Table of Contents
  About the Author
  About the Book
  Laying the Scene
  Sayyid Sharafu'D-Din
  Mir Ali Hamadani's role ...
  P.N. Bazaz and P.N.Bamzai ...
  Laleshwari - A Shining...
  Trika Paved the Way for Islam
  Kashmir - Not A Tabula Rasa
  Willing and Peaceful ...
  Extra-ideological Methods
  Compromise as Tactics
  Shihab-ud-Din's anti-Hindu ..
  'Sufi-face of Islam' thesis ...
  Sultan Sikandar -  a Cruel ..
  Mir Ali Hamdani's Advice ...
  Return of Sanity
  Na Bhatto Aham -  A Cry ...
  Crusade Re-launched
  Nirmal Kanth - A Pillar ...
  Inter-face Between Hinduism..
  Regeneration of Kashmir ...
  Mughal Annexation at ...
  Learning Not Enough, ...
  Muslims Invite Afghans
  Birbal Dhar and Sikhs
  Loot of 1931
  Loot of Landed Properties
  Loot of a Kashmiri Pandit ...
  Loot and Plunder of 1986
  Nehru's Advice to ...
  Pan-Islamic Design
  Sponsored Terrorism
  Kashmiri Pandits -  soft ...
  JKLF - An Outfit of Killers
  Jammaat-i-lslami - ...
  Afghans Again Invited ...
  Massacre of Kashmiri Pandits
- Part 1 of 3
- Part 2 of 3
- Part 3 of 3
  Loot, Grab and Arson ...
  Destruction and Desecration ...
  Loot and Burning of Books
  Kashmiri Pandits As Migrants
  Conversions as Muslim ...
  Kashmiri Pandits and ...
  Homeland Demand Raised
  Sangrampora Massacre
  References and Notes
  List of Illustrations
  Book in pdf format

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir


Symbol of Unity


Part I: Chapter 22


With the Mughal empire declining and in doldrums, two prominent Muslims Mir Muquim Kanth and Khawaja Zahir Didamari repeated the role-model of Yaqub Sarfi and Baba Dawood Khaki by begging of Ahmad Shah Abdali to aggress Kashmir with a view to annexing it to Kabul. It was an 'Islamic invitation' extended to Abdali, who was deemed a saviour sans minding and evaluating the havoc he was wreaking on north of India. Abdali was not so impolitic as to miss the opportunity and without prevarication and dither despatched his troops under the command of Abdullah Khan Ishk Aqasi to capture Kashmir for Kabul. After a fierce battle for a fortnight, Ishk Aqasi vanquished his opponent and marched into Kashmir triumphantly and the entire Muslim population hailed him as a victor.

The Afghans in their essential traits and characteristics were tribals, ferocious, cruel and inhuman and it did not take them long to reveal their visage of savagery and ferocity. According to Walter Lawrence, "when we pass from the Mughal period to the period of Shahani Durani, we pass to a time of brutal tyranny, unrelieved by good works, chivalry and honour". As they were wantonly cruel and insatiably avaricious, the dreams and visions of Kashmiri Muslims punctured like a balloon when Ishk Aqasi in complicity with Mir Muquim Kanth applied red-hot iron-bars to a Muslim business-man to extort a huge sum of money from him. It virtually shell-shocked them and visas contrary to what they had expected. The Afghans though Muslims did not spare them when they started on their looting bouts by the imposition of enormous tax-burdens on the Kashmiri populace. So, the Muslims viscerally hated them and nick-named all breeds of Afghans as Kakad Khans, foolish and low in intelligence, an epithet which the Kashmiri Pandits had sarcastically coined for them. Had the Afghans directed and utilised all the weapons in their arsenal of barbarity and brutality against the Pandits, that would have dizzied them into an ecstasy and given them an unbounded satisfaction.

