PRIME Minister Imran Khan, during his visit to Muzzafarabad, rightly said, “Modi has committed a strategic blunder; he has played his last card, but internationalised the Kashmir issue”. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will hold a closed-door meeting on Friday to discuss India’s decision to revoke the special status of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). It was in response to Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s letter; and of course due to China’s backing Pakistan’s request to UNSC to discuss the same. The UNSC will discuss the Jammu and Kashmir situation behind closed doors most likely on August 16,” UNSC President Joanna Wronecka told reporters. Occupied Kashmir is facing the worst humanitarian crisis in modern human history as strict curfew along with all communication blackout entered its 11th day today. Indian troops clamped tight restrictions, fearing anti-India protests, after New Delhi abolished the special status of Jammu & Kashmir on 05 August.
The people of occupied territory have no contact with the rest of the world as internet and phone lines are cut since that day. In blatant disregard for the fundamental rights of Kashmiri people, Indian Supreme Court refused to pass any orders on a petition seeking lifting of curfew and communication blackout in occupied Jammu & Kashmir in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 by the Indian Government. The petition filed by an activist Tehseen Poonawalla submitted that people were not able to even avail basic services such as hospital. However, a three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra adjourned the petition for two weeks without passing any order. The Supreme Court of India turned down multiple petitions challenging the government’s decision to strip off the special status given to India-occupied Kashmir (IoK). Unfortunately, most Muslim countries are either mute or have issued carefully worded statements.
They did not condemn India for Modi’s unilateral action and emerging humanitarian crisis because like the western countries they also have economic interests there. Turkey and Malaysia expressed serious concerns; however China fully supported Pakistan’s stance. For the last seven decades, the terrible massacre of Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir continues unabatedly. The catastrophe is big enough to move any conscious human being; but unfortunately the apathy and insensitivity of international community has encouraged India to perpetrate atrocities on the people of Kashmir in violation of universally accepted human rights. Not that international community is unaware of repression and heinous crimes in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK); it is rather the vested interest of western governments to remain mute just to appease India. Before Eid or on many other occasions, Indian authorities place all Hurriyet leaders under house arrest and in police stations; and on this Eid-ul-Azha they did the same.
Even today, Kashmir is boiling because of the killing of the Kashmiris who are protesting against atrocities committed by the Indian security forces, and also demand the right of self-determination as per UNSC Resolution of 1948. Especially, during the last three decades more than 500000 army and paramilitary forces stood humbled thoroughly and abysmally at the hands of unbending Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK). The crushing of Kashmiris’ freedom sentiment by the Indian state had started off when it militarily occupied the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir in 1948. They left no savaging weapon untried to break and subdue the freedom-demanding Kashmiris, but they have completely failed to cow them down. The wholesale orgy of death and destruction that its rampaging military has been indulging so freely and abundantly that there is not a single home there without a family tragedy.
For years, India has deployed from five hundred thousand troops in Kashmir; and torture, extra-judicial killings, rape and fake encounters by Indian Security Forces in IOK continue unabated. The aim is to deter Kashmiri populace from demanding their right of self-determination. The repression, oppression and atrocities by Indian forces have turned Kashmir into a hell that would stretch Dante’s imagination reflected in his famous poem Divine Comedy. However, these acts could not break the will of Kashmiris. The heroic struggle waged by the people of Kashmir is unparalleled in the history; they are committed to continue their struggle till their objective is achieved. It has to be said that no solution can be found without participation and consensus of the people of Kashmir. Anyhow, today Kashmir stands as a potential nuclear flashpoint which could consume life of millions of people in an instant.
Frustrated by the apathy of the international community and non-implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions, Kashmiri youth took up the arms in 1989. However, after 9/11 political landscape of the world changed dramatically, adversely impacting the freedom struggles of the people the world over who were dubbed as terrorists. Nevertheless, writers, intellectuals and peace loving people condemned India’s repression on people of Kashmir and also for treating them as second class citizens. Renowned Indian novelist and political activist Arundhati Roy time and again made a strong case for Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination. Since the cold-blooded murder of Burhan-ud-din Wani, an unprecedented movement and open rebellion against illegitimate occupation of India was witnessed in India-occupied Kashmir. The pellet guns used by security forces have damaged the faces of 1600 people and more than 1100 people have partially or wholly lost their eyesight.
—The writer is a senior journalist based in Lahore.