Modi government and the believers in the Hindutva philosophy might be rejoicing the scrapping of article 370 paving the way for making Jummu and Kashmir part of the Indian Union not realizing that this dangerous and wrong move would have very serious consequences for the regional as well as Indian stability due to its unpredictable outcomes. Freedom movements cannot be suppressed through barrel of the gun, Presidential decrees and un-imaginative legislative and constitutional measures as done by the Modi government. The flame of freedom nurtured by the people of Kashmir by their blood and unparalleled sacrifices in the face of ruthless Indian oppression provide an irrefutable proof of this historic reality.

Even the conscientious voices within India and those who can perceive the dangers inherent in this reckless move have condemned the scrapping of article 370 of the Indian constitution. The Congress strongly opposed the bill when it was presented in the Lok Sabha. One of its senior leader P. Chidambaram while speaking in the Rjaya Sabha on Monday rightly remarked “Momentarily you may think you have scored a victory...drum beats, that You will hear on the streets, certainly will encourage you to believe that you have corrected a so-called injustice but history will prove you wrong.... and future generations will realize what a grave mistake this House is making today. This will be a catastrophic blunder. It is a sad day. This will be the black day”. He appealed to the Modi government not to ‘dismember the state’ terming it a cardinal blunder. Even pro-Indian politician of Kashmir Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti who have served as Chief Ministers of the state condemned the repeal of Article 370. The latter admitted that it was a mistake on their part to prefer India over Pakistan. History cannot be decimated or reversed. Modi government has indeed made a historical and dangerous mistake.

International media has also repudiated this unilateral action of the Modi government. The New York Times in its editorial terming the step as a wrong and dangerous move observed “The United States and China must not allow Kashmir to become a pawn in their ongoing disputes; on the contrary, the United States, China, the United Nations and other powers with influence over India and Pakistan must urgently do what they can to prevent India’s folly from escalating into a perilous and unpredictable regional crisis”. Amnesty International which has been regularly documenting blatant human rights violation o by the Indian security force in the Indian held Kashmir, in a statement has said “ New Delhi’s unilateral decision to revoke Article 370 without consulting the state’s inhabitants is likely inflame prevailing tensions, alienate the local population and increase the risk of further human rights violations amidst a complete clampdown on civil liberties and communication blackout” The statement not only draws a right picture of the situation prevailing in the valley at the moment but also expresses the fears about future human rights situation in the backdrop this development.

It is a blind move by the Modi government ostensibly stemming from the make-belief of the racist regime of BJP that the legal frame work evolved through the Presidential decree and Indian parliament would automatically end the Kashmir dispute; the Kashmiri freedom fighters will take it lying down and give up their movement for fear of the likely action by the Indian security forces in case of any adverse reaction and Pakistan which is a party to the Kashmir dispute and for whom Kashmir is her jugular vein and unfinished agenda of the partition, will accept the move as fate accompli. If that is the thinking, it reflects delusional hubris of the Modi government.

The Kashmiris have vowed to fight till the last man to win their freedom. The leadership of All Hurriyet Conference has decided to intensify the freedom struggle undeterred by the atrocities of the Indian security forces and the likely genocide in the valley as is evident by the induction of more Indian troops to bolster military presence designed to suppress the freedom movement.

Pakistan has out rightly rejected the unilateral revoking of article 370 by the Indian government and Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing the joint session of the Parliament vowed to take on the ‘racist ideology’ of BJP and also expressed the resolve to raise the issue at every international forum including UN Security Council and sensitizing the world leaders about the dangers lurking in the region as a consequence of the Indian action. He also urged the international community to intervene warning “If the world does not act today and if the developed world does not uphold its own laws, then things will go to a place that we will not be responsible” The opposition though critical of the alleged government slackness in taking a preventive move beforehand did emphasize national unity to deal with the situation.

Consequently a unanimous resolution inclusive of the points mentioned above has been passed by the Parliament. Pakistan has decided to approach the UN Security Council and the process of consultation with its friends, especially China is going on. Other decisions taken by the National Security Council include downgrading diplomatic relations with India, severing of trade ties between the two countries, revisiting all the bilateral arrangements with India in indifferent domains, celebrating Independence Day as Kashmir Solidarity Day and observing Indian Independence Day as a Black Day. Pakistan Army has also thrown its weight behind the government and vowed to stand by the people of Kashmir reiterating that it was prepared to go to any extent to fulfill its obligations in that regard. The strategy adopted by Pakistan as an initial reaction to the evolving situation is a right course to pursue while being ready to face any eventuality.

China has opposed Indian decision to revoke special status of Kashmir saying Indian action is unacceptable and would not have any legal effect. Saudi Arabia expressing concern over the development has urged the need for resolving the issue according to UN resolutions. The International Commission of Jurists has also condemned the revocation of Article 370 by India. It is noteworthy that US and UK remain non-committal on the issue and have restricted themselves to only advising calm and resort to bilateral dialogue, notwithstanding the fact that India has closed all the avenues for dialogue.

The Indian action has threatened peace and security in the region and requires immediate attention and appropriate action by the international community, particularly the US which must play a role not only in defusing the situation but also in helping the people of Kashmir to realize their right of self-determination. If the world community, UN and the US really desire to curb terrorism they will have to play a leading role in removing the causes that promote the phenomenon of terrorism. As observed by New York Times the UN, US, China and all big powers need to use their influence to prevent the Indian folly escalating into a perilous and unpredictable regional crisis.

The writer is a freelance columnist.

ashpak10@gmail.com

The Kashmiris have vowed to fight till the last man to win their freedom.