(A Soverign Kashmir: Random Thoughts- 281)
-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
Fanaticism, criminalization of politics and cynicism are the hallmark of colonialist nations and now India and Israel top the list as they employ criminal techniques to silence the nations under their brutal control- Kashmir and Palestine respectively.
Military brutality in Kashmir angers Kashmiris, especially the youth and that is the key reason why the current agitation of Kashmiris has been firmly footed, notwithstanding the Indian efforts to pacify the protestors. The Kashmiri youth has refused to be silenced by Indian brutalities, however.
India has no hesitation or fear or shame or feel of guilt for the continued perpetration of genocides in Kashmir. By using the draconian laws imposed on Kashmiris by New Delhi, Indian occupational military forces keep killing Muslims in Jammu Kashmir on fictitious pretexts like branding them as terrorists, making a complete mockery of domestic democracy in Kashmir.
Indian forces have already murdered over 100,000 Kashmiri Muslims even while Kashmiri leaders fight for posts, positions, money and foreign trips as Indian regime is busy with keeping them in good humors. Indian regime, its media lords, military establishment, intelligence consider their joint right to commit crimes in Kashmir and justify the genocides of Kashmiris.
UN expects India to hold referendum to determine the thinking of Kashmiris about their future but it does not ask India to do quickly enough. Apparently New Delhi is scared of holding referendum in Jammu Kashmir as most Kashmiris would opt for regain sovereignty from India as well as Pakistan and get back the part of Kashmir under Chinese control.
Kashmir remains a deadly flashpoint in South Asia as India and Pakistan threaten the region with their nukes and missiles and no solution could be found unless Jammu Kashmir is allowed to regain its lost sovereignty from India, Pakistan and China which is now a secret ally of Indian badminton letting India win tidies easily As a sport giant of Asia, Beijing in fact can afford to lose rankings for some time on Badminton.
Pakistan stands by Kashmiris and criticizes Indian military brutalities in Kashmir, targeting Muslims. Describing Kashmir issue as an unfinished agenda of partition and the oldest dispute in the UN Security Council, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, “for the last seven decades India has denied the people of Kashmir the right to self-determination promised to them by the international community through numerous UN Security Council resolutions”.
Like India, Pakistan has also integrated a part of Kashmir into Pakistan and also made a major part of Kashmir it got from a war with India as Azad Kashmir.
An economic-military ally of China and supporting China’s anti-Muslim polices, Pakistan keeps criticizing Indian crimes against humanity without suggesting any credible solution to Indian state genocides in Kashmir.
Upping the ante, Sharif said Kashmir remains the flashpoint in South Asia as it is the core dispute between India and Pakistan, adding that the dream of peace and prosperity of the people of the region will remain elusive without resolving the issue. Nawaz Sharif has once again asked its nuke neighbor India to end blood bath in occupied Kashmir and let them live peacefully and with honor. Sharif was speaking on the occasion of Kashmir Solidarity Day. “The people of Pakistan join their Kashmiri brothers and sisters in observing Kashmir Solidarity Day today to reaffirm our moral, diplomatic and political support to the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for their basic human rights, especially the right to self determination enshrined in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” Sharif said. Pakistan, he said, strongly condemns the systemic state terrorism and brutal killings of the innocent people of Kashmir by Indian forces.
However, Sharif has not spelled out the modality of resolution of one of oldest “disputes” in Asia. Jammu Kashmir was forcefully annexed by India on fake documents to show that Kashmiris let India send military to protect them. India has refused pull back its military forces form Jammu Kashmir and made the region a part of Indian state. Son of former royal ruler of Jammu Kashmir reiterates that Kashmiris seek an independent nation and they don’t want to be a part of either India, or Pakistan or China.
Pakistan asked the world community to hold India “accountable” for its “crimes against humanity” in Kashmir, as it demanded justice for the families of 25 Kashmiris allegedly killed by Indian security in 1990. Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said that January 25 reminds Pakistan about the alleged “massacre of more than 25 innocent defenseless Kashmiris” in Hundwara by Indian security forces 27 years ago. He alleged that the “horrific massacre was committed by the Indian forces” just three days after they had reportedly killed more than 50 Kashmiris in Gawkadal. On both the occasions the Indian forces had unleashed terror on peaceful protesters. “The perpetrators of the two massacres that I mentioned are yet to face justice while victims’ families have been suffering from the unforgettable and unbearable pain for 27 years,” Zakaria alleged.
India’s rap history in Kashmir
Rape is the one of the most favorite pass time in Kashmir valley by Indian occupational forces. Reports of rape by Indian security forces in Kashmir emerged soon after the government’s crackdown began in January 1990.18 Despite evidence that army and paramilitary forces were engaging in widespread rape, few of the incidents were ever investigated by the authorities. Those that were reported did not result in criminal prosecutions of the security forces involved. The reported rape on February 23, 1991, of women from the village of Kunan Poshpora by army soldiers of the Fourth Rajputana Rifles became the focus of a government campaign to acquit the army of charges of human rights violations. The incident provides a telling example of the government’s failure to ensure that charges of human rights violations committed by members of its armed forces are properly investigated and those responsible held to account.
