Kashmir: ‘I Am More Afraid Than I Have Ever Been’: A Personal Account From Kashmir

Kashmir: ‘I Am More Afraid Than I Have Ever Been’: A Personal Account From Kashmir

Story from: The Wire

via imranhosein.org
Genocide / Ethnic-Cleansing in Kashmir in progress today – not some crimes against humanity that happened in yesteryears that the world can do nothing except make resolutions of “never again” – while the pathetic world watches from the sides once again
Pakistan that had made Indian Occupied Kashmir its raison d'être for enmity with India for 72 years, is not inclined to militarily intervene to save the Kashmiris whom she has claimed as her own peoples for 72 years, unless she is herself attacked by India (see Border war on Pakistan)

'I Am More Afraid Than I Have Ever Been': A Personal Account From Kashmir

"Now I know there is no place for a Kashmiri Muslim anywhere – we carry a dual baggage that nobody has the heart or will to accommodate or welcome."
'I Am More Afraid Than I Have Ever Been': A Personal Account From Kashmir
A woman, whose family car was allegedly damaged by security forces after clashes with protesters, sits outside her house in Srinagar, August 10, 2019. Photo: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui
“I would like to write one of those sophisticated stories in which even though nothing happens, there’s lots to write about. That can’t be done in Kashmir. It’s not sophisticated, what happens here. There’s too much blood for good literature.”
~ Arundhati Roy,
The Ministry for Utmost Happiness
Two weekends ago, my WhatsApp was flooded with rumours stating our phones and internet are going to be cut off. That something drastic was going to happen, potentially a war, so we should stock up food. This was followed by instructions not to take these rumours seriously – that they were spread by miscreants who enjoy chaos. We also heard of a notice instructing all tourists to vacate Kashmir immediately. As if the tourism here was already booming.
Monday morning when I woke up, the first thing I felt was the air. It was not normal – there was an ambiguous stench, a combination of terror, fear and blood. I am not exaggerating – the air here feels different. One needs to live here to understand these nuances. I checked my phone and realised everything we had been told not to pay heed to had come true.
Our phone calls, text messages and internet were barred, and we couldn’t contact anyone or visit them. This is the 21st century, and our government, which claimed we were an integral part of India, chose to decide things for us, and silenced us. It was forcing us to spend our days in worry and anxiety, the breadth of which ranges from worrying about our homeland to the condition of all those we love.
Over the course of the day, I head several things that were happening which we had no way to confirm. Our news channels were cut off; our phones were not working. By evening, we got to know that Bills revoking Article 35A and 370 of our constitution, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, had been introduced, voted for and decided on in a day in parliament.
I recognised the stench of that morning – doom. It was not war they were preparing for, though that might have been better. They brought us under the direct control of the Centre, when they had already been controlling us through military occupation. (This is the largest democracy in the world – joy.)
I knew the people would not take this lightly. To change the mood, my uncle asks me if we bought goats for qurbaani on Eid. I say, “Hum toh qurbaan hi ho gaye, ab aage kya karien?(We are already sacrificed – what else is left to do?)”
We were under curfew, and there was an eerie silence that wails in war-torn places. No shops were open – we had no means to buy essential commodities including food and medicine. It was the week of Eid-ul-Adha, one of our biggest festivals. The eternal hoping heart I have, I told my family that they would relax restrictions on Eid. They reply, “Yeli ni teman sean parwah che, saani Eenz hinz kya aasi? (When they don’t care for us as a people, why would they care for our joy?)” Hope is no match for that kind of truth.
My helper Faraz*, who hails from Kupwara (one of the most volatile places in Kashmir) hasn’t seen his family for a week. He tells me listlessly that his wife had no money on her and has three children to feed. The men in my family pace the room endlessly – there is nothing to do. It make me think of young boys and girls captured in their houses, with gunshots for background music, life and youth rotting away. No wonder drug abuse and PTSD among other mental health disorders are here in abundance – what else can you grow here? They have and continue to rob us of our identity, of self esteem, or of our minds and our faculty to think and feel normally.
Friday arrives and so does dread. I go to my grandmother’s house to watch the news. A prominent Indian news channel claims normalcy in the Valley and peaceful occurrence of Friday prayers. I am enraged. All I heard in my Mohalla were slogans of “Hum kya chahte? Azadi!” and “Naara e taqbeer, allah hu akbar” being chanted in the mosque after the Friday namaaz. I can hear the protests. I can hear the gunshots.
In the evening I find out there have been casualties and pellets are being fired by the army. My relative and neighbour had been hit while they were standing at their gates, not protesting. People have been hit while they have been inside their houses. My neighbour was hit in the eye and is in the hospital. Another helper, who braved the curfew to see me, tells me there are multiple casualties in Eidgah.

