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Revolt in Indian Held Kashmir
The Kashmiri struggle has turned into a new intifada recently when youth, children and even Kashmiri women took to the streets, armed with stones— the weapons of the oppressed civilians against tyrants—braving death. The Indian military has used every tactic and means, ranging from bullets to curfews to sealing off the territory, in order to restrain and silence the voice of Kashmiris from reaching the world. Curfews are imposed every now and then leading to starvation of the local populace. A case in sight is the Palhallan village, where many Kashmiris died due to starvation, as the curfew clamped on the village extendedfor 29 days. The Palhallan village of Pattan tehsil is in Northern Kashmir district of Varmul, where the 29-day long curfew brought life to a standstill as the village remained out of bounds for the rest of the world. Many people died due to starvation and the fellow villagers could not even offer funeral prayers or perform the last rites as check posts had been set up around the village and no movement into or out of the village was permitted. The villagers accused the invading Indian troops of vandalism and breaking the windows of more than 300 houses during the past month. The Indian army reportedly damaged 35 band saw mills in the village and snapped electricity by blasting four transformers. Record killing of Kashmiris by the Indian army has been reported in one month, when they killed over 50 innocent civilians in cold blood.Despite this state terrorism by India, the Kashmiris have made it to the streets in order to continue protests against the occupation, which has sent the Indian government into a frenzied mode.
Failed attempt to play the religion card:
After failing to curb the growing Kashmiri uprising against the occupation, the Indian invading minds have come up with many ideas to befool the world. One of the most sinister moves was to play the religion card by bribing some Deobandi mullahs to issue statements in its favour over Kashmir. The meeting of the Congressi deobandi mullahs and their groupies Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, recently interfering in the affairs of the Kashmiris and supporting the Indian stand said, "The long pending demands of the Kashmiri people need to be addressed within the framework of the Constitution of India."
Darul Uloom Deoband supports India against Pakistan and Kashmir This clearly shows the unauthentic nature of this meeting which fell flat on its face, when the Kashmiri leaders rejected the interference of these Indian mullahs into their affairs, saying Kashmir was a separate country hence any Indian, be it a Muslim, has no right to advise the Kashmiris. Even an antiIslam, anti-Pakistan, Indian journalist, Mr. MJ Akbar has exposed the sinister face of this one-sided Indian propaganda meeting.
At this point in time, Kashmir is the world's oldest unresolved issue in modern history, despite the fact that the world community, through various United Nations resolutions, has been promising to resolve this crisis.
Keeping in view the strategic aspects of Kashmir for the world as well as the future water wars that can occur between nuclear armed India and Pakistan, the conflict will not be contained merely within the territorial parameters. The recent revolt in Kashmir is perhaps the most vigorous as it has not only shaken the Indian rulers but also caught the world's attention due to its unique civilian characteristics. The Indian army is committing unimaginable and unforgivable atrocities against the unarmed civilian population and protestors on the streets in every major town in the valley. Inhumanly enough, the so-called champions of human rights around the world have turned a blind eye towards this terrorism by India, just to fulfill their economic interests in this country, at the cost of millions of lives. Murders, abductions, custodial killings, shooting protestors, raping women, robbing and torching dwellings are a routine by the Indian army and paramilitary forces under specific laws made for the Kashmiris in order to oppress them. This immoral,global mum over this critical issue indeed is a conspicuous crime against humanity. The statistics speak for themselves: 92 killings, 16 women gang rape cases, 1146 injured during protests, 364 extra judicial arrests under draconian Public Safety Act (PSA), 11 civilian buildings destroyed and 9 custodial killings; all this took place in the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) in September, 2010 alone. This is just a glimpse of a never ending holocaust for the Kashmiris, being carried out by the Indian occupied forces since the last 6 decades. Painting the entire picture of crimes against humanity in IHK is not possible as the valley is a no go area for independent media organizations and journalistic communities around the world. But even then the above incidents and their intensity should suffice to stretch one's imagination about what the Indian army is doing to the unarmed Kashmiri civilians. These heinous crimes wielded a sheer sense of anger and revenge in the Kashmiris, particularly the youth, against the occupying Indian forces. Consequently, the protests in every major town and city in IHK are getting more and more violent. Though this time the Kashmiris are unarmed and
