India’s settler-colonialism grave threat to Kashmiris’ existence: Speakers

Kotli, January 06 (KMS): Speakers at a seminar in Kotli have raised alarm over India’s settler-colonization strategies in the UN-recognized disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The seminar titled “Indian Settler Colonialism: Violation of the UN resolutions” was jointly organized by the University of Kotli Azad Kashmir and Kashmir Institute of International Relations.

Chaired by Prof Dr. Dilnawaz Gurdazvi, VC of Kotli University, the event was addressed by noted human rights activists, scholars, academicians, international law experts and representatives of civil society rights organizations, including Altaf Husain Wani, Chairman KIIR, Ershad Mahmud, DG Kashmir Liberation Cell, Dr Owais Bin Wasi, Advocate Mehmood Qurashi, Dr Mushtaq, Dr Prof. Iftikhar Butt, prof. Dr Asad Hussain Shah, Dr Shugafta Ashraf, and others.

The speakers said, these policies are aimed at changing the Muslim majority status of the territory into a minority which is also is a direct violation of the UN Security Council resolutions and international law, including the 4th Geneva Convention”

Highlighting the dangerous aspects of India’s neo-colonialism and its devastating aspects on the Kashmiri society, they said, “The successive Indian governments had religiously pursued and practiced neo-colonial politics, which goes in sync with the incumbent BJP government’s Zionist-type policies meant to strengthen New Delhi’s grip over the territory, taking advantage of its resources and deny its people the right to self-determination promised to them by the international community.”

Referring to the 5th August 2019 move, they said, “It was a classical example of the machiavellian machination and mischief by the Indian state that has never shied away from using the repressive state apparatus including parliament and judiciary to erase the Kashmiris’ political, cultural and national identity.

“Stripping Kashmir of its autonomous status was yet another step in India’s long history of colonizing Kashmir”, they said adding that “Since then an inclusive settler-colonialism drive has been underway that seeks to replace the indigenous population with a new society of settlers”.

About a series of new anti-Kashmir laws, the speakers said the racist regime modified or changed over 200 laws that have changed the entire nomenclature of the disputed territory. “In addition, drastic changes were made in the state laws that besides opening floodgates for Indian settlers enabled them to have more capital to take over Kashmiri lands”, they said.

Illegal occupation of indigenous people’s lands in Kashmir, they observed, has been central to the BJP’s settler-colonial project. In order to pave a way for non-Kashmiris to settle in the region and buy properties, they said, the state’s land law, Revenue Act and Control of Building Operations Act, 1988, and the Development Act, 1970 were decisively amended to facilitate outsiders.

“Massive amendments were made in the Control of Building Operations Act
(CBOA), 1988, which gave sweeping powers to the Indian army to acquire more land in Kashmir. 4.30 lakh Kanals of land in Jammu and Kashmir is already under the illegal occupation of Indian military and paramilitary forces”, they said adding that 1034 Kanals of land has been granted to the occupation Army under ‘Strategic Areas Act’ in Kashmir’s Gulmarg and Sonmarg”

“The amendments in the state’s domicile law, in particular, have been made to expedite the process of demographic changes in the occupied territory and the BJP’s long-cherished goal of turning the majority of Kashmiri Muslims into the minority in their own homeland”, they said, adding that the blatant usurpation of Kashmiris’ fundamental rights by India and its attempts to change their demography constitute a serious violation of international law.

Apart from these tactical moves, the wanton killings of youth, systematic genocide & policy of dehumanization of indigenous people on the other hand depict terrifying and dark aspects of the Indian military occupation.

Urging the world community to take effective notice of India’s machinations, they said that the global community needs to realize the dangers in Kashmir and play their due role in resolving the lingering conflict to ensure durable peace and stability in the region.

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