Rejection of ceasefire offer in Kashmir shows the Hurriyat’s anti-Islamic face
This article was co-authored by Colonel Vivek Chadha (retd) and Dr Adil Rasheed, research fellows at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.
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On May 16, the government of India announced non-initiation of offensive operations (NIOO) in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) during the holy month of Ramzan. The home ministry announcement came in the wake of appeals made by mainstream political parties in Jammu & Kashmir to usher in peace for the sake of the common people of the state.
Because of the cycle of violence, children are not able to go to school, the elderly have difficulty in receiving medical aid.
The government’s initiative took many by surprise, given that security forces had gained operational initiative against terrorists, eliminating several leaders in the recent past. The possible reasons for the government’s decision have been analysed.
Among these, a major factor was the desire to give peace a chance. This was especially true for the common people of J&K. Given the cycle of violence, children could not go to their schools, the elderly had difficulty in receiving medical aid and tourists stayed away, limiting job opportunities for the youth.
It was also important to expose the real face of terrorism and the economy of terror in J&K and Pakistan. Violence and terrorism has become a business opportunity for individuals and groups, who receive lavish funds and abuse their influence. Worse, the business of violence is perpetrated in the name of Islam, at the cost of opportunities for local gullible people and especially the youth.
The rejection of NIOO by the Hurriyat as well as terrorist organisations is the most recent example. This is especially the case when viewed from a religious perspective. Among the leaders of the Hurriyat are maulvis who are purportedly enlightened interpreters of Islam. It is these very leaders, like Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq, who for their parochial political positions and monetary gain, are willing to inconvenience the people of J&K. A more detailed analysis of this merits attention.
Islam is known for its message of peace and beneficence to all of humanity. Even when the Prophet (peace be upon him) became the powerful ruler of Medina and had gained military superiority over the forces of Makkah following the latter’s unsuccessful campaigns against him (in Badr, Uhud and Khandaq), the Prophet (peace be upon him) chose the path of peace.
He did not lead a reprisal attack on Makkah but wore the “Ihram” (single cloth garment worn to perform circumbulation of Holy Kaabah) and as a pilgrim stood with his followers in Hudaibiayah — a place close to Makkah, seeking the Holy City’s permission to perform the pilgrimage.
The people of Kashmir have been failed by the Hurriyat and the violent groups.
The leaders of Makkah denied him permission and instead forced him to sign an unfavorable treaty against his forces. But the Prophet (peace be upon him) accepted it, much to the chagrin of his closest of companions. In fact, he personally struck out His Holy Title “Messenger of God” from the treaty document as a gracious gesture. This Treaty is known as “Sulh-e-Hudaibiyah”.
He then peacefully retreated to Medina, without performing the pilgrimage as per the requirements of the Treaty. Thus, the Prophet showed his great humility and strength of character in the pursuit of peace. Himself a courageous warrior, he showed Muslims that it takes more courage to follow the path of peace than the path of war.
It is in the spirit of the Treaty of Hudaibiyah that the Indian government, being in a state of military strength, offered the NIOO, to reach out to the youth of J&K and give an opportunity to the common people to pray in a peaceful environment, which is in the best traditions and religious belief of Muslims in India and across the world.
The Indian military, despite having an upper hand against all terrorist groups, announced NIOO, in the spirit of the holy month of Ramzan. The Hurriyat and the violent groups of J&K have failed its people, as is clear from their actions. The common people must rise to the occasion and judge individuals and organisations through the strength of their actions, rather than rhetoric.
As true followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who showed how we should rise above our egos for the pursuit of a greater cause, Muslims must come together and strengthen the message of peace. The message of accepting peace is an incumbent of Allah (SubhanahuwaTa’la). Thus, the Almighty says in the Holy Quran:
If they incline to peace, then incline to them also and rely upon Allah. Verily, it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing.
Surah Al-Anfal 8:61
And Allah (SWT) again says:
So if they remove themselves from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not made for you a cause for fighting against them.
Surah An-Nisa 4:90