A few hours before the “Kashmir Day” was observed annually in Pakistan on February 5, Pakistani Army spokesman, Major General Asif Ghafoor took to social media and formally released a song titled Sangbaaz or stone-pelter to “express solidarity” with the people of Kashmir.
“5 Feb…Solidarity with Kashmiris. Atrocities in Held Kashmir must stop. Kashmiris be given their right of self determination=UN Resolutions,” the Major Ghafoor tweeted alongside the song on his official handle.
5 Feb…Solidarity with Kashmiris. Atrocities in Held Kashmir must stop. Kashmiris be given their right of self determination=UN Resolutions pic.twitter.com/b3VTJI89o4
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) February 4, 2017
The video starts with the Azaadi slogan: “Hum Lay Kay Rahege Azadi, Bharat Say Lenge Azadi (We will take freedom from India, we will take our freedom)” and mainly revolves around the punch-line, “Tchein Lay Ankhein Tu Mugh say, Khawab tu Kaisay Tchenay Ga (You can pluck out my eyes but can never snatch my dreams).”
The formal release of the song hints at Pakistan’s support to stone-pelting in the valley, which witnessed a major uprising last year after Hizbul commander, Burhan Muzaffar Wani and his two colleagues were killed by the Army on July 8. More than 90 persons were killed and over 15,000 wounded and over 1,000 youth lost their eyesight to use of pellet guns by security forces to quell street protests.
The release of the song dedicated to stone-pelters is the second such musical infiltration by the neighboring country in the last two months. Earlier, in November 2016, Pakistan released Kashmir Anthem dedicated to militant commander Burhan.
Emphasizing on Pakistan’s claim to Kashmir, the 5-minute song sounds like a mix of the rock ballad and Sufi music. On electric guitar riffs, it plays fiery vocals: Kashmir Jo Pakistan Bhi Hai, Yeh Rooh Bhi Hai, Yeh Jaan Bhi Hai, Yeh Jannat Arzi, Ye Wadi; Abh Isk Naseeb Hai Azadi!
The release of twin-songs suggests that music is the new weapon playing its role in trouble-torn Kashmir. Security analysts, on the other hand, apprehend that such musical numbers have the potential to indoctrinate the youth.
“Such provocative numbers simply glamorise militancy and other violence. Youth in the age group of 16 to 24, who are more likely to pick up arms, may fell prey to this because music generally attracts this age group,” a police official told InUth. He said that similar songs or taranas had gone viral during the 1990s when militancy was at its peak in the Valley.
Interestingly, the Hurriyat Conference, which is spearheading agitation in Kashmir, is equally concerned but for a different reason. Till now, the separatist leaders like Syed Ali Geelani would occasionally ask youth to refrain from stone pelting on some situations. “But now with (Pakistan) having publicly legitimized stone-pelting through the release of Sangbaaz, we will definitely have to think twice before commenting over stone pelting in future,” a Hurriyat leader confided, on the condition of anonymity.