History should not imprison the future of Kashmir


By: Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai
October 19, 2018

Human rights work in tandem with Kashmir peace initiatives. The two do not war with one another. The idea that suppression of human rights promotes peace is discredited by all history, including that of Kashmir. The denial of freedom of speech, association, religion, due process, equal justice, and self-determination in Kashmir has sabotaged peace, not boosted its chances. Ditto in the past for East Timor, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Southern Sudan and etc. The people of Kashmir no less demand dignity and respect than do other peoples.

History should not imprison the future, but neither can it be ignored in assessing the justice and morality of aspirations. A brief chronicling of Kashmir’s history will enlighten understanding of its current plight and viable solutions.

                        
The territory was a princely state ruled over by an oppressive Maharajah at the time British India was partitioned in 1947. The partition lines were drawn with a religious eye. In cases of doubt as to the sovereignty sentiments of a region, the British held plebiscites, which were honored. The more than 500 princely states enjoyed the option of acceding to India, Pakistan, or choosing independence on August 15, 1947, the date when British sovereignty lapsed. Kashmir was one of three states that had not chosen an option at the deadline. With regard to the other two, (Junagarh and Hyderabad) which were predominately Hindu but ruled over by Muslims, India by force of arms insisted on a plebiscite. Both voted in favor of accession to India.

Kashmir presented the flipside of the issue. According to the self-determination standard for princely states promulgated by India’s Prime Minister Nehru, a plebiscite should have been held in Kashmir to determine its sovereign future. Every reasonable opinion knew that Kashmiris would then have voted either for independence or accession to Pakistan.

Knowing that self-determination for Kashmir would prove adverse to its interests, India schemed with the Maharaja to fabricate a document of accession that would save the Maharaja from toppling to indigenous insurgent forces. India also arranged for the Maharaja to invite its army to defeat the insurgency, which provoked Pakistan to rally military in their support.

India raced to the United Nations Security Council and the Council enacted resolutions in 1948 and 1949, eagerly accepted by both India and Pakistan, stipulating a self-determination plebiscite for Kashmir conducted by the United Nations. In preparation for the voting, Indian and Pakistan forces would be substantially thinned. India, however, quickly fabricated excuses for foiling self-determination by raising endless quibbles about demobilization and scaling back its military presence. The sole reason for India’s obstructionism was knowledge that Kashmiris would never vote accession to its orbit.

India thus unilaterally annexed Kashmir in the early 1950s with a special constitutional status that promised autonomy. But India gradually reneged on its promise, and Kashmir was reduced to virtually the same status as all of India’s other States.

Kashmiris, however, are exceptionally patient and accommodating. For years they struggled through peaceful and democratic means to protest their denial of self-determination. But 1987 marked the straw that broke the camel’s back. Another rigged election by India created despair, especially among the Kashmiri youth. ‘India Today’ magazine reported, “In the Amira Kadal constituency of Srinagar, Muslim United Front (MUF’s) Syed Mohammed Yusuf Shah (Alias: Syed Salahuddin) was a candidate. As the vote counting began, it was becoming clear that Yusuf Shah was winning by a landslide. His opponent, Ghulam Mohiuddin Shah, went home dejected. But he was summoned back by the electoral officials and declared the winner. When the crowds protested, the police arrived and arrested Yusuf Shah and his supporters. They were held in custody till the end of 1987.” Further, India’s ruthless suppression of peaceful dissent destroyed the moderate option, resulting in the latest uprising in 1989.

Since the 1989 uprising, more than 100,000 Kashmiris have died. Greater numbers have been tortured, mutilated, kidnapped and arbitrarily arrested. Political prisoners number in the thousands. Emergency laws were enacted. The gruesome human rights landscape in Kashmir has been confirmed by every independent human rights organization in addition to the recent report by the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights.

Although it is neither for Pakistan nor for India to determine the self-determination timetable for more than 22 million Kashmiris, we welcome the peace initiative between the South Asian neighbors, which include negotiations over Kashmir. We believe in the universality of human rights and human aspirations. Thus, we welcome the initiative to the extent it seeks to lift a heavy financial and military burden from the necks of Pakistan and Indian.

India’s so-called “democracy” in Kashmir resembles Myanmar’s patently bogus democracy. The recent nationwide Panchayat (local bodies) elections are emblematic. Let me review the stunning voter boycott statistics from Srinagar and its surroundings on October 15, 2018.

The Economic Times reported on October 18, 2018 that when the time for voting had ended, the turnout for the final phase of elections, which was held only for two municipal bodies in Kashmir, remained low as usual at 4.2 per cent.

These boycott figures are not aberrational but typical. They represent a stunning vote of no confidence by the Kashmiri people in their current illegal governance by India.

Kashmir’s right, however, is not self-executing. Diplomacy, perseverance, and small but gradual steps will be necessary. The following is urgent to jump start progress on human rights and peace in Kashmir:

1. India must repeal all of its draconian laws that violate human rights in Kashmir;

2. Military hostilities must cease immediately, and a scheduled withdrawal of security forces should commence;

3. All political prisoners must be released;

4. Fundamental human rights to assemble peacefully for political purposes, to freedom of speech and of association, and to freedom of religion should be recognized and honored;

5. Kashmiris should be included in all future negotiations along with India and Pakistan..

Fulfillment of this 5-point agenda would not be a dead end but a beginning of a better tomorrow.

The peace process and human rights in Kashmir cannot be separated. They will succeed or fail together. We hope we can count on the moral suasion and conscience of the world leaders to push success forward.

