After all, it was not very long ago, in 1976 to be precise, that under Sheikh Abdullah, it was the people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir who wanted to come to India.
On April 4, 1979, in the wake of the hanging of Z A Bhutto, there were riots against the Jamait e Islami of Geelani. Thirty people were killed and their houses burnt. It was the Indian Army that came to the rescue of Jamait cadre.
Last March, it was the doctors at Tata Memorial hospital who operated on GeelaniÃÂs cancer and gave him a new lease of life. But then, consistency and gratitude are not virtues easily found amongst the separatist leaders.
The persisting trouble in Kashmir can be attributed to its use during the Cold War as a pawn to pressure India that was in the Soviet camp. Our pseudo secularists played into their hands by equating whole of Jammu and Kashmir with the opinion of urban Kashmiris in the cities of the Valley. Mohalla leaders like Yasin Malik are projected day in and day out on the national TV. Similarly, street unrest in Srinagar (more to do with unemployment) is projected as if the whole of Kashmir is in revolt.
Image: Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, (L) Chairman of Kashmir`s moderate faction of the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference (APHC) and Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Chairman of the hardliner faction of the APHC, pray on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr in Srinagar October 1, 2008. (Photograph copyright Reuters. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.)
Also read: Their Surreal Agenda for Kashmir Polls