World urged to stop Kashmiris’ genocide

Death toll of martyred protestors reaches 58

Srinagar: Hundreds of thousands Kashmiris attending funeral procession of a Kashmiri youth Iqbal Ahmed Khan martyred by Indian troops.

Srinagar – (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, veteran Kashmiri Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani has appealed to the world community to impress upon India to stop genocide of Kashmiris and resolve the lingering dispute in accordance with the aspirations of people.

Addressing newsmen in Srinagar after his release from illegal detention, Syed Ali Gilani urged India to withdraw all its troops from the territory, release all the illegally detained pro-liberation leaders and activists and revoke the draconian laws before initiating meaningful dialogue to settle the Kashmir dispute.

He appealed the people of Kashmir to participate in the protest programmes in large numbers to make them a success.

On the other hand, the Chairman of All Parties Hurriyet Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in a letter to the Secretary General of United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon appealed to him to appoint a representative for Kashmir in view of the grave crisis on the territory.

A civilian was martyred last night when Indian troops fired upon a demonstration at Nund Rishi colony in Bemina, Two persons succumbed to bullet injuries in local hospitals in Srinagar. They were fired upon by Indian police personnel during a protest in the city, yesterday. The fresh killings brought the number of martyred Kashmiri protestors since June 11 to 58.

Thousands of people participated in a mourning gathering at Zadoora-Newa in Pulwama to pray for the soul of a young man martyred in the firing of Indian police on peaceful protestors in the area. Read more of this post

KASHMIR – The Dispute That Continues to Rock South Asia

By Shahid R. Siddiqi

The Conflict

A cartoon published in an American newspaper in 2002 showed former president George Bush sitting behind his desk in the Oval Office, utterly confused by a news report he was reading about India and Pakistan going to war over Kashmir. “But why are the two countries fighting over a sweater,” he asked Dick Cheney who stood by with his usual sly smile on his face.

Besides reflecting the intellectual capacity of the American president of the time, the cartoon was a realistic portrayal of the understanding that American leaders have generally shown of this longstanding dispute between Pakistan and India.

The unresolved Kashmir conflict has rocked South Asia for six decades. It has created an environment of distrust and acrimony, forced the people to sink into poverty with bulk of the resources consumed by the war machines and claimed lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians as well as soldiers who died in the three wars fought between India and Pakistan. India, whose forcible occupation of Kashmir in 1947 created the conflict, refuses to settle it. The other stake holders, the Kashmiri people and Pakistan, insist on a fair solution. The international community including the US and the United Nations played little or no role in diffusing it either. Consequently, the conflict has developed into one of the most intractable problems of international politics that remains a continuing threat to peace of the region.

Indian Brutalities & The International Reaction

India has not hesitated to use brutal force to maintain its hold on Indian occupied Kashmir and suppress revolt. The US, UN and other international organizations failed to take note of grave human rights violations. They failed to provide any specific, actionable proposals for a permanent solution. All they extended were diplomatic courtesies, suggested vague formulas and generalities that are open to multiple interpretations.

Although the US considers South Asia to be a sensitive and strategically important region from its geopolitical, security and economic standpoint and has expressed the desire to see peace prevail, yet it has so far paid only lip service to finding a permanent solution. It would not chastise India for human rights violations, which would have attracted its immediate attention if these were taking place in a country that it had chosen to punish, for fear of displeasing or alienating India which it has aggressively been courting in recent years.

This situation was compounded by the Indian dreams of regional hegemony that led it to dismember Pakistan in 1971 and go on to become a nuclear power, which forced Pakistan to develop its own nuclear deterrent for safeguarding its security.

Consequently, India has consistently and blatantly refused to honor the will of the people, negotiate Kashmir’s future status and stop the use of brutal force.

The Conflict Leads To The First Kashmir War

In the wake of the August 1947 partition of British India that brought into existence two sovereign states of the Indian Union and Pakistan, the British left after having midwifed the Kashmir dispute that has since bedeviled peace between the two countries. Essentially, the agreed principle that governed partition was that Muslim majority states to the east and west of British India would form Pakistan, while rest of the subcontinent was to form Indian Union.

