Kashmiris the world over marked Friday as Accession to Pakistan Day, but the most intense protests took place in the Held Valley itself, where scores were injured in the clashes with the security forces. The Indian occupation forces tried to clamp down on the protests by imposing a curfew, and by suspending mobile and internet services, as well as putting APHC leaders Ali Geelani and Miwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest and arresting Shabbir Shah and others. The protests gained intensity, because they also combined with the protests against the killing of six people when the occupation forces fired on a crowd protesting the desecration of a mosque. The incident showed the Kashmiri people as well as the world at large the cost of Indian occupation, the price of not being allowed their right of self-determination. The cost to India of this occupation can be seen from a recent opinion poll, carried out with the joint cooperation of the Lowe Institute of International Policy and the Australia-India Institute, showed that 94 percent of Indians regard Pakistan as the greatest danger to India. This shows an awareness that India has fought three wars with Pakistan, but there has to be a corresponding realisation that the wars were over Kashmir.

There does not seem a sufficient effort by Indians to join the dots: to understand that the unrest in Kashmir was created by the Indian government when it illegally occupied the Valley, and has been compounded by its subsequent refusal to allow the Kashmiri people this intrinsic right of self-determination through a UN-supervised plebiscite. This solution was taken to the international community, in the shape of the UN Security Council, by India itself, but it has itself resiled from it. At the same time, the Indian refusal to accept the existence of Pakistan is shown by the survey, and thus the futility of all peace efforts which do not attempt to solve the core issue of Kashmir in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

The government of Pakistan must never forget its role as the base camp of the Kashmir freedom struggle, and must insist that India settle this issue before obtaining a general settlement. India must not be allowed to posture before the world as an upholder of human rights while brutally crushing those of the Kashmiri people. It is the duty of Pakistan to provide the moral and diplomatic support necessary for this, which would start with refusing to have any talks which do not start with resolving the Kashmir issue.