On this day in 1947, India fraudulently inducted its military in the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was a blatant violation of the parameters set for the partition of British India. Concurrently, India announced the accession of Jammu and Kashmir under a controversial Instrument of Accession. Ever since, the people of Kashmir have not accepted India’s illegal occupation and are struggling to undo it. When popular revolt made the occupation untenable, India on January 1, 1948, approached the UN Security Council to intervene and resolve the crisis. The UN Security Council through its successive resolutions nullified Indian occupation of Kashmir, and declared it as a disputed territory. It approved a ceasefire, demarcation of the ceasefire line, demilitarization of the state and a free and impartial plebiscite to be conducted under its supervision.

India only partially implemented the UNSC resolutions and as a result India continues to default on demilitarization of Indian occupied territory and conduct of a free and fair plebiscite under the UN supervision remains unimplemented. Kashmiris observe 27 October as Black Day to appeal to the international conscience for exerting its pressure for implementation of UN resolutions—twenty in number. Event also sends a blunt message to India that Kashmiris reject its illegal occupation, and that they are determined to undo it.

India shops and businesses were closed in the IHK on Thursday as a mark of protest to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit. Police and paramilitary soldiers patrolled Srinagar to prevent demonstrations. Steel barricades were erected on main roads and APHC leaders were held under house arrest to stop them from leading any protests. Modi also visited Indian soldiers stationed on the Siachen Glacier, to greet them on Diwali. Syed Ali Shah Geelani said that Modi visiting a Muslim-majority state on Diwali was “nothing but cultural aggression. His stay in Kashmir on Diwali is nothing but an election stunt. India wants to show the world that they are with flood-hit Kashmiris. It is ridiculous.” He accused Modi of rubbing “salt on our wounds” by visiting Kashmir on Diwali but not extending Eid greetings to Muslims. Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader Yasin Malik said Modi was “politicizing a human tragedy.” Jammu and Kashmir is due to go for state polls by early next year and the BJP is hoping to move from the political margins in the Valley to emerge as an alternative to established parties. The BJP, which did well in Jammu in the Lok Sabha election, is working overtime to gain a foothold in the Valley.

Angry Kashmir residents say the government’s response to last month’s flooding has been inadequate. Modi’s visit was aimed at soothing frayed nerves in the Valley following the failure of the state administration to provide immediate relief to people after the state’s worst floods in a century.

Indian highhandedness toward the inhabitant of IHK continues even during humanitarian crisis. This year’s Monsoon induced flash floods were catastrophic for the people of Kashmir, especially the Indian occupied portion of Jammu and Kashmir. India imposed conditions and restrictions over the international aid for the flood hit Kashmir; this was indeed an inhuman act. Many Muslim countries, the OIC and prominent personalities offered large scale relief for the flood affected people of Jammu & Kashmir but India obstructed the flow of urgently needed aid; thus prolonging the agony of the sufferers.

APHC Chairman has said that if this relief would have reached to the people, the rehabilitation of the flood affected people could have been completed in few months but India wants to make Kashmiris as dependents on its own aid as possible, so that their self-esteem and self-respect get subdued and their freedom sentiment dampens. He expressed his satisfaction and happiness that many Muslim countries and international organizations including Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey had taken serious notice of the devastation caused by the floods in Kashmir and they promptly offered help for that but, he expressed sorrow that India is politicizing this human issue and it doesn’t want that the sufficient aid should reach Jammu & Kashmir people. “It is the set plan of the policy makers of India that Kashmir should remain economically instable for years together and people should remain totally dependent even for the granule on the Indian government”, he added. Stopping or restricting the international aid is equal to enforcing the economic blockade against the oppressed Kashmiris which doesn’t have any moral and constructional justification and it is the worst kind of human rights violation.

During the first 6 days of flood waters people were on their own rescuing, saving and supplying food materials and water to the stranded, or to those who refused to move out from their houses. Most people were accusing army of rescuing Indian tourists, VIPs and their officers. Many youth were protesting and rightly demanding that people stranded in decrepit houses must be first rescued. Youth converging from many parts of Kashmir risked their lives in saving the stranded people in posh areas and other submerged parts. In other Indian states the army is at the forefront of saving, rescuing and distributing relief. In Kashmir they were doing catwalk in areas that feted them maximum footage on Indian channels.

To date India continues to play games with Kashmiri people. Two frequently used tools are: manipulated elections and violations of the Line of Control. Pakistan’s position on the current spate of violations of LoC and the Working Boundary is very clear. Advisor to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Mr Sartaj Aziz has aptly summed up Pakistan’s position. Pakistan condemns this uncalled for escalation by India. While putting up a measured response, Pakistan takes due care that on the other side of the Line of Control and the Working Boundary there is Indian Occupied Kashmir; and Kashmiris are Pakistan’s own people, it does not want to harm them and their properties. Pakistan has brought this issue to the notice of the International Community and to the United Nations. The Advisor addressed a letter to the UN Secretary General, which has been circulated as a UN Security Council document. Pakistani Missions abroad have also briefed the host governments about Indian aggression and escalation. India has not allowed UNMOGIP to visit LoC and to file its report. It is one of the subjects being pondered weather Pakistan should formally request the UN to make UNMOGIP functional as per its mandate.

Pakistan wants to engage India and resume dialogue on all those outstanding issues. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s remarks in the United Nations General Assembly Session this year, were quite pertinent, he had spoken of the importance of “more dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the problems of the region”; he stressed that “we cannot build, much less sustain peace, without resolving the underlined problems and disputes, including the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.” He concluded by stressing that bilateral and regional cooperation must be promoted for shared peace and development and that this should be appropriately supported by international and regional organizations.

Ubiquitous presence of Indian security forces in Kashmir is estimated to be seven hundred thousand. They are not the ordinary forces. They are equipped with sophisticated weapons and support infrastructure to torture and kill innocent non-combatant. Their criminal acts are given complete immunity under nearly half a dozen draconian laws, which are frequently and regularly objected to by international Human rights’ bodies. The black day that commenced in 1947 has elongates to date and has the dubious distinction of being the longest black bay of contemporary history.

n    The writer is a freelance columnist.