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Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
Outlook.com

With Us, Or Not At All

Pakistan won't spare Kashmiri nationalists too, as Lone's murder proved, if they opposed the state's merger with it.

With Us, Or Not At All
illustration by Sandeep Adhwaryu
With Us, Or Not At All
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
As happened after the massacre of Sikhs in Chitsinghpura, no militant organisation has taken credit for the murder of Abdul Ghani Lone, the most highly respected member of the Hurriyat's executive council, in Srinagar on Tuesday. Precisely who had him killed is an open secret in Kashmir. The killers were named by none other than Sajjad Lone, the slain leader's son, who stood before the news cameras and told the world that Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence had engineered his father's murder. More tell-tale was the cry of fear that went up from the women, including family, who were sitting behind him as he made the accusation. Sajjad stood his ground, turned and told the women that he would tell the truth no matter what the consequences, but the cameras caught the fear that washed over his face. Today, he too knows that his life hangs, as did his father's for 18 long months, by a thread.

Terror is in fact the leitmotif of everyday life in Kashmir. General Musharraf and his glib foreign office spokesmen miss no occasion to tell an ignorant and uncaring world that Kashmiris live in terror of the Indian security forces which regularly kill innocent civilians and molest their wives and daughters. What he doesn't tell them is that his irregulars—Pakistani jehadis and the Kashmiri Hizbul Mujahideen—have also sought to 'liberate' Kashmiris from the cruel Hindu yoke through brute terror. For 13 years, anyone with influence who has worked towards a goal other than Kashmir's secession from India and merger with Pakistan has become a target for elimination.

The figures maintained (with perhaps a little under-reporting) by the Kashmir and Indian governments tell their own story. Of the over 32,000 people killed between 1989 and the middle of this month, 4,500 were security forces personnel, 14,000 were militants (more than 2,000 of whom were...
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