Decisions by several Muslim rulers for accession of their states to Pakistan that had Hindu majorities (Hyderabad, Junagadh and Manavadar being cases in point) were rejected on the grounds that a Muslim ruler did not have the right to overrule the will of the Hindu majority population. But the decision of the Hindu Raja of the princely state of Kashmir, which was predominantly a Muslim majority state and should have acceded to Pakistan, was immediately accepted by the British viceroy and the Indian government, despite a popular Kashmiri revolt against his decision. Although an agreement of non-intervention in Kashmir had been signed between India and Pakistan, the new Indian government sent troops into Kashmir at the request of the Hindu ruler to enforce the instrument of accession and forcibly occupy the territory, in disregard of the agreed principle of accession applied elsewhere.

This led to the first Kashmir war in 1947 between India and Pakistan. In 1948 India sought cease fire, taking the issue to the UN Security Council, which passed resolution 47 on 21 April 1948 that imposed an immediate cease-fire along the line of actual control of territory by both parties and called on them to withdraw their troops. It also ruled that “the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.” The cease fire was enacted in December 1948, with both governments agreeing to hold the plebiscite in areas under their control. Ever since, India has been rejecting all resolutions of the Security Council and the proposals of the UN arbitrators for demilitarization of the region – all of which were accepted by Pakistan.

The Security Council Steps In

Although the resolutions of the Security Council were regarded as the ‘documents of reference’ for a durable and internationally acceptable solution, no steps were ever taken for their implementation. This was because in technical terms these were not mandatory – not having been based under Chapter VII of the Charter. This allowed India to get away, dashing the false expectations of the Kashmiris as to the possible role of the United Nations as facilitator of a solution to the Kashmir problem.

This injustice to the Kashmiri people was intrinsically linked to the veto privilege of the permanent members of the Security Council and the lack of unanimity between them for enforcement measures according to Articles 41 and 42 of the Charter. Their plight is similar to that of the Palestinians, in whose case also resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) that call upon Israel to withdraw from occupied Arab territories are not based on Chapter VII and have hence enabled the occupying country, Israel, to ignore them.

That the United Nations Organization follows double standards was clearly visible when it adopted compulsory resolutions in other conflict situations, such as in case of the occupation of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990-1991, where the US – a permanent member, having an interest in the matter, was able to force the hand of other permanent members to do its bidding.

The cease fire line between the Indian and Pakistani sides of Kashmir has since become the Line of Control and continues to be monitored by UN observers. Read more of this post

Indigenous protesters in Kashmir

Half a million people gathers in Freedom March call at Eidgah Srinagar, Indian Occupied Kashmir

by Ali Sukhanver

Kinza Fatima, a sixteen years old Kashmiri girl wrote to me three weeks back, “Death and blood, cries and shrieks, injured, smashed and emaciated bodies of our dear and near ones; what else we are left with? You writers! Keep on writing but be sure that no one among the Indian Army deputed here in the valley of Kashmir, is going to read what you write. The world around us is deaf and dumb; there will be a time when you would realize that you have been wasting the energy of your words. Your words could never bring back my brother because he is now somewhere in the realms beyond your imaginations, high above the sky.” She further said, “My seventeen years old brother Ahmed Ali was kidnapped by a team of the Indian Army one evening while he was on his way back to home six months ago. We tried our best to locate where they had detained him but we could find nothing. Five days later we found scattered parts of his body floating in a clear water stream.” The most painful sentence of her mail which really made my eyes water; “Dear writer, do you know why the people of valley get frightened when they see a shrieking crowd of wild crows circling around a mountain top: because their circling and shrieking indicates the presence of some dead body brutally thrown there by the Indian security forces.”

