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February 11, 2020

Kashmir Solidarity Day this year

Peshawar

February 11, 2020

Kashmir had been, is and will continue to be the corner stone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. The Quaid signified its utmost importance by describing it as jugular vein of Pakistan. Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto perfectly represented the resolve of the nation when he declared to fight even for thousand years, if they had to, side by side with the Kashmiri people, for the attainment of the right to self-determination.

The people of Jammu and Kashmir’s unwavering commitment to write their destiny with their own hands has no parallel in the contemporary world notwithstanding the policies of this side of the LOC or other side. The flame of freedom burning in their hearts could not be extinguished by the Indian hundreds of thousands troops deployed in IOK since its occupation by India. It is hell at present fighting for the restoration of its status of ‘Heaven on Earth’.

The legitimacy and the momentum of the struggle of the Kashmiri people could not be impeded by India despite the enforcement of draconian laws like of (POTA), Public Safety Act, Armed Forces Special Powers Act, giving free hand to Indian authorities to perpetrate horrendous human rights violations in the Valley. The dictatorial regimes of Pakistan’s misdeeds might have cast aspersions on the indigenous nature of freedom movement. India fiercely maligned Pakistan under the garb of ‘cross-border terrorism’. Indeed, the struggle of the Kashmiri cause suffered setbacks temporarily due to ill-conceived policies of the authoritarian regimes in Pakistan.

However, its longevity explicitly suggested that it would continue till the time the Kashmir issue was not resolved according to the aspirations of the Kashmiri people who were unequivocally committed to determine their political future through plebiscite.

No state how powerful that may be can break their will to give up their inalienable right to determine their political future. They have overcome the fear of the worst case scenario during the course of their arduous struggle. Thousands of Kashmiri people have been literally incarcerated during the last seven months by India giving the fair idea of the strength of their determination to achieve their ultimate objective regardless of the cost.

The ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ was observed last week in which whole Pakistani nation participated demonstrating their total support for the Kashmiri people in their struggle for freedom. Pakistan’s continue moral, diplomatic and political support is critical to jolt the international community conscience time and again to fulfill its commitment embodied in the UN Security Council resolutions.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir AJK prime minister’s sane advice on this ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ to the prime minister of Pakistan, underscoring the importance of forging national unity in the largest interest of the Kashmir cause, was sadly spurned by the prime minister without giving a thought to its rationality. It was least expected on the ‘Day’ when the whole nation was standing with the Kashmiri people during these telling times foisted by the Modi government by cooping them months after months since August last year.

The reaction of the prime minister regretfully implied as if the Kashmir issue was the concern of the PTI only and not of the nation that had invested so much time and resources in the furtherance of the case of the Kashmiri people.

The prime minister’s reaction was apparently disproportionate and indeed uncalled for. He might have controlled his inward turmoil in a cool manner like an accomplished public figure.

The prime minister’s mixing of Kashmir issue with the local politics may not be taken in good stride. He had so eloquently and successfully projected it at the myriad international forums including at the UN. The prime minister’s speech at the AJK Assembly declaring that Modi’s revocation of the special status of IOK would prove as his final blunder leading to pave the way to the freedom of the Kashmiri people was both inspirational and visionary. It must have the profound impact on the Kashmiri and Pakistani people in particular and in the international community and the Kashmir diaspora in general.

The prime minster should have left the subject matter of Party politics for the subsequent umpteen times keeping in view the imperatives of relevance. The leaders occupying such coveted position generally were quite capable of cashing the event to their political advantage through guarded and well-meaning assertions. His deviation might have deprived him to seize the moment to the fullest extent.

Who dares to disagree with the AJK prime minister that instability and political polarisation in Pakistan may surely hurt instead of promote the case of the Kashmiri people? The AJK prime minister was seemingly speaking out his heart without the dictates of the Party politics. His passionate and genuine appeal to the prime minister of Pakistan sadly was not reciprocated to the collective disappointment of the people of Pakistan and the Kashmiri people alike. The incumbent prime minister might be the only exception who apparently refused to recognise the co-relationship between the two as he was overly swayed by the narrative of Party politics. Party politics was usually based on getting the political mileage over the political opponents no matter how malevolent the strategy might be. In this case the outburst might be the trivial contour of party politics.

The rebounding of the Kashmir issue at the international forums clearly indicates the strength and the legitimacy of the struggle that could not be swept under the carpet by India. The salutary outcome this time is the upping of the concern of the international community over the gruesome violations of human rights in the (IOK). It may not be matching the scale of atrocities being perpetrated by the Indian troops. The main reason may be due to the imperatives of pragmatism governed by geo-political interests of the big states. Their mealy-mouthed sympathies may surely not be enough at present to deter the Indian government to revisit its policies towards the Kashmiri people to address their grievances. The re-arrest of the former chief ministers, Omar Abdullah and Mahbooba Mufti, explicitly suggests the belligerence mood of the Indian government as it is seemingly determined to keep the million people of (IOK) under its yoke no matter what. But unabated tyranny will surely draw closer to its end because of its non-sustainability.

Yet, there are developments at the international stage those may not be underrated. The recent discussion at the UN Security Council on Kashmir at the Chinese initiative was quite significant as issue was under discussion at that forum after many many years. A sizeable number of parliamentarians of the EU have also been showing their anxiety over the plight of the Kashmiri people. They are constantly monitoring the situation in the Valley. The lawmakers of British House of Commons including the US Congress have been urging the Indian government to end the state of siege in IOK. It might be deemed as encouraging as human rights violations by India were discounted at the highest forum of policy making.

These developments may be forward looking as earlier the international community was in a state of slumber till the Modi government revoked the special status of (IOK). It may be further recalled that, G. Wells, US State Department’s senior official, during her recent visit to India had urged the Indian government to ease the restrictions on the Kashmiri people and its leadership those had been facing quarantine situation in absolute terms for the last many months. The Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other similar organisations of repute, operating at international level, had also been more vocal in support of the Kashmiri people.

Their findings and reservations were likely to have profound impact on the struggle of the Kashmiri people. The stage might come when Indian government would not be able to shy away the concern of the international community. That stage might be coming closer with the increased level of human rights violations by India against the innocent Kashmiri people.

The equally valiant contributions of the Kashmiri and Pakistani diaspora in the respective countries may not be underestimated who spare no opportunity to stir the conscience of the international community urging it to fulfill its commitment held out to the Kashmiri people. The Indian government has turned the Valley as the highest concentration camp of Indian troops to suppress the indigenous movement for freedom. They are under constant siege to pre-empt the protest movement by the people of all political affiliations who have totally rejected the Indian government’s decision to revoke the special status of IOK describing it “as an aggression against the Kashmiri people”. They held protests throughout the world reminding the international community of its commitment and also drawing its attention to the atrocities the Indian government has unleashed especially after August last year.

It gives enormous ache to Pakistani people and to the Kashmiri as Muslim Ummah is not forthcoming as expected in support of the plight of the Kashmiri people. The brotherly countries Saudi Arabia kept quite while UAE took the unexpected position by asserting that annexation of IOK by Modi government was its internal matter. Turkey, Malaysia and Iran were the only exceptions those came quite boldly in support of Kashmiri people. The government of Pakistan has pro-actively launched its diplomatic efforts lately to bring the whole Ummah to home on the Kashmir issue in the forthcoming session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers being held in Niger in April this year. It is the test of the Pakistan diplomacy and Ummah’s commitment to the plight of the Muslims no matter what part of the world they belong to.

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