It has been more than six decades now that the unfortunate Kashmir valley is being subjected to violence and brute force. It has become an unresolved conflict of history of which there seems to be no end. India has always thought itself to be the regional hegemon who can take whatever action that it wishes and has been occupying the beautiful valley in glaring international defiance. How many more Kashmiri lives would it take to bring India to its senses and to make it realise that the present world is the world of free will and freedom? This brutality and its use of force to crush the rebellion cannot be accepted anymore and can have disastrous consequences. After the killing of the separatist fighter Burhan Wani, instead of making conciliatory gestures towards those on the streets, India is resorting to more brute force. Apart from using heavy handedness methods, the Indian armed forces are also responsible for the information blockade to the disputed territory while seizing newspapers and disrupting cable TV network transmissions. The curbs placed on Kashmiri media are designed to foil independent reports from emerging from the troubled region, so that the international community may not be aware of the simmering situation and the brutality of the Indian armed forces upon innocent Kashmiris.

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came into power by openly demonstrating anti-Pakistan sentiments and goals. Anti-Pakistan means more violence in Kashmir by the Indian armed forces because Pakistan supports the right of the Kashmiri people for self-determination based on the UN resolutions. Not only does India openly defy the resolutions passed by the world body, it also commits major human rights violations in the valley. Modi has been alleged to be the architect of the 2002 Gujrat riots and as a result of his personal beliefs, views, ideological and party affiliations, is not viewed as someone who can deliver peace. This viewpoint gains further credence with his election manifesto that was heavily anti-Pakistan and also spoke of the revision of Article 370 of the Indian constitution pertaining to Kashmir’s special status. In very realistic terms, we should not expect Modi to act like his predecessor Vajpayee, as Vajpayee had a vision which was baptised by the hardcore realities that he himself was a participant to, and wanted to leave a legacy of peace between the two neighbors despite stiff opposition from his party cadres and policy makers. The resolution to the Kashmir issue was at its closest in 1999 when the historic Lahore Resolution took place between Vajpayee and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. But soon the peace process was derailed. Much has changed over the last decade, with more interest groups favoring the constituency of conflict than peace.

While on the other hand, the Pakistani government has always taken up the cause of the Kashmiri people. At almost all the UN General Assembly sessions, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif highlighted the plight of the Kashmiris, much to India’s displeasure, because the Indians are forever haunted by the K-word. The recent killings of innocent Kashmiris in their struggle needs to be highlighted to the international community at all forums because now India’s defiance has grown out of control and this matter can only be resolved through peaceful means with the support and intervention of the big powers and UN.

Recently the Senate also passed a resolution condemning the brutal killings of Kashmiris by the Indian armed forces. According to the resolution, the international community should come forward and play its role in stopping the violation in the disputed area. The UN resolutions should be implemented to decide the fate of Kashmir under the supervision of the world body without any delay and the Pakistani government should take up the matter at all international forums. The world community should pay attention to the increasing human rights violations in the scenic valley particularly since July 8 when the Indian security forces used disproportionate force to indiscriminately kill political activists. During the past few days over 50 people have been killed and thousands injured. Their only fault was that they demanded their right to self-determination guaranteed to them by the UN over six decades ago. China has also supported the peaceful resolution and expressed concern over the loss of lives in the valley which is aligned with Pakistan’s stance.

Kashmir is the most dangerous flashpoint in the South Asian region. The people of Pakistan are committed to providing moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris in their just struggle for their inalienable right to self-determination. The over 700,00 Indian troops stationed in Kashmir for the past decades have not been able to suppress the yearning of the Kashmiri people to achieve what has long been promised to them by the international community. Pakistan has always wanted a non-military resolution of the issue and the UN should play its role to give the right to self-determination to Kashmiri people because it is the only international guarantor of human rights. The brutality of India is a mockery to its claim of being the world’s largest democracy. Freedom of expression is a key pillar of the democratic structure. By its brutal tactics India cannot put a lid to the simmering conflict in this unfortunate land. Crushing the protests with an iron hand and enforcing media blackouts in the held territory will not change the mood on the streets. Brutality will generate even more hatred against India’s forced rule in the region. This sad cycle of violence and unnatural calm will keep on repeating unless India comes to its senses. How many more Burhans will sacrifice their lives to make India realise that a lasting solution to the crisis is necessary?