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Clairvoyance or Hope? Youth predicts end to Kashmir sufferings

Sunday November 21, 2010 12:45:45 PM, F. Ahmed, IANS

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Srinagar: A sharp political mind, hopeful, clairvoyant...call him what you will. But a Kashmiri youth who had correctly predicted fresh turmoil in the valley from June now says permanent peace will come in a few years when India and Pakistan realise that "Kashmir cannot be held hostage to show each other down".

Yaseer, 20, is an unemployed youth. He was born a special child. Teachers had advised his parents, who live in a village in north Kashmir's Ganderbal district, that his attendance at school would be a waste of time as he was unable to understand arithmetic.

"He grew into a sturdy youth despite the fact that he was slow and confused when confronted with arithmetic problems," said his father Abdul Rashid.

"As any other father would do, I devoted my total attention to his well-being after neurologists said there was no organic defect in his brain and he needed extra care to overcome his difficulty with arithmetic," he said.

Considering that he did not get any schooling after primary education, Yaseer is remarkably well-informed. People say nature has gifted Yaseer a special ability to understand and interpret events with such alacrity that he can humble even the craftiest analysts of politics and sociology.

"One day, after some years from today, both India and Pakistan will realise that the borders between the two countries have been irrelevant. One day India and Pakistan will understand that Kashmir cannot be held hostage to show each other down," Yaseer told IANS.

"That day, my dear sir, there would be permanent peace in Kashmir and the tragic drama of death and destruction would come to an end forever," said Yaseer as his eyes turned red.

While his words might come across as a general observation, many point out his prediction earlier this year.

"The smile on his face started fading in June this year. Before a schoolboy was killed in Srinagar - by a stray tear gas shell which was followed by a massive public outcry that paralyzed life in the valley for nearly five months - Yaseer had already made an amazing prediction," his father said.

"He said in June a bloody phase would start in Kashmir that would affect each and every household here," said the boy's father.

Yaseer had also predicted that more youths would be killed as politicians would busy themselves in a war of brinkmanship.
And now he has more to say about what the future holds.

"It would be difficult for anyone to foretell the outcome of street violence, but there would be no material change on the ground. People's sufferings would continue and so would the promises of Azadi and employment being made by the politicians," said Yaseer.

"If a mother's pain would even remotely touch those who trade charges against one another for such a heavy loss of life that has taken place here, we would have been living in a better world," said Yaseer.

"Nothing will change here unless there is a change in the mindset of those who enjoy life at the expense of simple, god-fearing Kashmiris. One type of politicians comes to seek votes and forgets you for six years; the other type blames the devil for our nightmares and promises to exorcise us.

"It is nobody's concern how many graves are dug because the blood of youth has become cheap and available," lamented Yaseer.

He does not believe that any number of interlocutors or negotiators can make any difference to the overall situation here.

"Such teams will come and go. There would be more teams in the future to pick up the threads from where the previous teams would have left them," predicted the youth.

Clashes between stone-throwing protesters and security forces since June have claimed at least 110 lives in the valley. So can Yaseer also predict how many more innocent lives would be lost before permanent peace comes to Kashmir?

This Yaseer cannot answer. Perhaps his inability to understand numbers prevents him from doing so.



(F. Ahmed can be contacted at f.ahmed@ians.in)
 

 

 

 

 

 

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