Kashmir: Under Siege

Kashmir: Under Siege

By Dr Maqsood Jafri

An American champion of human rights and exponent of interfaith harmony Professor William Baker visited Srinagar and was grieved to see the way the Kashmiris were maltreated and massacred. He wrote a book titled: “Kashmir – Happy Valley: Valley of Death.”

In 1993, he visited Pakistan and presented this book to the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan in Kashmir House, Islamabad. He had brought some extra books with him to present to Kashmiri leaders and human rights activists.

As I was Adviser to the Prime Minister, he kindly gave me one book with his signature in the presence of the Prime Minister. Later I quoted his stance on Kashmir in my book titled The Plight of Kashmir.

His meeting took place in Kashmir House, Islamabad. In this book he had published some pictures of the wounded Kashmiris who had fallen a prey to Indian atrocities. One picture was of a girl named Shakila of 13 years old. She had received a bullet in her one eye and was hospitalized. William Baker visited her in hospital and had taken her snap. While narrating this tragic incident, he bitterly wept like a child. His child-like innocence was visible on his visage. All persons sitting in the office of Prime Minister could not stop the trickling of tears. The atmosphere became gloomy. That sully and sullen situation still pervades on my mind and I become plaintive.

Ms. Arundhati Roy is an Indian journalist. She writes in English dailies and is internationally renowned for her courage and commitment to human rights. Recently, while addressing a conference she unveiled the gruesome face of Modi and branded him a fascist. She said RSS was made in 1927 on the pattern of the fascist organizations of Mussolini and Hitler.

She said Mr. Ihsan Jafri was the member of the Legislative Assembly of Gujrat and had contested election against Modi. In 2002, when Modi became the Chief Minister of Gujrat, he hatched a malicious plan to get rid of him. Hindu- Muslim riots were maneuvered by Modi and on his behest a mob attacked the house of Ihsan Jafri under the very eyes of police and with their collaboration the assigned task was completed. He was brutally killed along with his family including ladies and kids and friends who had assembled in his house. Their bodies were mutilated and burned with his house.

Afterwards, when Modi was questioned by the pressmen about this heinous crime, this accursed rascal retorted: “Such incidents happen in riots. Nothing serious.”

On March 8, 2016, “International Women Day” was observed world over. The Secretary General of United Nations Mr Ban Ki Moon announced: “Let us devote solid funding, courageous advocacy and unbending political will to achieving our gender equality around the world.” This plea resolves empowering women and preservation of their rights. This agenda of the UN purports the elimination of all forms of violence and discrimination and exploitation against women.

International Women Day was celebrated world over with much gush and gusto, but the way the Kashmiri women are being molested and gang raped by the Indian occupied forces is not considered and has not waken the slumbered conscience of the champion of rights of women world over.

Barrister Afzal Hussain in his book titled “Kashmir and Human Rights” under the caption “Women in Occupied Kashmir” writes: “Sadly, the champions of women rights starting from the officials of the United Nation to the world leaders and finally, the women rights organizations including Pakistani NGOs preferred not to address the miseries and misfortunes of the women in Indian occupied Kashmir.”

According to a recently published report of international human rights organizations nearly about two hundred young girls have been abducted by the Indian forces stationed in Kashmir. They are still missing.

Earlier, the Kashmiri men were kidnapped. For the last three decades, there is no clue of them. Their wives are called “Half Widows”. They don’t know about their husbands. Whether they are alive and are in the Indian prisons or they are dead.

The term Half Widow is a heart wrenching term. The trauma, stress and depression have become the part of their life. I appeal to the ladies who are stalwarts of women rights to raise their voice in their favour world-wide as it is a human issue.


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