Two years on: The sinful silence of the world | BY Muhammad Ali Alvi


Two years on: The sinful silence of the world

AUGUST 5, marks two years of the draconian move of the Indian Government to unilaterally change the status of Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir.

On 05 August 2019, India revoked the Articles 370, 35-A and stripped the state of Jammu and Kashmir of its special status in clear violation of international law and the United Nations Security Council Resolutions. This move is the continuity of unabated Indian barbarism in Occupied Kashmir.

It also shows the dual face of India who considers itself as the biggest democracy in the World but fails to provide an opportunity to the people of Kashmir to exercise their basic right, the right to self-determination.

The right to self-determination is the basic human right and it is enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

The UNSC resolutions also reaffirm this right to the people of Kashmir. More than 70 years have passed but still, the people of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir are living under Indian oppression and striving for freedom.

The Human rights abuses in India-administered Kashmir is a matter of concern for the whole world.

People are abused, tortured and killed. Women are assaulted and raped. People have been even denied the right to education, health and justice.

It has been going on for more than 70 years but still, the quest for freedom in Kashmiris is the same.

The resistance from the people is natural as they are the ones who are under continuous suppression, oppression and restrictions.

Some people try to combine the resistance by the people of Kashmir with the act of terrorism.

Those who do are either unaware of the condition of the people living in Indian occupied Kashmir or they deliberately try to politicise and sabotage the Kashmiri resistance and freedom movement.

After the independence of Pakistan and India, the princely states of Junagadh, Hyderabad and Jammu and Kashmir opted to remain independent.

Hyderabad and Junagadh were Hindu-dominated States with Muslim rulers while Jammu and Kashmir was dominated by Muslims and ruled by Hindu ruler.

However, India annexed Junagadh and Hyderabad by force but its design failed in Kashmir due to the bravery of the people of Kashmir and the response from Pakistan.

Those who were responsible for smooth and peaceful partition and the rest of the world overlooked this hegemonic behaviour of India.

Had they acted differently at that time the relations between Pakistan and India would have been different today.

After a sorrowful 73 years, the people of Kashmir are suffering the same fate again. India is changing laws according to its will and the world has chosen to remain silent.

The issue of Kashmir involves human beings and their rights which have been suppressed for years.

The world powers should do more than just releasing statements and considering it as a bilateral issue between Pakistan and India.

Kashmir is an international issue that involves human rights and requires the attention of the World. The time to act is now, as the people of Kashmir are looking at the world.

India should be held accountable for its gross human rights violations. The States who consider themselves as a champion of human rights should do something for the people of Kashmir as their silence is making the matter worse.

Here, it is important to mention that a society cannot continue to live under continuous suppression or in absence of rights.

At some point, there is a reaction that is not governed by laws and is greater in magnitude which results in a victory.

In the words of Nelson Mandela: “When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”

Pakistan considers Kashmir as a jugular vein. And, India and Pakistan have already fought three full-scale wars on Kashmir. But now the nature of war has changed.

The implications of war have changed as well. These are for the whole world now. Pakistan has always stood with Kashmir and will continue to do so by showing the brutal face of India to the world.

As the issue persists, there is always a chance of escalation. This is not in the favour of the entire world as both India and Pakistan are equipped with nuclear weapons.

The powerful States of the world must play their part not only in reverting the status of India-occupied Kashmir to the disputed territory but also in resolving the issue.

—The writer is a contributing columnist, based in Islamabad.

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