Day of Kashmir’s Accession to Pakistan
Every year, Kashmiris living on both sides of the Line of Control and Pakistan including rest of the world celebrate July 19 as the Day of Kashmir’s Accession to Pakistan, as on this very day in 1947, the historical resolution was adopted by the by the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference in Abi Guzar, Srinagar during an emergency convention at the residence of Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan. It was presided over by Chaudhry Hamid Ullah Khan, and the resolution was presented by Khawaja Ghulam-ud-Din Wani and Abdul Rahim Wani, with 59 prominent leaders in attendance.
The resolution was unanimously adopted, indicating that existing religious, geographical, cultural, economic ties and the aspirations of millions of Kashmiri Muslims warrant accession of the state of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan. During the partition of the Sub-continent, the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir which comprised Muslim majority decided to join Pakistan according to the British-led formula. But, Dogra Raja, Sir Hari Singh, a Hindu who was ruling over the J&K in connivance with the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Governor General Lord Mountbatten joined India.
The design to forcibly wrest Kashmir began to unfold on August 16, 1947, with the announcement of the Radcliffe Boundary Award. It gave the Gurdaspur District—a majority Muslim area to India to provide a land route to the Indian armed forces to move into Kashmir. There was a rebellion in the state forces, which revolted against the Maharaja and were joined by Pathan tribesmen. Lord Mountbatten ordered armed forces to land in Srinagar.
However, Indian forces invaded Srinagar on 27 October 1947 and forcibly occupied Jammu and Kashmir in utter violation of the partition plan and against the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
When Pakistan responded militarily against the Indian aggression, on December 31, 1947, India made an appeal to the UN Security Council to intervene and a ceasefire ultimately came into effect on January 01, 1949, following UN resolutions calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir.
It is mentionable that the Security Council adopted resolution 47 (1948) of 21 April 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, the Indian Parliament passed a bill, declaring Kashmir a province of India-an integral part of the Indian union.
The very tragedy of Kashmiris had started after 1947 when they were denied their genuine right of self-determination. They organised themselves against the injustices of India and launched a war of liberation which New Delhi tried to suppress through various forms of state terrorism.
Passing through various phases, the struggle of Kashmiris which has become an interaction between the Indian state terrorism led by the Indian security forces and war of liberation by the freedom fighters keeps on going unabated.
It is notable that since 1947, in order to maintain its illegal control, India has continued its repressive regime in the Occupied Kashmir through various machinations. In this regard, as already mentioned that India forcibly occupied Kashmir in gross violation of the “Partition Plan of the Indian Subcontinent, but, through the so-called-Instrument of Accession of October 27, 1947 which is illegal, and remains controversial, New Delhi justifies its hold on the Kashmir.
India has also been acting upon ethnic cleansing and conspiracies to alter the demography of the Indian-held Kashmir. In this context, Indian establishment has militarized the princely state of Kashmir since its illegitimate occupation. In 1947, the Muslims constituted 77%, while the Hindu population was 23% of the population. The ratio is now 64.19% to 32.24% due to unabated killings and other controversial acts like settlement of non-Muslim migrants (Hindus and Sikhs) from Punjab.
For the purpose, illegal land-grabbing is being practiced by Indian security forces such as Army, CRPF, ITB, and BSF in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, using lease and acquisitions.
Nevertheless, various forms of state terrorism have been part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian army and paramilitary forces against Muslim Kashmiris, especially since 1989. It has been manifested in brutal tactics like crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, breaking the legs, molestation of Muslim women and killing of persons through fake encounter.
According to a report on human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, from January 1989 to December 2013, there have been deaths of 93,984 innocent Kashmiris, 7,014 custodial killings, 1,22,771 arrests, 1,05,996 destruction of houses or buildings, 22,776 women widowed, 1,07,466 children orphaned and 10,086 women gang-raped/molested.
Indian brutal securities forces have continued these atrocities—extrajudicial killings in way or the other. From January 1 to June 15, 2014, there have been deaths of 54 innocent Kashmiris, 09 custodial killings, 3438 arrests, 08 destruction of houses or buildings, 02 women widowed, 03 children orphaned and 34 women gang-raped/molested.
In fact, Indian forces have employed various draconian and controversial laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and the Public Safety Act (PSA) etc. in killing the Kashmiri people, and arbitrarily arrest of any individual for an indefinite period.
Besides Human Rights Watch, in its various reports, Amnesty International has also pointed out grave human rights violations in the Indian controlled Kashmir, indicating, “The Muslim majority population in the Kashmir Valley suffers from the repressive tactics of the security forces. Under the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act, security forces personnel have extraordinary powers to shoot suspected persons.”
It is mentionable that under the cover of draconian laws, most of the times, majority of the popular pro-movement leadership is detained or house-arrested by the Indian security forces, and mostly, without prior orders from the higher authorities. As per a Kashmiri human rights group, Voice of Victim (VOV), a total of 1 471 torture centres are operating in the Occupied Kashmir where arrested Kashmiri leaders and the youth are subjected to severe torture.
In this respect, European Union has passed a resolution about human rights abuses committed by Indian forces in the Indian held Kashmir.
It is of particular attention that in 2008, a rights group reported unmarked graves in 55 villages across the northern regions of the Indian-held Kashmir. Then researchers and other groups reported finding thousands of mass graves without markers. In this regard, in the last few years, rights groups discovered nearly 3,000 unnamed graves in the various districts of Kashmir. In this respect, in August, 2011, Indian Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) officially acknowledged in its report that innocent civilians killed in the two-decade conflict have been buried in unmarked graves. The report indicated 2,156 unidentified bodies which were found in mass graves in various regions of the Indian-held Kashmir.
Notably, foreign sources and human rights organisations have revealed that unnamed graves include those innocent persons, killed by the Indian military and paramilitary troops in the fake encounters including those who were tortured to death by the Indian secret agency RAW.
In its report, China’s leading News Agency Xinhua has unearthed more gruesome details on world-stunning unmarked graves in Poonch of the Indian occupied Kashmir. The report revealed the statement of Sofi Aziz Joo, caretaker of a graveyard as saying, “Police and Army used to bring those bodies and direct me to bury them. The bodies were usually bullet-ridden, mutilated, faces disfigured and sometimes without limbs and heads.”
It seems that non-condemnation of these Indian massive human rights violations and non-interference for the settlement of this issue by the so-called civilized international community, especially the US have further encouraged New Delhi to keep on going with its state terrorism on the armless Kashmiri masses. Ignorance of the issue by them involves the risk of nuclear war between Pakistan and India.
Indian authorities are not willing to talk with Kashmiri people on political grounds. New Delhi reached to a conclusion that only bullet is the right way of dealing with Kashmiris, demanding their right of self-determination. Surprisingly, Indian successive governments are trying to ignore the dynamics of the freedom movement of Kashmiris for the sake of their alien rule.
Nonetheless, every year, the Kashmiris and their brethren in Pakistan, and those living all over the world observe July 19 as the Day of Kashmir’s Accession to Pakistan to re-affirm their commitment to continue their struggle against Indian illicit occupation, and till the attainment of this liberation.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations