Paying tributes to Mirwaiz and Lone
May 21 is one of the saddest day of Kashmir’s political history. On this day in 1990 Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq, father of present Mirwaiz Umar, was killed and after 12 years, same day in 2002 another veteran Kashmiri leaders, Abdul Gani Lone was killed, ironically while paying tributes to late Mirwaiz on his death anniversary. The two killings are two big questions that will continue to haunt the separatist leadership unless they gather the courage to say publicly who were responsible for the two killings. Though every year on the day, almost everyone from political class never misses a chance to pay tributes to the murdered leaders, none, except Lone’s younger son, Sajad Lone and Hurriyat leader Prof A G Bhat have ever dared to call a spade a spade. While Sajad raised the finger towards Pakistan’s ISI, Prof Bhat, in 2011, publicly said in a seminar that Mirwaiz and Lone were not killed by police or army but by ‘our own people.’ Except these two politicians, none has ever uttered a single word about the murder of these two leaders.
Both these leaders have contributed to Kashmir in almost all spheres. Mirwaiz, who had to head his Awami Action Committee at a very young age had contributed a lot on educational front. Islamia High School at Rajouri Kadal established by Mirwaiz family inspired the people of the old town to go for modern education. This institution has contributed a lot produced several stalwarts in different spheres of life. Likewise, A G Lone, hailing from a remote village of Kupwara district joined politics and brought this, otherwise backward, district into the focus. As a lawyer, a member of legislative assembly and a minister he did a lot for the poor peasantry of Kupwara and is still being respected and loved by the people there. One thing common between these two leaders was that they had the courage to challenge the tallest leader of Jammu and Kashmir late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. While Mirwaiz fought Sheikh politically in Srinagar, Lone took the battle inside then State’s Assembly.
The two leaders represented genuine voice of Kashmir. The two leaders were statesmen like. They fought for the rights of their people. They wanted Kashmiris to shine in all spheres of life and wanted them to get better education. They wanted to help people rise from the poverty and exploitation and live a dignified life. They were peace lovers and believed that in peace lies the progress and development of Kashmir. However, their respective stances made the forces inimical to the peace and progress of Kashmir uncomfortable and within twelve years both the voices were silenced.
Unfortunately their killers were allowed to hide under the smoke of ambiguity and no uncomfortable questions were ever asked. To hide the truth, a new word Na Maloom Ashkhas (unidentified persons) was added to the vocabulary and both the murders were consumed to this unidentified account. Instead of issuing statements and paying tributes to the slain leaders, their successors and the entire political class would do a great to the people of Kashmir if they publicly name and shame the killers of these leaders. The unidentified are to be identified and that would be the real tribute to these two leaders.