Why Kash­miris ob­serve 27 Oc­to­ber as black day

People's Review - - OP-ED - BY MUHAM­MAD RAZA MA­LIK (Muham­mad Raza Ma­lik is work­ing as the Se­nior Editor of Kash­mir Me­dia Ser­vice and can­bereache­da­traza­ma­lik849@ya­hoo.com)


Oc­to­ber 27 is the dark­est day in the his­tory of Jammu and Kash­mir and the Kash­miris liv­ing on both sides of the Line of Con­trol and across the world ob­serve it as Black Day. This is the day, when, in 1947, India sent its armed forces to Jammu and Kash­mir and oc­cu­pied it in to­tal vi­o­la­tion of the In­dian In­de­pen­dence Act and Par­ti­tion Plan and against the as­pi­ra­tions of the Kash­miri peo­ple. Ac­cord­ing to the Par­ti­tion Plan of June 3, 1947, passed by the Bri­tish par­lia­ment on July 18, the same year, the In­dian Bri­tish Colony was to be di­vided into two sov­er­eign states. The Hindu-ma­jor­ity ar­eas were to con­sti­tute India while the Mus­lim­ma­jor­ity ar­eas of Western prov­inces and east Ben­gal were to be in­cluded in Pak­istan. At the end of Bri­tish suzerainty over In­dian sub-con­ti­nent in 1947, more than 550 Princely States had be­come in­de­pen­dent but with a choice to ac­cede ei­ther to Pak­istan or India. How­ever, India il­le­gally oc­cu­pied Hy­der­abad, Ju­na­garh and Kash­mir by mil­i­tary in­va­sions. Be­ing a Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity state, with 87 Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion, Jammu and Kash­mir had a nat­u­ral ten­dency to ac­cede to Pak­istan, but the evil de­signs of its Hindu ruler and the lead­ers of In­dian Na­tional Congress and Bri­tain paved way to de­stroy the fu­ture of the peo­ple of the ter­ri­tory. India claims that it signed ‘In­stru­ment of Ac­ces­sion', which was drafted in Delhi and pre­sented to the then ruler of Jammu and Kash­mir, Ma­haraja Hari Singh, on Oc­to­ber 26. How­ever, a prom­i­nent Bri­tish his­to­rian, Alistair Lamb, chal­leng­ing the In­dian in­va­sion in Kash­mir, in his book “The Birth of Tragedy” wrote that the suc­ces­sive events af­ter the par­ti­tion of the united India strongly sug­gested that In­dian troops had in­vaded Kash­mir prior to the sign­ing of the In­stru­ment of Ac­ces­sion. He ar­gued that due to this rea­son the In­dian govern­ment never made the so-called doc­u­ment pub­lic at any in­ter­na­tional fo­rum. It is also a his­tor­i­cal fact that the so-called Bound­ary Com­mis­sion, headed by Bri­tish Bar­ris­ter, Cyril Rad­cliff, that de­mar­cated par­ti­tion line, played main role in the cre­ation of the Kash­mir dis­pute. Had the Com­mis­sion done the de­mar­ca­tion of the par­ti­tion line on the prin­ci­ples of jus­tice and in ac­cor­dance with the set pro­ce­dure then India had no land route to en­ter into Jammu and Kash­mir. But un­for­tu­nately, the Com­mis­sion un­der a con­spir­acy split Gur­daspur, a Mus­lim ma­jor­ity area, and handed it over to India, pro­vid­ing it ter­res­trial ac­cess to the ter­ri­tory. This area oth­er­wise had to be part of Pak­istan.

Geno­cide of Mus­lims in Jammu

The Mus­lims of Jammu and Kash­mir par­tic­u­larly those liv­ing in Jammu re­gion in 1947 had to pay a heavy price for their as­pi­ra­tions to join Pak­istan. In­dian troops, the forces of Do­gra Ma­haraja, and Hindu ex­trem­ists mas­sa­cred over 300,000 Kash­miri Mus­lims within a pe­riod of two months in Jammu re­gion. The blood­bath was in­tended to change the de­mo­graphic com­po­si­tion of the ter­ri­tory to turn the re­sults in favour of India in any ref­er­en­dum in the fu­ture. His­to­ri­ans con­sider this mas­sacre as the worst ex­am­ple of geno­cide in Jammu and Kash­mir.

