What is India hiding in Kashmir?


By: Syed Ali Geelani

New York. October 27, 2018.

“Human rights violations in Kashmir perpetrated by Indian army with legal immunity dwarf in scale the violations that provoked international humanitarian action in other international disputes. Human rights violations in Kashmir have been documented by all international and neutral human rights organization. Very recently, it was also documented in the United Nations report issued by the High Commissioner on Human Rights. The High Commissioner urged India to allow the United Nations delegation to visit Kashmir to asses the situation. But India does not allow such a delegation to visit Kashmir. It clearly shows that India has something to hide. May be, India does not want the world powers to know the following: tens of thousands indiscriminately slaughtered and countless rapes, abductions, custodial disappearances, arbitrary detentions, arsons, and brutal suppression of peaceful political protest,” this was conveyed in a message to the conference attendees of Pakistani American Society of New York (PASNY) by Syed Ali Geelani, Chairman, All Parties Hurriyet Conference, Jammu & Kashmir.

The Indian army is involved in serious war crimes. They open fire on unarmed civilians at their will because they have been given immunity under draconian laws, like Armed Forces Special Powers Act. (AFSPA). We demand an inquiry into these war crimes by a neutral agency, like the United Nations, Mr. Geelani added. Geelani Sahib insisted that the movement in Kashmir is indigenous, popular and people’s movement and rejected the notion that it is Pakistan sponsored. Geelani said,

Speaking as a guest speaker, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum reminded the audience of the injustice, tyranny and inhumanity of the Indian military as it occupies Kashmir. He cautioned that at this moment in our historic struggle for self-determination, the Kashmiri people with poise, confidence and unity are taking their inalienable struggle in a new direction of non-violence and peaceful agitation.

Dr. Fai reiterated that major challenge faced by activists interested in a peaceful, just and lasting resolution to the Kashmir problem was the manner in which world powers spoke for Kashmiris and not to Kashmiris. This form of hegemony was most pronounced by constructing a false history and destroying Kashmiri identity. How often do we hear outlandish statements like, ‘Kashmir is an integral part of India’ or ‘Kashmir is a bilateral issue between New Delhi & Islamabad.’? These statements do not exist in a vacuum. They are loaded and violent. This form of violence is more insidious, more difficult to confront, for it is attempting to indoctrinate Kashmiris about their past, their present and direct them to a future that does not belong to them. They had become the objects of history rather than the masters of it.

Col. Maqbool Malik the Secretary General, (PASNY) reminded that it happened 71 years ago when Indian troops invaded Kashmir under the auspices of a fraudulent Instrument of Accession. British Scholar, Alistair Lamb has convincingly demonstrated that the Instrument was as bogus as an original has never been found, and there is no plausible explanation for a disappearance if an original had ever existed.

Mr. Malik reminded the audience that the conflict began in 1846 with the illegal, immoral and inhumane sale of the historic state of Jammu and Kashmir to a non-Kashmiri Dogra family for services rendered to the British Raj. From that point, onwards, Kashmiri’s have long for self-determination. Yet, tragically, their legitimate aspirations were crushed with the grotesque, irregular and illegal ascension, by the brutal foreign ruler Maharaja Hari Singh who did not have the consent of the people. With the arrival of Indian soldiers – the historic Black Day of Occupation begins its most recent and insidious manifestation.

Mr. Ashraf Aazmi, the President of PASNY and emcee of the event said that the world powers should exert its considerable powers of persuasion to mediate a peaceful conclusion of the Kashmir conflict with India, Pakistan, and the Kashmiri leadership. Bilateral talks and negotiations over Kashmir between Pakistan and India have proven sterile for 71 years, and nothing in that dismal equation has changed.

Sardar Imtiaz Khan Garalvi said that October 27th is celebrated all over the world as the day of occupation. Today, we are observing October 27th as a day of grief and sorrow, because it was on that day in 1947 that India sent its army to occupy our land without the consent of the people and in defiance of international norms. He said that Indian forces are using brute and excessive force against unarmed civilians and taking revenge from innocent citizens.

Sardar Taj Khan emphasized that Kashmiris will resist India’s colonial occupation for as long as necessary to enjoy their right to self‑determination as prescribed by international law, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and a long series of United Nations Security Council resolutions that were agreed upon by both India and Pakistan and accepted by the International Community.

Ms. Amna Taj Khan urged the leadership of India and Pakistan to include the accredited leadership of Jammu & Kashmir in all future negotiations. Any Kashmir solution that fails to command the consensus of the 22 million people of Kashmir, Amna underscored, is doomed to shipwreck moments after its launch. She however, emphasized that with Kashmiri participation, anything is possible. Without it, nothing is.

