By K.N. Pandita
Three articles which I published in DE during past three months did not evoke any curiosity among the readers about my assertion that India was actually fighting China in Kashmir. I have no regrets if policy planners took no cognizance of what was hinted at.
In Kashmir today, discourse has changed from Abdul Wahhab to Mao tse Tung. Subjective observers will call the shift spasmodic but those who managed to deposit Chinese flags, literature, arms and ammunition in a hideout in Baramulla and then displaced the flags at about half a dozen places have a method in madness.
Flags of various terrorist outfits have been raised in different parts of the valley in recent past. These are besides those of Pakistan and ISIS. Now more recently Chinese flags have begun to decorate Friday congregations in the valley.
Unfurling of Chinese flags at a time when President Xi of China was in Goa attending the BRICS summit is not without significance. A day after Modi called Pakistan the mother ship of terrorism Chinese foreign office spokesman said in Beijing that China does not associate terrorism with any religion or county. Dawn reported that President Xi had praised Pakistan for her historic role in combating terrorism.
Earlier at the Security Council, China had once again scuttled India’s resolution of SC designating JeM and its supremo as terrorist. Commentators saw only the China-India logjam in this affair but its reverberations travelled far and wide in the Himalayan region. It was a clear indication that China had interest in keeping the Kashmir pot boiling.
In the aftermath of India’s surgical strike, while western powers directly or indirectly conceded India’s right to defend sovereignty against perceived threats, Beijing desisted from making any comment, thereby leaving India in a state of suspended disbelief.
Soon after Beijing made public the 46-billion dollar CPEC project, and international media began discussing its strategic features, Pakistan policy planners and intelligence sleuths began examining possible outreach of the project how it could be made contributive to Pakistan’s Kashmir agenda. The opinion converged on sensitizing Kashmirian capriciousness to become more receptive to Chinese outreach rather than embark on physical intrusion in a geographically difficult region.
Earlier, Jamaat-i-Islami handlers in Kashmir, after consultations with intelligence sleuths at GHQ experimented with the option of hoisting ISIS flag in parts of Srinagar downtown in a bid to exacerbate valley turmoil and weaken the state government.
However, quick rejection of ISIS flags by both factions of Hurriyat and some leading social figures of Kashmiri civil society unhinged the plan. It happened despite Pakistan’s desire that Kashmiri operatives continue the music. The reason why ISIS flags were withdrawn and propagation of Caliphate theory curbed in the valley, and the Hurriyatis forced to express its undesirability was that Saudi state policy was to stifle the ISIS upsurge as dangerous challenge to the monarchy and its influence in the Islamic world.
It has to be noted that there is a sizable Kashmiri Sunni Muslim Diaspora in Saudi Arabia which has succeeded in creating powerful clout in the monarchical state where the narrative of Kashmir liberation struggle is steadily pushed into political and official circles. This Diaspora contributes lavishly to sedition in Kashmir. It is through this channel that Saudi disapproval of brandishing ISIS flags and ideology was conveyed to Kashmir seditionists with clear instruction to underplay the show.
In waving Chinese flag no such constraint is going to withhold Kashmir seditionists and traitors from giving vent to their choler. But for Saudi opposition, ISIS proposition had some rationale with fanatical segments in Kashmir. Conversely, pandering to Chinese flags does not have any rationale except that of expecting China to down India in the big Asian game of rivalry and thus gloat over the success of the enemy of the enemy.
In keeping true to the tradition of inviting a foreign power to rule over them, Kashmiris are pandering from Wahhabism to Maoism after feeling elated that China is a friend of Pakistan. A number of questions have remained unanswered so far. Pakistan, the Islamic Republic has developed closest relations with an atheist State and is proud of having brought about convergence of ideas.
Convergence of ideas between a puritanical Islamic State of Pakistan with atheist China, which does not believe in the existence of God nor his Prophet nor the revealed book nor the hadith is contradiction in terms. What happens to the Quranic injunction that enjoins upon the pure (momin) to wipe out heresy (kufr) from the surface of the earth and replace it with Islamic faith and tradition? If kufr is not what we find in China what then its precise definition is?
The Chinese flags that were hoisted after Friday prayer in Baramulla Idgah bore the inscription “Welcome China, we are waiting for you”. For seventy long years, Kashmiris have been waiting for Pakistan. Pakistan did not come but it did send destruction and decimation to visit the receptive arms of Kashmiris. After carrying forward the agenda of Pakistan for a decade and more beginning with sedition in 1990, Kashmiris found that Pakistan was in no position to meet their aspirations of wriggling out of the hands of India. They pandered to Wahhabism hoping that Abdul Wahhab’s teachings would deliver them from the “oppression of India”.
Under Wahhabism, apart from using the gun as the means of deliverance – it came at no cost from Pakistan – Kashmiris, in imitation of the followers of Abdul Wahhab thousands of miles away in Saudi Arabia, changed their entire narrative. They changed their thought process, their life style, their tradition, their societal relationship, their “Kashmiriyat” and their vision of what they want to become. Instead of spending the winter months in Jammu as appendix to Durbar move functionaries, affluent and creamy section of Kashmir Muslim elders and seniors started visiting Saudi and the Gulf states where their wards and kith and kin are awash with Dollars and Euros. To please their Arab hosts, friends and ordinary visitors, they imitated them in letter and in spirit hoping that back home they would pass as very deducted and passionate Arabicized Kashmiri Muslims and an ideal for the community.
Entire exercise was to replace centuries old Iranian culture by Arab culture in Kashmir in the hope that Arab world would own them more as “India oppressed Kashmiris” than ardent Muslims adhering to Sunni school of thought. However, baffled by scant political support from the Arab world and the Gulf countries, Kashmiris soon began to feel disappointed with their Arabicization, Wahhabization and Salafization experiments. The OIC did nothing more than lip service. The final disillusionment with Wahhabism / Salafism / Caliphate-ism came when Prime Minister Modi, during his jaunts to Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries blasted the bottom of the myth of Wahhabis and Jamaatis intending to the support of Kashmiri seditionists.
It is in this background that now Kashmiris expect the atheist China to do for them what their co-religionists, the Pakistanis, Arabs, OIC and even the US could not do for last seven decades. Now the mullahs imported from UP and Bihar, manning the congregational prayers in the mosques in the valley will begin distributing copies of Chairman Mao’s Red Book among the mosque going people which begins not with the prayer that “there is no god but God” but with the prayer “there is no god but Mao tse Tung”.
And lastly, readying to be the clients of China, what will be the nature of relationship of Kashmiris with Pakistan. What will happen to the shah-rag slogan of Pakistan and how will Islamic world, especially the OIC interpret it?