A man with pellet injuries lies in a hospital bed after he was injured during clashes between the police and protesters during restrictions after the government scrapped special status for Kashmir, in Srinagar August 9, 2019. Photo: Reuters/Stringer
None of this is being covered by the media – they are deliberately interviewing people living in peaceful areas. The rest of the country is being given a rosy picture of what we are going through while we burn. What actually happens in Kashmir, what its people know and what the rest of the country knows are entirely different things.
Last evening, Faraz went to purchase mutton for Eid, so that for one day we could take a break and pretend there was still an iota of normalcy. He told us that the butcher, who had opened his shop late in the evening, was raided by young men and attacked for opening his shop when things were so dire.
At first I was furious – why couldn’t these men let us make merry for one day.
Faraz said that these men told the butcher, “Che chukka shaahedan hyund khoon kinaan? (Are you selling the blood of martyrs?)”
We were all complicit in this. You cannot make merry in a land running red with the blood of its people, where dying is a way of being alive.
People’s grit and fury shook me – they are going out on the streets to reclaim their home, with reckless abandon and no fear for their lives. And once that fear has gone, what use is the largest or second largest army in the world? There is an aching hope that maybe this mad angst can rule over tyranny and free us of this torment.
On the day before Eid, we usually celebrate in preparation for the festival with our hearts filled with joy. We were told restrictions would be relaxed on Sunday, but then the news came that the curfew had been re-imposed, with no explanation or reasons.
In my 24 years, I have never seen an Eid this heart-breaking. Everyone is distracted, uninvolved, anxious and unhappy. I don’t know if the phone lines will be open to wish our loved ones.
To top it all, rumours say the situation is going to worsen after Eid. August 15 has been volatile in Kashmir for years, and in light of recent events, I cannot even imagine what lies in store for us. I am more afraid than I have ever been. Possibly, because earlier, no matter how charged a situation was, a Kashmiri was at home in her homeland. Now I know there is no place for a Kashmiri Muslim anywhere – we carry a dual baggage that nobody has the heart or will to accommodate or welcome.
*Name changed.
This piece was filed by SMS and has light edits for clarity. Normal movement and communications have yet to be restored in the Valley.
Qurat ul Ain has completed her masters in clinical psychology and aims to practice psychotherapy in her hometown, Kashmir.

