There are strong reports that over the worsening security situation in Occupied Kashmir, arose due wide spread protests by Kashmiris against the growing Indian atrocities; Indian Government is seriously thinking to impose the Governor Rule in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. In this regards, Mr. Narinder Nath Vohra, the so-called Governor of the Occupied Kashmir had a detailed meeting with Indian Home, Defence, and Foreign ministers in New Delhi. Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh headed the meeting that was also participated by senior military and civil officials of Indian bureaucracy. Next few days are considered as very crucial in this regard. What is the situation on ground can be visualized from a news report that says, “The situation in Occupied Kashmir is worsening with each day passing. The local and international media is already blocked from covering the ongoing events in Srinagar and elsewhere in Occupied Kashmir. Despite the protests by Kashmiri Journalists, no newspaper is allowed to publish today in Occupied Kashmir. Restrictions on mobile messaging and access to Internet are also imposed in many areas.” Curfew is imposed in most cities of Valley and Muslim dominated areas of the Jammu province.
The state of Human Rights violations in the Occupied Kashmir can be imagined from this factual report, which says that, there have been 93,274 deaths of the innocent Kashmiri from 1989 to June 30, 2010. Besides this alarming figure of open killings by its security forces, there have been 6,969 custodial killings, 117,345 arrests, destruction, and razing of 105,861 houses and other physical structures in the use of the community as a whole. The brutal security forces have orphaned over 107, 351 children, widowed 22,728 women and gang raped 9,920 women and young girls. In June 2010 only, there have been over 40 deaths including four children besides, torturing and injuring 572 people. The brutal Indian security forces molested eight women during this one month. By committing this much human rights violations so far, India is trumpeting its success in the Occupied Kashmir, which indeed, is the real cause of fresh uprisings.
What actually propelled India to continue massive human rights violations of Kashmiris is the non-condemnation of these Indian heinous acts of by the so-called civilized international community and no action by UNO? Indian authorities are not willing to talk with Kashmiri people on political grounds. India perhaps reached to a conclusion that only bullet is the right way of dealing with Kashmiris, demanding their right of self-determination. Surprisingly, Indian successive governments are trying to ignore the dynamics of the Kashmiris movement for the freedom from the Indian rule. This indeed is the continuation of their resistance against the Dogra Rule, started in early part of the 20th century. On July 13, 1931, the Dogra authorities ordered firing on a group of peaceful Kashmiri Protestors in Jammu, resultant killing of dozens of innocent Kashmiris. Thereafter, there has been no letup in the oppression of the Dogra rule until its end in October 1947. The end of the Dogrea rule was marked by the beginning of the Hindu rule, another repressive rule on the Kashmiris, which is continuing. People of Occupied Kashmir feels that, “The martyrs who sacrificed their precious lives for Kashmir cause teach us all not to bow before the forces even if one has to sacrifice his life.”
Following the temporary suspension of the armed struggle by Kashmiri freedom fighters in 2003, India misperceived that it has been able to combat them through its counter-insurgency operations. Indeed, from 2003 onwards, there appeared a change in the Indian attitude, and it was thought by Kashmiri masses that, as Pakistan, India is also sincere in the resolution of Kashmir dispute. In January 2004, during the historic 12th SAARC Summit, both countries pledged that, Kashmir issue would be resolved through an option acceptable to all three parties; the Kashmiri, Pakistan and India. Unfortunately, India’s stubborn attitude and its misperception that Kashmiris are no more presenting a resistance, as if they have reconciled with the Indian rule has led her not to make further progress on the issue. In the meanwhile, through various compensatory measures, India tried to redress the Kashmiri grievances. However, there has been no policy change in the repressive activities of Indian security forces. Indian security forces continued human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir unabated.
After having seen no progress for the resolution of Kashmir issue through peaceful political ways, in 2008, Kashmiri once again renewed their peaceful protests. This time forceful grabbing of their land by the Indian authorities became the raison d’être for the protests. Through a deliberate attempt, Indian Government allotted 800 kanal of Kashmiri land to a Hindu shrine. The tactics was that, through a gradual process, a demographic change would be effected in the Vale of Kashmir, the way it was done in the Jammu, following the Indian rule there, from October 1947 onwards. It is worth mentioning that Muslim population constituted 62 percent of the Jammu province according to the last census held in the united Kashmir in 1941. Now it is in thirties. The Valley has over 95 % Muslim population; therefore, India is all out to reduce this by inhabiting Hindu population, through land allotments. To curb their uprisings, this time Indian state machinery decided to economically strangulate the Valley people. Making use of the security forces and Hindu extremists of Jammu, Indian authorities blocked the entire entry and exist routes of the Kashmir Valley. The economic blockade was so ruthless that there took place severe shortage of the foodstuff in the Valley. The Protestants were fired upon, resultant killing of hundreds of the innocent masses including the prominent leaders like Sheikh Abdul Aziz on 11 August 2008, once he was leading a peaceful march towards Muzaffarabad, demanding an end to economic blockade by Indian Army.
