Apartheid in Kashmir

Kashmir, the highest militarised zone in the world, has rarely seen a peaceful day since the Subcontinent was partitioned. India has tried every measure of suppression to curtail the legitimate demand of the Kashmiri people; their right to self-determination. It is ironic to observe that the largest democracy in the world and the only democratic country from the Middle East to South Asia hold the worst human rights records. The largest democracy in the world is hollow.

It has been almost two months now since Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was under house arrest. The Kashmiri separatist leader has been under house arrest since June 2017, to stop him from attending a programme to pay homage to the 12th Mirwaiz of undivided Kashmir on his 50th death anniversary. It is surely not house arrest only. It is illegal detention, which any country’s law does not allow. The Indian government can kill individuals but not an ideology. For the Kashmiri people, the right to self-determination is an ideology worth living and worth dying for.

So while the killing of Kashmiris continues, India is willing to take any measure to demoralise the people of the valley. With BJP in power, the government of India is now turning to apartheid practices in the valley of Kashmir. BJP is thinking of removing Articles 35 A and 370 of the Indian Constitution, in an attempt to change the demographics of the region. If they are successful, non-Kashmiris will be able to own land in Kashmir, creating a situation similar to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. The Americans have turned a blind eye to the violations of rights in Palestine, and they will do the same for Kashmir. There is no hope, other than Kashmiri resistance, and the only friend they have is Pakistan, and even Pakistani support is unable to pre-empt terrible developments like the US declaring the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen a terrorist organisation.

To fuel the fire, in Pakistan powerful politicians are making matters worse for the Kashmiri cause. MNA Mahmoud Khan Achakzai (Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party), and Chairman PkMAP, once a staunch advocate of peoples’ rights over their lands and resources, has suggested that Pakistan should vacate Azad Kashmir if a solution is needed for the problem of Kashmir. Instead of holding India responsible for the worst abuses against Kashmiri people, he is asking Pakistan to leave Kashmir, as if that will encourage India to follow suit rather than forcefully occupy Azad Kashmir, making matters worse. The irresponsible statement is indefensible.

Source: Raees Ahmad Mir

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