Afzal a mercenary, Bhatt an ideologue

From Left: Maqbool Bhat,Afzal Guru.
From Left: Maqbool Bhat,
Afzal Guru.

The hanging of Azal Guru, has raised the debate whether it would mark the return of insurgency in Kashmir as it did at the time of the Maqbool Bhat hanging. Many leaders in Kashmir are apprehensive that the effects of this hanging would not have an immediate impact, but it is bad news for the Valley in the future.

However the team which was part of the investigation of the Parliament attack which included officials of the Research and Analysis Wing and also the Intelligence Bureau say Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat cannot be compared. Bhat was an ideologue, but Afzal is a mercenary and hence there is no cause for worry, officers would point out.

If one were to look into the interrogation report of Afzal Guru it is clear that he was not fighting any cause, but he lent a helping hand to the operation on Parliament for Rs 10 lakh. This is not indicative of an ideologue and the officers point out that he was part of the operation only for the money.

Afzal had willingly joined the Harkat-ul-Ansar trained with them, but backed out and decided that he wished to earn money. Following this training programme he remained quiet and there were no traces of him joining any movement in Kashmir. His tryst with the Parliament began when he was spotted by Ghazi Baba of the Jaish-e-Mohammad. His job was restricted to providing logistics and he had trained specifically for that. He was paid a sum of around Rs 10 lakh for the operation. However he carried out the operation to perfection and the logistic support that he had provided was impeccable the officer says.

Intelligence Bureau officials who are working in the Valley say that they do not see the Maqbool Bhat kind of situation this time around. Although it is being said that there would be a bad repercussion in the near future, the Intelligence does not see this happening.

Bhat unlike Afzal Guru was driving a programme in Kashmir. He was an ideologue and he was present at a time when the Kashmir movement was at its peak. At that time around the people of Kashmir did believe that this was a fight for independence and they were not aware that they were being used by Pakistan who were pursuing their devious agenda of terrorism on Indian soil. 30 years have passed since the hanging of Bhat and a lot in Kashmir has changed since then. Today India is more aware of the problem is in a much better position to deal with the situation.

The image and the capacity of the promoters of terrorism (read Pakistan)is not the same today. India’s capacity to prevent infiltration and effectively counter terror from across the border is much better today. Moreover the people are tired of militancy and almost all of them are seeking peace. Take a look at the 2010 uprising in Kashmir. The Lashkar-e-Tayiba which drives the Kashmir movement today was able to rope in just 70 youth while they would have expected the number to be much larger. The sentiment is clearly dying down, the Intelligence Bureau officials feel.

Officials say that even if Pakistan does manage to push in 2000 terrorists from across the border today, there would still not be a sanctuary for them. These terrorists thrive on local support and that has clearly gone down today. The locals are not prepared to fight anymore and they have a fair idea that they were just pawns in the hands of the Pakistanis.

There have been many movements that have taken place in Kashmir over the past couple of years, but none of them have sustained which itself tells the picture. Yes, there would be a spate of protests and bundhs in the Valleys due to the hanging of Afzal Guru, but then it would not have a long lasting impact. Although the Indian agencies do not see a long term impact of this hanging, they are aware that from across the border some may try and use this issue. However this again would not be sustained as the Pakistan militants are finding it hard to find local support.

When compared to Bhat, Afzal Guru did not have a following in Kashmir. Unlike Bhat, Afzal Guru had no commitment for Kashmir and was an operative trying to earn a fast buck. This is the basic difference between the two and hence due to this hanging there is not much cause for worry in Kashmir.

When Bhat was hanged, the people of Kashmir had an anger against the Indian state. Today a majority of the population seeks peace and feels that it is better to live in the existing situation and aim at making it better rather than fight a battle against the Indian state.


Author: Vicky Nanjappa

just a reporter

6 thoughts on “Afzal a mercenary, Bhatt an ideologue”

  1. It is also important for journalists to point out the rape and murder of Sarla Bhat (Rahul Pandita tweeted about this) and the role that the Guru family played in this. Has there ever been any apology for this murder from the Gurus – or is it just ceaseless victim hood?

  2. Vicky, this has to be one of your finest articles in the recent days. Kudos!

    I am still trying to make sense why Afzal Guru was allowed to live for so long on taxpayers money when justice could have been done by eliminating him a long time ago. Well, better late than never i suppose..that and the fact that elections are just around the corner, and a government that has lacked in pretty much everything is trying to make amends by hanging vermins who should have been put to death a long time ago. Had justice done its due with Masood Azhar and Sheikh Omar there would have been no IC-814, and there would have been no attack on parliament.

    The insurgency in Kashmir never had an ideology. If one had any doubts about what the fight in Kashmir was all about, those doubts should have perished in Feb 1989 when loudspeakers from mosques in Srinagar started blaring “Azadi ka matlab kya? La illahaillallah” ( What does independence mean ? There is no god other than Allah ). It was not a fight for liberty, but a fight by islamists to establish their supremacy in Kashmir funded, sponsored and designed by Pakistan ( and supported by US and UK ). The “ideology of Kashmir” ( translation – terrorism and genocide of non-muslims in the valley) was tried to be legitamized by the US state dept in the early 90s during Clinton’s administration. After all, Robin Raphael is considered as the “Godmother” of the Hurriyat Conference – a supposedly moderate face of the kashmiri insurgency.Hurriyat never had any ideology other than Jihad, and thats all that exists even to this day.

    If GoI had a pair, they would revoke the article 370 and make the provisions of article 238 apply to J&K as it does to every other state in the union ( ofcourse, our government’s infinite wisdom also allowed this to creep into Arunachal Pradesh,Nagaland and HP) , stop giving Kashmir special preference and economic assistance of any kind. 13 districts in the valley and 5 million people cannot hold a nation of 1.2 billion hostage. The militants in Kashmir are nothing but jihadi mercenaries who will not understand any language other than violence. So let our army do the job what they’ve done best by crushing the heads of these vermins.

    1. Thank you very much:) I too fail to understand why there was so much delay. Clearly a lesson from the Maulana Azar episode was not learnt. Moreover this cry that insurgency will return is nothing but a politically desperate cry by the metas of Kashmir. Many in the IB and raw say that this would lead to a few protests and nothing more and as u rightly say the army will do its job 🙂

  3. In effect what they intend to convey is that in the event that any Muslim guy is convicted of serious perjury, treason, anti-national activities, hate mongering or rioting, they should be pardoned for fear of a hypothetical threat to peace – bull shit! Force should be dealt with force and fiercely that too unlike the Azad Maidan incident where it was a free for all by the authorities themselves. Slap them back hard and you have got eternal peace – that has been the order of the world. Unless you subdue force by force, it can not be subdued.

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