Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi grossly miscalculated. He thought that he will get away with his misadventure but events have proved him wrong. Kashmiris are fighting back valiantly as India maintains its stranglehold over occupied Kashmir. Despite India’s claims, the situation there is not returning to normal.
Kashmiri leaders, including Syed Ali Gilani, have given a call for civil disobedience and asked Kashmiris to come out of their homes despite the curfew. Over the past few weeks, posters have appeared in Srinagar and other places urging citizens to join a march to the office of the UN Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan. Media reports show that protests erupted in Srinagar’s Soura district for the fourth week running despite a ban on public gatherings, while hundreds of stone-pelting youths confronted the Indian paramilitary forces. Women are not far behind and are bravely defying the restrictions placed on the movement of people. Hundreds have been injured by tear gas and pellets, while the injured and sick people have been prevented from going to hospitals and seeking medical aid.
It is now more than clear that the Kashmiris are not afraid any more of Indian bayonets and firepower and are willing to defy tens of thousands of Indian security personnel and risk life and limb to protest against illegal action of the fascist Modi government. The Indian forces shooting indiscriminately and killing has not dampened the spirit of freedom among the Kashmiri youth who are valiantly struggling for their rights. If anything, India’s brutality has further intensified their resolve. The Kashmiri diaspora has also become active to project their cause on the world stage and counter the Modi government’s lies and false propaganda.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has once again warned the international community that India may carry out a false flag operation to divert attention from its human rights violations in occupied Kashmir and justify a military strike against Pakistan. To express solidarity with the people of occupied Kashmir, Prime Minister Imran Khan has pledged to take up the responsibility of raising the voice of the Kashmiri people at every forum of the world.
PM Imran Khan has announced weekly demonstrations to express solidarity with the people of the held region, as well as promised to take world leaders into confidence about the situation in occupied Kashmir. All agree that a more coordinated and powerful strategy is needed to counter the Indian action in occupied Kashmir. The situation now is that that we have not succeeded on the international front to convince the world to take action against Indian barbarity in Kashmir, although there has been unprecedented coverage in the western media of Indian brutalities and human rights violations that exposes Modi’s claim of normality returning to the occupied territory.
Pakistan has done well to launch a worldwide campaign to draw the attention of the international community to the fact that the curfew imposed in the occupied valley has now entered its fifth week, while the Indian government has also prevented elected opposition leaders from entering Srinagar. In a welcome move, the Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia and UAE visited Pakistan last week and pledged support for Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. The European Union has also taken up the matter despite Indian attempts to create hindrances.
It was a diplomatic success for Pakistan when the UN Security Council held a meeting on the Kashmir issue for the first time in over 50 years. The statement by the UN Secretary General on Kashmir is also significant. But there is still no sign of any kind of international pressure on the Indian government to stop human rights violations in the disputed territory. For that we need a more aggressive diplomatic initiative. Telephonic conversations with foreign leaders are not enough.
It is time the Pakistan government raised the issue at the UN’s Human Rights Committee in Geneva. The committee has previously released two reports on the human rights situation in Kashmir. The censure of the Indian action by the UN committee would certainly be a moral victory for the Kashmiri people, but for that a lot of lobbying and diplomatic work is needed. At the same time, the option of taking the Kashmir issue to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), as indicated by the prime minister, should be reconsidered actively. In short, no efforts should be spared to bring the nightmare of Kashmiris to an end.