M Zahid Rifat
OCTOBER 27 is the darkest day in the
history of Kashmir. Kashmiris on both
sides of the Line of Control (LoC), in Pakistan and around the world as well as all the human rights organizations here, there and everywhere observer October 27 every year as the blackest day. It was on this day, back in 1947, India had airlifted its forces and occupied the valley of Jammu and Kashmir after Hindu Maharaja Hari Singh through an illegal instrument had announced accession to India. One can sell land but not the people living on that land. But the Hindu Maharaja had sold the people of valley of Jammu and Kashmir and the international community had remained a silent witness to this wholesale selling of the Kashmiris then and continues to be looking the other side even now.
Kashmiris are observing the darkest day in their history this year in a very changed circumstances. Indian Prime Minister Nirendra Modi had on August 2019 changed the special status of the valley through unilateral illegal act, sent un additional 180000 Indian troops raising the occupying strength to more than 9 lakhs and put the whole valley under indefinite curfew which remains in force till the time of writing of this article. But the Kashmiris continue to be as determined and committed and continued to offer sacrifices by way of violations of curfew restrictions. Following Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s maiden historical speech at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019 wherein he highlighted the Kashmir issue along with other points including increasing Islamophobia in the West, the lingering unresolved Kashmir issue has been internationalized to a great extent.
Kashmir issue had echoed in the United Nations through the Prime Minister’s speech after about 55 years and is now being discussed at all international forums. But despite condemnation the Indian government remains unmoved and the valley continues to be a big jail where great human tragedy is fast brewing. Pakistan nation and the army have been reiterating every now and their unstinted support to the Kashmiris in their just struggle by frequently observing Solidarity with Kashmiris. Even the Independence Day celebrations were marked by Solidarity with the Kashmiris and flags of Pakistan and Kashmir were unfurled all over the country. Pakistan government has all along been supporting Kashmiris just struggle for securing their birth right of self-determination and extending all possible political, diplomatic and moral support and apprising the international community about gross human rights violations being committed in occupied Kashmir by Indian security forces brutally and ruthlessly.
The Kashmiris observe every year October 27 as the blackest day to reiterate their commitment to keep on fighting against occupying Indian security forces despite their increased strength rejecting India’s occupation and also August 5 act of ending Kashmir’s special status and merging it with the Indian Union and more importantly making efforts to awake the United Nations Organization (UNO) and its member countries and human rights bodies all over the world demanding implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions and exerting their effective pressure on India to grant the Kashmiris their fundamental birth right of self-determination which itself had committed and was also pledged by its Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru.
Kashmiris indigenous ,unarmed struggle for freedom from Indian occupation rejecting and terming it illegal and against their aspirations , as well as their great sacrifices of men,women and children are surely and certainly more than enough to tell the international community that India can continue killing the Kashmiris through its brutal and oppressive measures but it cannot suppress their sentiments for freedom for which their struggle will continue unabatedly against all heavy odds till their cherished objective of freedom is achieved no matter how many more sacrifices they have to make.
It is a bitter and quite regrettable reality that the Kashmir dispute remains as unresolved on the UN agenda for such a long time. At the same time the continued silence, and not putting pressure on India except periodical condemnation of ongoing brutalities and human rights violations in the occupied valley, is also very much deplorable. It is also a matter of great shame and regret that the international community topped by so-called world human rights champion USA all are criminally silent over India’s continued occupation and killings of more and more Kashmiris whose only crime is that they do not accept India’s illegal occupation which is against their aspirations and want freedom by exercising the right of self-determination.
US President Donald Trump had offered to mediate between two nuclear powers Pakistan and India to solve lingering Kashmir dispute when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had met him couple of months back. But this has not gone beyond mediation offer while he continues to be quite friendly with Indian Prime Minister Modi who had addressed a gathering in Houston also as part of Trump’s election campaign. Kashmir is unfinished agenda of sub-continent partition. In all fairness, the Kashmiris are struggling and sacrificing to secure their birth right of self-determination and complete this agenda. Pakistan and Kashmir have strong eternal bonds of geography, culture and religion.
Over the yearsm the Indian government has been forcibly migrating Hindus into occupied Kashmir to to turn predominantly majority Muslim population into minority. But even after resorting to such tactics India is not letting the Kashmiris their right of self-determination which is internationally recognized. There is no denying the fact that resolution off Kashmir dispute in accordance with Kashmiris aspirations is the key to stable peace, prosperity and progress in South Asia. Continued denial of right of self-determination and even not holding bilateral talks for resolving the lingering burning issue peacefully continues to persistently expose so-called democratic face of India. By observing yet another black day on October 27, 2019, Kashmiris hope to highlight their just and indigenous struggle for freedom from Indian subjugation, wake up the sleeping conscious of the international community and human rights organizations throughout the world and sensitize the lingering unresolved Kashmir dispute on the UN agenda for implementation of its Security Council resolutions at the earliest possible. Kashmir Baney Ga Pakistan, Inshallah.
–The writer is Lahore-based Freelance Journalist, Columnist and Deputy Controller (News), Radio Pakistan, Islamabad.