A Kashmiri Muslim girl during a demonstration displays a photograph of her elder brother who was subjected to enforced disapperance by indian troops in srinagar, Indian Occupied Kashmir

This mail of innocent Kinza Fatima must be very much agonizing for all those who have a humane heart. I personally feel that it is something very easy to pen down the brutality and portray the hardships the people of Indian occupied Kashmir have been facing for more than seventy years but almost next to impossible is to bear these atrocities even for a single moment. It is simply the courage and determination of the people of Kashmir which has still kept them energetic and alive. If it were the Americans or the British or the Israelis, they would have lost all their hopes very long ago, in the very beginning. Ask the innocent children of Kashmir; ‘who is going to be our saviour?’

The people of Kashmir are of the opinion that it is nothing but the presence of the Indian army in the valley which has deprived them of their basic human rights. But the Indian Army Chief General V.K. Singh has a different point of view in this context. In his recent statement he said, “The basic reason behind the flare up in the Kashmir Valley is the failure to build on the gains that had been made by the security forces in the ‘troubled state’. The army had brought the situation under control to a certain level from where other steps should have been taken to carry forward the process and bring peace in the Valley. There are people who are passing instructions on phone. They have to be identified.

The situation in the valley of Kashmir is nothing but the result of the loss of confidence.” This statement of the army chief has many important points which require a very keen type of analysis. First of all he has admitted that there is a situation of ‘flare up’ in the valley. Secondly he has admitted the failure of the security forces and thirdly he has accepted that Kashmir is a troubled state. And above all is his admittance of the fact that the people of Kashmir have lost their confidence in the government of India and the Indian forces. The situation can be very easily improved if all these factors pointed out by the Army Chief are taken care of sympathetically. Farzana Versey is a Mumbai-based author and columnist. Here is an extract from her recent piece of writing published in the Countercurrents. ‘It does not need to be reiterated that the Kashmir issue is a complex one, but when the armed forces fight civilians, it is not only a matter of separatist aspirations. It is also about a badly-administered state that is not providing basic infrastructure and opportunities to the citizens. The freedom of individuals to express their own anger is being manipulated by various power centers, it is a precious irony’.

Sumit Ganguly holds the Rabindranath Tagore Chair in Indian Cultures and Civilizations at Indiana University at Bloomington. In one of his recent articles he states, ‘The problem that the government confronts has no military solution. The anger that has spilled out into the warren-like streets of Kashmir’s villages is not the work of Pakistan-supported jihadi terrorists or organized indigenous separatists. Instead it is the spontaneous outburst of a generation of young Kashmiris who have witnessed much hardship over the last two decades of the insurgency. This anger has its roots in economic stagnation. The coalition state government has done little to attract investment into the troubled state. Kashmiris, especially young men, have limited employment opportunities’.

Let us put together the statement of General V.K.Singh, the opinion of Farzana Versey and the analysis of Sumit Ganguly to form the real picture of Kashmir. The only reason behind is nothing but injustice and human rights violation. The Indian political and military hi-ups are never ready to pay any heed to the actual root cause. They always try to deny the facts and mitigate the situation by commenting the Kashmir issue as an internal affair of India. Kashmir has never been an internal affair of India; it is the actual bone of contention between the two neighbouring countries India and Pakistan. It is because of the Kashmir conflict that India is always eagerly ready to drag Pakistan into every incident of terrorism which takes place on the Indian soil. The Mumbai attacks of 2008 are the worst example in this regard. The Indian hi-ups are mistakenly of the opinion that Pakistan is supporting the people of Occupied Kashmir through different jihaddi groups. Read more of this post

Kashmir needs freedom from India: Arundhati Roy

SRINAGAR: Activist and author Arundhati Roy, who was present at the massive Monday rally, said that the people of Kashmir have made themselves abundantly clear. ( Watch )

“And if no one is listening then it is because they don’t want to hear. Because this is a referendum. People don’t need anyone to represent them; they are representing themselves. As somebody who has followed people’s movements and who has been in rallies and at the heart or the edge of things, I don’t think you can dispute what you see here,” she toldTOI .

Roy also said that “since the 1930s, there have been debates and disputes about who has the right to represent the Kashmiri people, whether it was Hari Singh or Sheikh Abdullah or someone else. And the debate continues till today whether it is the Hurriyat or some other party.”

