Wednesday September 28, 2022

Kashmir’s tragedy

By Editorial Board
August 08, 2022

The bleeding of Kashmir continues to haunt South Asia. It has been three years since the BJP government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked the constitutionally autonomous status of illegally occupied Kashmir. Occupied Kashmir has become a festering wound on the face of South Asia as it is no more a bilateral dispute between India and Pakistan. Ever since the BJP assumed power in India in 2014, it was trying to annex Kashmir but due to its precarious power it could not do so immediately. After its electoral win in the 2019 elections, the BJP government felt emboldened to do away with the autonomous status of Occupied Kashmir. The situation has been deteriorating for the Kashmiri people as they have experienced ever-increasing violence at the hand of the occupation forces. If the status quo prevails, the people of Kashmir will have no breathing space to live a normal life. That the Indian rule is illegal – and the annexation unconstitutional even by Indian standards – is well known to the international community. But the world powers have not done anything to alleviate the level of suffocation in Kashmir which is already in India’s stranglehold.

This year the anniversary of the illegal annexation of Kashmir by India saw unbridled use of force by the Indian forces as the world kept looking in horror but did nothing to mitigate the pain of the Kashmiris. In the past three years, hundreds of Kashmiris have lost their lives at the hands of the occupation forces that are bent upon crushing the freedom struggle that the Kashmiri people have been waging. Human rights organizations from the world over have been highlighting the Indian atrocities in Kashmir but India and its friends have turned a blind eye to the egregious human rights violations against the Kashmiri people. Successive governments in Pakistan have been voicing concerns over Indian highhandedness in Kashmir. Independent observers of the situation in the valley have also been slamming atrocities there but India carries on with its brutal campaign there. India’s excesses in Occupied Kashmir have a tendency of relentless cruelty which disregards even authentic and verified reports by international human rights watchdogs.

The intensity with which India is pursuing its goal of crushing the aspiration of the Kashmiri people is condemnable. As India brutalizes Kashmiri society, it also imposes curbs on civil society organizations that are striving to bring to light the dark face of India in Kashmir. This sheer assault on fundamental rights in Occupied Kashmir – including the right to self-determination – is turning more toxic by the day. South Asia has the largest number of people who live below the poverty line in the world. The region deserves peace and harmony which has been elusive for the past over 70 years. The people of the Subcontinent are under a constant threat of war and a nuclear holocaust. This threat can only be eliminated or at least minimized when India stops its senseless campaign of killings and torture in Kashmir. The region cannot see peace if India continues with its combative posture forever. The chauvinist and extremist policies of the BJP government have pushed the Muslims in India to the wall – and more so in Kashmir. The Hindu nationalist agenda of the BJP has done tremendous harm to peace in the region. Its impunity will continue till the world wakes up to the horror of the war in Kashmir.