Human Rights violations in IHK
Dr Raja Muhammad Khan
According to a recent report on Human Rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir by Indian Army and its paramilitary forces, there have been deaths of 93,274 innocent Kashmiri from 1989 to June 30, 2010. Besides this alarming figure of open killings by its security forces, there have been 6,969 custodial killings, 117,345 arrests, destruction, and razing of 105,861 houses and other physical structures in the use of the community as a whole. The brutal security forces have orphaned over 107, 351 children, widowed 22,728 women and gang raped 9,920 women. In June 2010 only, there have been 33 deaths including four children besides, torturing and injuring 572 people. The brutal Indian security forces molested eight women during this one month. This brief account indeed, is the reality of Indian achievements on which they are trumpeting for their success in the Kashmir through counter insurgency operations.
It seems that non-condemnation of these Indian acts of massive human rights violations, by the so-called civilized international community has further encouraged India to step-up its brutalities on the armless Kashmiri masses. Indian authorities are not willing to talk with Kashmiri people on political grounds. India perhaps reached to a conclusion that only bullet is the right way of dealing with Kashmiris, demanding their right of self-determination. Surprisingly, Indian successive governments are trying to ignore the dynamics of the Kashmiris movement for the freedom from the Indian rule. This indeed is the continuation of their resistance against the Dogra Rule, started in early part of the 20th century. On July 13, 1931, the Dogra authorities ordered firing on a group of peaceful Kashmiri Protestants in Jammu, resultant killing of dozens of innocent Kashmiris. Thereafter, there has been no letup in the oppression of the Dogra rule until its end in October 1947. The end of the Dogrea rule was marked by the beginning of the Hindu rule, another repressive rule on the Kashmiris, which is continuing. People of Kashmir feels that, “The martyrs who sacrificed their precious lives for Kashmir cause teach us all not to bow before the forces even if one has to sacrifice his life.”
India misperceived that the temporary halt in the armed struggle of Kashmiris after 2002, is because of its counter-insurgency operation. Indeed, from 2003 onwards, there appeared a change in the Indian attitude, and it was thought that, as Pakistan, India is also sincere in the resolution of Kashmir dispute. In January 2004, during the historic 12th SAARC Summit, both countries pledged that, Kashmir issue would be resolved through an option acceptable to all three parties; the Kashmiri, Pakistan and India. T that time, many options were debated to reach on a consensus solution. Unfortunately, India’s stubborn attitude and its misperception that Kashmiris are no more presenting a resistance, as if they have reconciled with the Indian rule has led her not to make further progress on the issue. In the meanwhile, through various compensatory measures, India tried to redress the Kashmiri grievances. However, there has been no policy change in the repressive activities of Indian security forces. Indian security forces continued human rights violations in Kashmir unabated.
Seeing no progress for the resolution of Kashmir issue, in 2008, Kashmiri once again renewed their peaceful protests. This time forceful grabbing of their land by the Indian authorities became the raison d’ętre for the protests. Through a deliberate attempt, Indian Government allotted 800 kanal of Kashmiri land to a Hindu shrine. The tactics was that, through a gradual process, a demographic change would be effected in the Vale of Kashmir, the way it was done in the Jammu, following the Indian rule there, from October 1947 onwards. It is worth mentioning that Muslim population constituted 62 percent of the Jammu province according to the last census held in the united Kashmir in 1941. Now it is in thirties. The Valley has over 95 % Muslim population; therefore, India is all out to reduce this by inhabiting Hindu population, through land allotments. To curb their uprisings, this time Indian state machinery decided to economically strangulate the Valley people. Making use of the security forces and Hindu extremists of Jammu, India blocked all the entrants and exist routes of the Kashmir Valley. The economic blockade was so ruthless that there took place severe shortage of the foodstuff in the Valley. The Protestants were fired upon, resultant killing of hundreds of the innocent masses including the prominent leaders like Sheikh Abdul Aziz on 11 August 2008, once he was leading a peaceful march towards Muzaffarabad, demanding an end to economic blockade by Indian Army.
With the passage of time, Kashmiris have realized that it is only a delaying tactics being used by the Indian Government; otherwise, there is neither the will nor the desire of resolving the issue by India. So much so, after the Mumbai terror attack, India is emphasizing Pakistan to resolve other issues less Kashmir. The process of Indo-Pak Composite Dialogue is no more the agenda. Rather, India stresses on a new beginning, mostly revolving around the cross border terrorism and the trade issues. India desires to do away with the tangible developments made during 2004 to 2007, on the core issue on Kashmir, Siachin and Sir Creek. Linked with the Kashmir is the water issue between the India and Pakistan. Through the construction of a number of dams and water storages and diversions, India has reduced the water flow for Pakistan to almost 50 percent from the rivers whose water is exclusively dedicated for the Pakistan.
There is a big question mark on the role of the United Nations Organization (UNO), the only International Organization, mandated to redress the oppressed people of the world. The organization has badly failed to implement its responsibilities and its own resolutions towards a rightful solution of the issue. Besides, the major powers had a role to play for the maintenance of peace and a balance in the world, but owing to a number of factors; they also failed to undertake their moral responsibilities from the platform of UNO. Through new strategic alliances, India has become a partner of the major powers like; United States, European Union, and Russia. These major military and economic powers have their stakes in India, a country having 1.3 billion populations. Within these major interests, the voice of the Kashmiri’s right of self-determination has lost its pitch as well as the echo.
There is a need of awakening the international conscious. Closing of the eyes and ears by the international community on the massive human rights violations in Kashmir by Indian security forces would not end the issue. Rather the seething protest against Indian human rights violation would endanger the world peace to an extent that may be unimaginable now, as India and Pakistan are nuclear-armed countries.
Therefore, the UNO, US, Russian Federation, European Union and China must pressurize India to immediately end the human rights violations in Kashmir, pullout its security forces and resolve the issue as per the wished of Kashmiri subjects in the light of UN resolutions. This would bring peace and stability in the region as well at the global level. After all, global peace must be dear to the major powers too.