IIOJK: A failure of peacekeepers

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948, urges to protect the “foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” Contrary to that, its signatory country India is committing gross human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), the people of IIOJK have been subjected to the worst atrocities. The BJP regime under the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideology has started a reign of state sponsored terrorism and brutal killings to fulfill extremist ambitions.

Since, August 5, 2019, Indian troops martyred around five hundred Kashmiris’ in IIOJK. Whereas, countless Kashmiri youth were martyred under the guise of ‘fake encounters’ by occupational forces. The number of extra judicial killings has gone up to at least thirty in January alone.

According to a report, 487 people were injured as a result of the ‘brutal use of force against protesters’. Meanwhile, 2,716 people including human rights activist Khurram Pervez were arrested in raids and crackdowns by Indian troops and the police last year. Moreover, Most of these arrests are charged under black draconian laws, the Public Safety Act (PSA) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Additionally, 67 residential houses were subjected to arson crimes by Indian forces.

It is worthy to mention here that the Stoke White, a London-based law firm, filed a petition on January 18, 2022. It demanded the arrest of the Indian Defence Minister, Army Chief and a few other Indian officials for their alleged involvement in war crimes. According to the law firm, it submitted conclusive evidence to the Metropolitan Police’s War Crimes Unit, documenting how Indian forces under the command of General Manoj Makand Nirvana and Interior Minister Amit Shah were misusing their power. Meanwhile, the firm’s report was based on more than 2,000 testimonies taken between 2020 and 2021. The petition also alleges that eight unidentified senior Indian military personnel were directly involved in war crimes and violence.

Moreover, the petition said; “There is strong reason to believe that the Indian authorities are committing war crimes and other acts of violence against civilians in Jammu and Kashmir”.

It is clear that Khurram Pervez has been arrested by the Indian occupying forces for exposing their gross systematic human rights violations. It is not only the first time occupying forces tried to suppress the voices but also in recent past Indian police used innocent civilians as human shields during a search operation on November 15, 2021.

For the last seven decades, the people of IIOJK have been demanding independence and that is their birth right. But, the Indian occupying forces brutally martyred thousands of people, and mostly civilians, to suppress the legitimate demands of the people. For the first time, the fascist regime India has been booked in a legal petition for the worst human rights violations by Stoke White.

At present, human rights violations by India have become a serious threat to regional peace and stability. In these circumstances, it is very unfortunate that international human rights organisations have turned a blind eye to the atrocities for their economic and other interests with India. Due to this hypocrisy of world powers, innocent Kashmiris are living in the dark age of subjugation.

Given the situation on ground and the indigenous freedom struggle in IIOJK, the only solution lies in holding a plebiscite under the UN resolutions to decide the fate and destiny of the people of the occupied valley. There is a dire need to advance the efforts to aid the people of Kashmir in pursuit of their pledged right to self-determination.

I propose three strategies. Firstly, the political cohesiveness must be on the Kashmir issue to take the case at the forefront of the global community. Secondly, Pakistan’s moral support in a digital world like twitter and other elite apps must be strong enough to reflect and convince the Kashmiris that they are not alone in their birthright struggle. The use of digital apps is undeniable modus operandi to resolve issues in the modern world. This will keep the spirits of the incarcerated Kashmiris high. Additionally, the mainstream media must play its pivotal role in exposing the Indian atrocities in IIOJK. Thirdly, the Foreign Ministry must establish special desks to keep track of the Kashmiris’ struggle and sacrifices for right to self-determination. The central objective of the strategy should be to highlight to the apprised global community that human rights abuses are inflicted on the people of IIOJK by the Modi led BJP-RSS regime.

In conclusion, time is running at the speed of a jet and atrocities are touching the heights of the sky in IIOJK. The issue is turning into a nuclear triggering spot between two nuclear-armed countries which can detonate at any time. So, the world peacekeepers have to do two things on a priority basis. First, they must declare the use of any armed in IIOJK as inhumane. Secondly, they must revisit the situation to maintain world peace and stability. It is vital that the world acts fast. Otherwise, the whole region may be pushed towards a point that it cannot recover from.

The writer is a freelance columnist. He Tweets at @MAkhter_

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