For Mediapoint By Brig Farooq Hameed Khan(Retd)
The world is witnessing the ever increasing intensity of the heroic freedom struggle of the Kashmiri muslims against hindu domination. The atrocities committed by the Indian Occupation forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir(IOK) against innocent and unarmed Kashmiri men, women and children have failed to suppress the will and commitment of Kashmiris to give up their struggle for right of self determination and independence from Indian yoke. The more the Kashmiris face Indian repression the greater is their resolve to continue fighting for their just cause.
While the west specially the United States boast to be the champions and flag bearers of democracy and human rights, their hypocrisy and double standards are fully exposed when they simply ignore the grave human rights violations and the genocide of unarmed Kashmiris. IOK is the favorite killing ground for over 500,000 strong Indian Army and paramilitary forces that have committed crimes against humanity through widespread killings and rape of over 100,000 Kashmiri women in the last three decades of the indigenous Kashmiri freedom struggle.
Thousands of young Kashmiris have been abducted, tortured and killed in custody and then buried in mass graves. Through an orchestrated campaign a systematic process of ethnic cleansing has been undertaken to bring about a demographic and social change in IOK.
The Kashmiris have rejected offer of autonomy by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and reiterated their demand for complete independence from Indian domination which is in line with the popular mood and aspirations of the common Kashmiris. In his article ‘ President Obama, India and Kashmir’ dated November 03, 2010, the noted Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, the leading spokesman for Kashmir cause articulates, “ Kashmiri leadership has the support of mass opinion for its stand that this is totally unacceptable as (1) it would be liable to revision or repeal by Indian Legislature, with or without a change of administration, (2) most importantly it would not be incorporated in an international treaty or agreement with the expressed support of all states neighboring Kashmir as well as the permanent members of the Security Council”.
The Kashmir intifada which has similarities to the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation and brutality, is characterized by two important features. (1) it is totally indigenous and peaceful (2) the unarmed Kashmiri youth have taken charge of the movement. This implies that this non violent movement will be sustained and further intensify with time. Moreover the young Kashmiri leadership that continues to emerge and take charge will in no way fall prey to any Indian trap of a deal or make any compromises with New Delhi.
There is also a growing awakening amongst Kashmiris that if they fail to convince New Delhi to resolve the Kashmir dispute through peaceful and legal means, if the Indo- Pak composite peace dialogue makes no headway to find a just solution on Kashmir and the international community continues to deny the Kashmiris their inalienable right of self determination, then an armed and violent struggle may be the final answer.
Within India there is now growing pressure as well as demand from leading Indian intellectuals and civil society representatives that the time has come for the Indian leadership to address the Kashmir issue and not ignore it. As a first confidence building measure Indian Government must withdraw its armed forces from the civilian populated areas and appoint an impartial Commission to investigate human rights abuses and violations by Indian Security forces.
Simultaneously draconian laws that give unaccountable powers to security forces to kill, torture and rape innocent Kashmiris in IOK must also be revoked. It is abundantly clear that the policy of state repression in IOK has failed and become a stigma on the ugly face of Indian democracy.
India must show seriousness, flexibility, demonstrate maturity and responsibility by respecting UN Security Council Resolutions on Kashmir. By not resolving the Kashmir dispute, the Indian dream of gaining regional/global recognition to become a permanent member of UN Security Council may never materialize.
Resolution of Kashmir dispute remains on top of the agenda of the Indo- Pak composite dialogue, which has been dragging along since the mid nineties with no positive outcome. Lack of mutual trust, suspicion, tense Indo- Pak relations, India’s stubborn attitude, post Mumbai diplomatic impasse and talks for the sake of talks have adversely affected the progress towards resolution of Kashmir problem. Since India and Pakistan have failed to come to a solution on Kashmir bilaterally, then international intervention and mediation would be required to evolve some acceptable mechanism and road map to achieve a breakthrough on this matter.
There can be no solution to Kashmir problem without the involvement of the essential stakeholder (Kashmiris) along with India and Pakistan. Keeping Kashmiri leaders out of the dialogue process will not result in any meaningful and acceptable solution and would be considered a sham and a charade.
Indian Occupied Kashmir represents the Indian treachery after the 1947 partition of the subcontinent. As long as this issue remains unresolved in accordance with UN resolutions, Kashmir would remain a nuclear flashpoint between two nuclear armed neighbors and old rivals that would threaten regional and global peace. On its part, Pakistan should continue to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to its Kashmiri brethren till they get out of the shackles of Indian tyranny and suppression.
Kashmir is not about a territorial dispute. It pertains to the destiny and freedom of around 14 million Kashmiris. How long will the United Nations and the world community close their eyes to the plight of the Kashmiris and the Kashmir problem, which remains the longest outstanding international issue on the UN agenda and which was the root cause of three wars between India and Pakistan. How long can the world community deny the Kashmiris their right to live as free people with dignity and honor?
The writer is a political and defence analyst, He contributes in The Nation and The News