The occupation of Kashmir by the Indian security forces will complete 74 years on October 27, a day which is observed as Black Day by the people of the occupied territory, Pakistan and the Kashmiri diaspora around the world.
These years have been a sad story of defiance of UNSC resolutions, international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, unmitigated oppression and criminal indifference by the international community to the plight of the people of the occupied territory.
India reneged on its commitment to implement the UN resolutions, pledges made to Pakistan in that regard by the then Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru as well as his statements in the Indian parliament. Instead of fulfilling its pledge and obligations under UNSC resolutions, it held elections for the constituent assembly of Occupied Kashmir in October 1951 in which all seats were won by the National Conference headed by Sheikh Abdullah.
The UN Security Council passed Resolution 91 to the effect that such elections did not substitute a plebiscite. Again, on November 17, the state constituent assembly adopted a constitution for the state which declared Kashmir as an integral part of the Indian Union. The UN Security Council once again repudiated it through its Resolution 122 which reiterated that that the settlement of the question of accession of the state could not be resolved by any means other than a plebiscite held under the auspices of the UN. As is evident, it was a vehement rejection of the Indian position on the Kashmir issue.
However, India kept insisting on Kashmir being an integral part and continued denial of the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir. Which is why the occupied people were forced to launch an armed struggle to win their freedom. Since then, India has been using its military might to crush it. Indian security forces enjoying immunity for their actions under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1990, have indulged in an unabated killing-spree in the state. They have killed more than 96,000 Kashmiris, raped thousands of women and destroyed thousands of structures since the beginning of the freedom struggle. The discovery of mass graves also tells the story of the Indian oppression on the people of Kashmir. However despite this unending oppression India has not been able to extinguish the flame of liberty.
By scrapping Article 370 of the Indian constitution, to end the special status of Occupied Kashmir, its bifurcation into two territories and annexation to the Indian Union as well as promulgation of the new domicile law designed to change the demographic realities of the state, the Modi government has further aggravated the situation and given a new twist to the dispute.
Kashmiris are facing unabated extrajudicial killings, custodial torture and death, arbitrary detention, looting to inflict collective punishment and other worst forms of human rights abuses, corroborated by reports of human rights organisations, the UN Human Rights Commission findings, the European parliament and international media.
According to reports compiled by international agencies, over 500 people have been killed since August 5, 2019. Three thousand people are under arrest, including 200 politicians. Reportedly 10,000 people have been picked up and disappeared since then. Though internet services were restored in August 2020 on the orders of the Indian Supreme Court, the people of Occupied Kashmir are still living in an open prison and suffering immensely at the hands of the Indian security forces.
The Modi government has been trying to sell the narrative that the action taken by it in Occupied Kashmir was its internal matter. But it has failed to convince the international community. Thanks to the diplomatic offensive launched by the government of Pakistan, reports by the international media and unraveling of the oppression on the people of Kashmir, the international community has not subscribed to the Indian disposition on the issue.
It is pertinent to mention here that the August 5 action of the Modi government has also been opposed by conscientious elements within India. P Chidambaram, a senior leader of Congress, opposing the bill for repeal of Article 370 had said: “The move will have catastrophic consequences. You are dismembering J&K in the name of the people of Kashmir. Do not do that. Reflect on what you are doing. Momentarily you may think you have scored a victory, but you are wrong and history will prove you to be wrong. Future generations will realise what a grave mistake this house is making today. [The] BJP’s sense of victory will be short-lived and history will prove it to be wrong” His statement reflected the historic truth.
The BJP regime -- inebriated by the RSS Ideology of ‘Hindutva’ -- has not only violated the UNSC resolutions, international law and 4th Geneva Convention through its actions but has also been persistently engaged in sponsoring acts of terrorism within Pakistan in connivance with Afghan intelligence agency NDS. It has also fomented and supported insurgency in Balochistan. The arrest of Kalbhushan Jadhav and his confessions leave no doubt about it. India has also indulged in fake propaganda against Pakistan and portraying it as an epicenter of terrorism through fake media outlets as revealed by EU Disinfo Lab recently. It has also adopted a hostile posture towards us.
The threatening statements by Indian military and civilian leaders and the daredevil act of bombing imaginary terrorist training camps at Balakot in February 2019 are a ranting testimony to the threat that India poses to peace and security in this region. Pakistan has presented two dossiers to the UN and the world powers regarding state terrorism by India and its use of false propaganda to malign us.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has rightly likened the RSS Ideology to Nazism and persistently warned the world of its likely repercussions if India is not stopped in its tracks right now and the Kashmir issue resolved in consonance with the UN resolutions. It is the right time for the UN and the world community to act before it is too late, particularly the powers that see the Kashmir dispute through the prism of their strategic and commercial interests. Their apathy to the situation in Occupied Kashmir encourages India to persist with its inhuman actions.
The writer is a freelance contributor.
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