Over the time, the people of Kashmir have realized that it is only a delaying tactics being used by the Indian Government; otherwise, there is neither the will nor the desire of resolving the issue by India. So much so, after the Mumbai terror attack, India is emphasizing Pakistan to resolve other issues less Kashmir. The process of Indo-Pak Composite Dialogue is no more the agenda. Rather, India stresses on a new beginning, mostly revolving around the cross border terrorism and the trade issues. India desires to do away with the tangible developments made during 2004 to 2007, on the core issue on Kashmir, Siachin and Sir Creek. Linked with the Kashmir is the water issue between the India and Pakistan. Through the construction of a number of dams and water storages and diversions, India has reduced the water flow for Pakistan to almost 50 percent from the rivers whose water is exclusively dedicated for the Pakistan.
There is a big question mark on the role of the United Nations Organization (UNO), the only International Organization, mandated to redress the oppressed people of the world. The organization has badly failed to implement its responsibilities and its own resolutions towards a rightful solution of the issue. Besides, the major powers had a role to play for the maintenance of peace and a balance in the world, but owing to a number of factors; they also failed to undertake their moral responsibilities from the platform of UNO. Through new strategic alliances, India has become a partner of the major powers like; United States, European Union, and Russia. These major military and economic powers have their stakes in India, a country having 1.3 billion populations. Within these major interests, the voice of the Kashmiri’s right of self-determination has lost its pitch as well as the echo.
There have wide spread demonstrations against the recent killings of Kashmiri youths by Indian security forces in various parts of the world. As a routine, Indian security forces are killing 5-6 youths daily. The situation looks like the one Kashmiri experienced in early 1990s. Besides Kashmir, there have been massive demonstrations in various parts of the world, condemning the Indian atrocities. In UK, the Kashmiri community organised a huge protest demonstration against human rights violation in Occupied Kashmir by India. The demonstrators handed over a memorandum to the Indian High Commission in London, demanding an immediate halt to the atrocious inhuman activities of Indian forces in Occupied Kashmir. Demonstrators appealed international human rights organizations that they should assess the situation on ground and mobilise the world community for influencing India for ending the human rights violations there.
The Kashmiri community in Washington also organized similar protests. On the eve of Indian Premier’s meet with the President Obama, the Kashmiri community held a peaceful demonstration in front of the White House, conveying the feeling that it is high time that India should be pursued to show flexibility in resolving the issue and be asked to stop the human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir. The demonstrators emphasized the US and international community on three things: ‘President Obama to appoint special envoy for Kashmir; India to honour UN pledges, and killings of Kashmiris be stopped forthwith.
The most popular demand of the Kashmiris from the civilized world is that, if they have their stakes in India and are unable to pursue her to resolve the issue as per the wishes of Kashmiris, then why UN should not make efforts to get the issue resolved. After all, it is mandated to do that and has passed over twenty three resolution on Kashmir resolution. By no means, Kashmir should be treated like Naxalite problem, India is facing in its north and northeastern parts. Occupied Kashmir is not part of the India; therefore, its inhabitants are struggling against a foreign occupant for their freedom, that it is their legal right as per the charter of UNO. The world should therefore, be absolutely clear that, India should not treat Kashmir like its internal insurgency problems, it facing in nine states, all demanding independence from the Indian Union. As per Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, the Executive Director, Kashmir Centre Washington said that, “Kashmir situation represents a Government’s repression not of a secessionist or separatist movement but of an uprising against foreign occupation, an occupation that was expected to end under determinations made by the United Nations. The Kashmiris are not and cannot be called separatists, as Dr. Manmohan Singh alleges because they cannot secede from a country like India to which they have never acceded to in the first place.” Furthermore, since the bilateralism between India and Pakistan has not worked, therefore, participation of a third party like UN has become mandatory for the solution of the Kashmir issue.
Awakening of the world conscious is the need of hour. Closing of the eyes and ears by the international community on the ongoing massive human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir by Indian security forces would not end the issue. Rather the seething protest against Indian human rights violation would endanger the world peace to an extent that may be unimaginable until now, as India and Pakistan are nuclear-armed countries. Therefore, the UNO and major powers must pressurize India to immediately end the human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir, pullout its brutal security forces and resolve the issue as per the wishes of Kashmiri subjects in the light of UN resolutions. This would bring peace and stability in the region as well at the global level.
The writer is an analyst of international relations.