by Zeeshan Khan , (Last Updated 12 hours ago)
When we look at the history of Indian Subcontinent, it has always remained womb of many disputes and battles, being a gateway of many conquerors since the beginning, as it attracted almost everyone due to the fertility of its soil and being a place of paramount economic as well as social opportunities, now with now over 1.8 billion people in 1.7 million square miles of South Asia.
The magnitude of disputes in past was not too dangerous because of the limited availability of modern weapons. However, now the things have changed so largely that presence of nuclear powers in the region has made the situation too risky in case of any non-resolving conflict between these nuclear powers. At present, the Kashmir issue is one such dispute from last the seven decades between India and Pakistan, and since last year on August 5, with the Indian revocation Of Articles 370 and 35A Of the Indian Constitution with its implementation of an unprecedented curfew in Indian Occupied Kashmir violated not only 11 United Nations Security Council resolutions but also transgressed the United Nations Human Rights Charter, two UN Human Rights Reports, the Simla Accord between both countries and basic human rights Of over eight million Kashmiris. Indian Occupied Kashmir is still under unending siege for the last one year. The seriousness of the problem cannot be imagined until one suffers the very state of affairs. Additionally, the Indian Government is not apologetic at all and the inauguration of the construction of a Ram Mandir at the site of the demolished Babri Mosque just added fuel to the fire by its clear exhibition of hatred against Muslims.
Moreover, the international community has adopted a criminal silence over the extreme infringement of human rights, maybe considering Kashmiris the children of a lesser God.
In the end, economic might is the real power in today’s world but India must think about humanity and must lift the curfew as freedom is Kashmiris’ basic human right. Peace must be given a chance otherwise radicalisation would have serious repercussions, because conflicts and wars never benefitted any nation but only destruction is achieved as the end product
On 5 August 2020, Pakistan protested vehemently at completion of one year of siege in Indian Occupied Kashmir and also issued a new political map including it in Pakistan marked as disputed region. Now, steps ought to be followed include; the Kashmiri diaspora abroad, in particular Europe and North America, the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir(AJK) and Indian Occupied Kashmir are needed to be included in the process of the struggle for the freedom of Kashmir.
On the diplomatic front, from last two years Kashmir issue has been highlighted eloquently but before this era, the Kashmir conflict was put on the backburner long ago. Diplomacy regarding the Kashmir conflict remained absent in the past. So, things did not work out properly as diplomacy is not an event but a process and the process was missing. Aggressive diplomacy is needed to address the conflict especially after the imposing of an inhuman curfew in Indian Occupied Kashmir for the last one year.
There should be a sole representative for the people of Kashmir, who must lead the Kashmir cause clearly, as Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi are too busy with their limited time, and they cannot properly propagate the issue as special envoy can, although Imran Khan highlighted it strongly on international stage. Therefore, a Special envoy on Kashmir is the need of the hour. Pakistan must also nominate a plebiscite advisor to prepare people of Kashmir and overseas Kashmiris to aggregate the support in case of a referendum.
As the world knows now, Kashmir is not India’s internal matter. It is an international dispute. India’s actions on 5 August 2019 were a violation of UNSC Resolutions and international law, and its own leaders’ commitments. The world must pay attention to the catastrophic humanitarian tragedy unfolding in Indian Occupied Kashmir, which has all the hallmarks of a genocide. India has tried to erase the Kashmiris’ identity. The bleakest year in the history of Indian Occupied Kashmir as Kashmiris mark one year of arbitrary arrests, killings, torture, rapes, hatred against minorities and, following India’s colonial domicile laws, land grab. Instead of loosening its stranglehold on the Kashmiri people, India has used covid-19 to double down on its oppression in Kashmir. There are even more arrests, more extrajudicial killings. 30,000 young Kashmiri boys have been disappeared forcefully.
India has itself paid the ultimate tribute to the Kashmiris’ spirit and resistance by imposing curfew in Indian Occupied Kashmir even before August 5. Kashmiris have not accepted the injustice and the denial of their right to self-determination. Events over the last year have proved that Pakistan’s warnings to the international community about Kashmir Siege being the opening gambit in BJP’s implementation of its RSS inspired extremist racialist Hindutva agenda were well-founded. The Kashmiri cauldron could trigger explosions, destroy regional peace , rip apart the fabric of political geography and spark wider conflagrations. The USA and the international community must assert its moral authority and use its influence to extinguish the fires now burning in Kashmir.
On 6 August 2020, the UNSC again for the second time expressed concerns over the human rights situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir after India imposed curfew, which has been on its agenda for over 70 years. The UNSC, under the UN Charter, not only has the responsibility for maintaining international peace and security but also of ensuring implementation of its resolutions.
Pakistan at United Nations has underscored the need for the world community to end India’s human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir and move to resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions.
Pakistan must first and foremost, rely on Muslim World Leaders to uphold the right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people. India increased its troop strength in Kashmir to 900,000 – one soldier for every eight Kashmiris, and it imposed a military siege, a 24 hour curfew, and all political leaders and prominent Kashmiris are incarcerated. India has opened the door to demographic transformation and more than 400,000 thousand Indian military and civilian officials and their families have already obtained residency rights in Kashmir. Demographic flooding of an occupied territory violates Security Council resolutions, the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Genocide Convention.
In the end, economic might is the real power in today’s world but India must think about humanity and must lift the curfew as freedom is Kashmiris’ basic human right. Peace must be given a chance otherwise radicalisation would have serious repercussions, because conflicts and wars never benefitted any nation but only destruction is achieved as the end product.