Every year, when India celebrates Independence Day on August 15, Kashmiris living on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) and Pakistanis, including those of rest of the world observe it as the Black Day to convey the message to the international community that New Delhi continues to usurp their inalienable right of self-determination.
On this very day in 1947, the historical resolution was adopted by the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference in Abi Guzar, Srinagar. The resolution was unanimously adopted, indicating that existing religious, geographical, cultural, economic ties and the aspirations of millions of Kashmiri Muslims warrant accession of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) with Pakistan.
During the partition of the Sub-continent, the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) which comprised Muslim majority decided to join Pakistan. But, Dogra Raja, Sir Hari Singh, a Hindu who was ruling over the J&K in collusion with the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Governor General Lord Mountbatten joined India.
The Radcliffe Boundary Award gave the Gurdaspur District—a majority Muslim area—to India to provide a land route to the Indian forces to move into the J&K. Indian forces invaded Srinagar on October, 27 1947 and forcibly occupied the J&K in utter violation of the partition plan.
When Pakistan responded militarily, on December 31, 1947, India made an appeal to the UN Security Council to intervene and a ceasefire ultimately came into effect on January 01, 1949, following UN resolutions calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir. On February 5, 1964, India backed out of its commitment of holding a plebiscite. Instead, the Indian Parliament declared Kashmir to be an integral part of the Indian union.
In fact, the very tragedy of Kashmiris had started after 1947 when they were denied their genuine right of self-determination. They organised themselves against the injustices of India and launched a war of liberation which New Delhi tried to suppress through various forms of state terrorism.
Since 1989, various forms of state terrorism have been part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian army and paramilitary forces against Muslim Kashmiris. It has been manifested in brutal tactics like crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, breaking the legs, molestation of Muslim women and killing of persons through fake encounters.
On August 5, 2019, Indian prejudiced Prime Minister and leader of the BJP-led extremist government Narendar Modi abrogated articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution, which gave a special status to the disputed territory of IIOJK. The Indian government bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories—Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to be ruled by the federal government. On the same day, strict military lockdown was imposed in the IIOJK which continues unabated.
And the deployment of more than 900,000 military troops in the IIOJK, who have martyred tens of thousands of the Kashmiris, including women and children through brutal tactics-fake encounters, while closure of mosques, shortage of foods, medicines for the patients have further increased the plight of the Kashmiris.
In order to hide human rights violations, communication services have been cut off from the world and foreign journalists are not allowed to enter the Kashmir region.
Under a well-planned hidden agenda, the Modi-led regime intensified, bringing ethno- demographic changes in the IIOJK. In this context, Indian various moves such as introduction of new laws, amendment of the laws to facilitate non-Kashmiris and outsiders in order to usurp the rights of the Muslim Kashmiris—issuance of domicile certificates to more than 800,000 non-Kashmiris, registration of almost 2.5 million new non-local voters in the IIOJK—failure of fake drama to host G-20 summit on May 22-24, 2023 in the IIOJK, from time to time, violations of the Line of Control (LoC) by shelling inside Pakistanis side of Kashmir–in violation of the ceasefire agreement of 2003 might be cited as instance.
Indian forces have, also been availing various draconian laws such as Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the Public Safety Act (PSA) etc. in martyring the Kashmiri people, and for arbitrarily arrest of any individual for an indefinite period. At present, Indian atrocities in the IIOJK have come into the limelight. In this connection, various world leaders, particularly those of the Western countries, their law-makers, media and human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International etc. and UNO have repeatedly condemned Indian illegal measures and human rights violations.
UN human rights experts on August 4, 2020 called on India and the international community to take urgent action “to address the alarming human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir, and to investigate all cases of human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and arbitrary detentions.”
Amnesty International said in 2020 that it is “stopping its work in India because the government has frozen its bank accounts for highlighting rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir…the government has sought to punish it for that”.
In the recent past, the UN Security Council in its meetings has thrice reiterated that the Kashmir issue must be settled according to the related Security Council resolutions. But, without bothering about the fact that Kashmir remains a nuclear flashpoint, the Modi-led regime’s extremist moves have completely ended any sort of dialogue with Islamabad to settle the Kashmir issue. In this regard, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s recent threat to cross the LoC and Indian cross-border terrorism in Pakistan to destabilise this country show that Indian unfinished agenda of partition still continues.
Nevertheless, like the past years, Indian Independence Day will be commemorated as the Black Day by the Kashmiris, Pakistanis and those living abroad to encourage and re-affirm the Kashmiris’ commitment to continue their struggle for their legitimate right of self-determination as recognised by the UNO related resolutions and till the attainment of the liberation against Indian illiWcit occupation.