Indian Independence Day is Black Day for Kashmiris By Sajjad Shaukat

                               Indian Independence Day is Black Day for Kashmiris

                                                          By Sajjad Shaukat

 

 

 

Every year when India celebrates Independence Day on August 15, Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and the world over observe it as Black Day to convey the message to the international community that India continues to usurp their inalienable right to self- determination.

 

This very day is being marked by complete shutdown, as deserted streets, closed businesses and security patrolling the streets could be seen in the Indian-held Kashmir. Noting intensity in the war of liberation and hoisting of Pakistani flags by the Kashmiri protesters, this time, Indian occupation authorities have imposed stringent restrictions in Srinagar and other towns, and deployed heavy contingents of police and troops to prevent people from holding anti-India demonstrations.

 

However, during the partition of the Sub-continent in 1947, the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) which comprised Muslim majority decided to join Pakistan according to the British-led formula. But, Dogra Raja, Sir Hari Singh, a Hindu who was ruling over the J&K, in connivance with the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Governor General Lord Mountbatten joined India.

 

The Radcliffe Boundary Award gave the Gurdaspur District—a majority Muslim area to India to provide a land route to the Indian armed forces to move into Kashmir. There was a rebellion in the state forces, which revolted against the Maharaja and were joined by Pathan tribesmen. Lord Mountbatten ordered armed forces to land in Srinagar.

 

Indian forces invaded Srinagar on October 27, 1947 and forcibly occupied Jammu and Kashmir in utter violation of the partition plan and against the wishes of the Kashmiri people. 

 

When Pakistan responded militarily against the Indian aggression, on December 31, 1947, India made an appeal to the UN Security Council to intervene and a ceasefire ultimately came into effect on January 01, 1949, following UN resolutions calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir.

 

On February 5, 1964, India backed out of its promise of holding plebiscite. Instead, in March 1965, the Indian Parliament passed a bill, declaring Kashmir a province of India-an integral part of the Indian union.

 

Kashmiris organized themselves against the injustices of India and launched a war of liberation which New Delhi tried to suppress through various forms of state terrorism. Passing through various phases, the struggle of Kashmiris which has become an interaction between New Delhi’s state terrorism led by the Indian security forces and war of liberation by the freedom fighters keeps on going unabated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is notable that since 1947, in order to maintain its illegal control, India has continued its repressive regime in the occupied Kashmir through various machinations.

Nevertheless, various forms of state terrorism have been part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian army and paramilitary forces against Muslim Kashmiris, especially since 1989. It 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 encounters.

 

According to a report on human rights violations in the Indian-occupied Kashmir, since 1989, there have been deaths of 1,00000 innocent Kashmiris, 7,023 custodial killings, 1,22,771 arrests, 1,05,996 destruction of houses or buildings, 22,776 women widowed, 1,07,466 children orphaned and 10,086 women gang-raped/molested. Indian brutal securities forces have continue these atrocities.

 

In fact, Indian forces have employed various draconian laws like the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act in killing the Kashmiri people, and for the arbitrarily arrest of any individual for an indefinite period.

 

Besides Human Rights Watch, in its various reports, Amnesty International has also pointed out grave human rights violations in the Indian-controlled Kashmir, indicating, “The Muslim majority population in the Kashmir Valley suffers from the repressive tactics of the security forces.

 

In its report on July 2, 2015, the Amnesty International has highlighted extrajudicial killings of the innocent persons at the hands of Indian security forces in the Indian-held Kashmir. The report points out, “Tens of thousands of security forces are deployed in Indian-administered Kashmir…the Armed Forces Special Powers Act allows troops to shoot to kill suspected militants or arrest them without a warrant…not a single member of the armed forces has been tried in a civilian court for violating human rights in Kashmir…this lack of accountability has in turn facilitated other serious abuses…India has martyred 100,000 people. More than 8,000 disappeared (while) in the custody of army and state police.”

 

In this respect, European Union has passed a resolution about human rights abuses committed by Indian forces in the Indian held Kashmir.

 

It is of particular attention that in 2008, a rights group reported unmarked graves in 55 villages across the northern regions of the Indian-occupied Kashmir. Then researchers and other groups reported finding thousands of mass graves without markers. In this regard, in August, 2011, Indian Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission officially acknowledged in its report that innocent civilians killed in the two-decade conflict have been buried in unmarked graves.

 

Notably, foreign sources and human rights organisations have revealed that unnamed graves include those innocent persons, killed by the Indian military and paramilitary troops in the fake encounters including those who were tortured to death by the Indian secret agency RAW.

 

As a matter of fact, Indian authorities are not willing to talk with Kashmiri people on political grounds. New Delhi reached to a conclusion that only bullet is the right way of dealing with Kashmiris who are demanding their right of self-determination. Surprisingly, Indian successive governments are trying to ignore the dynamics of the freedom movement of Kashmiris for the sake of their alien rule.

 

Nonetheless, August 15 which is the Independence Day for India, is Black Day for the Kashmiris and their brethren in Pakistan including those living all over the world, as they re-affirm their commitment to continue their struggle against Indian illicit occupation, and till the attainment of their liberation.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

Additional Reading

Realities of Indian Policy in Kashmir Expose the Hypocrisy of Their Politics

 
 

 


An Indian army soldier looks at the bodies of three Kashmiri Lashkar-e-Taiba fighters in Ponychak 17 August 2001, after they were shot dead by Indian troops, as they were trying to cross the border into Indian-occupied Kashmir. 

