Indian Pivot to Kashmir Warrants International Focus
THE people of Jammu and Kashmir have a long history of undergoing the despotic rules and brutalities. The historical atrocities have been compounded by ongoing Indian human rights violation in Kashmir. According to Asia Watch, ethnic cleansing, fake encounters, extrajudicial killings, torture, sexual violence, arbitrary arrests and detentions have reached an unprecedented proportions in Kashmir. Moreover, the use of pellet-guns in Indian-held Kashmir has drawn scathing criticism from human rights organizations. The Indian troops- to- Kashmiri people ratio in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) is the largest ever soldiers- civilian ratio in the world. Amid such murky circumstances, the recent killing of a freedom fighter- Burhan Wani- has given fresh impetus to unrest in Kashmir. Miserably, the Indian government regards such struggle for freedom an immoral and militant act. Considering the Kashmiris agitating for their right to self- determination as “terrorism” is a distortion of truth that will definitely arouse the sentiments of Pakistanis.
The further misery can be gauged from the controversial Geospatial Bill. The bill passed by the Indian parliament has provoked pro-Kashmir sentiments in Pakistan. Through the passage of this bill, the Indian government would penalise the individuals and organizations who regard Jammu and Kashmir a disputed territory as per the resolutions of United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Pakistan or any other party has been side-lined on the reason that they have no locus standi in the internal matters of India. This creates a severe harm on Pakistan’s diplomatic leverage on Kashmir.
Stephen. P. Cohen has rightly remarks: “Pakistanis and Kashmiris have reached Mutually Hurting Stalemate (MHS) stage on Kashmir.” Undoubtedly, Pakistan is no way in a position to “bleed India with thousand cuts” by abetting Kashmiri freedom struggle. So, it is high time to change narratives. The Pakistani media, the diplomatic missions of Pakistan, and the Foreign Office of Pakistan must play their constructive role in this regard. Thus to yield comprehensive results, both countries should promote talks aiming at ratcheting- down tensions between the two countries. Secondly, the United Nations must create a room for human rights organizations to highlight felonious attacks by Indian army. Thirdly, international community ought to push India onto disbanding its special task force in Kashmir. Fourthly, the role of United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) should be expanded to strictly monitor implementation of the 2003 ceasefire agreement. Fifthly, there is dire need to implement United Nation Resolution 47 which states that the future of Kashmir should be decided through democratic method of free and impartial plebiscite.
It is an established fact that if international community fails to realize the gravity of this issue, it would trigger a nuclear holocaust. The above suggestions should be pursued in letter and spirit to bring a long lasting peace in Kashmir.
Courtesy: Masood Sheikh
Masood Sheikh is an Engineer, a CSS Aspirant and a Freelancer. He is part of the team PACE and writes on Regional Issues, Islamic Studies and Current Affairs.