This year, 5 August is the fourth anniversary of India’s revocation of the special status of the disputed territory of Indian Occupied Kashmir.
On this very day, Kashmiris living on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) and their brethren in Pakistan, including their sympathisers living in the rest of the world celebrate this day as black day. Especially, Pakistan will observe this day as ‘Youm-e-Istehsal-e-Kashmir’ (Day of Exploitation of Kashmir).
As regards the historical background, taking cognizance of the discriminatory treatment of Hindus with Muslims, the Kashmiri leadership realized the need to form a political party, Muslim Conference (MC) with a view to waging a struggle for their freedom. Afterwards, on 19 July 1947, MC passed a resolution to merge Kashmir with Pakistan, considering the geographical proximity, majority of population being Muslim (77 percent), language and cultural relations of Jammu and Kashmir.
During the partition of the Subcontinent, the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which comprised a Muslim majority, decided to join Pakistan. But thr Dogra Raja, Sir Hari Singh, a Hindu who was ruling over the state in collusion with the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Governor General Lord Mountbatten, joined India.
Indian forces invaded Srinagar on 27 October 1947 and forcibly occupied the state in utter violation of the partition plan.
When Pakistan responded militarily, on 31 December 1947, India made an appeal to the UN Security Council to intervene and a ceasefire ultimately came into effect on 1 January 1949, following UN resolutions calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir.
On 5 February 1964, India backed out of its commitment of holding plebiscite. Instead, Indian Parliament declared Kashmir an integral part of the Indian union.
Since 1989, various forms of state terrorism have been part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian army and paramilitary forces against Muslim Kashmiris. It has been manifested in brutal tactics like crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targetted killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, breaking legs, molestation of Muslim women and killing of persons through fake encounters.
On 5 August 2019, prejudiced Indian Prime Minister and leader of the BJP-led extremist government Narendra Modi abrogated Articles 35A and 370 of the India Constitution, which gave a special status to the disputed territory of Indian-Occupied Kashmir. The Indian government bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories—Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, both to be ruled by the federal government. On the same day, strict military lockdown was imposed in Indian-Occupied Kashmir which continues unabated.
New Delhi also issued an infamous map on 31 October 2019, which displayed this split and identifies the Pakistani side of Azad Kashmir as well as certain areas of Gilgit-Baltistan as an Indian territory.
The Indian war-mongering policy with Islamabad, exemplified by its Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s recent threat to cross the LoC, Indian cross-border terrorism in Pakistan and backing militant outfits to destabilize this country, show the Indian unfinished agenda of partition still continues.
Besides Pakistan, China also rejected the Indian malicious acts as “unlawful and void”, saying that India’s decision to “include” some of China’s territory into its administrative jurisdiction “challenged” Beijing’s sovereignty. The border dispute between India and China, which remains unsettled, has increased tension between the two countries.
However, after imposing the military lockdown, the deployment of more than 900,000 military troops in Indian-Occupied Kashmir, who have martyred tens of thousands of Kashmiris, including women and children through brutal tactics and fake encounters, while closure of mosques, shortage of foods, and medicines for the patients have further increased the plight of the Kashmiris.
In order to hide human rights violations, communication services have been cut off from the world and foreign journalists are not allowed to enter the Kashmir region.
Meanwhile, under a well-planned hidden agenda, the Modi-led regime has intensified bringing about ethno-demographic changes in Indian-Occupied Kashmir on the Israeli model. In this context, various Indian moves such as introduction of new laws, amendment of the laws to facilitate non-Kashmiris and outsiders in order to usurp the rights of the Muslim Kashmiris, issuance of domicile certificates to more than 800,000 non-Kashmiris, registration of almost 2.5 million new non-local voters in the IIOJK, failure of the fake drama to host the G-20 summit on May 22-24, this year in Indian-Occupied Kashmir might be cited as instances.
The Modi regime has also sent gangs of RSS-BJP volunteers to be permanently stationed in the occupied Kashmir.
Indian forces have been also availing various draconian laws such as Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the Public Safety Act (PSA) etc. in martyring the Kashmiri people, and for arbitrarily arrest of any individual for an indefinite period.
