Dr Muhammad Khan
The people and government of Pakistan celebrated 14 August (2019), the Independence Day, as Solidarity Day with the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Muzaffarabad yesterday (14 August) and addressed the Legislative Assembly of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. This all was aimed at demonstrating the Pakistani concern over the ongoing state of affairs in the occupied portion of the State. In a unilateral act, India abrogated Article 370 of its Constitution, which provided a temporary linkage between India and occupied portion of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Thereafter, Indian security forces further intensified their brutalities in the IoK. The occupied State has been in a state of constant curfew since August 3, 2019. There is no outside communication with the state since then. The Kashmiri leadership has been put into jails or put under house arrests and rest of the masses into an open prison with no permission to move out from their homes. Hundreds of youth have been killed in the last few days and many have been taken to torture centres and prisons outside the state boundary in Indian provinces. This is a great gesture, being demonstrated by the people and the government of Pakistan with their brothers of Jammu and Kashmir. The Government of Pakistan has also intensified its diplomatic overtures and efforts over the Indian aggression and human rights violations in IoK.
Indeed, the abrogation of Article 370 is all meant to rehabilitate the non-Kashmiris in the occupied state, especially in the Valley of Kashmir. There have been revelations that Hindu nationalist paramilitary volunteer of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Youth wing of Bajrang Dal (BD) the religious Hindu militant organisation of the Vishva Hindu Parishad have been moved into the Valley for undertaking criminal activities. They are planning to execute the mass killings of Kashmiri youth, torturing the houses and raping the women of Kashmir. They have been given total impunity by the BJP Government in the garb of Presidential Rule in the occupied state. Besides, Indian Government is moving Hindu settlers in the Valley area of Kashmir while there is total clamp-down in IoK. This is a grave human rights violation in IoK, the Kashmiri masses are protesting for and Pakistan has decided to inform the so-called civilized international society. While the so-called Muslim Ummah is quite, even not condemning the Indian acts, Pakistan will have to do all this at its own.
Kashmiri’s love with Pakistan can be imagined from the fact that, before Pakistan came into being, on 19 July, 1947, the people of Jammu and Kashmir unanimously adopted a resolution, for the accession of the state with the future state of Pakistan. Then prominent Kashmir leaders; Khawaja Ghulam-ud-Din Wani and Abdul Rahim Wani moved the resolution in the emergency session of the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference held in Srinagar. Since Pakistan was to become a reality for the Muslim of South Asia on August 14, 1947, therefore, Kashmiri people were in hurry for these legal formalities of state’s accession with their dreamland. The State of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan have historical relationship, which dates back to centuries. This relationship has roots in the joint history of these two areas over the years and later turned into a relationship of interdependency. Religion, common culture, joint races on sides, migrations and inter-marriages further strengthened this bond between the people of two sides. Besides, these linkages, geography of the Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan are another compelling factor, which essentially unite these areas. All natural routes to various parts of the Jammu and Kashmir are from Pakistan. The only link, India exploited in 1947, through Gurdaspur (Pathan Kot) was an un-natural link, which India manipulated through Radcliff Award, through an unjustified division of Punjab.
Over the last seventy-two years, Kashmiris did not reconcile with the Indian rule over their state and revolted many a time against forceful Indian occupation. In the last struggle, started in 1990, over 100,000 Kashmiri people lost their lives at the hands of brutal Indian occupation forces. Indian Army and paramilitary forces are still continuing with their brutalities in IoK, taking cover of discriminatory and inhuman laws, India specially imposed ever since 1990s. Despite heavy Indian military deployment in IoK, it could not defeat the will of Kashmiris for attainment of their right of self-determination. Over the years, the political dispute of Kashmir has become a humanitarian issue, since there have been massive human rights violations in IoK by Indian security forces. In fact, there has been a state sponsor terrorism going on in India occupied Kashmir since 1990. There has been an organized campaign of genocide going on against the people of Indian occupied Kashmir. This is indeed the darkest aspect of India, which civilized international community is constantly ignoring. Although, United Nations, Amnesty International and many other human rights organizations have been raising the issue of Indian human rights violations in Kashmir, but there have been no action against India on those accounts. Rather, the major powers are enhancing their political and economic linkages with India.
Indian felt helpless despite its 800,000 forces in the IoK, thus under-took the massive human rights violation, killings of youth following the martyrdom of Burhan Wani in July 2016. Failure to quell the youth movement, it has abrogated Article 370 for making demographic changes in IoK. But, Kashmiris are determined to get their right and ultimately join Pakistan.
Whereas the UN Secretary General has shown its concern over the current state of uncertainty and lawlessness in IOK, it is not enough. The UN, US and rest of international community must take concrete steps by stopping India from taking illegal acts and making demographic changes in occupied state. India must be forced to restore original status of the state as an entity, rather dividing it against the provisions of UN Resolutions. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are thankful to the people and Government of Pakistan for their solidarity with them and approaching the international community for the cause of Kashmir.
— The writer is Professor of Politics and International Relations at International Islamic University, Islamabad.
Dr Muhammad Khan