Kashmir solidarity, 5th of February, is a day of all Pakistani community over the world to show the unity to the other world. This is purely a day of protest against all the Indian occupied Kashmir. It is an internationally recognized day observed by people, predominantly Kashmiris, worldwide. The day is marked by public processions, special prayers in mosques for the liberation of Kashmir and protests that are carried out against the Indian oppression of Kashmir. Almost 139,000 sq km of area with a population of 10 million is bounded by India and the Muslims residing there are in severe pain day and night. Kashmir has been an outstanding issue between the two nuclear rivals who have fought 4 wars since their independence. Many debates and discussions have been made in UNO on this issue since 1948. Kashmir Day was first observed in 1990 on call of Nawaz Sharif, who was the opposition leader and chief minister of Punjab at the time.
Sharif appealed for a nationwide strike to protest against the Indian occupation of Kashmir and called for people to pray for the Kashmiri freedom movement’s success. The Pakistan People’s Party then declared February 5 as a public holiday and Kashmir Day has since been observed every year. During the 1990s, India used torture, coercion, killings, enforced disappearances, kidnappings, and government corruption to maintain its control over Kashmir.
One of the gravest atrocities committed by the Indian security forces is the complete and total misuse of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which allows CRPF and other Indian security entities to kill, torture, rape, and kidnap citizens with complete impunity. The silence of India’s occupation of Kashmir blankets the valley, like the morning smog obscures the HimalayanMountains. There is a new face to the hundred-year-old struggle for Kashmiri sovereignty and independence. With the erosion of Kashmir’s autonomy, came the military repression and arguably an attempted genocide.
From 1989 to 2011 there have been 8,000 documented disappearances and 70,000 deaths of Kashmiris resulting from the Indian occupation. Torture is rampant. Khurram Parvaiz, Liaison of the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Indian-Administered Kashmir (IPTK), works documenting the cases of torture. In July 2011, the State Human Rights Commission of Jammu and Kashmir (SHRC) released areport documenting 2,156 unidentified bodies in 38 graveyards.
While the people of Kashmir resist occupation and struggle for freedom every day, their struggle is largely ignored by the international community. While India is trying its best to secure a permanent seat at the United Nations, back in Kashmir its armed forces are introducing new weapons to be used on civilians. Similarly, The September Eleven incident has erased the line separating the freedom fighter from a terrorist and this has provided India with a handle to portray the alienation of Kashmiris with the Indian occupation as a foreign sponsored movement employing terror tactics. This has also enabled India to get away with the grave human rights violations it is perpetrating in Kashmir.
One has to also take it into account that in the course of armed resistance spread over two decades the Kashmir landscape has been saturated with jackboot and the bayonet; thoroughly bruising and traumatizing the Kashmiri nation. The evolving non-violent mass resistance movement in Kashmir is in step with the global dynamics and reflects their impact on shaping local ground realities. Coming to the present, the number of human rights violations has come down, but the past years have been a strong reminder for people that protests against India must continue. In the last few years, since 2008, mostly children have been facing rights violations. When stone-throwing became popular in Kashmir, the authorities used the ways of the 1990s to crush any civilian resistance. In some cases, petrol was injected into the children’s veins to cause pain. Minors were put in jail and psychologically tortured.
The current coalition government in Kashmir, comprising the nationally dominant Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has followed previous governments in ignoring the demands of rights’ groups. During one year of PDP-BJP lliance government in IOK, BJP in aid of RSS has furthered its agenda of IOK’s complete integration into India. Though legal experts of India and IOK High Court have clarified the permanent status of Article 370 of Indian Constitution, BJP’s agenda of trifurcations is still on table. In this regard, BJP is in hot pursuit of Mission 44+ in IOK Assembly elections 2020. Moreover BJP and RSS are busy in changing religious identity of the State. Major projects of the State are being announced/ implemented in Hindu dominant/ BJP constituencies to give a message that only BJP’s voters are entitled to a standard living.
Through these tactics, BJP is longing for Mission 44+ in next IOK Assembly elections. Indian scholar ushirul Hasan wrote, Will secular India survive? (2004) and challenged the doctrine of Hindutva spread around by the BJP. After 2004, Hindutva has not gone away. It threatens the Muslims more than the other communities because: 1) Muslims are the largest religious minority in India and the latter has the second largest Muslim population in the world; 2) Muslims are erstwhile rulers of India and the memory presents them as a threat to the Hindu majority; 3) Muslims are targets of all communal riots; 4) Muslims serve as instruments of Hindu unity under Hindutva because India is presented as being under threat from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Kashmir; 5) Muslims spoil the Indian monolithic identity as a Hindu Rashtra and are an obstacle in India’s unification. Hurriyat leadership has been suppressed by the PDP-BJP Govt by not allowing them to organize rallies for demanding freedom and expressing love for Pakistan. Their leaders were detained in Police Stations or kept under house arrests during all important events. Detention of Masarat Alam, even after acceptance of bail by IOK High Court, exhibits coercive mechanics of Indian forces/ police in the State.
RSS is no doubt became a terrorist organization. Diversity is regarded as the beauty of nations but unfortunately it is fading in India. `I think Indian Muslims have been one of the greatest living tragedies of the partition. Whilst those Muslims living in Pakistan have enjoyed (I use that term loosely) a majority state, those in India have spent decades as second class citizens at best. With the continuous tides of Hindu nationalism that constantly sweeps across the country; I don’t ever see the plight of Muslims changing there. Despite notable Muslims in politics, industry, entertainment and so forth, these Muslims in India have had to cower in the face of Hindutva. Almost be apologetic of their success or talent. In India, Hrithik Roshan is regarded in greater esteem than Shah Rukh Khan, despite the latter being a global superstar. Why? You only need glance at their religions to understand.In the case of Babri Masjid, the fact that religion triumphed over fact is another example of how ingrained Hindu superiority is in Indian society. Yes, better Indo-Pak relations would help immensely – but I don’t see Pakistan as being all that sympathetic to the Indian Muslim cause. India is therefore a country built on subjugation and hierarchy. On the other hand, India is never serious in resolving the core issue of Kashmir and it has initiated a blame game against us just to avoid this outstanding issue. It is quite evident that India has always been reluctant to talk on the issue of Kashmir.
Pakistan is committed to the just and democratic solution of Kashmir Issue, that is Plebiscite, however, India has never been serious in resolution of the dispute, neither through bilateral dialogue nor involving third party mediation nor by abiding by the UN Resolutions. A question arose in my mind that “why is the international community silent? The war which has been declared on the people of Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian state has been violent, has been brutal has matched all records of brutality around the world. What we have suffered in the last 20 years is no less than a war crime, yet there is silence by the international community.”
Could the future independence of Kashmir be headwaters in creating a new type of democracy? Perhaps if the nonviolent, popular movement of Kashmir is allowed self-determination a new brand of democracy will be born: a democracy that is not founded on control through military domination—one that does not wave the flag of democracy to cover up genocide. In the wake of changing regional and global dynamics, resolution of the issue has become a top most priority but unsensitized international community is perhaps waiting for emergence of regional crises out of Kashmir Issue. As global players do not find any interest in resolution of the dispute, it has become a humanitarian issue in the region.