Hum Kashmiri Pakistan ke liye bali ke bakre hain

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Pakistan ka apna benefit ho raha hai, hum Kashmiri bali ke bakre ban rahe hain

I Too Am Kashmir Walla

This Is My Story

In Foreign Affairs magazine, Fahad Shah, Editor of The Kashmir Walla magazine, writes of The Tattered Dream Of A New Kashmir. Some people hail his write-up. India grants him the freedom of expression for his lies and half-truths. My life is barbaad but I want to build a new Kashmir. I have to hide my name because Pakistan will not give me any freedom of expression. The militants trained by Pakistan will hunt me down. All those who speak of building a new Kashmir face life threat daily. The Fahad Shahs of Kashmir thrive and are celebrated. This is the intellectual web that helps in pushing more and more of youngsters into wrong paths in life. Fahad Shah presents half-truths. Content like this from Pakistan or from fellow Kashmiris is very strong propaganda. It pushes alienation from the state. One starts thinking like a militant supporter or an over-ground worker. How easily this man who calls himself The Kashmir Walla spins the web. I can see on his Twitter that many people are raising toasts to him. It is convenient for them. He presents their version of lies and half-truths.
Look at the images they keep pushing at us. The images of Kashmiris wailing and crying over the dead bodies of their young men. Foreign media is happy with these lies and half truths. Nobody tells them that these realities of crying and wailing Kashmiris are our own creation. We are creating our own destruction every day. More and more Kashmiris are dying and we are helping their destruction. Fahad Shah, the Kashmir Walla is a hero for those looking for such stories. I could not even complete my school education because I was constantly in and out of jail because of stone pelting. I cannot get a decent job because I do not have a decent education. I too am Kashmir Walla.

