Hues of peace in Kashmiri tea

Published: September 18, 2012

I share nothing of what the ‘real’ Kashmiris are made of except the skin tone, the taste for food, the love of Kashmiri tea and the admiration for pashmina shawls. PHOTO: AFP

Some time back, I was watching an interview of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Yasin Malik on a local news chanel. The host kept probing the Kashmiri leader about his new ‘non-violence freedom movement’ in Kashmir despite Yasin Malik’s violent past history.

Will this movement work and why did it become non-violent now after almost 18 years of being so active?

My personal interest in the programme came from being indoctrinated since childhood (from Zia’s state media) that ‘Kashmir is an integral part of Pakistan’ and that ‘Kashmir will one day become Pakistan’ (because it was always ‘meant’ to be). And because I am a Kashmiri myself, ‘so-called’ Kashmiri that is, I share nothing of what the ‘real’ Kashmiris are made of except the skin tone, the taste for food, the love of Kashmiri tea (which we call namkeen chai) and the admiration for pashmina shawls.

I was conveyed this rather blatantly by a ‘real’ Kashmiri I made friends with in the UK last Ramazan. The only attributes unfortunately given to Kashmiris in ordinary Pakistani circles are those of being beautiful people who make great food and who love to eat. This generalisation is usually true but I was pleased to see that the ‘real’ Kashmiris are far beyond food and the desire to look good. I suppose more because generally people in Kashmir would be fair-skinned and everyone would see putting sugar in Kashmiri tea as an atrocity! (Traditionally, the pink Kashmiri tea is cooked with salt and not sugar as is commonly done in Pakistan.)

My new Kashmiri friend was a medical doctor who was outspoken, brave and I must say rather proud of being a Kashmiri. Her family had a big orchard in held Kashmir and came from a well-to-do, educated background. I was so fascinated by the fact that I was meeting a ‘real’ Kashmiri that my inquisitive mind started brimming with questions. I asked her to tell me about life in Kashmir in 2011, what the Kashmiri people wanted now, and whether they want to join Pakistan.

To the last question she said ‘no’. Infact she added cautiously that Kashmiris would be better off without being with Pakistan. After three wars having been fought between Pakistan and India over Kashmir and with nothing having worked out so far, this response did not come as a surprise.

Here’s what my Kashmiri friend ‘A’ told me:

“Kashmiris are tired. We are a whole generation that has grown up in fear and violence. We have all lost brothers or relatives or near and dear ones in the freedom movement. Now we don’t want the same violence for our children. We don’t want to be with Pakistan, we just want our own independence.”

When I asked her out of curiosity whether her new country will be able to survive on its own, she said that her people will work it out and that they just need their chance.

After hearing her harrowing account of being pulled off her medical university’s bus, where she was ordered to raise her arms to be searched and she refused along with several other disturbing details, I thought that she was such a brave woman. This mother of two children was a Kashmiri whose bravery radiated through her words. It was more important for her to guard her honour and to have courage. Sure she said she was very scared when such incidents happened. There were several times when she thought she would be shot and killed by the Indian forces. But she lived through it all to be able to decide that she didn’t want this for her children.

When Yasin Malik was repeatedly asked by the TV host why he had shifted to a non-violence movement, I wondered why he didn’t give the same reasoning that ‘A’ gave me. Yasin Malik has just had a baby daughter. Maybe family life has softened him to see the other realities of life. There is no parallel or substitute to freedom. Claiming it through reason and patience may shift the goal of the leadership of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front further away, but at least they will be giving peace a chance too.

As a Pakistani Kashmiri with ancestors from Srinagar, I can perhaps never understand or be able to gauge the density of pain that the Indian Kashmiris have lived through and possibly live through even today. But above, all as a human being who believes in peace, I feel that it is time that the strongest words be used now as methods of mass communication to show the world who these beautiful people are. They are the ‘real Kashmiris’, the fore runners in the desire to have peace. And they want to be heard.

Last year on my English Eid, a friend invited all the community Pakistanis to her house for a one-dish get together. ‘A’s’ family and another Indian family were also there. I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation between ‘A’ and the Indian guest near the Kashmiri tea tray.

‘A’ poured out a cup to the Indian man.

“Will you take sugar or salt?”, she asked.

“What do you normally take?”, he asked.

“Originally it’s taken with salt”, she told.

“I’ll take whatever is original then”, he smiled and concluded with a pinch of salt in his pink tea.

If only ‘people’ could rule the world.

