Srinagar: The appearance and waving of Chinese flags in North Kashmir recently has sent shock waves among Intelligence Agencies of India. Reliable Defence sources said that strict directives have been passed to security personnel particularly police to ensure no Chinese flags appear in any part of Kashmir Valley.
For the first time on 14 October in Kashmir Valley, a Chinese flag was waved alongside the Pakistani flag during post-Friday congregation protests in North Kashmir town of Baramulla. The joined Pakistani and Chinese flag was emblazoned with the message: “Long Live Pakistan-India friendship. Kashmiris are waiting for your help China”.
Defense sources told news agency CNS the basic motive of massive crackdown in Baramulla was to get the people arrested responsible for waving Chinese flag in the district. “We had no inputs about the presence of militants in the district. But crackdown was launched to seize Chinese flags and detain all those involved in the act,” said an official adding the preliminary investigation has revealed that the idea to wave Chinese flag was the brain child of a Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader.
“We are worried over the development because China being a major power gets instant attention from the world media. The report about the waving of Chinese flag in Baramulla was not only carried by news portals but it found space in every newspaper of the globe,” the official added.
Pertinently, the Army on Tuesday said a joint search operation was launched by forces in different areas of old town Baramulla in North Kashmir including Qazi Hamam, Ganai Hamam, Taweed Gunj, Jamia and other mohallas in which 44 persons allegedly involved in “terror-related activities were apprehended” while “incriminating material including petrol bombs and (Chinese) flags were seized.”
Professor Pirzada Irshad Ahmd Shah who heads Political Science Department at picturesque Kashmir University says the appearance of Chinese flags in Kashmir is an endorsement to Pakistan-China friendly relationship. “China is anti-India and people of Kashmir like every country that opposes India. The role of China visa-a-vis Kashmir and Pakistan is being appreciated by the people here because China is anti-India and Pakistan is supporting Kashmir Cause,” he said adding that anti-India sentiments is running deep in Kashmir and youth have now become more anti-India.
“India knows that waving of any flag in Kashmir is resentment against it. Now State repression has been recognized by people here and youth have been expressing themselves in different ways,” Shah said.
Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front senior leader Zahoor Ahmed Bhat suggests that people of Kashmir should only wave their own flag. “It is not in the interest of Kashmir to wave either Pakistani or Chinese flags given the fact people here stand for complete freedom from both India and Pakistan.” However, a Journalist who wished not to be named said that the unfurling of Chinese flags in Kashmir is a direct slap on India. “The moment a Chinese flags will appear in Kashmir, India will start worrying about it. India is no mood to blink but on this issue it has to blink. You are not only waving a Chinese flag but you are also seeking help from that country. You are sending a message across the globe that you are a suppressed lot and need help,” he said.
Senior academician and civil society member Professor Hameeda Nayeem believes that Chinese flag has been waved to counter the Indian propaganda that the current movement in Kashmir is purely Islamic in nature inspired by global terrorism. “People by waving Chinese flags showed to the world that Kashmir Freedom Struggle is secular and not Islamic in nature. It shows people here are resisting Indian rule. The waving of Pakistani or Chinese flags by Kashmiri people is aimed at to attract global attention and it is purely an innovative symbol of resistance,” she said. (CNS)