Types of sabotage we face in PoJK: Ideological, cultural, political and strategic

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By Amjad Ayub Mirza
The Jammu Kashmir Liberation Fronts (JKLF) chapter of Pakistan occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK) has announced that on July 22 they will march towards Titrinote near the Line of Control (LoC) and observe a sit-in to protest against the sentence awarded to JKLF Chairman Yassin Malik on May 25 this year by the National Investigation Agency court in New Delhi.

JKLF has and remains the hybrid political extension of the Pakistan military establishment.

Surprisingly, the left-wing Jammu Kashmir National Awami Party (JKNAP) and its student wing Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation (JKNSF) has announced to join JKLF in the above-mentioned sit-in.

This development has made me to address the issue of the reunification of PoJK with India and the sabotage we have to deal with in the process.

Our struggle to get PoJK back into the folds of the Indian union is faced with four types of sabotage. They include ideological, cultural, political and strategic sabotages. Let us deal with them in the order in which I have mentioned them.

The first is the ideological sabotage. During the early 1900s the Ghadar party was established by Indian expatriates living and working in the West Coast of the United States and Canada. The Ghadar Party was campaigning for freedom of India from British colonial rule. At the time it addressed every Indian colonial subject without the distinction of religion, ethnicity or language.

It was not until the Morley-Minto reforms (Indian Councils Act) of 1909 had come into place that the seed of discontent among Muslims and Hindus was effectively sown into the political system of India.

By the 1930s and 40s, the Indian national independence movement had already begun to show colours of communal division in the society. The ideology that Muslims and Hindus were two separate nations and therefore could not coexist or share the same geographical and political space was the fundamental ideology, known as the ‘Two-Nation Theory’, that founded the basis for the Partition of India in 1947.

The Two-Nation Theory also served as an excuse for Pakistan to attack the independent state of Jammu and Kashmir under the false pretext that the Muslim majority had risen in revolt against the Hindu Maharaja (ruler) and wanted to join Pakistan.

In PoJK, the ideological sabotage is that PoJK is Muslim majority and it is therefore natural for it to become part of Pakistan. This is an illusion. The falsehood of the idea that Islam is the bond that unites Pakistan with PoJK, is reflected in the fact that for the past 75 years Pakistan has been shying away from developing and social, political or economic infrastructure in PoJK. Quite the contrary. Pakistan has ruthlessly plundered our natural resources in order to enrich itself.

The second sabotage we have to deal with is what I call the cultural sabotage. The cultural sabotage stems out of or is an extension of the ideological sabotage based on the Two-Nation Theory.

Kashmir has been known for its centuries-old cultural tradition of hospitality and communal harmony known as Kashmiriyat. Since almost the 16th century both Muslims and Hindus have been jointly celebrating Muslim-Hindu religious as well as cultural festivals in the Valley.

The infusion of the ideology of Two-Nation Theory in Kashmiri society has totally destroyed the most celebrated cultural heritage of the Valley and divided our people on the basis of religion. Since Pakistan attacked the independent state of Jammu and Kashmir on October 22, 1947, Islamic (read Arab) religious radicalism has replaced the tradition of Kashmiriyat.

Until recently, it was an arduous task to propagate the idea that our Maharaja, Hari Singh, had actually singed an instrument of accession with India on October 26, 1947 and that legally and therefore by default the people of PoJK are actually Indian citizens living under the occupation of an ‘Islamic’ Pakistan.

Then comes the political sabotage. At the moment, and for quite some time now, the people of PoJK have been protesting against lack of basic amenities and human rights. Every single day PoJK is jolted with protests by various sections of government and private sector.

Pensioners and non-gazetted employees are demanding an increase in pensions and salaries. Doctors and paramedics are insisting for issuance of Covid-19 risk allowance. Women holding empty buckets take out rallies asking for drinking water. School children and parents are crying out for sufficient number of teachers and appropriate school buildings.

Civil society and traders are observing shut downs and strikes against load shedding. In short, there is not one single sector of society in PoJK that is not out on the streets protesting, and on a daily basis.

To issue a call for a march to Titrinote at the LoC and observe a sit-in at a time when the masses are fighting for their basic rights in PoJK is not only a hypocrisy on part of the JKLF but more importantly a sabotage of the political movement that has gradually begun to emerge as a result of the ongoing protest.

And finally, the strategic sabotage. The fact that the JKNAP and JKNSF have decided to join the JKLF in their protest in opposition to the sentence carried out against JKLF chairman Yassin Malik in New Delhi, amounts to a strategic sabotage of the worst kind.

Therefore, at a time when the JKNAP and JKNSF should have been busy organizing and developing public discontent into a movement for liberation from Pakistani occupation, they shamefully agree to become part of the fake narrative of Pakistan and end up raising their voice in support of Pakistan’s proxies, who were directly involved in the promotion of the Two-Nation Theory and death of Kashmiriyat conducted by the genocide of the Hindu Kashmiri Pandits in the 1990s and by diverting the anger of the people of the PoJK from Pakistan towards Indian and thus frustrating the on-going protest movement in PoJK.

The so-called left wing JKNAP and JKNSF in reality have taken up a very right wing and reactionary anti-Kashmir and in the final analysis a pro-military establishment stance.

It is therefore the duty of every PoJK youth, who is part of the reunification campaign, to beware of the types of sabotage we might come across and fight back patiently, consistently and persistently by explaining to the people of PoJK the true facts of history and the hollowness of the Two-Nation Theory which in actuality is based on communal hate and in essence is a negation of our centuries-old tradition of Kashmiriyat.

(Amjad Ayub Mirza is an author and a human rights activist from Mirpur in PoJK. He currently lives in exile in the UK. The views expressed are personal)