Sol­i­dar­ity with peo­ple of Kash­mir

The Pak Banker - - EDITORIAL - Malik Muham­mad Ashraf

KASH­MIR is an un­fin­ished agenda of the par­ti­tion of the In­dian sub-con­ti­nent, await­ing its com­ple­tion in con­form­ity with 23 UN res­o­lu­tions on the sub­ject call­ing for de­ter­min­ing the ques­tion of ac­ces­sion of Kash­mir through a plebiscite un­der the aus­pices of the UN. The non-res­o­lu­tion of the Kash­mir dis­pute un­for­tu­nately is at­trib­ut­able to the in­tran­si­gence of the In­dian govern­ment to hon­our its obli­ga­tions un­der those res­o­lu­tions as well as the ap­a­thy shown by the UN.

Frus­trated by the non-ful­fill­ment of the prom­ises made by In­dia to grant them the right of self-de­ter­mi­na­tion, the peo­ple of Kash­mir launched an armed free­dom strug­gle in 1989. The In­dian se­cu­rity forces let loose a reign of ter­ror in the val­ley to sub­due the free­dom strug­gle. On Jan­uary 21st 1990 the In­dian forces un­furled in­dis­crim­i­nate fir­ing on the demon­stra­tors in Sri­na­gar who were protest­ing the mo­lest­ing and rape of Kash­miri women at the hands of the In­dia se­cu­rity per­son­nel, killing 55 peo­ple and in­jur­ing dozens of them. Th­ese bru­tal killings caused an out­rage and re­sent­ment through­out Pak­istan and among the Kash­miri com­mu­nity the world over. A com­plete strike was ob­served in Pak­istan on 5th of Fe­bru­ary 1990 to protest against this das­tardly act of the In­dian troops. Since then Kash­mir sol­i­dar­ity day is ob­served in Pak­istan and around the world by the Kash­miris on 5th of Fe­bru­ary ev­ery year. The ob­ser­vance of the Sol­i­dar­ity Day with the peo­ple of Kash­mir, is pur­ported to re­as­sure them that Pak­istan has an abid­ing and unswerv­ing com­mit­ment to sup­port their cause and stand by them un­der all cir­cum­stances. It also aims at re­mind­ing the world com­mu­nity of its obli­ga­tions to­wards the peo­ple of Kash­mir and to re­it­er­ate the fact that their ap­a­thy to their suf­fer­ings could have dis­as­trous con­se­quences for the re­gional and world peace. An­other ob­jec­tive is to send a clear mes­sage to the In­di­ans that no amount of op­pres­sion and per­se­cu­tion can keep the peo­ple of Kash­mir un­der sub­ju­ga­tion for long pre­vent the in­evitable.

The In­dian se­cu­rity forces since 1989 have com­mit­ted brazen vi­o­la­tions of Hu­man rights in Kash­mir. The Hu­man Rights groups within In­dia and in­ter­na­tional hu­man rights or­ga­ni­za­tions like Amnesty In­ter­na­tional (AI) have been reg­u­larly doc­u­ment­ing the sit­u­a­tion in JK from the per­spec­tive of hu­man rights vi­o­la­tion by the In­dian armed forces. Ac­cord­ing to th­ese re­ports the In­dian se­cu­rity forces in Kash­mir have killed nearly 94 thou­sand Kash­miris dur­ing the last 26 years, raped more than ten thou­sand women and killed more than seven thou­sand per­sons while in cus­tody.

The lat­est re­port of AI re­leased in July 2015 pre­sented a hair rais­ing re­view of how the In­dian se­cu­rity forces have per­pe­trated a reign of ter­ror on the peo­ple of Kash­mir with im­punity un­der the pro­tec­tion of Armed Forces Ser­vices Spe­cial Pow­ers Act (AFSPA), par­tic­u­larly sec­tion 7 of the leg­is­la­tion which grants im­mu­nity to mem­bers of the se­cu­rity forces from pros­e­cu­tion for hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions. The re­port hurled scathing crit­i­cism at the Act for hav­ing cre­ated an am­bi­ence of im­punity for In­dian se­cu­rity forces in Oc­cu­pied Kash­mir and en­abling them to com­mit hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions with­out any fear of be­ing tried.

The re­port lamented the fact none of the sol­diers has ever been pros­e­cuted in a civil­ian court for the al­leged crimes and even the de­tails of the tri­als held by se­cu­rity forces them­selves have not been di­vulged. The se­cu­rity forces in­vari­ably have re­jected re­ports about hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions as false or base­less. Re­port­edly the rel­a­tives of the vic­tims are threat­ened by the se­cu­rity forces that if they sought jus­tice through courts. Re­sul­tantly the faith of the peo­ple in the ju­di­ciary and the govern­ment is al­most non-ex­is­tent. The re­port with a view to sub­stan­ti­ate its find­ings gave the ex­am­ple of a 17 years old boy named Javaid Ah­mad who was picked up by the per­son­nel of As­sam Reg­i­ment and a few hours later his fam­ily found his dead body. An in­quiry con­ducted into the in­ci­dent by the district mag­is­trate con­cluded that the de­ceased by was not a mil- itant and had been killed with­out any jus­ti­fi­ca­tion by a Sube­dar of the In­dian Army. A let­ter writ­ten by the state home depart­ment to the In­dian De­fence Min­istry in July 2007 in this re­gard was re­sponded by the min­istry six years later to say that the killed in­di­vid­ual was a mil­i­tant from whom arms and am­mu­ni­tions were re­cov­ered. The AI re­pot was com­piled af­ter in­ter­views with the fam­i­lies of vic­tims, po­lice, court records, in­ter­ac­tion with civil so­ci­ety groups, lawyers and govern­ment of­fi­cials. It rec­om­mended the re­peal of AFPSA and turn­ing over the cases of hu­man rights vi­o­la­tion and dis­ap­pear­ances to civil courts as well as invit­ing UN Spe­cial Rap­poreur and the UN Work­ing Group on Dis­ap­pear­ance to JK with unim­peded ac­cess to the vic­tims and wit­nesses.

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