Like every year since 1990, Pakistanis and natives of Jammu and Kashmir observed Kashmir Day this year as well. The zeal and dedication behind the observance does not seem to fade away any time sooner.
The purpose of the observance has always been to assure the oppressed valley that Pakistan still stands with them in their struggle and self-determination.
Pakistan also wants to awaken the world conscience, especially of the major world powers, that they should discharge their responsibility to end Indian atrocities and human rights violations on the people of Jammu and to help resolve the Kashmir dispute as per United Nations Security Council resolutions of 1948/49.
The observance of the Kashmir Day on 5 February every year has attained importance in view of the fact the state terrorism has been unleashed by India since 1989 in Jammu and Kasmir by deploying more than 700,000 strong security forces, to crush the freedom struggle in Jammu and Kashmir, with a total impunity against the commitment of human rights violations on the people of Jammu and Kasmir by giving them an umbrella of draconian laws in the form of POTA and TADA.
Because of these laws, in response to committing even the severest HR violations like committing murder of innocent people and raping of women in the state, no judicial proceedings can be initiated against any officer or soldier of India’s security forces deployed in the state.
In view of the foregoing, it can be hoped that ultimately the international powers will have to realize that they have to convince India that it has to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute on priority basis and in a just way
Encouraged by these powers, India’s security forces have killed many young Kashmiri men in the fake terrorist encounters and while firing at peaceful processions and have insulted many women just to stop them from participating in the peaceful freedom struggle.
On the other hand, on account of allegations of terrorism, some Kasmiris have also become the prey of judicial murders out of the hands of India’s judiciary without sufficient evidence, like hanging of Afzal Guru, on account of his alleged involvement in the attack on the Indian Parliament on 13 December 2001, by stating that in the absence of a concrete evidence, he was being hanged to satisfy the conscience of the Indian people. In Modi’s time, HR violations by Indian troops in Jammu and Kashmir and on the Muslims in India by the extremist Hindu organisations have increased many times.
On 5 February 2018, Kashmir Day in Pakistan was observed and functions were organised at government level and also by the think tanks and civil society and the officials and eminent persons expressed their views and assured the people of Jammu and Kashmir that Pakistan supported their just freedom struggle to get their right of self determination as per UNSC resolutions.
Moreover, these meetings also addressed the international community asking it to play its role in ending HR violation in Jammu and Kashmir and in influencing India to agree for implementing the UNSC resolutions to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. Public rallies and processions were also held and the general masses also expressed their solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir. On Kashmir Day, the people of Jammu and Kashmir also organised wide scale protests against Indian occupation. In this context, the public processions by the Kashmiri diaspora and the Sikh community in London, were very significant.
The observance of Kashmir Day reminded the world about the fact that the right of self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and their intense desire to throw away Indian yoke and join Pakistan were fully alive. The day also highlighted the rampant atrocities and human rights (HR) violations being committed by the Indian security forces on the people of Jammu and Kashmir since the beginning of their freedom struggle in 1989.
The observance of the Kashmir Day appears to have been very effective and it has created the desired impact. Whereas it has helped in reinvigorating the spirit of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in carrying forward their freedom struggle to the logical end and they got reassured that Pakistan is with them in their just and peaceful freedom struggle, the Kashmir day also proved helpful in stirring the conscience of the international community.
The activities of the day were reflected by the Pakistani and international media and the need for an early resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and to end atrocities on the Kashmiris was amply emphasised by the media.
The Kasmir Day definitely helped in reminding the world capitals about the significance of facilitating the resolution of the Kashmir dispute and ending Indian atrocities on the Kashmiris. The observance of Kashmir day has also been helpful in awakening the world conscience on Jammu and Kashmir every year. In view of the foregoing, it can be hoped that ultimately the international will have to realise that they have to convince India that it has to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute on priority basis and in a just way.
The author is an ex-Army officer and a former Research Fellow of IPRI, Islamabad
Published in Daily Times, February 20th 2018.