By Sardar Khan Niazi
Kashmiris all over the world and in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) are observing today as Right to Self-Determination Day by organizing protest demonstrations, rallies, seminars, and other programs to invite world attention to the long-pending Kashmir dispute.
The unresolved Kashmir dispute is a big question mark on the credibility of the United Nations. If the UN wants to restore its credibility, it needs to implement its resolutions on Kashmir without further delay.
It was on 5 January 1949 when UN Security Council passed a historic resolution saying, “The question of accession of the State of Jammu & Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite”. Unfortunately, seven decades have passed but the promised plebiscite remains unfulfilled until now.
The UN did nothing concrete to implement its resolutions which emboldened India to crush Kashmiris’ just struggle militarily. The Aug 5, 2019 act of the Indian parliament abrogating the autonomous status of India-occupied Kashmir aimed at legalizing its illegal occupation.
This unlawful act in a bid to fool the world to establish India’s relationship with occupied Kashmir has transitioned into a fully settled Indian Union Territory. Indian action is a serious violation of customary principles and norms of international law.
By deploying over one million troops, India has turned Kashmir into a gigantic prison. Indian troops given license to kill Kashmiris are trampling humanity under their jackboots. The martyrdom of Kashmiris, destruction of thousands of structures, and molestation of thousands of Kashmiri women are glaring proof of how India is hell-bent on annihilating Kashmiris and occupying their land.
In the month of December 2022 alone, the Indian troops martyred seven Kashmiris, arrested at least 43 youths, and destroyed a residential house.
Since August 5, 2019, when the Narendra Modi-led fascist Indian government revoked the special status of IIOJK, Indian troops, paramilitary, and police personnel have martyred 730 Kashmiris. Over one lakh Kashmiris have fallen to the Indian bullets during the last 34 years in the occupied territory. The RSS-led Modi regime has broken all previous records of brutality. It is using Israeli-type tactics to deprive Kashmiris of their land and impose its devilish Hindutva agenda in IIOJK.
Now a fresh move by India and Israel to allow the development of agricultural farms in occupied Kashmir is not only alarming but proves India’s design of settler-colonialist agenda promoted by Israel through New Delhi in the occupied valley.
Issuing domiciles to thousands of non-Kashmiris, granting them land in occupied territory, and introducing other anti-Kashmir and anti-Muslim laws have made the evil intentions of Hindutva forces very clear that they want to strip Kashmiris of their identity, culture, and land.
Foreign Office Spokesperson, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch has rightly said that India is a perpetrator of repression in IIOJ&K and a sponsor and financier of terrorist groups in South Asia.
A dossier released recently, gathered with international support, containing irrefutable evidence substantiated India’s involvement in the 2021 terrorist attack in a peaceful Lahore neighborhood.
Intimidation and demonization of religious minorities receive official patronage in states across India. Hindutva supremacists have been unleashed to exercise cow vigilantism, ransack places of worship, and attack religious congregations.
They did not allow Friday prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar besides disallowing other religious functions like Muharram processions, Shab-e-Baraat, Shabe Qadr, and Eid Milad-un-Nabi (SAW) gatherings.
The people of Kashmir have not forgotten the plebiscite promise by the UN after obtaining consent from Pakistan and India in 1949. Efforts are essential to seek legal remedy to put pressure on India to honor the commitment to hold a plebiscite and grant the Kashmiris their inherent right to self-determination.