untrained but they are more ferocious than ever before. There is a whole new dimension to this civilian uprising as it is an exact replica of what the Palestinians are doing against the aggression of Israel. Thousands of women, children, students and common men are part of this rebellion that has unnerved New Delhi completely. This is the Kashmiri intifada. Some news agencies and locals through the internet and other alternate media are highlighting the happenings on the streets in IHK. These news reports have created serious PR and diplomatic problems for India. The traditional Indian claim, that Pakistan is responsible for harboring and launching the “terrorists” in Kashmir to cause unrest and rebellion has blown to tatters. With the entire population of unarmed native Kashmiris on the streets against the Indian occupation, New Delhi is running out of ideas to ebb the current uprising. This movement has destroyed the morale of the Indian forces, as with every passing moment a new story of brutality is popping up in the media. In desperation the Indian Premier reverted to one of Chankiya's oldest strategies in order to contain a powerful enemy: Appeasement. The Indian government offered a proposal to the Kashmiri leaders so that the situation could be brought under control, but failed miserably as the APHC (All Parties Hurriyat Conference) has categorically rejected the peace proposal presented by Manmohan Singh. The frustrated Indian cabinet was left with no other option than to blame the ISI, yet again, for its own failure to lure the Kashmiri leaders into a trap of peace talks. It is a clear indication that the people of the valley will not be accepting any nonsense of Indian excuses and inducements.
The Kashmir Holocaust:
The recent violent phase of the Kashmiri revolt began with the decision of the Indian cabinet, on 8th July 2010, to allow the Indian forces to carry out a maximum crackdown. This decision caused a momentous protest against extra judicial killings and human rights violations by the Indian forces. With unchecked authority, the Indian occupying forces unleashed a new wave of terror in the valley by killing innocent Kashmiri students after declaring them as terrorists. Later reports confirmed that the “terrorists” killed by Indian forces were school and college students. Recent media coverage has revealed innocent students killed by Indian forces.
Young Martyrs to the cause of freedom!
Pakistani trained terrorists or young Kashmiris?
(Images Source: Associate Press)
These protests turned into a complete war afterwards. This is a war between brute force and human will and perseverance against oppression to maintain independence and freedom. Despite taking many casualties daily, it is the Kashmiris who are winning this war. The Indian Raj has been pushed back to a defensive position on the political ,diplomatic level. Many senior Indian political analysts and commentators are now openly advising New Delhi to change its age old flawed stance of Kashmir being an integral part of India because that never was the case. As a part of their cunning policy to present India as a peaceful nation, now the Indians have initiated a “withdrawal” of forces from Kashmiri towns. The sole purpose of this practice is to put moral pressure on the Kashmiri leadership to initiate peace talks. Recently the Indian government announced an 8-point agenda as a confidence building measure, but this proposal has also been rejected by the Kashmiris. The APHC termed it as a “short term management” tactic rather than a commitment to resolve the substance of the dispute. This is an old Indian ploy to use a façade of peace talks to buy more time on Kashmir so that the Indian foreign office can think about new maneuvers in diplomacy.
What Kashmiris want:
This is the most critical aspect of the whole issue. Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of the division of the subcontinent between Pakistan and India. Kashmiris want to rid their territory of Indian occupation. The young Kashmiri leadership has its own inspiration and is looking towards international community to fulfill the promises that were made to the Kashmiris some half a century ago. Recently a letter was written to the UN secretary general, by Chairman APHC, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq: “It is high time that the UN should adopt a proactive course of diplomatic maneuver to compel India, while taking genuine Kashmiri leadership on board, to initiate talks for the settlement of the conflict."
While common Kashmiris are raging against Indian oppression, puppets like Umer Abdullah want Pakistan and India to restart the futile dialogue process again. According to him, the situation in Kashmir improves only when Pakistan and India rekindle their peace process.
