This is a powerful essay by an Indian journalist about the kidnapping, torture, & murder of Indian army officer Ummer Fayaz in Kashmir:
1. Do you think occupation by India is the root cause of all violence in Kashmir? Yes.
2. Do you think Indian rule in Kashmir must end and there can be no peace without Azadi for Kashmir? Yes.
3. Do you think it is a democratic right of Kashmiris to fight the occupation forces in any way they can? Yes.
4. Do you think armed resistance is a part of the Kashmiri movement for Azadi, which is a necessary condition for making peaceful, democratic politics possible in Kashmir? Yes.
5. Do you condemn cold-blooded killings such as hanging and extrajudicial executions to suppress the Azadi movement? Yes.
6. Do you condemn the killing of armed militants in catch-and-kill counterinsurgency operations, in situations where they have been disarmed or are otherwise in no position to kill those hunting for them? Yes.
7. Do you condemn torture, rape and other acts of State terror on captured militants? Yes.
8. Do you think it is an obligation of the occupying army to treat captured militants as Prisoners of War in accordance with the Geneva Conventions? Yes.
9. Do you think the army is engaged in a brutal, shameless, no-holds-barred war on the people of Kashmir, in order to break the collective Kashmiri will for Azadi? Yes.
10. Do you condemn the killing of war criminals even if they are Kashmiris working for the occupation? No, it is a consequence of holding Kashmir against Kashmiri will.
11. Do you condemn militant attacks on formations of the Indian army? No, it is a consequence of holding Kashmir against Kashmiri will.
12. Do you condemn the killing of an unarmed soldier, not a war criminal himself, after abduction just because he is part of the occupying forces or joined the regiment responsible for the unforgivable horrors perpetrated on the women and men of Kunan-Poshpora? Yes.
(a) Because the answer to the last question must be consistent with all the answers that preceded it.
(b) Because this particular action serves the interests of the occupation and its war plan against the Kashmiri people.
(c) Because this action may well have been carried out by those who want to strengthen the occupation’s war efforts.
(d) Because I trust enough in the humanity and experience of resistance among the occupied — and especially those who are uncompromising in their resistance against Indian rule — to hope that most of them understand exactly why such war crimes are to be condemned when carried out by the oppressor and, when possible, retaliated against, but not replicated by perpetrating another war crime.
(e) also because, looking at how intelligence agencies have manipulated reality and perceptions during violent political conflicts across the world, I believe it is quite likely that some of those speaking most vehemently in support of such an action, shutting up every other opinion and justifying the war crime by referring to what the occupying forces routinely do to Kashmiris, could well be doing, knowingly or unknowingly, just what the agencies want them to do.
(Kashmiri schoolgirl throwing stones at Indian paramilitary soldiers during a protest in Srinagar on April 20, 2017.)
(Photo from AP)