MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Kashmir-based militant organisations have initiated a joint campaign with the support of different politico-religious parties to mobilise the people for an en masse breaching of the Line of Control to protest India’s refusal to grant the right of self-determination to the people of Indian Kashmir.
The Line of Control (LoC) is the de facto border that separates Indian and Pakistani parts of the disputed Himalayan state.
Militant outfits and politico-religious parties have already stepped up their efforts to mobilise the people for what they call ‘an unprecedented’ move in the face of continuing Indian atrocities in the region.
These parties, including the Jamaat-e-Islami, the Azad Kashmir chapter of PML-N, Muttahida Jihad Council and refugees’ organisations believe that the Indian troops would not be able to confront when tens of thousands of people would cross the LoC en masse.
In this connection, the United Jihad Council, an umbrella group of nearly a dozen Kashmiri militant outfits, is preparing its activists for the ‘decisive move’.
The Jamaat-ud-Dawa and the Azad Kashmir chapter of Jamaat-e-Islami are actively promoting the plan, believing that Indian troops would not open fire on tens of thousands unarmed civilians who would try to cross the LoC.
They believe that one million people can be amassed to breach the control line which has divided tens of thousands of mothers from their sons and sisters for decades.
The idea of breaching the LoC en masse has been conceptualised by jihadi and politico-religious parties in Azad Kashmir, following a new uprising against Indian rule on the other side of the LoC.
Pakistan has been calling for a peace resolution of the festering dispute with India. And critics say that the participation of banned militant organisations, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jash-i-Muhammad and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, in the LoC breaching could hurt any effort to this end.
No date has been finalised for the move, but Azad Kasmir President Raja Zulqarnain has been contacting mainstream political parties and the Pakistan government to seek their support.
Several similar attempts had been made in the past to cross the LoC, the most important ones being those in 1954, 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1994.
However, the first successful attempt was made on February 11, 1990 when thousands of youth breached the LoC at Chakothi sector on a call from the Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation (JKNSF). Indian troops had opened fire on the unarmed students, killing eight of them on the spot.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 8th, 2010.