SRINAGAR: Twenty years before on July 31, 1988, it all started with a blast at telegraph office in Srinagar. Members of HAJY group (Hameed Shiekh, Ashfaq Majeed, Javeed Mir and Yasin Malik) planned the attack which later snowballed into the most effective armed struggle in occupied Kashmir history. Chairman Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Muhammad Yasin Malik remembers that day as the “day of self pride for Kashmiris.”
Malik and Javed Mir are two surviving members of the HAJY group while Hameed Sheikh and Ashfaq Majeed are no more. Malik believes that July 31 1988, was the day when Kashmiris made it clear to the International community that they can no longer take Kashmiris for granted. “All non violent means to achieve freedom were choked by India and there was no space left for a non violent movement against India,” Malik told Rising Kashmir.
“This is why we resorted to guns which carried the message to the globe that Kashmir is suffering and we are under occupation,” said Malik. Referring to the Indian struggle Malik said that Gandhi could only launch a successful nonviolent campaign against British as they provided him space and never took him to the third degree torture centres.“In Indian History there is only one Jalianwala Bagh but here we have massacres like Jalianwala Bagh massacres in every Mohalla and street,” the JKLF chief said.
Malik said that we were successful in proving the fact that the movement in Kashmir is an indigenous with out any sponsorship. Jammu Kashmir Liberation Forum (JKLF) chairman Javed Mir said that the day has a “futuristic importance”. Mir who is the only militant leader of Kashmir to have reached the cover of “TIME Magazine” in early 1990’s while recalling the memories of nascent armed resistance of Kashmir said, “The blast of July 1988 was a call to the international community as Kashmiris were till then ignored and disregarded by everybody.”
Mir wishes that “the next generation of Kashmir should now see the dream for which our people have sacrificed lakhs of precious lives.” “We were taken for ride every time it was some decisive moment for India and Pakistan but after 1988, it was clear that we are not just mute spectators but the basic party in this conflict,” said Mir.-SANA