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Ammara.Malik

Ammara Farooq Malik

A High Court Lawyer with an LL.M from the University of London and a Masters in Political Science, Ammara is a socio-legal analyst, writer, and Founder of the SEPLAA Foundation. She blogs at ammarafarooqmalik.wordpress.com

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Sinclair

    @Ammara Farooq Malik

    You may have your own opinion, but you cannot have your own facts. The circular logic of self determination is used by Muslims in minority in several countries of the world. Cleansing of the original population, and then a declaration of self rule – what a world view that is. I do not think this argument has a logical end because, as I said it is circular in reasoning. The only way to break it open is a war clearly for the stated objective of independence. And this war will have a clear outcome. If Pakistan wants to impose one on India, I do not think we will be found cowering from it. Other than that, nothing is going to change. Thanks.Recommend

  • Jat

    @Ammara Farooq Malik: Plebiscite, plebiscite, plebiscite… you failed to answer any question regarding Part A of the TRUCE AGREEMENT. And you are making a futile attempt to evade the real issue. Anyway I like to speak with facts. Here is some more, from this very newspaper, written by a Pakistani writer.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/194598/kashmir-in-focus–part-2-azad-jammu-kashmirs-laws-contravene-un-resolution/

    Under which International Law or otherwise can the Pakistanis force the unfortunate Kashmiris living under Pakistan’s occupation to sign the above ?

    I know, from long experience you will again fail to give a straight reply. :)Recommend

  • Jat

    To make it simple for you to understand, the Kashmiris living under your occupation are forced to sign on the following line:

    “I solemnly declare that I believe in the Ideology of Pakistan, the Ideology of State’s Accession to Pakistan and the integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan.”

    Duh ? UN resolution ?Recommend

  • Kashmiri

    @Ammara Farooq Malik

    Ma’am. I truly enjoyed your post. It was a light read, and a nice one too. I see you too have fallen prey to the ultra nationalist Indians who troll this site, and that is unfortunate. But you and I both know what Kashmiris in the Valley want, and what they InshAllah will get! :) Until then let’s drink our sheer-chais (or whatever else you want to call them) and pray for peace. Ameen.Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @ Mr. Jat @Mr. FU @Mr. Aoop:

    I read the Part II as well. Here is what I humbly think as a student of politics (I have taught British Politics and so can apply the same rules to the present study):

    After objectively reading through the material available online (I took care to read the Indian viewpoint as well), I have come to the conclusion that the problem of Kashmir really is very complex. Since I had set out to write a light read more as practice for writing for a book that I am working on (I wonder if the moderator will allow my shamelessly telling the world about it!) called ‘Life, blood and compassion’: a book about medical stories…that has nothing to do with Kashmir but talks about different cultures, the present article was not written with any spite.
    More in next comment…Recommend

  • Jat

    And this one is a real beauty ! Even the Prime Minister of POK has to take the following oath:

    The oath of office given to successful candidates in AJK, which is also taken by the president, prime minister, ministers, assembly speaker and advisors? “I will remain loyal to the Country [Pakistan] and to the cause of accession of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan.”

    UN resolution ?Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @Mr. Jat @Mr. FU @Mr. Aoop:

    I infact wrote against the popular Pakistani notion that Kashmir should come to Pakistan. I think that that is largely why very few Pakistanis came to my defence! The truth is always hard to digest.

    On the other hand I read the historical background and significance of Part II, in context to history. Please bear in mind that both Pakistani as well as Indian governments have very conveniently told their respective people only that which suits their Foreign Polices. Propaganda has historically been a very effective weapon throughout history.

    I write this as a student. Please do not base my country’s position on what I write.

    I can see that history has not been kind to the people of Kashmir. Neither Pakistan has helped the situation nor has India given the people what they really want.
    More in next comment…Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @ Mr. Jat @Mr. FU @Mr. Aoop:
    I read up on Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, the CM of J&k IN 1947 as well. He was a man viewed as a traitor by Pakistan and one who demanded autonomy for Kashmir from India. He was a true Kashmiri. A lot of political events including the 1972 war led him to realize that a political solution to Kashmir was the need of the hour. After so many years of struggle, he must have wanted things to become ‘normal’ in Kashmir too. Hence the
    1974 Indira-Sheikh accord with Indira Gandhi, then India’s Prime Minister, was signed ‘by giving up the demand for a plebiscite in lieu of the people being given the right to self rule by a democratically elected Government (as envisaged under article 370 of the Constitution of India) rather than the puppet government which till then ruled the State. [Sheikh Abdullah; M.Y.Taing (1985), p827-838]

    “Abdullah was in and out of detention through the 1960s, and finally in 1975 signed the controversial “Kashmir Accord,” a legalistic document which gives somehow everything to the government and pays lip service to Kashmiri autonomy at the same time.” [Amardeep Singh, Assistant Professor of English at Lehigh University, retrieved: http://www.lehigh.edu/~amsp/2007/10/sheikh-abdullah-and-kashmir-1947-8-guha.html
    More in next comment…Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @ Mr. Jat @Mr. FU @Mr. Aoop:

    “To prove you wrong or dispel your wrong notions, I showed how Kashmiris have enthusiastically voted in the past Panchayat elections – a staggering 80% of them voted. Even in certain areas in Mumbai, only around 45% of the people vote.”

