The Indian government’s assault is reaching unlimited proportions in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). All fundamental freedoms are being made hostage to a fascist mindset. The Right to education to our (Kashmiri) students is being denied with nefarious intentions. A generation of students is being harassed and humiliated. This serious situation deserves a preventive action by the international community including United Nations, European Union and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The Kashmiri students studying in different geographies including Pakistan are grievously affected by the Indian designs. In the past many years, we have seen how the tyrant occupation in IIOJK uses propaganda through its media and agencies against Pakistan in order to defame and tarnish the image of the country.
One such example is the education provided by Pakistan to the students of IIOJK under various schemes and allocation of MBBS and engineering seats to students without any charges. It is free education purely based on merit. Whereas the allegations and propaganda by the Indian government to link education with violence is totally baseless.
Purpose of offering education by Pakistan is to serve the people of IIOJK who got sandwiched in conflict and are under Indian brutal occupation for decades. So far with concerted efforts and public monetary support, doctors and engineers received education who are either serving the people in IIOJK or other parts of India. It is also pertinent to note that not even a single doctor and engineer who had graduated from Pakistan has been found involved in any violence, anti-law or state or any prohibited activities.
whereas on the other hand, there are scores of Kashmiri youth who were either PhD, MPhil or Masters from mainland India had picked guns against Indian oppression likewise, if thousands of youth picked up arms or adopted armed resistance how many of them had travelled to Pakistan for education. And if Pakistan has produced thousands of doctors so far, how many of them are actually serving and how many of them have picked up arms. I think India’s propaganda machinery will remain silent on this aspect. Most of these Doctors who got degrees from Pakistan are either doing their professional jobs in IIOJK, in India or abroad.
Pakistan used its own resources to produce doctors and engineers for IIOJK, who after graduation serve people of IIOJK or India. In any case they serve people on other side of the Line of Control, giving only a sense of conscience/ moral satisfaction to Pakistan that at least some service is being done by the Pakistani nation towards their brethren.
Pakistan believes in principles set by Quran, where it says seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim man and woman. That nation of Pakistan believes that education is enlightening and should have no borders and cages. It should be free and everyone’s right to choose what they want. Education transcends all borders, boundaries and cages. There should be no bar to education. The nation of Pakistan believes that students have a right to choose what and where to study. This is why as a good will gesture the nation grants free seats and education via proper channels and representative organisations.
Pakistan has been giving such free education for decades and was never an issue. Why it suddenly became an issue under the BJP government, who under the garb of spreading Hindutva ideology, and in the creation of one Hindu nation are spreading hatred against Pakistan even if it means turning down the good done by Pakistan into bad.
There is treachery everywhere; people get lured when money is involved. One cannot paint everyone with the same brush if any mistake was committed by one individual under some greed or influence, others can’t be blamed for that individual’s deeds. The Pakistani nation has offered free education and free seats to the people of IIOJK on humanitarian grounds.
Pakistan has so far seen that the majority of students from IIOJK who came for education to Pakistan were both conflict ridden and had humble backgrounds and they primarily chose Pakistan for free/affordable education compared to India and other countries who ask for huge donations along with heavy fee packages.
Restrictions being imposed on Kashmiri students from travelling to Pakistan are unnecessary and unjustified which can damage the future/careers of hundreds of students. Instead of oppression and playing with the lives of Kashmiri youth, India must come forward and facilitate free movement to Kashmiri people especially students to travel to anywhere in the world including Pakistan.
Kashmiris are studying in various Universities in USA, UK, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Iran, Belgium, Norway, Canada, China, Bangladesh, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yamen, Qatar and several other countries but why India is harassing and stopping and making brutal policies against students who are freely and peacefully studying in Pakistan . Why India is crossing the limits of humanity and falsely propagating against education while India should stop dividing education and it has no borders and no boundaries.
Let the international community come forward and help Kashmiri students to safeguard their right to education for the development of their body, mind and soul and serving their people for good.
The author is a Srinagar based scholar.