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Kashmiris say "nothing short of self-determination". Zafar Alam Sarwar

18.10.2010 12:39

Things in occupied Kashmir have heated up so much so that the valley, despite imposition of curfew, arrest of youths and state torture to them, seems turning into an inferno for India itself. Puppet chief minister Faruq Abdullah sought cut in powers abused by troops all the time, especially when protest is mounting against illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir by New Delhi. At least 125 youths have been gunned down during last three months for raising voice for their right to self-determination. On September 13, as many as 15 more people were killed in the deadliest day in the summer violence. Reportedly, around 400 have been injured so far.

 

World peace lovers have not yet forgotten the deaths of three teen-agers in firing by security forces in Anantnag on June 29 which took the toll to six in three days and 11 in less than three weeks during the upsurge in protests against the ongoing killing of Kashmiris when new wave of terror and harassment has been unleashed by India upon the young and old leading people determined to achieve freedom. Occupied Kashmir has been wracked by streets protests since June 11when a 17-year-old student lost life after being hit by a tear-gas shell. Such protests, in fact, have become part of the people’s struggle for right to self-determination backed by the United Nations Organization.

 

 

Jammu and Kashmir as a state, size-wise, is larger than 96 independent states of the world. The tragedy is that two-thirds of its area has been occupied by India whereas it is a disputed territory within the meaning of international law. As matter of fact, its future status was yet to be determined when Indian forces invaded the territory on October 27, 1947, and obtained temporary accession of the state from its autocratic ruler while, at the same time, promising the Kashmiris as well as the UNO that the future status of the territory would be determined by its people. The commitments in this regard, incorporated subsequently into the UNO resolutions of August 13, 1948 and January 5, 1949, stipulate that the status of the state shall be decided through a free and fair plebiscite under the auspices of the world body. Six-two years have passed but India hasn’t fulfilled the promise. That’s why the demand is gaining  momentum that the international community, in general, and the UNO, in particular, should use all their moral, economic and diplomatic pressures to stop forthwith the massacre of  innocent Kashmiri people; ensure withdrawal of more than 0.7 million Indian occupation forces from the territory; induct the UNO Plebiscite Administrator; and secure the earliest exercise of the right to self-determination by the people of Jammu and Kashmir Kashmir.  

 

 

Worth-recalling is a relevant incident. A 22-year-old Japanese student tried to commit suicide in the strife-torn occupied valley because it did not match with what he had seen in travel brochures. “This is not the Kashmir I’ve known and read about. I was hurt,” were the words of the youth who said he was depressed by the ominous presence of gun-totting Indian army personnel and the absence of happy people. Koichiro Takata, an ophthalmology student, went crazy as he walked for nine kilometres from Srinagar city airport, and was anxious thinking about all the police guards around him. He stabbed himself several times with a pair of scissors. “I was afraid and went crazy after seeing so many gun-totting men in the city. I thought my safety is in question and the gunmen will kill me instantaneously,” Takata told newsmen. The incident, which took place in March 2003, explains turning of a heaven into hell and the height of tyranny to its people who had been refrained by India from exercising their right to self-determination. The situation has not changed in any way over the years. The strength of the armed force, around half a million across the occupied Kashmir in 1990, increased 50 per cent in 2009.

 

 

Facts are facts. The Muslim majority state of Jammu and Kashmir should have formed an integral part of Pakistan, as envisaged in the partition plan of June 3, 1947, and that of the Indian Independence Act of July 18, 1947. In his address to the Chamber of Princes on July 25, 1947, the last British Governor-General and Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, in his capacity as the Crown Representative, had impressed upon the rulers of states: “you cannot run away from the Dominion Government which is your neighbour any more than you can run away from the subjects for whose welfare you are responsible.” But India, under a Congress-Mountbatten-Maharaja Hari Singh conspiracy, on the pretext of the so-called Instrument of Accession secured through fraud and violence, entered its forces in the state on October 27, 1947, committing naked armed aggression against its people who had already risen against the despotic Hindu-Dogra rule and established Azad J&K Government on October 24, 1947. While accepting the Instrument of Accession on October 26, 1947, executed by the fugitive ruler Hari Singh but not validated by the United Nations Security Council, Lord Mountbatten had clarified that “consistently with the policy that, in case of any state where the accession has been the subject of dispute, the question of accession should be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people of the state, it is my government’s wish that as soon as law and order have been restored in Kashmir…the question of state’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people.”   

 

 

India is not above reproach for persistent denial of the right to self-determination and claim to the disputed territory as its ‘atoot ang’ (unbreakable part) on false grounds. India, in fact, continues to commit atrocities and breach human rights on a scale unprecedented in the history of the world. So far, close to 100,000 men and women are said to have sacrificed their lives for the right cause, hundreds of schoolchildren have been burnt alive and a large number of youths martyred, besides destruction of 104,751 houses and shops, and molestation of 9,532 women by Indian troops. What has again jolted the world conscience is the aggressive policy of India who should realise there are peaceful means of resolving the Kashmir question without resort to violence and oppression. The Indian parliamentary delegation had to cut a sorry figure for there was no sense in arranging its meeting with Hurriyat leaders---Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik---in an atmosphere of arrests and harassment. Pakistan and its masses support morally, politically and diplomatically the cause of the long subjugated people of Kashmir. Indian recourse to 19th century Bismarck policy of “blood and iron” in occupied valley would boomerang. Radical wisdom demands of India to respond positively to the voice of held Kashmir: “nothing short of self-determination.”

 

 

Zafar alam Sarwar 

 

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