    Yes but I read the article you had sent the link to and it mentioned that there was no clear majority party in Kashmir that would be able to form a strong government…but this is besides the point.
    Whether I believe in elections or not is really not important. What is important is how these Kashmiris can be helped so that there are no human rights violations there. Yes there are human rights violations in Pakistan. I condemn them whole heartedly but they are not the point of discussion here.

    When my article got posted I got an email from a Kashmiri living in the US. He shared some very interesting insights with me. I am reproducing these below with his permission but without his name:
    More in next comment…Recommend

  • G. Din

    @Ammara Farooq Malik:
    “At the time of partition, the Muslim majority states came to Pakistan and the Hindu majority went to India. “
    This half-truth is a pleasant -and all too convenient – pitfall Pakistanis like to jump into. For your information, Terms of Independence were as follow:
    1. Hindu-majority and Muslim-majority areas of British India will be part of future Dominions of India and Pakistan, respectively.
    2. Accession of states not ruled by the British, by Maharajas and Nawabs and Nizams etc, shall be decided by the sovereign of the respective state. However, the Viceroy of India, advised those sovereigns to keep in mind the wishes of the people they ruled when deciding the accession issue. That was advice, not direction. Accession of Kashmir was decided by Maharaja Hari Singh, obviously an Hindu. Additionally, on Nehru’s insistence, Sheikh Abdullah, the sole people’s leader of that state then was asked to unofficially endorse Maharaja’s accession instrument. Which, he (Abdullah) did as a confirmation of his people’s wishes. Consequently the world saw Kashmir live in total peace and quiet for the next 42 years of the last 65 years (Read my earlier post)
    I hope it clears your doubts about the issue. Pakistan cannot sustain the Kashmir lies.
    Let me take this opportunity to congratulate you on your mastery of the art of making Sheer Chai (Incidentally, it is Sheer – not Sher- Chai because of a lot of milk used perhaps) . I didn’t mean to discourage any one relishing this unique treat from Kashmir when I said I was told that it takes a day to prepare it. I have no personal direct knowledge of the same.

    @deep:
    “…partition saw killings on both sides. That is the source of all your hatred – your belief that only muslims migrating to pakistan were killed –”
    No, it is not that simple. Buried deep in the psyche of every Muslim is the fact that they were cheated by the British in not handing over India back to Muslims when they left. Having ruled India for 300 years (not the 1000 year canard), they feel they were entitled to rule India in perpetuity. No one can take this away from them and they are destined to get ulcers in perpetuity instead!Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @ Mr. Jat @Mr. FU @Mr. Aoop:

    Here are snippets of what Mr. ‘Kashmiri’ wrote:
    “Read your interesting article in The Tribune. Kasmiris have always been at cross roads. On one side they would demand for independence and on the other end they would cast vote for those meaningless state elections.Pakistan is always preferred and loved over India.
    But I am glad the Kashmiris have been successful in clinging that Kashmiriyat, the culture of ours. It is in back of his mind not to be a part of India or Indian muslim culture (whatever is left). Had Kashmir been part of Pakistan, it would have been a different story altogether. There would have been so much intermingling that Kashmiryat would have become a history.

    In my job overseas I have met scores of Pakistani Kashmiris. It pains me when they can’t utter a single word of Kashmiri like “Lol” (LOve) or ” waray chukha” (How are you). I feel quite sad – for a lost culture.”

    My reply 1:
    “Our elders in Pakistan did try to preserve this culture by not marrying their children outside the Kashmiri ‘biradri’ but that trend is dying down too. For Pakistani Kashmiris, being a Pakistani is now more important than being Kashmiri, Punjabi or even Pathan. It is considered ‘rasict’ to want to belong to one particular group rather than the country. But I share your sadness for this lost culture.

    I think that Kashmir has produced brilliant people in the past. Why should the world not know where these people have their roots?

    My Kashmiri friend in the U.K. even told me that her husband was a ‘Wane’, a tribe that boasts of the ‘highest calibre Kashmiris who are intellectuals and writers’. I sheepishly added that I am a ‘Wyne’ which sounded similar. She rather snapped back that ‘Wyne’ is actually ‘Wane’ in Kashmir. I am in no position to refute her but see the contrast in how we view the same name: She with immense pride and me with apology. It is the Pakistani community that makes you view your proud Kashmiri heritage as an ‘apologetic’ fact. It is very sad, very sad…”Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @ Mr. Jat @Mr. FU @Mr. Aoop:

