India’s Republic day
Traditionally Kashmiri people, the World over, commemorate India’s Republic day as Black day. This time the gloom had darker shades. Prime Minister Narendra Mode is all set to stampede the real mandate of the people of Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) by holding another sham elections to the fake states assembly. Current situation in IoK is that New Delhi has totally lost the battle for hearts and minds in the Muslim-majority state. First the Governor’s rule was imposed by dismissing a government of which BJP itself was a part, and then moving the IoK under Presidential rule, at least for six months.
BJP has announced to field its candidates against all 87 seats. Aim is to have a BJP led government installed in IoK that could support BJP’s ongoing onslaught with regard to Supreme Court hearings on Article 370 and Article 35A of Indian constitution. And have a couple of resolutions passed by the assembly to dilute the peoples’ hype with regard to their right of self-determination.
This time also Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and across the world observed Indian Republic Day, as Black Day to convey to the world that India has usurped the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people for the past over seven decades. The day was marked with complete shutdown in Occupied Kashmir; and anti-India rallies and demonstrations were held in world capitals.The puppet regime had put the entire occupied Kashmir especially Srinagar and Jammu under siege. Indian troops and police personnel were deployed in strength in every nook and corner of the occupied territory, causing huge inconvenience to the people.
President Donald Trump had rejected Indian invitation to be the special guest on the eve of Republic day. Trump had taken a principled stance on Kashmir conflict during his presidential campaign promising to settle the dispute. And one day he may revisit that part of his memory and dish out some interesting tweets with regard to Kashmiri people’s right of self-determination. This will however depend on how well Pakistan is able to play its Afghanistan options.
On the one side, January26, is celebrated by India as the Republic Day while, on the other side, the day is marked by the Kashmiris on both side of the Line of Control (LoC) and all over the world, as the Black Day. This is natural because Indian policy towards Kashmiri people has all along been of deceit, intimidation and usurpation of Human Rights.
It is encouraging that Kashmir issue is attracting more and more traction internationally as well as within the Indian society. Except a handful mafia of Indian politico-military establishment, now no one is at ease, within India, with regard to illegitimate Indian occupation of Kashmir.
The UN Security Council had adopted resolution 47 of April 21, 1948, which promised a plebiscite under UN auspices to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine whether they wish to join Pakistan or India. On February 5, 1964, India backed out of its promise of holding plebiscite. Instead, in March 1965, Indian Parliament passed a bill, declaring Kashmir a province of India, and an integral part of the Indian union.
Since 1947, India continues its repressive regime in the Occupied Kashmir through various machinations. Over half a dozen repressive laws, especially Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act etc., have drawn condemnation from HR watch dogs of credible repute like Amnesty International, Asia Watch etc. Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released on June 14, 2018 “Situation in Kashmir” pointed out Indian atrocities in the IOK. It said: “From July 2016, the High Commissioner for Human Rights has on numerous occasions requested the Governments of India and Pakistan that his Office be given unconditional access to Kashmir to assess the human rights situation. India rejected this request; while Pakistan offered access. The OHCHR report is an eye-opener.
Kashmir is the most militarized conflict zone of the World where over half a million military is deployed in addition to usual law enforcing agencies. There is a perpetual aroma of insecurity in the occupied territories, this has turned IoK in to an open cage. Over decades, various forms of state terrorism have been part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian army and paramilitary forces against Muslim Kashmiris. Crackdowns, curfews, detentions, massacres, sporadic killings, demolition of properties, infliction of torture, disappearances, rape, breaking the legs, molestation of Muslim women and killing through fake encounters is the new ‘Normal’ in IoK.
In Islamabad, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference Azad Jammu and Kashmir chapter and the Occupied Kashmir Journalist Association staged demonstrations to condemn the Indian state terrorism in occupied Kashmir. Protestors termed India’s continued denial of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination as contrary to its claim of being a democratic republic. The protestors were holding banners and placards inscribed with anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.
Indian Congress party, which virtually segregated Jammu and Kashmir from the political and constitutional organization of India now appears revisiting its stance, the person in forefront is the former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram. Recently, daily Early Times attributed to him the comments: “We have to find a solution that may turn out to be unique. The whole effort should be quiet until the contours of a political solution to the problem are found. This is essential to take the process forward”. He added: “Once the broad contours of a political solution are arrived at, it should be made public at an appropriate time. We must find a solution that is honourable, equitable and acceptable to the vast majority, overwhelming majority, of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.” Earlier also Chidambaram has been taking occasional digs at the BJP government for its failure to restore peace in occupied Kashmir, describing the Kashmir issue a long pending dispute concerning accession. Former Indian foreign minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has said that government of India has been suppressing the freedom struggle of the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK) by the use of brute force. He commented: “…state doctrine is use force to quell any rebellion”. And the government of India had “ruined its relationship with the people of IoK…We hold on to Indian Occupied Kashmir only by the fact that we have our armed forces there.”
It is high time for United Nations secretary general to take a step forward and appoint a special representative to explore a viable solution to the Kashmir conflict. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in his message on the eve of Black Day said Pakistan will continue to raise the plight of oppressed Kashmiri people at every regional and international forum. He stressed the need for implementation of the United Nations Security Council’s resolutions on Kashmir dispute. Referring to the Indian gross human rights violations in occupied Kashmir, the Foreign Minister said the Indian forces are bluntly victimizing the Kashmiri people and New Delhi has broken all records of atrocities.