“When faith in our freedom gives way to fear of our freedom, silencing the minority view becomes the operative protocol.”

–(Joel Salatin)

History has witnessed many freedom movements world over. The struggles sooner or later succeeded with varying price tag ranging from few hundred to some thousands of lives. Unfortunately, there is a freedom movement which is on for the past seventy years and is still awaiting its success. This movement has legal backing of no less than UN and Security Council’s repeated resolutions. The price paid so far is over 100,000 lives and hundred of thousands of gang rapes in addition to other human rights violations. The movement is termed as Kashmir freedom Movement.

Going a little back in history will help the audience to understand the Kashmir quagmire. During the partition of the Sub-continent, the people of Muslim majority State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) decided to join Pakistan according to the British-led formula. But, Dogra Raja, Sir Hari Singh, then Hindu ruler of J&K, in connivance with the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Governor General Lord Mountbatten joined India. The real design to forcibly gain Kashmir began to unfold on August 16, 1947, with the announcement of the Red Cliff Boundary Award. It gave the Gurdaspur District, a majority Muslim area, to India to provide a land route to the Indian armed forces to move into Kashmir. This led to a rebellion by State forces, which stood against the Mah Raja and were joined by Pathan tribesmen.

When Pakistan responded militarily against the Indian aggression, on December 31, 1947, India made an appeal to the UN Security Council to intervene and a ceasefire ultimately came into effect on January 01, 1949, following UN resolutions calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir. On February 5, 1964, India backed out of its promise of holding plebiscite. Instead, in March 1965, the Indian Parliament passed a bill, declaring Kashmir a province of India, an integral part of the Indian union.

The bloody tragedy of poor Kashmiris had started after 1947 when they were denied their legitimate and UN approved right of self-determination. As a natural outcome of Indian injustice, people of IOK organized themselves and launched a war of liberation which India tried to crush through coercion and brutalities. Later, in 1988, Indian positioned a very large number of Armed Forces to suppress Kashmir struggle on gun point.

Since then, Indian Occupied Kashmir has become a region where days are black and nights red. With advent of Indian occupational Forces the ethnic cleansing campaign against the Kashmiri people has intensified manifolds. So far, more than 100,000 killings have been done by Indian occupational forces. The number is growing logarithmically as Indians are using increasingly brutal methods to suppress the people of IOK and their legal struggle for freedom. The phenomenon of religious persecution against the Muslims of IOK is also not new like rest of India. The huge Indian occupational forces under the cover of Armed Forces Special Protection Act (AFSPA) and other black laws frequently engage in religious cleansing of Muslims.

Off late, the international human rights watchdog, Amnesty International, has called for revoking of AFSPA and urged investigations into the human rights violations in J&K by an “independent and impartial” authority. The report mentions, “Impunity is a long-standing problem in Jammu and Kashmir. The lack of political will to account for past and present actions of the security forces, including the state police, is fortified by legislation and aggravated by other obstacles to justice, especially for those who lack financial resources or education. Under the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act, security forces personnel have the powers to shoot suspected persons.” The said report disclosed that since 1989, there have been deaths of 98,274 innocent Kashmiris, 94,180 custodial killings, 117,345 arrests and 106,030 destructions of houses. Indian brutal security forces have orphaned over 107, 520 children, widowed 22,796 women and gang raped 10,135 women. The Amnesty International has earnestly demanded that, “Both the Government of India and the Government of Jammu and Kashmir must take immediate steps to ensure that all human rights violations and crimes under international law alleged to have been committed by Indian security forces, including the police, in Jammu and Kashmir are investigated by independent and impartial authorities.

Leaders are center of gravity for their movement. Several Kashmiri political parties have joined hands to form All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) to steer the political struggle for self-determination. The APHC, therefore, constitutes the true representative of the Kashmiri people. India has been victimizing Kashmiri leaders every off and on through dirty tactics to break their will and resolve. They have been repeatedly harassed and physically intimidated. Instead of accepting the existing reality, India has sought to blame Pakistan for allegedly promoting the Kashmiri uprising. These Indian allegations against Pakistan are a ploy to hoodwink the International Community on Kashmir issue and a blanket to hide state sponsored atrocities on innocent people of IOK.

Kashmir has been under unlawful Indian military occupation since October 1947. The people of Jammu and Kashmir have been granted the right of self-determination under the UN Charter, and under several UN Security Council resolutions, more specifically under UN (UNCIP) resolution of August 13, 1948, and January 5, 1949. These and subsequent UN resolutions have affirmed that, the question of accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through the political democratic method of free and impartial plebiscite. A peaceful, negotiated settlement of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with UN resolutions ranks top on Pakistan’s foreign policy agenda. In order to find an early and just solution to the decades old Kashmir dispute, Pakistan has always urged the international community to play an active role. Pakistan will continue extending its full political, diplomatic and moral support to legitimate Kashmir struggle. Every year on 27th October, Kashmiris, living on both sides of the LoC and in other parts of the globe remind UN and international community of their responsibility to solve chronic Kashmir issue as per the resolutions of UN. The day is marked as “Black Day”.