First published Wednesday, August 21, 2019 01:00 am

Letter to Pakistanis: Border War on Pakistan

August 19, 2019
We all have a rendezvous with death --- death isn't what scares us... it is being used as “useful idiots” and stooges and patsies.... Under a virtuous leader, I will join up in any righteous battle. But if a war is imposed and Pakistan is bombed, then, regardless of who the rulers are, should we make and heed a call to arms?
AOA (Assalaumu 'alekum).
Dr. Professor Noor, my friend and teacher in Electrical Engineering from UET, had been asking me for my views on what's befalling Pakistan. Here is my 0.2 cents. More important however, is the question at the end that all Pakistani common man, us, must ask ourselves and have an answer ready. Six feet under, we shall have to account for it, even though our conscience is easily assuaged above ground. Like our shrewd railway minister wisely spoke for all of us hypocrites when asked if he would resign after all the train accidents under his watch: "meray zamir per koi bojh nahin", there is no weight on my conscience!
I really think that a border war with civilian infrastructure bombing (way beyond what has become the routine LOC exchange of token fire to remind each other that we have an enemy) is going to be imposed on Pakistan and is imminent. Kashmir is merely an excuse. Before that it was the 'loose nukes', and this may well be the case again as this new exercise may just be a catalyst to resurrect that boogieman. The new threat might be, under war escalation, that our nukes are about to fall in the riled-up non-state actor terrorist hands, and...
The devil today is a very sophisticated and long range planner. Pakistani society, and Pakistani rulers, are not war-ready. Militaries don't fight wars, nations do. We don't even know the enemy, let alone have a national war-effort or war-industries and infrastructure. More importantly, we have basically been stripped off our national as well as public and individual dignity and self-respect. More educated and more learned and more establishmentarian and more well-to-do we are, more invested we are in our success, and more UNCLE TOM is our psyche, apparently.
To this day not one ruler of Pakistan, including Imran Khan, has said 9/11 was self-inflicted to launch imperial mobilization! It is as if they see nothing, hear nothing, know nothing, because they say nothing --- Summun Bukmun Umyun! Neither has Iran, her valih-e-faqih claiming to be valih-e-faqih-e-muslimeen no less, nor China, nor Russian president Putin who is a Judo expert no less, evidently know anything, see anything, understand anything (sic!). This means they are all in on it. They will make canon fodder of their own people while sitting pretty moving Divisions around from the safety of their bunkers... creating war perhaps along the Shia-Sunni national axis as that helps Zionists in their Eretz Yisrael agenda.
You can be sure that on this axis, as history be the witness, Shia will side with Shia, Sunni will side with Sunni, and brother will turn against brother under the respective flag and sound of trumpet. The history of Islam is evidence of this truth! It is unlikely to change now just because we are in the 21st century, drive cars instead of camels, and have facebook and twitter where we tend to fight armchair battles. If anything, we live in an Age of Jahiliya that surpasses all preceding ages! Chivalry is dead. So is honor, dignity, and self-respect. What is happening in Kashmir and Palestine are unforgivable. But as my “friend” Pervez Hoodbhoy analyzed Pakistan's options in his oped this weekend, Kashmir is a foregone conclusion. Here is the link, FYI:
The kamal (wondrous achievement), is not to be able to see all this, as it is self-evident like the sun shines, but to have the wherewithal to stop it before it is fait accompli.
I have no idea how to interdict this diabolical planning for world government to be headquartered in Jerusalem. Dr. Shahid Masood, Haqeeqat TV, Orya Maqbool Jan, Allama Jawad Naqvi (in dabbi dabbi awaz right now), the late Dr. Israr Ahmed's tanzeem-e-islami, etc., all think this war is a stage of Last Days Prophesies.
I think it is self-fulfilling prophecy in play. Meaning, it is planned in the superior think-tanks to use people's religious sentiments and myths and theologies to create crises and “revolutionary times”. The purpose of it is to eventually present the final solution as a means for solving all the crises: one-world government; the many rules and laws of which have already been enacted piece-meal, and in stages, as premeditated reactions to these crises ever since 9/11, across all nations of the world. To the point that today, no nation can make a policy independent of these.... all this is old stuff and I have been on that axis for a long time, almost nearing two decades.
However, the alliance of Hindu-Zionism is new and I think like everyone is saying, Modi and his RSS was brought to power by the United States and the Zionist lobby to make that happen, principally against Pakistan, to keep it occupied with India lest it interfere in the Eretz Yisrael project. Or, perhaps it is only the bad-cop ratcheting up the already unbearable pressure to extract from Pakistan whatever compliance the good cop wants --- as if Pakistan wasn't already complying with the gods' demands bent over backwards. They want our nukes by hook or by crook, but what good are these if we need their eyes to even use them? We don't own navigational satellites, and all missiles need GPS guidance telemetry to military precision if we want to hit specific targets. But we can always launch city-busters in the right general direction and they will get there... or fly there with our expert pilots, as Enola Gay did over Hiroshima. Neither the Zionists nor their sugar-daddys want that.
So, I don't think nuclear war can happen --- for the simple reason that it is suicidal; but then, if Israel can have the Samson Option, so can their recipients.
In any case, God Almighty has evidently taken a back-seat among the Muslims as we bow and scrape to the firmans of the gods du jour. Predators and primacy rule the roost. And we pretend to not understand it as we stupidly rush to our own predators for help!
