Thursday July 18, 2024

Call for humanity

By Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani
August 30, 2019

Every sensible peace-loving human is worried about the tense situation in Occupied Kashmir. It is human nature to cry in response to pain. In my view, it is the worst kind of cruelty and barbarism to silence the voices of the oppressed Kashmiris. There is complete ban on the internet, media and any other form of communication in IoK. The people of Kashmir are not allowed to even communicate with other human beings. Due to the prevailing curfew, Kashmirs are unaware what exactly is going on with their loved ones.

After such brutality in Kashmir, I do not think that India has any right to claim itself a secular democracy. After the violation of the so-called agreement between Maharaja Hari Singh and first Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, India is now labelled as an occupying power.

India is trying its best to validate its controversial moves through a parliamentary process. It is good to see that some peace-loving Indian citizens have successfully moved the Supreme Court of India on this sensitive issue. The Indian leadership must not forget that the French parliament, during the colonial era, had also passed similar legislation to declare Algeria its integral part. However, such moves didn't help France curb the Algerian independence movement.

Such tactics are proving that the Modi government is following the footsteps of Hitler-led Nazi Germany. The truth, though, is that the Nazis are now history and today nobody likes to associate with them.

Ironically, while making Kashmir bleed, the Indian government did not consider that the religious festivals of Muslims (Eid) and Hindus (Krishna Janmashtami) were also looming. In such critical circumstances, a news report attributed to the US President Trump also emerged, stating that: “Kashmir is a very complicated place. You have Hindus and you have the Muslims and I wouldn’t say they get along so great. I will do the best I can to mediate.” Here, I would like to comment that the diverse society of the Indian subcontinent is traditionally based on tolerance, interfaith harmony and pluralism. For hundreds of years, Hindus and Muslims have lived together peacefully. It was actually British imperialism which promoted unwanted policies of 'divide and rule' in order to occupy the region.

In Sadiqabad, thousands of patriotic Hindu nationals, while showing solidarity with Kashmir, demonstrated that a true follower of Krishna never ever engages in hatred and anarchy. Our holy book Bhagavat Gita is entirely based on Krishna's teaching of love, peace and humanity. On the occasion, a large number of Pakistani Hindu citizens were also holding flags of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.

My message to the US president is that the Kashmir issue is not complicated; its rather simple. According to the Indian Independence Act 1947 passed by the UK parliament, every princely state was allowed to either join India / Pakistan or stay independent. If the people of East Timor and South Sudan can get independence through referendum then depriving Kashmiris of their right to self-determination must also be considered a grave violation of UN resolutions.

In the past, I tried many times to convince the Indian leadership to solve our bilateral conflicts. I once again urge Indian PM Modi to apologize to the innocent people of Kashmir and adopt a realistic approach. In the 21st century, it is not possible to control any region through military power.

I believe that the civil society, media and every peace-loving citizen, regardless of national and religious affiliation, will keep pushing India to solve the Kashmir issue for the sake of humanity. On August 31, PM Imran Khan, on the invitation of the Hindu community, will also address a Kashmir solidarity Jalsa at Umarkot, Tharparkar.

In the next stage, the Pakistani Hindu community will also organize solidarity events at in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and even at the LoC, Azad Kashmir. I would also like to lead a fact-finding delegation to Occupied Kashmir in the near future.

The writer is a member of the National Assembly and patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council.

Twitter: @RVankwani