Shahid Comrade of Pak USA Freedom Forum said that Kashmir continues to be a nuclear flashpoint in South-Asia, periodic eruptions will continue to risk the nuclear neighbors and violence will continue to chase the region unless the Kashmir problem is resolved to the wishes of the people of the state.

Shahid believes that a just and lasting settlement of the dispute is possible only through tripartite negotiations between the Governments of India and Pakistan and the legitimate leadership of the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Others who spoke included: Mr. Naeem Iqbal Cheema, Pakistan Consul General, Dr. Amarjit Singh, President, Khalistan Affairs Center, Dr. Syed T. Ahmad, Mr. Muhammad Ashraf, Dr. (Professor) Tamkeen and others.

Dr. Fai 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

Documenting the Forgotten History of Jammu’s Massacred Muslims


BY: DIVYANI RATTANPAL

Biased and facile narratives loom large in conversations involving Jammu and Kashmir. Sometimes, the tellers of these tales don’t shy away from committing grave historical omissions in order to enforce a convenient, self-indulgent portrayal of events in the Valley.

One example of a monumental omission is documented in the book, Being The Other: The Muslim in India, written by Saeed Naqvi. The book reminds audiences of not one, but two ethnic cleansings that took place in the state: one of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley, and the second, of Muslims from the Jammu region.

   
Being the Other by Saeed Naqvi. (Photo Courtesy: Aleph Publications)

A chapter on Kashmir in the book – written largely from the point of view of Ian Stephens, editor of the British paper, The Statesman, from 1942-1952, so as to avoid nationalistic biases – talks of the large scale and carefully orchestrated massacre of Muslims from the once-Muslim majority Jammu region.

Stephens suggesting that all this happened with the approval of Maharaja Hari Singh.

Maharaja of Kashmir, Hari Singh (1895 – 1961) . (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

What was the death toll in the killing fields of Jammu? There are no official figures, so one has to go by reports in the British press of that period. Horace Alexander’s article on 16 January 1948 in The Spectator is much quoted; he put the number killed at 2,00,000. To quote a 10 August 1948 report published in The Times, London: ‘2,37,000 Muslims were systematically exterminated — unless they escaped to Pakistan along the border — by the forces of the Dogra state headed by the Maharaja in person and aided by the Sikhs. This happened in October 1947, five days before the Pathan invasion and nine days before the Maharaja’s accession to India.’

Being the Other, Saeed Naqvi

The communal riots of 1947 weighed heavily on Jammu’s Muslims; lakhs were killed, and many had no option but to flee to what became Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The zonal plebiscite in Jammu that Maharaja Hari Singh was pushing for and revenge for what was happening in East Punjab to Hindus and Sikhs, were cited as possible reasons for the large scale massacre.

Naqvi’s book even goes on to suggest that Lord Mountbatten, the first Governor General of India, knew about the genocide but tried to filter it from the news, attempting to sink it into a black hole forever.

One thing is true, that post 1947-48, Jammu – that had had a Muslim majority (61 percent Muslims) – housed the community only as a minority.

Gandhi’s comment on the situation is also presented in the book. The book quotes from Volume 90 of Mahatma Gandhi’s Collected Works:

The Hindus and Sikhs of Jammu and those who had gone there from outside killed Muslims. The Maharaja of Kashmir is responsible for what is happening there
Mahatma Gandhi

Naqvi isn’t the only one to suggest this. Last year, on the 25th anniversary of the Azaadi uprising, Swaminathan S Aiyar too had written about Jammu’s buried history in his piece, A Tale of Two Ethnic Cleansings in Kashmir.

Another book, Revisiting India’s Partition, says Hindu and Sikh refugees from Azad Kashmir and West Punjab, along with Sikh deserters of the Sialkot unit, massacred Muslims, and calls the “mad orgy of Dogra violence against unarmed Muslims” as one that ought to put any self-respecting human to shame.

In an interview with Reuters, which is published in the book, the erstwhile Prime Minister of Pakistan General Liaquat Ali Khan, accuses the RSS of orchestrating the violence with the Maharaja.

After the massacre of Muslims in East Punjab and the Punjab states, the forces of annihilation turned to Jammu and Kashmir…Towards the end of September the Indian National Army and the RSS shifted their headquarters from Amritsar to Jammu.. they were provided modern weapons by the state authorities. They set about the formal business in Jammu and Poonch of repeating the horrible drama they had enacted in East Punjab.

General Liaquat Ali Khan

In the aftermath of the violence, many Muslims from the border areas of Bishnah, RS Pura, Akhnoor etc fled to Sialkot in Pakistan. Besides the Jammu region, there were large scale killings in Udhampur, Chenani, Ramnagar, Reasi, and even far away Bhaderwah.

