plan for Kashmir. Pakistan knew that the Mirwaiz was aspiring for peace in Kashmir, and they planned his killing.

How tragic, Mirwaiz, that you refuse to identify the killers of your own father. Of course, you know, Mirwaiz, that every Kashmiri except you has identified the killers of Moulvi Farooq.

Post Script to Sajad’s Tweet on Chattishgarh Collector

On condemning the behavior of Collector Surajpur, Chattisgarh, by IAS association, Sajad tweeted, “The dude was at the wrong place. In Kashmir he neither have been removed nor would we have this humble tweet from the association.” I agree Sajad. There’s more to it though. For decades now, the entire political class of Kashmir and the so-called human rights groups have been selective in outrage on issues of misbehavior, gross misconduct and even the killings of innocent Kashmiris. Kashmir’s political elite is silent on the killings executed by militants. The so-called human rights activists are silent on these killings. We conveniently shift the blame on the state forces. Let me quote the towering Kashmir conflict entrepreneur Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, living comfortably in the US. Fai wrote in Al-Balagh magazine, “May 21, 1990, was the day when Indian occupation forces assassinated an illustrious Kashmir freedom fighter Mir Muhammad Farooq… On May 21, 2002, 20 years later Indian forces also killed Khawja Abdul Gani Lone, leader of All Parties Hurriyat Conference who had come to martyrs cemetery to pay homage to Kashmiri martyrs including Mirwaiz Sab”.

Think of something better Fai. This is one truth, at least, that the Kashmiris are clear about. I will leave it to the conscience of my friend Sajad and Mirwaiz Umar to comment on Fai’s claims.

I am not here to condone the wrongdoings of the state. All along, I have been critical of the government on various issues. But I have not benefited from the conflict in any way. My conscience is clear. I shall discuss the internal fault lines. People know that blaming New Delhi and casting aspersions on the state is harmless. People enjoy being antithetical to the state and abuse its magnanimity. I will continue to show them the mirror.

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