Posted Sat, 04/10/2010 – 15:03
Muhammad Farooq Rehmani
Convener All Parties Hurriet Conference AJK/Pakistan Chapter
On 12 July 2004 at Asian Studies and Research Society Islamabad
Kashmir imbroglio now is a burning topic in every mind and political establishments and strategists in every country are very keen to discuss and resolve Kashmir. European Union, American think tanks and British foreign policy Authorities have been following a sustained and silent diplomacy to narrow down differences between India and Pakistan over Kashmir for its final dispensation. OIC follows and monitors progress on Kashmir and often reiterates its firm support to the people of Kashmir to achieve the goal of peace according to the UN charter and Security Council Resolutions.
Famous Indian jurist Mr. Tarkunde wrote as early as 1990. “It would be very difficult to find a Muslim resident of Kashmir valley who does not passionately desire complete independence from India.” Since then Jammu and Kashmir has been witnessing much more innocent blood, property destructions, forced disappearances of young people, custodial killings and molestation of women and other heinous crimes by Indian troops and paramilitary forces. So what was thought to be a hundred per cent truth in 1990 is now considered as 200 per cent without any exaggeration.
Kashmiris get disgusted, anguished and outraged when they find that in spite of so wide spread state terror and tyranny being perpetrated on them and unprecedented patience and sacrifices by their people, the world has done little to prevent the Indian occupation forces from committing illegal and immoral acts against the civil society. It looks all the more conspicuous when highly responsible fora of the world ignore them and put them on the mercy of foreign occupation forces.
Kashmir is not a new name in the history of the world. It continues to exist with idyllic surroundings and civilized people for some thousands of years. Its culture and civilization flourished in every age and uncivilized regimes and rulers could never force its moral courage to submission. After the First World War in 1920s the people of Kashmir launched their agitation for civil and basic human rights. It was here that many British Indians notably the great poet philosopher of East Dr. Muhammad Iqbal raised his voice for the rights of Kashmiris and organized Kashmir movement in the British India. He along with other Indian Thinkers and Statesmen began a crusade against Amritsar agreement of March 1846. By the end of British paramountancy in India in 1947 Kashmir movement was echoing through out India and Punjab had become the centre of activities for the struggle of the people of Kashmir.
But the struggle of the people of Kashmir for their basic rights faced a new challenge when immediately after the partition of the sub-continent Indian army launched an aerial attack on Srinagar and illegally annexed large parts of Jammu and Kashmir in the name of some fake accession document by the Maharaja of Kashmir. Although on the eve of his assassination 56 years ago Mahatma Gandhi lamented the tragic conditions of Kashmir’s first war “ I would suggest that our first task is to magnify our own faults and find no fault with the Muslims”, He told his prayer meeting. “if the people of Kashmir are in favor of opting for Pakistan, no power on earth can stop them from doing so… they should be left free to decide for themselves….” Two months later a fanatic Hindu Brahman assassinated the father of India’s freedom. At this time of the history the newly born United Nations organization passed resolutions directing both India and Pakistan to create a conducive atmosphere of law and order in the state to hold plebiscite to ascertain wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Since then India took every illegal and forcible step to end the political, cultural and historical identity and individuality of Jammu and Kashmir, which includes illegal, unconstitutional, undemocratic and fraudulent nomination of first four un-elected persons for the Assembly of India, dissolving of the elected Raja Sabha of Jammu and Kashmir establishing of illegal constituent assembly to give sanctity to the illegal accession with India. India is always proud of her fraudulent process of accession and elections in Kashmir.
The root of the Kashmir problem remained underground for so long and the world body showed indifference to its resolutions. How could other forums bother to listen to what were the grievances of Kashmiris, which finally compelled the inhabitants of the region to ring a bell of alarm by challenging the presence of Indian occupation forces on the soil of Kashmir. Kashmiris realistically asked the world that if big powers support Jews to live independently as a separate state and again if the world body can hold referendum in east Timor, why the same powers and the same UN looks reluctant to provide the same environment to Kashmir to ascertain the wishes of its people. Human skin can have different colors, but the blood is same. In fact the wishes of the people of Kashmir are in conformity with the rights of human beings recognized under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. India is denying these inherent rights to Kashmiris, resulting in death and destruction of the civil fabric of the society in Kashmir.