STONE PELTING COST ME MY LIFE AND CAREER

Many years ago, participation in a protest and stone pelting at times has cost me my life and career. It was the same then. It is the same now. We are being used commercially by Pakistan, by Hurriyat, by Jamaat e Islamiya. Pakistan ka apna benefit ho raha hai, hum Kashmiri bali ke bakre ban rahe hain. Hum bhi Kashmir Walla hain. I don’t usually talk about myself. But today I think I should. Perhaps it may make some boy realize what lies and half truths are being sold to us to destroy us. I used to be a studious boy. My only interest was in my studies. I had dreams of becoming a doctor when I grew up. I used to think that it was an achievable goal. I liked studying and was doing well in school. But we were 90s kids. It was a very unfortunate time in Kashmir. The environment in which we grew up was highly toxic. Even our parents thought that India has occupied Kashmir illegally. We inherited the same mindset. We thought that the Army is in Kashmir illegally and as an occupation force. Since our parents believed it, we believed the same – that India has occupied Kashmir illegally. We did not know about India or its history. We did not know anything about Kashmir’s history.
There was only a copy-paste version in the head of every child – that Pakistan is our well-wisher. Pakistan wants to secure our freedom.
Nobody was there to lead us in the right direction
Nobody told us this was all shosha planned and executed by ISI
We never got a chance to understand right or wrong
Those years it was the peak of the gun culture in Kashmir. From the morning itself, tarana would start playing in the masjid that the green flag of Pakistan will be hoisted in Kashmir. This was drilled into us in the atmosphere we lived in. We grew up in this environment. We never got a chance to understand whether what our parents are telling us is right or wrong. In place of toys, there seemed to be guns and pistols for even children. There were militants all around. My friends and I used to think that we were engaged in a noble fight.Our mindset was that India is our enemy. The Army is our enemy. Our parents had fed this to us. Nobody was there to lead us in the right direction. Nobody was there to tell us that we are all being caught up in propaganda and the political games of Pakistan. This is all shosha being carried out by ISI in a highly planned manner. Pakistan has its ulterior motives, Hurriyat has its motives. Kashmiris were so happy that after August 2019, Hurriyat became meaningless. I cannot even describe how generations of Kashmiris were destroyed by Pakistan and its agents in Kashmir.
As a student, I did not involve myself in any political activity. But one gets infected by the environment. When all around there is talk that India is the enemy, Indian Army is the enemy, then a child can get easily influenced.This is what happened when some killings took place in south Kashmir. I got involved in the protests. I should not have got involved, but what good is it now to regret? It is also a truth that the Army made many mistakes during that time. They had unbridled power. There was no accountability towards the Administration or the state. Nobody was held accountable for any error. All boys who were seen near a protest site were immediately rounded up. It was blanket action. This was a failure of the Centre, the state.
The Time When I Got Arrested
After the killings, we organized a protest. I was brought up in an environment of guns and dahshat. I also got involved in the protest and was arrested. I remained behind the bars for some months. I and those arrested with me were given even more than third-degree torture. It was even worse than the torture that could be given to a killer. The police played a very big role in radicalization. Even today the police are not playing a constructive role. They have no role in reformation. Even today they do not examine the degree of involvement. They do not stop to think – was this boy truly involved? If a boy is part of a protest, he is taken away by the police. Even after he is released from jail, this cycle does not end. Every time there is any other protest in the area, the same boys are rounded up and taken away. He stays in and out of jail. Then the boy’s hopes are over. He cannot dream of getting a good education, of getting a good job. It is highly traumatic for the family when the boy is being taken away to jail every now and then. The parents cannot afford to pay for his release. I know so many families where the father or mother died because they could not take this stress. Most of the times the boy cannot take this constant trauma upon his family. He runs away to be a militant to end their stress once and for all.
Young Men Like Me Were Pushed Into Militancy
What choice did we have? In the 90s, it seemed like every house had a weapon. Every house had a militant. Everybody seemed to be thinking that the Army is our enemy and we have to push out India. We were pushed towards Pakistan on religious grounds. Pakistan Se Rishta Kya, La ilaha ill-Allah. Pakistan propaganda went on and on. There were people planted around us by ISI. The separatists always facilitated this pro-Pakistan thinking. If there was any civilian killing, the separatists would edit it and present it highly emotionally. This was a big failure of the government. They knew that separatists are having a highly negative impact upon the Kashmir youth. But they never stopped them or arrested them. The Hurriyat is responsible for the biggest barbadi of the Kashmiri youth. They have destroyed successive generations of Kashmiris. In recent years, they told the boys that Burhan is your role model. You have to be Burhan. But they never told this to their own children. Their own children were studing abroad. Asiya Andrabi’s son was in Malaysia. Geelani’s grandchildren were studying abroad.
How I Realized That Pakistan Is Using Us Commercially
I was arrested and sent to jail after getting involved in stone pelting. I saw that Hurriyat leaders had a separate barrack. They had VIP treatment. All the boys who were attached with Hurriyat – they used to receive Rs 6000 per month as payment. The money used to come from Pakistan. But I was poor boy. My father had to borrow money even to meet me in jail. If the movement was right and we all were part of it, why were we not getting money? Outside these separatist leaders said that we will do anything for azadi. Inside the jail they were having gosht, fish. They had TV and mobiles. Children of all Hurriyat members were living a VIP life. Boys like me were in jail.
Pakistan ne hum logon ki zindadi tabah kar di
Boys are given guns. Boys are made to die
All Jihadi Slogans Are For Poor Boys Like Me
I had never seen good police. It was our mindset that everything about India is bad. But then I started understanding that we all were made to believe in lies. Islam ki sar bulandi karni hai. Kashmir ko azad karna hai. All jihadi slogans were for poor boys like me. Hurriyat men were playing cards and carrom in jail, enjoying cigarettes and murge. When I asked someone in the jail about it, they said we have orders from the state government to give them special treatment.