    His reply 2:
    “I was always curious to know as why Sheikh Abdullah in 1947 fell into trap of cunning Nehru against the wishes of Kashmiris. Read a few books and talked to some people who had witnessed 1947 events and finally got an answer. Though his grave is guarded by security now but he was a proud Kashmiri.
    As we know Kashmir has a terrible history. The lands belonged to a small minority of local Hindus and common Muslims were treated like slaves. The winters used to be long and brutal. And going to Punjab, mainly Lahore, was the only choice to work for livelihood. There they were treated badly and called by a derogatory word “Hatoo” similar to “Rafeeq” in Saudi or “Niger” in US. That was the major reason for Sheiks reluctance to change his mind.
    During my visit to valley this summer I was dismayed to learn the enormous difference in male/female ratio due to preference for male babies and letting children to speak English or Urdu in place of native Kashmiri. In my lifetime I want to see Kashmir as I have seen it in through my age. Maybe we are heading to the final solution, India has been trying its best.
    I wish you visit your motherland you seem to love so much.”Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @ Mr. Jat @Mr. FU @Mr. Aoop:

    My reply 3:
    “Your sentence just caught my imagination:
    ‘Maybe we are heading to the final solution, India has been trying its best.’
    What in your opinion is the final solution? It seems that if Kashmiris stayed happily with India with some autonomy this would be acceptable (even if it is in resignation) ?
    And yes I would absolutely love to visit Kashmir one day!”Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @ Mr. Jat @Mr. FU @Mr. Aoop:

    His reply 4 (last):
    “The final solution will be when a Kashmiri muslim says” he is an Indian instead of Kashmiri”. The onslaught of Indian culture has been quite huge through films, tv etc. So far Kashmiri has withstood that onslaught, but how long!! When future generation is intermingled (as the ratio has changed) with Indians or do not know their mother tongue – link to his roots is snapped. It will be anybody’s guess. It is total defiance to Indiansation in Kashmir at the moment.
    I wish you visit shaheed graveyards in Kashmir, lone witness to our defiance. India may win but will not conquer Kashmiri.”

    I rest my case. Because it really is no longer mine. Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @ Umer: “A very sensible article and an amazing followup of the comments.”

    Many thanks Umer :)Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @A J Wantu : I completely empathize…Recommend

  • nitish

    @Ammara Farooq Malik: My apologies!! I agree some part of my comment was rather immature and came out of anger.But Ammara its not india which is responsible for all the mess and human right voilation in the J&k.It is pakistan who first invaded kahmir and as a result of that king of kashmir was having no option left else to accede Kashmir with india.Even then kashmir was peaceful till 1989.But after defeat of soviet forces,all the focus of muzahidin was towards J&K.First of all they killed ,raped pandits and forced them to live in the exile.They misguided religious bigots to fight for the separate nation. Presence of Let and muzahidin is still visible in J&k after huge deployment of armed forces.In my opinion kashmir should always be part of india.We r bigger and stable country with growing economy.Already special status is there for kashmir in our constitution,then what is the problem.If people of kashmir will cooperate we can turn kashmir into tourist hub.kasmir will be one of the richest state of india.If they will want to be with us ,we r here to fight for them and soon AFSPA will be removed .Constitution of india doesnt discriminate on the basis of caste,color and religion.So it guarantees safety for shia and ahmmedi.And if 20 crs muslim can live happily in india ,why not a handful muslims from kashmir.Secular democratic india is always better than an islamic state for people of kashmir.As far as we can see china is the biggest threat for the existence of kashmir as a separate nation.Recently PLA have confrontation with Indian army in ladakh region.so their intention is very clear.
    you said i m immature,may be coz i mere 19 yrs old guy …need lot to learn in the life.
    my identity…….INDIAAAAAAAAAAA.No two ways about it.If you like me to be bit racial(just Kidding) then i m a Brahmin with obvious fair complexion.Love to have your tea anytime.Recommend

  • Jat

    @Ammara Farooq Malik: Remember the views of your Mr Kashmiri, even if taken at face value, are those of a “sunni Kashmiri Muslim from Kashmir valley”, most probably from one of the three bigger towns.

    There is much much more to Jammu & Kashmir than that. He certainly does not speak for the Shias of the hills, the gujjars, Sikhs, Hindus, Ladakhis, Kashmiri Pandits of the valley, the Muslims from Nubra valley, the Tibetan refugees etc etc. Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @Jat: “Plebiscite, plebiscite, plebiscite… you failed to answer any question regarding Part A of the TRUCE AGREEMENT. And you are making a futile attempt to evade the real issue. Anyway I like to speak with facts. Here is some more, from this very newspaper, written by a Pakistani writer.
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/194598/kashmir-in-focus–part-2-azad-jammu-kashmirs-laws-contravene-un-resolution/
    Under which International Law or otherwise can the Pakistanis force the unfortunate Kashmiris living under Pakistan’s occupation to sign the above ?
    I know, from long experience you will again fail to give a straight reply. :)”

    Here is my ‘straight reply’: None that I know of in my limited knowledge. And I have already written about the other parts. In extremely simple terms: Had India been a better neighbour with Pakistan in 1959, Pakistan would not have to have the Sino-Pakistan Treaty and there could have been the plebiscite under the UN. Now we can’t change history. But we can change the future. Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @ Kashmiri
    “Ma’am. I truly enjoyed your post. It was a light read, and a nice one too. I see you too have fallen prey to the ultra nationalist Indians who troll this site, and that is unfortunate.”

