Solidarity with people of Kashmir
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.