Where will it all lead --- apart from the options laid out by Pervez Hoodbhoy, which cunningly ignores the fact that Kashmir is just a red herring vis a vis Pakistan. But then Hoodbhoy always gets easy visas to the United States, and is a favorite of the American Embassy in Islamabad, or so I am told. But Kashmir on its own merit is a victim of primacy just as much as Palestine, and both are pretty much a done deal from the look of it. Pakistan cannot go to war on behalf of Kashmir, even though we immediately should, just as we should have gone to war over Palestine, because, as I observed earlier, we are not a war-ready, disciplined and principled nation, like Iran is for example. And they don't seem to particularly care about Kashmir either while Palestine remains their hot-button. One would have thought that they'd see the connection between the two --- both have the same strategists, just different henchmen. I was almost expecting Iran to command its proxy army Hezbollah to launch a Save-Kashmir mission just as they Saved Syria for example. And perhaps they might be doing just that under the radar. Iran and Pakistan make natural allies ... but petro dollars and the gods have taken over, not to forget all the godfathers of Pakistan. Iran would hardly ever trust the fickle-minded Pakistani political leadership and the American-entrenched establishment to ally with us in any serious way, such as make a NATO-like full spectrum mutual self-defence pact. Iran and Pakistan together could take on any and all predators on the axis of justice and fairness, morality and equitability!
In any case, as far as Pakistan of today is concerned, and Muslims in general are concerned, I think this is where Sunnan-e-illahe can be our guide.
Allah SWT says that 1) He will replace us with a better people... and 2) as you sow, so shall you reap. But elsewhere, Allah also says: makaru wa makar Allah. He is the best of planners. I don't know what that really means: does Allah play petty games with mankind like the Athenian gods did? Does Allah have any role whatsoever to play in any of this primacy and its geostrategic imperatives great games? Here are some verses which say otherwise: “That which is left you by Allah is best for you, if ye (but) believed! but I am not set over you to keep watch!” بَقِيَّتُ ٱللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ۚ وَمَآ أَنَا۠ عَلَيْكُم بِحَفِيظٍ (Surah Hud, 11:86 ) Shia and Sunni understand this verse differently. I understand it entirely different from both theologies. I just understand what it says as it says it, without any socialized interpretation. What can I say! I have never had the psyche to be a conformist or 'united we stand' with narratives! The Holy Qur'an explains itself. It is its own exegeses. When it does not explain, I forego it as a consequence of my limited intelligence, abilities, and ma'arifat, rather than fall upon the pen of men long dead, who are not even mentioned in the Holy Qur'an as the scribes to go to, to understand its meaning. Then why should I use them as intermediaries of my understanding? And whatever little I can get out of the Holy Qur'an directly, is all empowering, not fatalistic, and I can hardly even live up to that!
Actually, here is the link where you find the analysis which presents the argument, from logic and commonsense, that Allah of the Holy Qur'an, as opposed to the Allah of the holy books of Muslims, has nothing to do with current affairs, nor with the prophecies of Last Days that fill old Muslim books, but the devil certainly does. After His Messenger brought mankind the Divine Guidance, it is up to mankind to follow or not follow, to be thankful or unthankful; إِنَّا هَدَيْنَاهُ السَّبِيلَ إِمَّا شَاكِرًا وَإِمَّا كَفُورًا ; Allah has categorically proclaimed Himself بِحَفِيظٍ . May be I am wrong... But the teaching of Islam is rather clear --- the guidance in the Holy Qur'an is straightforward. It is when Muslims reach for their favorite books of hadiths, history, and tafseers that they begin to separate in their understanding and start interpreting, pretty much along socialization and incestuous self-reinforcement boundaries. Here is the link:
Go figure... Dr. Shahid Masood just said the same thing in his program: that they WILL be using all this gazwa-e-hind hadiths for their purpose... he is a bit behind the times, get with it Dr. Shahid Masood---they have been doing it for a very long time! Here is a revealing link that betrays the depth of their diabolical planning capability; even it arguably be a fictional narrative like: The Prince, the divisive facts and political tactics it speaks to, and the underlying fracture points among Muslims, are real and known to all Muslims who have studied the subject with any degree of acuity:
Don't know what ordinary people like us can do... except watch from the sidelines. I don't wish to do that --- but do what? I am too smart to be canon fodder for the games of the elites. I am also too conscionable to watch from the sidelines. We must do something... what? We all have a rendezvous with death --- death isn't what scares us... it is being used as “useful idiots” and stooges and patsies.... Under a virtuous leader, I will join up in any righteous battle. But if a war is imposed and Pakistan is bombed, then, regardless of who the rulers are, should we make and heed a call to arms?
That is a question that we must ask ourselves. If we cannot even endeavor to protect what is ours when rapists come to pillage and plunder, then are we even half-human? Is it better to run away and fight another day when we are more prepared? When will that be? Tomorrow? Day after tomorrow, next year, in ten years... Kind of reminds me of Patrick Henry's famous words:
“They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house?
Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?
Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.
Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.
Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.
The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace²but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle?
What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
A couple of word substitutions makes this 250 years old call to arms just as applicable to the Pakistani elites and likkha-parrha tabqa sitting on the fence and writing opeds in Dawn. They are just too invested in their self-interests to have lofty ideals such as dignity and self-respect beyond lip-service. Their entire life is spent in compromises; they are the survivors in the jungle of Pakistan, shaking all the right hands as necessary. The have-not masses on the other hand, seem to be quite primed; the public is very angry, genuinely so, and already believe in the divine destiny penned in the hand of man. You could not imagine a more potent natural motivator and propaganda system for war-mobilization if you wanted to go to a Just War. The Zionists and Christian Zionists, and evidently also the Hindu RSS of Modi, share the same template for their own divine la mission civilisatrice.
The one difference between then and now, is that they had many Patrick Henrys in their leadership which won them their independence from the evil empire of their day. I am waiting for just one... If you exist in Pakistan, please show your self now before Allah's laws, the Sunnan-e-illahe, apply to us.
Feel free to share this letter with anyone.
Zahir Ebrahim
Project Humanbeingsfirst.org