Guest Column

The animosity of fighting neighbours in the sub-continent is neither new nor surprising for the world. From super powers-to the most deprived nations of the world are aware of the bone of contention between India and Pakistan.

The conflict started on division of India under the British rule in 1947, when the princely State of Kashmir was maliciously annexed to India against the popular wishes of its people who wanted to go with Pakistan. Since then India has used tremendous military might to hold on the disputed state and curb the right of self determination of the Kashmiris which is rightfully acknowledged by the United Nations.  

The term Line of Control (LoC) refers to the military control line between Indian and Pakistani - control parts of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is also known as, Asia’s “Berlin Wall”. The LoC, to this day does not constitute a legally recognized international boundary but is the de facto border. Originally known as “Cease - fire Line”, it was redesignated as the “Line of Control” after the Simla Agreement which was signed on 3rd July 1972 between India and Pakistan. The part of Kashmir controlled by India is known as Indian Occupied Kashmir (10K) and two parts of the former princely state under Pakistani control are known as Gilgit Baltistan (G8) and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK).

All the Indian efforts through its 700,000 military troops stationed in the valley to subjugate the right of self determination of the Kashmiris, atrocities on them, her influence in the comity of nations and defiance of UN resolutions on Kashmir, have failed miserably to end the Kashmiri freedom struggle. Kashmir was, it is and will always be an international dispute between India and Pakistan and can never be resolved through brute force. Pakistan and India had their first war in 1948 which is also known as the “first Kashmir war”. This war resulted in freedom of the areas now known as Giligit Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir, but the major areas of the valley are still occupied by the aggressive India.  The international border between India and Pakistan has seen three full scale wars (1965, 1971 and the Kargil war), including numerous short scale campaigns initiated by India whenever she got frustrated by the never ending struggle of the Kashmiris or Pakistan’s diplomatic and morale support to them.

Since 1947 India has violated the LoC many a times to inflict heavy damage on the innocent Pakistani civilians in terms of loss of property and valuable human lives. In addition, it has also planted number of land mines alongside the Line of Control which has killed scores of innocent people and has left thousands as disabled. Without compensation these disabled people in Indian Kashmir are fighting hard for their survival. Not only this, at times the Hindu extremist groups like BJP blocked the Srinagar Jammu National Highway (NH1A) which is the only route that connects the Kashmir valley to rest of India. These constant torture techniques inflicted by the Indian government on the local Muslim population is enough proof of Indian brutality and stubborn approach to deny the Kashmiris their right of self determination / freedom which IS their birth right.

Most recently, India has started a terrorism campaign through its Border Security Force (BSF) on the LoC which is unprecedented and lethal. Since the 2003’s ceasefire agreement, these new terror attacks on Pakistani villages along the LoC by the BSF have broken all brutality and injustice records in the history of Indo-Pak border conflicts. The Indians used heavy mortars and artillery guns not only to target Pakistani forces and their posts but deliberately and especially / specifically targeted c     \0     e Pakistani villages to strike terror 1n the hearts of innocent and unarmed civilians.  The lethal use of brute Indian force did not even stop on the festival of Eid-ul-Azha, rather the Indian .forces planned and coordinated most lethal attacks on the religious festival by targeting the civilian population which resulted in the killing of dozens of innocent children, women, and others.

The collateral also included killing of the live stock, destruction of houses, mosques, hospitals and schools in the Pakistani villages along the LoC.

When Pakistan raised voice on the havoc played by Indian forces in the United Nations Security Council, the Indian Foreign Office without any compelling evidence started a vilification campaign, against Pakistan on different international forums of being the aggressor.  

Pakistan’s good intentions were made public when its government arranged a tour of the UN observers to the LoC in a bid to reveal the true Indian face, however, the same was denied by India on the other side and UN observers were not allowed to visit the boundary.  International community must take notice of the atrocities and brutality carried out by Indian forces on the LoC and stop India from its terror campaign on the most volatile border of the world.

The Writer  Muhammad Faraz is an Islamabad based freelance writer, with a background in Defence and Strategic Studies.