The Edited Kashmir And The Unedited Faces Of Indo-Pak
India’s ruthless intervention in Kashmir, as an imperialist force is a mirror reflection of the Zionists apartheid regime’s grisly crimes against Palestinians.
‘To thine own self be true’ says Shakespeare, ‘then you cannot be false to anyone, farewell my blessing season’ the phrase reflects the current scenario of the ruling class of Pakistan, the Janus of power with a double face visible and invisible, real and cosmetic, overt and covert. It is the season of making confessions and Imran, leaving every predecessor behind, has finally spoken the truth that for decades remained shrouded in lies. ‘Pakistan’s army and military spy agency’ he says, ‘trained al-Qaeda and then maintained links with the militants afterwards, … [the] country had then made a major mistake siding with America during the war on terror after the 9/11 attacks’ he added (The Telegraph, 2019).
In another statement, Imran warned the religious elements to refrain from conducting Jihad in Kashmir ‘If someone from Pakistan goes to India and he thinks he will fight in Kashmir’ he says ‘ … [he will be] the first person inflicting cruelty on the Kashmiris. He will have acted as an enemy of the Kashmiris,’ (Al Jazeera, 2019). It sounds as if the Pakistani ruling class is coming out of the religious concussion that stunned them for long. Is it strange that a man who wants to convert Pakistan into a so-called state of Medina is walking up to the realities that such a state is a figment of his imagination or a deception meant to befool the people while the socio-economic realities of 21st century are entirely different from the era of dark ages.
‘There is something in human history like retribution’ Marx says, ‘and it is a rule of historic retribution that its instruments be forged not by the offended but by the offender himself’. He points to the first blow that French monarchy received came from the nobility and not from the peasants. In India, the well-fed sepoys rather than the wretched of the earth ignited the revolt. Pakistan, despite receiving near-fatal blows and betrayals from the US—the empire for whose advantage it is keen to play the role of a frontline state— has always allied with it; it is a typical case of Stockholm syndrome. The death wish is so strong that from Jinnah to the present- day rulers each regime regardless of the consequences pushed the country into American abyss.
It is not for the prick of his conscience that Imran has suddenly woken up to the reality nor the real rulers; the army has mended its ways by accepting civil supremacy , the wake-up call results from an objective historic necessity. It is a brazen fact that in the world’s community, Pakistan is left alone to suffer the plight it inflicted upon itself on behalf of imperialism. Under the scrutinizing gaze of FATF with no international support, a cash-strapped economy finds itself close to bankruptcy. The anti-communist religious mania has come full circle, the masters sitting in the US have cast away their benevolent shadow and terrorist birds have come back home to explode. The Frankenstein has matured.
During the Howdy Modi rally in Texas, another historical farce bringing nothing for the reactionary Indian middle class that gave a rousing welcome to a pair of fascists, Imran’s isolation would be worth commiserating. It was the realignment of the imperialist forces to divide the world for the plunder of resources. The other reality expressing itself was standing on the other side of Houston rally, hundreds of youngsters from Indo-Pak, Latin -America and the US stood protesting against the brutality of Indian ruling class perpetrated against the people of Kashmir and upon the ordinary Indian citizens. Those were the heroes refusing to integrate, testifying to the relativity of the system, which has swallowed the majority.
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The state of the Pakistani diaspora, their response to the historic confession of Imran is yet to be unfolded. Despite Imran’s admission of making a whole nation hostage to the interests of the US, death of thousands of young men sacrificed in the name of religion during Soviet Jihad, Afghan intervention, and Kashmir crisis, there is no protest; a stunning silence of a graveyard is prevailing. No one dares ask who sabotaged the struggle in Kashmir. Why the militants in Pakistan are walking scot-free? If Pakistan army had relations with a terrorist organization such as Al Qaeda, why the generals responsible for the unholy alliance do not find themselves charged guilty by another Nuremberg court? Those who raise these questions in Pakistan disappear; they meet the fate of Kashmiris under the wrath of the Indian ruling class. One can listen to the heart- wrenching stories of workers of PTM (Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement), the Marxists of FATA— labeled as Che- Guevaras by the generals— and of the working -class people especially the Baloch, who posed similar questions.
