Editorial: A worrying trend 

The admission by Nayeem Ahmed Khan that separatists in Kashmir take money to organise unrest is a very worrying development. It should be thoroughly probed and the guilty should face the law.

Khan was caught on tape admitting the separatists receive money to orchestrate protests and burn government schools. Bragging about organising trouble is self-humiliating and an insult to those who have suffered in pursuit of a genuine political goal.

JK National Front, Khan’s group, is a constituent of Geelani-faction of the Hurriyat Conference. After the shameful admission incident, his membership has now been suspended from the group.

After the tapes were aired by the private channel who did the sting on him, Khan kept mum for a few days and then called a press conference where he delivered a lecture bordering a sermon.

He refused to answer questions and rebuked the reporter of a daily that had carried the news of the sting operation. He said he was being framed and the tapes were doctored.

He said he leaves it to the leadership and the people of Kashmir to decide. Khan should know that they have already given their verdict. He can sample that in the discussions that are taking place on the social media.

He must understand the people in Kashmir have moved away from the herd mentality of the past. They no longer blindly support a group or leader, mainstream or separatist. It is impossible to fool them in the age of 24/7 media, the internet, and social media. More so, the generation of Kashmir that is at the heart of the present agitation is educated, opinionated and conscious of Kashmir’s tragic history.

A case in point is the plight of the PDP after it betrayed its supporters by allying with the BJP. The PDP’s stocks have dwindled and its leadership is being treated with contempt by those who voted for it. Khan and his ilk should know well that times have changed when the people of Kashmir could be duped and manipulated in the name of the sentiment.

They understand the gimmickry and thuggery of leaders inside out. The separatists, who claim to represent the sentiment, must bear in mind the people in Kashmir will hold them to account for their words and actions. If people like Khan get exposed, it could be a blessing in disguise. Good riddance!


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