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KASHMIR IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD

KASHMIR IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD

By Mossanah Arshad

The ‘targeted’ world eyes are obliged to see human miseries in Kashmir under the guise of broader International Humanitarian Laws (IHL) at least in instances where they are incapable to recognize the sanctity of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and its associated resolutions. But as both the mainstream theories of International Relations-Liberalism and Realism-stipulate International System is anarchic and hence the vision of it blurred within the smog of International power politics.

With utter disregard to all related UNSC Resolutions and its very own constitution-that prohibited changing structure or autonomous status of Kashmir until agreed upon by latter’s own Parliament-the government, led by the Hindu ultra-right wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), bifurcated the region of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK)  into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, abrogating Articles 370 and 35-A of the Indian Constitution.

Article 370 was made the basis when IIOJK was illegally occupied by India. The article, which came into effect in 1949, exempts IIOJK from the Indian constitution. It allows it to make its own laws in all matters except finance, defence, foreign affairs and communications.

While Article 35-A permits the local legislature in IIOJK to define permanent residents of the region. It forbids outsiders from permanently settling, buying land, holding local government jobs or winning education scholarships in the region.

Following bifurcation of the region, not only about 3.4 million fake domiciles have been provided but 1104 structures have been arsoned or destroyed under the falsified, concocted and non-justiciable ‘encroached upon land’ rhetoric. While world power, in the betterment of their bilateral relations with the world most populous state turns blind eye to such atrocities and international laws abrogation, there are various national and International human rights organizations persistently clamor for conscience to be attained.

Aakar Patel, chair of the board for Amnesty International India, responded to the ongoing demolition of homes and businesses in IIOJK, by saying: “The ongoing demolitions appear to be an extension of the brutal human rights violations the region of Jammu and Kashmir [IIOJK], the only region of India with a Muslim majority, has historically witnessed. It’s possible that these demolitions would result in forcible evictions, which would be a serious violation of human rights.”

While Minakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch (HRW) opined that ‘[Indian] government is providing political patronage and cover for bigotry’. This is evident form such as Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1990 (AFSPA) allowing military to act with complete impunity in India or Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act allowing pre-emptive action or to be specific cordon and search operations, resulting in serious human rights violations.

Such culture of impunity to personnel purported to maintain law and order in the country resulted in such egregious war crimes as that of Kunan-Poshpura right to free will and dignity massacre whereby about 150 women of all ages from 8 to 80 were raped in these two villages located in Kashmir’s remote Kupwara district. More than 11, 000 women have been raped while 7, 292 died in custody since 1989, when Kashmiri movement to gain its right to self-determination gained momentum.

All such human rights atrocities continue to fester the social fabric of Kashmir under the cover of more than half a million army personnel and paramilitary troops, including those of Central Reserve Police Force deployed to give an illusion-rather delusion- of peace in the valley.

International Community has its eyes on the systemic war crimes taking place in the valley, though the blind one as any witness conscious could deprive the individual power states of their own coveted benefits in the region and beyond. Doing so clear renders futile the very purpose of International Law and system and this is one of the reason that states are becoming disillusioned from the liberalist International System that they believe serves powerful and Veto interests, alone.

UNSCR 47 categorically envisages that “The final disposition of the state of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations”, the obligation reiterated time and again in resolutions 51, 91 and 122.

Standing in violation of Shimla Agreement signed between India and Pakistan in 1972, the former continues to disrupt the peace and prosperity of the entire region by engaging in grave systemic practices of prejudice, bigotry and fascism and also block politics.

According to the latest report by South Asia Economic Focus, Expanding Opportunies: Toward Inclusive Growth , regional growth is projected to average 5.6 percent in 2023, a slight downward revision from the October 2022 forecast despite being 24. 89% of the total world population. The prospects of peace and prosperity will continue to dwindle and hence hampering global growth potentials unless and until India adjusts its national and regional stature towards its allies and abide by International Laws and regulations accordingly.

 

 *Opinions expressed in this article are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of The South Asia Times   

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