Malik M Ashraf
FORMER Chief Minister of Indian Occupied Kashmir Farooq Abdullah speaking at a function at Chenab valley said that Kashmir was neither Indian property nor was its integral part. He said that India would have to talk to Pakistan, a party to the dispute to resolve this issue. He made these remarks in the backdrop of the prevailing situation in Jummu and Kashmir. His statement represents the ultimate reality. Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of the partition and the UN and the Indian govt have made a commitment to settle issue through a plebiscite. People of Kashmir are not willing to accept Indian subjugation and their desire for freedom could not be subdued through ruthless use of force and blatant violation of human rights by the India security forces.
Staying true to his promise during the election campaign, Modi government is engaged in a deliberate attempt to change demographic features of Kashmir by pursuing a policy of settlement of Hindus in the valley. A move was also triggered to repeal article 370 of the Indian constitution that gives special status to Kashmir which was thwarted by the High Court of Jummu and Kashmir in a landmark judgment late last year. The court held that article 370 of the Indian constitution was a permanent provision and could not be abrogated, repealed or even amended. It further ruled that Jummu and Kashmir retained limited sovereignty and did not merge with the dominion of India after partition in 1947. It was a very significant development which not only negated the Indian claims of Kashmir being integral part of India but reconfirmed the status of the state as a disputed territory.
Modi is trying to change the course of history as well as striving to alter the secular character of the Indian union through his communal politics. His government ever since its inception has been pursuing discriminatory policies against Indian Muslims and other minorities, inspired by the RSS ideology of Hindutva, a form of extremist Hindu nationalism. Hindutva means India for Hindus to the exclusion of all other communities and religions. That philosophy adequately explains the occurrence of incidents of violence against Muslims and Christians under the Modi government. The recurring episodes of Christian bashing and violence against communities other than Hindus have assumed alarming proportions under in India. The BJP government has used anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim sentiments as a tool to gain vote bank in the election campaign, notwithstanding the fact that his communal politics and the philosophy of Hindutva have been rejected by a vibrant majority of Indians.
Since the current uprising in occupied Kashmir, the Indian security forces have killed 150 people and injured more than sixteen thousand. The Indian government in a bid to stoke the uprising in Kashmir into acts of terrorism to hood wink the world community and to rub in the notion that it was sponsored and facilitated by Pakistan, also carried out a false flag episode of Uri attack. Modi government also tried to build up hate syndrome and war hysteria against Pakistan besides mulling over other options to harm Pakistan, including the threat to revoke Indus Water Treaty. A fake drama of surgical strike was also staged to assuage the streak of revenge, itself built by the government, which was appropriately exposed by Pakistan through a organised a trip of journalists and UN observers to the place where India said it had conducted the surgical strike. The UN observers unequivocally stated that they did not find any trace of surgical strike.
The continued violations of the ceasefire agreement along the LOC with ever increasing intensity is a deliberate attempt by the Indian government to divert the attention of the world community from the reign of terror let loose by its security forces in Kashmir. The latest incident of firing on a passenger Bus and the ambulances reflects the inhuman mind-set of the Indians. It is a very precarious situation and needs to be taken notice of by the UN Security Council as it poses grave threat to peace and security in the region. Modi must realise that by adopting a bellicose posture towards Pakistan it was also harming the long terms interests of India in this region. That is the lesson of the history. Modi surely is treading a wrong path.
—The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.