Despite the use of chemical weapons like pellet guns and phosphorus bombs by the Indian military, Kashmiris have accelerated the war for liberation.
It is mentionable that Western media, human rights groups and leaders of various countries and UNO have repeatedly condemned Indian illegal measures and human rights abuses which keep on going in Indian-Occupied Kashmir.
In this regard, a year after India abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, UN human rights experts on August 4, 2020 called on India and the international community to take urgent action to address the “alarming” human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir— “to investigate all cases of human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and arbitrary detentions.”
Amnesty International also said on September 29, 2020 that it is “stopping its work in India because the government has frozen its bank accounts” on September 10 for highlighting rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir” and “the government had sought to punish it for that”.
In the recent past, the UN Security Council in its meetings has thrice reiterated that the Kashmir issue requires to be settled in accordance with the principles of the UN charter and the related Security Council resolutions, as the world has refused to believe in the Indian story that its actions regarding Indian-Occupied Kashmir are its internal matter.
Notably, martyrdoms of Syed Ali Gilan, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai and some other leaders have given a greater impetus to the struggle of Kashmiris.
It is worth-mentioning that there are similarities between what the Nazi Party of Hitler had done with Jews and other non-Aryan races in Germany and elsewhere in Europe and what India’s far right RSS has been doing against minority populations like Sikhs, Muslims and Christians.
There is an organized pattern of genocide in the process. The Holocaust did not start with gas chambers. It started after a sustained campaign of hate which included fear mongering and dehumanization of Jews, while Hitler called the Germans the superior race, the Aryan race.
Particularly, Muslims in India are suffering the same type of ‘otherness’ and demonization the Jewish population faced under the Nazi regime. The Hindutva ideology of India’s ruling party draws its inspiration from Nazi supremacist ideology. India’s equivalent of Nazi party, the RSS, applies this derived ideology in its teachings and actions. Modi’s ruling BJP, which is the political arm of RSS, operating as a paramilitary organization. The RSS chief receives the government’s VVIP security.
The Slogan ‘Never Again,’ raised after the Holocaust, still echoes throughout the world, but that promise rings hollow as the international community remains largely silent on the Modi government’s Hindu supremacists, and the growing marginalization and persecution of Muslims, and other minorities.
So, it is crucial that the international community must act to ensure that history does not repeat itself.
Nevertheless, Indian-Occupied Kashmir has become the world’s largest prison, and the most militarized zone on earth. In this respect, Pakistanis and Kashmiris living abroad also highlighted Indian atrocities and the continued struggle for the Kashmiris’ legitimate right of self-determination on various international forums, emphasizing that the Kashmir issue should be resolved in accordance with the related UN resolutions.
In this context, US House of Representatives member Terry Meza participated in a recent event organized by the Kashmir Global Council (KGC) and South Asia Democracy Watch in Frisco Texas—Ms Meeza was the chief guest and the symposium was attended by well-known social activist Ms Beverly Hill, and various political leaders, academics, US media, including young students.
Endorsing the freedom of Kashmir, Terry Meza said that she wass against any form of oppression and stressed the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute in keeping with the legitimate aspirations of the people of Kashmir.
After a full day of discussion, discourse and deliberation during the symposium, a resolution was passed which stressed upholding the human rights of Kashmiri people and appealed to allow the UN Human Rights Commission to verify the report compiled by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in 2018-2019.
Now, at the global level there is growing noticeable awareness regarding Indian’s brutal acts and atrocities in Indian-Occupied Kashmir.
While New Delhi has repeatedly accused Pakistan and its primary intelligence agency ISI of supporting Kashmiri freedom fighters with arms, ignoring the fact that Kashmiris’ struggle is indigenous, as Islamabad clarified several times that it gives diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiris.
Meanwhile, the Indian war-mongering policy with Islamabad, exemplified by its Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s recent threat to cross the LoC, Indian cross-border terrorism in Pakistan and backing militant outfits to destabilize this country, show the Indian unfinished agenda of partition still continues.