Confession does not redeem the guilt, penance does but where is the penance, where is the necessary action to stop adventurism in the internal affairs of foreign countries? The proof will start from the home where the basic human rights are smothered; no one can ask the army why it is running a business empire, why its budget is not debated in the parliament, why did it abrogate the constitution repeatedly. Several similar questions need answers but the dominant interests have made these questions of value into meta-questions, they are not questions at all because they hurt their luxurious life style, while people continue to starve and live in the inhumane conditions.
India’s ruthless intervention in Kashmir, as an imperialist force is a mirror reflection of the Zionists apartheid regime’s grisly crimes against Palestinians; the former has not only learned its lessons from latter but also improvised upon Israel’s hideous, gruesome, barbaric methods. Both struggles have so much common in them it becomes hard to discern one from the other, both are peacefully demanding freedom, both are occupied by a huge army, and both movements are brutally suppressed with the backing of imperialism and its ‘international community’, an empty’ Trojan horse.
Angana P. Chatterji, in The militarized zone, refers to a Kashmiri youth, who in detention tortured and debased, said ‘India asks us’ why you throw stones? No one asks who burned your houses down’. It sounds similar to what the prominent Palestinian poet Mahmud Dervish said, ‘‘we are against the suicide bombers but we must understand what drives these young people to such actions. They want to liberate themselves from such a dark life. It is not ideological, it is despair.”
‘We are always told’ Mahmud adds, ‘we cannot solve our problems without solving the existential anxiety of Israelis and their supporters who have ignored our every existence from decades in our own homeland’. It holds true for Kashmiris facing innumerable atrocities and anxieties, being Muslims they cannot satisfy the anxieties of newly born RSS mindset of Indian ruling class, they have to be diluted or liquidated; they are Palestinians, the pariah in their own home. By ‘2008 more than 500000 pilgrim were visiting Amarnath cave annually, their passage sponsored by Indian business houses…it triggered anxiety that this was the beginning of an elaborate plan to build Israeli style settlement and change of demographics of the valley’ (Arundhati Roy, Kashmir the case for freedom,2011).
‘Between 2002 and 2008 India procured US 5 billion dollars’ worth of arms from the Israeli state to combat Islamic insurgents—a colossal sum for India’(Tariq Ali,2010) ‘ where’ Angana P. Chatterji adds ‘ 38 % of world’s poor reside and where eight of the country’s poorest states are more impoverished than the twenty-six poorest countries on the African continent’(Kashmir the case for freedom,2011).
The terrorism unleashed is not against the people of Kashmir alone; it is a sustained campaign perpetrated against the people at large, which include the Indian workers and peasants. It is an advanced form of fascism since Nazis raised the slogan of guns before butter but secured the butter first. India is heading towards totalitarianism and as Tariq Ali suggests ‘it would make more sense for the South Asian states and China to forgo its mediation of the Empire to speak with each other directly. If they fail to do so, they might discover that beneath the benign gaze of the Empire, the forces of capitalism are breaking up both China and India’ (Ibid).
In Kashmir, under the coercive power of Indian might, Habba Khatoon’s day is dying. As Basharat Peer wrote ‘Indian journalists might edit the faces of the murdered boys and their grieving father, they may not show the video of a woman in Anantnag, washing the blood of the boys who were killed outside her house, but Kashmir sees the unedited Kashmir’. That is what the people of subcontinent want to see, an unedited India and Pakistan, as oppressors, oppressed and as the tools of imperialism. There will be no spark of hope unless the people of both countries are firmly convinced that even the dead will not be safe from the enemy, which are their own ruling classes.
Writer is an Australian-Pakistani based in Sydney. He has authored several books on Marxism (Gramscian & Frankfurt School) and History and regularly contributes to leading Pakistani Dailies. His Twitter handle is @SaulatNagi