Kash­mir in the United Na­tions

The In­dian oc­cu­pa­tion faced stiff re­sis­tance from the peo­ple of Kash­mir who launched a mass strug­gle against it. The res­o­lute move­ment of the Kash­miris forced India to knock the doors of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil on 1st Jan­uary 1948, seek­ing help of the World Body to set­tle the dis­pute. The UNSC through its suc­ces­sive res­o­lu­tions nul­li­fied the In­dian in­va­sion and called for set­tle­ment of the dis­pute by giv­ing the Kash­miri peo­ple the right to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion. It ap­proved an im­par­tial plebiscite to be con­ducted in Jammu and Kash­mir un­der the su­per­vi­sion of the World Body. De­spite the prom­ises made be­fore the world com­mu­nity by the In­dian lead­ers of giv­ing the Kash­miris an op­por­tu­nity to de­cide their fate by them­selves, the plebiscite has not been held so far.

Kash­miris’ re­volt against In­dian rule

Dis­ap­pointed at the fail­ure of all the ef­forts aimed at re­solv­ing the Kash­mir dis­pute through peace­ful means since 1947, the peo­ple of oc­cu­pied Kash­mir in­ten­si­fied their free­dom strug­gle in 1989 to se­cure their right to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion. This move­ment pushed the In­dian au­thor­i­ties to the wall, forc­ing them to sit around the ne­go­ti­a­tion ta­ble with Pak­istan. The di­a­logues be­tween the two coun­tries started in 1999 af­ter the then In­dian Prime Min­is­ter, Atal Bi­hari Va­j­payee, came to Pak­istan and met the Pak­istani lead­er­ship. Both the coun­tries agreed to re­solve the Kash­mir dis­pute through peace­ful means of talks. The talks process con­tin­ued till it was ham­pered af­ter Mumbai at­tacks on Novem­ber 26, 2008 when India with­out any sub­stan­tive ev­i­dence laid the re­spon­si­bil­ity of th­ese at­tacks on Pak­istan and its in­tel­li­gence agen­cies. An of­fi­cer of In­dian home min­istry later re­vealed that India it­self had or­ches­trated the Mumbai at­tacks to strengthen its anti-ter­ror laws. The di­a­logue process re­sumed in July 2009 and con­tin­ued with hic­cups and was once again sus­pended af­ter Naren­dra Modi-led In­dian govern­ment called off the For­eign Sec­re­tary-level ne­go­ti­a­tions sched­uled in Islamabad on Au­gust 25 in 2014, on the pre­text of meet­ings be­tween the then Pak­istani High Com­mis­sioner, Ab­dul Ba­sit, and Kash­miri Hur­riyet lead­ers in New Delhi, a few days be­fore the sched­uled talks. Since then the re­la­tions be­tween the two nu­clear neigh­bors have been tense and In­dian troops are con­tin­u­ously en­gaged in cease­fire vi­o­la­tions on the Line of Con­trol and Work­ing Bound­ary. India com­mit­ted over 600 such vi­o­la­tions since Jan­uary this year. On the other hand, the ground sit­u­a­tion in oc­cu­pied Kash­mir re­mains un­changed, as the con­fi­dence build­ing mea­sures and the di­a­logue process could not pro­vide the Kash­miri peo­ple respite from the In­dian state ter­ror­ism. On May 11, 1998, India con­ducted nu­clear ex­plo­sions and started threat­en­ing Pak­istan. This left Pak­istan with no op­tion but to re­spond by show­ing its nu­clear ca­pa­bil­i­ties on May 28 to strike bal­ance of power in the re­gion. The devel­op­ment turned Kash­mir as a flash­point as un­der­lined by sev­eral world lead­ers.

Mass up­ris­ings

The Kash­miris' strug­gle to get rid of In­dian bondage took a new turn in 2008. They started hit­ting the streets in large num­bers and ex­press­ing their anti-India and pro-lib­er­a­tion sen­ti­ments in a peace­ful man­ner. This mass upris­ing con­tin­ued for three con­sec­u­tive years and at times the num­ber of peace­ful pro­test­ers throng­ing the streets of Srinagar crossed one-mil­lion mark. But most of the time, In­dian forces' per­son­nel re­sponded th­ese peace­ful demon­stra­tors with ex­ces­sive use of brute force, killing more than 200 peo­ple dur­ing this pe­riod. The ex­tra­ju­di­cial mur­der of a young lib­er­a­tion leader, Burhan Muzaf­far Wani, on July 8, last year, by In­dian troops gave an im­pe­tus to the Kash­miris' free­dom strug­gle. Peo­ple in large num­bers hit the streets in every nook and cor­ner of the oc­cu­pied ter­ri­tory on daily ba­sis, de­mand­ing their right to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion. How­ever, In­dian po­lice and troops con­tinue to use every bru­tal tac­tic against the pro­test­ers. So far, 168 civil­ians have been killed and 20,170 in­jured in the fir­ing of pel­lets, bul­lets and tear­gas shells on the demon­stra­tors. More than 270 youth have lost their one or both the eyes due to the pel­let in­juries while around 1000 are at the verge of los­ing their eye­sight. Hun­dreds of peo­ple in­clud­ing Hur­riyet lead­ers have been put be­hind the bars. How­ever, all th­ese bru­tal­i­ties have failed to sup­press the Kash­miris' re­solve who are com­mit­ted to carry for­ward their on­go­ing lib­er­a­tion move­ment.

