Are Kashmiris Innocuous?
In the "Full Comment" section of the National Post dated 1 August 2012, Jonathan Kay seems concerned about Habib Yousafzai. Habib is an "innocuous" middle-aged man who Jonathan says demands an end to Indian occupation of Kashmir. Jonathan also believes this to be an obscure cause for someone who lives in Canada.
Jonathan who is Canadian himself, surely knows a lot about "Jehadi elements" and knows that Pakistan has supported militant outfits who infiltrate into Indian held Kashmir and finds it disturbing that "Yousafzai activism is that he seems to be going beyond the issue of Kashmir’s territorial status, and is seeking to de-legitimize India itself — much as some Palestinian activists seek to discredit Israel’s existence." He is pleased and keen to draw a comparison between Kashmir-India and the Palestinian-Israeli issue.
‘Jumping’ around the paragraphs labels Kashmiri freedom fighters as "Islamists and terrorists", Jonathan opined that Kashmiris (terrorists) will be better off with India than Pakistan as India; he thinks, is richer and "more democratic" and compared to India, Pakistan is not a "unified country". The problems India is faced with, apart from Kashmir, in Punjab, Assam, Christian belt of north-east, Naxalites, Mao rebels, regionalism and a serious threat from Hindu fundamentalist forces, he chooses to ignore.
Kashmirs may be harmless or insipid; the fact remains that our friend Jonathan lacks necessary information as Kashmiris by nature are non-violent and through centuries have lived peacefully in spite of the political intrigues and subjugation by outside forces. The history is replete with stories of gory details subjecting the inhabitants to torture, inhuman treatment and humiliation. Kashmir populace an embodiment of a culture of forbearance, tolerance and hospitality maintained its secular tradition, safeguarded the minorities when in 1947 in Udhampur and beyond carnage was on when Maharaja Hari Singh’s army extended help to Hindu religious zealots to annihilate local Muslim population. Genocide that took place killed more than two hundred thousand innocent men, women and children. Maharajas and invading ruthless tribes from times immemorial committed atrocities on hapless poor people of this most beautiful place rich with abundant natural resources.
India made a reference to the United Nations on 1st January 1948 under Article 35 of the Charter, which permits any member state to bring any situation, whose continuance is likely to endanger international peace and security, to the attention of the Security Council. Approaching UNSC is termed as sedition and anti-Indian by some political stalwarts and "intellectuals" like Subramaniam Swamy of India’s Hindu fundamentalist Bhartiya Janata Party and Pandit Nehru, a hated person now, is held responsible for messing up Kashmir by his own people.
Any possibility of conducting plebiscite was always scuttled by India perhaps as it was fully aware of what the result of such an exercise would be. Erstwhile Soviet Union’s business partner, “non-aligned India”, used its Vetoes freely to freeze Kashmir imbroglio and after the fall of Soviet Union is now milking desperate USA comfortably.
THE PROPOSAL OF A PLEBISCITE OFFERED BY SIR OWEN DIXON, AUSTRALIAN DIPLOMAT, IN MAY 1950 WAS REJECTED BY NEHRU WHO TOLD HIM THAT "IF SUCH A PLEBISCITE WERE TAKEN FREELY AND FAIRLY (INDIA) WOULD UNDOUBTEDLY LOSE IT."
Jawaharlal Nehru in the Lok Sabha on June 26 and August 7, 1952.
"I say with all respect to our Constitution that it just does not matter what your Constitution says; if the people of Kashmir do not want it, it will not go there. Because what is the alternative? The alternative is compulsion and coercion..."
How can India expect to achieve peace and friendly ties with Pakistan when it hesitates including the real party Kashmiris in negotiations? The situation in Kashmir has mainly been created by India who turned a deaf ear to the peaceful means of protest and at times people fought occupying Indian army with stones, and bricks to get killed to fill the graveyards. Then in 1989 people of Kashmir frustrated realized that India understands the language of violence only and the insensitivity shown by international community; therefore in desperation organized armed resistance that became imperative and the only alternative. Then again getting hundreds and thousands killed switched back to the peace initiatives and India comfortably butchered another one hundred fifty young men in 2010 to fill more graveyards.
A number of International intelligence agencies are working in Kashmir to fulfill their respective countries agenda and Indian RAW (Research And Analysis Wing) is prominent among all which successfully organized counter insurgency groups out of criminals in Indian jails promising them money and freedom. These groups indulged in killing, looting and raping women on mass scale and the groups got protection and sophisticated arms to deal with and discredit freedom fighters of Kashmir.
9/11 provided a god sent opportunity to India to taint and defile uprising in Kashmir as terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism. Initially, India did reap a harvest but with the passage of time International community understood the game plan and the misconception created between terrorism and legitimate freedom struggle was cleared, and the freedom struggle is accepted as legal in the international forums.
Kobi Wolf a freelance photojournalist lives in Tel Aviv writes:
"Two decades of conflict between militants and the Indian army and police have cost more than 40,000 (now more than one hundred thousand) lives to date…….read the full article."
The presence of more than one million Indian army turned Kashmir into a concentration camp. The fact remains that people of Kashmir have to be included in any process to find a solution and India’s deliberate attempt to ignore participation of Kashmiris is creating problems which is worrisome for the whole international community. Kashmiris are struggling to fight against tyranny for a legitimate fundamental right to seek right of self-determination as guaranteed by various United Nations Security Council Resolutions. The innumerable sacrifices offered cannot simply be compromised with India’s stage-managed local elections or some populist measures.
A G Noorani, an Indian intellectual, columnist, thinker quotes Vallabhbhai Patel (India’s first Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister) having said to Sir Owen Dixon (Australian diplomat) on July 30, 1950:
"Intellectual honesty and moral courage demand, instead, that all the truths should be faced boldly and treated as a challenge to diplomatic creativity and statesmanship. Many of us think that it is rather disgraceful and does no credit to India that this matter should have dragged on... so long".
Half a century has not wiped out that disgrace shared by leaders of India and Pakistan.