How to describe Kashmiri youth’s reaction to Afzal Guru’ execution at Tihar jail in Delhi – anger, frustration, alienation and abandoned? His hanging may be a short-term relief for Congress-led central government but apparently its impact in the long run will prove Afzal’ executioners wrong. If for a moment we keep the humanitarian issue aside, Indian government and judiciary have not done a job which could elevate their status among nations. Apparently he was sentenced to death to meet the general public’ expectations, not to meet the criteria that you are innocent till proved guilty beyond doubt.

How come in a democratic, secular India Guru couldn’t get a good lawyer to plead his case and was left to be handled by a junior lawyer more loyal to his paymasters, the government. No doubt, Indian parliament was attacked; all the attackers were killed during forces’ response, and similarly all those who provided logistical support should have been punished, but not in this manner.

Unannounced hanging, no last meeting with family members, dead body not handed over to family, so many inhuman blunders to haunt them for years. Congress-led government might have scored a point against BJP’ attacks but forceful clampdown, indefinite curfew and suspension of cable TV, internet and mobile service in Indian-held Kashmir tell other story.

Since Pakistan turned its back on Kashmiri militants early last decade, armed militancy was back on track, however, Guru’ execution may revive the militant forces. Everyone is talking about Maqbool Butt’s execution in 1984, which became a rallying point for armed insurgency in 1989, who knows what Guru’s hanging will bring? One thing is sure – Guru’ hanging is a bad omen for those Indians, Kashmiri and Pakistanis who have been advocating peaceful solution of Kashmir conflict.


Saudi Arab, February 11.