National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah's election speeches might be exhorting “Kashmir’s independence is not possible”, but Noor Mubarak, daughter of Farooq’s niece, was recently seen shouting pro-independence slogans outside the Indian Embassy in London.
Nineteen-year-old Noor, daughter of Aliya Shah and Iqbal Mubarak, belongs to the third generation of Farooq’s father Sheikh Abdullah’s family. Sheikh was the founder of NC and was a popular leader of Kashmir. But Noor’s support for Kashmir’s independence might pit her against NC icon Omar Abdullah in future.
Omar is a staunch supporter of assimilation and reconciliation of Kashmir with the Indian mainstream, but Noor stands for “complete independence”, splitting the family vertically — at least ideologically.
Observing October 27 a ‘Black Day’, Noor was part of a protest rally of 600-odd Kashmiris outside the Indian embassy in London. On October 27, 1947, Indian troops landed in Kashmir to check the infiltrators from Pakistan.
“We observed it as a black day. There are planned protests in the US and Europe too,” Noor told Hindustan Times from London. Unlike his uncle Farooq Abdullah, Noor, who has been living in London for 11 years after leaving Srinagar, does not consider to be with India an option for her.
In her first exclusive interview given to any Indian newspaper, Noor told HT that she was pained by the “suffering the people of J&K”. She said, “We assembled outside the Indian embassy demanding the Kashmiris' right to determine whether they want to be independent, or stay with India or Pakistan.”
Accusing India of “mistreating” the Kashmiris, she said, “I believe Kashmiris have the right to independence because they have been mistreated.”
When told his uncle doesn't think independence for Kashmir is possible, Noor retorted, “I don't represent my uncle's views. People in one family have been known to disagree in the past, be it over politics or fruits.”