- The lockdown has been horrendous
By: Muhammad Zahid Rifat
More than eight million people of Indian occupied Kashmir have completed one year of their forcible living under one of the most brutal, draconian and inhuman complete lockdown the modern world has ever witnessed.
Under the very eyes of a so-called civilized world, more than a million-strong occupying Indian security forces are continuing killing, injuring, raping and destruction of a defenseless Kashmiris men, women , young girls, youth and children in an unabated, condemnable and most deplorable manner. The world at large is turning a blind eye to the tragic and brutal happenings in the disputed territory for ensuring their meagre economic interests with the big country of India. The international community is ignoring and looking the other way as if those being martyred and killed brutally in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir are children of a lesser God.
It was on 5 August 2019 that in a surprise and cunning move the fascist regime of India, headed by Prime Minister Narenda Modi, resorted to revocation of Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution, ripping apart its continuously ignored international obligations under the UN Security Council resolutions, the Geneva Convention and violating its own Constitution, and thus deprived the occupied disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir of its special status under its own constitution and merged the territory into the Indian Union as an integral part. These illegal measures were followed by imposition of a complete lockdown over the entire population of Indian-Occupied Kashmir, and it is continuing in an endless manner so far.
The international community by and large, the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC), various human rights organizations, parliaments and congresses raised their protest voices, though none of these were followed by some desirable meaningful tangible measures against the perpetrating state, India. Hence all their protests fell on deaf ears.
With every passing day, the Kashmiris’ determination and courage is getting stronger and the observation of Youm-e-Istehsal not only in IOK, and Pakistan, but also the world over, will bring their victory nearer to them. The billboards in Time Square in New York and elsewhere read “Kashmiri lives matter”. These words mean a lot, indeed.
The Indian Government ignored the threats and the large number of deaths due to the persisting coronavirus pandemic and instead persisted with the tightening of its grip over occupied territory by undertaking controversial legislation and repression of an already marooned community.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister’s maiden but still quite historical address to the UN General Assembly in September last year apparently shook the sleeping conscience of the international community, and proved a catalyst for the world bodies and global civil rights society, which not only condemned India but also asked it to revert to its pre-5 August 2019 status, and release 8 million Kashmiris imprisoned by its more than a million-strong security personnel . But India quite regretfully and callously ignored these calls from the international community.
While the world at large has not moved beyond its verbal rhetoric, India through its massive occupying security forces continues to martyr innocent Kashmiris in the occupied territory in fake encounters and on other pretexts. Simultaneously, it is also taking well-planned steps for changing demographic structure of occupied Jammu and Kashmir by settling thousands of Hindu non-nationals in the disputed territory, with a sinister design of disempowering and disenfranchising the Kashmiris in their own land and turning their absolute majority into a minority.
All these draconian and repressive measures in the occupied territory and also those against other ethnic communities in India itself continue, while the world at large only just watches.
The Pakistani people and the civil and military leadership have all along been extending full moral, diplomatic and political support to Kashmiris, reiterating on every occasion that they will be standing with the struggling and suffering Kashmiris till they achieve the cherished objective of freedom through exercising right of self-determination in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.
Every Pakistani is well aware of the fact that the Kashmiris are suffering because of their love of Pakistan and their aspiration to merge their territory into Pakistan. How can Pakistan remain indifferent to these aspirations of the Kashmiri people? It is a national pledge that Pakistan will leave no stone unturned to help the Kashmiris in securing their persistently denied birthright of self-determination.
Pakistan, both people and government, have observed Youm-e-Istehsal on 5 August 2020 as a reiteration of solidarity with the Kashmiri people as they complete one year under the longest lockdown so far.
This is yet another attempt to shake the conscience of the international community and to urge its members to play their roles more effectively and humanly in support of the struggling and suffering Kashmiris by exerting pressure on India to honour and implement its obligations under the UN Security Council resolutions, as time is running out and India continues to listen to the voices of conflict. But with every passing day, the Kashmiris’ determination and courage is getting stronger and the observation of Youm-e-Istehsal not only in IOK, and Pakistan, but also the world over, will bring their victory nearer to them. The billboards in Time Square in New York and elsewhere read “Kashmiri lives matter”. These words mean a lot, indeed.