After the murder of Burhan Wani, the tumult in the Kashmir valley looks far from a palpable conclusion. Amidst all the clamour and allegations of human rights violations, there are sympathisers, busy defending the downright inhumane Indian actions. These pseudo -liberals are attempting to equate the situation in Kashmir with that in Balochistan by arguing that since Pakistan is supporting the right of self-determination for Kashmiris, it should first afford this right to the Baloch populace rather than objecting to the atrocities of the Indians in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

The narrative propagated by these naïve and benighted protagonists, can be successfully debunked by arguments abound. Balochistan is an established province of the Pakistani federation unlike Kashmir, which is an internationally recognised disputed territory. Kashmir is by far the longest standing issue on the UN’s plate, despite as many as 23 resolutions, which call for a plebiscite under UN supervision to determine where Kashmir belongs. Unsurprisingly, India has used every trick in the book to obstruct their implementation. It is pertinent to note here that even the Indian Constitution, through Article 370, ensures a special status for Jammu and Kashmir and circumscribes the Federation’s involvement to defense, communication and foreign affairs. Indians are not even allowed to buy land in Jammu and Kashmir.

Misguided quarters in both India and Pakistan need to refrain from equating Balochistan with Kashmir and differentiate between a struggle for self-determination and an escalated law and order issue. Demanding Pakistan to give right of self determination to the Baloch people is absurd. Imagine if Pakistan adopted a reciprocal farcical behavior and asked India to liberate and give right of self-determination to the ten states that form the “red corridor”. 86 districts of these 10 states are not in the security apparatus’s full control. It is no secret that there are 17 major independence movements in India, most of them more effective and audible than the disturbance in Balochistan. Thankfully Pakistan is responsible enough to not interfere in India’s internal matters.

Coming back to the IOK: mass killings, forced disappearances, torture, rape, extra judicial killings, fake encounters, mass graves, political repression and suppression of freedom of speech has become an integral part of the day to day life. Nearly 750,000 Indian security forces have been deployed in IOK, which have killed nearly 93,000 Kashmiris. In contrast, the number of Pakistan military personnel deployed in Balochistan, with a larger population as well as area than IOK, stands at roughly 100,000. The area of Balochistan is 347190 sq km as compared to the 222236 sq km of IOK.

The statistics are even more disturbing when you consider that the police to population ratio is highest in Kashmir, among all the states controlled by India. Sanity demands that no oppressive force can expect people to stay silent on wanton acts of violence and injustice. This is a good enough reason for the Kashmiris to observe black day on Indian Independence Day- a practice prevalent since decades. On the contrary, Pakistan’s Independence Day is celebrated enthusiastically in Balochistan.

Another difference between the freedom fight of Kashmir and foreign funded disturbance in Balochistan is that the Kashmiri Huriat leaders are among their compatriots and leading from the front, while with the exception of the Baloch liberation front, the leaders of all the other so-called separatist organisations are not within the country. It is a vivid manifestation of their priorities and the fact that they are merely using the Baloch youth for their vile vendetta whilst enjoying a comfortable life abroad.

As I pen down this article, it’s the 52nd consecutive day since a curfew has been imposed in Jammu and Kashmir. Telephone and internet services are blocked, making communication impossible. On the contrary, the last time a curfew was imposed in Balochistan, that too only for 2 days, was back in 2006 after the death of Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, whereas telecommunication services have never been banned in Balochistan.

Equating the situation in Kashmir with that of Balochistan is ludicrous. A large majority of Kashmiris want India to fulfill its obligations under the UN resolutions and continues to protest against Indian stubbornness and atrocious human rights violations. Conversely an extremely small minority of Baloch threaten a separatist movement and that too only as leverage to compel the Federal Government to accede to their demands. It must also be remembered that nobody is asking India to “give” the right of self-determination to Kashmiris, the Kashmiris and the world just wants them to “allow” the UN to give that right to the people. Indian attempts at making this comparison are just another example of its obstinacy in the face of clear internationally agreed resolutions, and betray the fact that India now has no plausible reason or argument left to use in its favour. Hence, it has resorted to the fiendish use of force and ridiculously baseless reasoning.