India removes fig leaf in Kashmir


Ashraf Ansari

India’s brazen betrayals towards the Kashmiri people climaxed on 5 August when the Modi government scraped Indian constitution articles 370 and 35 A that entitled the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir a special status to deny Indians right to taking permanent residence and acquiring property in the Occupied region.
The Indian move is a clear step to allow and encourage non Kashmiris to settle in the Kashmir region on Israeli model of Jewish settlements in Occupied Palestinian territory. India desperately failing to suppress the struggle of the Kashmiri people for their right to self determination, as thrown away the fig leaf that was a shred on its shame. India has had a long trail of going back on its commitments to the Kashmiri people that they would be allowed to democratically decide whether they would join Pakistan or India. During the same period spread over 70 years, New Delhi kept on taking measures to perpetuate its occupation by brute military force and repressive black laws. Over the years Indian occupation forces killed tens of thousands of Kashmiri people, used pellet guns to blind them and subjected them to cluster bombs. India has not been able to legitimize its occupation of Kashmir.
Its grand move to legitimize occupation was rejected by the world community when in 1957 the Un Security Council through a resolution declared that the Srinagar legislative assembly had not the power to legitimize Indian claim over Kashmir.
The same resolution pointed out that any elections in occupied Kashmir could not substitute plebiscite that had been promised to the Kashmiri people. Indian claim that princely ruler of Kashmir had acceded his state to India had earlier been rejected by the Un Security Council. But even the accession deed signed by the princely ruler of Kashmir was based on full internal autonomy of the state.
On one hand India claimed Kashmir on the basis of this accession deed and on the other hand it violated the terms of the deed. India has had no qualms while it treaded a path of moral bankruptcy. While India indulged in repression of the Kashmiri people, an Indian Prime Minister in the past brazenly said that India would allow maximum autonomy to the Kashmiri people, sky being the limit. Now the question is how India can try to legitimize its claim over Kashmir on the basis of accession deed signed by the princely ruler Hari Singh when the provisions of the deed have been violated.
The second question is that if the Kashmir legislative assembly did not have power to decide fate of Kashmir as declared by the UN’s Security Council, how the Indian Parliament can claim such power. India does not tire by repeating Shimla Agreement but on 5 August it chose to trample its provisions that neither India nor Pakistan will change status quo in Kashmir till final settlement of the dispute. But such questions are futile as India has unmatchable record of violating commitments towards Kashmiri people.
The real question now is about taking up the Kashmir issue at the international level, making use of all avenues to unmask the Indian brutal face. The Un’s Security Council attention must be invited to its 1957 Resolution that obligated India not to change status quo of Kashmir before the settlement of the issue.

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