Democratic India and Kashmir

(Maemuna Sadaf, Rawalpindi)

India considers itself largest “Democracy” in the world. Although Pakistan and India emerged on map of the world in August 1947 but India’s first constitution was passed on 26th January, 1950. Since 1950, this day is observed as democracy day or Youm e Jamhoriyt in India.

India occupied Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in 1949 against the will of Kashmiri people. In Kashmir, 99% of population is Muslim. They wanted freedom from India to become a part of Pakistan. Since 1949, Kashmir’s Freedom movement is continuing till date.

On this specific democracy day, Kashmir has been turned to Army cantonment. Indian Army has covered whole valley. India has converted its Democracy day into terror and capturing day. Curfew was imposed in Kashmir valley to stop any protest in Kashmir. Red alert was issued in areas like Srinagar and Badgam. The measures to stop any protest in the valley were incapable to stop Kashmiri’s from observing Black day.

India’s claim of being the world’s biggest democratic country has been unveiled in Kashmir valley. India has deputed approximately7.5 lac army in this small valley. Indian forces started using Pallet Guns, poisonous and tearing gasses on unarmed Kashmiri Protestants leaving many dead and wounded. Since 1990, Kashmir has become a valley of blood and fire for those who are fighting for freedom. Indian army has crossed all the limits of atrocities.

Keeping a view on latest data of occupied Jammu and Kashmir, one can understand the living situation of the people of Kashmir. From 8th July 2016 to January 2018, around 172 persons including children, women and old citizens were martyred. 20767 were wounded whereas 83253 were wounded by pallet guns. 73 became blind, 207 lost their one eye and 974 are in danger of blindness. 751 women were raped. 65753 houses and 53 schools were destroyed. 18876 were captured whereas 818 were captured in allegations of terrorism. Indian atrocities reached at their peak after martyrdom of Burhan Wani, a young Kashmiri Leader. India has started fatal weapons mainly pallet guns to suppress Freedom movement. But Kashmir’s freedom movement cannot be suppressed with weapons and military.

The Indian Government occupied Kashmir depicted that in last two years, curfew has been imposed for 730 days in this region. But in reality the picture is far different than the statement of puppet Indian government. Every day is a curfew day in Jammu and Kashmir as nobody knows when riots destroy their families.

According to a report of Human Rights Watch (HRW), Indian Army has awarded the soldier who had used a Kashmiri as a shield, to save him. It is also mentioned that the law of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) is supporting and giving a way to Human Rights Violations. AFSPA is held responsible for extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearance of youngsters and fake encounters.

According to AFSPA, it will be implemented to maintain Law and Order Situation in the area which is declared as Disturbed. It gives special powers of searching, arresting and investigating without warrant or even an army personal can open fire in a situation when he thinks it is needed. Action taken “in the line of duty” cannot be prosecuted in civilian courts. The law was applied to Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in 1990 and has been in force till date. Implementation of AFSPA has not only given a boost to atrocities by Indian army but also out raged Kashmiri citizens.

India remained abortive in reverting or reviewing this law. The situation of Human Rights Violations in Kashmir Valley is alarming. Officials have terminated internet services 27 times and used weapon on peaceful Protestants as well.

On the other hand, India has violated ceasefire 170 times on Line of Control (LoC) and working boundary. In these violations, 11 civilians were martyred whereas 48 were injured. PM Khaqan Abbasi said that Pakistan can continue peace dialogue with India only if main point is Kashmir.

Concluding more, India should conduct free and fair plebiscite in Kashmir under United Nations Observers.

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