Human atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir
Muhammad ZamanMuhammad Zaman
OCTOBER 8, 2019
Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke about Kashmir during his speech in the United Nations General Assembly, but the world kept its eyes closed because they hardly understood the sensitivity of the issue. Especially, the West, which, despite being powerful and able to play a decisive role, considers Kashmir a territorial dispute, not a human right issue.
Hundreds of thousands of people were either killed or wounded in the bloodied valley. They continue to sacrifice their lives, yet their bloodshed is not perceived as a real human catastrophe for the last seven decades. Two months have passed since the curfew was imposed in the region. People are dying yet still resisting the occupied forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) but is there any strong wave or demonstration in any part of the world? Pakistan is still unable to convince the world that Kashmir is not only a territorial conflict but human devastation.
The right-based approach can strengthen the Pakistani case in the world; if carefully pursed. Millions of the Kashmiri children are undernourished due to curfew, restriction and decreased mobility in the IOK. They are unable to attend their schools or play with their peers in open spaces. These children are confined; caged in an open human prison. It must be highlighted that these children are the victims of the Indian forces. Why are the children’s rights organisations in Pakistan as well as in the world silent on this violation of child’s rights? The Kashmir Committee and relevant state institution should sensitise and convince these organisations to raise their voices for the cause of the Kashmir.
Similarly, millions of women are confined to their households. They are restricted from walking freely in the IOK. They are victims of state-coercion and violence. Women’s rights organisation can play a better role in highlighting the plight of Kashmiri women.
The right-based approach can strengthen the Pakistani case in the world
They are the real victims of the Indian forces and the racist regime of Modi.
Freedom of speech and freedom of information rights can be challenged in the relevant forums to highlight the IOK case. Kashmiris have the right to decide their future through the plebiscite because this is the fundamental human right under the universal declarations. It must be questioned whether the UN declarations are not extended to the IOK or are limited to certain societies.
The world societies and civic organisations can be mobilised with knowledge, empirical evidence, effective documentation and mutual engagement in the 21st century. World-class university students, academicians and intellectuals can play an effective role in highlighting the ongoing human carnage in the IOK. Pakistani missions abroad may activate the Pakistani, Kashmiri and foreign students to highlight human rights violations in the IOK on their campuses. Pakistani missions can arrange exhibitions, seminars, conferences, walks and dialogues with the assistance of the Pakistani students, diasporas and business community and sensitise them about the human massacres. The focus should be on human rights violations, not the territorial dispute between the two neighbour countries.
Since the last seven decades, the IOK issue was persuaded through hard stance and in the language of the war. This war economy is relevant in some cases. However, this currency changed in the 1990s with the fall of the Berlin wall where the West claimed they used “soft power” to secure human rights. The soft power is ignored in the Pakistani policy as well as diplomacy. Pakistan must revisit its policy of Kashmir and re-think and re-design its options.
The state institutions may mobilise soft power and right-based approach. This can be done with careful monitoring, research and effective advocacy at the national and international platforms. It seems either the Government is unable to imagine or understand the right based approach to highlight the issue of Kashmir.
The writer teaches sociology at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad