75 years of illegal occupation of Kashmir and global apathy
Altaf Hussain Wani
Islamabad As two nations of the subcontinent celebrate the seventy-fifth year of their independence, the illegally occupied Indian territory of Jammu and Kashmir is bleeding profusely under the tentacles and claws of Indian colonialism. Kashmir, a Muslim-majority region, has long been a victim of chaos, conflict and belligerent military occupation. Once hailed as a paradise and a veritable sanctuary of peace and tranquility, this historic land has now become a virtual hell for its own people.
Since the 20th century, the region has been a battleground for powerful emperors who have invaded and ruled its people from time to time. Afghans, Sikhs, Mughals and Dogras are among those ruthless tyrants that Kashmiris have never seen. These rulers were uneducated and in most cases rude, which explains the inhumane treatment of the Kashmiri people. But what India has done to Kashmir and Kashmiris in its last 75 years of illegal rule is something that finds no precedent in human history. Indian rulers have proven to be the worst tyrants of all.
Kashmiris’ Sufferings Under Indian Occupation Since 1947, Kashmiris have witnessed immense hardship and misery, including torture, rape, countless deaths, not to mention the widespread destruction of the territory and its economy. However, the past three decades have been the worst of all – in terms of the brutality unleashed against Kashmiris by the Indian state.
Nearly a million military and paramilitary troops deployed in every nook and corner of the valley were involved in a slow-motion genocide that resulted in countless deaths and human rights violations. A silent war of which the Kashmiris have become the victims has been going on in the region for three decades. More than one hundred thousand (100,000) people, mostly young people, have been killed, while tens of thousands of people, aged between 15 and 30, victims of enforced disappearances, remain buried in unmarked graves discovered in many parts of the Kashmir Valley.
August 5 marked a new low in India’s colonial history August 5, 2019 marked a new low in the colonial history of Kashmir in India. It was the darkest day in the contemporary history of Kashmir when India’s racist BJP regime broke hell in Kashmir before revoking Articles 370 and 35-A of the Indian constitution which guaranteed special status to Kashmir.
The Kashmir Valley has been rocked by a suffocating military siege and communications blockade for more than 14 months. Thousands of Kashmiris, mostly young people, have been arrested under the notorious public security law and sent behind bars. Not to mention the hundreds of high ranking politicians who have been arrested and convicted under infamous laws and left to rot in jails outside the Kashmir Valley. Millions of Kashmiris were virtually locked in their homes en masse. A complete ban on all forms of media was imposed, the region was turned into an information black hole for the rest of the world to stifle naked aggression.
The acts of brutality perpetrated during this period of turmoil left bitter memories, some of which endure to the present day. Key fundamental freedoms, including the right to free speech and expression, the right to demonstrate and peacefully assemble, remain largely suspended in the valley.
While social, political and economic life has remained critically suppressed, normal life in Kashmir still remains broken despite the passage of three years. And the unfortunate Kashmiris, struggling for survival, continue to suffer under the prolonged military occupation.
It is undeniable that the Indian government’s action of August 5, 2019 was a brazen violation of UNSC resolutions and other relevant international treaties. But the way the international community, especially influential governments, looked at the situation was simply disgusting.
Rather than holding the Indian government accountable, the world watched the dire situation in Kashmir as a silent spectator, perhaps this is the main reason why a rapidly growing global concern couldn’t even break the vicious circle. violence in the region.
The apathy of the global community The level of indifference and apathy with which the international community approaches the dispute has been one of the main reasons for the continued bloodshed in the Kashmir Valley. The inaction on the part of the global community is something that has emboldened and emboldened the Indian government to continue its brutal policy of oppression and repression to silence the Kashmiris.
Sadly, the Muslim world is completely silent and, except for issuing empty statements, no practical steps have been taken to alleviate the endless suffering of Kashmiris. Western and European countries generally see the Kashmir problem through the Indian prism. Due to their economic interests, no country seems willing to take a hard line on the Kashmir issue and the United States, which has now embraced India as a strategic partner, is watching the bloody dance of death in Kashmir. as a silent spectator.
The political and economic instability prevailing in Pakistan is another important factor which has a direct impact on the Kashmiri liberation movement.
As long as realpolitik directs the dynamics of the Kashmir conflict internationally, the people of Jammu and Kashmir illegally occupied by India will continue to suffer.
The role of the UN The United Nations (UN) has repeatedly expressed its concern and compassion for the innocent and oppressed peoples of the world. He has also been a beacon of hope for Kashmiris, but his nonchalant approach has raised many questions about the forum’s impartiality.
In the case of Kashmir, the forum (UN) did not show the interest it had shown in solving problems like East Timor and South Sudan.
Despite the fact, the Kashmiri people still maintain a degree of faith, believing that the UN will take notice of their suffering and take the necessary initiatives to end the agony they have endured for the past 75 years.
Unfortunately, successive Indian governments took advantage of the situation and used the tactic of the boot to exert their stranglehold on the territory. While exploiting the resources of Kashmiris, killing and maiming its people through heavy militarization has been a constant policy, New Delhi has been practicing religiously since the day its forces set foot on Kashmir soil.
What are the Kashmiris asking for? All the Kashmiris demand is that the United Nations, which recognizes their right to self-determination through a number of its unanimously adopted resolutions, honor its promises and proclamations regarding the right of every human being to live in peace and practice self-determination.
The suffering humanity in Kashmir calls upon the august forum to vigorously support the relevant resolutions on Kashmir and urge the government of India to implement these resolutions, which uphold the right of the Kashmiri people to self-determination.
Honoring the explicit commitment made to the people of Kashmir is the only way to resolve this lingering dispute which has been the major cause and consequence of the unrest in the region.
[Author is Chairman of Islamabad-based think tank Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR). He can be reached via email: [email protected]]