While Dr. Mannan Wani was in forests, he was writing on the topic “Why should we not link K-issue with Global Jihad? ” in his personal diary which, unfortunately, he couldn’t complete. Although, he didn’t give any point either in favour or against linking Kashmir issue with the Global Jihad in his unfinished write-up, yet there is much to be read and learnt related to the Kashmir issue from the pages of his personal diary which are reproduced below.
What is Jihad? A simple definition of Jihad is “fighting in the way of Allah”. And what is this “way of Allah”? This has a broad meaning and a wider connotation. To fight for the implementation of supremacy of divine Laws, to liberate mankind from slavery of humans, to fight oppression, tranny and most important is to fight for the implementation of peace – these all including some other acts are Jihad. But yes Jihad has conditions & terms too like every other act of Islam has; like the Jihad can be waged by only a practising Muslim and against a non-Muslim or a Murtad or the enemy who has occupied Muslim lands or the state which continues to harrass & torture Muslim citizens. Thus Jihad sometimes turns ‘Fard’ (obligatory) and sometimes ‘Wajib‘ – based on the conditions i.e. space and time. The place, where the call of Jihad, and the time, at which the process of Jihad starts, become the ultimate and deciding factors while determining the course of action, strategies and the short and long term goals.
There are various resistance movements going on in the world more especially in Muslim world. The prominent among them are that of Palestine and Kashmir and before that the case study of ‘Afghan Jihad’ also serves a good example. While I will go in detail about the nature of resistance movements in Kashmir, it would be better if some light is thrown on Afghan Jihad.
When Communist Russians (erstwhile U.S.S.R.) occupied and colonized Afghanistan, the tribal fighters initially took a call and called for rebellion, the good number of population on seeing the mayhem and destruction created by communists, joined. Later on, few students from Islamic seminaries joined and thus it formed into a Taliban Movement. It is important to note that the people in Afghanistan are both fighters and who hate slavery, and they loved their religion & culture. Thus, invasion by the Russian Communists was seen an attack on their life, culture, resources, autonomy and above all religion, which invoked a rebellion. It should be noted that the rebellion was initiated and carried forward by Muslims, thus it naturally became Jihad. Therefore, any resistance, rebellion, and movement fought or initiated by Muslims (who derive their inspiration from the Holy Quran and Sunnah and their strength from Almighty) to liberate Muslim Lands from occupiers and to establish Shariah (Islam based model of governance) is Jihad.
Coming back to Kashmir which has undergone many ups and downs since the inception of Dogra rule and then the illegal occupation by Indian forces in 1947. The continuous betrayal by successive Indian regimes, to let the people of J&K decide their future by exercising their ‘right to self-determination’ after the partition of United British India. It should be noted down that the K-issue has roots in partition and partition, whether anyone accepts or not, was done on the lines of religion. Thus, the erstwhile J&K (Indian occupied Kashmir, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit, Baltistan), comprising of Muslim majority population was naturally a part of newly formed Pakistan, the state of Muslims. But, unfortunately, the Brahmanical and Fascist governments in India and the power-hungry Communist regimes in J&K betrayed the people of J&K and made illegal agreement with India against the wishes of the majoritarian population, which led to a full-fledged resistance movement against the illegal occupation of J&K by India. From 1947 to 1988, people of Kashmir tried each and every ‘peaceful’ method to seek their basic and legitimate right; the right to self-determination, to decide their future.
The Indian government took the Kashmir issue to United Nations, but to their dismay, the world made it clear that the people of Kashmir should be given the chance to decide their fate – whether they want to live with India or Pakistan. But, again the Brahmanical and Chanakayan politicians of India using their military might denied this right to citizens of Kashmir and every kind of brutal force and inhumane laws to crush every voice seeking this basic right. While Pakistan government continues to state that they are ready for third party intervention and plead before the world for the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination, the Indian government, on the other hand, created proxies, held farce elections, increased their military presence and signed illegal agreements with illegitimate rulers of J&K, thus made a case for themselves that people of J&K have joined India and it is now their ‘internal matter’.
