Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) during one year of PDP-BJP alliance with RSS assistant has fostered its agenda of IOK’s complete integration into India. Though legal experts of India and IOK High Court have clarified the permanent status of Article 370 of Indian Constitution, BJP’s agenda of division is still on table. In this regard, BJP is in hot pursuit of Mission 44+ in IOK and its army in occupied Kashmir has made lives of Kashmiris more terrible and awful. Recently, a new wave of ferocity by Indian army is staging again in Kashmir. 22 year old commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Burhan Wani was killed during a gun battle with Indian forces. A widespread protest against his brutal killing has blown up all Kashmir.
Kashmiris are demanding their right of self-determination and Kashmiri youth particularly seems more active and passionate in achieving freedom from Indian forces. The spirit of Kashmiri youth by wrapping up the dead body of Burhan Wani in Pakistani flag shows how passionate Kashmiri youth makes Indian scared of their zeal and passion for Pakistan. Finding no way out to suppress their voices for freedom, Indian army just uses violence and torture to keep them numb. Not only Kashmiri youth but innocent children, men, women and old aged people have suffered brutality through Indian armed forces hands. Oppression and tyranny on Kashmiris include widespread killings, rapes, and killing Kashmiri youth in detention centres..
July 13 also reminds us of the day in history which is now marked as Kashmir’s Martyrs day. 21 Kashmiris were martyred outside Central Jail on July 13 1931 by Dogra police. People assembled to show solidarity with one of Kashmiri youngster Abdul Qadeer who was blamed for creating agitation against Dogra Raj. When there was time for Zuhr Prayers one of young boy started calling “Azaan” or call for prayer. Dogra police shot at that young boy and another one continued with the call for azaan and similarly was shot at sight. In this way 21 Kashmiri youth lost their lives one by one by calling azaan. This tragic incident in history was a beginning for a movement against Dogra Raj and since then despite many resolutions passed by the UN, Kashmiris are not given their right of self-determination. The present wave of violence in Kashmir after the death of Burhan Wani has so far taken up 35 lives and hundreds injured.
The bloody tragedy of poor Kashmiris had started after 1947 when they were denied their legitimate and UN approved right of self-determination. As a natural outcome of Indian injustice, people of IOK organized themselves and launched a war of liberation which India tried to crush through coercion and brutalities. Later, in 1988, Indian positioned a very large number of Armed Forces to suppress Kashmir struggle on gun point. Since then, Indian Occupied Kashmir has become a region where violence and violation of human rights is at peak. So far, more than 100,000 killings have been done by Indian occupational forces. The number is growing logarithmically as Indians are using increasingly brutal methods to suppress the people of IOK and their legal struggle for freedom. The huge Indian occupational forces under the cover of Armed Forces Special Protection Act (AFSPA) and other black laws frequently engage in religious cleansing of Muslims.
Under the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act, security forces personnel have the powers to shoot suspected persons. Many human rights organizations including Amnesty International in their reports have mentioned the sufferings of Kashmiris at the hands of Indian forces. Several Kashmiri political parties have joined hands to form All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) to steer the political struggle for self-determination. India has been victimizing Kashmiri leaders every off and on through dirty tactics to break their will and resolve. They have been repeatedly harassed and physically intimidated. Instead of accepting the existing reality, India has sought to blame Pakistan for allegedly promoting the Kashmiri uprising.
The people of Jammu and Kashmir have been granted the right of self-determination under the UN Charter, and under several UN Security Council resolutions, more specifically under UN (UNCIP) resolution of August 13, 1948, and January 5, 1949. These and subsequent UN resolutions have affirmed that, the question of accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through the political democratic method of free and impartial plebiscite. In order to find an early and just solution to the decades old Kashmir dispute, Pakistan has always urged the international community to play an active role. Pakistan has always raised voice against Indian forced occupation and brutality in Kashmir and it will continue extending full political, diplomatic and moral support to legitimate Kashmir struggle.
— The writer works for Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, a think tank based in Islamabad.