Then she added, “But I think today the people have represented themselves.”

Roy concluded with words, “India needs azadi from Kashmir as much as Kashmir needs azadi from India.” –TOI

> Arundhati Roy on BBC Urdu Service about current kashmir violence

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After the failure of its war-mongering and threat-issuing strategy; dialogue now has become a necessity for India

So if the Indians are seeking a one-item agenda for dialogue it logically has to be Kashmir bef-ore all else. After all, India wants to discuss terrorism, so does Pakistan. India’s terrorism issue, as they see it, is linked to Occupied Kashmir; Pakistan’s terrorism issue is linked to state terrorism by India on the water issue and in Occupied Kashmir as well as now increasingly within Pakistan. Since India will not accept the earlier agreed-upon blueprint for the resolution of Siachin, resolution of the Kashmir dispute will resolve this automatically. As for Sir Creek, with a decreasing trust deficit if Kashmir is resolved, this border dispute will also resolve itself. So whichever way one looks at it, rationally Kashmir is the core issue that needs to be discussed first – if India wants to move away from the composite dialogue framework.


Dr. Shireen M Mazari: India’s real intentions on commencing a dialogue with Pakistan are now becoming clearer. One, they have no intention of resuming the composite dialogue; two, they want to talk on issues framed their way focusing on terrorism, but they do not include water, which has become a source of Indian state terrorism for Pakistan; and, three, they have now said they will talk on Kashmir and Balochistan! This should make Indian designs only too clear. Yet there has been no suitable response from the Pakistani side at all. After all, if India wants to talk on Balochistan, we should offer talks on Assam and the other eastern states of India where insurgencies are rife! But our leaders are maintaining a strange silence on this ridiculous Indian demand.

It seems we, or rather our decision makers, never seem to learn from history – or perh-aps they do not actually want to. That is why we are at sixes and sevens trying to deal with India’s so-called offer of a dialogue premised on an Indian agenda. Worse still, instead of evolving a cohesive and consensual policy to deal with the calibrated Indian move, our present and past decision makers have resorted to point sco-ring with each other, or at least displaying a lack of understanding of India and its history of duplicity and double talk – especially on the core issue of Kashmir.

We have the bizarre situation of the present Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi – famous for his incredulous defence of the debilitating Kerry Lugar Act – declaring that the water issue will take precedence over Kashmir when the new dialogue begins. In fact, speaking to an Indian publication, Qureshi was almost apologetic about Pakistan’s position on certain issues being grounded in history. There was no assertion of the fact that it requires no history to see Indian antics today, including its aiding and abetting of terrorism in Pakistan and its increasing state terrorism on the water issue. The tone was defensive when we have nothing to be defensive about – after all, vis-a-vis India we are the aggrieved party and have been so since 1947.

Meanwhile, the official spokesperson of the Foreign Office declared, at the same time, also in an interview to the official Press Trust of India, that Pakistan would prefer to stick to the already-agreed up-on composite dialogue procedure. Incidentally, I am intrigued enough to examine how many Indian leaders at the top level give interviews and how frequently to the Pakistani print and electronic media as compared to the Pakistanis and their constant access to the Indian media? Somehow, one can foretell the results already! Anyhow, following from these statements, the next day we have the Foreign Minister, now in Pakistan and addressing a Pakistani political audience in Multan, declaring that the government of Pakistan would fight the cases of Kashmir and water with its ‘full strength” as these were “based on truth”! Suddenly we also have ex-Foreign Minister Kasuri declare that the Musharraf government was very close to a Kashmir settlement, through backchannel diplomacy. But what settlement, since as many of us had critiqued at that time, there were strange trade-offs being made on Kashmir with the APHC being downgraded and the likes of Omar Abdullah being suddenly feted in Pakistan? Worse still, the “four-points” on Kashmir were floated first and then as an afterthought it was realised they needed to be defined and explained! So there was utter confusion over Kashmir during the previous government’s tenure, similar to the one prevailing now – but the present situation is worse because now there has been inaction on the water issue as well as unilateral concessions on trade. Read more of this post

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