Discrediting Kashmiri leadership | By Muhammad Khalique


Discrediting Kashmiri leadership

THE conviction of Kashmiri leader and Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, Yasin Malik, on baseless charges of terror funding is demonstration of Indian plan to discredit Kashmiri leadership and to suppress the voice of indigenous Kashmiri leadership for their right to self-determination.

The conviction of Yasin Malik on fabricated charges and illegal imprisonment of other Kashmiri leaders is part of greater Indian strategy to intimidate Kashmiri leadership, however, the resilience and courage of Kashmiri leadership despite cruel Indian policies shows their strong commitment towards unalienable right to self-determination.

The just and indigenous struggle of Kashmiris can neither be quashed through intimidation nor can it be termed as terrorism through propaganda media campaigns.

The statement of Yasin Malik that “If seeking freedom is a crime, then I am ready to accept this crime and its consequences”, makes it clear that Kashmiri leadership will not succumb to any Indian pressure and cruel tactics.

The conviction of Yasin Malik in fictitious terrorism case without providing right to fair trial in defiance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also exposes biasness of Indian judiciary which has always played in the hands of Indian government to give legal cover to its illegal actions in India-llegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Yasin Malik is not the only Kashmiri leader to face the wrath of the Indian government as hundreds of other Kashmiri leaders and citizens have faced similar deplorable treatment for demanding freedom.

The killing of Hurriyat leaders Maqbool Bhat, Afzal Guru, Syed Ali Gilani and Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai in Indian custody and illegal arrest and detention of thousands of other leaders and Kashmiri youths illustrates heinous Indian track record of extra judicial killing of Kashmiris in violation of international laws.

Yasin Malik was one of the first Kashmiri leaders to start an armed struggle against Indian occupation in 1989.

However, in 1994, he announced a unilateral ceasefire after Indian government assured him of a political settlement and suspension of terrorism related cases against him and his colleagues.

Whereas, the reopening of decades old fabricated cases against him not only exposes unreliability of India when it comes to adhere to assurances but also reflects its failure to suppress Kashmiris.

The hasty conviction of Yasin Malik and implicating other Kashmiri leaders in concocted and fabricated cases demonstrates Indian frustration due to its failure to suppress freedom struggle and a new strategy of depriving Kashmiri people of indigenous Kashmiri leadership.

The high handedness of the Indian regime has intensified the fear that the Indian government will try to kill another prominent and most famous pro-freedom Kashmiri leader under custody.

Kashmiris from across the world and Pakistan have strongly condemned the illegal conviction of Yasin Malik on concocted charges following sham trial which is reflective of systemic Indian bias and persecution of Kashmiri Muslims in IIOJK.

Regrettably, human rights seem secondary to the economic and geopolitical interests of world powers.

The indifference of the international community about human rights violations by the Modi government due to its interests is not only encouraging India to take more stringent actions but also putting the regional peace at jeopardy as Kashmir dispute is a potential nuclear flash point between nuclear armed neighbours.

As India, which is given a nod by world’s major powers, tries to deprive Kashmiris of their right to self-determination, there is a renewed awakening and zeal in the valley to attain freedom.

The world powers have maintained a criminal silence over the blatant human rights violation by Hindutva-inspired Indian regime, however, there is growing awareness about severity of Kashmir issue and the global public opinion about the reality of Kashmir issue is changing as reflected by growing condemnation of Indian illegal actions by renowned intellectuals, academia, conflict resolution experts and parliamentarians.

Besides, the international media coverage on Kashmir issue has also been amplified wherein prominent world newspapers and media houses including Aljazeera, New York Times and The Guardian are highlighting marginalization of Muslims by the Indian government.

Human rights organizations including UNHCR, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have also shown concern on violation of human rights and restrictions on all freedoms in IIOJK especially after revocation of special status of valley as the risk of further human rights violations has increased.

Moreover, citing the revocation of special status of IIOJK and discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act, Gregory Stanton, the founder and director of Genocide Watch, has warned of early “signs and processes” of genocide in Indian state of Assam and IIOJK.

Despite all the warning signs of genocide, the cries of the Kashmiris appear to be falling on deaf ears.

India is trying to project Kashmir as its internal matter but it is an internationally recognised dispute that needs to be resolved in accordance with the UNSC resolutions.

The world, instead of waiting for further deterioration of the situation, needs to take preventive measures to avert genocide of Muslims by fascist Indian government which is hell bent to make India a Hindu state.

—The writer is a research analyst based in Islamabad.