    Many thanks :) The ‘trolls’ lol! Well I can handle them :)

    “But you and I both know what Kashmiris in the Valley want, and what they InshAllah will get! :) Until then let’s drink our sheer-chais (or whatever else you want to call them) and pray for peace. Ameen.”

    Ameen. Yes please let’s drink some tea! Recommend

  • nitish

    @Ammara Farooq Malik: Now we can’t change history. But we can change the future
    No you cant ,coz it now became a power game.India has now started flexing its muscles.we r no more weak.You have no idea about our might,and we r no more going to tolerate atrocities committed on Pandits.They r our brothers and our blood boils for them.We dont want to indulge in pity arguments.You have whole lot of illogical explanation in support of your Ummah,but for a hindu from kashmir ” i empathize”.Madam ,that is why our army is indulge in human write voilation and taking revenge for fellow brethren.Did you get it?Come out of your bias attitude,otherwise you will listen more music.Recommend

  • Jat

    @Ammara Farooq Malik: My last post on this topic.

    First, Pakistan ceded much more land in POK part of Kashmir than what you may have read in the so called Sino-Pakistan Agreement 1963. It ceded land again, later, for getting nuclear tech from China. As a matter of fact some land was ceded as late as the 90s.

    You said I should not bring ‘nuclear’ in to the already existing mess, but that was done by your government.

    Listen to Nazam Sethi in “Aapas ki baat” on Geo news. The program was aired yesterday. You will learn how Pakistan had blueprints of an atom bomb which was tested by China in 1960, and how Pakistan passed on these blueprints to Libya’s Gaddafi for millions of dollars.

    And all this is not Indian propaganda – your tv news, your program and your very senior journalist Mr Nazam Sethi.

    moderators: This is your test case :)Recommend

  • Indian

    @Ammara Farooq Malik:
    Dear Author,
    There was a divorce altogether in 1947 in the name of religion. Then, Jinnah sent Pashtoon tribes to Kashmir to grab Kashmir before Hari Singh could annex Kashmir to India. Its hard to believe that Pakistan still hoped India would help get back some piece of land that was grabbed using infiltration.

    Secondly, just because Kashmir is predominantly a Muslim region does not mean it should become a part of Pakistan. Ethnic issues are probably more complex than religious one. Religion changes, but ethnicity does not. India understands this and has given ample and equal freedom to all cultures and ethnicity. Hinduism is the predominant religion in India. But if there were discrimination based on ethnicity, we wouldn’t have been one nation. For example, A Pakistani Punjabi Malik may find it hard to go and live in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa or Balochistan, but a Punjabi Hindu Malik don’t have to fear not being accepted in any other part of India.

    !! Peace !!Recommend

  • Jat

    @Ammara Farooq Malik: You say :”…In extremely simple terms: Had India been a better neighbor with Pakistan in 1959, Pakistan would not have to have the Sino-Pakistan Treaty and there could have been the plebiscite under the UN…”

    Unfortunately you still do not get the point. The 1948 UN resolution was passed, as the name says, in 1948 and the Sino-Pak treaty (which itself is illegal under the UN resolution) happened in 1959. What was stopping Pakistan from fulfilling its obligation under the UN resolution for 11 long years ? Why didn’t Pakistan withdraw its army, tribal militia and other people from the occupied territory ? What right did Pakistan have to barter away Kashmir land ? Do you know that the land that was ceded was NEVER a part of China or Tibet ?

    The real reason is the plunderer’s mentality. Lack of attachment to motherland comes from becoming mercenaries, soldiers on hire. Who invited and brought the Americans and Chinese in our region ? Now you are paying for and will continue to pay for all your follies.

    ps: I also tried to clear up your confusion on the ‘nuclear angle’, but it seems that was censored by the moderators here.

    All the best to you.Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @FU & Tony Singh: My last comment on this post to you:

    You wrote:
    @FU: “Don’t ignorantly ask for a plebiscite…get back the land you sold to China shamelessly.”

    “FU: @Jat Pointing out the facts according to her is uncivil.She doesn’t even have the face to answer Part II of UN resolution and issues i have raised.All she said was thanks for other parts of comments. Then they wonder why Kashmir issue is hardly taken up by UN and other countries.”

