Political Phases of Kashmir Freedom movement: History and future
Kashmir is mainly consisted of three demographically districts. The Hindu dominated Jammu area, The Muslim dominated Kashmir Valley and the Buddhist dominated Ladakh plateau. Since independence of Pakistan and India, Jammu and Kashmir (J & K) has been contested. Maharaja of Kashmir chose to join India and signed an Accession Instrument, denounced by Pakistan on logical basis. Indian government moved its troops into Kashmir in 1947 to make Kashmir as part of India by force. Kashmir’s freedom movement can be segregated in different phases.
First phase of Kashmir’s Freedom movement can be considered from 1947-1953. In 1948, first war between Pakistan and India was fought on Kashmir. Pakistan Army and Kashmir were successful in attaining some area of Kashmir and declared it as an independent state, administrated by Pakistan. After United Nation intervention cease fire and Line of Control was made as boundary between Indian administrated area f Jammu and Kashmir and “Azad Kashmir”. Since 1951, the Indian government had made no effort to undermine the autonomy that has been granted to Jammu and Kashmir.
Second Phase of the movement started in 1953 when Sheikh Abdullah (ruler of Jammu and Kashmir at that time) began considering a readjustment in relations with New-Dehli. He met American emissaries and sounded out the idea of Independent state. On August 8, 1953, Sheikh Abdullah was dismissed and Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad was made prime minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Sino Indian war (1962) introduced a new sense of urgency into integrationist mission of India. A part of the conflict also took place in Ladakh, where Chinese forces ceased large swathes of Kashmir Territories. Between 1962 and 1965, change of prime ministers oversaw the near complete end of J& K status within India. In 1965, Pak, India war ex-prime minister Sheikh Abdullah was prominent supporter of Pakistan. Whereas, 1971 war and surrender by Pakistani forces bring changes to thinking of Kashmiris.
Third Phase has been started in 1977 when Indra Gandhi took control of India.
Indhra Gandhi regained her position and Kashmir movement entered in fourth phase (1986). Indhra Gandhi adopted a policy of intervention. Farooq Abdullah was elected as Prime Minister of J&K. In 1986, imposition of 70 days curfew, dismissal of Farooq and selection of Ghulam Muhammad Sheikh agitated people. Later on Farooq Abdullah made his own political party named Muslim United Front (MUF). The MUF was an alliance of 13 Islamist parties led by Jammat e Islami. March 1987, elections were deliberately rejected by public. The dismissal and arrest of Sheikh Abdullah pushed Kashmiris towards revolt. On the other hand, Political instability of Pakistan and Indian polarized politics Kashmir was badly ignored.
Phase five (2002-2005), elections for J & K assembly were held under international supervision. The conflict and separatism movement had started around 1990. Indian troops were increased and brutal Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) was imposed in Kashmir. Following the previous patterns, in 2002 and 2008 New Dehli’s intervention in elections resulted in non –violent separatism movement. In 2010, aimed arrests, custodial deaths and relentless military oppression of Indian Army remained disastrous.
Writing more, President of Pakistan (2006) Pervaiz Mussaraf proposal to Kashmir issue, a blessing in disguise was also rejected by India. It was unpleasant move from Pakistan by offering giving up on Kashmir. Pakistan tried to negotiate on a four point agenda but India backed off. Trying to suppress freedom movement, after martyrdom of young hurriat leader Burhan Vani , the said movement took another turn . The intensity of protests has been increased.
On the other hand, Kashmir became most densely militarized area of the world, when the number of Indian Army in Kashmir touched the figure of 750,000. Kashmir soil has not witnessed a single day without bloodshed, torture, rapes, forced disappearances and extra judicial killings. Several local and international Human Rights bodies documented the use of lethal and exercise force, genocides, homicide, sexual abuse, massive graves. Since 1989, more than 70,000 Kashmiris were buried in 6000 massive graves. (Stories of J& K , Dec 2012).
According to Kashmir Media services from 1989 the number of killings were 94922, 143364 illegal arrests,108674 structured were arson and destroyed, 22847 women widowed, 107697 children orphaned, 11043 women gang raped whereas use of ballet guns led around 11496 to be blind or injured.
Concluding more! By an objective criterion, international law and on moral grounds Kashmir was a part of Pakistan. Pakistan supported Kashmiri people and has tried almost every available option, knocking on United Nations, Bilateral Diplomacy, International Arbitration but nothing productive has been achieved. Silence of International community and Indian Stubbornness caused the issue of Kashmir to burn.