Rescue Kashmir!

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More than two months have been passed since the horrendous act of Modi government to revoke article 370 which maintained a special status of Indian Occupied Kashmir for more than seven decades. This revocation didn’t come alone; it came with another long episode of curfew which is being imposed since then.  However, curfew is not a new thing for Indian Occupied Kashmir, the people of IOK have been living in a curfew like situation since 1948. But this time, the world has been shaken, the world is finally interested in what is happening to people in Indian Occupied Kashmir. Because this time, they have no food to eat, no medicine for the ill and no internet and phone signals to communicate with the outside world. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, did not forget to mention the so called “Islamic terrorism” and how it is a threat to world in the United Nations General Assembly but he did forget what is happening within India under the cover of BJP by the Hindu extremist group RSS. But it will be unfair to blame Modi alone in this situation, as this narrative of “Islamic terrorism” is not only being sold by Modi but almost all world leaders are the advocate of this narrative and surprisingly it is being accepted by the world. I will not shy away in saying that world has encouraged Indian government in maintaining the war like situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir. Just like they had the options to intervene on humanitarian grounds in Kosovo, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Bosnia, Somalia and Iraq in 1990’s, they have had options to intervene in Kashmir as well.

The Rwandan genocide happened in 1994 but the world’s great powers chose not to intervene. Similarly, the world has an option to intervene in crisis like situation today in South Asia but they are choosing not to intervene because of their larger vested interests. Remember in 1994, in the same Rwandan genocide, the great powers clearly stated that their economic conditions do not let them engage in any kind of war, which ultimately gave a signal to the perpetrators of genocide a signal to do whatever they want. Similarly, Modi had been warmly welcomed in the United States in the post curfew situation, which tells a lot about the world’s greatest power’s interest. The US intervened in Iraq and Afghanistan almost at the same time, the war on terror in Afghanistan and the humanitarian intervention in Iraq, these two wars were fought by putting the economy of US at risk, but US chose to fight these wars. Was it humanitarian intervention or some other hidden interests of US in Iraq and Afghanistan? If it was humanitarian intervention, then Mr. Prime Minister Imran Khan has aptly asked in his UNGA speech, Are we children of lesser God? Secondly, if there are other interests and agendas involved, as the realist school of thought supports, then the concept of humanitarian intervention in nothing but a bluff.

United Nations has published two reports on the situation of human rights in Indian Occupied Kashmir and Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. But India rejected the report right away and called it “fallacious, tendentious and motivated”. The irony is the report mentioned severe human rights violations including pellet guns, detention, torture, the stories of half widows and what not, and on the other hand it mentioned few cases on grounds of freedom of speech, which cannot be considered equivalent to the mass human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir. But one thing that has remained consistent, whether it was the martyrdom of Burhan Wani, Insha Mushtaq was being blinded, the post Pulwama crisis between Pakistan and India or a lockdown for more than two months, the international community remained silent as if nothing is happening in this part of the world.

Kashmiris have been fighting for their freedom and reunification with the disputed territory since long. There are various human stories that calls for the humanitarian intervention, to protect the civilians from the cruelty of Indian government but unfortunately, the world has gone deaf in case of Kashmir. The world doesn’t see a merely two years old being shot by the pellet guns, a father who hasn’t returned to his home since long and no one is sure whether he will return or not, whether he is dead or alive, a young boy whose mental health is at stake. If this was the case in any of the first world countries, the world would have intervened ages ago.

The world fears a nuclear war between Pakistan and India, and has played a vital role in “crisis management” time and again. But crisis management is not the resolution which is the need of hour. The world doesn’t put any effort in resolving the Kashmir dispute, although one reason was the Shimla agreement but India itself has violated the agreement, and Pakistan is reviewing all the agreements with India. So the question of Shimla agreement must not be put under light anymore. Kashmir requires resolution on the basis of United Nations Security Council Resolutions, otherwise South Asia will always remain the most militarized zone of the world with two nuclear powers projecting threat to each other. The recent session of UNGA has put Kashmir under focus and human rights activist, politicians, journalists and academicians are condemning the situation in IOK, it is the right time for the international community to put pressure on India, otherwise, if the brutality of Indian government continues, God forbids, IOK will soon become another Palestine.

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