HR violations in IHK
Human rights’ violations by Indian security forces and India’s biased judicial system have removed its mask of secularism and democracy. Recent hanging of Afzal Guru is a judicial murder that would exacerbate sense of alienation and injustice among the people of Kashmir. On 9th February 2013, he was hanged and buried in Tihar Jail, New Delhi for his alleged involvement in attack on Indian Parliament on 10th December 2001. His execution sparked mass protests and resentment amongst political circles in IOK. All legal procedures and judicial norms were flouted by Indian authorities in case of Afzal Guru; his family was not allowed to meet him before execution and dead body was not handed over to the family; instead buried inside the jail. Syed Ali Geelani said: “Afzal Guru’s hanging once again proves that the Kashmiris can never expect justice from India. By hanging Guru, India is, in fact, inflamed the very sentiment it wished to suppress, for the tag ‘unjust and cruel’ is one it can ill-afford to wear in its aspirations to become a world leader”.
To make things worse, state government’s proposed ‘Jammu and Kashmir Police Bill, 2013’ is a legislation, which is more draconian, retrogressive and repressive than even the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which provides the armed forces with blanket powers and immunity for their action. This bill exposes India’s nefarious designs to make Jammu and Kashmir as a police state. To expose India, All Parties Hurriyet Conference publishes fortnightly report giving details of human rights violations in Indian Held Kashmir. According to its latest report, 93860 people have been killed from 1989 to December 2012. Since then, 120392 Kashmiris were arrested and 10042 women were gang-raped or molested. On 23 February 1991, units of the Indian forces stationed in IHK raped 100 women in one night in village Kunan Poshpora of Kashmir’s Kupwara District. International community is all praise for, what they say, the largest democracy in the world, and turns a blind eye to its repression on minorities.
In June 2012, British MP of Labor Party Dr. Denis MacShane, during his speech in the House of Commons had said: “Pakistan is criticized, but the dreadful human rights abuses in Kashmir by Indian security forces are downplayed, and no pressure is put on India by this government to stop repression in Kashmir.” India media also downplays atrocities perpetrated by Indian security forces in occupied Kashmir. In India, the entire media – analysts, panelists, commentariat and intellectuals support the Indian government’s stance on Kashmir despite the fact that innocent Kashmiri masses, especially the youth are undergoing tremendous psychological trauma due to continued repressive and suppressive policies of regime in IHK. As recently as in June 2012, eleven youth committed suicide as they could not further bear environmental distress prevailing in IHK. The events like unwarranted arrests, killings, arson, torture and molestation by Indian security forces is a matter of routine there. Last year, Indian Supreme Court instead of convicting the soldiers involved in killing of a 12 year old boy asked the Army to carry out appropriate action against the culprits.
In fact, there is a law of jungle in IHK, as Indian troops and police personnel are free to arrest anyone they want and commit the gross human right violations. European Parliament had once emphasized the need for resolving the Kashmir dispute, and highlighted brutalities perpetrated by Indian military in Indian Held Kashmir. On 10th July 2008, European Parliament had passed a resolution, calling upon the Government of India to hold an impartial inquiry into the unidentified mass graves discovered in the disputed state of Jammu & Kashmir. To stop highhandedness of the Indian military and police once for all, there is need to implement the resolutions passed by the United Nations that bestowed on the people of Kashmir the right to join India or Pakistan through a plebiscite to be held under the UN aegis. However, it does not look like they will do it because only when public protest fits into the geopolitical designs of the US and the West that they declare it a popular movement and honour it with the award of a colour label.
The orange revolution of Ukraine, the rose revolution of Georgia, the cidar revolution of Lebanon and earlier velvet revolution of Czechoslovakia would pale before the Kashmiris’ movement for their freedom, yet they were given colours by the colour-blind big powers. It has to be mentioned that in none of the above cases there was a UN mandate whereas Kashmiris have been given their inalienable right of self-determination by the UN in 1948 and 5th January 1949. International community should help resolve the Kashmir issue because tension between the two nuclear states would not only make the environment of the region perilous but also of the world at large. International community should, therefore, urge India to stop killings, fake encounters, forced disappearances and arrests of innocent Kashmiris. It should also persuade India to resolve all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan, so that both countries start allocating more funds for welfare of their masses instead of spending on defence.
It is unfortunate that more than 64 years have elapsed but international community continues to show apathy and indifference towards sufferings of Kashmiris. Even those countries that had in the past supported Pakistan’s genuine stance now suggest that India and Pakistan should resolve the Kashmir dispute through bilateral negotiations, knowing full well that many rounds of dialogue have taken place including the stalled composite dialogue, but to no avail. India takes the plea that according to Tashkant Declaration and Simla Accord both countries are obliged to resolve the issue through bilateral negotiations. India should bear in mind that the Kashmir dispute is pending in the UN, and if the dispute is not resolved within a ‘reasonable’ period of time, Pakistan has the right to approach the UN with the demand to play its role and make arrangements to hold plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir as per United Nations Security resolutions.