Every year, Kashmiris living on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) and their Pakistani brethren and rest of the world observe July 19 as the Day of Kashmir’s Accession to Pakistan. On this very day in 1947, the historical resolution was adopted by the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference in Abi Guzar, Srinagar with 59 prominent leaders in attendance.

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 J&K which comprised Muslim majority decided to join Pakistan according to the British-led formula. But, Dogra Raja, Sir Hari Singh, a Hindu who was ruling over the J&K in connivance with the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Governor General Lord Mountbatten joined India.

The design to forcibly wrest Kashmir began to unfold on August 16, 1947, with the announcement of the Radcliffe Boundary Award. It gave the Gurdaspur District—a majority Muslim area to India to provide a land route to the Indian armed forces to move into Kashmir. There was a rebellion in the state forces against the Maharaja and were joined by Pathan tribesmen. Lord Mountbatten ordered armed forces to land in Srinagar. However, Indian forces invaded Srinagar on October 27, 1947 and forcibly occupied Jammu and Kashmir in utter violation of the partition plan and against the wishes of the Kashmiri people.

When Pakistan responded militarily against the Indian aggression, 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. The Security Council’s resolution 47 of April 21, 1948 promised a plebiscite under UN auspices to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine whether they wish to join Pakistan or India. On February 5, 1964, India backed out of its promise of holding a plebiscite. Instead, in March 1965, the Indian Parliament declared Kashmir 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, massacres, targeted killings, sieges, burning of houses, torture, disappearances, rape, molestation of Muslim women and the killing of persons through fake encounters.

After the Indian fanatic Prime Minister Narendra Modi—the leader of the extremist ruling party BJP came to power in 2014—he took various drastic steps such as abrogation of the special status of the disputed territory of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), and revocation of articles 35A and 370 of the Constitution—bifurcation of the IIOJK into two territories to be ruled directly by New Delhi. He also imposed a lockdown there and ordered the deployment of more than 900,000 military troops who have martyred thousands of the innocent Kashmiris through brutal tactics, amendments of the law, and by allowing Indian citizens to buy land in the IIOJK and issuance of domicile certificates to more than 800,000 non-Kashmiris.

Indian forces have also been taking advantage of 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 arresting any individual for an indefinite period. The grave human rights violations taking place in IIOJK have been called out by the UNO, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and various other rights groups.

Indian forces had also accelerated shelling inside Pakistani side of Kashmir by violating the ceasefire agreement across the LoC and provoked the Pakistan Army to give a proportionate respone. In February 2021, the Director Generals of Military Operations of Pakistan and India had agreed to strictly observe the 2003 ceasefire agreement at the LoC and other sectors, including Working Boundary from the midnight of February 24 and 25. At present, Indian atrocities in the occupied Kashmir have come in the limelight of the international community and the media. But, without considering 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.

It seems that New Delhi has reached a conclusion that the gun is the only right way of dealing with the Kashmiris.

Nevertheless, every year, the Kashmiris and their brethren in Pakistan, and those living all over the world commemorate 19th July as the Accession to Pakistan Day to re-affirm their commitment to continue their struggle for their legitimate right of self-determination as recognised by the resolutions of the UN till the attainment of the liberation against the illegal Indian occupation.

The writer focuses on international affairs and is the author of the book, “US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations”. He can be reached at sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

The human rights violations taking place in IIOJK have been called out by the UN, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and various other rights groups.