India’s sham democracy

INDIA never gets tired of blowing the trumpet of being the largest democracy in the world but what it is doing to the Muslim population in its own territory as well as the one it has held illegally against the aspirations of people in Kashmir negates all those big claims. Again on Sunday, its vaunted democracy turned into a brutal military operation in held Kashmir Valley, where security forces shot dead at least eight protesters campaigning against a parliamentary by-election they didn’t want. The unusually high number of single-day casualties drew immediate condemnation from Pakistan.
Amid the violence of stone-pelting and police firing, by-election to the Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary seat registered a mere 6.5 percent turnout, the lowest in 30 years. Once again boycotting the sham polls, Kashmiri people have proved that these can never be a substitute to their right to self-determination- the one that has been accepted by many UNSC resolutions. But it is regrettable that despite resistance by local people, Indian government while denying fundamental rights to the people with scant respect for life continues to hold these bogus polls in a bid to hoodwink the international community. Given the new turn taken by freedom movement in the Valley following the martyrdom of Burhan Wani last July, oppressive forces will never succeed in their designs to choke the voice of innocent people who in fact have rendered thousands of lives to secure their birth right. Time has come for international community to use its influence on India and get stopped the massacre it is committing in the Valley. Playing double standards will not serve any purpose but further ignite conflicts in the region. The Indian side must also do some retrospection as to what it has achieved with its bloody campaign except that it has only promoted anti-India sentiments amongst the Kashmiri people who now consider it as a tyrant force. Recognising ground realities, Indian government should shun intransigence and sit with Kashmiris and Pakistani government to find a solution that is acceptable to people of the Valley.

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