The illegal and forced military occupation of Kashmir by India  has neither moral nor constitutional justification. The Kashmiris have opposed this forced occupation since 1947. Hence Jammu and Kashmir can never be made an integral part of India through parliamentary resolutions, as the Indian Government would have the free world believe. Indian Occupied Kashmir was, is and will always be a disputed territory until a peaceful resolution, based on justice, fairness and human rights is established.

The real stakeholders of the Kashmir issue are its people. Their right to self- determination is a matter of life and death. This right is being denied to them by the Indian Government.

In 1947 under the auspices of the United Nations, the future of Kashmir was to be decided through a plebiscite. Instead, the Kashmiris, living under Indian occupation have been denied human and democratic rights. This has become a test case for people of conscience who want to see a free and just world. As long as the issue remains unresolved, the partition concept of 1947, remains incomplete. The choice for the Kashmiri is either surrender to Indian imperialism or continue the struggle against oppression and tyranny.

Oppression is worse than killing. This may sound as a contradiction but it is a stunning statement. While killing is short and brutal, oppression is an ongoing denial of ideals, aspirations, hope and civil liberties. Killing is a quick but brutal human act. It is a fight against the soul. Oppression is bestial and is the torturing of the soul. For more than six decades, the Indian regime abused and dehumanized  the Kashmiris through a program of Indianisation. The native population has resisted this subjugation and persecution. In their search for honour and dignity they have realised that it is better to die and in their willingness to meet death, life has become meaningful.

Welcome to Kashmir! Still gorgeous but scarred. It is a nation overrun by the 700,000-strong security forces of the occupying power – India. The continuous presence of  barbed wire, of military columns, and ‘security checks’ and the rape of women used as a weapon of war, are a stark reminder of this occupation. The deliberate brutality of the occupation is unimaginable almost anywhere else on earth. Despite these outrages, Kashmir remains free and independent, at least in the soul and spirit of its people.

Welcome to a land of joint military exercises conducted by the United States, Israel and India. When it comes to brutality, Indian forces could actually teach both Israelis and the United States quite a few things. The self-proclaimed Zionist Jewish state has sold itself to India as a worthwhile ally projecting itself as an experienced and effective leader in the fight against terrorism. It supplies high-tech weapons and  provides intelligence services to India.  In effect, Israel is saying that both states have common friends and enemies and that Israel is in a position to provide what India needs. The Zionist state provides India with an opening to US support and cooperation. After Saudi Arabia, India is the largest purchaser of military weapons from the Zionist state.

The Indian regime has promulgated a number of laws that allows the army to commit war crimes with impunity. The Armed Forces Special Powers Act is one such example. Seldom have any armed personnel been punished for crimes against humanity. The occupation and militarization in Jammu and Kashmir has affected all aspects of life in the territory. Unfortunately the Indian media and civil society, with some exceptions, have been also extending the moral and political impunity to the army who they believe is fighting trans-border terrorism. The systematic disappearance, mass graves, torture has been completely ignored by the Indian and international media.

In order to suppress the liberation struggle, the government has resorted to institutional repression. More than 700,000 armed forces have been mobilized into service to nullify the armed struggle and to control the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The right to self-determination was a promise the Government of India had made to the UN in resolutions passed in 1948 and 1949. Regrettably, they failed to honour these promises. International institutions and  western civil society and governments have chosen to completely ignore the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

Constant and powerful reminders of the illegal occupation can be seen all over the Kashmir Valley. The incongruous and outrageous presence of the military, police and paramilitary forces, to mass graves are ruthless and cruel reminders of the occupation. Army garrisons are lined up along all the major roads. Military and police trucks drive on them in all directions. There are countless roadblocks and checkpoints. A visitor to Palestine is greeted with the same militarized format.

The cruelty of the Indian occupying forces in Jammu and Kashmir cannot be compared to the genocide in Indonesia (1965), East Timor or the bestiality seen in Uganda or Rwanda. It is much worse. Not surprisingly, both India and Indonesia are the West’s client states, promoted as examples of ‘democracy’ and ‘tolerance’.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is moving India closer and closer towards the West. US and Israel are deeply involved in anti-terrorist training of the Indian military. Security personnel  receive education and training in the US, European Union, and Israel. The army is performing regular exercises with the US and Israeli forces, mainly in the area of Ladakh, near Pakistan. Israeli-style settlements are widely used in Kashmir and India is fine-tuning Israeli policies of Apartheid.

In fact, India is fast becoming a tourist destination for Israelis, Americans and Europeans.

Is there a solution to the problem? To quote Alastair  Lamb :  “Any realistic settlement of the Kashmir dispute must take into account how the dispute started, rather than in myth, and what were the essential issues at the beginning, arising as they did from the same circumstances which brought the end of the British Empire…………………”

 

Ibrahim Vawda

Senior Researcher, Media Review Network

072 295 0088

Ibrahim Vawda

Ex educator and spent the last 14 years in education as headmaster. A proud Muslim and keen internationalist. Passionate about human rights issues. No respect for politicians.