SAARC Interior Ministers’ moot

Dr Muhammad Khan

ON the eve of two-day Interior Minister’s SAARC Conference in Islamabad, the people of Kashmir carried out lot of demonstrations and protests against India and presence of Indian Home Minister Mr Rajnath in Islamabad. The Kashmiri protests were centred against the Indian Home Minister’s illegal orders for the use of pellet guns against the peaceful protesters in the Indian occupied Kashmir. Their protests were calling for immediate stoppage of human rights violations of India in Indian occupied Kashmir, stoppage of the use of pellet guns and brutal forces against the innocent Kashmiri and finally for their right of self-determination as per UN resolution. In fact, the essence of the Kashmiri protests was that, whatever India is doing in IOK, it is a blatant violations of human rights, International Humanitarian Law and even Geneva Convention.
The echo of this violation was felt everywhere, the US, EU and other civilized international societies. United States spokesperson Mr John Kirby ‘voiced concerns over the use of pellet guns by the Indian security forces against Kashmiri protestors in the Indian-held Kashmir.’ He said in his weekly briefing that, “We are concerned by the violence in Kashmir and added that the US encourages all sides to make efforts towards finding a peaceful solution to this.” He even said that, “We are in close touch with our Indian counterparts in New Delhi and urge the government to do everything in its power to protect minorities.”
However, U.S as a super power failed to compel India for the stoppage of the oppression against the Kashmiri masses in IOK and negotiating a solution of the dispute. In fact, the role of US is highly dubious and biased, once analysed from the perspective of realist’s approach. It is worth mentioning that, US has been a great advocate of the Kashmir dispute during the cold war. In the post cold war, it has backtracked and seems mostly either favouring India or at least not displeasing it. This double-standard has disappointed those being under suppression and oppression of India Government and its security forces. Apart from Muslims in India and IOK, the other minorities are being humiliated and mistreated by India. US must play its part in the resolution of the Kashmir dispute, otherwise, this conflict has the potential to escalate into a nuclear war, which would be disastrous for the entire international community.
On his part, rather being apologetic on his orders for the brutal use of force against the peaceful protestors and ordering the pellet guns, the Indian Home Minister was critical on the statements issued by the Foreign Office and the Government of Pakistan, condemning the Indian acts of brutalities and killing the youth like BurhanWani. Without naming Pakistan, the Indian Home Minister said, “There are no good terrorists or bad terrorists. There should be no glorification or eulogising of terrorists as martyrs.” Indian Home Minister was indeed, referring to the reactions, protests and condemnation by Pakistan over the death of BurhanWani and use of brutal force thereafter. This is upsetting that, India is unable to make a difference between those struggling and fighting for their fundamental right, the right of self-determination.
Kashmiri people are fighting for their right of self-determination. In fact, in the course of their demand for their right of self-determination, the use of force by India falls in the domain of terrorism. So the actual terrorism is what India is perpetrating on the innocent people of IOK, the state sponsored terrorism. If any organization has to be blamed for the terrorism in Indian occupied Kashmir, it is Indian Army and its paramilitary forces and if a Government has to be blamed for that, it is Indian Government and yet if any individual has to be blamed, it is Rajnath Singh and NarindraModi.
After the Interior Minister’s Conference, the Pakistani Interior Minister, ChNisar Ali highly criticised the use of forces by India against the innocent Kashmiris. He said, “Using torture against innocent children and violence against civilians qualifies as terrorism. He further said that, there is a requirement that, India must end the extremist mind-set and try to resolve dispute as per the wishes of Kashmiri masses. He also advised India that, “The use of blame game has not benefited anyone for the past six decades. Pakistan has not shut the door on bilateral dialogue, we are always willing to conduct discussions and dialogue, but with dignity and self-respect.”
The world at large and Pakistan in particular must apprise the UNO, the ‘United Nations Commission on Human Rights. The Commission came into being in 1946, with the sole object to ‘protects the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people. It has also fixed the standards to the whole range of human rights problems and how the states should govern and conduct their masses.
While being in Islamabad, Rajnath Singh was highly critical to Pakistan. He even called for a, “strongest action not only against terrorists or organisations but also against those individuals, organisations and nations which support terror.” As mentioned above, people like Modi and Rajnath deserved to be named as terrorists and violators of the human rights of the Kashmiri. The Government of Pakistan should have called for such an action against Rajnath. One should look at the audaciousness of the Indian Home Minister, who tried to mislead the world, while being in Islamabad. There should be strongest international action against the Indian usage of force in IOK by UNO and international community. Why should not, such states and their rulers be tried by the International Criminal Court and under the International Humanitarian Law.
— The writer is International Relations analyst based in Islamabad.

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