The Kashmiris' struggle for freedom is not a nascent phenomenon, rather its two-centuries old struggle. The people of Kashmir are the most oppressed people of the world; their agony commenced with the tyrant rule of Ranjit Singh in 1819. The Muslims of Kashmir suffered the most in 27 years of Ranjit Singh’s reign as the value of a Muslim killed by any Sikh was just two rupees. Later, after defeating Ranjit Singh, the British sold Kashmir to a Hindu Maharaja Gulab Singh. The people of Kashmir along with their possessions were sold by the British like sheep and goats to yet another tyrant. The Muslims in Kashmir comprised over 90pc of the population but didn’t have any representation in the administration of Dogra state. They were barred from joining as officers in the military and deprived from medical and educational facilities like other Kashmiris. They didn’t have the freedom to worship and their mosques were converted into temples. The Dogra Raj was very cruel and inhuman in their dealings with Muslims. In an incident on 13 July 1931, the Dogra soldiers killed 22 Muslims to prevent them from calling Azan for Zuhr prayers in front of the Srinagar Central jail, where they had gathered to show solidarity with a Muslim prisoner.
In 1947, the entire Subcontinent was anxiously waiting to get freedom, as per the partition plan, and spend their lives as per their aspirations. The British, in connivance with Hindus, deceived the Kashmiri Muslims for the second time in the history and violated the agreed partition plan. Not only did they violate the partition plan in case of Kashmir, rather the British conspired with Hindus and unjustly divided Punjab to provide passage for Kashmir to India through Amritsar and Gurdaspur.
To cap it all, the British officers in the Indian Army led the invasion on Kashmir in 1947 whereas the Pakistani CNC of British origin refused to send troops in Kashmir to stop the Indians from unjust an invasion. After unjust and illegal Indian invasion of Kashmir, the locals revolted to free their land from the aggressor and liberated part of Kashmir. Under growing and fierce resistance and being unable to sustain the heat of resistance, the Indian leadership took refuge behind the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on January 1, 1948. Ever since 1948, various resolutions on Kashmir have been passed by the UNSC, including the resolution number 47 asking to hold plebiscite in Kashmir, but none of the resolutions have been implemented. Even after a lapse of seven decades, the Indian Held Kashmir is burning, and the Kashmir issue still remains unresolved due the selfishness of India and apathy of the world community.
Since the Indian occupation of the IHK, the life of Kashmiris has become a hell. The Kashmiris of IHK are subjected to everyday torture, forced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, rapes, sexual abuse, suppression of freedom of speech and political repression, etc. There are also reports of the Indian Army using chemical weapons against unarmed Kashmiris. The Kashmiri Muslims who are sent to jails are treated mercilessly, they are tortured. As per the ICRC reports, the Indian security forces physically abuse detainees with beatings, electrocutions and sexual assault. Rape is used by Indian security forces as a weapon of war to humiliate and punish the Muslims of Kashmir. There have been numerous gang rapes by security forces and the culprits generally go unpunished. Among the gang rapes, the most famous is the gang rape of Kunan Poshpora village in 1991 in which over 100 women were gang raped by security forces during search operation, the victims included women aging from 13 to 80 years. The unchecked and unrestrained powers given to Indian security forces, through draconian laws, have really made them mad animals. In addition to arbitrary killings, the Indian forces are used to committing mass killings. Few of the massacres committed by Indian security forces include Gawakadal massacre, Sopore Massacre, Hawal massacre and Bijbehara massacre, in each of these massacres over 50-60 innocent Kashmiris Muslims were killed on the spot and hundreds were injured. So far over 100,000 innocent Kashmiris have been killed, tens of thousands of women raped and tens of thousands disappeared, later to be found in mass graves. Specially, after Wani’s martyrdom, the Indian security forces have crossed all the limits, hundreds of Kashmiris have been blinded through pellet guns and hundreds brutally killed. India is truly busy in a systemic genocide of Kashmiri Muslims, but the UN/ world is still silent.
Pakistanis can’t remain aloof from the sufferings of Kashmiris, their hearts throb with their Kashmiri brothers. Pakistanis feel the pain of every suffering which Kashmiris undergo in the hands of occupied Indian forces. Pakistan would never leave their Kashmiri brethren and continue to support them politically, morally and diplomatically. Like ever before, the entire Pakistan displayed their solidarity with the Kashmiris on 5th February. Despite multiple UN resolutions and seven decades of sufferings by Kashmiris, the UN has failed to provide the right of self-determination to Kashmiris, promised in 1948. The champions of human rights also remain mum on the brutalities committed by the Indian Army on unarmed innocent Kashmiris. Pakistan and India have fought three wars over Kashmir, it remains the core issue and a flashpoint between two nuclear rivals, having repercussions not only at regional level but may affect the global peace as well. The unabated atrocities being committed by the Indian security forces in IHK is a stigma on the conscience of the free world. The UN and world community needs to take immediate notice of the grave sufferings of Kashmiris in IHK and grant them the right of self-determination, as promised by the UN, akin to East Timor and southern Sudan.