JAMMU: By all accounts it appears that the PDP-BJP Government has abdicated its responsibilities to govern Jammu and Kashmir and to instill confidence among people about their safety and security.
Despite an elected government in place, it is the writ of the law breakers that runs in the State, albeit the valley, rather than the Government. A person who ought to have been behind bars for his crimes against people and war against the State is not only calling the shots but these are obeyed too ‘in letter and spirit’. The Valley has been witnessing government writ getting undermined on regular basis by weekly protest calendars being issued by Hurriyat Conference and adhered to by the people, which is why hardcore hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani has emerged as an uncrowned king of Kashmir. When he speaks, he is taken note of, be it the Government or the confused Kashmiris. If he wants a Government order to be rescinded (like in the case of Dogra certificate during the tenure of Omar Abdullah as Chief Minister), the Governments at the Centre and the State only feel obliged in carrying out the ‘Farmaan’. If he feels a slight pain in the chest, the governments get panicked and arrange for the best treatment available in the country. If he asks the people to shut down, the city and the towns get deserted, notwithstanding the fact that the ruling class claims support of the majority of the people in these habitations, who prefer to remain dormant on such occasions.
Barely a few days after Mehbooba Mufti claimed normalcy returning back to Kashmir, after nearly four-month unrest in the wake of Hizb terrorist Burhan Wani’s killing, Syed Ali Geelani has come out with an invite to tourists and pilgrims to visit the Valley with his assurance of security and protection. Ostensibly, the invite is for the winter tourists and winter sports and adventure lovers, due to crumbling Kashmir economy, as also drying up of funds due to abrupt halt to flow of fake currency and Hawala money due to demonetisation. Geelani prepares pitch for Amarnath pilgrims though the Yatra to Himalayan cave shrine is still far away. But his love for pilgrims is intriguing as hawks have been terming this Yatra as cultural aggression of Kashmir.
Geelani’s assurance of safety to tourists and pilgrims stems out from his confidence and control over terrorists, stone-pelters and mischief mongers, who have held peace in Kashmir to ransom. His clout among terrorists and stone-pelters is immense and notoriously known.
The joint statement by Hurriyat trio, Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar and Yasin Malik says, “Tourists and pilgrims who intend to visit Kashmir are most welcome…the people of Kashmir have been taught “to be kind with our guests and serve them and safeguard their rights at every cost…This is also embedded in our Kashmiri culture and ethos and that is why our hospitality has been exemplary throughout the history.” Firstly, they are not representatives of Kashmiris, as they have all along worked against the essence of Kashmiriyat by mortgaging their conscience to enemies of humanity under the guise of ‘Mujahids’ and their mentor Pakistan.
While describing protection of guests as an article of faith, the trio surely must not be ignoring the harsh reality of hounding out the members of the Kashmir’s larger family from their homes and hearths at gun-point and by employing all coercive measures. While tourists and pilgrims are welcome in Kashmir, the properties left over by the sons of soil are being usurped or encroached, rendering them rootless for all times to come.
The uncrowned kings of Kashmir do not derive their authority from heavens; he is commanding it because of the inept governments, which have surrendered their will to govern.
But do Geelani and company really believe Kashmir to get normal on the face of weekly calendars getting renewed after every week. Calendars and tourism cannot go together. The vacationers and nature-lovers won’t be risking their money and time to be greeted with ‘Indian dogs go back’ slogans being chanted in every street and square of the Valley. If Kashmir really wants to revert back to normalcy, the Kashmiris will have to isolate Geelani, Umar and Malik. It will be for the larger interest of them and the posterity.
© 2016 State Times Daily Newspaper