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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Human Rights: The tragedy of Indian occupation in Kashmir

Adeel Mukhtar Mirza |

Hardly a day goes by without the coverage of the intensification of ongoing human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). For the last 71 years, the people of IOK have seen nothing but death, mass destruction, and violation of human rights, such as indescribable atrocities, sexual violence, excessive use of force, torture, enforced disappearances, and world’s first mass blinding operation, to name a few. The discovery of mass graves not only illustrates the true visage of Indian state terrorism but also speaks of the failure of United Nations as well as international community to resolve the dispute.

Originated in 1947, the Kashmir dispute is the consequence of hastened exit of the British from the Indian Sub-continent. Despite last Viceroy (Louis Mountbatten)’s recommendations for the accession of Princely States, the dispute is still influencing the policies of both India and Pakistan towards each other. The Indians view Kashmir a part of India discounting the aspirations of the Kashmiris and brushing aside its geographic location. Equated to the Indians, the Pakistanis assert that the United Nations (UN) should supervise a plebiscite as approved by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on 13 August 1948 and 5 January 1949.

India’s Kashmir problem is a questions of self-determination and democracy that has regressed under Modi because of its authoritarian tendencies fused with Hindutva.

However, unfortunately, UN has been effete to regulate India’s behavior to abide by the resolutions of 1948-49. In this vein, how can detailing state-led human rights’ abuses can be seen as “politicization of human rights as a foreign policy tool”? That is what India did when its deputy permanent representative to the UN ambassador Tanmaya Lal regarded the work of Human Rights Council, vague. On June 14, 2018, the Office of United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights released a report – first of its kind, authenticating human rights desecrations in the Indian-held Kashmir.

However, India, as usual, dismissed assertions of the report as “fallacious, tendentious, and motivated”. According to Tanmaya Lal, “While a very comprehensive normative framework of human rights treaties and Covenants has evolved … , the work of Human Rights Council and its associated procedures and mandates is, regrettably getting more contentious and difficult”. “The reasons for many of the difficulties surrounding the discussion on the human rights agenda are not hard to find. They flow from the very often divergent priorities and concerns of the member states in terms of their levels of development, social and cultural contexts and governance systems,” he said.

Read more: Anger in IOK as forces crush civilians under vehicles

The most recent 30 years have seen outright infringement of human rights in Kashmir that have been consistently censured by concerned quarters (from Indians as well). However, rather than enlisting enhancement, the situation is degenerating in light of Indian uncompromising nature and major powers’ unconcerned demeanor. It has additionally given impulse and solidarity to Indian’s uncooperative disposition. While numerous human rights watch groups, for example, Amnesty International, Asia Watch and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) seriously censure Indian approach in IOK, the arrangement and state of mind has not enrolled any positive change.

As long as the incredible forces don’t show concern, the endeavours of human rights associations would remain to some degree unrecognized, and the Indian government will keep on denouncing these reports as toothless and treat them with standard abhor. By the way, when India complains about terrorism, it uses findings of these very organizations to put pressure on international community for punitive actions. Truth be told, India has not countered any findings of the report and these human rights violations are not even new.

The Indians view Kashmir a part of India discounting the aspirations of the Kashmiris and brushing aside its geographic location.

First of all, India believes that Pakistan has been over-anticipating the human rights infringements that have been and still are as of now occurring inside IOK. Numerous Indians absolve the infringement and limn the Kashmir circumstance as a rebellion and stress that infringement of human rights are to some degree unavoidable. Amid the most recent couple of decades, the word ‘insurgency’ has also been supplanted by the utilization of the word ‘terrorism’. Despite the fact that every single human right group has diligently denounced the persistent infringement in Kashmir, India does not appear to have been moved by such judgments.

Read more: Pellet guns: Indian forces kill youth in Pulwama, IOK

It continues with its approach of brutalisation with exemption. Notwithstanding rehashed updates by universal human rights watchers, no activity has been founded against those associated with unbelievable maltreatments. In any case, it should be worried here that in some cases, similar to the assault case of the Canadian visitors, emblematic and restorative activities were started to trick and redirect the consideration of the world. Among the lack laws, that have been and continue to be, enforced in J&K include: Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978; Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, 1992; Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act(TADA), 1985-95 (modified in 1987); Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958; Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002; Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2004,2008, 2012; National Security Act, 1980; Official Secrets Act, 1923; and Newspapers Incitement to Offences Act, 1908.

Secondly, the Kashmir debate has been internationalized because of the purposeful endeavors of the Kashmiri individuals, the diaspora and Pakistan’s diplomatic and political assistance. Pakistan enables access to journalists from different parts of the world to visit all parts of AJK with a view to feature the unfavorable effect of the continuous Kashmir question. Contrasted with Pakistan, and as examined previously, India keeps up strict authority over visits of the media in IOK. It declines to enable the global media to visit IOK, yet offers consent to choose Indian media to cover the emergency in Kashmir.

 Truth be told, India has not countered any findings of the report and these human rights violations are not even new.

It should be specified here that Pakistan’s administration permits human rights activists to visit AJK, and converse with the disastrous casualties of the emergency, though India does not enable such visits to the IOK. Aside from Pakistan’s endeavors to extend the debate universally, the Kashmiri diaspora living in different nations is dynamic in featuring the predicament of their kin in IOK. India wouldn’t like to internationalize the issue, so it uses “terrorism” as the bogeyman to divert the attention of the international fraternity.

Read more: India continue to violate human rights in IOK

Thirdly, “India is a developing state and the standards of global governance do not apply to it,” but aspires to be part of UNSC and treated as a major power in the region. Honestly, India also uses the issue of national sovereignty selectively. The reason why India shies away from addressing these reports lies in its UNSC membership ambitions Yet, continuous orgy of violence resulting in dozen unarmed protesters and killings have proven that, by all accounts Kashmir remains the Indian state’s Achilles heel, a blot on the collective conscience of India’s democracy.

Last, but hardly the least, India’s Kashmir problem is a questions of self-determination and democracy that has regressed under Modi because of its authoritarian tendencies fused with Hindutva.

Adeel Mukhtar Mirza delivers lectures on international relations and the changing world dynamics. He has numerous published articles in the domain of International Relations. He graduated as a Strategic Studies’ scholar from National Defense University, Islamabad. The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.