    Tony Singh: “Would have been chaos? What was that that happened in 1947? A disciplined orderly exchange of population? With millions dead! Either you are plain naive or brain dead. Grow up lady!”

    ‘Much more’ chaos then.
    It is very easy for me to talk back in the same rude tone as you. If I refrain from becoming emotional on an online forum, then please don’t confuse my wisdom in not to come down to your level with naïveté.

    Peace.Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @Jat:

    “@Madiha: This is not an article, rather a work of fiction. And in fictional work it is easy to fight the imaginary cyber invaders.
    The facts are all there in black and white, in these comments, but not a single post by any Pakistani to counter them.”

    This is not fiction. This incident really did happen. You may continue to live in denial.Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @Jat: “Article on culture ? You being a lady, I will leave it at that. Moreover you are a Pakistani, so being free with facts is also understandable.”

    I can write very explicitly aswell. I am also a lawyer. Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @Sinclair :

    You wrote:
    “You may have your own opinion, but you cannot have your own facts. “

    History is strewn with the convenient picking up of those facts that suit a particular agenda. You are doing it too.
    Please read for enlightenment|:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/09/mass-graves-of-kashmir

    Peace.Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @ G.Din:
    “Consequently the world saw Kashmir live in total peace and quiet for the next 42 years of the last 65 years … (Read my earlier post)…I hope it clears your doubts about the issue.”

    Please read this:

    JAILED KASHMIRI DENOUNCES INDIA; Sheikh Abdullah in Letter to U.N. Charges New Delhi With Repression Indians Warn of ‘Plant’ (1957) The New York Times August January 16.

    Peace.Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @nitish: You write: “You have no idea about our might,and we r no more going to tolerate atrocities committed on Pandits.They r our brothers and our blood boils for them.We dont want to indulge in pity arguments.You have whole lot of illogical explanation in support of your Ummah,but for a hindu from kashmir ” i empathize”.Madam ,that is why our army is indulge in human write voilation and taking revenge for fellow brethren.Did you get it?Come out of your bias attitude,otherwise you will listen more music.”

    “you said i m immature,may be coz i mere 19 yrs old guy …need lot to learn in the life.”

    My dear nitish, please hear yourself above. This is exactly why peace has been hampered all these years. I am almost twice your age and will not debate with you further.

    P.S.: When you agree that your army is indulging in human rights violations, it is not ‘human write voilation’. The correct spellings are ‘human rights violation’.

    PeaceRecommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @Jat: “Do you know that the land that was ceded was NEVER a part of China or Tibet ?”

    That is very debatable. See Wikipedia.

    Peace.Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @Jat (My last comment):
    “You said I should not bring ‘nuclear’ in to the already existing mess, but that was done by your government.”

    Dear Mr. Jat, I am neither the government nor their representative to discuss the nuclear mess online when all I know about you is that your online name is ‘Jat’…incidentally I don’t watch Najam Sethi either :)

    You are most welcome to visit me in my office in Lahore and I will not only discuss this issue with you completely face to face but will also offer you a cup of tea.

    Peace!Recommend

  • M.Ahmer Ali

    @Tony Singh:
    “Dil behlane key liye khayal aacha hai. Filhaal Janaat tow hamare pas hi hai aur khush hai.
    Keep dreaming for next 1000 years nope that is 1000 -39. You do the calculations.
    You have been posting against freedom of speech now how about following it? Do we start burning Pakistani flags for calling us “Pagans” and “Kafir”?”
    You are absolutely wrongful here on your this stance and standpoint because you are forcibly captured Kashmir and one day that shall come surely when you shall leave this paradise “Kashmir” and never forget it that the temporary forcibly control/hold on any thing is never permanent control/hold on any thing.And as far as your this line is concerned “You have been posting against freedom of speech now how about following it? Do we start burning Pakistani flags for calling us “Pagans” and “Kafir”?” that would you like to explain how many times you have been violated the rules and regulations of freedom of speeches and burnt Pakistani flags in your protests???Recommend

  • nitish

    @nitish: typo rightRecommend

  • Jat

    Pls check your email. Be safe.Recommend

  • nitish

    @author Author is chanting for plebiscite .Let us wait till 2014 then i see.Mark my word Ammara,afterwards you will strive to be part of india…..thats i m sure.Only one thing i want to say,religion will destroy you people.Recommend

  • Ahmad Malik

    Great Article! Keep up the good writings! Recommend

  • Mrs. Buksh

    @Ammara: Please join the Foreign Office! We need more people like you there. Enjoyed your comments even more than the article. Best wishes.Recommend

