History has witnessed many freedom movements the world over. The struggles sooner or later succeeded with varying price tags ranging from a few hundred to some thousand lives. Unfortunately, there is a freedom movement which is on for the past seventy years and is still awaiting success. This movement has legal backing of no less than the UN Security Council’s repeated resolutions. The price paid so far is over 100,000 lives and hundred of thousands of gang rapes in addition to other human rights violations. The movement is termed as the Kashmir freedom movement.
Going a little back in history will help understand the Kashmir quagmire. During the partition of the Sub-Continent, the people of Muslim majority State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) decided to join Pakistan according to the British-led formula. But, Dogra Raja, Sir Hari Singh, then Hindu ruler of J&K, in connivance with the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Governor General Lord Mountbatten joined India. The real design to forcibly wrest Kashmir began to unfold on August 16, 1947, with the announcement of the Red Cliff 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. This led to a rebellion by the state forces, which stood against the Maharaja and were joined by the Pathan tribesmen.
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 the UN resolutions calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine whether they wished to join Pakistan or India. On February 5, 1964, India backed out of its promise of holding a 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 bloody tragedy of poor Kashmiris had started after 1947 when they were denied their legitimate and UN approved right of self-determination. According to Che Guevara, “When forces of oppression come to maintain themselves in power against established law, peace is considered already broken”. As a natural outcome of Indian injustice, people of IOK organised themselves and launched a war of liberation which India tried to crush through coercion and brutalities. Later, in 1988, India positioned a very large number of armed forces to suppress the Kashmir struggle on gunpoint.
Since then, the Indian Occupied Kashmir has become a region where days are black and nights are red. With the advent of Indian occupation forces, the ethnic cleansing campaign against the Kashmiri people has intensified manifold. The word ‘genocide’ is no more able to depict Indian loathing and vendetta against the Muslims of IOK. Houses are being burnt, people arrested, tortured, raped and killed. So far, more than 100,000 killings have been done by the Indian occupation forces. The number is growing as Indians are using increasingly brutal methods to suppress the people of IOK and their legal struggle for freedom.
The phenomenon of religious persecution against the Muslims of IOK is also not new like the rest of India. The huge Indian occupation forces under the cover of Armed Forces Special Protection Act (AFSPA) and other black laws frequently engage in religious cleansing of Muslims. Off late, the international human rights watchdog, the Amnesty International, has called for revoking of the AFSPA and urged investigations into the human rights violations in J&K by an “independent and impartial” authority.
The said report disclosed that since 1989, there have been deaths of 98,274 innocent Kashmiris, 94,180 custodial killings, 117,345 arrests and 106,030 destruction of houses. Indian security forces have orphaned over 107,520 children, widowed 22,796 women and gang raped 10,135 women.
Instead of accepting the existing reality, India has sought to blame Pakistan for allegedly promoting the Kashmiri uprising. These Indian allegations against Pakistan are a ploy to hoodwink the international community on the Kashmir issue and a blanket to hide state sponsored atrocities on innocent people of IOK. A peaceful, negotiated settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN resolutions ranks top on Pakistan’s foreign policy agenda.
In order to find an early and just solution to the decades-old Kashmir dispute, Pakistan has always urged the international community to play an active role. Pakistan will continue extending its full political, diplomatic and moral support to legitimate Kashmir struggle. Every year on 27th October, the Kashmiris, living on both sides of the LoC and in other parts of the globe remind the UN and international community of their responsibility to solve the chronic Kashmir issue as per the resolutions of UN. The day is marked as “Black Day”.