Article: Kashmir Solidarity Day

Dr Muhammad Khan

EACH year, Government and people of Pakistan celebrate 5th February as a solidarity day with the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

The primary focus of this solidarity are the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), who have undergone massive human rights violations at the hands of Indian security forces ever since 1990.

For the third consecutive time Kashmir Solidarity Day is being celebrated in a changed environment where Kashmiris of IIOJK are still under detention and siege after India unilaterally and illegally changed its status on 05 August 2019.

This is yet another criminal act of the Indian Government, a violation of the UN Charter, UN resolutions and a serious violation of the Humanitarian Declaration-1948.

The people and State of Pakistan are celebrating solidarity with Kashmiris for attaining five objectives: one, emphasizing India for the restoration of pre-August 05, 2019 special status of the occupied Kashmir, since New Delhi did it illegally and against the wishes of Kashmiris.

Two; emphasizing India to stop genocide of Kashmiris in IIOJK. Three; stressing India to stop making the demographic changes in IIOJK under illegitimate ways. Four; creating an awareness among international community about the unresolved nature of the Kashmir dispute.

Five; stressing United Nations that this international body has not fulfilled its obligations for the resolution of this long-standing dispute and grant of inalienable right of self-determination to Kashmiris.

Apart from massive human right violations by Indian security forces, the occupied State has been in a state of constant siege and surveillance since August 5, 2019.

The Kashmiri freedom leadership is still in jails or else under house arrest while the masses are facing the situation of an open prison in extreme cold winter where there is a freezing temperature in the Valley.

Thousands of Kashmiris have been killed, detained, tortured and injured since August 5, 2019. Besides, thousands of Kashmiri youths are still in Indian prisons outside the state boundaries in various parts of India.

Indeed, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A was meant to rehabilitate the Non-Kashmiri Hindus in IIOJK, especially in the Valley of Kashmir.

In this regard, Hindu nationalist paramilitary volunteers of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Youth wing of Bajrang Dal (BD) the religious Hindu militant organisation of the Vishva Hindu Parishad are stationed in various parts of IIOJK to terrorize Kashmiri masses and help settlement of non-Kashmiri Hindu from all over India.

These terrorists have been found in killing the Kashmiri youth, torching the houses and raping the women folk of Kashmir. These terrorist groups have been given total impunity by the Indian State and Government.

Prolonging the siege in IIOJK basically aims at enabling the settlement of non-Kashmiri Hindus in the Valley area of IIOJK.

The State of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan have historical relationship, which dates back to centuries.

This relationship has rooted in the joint history of these two areas over the years and later turned into a relationship of interdependency.

Religious harmony, common culture, joint races on both-sides, migrations and inter-marriages further strengthened this bond between the people of the two sides.

Besides, these linkages, geography of the Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan are another compelling factor, which essentially unite these areas. All natural routes to various parts of the Jammu and Kashmir are from Pakistan.

The only link, India exploited in 1947, through Gurdaspur (Pathan Kot) was an un-natural link, which India manipulated through Radcliff Award-the unjustified division of Punjab. Over the last seven decades, Kashmiris did not reconcile with the Indian rule over their state and revolted many a time against forceful Indian occupation.

During the on-going struggle of Kashmiris, started in 1990, over 100,000 Kashmiris lost their life at the hands of brutal Indian security forces.

Indian Army and paramilitary forces are still continuing with their brutalities in IIOJK by taking cover of discriminatory and inhuman laws, India especially imposed ever since 1990s.

Despite heavy Indian military deployment (over 900,000) in IIOJK, it could not defeat the will of Kashmiris for attainment of their right of self-determination. It is the forceful and illegal occupation of India which Kashmiri never accept.

Apart from its political nature, the Kashmir dispute has become a humanitarian issue, under the massive human rights violations in IIOJK at the hands of Indian security forces. In fact, there is a state sponsor terrorism going on in Indian occupied Kashmir.

There is an organized campaign of genocide going on against the people of Indian occupied Kashmir. This is indeed the darkest aspect of Indian occupation, which international community, major powers and UN are constantly ignoring.

Although, United Nations, Amnesty International and many other human rights organizations have been raising their concern over Indian human rights violations but there have been no action against India on those accounts. Rather, the major powers are enhancing their political and economic linkages with India.

Through Kashmir Solidarity Day, the State and the people of Pakistan are acclimating the United Nations, major powers and rest of the international community to give Kashmiris their UN-mandated right of self-determination.

Let there be no more discrimination against Kashmiris. All roads to peace in South Asia pass through Kashmir; peace in Kashmir will ensure peace in the entire region.

Pakistan and Kashmiris will never accept the Indian annexation of Indian occupied Kashmir, since Kashmir is not part of India nor the people of IIOJK ever accepted Indian Constitution and its illegal occupation.

The only way forward for a peace in this nuclearized region is resolution of Kashmir dispute as per the wishes of Kashmiris. As a prelude to this resolution, India must restore the special status of IIOJK as it was before 05 August 2019.

— The writer is Professor of Politics and IR at International Islamic University, Islamabad.

Courtesy Pakistan Observer

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