Kashmiri Uprising, Pakistan and Strategic Blunders:
Historically, Pakistan remained the primary source of strength, support, aspiration and encouragement for the Kashmiris' struggle for freedom and desired to join Pakistan as Kashmiris of Azad Jammu & Kashmir did after getting independence. The Kashmiri freedom fighters used to get their strength and courage from the events of 1948 war between Pakistan and India when a new born, fragile and militarily weak Pakistan decided to fight against the Indian illicit occupation of Kashmir and liberated 37% of the valley. Joining Pakistan has remained the ultimate dream of the Kashmiri generations since 1947. But like everything else, 9/11 and Pakistan's policies
afterwards made an impact on the Kashmir cause and unfortunately it was not a very pleasant one. Pakistan has made too many strategic blunders during the last ten years in the realm of foreign policy and diplomacy by making some fundamental and radical changes in matters where the nation held an uncompromising principled stance. Afghanistan was not the only casualty of these post 9/11 policy decisions by Islamabad, Kashmir was perhaps the biggest injury to Pakistan's long term foreign policy goals. Pakistani forces came to an eye to eye standoff with the Indian army in 2002 when some Kashmiris were accused of carrying out an attack on the Indian parliament. Not even once, during this standoff did Pakistan give any signal of abandoning Kashmir. But this stance shifted shamefully after that standoff. India and its new strategic ally, the US continued to pressurize Pakistan regarding the fabricated cross border 'terrorism' in IHK. Unfortunately, the previous government succumbed to this pressure and announced a unilateral ceasefire on the LoC in 2004, which was perhaps the biggest strategic blunder in national history. This sente xtremely wrong signals to the Kashmiris regarding Pakistan's sincerity to them and their struggle against the Indian oppression. Since then a great sense of betrayal has been prevailing in the Kashmiris. Subsequently, not only Kashmir but also Pakistan had to make compromises on other critical issues vis-à-vis India after 2004. A façade of composite dialogue process between Pakistan and India was initiated by Islamabad in 2005 and after 5 years of relentless efforts by Pakistan to bring India on the table to talk about Kashmir, we are back to square one. No progress has been made over any critical issue through these dialogues. This cloak of peace talks proved as a blessing for the Indians, whereas Islamabad remained elusive about the Indian policy on Pakistan and Kashmir after becoming an ally of the US in the post 9/11 scenario. This Indian policy revolves around following vortexes: In short term: to gain maximum time to get the current situation under control by utilizing every available source at India's disposal. In long term: to keep this issue a bilateral one by denying any UN resolution or third party mediation at the global level and simultaneously to keep avoiding this issue even at the bilateral level by not discussing it in a composite dialogue process. This duplicity by India's diplomatic offices enables her to continue keeping the Kashmiris under its occupation. This is the most disturbing aspect of Indian diplomacy that on one hand India is ready to discuss all outstanding issues with Pakistan while on the other hand she always
worries about a Pakistani outburst on international forums on Kashmir. To conceal the atrocities of Indian forces in IHK. This is the reason why Kashmir is not open to international media and human rights watchdogs. To paint Kashmiri protestors and their movement as “terrorism” and put the blame on Pakistan to portray it as a terrorist state. To threaten Pakistan's economy through water aggression, using the geography of Pakistan's Western rivers. This is a new dimension of the issue and takes it to a whole new level of complexity. Now Kashmir has become a smoking gun for the Indian establishment against Pakistan. To use brute force and enticement together in order to suppress or lure the Kashmiris into the Indian plans. To present herself as an eligible candidate for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council. This is an old Indian political goal and due to their newly developed strategic ties with the US, they are very hopeful of realizing this dream.
Through these peace talks, India gained key benefits and advanced her strategic interests, which she could not get through wars or coercive diplomacy towards Pakistan. Apart from building dams on Pakistani rivers in IHK, India also got ATTA (Afghan Transit Trade Agreement) passed by the Pakistan cabinet enabling her to trade with Afghanistan using Pakistani land routes from Wagah to Torkham. This agreement has a big security downside with respect to Pakistan's economic and strategic interests in the region. Indians were trying to secure this deal since the last 45 years but could not succeed till the present government took over in 2008. On the other hand, Pakistan also softened its principle stance of demanding a plebiscite on Kashmir on all international forums. India, meanwhile, took full advantage of the situation and accused Pakistan of supporting terrorism in Kashmir on every forum. The current Pakistani government has gone a step further in its India appeasing policy by supporting India for getting a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council after 15 years, whereas the same support is pledged to India for a permanent seat. These are not just concessions but unforgivably treacherous compromises and a total sell out to India on this critical issue. Traditionally, the Kashmiri youth supported the annexation of Indian occupied Kashmir to Pakistan. However, now a new demand of 'Free
Kashmir' has been raised by the young Kashmiri students, who are leading this renewed civilian movement in the streets, while confronting a strong Indian army. This demand is an enunciation of a strong Kashmiri reaction against Pakistan's confused, myopic and treacherous compromises over Kashmir. It seems that Pakistan has lost or is losing the hearts and minds of Kashmiris. It is high time for Islamabad to realize the sensitivity of the situation.
