Not only the kin of the well-known 21 separatists’ in Kashmir but 310 family members and relatives of 112 other separatists doing jobs or studying abroad are also listed.
The entry of BJP national president Amit Shah as Union Home Minister in the North Block was an important development. Important development because Amit Shah had, like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the election campaign explained about what he thought about India and the problems it faced and what he thought about the militant-infested Jammu & Kashmir and the nature of the problem the nation faced in Kashmir. But more than that, the 2019 BJP election manifesto, which was released six days after the Congress released its manifesto, indicated the direction in which the BJP would move in case it won the people’s mandate. The BJP’s manifesto talked about integration and tough stand on the menace of terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir and elsewhere. The BJP’s manifesto represented the national sentiment. As for the Congress manifesto, it only talked about the path it had treaded after 1947. It supported everything that the nation had been opposing since years and that was responsible for its comprehensive defeat in the 2014 general election. It had won only 44 seats in 2014.
As was expected, the BJP won the general election hands down, 303 seats in the 543-House. The Congress could win only 52, almost 35 from the four states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Punjab. The Congress failed to open its accounts in 18 states and Union Territories and could not win even 10 seats from West Bengal, Bihar, UP, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Kashmiris have no other option but to acknowledge that things have changed in New Delhi and the nation is determined to defeat the separatists in Kashmir.
It was expected that Amit Shah would not act in the manner in which his predecessors, including Rajnath Singh, had acted and it became clear on June 28 and July 1, when he spoke on Jammu & Kashmir in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. He spoke with clarity. His statement that “Article 370 was temporary, and not permanent”, and his reflections on the first Prime Minister of India JL Nehru cleared many cobwebs of confusion and established that he meant business in Jammu & Kashmir. He exposed the Abdullah and the Mufti dynasties. He also made everyone understand that the Union Government would do everything for the people of Jammu & Kashmir but it would not spare separatists. He said: the Government would leave no stone unturned to rein in separatists and terrorists, expose them and show them the place they deserved. That he meant what he said became clear when his ministry (MHA) came out with a list 14 top separatists in Kashmir, whose family members and relatives were, and are, doing jobs or acquiring education in foreign countries.
The MHA list said: “Khalid Ashraf and Aabid Ashraf, sons of separatist leader Ashraf Sehrai, are working in Saudi Arabia and are well settled there. Mohammad bin Qasim and Ahmad bin Qasim, the two sons of Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief Asiya Andrabi are pursuing an education in top-ranking educational institutions in Malaysia and Australia, respectively. Asiya continued to preach secessionism to the Valley youth whenever she is on the bail. Two daughters of Altaf Ahmad Fantoosh, who happens to be the son-in-law of hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and is affiliated with Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, are also abroad. One of them is doing MBBS in Pakistan and another is a journalist in Turkey. Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s sister is a doctor in the United States of America. Three children of People’s Conference leader Bilal Lone, who is also affiliated to Hurriyat Conference, is also well settled abroad. While one of his daughter and son-in-law are in London, another daughter is studying in Australia. Son of former Jamaat-e-Islami’s Aamir, GM Bhat is a doctor in Saudi Arabia while the son of Mohammad Shafi Reshi, who is a separatist affiliated with Democratic Political Movement, is doing PhD in the United States of America. Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader Ashraf Laya’s daughter, Nawab, is doing MBBS in Sindh province of Pakistan, while the son of Zahoor Geelani, who is also affiliated with Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, is settled in Saudi Arabia and is working in Saudi Airlines there. Naeem Geelani son of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, chairman, hardline faction of All Parties Hurriyat Conference has also studied MBBS from Pakistan. Daughters of Mohammad Yusuf Mir and Farooq Gatpuri, both separatists affiliated with Muslim League, are also studying medicines in Pakistan. Son of Khwaja Firdous Wani, the leader of the Democratic Political Movement, too is doing his MBBS in Pakistan. Daughter and son of Nissar Hussain Rather, the separatist leader of Tehreek-e-Wahdat-e-Islami, are well settled in Iran. His daughter is doing a job in Iran”.
While the MHA has come out with list of 14 separatists, whose 21 kin were either doing jobs or studying in foreign countries like US, Britain, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan, it has reports that 310 family members and relatives of 112 separatists were doing jobs or studying abroad.
Source of funding of the studies of the separatists’ kin is also a major issue on which the Central Intelligence agencies are working overtime as there are reports that “funds received by the separatists from abroad to fuel unrest in the Kashmir valley have been used by them for studies of their children”.
“The hawala money link is also not ruled out” and reports from Delhi clearly suggest that “all aspects are being thoroughly investigated”.
All this should expose the hypocrisy of Hurriyat leaders and other separatists and terrorists. The MHA list should serve as an eye-opener for the people of Kashmir, especially the youth, who are being misled by the separatists and motivated to join militancy and throw stones at security forces or indulge in other unlawful activities calculated to subvert the Indian state. It’s time for common Kashmiri Muslims to question them and defeat them and join the national mainstream. Even otherwise, they have no other option but to acknowledge that things have changed in New Delhi and the nation is determined to defeat the separatists in Kashmir.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.