For someone who is a descendant of the Dogra rulers, and stakes a claim in the future of the state, I can only hope that all of us forget each other’s sins, and move forward to a less violent Jammu and Kashmir.

First Published: 17.07.16
Source 

Kashmir: Nehru to Modi – What’s Changed?


By: Iqbal Jassat

Generations of Kashmir’s population have waited in vain for an end to India’s brutal military occupation and to celebrate their independence – finally as free people. Alas, seven decades have passed and the deep felt desire to stand proudly alongside free nations of the world, remains as elusive as ever.

Seventy years of struggle for a free, independent and sovereign Kashmir, have instead been marred by countless deaths, massacres, rapes and wanton destruction. And the story line is no different to that of other similar freedom struggles, whether in the past in South Africa or currently in Palestine. The occupiers are the villains and the occupied the victims.

As has been the case in South Africa’s epic battle against apartheid, the perpetrators of crimes, more specifically war crimes have been repressive state security institutions under the command of the executive.

Palestinians face a similar horrendous situation where the state, a settler colonial regime remains engaged in what can only be described as a perpetual orgy of ethnic cleansing.

Kashmir and its population are at the receiving end of India’s military. On orders from the powers seated in Delhi, the military has a single goal: crush the dreams of Kashmiris! And at any cost would be the orders.

Thus we see the devastation of broken limbs and shattered dreams. And tragically, zero accountability.

Narendra Modi struts the global stage hoping that hobnobbing with the Trumps, Netanyahus and other fellow rightwingers will enhance his public image as a statesman. Unfortunately for him, his reputation as a war monger precedes his current position as the leader of the world’s largest democracy.

Following the Gujarat massacres, Modi was placed on America’s list of terrorism and barred from travel there. The ban was lifted following his election to victory and overnight both the United States and the United Nations seemed to erase his deplorable human rights violations from memory.

Modi has cultivated an aura of invincibility amongst his millions of followers. His leadership of the BJP, an extremely right wing party, has placed him on a path to reclaim India as Hindustan, which evidently has had a devastating impact on Kashmir.

The BJP regularly argues that the policies it pursues in the Occupied Territory are not any different to that of the Indian Congress. In fact to deflect criticism of its harsh crackdown, Modi and the BJP insist that they are maintaining the same security measures as that of the previous government. Indeed they point to the historic dawn of independence from the British Empire, to justify current militarization of Indian troops in Kashmir.

Though there’s a huge gap between Modi and one of the leaders of the independence movement, Jawaharlal Nehru, many historians who have researched the issue of plebiscite on Kashmir, reveal how this fundamental pillar has been manipulated.

Shockingly, Nehru has been fingered as devious having arrived at an agreement with Pakistan on plebiscite in January 1949 and a cease-fire, merely “to buy time”.

The following excerpt by AG Noorani, a renowned authority on Kashmir  elucidates  the situation:

“Nehru had other plans. In private he had adamantly set his face against a plebiscite in 1947. In public, till 1954 he continued to make the most explicit – almost extravagant – and solemn pledge to hold a plebiscite. It was nearly fifty years later, in 1996, that the clue to Nehru’s entire Kashmir policy emerged, with the publication of Volume 22 of the Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru(SWJN)… Nehru wrote a secret note to Sheikh Abdullah, dated 25 August 1952, while camping at Sonamarg in Kashmir (SWJN Vol 22:32-30). It was one of the rare writings he authored – cogent, comprehensive, unemotional, yet destructive in the ruthless course it foreshadowed. Its thesis was: (1) the people did not matter; (2) the UN was powerless; (3) so was Pakistan, as ‘we are superior to Pakistan in military and industrial power’, which would acquiesce while India professed friendship all along; (4) the accession must be rendered non-provisional, it must be made final; (5) Kashmir’s leaders must banish doubt for ‘doubts in the minds of leaders percolate to their followers and to the people generally.’ There must be no debate or argument in future; accession is an accomplished and final fact, and nothing is going to unsettle it (vide Document 5).”

Such double talk has characterized India’s record of non-compliance and deplorable subjugation of Kashmir. Modi has excelled in brutality but in enforcing his government’s will has remained faithful to Nehru’s double standards.

It is admirable that as in Palestine, the population of Kashmir have remained resolute in their determination to resist occupation. Kashmir is a breathtakingly beautiful mountainous valley, surrounded by equally lush terrain. The land of Jammu, Muzafarabad, Gilgit, Baltistan and Ladakh borders Pakistan, Afghanistan, Xinjiang and parts of Tibet.

Just as Nehru assessed the geo-strategic importance of Kashmir, so too have all successive governments of India including the current incumbent Modi.

Iqbal Jassat
Twitter : @ijassat

Exec Member of Media Review Network

Johannesburg

South Africa