Dr Muhammad Khan
NO change in Article 35 A and Article 370 of Indian Constitution is acceptable to Kashmiris, till they attain their basic and only demand, the right of self-determination. In this regard, India has made successive attempts for making changes or all together doing away with these articles. Failure to do away with Article 370, Indian Government is all out to dilute 35 A of Indian Constitution for making demographic in Valley area of the Indian occupied Kashmir. To resist any change or attempt to dilute it, the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) of IOK has asked the people of Kashmir for observing a complete strike in IOK on August 30 and August 31, 2018.The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) of IOK includes; Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik and others said in a joint statement that, this strike and shutdown would aimed at “expressing resentment against the BJP government’s attempts to repeal the Article 35-A of the Indian Constitution which guarantees special rights and privileges to the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Earlier this strike was scheduled for August 27, the day, Indian Supreme Court had fixed the hearing on the petitions, seeking repeal of the Article 35-A. JRL also paid homage to Kashmir youth, who have taken over the control of Kashmir struggle since July 2016. In last few months, there has been martyrdom of over 200 Kashmiri youth through fake encounters in various parts of IOK. Very recently, one youth was martyred by the Indian troops in Kokernag area of Islamabad district of IOK. Whereas, the Indian security forces are killing the Kashmiris through various strategies (shoot to kill, arrest and later fake encounter, killing at torture centres and above all use of prohibited weapons and ammunition), the Kashmiris are not ready to compromise on their primary demand of freedom from India through UN sponsored Plebiscite, as enshrined in UN resolutions.
In this regards, the Chairman of Islami Tanzeem-i-Azadi Jammu and Kashmir, Abdul Samad Inqilabi, has addressed a gathering in Bandipore on August 24, 2018 and stressed that, Kashmiri people “will continue their ongoing freedom struggle till they achieved freedom from the Indian bondage.” He too warned the Indian Government against repealing of Article 35-A of the Indian Constitution. Meanwhile, the leaders of APHC leaders and activists held a protest march at Hyderpora Chowk in Srinagar against the Indian attempts of repealing Article 35-A . Besides a firm determination for the freedom of IOK from Indian yoke, all these protests by JRL, APHC and all social and public gathering condemned the Indian atrocities in IOK. India has been reminded of its illegal occupation of IOK, promises to its first Prime Minister for the right of self-determination, the demographic changes, India has made in Jammu region and its new attempts to change the demography of Valley. Today, all Kashmiris “salute the solidarity shown by the people to defend their legitimate movement for right to self-determination and hope that the freedom loving people of Jammu and Kashmir shall rise to the occasion to safeguard their exemplary sacrifices.”
In another conspiracy to defame the peaceful struggle in IOK, the Indian ruling Party has seriously protested over the death of one of its party activist in Pulwama district of IOK on August 24, 2018. Thousands of BJP workers have moved to Srinagar to protest against this killing. As per analyst, BJP has planned this killing to defame the Kashmiri movement for their right of self-determination and Kashmiri’s protests against dilution of Article 35A. Indian Government and its infamous spying network (RAW) have been involved in such diversionary moves in the past too, once Kashmiri’s struggle gets a peak and global attention. Look at the double standards of BJP; on one side over 100,000 Kashmiris have been killed since 1990 during their peaceful protest against Indian occupation and on other side one low level member of BJP, killed under mysterious circumstances? Nevertheless, BJP and RSS have never been Kashmiri outfits; both believe in terrorism and Kashmiri struggle seeks a peaceful resolution. The new Pakistani Government under Imran Kahn has wished for a peaceful solution of Kashmir. Though, the traditional stance of Pakistan has been for a negotiated and UN mandated peaceful solution of Kashmir, yet Pakistani Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan wants to improve ties with India and resolve all outstanding issues including the Kashmir dispute through talks. In a recent media interaction he clearly said that, “But it takes two to tango. You cannot clap with just one hand. We have a positive stance and will remain hopeful.” PM Imran Khan had already hinted resolution of Kashmir issue in a peaceful manner. Indian Government has already been indicated by former puppet Chief Minister of IOK, Dr Farooq Abdullah and former External Affairs Minister, Yaswant Sinha that, through atrocities of Indian forces, ‘India is losing Kashmir’ and Kashmiri youth are thinking very differently about the Indian occupation and its repression.
Kashmir holds the key for peace between Pakistan and India and peace between these two neighbours would guarantee peace and stability of South Asia, which further guarantee the international peace, owing to nuclear dimension of the dispute. Pakistan and the people of Kashmir strongly realise that, wars and conflicts are not the solution of Kashmir dispute as nothing came out from the previous wars. Therefore, India must realise that killing of Kashmiris is not a solution of the issue. Kashmiris’ resolve for peaceful solution of their motherland must be taken seriously by India. Otherwise, a conflict would be in the utter disadvantage of India and the region, since Kashmiris are not ready to compromise on their fundamental right over their motherland.
— The writer, Professor of Politics and International Relations, is based in Islamabad.