Disgracing Maqbool Bhat

I am sick of the fact that some so-called leaders of Kashmir have made Shaheed Maqbool Bhat's name, sufferings and sacrifices a trademark, just like the shops which they have opened under the umbrella of a political party, where they are selling the blood of the youth and the tears and honor of our womenfolk. On the 21st anniversary of my Leader and source of inspiration and knowledge Shaheed Maqbool Bhat, I want to quote some of his sayings which he made in his public gatherings and which before a Special Court in Pakistan during the Ganga hijacking case. Along with that I want to try to explain some so-called leaders of my unfortunate homeland, what Bhat Sahib meant and that some so-called leaders of today are disgracing his struggle.

Bhat Sahib's statement before special court: "This is not done by the unmistakable enemies of our people but by the imprudent and wicked 'friends' who have despicably occupied the power in this unfortunate country and have subjugated not only a hundred million of her people but also put its existence at stake by their malicious actions for keeping power in their hands. It is obvious that a leadership which has no sympathy for its own people cannot be hoped to extend help to a nation which is still fighting against foreign occupation. No one can stop me from claiming that every ruling power in Pakistan has exploited the Kashmir issue for last 25 years for its lust for power and abused this issue to mislead the people of Pakistan who have and still do support the freedom of Kashmir. When power came into the hands of military dictatorship this conspiracy has become even more dreadful. Division of Pakistan is only a logical result of this conspiracy".
Even after these wise words and the loss of more than 80,000 lives the leaders of Hurriyat haven't understood the mission of Shaheed Maqbool Bhat. Hurriyat which is an extension of Pakistani regime in Jammu & Kashmir and is sitting in the lap of ISI is calling for strikes on this day but are not following his words and his path. What a contradiction?? You cannot claim Shaheed Maqbool Bhat as your leader, because you are too busy visiting Pakistani High Commission and seeking visas to visit your masters in Islamabad instead of struggling for Kashmiris.

Bhat Sahib further said: "The military rulers of Pakistan never supported a peoples' armed struggle in Kashmir. They hated it as much as the Muslims of early period hated pork. It is this hate of military rulers towards peoples' armed struggle, which has made me and my comrades the target of brutal torture and humiliation".
Still the JKLF, which claims the party was founded by Shaheed Maqbool Bhat (which is not true because at the time JKLF was formed Bhat Sahib was in jail), started the armed struggle with the 'support' of the Pakistani bureaucracy and their intelligence agencies. Please tell me, how can you trust an occupier as your support? The only aim behind extended so called support could be the lust of having the whole cake. And some of our so-called leaders were just being used as tools, because they themselves had vested interests. The JKLF is still sitting in the Jehad Council in POK and getting financial support from there. Again the contradiction can be seen here in their claims and their true character.

Bhat Sahib said: "It is easy to talk about freedom. But it needs a lot more courage and patience to fight for freedom. This is the path where every turn is full of tests. You go through such stages where your own friends on whom you relied betray you. They, even, leave you and make alliances with enemies".
How many times have we heard the Hurriyat saying that they are the soul representatives of the Kashmiris and how many times have we seen the Hurriyat splitting up in pieces like a mirror which falls on the ground. These leaders have divided not only the Kashmiri people but also Kashmiriat for which Kashmir is known. These people are talking about freedom for the past 15-20 years, but what have they done?? What significant work have they delivered? What have they really given to the Kashmiris except more than 50 political parties to choose from?? Have they ever helped a widow, supported an orphan?

Bhat Sahib's statement adds: "However, it is my faith that my country would see the dawn of freedom and the cruel line that divides us would vanish This will be the time when facts about my life will come out. Only then I will get justice and this will be done in the court of history. That day my people will know the reality of the allegations made by both the Indian and Pakistani rulers against me, of being an agent of India or Pakistan".
Farooq Abdullah supports India's stand on Kashmir and Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani and the Hurriyat the stand of Pakistan and nobody questions the. My homeland Kashmir is the only country in the world where the people struggling for own nation are branded either Indian or Pakistani agents and those who are publicly playing either of the country's game are not challenged. Yes, Bhat Sahib's words are true. True Kashmiris will have to wait till the court of history.

In a public gathering in POK Bhat sahib once said (translation):"Your struggle for freedom is struggle for the people. The people have the right to know which path you are following and how that path will lead towards freedom. The people even have the right to know how you are living and where you get money from to buy your clothes and food."
Just go through the long list of so-called Kashmiri leaders and you can see how many of them have sent their children abroad for education and business, while they were sending other's children across the border to get killed. How many Kashmiri leaders have set up businesses in Europe and the Middle-East were they are investing the money earned on the blood of my fellow brothers and sisters. Is it the freedom struggle Maqbool Bhat propagated?

Bhat Sahib told special court: "At the moment I have no other choice but to give myself in the merciless hands of time and to wait for the day when the darkness of discrimination and malice, cruelty and exploitation will be replaced by the light of justice. That day I will ask for justice".
I would like to tell the so-called leaders of Kashmir who are exploiting the struggle of my leader that maybe the Kashmiri people can forgive them for their cruel and unethical behavior, but history will not. If they cannot follow the path and footprints of Shaheed Maqbool Bhat, they should not either exploit his struggle. It is a disgrace to his holy spirit, his martyrdom and my fellow Kashmiris.



Junaid Qureshi ( Law student, University of Amsterdam)
Political worker JK Democratic Liberation Party