73 Years On: Kashmir Crisis Remains A Living Hell
By Our Special Correspondent
Washington, D.C. December 10, 2021 – Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum today lamented the seeming conspiracy of silence over gross affronts to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in Indian occupied Kashmir, an occupation which itself violates still binding United Nations Security Council resolutions dictating a self-determination there under United Nations supervision. That unheroic muteness has emboldened India to a chilling campaign of human rights atrocities against innocent Kashmiris. The 900,000 Indian military and paramilitary forces operate outside the rule of law under the protective umbrella of an Indian immunity statute. Egregious human rights violations are commonplaces: extrajudicial killings, rape, torture, plunder, abductions, mutilations, and arbitrary detentions. It is even a crime to salute implementation of the Security Council plebiscite resolutions, a shocking affront to the Council itself.
“The presence of the ‘UDHR’ and other human rights instruments offers no comfort to the people of Kashmir because its framers have not lived up to its spirit, at least applying it selectively to suit the objectives of certain powers. The candour and fair-mindedness support the conclusion that the United Nations has been painfully ineffective measured by the yardsticks of international peace, human rights, and self-determination,” Fai added.
Fai warned that the people of Kashmir can hardly believe that august bodies such as the United Nations recognize that the preservation of international peace and the realization of human rights are shared and common concerns of humankind. They are simply perplexed as to how to interpret such joi de vivre. Over seventy-three have lapsed since the adoption of this Declaration but the people of Kashmir have not seen an iota of change in the human rights situation in Kashmir. For worse may be but never for the better. Such documents are meaningless for the people of Kashmir or for any other people who do not see their application, or even a negative mention to those who ride rough shod over them with total impunity while enjoying the good graces of some of the members of the world community to aspire to a high moral station above others.
If international law were applied even-handedly in Kashmir, an international war crimes tribunal would have been established years ago to try the scores of Indian civilian and military leaders guilty of crimes against humanity and aggression. What Slobodan Milosevich did in Kosovo and Bosnia pales in comparison to what Indian civilian and military grandees have done in Kashmir for 73 successive years, something resembling genocide on the instalment plan.
“Too often,” Dr. Fai deplored, “the international community closes its eyes to the brutal reality of Kashmir because of India’s hegemony in South Asia and its potentially attractive consumer market. It has crowned India with a veto power over outside intervention. A shocking affront to the Council itself. Yet, India has the temerity to seek a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council.
Dr. Fai appealed to the United Nations to persuade India for:
i). Complete cessation of military and paramilitary action by Indian forces against the people of Jammu and Kashmir;
ii). Unconditional release of political prisoners
iii). Repealing of all draconian laws;
iv) Revoking Domicile Law which is designed to change the demography of Kashmir and
v). Restoring the right of peaceful association, assembly, and demonstration.
“If the peaceful settlement to Kashmir crisis is to be reached, and if India is to stop dealing with the crises through sheer brutality and terror, world attention must be focused on Kashmir. Today, in this hour of darkness, in this hour of trial, in this hour of total isolation and entrapment, the people of Kashmir are being mangled and decimated, their land is being scorched. Everyday scores of people of dying, with them are dying the hopes of an entire generation and entire civilization,” Fai concluded.