Naveed Aman Khan
Yasin Malik disbanded the JKLF’s military wing in 1994 and announced his commitment as iconic freedom fighter following ideas of non-violent political struggle to achieve independence of Kashmir from India.
In 1988, Yasin Malik was one of the first Kashmiri rebels to receive training for an armed rebellion against India’s rule that began in India-occupied Kashmir the next year.
A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in New Delhi has sentenced iconic Kashmiri pro-independence leader Yasin Malik to life imprisonment in “terror” funding case.
Yasin Malik, one of India-occupied Kashmir’s prominent pro-freedom leaders, is the chief of now banned Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).
The group renounced violence in 1994. Yasin Malik is convicted of “terrorist” acts, including illegally raising funds, membership in a terrorist organisation, criminal conspiracy and sedition.
It is Indian politics of revenge against people already suffering from decades-old occupation and military control.
The court prosecutor had sought the death penalty for Yasin Malik, who has pleaded guilty to all charges.
Life imprisonment given to Yasin Malik is unfortunate and a setback to the efforts for peace.
This will further compound the uncertainties in the region and fuel more alienation and separatist struggle.
The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), a coalition of pro-India parties in the region, termed Yasin Malik’s life imprisonment very unfortunate.
The court has delivered its verdict but not justice. The abhorrent Indian attempts seeking to defile the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiris for their right to self-determination as ‘terrorism’ only substantiate India’s deeply etched credentials as a serial violator of human rights and usurper of the fundamental freedoms of the Kashmiris.
The internet service in Srinagar was suspended soon after the verdict was announced by the anti-terrorism court in New Delhi.
The agency wrongly charged Yasin with receiving funds from Pakistan to carry out terrorist activities and stone-pelting during the Kashmir unrest, especially in 2010 and 2016.
Yasin Malik was arrested in a “terror-funding case” shortly after the JKLF was banned in 2019.
During the trial, which Yasin Malik’s family and lawyers termed as unfair, the Kashmiri leader rejected the charges and said that he was a freedom fighter.
India can never silence Kashmiris’ voice for freedom and self-determination. Pakistan stands with Kashmiri brothers and sisters will continue.
Pakistani nation will provide all sort of possible moral, diplomatic and political support in their legitimate struggle.
The move was followed by months of military and communications lockdown in the region and arrests of major political and rebel leaders.
Yasin Malik’s conviction is just a politics of revenge. India has scrapped the special status of India-occupied Kashmir and unilaterally divided the country’s only Muslim-majority region into two federally controlled territories.
Yasin Malik’s conviction and sentencing is not based on any incriminating evidence Indian courts were presented with.
It is about two things: one, separating Kashmiri leaders from their people so that the Indian state can continue its settler colonial project; second, a Hindu nationalist spectacle meant to show Indians that Modi’s India can arbitrarily inflict violence against Kashmiri Muslims.
In several areas of the disputed region’s main city of Srinagar, shopkeepers downed their shutters before the pronouncement of the sentencing against Yasin Malik.
The two nuclear-armed nations of Pakistan and India have fought two of their three full-scale wars over the territory.
India wrongly accuses Pakistan of backing the armed rebellion in India-occupied Kashmir. Pakistan rightly denies the allegation, saying it only offers diplomatic and moral support to the Kasmiris.
Originally founded in the 1970s, the JKLF under Malik repeatedly called for the independence of the entire State of Jammu & Kashmir from both India and Pakistan.
It is politics of revenge against people already suffering from decades-old occupation and military control.
He did not shun dialogue. None of the hardline groups would deride and laugh at him. Yasin Malik continued with his ideals and has entered into talks with both India and Pakistan for the resolution of Kashmir issue.
Yasin Malik is a saner voice among the separatists. His sentencing is a major setback to separatist politics in the region. Yasin has rested his case with God.
Pakistan has condemned Yasin Malik’s malafide conviction and sentencing on a grossly suspicious and contrived case. Is this condemnation of Pakistan enough?
Amid so-called long march of Imran Khan none of the political parties including PTI have uttered even a single word in favour of Kashmir and Yasin Malik the great.
One can judge where do the political parties of Pakistan stand on Kashmir issue. Countrywide awareness oriented seminars on Kashmir liberation struggle and role of Kashmiri freedom fighters should continually be organized.
Unfortunately, Pakistani media was tactfully hijacked by Imran Khan and his long march on the day when Indian court announced sentence to brave iconic Kashmiri freedom fighter Yasin Malik.
Kashmir is the jugular vein of Pakistan. We need to effectively highlight Kashmir issue at the international fora.
Our lobbying on Kashmir issue is very weak which should be result oriented. Contrary to ours, Indian lobbying techniques are seen more professional and result oriented.
Pakistan and Kashmiri leaders could not highlight Kashmir issue at the international level as it should be.
That is why India successfully swallowed Kashmir against article 370 and we couldn’t do anything.
—The Islamabad-based writer is editor, book ambassador, political analyst and author of several books based.
Courtesy Pakistan Observer