- So what else is new?
The Indian security forces continue to kill Kashmiris every day with impunity. The reign of terror and oppression let loose by the Indian security forces in the occupied Kashmir since 1989 and more so in the backdrop of the martyrdom of Burhan Wani, regrettably, has gone unnoticed by the international community, the UN and the powers who can play a decisive role in having the Kashmir dispute resolved in conformity with the UN Resolutions. Their indifference and apathy to the situation in Kashmir stems from their strategic and commercial interests linked with India. Encouraged by this looking the other way attitude of the international community, particularly the US and its allies India is continuing with its policy to crush the freedom struggle of the Kashmiris through ruthless use of force involving blatant violation of human rights. The Indian security forces committed an act of ultimate barbarity on 1st June when reportedly they drove an armoured vehicle wildly into a crowd of protestors, slamming into half of dozen people and crushing one man beneath its wheels wounding him critically. A picture depicting this gory incident had gone viral which clearly showed a man under the wheels of the vehicle. One of the persons hit by the vehicle reportedly has died.
Since the beginning of the new phase of resistance against the Indian occupying forces in the Indian occupied Kashmir in the wake of the killing of Burhan Wani on 8th July 2016, nearly two hundred people have been killed, 8,424 injured by pellet guns resulting in loss of eye sight by 3,055 protestors besides rape of 765 women and destruction of 65,861 homes and structures. Thousands were also detained under PSA.
The dilemma is that even the UN finds itself helpless in having its own resolutions implemented because of the indifferent attitude of the big powers like USA and its western allies
The Pakistani government, which has been extending moral, political and diplomatic support to the cause of Kashmiris, very rightly has been raising voice against the Indian atrocities. In the backdrop of Shopian incident in which 20 people were killed in one day the government observed April 6 as a protest day to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir and to sensitise the international community about the Indian oppression in the valley under the cover of POTA, TAD, PSA and AFPSA. It asked the UN Secretary General to appoint a special envoy for Jummu and Kashmir besides deciding to send special envoys of the prime minister, including the president of Azad Kashmir to selected capitals to highlight the deteriorating situation in IHK.
What is happening in Kashmir is an affront to the conscience of the world community, particularly to the nations who cry hoarse from every convenient roof-top to reiterate their abiding commitment to human rights and causes like people’s right to self-determination. Their act of putting blinkers on their eyes and stuffing their ears to block the shrieks emanating from Kashmir, is the most inhuman act which also explodes the myth of their civility and the much trumpeted humanitarian pursuits. The dilemma is that even the UN finds itself helpless in having its own resolutions implemented because of the indifferent attitude of the big powers like USA and its western allies. One does hear from time to time some muffled voices calling for India and Pakistan to resolve their disputes through negotiations but nobody has ever condemned the Indian brutalities and human rights violations in Kashmir or offered mediation to help the two countries in resolving their disputes including the core issue of Kashmir.
Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of the partition. The people of Kashmir and Pakistan by all cannons of international law and as per the partition Plan and UN resolutions have a legitimate cause in seeking the settlement of the question of accession of the state through a plebiscite. Perhaps it would be pertinent to mention here some of the commitments made by the Indian leaders in regards to letting the people of Kashmir decide their future by exercising their right to self-determination.
The Indian Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru in his telegramme dated 31 October to the prime minister of Pakistan said, “Leave the decision regarding the future of this state to the people of the state. It is not merely a promise to your government but to the people of Kashmir and to the world.” Further in a broadcast to the nation on All India Radio on 2 November 1947 he said, “Let me make it clear that it has been our policy all along that where there is a dispute about the accession of a state to either Dominion, the accession must be made by the people of that state”. These were his commitments before the adoption of UN resolutions. He also repeated those commitments on a number of occasions after the UN resolutions on the subject. Addressing a press conference in London on 16th January 1951 said, “We have always right from the beginning accepted the idea of the Kashmiri people deciding their fate by referendum or plebiscite.” Making a statement in the Indian parliament on 26th June 1952 he said, “If, after a proper plebiscite, the people of Kashmir said, We do not want to be with India, we are committed to accept that. We will accept it though it might pain us. We will not send any army against them. We will accept that, however hurt we might feel about it. We will change the constitution if necessary.” As late as 20th August 1953 Nehru addressing a joint press conference with prime minister of Pakistan in Delhi remarked, “The most feasible method of ascertaining the wishes of the people is by fair and impartial plebiscite.”
There could not have been a more authentic proof of the legitimacy of the cause of the people of Kashmir and Pakistan’s stake in having the issue resolved through the implementation of the UN resolutions. It is pertinent to note that when the Indian government went back on its commitments and declared that the question of accession of Kashmir had been settled by the constituent assembly of Kashmir and the consequent adoption of the state constitution—upon which India started claiming Kashmir as its integral part — the UN through its resolutions 91 and 122 repudiated the Indian claims by maintaining that the question of accession of the state could not be determined by any method other than the plebiscite held under the auspices of the UN.
In view of the foregoing irrefutable facts the Indian stance on Kashmir has no legal basis and the killings by the Indian forces in the occupied Kashmir are nothing but an act of state terrorism which no human being or a nation with conscience can tolerate and endorse. The International community needs to scratch its conscience and play its role in ending the oppression in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.