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Mirwaiz hits back at Doval over IoK claims


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Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq hit back at the Government of India stressing it could not alter the “disputed status of Kashmir” by using judiciary, executive, armed forces or the Parliament. This was most probably in response to Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s claim that the separate constitution for Indian Occupied Kashmir was an “aberration”.

Addressing a Friday congregation at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, the Mirwaiz while referring to Article 35-A case in the Supreme Court (SC) said that the Indian constitution itself had guaranteed certain special rights to the people of the State till a referendum was conducted. Referring to the statement of the National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, the Mirwaiz said the statement of the Indian NSA had exposed the real face of the Indian Government before IOK as well as the entire world.

The region of Kashmir is a flashpoint between the two nuclear-armed powers of South Asia. The dispute began when during the partition of the British occupied subcontinent, the refusal of the area’s hereditary ruler Hari Singh to comply with his people’s wishes led to a rebellion.

The Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman emphasized that Doval’s remarks revealed that the Indian government’s main aim was to take over and control Jammu & Kashmir by any means necessary. He said, “And this government believes in achieving that by complete integration of Jammu Kashmir with the Union of India by doing away with any and every provision that its own constitution had provided to the disputed state till the holding of a plebiscite that its own head of the state had committed to the world,”.

Read more: Article 35-A: Indian SC defers hearing to January 2019 as IOK…

The Hurriyat Conference leader had also tweeted “At #JamaMasjid today, the statement of India’s NSA challenging every law & constitutional provisions enshrined in Indian constitution, till the matter of J&K was to be decided by its people through referendum, by calling them aberrations that had to be done away with, shows arrogance and a complete disregard for historical facts and ground realities about J&K, its disputed status and the will of its people held by forcible control through military power,”

Having a separate constitution for Jammu and Kashmir was probably an “aberration”, Doval had said on Tuesday, as he stressed that India’s sovereignty can never be compromised.

The legal status of Indian Occupied Kashmir has come in the crosshairs ever since the rise of the BJP government in 2014. The Hindutva right wing has largely been vocal in abrogating the legal framework that places the disputed territory within the Indian state. Recently, a petition was raised in the Indian Supreme Court that called for the annulment of Article 35 A that disallowed Indian nationals from buying lands in Indian Occupied Kashmir. This move set off protests in the occupied territory.

While the new government of Pakistan has shown its willingness to start peace talks with India and highlighted Kashmir as the main issue, the recent moves by segments of the Indian government and political domain seem to be jeopardizing such peace endeavors

It was seen by many Kashmiris as an attack on their fundamental rights and identity. It was deemed to be part of a larger plan to discard Article 370 of the Indian constitution which preserved IOK’s status as separate and distinct from the rest of India. Such an incident would pave the way for Indian domination and subjugation of the Kashmiri way of life. This move would also lead to an aggravation of the already hostile relationship between Pakistan and India.

The region of Kashmir is a flashpoint between the two nuclear-armed powers of South Asia. The dispute began when during the partition of the British occupied subcontinent, the refusal of the area’s hereditary ruler Hari Singh to comply with his people’s wishes led to a rebellion. Faced with losing his fiefdom to a people’s army aided by tribesman from across the border, the ruler acquiesced to India in return for military aid. This led to a war between newly found India and Pakistan and later on the division of Kashmir into Azad Kashmir and IOK.

Read more: A rare instance of cooperation between AJK & IOK governments

Despite agreeing to the UN-supervised plebiscite, India has not fulfilled its promise, instead, it turned Kashmir into the most militarized zone on Earth. However, Indian militarization was unable to break the will of the Kashmiri populace desiring self-determination. Since its occupation, IOK has faced wave after wave of unrest caused by the local campaign for self-determination to which New Delhi has largely responded with more and more brutality.

The latest wave, which ignited after the death of a local popular rebel, Burhan Wani, in 2016, has captured the attention of a global audience. While the new government of Pakistan has shown its willingness to start peace talks with India and highlighted Kashmir as the main issue, the recent moves by segments of the Indian government and political domain seem to be jeopardizing such peace endeavors.

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