Monday June 17, 2024

Ballot, not bullet, to solve Kashmir issue

By Zafar Alam Sarwar
September 18, 2019

Might is not right, but right is might: ultimately, right defeats the aggressor country who presumes she is mighty. The fact has been proved in the past and is now being translated by the Kashmiris whose homeland was forcibly occupied by gun totting Indian troops in violation of the United Nations Charter about six decades ago.

India is avoiding the genuine demand for ballot to settle the dispute with bullet. Pakistan has been pleading the cause of Jammu and Kashmir in the UN General Assembly for a long time. Prime Minister Imran Khan will raise the issue again this month. Most members of the world body have already been informed about the precarious situation in the Occupied Kashmir.

Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and across the globe observed the Indian Independence Day on August 15 as Black Day to convey the message to international community that India had usurped their inalienable right to self-determination.

The question is: Can regional peace and prosperity be achieved without solving the Kashmir issue? Kashmiris living in Rawalpindi-Islamabad and Azad Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in the world say there has to be a just resolution of the dispute. “We can’t be cowed, nor can anybody, silence us”, assert the youths.

After Pakistan came into being on August 14, 1947, the Jammu and Kashmir issue has been lying unresolved with the UN despite resolutions adopted unanimously, which empowered Kashmiris to exercise their right to self-determination. That’s called plebiscite which simply means the direct vote of Kashmiris, wherever they are, on the issue.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir wanted to exercise that right, but the Indian armed forces committed naked aggression on the state. India claims to be a democratic state but democracy is bleeding under terrorism.

A memorandum annexed to Kashmiris’ appeal to British MPs sometime 25 years back highlighted their struggle against oppressive Dogra rule and establishment of a de jure revolutionary government in liberated part of the state on October 24, 1947.

The notable part thereof was the fact that the fleeing Maharaja Hari Singh secretly entered into “an unholy treaty” with the Indian government on October 27, 1947, and a provisional treaty of accession was executed on the basis of which the Indian Army troops were dropped and pushed into the state to fight against the Kashmiri freedom fighters.

That so-called treaty provided that the people of Jammu and Kashmir would have the right of self-determination as soon as normal life is restored. India has not fulfilled its commitment to the UN yet.

The day of Indian army attack came to be known as the Black Day in Kashmir and is observed as such by Kashmiris and human right advocates everywhere.

About four years ago, Delhi government trumpeted the disputed territory was an integral part of India, but soon came the rebuttal from Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who claimed that his state had acceded to India not merged with India. Mr. Abdullah told the state assembly in Srinagar that J and K “cannot be placed at par with Hyderabad and Junagarh,” which were forcefully occupied by India.

There is reign of terror in Indian-occupied Kashmir where Indian army killed a lecturer in custody the other day. APHC chairman Syed Ali Gilani rightly pointed out the situation is dangerous, curfew continues, at least 175 people have been killed, 8,000 injured, about 500 have lost their eye-sight, 1,500 have been arrested and many of them shifted to jails outside the valley.

Raping women is being used as a weapon by Indian occupation forces to demoralise the Kashmiris struggling for right to self-determination. Up to 600 Indian prostitutes were engaged to ‘please’ the troops who were tired of long duty hours and wanted to go home on long leave. One saw photographs, frankly speaking nude pictures of many of them, six years ago.

That’s the Indian style of colonisation, or one say a way of subjugating Kashmiris.