Second Editorial: Azad Kashmir: women versus jihadis
Daily Times, July 3, 2008
Nearly 50 women travelled 80 km from Athmuqam to an army camp in the Neelum Valley in Azad Kashmir on Tuesday to stage a peaceful protest against the “growing activities of some militant groups” which they feared could harm the truce along the Line of Control (LoC). Their demand was that the military authorities stop the militants from operating in the border areas. They feared that the jihadi militants would cause grave violations of the LoC, after which the Indians would resort to indiscriminate bombing of their houses.
The reply given to the ladies by the assistant commissioner, Neelum Valley, was inadequate. He said that the Indians were merely test-firing on their side of the LoC and that the ladies had just become scared unnecessarily. The women had actually complained of jihadi activity. It may be recalled that the Neelum valley was a scene of death and destruction caused by artillery fire for nearly 14 years until Pakistan and India agreed a ceasefire in Kashmir in November 2003, the year the same women had staged their first rally. There was a time when our army allowed the jihadis to commit crimes on both sides of the LoC. But those days are gone. If they are allowed to repeat their activities again, Pakistan’s policy on Kashmir would be confirmed to the world as being duplicitous. *