Black Day: Kashmir does not forgive and forget October 22, 1947

New Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS) October 22 is deeply etched in the minds and hearts of every Kashmiri — the reminder of Pakistan’s treachery, of being raped, killed, and pillaged by armed tribal militia let loose like wild dogs by the Pakistani Army.
To briefly recall the events, on the night of October 20-21, 1947, about six-thousand trans-Indus tribesmen took over the bridges spanning the Neelum river on the Hazara road linking Muzaffarabad and Abbottabad (now, Pakistan-controlled Kashmir), and occupied the first major town of Muzaffarabad by October 21, then moved further towards Uri in a fleet of buses and other vehicles. The first India-Pakistan War had formally begun that day. Major General Akbar Khan of the Pakistan Army, who had organised the attacks, later boasts of his feat in his book titled “Raiders in Kashmir”.
This dark memory is etched on every true Kashmiri’s heart, when their brother and sisters, innocent children, and helpless elders were hunted down and mercilessly killed in their homes and on the streets in the light of the day, and then publically hung on electricity poles and trees as a meal for the scavengers and as a warning for the Kafir. The day exposed Pakistan’s hypocritical nature — a Muslim nation bleeding Muslims under the brand of “freeing them” from God knows what.
Today is a grim reminder, year after year, that Pakistan’s treachery continues unabated. Creating a proxy war in the region, spilling Kashmiri blood — Hindus and Muslims, and priding on this debauchery in the name of religion has been their goal. And this is why October 22 is the reminder of the barbaric philosophy of our neighbours, their idea to annihilate Kashmir and Kashmiri culture. The inclusive Kashmir culture and doctrine threaten Pakistan’s extremist character.
Pakistan’s deceit, their dirty laundry, must be aired on the world platform. Kashmiris living on divided land, and divided in hearts, must pause and remember how Pakistan took away their right to peace and tranquility and stamped their future with a destiny of violence and bloodshed. Today there isn’t one family in Kashmir that has seen a moment’s peace and stability.
On August 12, 1947, when the Indian subcontinent was divided brutally, the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh, wanted to remain autonomous and sought a standstill agreement with both India and Pakistan. Pakistan agreed and signed the pact but within a month imposed an economic blockade on the princely state, cutting off essential supplies, in a bid to blackmail the king into accepting Pakistan’s suzerainty, Pakistan’s first act of “brotherhood”.
A month, further along, Pakistani forces invited themselves into Kashmir on October 22, violating all norms, and launched an armed attack on the state with the help of tribesmen, trained and facilitated with ammunition, and commanded by the Pakistani army. Pakistan incited trouble on the border areas of Muzaffarabad, Poonch, Bhimbar, and Kotli Mirpur, making use of the communal fury that was spanning across Punjab to organise assaults. The armed tribal militia ran wild through the state, pillaging, raping, and killing scores of innocent people of the Valley, regardless of their religion and caste. Kashmiri treasures were plundered. Their animal-instincts freely made sex slaves of women; parents handed poison to their girls allowing them to choose death in dignity. Some were even taken as slaves to Pakistan. Thousands are forcibly converted to Islam. Innocent children were massacred. Hundreds of thousands became homeless. It became impossible to count orphans.
Forced by this act of wanton duplicity, Maharaja Hari Singh turned to India for help four days later. The Indian forces landed in Srinagar the next day just at the nick of time when marauding ‘raiders’ were just 35 miles from the Srinagar Airport and pushed the Pakistani tribal militia from the region. On November 7th, pitted against a determined Indian force, the Pak-based tribesmen were forced to retreat home.
The ‘Paradise on Earth’ turned into a slaughterhouse with 35,000 Kashmiris including Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs dead.
This was just the beginning of the series of Pakistan’s games in Kashmir. They again returned to attack the Kashmiri people in May of 1948. Although Pakistan was compelled to accept the UN terms of a ceasefire in August 1948, it did not give up its games in Kashmir. It refused to withdraw its troops from Kashmir as the UN mandated and instead bred a terrorist sanctuary and training ground to create perpetual unrest and mayhem against the same Kashmiri people whom Pakistanis claim to support.
On October 22 every year Kashmiris all over the world remind themselves of Pakistan’s continuing betrayal against their people and the land. Pakistan has devoured Kashmiris. Kashmir, where on every nook and cranny wildflowers danced in peace, where we knew nothing but love and inclusiveness for thousands of years, where rivers flowed with holy Himalayan water, and where the earth was a gift that kept giving. And then one morning the bandits burned us, took it all from us. Now only blood flows through the rivers, the smell of burning metal fills our lungs. Our children’s eyes reflect despair and death. Kashmir Valley demands and deserves justice against the terrorist violence let loose by Pakistan. Today we refuse to talk of “bonhomie” with our neighbours. We ask the “Global Peacemakers” and “Human Right Activists” to ‘Come and see the blood in the streets, come and see the blood in the streets!’

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