Muhammad Zahid Rifat
LIKE every year, people and the government of Pakistan are observing yet another Kashmir Solidarity Day on 05 February 2021 to reiterate their continued unstinted moral, diplomatic and political support to Kashmiris struggling and suffering at the hands of occupying Indian security forces for securing their birth right of self-determination in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. 05 February has already been declared a pubic holiday so that people, from all walks of life, fully and actively participate in all activities of the Kashmir Solidarity Day. Hearts of Pakistanis and Kashmiris beat together, slogans of Kashmir Baney Ga Pakistan and Pakistan Zindabad are frequently chanted in the occupied territory and Pakistan flag fluttered and hoisted at mosques and other places on different occasions like India’s Republic Day which the Kashmiris observed as the Black Day. Founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had described Kashmir as the lifeline of Pakistan.
People and the government of Pakistan have been and will continue supporting the just cause of Kashmiris, living in the longest lockdown in illegally Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, till they win freedom from forcible Indian occupation, exercise their right of self-determination and decide their future themselves in a free, fair and transparent plebiscite under UN supervision. Through the observance of Kashmir Solidarity Day, the people and the Pakistani leadership will also be giving a clarion call through rallies and meetings for waking up the somehow sleeping international community which even after seeing, observing , noticing and condemning ongoing Indian security forces brutalities and atrocities on innocent Kashmiri men, women, youth and children engaged in unarmed struggle against Indian occupation for more than seven decades but not doing anything more than that.
Pakistan through its leadership has not only revived and activated the lingering unresolved Kashmir issue at all international forums topped by UN General Assembly but also been repeatedly and emphatically telling and warning the world at large that there will be no durable peace and stability in South Asia until the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is resolved on the basis of international legitimacy and that Kashmir has quite rightly described as a “nuclear flash point”. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at his press conference a few days back, first of New Year, has called upon nuclear armed India and Pakistan to “come together and seriously discuss their problems ‘stemming from the unresolved Kashmir dispute saying there was no military solution to the decades old conflict, it is clear when seeing Pakistan and India, military confrontation between the two would be disaster of unmitigated proportion for both countries and the whole world. He further said that it is absolutely essential to have a de-escalation of the situation on the Line of Control, as regards human rights abuses in India-occupied Kashmir, I think it is essential that human rights are fully respected, he stood by his statement of August 8, 2019 wherein he had called for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute based on UN resolutions and the UN Charter. He evaded out-rightly condemning India for flagrant violations of the Line of Control (LoC) ceasefire violations killing innocent civilians in an unabated manner and also for its human rights violations in illegally occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
One cannot help saying that the UN is helpless in getting its Security Council resolutions implemented to resolved even after more than seven decades of lingering unresolved Kashmir dispute. One is reminded here also a guerrilla war which ensued from 1975 to 1999 between Indonesia and pro-independence forces in which thousand of East Temorese were killed. In 1999 East Timor was placed under UN supervision and on May 20, 2002 Dilli became the capital of newly-independent Democratic Republic of Timor-Lestle.
The burning question which arises here is that if the UN could take East Timor under its supervision subsequently leading to its independence from Muslim country Indonesia then why cannot the world body take over occupied Jammu and Kashmir where the bloodshed, violence and human rights violations are going on for decades together in an unabated manner and implement the Security Council resolutions by holding free and fair plebiscite to solve the burning Kashmir dispute. Is the world body afraid of big country India which is now ruled by Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (BJP-RSS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi promoting Hindutva at all costs ?
India has all along been clamouring about Jammu and Kashmir being its integral part in a vain attempt to cheat its own people and befool the international community. It is an established and duly internationally acknowledged fact that Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory, India has no other claim over it than that of an occupier, like all occupiers and colonizers of the past, India wants to physically, politically and psychologically crush the indigenous Kashmiri struggle, India has become a nightmare for its minorities. On August 5, 2019, India had not only unilaterally annulled special status of Jammu and Kashmir but also placed the entire eight million population of occupied territory under military siege which is continuing for 17 months for more than 500 days in an unending manner and the territory remains shut to the outside world with no means of communications, no media and no UN observers visits there.
Gross human rights violations in the forcibly occupied Indian territory since 05 August 2019 include Kashmiris martyred 291, women widowed 16, children orphaned 36, people injured 1577, people arrested under draconian laws 14219 and structures damaged 976, according to facts and figures compiled by Kashmir Institute of International Relations through close monitoring of happenings in the occupied territory. As for youth pellet victims and public safety act detentions since 05 August 2019, are concerned 446 youths have been injured by pellets and 3000 arrested under Public Safety Act (PSA). Indian occupying security forces’ crimes against besieged Kashmiris since 1989 include killings 95724, widows 22924, rapes 112131, orphans 197811 and houses and infrastructures destroyed 110375.
The Kashmiris’ just indigenous struggle continues, people and the civil and military leadership of Pakistan extending all moral, diplomatic and political support at all international forums, the blood of the Kashmiris will certainly and surely not go waste and they are bound to secure their fundamental basic right of self-determination in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions with the continued blessings of Almighty Allah sooner or later, Inshallah.
—The writer s Lahore-based columnist and retired Deputy Controller (News), Radio Pakistan, Islamabad.