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(2000) New Year’s Eve Message from Shabir Ahmad Shah

Posted by Kashmir Portal on June 11, 2009

On the 31st December night when the clock will strike 12, the entire world will hug the new millennium with
joy and jubilation; with new hopes and aspirations. But in this unfortunate land, Kashmir, even on this
auspicious night life will be running miserably to save itself from the clutches of death. There will be more sighs, more wails and more sobs – a tragic life that has all but become the destiny of Kashmiri’s.
The bygone century is departing with a series of memories – both sweet and bitter. It witnessed destruction caused by World Wars and also the establishment of the United Nations Organisation to check such wars in future. It witnessed Nuclear Bombs being dropped at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and then the emergence of Japan as the most developed and prosperous nation. It was during this century that India won freedom but at the same time the century was the bloodiest partition of the subcontinent. It witnessed Pakistan emerging as a sovereign country and the birth of Kashmir problem. It witnessed India and Pakistan fighting full fledged wars on Kashmir and subsequent suffering of Kashmiris. The last decade has moved even faster. It witnessed USSR troops fleeing from Afghanistan and then Afghans indulging in worst civil war. It witnessed Israelis and Palestinians dreaming of peace, Bosnia crisis inching towards resolution, Kusovo crisis settling and people of East Timor exercising their right of self determination.

But for Kashmiri’s there was no respite in the bygone century. They are still getting killed and are not yet being allowed to decide about their political future. The only hope for Kashmiri’s, that the concluding century has, is that the world seems to be waking up to the importance of peace and in this backdrop wants all disputes in the world resolved.

Independence is the destiny of Kashmir: it is my belief. Yes, it has got delayed, not because people lacked in commitment towards freedom but because those who matter had erred umpteenth times. One leader, one slogan and one programme are the basic ingredients of every movement and Kashmir is no exception. This is what I tried all the time to make people understand. But unfortunately people in influential positions gave little or no heed to it. Result: Confusion and chaos. Unless we – all the people of Jammu & Kashmir – unite for the noble cause, things will not change.

Yes, I repeat, independence is the destiny of Kashmiris, but division among our ranks will only delay the process
and the delay is deadly for common masses who are suffering. At the doorstep of a new century, a new millenium, we must have serious introspection, make changes, and try even harder for our noble goal. At the beginning of the new millennium, I rededicate myself to the noble cause and in the name of humanity appeal all to join hands. It is a peoples’ movement and no persons should ever dare to presume that peoples’ aspirations can be taken far granted. I believe in transparency. There is no scope for secret deals and agendas. Everything should be open before the people as they are the judges. They are the masters of the movement and no leader or organisation, whatever position it has, will be allowed to take people for a ride. The people have invested a lot, they have sacrificed everything and their sacrifices will not go waste. The future is theirs but people who matter have to do a little bit introspection and correct all wrongs that they have committed during by gone years. Freedom is our goal, and we will get it.

Shabir Ahmad Shah
President, Jammu Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party


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