The Smouldering Kashmir, World needs to act now


The people of Jammu and Kashmir have a long history of undergoing the despotic rules and brutalities. The historical atrocities have been compounded by ongoing human rights violations by India. According to Asia Watch, ethnic cleansing, fake encounters, extrajudicial killings, torture, sexual violence, and arbitrary arrests and detentions have reached unprecedented proportions in Kashmir. Moreover, the use of pellet-guns on unarmed, innocent protestors has drawn scathing criticism from human rights organizations. The Indian troops to Kashmiri people ratio in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) is the largest-ever soldiers-civilian ratio in the world. Amid such murky circumstances, the recent killing of a freedom fighter, Burhan Wani, has added a fresh impetus to independence movement of the Kashmiris. Miserably, the Indian government regards such struggle for freedom an immoral and militant uprising. They must confess that the Kashmiris are agitating for their right to self-determination and calling this movement “terrorism” is a distortion of truth that will definitely arouse the sentiments of Kashmiris as well as Pakistanis.

The further misery can be gauged from the controversial Geospatial Bill that was passed by the Indian parliament recently. It has provoked pro-Kashmir sentiments in Pakistan. Through its passage, the Indian government would penalise the individuals and organizations who regard Jammu and Kashmir a disputed territory as per the resolutions of United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Pakistan or any other party to this conflict has been sidelined on the reason that they have no locus standi in the internal matters of India. This creates a severe harm on Pakistan’s diplomatic leverage on Kashmir.

Stephen. P. Cohen has rightly remarked: “Pakistanis and Kashmiris have reached Mutually Hurting Stalemate (MHS) stage on Kashmir.” Undoubtedly, Pakistan is no way in a position to “bleed India with thousand cuts” by abetting Kashmiri freedom struggle. So, it is the most proper time to change narratives. The Pakistani media and the country’s diplomatic missions as well as the Foreign Office must play their due constructive role in this regard. Thus to garner comprehensive results, both countries should promote talks in order to ratchet down tensions between the two countries. Secondly, the United Nations must create a room for human rights organizations to highlight felonious attacks by Indian army. Thirdly, international community ought to push India onto disbanding its special task force in Kashmir. Fourthly, the role of United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) should be expanded to strictly monitoring the implementation of the 2003 ceasefire agreement. Fifthly, there is dire need to implement United Nation Resolution 47 which states that the future of Kashmir should be decided through democratic method of free and impartial plebiscite.

It is an established fact that if international community fails to realize the gravity of this issue, it may trigger a nuclear war that would be catastrophic for all. The above suggestions should be pursued in letter and spirit to bring a long-lasting peace in Kashmir.

The writer has graduated from Mehran University and is a member of Youth Parliament Pakistan.

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