  • G. Din

    @Ammara Farooq Malik:
    “JAILED KASHMIRI DENOUNCES INDIA; Sheikh Abdullah in Letter to U.N. Charges New Delhi With Repression Indians Warn of ‘Plant’ (1957) The New York Times August January 16.”
    Yes, there was a time Sheikh Abdullah turned anti-Indian even when Nehru, his great friend, was still in the saddle in Delhi. You seem to do a lot of reading but a highly intelligent person like you should ask questions and then try to find answers.
    Why did Sheikh Abdullah turn anti-Indian after he had singlehandedly steered his “nation” towards India at the most critical juncture? I won’t give you an answer but some pointers.
    Sheikh Abdullah was exploiting his friendship of Nehru beyond limits. He was used to receiving blank cheques from the Government of India which suddenly stopped when he was asked to give an accounting for the vast sums already advanced to him and he could/would not. Nehru tried to nudge him towards doing so but he could not. This left him feeling betrayed.
    Then also, there was an event which pumped him to an extraordinary degree – the visit of the American Presidential hopeful Adlai Stevenson Jr to Kashmir. Soon after that visit he gave his “we will eat grass” speech (To keep the record straight, Bhutto was not the first who warned the world that he would go to the meadows and eat grass). Adlai Stevenson’s “encouragement” gave him strange ideas of declaring the sultanate of Kashmir and naturally himself as the Sultan. Many attempts were made to pacify him, amongst others by Maulana Abdul Kalaam Azaad and Rafi Ahmed Kidwai but to no avail. He had set his heart on being the Sultan of Kashmir. India was not sleeping at the switchboard. They realized that he had to be curbed before he became a menace. He went to Pahalgam for a secret rendezvous with Pakistanis as Prime Minister of Kashmir (yes, that was his title) and was brought back in handcuffs and put under house-arrest. Twelve long years of incarceration followed at the end of which he was chastened enough to be let go free. He went to meet Nehru who sent him to Pakistan to discuss possible solution to Kashmir. While he was there, Nehru died. He returned back without accomplishing much.
    Kashmir was peaceful and quiet all those years of Sheikh’s incarceration which reinforces the notion that it was not only Sheikh Abdullah who wanted to go with India over Pakistan but Kashmiris too wanted that. Not even one other leader of his party, National Conference, showed his solidarity with the Supreme Leader when he was incarcerated. Instead, the governance passed to the next senior leader, Bakhshi Ghulam Mohammed.
    Can you see now why my assertion about a peaceful and quiet Kashmir for 42 years stands the test of those times?Recommend

  • Tony Singh

    @umer:
    In last state elections more than 60% voted in elections. By your own logic that is their endorsement of staying in IndiaRecommend

  • Tony Singh

    @M.Ahmer Ali:
    That exactly is my point. Never Have I burnt a flag. But you look at how your countrymen behave..Recommend

  • Tony Singh

    @Ammara Farooq Malik:
    “It is very easy for me to talk back in the same rude tone as you. If I refrain from becoming emotional on an online forum, then please don’t confuse my wisdom in not to come down to your level with naïveté.”
    I had given a unapologetic and sharp rebuttal to your observations. ET in their wisdom chose not to publish it, Hope they will forward those to you.
    Let me conclude by saying stop viewing the world through the prism of religion and colour. At least the first one dominates the narrative and there is a subtle hint of the second one.Recommend

  • http://www.kabacreations.com Vishnu Dutta

    I know you wont post my previous comment, reality is usually hard to accept. but so that you know, i have been to Azad kashmir (Real Kashmir) more than you have been to POK. so i know what i am talking about and what they think about pakistan. While the real kashmir is important part of indian political arena the POK is merely a kickball.
    I hope you read this ms malik. you need to know the truthRecommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @Tony Singh:

    Dear Mr. Singh,
    “Let me conclude by saying stop viewing the world through the prism of religion and colour. At least the first one dominates the narrative and there is a subtle hint of the second one.”

    The narrative was about a woman who was culturally from Kashmir, it just so happened that she was Muslim too. The stereotype of ‘colour’ is how things are seen in Pakistan. I just spelled out a popular ‘notion’.

    Personally, I never comment on religion. After living in a multi cultural/ multi ethnic environment for over 10 years, I truly respect the religious space of others. You would not see me discuss religion in any comment above. Please don’t ‘assume’ the worst from all Pakistanis :)

    I think that the ‘fair complexion’ is also a rather over rated expression in the subcontinent. I find some dark people (even traditionally ‘ugly’ ones) to be far more beautiful in the true sense than the ‘fair’ ones.

    I invite you to see the real work I do, you would not have written this comment if you had.

    Regards.Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @Mrs. Buksh: Agreed!

    @Ammara: Please join the Foreign Office! We need more people like you there. Enjoyed your comments even more than the article. Best wishes.Recommend

  • Ammara Farooq Malik

    @Mrs. Buksh: I just saw the comment above and saw that only half went up somehow.

