A collection of letters from Afzal Guru, who was executed in February 2013 for his role in the 2001 attack on Parliament, was released in Srinagar Tuesday.
The 94-page book, released by separatist leader Nayeem Khan at an event titled “Ahli Emaan Kay Naam Shaheed Afzal Guru Ka Akhri Paigam (Martyr Afzal Guru’s last message to the faithful), contains Afzal’s letters to his family, friends and other jail mates sent from Tihar Jail.
One of the letters exhorts young Kashmiris to follow in the footsteps of Afaq Shah, a suicide bomber who had blown himself up outside the 15 Corps headquarters.
“Afaq Shah was young and had not been trained to use AK-47. The young martyr turned his car into a missile and killed 20-25 soldiers at Badami Bagh Corps headquarters,” Afzal writes. “And if our young men follow in his footsteps, then India will leave Kashmir within a year. Afaq is the role model for the new generation. In Kashmir, there is no place for Gandhiwaad (Gandhism) which is being forced on our oppressed people.”
In another letter, Afzal describes Kashmir as the most militarised region in the world where there is a soldier for every nine people. Indeed, he claims, the military is the root cause of all problems, so, the need of the hour is to demilitarise Kashmir.
Afzal terms the ongoing separatist struggle as Jihad. “The occupation of our water, forests and resources has prompted us to take up guns against the Indian rule and this struggle will continue till India leaves Kashmir,” he writes. “We are not linked to India culturally, historically or ethnically. India never respected resolutions of the United Nations on Kashmir. And we have to give an answer to the mighty Indian military state with the gun only.”
He also takes to task people “who