The induction of Mushaal Hussain Malik, wife of the jailed Kashmiri separatist leader Mohamad Yasin Malik, has stirred a major controversy in India as her seat in the government is seen as a direct and political promotion of terrorism in Kashmir.
Mushaal has been designated as Pakistan’s Minister for Human Rights. And she would be advising the interim Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar on human rights. This simply means that she has been drafted into the government to project Kashmir and its state of human rights. Pakistan has been very virulent in its charge against India on the human rights in Jammu and Kashmir.
Her inclusion in the interim government accords her a profile of champion of human rights, especially when she is married to a Kashmiri separatist, currently undergoing life sentence in the killing of four Indian Air Force officers. Another case of abduction of Rubiya Sayeed, a medico and the youngest daughter of the then Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in December 1989.
As a pioneer of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Yasin Malik is the one who, along with few others, brought gun culture to Kashmir with a proclamation that the group will fight for the “freedom of Kashmir.” He was among those who brought this Pakistan inspired idea of “Azadi” or freedom in Kashmir, as a substitute to partisan pro-Pakistan slogans. This was done by ISI of Pakistan to lure Kashmiris to the idea of independence, after sensing the anti-Pakistan mood in the Valley. Yasin Malik also led violent campaign against the Indian armed forces, and infected hitherto peace-loving Kashmiri society with the ideology of violence and extremism.
Mushaal married Yasin Malik in 2006, when he was touring Pakistan to meet the leadership over there to garner support for militancy in Kashmir. He was facing tough competition, as leader of JKLF, from militarily strong militant groups like Hizb-ul-Mujahadeen and Al-Jehad, Jamait-ul-Mujahadeen. He presented himself as a better choice than the hardline militant groups. Mushaal has come to Kashmir as his bride, stayed with him for few months before returning to Karachi, where she had established herself as a painter. Some of her paintings were seen and interpreted as erotic.
Now, with her inclusion in the Caretaker government, gives her a profile of being Kashmiri. Her ideology is same as that of her husband. She believes, as she has pronounced it so many times, that Kashmir issue needs a solution.
Although Pakistan has lost its case on Kashmir as it had tried to seek negotiations through the use of terrorism, the world has seen that how cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan has bled Kashmir- more than 40,000 dead, several thousand injured and mote than half-a million displaced, yet Mushaal is a face that it can present before the international community. Mushaal has been writing to the UN and other international forums for the acquittal of her husband. That will not change the realities, but can create optics.
In the eyes of Kashmiris still inclined toward separatism, as they continue to be in the spell of the Pakistan and its propaganda in the cyber world. This can give them a feeling that Pakistan cares for separatist voices in Kashmir. This can cause problems of minor nature, but problems nevertheless.
(Arun Joshi is author of “Eyewitness Kashmir; Teetering on Nuclear War and senior journalist based in Jammu and Kashmir, writes on South Asian affairs)
Disclaimer: This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write-up have nothing to do with www.prameyanews.com.