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سوموار، 11 فروری، 2013

Afzal Guru symbol of Freedom of Kashmir

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. 
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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.
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