News & Views
The objective of the SAARC Conference was to dwell on the key issues like fight against terrorism, illegal trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and small arms and how to make coordinated and concerted efforts to combat such menace. But this has been sabotaged by India’s Home Minister. In fact, one week before the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Interior Ministers’ conference was to start India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh had issued a statement: “Pakistan’s sustained support to cross-border terrorism will be raised by Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his two-day visit to Islamabad to attend the SAARC ministerial conference beginning August 3.” Rajnath Singh had arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday to attend the. In view of the protests by the All-Parties Hurriyat Conference and a few other groups protested against his visit, which was expected because of Rajnath’s provocative statements.
The recent genocide in IOK has received wide coverage in international as well as domestic Indian media, and even the UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon and the US advised India to stop massacre of Kashmiris. In an Amnesty International report for 2015, more than 800 cases of torture and deaths in the custody of Indian army and other security forces in the 1990s, and hundreds of other cases of extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances from 1989 to 2013 were mentioned. Of course, more than 90000 Kashmiris have been martyred since 1989. Instead of accepting the reality, India resorts to implicating Pakistan for Kashmiri uprising. A peaceful, negotiated settlement of Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN resolutions should rank top on UN’s agenda. India should also realize that no freedom movement has ever been suppressed with force, and Kashmir is no exception.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had tried to cool down IOK situation on the sidelines of Peoples Democratic Party’s 17th foundation day by saying that “she would have spared life of Burhan Wani in case she had knowledge about his (Wani’s) presence during the encounter. This statement was a political stunt, yet its impact on BJP-PDP coalition in IOK and Raj Nath Singh’s visit to Pak, were provocative. As the IOK is bracing continued siege and prolonged curfew for more than twenty days, Home Minister’s statements and allegations accusing Pakistan of being behind the recent agitations after the martyrdom of Burhani Wani, a leader of the indigenous freedom movement against Indian occupation forces. In fact, minorities and people of smaller provinces are angry over maltreatment by government and free hand given to Hindu extremist organizations to kill members of minorities with impunity.
Indian neighbors have been the victims of India’s arrogance. Even Bangladesh has had row over river water and fencing the India-Bangladesh border, but it has been downplayed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, because she needs India’s support to save her unpopular government. Anyhow, whenever the situation is favourable for a meaningful dialogue between Pakistan and India, RSS driven BJP tries to create conditions to pollute the diplomatic ambience and sabotage the dialogue. In fact, Indian government has been blaming Pakistan for its failures, which is an easy way out for India. After Mumbai, Gurdaspur, Pathankot or any other terror incident, within minutes Pakistan is accused of incident, forgetting the fact that a large numbers of separatist movements are active in India. In addition, terror incidents Samjhauta express, Malegaon and in other terror-related incidents there is conclusive evidence about involvement of Hindu extremist organization elements/serving Army officers.
The terrible massacre of Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir continues unabatedly for the last seven decades. The catastrophe is big enough to move any conscious human being, but unfortunately the apathy and insensitivity of international community has emboldened India to perpetrate atrocities on the people of Kashmir in violations 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 please India. Instead of accepting the reality, India resorts to implicating Pakistan for Kashmiri uprising. Indian allegations against Pakistan are a ploy to hoodwink the International Community on Kashmir issue and to hide state- sponsored atrocities on innocent people of IOK. International community must realize the plight of IOK’s people, as Kashmir has been under unlawful Indian occupation since October 1947.
People of all provinces of Pakistan – Punjab, Sindh, KPK and Balochistan – stand by their Kashmiri brethren in their struggle for achieving the right of self-determination acknowledged in UNSC resolutions. Recently, Balochistan showed complete solidarity with Kashmiris on 14th July when huge rallies in all parts of Balochistan were held to demonstrate unity with Kashmiris against crimes committed by India in IOK. Universities, colleges and schools were mobilized with civil society. Local leaders addressed the rallies to give a clear message of support to the Kashmiris. For about seven decades, Kashmiris have been denied their right to self-determination bestowed by the United Nations Security Council resolutions. No other nation perhaps has gone through such a long ordeal and suffering in the history except Palestinians, and their unending nightmare continues.
The US, UN secretary general and conscientious world leaders have taken notice of Indian brutalities in IOK. But India says it is India’s internal matter, as Kashmir is an integral part of India. Earlier, India had taken the stance that Kashmir dispute would be resolved through bilateral negotiations, taking the plea that it was decided in Simla Agreement. However, one should not ignore the fact that Article 103 of Chapter XVI of the UN Charter clearly states: “In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the members of the United Nations under the present Charter and any other international agreement, their obligation under the present charter shall prevail”. Kashmiris have undergone oppression, repression and highhandedness of Indian army and police, and have given unprecedented sacrifices in their struggle for freedom from India. It is responsibility of the international community to act and implement the UNSC resolutions to bring peace to the region.
—The writer is a senior journalist based in Lahore.