The Indian forces deployed across the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir sneaked into the Haji Pir sector in the early hours of Sunday, attacked a Pakistani check post and injured two of our soldiers. However, as they were being beaten back, they were compelled to leave their arms behind. Although in the past such incidents have been taken place at regular intervals, it was for quite some time that there has been no such intrusions, giving the impression that recent developments towards the normalisation of relations between the two countries might have had a settling effect. The government should lodge a strong protest with New Delhi and seek an explanation for this serious violation of the LoC as well as trust that the two sides have been trying to build.

The people of Kashmir on either side of the LoC and Kashmiri Diaspora in various parts of the world observed the right of self-determination day on Saturday. The gatherings addressed by their leaders renewed the commitment of getting the people of the disputed state their inalienable right to exercise their choice through a free and fair plebiscite under UN-auspices, as envisaged under the UN Security Council’s relevant resolutions. The meetings urged international community to extend their help and cooperation to the oppressed people by pressurising the Indian government to honour its own solemn pledges made at the UNSC. It needs recalling here also that while addressing the Kashmiris, Prime Minister Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru himself had held out an assurance that the future of the disputed state rested with them; it would be only their vote that would decide whether they wanted to join India or Pakistan.

It is a great tragedy that the beleaguered people of Kashmir have become victims of the geopolitical ambitions of world powers, in particular of the US that perceives the befriending of New Delhi at any cost a prerequisite to the achievement of its goals. In the process, it even does not hesitate to ignore the grossest of human rights violations the Indian security forces are guilty of committing on the people of the Valley. These abuses have shot up since the Indian government empowered these forces with a black law that gives a free hand to them to shoot at sight or take in custody even a suspect freedom fighter. These forces, thus, feel encouraged to perpetrate the maximum inhumanities they possibly could to silence the voice of freedom. However, the people even after losing nearly 80,000 of their kith and kin and suffering torture and the pain and humiliation of rapes of their women are continuing to hold the torch of freedom burning. If anyone has been found wanting in its fortitude and stamina, it is the government of Pakistan. Our leaders must realise the signal significant of Kashmir to the very survival of the country and proactively plead its cause that, in fact, is our own cause.