After the infamous assembly elections of 1987, wherein the pro-freedom voices of J&K put a united front under the umbrella organization named “Muslim United Front” decided to contest elections to solve Kashmir issue democratically and to solve daily based issues of citizens. But what happened in those elections remains a black chapter in the history of Kashmir. The Indian government, claiming to be the world’s largest democracy, it proved to be a shame in J&K. By the help of proxies, they have created, lead by Farooq Abdullah at that time (son of Sheikh Abdullah who sold Kashmir to attain power), Indian government rigged the elections and managed a win for their candidates against the mood of people, who had over joyously participate and voted for MUF in the elections. Many leaders of MUF were of MUF arrested, humiliated and many were killed also. This became the turning point in the history of Kashmir.
The people of Kashmir, who by now had used every peaceful method to seek the resolution of Kashmir issue, rose in rebellion and started an armed struggle against the illegal occupation of their land. Muhammad Yusuf Shah, now a globally declared terrorist with nom de guerre Syed Salahuddin, was one among the contestants of assembly elections, who was later arrested & jailed also joined the armed struggle which continues till date. Some of the members of MUF including Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani – the face of the Kashmir resistance movement, managed to win elections from their constituencies and raised the K-issue in assembly, but they too realized after some time that they were using the wrong platform to seek their legitimate right.
Armed Resistance – a new chapter
When people of Kashmir failed to achieve their legitimate right through peaceful methods and joined the armed struggle, Pakistan a party to the dispute was morally bound to provide logistical and moral support to people of Kashmir who had no means and logistics of their own to rise against a powerful colonial country like India. And in this endeavor too, Pakistan proved to be a well-wisher of Kashmiris by not only providing them with logistical support but also provided them every kind of assistance, land, and weaponry in training camps, money and other kind of diplomatic support.
But as is said, every movement faces tough times, so it also happened with the armed resistance movement, which in its initial days was unorganized, unmotivational, lacking specific goals and without proper strategy. Its fate was bound to create chaos. Most of the men who went to the other side of Kashmir to get arms and training were either lacking basic knowledge of conflict or were driven by charismatic or materialistic revolutionaries, who were more concerned to create an aura of heroism and bravado around them than to work and fight against the illegal occupation. And the result was not different from other armed resistance movements around the world. The men, who had a strong inspiration driven from their religion, solid motivation of their ideology and irrevocable faith in their mission, only survived in the movement. Rest of the people either fall into the trap of Indian or foreign intelligence agencies or surrendered to start what they call as ‘peaceful struggle’.
In addition to these two groups, there was a third group of ‘armed fighters’ who were created by Indian agencies as shadowy organizations to create rift among Mujahideen and to work for Indian establishment. This group was responsible for most of the civilian killings under the guise of Mujahideen and later went on to form pro-government militia – Ikhwan. This Ikhwan, later on, created bloody history in every nook and corner of Kashmir. With the support of Indian army and its agencies, this local group of armed men was given every kind of impunity and license to kill, rape, abduct, loot and torture innocent civilians. Government of India used this group to break the resolve of Kashmiris, more specifically to those who were directly or indirectly related with either Mujahideen or Kashmir’s largest socio-political organization – Jamat e Islami. From 1991 to around 2002, this group operated in every district with the luxuries being provided to them by successive governments in J&K.
Then came 2002, which marked another significant chapter in history of Kashmir. The Indian establishment, which had massacred lacs of Muslims of J&K till this period, understood that despite killing civilians and armed resistance fighters, it was difficult to win the minds of people. Thus started another operation ‘Soft Separatism”.
The ruthless National Conference (JKNC), which was used to solidify occupation by using brutal methods, was cornered and an IB created PDP came into existence headed by India’s most trustworthy man in Kashmir – Mufti Saeed (May his soul burn in Hell). He came with an idea of soft separatism and befooled many ‘freedom-loving’ people too. On the one hand, he talked of ‘revocation of inhumane laws like AFSPA and PSA, vacation of army from civilian areas, talks with Hurriyat leaders and Pakistan’, on the other hand, his regime planned and executed killings of big militant commanders.
While the people were relieved to see an end of Ikhwan, but hardly they knew that this group was not disarmed and dismantled but was absorbed in civilian J&K police to be used later for the same purpose of its creation. Anyhow, post-2002 saw a relative ‘enforced peace’ in Kashmir. People were promised stars on one side, but the plans of destruction were going on simultaneously. The intellectual class of our society was also failed to feel the actual designs of this party and most of the writers, columnists, academics, journalists, civil society members were either made to fell in the trap or were offered the price for creating the narrative for this party and its policies. Ah!
