The Nation (Editorial)
The occupation of Kashmir and Palestine are more than enough to put the civilised world to shame for its inaction to stop India and Israel from violating human rights of the colonised people. People in Indian occupied Kashmir cannot maintain the threshold of patience in the face of brutal occupation of their lands. They cannot bear further suppression. Thus they have overthrown their fears and come out of their homes to resist the occupation. Against the agitation of Kashmiri people, India is relying on the same tactics that Israel uses against Palestinian people. In the latest spree of violence to suppress the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination, Indian forces killed over 15 people.
Both occupying powers conveniently label the killed ones ‘militants and terrorist’; vocabulary borrowed from ‘war on terror narrative’ provide a smokescreen to their brutalities. The two occupying forces are facing popular revolts against the injustices they have done to the civilian populations. One thing is, however, constant in both occupations: the unarmed civilian protestors suffer casualties the most.
State violence and deception inflicted upon the civilian lives is by no means unusual in Kashmir. It is a routine. The occupation of Kashmir –the unmatched beauty of the valley compelled Mughal Emperor Jehangir to call it Paradise on Earth– for the last seven decades can be rightly called as the biggest, the most brutal one in the world. In addition to the daily regime of arbitrary arrests, curfews, raids, and checkpoints enforced by 700,000 Indian soldiers the ordinary folks of the valley are exposed to extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations in the hands of Indian forces.
The question worth asking –in the face of such barbarity often on display from Indian forces– is why does the immense human suffering of Kashmir occupy such an imperceptible place in the moral imagination of the world? While we observe a global response, howsoever meek and weak, on Palestine, will the killing fields of Kashmir receive any notice? Will the United Nations (UN) call for a special investigation in the killing fields of the valley? Can we dream of a UN that can secure the goal of a peaceful world? It is not wrong to assume that the occupation of Kashmir is one of the main factors of destabilisation in the region. Until and unless the UN and global community show a robust action and sincere commitment to solving the conflict according to the wishes of the Kashmiris, the dream of a peaceful and arms free South Asia will never come true.