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Why the British Government should intervene in Kathua case? To refrain Kathua from becoming another Gujrat of India”

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Merwah Hamid Qureshi |

It is incumbent on UK to play her peace keeping role by paying heed to the unheard voices of Muslim minority of the Kathua region and by punishing the culprits of this inhumane crime, or else Kathua would become another Gujrat of India.Kathua rape case, in which an 8-year-old girl was abducted, raped and killed, gained international attention and outrage in the recent months.

The victim, Asifa Bano, belonged to Muslim nomad family residing in the region ofKathua in Jammu and Kashmir. The brutal rape and murder of this little girl raises a question on the security of Muslim minority in Indian occupied Kashmir. It also highlights the human rights violation and abuse in Indian occupied Kashmir

Recently, the Kathua issue was raised by the UK’s upper house member –Lord Ahmed- in the House of Lords. He asked British government’s intervention in this issue, to punish the perpetrators of this horrific crime. However, in response to Pakistani-origin peer Lord Ahmed’s appeal, Baroness Stedman-Scott – on the behalf of UK government- has shown trust on the democratic structure of India and hoping that justice would prevail.

Baroness Stedman’s statement makes it quite evident that British government has overlooked this issue. While showing trust in India’s democratic structure and hoping for a just decision from Indian justice system, the British government seems to forget that India is no longer a secular state, for she is ruled by the radical Hindu Nationalist Party, BJP. Moreover, Kathua incident is not merely a rape case but it is a multi-faceted issue involving communal rivalries.

The British government seems to forget that India is no longer a secular state, for she is ruled by a radical Hindu Nationalist Party.

First and foremost, Kathua is the part of the troubled region which is the target of Indian atrocities for years. Secondly, it involves both communities – Muslim victims and the Hindu perpetrators- so this case has become a communal issue. Thirdly, rallies and protest in the support of the accused menby the right-wing Hindu parties and the participation of two ministers of the ruling party (Bharatiya Janata Party) has further complicated the situation.

Read more: Kathua Tragedy: Hindutva India In denial

Moreover, the members of Bharatiya Janata Party are making efforts to transfer this case to the CBI(Central Bureau of Investigation).As,Central Bureau of Investigation is the arm of central government and Bharatiya Janata Party is in the center so there are chances that the accused would be benefited through this case transfer. Hence, all these aforementioned loopholes in this case manifest that the British government’s anticipation of a neutral case trial and hope for justice are nothing but a wild goose chase.

The contemporary predicament of India also foretells a story different from what British government is expecting. With the Hindu nationalist ruling party in the center, it seems next to impossible for the authorities to work neutrally. Hence, in order to help authorities, carry out a fair and an unprejudiced trial, the third-party intervention has become the need of hour. Thus, justifying Lord Ahmed’s stance that UK government should intervene in this issue.

Moreover, As Kathua is the part of troubled region-Jammu and Kashmir- and human rights violations in this region are to be observed by UN and its security council. So, UK being the permanent member of Security Council can intervene in this issue.

It is incumbent on UK to play her peace keeping role by paying heed to the unheard voices of Muslim minority of the Kathua region and by punishing the culprits of this inhumane crime, or else Kathua would become another Gujrat of India.

In addition to this, in 2005 all UN member states signed Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in which they agreed to help and support states to fulfill their responsibility of protecting their population from crimes against humanity, human rights abuse and ethnic cleansing by using appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other means.

Read more: Indians slam Emma Watson for supporting Asifa Bano’s Lawyer

Consequently, it is incumbent on UK to play her peace keeping role by paying heed to the unheard voices of Muslim minority of the Kathua region and by punishing the culprits of this inhumane crime, or else history of communal violence would be repeated and Kathua would become another Gujrat of India.

Miss Merwah Hamid Qureshi holds an M. Phil Degree in Biochemistry from QAU, Islamabad and also a visiting lecturer for International Relations at National Officers Academy (NOA), Rawalpindi. She is a freelance content writer for online portals like Amazon.


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