The strong reaction in Indian held Kashmir has made Afzal Guru a hero for the Kashmiris and it is understood that he will become a symbol of freedom of Kashmir and inspire the people to continue their struggle for their just cause. The Indian leadership must realize that while it failed to suppress the struggle of Kashmiris in the past 65 years, their 4th generation is more determined to get their birth right and there is no other option but to agree to the plebiscite as provided in the UN Resolutions.
It is a plain murder, no hanging of a convict. Afzal Guru, the
Kashmiri national hanged in the Tihar jail of New Delhi for alleged
involvement in the December 2001 attack on the Indian parliament, was
just framed up. Even the independent-minded Indians themselves concede
that he didn't get a fair trial in the trial court and was convicted on
the flimsiest ground. His prosecutors could produce no incontrovertible
incriminating evidence against him except a laptop and cellphone with
which the police is widely believed to have tinkered a lot to contrive
his implication in the attack.
Even as he was accused of hosting the five actual attackers, no
investigations were carried out as to who they actually were and how was
Afzal linked up with them. And yet he was convicted by the trial court.
And his conviction was amazingly upheld by the higher courts right up
to the Supreme Court of India, even as those exalted judicial forums
kept pointing out to the lapses and flaws in the prosecution's case
against him. Bluntly, the Indian security apparatus, judiciary, media
and political class are the complicit in his murder in equal measure.
But with their criminality, they all have given the Kashmiris yet
another martyr to fuel their legitimate freedom cause. Already, the
Kashmir Valley has erupted into a strong public agitation despite being
under the curfew. And this protest is likely to gain into severity and
momentum in the coming days. Verily, Afzal in his brutal death has
become an icon whose demise will always be mourned by the Kashmiris
across the world as they do of Maqbool Butt. That Kashmiri freedom
fighter too was hanged and buried in the very Tihar jail in 1984 as
secretly as was Afzal whose family too was kept uninformed.
Afzal, a former freedom fighter, has indeed become the victim of a great
game of the Indian state. When the parliament was attacked, in power
was then rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Hindu nationalists.
With no evidence whatsoever, it instantly slapped the blame of the
assault on Pakistan's premier intelligence agency ISI and triggered off a
perilous border standoff with Pakistan that sent the world
chancelleries into sleepless nights over the fear of a nuclear war
breaking out between the two countries. The Indian investigators,
however, couldn't even invent the complicity of the ISI in the attack,
so far-fetched was their accusation.
Nonetheless, in order to put some substance in its wild allegation,
three Kashmiri men and a woman were hauled up by the Indian security
apparatus on the spurious charges of being involved in the attack. Among
them Afzal. While the others were released for want of any
incriminating against them, he was not let off even as he was not even
in New Delhi when the attack took place, evidently to become the guinea
pig of the Indian state's great game.
Obviously, the Indian state's game plan was to kill two birds with one
stone: to demonise Pakistan and to castigate the Kashmiris freedom
struggle. But that struggle is interminable as the sentiment for
freedom from India lives in the Kashmiri hearts and minds. With its
savage brutalisation of the Kashmiris over the decades, the Indian
occupation army in the occupied Kashmir may have driven away the
Kashmiri resistance from the street.
But it dwells in every Kashmiri home, not even one of which the
trigger-happy Indian army has left without inflicting a family tragedy.
Not infrequently, this resistance breaks out on the street, and will
continue to flare up again and again until the occupied Kashmiris get
their UN-mandated inalienable right to self-determination. And Pakistan
is committed to this rightful cause of the Kashmiri people. It indeed is
an UN-recognised party to the Kashmir dispute.
But the Kashmiris need it not to wage their freedom struggle which they
are waging on their own with their tremendous sacrifices in human lives,
honour and dignity. Afzal and Maqbool are not their only martyrs. They
are too many of them to ignite their struggle. Over the years, the
Indian military has slaughtered thousands of Kashmiri youths, and maimed
and crippled many more. Over 10,000 Kashmiri youths taken away by the
army years ago have not returned home and are still missing, presumably
having been butchered. Kashmiri women in scores have been raped and
gang-raped by the savaging Indian occupation military.
With the murder of one Afzal, the Kashmiris' freedom sentiment cannot be
snuffed out. It would keep living on. And in retreat they will never
be. Their cause is very legitimate. And their martyrs will keep it
intensely alive with their blood until they triumph.