State ter­ror­ism and new In­dian tac­tics

New Delhi has ex­hausted all its re­sources dur­ing the past seven decades but has not been able to in­tim­i­date the peo­ple of Jammu and Kash­mir into sub­mis­sion. The con­tin­ued In­dian state ter­ror­ism, par­tic­u­larly since 1989 has made the life of Kash­miri peo­ple mis­er­able. The oc­cu­pa­tion forces en­joy­ing un­bri­dled pow­ers un­der the pro­tec­tion of dra­co­nian laws like Armed Forces Spe­cial Pow­ers Act and Dis­turbed Ar­eas Act in the oc­cu­pied ter­ri­tory have bro­ken all records of hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions. Dur­ing the last 28 years, the trig­ger-happy forces have mar­tyred over ninety-four thou­sand Kash­miris, wid­owed nearly twen­tythree thou­sand women, or­phaned not less than one hun­dred thou­sand chil­dren and mo­lested or gang-raped more than eleven thou­sand Kash­miri women. Thou­sands of in­no­cent youth have been sub­jected to dis­ap­pear­ance in cus­tody and their where­abouts re­main un­traced. The shock­ing dis­cov­ery of thou­sands of mass graves across the oc­cu­pied ter­ri­tory has raised con­cerns about the safety of the dis­ap­peared per­sons. New Delhi is hell bent upon chang­ing the Mus­lim ma­jor­ity of oc­cu­pied Kash­mir into mi­nor­ity. On one hand, it is us­ing its ju­di­ciary to ab­ro­gate Ar­ti­cle 370 and Ar­ti­cle 35A of the In­dian Con­sti­tu­tion to pave way for giv­ing the ci­ti­zen­ship rights of Jammu and Kash­mir to the In­dian ci­ti­zens. On the other, it is us­ing its in­ves­ti­gat­ing agen­cies like Na­tional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency (NIA) and En­force­ment Direc­torate to im­pli­cate Hur­riyat lead­ers, ac­tivists and pro-free­dom peo­ple in false cases to force the Kash­miri peo­ple into sub­mis­sion. In­dian de­signs to change the de­mog­ra­phy of Jammu and Kash­mir are in­tended to in­flu­ence in its favour the re­sults of a ref­er­en­dum when­ever it is held in the ter­ri­tory. As such, the move is against the very pur­pose of the rel­e­vant UN res­o­lu­tions.

Pak­istan’s sup­port to Kash­mir cause

It is an un­de­ni­able fact that Pak­istani lead­er­ship has al­ways sup­ported the Kash­miris' just strug­gle and never be­trayed the trust re­posed in it by them. The fa­ther of the na­tion, Quaidi-Azam Mo­ham­mad Ali Jin­nah, had termed Jammu and Kash­mir as the jugu­lar vein of Pak­istan. The in­cum­bent govern­ment is pro­ject­ing the suf­fer­ings of the Kash­miri peo­ple and the gross hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions by In­dian troops in oc­cu­pied Kash­mir force­fully at all in­ter­na­tional fo­rums. Prime Min­is­ter, Shahid Khaqan Ab­basi, in his re­cent ad­dress to the UN General Assem­bly and meet­ings with the world lead­ers drew at­ten­tion of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to­wards the In­dian atroc­i­ties on the peo­ple of oc­cu­pied Kash­mir. He also called for set­tle­ment of the Kash­mir dis­pute by im­ple­ment­ing the rel­e­vant UN res­o­lu­tions that guar­an­teed the Kash­miris' right to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion. The Chief of Army Staff, General Qa­mar Javed Ba­jwa, in his speech at the De­fence Day on Septem­ber 6, 2017 reaf­firmed Pak­istan's con­tin­ued politi­cal, moral and diplo­matic sup­port to the Kash­miris in their strug­gle for se­cur­ing their right to self­de­ter­mi­na­tion. Con­clu­sion In the back­drop of above facts, the peo­ple of Kash­mir ob­serve Oc­to­ber 27 as Black Day all across the world. The ob­jec­tive of the ob­ser­vance of the Black Day is to make it clear to New Delhi that the Kash­miris re­ject its il­le­gal oc­cu­pa­tion of their soil and that they will con­tinue their strug­gle till it grants them their in­alien­able right to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion. It is also aimed at re­mind­ing the world of its obli­ga­tions of re­solv­ing the Kash­mir dis­pute in ac­cor­dance with the wishes of the peo­ple of Jammu and Kash­mir and the rel­e­vant UN res­o­lu­tions.

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