IF INDIA IS DEMOCRATIC WHY IT DOESS NOT GIVE THE RIGHT OF SELF DETERMINATION UNDER THE UNO RESOLUTION
“Kashmir Day” is celebrated every year on the 5th of February by Pakistanis and Kashmiris all over the world to show solidarity with the freedom fighters, demanding their legitimate right of self-determination from India. The day reminds the continued sacrifices of Kashmiri people against Indian state terrorism which still continues.
The misfortune of Kashmiris who comprises 94 percent in Jummu and Kashmir,started in 1846 when their territory was sold by the British colonialists to a Hindu, Gulab Singh who continued his brutal policies—memories of which remain alive today. During the Dogra rule (1846-1947), Kashmiri Muslims were leading so miserable life that it was difficult to differentiate them from beasts. Slave labour and capital punishment and living under constant terror was order of the day.
On April 19, 1931, the ban of Eid Khutba ignited widespread demonstrations in the Jummu city. For the first time, people openly opposed the oppression. On July 13, 1931, thousands of people thronged the Central JailSrinagar. As the time for obligatory prayer approached, a young Kashmiri stood for Azan. The Dogra soldiers opened fire at him.In this way, 22 Kashmiris embraced martyrdom in their efforts to complete the Azan.
On partition of India in 1947, the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, Hari Singh, in connivance with Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehruand Governor-General Lord Mountbatten, had decided to join India, quite contrary to the wishes of the majority of Kashmiris.
When a contention arose between India and Pakistan on the dispute of Kashmir in1948, India took the issue to the United Nations Security Council and offered to hold a plebiscite in the held Kashmir under UN supervision. On February 5, 1964, India backed out of its promise. Instead, in March 1965, The Indian Parliament passed a bill, declaring Kashmir a province of India.
However, during and after the partition, Indian state terrorism has kept on going so as to crush the war of liberation of the freedom fighters.
As regards the latest phase of Indian state terrorism, like the past, intermittent curfews, crackdowns and massacre by the Indian forces have continued against the non-violent mass uprising (Intifada) of Kashmiris during and after the so-called elections. Thus more than 1000 innocent people have been killed during this new phase of the struggle.
It is mentionable that global terrorism that has gained significance after the 9/11 is marked by confusion about its definition and application. In such a situation, regrettably, even war of liberation in the occupied Kashmir is being equated with terrorism and it becomes difficult for the western general masses to detect the Indian state terrorists. New Delhi which immediately jumped on the American bandwagon of war on terror by neglecting the legitimate rights of Kashmiris, has continuously been trying to convince the US-led international community through propaganda that the Kashmiri freedom fighters or Mujahideen are terrorists, while accusing that Pakistan is sponsoring this cross-border terrorism.
It is mentionable that those who sympathise with the cause of Palestinians, Afghans and Iraqis regard the people of Kashmir as fighting a war of national liberation. They equate the military actions and targeted killing of the innocent people by the Indian occupying forces with terrorism. On the other side, reactive ambush tactics of the freedom fighters in these territories are called by the colonial authorities as terrorism.
At present, Indian military troops are using all inhuman tactics of ethnic cleansing to disturb the majority population of the Kashmiris, which had been practised by the Serb forces on Bosnian and Kosovar Muslims in the past and recently by Israel on the Palestinians.
When Indian military troops destroy a village and conduct extrajudicial killings in the occupied territories of Kashmir, west remains silent, for it is an internal affair of Indians, but when freedom fighters seek retaliation, it becomes a case of terrorism. Recently more than 2,700 unmarked graves of the unidentified bodies were uncovered in villages of Indian-held Kashmir near the Line of Control (LoC). It is not the new event, in the past three years, the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice (IPT) has discovered unmarked bodies buried at various places. Last year, discovery of nearly 1000 graves of the unmarked Muslims in the Indian held Kashmir was also notable. Sources have suggested that these graves include bodies of extrajudicial executions committed by the Indian military and paramilitary forces.
It is notable that the US President Barrack Obama had repeatedly said that the United States should help in resolving the Kashmir dispute to deal with the problem of militancy in the region. Quite contrarily, Richard Holbrooke, special envoy of the US new administration on South Asia pointed out that he had “no mandate to deal with Kashsmir.”
But it is a good sign that in the recent few years, west has broken its silence over the Indian-held Kashmir. This time Indian occupied Kashmir has become a special focus of world’s attention including India itself. Even the European Parliament passed a resolution, condemning New Delhi for human rights violations in the Valley.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband who visited New Delhi and Islamabad in the post-Mumbai terror attacks had pointed out that complete de-escalation of situation between Pakistan and India was fully linked to resolution of Kashmir issue, saying that India should cooperate with Pakistan in this respect.
Regarding the peaceful uprising of the Kashmirirs, Washington Post wrote on August 28, 2008, “Despite the government’s use of force, many Muslims in Indian controlled Kashmir seem determined to find peaceful ways to voice their aspirations as the nonviolent movement by the unarmed protesters flourishes, especially among the young”.
New critical situation has also affected other parts of India and its gravity could be judged from the fact that even Indian intellectuals have started favouring the independence of the occupied Kashmir.
In its editorial, the editor of The Times of India wrote on August 17, 2008 “On August 15, India celebrated independence from the British Raj. A day symbolising the end of colonialism in India became a day, symbolising Indian colonialism in the Valley”.
On August 16, 2008, Hindustan Times reported: “Nothing has really changed since 1990s. Indian forces are treated as an army of occupation. New Delhi is seen as the oppressor”.
As a matter of fact, when Kashmiri people lost faith in the international community, which persisted in ignoring their liberation and when it became obvious that the Indian occupying forces would not vacate the controlled areas through political means, the peoples had no choice but to resort to armed struggle which was actually intensified in 1989.
World history proves that a few persons were never able to launch a successful freedom movement. And it always represents the aspirations of majority of people who struggle for independence. While judging in this context, the Kashmiris enjoy the support of all the intellectuals, religious scholars and common men who are determined to fight against the imperialist occupation of Indians.
World history proves that wars of liberation in connection with various nations were their reaction against misrule and subjugation perpetrated by alien powers. In the 20th century, a majority of the Third World countries got independence after an armed struggle against the colonial powers. Even independence of the United States, unification of Germany and Italy became possible after an armed struggle. So, question arises that “were the peoples of these countries terrorists at that time?
In the past, ‘composite dialogue’ between India and Pakistan took place on a number of occasions, but produced no outcome due to Indian delaying tactics and intransigence—prolonging the agony of the subjugated people of the occupied Kashmir.
If any impartial observer studies the historical background of the issue of Kashmir and continued struggle for liberation, he will definitely conclude that in reality, Indians are intruders and hence real terrorists who tend to conceal their own terrorist measures such as firing at innocent people, burning the houses, illegal detentions etc., which have become every day occurrence.
Sajjad Shaukat is a regular writer for Opinion Maker. He writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations