August 5, 2021 marks the completion of two years since India’s illegal and unilateral actions in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), taken as part of the RSS-BJP agenda to perpetuate India’s illegal occupation of the disputed territory.
Ever since, India has maintained an unprecedented military siege and draconian curbs on the fundamental rights and freedoms of Kashmiri people. India’s steps are in clear violation of the UN Charter; numerous UNSC resolutions; international law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention; humanitarian norms, and all standards of morality.
Despite the use of every available tool of oppression and violation of every single human right of the Kashmiri people, India has failed to break their will. The indomitable courage of the Kashmiris has flown in the face of Indian brutality.
India’s ill-conceived actions of August 5, 2019 could have been driven by at least five flawed assumptions: first, that Kashmiris would accept the Indian actions as fait accompli and would be subjugated as a result. Second, India would be able to manoeuvre the support of at least some segments of the Kashmiri polity. Third, India’s organized propaganda machinery would be able to hoodwink the international community and reshape the global narrative on Jammu and Kashmir. Fourth, Pakistan would give in to the Indian pressure and withdraw political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people. Fifth, Indian machinations would undermine the will of the international community, as represented through several UN Security Council resolutions.
The past two years have proved beyond any doubt that all these assumptions were wrong.
India’s first assumption of Kashmiris accepting these actions as fait accompli and giving in to unabated Indian state-terrorism was delusional. Despite subjecting the people of IIOJK to the most unprecedented military siege and violating every possible human right of the Kashmiri people, India has failed to break the will of the Kashmiri people. They have still not given in; rather they chose to raise their voice against the Indian atrocities more vigorously. Consequently, young Kashmiris continue to be extra-judicially killed in fake encounters and the so-called ‘cordon-and-search’ operations.
To this day, the senior Kashmiri leadership remains incarcerated and languishes under squalid conditions in Indian jails on trumped-up charges. Enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detentions also continue unabated. The enormity of Indian atrocities is being resolutely opposed by the brave Kashmiris.
The second Indian assumption of being able to manoeuvre support from at least some segments of Kashmiri polity has also proven wrong. After August 5, 2019, all segments of the Kashmiri populace and all political factions of IIOJK forcefully rejected, denounced and deplored India’s illegal and unilateral actions.
When India undertook a farcical exercise this June to seek feedback from certain political parties of IIOJK by convening, a so-called All-Parties Conference (that didn’t include the true representatives of Kashmiri people, the Hurriyat leadership), the statements made by the participants of the meeting invalidated India’s false claims of normalcy in IIOJK. It was evident from what the participants said that reversal of the actions of August 5 was a unanimous demand. India’s litany of lies – that the illegal unilateral actions were aimed at enhancing economic development – was also exposed.
India’s assumption of its organized propaganda machinery being able to reshape the global narrative and opinion on Jammu and Kashmir was also flawed. Despite India continuously peddling false propaganda in futile attempts to push the sham narrative of so-called ‘normalcy’ in IIOJK, global censure and condemnation of the Indian atrocities in IIOJK continue and have in fact increased. The international community, including world leaders, parliamentarians, international human rights and humanitarian organizations and media, have been unanimous in their condemnation of the ongoing atrocities in IIOJK.
India’s fourth assumption of Pakistan giving in to pressure and withdrawing its support to the Kashmiri people was also distorted. The past two years have been marked by Pakistan’s efforts to firmly oppose the unilateral and illegal Indian actions of August 2019. We have used every platform to highlight the legal, humanitarian and peace and security dimensions of the dispute. Prime Minister Imran Khan’s address to parliament on August 6, 2019 and his UNGA speeches during the 74th and 75th sessions clearly spelt out Pakistan’s consistent and principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir matter.
Both the Senate and the National Assembly of Pakistan have adopted multiple resolutions to condemn Indian illegal and unilateral actions. Multilateral and international forums including the UN, HRC, OIC and IPU have been effectively engaged to raise Kashmiris’ voice. Since August 5, 2019, the prime minister and the foreign minister have written around 20 letters to the P-5 leadership, the UN Security Council and the UN secretary-general to keep them apprised of India’s illegal and unilateral measures as well as the continuing gross and systematic violations of human rights in IIOJK. The government and the people of Pakistan will continue to stand with Kashmiris in their just struggle till the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination.
The fifth Indian assumption that the ill-intentioned Indian actions will undermine the will of the international community also proved erroneous. The RSS-BJP regime is bent upon demographic engineering of IIOJK. More than 3.4 million fake domicile certificates have been issued to non-Kashmiris to turn Kashmiris into a minority in their own homeland with the ultimate goal of changing the outcome of UN supervised plebiscite in the occupied territory. By changing demography in IIOJK unilaterally, India is in complete violation of the Security Council Resolutions, including Resolutions 47 (1948), 51 (1948), 80 (1950), 91 (1951), 122 (1957) and 123 (1957) and Fourth Geneva Convention. However, the position of the UN on the issue is clear.
The UNSC has discussed the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at least three times since August 5, 2019; the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has issued two reports in 2018 and 2019, making specific recommendations including the institution of an Independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate the gross and systematic human rights violations by India in the occupied territory, in the wake of the August 5, 2019 actions. The UN secretary-general and the president of the UN General Assembly, through their statements, have also reaffirmed the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir and the continued validity and immutability of the relevant UNSC resolutions.
Rather than taking further ill-considered steps under additional failed assumptions, India would do well to give in to global conscience, end its unabated human rights violations in parts of Jammu and Kashmir under its illegal occupation and take steps for a peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people.
The writer is the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan.
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