Often these unarmed victims are branded as collaborators and Mukhbirs by terrorists to justify their heinous crime

Jammu: Cradled in the lap of majestic mountains of the Himalayas, Kashmir, known for its legendary and picturesque beauty, has been converted to graveyard Courtesy: unending gun violence unleashed by Pakistan and its proxies in the Valley.

Once paradise on earth, it lost to the staccato of gunfire, snuffing out innocent lives almost every second day. Over the years only graveyard breezes blow in the Valley of Kashmir. Murder tours region in different guises, masquerading as gun-toting 'well wisher' - armed by Pakistan - speaking the language of Jihad, Allah and fate rolled into one.

The arrival of spring passes unnoticed, the beauties of summer to fails to bring any excitement. More than kooing cuckoo, it is the song of melancholy that reverberates all around. Dirty politics played by Pakistan under the garb of 'Azadi' has pitted one Kashmiri against other, making them train guns at each other.

Harsh reality is that Azadi, which Kashmiris use to enjoy in pre 90's era, has been snatched and their lives shackled by do's and don't death and destruction. Dance of death that started in the '90s with the arrival of the first AK 47 from across the border continues.

Branding other as a collaborator, Mukhbir (informer), RSS henchman, Sarkari Aadmi is a ploy used by Pak-sponsored terrorists to justify their act of violence against fellow Kashmiri brethren and get away with murder and other heinous crimes. But one reality no one can deny: Pakistan is using one Kashmiri to kill another Kashmiri in Kashmir.

Killing Their Own

Last Friday, the sound of gunfire broke an eerie calm, as it echoed in the surrounding mountains of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, signalling the departure of another precious life and the arrival of bad news knocking at the doors of another Kashmiri family.

This time victim was Mohammad Saleem, a Territorial Army man, who had come on leave to his native place Jablipora in Bijbehara to spend few days with his parents. Pall of gloom descended village after news of his killing reached there. Since then his parents are in a state of shock.

This is another painful story of unhealed wounds inflicted by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists in the Kashmir Valley. The tragic story of the father's unending wait to trace the body of his 24-year-old son, Shakir Manzoor, a soldier in TA, who was abducted and later killed by terrorists

Every morning, holding shovel and spade, 56-year-old, Manzoor Ahmad Wagay of Shopian, starts marching towards nearby fields and orchards, looking for the body of his son. He spends hours digging the land, and once darkness descends, he returns home, empty-handed.

This has been Wagay’s daily routine since August last year. During the last eight months, not a single day in Wagay's life passes without digging some patch of land to search for the body of his son - a Jawan in the Territorial Army (TA) - who was abducted, tortured, and killed by terrorists.

On his return home, Wagay prefers to sit at the entrance of his house staring blankly at the photograph of his son which he clutches on to. With every footfall, his hopes rise and die. But his unending search continues.

It was last year, on August 9, Shakir Manzoor, after celebrating Eid with family was returning to his unit, when terrorists en route intercepted his car. At gunpoint, they took Shakir to a nearby village while his car was set ablaze.

One of the terrorists identified as Abu Talha later in a purported audio message claimed responsibility for Shakir's abduction and killing. Since then the father is searching for his son's body.

Kashmiris targeted for ensuring peace and prosperity in Kashmir

In June 2019, a local army soldier, Manzoor Ahmad Beigh was shot dead by the local terrorists at his residence in Sadoora, Anantnag.

This local TA soldier was also on leave. He was posted with the army’s 34-Rashtriya Rifles battalion and had gone home to celebrate Eid with his family when the incident occurred.

The men who killed Beigh knew where he lived. They crept into his house - their face masked, rifles slung on their shoulders - opened indiscriminate fire killing him on spot. In May 2017, Lieutenant Umar Fayaz, a 22-year-old army officer from the Shopian district, who was on leave, was abducted by militants from his relative’s house. His bullet-ridden body was found in Herman's area of Shopian the next morning.

Territorial Army in Valley, mostly comprised of local Kashmiri soldiers. Despite these targeted killings by Pak proxies, many youths in the Valley want to don the uniform to serve their families and motherland India.