Killing of Kashmiri Pandits

By Shabir Choudhry

The killing of Kashmiri Pandits, last month in the Valley of Kashmir, was shock to me and to all those Kashmiris who believe that Kashmir is not for Muslims only. It must also be shock to all those who believe in humanity, justice and democracy.

Kashmiri Pandits are part of the Kashmiri society and they have every right to live there in peace and harmony. The same right must be available to other Kashmiris irrespective of their cast, creed and religion. The Kashmiris have a long history of living together like brothers. Communalism was alien to the Kashmiri culture, we must all unite together to fight those who are endeavoring to introduce this in Kashmir. We have to respect each otherís right to live.

Whoever has carried out this callous and merciless massacre is enemy of the Kashmiri people. There is no evidence to show who has done this, but if it is done by the Kashmiri freedom fighters I strongly condemn it because this is not freedom struggle. If this is done in the name of religion I condemn that religion which allows such a barbaric killing of innocent citizens who are not even connected with the struggle. But if this is done by the government or its agencies it is also deplorable, because the primary role of the government is to protect its citizens, not kill in order to score political points against rival groups or freedom fighters.

It is quiet clear the perpetrators of this crime want to divide the Kashmiri community on communal lines, and lay down the foundations for the division of Kashmir. All those Kashmiris who want unification of the State must condemn and oppose acts like these. One doesnít have to be a genius to understand who could benefit from this communal conflict and hence the division of the State on religious lines. We, Kashmiris, especially the nationalists, must oppose this and continue our fight for the unification and independence of the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Shabir Choudhry
Director, Institute of Kashmir Affairs

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