Letter from Sheikh Abdullah to his grandson (Omar Abdullah)

Dear Omar,

Practicing politics kills the true leader within you; this is what I concluded after extensive introspection with regard to politics. True leadership and political aspirations can not go hand in hand. Here, it is a quite different world, where nothing is hidden and involving in chicanery is shameful. From this extraterrestrial place we can watch and monitor every moment of your planet and its people, but reading human mind and heart is very difficult and only Almighty knows about that. Your world is a transitory phase and the real humanity reveals its true face and value in this part of the space. Equality, honesty, and impartiality are the hallmarks of this place, but accountability is the one and only agenda over here. As you know every soul has to shift to this place sooner or the later and undergo the accountability test and will be judged based on his deeds. Recently, Kashmir’s leading journalists, Sofi Ghulam Mohammad and Sounaullah Bhat joined us; they apprised us about the political and other happenings within the Kashmir. Kashmiri community runs a news paper here edited by Shamim Ahmad Shamim, but being the only Kashmir related paper it has a kind of monopoly. I hope now with the arrival of Sofi Sahib and Bhat Sahib this monopolized empire of Shamim will come down to its real size. We expect a competitive, objective and constructive journalism to flourish in this celestial world which can guide us in framing a positive opinion about the people of Kashmir, their leadership and endeavor to fight for their justified aspirations.

During my interaction with Sofi Sahib and Bhat Sahib, it seems, these days Kashmir and people of Kashmir figure on top of the international agenda and many world powers are desperate to wrap-up this issue. It looks world order is unanimous on the devastating potential and political ramification of the cancerous Kashmir issue within south Asia and its implication in endangering the world peace. Present materialist leadership governing the world are more concerned about their flourishing economies than human values and foresee trouble to emerge from this potential flashpoint, laden with loads of nuclear arsenal at any moment of slightest friction within the region. During my days of leadership these powers made many initiatives, but by then very less stakes were involved and every initiative died down like a bubble. You will be surprised to know, we have framed a Kashmir organization. Every Kashmiri is member of this organization irrespective of his earlier affiliation and propensity towards any political viewpoint. Presently Sofi Mohammad Akbar of Mahaz-i- azadi fame is heading this organization. He was a unanimous choice after Moulana Masoodi and Abdul Gani Lone surrendered in his favor. Sofi Sahib true to his earlier image gets annoyed with slightest provocation. Kashmir issue and the plight of Kashmiries dominate every session of Kashmir organization and we have passed many resolutions regarding honorable and amicable solution of this vexed issue. But our status and position is like that of United Nations (U.N) where only resolutions are passed with hand folded prayer to Almighty for their implementation. 

I desired to interact with you many times since you became ‘Hukumraan’ of Kashmir but here we get limited occasions to interact with your world and we have to be very careful and choosy in utilizing these opportunities. First of all let me congratulate you on being elected as ‘leader’ and ‘ruler’ of Kashmir at this young age. In Kashmir every leader can not be a ruler and every ruler can not be a leader. But our dynasty is graced with the honor and distinction to handle both, leadership as well as power and you have to work and strive hard to maintain this dual role. I know when you were elevated as president of National conference the party was not the same as I had handed over to Farooq and the moment you attained the throne of Kashmir the number of Assembly members of our party had come down drastically. But, you proved your political skill and maneuvering ability to turn the tide in your favour and gave weight to my belief that you are politically much mature than Dr. Farooq. Farooq had his own shortcomings and problems, he also managed his period of authority to my satisfaction but the way you are steering the ship is amazing. I feel proud of you! When I started my political carrier I was a volcano of emotions and would get influenced and swayed by slightest emotional blackmail and persuasion and all this affected my political carrier and decisions at later stage. Your father was always ‘happy go lucky’ type of person and his political life is mostly influenced by such casual approach and attitude. In your case I find a different politician, an emotional leader and an astute ruler having no space for rivals and ready to pursue opportunities vigorously. These are the real traits of present day politician.

I have many things to share with you, but as I said we get restricted permission to interact with your planet, so it would not be possible to write every thing in detail. Kindly go through my biography ‘Aatish-e- Chinar’ it will guide you in many ways. However, do have a realistic approach in choosing your political companions and friends as I have suffered a lot on this front. In politics there are no permanent friends and enemies; it is political situation and opportunity that guides you in effecting the political associations, not emotions and personal relations. My one time close associates pushed me to the wall and ultimately to the oblivion of prison cell for years. In the start when I was emerging as the undisputed leader of Kashmiri people, religious leaders like Molvi Yousaf Sahib challenged me at many occasions both openly and secretly. Later my colleagues, Bakshi, Sadiq and many more exploited my emotional personality for their political prosperity. I trusted Jawahar Lal Nehru, his proclivity towards secularism and democracy brought me very close to him but it proved to be a mirage created by his appealing personality and eloquence. So don’t get swayed by deceptive image and postures of political personalities. 

Let me directly come to the present political situation in Kashmir. As you might have experienced by now, Kashmiri people are an emotional lot and can be tamed and towed to any political tune. I can very clearly see from here that you are in the middle of a political vortex; some politicians going left, some right and others preferring to be in the safer heavens of mainstream political pastures. Kashmir and Kashmiries have suffered a lot for last more than six decades and everyone is responsible for this mayhem. I feel embarrassed at occasions, as at many stages my mistakes, some knowingly and others unintentionally have brought miseries to the people of Kashmir. People of Kashmir are not less responsible for their plight because they trusted every one. On one occasion they considered Zulifiqar Ali Bhutto their savior and protested violently when he was hanged by General Zia and other day the same Kashmirie people were on roads when Zia got killed in an air crash. I strongly feel for this unfortunate land and its much exploited people but I am helpless as there in no second chance in life to rectify the wrongs and lead my people as per their aspirations. This is testing time for you and you have to prove your worth as grandson of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. You have to accomplish my mission and give an honorable way out to people of Kashmir; you have to give shape to my unfinished agenda of getting people of Kashmir out from the clutches of harassment, exploitation and  violations. This is the time to contribute, without fear and favour and secure an admirable position for you in this world, the ultimate world of accountability.

Omar! The day Sofi Mohammad Akbar joined this place, and the rousing welcome he was given, I felt a sense of remorse for not being so straight forward and dedicated as Sofi Sahib. Now I have faith in you and I want you to put things right. Let you become the true ‘Sher-i- Kashmir’ and facilitate the people of Kashmir to emancipation; otherwise my soul will not rest in peace. May God give you courage to speak for the oppressed and avoid deceptive politics!

With lots of love.

Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.

Fida Iqbal.

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