Article: Kashmir Solidarity Day

Dr Muhammad Khan

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

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

Kashmir Solidarity Day-2023 is being celebrated in a changed environment, where Pakistan has gone down economically and there is wider political divide in the country with no clear road map to revamp the entire structure.

A weaker Pakistan cannot pursue India to reverse what India did in August 2019; the unilateral and illegal act of changing the status of IIOJK from an established State to union territories.

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

This year the people and Government of Pakistan are celebrating solidarity with Kashmiris for attaining four objectives.

One; restoration of pre-August 5, 2019 special status of IIIOJK by undoing the illegal act of India through which it took by revoking Articles 370 and 35-A.

Two; emphasizing India to stop human rights violations in IIOJK.

Three; creating an awareness among the international community about the unresolved nature of Kashmir dispute.

Four; stressing the United Nations that this international body is still lacking in implementation of its resolutions on Kashmir, therefore, must take steps to resolve the dispute as per the wishes of its people.

Apart from massive human right violations by Indian security forces, the occupied State is in a state of constant siege and surveillance while Indian forces and RSS militants are free to kill, torture and arrest any innocent Kashmiri.

The Kashmiri leadership has been put into 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 and injured since August 5, 2019. Besides, thousands of the youth have been taken to torture centres and prisons outside the state boundaries in various parts of Indian.

Indeed, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A were meant to rehabilitate the Non-Kashmiris in the occupied state, especially in the Valley of Kashmir.

Non Kashmiri Hindus from all parts of India are being allotted the land in IIOJK for making demographic changes.

All the demographic changes are aimed to convert the Muslim majority into minority. As revealed by people of IIOJK, Hindu nationalist paramilitary volunteer of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Youth Wing of Bajrang Dal (BD) the religious Hindu militant organisation of the Vishva Hindu Parishad have been moved into the Valley to terrorize the Muslim Kashmiri masses.

Since last over three years, these Indian state sponsored militants have killed hundreds of Kashmiri youths, torched and detonated houses and raped Kashmiri Muslim womenfolk in Jammu and Valley areas.

These terrorist groups have been given total impunity and freedom by the BJP Government under Modi.

Unfortunately, there is no response from the international community over this illegal Indian act and India is taking advantage of this international silence and insensitive Muslim world.

Rather the Muslim states of the Middle East are supporting India through enhanced collaboration with New Delhi.

Owing to poor leadership and vested interests of few families/individuals, there are no worthwhile efforts undertaken by the Imran Khan Government and Coalition Government of Shehbaz Sharif, except the rhetoric.

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

This relationship is 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 two sides.

Besides, these linkages, geography of the Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan are another compelling factor which essentially unites 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 (Pathankot) was an unnatural link, which India manipulated through Radcliffe Award, through an unfounded division of Punjab.

Over the last seventy-five years, Kashmiri did not reconcile with the Indian rule over their state and revolted many a time against forceful Indian occupation.

In the last struggle, started in 1990, over 100,000 Kashmiri people lost their lives at the hands of brutal Indian security forces.

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

Despite heavy Indian military deployment (900,000 Indian troops) in IIOJK, it could not defeat the will of Kashmiris for attainment of their right of self-determination, thus forcefully and illegally changing the status of IIOJK.

Over the years, 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-sponsored terrorism and organized campaign of genocide going on in IIOJK.

This is indeed the darkest aspect of India, which international community, major powers and UN are constantly ignoring.

Although the United Nations, Amnesty International and many other human rights organizations have been raising their concern over Indian human rights violations, there has been no action against India on those accounts.

Rather, the major powers are enhancing their political and economic linkages with India. Nevertheless, through Kashmir Solidarity Day-2023, the State and the people of Pakistan are once again emphasizing the United Nations, major powers and civilized international community to give Kashmiris their UN mandated right of self-determination.

All roads to peace in South Asia pass through Kashmir; peace in Kashmir will ensure peace in the entire region.

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

%d bloggers like this: