It has not been very long since morphed pictures of famous Indian celebrities have been doing the rounds of the internet with a simple message – that the use of pellets by the Indian army is affecting, killing and maiming the every day Kashmiri. The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), has been in force in the state of Kashmir for over 25 years, and after the recent encounter of Burhan Wani, the debate around its removal has become more necessary than ever before.
Though Indians understand this issue, and to a large extent many Indians are speaking up about Kashmiris and their plight, what attracted us to these photos was the campaign, that was launched by three Pakistanis. The website, titled, ‘Never forget Pakistan’, posted these photos highlighting the plight of Kashmiris, who have to face bullets of the Indian army ever since protests began post the death of Wani.
But, what we need to understand is that Kashmir is not Pakistan’s ONLY issue. We need to understand WHERE this is coming from. For the longest time, the Pakistani government and media have raised the Kashmir issue to distract Pakistanis from the poor state of their economy and domestic terrorism problems.
And this is exactly what is happening this time around too.
Kashmir is an issue enveloping both nations, and ‘sympathizing’ with the plight of Kashmiris is very much unbecoming of a country that has been sending its troops across the border since Independence. So, today, we bring to you OUR answer to these images. These are a mirror to a Pakistani’s daily problems, and we sympathize with a Pakistani’s daily plight in the ugly face of terrorism, that could have been averted if the Pakistani government wanted to.
It’s funny how sincerely you talk about Kashmir after all that you have yet to address.
A Concerned Neighbor.
(Jointly co-written by Ankita Mukhopadhyay)