Hashim Qureshi hijacked an Indian Airlines plane on its routine flight from Srinagar to Jammu in 1971. This happened when Pakistan was actively engaged in suppressing the freedom movement in Bangladesh. He was accused of being an ISI agent by India. As he confesses in his book, he later set Fire to the plane (at the behest of a Pakistani Police officer), confirming India's allegations. But interestingly enough, the Pakistani authorities arrested him, tried him as an Indian agent and sentenced him to 14 years in jail. He spent more than 9 years in prison. Today, he lives in exile in Holland with his family.
What is Hashim Qureshi-an Indian citizen, a Pakistani citizen, an Agent Provocateur or a simple Kashmiri fighting for the independence of his homeland? The man himself tries to explain his motives behind his actions in the three hundred or more pages of this book.
In his foreword, the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of p Pakistan for 1997-98 has made a pertinent observation "Within Kashmir, a vast I section of adventurists too had held the common people as their hostage. The foremost is the group that raises the slogan of Jihad on the basis of religion. They have become a source of destroying the age-old communal harmony between Muslims and the Hindus of Kashmir". Hashim Qureshi who from a 17 year old hijacker has become a sadder and wiser man today echoes this sentiment when he writes "Those advocating division of Kashmir on the basis of Religion are not only the enemies of my native land but are also the enemies of mankind." Questioning the partitioning of India-thus the very basis of Pakistan-Qureshi goes on to affirm that if the sub-continent had not been partitioned on the basis of religion "This huge Muslim Population would have been living in Peace and Friendship with their compatriots of other faiths with as much Love and amity as existed before the days of British Raj."
Hashim Qureshi does not, however, say that had that happened, he would not have been forced to spend the better part of his life in exile with his Family in far off Holland.
"Kashmir-The Unveiling of Truth" is a Book which, in contrast to the official positions held by India and Pakistan, puts forward the point of view of a Kashmiri who believes that only the principles of non-violence, secularism, Democracy and tolerance will open the route to Progress in the sub-continent-and perhaps in the process find a solution to the constant struggle between the two Countries with the newly created threat of a Nuclear holocaust.