Article-I says that all human beings are born equal in dignity and rights. Article-II entitles Human beings with all these rights and freedoms. Article-IV stands for life, liberty and security and forbids slavery but Kashmiris are being treated as sub humans for the last fifteen years. Article-V prohibits torture, and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to a man or woman. But contrarily India continues her policy of genocide and humiliation of the people of Kashmir to-date. Article VII advocates equality before law and article–VIII prohibits arbitrary arrest, detention or exile but in Kashmir there are all such laws in vogue, which infringe upon these rights and freedoms of the people. Thus forcible disappearances, detentions, dislocation of the people and self-exile are a permanent feature of the modern Kashmir. Article –13 stands for freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each sate and right to leave any country including his own and to return to his country. But in violation of this article India has imposed travel restrictions on many politicians in the state she has also impounded passports of Kashmiri leaders and is not issuing new passports to the citizens of Kashmir who are presently in Pakistan or else where and would like to go to their homes in Kashmir. This illegal practice of the government of India amounts to denial of rights to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir it has also threatened social cultural fabric of the human families across Jammu and Kashmir. Besides movement of the people across old historical routes of Kashmir continues to remain banned since 1947. Although the 1947, ceasefire under UN was aimed at creating a conducive atmosphere for a plebiscite in Kashmir. Article 15 guarantees the right of nationality. But the stalemate of Kashmir has obviously jeopardized the right of Kashmiris to their nationality or sub nationality.
Today Asian nations rather all nations have agreed with each other to fight against terrorism in any form and manifestation. Yes we also do agree with this idea but at the same time they must also agree to begin a sustained struggle against the cause of terrorism and the factors that lead to block the road map to any just, amicable and durable solution of Jammu and Kashmir. It may look to be a dream but the duty of the world is to translate this noble dream of peace everywhere including Kashmir into reality. Every state in the world is suggesting to both India and Pakistan and Kashmiris that they should sheath their swords and bury the hatchet to engage in a sincere dialogue with a readiness to give and take.
Besides there is a worldwide slogan of bilateralism being forcefully preached to bring India and Pakistan nearer to the resolution of Kashmir. The bilateral talks between the two sovereign states may quite be necessary for some reasons but the preposition seems ludicrous to the people of Kashmir in some respects and they generally argue in favour of the basic historical and moral nature of the Kashmir dispute. They believe that Kashmir is not a territorial dispute. It is undoubtedly the question of the inalienable right of self-determination as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Resolutions. Hence the people of Kashmir argue that without intending to harm bilateral talks between India and Pakistan— on the specific question, Kashmiris with their representatives should be associated with the process of resolving this conflict.
Peace and peaceful overtures and CBMs between India and Pakistan felt pleasant in the beginning but with the passage of time these confidence-building measures were not extended to Kashmir. On the contrary India further divided Kashmir by constructing a dangerous and illegal long barbed wall and boosted further the aggressive tempo of her military operations across the occupied Jammu and Kashmir, martyring over thousand Kashmiri civilians after the present thaw in Indo-Pak relations.
The UN should extend complete support to the indigenous peaceful political struggle of the people of Kashmir. It should press upon India to revoke all the draconian laws including restrictions on foreign travels of political leaders and with draw all troops to barracks as a minimum gesture to create confidence on negotiating table for the resolution of Kashmir. Kashmiris should feel safe in their homeland before expecting from them hand of cooperation to the process of dialogue. Each and every process of dialogue to settle the dispute of Kashmir must respect and uphold values and ideas of the sacrifices of the people of Kashmir and the status quo should never be recognized as their fait accompli. #End#