Then I started studying history. I studied Pakistan’s background, what claim does it have on Kashmir. I realized that Pakistan had introduced guns in Kashmir. They don’t want to do jung with India in the battle field. They want to do jung with India by using Kashmiris. Pakistan got the gun in Kashmir to keep themselves safe and hurt India. Pakistan has no sympathy with Kashmir. It made Kashmiris bali ka bakra, so they sent weapons here. Pakistan ne hum logon ki zindadi tabah kar di. Pakistan is still using us like tissue paper. Boys are given guns. Boys are made to die. The 90s version is still continuing. I have heard from so many Pakistan militants. They used to think India does not allow nimaz, azaan. Even Pakistani militants were misguided. They were told that your Muslim brothers in Kashmir are being oppressed. But they were being made fools.
Even Today, Kashmiris Believe In Falsehoods
Mothers, fathers, parents, sisters. All have not left the Pakistan propaganda. Even today 60 pc follow the thought ki hamare upar zulm ho raha hai. Whatever the media or the government might say, people support militants. That is why militants survive. Pakistan’s version is still continuing. The only way is to work on mindset. Otherwise things will continue to be bad.
NEED POLICY: POSITIVELY ENGAGE AND REFORM STONE PELTERS
You have to work on his mindset
If you punish him, vo aag mein ghi ka kaam karta hai
If a boy is a stone pelter or an OGW, don’t punish him. He is a stone pelter because he is full of hate and he is in ignorance. You must work on his mindset. If you punish him, vo aag mein ghi ka kaam karta hai.
We have to make the boys and girls knowledgeable. We should encourage interaction with other children of their age in other states. When they make a relation, then they won’t hate India. Youngsters do not know that outside Kashmir also, other youngsters like them are unemployed. They do not know that outside also there is corruption. More and more youth interaction is necessary. Youth blood is able to understand fast. 30-40 per cent youth have understood. 60 per cent are in the same mindset
Focus On Their Problems, Engage Them
You must focus on stone pelters, OGWs. You must focus on their problems. Make them interact with the youth from outside. They will find apnapan. They will relate to those youth from outside. The Army organizes medical camps. Doctors come from outside to treat patients here. Then relation is formed. Then 80 per cent, if any militant comes, you will be informed. A relation is formed. The Army is doing it, but how much will the Army do? When any Kashmiri goes to a police station or to any government office, the first person contact must be someone who speaks softly and with respect. But there the first person contact is smoking a cigarette and talking as if he is the DIG. When a boy gets arrested, the police start abusing his sisters. They talk badly about sisters and mothers. What message will this give? The boys cannot tolerate such abuse. They get hardened.
The Army Is Doing A Good Job
Police policy is still playing a negative role. If somebody is doing a good job, the Army is doing the good job. The Army is not troubling people. The Army keeps patience. That changes the mind of the people. My own friends who were hardcore in their hate – their minds have been changed. They had never imagined Army men are good. This is the true job of the police, the job of the system. We expect reformation. It is important to neutralize militants and to stop militant recruitment. 70 per cent f the youth who became militants – they are six months in jail, two months out. They are picking up gun because police does not stop troubling them. I know so many boys in south Kashmir. If anything happens in an area, police comes and take away away for arrest. Police keeps booking them under PSA. The how will a boy come on the right track? These boys are poor. They have financial issues. Their family does not have any money to pay the police and get him released. They are troubled because their parents, family get troubled by constant arrests. The boys then run off to be militants. Ek hi baar niklo, pareshani khatam.
People Misuse Freedom Of Expression To Serve Pakistan Agenda
I think of this so many times. India mein freedom of expression, freedom of speech hadd ze zyada hai. We grant freedom of expression here. People use it to endear themselves to Pakistan. They misuse freedom of expression.
English ki chaar line likhne se sach nahin hoti. Our boys need interaction with Indian youth. A youth may have a version here. He needs interaction. If our boys keep thinking that all mistakes are due to India, it will lead to problems and problems. We need to focus on solutions. Even today I hear the boys saying – Humein Hindustan se azadi chahiye. Even today they are told the role model is Burhan Wani. For ordinary Kashmiris, the role model is Burhan Wani? But all those who tell us about jihad – are their children engaged in jihad? When the freedom of expression is misused, agencies must investigate – who is supporting this man on the backend. If he is saying himself – he will learn the truth. But if he is saying at someone’s behest, he will not change.
Things will not improve if you don’t work on the roots
You have to involve the misguided youth
Give them chances of interaction
ISI is working at the ground level here. The state has to play a very positive role. The state must work on the stone pelter, the OGW. This boy – fear has left him. He is living on hate. We have to work on his mindset. A weekly or monthly meeting must be held. We must listen to their problems. 80 per cent pick up gun because of the environment, the atmosphere. Then the ISI hunt such youth. They hunt the youth who have been to jail. If the government makes a policy to involve these youth, they will not go into militancy. It is not so important to involve youths who are doing BA, MA or B.Ed or any professional course. We know they will not go into militancy.
Work on those who have been to jail. Once a youth has been to jail – you need to work on him.
Conduct a survey. All the active militants were stone pelters or OGWs. There are only about 10 per cent who have no criminal record. Most of them are from poor families. When a poor boy goes to jail, his life is finished. ISI gives him Rs 10,000 or Rs 20,000 to use a gun or use a grenade. K, you have to wield gun, grenade. The boy has no dreams left. He gets easily trapped. Things will not improve if you don’t work on the roots. We are only watering the leaves. It the roots where you must work. If any militant dies – that is also aag mein ghee for other boys. They are filled with more hate against India. You have to involve them. Give them chances of interaction.

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