In an exclusive interview with Executive Editor Daily Heaven Mail, Iqball Ahmad, Journalist, Activist , Political Analyst and eminent National TV debater Yana Mir talks on diverse issues .
Tell us about early days of your life ?
I was born in Anantnag, but left the valley with my parents at age of 4
My schooling except 10th and 12th, then college was in Mumbai.
I’m an MBA from Mumbai University, and Graduate in Journalism and Mass communication from IEC Himachal Pradesh
My family believed in giving us a life sheltered from the volatile conflict situation in kashmir valley, and hence they kept me out of the valley.. But now things are changing, and they are looking forward to settling back down in valley.
You support abrogation of article 370, how do you defend same ?
Abrogation may be necessary to break the dominance of those people who instead of working for progress of Kashmiris, they were only pushing Kashmiris in the cycle of hate and resistance. They had a negative impact on everything in Kashmiri society. because of them and their hartaals, Kashmiri children used to miss schools most days of the year, shopkeepers lost lot of business due to shops shutting, young women lost their husbands and mothers lost their sons to conflict, our Kashmiri brothers picked up stones and guns instead of pens.
This was disturbing trend, it has to end somewhere, and i see abrogation of article 370 as that much needed end.
This article 370 didn’t serve any benefits to Kashmiris, this article only helped the ruling class to hide centre’s funds and fill their treasuries, hen e it only increase corruption and helplessness of Kashmiri people.
What is the best solution to India Pakistan animosity?
The best solution of india Pakistan relations is that Pakistan stops maligning the image of India, Indians and Indian government everywhere in the world, Pakistan must stop interfering in our matters, because we are a democracy and we can fight for our own rights. We Kashmiris are not so weak that we need Pakistan’s support to get our rights.
Also we Kashmiris are not traitors that we will tolerate Pakistan maligning our country internationally.
Despite our problems, it’s between us and our government. We deserve the dignity to let us fight for our rights, whether is right to have our statehood back or right to pray at Jamia Masjid etc
If Pakistan wins Kashmiri hearts by talking about the problems and solutions of our people in Pakistan occupied Kashmir like Gilgit Baltistan and Muzaffarbad, then most problems between India and Pakistan will be solved.
How do you see multiple issues faced by Kashmiri Pandits after exodus ?
Kashmiri pandit exodus is sad but truth of kashmir’s history which cannot be denied.
But it’s wrong to blame Kashmiri Muslims for the exodus. We all know that Pakistan is intolerant to non Muslims.
It’s unfortunate that the then government could not stop pakistani infiltrators from entering kashmirs borders , putting both non Muslims and those Kashmiri Muslims who helped hindus, both in danger.
Today Kashmiris are fighting two battles, one to stop terrorism and other to bring our Kashmiri Pandit brothers and sisters back in the valley. And we Kashmiri Muslims are facing threats from terrorists on every step while fighting this battle of righteousness.
Some voices state that erstwhile State Governments in Jammu and Kashmir did lot of work. Your take?
Erstwhile state governments did some work, like Mehbooba Mufti did for women’s empowerment and Ghulam Nabi Azad did for organizing the administration, but they all couldn’t stop public Works from shutting down before completion due to shortage of funds. Many of these projects ( reportedly 7000 of them) got kickstarted after kashmir became union territory.
This means corruption was rampant in their times.
Your take on rising polarization in country ?
Actually there is too much politics in our country.
Too many political parties.
Too many ideologies.
We must become like United States
Only two parties – Democrats and Republicans. Then lot of this polarization and cross party violence will stop.
Your message ?
My message to people is that let’s start thinking of humanity and progress instead of conflict and resistance.
Let’s start making religion a personal matter between ourself and Almighty instead of open display.
Let’s together crush the intolerants in our society who make our life a menace, cursing and abusing everything that we try to do for social and economic progress.
Let’s protect our Kashmir from becoming next Afghanistan.