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Kashmir: European Parliament highlights atrocities

Ms Laura Schuurmans, Dutch scholar and analyst termed the geo-political implications of Kashmir dispute a grave global concern stressing that the dispute can no longer be considered a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. She quipped "how is it possible that on one hand the international community raised East Timor issue so fervently but continued to keep its eyes shut on Kashmir". An unresolved Kashmir presents a real threat to regional peace and security.

Farooq Papa, a professional Engineer and chairman WKDA (World Kashmir Diaspora Alliance) stressed the point that Kashmiris, initially forced, have since moved from violence to non-violence and asked India and Pakistan to allow Kashmiris to have intra-Kashmir dialogue in Europe, Canada and America. Scholars and writers from around the world participated in the seminar arranged on Kashmir and the speakers were unanimous in concluding that peace in Afghanistan is directly linked with an amicable solution of Kashmir dispute.

Japan News reports (December 12, 2013) that families of torture, rape victims and 8000 people disappeared in mysterious circumstances in a sit-in demanded justice from people responsible for such heinous crimes, highlighting systematic abuse, unjustified arrests, and perpetual harassment of local population. Abdul Rahim Dar, 80 year old heart patient of Sopor Kashmir died after the ambulance carrying him to hospital was stopped by army for continuous use of its siren. Such incidents are a daily occurrence and braving unprecedented harsh realities has made people receptive and enduring.

Sixty six years of unrest and political turmoil resulted in poverty, uncertainty and fear forcing people to fight for survival. In desperation human trafficking, child labour and youngsters falling prey to drug habits have reached epidemic proportions in Kashmir. Incidents of rapes of women and vulnerable section of society’s minor girls is a worrying factor as the perpetrators even after being identified are never punished.

India’s Business Standard quoting filmmaker Vishal Bharadwaj saying that "suffering of Kashmiri people is the biggest human tragedy of our time". Bharadwaj had to cut short shooting his film on Kashmir University campus following a protest by students. However he assured students that his film ´Haider´ would be a real depiction of the pain people have gone through for decades. Bharadwaj, reportedly, lamented the negative portrayal of Kashmir in Indian movies, saying "he feels ashamed".

In a spate of disappearances in and outside of the State of Kashmir, yet another young man of 24, Ishtiyaq Ahmed Shah mysteriously disappeared form a hotel in Jammu, a small hilly border town of Kashmir having sizeable Hindu population. A desperate and frantic effort for the search did not yield any results and Ishtiyaq’s family helplessly have to endure pain and agony inflicted by callous perpetrators.

Another Kashmiri victim Amin Ganaie targeted reportedly disappeared and hasn’t been traced since November, 2013. Amin’s father in frustration said, "I have been roaming from pillar to post to trace my son but nobody from civil and police administration is cooperating or helping me. We registered a complaint at Mahindra Park police station in Delhi but Delhi police did not take the matter seriously,".

Kuwait News Agency describes the unrest in Kashmir saying that situation in Kashmir continues to deteriorate as there has been a considerable increase in attacks by Kashmiri militants fighting India army. There have also been violent clashes on the ceasefire line of armies of two nuclear armed neighbours on regular basis. In the recent past, exchange of fire forced people living on either side of the de-facto line of control to flee their homes for safer places.

European Union has reaffirmed its commitment to the settlement of disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international law, bilateral agreements and the principles of the UN Charter. The salient features of the Resolution of European Parliament (May 24, 2007) on more than six decades Kashmir conflict highlights armed conflicts between India, Pakistan and the one India had with China quoting sources saying eighty thousand lives lost, the dispute now includes international terrorism, continuation of human right violations, killings and rapes in an atmosphere of impunity.

The resolution stresses that peace can be achieved jointly by constant engagement between India and Pakistan involving people of state of Kashmir, and an honest effort can promote a genuine breakthrough in seeking a resolution of the Kashmir dispute. While deploring the continuing political and humanitarian situation, emphasising the aspirations of the people, the need for a political settlement of the issue has enhanced, not diminished and the relevance of the United Nations remains an important forum for dialogue and diplomacy.

Manisha Gangahar, a writer, researcher journalist visits Kashmir and records narratives of a cross-section of populace allowing her to probe deep into the hearts and minds to gauge an average Kashmiris point of view. Manisha in her book Kashmir´s Narratives of conflict Identity lost in space and time minces no words depicting an expressed opinion, in view of the narratives, that India and Kashmir are two separate entities. While compiling as many original thoughts as possible, Manisha, perhaps inadvertently, ignores or misses out on the fact that population en masse without any inhibition extrovertly display longing for independence of their motherland and that is why the stone pelting teenager when asked why? He, in a retaliatory tone, retorted "pelting stones at Indian army gave him satisfaction, consolation and solace”"



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