Oh Jammu & Kashmir, what was your crime? Who did you offend that they long to punish you?
Are you not a people, old as the nations of the world, older than the straight borders of colonial maps?

Nay, nay, you are not a nation! You are land and water. Yours is a curse from the Plateau of Tibet,
Your rivers flow through the hills and mountains of a political landscape, celebrated in the books of geopolitics.

Don’t fuss though, Eastern Turkistan is dying too. She is Han Chinese now; the old language is slipping away.
Perhaps, you’ll be reincarnated; the “Urdu” of the “Hindustani Plains” is spoken by “Pakistanis”, this – the natural cycle of life.

Oh Kashmir, you are “the last of the last” of the Western Himalaya, you are a drawing on someone else’s map.
You’ve no home now. You’re trespassing on the foreign policy goals of outsiders in your homeland, you are an irony.

How you are removed from the briefing rooms of Indian and Pakistani journalists and their good deeds!
You are the national pride of India and Pakistan; her integral part; her jugular vein, this – the price of your forced fraternity.

India and Pakistan will celebrate their partition wounds, but your partition is the “LOC”.
Poor dispossessed souls divided, you think you matter? Oh deluded protestor, throw your stone, Pakistan will give you another.

At the United Nations she will shriek “independence”, criminalising it for “Azad” Kashmir, this – the noble lie.
She says “the Kashmiris must decide their future!” Alas a burden too heavy on the Pakistani conscience; “Bin Laden Abbottobad, what!?”

Pakistan thirsts for Kashmir, she has quenched the waters of Mangla; how ‘Azad’ Kashmir’s children are written out of history!
You can see them in the UK flying the Flag of Pakistan, these are “Pakistan’s” “ambiguous patriots” unaware of their past retold.

Oh Kashmir, you are out-gunned, out-numbered and outsmarted. Your myths don’t matter, India and Pakistan’s do.
From the Rivers of the Himalaya, the Indo-Gangetic Plains must be watered, Hindu Pandits must be saved on Indian TV shows.

The flags of India and Pakistan must fly supreme; you are 16 million, they are 1.5 billion, who cares about Article 370!?
The Maharaja’s hand was forced! The world looks to Kashmir, then looks to India for trade, and then Pakistan, she retreats.

It’s all one big mess, thank you Pax Britannica. You divided India through an Act of Parliament
Pakistan got her independence day, we the “state subjects” of Kashmir got the day after. We’ve been orphaned ever since.

Ya Allah, who do we turn to? Is there anyone to hear our plea?

Is the pen really mightier than the sword? “Peaceful protest”, they say “is the way forward, put down your arms and talk”.
We’ve nothing but supplications, proverbs and ironies! Our real crime? We’re “disputed territory.” They want the land, not the people!

A girl holds a candle as she takes part with others in a peace vigil for the global standout for peace in South Asia, in Lahore, Pakistan March 3, 2019. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza
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Blogger at Portmir Foundation; liberal by values, opposed to tribalism in all its guises; love languages and cultures – want to study as many as I can; proficient in some; opposed to social and political injustice wherever it rears its ugly head even from within my own British-Pahari community (a little unsure about the juxtaposition. The term ‘Pahari’ can mean different things to different people – stay posted. Grandparents from the Himalayan mountains of Jammu, presently split between India and Pakistan – get the impression no one cares about the people stuck between the LOC – currently researching the ‘Pahari-cultural-heritage’ outside political and territorial paradigms and the narratives of the political ‘mainstream’. Ultimately, hoping to create a space for members of the British-Pahari community to discover their own wonderful heritage. I believe – ‘life’ is a work in progress so nothing is fixed even our thoughts! If you’re from the region, feel free to contact me – always prepared to widen my intellectual horizons and stand corrected – don’t insult me though. Be grown up and tell me why you think I’m wrong. If you make sense, I’ll change my views.

My opinions are not necessarily those of the Portmir Foundation; the Foundation does not do censorship; if you disagree with any us, and you’re from our background, write your own opinion piece and we’ll publish it. You can contact us at info@portmir.org.uk.