Since January 1990, the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir has been the site of a brutal conflict between Indian security forces and armed Muslim insurgents demanding independence or accession to Pakistan. In its efforts to crush the militant movement, India’s central government has pursued a policy of repression in Kashmir which has resulted in massive human rights violations by Indian army and paramilitary forces.
Throughout the conflict, the security forces have deliberately targeted civilians, the majority of whom are widely believed to sympathize with the militants.1 Indian security forces, which include the army and two paramilitary forces, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Border Security Force (BSF) have assaulted civilians during search operations, tortured and summarily executed detainees in custody and murdered civilians in reprisal attacks.2 In October 1992, representatives from Asia Watch and Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) traveled to Kashmir to document rape and other human rights abuses and violations of the laws of war by Indian security forces. They also investigated incidents of abuse by armed militant groups who have also committed rape and other attacks on civilians. PHR and Asia Watch condemn these crimes as violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.
Since the government crackdown against militants in Kashmir began in earnest in January 1990, reports of rape by security personnel have become more frequent. Rape most often occurs during crackdowns, cordon-and-search operations during which men are held for identification in parks or schoolyards while security forces search their homes. In these situations, the security forces frequently engage in collective punishment against the civilian population, most frequently by beating or otherwise assaulting residents, and burning their homes. Rape is used as a means of targeting women whom the security forces accuse of being militant sympathizers; in raping them, the security forces are attempting to punish and humiliate the entire community.
Rape has also occurred frequently during reprisal attacks on civilians following militant ambushes. In these cases, any civilians who reside in the area become the target of retaliation. Anyone within range may be shot; homes and other property burned, and women raped. In some cases, women who have been raped have been accused of providing food or shelter to militants or have been ordered to identify their male relatives as militants. In other cases, the motivation for the abuse is not explicit. In many attacks, the selection of victims is seemingly arbitrary and the women, like other civilians assaulted or killed, are targeted simply because they happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Since most cases of rape take place during cordon-and-search operations, just living in a certain area can put women at risk of rape.
For their part, armed militant organizations in Kashmir have also targeted civilians, although not to the same extent as have the security forces. Particularly in early 1990, militant groups threatened, assaulted and murdered Hindus residing in the Kashmir valley — driving many to flee to refugee camps in Jammu and Delhi.4 Militant groups have also kidnapped and killed Muslim civilians whom they have accused of being informers or of not supporting their political views. Various armed militant groups in Kashmir have also committed rape, and we have included information about these cases in this report. Although Indian human rights groups and the international press have reported on the widespread use of rape by Indian security forces in Kashmir,5 the use of rape in the conflict has seldom attracted much international condemnation.
During the week PHR and Asia Watch conducted investigations in Kashmir, we documented 15 cases of rape, 44 extrajudicial executions, 8 cases of torture, and 20 injuries resulting from indiscriminate shootings of non-combatants by Indian army and security force personnel. Eighty percent of these violations occurred during the visit or in the ten days preceding it. We also collected documentation on a large number of abuses that had occurred in the weeks and months preceding the visit, and both organizations have continued to receive such information. Because this information comes from credible sources, we believe that these abuses have continued unabated and may, in fact, have escalated to include the killings of Kashmiri human rights activists who assisted Asia Watch and PHR and provided information to international organizations.
The construction of dams on the western rivers by India has brought the two countries at loggerheads and Pakistan has engaged the World Bank, a facilitator of the IWT, to stop India from going ahead with the construction.
The committees were briefed on the agenda — Indian threat on the Indus Waters Treaty and to chart out a course of action for Pakistan. Briefing the committees, foreign secretary Aizaz Chaudhry said all options were available with Pakistan in case India violated the IWT. “We will not let India violate the treaty,” Chaudhry said, adding that Pakistan had already engaged the World Bank to look into the issue as guarantor. “We have already requested the World Bank to appoint chairman of the arbitration court,” he said.
The secretary said Islamabad would defend its right at any cost. New Delhi, he alleged, was using delaying tactics while “we want to resolve the issue at the earliest”. Pakistan has serious reservations over an Indian move to construct 45 to 60 dams on the western rivers, he said.
Water and Power Secretary Younus Dagha said Pakistan was challenging the construction of Kishanganga and Ratle projects in the court of international arbitration. He, however, said India had not as yet started work on Ratle project.
Former foreign minister and Tehrik-i-Insaf leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the water dispute with India had reached such alarming proportions that it could even dwarf the Kashmir issue. He suggested the government to evolve a clear roadmap, assuring his party’s support on the issue.
Pakistan’s two parliamentary committees in rare joint resolution asked India to immediately suspend work on two hydropower projects in Jammu and Kashmir and agree on the constitution of an arbitration court to resolve the water dispute.
National Assembly’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and Water and Power held a joint sitting in Islamabad on Friday to discuss water issues with India. A joint resolution unanimously adopted in the meeting asked India to halt the construction work, Dawn reported. The resolution called upon the World Bank to constitute a court of arbitration to adjudicate on issues raised by Pakistan against India’s ongoing construction of Kishanganga and Ratle hydro projects. It said that under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), it is the responsibility of the World Bank to play its role without further delay. Until the World Bank constitutes the court of arbitration, it must persuade India to put an immediate halt to ongoing construction of the Ratle dam till the issue is resolved, read the joint resolution adopted unanimously by both the government and opposition members of the committees.
