Muhammad Zahid Rifat
KASHMIRIS in India-occupied territory continue their indigenous unarmed freedom struggle for securing their birth right of self-determination to get rid from the Indian shackles and offering sacrifices of men, women and youth/children as the occupying huge Indian security forces unleash all sorts of brutalities, oppression and suppression on them. India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir has been under an unprecedented longest curfew since 5 August 2019 after the Indian Government illegally ended the special status of Jammu and Kashmir territory and integrated it into the Indian Union.
The curfew is continuing in an unending manner with all means of communication, trade and business, economic activities suspended, educational institutions closed, human rights suspended and Kashmiri leadership under house arrest or taken away and put in some or the other Indian jail unknown to their families. As longest lockdown in occupied territory completes in one year on 5 Aug 2020, the Kashmiri people are observing it as the second darkest day in their history after 27 Oct 1947 when India had forcibly occupied the territory by airlifting its troops after Maharaja of Kashmir had signed [alleged] Instrument of Accession to India against wishes and aspirations of people.
People and the government of Pakistan have all along been supporting the Kashmiris in their struggle for freedom and extending all possible diplomatic , moral and political support over the years. People of Pakistan also observe Kashmir Solidarity Day every year on 5 February to reiterate their unflinching support to their Kashmiri brethren and sisters in their freedom struggle till they get their cherished objective. Now that the Kashmiris in the longest lockdown in the occupied territory are observing 5 August 2020, as the second darkest day, the people and government of Pakistan are observing it as Youm-e-Istehsal Kashmir (Kashmir Exploitation Day) on this day continuously expressing their solidarity with the Kashmiri people.
Needless to mention here that besides Kashmir Solidarity Day on 5 February, people and political leadership of Pakistan continue to voice their support and condemn the Indian atrocities and brutalities whenever the Kashmiris resort to any protest or take out rallies. Massive programmes have been chalked out at the appropriate level in Pakistan for voicing and reiterating continued support to Kashmiris in their ongoing freedom struggle. Briefly, the Prime Minister of Pakistan will be addressing Azad Kashmir Legislative Council, the President will be leading a rally in Islamabad and the Chief Ministers in their respective provinces, seminars will be organized to highlight the burning Kashmir issue and reiterating support to the Kashmiris besides gatherings in Pakistani missions throughout the world among other activities to mark Youm-e-Istehsal Kashmir in a befitting manner extending the fullest political, diplomatic and moral support to the oppressed and suppressed Kashmiris in the occupied territory.
As already announced, Foreign Minister of Pakistan visited the Line of Control (LOC) on 3 August to reaffirm solidarity and support with the Kashmiris. Pakistan has all these years been calling and stressing on a peaceful and negotiated settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the United Nations Security Council resolution and this continues to be on top of its foreign policy agenda. UN Security Council resolutions, as is well known, call for a plebiscite in the internally recognized disputed territory under the UN auspices. This is in keeping with the solemn pledge made to the Kashmiri people by Pakistan, India as well as the international community.
Though UN Security Council resolutions were adopted after India had moved the world body but over the years, India continues to refrain from implementing these resolutions and instead persisting with its forcible occupation of the disputed territory through fully armed security forces whose strength has reached to about eleven lakhs following August 5, 2019 annexation of the valley and merging it in the Indian Union by ending special status of Jammu and Kashmir. As the reign of terror and repression by about eleven lakhs Indian security forces personnel, much more than 100000 Kashmiri people have been killed, Many more continue to languish in the Indian jails where they are subjected to torture and custodial deaths. There have also been numerous cases of gang-rape of Kashmiri women and young girls by the Indian occupying security forces.
Extra judicial killings, involuntary disappearances, arbitrary detentions, rapes and torture aimed at Muslims genocide to change demographic situation continue to occur in the completely locked occupied territory as the Kashmiris continue their indigenous freedom struggle and moral, diplomatic and political support being extended by the people and civil and military leadership of Pakistan. Suppressed, oppressed and still struggling Kashmiris are looking towards the international community and the UN Security Council for implementing its own resolutions exerting all possible pressure on the Indian Government instead of mere condemnation. They are bound to secure their cherished objective of freedom through exercise of right of self-determination sooner or later with their determination, courage and bravery.
—The writer is Lahore-based Freelance Journalist, Columnist and retired Deputy Controller (News), Radio Pakistan, Islamabad.