Hyderabad: Perhaps the first Kashmiri in uniformed services to openly laud the Narendra Modi government’s move of abrogating Article 370 and bifurcating Jammu & Kashmir into two union territories, a Border Security Force (BSF) official, Nabeel Ahmed Wani, has written to the Prime Minister saying that the people “have been exploited by the local leaders for years.”
Days after writing the letter, Mr Wani, an assistant commandant rank official, received a response from the Prime Minister on Sunday who termed the government’s move as a “historic step which is also a homage to tall leaders like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Dr B.R. Ambedkar and Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee.”
The letter by the BSF official — who shot to fame after he topped the All India BSF examinations in 2016, — comes at a time when Kashmiris serving in the armed and para-military forces and the J&K police are under tremendous pressure from some of their own to quit the services, in the wake of the Centre’s move.
Sources in the BSF, privy to the letter, told this newspaper that Mr Wani, who is posted in the J&K frontier, wrote in his letter to the Prime Minister that the Article 370 and Article 35A were destroying J&K from the last 70 years.
“The benefits of scrapping it will definitely boost the morale of the youth of our state. The decision (of scrapping Article 370) was not only historic but also brave,” he said.
Further lauding the Modi government, Mr Wani said the decision made all Indians equal.
“These articles never allowed the people of J&K to join with the rest of the country. We, the people of J&K, were exploited by the local leaders over the years. The decision will open all doors of opportunities for better careers,” he said.
The BSF official digs at senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, saying his late father was a friend of Mr Azad and used to cook food for the former chief minister. “When I was searching for a job, my father tried his best to meet Azad saab but he never responded. This broke my father’s heart. But when I got selected for BSF, it was only the government of India which gave me respect and honoured me. Our nation welcomed me with open arms but we were brainwashed by many people in the state against our nation. But this ideology of brain washing will work no more,” Mr Wani said.
“We support the decision taken by you against terrorism in Kashmir and we are fed up of terrorism and anti-nationals,” he wrote to Modi.
The Prime Minister responded saying that the Bills passed by Parliament were a culmination of the dream seen together by 130 crore Indians. “The motivated actions of vested interest groups had for long kept the dreams and aspirations of our brothers and sisters from J&K and Ladakh in shackles. The monumental injustices of the past have been brought to a grinding halt through the passage of these bills,” the letter, accessed by this newspaper, said.
Mr Modi’s letter stated that the country would now get to witness the talent of youth from J&K and Ladakh. “This historic step is also a homage to tall leaders of the past like Sardar Patel, Dr Ambedkar and Dr Mookerjee who dedicated their lives to fight for the unity and integrity of India.”...