Indian State Terrorism Internationalized the Kashmir Issue
Various forms of state terrorism by the Indian forces have continued unabated by the Indian security forces on the innocent Kashmiris in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) in wake of sieges and prolonged curfews, including arrests and detentions of the Kashmir leaders. Since July 8, 2016, Indian security forces have martyred more than 600 innocent persons who have been protesting against the martyrdom of Burhan Wani and for liberation of their land.
Some online authentic sources suggest that recent wave of Kashmiri Intifada (Uprising) has witnessed repression by the Indian armed forces, as large numbers of the dead and injured have been youngsters. The pellet guns used by security forces have damaged the faces of 1600 people and more than 1100 people have partially or wholly lost their eyesight.
Latest reports also disclosed that Indian security forces have also used chemical weapons against the Kashmiri civilians in violation of international law and Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
However, various tactics of state terrorism have been part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian army and paramilitary forces against the 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 encounters.
According to a report on human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, since 1989, there have been deaths of 1,00000 innocent Kashmiris, 8,023 custodial killings, 1,50,771 arrests, 1,40,996 destruction of houses or buildings, 24,776 women widowed, 1,60,466 children orphaned and 20,086 women gang-raped/molested. Indian brutal securities forces have continue these atrocities.
In fact, Indian forces have employed various draconian laws like the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act in killing the Kashmiri people, and for the arbitrarily arrest of any individual for an indefinite period.
In this regard, 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.”
In its report on July 2, 2015, the Amnesty International has highlighted extrajudicial killings of the innocent persons at the hands of Indian security forces in the Indian Held Kashmir. The report points out, “Tens of thousands of security forces are deployed in Indian-administered Kashmir…the Armed Forces Special Powers Act allows troops to shoot to kill suspected militants or arrest them without a warrant…not a single member of the armed forces has been tried in a civilian court for violating human rights in Kashmir…this lack of accountability has in turn facilitated other serious abuses…India has martyred one 100,000 people. More than 8,000 disappeared (while) in the custody of army and state police.”
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. 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) had 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. Now, more unmarked graves have been found.
It is mentionable that foreign sources and human rights organisations have disclosed that unnamed graves include those innocent persons, killed by the Indian military and para-military troops in the fake encounters including those who were tortured to death by the Indian secret agency RAW.
At present, Indian military and paramilitary troops are using all inhuman techniques of ethnic cleansing to disturb the majority population of the Kashmiris, which had been practiced by the Serb forces in Bosnia and Kosovo.
Nevertheless, it is due to perennial state terrorism by the Indian security forces that Kashmir issue has been internationalized.
In this connection, European Union has passed a resolution about human rights abuses committed by Indian forces in the Indian-held Kashmir.
With the acceleration of the new Intifada, Indian is losing ‘illegitimate’ control in the Indian-held Kashmir.
Meanwhile, India arranged various false flag operations, especially that one which occurred in a military base in Uri on September 18, 2016. By manipulating this false flag operation, the BJP-led Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi not only shifted the blame game towards Islamabad, but has also intensified war-hysteria against Pakistan. And Indian forces have continued shelling at the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistani side of Azad Kashmir. While, Pakistani troops are giving a matching response to Indian unprovoked firing and are well-prepared for atomic war, as threatened by Indian army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat on January 14, this year. However, New Delhi’s main aim is to deflect the attention of the international community from the new phase of Kashmiri Intifada, while pressure has been mounting on the Modi government both domestically and internationally to resolve the dispute of Kashmir with Islamabad.
Nevertheless, it owing to Indian cruel tactics that besides the media of Pakistan and India, Western media, including various politicians and UNO has pointed out India’s state terrorism on the Kashmiris who have been demanding their legitimate right of self-determination, as recognized by the UN resolutions.
In this respect, Pakistan’s recent serious and sincere effort in the United Nations for pointing out the brutal tactics of the Indian security forces in the Indian-held Kashmir and emphasizing upon the international community for settlement of this old issue are noteworthy.
In the recent past Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi reminded the UN officials of their duty to ensure that the rights of Kashmiris are protected. In her statement, she said, “Dubbing the Kashmiris, agitating for their right to self-determination, as terrorists was a travesty of truth and was further inflaming passions…This is perhaps the most important dimension of the Kashmir issue as the Indian government has repeatedly tried to delegitimise the freedom movement in Kashmir by declaring it to be a fringe movement of terrorists backed by Pakistan. The fact that the Indian government has conveniently ignored the wide support for the freedom movement is indication that India is not even interested in genuinely addressing the grievances of the Kashmiri people. Even in the recent uprising in Kashmir following the killing of commander Burhan Wani…Surely, such big numbers of victims cannot be the result of Pakistan backed militants and devoid of indigenous grievances towards the Indian government…The attention of international community…must be turned towards the Kashmir issue.”
In response to the letter of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, on August 19, 2016, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deplored the killings of the Kashmiris in Indian-held Kashmir, and urged India and Pakistan to settle Kashmir and other issues through dialogue by offering his “good offices”.
During his visit to Pakistan, in the joint press conference with the former Prime Minister Sharif on November 17, 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged for an immediate resolution of the Kashmir dispute and stated that “the escalating tensions on the Pakistan-India border and the atrocities in Kashmir cannot be ignored. He elaborated, “The Turkish government and the Turkish nation stand in solidarity with the Kashmiri people.”
Earlier, the visiting Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Ayad Ameen Madani in Islamabad expressed grave concern over extra-judicial killings of people in the Indian Occupied Kashmir and added, “OIC will support Pakistan on Kashmir issue”.
Western politicians and media have also taken serious notice of the deteriorating situation of Kashmir. For instance, the Italian Minister for Defence, Mrs. Roberta Pinotti who visited Pakistan said on September 19, 2016 that her country “opposes use of force and lethal weapons against peaceful protestors in Kashmir…it cannot be allowed to go on.” She further said that Italy will apprise the international community about what is going on in Indian held Kashmir.
West’s renowned TV channels and newspapers are giving appropriate coverage to the ongoing uprising in Kashmir, while pointing out Indian atrocities. For example, with the title, “India’s crackdown in Kashmir: is this the world’s first mass blinding?”, The Guardian wrote on November 8, 2016, “The Long Read: A bloody summer of protest in Kashmir has been met with a ruthless response from Indian security forces, who fired hundreds of thousands of metal pellets into crowds of civilians, leaving hundreds blinded.”
It is notable that on the occasion of Indian Republic Day on January 26, 2018, a demonstration was organized by Kashmir Council EU in front of Indian Embassy in Brussels, the capital of Belgium. Holding placards and banners with a number of slogans against India, a large number of the people from different walks—the protesters called for immediate end of Indian atrocities in Indian-controlled Kashmir, while raising slogans against the human rights violations there.
Nonetheless, Indian perennial state terrorism in the Indian Occupied Kashmir has internationalized the Kashmir issue.
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