By Sardar Khan Niazi
Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani has rightly turned down the invitation of Om Birla, the speaker of the Lower House of Indian parliament, or Lok Sabha, who had invited him to attend a function to mark the centennial of House’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
PAC, the oldest parliamentary committee, is responsible for ensuring executive accountability. According to media reports, invitations have gone out to all Commonwealth nations, including Pakistan.
Sanjrani’s refusal to attend any India-hosted event signals the fact that thaw in ties with India is not possible until the withdrawal of the 2019 revocation of the semi-autonomous status of occupied Kashmir.
Pakistan and India have not had diplomatic ties since August 2019, when Islamabad downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi following the scrapping of Article 370 that gave special status to the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
Who can forget that India violating all standards of enlightened discourse and diplomatic communication called off the meeting of foreign ministers of India and Pakistan scheduled on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. India by doing so not only destroyed the chance of changing the dynamics of the bilateral relationship but also the peace and prosperity likelihood in the region.
Running away from talks did not change the fact that a UN report noticed Indian repression in IIOJK. Reportedly, India will remain disinclined for talks until the time it has changed the percentage of the populace in IIOJK, something it has been forcefully trying to do. Once that percentage is in its favor, then it will be ready for talks.
By not stopping the killing of Kashmiris, and by not holding the UN plebiscite, India is giving a clear message to the world that its behavior is callous. Indian brutality in IIOJK is a source of major concern. Look, what it did at Ashura. Lathi charge on women on Ashura was so appalling that nobody can forget.
So far, thousands of Kashmiris have lost their lives in the decades-long freedom struggle. The IIOJK has become a land drenched in the blood of innocent Kashmiris.
Even internal human rights organizations have reiterated calls to India to act in accordance with international human rights law and standards in the IIOJK, including arrests and detentions of political opponents, and the rights to liberty and freedom of movement, the Indian authorities have further tightened curfew and other restrictions in the IIOJK.
In a statement, Amnesty International secretary-general Kumi Naidoo AI termed the actions of the Indian government as throwing ordinary people’s lives into turmoil, subjecting them to unnecessary pain and distress on top of the years of human rights violations they have already endured.
He also that the people of IIOJK should not be treated as pawns in a political crisis, and the international community must come together to call for their human rights to be respected.
India must not ignore the Amnesty International India chapter global campaign “Let Kashmir Speak” to highlight the Indian tyranny in IIOJK grossly affecting the daily lives of Kashmiri people, their emotional and mental well-being, medical care, as well as their access to necessities and emergency services.
Depriving an entire population of their right to freedom of expression, opinion, and movement for an indefinite period is akin to taking them back to the dark ages. India is no solution to the problem rather it is a part of the problem.
Most UNSC member countries have already expressed concerns over grave violations of fundamental human rights in the IIOJK. One important permanent member even emphasized probe into the human rights violations. Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani has laid bare the real face of India. Bravo to Chairman Senate.