The article in the STAR (early edition) on Tuesday 19th February 2019 “ Attack on India Slammed” by Chulumanco Mahamba refers.
Various political Parties as well as President Cyril Ramaphosa have identified with the people and Government of India in voicing their condemnation of the Kashmiris in their struggle to free themselves from the yolk of Indian Occupation and military oppression. This recognition by our Government is a misrepresentation of the legitimate struggle for self-determination and independence of the people of Kashmir.
The Kashmir conflict is about principles rather than policy. Until and unless decision makers listen directly to the people and gain an accurate understanding of the conflict, the resistance to the Indian occupation of Kashmir will persist for many more decades.
With over 750 000 soldiers stationed in Indian Occupied Kashmir, it remains the most militarised region in the world.
We should not forget that India’s first Prime Minister Nehru and his successors reneged on their international law obligation when they recognised that Kashmir would never vote accession to India in a free and fair election. That explains India’s stubborn resistance to implementing the U.N. Security Council’s plebiscite resolution which India itself sponsored. However, a commanding majority of Kashmiris covet freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and religious pluralism.
As recently as the 4th February 2019, the Indian External Ministry tried to prevent an International Day of Solidarity with the Kashmiris, scheduled to take place in the British Parliament.
The idea of self-determination enjoys universal support. Self-determination is celebrated in the United Nations Charter, in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in United Nations General Assembly resolutions. Self-determination was a central creed of President Woodrow Wilson’s famous Fourteen Points to end World War I. Self-determination was the libretto of India in obtaining independence from the British Raj . And as regards Kashmir, self-determination is expressly embraced in United Nations Security Council resolutions as the international law formula for determining the status of the occupied territory.
Terrorism has become the excuse for states to do as they please, in the name of protecting citizens against such “attacks”. Countless number of people are imprisoned under anti-terrorism laws in India. Most of them are poor people belonging to minority communities including Dalits and Adivasis who protest regularly against “development projects” that deprive them of their lands and livelihoods. The Kashmiris are protesting against the occupation of their homeland and consequently denying them their right to self- determination and independence.
The Indian security establishment is adept at staging “fake encounters”. They spread baseless rumours about so-called “terrorists”. To legitimise the rumours they engineer “terror attacks”. They then stage-manage a “terror” attack in which all the “terrorists” are “killed”. No arrests, no investigations, no prosecutions and no evidence provided to prove their allegations.
The article by the author show no hint of a desire to establish the truth about the Kashmiri resistance to the Indian Occupation. As is the normal practice within the Indian State authorities, fingers are always pointed at Pakistan in advance of any proper investigation. They refuse to establish an independent and impartial public commission of inquiry. It has been well documented that the Indian Government, its armed forces, police and intelligence services are very economical with the truth.
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