An interview with the hero of 1990’s


    I was a stone pelter before picking up gun: Javaid Mir

    A stone is a stone, but when it flies between a young Kashmiri and a security personnel in Kashmir, it becomes a political statement. Kashmir is back to square one; green flags and loudspeakers playing “Azadi and Jihadi eulogies” has become order of the day.

    But this stone war is not new to Kashmir. It has roots back to 1947.

    Senior pro-freedom leader and Chairman of his faction of JKLF and the first among the few who crossed over to Pakistan to pick up the gun, Javaid Ahmed Mir tells us his transition from a hardcore stain pelter to becoming a militant.

    Mir recalls how like the slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, he along with his other colleagues picked up the gun, when the government of India didn’t understand their stone war.

    How do you see the present stone war in Kashmir?

    In 1979, when I entered into the freedom movement, I was a hardcore stone pelter. Stone pelting is nothing now. These stones are not just stones, but carry a political voice, which government of India has never understood,” Mir said.

    Is stone pelting a new way to fight for justice?

    Whenever movements like Al-Fatah or the Moi-Muqadas occurred in Kashmir; people would always resort to stone pelting, as this remained the only available tool with the “oppressed people like us” to give vent to their feelings.

    Stone was always there before armed struggle. Neither stone pelting nor our political struggle was ever understood by India. I was also a stone pelter from 1979 to 1987 before we picked up the gun along with Yasin Malik, Hameed Sheikh, Ashfaq Majeed and several others.

    When the occupied has nothing, then stone is there as the only tool to give vent to the anger and rebellion against the occupation. The Intifada we are seeing in Palestine for decades now.

    You are in the pro-freedom movement for a long period now. Where are we heading to?

    Government of India must understand that weapon in 1989 had emerged out of this stone.

    No voice or thought was every understood. The great intellectuals and Human rights activists from India and outside India in 1991 had approached us even the parliamentarians of the European Union to start a political movement. They had assured to help us. But government never understood this stone war now. Against these stones, Kashmiris are receiving the bullets.

    What makes new age boys to pick up gun, when leaders like you have shunned it?

    Burhan was also a stone pelter. What made him Burhan-the poster boy of present day militancy? I have visited across Kashmir and found all the stone pelters highly educated people with double MAs, engineers, computer engineers and others. Police have raided their houses and at many places i found police have burnt their certificates.

    (This interview is reproduced from Archive)