It is axiomatically known world over that the extirpation of Kufra (infidelity) is a divine mission with every Muslim, original or convert, and the Afghan savages embarked upon the same mission. The Kashmiri Pandits harbouring a non-Islamic faith were the declared enemies of Islam and as a matter of religious duty and obligation were to be subjected to brute force and harsh coercion. The mix-deeds that the Afghans indulged in and the tyrannies that they perpetrated have earned them the sobriquet of 'butchers'. The Pandits were looted, plundered and killed with impunity. They were mercilessly hurled into the waters of Dal Lake to meet their watery grave. The obstreperous Bomba tribals and brigands were hired to harass and brutalise them and coerce them to join the fold of Islam. They burnt them alive in their own houses. They killed them and their butchered remnants, stinking and smelling, littered over the streets of Srinagar for days on end with ravenous crows prying over them and the relatives of the butchered Pandits shrieking and screaming with none to soothe them and alleviate their sufferings. The Pandits known for their love of learning were not permitted to put their scholars to any form of schooling and educative processes. They were divested of their jobs, and thus were deprived of their livelihood. Their women-folk were subjected to all forms of dishonour and ignominy. Lifting them and exporting them to Kabul was a usual occurrence. To protect them from such atrocities, the young budding beauties were disfigured and defaced by the flecking and mutilation of their body-parts and were married off before the onset of puberty.

The Kashmiri Pandits were subjected to cruel taxes, levies and punitive exactions. The hated Jazia (poll tax) was imposed on them. A separate capitation tax to the tune of Rs.12,500 per annum had to be paid by every Pandit to the ruler at Kabul. An amazing punitive tax known as Smoketax (Zari-Dood) was laid on them. In case their failed to pay it, they were intimidated, tortured and put to flashing swords.

Records Tyndale Bisco, "It is said that during the Afghan rule in Kashmir (1752-1819) the Afghans were in the habit of riding into the Kashmiri houses on their horse-back, stabling their horses in the lower portion and occupying the rest for themselves. The Kashmiris were unable to check these outrages by force. They devised therefore the plan of having so low doors that not only the intruder had to dismount, but also to bow his head on entry. As the Afghans were haughty and no one of them was willing to make obeisance to a local person, they were forced to remain outside."

Writes Walter Lawrence, "The Pandits, who formerly wore moustaches, were forced to grow beards, turbans and shoes were forbidden and the tika or fore-head mark was interdicted."

He further records, "The Jazia or poll-tax on Hindus was revived and many Brahmans either fled the country, were killed or were converted to Islam."

Asad Khan - A Savage

Asad Khan, a class oppressor, boasted that the savage Nadir Shah was his prototype. Walter Lawrence records about his atrocities on Hindus "It was his practice to tie up the Pandits, two in grass sacks and sink them in the Dal Lake. As an amusement, a pitcher filled with odure would be placed on a Pandit's head and the Musalmans would pelt the pitcher with stones till it broke, the unfortunate Hindu being blinded with filth.

According to Forster, "Asad Khan stands in the foremost rank of tyrants". Concurs Fergusson, "Asad Khan gave an unchecked expression to his sadistic tendencies. The Hindu Pandits as Kafirs or infidels were naturally the first objects of his persecution. The atrocities of Asad Khan included tying up Pandits by their hands back to back and throwing them into the lake. The hated Jazia, a tax on Hindus, was re-imposed and numerous disabilities were placed on the Pandits and their religion."

Hazar Khan - A Fiend

Puts Walter Lawrence, "Mir Hazar was another fiend who used leather bags instead of grass sacks for the drowning of Brahmans. He drowned Shias and Brahmans indiscriminately."

Atta Mohammad Khan - A Psychopath

Fergusson records about Ata Mohammad Khan, "Women rather than torture were his reigning passion and beautiful Hindu girls had their features defaced by their parents rather than that they should attract the attention of the agents of this insatiable ruler,"

Puts Walter Lawrence, "Ata Mohammad Khan was a ferocious libertine and his agent, an old woman Koshib, was the terror of the Brahman parents, who rather than allow the degradation of their daughters destroyed their beauty by shaving their heads or cutting their nose."

Haji Karim Dad Khan - A Looter

Records P.N.K. Bamzai, "He purposely kept the tax gatherers Aslam and Babu, in hinding accusing the Pandit community of their murder. He collected their leading members and keeping them in close confinement, subjected them to suffocating fumes from cow dung. They implored, they importunated, but the heartless Haji would not release them until they agreed to pay an annual tax (known as Zari Dood or Smoke Tax) of 50,000 rupees."

Giving an estimate of the Afghan rule, Walter Lawrence pithily puts, "Pathan rulers are only remembered for their brutality and cruelty and it is said that they thought no more of cutting heads than of plucking a flower."

In the same vein, Forster laconically records, "They rarely issued an order without showing the side of their hatchet, a common weapon of the Afghans."



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World Kashmiri Pandit Conference 1993 Panun Kashmir
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