A Perilous Voyage of Self Determination

Whilst the UN resolution on Kashmir, calling for the referendum to decide Kashmir’s future, India remained consistent with the use of force to dictate its unlawful occupation. The 1948 resolution clearly states that accession of Jammu and Kashmir will be decided through plebiscite. Contrary to that, 70 years of brutal occupation by India against the will of Kashmiris exposes the Indian willingness to comply with such resolution.

Since the inception of India and Pakistan, Kashmir remained the bone of contention between the two states especially after the elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in India recently, which retains anti-Muslim and Anti-Pakistan sentiments. Indian government under the BJP rule, tilted more towards the use of force against Kashmiri Muslims to suppress their right of self-determination. The ruling party in India, which found its very footings on anti-Muslim/Pakistan sentiments, carried out massacres against Muslims in Gujrat. The same party earlier this year, threatened the Kashmiri Muslims to face 1947 like massacre. Such proclamation, with no embarrassment and fear of prosecution, can only be planned out when the whole government supports such repugnant ambitions. The proclamation by the Indian State, calling themselves the world largest democracy seems absurd, when the same democracy dictates Kashmir through largest military occupation.

Moreover, the silence of International communities and Human right groups over the brutal occupation is depressing; rather it shields the Indian aggression to continue without any check and balances. On many occasions, the people of IOK raised the slogan for independence, to which they face fierce repercussions. The independence moment gained much pace last year after killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Muzaffar Wani. This was followed by the extreme use of violence by Indian forces that resulted in death of many innocent Kashmiris. Thousands of Kashmiris suffered permanent eye damage and many were blinded by pellet guns during protests, yet the human rights organizations remained silent. Nevertheless, the expression of freedom reverberates in the valley as deafening roar, indoctrinating fear to the Indian illegal occupation over Kashmir, defying the customs build on the narrative of subjugation and burnishing the forlorn hope of luminous liberty.

The Kashmir valley, where abandoned hope of glimmering freedom seeks global attention, is becoming a war-torn district. Hostile aggression of Indian forces over the Muslim Kashmiris, especially in a disputed territory, also questions the UN efficacy to implement its resolution. UN has failed to implement its own resolution in Kashmir, which shows signs of its failure against aggression on oppressed. Since US alliance with India, it is hopeless to anticipate any support from United States to resolve Kashmir issue. The international powers remained bigotry in terms of resolving issues like Kashmir and Palestine, taking sides of the aggressor. The concerns regarding Kashmir freedom, Indian illegal occupation over Kashmir and right of self-determination has been raised by Pakistan at many international forums. Also at many forums, Pakistan proposed peaceful settlement and dialogues to resolve the Kashmir issue peacefully and to craft measures for economic stability within the region; however, response of the international community never guaranteed any optimism.

It is also pertinent to mention here that the comprehensive Mutual Dialogue between India and Pakistan cannot resume unless the issue of Kashmir is resolved. Furthermore, options for back-channel diplomacy are open; however, India should be engaged only after it agrees to have a dialogue on Jammu and Kashmir dispute. Support for Kashmir is vital for Pakistan and a patient policy would be viable towards India to try to bring down the escalation of violence and cross firing on LOC. However, despite many attempts by Pakistan to seek a peaceful resolution to the issue, India continues its illegal occupation over Kashmir, defying the international norms. India must realize that the only resolution to the Kashmir issue is plebiscite according to the wishes of Kashmiri people, rather than silencing the dissent through aggression and use of force.

Article originally published in The Nation on January 05, 2018.

Disclaimer: Views expressed are of the writer and are not necessarily reflective of IPRI policy.

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