Mashal Malik, like so many others, wants to stay in news. There is nothing wrong with that, provided this publicity seeking obsession is not based on blatant lies.
She claims to be a leader of JKLF; and very often is promoted by the Pakistani media. At times people feel her view are not in line with the declared policy of JKLF. In any case, that is not my problem. This is something that sincere members of the JKLF need to resolve.
I admire her confidence and timing to make interventions to get the media coverage. When the Pakistani media was overwhelmed with the visit of Kulbushan Yadav with his wife and mother; she chose to make an intervention.
Very confidently she said India has not given a visa to her and her young daughter that they can also meet Yasin Malik. Her confidence and narration also impressed me. I was about to issue a statement condemning India and supporting her case.
I decided to seek some advice from a Kashmiri journalist friend. He said she is ‘telling lies’. He said:
‘She applied for a visa in 2013; and she was given a visa for 2 years, that expired in 2015. She has not applied since that date. She is living in Pakistan doing politics and her husband lives in Srinagar’.
Why she has not applied for a visa to be with her husband? If she has not applied for a visa, then why is she making these false statements?
I was stunned. How could she tell lies so confidently? I thought maybe this friend doesn’t know facts, so I contacted another well-informed Kashmiri journalist who is also close to the JKLF. He also confirmed these details. He also said, many members of the JKLF are not happy with what she does in name of JKLF.
She is respectable to me as a woman and as a wife of my old friend. However, I wish if she had taken this opportunity to speak about the plight of people of Gilgit Baltistan, who are protesting against Pakistani policies in this freezing weather. Today is the 7th day of the protests. There is a complete shutter down strike in Gilgit Baltistan; and people are suffering immensely due to lack of food, medicine and other basic facilities.
The Pakistan media has ignored this. Islamabad government and their puppets in Gilgit Baltistan have also ignored the plight of these people and have not taken any steps to resolve the situation. Is she had also spoken about this human tragedy; I would have been the first one to salute her courage and mission.
Her silence on the plight of people of Gilgit Baltistan only suggests: Like other Pakistanis, she is also only interested about problems of people of Kashmir valley and India bashing.
I have no problem in her India bashing, provided what she says is based on facts. If she tells ‘lies’, like in the case of visa, then what she says about the Indian wrong doings, will also be taken in the same light.
My request to her is, do us a favour, please don’t damage the Jammu and Kashmir struggle for independence by telling lies or twisting facts, because it helps India to cover up all the wrong doings going on in Jammu and Kashmir.
Writer is a political analyst, and author of many books and booklets. Also, he is Chairman South Asia Watch, London and Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs.
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