The Indian aggression in Kashmir has been going on for the last seventy years, but in August last year, when Modi’s terrorist government withdrew Article 370 A, which made Kashmir a disputed territory, things further aggravated; the state was declared an Indian territory and a curfew was imposed there.  That this oppression and barbarism is still going on has increased many sins.

It is unfortunate that our present government has not been able to go beyond rhetoric on such a serious issue. A couple of minutes of silence is not the answer to such issues, but to raise a full voice at the diplomatic level and prepare the world for its support in which the present government has completely failed.

This is the reason why Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had to say that Kashmir today missed Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto fondly.

If we look at the history of Kashmir, we can see how the previous governments of the PPP raised the issue of Kashmir all over the world, but also kept the nation together. The Kashmir mission of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto which was carried forward by Shaheed Mohtarma was taken up by our Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

The issue of Jammu and Kashmir is not just a territorial dispute, but it is linked to the inalienable right of the people of the valley to self-determination. According to international standards of the right to self-determination, all members of a nation state have the right to self-determination. Jammu and Kashmir fulfills all the provisions and requirements of a nation state. Jammu and Kashmir has a history of self-governance, has its own culture and languages, and has a population of over 14 million. If we look at it honestly, it will be clear that Pakistan does not raise its voice for Kashmiris because it wants Kashmir to be its part, but it wants to resolve it as per the aspirations of Kashmiris.

On the contrary, India has always deceived the international community and wants to take complete control of Kashmir. It is a kind of documented fact that self-determination is the main issue in the Kashmir dispute, but India is not ready to accept it. The United Nations’ Charter puts the “right to self-determination” on the agenda of international law. The Charter clearly states that the principle of the United Nations is “to establish friendly relations with the United Nations.” The United Nations General Assembly had also adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. Article 2 of this Declaration states that the individual has the right to all rights and freedoms without discrimination.

Despite UN Security Council’s Resolution 91, India considered the disputed annexation of Jammu and Kashmir as final and passed a resolution in Parliament in October 1957, declaring Kashmir as its integral part.

Later, India changed its status and through its puppets not only deprived the people of occupied Kashmir of their rights but also set examples of the worst atrocities that have claimed the lives of more than 0.1 million Kashmiris so far. From 1960 to 1964, India rejected the offer of mediation by Egyptian President Gamal Nasser, US President Kennedy and others. This was the Kashmir issue over which India and Pakistan fought two wars; the Pak-India war of 1965 and the Kargil war of 1999 and now the third war is ready. In March 1965, the Indian parliament passed a bill declaring Jammu and Kashmir a province of India and claimed that India would appoint a governor there.

India’s own representatives Gupta, SP Agrawal and SR Bakhshi told the Security Council in writing that India would not agree to a UN-proposed referendum in Kashmir under any circumstances.  In 1980, a new struggle against Hindu sectarianism began in Jammu and Kashmir.

In the early 1990s, thousands of Kashmiris took to the streets and demanded a referendum in Jammu and Kashmir, which continues to this day. Indian forces used the worst force on unarmed Kashmiris. There is a clear evidence of many human rights violations by the IOF from the 1990s to the present day that they resort to all kinds of violence and barbarism to silence the voice of Kashmiris, demanding self-determination.

Since India has cut off Kashmir from the rest of the world and the international media has no access to it, the world does not immediately realise gravity of this barbarism.

Historical facts prove that the post-partition Indian leadership not only recognised the status of the Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, but also recognised the right of Kashmiris to self-determination in the decision-making process of Jammu and Kashmir. It also accepted the position of the BJP, but with the passage of time, India’s position on referendum in Kashmir changed. Despite all the promises, India has always tried to keep Kashmiris away from the decision-making process since the 1950s and has declared any kind of debate, mediation or referendum irrelevant.

On the other hand, Pakistan’s position on Kashmir has not changed. Pakistan has always considered occupied Kashmir as a ‘disputed territory’ and demanded the implementation of the UNSC resolutions and stressed that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have every right to decide their political future.

Due to Pakistan’s tireless efforts, on November 23, 2016, the United Nations adopted a resolution tabled by Pakistan calling for the recognition of the people’s right to self-determination.

The writer is Sindh Information Minister

 

 

  Through this resolution, Pakistan drew the world’s attention to Kashmir and the encroached rights of the Kashmiri people.  Kashmir wants justice and the world must support them because they are oppressed.

 

The writer is Sindh Information Minister