Dr Muhammad Khan
TRACING the history of Kashmir under Indian occupation, there emerged a clear indication that for India ‘Kashmir matters’ not the Kashmiris. In recent times, this conclusion was more pronounced after the Pulwama attack, February 14, 2019. Sequel to this attack, Indian Army and its paramilitary forces started massive arrests and indiscriminate killing of Kashmiris all over the Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK). Not only in the IoK, but Government sponsored RSS undertook a mass mobilization of its armed men to kill, torture, set ablaze the houses of Muslims in entire India. Thousands of Muslim houses have been burnt in India and IoK, since the day of attack, which killed over 40 Paramilitary Indian soldiers.
The shocking part of this episode is that Indian Police and Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) rather stopping these RSS gangsters from this violence against Muslims, facilitated them (RSS and Hindutva elements) in identification of Muslim communities, their businesses, shops and other work places. Kashmiris working in India and those studying in various Indian institutions were arrested, tortured and forced to go back to IoK, where Indian Army was all set to torture and humiliate them. These Indian brutalities are continuing unabated till-date. According to Sikhs, residing in IoK, these Indian oppressions and suppressions on Muslims reminded the memories of 1984, once Indira Ghandi was murdered and thousands of Sikhs all over India were killed and arrested. There have been hundreds of incidents of rapes and molestation of Kashmiri women at the hands of Indian security forces in the IoK.
This is not a propaganda campaign that India wants Kashmir, not Kashmiris. There are evidences of this reality, beginning with the Indian occupation of the State of Jammu & Kashmir in October 1947. Indian Army supported by Maharaja Army and Hindu militants of RSS killed over 250,000 Muslims of Jammu province. A recent report of Al-Jazeera confirms this mad massacre at the hands of Indian Army, Dogra Army and the Hindu militants of RSS. According to this media report, “The immediate impact (of partition) was in Jammu. The Muslim subjects from different parts of Jammu province were forcibly displaced by the Dogra Army in a programme of expulsion and murder carried out over three weeks between October-November 1947.”
Al Jazeera quoted Mr Idrees Kanth, a Kashmiri currently a fellow at International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam. Mr Kanth has traced the history of Kashmir in the decades of 1940s. Kanth views, ‘It was a pre-planned forced migration and massacre of Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir. In mid-October 1947, prior to formal Invasion of Indian troops, Dogra Army expelled thousands of Muslim villagers from Jammu province to neighbouring Sialkot area, where they were initially accommodated in refugee camps. Following the Indian invasion of the state, in November 1947, both Indian Army and Dogra Army soldiers began another organised evacuation of the Muslims from Jammu area. This time, “instead of taking them to Sialkot, as they had been promised, the trucks drove them to forest hills of Rajouri district of Jammu, where they were executed”. The families of those killed claim 600,000 killings of the Kashmiri Muslims during these executions at the hands of Indian Army, Dogra Army and the RSS gangsters. After occupation of Jammu & Kashmir in October 1947, Indian Army and local Hindu population continued forced migration of Kashmiris from its occupied areas.
Jammu province of the State was worst affected because of forced Muslim migration. This forced migration changed the demography of Jammu in a big way. According to census record of 1941, Muslims constituted over 60% of the Jammu population and today, Muslims form 32% of Jammu population. Indeed, India continued expulsion of Muslims from occupied Jammu and Kashmir throughout (1947-to-date), which clearly proves that it (India) was, interested in Kashmir not the Kashmiris. No State kills its own subjects, the way India is killing Kashmiris in its occupied areas, which clearly indicates that Kashmiris are not Indian and India does need them. India needs Kashmiri landmass for geo-economic and geo-strategic reasons. The on-going planned genocide and forced migration of Kashmiris is aimed at proprietorship of Kashmir while disowning its real owners; the Kashmiris.
Indian attempts to do away with Article 370 of Indian Constitution and dilute Article 35A is aimed at strengthening Indian hold on the occupied State. Modi and his BJP wanted to complete this agenda before completion of this five years rule, but Kashmiris resisted and did not let that happen despite brutalities and unprecedented human rights violations in IoK. According to AG Noorani, the distinguished Indian writer, “Prime Minister Modi faced the same spectacle as his predecessors did whenever they went to Kashmir — a total boycott. That did not deter him from declaring in Srinagar, on Feb 3, 2019 that his government would “break the back” of militancy in Kashmir.” India has been wrongly accusing Pakistan for the current situation in IoK. Indeed, it is an indigenous Kashmiri movement for their right of self-determination. History demonstrates that no fighting that has roots in the people’s sentiments can be extinguished by brute force. That is what Modi seeks to do. He is certain to fail.”
— The writer is Professor of Politics and International Relations at International Islamic University, Islamabad.
Dr Muhammad Khan