The Hu­man­i­tar­ian As­pect of Kash­mir Is­sue

The Diplomatic Insight - - Kashmir - Dr. Raja Muham­mad Khan

Upon es­tab­lish­ment of the United Na­tions Or­ga­ni­za­tion, Colo­nial­ism came into sharp con­trast with the right of selfdeter­mi­na­tion. Re­sul­tantly, many of the Afro-Asian coun­tries in­clud­ing In­dia and Pak­istan were de­col­o­nized and got in­de­pen­dence. The UN how­ever, failed to give right of selfdeter­mi­na­tion to Kash­miris. Rather, In­dia, a force­ful oc­cu­pier of the state, started vi­o­la­tions of hu­man rights in its oc­cu­pied ar­eas with a re­newed im­pe­tus. Nev­er­the­less, the mis­eries of Kash­miris, started with the Treaty of Am­rit­sar-1846, yet with the In­dian oc­cu­pa­tion of this Princely state, th­ese ag­o­nies in­creased many­fold. Ear­lier, Kash­miri's peace­ful at­tempt to come out from the clutches of the slavery was bru­tally crushed, re­sulted into the worst massacre by Do­gra Rule in 1931. Se­quel to this, Do­gra rulers' com­mit­ted worst form of hu­man rights vi­o­la­tion of the Kash­miri un­til Kash­miris re­volted in Oc­to­ber in 1947 to get their right of free­dom. In the process, they gained par­tial suc­cess, with bulk of the state get­ting un­der In­dian oc­cu­pa­tion. United Na­tions has passed a num­ber of res­o­lu­tions, all promis­ing Kas­miris for their right of self-de­ter­mi­na­tion. Be­ing a party, as il­le­gal oc­cu­pier, UN res­o­lu­tions were ac­cepted by In­dia too. How­ever, sub­se­quently, In­dia de­nied the right of selfdeter­mi­na­tion to Kash­miris, un­til their peace­ful strug­gle was forced to con­vert into an armed re­sis­tance move­ment against In­dian oc­cu­pa­tion in early 1990s. The strat­egy, In­dia used for the hu­man rights vi­o­la­tion in­clude; in­dis­crim­i­nate killings of Kash­miri masses by its se­cu­rity forces, ar­bi­trary ar­rest and de­ten­tion, gang rapes of women, tor­ture and even ar­son and loot­ing of houses of the Kash­miris. Through in­hu­man and dis­crim­i­na­tory laws, In­dia has given spe­cial sweep­ing pow­ers to its se­cu­rity forces. As per Jawayria's ar­ti­cle, 'Kash­mir: In­dia's Reign of Ter­ror', there is a huge con­cen­tra­tion of In­dian army in Jammu and Kash­mir, in­deed, un­par­al­lel in the world. “From Jan­uary 1989 to De­cem­ber 2007, nearly 100,000 Kash­miris have been killed by In­dian troops in Kash­mir and as many dis­ap­peared dur­ing In­dian forces' cus­tody in var­i­ous in­ter­ro­ga­tion cen­ters and tor­ture cells. About 113,882 civil­ians have been ar­rested without any rea­son, 22,591 women wid­owed, 1756 gang-raped and the chil­dren or­phaned es­ti­mate to 107,051, Peo­ple ren­dered home­less are be­yond cal­cu­la­tion as vaguely 105,536 build­ings/homes have been de­stroyed bru­tally. There is hardly any house in oc­cu­pied Kash­mir, which has not sac­ri­ficed one or two or­more of its mem­bers for the cause of lib­er­a­tion.” In­dia did not let loose its bru­tal­i­ties even af­ter Kash­miris de­nounced their armed strug­gle in 2003. It is con­tin­u­ing its bru­tal acts as a rou­tine. In­dian se­cu­rity forces still num­ber over 650,000, con­tin­ued hu­man rights vi­o­la­tion of Kash­miris. In 2008, In­dian forces fired on the group of peace­ful demon­stra­tors and killed dozens of in­no­cent Kash­miris. Th­ese pro­tes­tors were ask­ing for a safe pas­sage to sell their fruits and other agri­cul­tural prod­uct to In­dian mar­kets, but all routes were blocked by In­dian se­cu­rity forces and BJP led Hindu na­tion­al­ists. Once their routes to In­dian mar­kets were blocked, they tried to go to Muzaf­farabad, AJK, but were de­nied and fired upon, re­sul­tantly killing dozens of Kash­miris. This was un­par­al­lel eco­nomic block­ade of Kash­miris and they­were de­nied of their le­gal right of sell­ing their prod­uct. Like all other dis­crim­i­na­tory acts of the In­dian se­cu­rity forces, thiswas a clear vi­o­la­tion of the in­ter­na­tional hu­man­i­tar­ian law Ear­lier, In­dia at­tempted to change the de­mog­ra­phy of Kash­mir, through al­lot­ment of Kash­miri land for set­tling non Kash­miri Hindu pop­u­la­tion in the garb of ex­tend­ing the space for aHindu shrine. There have been con­tin­u­ous bru­tal­i­ties on Kash­miris by In­dian forces there­after. In May 2009, In­dia Army rape and mur­der two Kash­miri women at Shopian area. The in­ci­dent was se­ri­ously re­sented by all Kash­miris and also in­vited con­dem­na­tions from all over. Sim­i­larly, In­dian forces killed a nine years old boy without any fault. In 2010, there has been killing of many in­no­cent Kash­miris by In­dian se­cu­rity forces, an act to­tally in vi­o­la­tion of the UN Char­ter and Hu­man Rights Dec­la­ra­tion. As a rou­tine, In­dian se­cu­rity forces are killing Kash­miris without any le­gal jus­ti­fi­ca­tion, but, there is no re­ac­tion from in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. Since its in­cep­tion in 1947, peo­ple have been con­fus­ing, whether Kash­mir is a po­lit­i­cal or a re­li­gious is­sue. The re­al­ity how­ever is that, Kash­mir is a hu­man­i­tar­ian is­sue. It in fact is the is­sue of the hu­man rights of over 15 mil­lion peo­ple. Over the years, the hu­man­i­tar­ian di­men­sion of the is­sue has be­come more glar­ing then other two. To­day, the global com­mu­nity has a re­al­iza­tion that, the mas­sive hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions in the oc­cu­pied state has to be dealt as per the pro­vi­sions of theUniver­sal Dec­la­ra­tions of Hu­man Rights of De­cem­ber 1948 and Ar­ti­cle 1 of the UN Char­ter. Un­der the dec­la­ra­tion, the broad guide­lines are “All hu­man be­ings are born free and equal in dig­nity and rights.” The dec­la­ra­tion pro­hibits ar­bi­trary ar­rest and de­ten­tion of any hu­man be­ing and also de­clares that, “No one shall be sub­jected to tor­ture or to cruel, in­hu­man or de­grad­ing treat­ment or pun­ish­ment.” The dec­la­ra­tion takes a lead from the UN Char­ter, which aims to, “de­velop friendly re­la­tions

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