Kashmir conflict remains as the longstanding yet the unresolved dispute. The seven decades of occupation has stripped the Kashmiris of their fundamental rights. The right to live with dignity which is a basic and fundamental human right is denied to Kashmiris. The quagmire has taken a quantum leap forward with the revocation of the Article 370 of the Indian constitution. The said clause of the constitution had granted special status to the territory of J&K which was abrogated by the Central government in New Delhi. The said amendment leading to an uncharacteristic change was made through a presidential order on August 5th, 2019. The proto fascist rule in New Delhi has unleashed a new reign of terror which involves illegal incarcerations, extra judicial killings, unabated use of pellet guns and communication blockade in the valley and the adjacent areas.
The two reports of the Amnesty international in 2018 and 2019 respectively affirmed the use of unprecedented violence against the civilians and non-combatants. Even the Genocide watch issued a genocide alert in Kashmir. The settler colonialism, through altered demography is ubiquitous in this entire scenario. The neo-authoritarian government headed by Narendra Modi in the garb of the argument of the development is wreaking havoc on the Kashmiris. The change in local laws and previously mortgaged lands against the bank loans in J&K are now getting allocated to Hindus which is a deliberate and nefarious attempt to change Muslims into a minority in their own lands. The change in domicile law and the provision of purchase of lands in J&K is likely to raise a Gaza like situation in future.
Pakistan’s position at this critical juncture had been proactive. The premier of Pakistan Imran Khan ensued a diplomatic blitzkrieg against the Modi led government by having equated it with Nazi ideology. Pakistan maintained its legal position consistent with the United Nations Resolutions on Kashmir. India has violated the so-called document of accession and the Shimla accord both by having repealed the special status of the Jammu and Kashmir. The unilateral revocation of the article 370 is tantamount to reoccupying otherwise disputed territory of J&K. Indian position over Jammu and Kashmir now stands as an occupant country with no cover of international law.
Pakistan government has created a concerted narrative and brandished Kashmir issue globally. Kashmir was discussed in the UN Security Council’s consultative meeting after nearly 50 years. Kashmir also got discussed in EU parliament, British parliament, Canadian parliament, and the US’s congressional committee on South Asia. Pakistan managed to internationalize the dispute despite India’s diplomatic and economic clout in the global affairs. India’s face of coercion and repression in J&K and the blatant human rights violations were exhibited to the rest of the world. The disingenuous conduct of India and superficial narrative of normalization was highlighted on all relevant forums with unabated diplomatic and political efforts. A tireless work is still needed to present India as occupant country on all the international forums. The illegality adopted in repealing the article 370 and humanitarian pretext should be more focused. The indigenous Kashmiri leadership and diaspora should be engaged to raise an indigenous and inclusive narrative on Kashmir.
It is the high time when Kashmir issue needs to be branded as a humanitarian crisis. The gendered dimension of the conflict where the rape has been used as a war weapon is unprecedented and horrendous. Men are killed and women are raped. The unarmed youth languishes in jails. Kashmiris have been subject to the first mass blinding of the modern history. The illegal and extrajudicial killings without conviction have taken tolls. Arsons and desecration are a new normal in IIOJK.
Kashmir conflict has a legal underpinning amid UN resolutions which cannot be altered through the gimmicks and masquerading of BJP. Kashmir is a recognized conflict which awaits solution. India apparently is on the weakest legal and political footing in the history of illegally occupied Jammu & Kashmir. Kashmir is a litmus case for the conscience of international community. The iron curtain which Modi government has raised in Jammu and Kashmir must end and the international community should denounce India perpetrating heinous crimes against the humanity. Kashmiris must have access to a dignified life and all fundamental rights.
Kashmir is a modern holocaust and poses a big question mark before the international community over its commitment in raising a just international society.