By Amjad Ayub Mirza
It was a day full of speculation and anxiety and then came the much-awaited verdict against Yasin Malik. Finally the butcher of Kashmiri Pandits and leader of banned Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) got two life sentences and an additional 10 years plus Rs 10 lakh fine.
The prime minister of the puppet government of Pakistani Occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK), Tanveer Ilyas addressed more than one press conference in Muzafarabad and made appeals to the locals to hold protest rallies to support Malik, however, less than two-dozen turned up.
Requests made by Malik's wife, Mishal Malik, to former prime minister Imran Khan to move the date of his long march toward Islamabad by a couple of days and mobilise his party workers to take out protests in Pakistan on May 25 also failed to bear any fruit.
Imran Khan is doing what he does best. Destroying Pakistan. When the Court in Delhi was reading out the sentence to Malik, Khan was busy defying the supreme court order to stay away from the D-Chowk (square) and guiding his PTI workers to enter into the Red Zone and occupy D-Chowk in Islamabad.
PTI zealots went a step further and began to set fire to trees, bushes and the green belts near D-Chowk. The politician (Khan) who once boasted of leading a campaign to plant one billion trees in Pakistan was now spearheading a campaign to burn trees down.
The verdict against Malik was received with jubilation by the hundreds of thousands of victims of Malik's crimes. However, in Pakistan it was a different story. The Pakistan military's public relations department (ISPR) immediately issued a statement condemning the sentence awarded to Malik.
This was followed up by Pakistan military's proteges like PM Shehbaz Sharif and others.
The question is why is Pakistan making such a hue and cry over Malik's sentence. Is it because Pakistan military establishment cares about Malik? Or, is it because Pakistan military establishment cares about Kashmir?
One wonders why Pakistani military establishment did not campaign for Malik's release or pardon until the very last moment. Perhaps this is because Malik is no more an asset for them. His role as a protege of Pakistan military establishment is long over. The Hizb, Lashkar and The Resistance Front have replaced JKLF.
Malik was instrumental in paving the way for infiltration of terrorists from Pakistan across the line of control into Jammu Kashmir. He was also a key player and an executioner of the genocide of the Hindu Kashmiri Pandits during the 1990s.
However, a more organised and battle-hardened jihadi breed that was returning from jihad in Afghanistan soon replaced him. And then Malik made a political summersault and announced that he had a change of heart and that he had now become a 'Gandhian' and was going to pursue his political goals through peaceful means.
Was it a well thought out manoeuvre on terrorist Malik's part to take refuge in the Indian democratic political system and obtain physical protection from the Indian government? If that was the case then it has not been a very successful one.
Malik has failed to condemn the terrorist activities and murders he committed in the past. This is enough evidence to prove that he shows no remorse for his past activities.
Perhaps the reason behind Pakistani military establishments public outrage over Malik's sentence is more likely because the terror funding case in which Malik has been found guilty can be traced back to the military headquarters at the GHQ in Rawalpindi.
Pakistan military establishment or Malik for that matter are no friends of the people of Jammu Kashmir. Pakistan military establishment tries to befool its people by posing as the defender of Islam and Kashmiri people.
By awarding Malik two life sentences the Indian judicial system has protected the people of Jammu Kashmir from a demon and proved to be the true friends of the people of Jammu Kashmir.
Pakistan is only shedding crocodile tears over its protege Yasin Malik.
(Amjad Ayub Mirza is an author and a human rights activist from Mirpur in PoJK. He currently lives in exile in the UK)
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