The crowd wanted to cross the LoC…and they want freedom

Now, what was that all about?

The first of the five points along the Line of Control to help the movement of earthquake victims and relief workers was opened today. Amid handshakes and the dispatch of relief trucks to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Pakistani police fired in the air and used tear gas shells to control a crowd that was angry with not being allowed, just yet, to cross over onto the India side.

Hundreds of Kashmiri villagers on the Pakistani side of the divide approached the Line of Control (LoC) shouting “Let people cross” and “What we want is freedom”. [‘BBC’ emphasis added]

Freedom?

Nobody can fault them for expressing their displeasure for not being allowed to cross over. But if the crowd chose this moment to press their political agenda — of self-determination — then certainly it chose a most inopportune moment to do so. They only hurt the spirit of compassion and humanitarianism that underscores the opening of the border crossings.

Or did they want to cross the LoC because they saw freedom on the Indian side, as a result of which they were restrained by the Pakistani police?

Update: It turns out that the crowd was demanding Kashmiri independence. The questions Kashmiri separatists must ask themselves is that if they themselves cannot put politics aside in the face of a humanitarian crisis, can they expect others not to?

2 thoughts on “The crowd wanted to cross the LoC…and they want freedom”

  1. The BBC’s got to sell their news. The “freedom” thing helps it along. I would not take the rants of a few as seriously. In any case, (and to quote a Kashmiri separatist) the azadi idea is an “academic luxury” – never going to see the light of day. No point getting worked up over it.

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