DR MUHAMMAD KHAN
EACH year, the Government as well as the people of Pakistan celebrate 05 February as a Solidarity Day with people of Jammu and Kashmir. The primary focus of this solidarity is the people of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, who have suffered massive human rights violations at the hands of Indian security forces ever since 1990. For the second time Kashmir Solidarity Day is being celebrated in a changed environment where Kashmiris of India Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) are still under detention and siege after India unilaterally and illegally changed its status on 05 August 2019. This is yet another criminal act of Indian Government, a violation of the UN Charter, UN resolutions and a serious violation of Humanitarian Declaration-1948.
The people and Government of Pakistan are celebrating solidarity with Kashmiris for attaining five objectives. One; restoration of pre-August 5, 2019 special status of IIOJ&K. Two; emphasizing India to stop human rights violations in IIOJ&K. Three; stressing India to stop the demography of IIOJ&K. Four; creating an awareness among international community about unresolved nature of Kashmir dispute. Five; stressing the United Nations that this international body is still lacking in implementation of its resolutions on Kashmir and giving Kashmiris their inalienable right of self-determination. Apart from massive human right violations by Indian security forces, the occupied State has been in a state of constant curfew and siege since 05 August 2019. The Kashmiri freedom leadership is still in jails or else under house arrest while the masses are facing the situation of an open prison in extreme cold winter where there is a freezing temperature in the Valley. Thousands of Kashmiris have been killed, detained, tortured and injured since 05 August 2019. Besides, thousands of Kashmiri youths are still in Indian prisons outside the state boundaries in parts of Indian.
Indeed, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A was meant to rehabilitate the non-Kashmiri Hindus in IIOJ&K, especially in the Valley of Kashmir. In this regard, Hindu nationalist paramilitary volunteer of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Youth wing of Bajrang Dal (BD) the religious Hindu militant organisation of the Vishva Hindu Parishadare stationed in various parts of IIOJ&K to terrorize Kashmiri masses and help settlement of non-Kashmiri Hindus from all over India. These terrorists have been found in killing the Kashmiri youths, torching the houses and raping the women-folk of Kashmir. These terrorist groups have been given total impunity by the BJP Government in the garb of union territories in the occupied state. Prolonging the siege in IIOJK is basically aims at settling the non-Kashmiri Hindus in the Valley area of IIOJ&K.The State of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan have historical relationship, which dates back to centuries. This relationship has rooted in the joint history of these two areas over the years and later turned into a relationship of interdependency. Religious harmony, common culture, joint races on both-sides, migrations and inter-marriages further strengthened this bond between the people of two sides. Besides, these linkages, geography of the Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan are another compelling factor, which essentially unite these areas. All natural routes to various parts of the Jammu and Kashmir are from Pakistan. The only link, India exploited in 1947, through Gurdaspur (Pathankot) was an un-natural link, which India manipulated through Radcliff Award, through an unjustified division of Punjab.
Over the last seven decades, Kashmiris did not reconcile with the Indian rule over their state and revolted many a time against forceful Indian occupation. During the on-going struggle of Kashmiris, started in 1990, over 100,000 Kashmiri people lost their life at the hands of brutal Indian security forces. Indian Army and paramilitary forces are still continuing with their brutalities in IIOJ&K, taking cover of discriminatory and inhuman laws, India specially imposed ever since 1990s. Despite heavy Indian military deployment in IOK, it could not defeat the will of Kashmiris for attainment of their right of self-determination, thus forcefully and illegally changed the status of IIOJ&K.
Apart from its political nature, the Kashmir dispute has become a humanitarian issue, under the massive human rights violations in IIOJ&K at the hands of Indian security forces. In fact, there is a state sponsor terrorism going on in India-occupied Kashmir. There is an organized campaign of genocide going on against the people of India-occupied Kashmir. This is indeed the darkest aspect of India, which international community, major powers and the UN are constantly ignoring. Although, United Nations, Amnesty International and many other human rights organizations have been raising their concern over Indian human rights violations but there have been no action against India on those accounts. Rather, the major powers are enhancing their political and economic linkages with India.
Through Kashmir Solidarity Day, the State and the people of Pakistan are emphasizing the United Nations, major powers and rest of international community to give Kashmiris their UN mandated right of self-determination. Let there be no more discrimination against Kashmiris. All roads to peace in South Asia pass through Kashmir; peace in Kashmir will ensure peace in the entire region. Pakistan and Kashmiris will never accept the Indian annexation of occupied Kashmir, since Kashmir is not part of India. The only way forward for a peace in this nuclearized region is restoration of special status of occupied Kashmir and granting right of self- determination to people of Jammu and Kashmir as per UN resolutions.
— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.