Friday, 30 May 2008

Majority of Kashmiri leaders are working for India and Pakistan

Majority of Kashmiri leaders are working for India and Pakistan
Shabir Choudhry

A lot has been said about the Kashmiri struggle and why it has not been successful, despite huge sacrifices. On such a vast and controversial issue one could not offer a single reason, in any case people put forward reasons according to their political and personal interests.

A few days ago I met a famous and outspoken non -Kashmiri journalist, who has very good understanding on the issue of Kashmir. As we were discussing the post Clinton situation in South Asia, and its impact on Kashmir. What he said is as follows:

I am sorry to see the plight of Kashmiris. They have really suffered a lot. They have suffered at the hand of Indian government and the Pakistani government in different way, and that is understandable to some extent; but it is unfortunate to note that they have also suffered at the hands of Kashmiris. It looks that they are their own worst enemies.

When I asked him to elaborate he further said:

I have very closely analysed the role and character of the Kashmiri leaders. It is really disturbing to note that while the ordinary Kashmiris are paying huge sacrifices, majority of their leaders either receives money and favour from Pakistan or India. And as a result of this they look after their interest not the interest of the Kashmiri people.

I tried to defend the Kashmiri leadership and the unique problems they face, he said, Shabir Sahib either you are naïve or you are trying to defend unnecessarily. It is widely known fact, and I can very safely say that majority of Kashmiri leaders are working for either India or Pakistan. Of course there are other reasons for the continued misery of the Kashmiri people, but most important reason is role and conduct of the Kashmiri leaders.

Other people present there seemed to be more influenced by this journalist’s arguments than mine. I wish I could put forward more convincing defence of the Kashmiri leaders. I would like the Kashmiri leaders to show more patriotism and solidarity. If help and support is received from friends and sympathisers, it must be used to project the Kashmir cause in its right perspective.

In any case easiest thing to do is to criticise other people and make allegations. Sometimes other people do not understand the difficulties faced by the Kashmiri leadership. Kashmir issue is not as simple as sometimes people call it. Kashmir is practically divided by three countries, and all three have their interest in Kashmir. Kashmir is further divided religiously, ethnically, linguistically and regionally. All these divisions lead to allegiances with others. If Kashmir had only one occupier then we could have been independent long time ago, and our occupiers are fully aware of this. And it is because of their awareness they make sure that Kashmir remains divided and the Kashmiri people do not get an opportunity to meet and understand each other. I hope this goes some way to explain the problems faced by the Kashmiris.

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