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Youth And Resistance Politics: The Prospects In Kashmir

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Three years ago, Manzoor Pashteen was someone unknown to the people of Pakistan. In contemporary times, Pashteen has become a household name in slums, villages and cities of Pakistan. The question arises: what are the reasons behind the rise of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement(PTM) and its charismatic leader, Manzoor Pashteen?

The most important point regarding the rise of Pashteen is that he was able to grasp the true genesis of resistance politics. For in resistance politics, maligning each other doesn’t hold much relevance. This politics is specifically crafted around revolutionary ideologies. Apart from ideology, the repressive policies of state authorities are the special impetus around which a resistance movement is formulated.

So, after the killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud, a movement was launched against the illegitimate killings, enforced disappearances, land mines and war in tribal areas. Pashteen and others demanded a truth and reconciliation commission. Overall, the demands that they presented were constitutional in their character.

The point here is that Pashteen did not lash out against the Awami National Party(ANP), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) or other political parties. His main concern was with the policies of the state and this was one of the most important reasons for his rise. Had he lashed out against the parties, Pashteen and the PTM may have become obsolete in political spectrum of Pakistan. The rise of Pashteen is because of his political agenda which is specifically crafted against the state policies and this agenda is pro-people in its character. In resistance politics, personalities and parties are not the biggest concerns.

In 2016, the Kashmir Valley which has been caught in a vicious conflict for decades, gave rise to youth leaders like Burhan Wani, Sabzar Ahmed Bhat, Riyaz Naikoo, Zakir Musa and countless others. Although the path of armed struggle which they choose is debatable, it is a reality that this young leadership galvanized the resistance movement in Kashmir. Here again, the youth was not much concerned regarding the political differences of various political organizations, instead they focused on fighting against the tyranny and oppression which has been inflicted upon them by the occupational Indian security forces.

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The Kashmir Valley has remained an epicentre of resistance politics, and in contemporary times, there are several activists, artists and intellectuals who are associated with resistance movements in one way or the other.

The dilemma of resistance politics in Pakistan-administrated Kashmir (AJK) is that it is crafted on self-projection and vested interests of leaders and their followers. The fundamental question is not properly discussed by the youth leaders there, as they are wasting their energies in fighting against each other. The youth activists of that region must be aware of the reality that resistance politics requires ideology and agenda instead of self-projection and pursuit of vested interests. The true genesis of a revolutionary movement is not discussed in an efficient way in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, because the pro-freedom camp is severely divided: some might say that they lack the capability to form or lead a resistance movement in this part of Kashmir. The political space is quite promising, but the youth will have to form a movement which will be particularly pro-people in its character. Besides this, the people affiliated with the resistance politics will have to grasp the true basis of resistance politics, which is ideology-based instead of personality-based.

 

The writer is a resident of Pakistan-administrated Kashmir (AJK). He has done his Bachelor’s in Software Engineering from Abbottabad Comsats. Besides this, he is a writer, social and political activist

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