2008 – reasons and consequences
The anger was accumulating, and the volcano had to burst anytime. The period of enforced peace and then false promises by Pro-Indian political parties to resolve the K-issue politically had begun to puncture. The process of ‘Peace Talks’ with the same naive Hurriyat leaders had proved yet another ploy of Indian agencies to buy time and strengthen its roots. In this process, many freedom-loving activists, leaders, and academicians were lured into Pro-Indian politics and the Indian Army launched some so-called people-friendly helpful schemes like “Operation Sadbhavana”, only to divert the attention of masses from the actual cause. Yes, it is true that the era of crackdowns, tortures, civilian killings and brutalities got reduced to a certain level, but what was going behind the curtains was more dangerous than all this.
The Pro-Indian parties viz. Congress and newly formed IB creation PDP had made a deal to transfer land to Amarnath Shrine Board, against the state subject laws. This was done to establish non-Muslims colonies in the area to change the demography of Muslim majority region – a long-pending plan of India. When people came to know about these plans, they rose in rebellion under the leadership of pro-freedom leaders and Kashmir witnessed its first kind of ‘mass civilian uprising’, similarly like the intifada movement of Palestine. People from every nook and corner participated in these long civil marches called by Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani. It is estimated that only in the march called at TRC Ground, more than 10 lac people participated to protest against the “Land Transfer Deal” and “Illegal Indian Occupation”.
The civilian peaceful protests longed for more than 4 months and the militant leadership acted wisely amidst all this period by not allowing its cadres to launch any attacks. But this peaceful uprising too was crushed by enforcing curfew and using brute force in which more than 50 youth lost their lives not before Indian Government revoked the decision of land transfer. Soon after crushing the peaceful Intifada, the Indian agencies played another wild card; to hold assembly elections.
People of Kashmir, as usual, were befooled and made to believe that these elections have nothing to do with K-issue and are only meant to solve the day to day issues like water, electricity, roads, etc. People participated in elections in en masse and Indian agencies lured people by offering money to contest elections to ensure maximum participation in polls. And yes, they succeeded in their mission, despite Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Geelani’s continuous appeals that these elections are yet another drama and a ploy to strengthen occupation. But then, all this is the reality of occupations and conflict zones.
After the elections, people were again dismayed for what they noticed, that they were deceived by these pro-Indian politicians. Therefore, discontent was brewing and 2009 also witnessed continuous shutdowns and hartals. Then came 2010, another blood-soaked year, in which around 150 innocent civilians were showered bullets for peacefully protesting against the cold-blooded murder of 5 civilians in a fake encounter. People from every village and town participated in the civilians marched to protest against this inhumane act and illegal occupation. Again like previous years, after 2010 Indian agencies tried their everything to curb the pro-freedom struggle by arresting thousands of youths and putting them in jails by slapping ‘Public Safety Acts’, putting Hurriyat and Islamist leaders behind bars, using money to lure youth, propagating immorality, etc.
Charismatic Militancy – A Wave
When Indian establishment was busy in chalking out strategies to make their final blow on this pro-freedom movement, some youths had made a way to forests to make their last attempts to contribute through their blood.
The generation of the 90’s which hadn’t seen the heydays of Militancy was getting frustrated to see such a bloodshed on the streets. They had listened, read the stories of 90’s, but had never imagined that India claiming to be the largest democracy in the world could not even tolerate peaceful civilian protests on the streets and would respond with bullets. They saw all this happening with their naked eyes from 2008 to 2010. Thus, the volcano had to burst anytime. It only needed a trigger.
After the failure of every civilian protest, youth who had decided to fight peacefully again felt the need for armed struggle. In 2010, there were only few boys who were active on armed front. But after this, these boys from well off families with good academics had moved to forest. This group was led by a young boy in his 20’s, who revolutionized the armed movement by revealing his identity on social media – which on one side frustrated the Indian securities and on the other side provided a last hope to dismayed youth of Kashmir. He was “Burhan” – the famous Burhan Wani.
Kashmir After Burhan
(Dr. Mannan didn’t write anything after this. Unfortunately, he couldn’t even complete what he was going to write under the sub-heading “Kashmir After Burhan”.)