Reema Shaukat

Whythis esprit de corps or solidarity and unityto Kashmir is marked on 5th of February every year? This question may come in one’s mind but very few know the importance of this day and try to assess its significance as Pakistani. This Kashmir Solidarity Day is commemorated by Pakistani nation with a commitment and promise to extend their moral, political and diplomatic support to Kashmiri brethren.It is also observed to not only support their fair and impartial right of self-determination but to eulogize their sacrifices they are making every day by bearing brutality from the hands of Indian military.

While turning the pages of history, one finds that Puppet Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah was forced to resign on 19 January, 1990 and Governor Rule was imposed in Indian Occupied Kashmir under Jagmohan Malhotra who was well known for his hatred against Muslims in general and Kashmiris in particular. With his imposition of Governor Rule, he unleashed new reign of plight for Kashmiris. Indian forces barricade Srinagar and door to door search operations were carried out. On the name of these search operations many women were abused and men tortured. As the news of this havoc spread, thousands of people from IOK gathered in the streets of Srinagar and protested against this abysmal doing of Indian military. Sadly during the gripe Indian forces on the orders of Governor Jagmohan Malhotra opened fire on peaceful protestors, killing around fifty and leaving hundreds as injured. These mass killings of 21 January, 1990 are considered as one of the worst massacre in the history of Kashmir. This bloodshed shockedevery Pakistani and nationwide strike was observed on February 5, 1990. People greatly supported aggrieved Kashmiris, expressed solidarity and stressed upon international community to take notice of Indian atrocious defiance in Kashmir. Government of Pakistan that year officially designated 5th of February as Kashmir Solidarity Day. Therefore, now in every nick and corner of Pakistan this esprit de corps is observed to express camaraderie and unflinching support to Kashmiris.

Today honouring 26th solidarity day,but still watching our Kashmir bleeding. That Kashmir which is our jugular vein is in continuous state of haemorrhage. Unfortunately, during one year of PDP-BJP alliance government in IOK, BJP in assistance with RSS has fostered its agenda of IOK’s complete integration into India. Though legal experts of India and IOK High Court have clarified the permanent status of Article 370 of Indian Constitution, BJP’s agenda of division is still on table. In this regard, BJP is in hot pursuit of Mission 44+ in IOK Assembly elections of year 2020. However, short of that, BJP and RSS are busy in changing religious identity of the State. For example, special concessions were given to expand the horizon of Amarnath Yatra to project that Hindus have greater stakes in IOK than Muslims. Special efforts are being made for demographic engineering in the State like announcing the package for 1947West Pakistan refugees to be recruited in Armed Forces from IOK quota, allocation of lands and donating Indian rupee worth 2 million to each Hindu Pundit family to establish separate cities in the valley. On the other hand health, education, local infrastructure, social support and rural development sectors are also controlled by BJPlegislators and major chunk of projects are announced in Hindu majority area or BJP constituencies. Hence through these tactics BJP is longing for Mission 44+ in next IOK assembly elections.

Preventive arrests are fairly common in Indian-held Kashmir, particularly ahead of important events that authorities fear could be targeted by anti-India protests.Hurriyat leadership has been suppressed by the PDP-BJP government by not allowing them to organize rallies for demanding freedom and expressing their sentiments for Pakistan. Hurriyat leaders are always detained in Police Stations or kept under house arrests during all important events. Last year in November before Modi’s visit to IOK, many Hurriyat leaders were arrested including Syed Ali Geelani, Yasin Malik and Shabbir Ahmed Shah. Similarly detention of Hurriyat activist Masarat Alam, even after acceptance of bail by IOK High Court, exhibits coercive mechanics of Indian military and police forces active in the State. Pakistan condemned these arrests and said that such Indian actions in the Occupied Kashmir are an attempt to stifle the voice of Kashmiris who are struggling against the continued Indian occupation and grass human rights violations by the Indian troops.

Government as well as people of Pakistan have stood firmly by their commitment to Kashmir cause. Pakistan’s internal and foreign policy has always been towards the settlement of dispute according to UN resolutions. Unfortunately with BJP in power, apart from propaganda against Pakistan, it violates ceasefire along LOC. Indian malicious intent is evident from the blame game against Pakistan for every internal security issue, merely to avoid serious dialogue on bilateral issues as well as the humanitarian crisis in Kashmir. India which itself took this unfinished agenda of partition to UN but always making plea for undertaking the dispute. India is suppressing and muzzling Kashmiri men, women and children through massive presence of security forces under draconian law of “Armed Forces Special Powers Act”. Statistically last 25 years have witnessed 94,296 martyrdoms of innocent Kashmiris including 7,038 in custody while 10,167 women raped and 107,545 children orphaned.

In the wake of changing regional and global dynamics, resolution of the issue has become a top most priority but unsensitised international community is perhaps waiting for emergence of a regional crises out of Kashmir Issue. As global players do not find any interest in resolution of the dispute, it now has become a humanitarian issue in the region. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other organizations have raised their voices time and again in their reports for Kashmir’s mayhem. Keeping in view present regional canvas, Kashmir Solidarity Day is of utmost importance to give world a wakeup call and show Pakistan’s stronger support and sustenance for Kashmir freedom.