Observation: illegality cannot be Indian law
India’s key problem today is to make the Trump regime, now spreading anti-Muslim messages, work against Pakistan and it has won a first shot in arms as USA debarred a Pakistani senate member visa from visiting Washington. Of course there could be jubilations in New Delhi on that success as any upset for Pakistan is considered as a big win by India, though it may not have got anything substantially.
Kashmiris, the target of Indian military, intelligence and media forces, bleed profusely feel insulted and continuously injured as India tries all techniques, mainly terror methods, to silence the besieged Muslims of Kashmir and they express their anger by hoisting Pakistani flags and raising pro-Pakistani slogans that make the Hindutva minded people in India get annoyed and hit the Kashmiris directly and by hidden fake encounters by tracking Muslims remotely and attacking them. Kashmiris keep cross between Azad Kashmir and Jammu Kashmir they visualize them as one nation.
Of course, one they become a free and independent nation, Kashmiris would hoist Kashmir flag and raise only pro-Kashmir slogan.
Already over 100,000 Kashmir Muslims have been slaughtered by Indian “solders” occupying Kashmiris nation by force and terror goods while Indian government offers draconian shield to the military to deal with Muslims there whatever they feel. . Pakistan and China indeed share the Indian military rimes in Kashmir, though they may not have killed Kashmiris. For China, however, whether Kashmiris or Pakistanis, Muslims are their enemy too. Security personnel, including police, army and paramilitary, responsible for rape should be prosecuted in civilian courts.
Kashmiri struggle for complete sovereignty continues unabated. All the Indian brutalities have failed to deter the people of Kashmir from their cause for freedom from Indian subjugation. Pakistan calls upon the international community to raise its voice in seeking an end to the “gross violations of human rights and the reign of terror unleashed by Indian forces” in Kashmir and fulfill the promises it made with the people of Jammu and Kashmir 70 years ago, he said. “We urge India to stop bloodbath in Kashmir and allow the holding of free and fair plebiscite under the UN auspices,” Sharif added.
Unfortunately, Indian government authorities have rarely investigated charges of rape by security forces in Kashmir. And when any such investigations take such news are kept top secret and one would know that Indian governments investigating because India does not want to let the world know the military raps of innocent Kashmiri girls and women do take place in Kashmir.
The government of India should support swift investigations of rape by security forces and paramilitary forces in Kashmir by using the special powers provided by Indian regime. Only with genuine trials and appropriate punishments will these forces receive the clear, unequivocal message that rape is not condoned by their superiors.
Military forces who have committed rape have committed grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. The international community should condemn these abuses and bring pressure on these groups to end all such abuses.
Those found guilty of rape should be punished regardless of rank and the punishments should not be less that those specified under civilian law. The results of these investigations and the punishments should be made public as a means of giving the people of Kashmir a reason to believe in the government’s commitment to justice delivery.
To insure adequate protection against rape, the government of India should provide police training, perhaps after consultation with international experts, on adequate evidence gathering for rape prosecutions. Medical workers who have examined and treated rape victims should be protected from abuse. Medical facilities, including private licensed physicians, should be encouraged to give testimony and introduce physical evidence in court with regard to rape and other forms of sexual and physical abuse. Explicit prohibitions against rape should be included in training for all enlisted men and officers in the police, paramilitary and military as a way of sending a clear signal that rape is no longer tolerated by the state.
Kashmiris were hoping that the world community will make India “pay for their crimes against humanity”. “The killing, arbitrary arrests and fake encounters of Kashmiris continue and their fundamental rights are being denied constantly. International Community must act to hold India accountable for their crimes against humanity.
Murder of Kashmiri Muslim Afzal Guru in Delhi Tihar Jail as a secret, cold blooded act of state crime only smacks of serious kind of hatred mindset of India against Muslims. Excessively negative and hostile statements by the Indian leadership and media lords have only further brutalized the terror situation in JK.
India has struck on Kashmiri Afzal Guru on ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ being observed in India occupied Jammu Kashmir.
In order to resolve the Jammu Kashmir issue as well as Indo-Pak tensions, both should reach beyond the mere UN Security Council Resolutions.
Reunification of all parts of Jammu Kashmir into one Jammu Kashmir must be done as the top priority policy of both India and Pakistan. Pakistan must clearly spell out its desire to bring about a united Jammu Kashmir going beyond the UN Security Council Resolutions for a plebiscite in India occupied Jammu Kashmir.
India must withdraw all draconian laws that give extra power to the occupation forces to deal brutally with Muslims in Kashmir. Both India and Pakistan must not stop nourishing a deadly dirty dream of making Kashmir an integral part of their respective nation; nor can China hope to retain a part of Kashmir as part of it.
India, Pakistan and China must begin charting a Jammu Kashmir plan to surrender their sovereignty so that they live with dignity.