 
Following in the footsteps of the occupiers of Palestine, L. K. Advani, the Indian home affairs minister, announced on August 20 in Srinagar, capital of Indian-occupied Kashmir, that Indian soldiers accused of torture, extra judicial executions or rape of women would be immune to prosecution under a new law. Not that unruly Indian soldiers ever felt any compunction about killing or raping Kashmiris, but this new law tells the army of occupation that it has a complete carte blanche in its dealings with them.
This follows another announcement: India intends to double the strength of its military presence in Kashmir by raising 30 additional battalions of the Rashtriya Rifles over the next five years. India already has 700,000 soldiers in Kashmir who have indulged in wanton killing, terrorism and gang-rapes. At least 70,000 Kashmiris have been murdered since the uprising began in December 1989, and countless others maimed.

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The Kashmiri struggle for self-determination has been misunderstood by most Muslims: they think it is merely a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan. 
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The new Indian policy also confirms reports that India is working closely with Israel. Jane’s Defense Weekly reported last month that Indo-Zionist collaboration in the military, technological and intelligence fields had reached unprecedented heights. Each is an alien occupier involved in a campaign of state terrorism to crush the aspirations of the indigenous people. Both are also highly militaristic societies but present themselves to the world as “democracies”: Israel claims to be the “only democracy” in the Middle East; India maintains the fiction of being the “largest democracy in the world”. Yet their behavior in their occupied territories puts both outside the pale. Two other policies are common to both: each is involved in fighting the Islamic movement in the area that it occupies; each is an ally of the US.
These facts have important implications for Muslims globally. It is interesting to note that most Muslim regimes have no qualms about dealing with either. The close Indo-Zionist collaboration is also evident in their common stand vis–vis the World Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa (August 31 to September 7). Israel, backed by the US, has been working overtime to smother debate on the theme of “Zionism is racism”, while India does not want its caste system to be discussed. At least 160 million Dalits in India live lives of degradation and humiliation under religiously-sanctioned apartheid.
India has been far more successful in hiding its ugly face than has Israel. But for some awareness among the Muslim masses of the Zionists’ crimes in Palestine, every regime in the Middle East would have ‘normalized’ relations with Israel long ago. Yet the same awareness does not exist when it comes to dealing with India. Even in such places as Tehran, the Hindus are welcomed and a number of trade and other agreements have been signed. The Kashmiri struggle for self-determination has been misunderstood by most Muslims: they think it is merely a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan. This shows the success of Indian propaganda.
Indian propaganda was somewhat blunted during the Agra summit (July 14-16) because of Pakistan’s insistence on the centrality of the Kashmir dispute. In fact, in Pakistan there had been hopes before the summit that India was now in earnest about resolving the 54-year-old ‘dispute’, but such hopes have now died. Islamabad now seems to understand that Delhi simply wanted the pretence of a dialogue, without really addressing the root of the problem. Vajpayee said that India was prepared to discuss Kashmir, but only as part of a “composite dialogue,” clearly rejecting its central position in the troubled relations between the two nuclear neighbors. In addition, India’s insistence on the inclusion of “cross-border terrorism” in the abortive joint declaration was mischievous and devious. No Pakistani ruler could agree to such an expression, because it has profound political and legal implications.
It implies first that the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir is an internationally-recognized border when it is not; second, that the uprising in Kashmir is not indigenous but instigated by “terrorists” from the Pakistani side of Kashmir. Indian rulers deserve full credit for deviousness; they have been trying to turn the LoC into an international border and have frequently suggested this at international forums, presenting it as a “reasonable” proposal. If Pakistan were to accept this, what was, and is the purpose of the uprising in Indian-occupied Kashmir that has been under way since 1989, in which more than 70,000 Kashmiris have perished and countless thousands have been maimed?
To suggest that the uprising in Kashmir is not indigenous is also an insult to the aspirations and sacrifices of the Kashmiris. No outside help can sustain a movement for 12 years if it does not enjoy local support. In fact, last year, when the Hizbul-Mujahideen announced a two-week ceasefire, Advani admitted that the uprising was indigenous and that Delhi had to talk to these groups. Advani, and indeed Indian rulers in general, have a remarkable ability to speak from both sides of their mouths.
This was also evident in the manner in which they approached the Agra summit. While publicly stating that they would like to be flexible on Kashmir, and would like to create an atmosphere conducive to good neighborliness, in private they have insisted on Pakistan surrendering to Indian demands.
Indian hypocrisy is also evident in the fact that immediately after the Agra talks, Delhi announced the formation of another 30 battalions of the Rashtriya Rifles to be deployed in Kashmir. Similarly, the Disturbed Areas Act as well as the Special Armed Forces Act, under which soldiers are exempt from any legal constraints, have been extended to Jammu as well (until recently they had applied only to Kashmir and to areas within 20 kilometers of the border in Jammu).
The Hindustan Times reported on August 4 that since Delhi ended the ceasefire in Kashmir in May, the number of Kashmiri deaths has risen from 97 to 225 per month. India insists on calling them “militants.” India’s own casualties at 43 per month have remained steady (before India’s ceasefire announcement of last November, casualty rates were about 160 “militants” and 36 Indian soldiers per month.) Clearly India has intensified its violent policy in Kashmir even while claiming to be talking “peace” with Pakistan. It was to discuss these “successes” that Advani went to Srinagar and gave the glad tidings that henceforth Indian soldiers could shoot to kill and rape women without any fear of restraint or punishment.
Despite all this, India continues to enjoy an excellent press in the west, especially now that the US wants to enter into a strategic partnership with it in order to contain China. Next time someone talks about “democracy,” human rights or self-determination in the US, advise them to examine the record of its two allies, Israel and India, and try to explain why they should have a license to kill, pillage and rape any people.
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Zia Sarhadi writes for Crescent International, the newsmagazine of the global Islamic movement.

 

 

 

 

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