Kashmir European Alliance (Kea) calls India’s unilateral actions in J&K illegal and pushing towards conflict escalation
On Aug 5, 2019, Modi split the state of occupied Jammu and Kashmir into two federally controlled territories and took away its special privileges, saying this was necessary to better integrate the region with the rest of India. New Delhi flooded troops into the Muslim-majority valley, where armed Kashmiris have struggled since the 1990s. India detained thousands, imposed harsh movement restrictions and forced a communications blackout.
The dispensation that rules India seems not interested in a peaceful resolution to the Kashmir question, and is intent on raising the geopolitical temperature in South Asia. Since 5th of August 2019, Indian Occupied Kashmir has been turned into an open-air prison, not unlike Gaza, where a crippling communications blockade has made the lives of locals miserable.
Indian ruling clique plays by its own rules and throws international conventions to the wind. It is an internationally recognised fact that Kashmir is a disputed issue, and no amount of legal and constitutional subterfuge by India can change that. India has consistently shot down all mediation efforts by invoking the principle of bilateralism so far.
The list of atrocities carried out by Indian forces in India-held Kashmir seems to be getting longer, while it appears that New Delhi’s military machine has thrown all ethics to the wind. In a gun battle between Indian paramilitary forces and Kashmiri fighters in Sopore, security men reportedly dragged a civilian, Bashir Ahmed Khan, out of his vehicle and shot him in front of his three-year-old grandson. Extremely disturbing images of the toddler sitting on his murdered grandfather’s chest have been widely shared and illustrate the savagery India is willing to resort to, to keep its grip on the occupied region. It seems that Kashmiri children are now used to seeing the bodies of their fathers, brothers and other relatives as India seeks to subdue the Kashmiri struggle for freedom and dignity through colonial-era violence. If such a reprehensible act had taken place in any other location, there would be a firestorm in the international media — and rightly so — over exposing a child to brutal violence perpetrated by representatives of the state. But when it comes to Indian Occupied Kashmir, as well as Palestine, it seems the world plays by different rules. Can justice be expected from a dispensation that considers violence against civilians in occupied Kashmir legitimate? Even the UN secretary general has taken notice of India’s violence against children in the region. In a report released by António Guterres the UN secretary general urged India to do more to protect children from violence in the disputed region, while adding that minors had been detained by Indian security forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir. The fact is that since those call the shots in New Delhi can do little to dampen the Kashmiri’s desire for freedom, they tend to target the most vulnerable to vent their frustration.
A lot has been in turmoil since the annexation of a thinking, breathing people whose aspirations for freedom have been well-documented over decades. Countries across the world are experiencing the feeling of isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic. People and governments, scholars, politicians and lawmakers of all stripes have suffered from a sudden denial of essential freedoms as the number of infected individuals rises. They had taken their liberties for granted and it can be safely assumed that they at least wished others to lead their lives with the same degree of freedom they enjoyed. They must have seen the virus as a confirmation of what the deprivation of freedom can do and how it can be overcome. Experts hopefully talk about a new world emerging from this horrifying bout with the virus, shrugging off all that scarred the previous one. A humane approach, culminating in freedom, towards subjugated peoples everywhere must be one of the main themes around which this new world is to be created.
Note: Article/Press Release was dispatched by Sardar Pervez Mahmood (Kashmir European Alliance), the prominent Kashmiri figure based in Norway.
Sardar Pervez Mahmood (Norway)