Kashmir Black Day – historical perspective
Posted by Javed Iqbal
On 27th October, Kashmiris in India, Pakistan and throughout the world will observe Black Day to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir and to convey to India that they reject its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. It was on October 27 in 1947 when Indian troops landed in Srinagar and forcibly occupied Jammu and Kashmir in total disregard to the partition plan of the Subcontinent and against the aspirations of people of Kashmir.
The cardinal principal for the partition of India was that majority Muslim regions would become part of Pakistan and majority Hindu regions would form part of India. But a different formula was contrived for the princely states to benefit India, which was not acceptable to the people of Kashmir. Apart from Jawaharlal Nehru, other accomplices in this greatest human tragedy were Maharaja Hari Singh, Cyril Radcliff and head of the Boundary Commission. In blatant violation of the Partition Plan and against the popular will of Kashmiri Muslim, India announced the accession of Jammu and Kashmir under a controversial Instrument of Accession.
Kashmiris continue to suffer death and destruction as every day peaceful resolution is deferred, and international community is not at all moved by their plight. No western chancellery uttered a world of protest as the India set its trigger-happy soldiers upon unarmed demonstrators to clobber and pummel them, to kill and disable them methodically and systematically. During the last 24 years only, the trigger-happy forces have martyred 93,935 Kashmiris, widowed nearly 23,000 women, orphaned 1,07,461 children and molested or gang-raped more than 10,000 Kashmiri women. After the failure of all peaceful means to settle the Kashmir dispute, disappointed and disillusioned by protracted bilateral negotiations between India and Pakistan, Kashmiri youth had taken up arms in 1989. But, after 9/11 events, Kashmiris that are fighting for their right of self-determination are dubbed as terrorists.
The US and the West have shown indifference to Kashmiris’ miseries. Only when a public protest fits into geopolitical designs of the western powers, they instantly glorify it as a popular movement; award it the honors of a color label; and also lend it the money muscle power. Just recall their so-labeled the Orange Revolution of Ukraine, the Rose Revolution of Georgia, the Cidar Revolution of Czechoslovakia not in the distant past. The Kashmiris have not been lucky; their movement stays unblessed with a color label. From these exalted powers, as from India, their movement has got only a name: Terrorism. Nevertheless, the resolution of Kashmir dispute lies in tripartite negotiations between India, Pakistan and the accredited leadership of the people of Jammu & Kashmir from both sides of the Cease-fire Line or Line of Control.
Anyhow, India’s illegal occupation of Kashmir is a dark chapter in the history of human rights. Denying the right of self-determination to the Kashmiris is morally unacceptable, economically unsustainable and politically inadmissible with regard to any scheme aimed at ensuring global and regional peace, stability and security. The repression, oppression and atrocities by Indian forces have turned Kashmir into a hell that would stretch Dante’s imagination reflected in his famous poem Divine Comedy. However, these acts could not break the will of Kashmiris. The heroic struggle waged by the people of Kashmir is unparalleled in the history, as they are committed to continue their struggle till their objective is achieved. It is unfortunate that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan singh during his address at UNGA last month said that Kashmir is integral part of India. Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid also said the other day that Kashmir is atut ang of India.
Efforts are being made by India to change demography of Jammu and Kashmir. In June 2008, Kashmiri Muslims had protested against allotment of land to Delhi-based Amarnath Shrine Trust, which was violation of the law. Later, there was strike in Muslims’ areas of Indian Held Kashmir against anti-Muslim riots, vandalism, looting of Muslim properties, economic blockade of the Valley and inter-regional ex-communication by the Hindu fanatics and extremists of occupied Jammu region. In fact, Congress-led government had earlier allotted a piece of land near the shrine apparently to facilitate Hindu pilgrims that throng the shrine in hundreds of thousands, but Kashmiris were suspicious of the government’s intentions that encouraged migration of Hindus to the state with a view to diluting Kashmiri Muslims’ 98 per cent majority in IHK.
In case, India continues to baulk at resolving the Kashmir dispute, and does not reciprocate with Pakistan to reach a solution acceptable to India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir, the only way out for Pakistan would be to invoke the UN Security Council resolutions. The international community has to understand that Tashkant and Simla agreements were signed by Pakistan under duress. Article 103 of Chapter XVI of the UN Charter clearly states: “In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the members of the United Nations under the present Charter and any other international agreement, their obligation under the present charter shall prevail”. The composite dialogue that started in 2004 has not so far resolved any of the festering issues like Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek.
Last month, German Embassy in India had organized Zubin Mehta’s concert at Shalimar Garden in Srinagar, which was attended by selected audience of Union & State officials as well as Diplomatic Corps. The All Parties Hurriyat Conference leadership showed its reservations and demonstrations were held in which the protestors suffered casualties on the eve of the concert. Such events in Indian Occupied Kashmir could adversely impact its overall politico-diplomatic setting in the international community, especially on its existing “disputed” prefix. This point has been raised with German Ambassador in Pakistan, and Pakistan Embassy in Germany has also raised this issue. It is too well known that Kashmir is a disputed territory. It has been acknowledged by the United Nations, and UN Security Council resolutions are reflective of the fact that this issue has to be resolved. ( Mohammad Jamil)