Sunday December 04, 2022

Shameful verdict

By Editorial Board
May 22, 2022

The conviction of Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik by an Indian court is nothing but a sham verdict coming from a farcical trial. Pakistan has rightfully condemned this conviction and the world community must also voice its condemnation in strong terms. By all ethical and legal standards, the entire proceedings of the trial were dubious and no amount of chicanery can prove it to be unmotivated.The case is a blatant example of the victimization of those who are representing the people of Occupied Kashmir. Indian authorities have time and again violated human rights and now they are intent on targeting those who somehow manage to highlight the brutalities of the occupation forces.

The case purported to be terrorism-related but there was absolutely no firm ground for it to merit consideration. It was clear from the word go that the aim was to award a sentence to Yasin Malik to deter other freedom-loving Kashmiris from raising their voice. From the perspective of democratic and legal practices, the rights to assembly and freedom and expression are enshrined in most constitutions. Even the constitution of India guarantees these rights and by convicting Yasin Malik the court has violated the Indian constitution itself. The organizations he belonged to are neither terrorist organizations nor outfits that violate any international law. The charge that he was involved in a criminal conspiracy is equally baseless and unconvincing. To top it all, the charges of sedition are even more ludicrous.

Such injustice has become a common practice against Kashmiris who demand their rights and want the resolution of this issue in accordance with the UN provisions. Calling for the implementation of the UN resolutions cannot be termed a crime, let alone terrorism. The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front in the Indian-occupied Kashmir derives its strength from the people of Occupied Kashmir and not from anywhere else. So there is no question of its leader being a traitor as he represents the people who are striving for freedom from Indian occupation. According to reports, Yasin Malik was candid in his assertion in the court that demanding freedom is not a crime. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is pretty clear about such violations of human rights and no state worth its name should disregard internationally accepted rights every citizen must enjoy. The BJP government has displayed unprecedented alacrity in filing cases against Kashmiri Muslims and their leaders. It pursues these cases with a vengeance and tries to undermine the struggle that leaders such as Malik are spearheading. It is the right of every occupied people to resist their occupation and it is our duty as Pakistanis and citizens of the world to stand behind them. Be it in Kashmir, Palestine or any other part of the world where an imperialistic power subjugates the local population, we must always stand not with those who have might on their side but those whose cause is just.