WHILE India remains engaged in ruthless killing spree In the IoK to suppress the freedom movement by the people of Kashmir, it has also shamelessly continued to violate the ceasefire agreement of 2013 between the two countries. Indian aggression along the LoC and Working Boundary which started in 2014 has gained more intensity along the LoC since Modi came into power. It has been firing mortars and artillery guns across the LoC targeting the civilian population and now reportedly has resorted to using even cluster bombs. According to ISPR Indian troops targeted innocent civilians with cluster bombs in Neelum Valley on the night between 30-31 July in which two people including a child were martyred and 11 others were injured. Indian move is a blatant violation of international laws on use of cluster ammunition and human rights. It is indeed a very condemnable indiscretion by India. But who cares? The international community and the UN remain indifferent to what India is doing in the Indian-occupied Kashmir and along the LoC and the Working Boundary which has the potential to pushing the two countries into a full-fledged war. The Indian air-strikes against Pakistan in the backdrop of the Pulwama incident almost did that. It was due to the restraint shown by Pakistan that the situation did not go out of hand and the region was saved from an impending disaster.
The continued Indian atrocities in the IoK, the latest moves by Modi government to change the special status of IoK by removing article 35-A of the Indian constitution and her belligerent posturing against Pakistan has imperiled the peace and security in the region. The situation is a sequel to Indian intransigence in denying the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir as committed by her and also enshrined in the UN resolutions and her deliberate attempts to wriggle out of that commitment by declaring Kashmir as her integral part since 1957 notwithstanding the fact that the UN repudiated those claims through its resolutions 91 and 122.
The people of IoK were forced to launch armed struggle in 1989 to win their freedom. Reportedly Indian security forces have killed nearly 96 thousand Kashmiris since then and gang-raped 11,126 women. Since July when the fresh freedom movement emerged in the backdrop of the killing of Burhan Wani in July 2016 more than one thousand people have been martyred and thousands have been injured or maimed through the use of pallet guns. Two reports compiled by the UNHCR and several similar efforts by Amnesty International as well as by a group of British parliamentarians amply testify to ruthless abuse of human rights by the Indian security forces. But regrettably the international community, the UN and big powers have shown criminal indifference to the plight of the people of Kashmir and the dangerous path being traversed by India by showing continued aggression along the LoC and the Working Boundary.
The Indifference exhibited by the international community and the inaction by the UN to fulfil its obligations towards the people of Kashmir have encouraged India to continue with her aggressive actions. The Indians have also rejected the mediation offer by the US President which he made during his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan and has again reiterated. Indians insist that they would not agree to any such move and would stick to the bilateral mechanism envisaged in the Simla Agreement. The irony is that the Indians have not honoured their commitment under the Simla agreement and continue to avoid a dialogue with Pakistan. Even when they agreed to resort to negotiations under certain timely compulsions they have sabotaged those opportunities on one pretext or the other. The Modi government has even tried to portray the freedom movement in Kashmir as acts of terrorism and unleashed an incessant campaign to malign Pakistan, maintaining that it was fomenting terrorism in the region. One really wonders at the Indian audacity to make such absurd claims in view of the fact that she herself is involved in state terrorism as corroborated by Kalbhushan Jhadav in his confessional statements.
India has created a war like situation in IoK. Reacting to the Indian move to deploy more troops in IoK the Chairman of the All Parties Hurriyet Conference Ali Gilanihe said “Indian move to increase the deployment of troops, rumours of tampering with the special provisions, suspension of Amarnath Yatra, evacuation of tourists, students and Yatris has created a war-like situation in the territory.” The deployment comes in the backdrop of a likely decision by the Indian Supreme Court on the petitions seeking removal of 35 A of the Indian Constitution which prohibits purchase of land in Kashmir by non-Kashmiris. This article along with article 370 accords special status to Kashmir belying Indian claims of Kashmir being her integral part. The Modi government is desperate to change demographic realities in the IoK. The truth is that the move has not gone well with the people of Kashmir who are determined to resist the Indian designs and win their freedom. Pakistan which is a party to the Kashmir dispute rightly continues to extend moral and political support to the people of Kashmir and has rightly warned that it would not remain silent on Indian efforts to repeal Article 35-A or change special status of Kashmir through the repeal of article 370.
In the backdrop of the permeating situation, Foreign Minister of Pakistan has said that he was writing a letter to the UN Secretary General to invite his attention to the issue. I think it was time for Pakistan to raise the issue formally at the Security Council and launching a diplomatic offensive at the international level to sensitise the international community about the dangers lurking in the region due to the unjustified Indian aggression against the people of Kashmir and Pakistan. President Trump perhaps could also put some pressure on Modi reminding him his words that he claimed the latter uttered in their meeting in the recent past. India also needs to understand that her aggression and oppression is not going to succeed in the IoK and it could not browbeat Pakistan through her intimidating tactics. It should therefore fulfil her obligations under the UN resolutions and work with Pakistan to ensure regional peace and security which were essential for the shared regional economic prosperity, including that of India.
— The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.