Friday June 21, 2024

Another October 27 goes by Kashmiris

By Abdul Zahoor Khan Marwat
October 27, 2017

Another October 27 goes by the Kashmiris as the world tries to ignore the issue. The Indian Independence Act of 1947, which was in fact the partition plan of Sub-Continent, provided that the valley was free to accede either to India or Pakistan. The Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh, dithered on the subject, as he probably wanted an independent Kashmir. He signed “Standstill Agreements” over the status of the valley with Pakistan while India refused to do so. The agreement was a step towards Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan as it provided Pakistan an automatic authority over Kashmir’s foreign policy.

But India, denying the basic principle of Partition i.e. contiguous areas with Muslim majorities in both west and east India would go to Pakistan, started putting pressure on the Hindu ruler. Then Indian troops invaded the Muslim dominated State of Jammu & Kashmir and occupied it forcibly on the pretext that Pathan tribes from Pakistan had invaded the valley. Therefore, October 27 is marked as a “Black Day” in the annals of Kashmir history.

Under pressure, the Maharajah of Kashmir acceded to the Indian union. Meanwhile, the first Governor-general of India, Lord Mountbatten, and the first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, repeatedly pledged that the issue of Kashmir would be decided in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiris. The Indian pledge was incorporated in the UN resolutions of August 13 1948, and January 5, 1949. But the free and impartial plebiscite was subsequently never held and unfortunately the Indian pledge was never honoured.

Not too long ago, British Prime Minister David Cameron’s statement during his visit to Pakistan can be termed highly significant. He admitted: “Britain is responsible for many of the world's historic problems, including the conflict in Kashmir between India and Pakistan.” This was indeed a bold statement, a reflection of the wrongs done to Pakistan.

Today, the Indian forces under the cover of brutal Armed Forces Special Protection Act (AFSPA) and other black laws engage in religious cleansing of Muslims. The pleas of Amnesty International, which has several times called for revoking the AFSPA and urged investigations into the human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir by an independent and impartial authorities, have always been ignored by New Delhi.   

After the death of Burhan Wani, the mayhem still continues. The world has changed yet the brutal and inhumane treatment meted out to Kashmiris by the Indian forces has not. There has been no change in the held Kashmir situation as far as the ground realities are concerned. The killings, curfews, abductions, HR violations, massive arrests, fake police encounters, rapes and the reign of terror by the Indian forces continue. The occupation forces under the cover of brutal Armed Forces Special Protection Act (AFSPA) and other black laws engage in cleansing of local people. The pleas of international human rights organisations calling for revoking the AFSPA are still ignored by New Delhi. The hard-line tactics adopted by the Modi-Duval duo have simply failed to deliver. 

The indiscriminate and barbaric use of violence in the Valley shows the Indian government is under great pressure on the held Kashmir issue. The South Block is unable to douse the flames of resistance. There is no political deal to end the bloodshed. More dismal still, there is no plan on the table to end the horrors in the valley. The crowds of angry and desperate Kashmiris, subjugated by India for 70 years, are still protesting for their rights. The Indian forces are using all the force they have to crush gatherings and crowds.