Samuel Johnson once famously said “Politics is the last refuge of a scoundrel”.
While making a sweeping generalisation would not be correct but in case of most Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) politicians this statement does hold true. Taking advantage of political instability in the state and a clueless and inefficient government at the Centre, many terrorists simply reinvented themselves as politicians. And one who did this very efficiently, escaping the clutches of the law for a long time, was Yasin Malik, chairman of terror outfit Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).
Who is Yasin Malik?
He not just received training in terrorist camps in Pakistan but is also married to a Pakistani national. He was involved in guerrilla warfare against Bharatiya security forces causing untold misery to the forces and their families.
Yasin Malik was a gun wielding terrorist, although he prefers calling himself a ‘militant’ fighting for rights of ‘Kashmiri people’, who gunned down several innocents including Squadron Leader Ravi Khanna for which he is all set to face trial.
What is less known is that Yasin Malik was the mastermind behind the purging of Kashmiri Hindus from the Kashmir Valley and is responsible for their genocide, a fact that the Bharatiya government finally acknowledged recently in a statement issued while announcing a ban on JKLF.
Malik along with other members of JKLF have been accused of heinous crimes such as targeted killings, gang rapes, assaults and arson to drive Kashmiri Hindus out of the Valley; crimes such as the case of Sarla Bhat, a nurse at Kashmir’s premier medical institution SKIMS, who was gang-raped and cut to pieces.
He is believed to have given up arms in the mid 90s to continue his fight in a ‘lawful’ manner. JKLF provided him the shield behind which he could continue his terrorist activities in the name of ‘separatism’ and ‘fighting for people’s rights’. His commitment to peaceful methods is questionable as he was seen with Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saaed, the man responsible for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, as lately as 2013.
Mainstreaming a terrorist
Only in our country will a known terrorist and cold-blooded murderer be given a platform to air his views in the name of democracy and tolerating all shades of opinion. Make no mistake, a vibrant democracy surely provides space for everyone to form their own opinions and freely express them. However, a line has to be drawn somewhere.
India Today shamelessly invited Yasin Malik as a guest speaker in their leadership summit. When a businessman of the stature of Anand Mahindra introduces Malik as a guest speaker and applauds the hosts for providing a platform to everyone, what he actually does is legitimize terror.
Did India Today, its head Aroon Purie or even Mr. Mahindra pause to think about Squadron Leader Ravi Khanna and his family as well as the family of those brave jawans who lay down their lives just to protect us? Or of those Kashmiri Hindus who were victims of the terror unleashed by Malik and his cronies, for no fault of theirs or because their only fault was being Hindu?
The least we can do is stop engaging with terrorists like Malik who are known to have ISI links and are hell bent on breaking Bharat. Then you have Mr. Rajat Sharma of India TV hosting Yasin Malik in ‘Aap ki aadalat’ and never once questioning him about his overt acts of terror. In other words, media persons, whether right wing or left wing, legitimised terrorism by allowing Malik to use their platform.
The Congress led central governments over the decades engaged this terrorist-turned-Gandhian in the name of ‘back channel talks’ while Malik continued endorsing terrorists butchering innocent people. Congress is known to have a special respect for terrorists; Pulwama attack mastermind Masood Azhar is Masood Azhar ‘ji’ for Rahul Gandhi and Digvijaya Singh ensures he does not disrespect 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saaed, so calls him Hafiz Saaed ‘Sahab’.
In a true reflection of ‘Yatha Raja, Tatha Praja’ PC Chako, just like his boss Rahul Gandhi, was all praise for Yasin Malik’s ‘courage’ in not surrendering to the government. Mr. Chacko what courage is there in killing Jawans and innocents and that too at the behest of our enemy nation Pakistan?
Over the decades successive governments have treated terrorists like Malik with kid gloves. Even the Vajpayee government held talks with so called separatists in the hope of buying peace. But those days are long gone, and Prime Minister Modi and his team have laid the ground for an ‘iron fist in velvet glove’ policy to deal with any disruptive element in the society.
Be it terrorists or naxalites, their days are numbered and they’ll have to face the law sooner than later. Karma has caught up with Malik and it is time he pays for his sins.
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