Published On: Fri, Jul 22nd, 2016

Unrest in Kashmir: Facts vs. Indian Claims

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Background

The situation in Indian-administered Kashmir remains tense. Nearly 50 Muslim protestors have been killed, hundreds injured, businesses locked down, and internet services disconnected since July 8, 2016. The flashpoint occurred when Indian security forces killed the young Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. The Kashmir unrest also triggered protests in Pakistan, culminating in an officially sponsored protest day on July 20, 2016.

Media Blackout

The Kashmir valley has experienced a media blackout as well. Driven by the global corporate sector’s interests in India, selective reporting of events in Kashmir even on major media outlets such as CNN, Deutsche Welle and BBC have been intriguing, bringing into question these channels’ commitment to objective reporting.

Indian Reaction

On July 21, India reacted by asking Pakistan “to stop inciting and supporting violence and terrorism in any part of our country and refrain from its deplorable meddling in our internal affairs in any manner… It must also stop misleading the international community and Kashmiris through meaningless exercises such as the so-called elections today (July 22) in “POK” (Pakistan Administered Kashmir) which Pakistan ironically calls ‘Azad’ (free). India demands that Pakistan must fulfil the obligation to vacate its illegal occupation of POK.” (Pakistan also calls the parts under Indian administration as Indian-held Kashmir).

In this context, former Indian Home Minister Chidambaram had on July 20th advocated restoring the “grand bargain” under which Kashmir had acceded to India by granting a large degree of autonomy, warning that otherwise the country will have to pay a “heavy price”.

Middle Ground

Beneath the debris of police stations, paramilitary camps and government buildings, destroyed by protesters in the last week in Kashmir, lie the ruins of this middle ground narrative. It reminds us of the need for a healing touch, through slogans like “goli se nahi, boli se” (with dialogue, not bullets), that the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party has crafted since its inception in 1999.[1]
Setting the Record Straight

Far from the embattled pre-dominantly Muslim Srinagar, capital of Indian Kashmir, and New Delhi, the Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights (JKCHR) has sent out a rejoinder to the Indian government claims on the past and present of Kashmir.

The JKCHR on Thursday July 21, 2016 submitted a paper to UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the rights of peoples to self-determination for consideration at its meeting at the UN in New York. JKCHR has argued that: [2]

  1. Indian army has continued to act as a private military and in the course of time, in particular from 1990 has raised a private force called “IKHWANI” and gave it incentives of all kind to kill unarmed civilians or their kin to spread terror. Indian army gave incentives of financial rewards and promotion in rank to its personnel and to personnel of Kashmir police, to find, arrest and kill the Kashmiri youth suspected of opposing the Indian rule in its part of Kashmir. The incentives encourage killing in staged fake encounters and death during custody. It has resulted into the death of a generation. The growing local and international uproar on finding Unmarked Mass Graves all over Kashmir under Indian control, has forced the IKWANIS to return to their hide outs.
  2. Working Group has been asked to examine the manner in which regular armies have conducted themselves as private military and engaged themselves in mercenary-related activities. The situation takes a sinister turn when these armies see no wrong in raising private military and security companies (PMSCs) and work with them as a collective of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the rights of peoples to self-determination.
  3. Indian army was granted a temporary admission into the State at the request of J & K Government in October 1947 to discharge 4 duties, namely defend the territory, and protect life, property and honor of the people. The State at this point is divided into three administrations and people remain distributed against their will. Out of the three administrations, two are on the Pakistani side of the cease-fire-line, which (CFL) is being supervised by UNMOGIP since 1949.
  4. This temporary admission (part of a provisional arrangement) granted to Indian security forces has been referred to UN SC by Indian Government on 01 January 1948 for ratification or annulment by the people of Jammu and Kashmir under a free vote supervised by the United Nations. UN SC Resolution of 21 April 1948 has placed three restraints on the number, behavior and location of these temporarily admitted Indian armed forces. Indian Army has wrapped up the terms of reference and has engaged into a war with the unarmed civilians. It is forcing an unwilling Kashmiri population to live under its control. Indian army has violated the UN restraints as well. It makes the Indian army an occupation force.
  5. UN Resolution of 30 March 1951 has placed the assembly of Kashmir on the Indian side of Kashmir under a caution stating that “such a constituent assembly and that the area from which such a constituent assembly would be elected is only a part of the whole territory of Jammu and Kashmir” and “any action that assembly might attempt to take to determine the future shape and affiliation of the entire State or any part thereof would not constitute a disposition of the State in accordance with the principle of free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations”.

 

[1] http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/kashmir-violence-protest-burhan-wani-killing-residents-condition-communication-ban-no-pdp-nc-2922551/

[2] As received from Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani, President Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights (JKCHR)

 

(Courtesy – Centre for Research and Security Studies)


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