The recent interest shown by the US to solve the Kashmir issue has intrigued many in Pakistan and Kashmir. Nothing in the American foreign policy comes without a long -term strategic plan about saving its own interests first. Kashmir is no different, but the catch is that the US has no desire to provide a solution for Kashmir. President Obama came up with the idea of turning the LoC into a permanent border between Pakistan and India. Though the US president was not so conspicuous in proposing this but the bottom line of his proposition was very clear. In the words of president Obama, “The line of control must be converted into a line of friendship between Pakistan and India.” Even this solution would enable India to send a message of Pakistan backtracking on this issue to the Kashmiri leaders. Therefore, now India would willingly accept LoC as a permanent border, as it would dent the Kashmiri freedom movement to a considerable level, if not eliminating it altogether. Does the United States have any real solution for the Kashmir dispute according to the aspirations of millions of Kashmiris? The answer is not a very difficult one to come by for any observer of American decade-old maneuver diplomacy. No matter what shape the current revolt would take in the Kashmir status quo, it will be a suitable option for the US, as it will continue to pursue its foreign policy goal without losing either Pakistan or India as an ally. The US needs both Pakistan and India on her side, desperately. The Indian role in the US foreign policy is clearly to become a strong economic and military player in the region in order to counterweight China. This is the reason why there is a clear indication of US support for the Indian solution of the Kashmir issue. Coming towards Pakistan, there is a complete confusion in US administration and foreign policy planners. The role of a client state has been articulated by the US but the US is in no position to force Pakistan to accept this role due to the former's dependence on Pakistan in WoT(War on Terror). The US is also in no position to impose any solution either on Pakistan or India. An aggressive push to the solving of Kashmir issue could aggravate India, a country the US can't afford to lose to Russia or China for multiple reasons. But American misery continues beyond this, as the US elections are also around the corner. Obama was the one who, in his presidential
campaign, pointedly raised “Kashmir” as a potential flash point in the world and urged to solve this crisis. The Obama administration is also desperate to get a breakthrough on this issue by bringing both Pakistan and India on the same page, which is an almost impossible task. The Americans are also desperate for creating a positive image among the Pakistani masses, which has been defaced by the American war on terror. The US can't appease both Pakistan and India on critical issues like Kashmir. Pakistan would have to take some corrective measure in her Kashmir policy to control the damage that has been done in last 5 years.
1. Pakistan must immediately revert to its principle stance of plebiscite in Kashmir. Any idea other than that must be categorically rejected. 2. Kashmir is as important an issue as Pakistan's nuclear program. There must be a legal and constitutional bar on any government, civilian or military, preventing it from initiating any back channel secret diplomacy on issues like Kashmir, Siachen etc. 3. Any diplomatic decision on Kashmir or Pakistan- India relations must go through a parliamentary process. A constitutional amendment must be made to rectify this. Kashmir belongs to the Kashmiris but it is Pakistan that must decide to whom the Kashmiris belong? Lately, Pakistan's political elite has lost all good sense while talking about Kashmir just like it did when dealing with India on the diplomatic level as some useless and careless statements were made by the Pakistani politicians, ex-military personnel and journalists. The recent disclosure by the ex-ruler Pervez Musharraf, about training guerilla fighters to fight against Indian forces in occupied Kashmir, is total nonsense and was an attempt at damaging the genuine indigenous struggle of Kashmir. Even more ironically, the chairman of the Kashmir committee in Pakistan is Fazal-urRehman, the Deobandi cleric who follows the line of pro-Congress Deoband in India, rejects the ideology of Pakistan and does not support the freedom of Kashmir and supports the case of the Indian government that Kashmir should be resolved within the Indian constitution. Pakistan cannot afford to commit another blunder on Kashmir. Period. It is time for decisive action but purging the back stabbers from within our own ranks remains the topmost priority. **********************************
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