Should the guns and education go together?

Kashmir is a disturbed place flashed on global media. The people of Kashmir are in constant pain, they are lifting coffins of their loved ones every other day and this is heart-wrenching for us as inhabitants of this place.

Nobody bats for our rights, but Salah ud Din Sahib you seem to have taken a different stance today in this reality and instead of just a traditional call for dialogue, solution and resolution of Kashmir Issue and simply showing a ‘so called solidarity’ with the people of Kashmir, we feel highly obliged to you for your words of support for the education of our youth which is a remedy to our ills.

Highly commendable that a paradigm shift, a positive move is seen through this article emphasizing the importance of educating the children in Kashmir, “our first and foremost priority.” Definitely education of every child of Kashmir should be priority for the parents, community, leaders, our well wishers et al.

This change had begun in your own home some 30 years ago. Your children are very well educated and you seem to have ensured that your five sons got not just a decent education but rather you urged them to be above average. Your oldest son, Shakeel Yousuf, works as a medical assistant at Srinagar’s Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, second son Javed Yousuf works in the Education Department as computer operator, while Shahid Yousuf is a Research Fellow at the Sher-i-Kashmir University of Agricultural Science and Technology. Shah’s fourth son, Wahid Yusuf, is a doctor at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences. Mueed Yusuf, the youngest of Shah’s sons, is working at Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), Srinagar, Kashmir.

It is heartening and encouraging to see change has begun, though late by 30 long years, in your mind for your own people and you have started to think for the other children of Kashmir as you did for your own children three decades back. But fact remains that our youth were tortured, our women raped, our children orphaned and this mayhem continues; wherever we see, it’s a hue and cry over tragedies. With your statements and article related to the education of youth we are seeing a ‘ray of hope’ for our land and we hope that this war ends with an intellectual victory in our favor and our people start living without fear in their hearts and minds.

Interestingly, there is a change and it is evident in his selection of tech savvy Reyaz Naikoo as Hizbul Mujahidin Commander in Chief for Kashmir. Earlier his selections were more around school dropouts.

Perhaps, the recent elections and change of guard in Pakistan with Imran Khan as Prime Minister, it seems policy and perspective  change has begun towards positivity, enlightenment  and betterment with a mood shift towards building future of Pakistan with better relations and peace across subcontinent especially with India.

Kashmir is in a royal mess Syed Salah ud Din sahib, some call it political and some call it international. We Kashmiris are helpless; we can’t voice for our basic rights, we are suffering brutally at the hands of every establishment and (mis)leaders that are operational in our land.

Mothers are wailing for their sons and sons are wailing for their fathers, it’s a vicious cycle of a deadly nature wherein all the innocents are losing their existence one by one but you have expressed a good beginning though after burning of schools in 2016 left more than 4000 children in Kashmir with incomplete academic year.

The change has to come here too. India, Pakistan and Kashmiris need to resolve this royal mess.

We desperately need a road map on Education, Conflict, Guns, Youth etc. in Kashmir. But not at the cost of our sacrifices, however, keeping in view our sacrifices and aspirations.