FeaturedVOLUME 18 ISSUE # 12

Decades on, Kashmir is still under siege

Trampling of Kashmiris basic human rights continues unabated despite the passage of almost seven decades. The world is well aware of the atrocities, being committed against innocent, unarmed Kashmiris including women and children, but the so-called champions of human rights have failed so far to stop the planned genocide in the held Valley.

Two years back, on February 6, 2021, over 190 countries across the globe unanimously declared the inhuman blockade and restrictions imposed in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) “the most escalated and prolonged lockdown” in two decades. Regrettably, nothing has changed in the held Valley even today. The lockdown and barbarities still continue.

Prior to the observance of Kashmir Solidarity Day in 2021, a Britain-based international organisation, the Impact Hallmarks, announced its verdict on January 28, 2021, under the banner “The Unanimous Accords of Decadal & Bi-decadal Titles”.

The unanimously approved declaration said: “The forced lockdown, imposed by the armed forces in IIOJ&K, has been titled as the most escalated and prolonged lockdown during the entire course of two decades (Bi-Decadal 2000-2020).”

The inhuman and barbaric 2019-2021 lockdown was imposed throughout IIOJ&K, following the revocation of Article 370 and Article 35A of the Indian Constitution and subsequent introduction of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. The lockdown officially started on Aug 5, 2019, after which no foreign journalist was allowed by the Indian government to report from the occupied valley. Hundreds of Kashmiri young men were killed, houses were burnt, and women were abducted during the prolonged lockdown.

The international organisation also explained on its website the procedure employed for selecting the most impactful persons/objects of the last two decades as well as declaring titles unanimously. According to the preamble note, a select team of 132 nonaligned neutral assessors including 75 self-determining nonpartisan researchers and peripheral observers laid, retained and furnished the criterion of shortlisting, and helped reached final decisions purely on merit.

The unanimous verdict given by over 190 countries of the world was, in fact, validation of Pakistan’s stance that India had been committing all types of atrocities against the people of the held valley. Lt-Col (retd) Azhar Saleem, senior coordinating officer at the SAARC-ASEAN Post-Doctoral Academia, said that the communication for unanimously declaring the restrictions in IIOJ&K as the longest lockdown of the two decades was sent to the Impact Hallmarks by Prof Dr Aurangzeb Hafi of Pakistan.

This year also, a resolution titled ‘Regional security threats anticipation’ has been drafted by Prof Hafi, to be adopted by the academic and socio-cultural hierarchies across the globe. Presented through the international postdoctoral community, the resolution is intended to ignite the global politico-cultural and socio-racial vigilance on the systematic, decades-long prevalence, which has been plotted by one of the major players of the present-day international politics. The resolution calls for everyone to have a thorough, judicious and methodological overview of the situation, and at the same time, urges the UN, SAARC and other global stakeholders to come forward, take the issue seriously and make some meaningful considerations in order to ensure preventive measures.

The resolution marks the day by calling for a conceptual as well as cautionary frame, which must deal with the potential as well as emergent dangers to Asia’s regional security. These dangers stand on the verge of yielding an anarchically structured mechanism, along with inter- as well as intra-regional security complexity – over and above the serious situational concerns henceforth, notes the resolution.

It remains clear to anyone that India has been responsible for the current plight of Kashmiris. When viewed from the core of the fact, the issue seems to be linked to ‘Pre-Cold War patterns’, in their very bi-faceted nature – at least at every single level of South Asian region’s security stakes.

Prof Dr Aurangzeb Hafi told the writer that the ‘2023 resolution of regional security threats anticipation’ invites the global observant eye to analyse, interpret and anticipate the linear proceedings in Indian occupied Kashmir. The intermittent occurrences clearly provide and reflect the nuanced view of the strongly masked so-called political ‘simplification’ of the idea and grand design behind the overarching agenda of bi-faceted ‘unipolarity’ and the ‘centre-periphery’, backed and fuelled by the linear tendency of its perpetuation at larger scales of the regional level.

He said that the well-structured decades-long atrocities in the held Valley reflected clearly the systematic dynamics of India’s uni-polarity and centre-periphery, establishing a linear tendency, which holds fast a number of potential threats that can endanger the entire South Asia region.

Prof. Hafi, who has long been serving as cross-disciplinary P.I. in different reputed institutions including the Asia-Oceania Postdoctoral Academia (AOPDA, said the resolution urges everyone to have a judicious and thorough view of the situation and see the connections behind appearances, that are complicating the regional security threats. If the issue remains unsolved, an ultimate humanitarian crisis could push the region towards instability.

(The writer is a physician by profession. She has worked as an intern at the Capital Health (New Jersey) & the Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital (New York). Rights and gender issues are the areas of special interest to her. She can be reached at: [email protected])