Dr. Fai is the Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum and can be reached at: 1-202-607-6435 or gnfai2003@yahoo.com

Shifting inmates to outside pure vengeance and violation of prisoners’ rights: Jama’at-e-Islami


Srinagar: Jama’at-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir strongly denounces the plan of shifting of thirteen inmates lodged in the district jail, Kehribal Mattan Islamabad to the jails outside the valley and calls it an unwarranted action based on political bias and vengeance having no legal and moral justification. All these inmates are political detainees and are being shifting to outside jails for subjecting to suppression and physical and mental torture which is a blatant violation of the basic rights of prisoners under the international law to which India is also a signatory. These inmates were boarded in a police bus during the daytime but on strong protests from their close relatives they were again taken inside the Mattan jail to avoid the protest and during the night hours, they are likely to be shifted as scheduled.

Among those who apprehend shifting is one Peer Mohammad Ashraf of Batagund Verinag now languishing in the jails for more than fourteen years and has no legal trial pending against him and one Abrar Ahmad from Chowgam Qazigund district Kulgam who is suffering from a fatal disease and needs homely care and proper medical treatment which he is sure to be deprived of in an outside jail. In the jails outside the valley these Kashmiri political detainees are subjected to inhuman treatment by the jail authorities being mostly from the police department having neither any knowledge of the rights of the prisoners and detainees nor trained therefor. These officers are trained in handling the law and order situation but deputed in jails to deal a situation quite strange to them with the result these jails have virtually turned into the interrogation centers and police lock ups losing their basic concept of the correction centers. These officers maltreat and misbehave with these jail inmates thereby violating all jail rules and regulations written in the jail manuals and the local and international laws relating thereto.

Jama’at-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir while vehemently condemning the shifting of political prisoners and detainees to the jails outside the valley, appeals the International and local human rights institutions to take cognizance of these inhuman methods to suppress the jail inmates in this unfortunate part of the globe and take concrete steps to safeguard their rights guaranteed to them under the international conventions and local laws. Jama’at impresses upon the jail authorities to desist from intimidating these innocent detainees and provide them all facilities available to them under the jail manuals. Jama’at also demands unconditional release of all these political detainees and shifting of all those detained in the jails outside the valley including the Tihar jail, Delhi to the jails in the valley, particularly the DeM chief Asia Andrabi, her two colleagues Nahida Nasreen and Fahmeeda Sofi, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Muzaffar Ahmad Dar , Altaf Ahmad Shah, Peer Saifullah, Naeem Khan, Meraj-ud-Din Kalwal, Ayaz Akbar, Syed Javed Ahmad and his younger brother Shahid Yousuf , Adv. Shahid ul Islam and Zahoor Watali.

Advocate Zahid Ali

Chief Spokesperson

Jama’at-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir

Source of article from here

Joburg protest against Indian atrocities in Kashmir


Johannesburg – Members of the Pakistani and Kashmiri communities in Joburg gathered on Saturday to protest in front of the Wanderers Stadium, where the India-South Africa cricket match was being played.

The aim of protest was to highlight atrocities committed by Indian forces in Kashmir, especially the use of pellet guns which are making hundreds of civilians blind.
International human rights organisations have already criticised the use of pellet guns by Indian forces against civilians.
Kashmiri activists gathered holding placards and chanting slogans. They also held banners with photos of pellet guns victims to expose the South African public to the extent of the injuries sustained by these weapons.
Tens of thousands of South Africans who came to watch the match witnessed the protest. It is first time that so many South Africans were exposed to photos of Indian atrocities in Kashmir.
Activists also appealed to the United Nations to implement their long outstanding Security Council resolutions on Kashmir which ask for a referendum in Kashmir. The Kashmir resolutions were passed by UN Security Council in 1948 on the request of India, asking for a referendum to take place in the whole of the Kashmir valley.

The Pakistani community also organised a seminar of 200 people on February 5 in Pretoria to show solidarity with the Kashmiri people.
Foreign Bureau


Why Boycott India?


Why Boycott India?

Dear world community, If we love freedom, peace, justice and believe in humanity then we MUST BOYCOTT INDIA for its racist oppressive apartheid policies and brutal as well as illegal occupation of Kashmir. 
 

Never stop sharing, caring and speaking out against Indian brut state atrocities. India and her one million gun wielding occupation forces stationed in Kashmir is a crime against mankind! When one group of people attacks another group of people to steal their homeland, that’s a crime against all free people around the world and against international law. India must be stopped! They must be brought to justice and we should never stop until that happens! They must be held accountable for their war crimes against the unarmed innocent Kashmiri civilians! Please don’t underestimate any little act you do to counter this horrific crime. The ramifications of this injustice going unanswered threatens freedom everywhere. We need to insist on one system of justice for everyone everywhere! India is illegally occupying Kashmir at the expense of the indigenous Kashmiris who own that land and have lived their for centuries. The brutal occupational forces must return to their original birth places from which they came. We don’t want them here terrorise or kill our people. The Kashmiris are struggling for freedom, justice, and peace, and this conflict will not end until that is achieved. 
The Kashmiris don’t have weapons, but they have the love for their country, and the love for freedom! No amount of weapons can change that! 
Nonetheless, Indian forces have intermittently been employing various patterns of military terrorism to maintain their alien rule on the occupied territories, but it seems that non-condemnation of these acts by the so-called US-led civilised international community has further encouraged India to step-up its atrocities on the armless Kashmiri masses. 
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We being humans must stand for other fellow beings, their rights & freedom. Our small acts can contribute so much to the humanity, save human lives, bring smile on the faces of oppressed Kashmiris.

Read More about Occupied Kashmir:

Kashmir – The Valley Of Tears

Author : Suddhan Sadaf Shareef 
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