Kashmir: Accession to Pakistan Day | By Sajjad Shaukat


Kashmir: Accession to Pakistan Day

EVERY year, Kashmiris living on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) and their Pakistani brethren and rest of the world observe July 19 as the Day of Kashmir’s Accession to Pakistan.

On this very day in 1947, the historical resolution was adopted by the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference in Abi Guzar, Srinagar with 59 prominent leaders in attendance.

The resolution was unanimously adopted, indicating that existing religious, geographical, cultural, economic ties and the aspirations of millions of Kashmiri Muslims warrant accession of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to Pakistan.

During the partition of the Sub-continent, the people of the J&K which comprised Muslim majority decided to join Pakistan according to the British-led formula.

But, Dogra Raja, Sir Hari Singh, a Hindu who was ruling over the J&K in connivance with the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Governor General Lord Mountbatten joined India.

The design to forcibly wrest Kashmir began to unfold on August 16, 1947, with the announcement of the Radcliffe Boundary Award.

It gave the Gurdaspur District—a majority Muslim area to India to provide a land route to the Indian armed forces to move into Kashmir. There was a rebellion in the state forces against the Maharaja and were joined by Pathan tribesmen.

Lord Mountbatten ordered armed forces to land in Srinagar. However, Indian forces invaded Srinagar on October 27, 1947 and forcibly occupied Jammu and Kashmir in utter violation of the partition plan and against the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

When Pakistan responded militarily against the Indian aggression, on December 31, 1947, India made an appeal to the UN Security Council to intervene and a ceasefire ultimately came into effect on January 01, 1949, following UN resolutions calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir.

The Security Council adopted resolution 47 (1948) of 21 April 1948 which promised a plebiscite under UN auspices to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine whether they wish to join Pakistan or India.

On February 5, 1964, India backed out of its promise of holding plebiscite. Instead, in March 1965, the Indian Parliament declared Kashmir-an integral part of the Indian union.

In fact, the very tragedy of Kashmiris had started after 1947 when they were denied their genuine right of self-determination.

They organised themselves against the injustices of India and launched a war of liberation which New Delhi tried to suppress through various forms of state terrorism.

Since 1989, various forms of state terrorism have been part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian army and paramilitary forces against Muslim Kashmiris.

It has been manifested in brutal tactics like crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, breaking the legs, molestation of Muslim women and killing of persons through fake encounters.

Indian brutal actions against the Muslim Kashmiris reached climax on August 5, 2019 when Indian government led by the fanatic Indian Prime Minister Narendar Modi, the leader of the extremist party BJP, revoked articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution, which gave a special status to the disputed territory of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

Indian government bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories—Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to be ruled by the federal government.

Indian rulers have also issued over 1.8 million domicile certificates to non-Kashmiris to change the ethno-demographic structure of the IIOJK.

Now, more than 23 months have been passed. But, Indian strict military lockdown in the IIOJK continues. In order to conceal India’s state terrorism, Kashmir has been cut off from rest of the world.

But, some reports and images are appearing in the world and the social media, which point out extrajudicial killings of the innocent people by the ruthless Indian armed forces.

Nevertheless, despite the deployment of more than 900,000 military troops in the IIOJK, who have martyred thousands of the Kashmiris through brutal tactics-fake encounters, New Delhi has failed in suppressing the Kashmiris’ prolonged war of liberation.

Notably, Indian forces have been also availing various draconian laws such as Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the Public Safety Act (PSA) etc. in killing the Kashmiri people, and for arbitrarily arrest of any individual for an indefinite period.

Besides UNO, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and various rights groups have also pointed out grave human rights violations in the IIOJK.

Moreover, Indian forces had also accelerated shelling inside Pakistani side of Kashmir by violating the ceasefire agreement across the LoC and compelled Pakistan Army to give a matching reply.

In the recent past, the Director Generals of Military Operations of Pakistan and India had agreed to strictly observe the 2003 ceasefire agreement at the LoC. But, unless resolved, Kashmir will remain a nuclear flashpoint between the two countries.

At present, Indian atrocities in the occupied Kashmir have come in the limelight of the international community and their media.

But, Modi-led regime’s extremist moves have completely ended any sort of dialogue with Islamabad to settle the Kashmir issue. It seems that New Delhi reached to a conclusion that only bullet is the right way of dealing with the Kashmiris.

Nonetheless, every year, Kashmiris and their brethren in Pakistan, and those living all over the world commemorate 19th July as the Accession to Pakistan Day to re-affirm their commitment to continue their struggle for their legitimate right of self-determination as recognised by the related resolutions of the UN and till the attainment of the liberation against Indian illicit occupation.

—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Lahore.

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