Paradise on fire; human rights abuses in Kashmir

Babar Khan Bozdar

LARRY Collin in his book “Freedom at Midnight” writes that Partition of Subcontinent was one of the dangerous divorces in the history. Today India and Pakistan are two independent countries on the map of the world but Kashmir issue is still unresolved. Kashmir is the unresolved agenda of partition and till today the people of Kashmir lack freedom. The paradise on earth is every day washed with bloodshed and the voice of innocent people is being suppressed through bullets and pellets. This is what we call State barbarism? And the civilized world has sewed their lips on human rights abuses in Kashmir. The human rights violation in Kashmir is not new but these wounds are 65 years old. India and Pakistan have fought three wars on the region of Jammu & Kashmir but without any conclusion and still there is a possibility of future wars on Kashmir, if not resolved timely.
When Britain announced partition of the sub-continent, the ruler of Kashmir Maharaja Hari Singh announced the accession of Kashmir with India on 26 October 1947 in return for military aid and assistance without soliciting public opinion. More than 77% population belongs to Muslims. Moreover, Indian forces entered the Valley and forcibly captured it. Later on, UN Security Council passed a resolution calling on both India and Pakistan to withdraw their forces.
A ceasefire was agreed in January 1949 under the supervision of UN observers. Later on different rounds of negotiations were held but India rejected its withdrawal from the Valley and since Kashmir has become a bone of contention between India and Pakistan. Since the accession, the people of Kashmir are subject to oppression, suppression, subjugation and on the mercy of Indian army. Indian army is brutally suppressing their voice. It is reported that everyday bullet-riddled bodies of Kashmiri youths are found. This is barbarism and inhuman act of Indian army and now this chapter should be closed and injustice should be stopped.
Recently we have seen unrest in Kashmir after the brutal murder of Burhan Wani by Indian security personnel. After the sad demise, the anti-Indian protest started in whole Kashmir and protestors defied curfew and recorded their protest worldwide. Curfew was imposed, Mobile and Internet services were suspended and media men were not allowed in the Valley. Jammu & Kashmir police and Indian paramilitary forces used pellet guns, tear gas shells, rubber bullets and assault rifles againsxt peaceful protesters.
Human Rights Commission accused more than 500 soldiers and officials of Indian armed forces including custody, death, abduction, torture and enforced disappearance cases. The 354 page report was compiled by Association of Parents of Disappearance Persons (APDP) and the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Indian occupied Kashmir (IPTK). It has analyzed 214 cases of abuse and highlighted the role of Indian army in the killing of 70 innocent peoples and disappearance of 8000 people. The report claimed very high ranking officials as perpetrators.
Let’s see what the UN Charter says in this regard: 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act toward one another in a spirit of brotherhood, 2. Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of Person, 3. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude, slavery and slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms, 4. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment, 5. Everyone has right to recognition everywhere as a person before a Law.
There are thirty articles of Human Rights Charter, which signify and put stress on human rights, but in the light of above articles, the Question is that, have human rights institutions succeeded in implementing above Charter in Kashmir? Since insurgency in Indian Occupied Kashmir, more than 600000 Indian troops are deployed in Kashmir, while the Indian government refuses to release official figures. The huge number of troops is not deployed there for playing Chess, and in fact, they are playing with human rights. The troops have been accused of human rights abuses in Kashmir and have engaged in extra-judicial killing. Similarly, Indian government itself admits that Kashmir lags behind other States in terms of socio-economic development and there is a high level of unemployment in the State. Is this also not an act of human rights violation?
Kashmir is burning with bullets and shells and its suppression is condemnable. Why is civilized world silent? It is questionable. In this regard, position of Pakistan is praiseworthy. Pakistan always supported the voice of oppressed and suppressed nations, while onr Kashmir Pakistan has an official claim that it belongs to Pakistan and now Kashmir issue must be resolved. The Indian Constitution says that all citizens shall have an equal right to freedom of speech and expression and when it comes to Kashmir, Indian army forgets the Constitution and starts barbarity. It is clear that there is a difference in Indian subject and verb. To sum up, I will suggest, “Say no to Indian brutality in Kashmir” and let’s step forward together to say no more human rights violations in Kashmir.
— The writer is research affiliate at Strategic Vision Institute Islamabad.
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