Although October 27, is commemorated every year as a Black Day by Pakistanis and Kashmiris dwelling on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) and all over the world as a protest against Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir (IIOK) on October 27, 1947, yet the dispute remains alive owing to the war of liberation which continues unabated by the Kashmiris.

During the partition of the Subcontinent, the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) which comprised a Muslim majority, decided to join Pakistan according to the British formula. But, in connivance with Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Governor General Lord Mountbatten, Dogra Raja, Sir Hari Singh, a Hindu who was ruling over J&K joined India.

The design to forcibly wrest Kashmir began to unfold on August 16, 1947, with the announcement of the Radcliffe 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 the state of J&K.

When the state forces revolted against the Maharaja and were joined by Pathan tribesmen. Lord Mountbatten ordered armed forces to land in Srinagar.

Indian forces invaded Srinagar on October, 27 1947 and forcibly occupied J&K in utter violation of the partition plan and against the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

When Pakistan responded militarily, on December 31, 1947, India made an appeal to the UN Security Council to intervene and a ceasefire ultimately came into effect on January 1, 1949, following UN resolutions calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir.

The Security Council adopted Resolution 47 (1948) of April 21, 1948, which promised a plebiscite under UN auspices to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine whether they wish to join Pakistan or India. On February 5, 1964, India backed out of its promise of holding a plebiscite. Instead, the Indian Parliament declared Kashmir an integral part of the Indian union.

The tragedy of Kashmiris had started in 1947 when they were denied their genuine right of self-determination. They organised themselves against Indian injustices and launched a war of liberation which New Delhi tried to suppress through various forms of state terrorism.

Particularly, since 1989, this state terrorism has been part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian army and paramilitary forces against Muslim Kashmiris. It has manifested in brutal tactics like crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, molestation of Muslim women and killing of persons through fake encounters.

When Indian fanatic Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the leader of the ruling party BJP, came to power, he accelerated these anti-Kashmir moves.

In this regard, the Modi-led government’s various malicious moves in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), such as abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir to turn the Muslim majority into a minority, continuing the military lockdown there, deploying more than 900,000 troops, issuing domicile certificates to more than 430000 non-Kashmiris and blaming Indian Muslims for spreading of coronavirus in India and IIOJK might be cited as instances.

Despite the intensification of firing by the Indian forces in the wake of a shortage of food and even medicines for patients, innocent Kashmiris are still violating the lockdown by protesting against illegal Indian actions. In order to conceal India’s state terrorism, IIOK has been cut off from the world. But some reports and images are appearing in the world and social media, which show extrajudicial killings of innocent people by the ruthless Indian forces.

In this respect, the dreadful practice of Indian state terrorism could be judged from the martyrdom of 65-year-old Bashir Ahmed Khan on July 1, this year in front of his grandson by Indian troops in Sopore, Srinagar.

Local Kashmiris and the family of the martyred said that the unarmed “Khan was dragged out of his car and shot dead by paramilitary troopers”. His three-year-old toddler grandson, who was travelling with him, was later pictured sitting on his chest.

Reacting to the incident, Amnesty India said, “It is a breach of the best interests of the child principle as required to be the basis of any action by authorities under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which India is a state party.”

The UNO said that “whosoever is responsible for the killing in Sopore, has to be made to account for it.”

Nevertheless, this merciless event displays that India does not have any qualms about murdering any Kashmiri civilian.

During special operations and house-to-house searches, India military and paramilitary troopers have martyred and injured tens of thousands of Kashmiris, including women and children. These cruelties have compelled the Kashmiri youngsters to pick up arms and target the Indian forces, sacrificing their lives for the right of self-determination. Therefore, intermittent gun battles between freedom fighters and the Indian military continues in various regions of IIOK.

It is regrettable that the US-led some major western courtiers are silent on the Indian state terrorism because of anti-China factor, favouring New Delhi in wake of recent Sino-India border tensions regarding disputed territories of the eastern Ladakh.

Undoubtedly, Western media, human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International etc. and leaders of various countries and UNO have repeatedly condemned Indian illegal measures and human rights violations which keep continuing in IIOK.

Notably, when Indian troops destroy a village and conduct extrajudicial killings in the IOK, these US-led countries do not apply the term of state terrorism, but, when Mujahideen seek retaliation, it becomes a case of terrorism.

The UN resolution 1541 on the ‘Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples’ adopted by the General Assembly in 1960 accepts the legitimacy of the right of self-determination and opposes repressive measures of all kinds against the freedom fighters by the colonial power. UN resolution 2625 of 1970 authorised dependent people to seek and even receive support from outside to fight against the repressive machinery.

The world’s history proves that in the 20th century, a majority of the third world countries got independence after an armed struggle against the colonial powers. Even independence of the US, unification of Germany and Italy became possible after an armed struggle. So, the question arises; were the people of these countries’ terrorists at that time?

Nonetheless, despite the employment of acts of barbarism by the Indian security forces in the IOK, the war of liberation continues, while the prolonged war has demoralised the Indian armed forces. And the observation of the Black Day keeps the Kashmiris’ struggle alive.

Sajjad Shaukat

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations. He can e reached at sajjad_logic@yahoo.com.