“When forces of oppression come to maintain themselves in power against established law, peace is considered already broken.”
Freedom is the basic right of every individual and society. The shackles of slavery in any form are condemnable by every civilised nation. World has seen successful culmination of many freedom movements in the last century. These freedom movements ultimately bore fruit proliferating the world map with new states. Unfortunately, there is a region on earth which is awaiting legitimate freedom for the past seven decades. These years have witnessed unprecedented record of gross human rights violations and genocide of innocent people at the hands of devilish occupying forces. The region is the most picturesque area on earth, people call it 'Indian Occupied Kashmir' (IOK).
The plight of Kashmiris had started after Pakistan and India emerged on the globe in 1947 when they were denied their legitimate and UN approved right of self-determination. As a natural outcome of Indian injustice, people of IOK organised themselves and launched an indigenous freedom movement which India tried to crush through guns and boots. Later, frustrated over the progress of freedom movement, in 1988, India positioned very large contingent of armed forces to suppress Kashmir struggle through coercion and intimidation. Since then, IOK has become a fountain head of gross human rights violations. With advent of Indian occupational forces, the ethnic cleansing campaign against the Kashmiri people has intensified manifolds. Now the word ‘Genocide’ is too small and shallow to depict Indian loathing and vendetta against Muslims of IOK. Long tenures of curfew, looting of houses, forced disappearances, gang rapes, arrests and mutilated bodies of innocent people is what IOK is all about. So far, more than 100,000 killings have been done by Indian occupational forces besides many thousands rapes. The death count is growing with every passing day. Unfortunately, to hoodwink the world, these state sponsored human rights violations are legitimised under the cover of draconian laws like AFSPA. Kashmiris’ right to self-determination has been duly endorsed by the United Nations, which has passed many resolutions asking for a plebiscite to determine people’s choice, which India has been continuously refusing.
Off late, the cold blooded martyrdom of freedom fighter Burhan Wani has stirred a fresh wave of Muslims genocide in IOK. The martyrs have once again rejuvenated IOK freedom movement which is evident from massive mobilisation of protestors and desperation of Indian forces and administration. So far over 70 Kashmiri Muslims have been martyred whereas, the number of injured is also over 5000. This time, India’s brutal army has resorted to a new tactics. They used pallet guns especially targeting the eyes of victims, inflicting them with life-long incapacitation. Like always, under strict curfew India has totally cut off IOK from rest of the world by fully shutting every sort of news and social media. The state media is covering the catastrophe while skewing the facts in favour of Indian government. In order to divert the attention of international community, India is again playing old drama of alleging Pakistan of infiltration and intervention in IOK.
On continuous denial of brutalities by Indian government, UN has offered to send its observers which were also denied by India. The Amnesty International have many a times demanded that both the government of India and the government of Jammu and Kashmir must take immediate steps to ensure that all human rights violations and crimes committed by Indian security forces, including the police in Jammu and Kashmir are investigated by independent and impartial authorities under international law. The organisation also urged that where there is sufficient admissible evidence, those accused should be prosecuted in proceedings meeting international fair trial standards. The Amnesty International has also been asking New Delhi to become signatory of international conventions on human rights which the latter has been denying.
Realising the importance of leadership, India has been victimising Kashmiri leaders through filthy tactics to break their will and resolve. They have been repeatedly harassed, physically intimidated and frequently assassinated. Most of the times they are put on long house arrests without any reason. Kashmiri leaders are also denied permission to travel abroad fearing exposure of Indian human rights abuses to the world. Why India does not acknowledge legal rights of Kashmiris of self-determination and set them free? Besides score of other factors, one strong reason for this is that no Indian government can allow Kashmir’s secession from India for fear of encouraging secessionist movements elsewhere in the country. India’s democracy and so-called secularism would receive a massive blow if India accepted the idea that because Muslims are the majority in a state they should secede.
Recently, Syed Ali Geelani, Chairperson All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference wrote a comprehensive letter to UN. After highlighting the current situation in IOK, He wrote, 'In this situation, international community and especially the influential states like members of UNSC, EU countries and OIC members have a special responsibility to intervene in order to challenge the behavior of the Indian State in Jammu and Kashmir to stop this reign of terror and take measures to build confidence among the people of the occupied Jammu and Kashmir and to create an atmosphere conducive for the resolution of the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir as per the principle of right to self-determination and as enshrined in the various UN resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir. As India continues to institutionally perpetrate violence in Jammu and Kashmir, and has ensured so far that no armed forces personnel involved in heinous war crimes is prosecuted by its own judicial mechanism, leading to an absolute impunity, therefore we urge the international community to pave way for an international inquiry led by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR). This inquiry is not unprecedented. Recently the UNOHCHR instituted an inquiry into the crimes perpetrated by the Sri Lankan government. It is an earnest appeal from the people of Jammu and Kashmir to intervene through the good offices of your person and institutions to inform the change in the approach of the Indian state in Jammu and Kashmir in the interests of global peace, justice, progress and development.’
Unfortunately, the appeal of Syed Ali Geelani will not be able to melt the insensitive hearts of those in UN. UN as well as many similar international organisations have gone through a continuous process of erosion in terms of their importance, role, authority and efficacy over the last few decades. These organisations have fallen victim to the politics of unipolar world. Setting aside UN resolution is one thing but setting aside of a cardinal principle of the UN Charter (principle of right of self-determination) is altogether different. We cannot set aside the principle, we must remain steadfast whatever happens or whatever sacrifice it demands.
Indian government is showing stubbornness to the international opinion as well as UN resolutions on IOK. Unfortunately due to unipolarity, Might is Right principle is adopted. US and West due to their vested interests always move to side with India’s stance. Washington recognises officially that Kashmir dispute is a serious issue. It also recognises that the people of Kashmir have the right to decide their future but it is not ready to take stand or force India. International community must feel agony of oppressed people of IOK. Poul Hartling had rightly said “Let us never cease to feel compassion for those in want. Let us never tire of helping victims of injustice and oppression. He who puts his faith in the restoration of human dignity cannot be wrong.”