Taj Nabi Khan
ISLAMABAD, Feb 05 (APP):The internationally recognized disputed territory of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) has witnessed an upsurge in state-sponsored draconian oppressive laws and amendments against the innocent Kashmiri people to further suppress and deprive them from their basic human rights.
Almost all basic human rights of the Kashmiri people are violated through all possible means and measures from restricting mobility to communications and collective freedom to individual liberty.
Similarly, more cases of the arrest of political leadership, fake encounters and cordon-and-search operations, target killings, attacking educational institutions, media houses and journalists have been reported in the valley in wake of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution on August 05, 2019.
The longstanding unresolved dispute of IIOJK has given birth to perpetual and systematic human rights violations.
The ongoing deliberate horrific acts of violence, mental torture, aggression and ruthless brutalities have been directed to crush the spirit and freewill of the inhabitants of the valley. The situation has forced them to live and experience the worst nightmare of terror and trauma.
Their legitimate right of freedom has been suppressed through all possible means. It is wrong to term Kashmiris as separatists because the territory has never remained a legal part of India.
The IIOJK is the only disputed territory whose solution is suggested by the parties (India and Pakistan) themselves. Similarly, Mahatma Gandhi has also said, “If the people of Kashmir are in favour of opting for Pakistan, no power on earth can stop them from doing so.
But they should be left free to decide for themselves” (Stanley, P. 247). During 1947-48 when the dispute erupted, almost all the leading countries including US, UK, China, France, Canada, Argentina, Belgium, Columbia have suggested that the dispute must be resolved in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of Kashmiris.
Talking to APP, Dr. Maria Sultan, President and Chairperson, South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) University has said that along with the right to self-determination, the rights to identity had also been snatched overnight from the Kashmiri people through Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
She said the partition of the Subcontinent was incomplete without resolving the Kashmir dispute as per the UN Security Council resolutions and international laws.
“The internal strength and unity amongst the Kashmiri people will make their struggle for freedom victorious”, she added.
Dr Awais Bini Wasi, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, Riphah International University Islamabad has said after implementing new Acts and laws, the situation of IIOJK has turned grave with serious repercussions.
He said for bringing large scale changes in demographic composition of the valley, firstly the non-state subjects were allowed to buy land and invest in businesses and trade, get employment and education. Secondly, cultural onslaughts were made against the Kashmiri language (revival of Devanagari script) and traditional dress (ban in Kashmir Secretariat).
Thirdly, he said, the trend of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) elections in the IIOJK since 2002 has made manifestation of the fact that the Indian state penetration has been increased.
Dr. Maria Sultan said that alongside the brutalities against the innocent Kashmiri people, the Modi’s Hindutva supremacist government had also unleashed aggression against the Sikh and Muslim minorities in India.
She said that through amendments, the people of Kashmir had been deprived of their basic rights to life: national identity, mobility, religion, communication, freedom of expression, transport and property. “Now the same maltreatment was meted out as punishment with the Sikh community of India”, she added.
Ms Sophia Siddique, an Islamabad-based working journalist said the people of IIOJK had been faced with tough situations since partition of the Subcontinent.
But after implementation of Article 370, life has become a worst nightmare in the valley. “People don’t have access to the internet, hospital, mobility, and education facility.”
Unless the Kashmir dispute was resolved, the dream of peaceful and prosperous South Asia would not be realized, she added.
Awais Bini Wasi said that the Kashmiri women have been marginalized on three levels: “Muslim”, “Kashmiri” and “Women”.
He said if it was possible to declare the area ‘international arm conflict zone’ through law-fare then it would not be possible for India to change the status of Kashmir. “Instead of damage-control policy, Pakistan should opt for a foresight approach in addressing the issue of Kashmir”, he added.
He suggested that the leadership of AJK government should be given the authority to plead the case of IIOJK for winning the hearts and minds of people.