    Actually it was: Agreed! We need more people who can talk about peace! :)
    Thank you for your kind wishes.Recommend

  • dude108

    if Kashmir get Independent, the next day Pakistan will attack you. Sorry you don’t have military. Best option is to get autonomy as much as possible within Indian constitution.Recommend

  • Fayaz Dar

    @Kashmiri Pandit:
    Yoyy have already been senttout. Relax!!!Recommend

  • sher

    I think that pakistan destroyed any hope of kashmiris being independent. The reason was that Pakistan supported and promoted the bogus APHC. APHC was never representative of Kashmiris and hence the people never supported and so it was hard to suceed. The APHC had no grass root support. The reason is simple. In J&K the ethnic people are all JATS, GUJJARS, RAJPUT, SUDHAN, BUTT, DAR, LONE, KHATRI & WANI. All others are decended from invaders who were a millions times worse to these people than indian Govt. The APHC is all arabs like sayed geelani, sayed umar farooq, yasin malik, budgami, andrabi, mulla ansari, syaed saluhuddin. All overseas kashmirs rep is sayed nabi fai a paid ISI operative and bogus Nazir geelani in the UK. No native of J&K is involved in a high position. As a result of this kashmiris are not involved. So why should we support this movement. If people in pakistan who like us are all aryans want to be arabs slaves that is fine but we reject this view and reject arabs who think that they are our leaders. Kashmir is an Aryan land and always will be . Recommend

  • Aziz Kashmiri

    A very insightful article on Kashmiris. To people who want us to leave Kashmir and move to Pakistan just because we happen to be Muslims, we say ” A plague on your bigoted houses”, why should we leave our ancestral land just because we happen to be Muslims?. It is our choice to be Muslims and we converted to Islam many centuries ago for a reason. If swords and bullets could cower us into accepting Islam, in that case the Indian army should have been heroes in Kashmir by now with their photos hanging in every house in Kashmir. I cannot help but shake my head in disbelief when Indians comment here from a righteous pedestal, if they are so sure about Gujjars n Paharis n Shias n Sunnis n Sikhs etc Why don’t they just go ahead and hold a Plebiscite in J&K as guaranteed by the UN security council resolutions?. All we are asking of India is the democratic right to choose what we want or where we want to go. About Ms. Maliks question of how we would survive, we survived a millennium without having either a Pakistan or India interfering in our territory, If Nepal and Bhutan can survive sandwiched between arch Nuclear enemies China n India, why cant we? Recommend

  • Son of Adam

    @ Indians :- What about the several mass graves discovered in Kashmir Valley that have been left unaccounted by your ‘patriotic’ and ‘Kashmir-friendly’ Indian Army? Mass graves remind me of countries like Bosnia-Herzegovina and Rwanda. So is India becoming another mass grave producing nation? At least there are no mass graves in Balochistan. Also 100,000 people have not been butchered in Balochistan, unlike Indian Occupied Kashmir. If you Indians had considered Kashmiris as equal Indians even for one freaking second, then 100,000 Kashmiris would not have been dead today.Recommend

  • G. Din

    @Aziz Kashmiri:
    “If swords and bullets could cower us into accepting Islam, in that case the Indian army should have been heroes in Kashmir by now with their photos hanging in every house in Kashmir.”
    You were converted at the point of a sword. It was a conversion by coercion as most conversions to Islam have been throughout history. As soon as that threat was lifted, you tried to come back to your original faith -Hinduism. But, no Hindu would accept you because your conviction had been tested and found wanting. That is the history of Muslim rule in Kashmir. That is at the base of Hindu-Muslim schism not only in Kashmir but throughout India – Hindus would not accept lily-livered amongst them.
    Indian Army is not in Kashmir to convert anyone. You couldn’t see a uniformed soldier for 42 years in Srinagar after you had begged India in 1947, through your leader Sheikh Abdullah, to come save you from the marauding barbarians Pakistan had sent you. Then, in 1965 again, when Pakistan sent in instigators, you handed those over to authorities. But come 1989, things changed.
    Then you wanted to join Pakistan because you couldn’t freeload India any longer. All of a sudden Pakistan became the darling. I am told, you even sang your devotion to Pakistan in these words: “Zuv-jaan vandhaha Hindustanus, dil chum Pakistanus kun” ( I would sacrifice my life for Hindustan but my heart is for Pakistan). Your opportunism is transparent in those words.
    Now that phase is also over. Realizing that Pakistan is in no position to allow you to freeload, now you want “azaadi”. Oftentimes, one does not get in life what one ardently wants. That is the time to put up and shut up or get up and walk away. No one will stop you in either choice you make.
    You want a plebiscite? Go ask the one that promised you one -the UN- to deliver it. Stop bugging India. You are not going to get it from us.Recommend