- By Sajjad Shaukat
Since the martyrdom of the Kashmiri leaders Burhan Wani by the Indian securit forces on July 8, 2016, a new wave of brutalities have begin in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK). Despite intermittent curfews and brutal tactics of Indian police and other security forces, demonstrations have continued. To suppress the protestors, Indian Forces started playing havoc with the protestors resulting into martyrdom of more than 100 innocent and armless Kashmiris so far. The bloodshed is still on and God knows how many more Kashmiris will lose their lives at the hands of Indian forces.
In order to divert the attention from the new Intifada of the Kashmiris, India orchestrated the drama at a military base in Uri. By manipulating this false flag terror attack, the BJP-led Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi started a blame game against Pakistan’s army and its primary intelligence agency ISI, and has also accelerated war-hysteria against Pakistan. Indian forces continue violations at the Line of Control (LoC) by shelling in Pakistani side of Azad Kashmir. Pakistani troops are giving a matching response to Indian unprovoked firing across the LoC and are well-prepared for Indian another surgical strikes, as threatened by Indian new army Chief Army Chief Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhaag.
New Delhi’s main aim is to deflect the attention of international community from Indian state terrorism and the new phase of Kashmiri Intifada, while pressure has been mounting on the Modi government both domestically and internationally to resolve the issue of Kashmir with Pakistan.
In this respect, A. S. Dulat, former chief of India’s spy agency RAW, published in the magazine, ‘The Wire’ on August 27, 2016 said “Pakistan’s role is not the only catalyst for the crisis, talks about the need for the Indian government to start talking to separatist leaders in the Hurriyat Conference, Pakistan, and other important political players.” His condemnation of the Modi government for not talking to Hurriyat and for its high handedness in IOK is spot on. He rightly concludes that the Kashmiri uprising is 100% indigenous.
While, in response to the letter of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, on August 19, 2016, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deplored the killings of the Kashmiris in Indian Held Kashmir, and urged India and Pakistan to settle Kashmir and other issues through dialogue by offering his “good offices”.
Meanwhile, on September 21, 2016, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Sharif emphatically highlighted Kashmir situation during the annual session of the UN General Assembly. In this context, he said, “Kashmiris had to face barbarism from India, which made Burhan Wani, the face of freedom movement…Pakistan fully supports the demand of the Kashmiri people for self-determination, as promised by several Security Council resolutions. Their struggle is a legitimate one for liberation from alien occupation.”
During his visit to Pakistan, in the joint press conference with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on November 17, 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged for an immediate resolution of the Kashmir dispute and stated that “the escalating tensions on the Pakistan-India border and the atrocities in Kashmir cannot be ignored. He elaborated, “The Turkish government and the Turkish nation stand in solidarity with the Kashmiri people.”
Besides, Western politicians have also taken serious notice of the deteriorating situation of Kashmir. For instance, the Italian Minister for Defense, Mrs. Roberta Pinotti who visited Pakistan said on September 19, 2016 that her country “opposes use of force and lethal weapons against peaceful protestors in Kashmir and stated that it cannot be allowed to go on.” She further stated that Italy will apprise the international community about what is going on in Indian Held Kashmir.
The recent genocide in the Indian Occupied Kashmir has received wide coverage in International as well as domestic Indian media.
West’s renowned TV channels and newspapers are giving appropriate coverage to the ongoing uprising (Intifada) in Kashmir, while pointing out Indian atrocities. For example, with the title, “India’s crackdown in Kashmir: is this the world’s first mass blinding?”, The Guardian wrote on November 8, 2016, “The Long Read: A bloody summer of protest in Kashmir has been met with a ruthless response from Indian security forces, who fired hundreds of thousands of metal pellets into crowds of civilians, leaving hundreds blinded.”
However, at this crucial hour, Kashmir issue has been internationalized, while New Delhi has failed in diverting world’s attention from the present deteriorating developments of Kashmir. But, it is regrettable that some newspapers of the Muslim World are, directly or indirectly, encouraging Indian illegitimate actions against the Kashmiris. In this regard, enemies can be found within the Islamic countries.
In this context, on February 13, 2017, the English newspaper of Jordan, The Jordan Times published a news item on Kashmir mentioning Kashmiris, massacred by the Indian soldiers as rebels, militants and terrorists, while described Hindu soldiers who were killed as martyrs.
The Jordan Times ignored the facts and ground realities that Kashmiri freedom fighters are waging a war of liberation indigenously by fighting against oppressive Indian forces as well as against draconian laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
While ignoring a deliberate campaign of the Indian army and paramilitary forces against Muslim Kashmiris, especially since 1989, which has been manifested in brutal tactics like crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, breaking the legs, molestation of Muslim women and killing of persons through fake encounter, The Jordan Times has also set aside the right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people, which has already been recognized by the related-resolutions of the UN Security Council, and India did not implement these resolutions, as New Delhi is employing delaying tactics to settle the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan. So far, more than 100000 people have been martyred by the Indian security agencies during the war of independence.
When Pakistan’s embassy raised the matter with the management of the Jordan Times, it gave three links of Pakistan’s famous daily Dawn and pointed out that Pakistani newspapers were also using similar terms for those killed in Kashmir. One of the links given by Jordan Times in relation to the daily Dawn which wrote on February 12, this year, “Four terrorists were killed and four weapons were recovered from the encounter site, claimed army spokesman in Srinagar, Col Manish.”
Similarly, while using the term of separatists instead of the freedom fighters, Dawn wrote on February 4, 2017, “Indian security forces killed two suspected separatists in India-held Kashmir”, Indian police claimed. On January 29, 2017, Dawn mentioned, “An Indian army colonel and a police officer were killed Tuesday in a gun battle with rebels in Indian-held Kashmir…On January 15 government forces killed five rebels during a gun battle in a forested area a few kilometres from the site of Tuesday’s encounter”.
While describing the plight of the families of the freedom fighters on March 14, 2017, Dawn gave the caption, “Kashmir’s ex-rebels, families live stateless in their own home” and wrote, “In 2010, after the rebellion had largely been crushed, India rolled out a rehabilitation programme inviting former fighters home, provided they renounce militancy.” Notably, here the term of rebellion and not war of liberation has also been used by the Dawn.
Nevertheless, in some other news items too, the terms of militants, rebels and separatists instead of martyrs, freedom fighters and war of independence have been employed by the daily Dawn.
It is indeed quite misfortune that at this decisive hour when movement for liberation of the Indian Controlled Kashmir has intensified by attracting the international attention, some entities of the Muslim World have, intentional or unintentionally, become tools in the hands of Indian lobbyists and propagandists whose psychological warfare is mounting day by day to tarnish the image of innocent Kashmiri Muslims and their supporters in Pakistan and other parts of the Islamic world. In this connection, by showing realistic approach, The Jordan Times and Dawn must rectify their policies by using the actual terms in relation to the Indian Occupied Kashmir. Otherwise, Muslim readers will, undoubtedly, conclude that the enemies are present within the Islamic countries.