Kashmir now ‘colonized’, Kashmiri author says as criticism of Indian action mounts in US press

NEW YORK, Aug 18 (APP):A prominent Kashmiri writer has denounced India’s annexation of occupied Kashmir and imposition of a communications blackout and de-facto martial law, saying New Delhi was now exercising “brute power over a people that is essentially colonized.”

“I like to think that Kashmir has always been treated like a colony by the Indian state. And last Monday was probably the most telling demonstration of that relationship,” Mirza Waheed, a novelist who lives in London, said in an interview with The New Yorker, a highly respected American magazine that carries commentaries on political, economic and cultural issues.

Giving a detailed background of the Kashmir problem, he told the magazine, which has large circulation both inside and outside the US: “The struggle for rights goes back to the promise of a referendum, or plebiscite, which has never taken place. Kashmiris thought there would be a time when we will be given a chance to have a say in our future. During that time, India managed Kashmir through puppet governments that would do India’s bidding. India always knew Kashmiris didn’t want to remain in India. Even to this day a large majority don’t want to be in India…”