Kashmir remains war flashpoint even after seven decades

IIOJK people will never accept its division'
File Photo

ISLAMABAD, Aug 1 (APP): With every passing day, the atrocities by occupation forces intensify in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) but nothing makes the world realize the gravity of festering human tragedy in the region.

India is holding ‘Ghasbana Qabza’ for more than 70 years to suppress the Kashmiris, who have been struggling for their legitimate right to self-determination in line with the resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council from time to time.

After going through the decades-long physical and mental agony, now the people of IIOJK are facing the worst type of repression at the hands of Modi-led fascist government, which has stripped the held territory of its special status, on August 5 last year, by revoking Articles 370 and 35-A on Indian constitution to change its demographic apartheid.

It is quite clear that New Delhi took this illegal, immoral and unconstitutional action out of frustration as its around-the–clock curfew, communication blackouts, arrests, killings and forceful suppression of protesters fell flat before the indomitable spirit and struggle of the Kashmiri people, whose commitment gets stronger with every intensive move of the so-called secular state.

The world knows very well the tragic story of IIOJK where around one million Indian troops are continuously putting the innocent Kashmiris under siege, killing and raping children and women with impunity, and denying them every fundamental right.

According to authentic figures since 1989 till June 20,2020, Indian occupation forces have killed nearly 96,000 Kashmiris, including 7,141 custodial killings, arrested 160,523 civilians, widowed 22,916 women, orphaned 107,793 children and gang-raped/molested 11,207 women, besides looting/destroying 110,334 houses/structures,.

As per the data gathered by a civil society group of India, a large number of children of 9 to 13 years of age are among the 13,000 civilians arrested by the Indian Army during the months-long curfew and lockdown in the occupied territory since August 5, 2019. These children are still imprisoned in northern India and occupied Kashmir. They have not been released even after the outbreak of coronavirus.

Other than Kashmiris’ miseries, the Kashmir issue has another important dimension and that is its potential to ignite a nuclear holocaust in the South Asian region. Often, the region goes through intense situation due to long-standing issues, mainly the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan.

Under the 1947 Partition Plan, Kashmir should have been part of Pakistan. Unfortunately, this could not happen due to a deep-rooted conspiracy. It was India itself that had referred the matter to UN Security Council, and offered a free and fair plebiscite for the people of Kashmir to decide about their future.

However, India later gradually renegaded from its own promises and started claiming the IIOJK as its integral part. The UNSC has so far passed almost a dozen of resolutions that the issue would be resolved in accordance with the wishes of people of Kashmir, who want to exercise their legitimate right to self-determination and accession to Pakistan.

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The two neighboring countries, now atomic powers, have already fought two full-fledged wars in 1965 and 1971, and their troops stood eyeball to eyeball many times due to the longstanding core issue of Kashmir. Since the Pulwama incident and Pakistan’s befitting response against the Indian aggression in February, 2019, hardly a day passes without India’s unprovoked firing across the Line of Control (LOC) to target the civilian population.

It is an admitted reality that during the February-episode, the latest missiles had been aligned and kept ready-to-fire position after smelling anything fishy . . .  anyone can imagine the scale of destruction, what will happen, if any provocation triggers a war between the two atomic powers. The consequences will not be limited to just the South Asian region, it will eventually engulf the whole world.

We have been listening to that lasting peace and progress cannot be achieved in the region without resolving the issue of Kashmir. Pakistan has been consistently seeking a peaceful solution of the dispute but its all efforts have foundered on the bedrock of Indian intransigence and reckless denial of basic right to the Kashmiri people for deciding their future and destiny.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his address to the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 27, 2019, had already exposed India’s reckless policy on Kashmir.

“When we [Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government] came to power, we swore that we would try to bring peace,” he told the world body.

The PM said India did not respond to Pakistan’s overtures following Modi’s re-election as prime minister and soon it was discovered that it was trying to push Pakistan into the blacklist of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to bankrupt the country.

“That’s when we realised that there was an agenda and that agenda became obvious on the 5th of August when India went against 11 United Nations Security Council resolutions, which say that Kashmir is a disputed territory and the people of Kashmir have the right of self-determination,” he said.

“They actually went against the Indian Constitution. Illegally, they revoked Article 370, which gave Kashmir the special status and [stationed] an extra 180,000 troops there,” said Prime Minister Imran.

Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director of the Kashmiri American Council, United States, said in a statement: “The situation in Kashmir is very alarming and extremely terrifying. I am conscious of the fact if the United Nations and the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) will not come out of their slumber, the whole nation of Kashmiris will be pushed to the brink of extinction.”

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“No foreigner can buy land in Kashmir, no foreigner can settle in Kashmir but India passed a domicile law on May 18, 2020 enabling Indians, who were there for last seven years, to get domicile certificates,” Fai said.

“We fear that 1.7 million Indians are going to settle in Kashmir within a year or so. This calls upon the United Nations to redeem their pledge made to the Kashmiri people,” he said. “They must understand that the Kashmir issue can lead to a serious confrontation between India and Pakistan and needs immediate resolution.”

Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan, addressing a webinar, said the latest happenings in the IIOJK should be an eye-opener for the international community.

“The people around the globe will have to feel Kashmir through their hearts because what is happening in Kashmir is heart rendering. A big population in a big area is imprisoned and there is no international intervention at all.”

He said the occupied territory had been turned into a big prison for the whole population for the last one year, but the UN Security Council and the Western nations, which claimed to be the custodians of humanitarian laws and the human rights, adopted a mysterious silence.

The Indian actions in the held territory are amounted to trampling human values, international humanitarian laws and the world order, but unfortunately the silence adopted by the international community, including the United Nations, is further encouraging India to commit more crimes against humanity.

It is the legal and moral obligation of international community, especially the UN, to ask India for the withdrawal of its August 5, 2019 illegal action without any further delay and implement the UNSC resolutions on Kashmir in letter and spirit, giving the people of IIOJK their just right to self-determination. The Kashmir dispute is an unfinished agenda of the Partition Plan and it will remain so until resolved in accordance with the UNSC resolutions and aspirations of the people of Kashmir.

It is an established fact that the Pakistani nation has never left the Kashmiri brethren alone in their fight for right to self-determination and has been constantly fighting their case at every fora since the partition of sub-continent in two separate sates of Hindus and Muslims.

Yet again, the people of Pakistan and Kashmir are all ready to knock at the conscience of world community by marking August 5 as ‘Youm-e-Istehsal,’ the first anniversary of New Delhi’s immoral and unlawful action to change the demographic apartheid of the occupied region in shameful violation of the international law.