India is losing in Jammu and Kashmir
After deploying and using more than 700,000 troops in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989, India has achieved nothing and is losing control over the state
Col (R) Muhammad Hanif
SEPTEMBER 15, 2018
Since 1948, India has negated the basic rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir by refusing to collaborate with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in holding the plebiscite that was promised to them according to the resolutions passed in 1947, and 1948. This right was promised to the people of the state by Lord Mountbatten, the last Governor General of India and Mr. Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. They had stated at the time of accepting the accession of Maharaja Hari Singh, that the final decision on the accession of the state will be done by ascertaining the will of the people of the state; to determine whether they wanted to join Pakistan or India.
Later, Nehru went back on his word, and since 1948, all governments in India have also failed to hold meaningful talks with Pakistan to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute as per the UNSC resolutions. Due to this; three wars have been fought between Pakistan and India over Jammu and Kashmir since 1948. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are frustrated with India’s deceptive policies and cruel use of power. In 1989, the people lauched a heroic freedom struggle, which has currently extended to its zenith, where the people of Jammu and Kashmir are completely alienated from India.
Since 1989, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have suffered from countless atrocities at the hands of more than 700,000 Indian soliders and paramilitary troops deployed in the state since the 1990s to crush the freedom struggle. These forces have sweeping powers for using force with total immunity from any accountability provided by the following draconian laws: The Safety Act, 1978 and 1990; Jammu & Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, 1990; Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) 1990; the Armed Forces (Jammu & Kashmir) Special Powers Act 1990; Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 2004; Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) 2002; the Armed Forces (Jammu & Kashmir) Special Powers Act 1990; the National Security Act (NSA); Newspapers Incitements to Offences Act; and the Indian Telegraph Act.
These black laws allow the Indian military and paramilitary troops: to arrest any person and detain him without trial for two years. Any official at the level of Head Constable is allowed to use force or shoot and kill under the pretext of maintaining the public order. Any act committed with a lethal weapon is deemed a terrorist act. Even suspected terrorists and their sympathisers are awarded death penalty or life imprisonment. A District Magistrate can prohibit the publishing of any murder or violence; the laws authorise the monitoring of telephone conversations and intercepting personal mail. Moreover legal immunity is given to persons acting under these laws, meaning that no legal case can be filed against any person who has exercised the above mentioned powers.
From January 1989, to September 2016, the Indian Army and other forces have killed 94,548 persons. There have been 7,073 custodial killings, 137,469 civilians have been arrested, 107,043 houses were damaged or destroyed, 22,826 women have been widowed and 107,591 children orphaned
According to the Kashmir Media Service, by misusing these draconian laws, from January 1989, to September 2016, the Indian Army and other forces have killed 94,548persons. These include; 7,073 custodial killings, arrested 137,469 civilians, destroyed and damaged 107,043 houses, widowed 22,826 women, orphaned 107,591 children, and raped 10,717 women.
After deploying and using more than 700,000 troops in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989, to crush the freedom struggle and after having committed above mentioned rampant atrocities and HR violations, India has achieved nothing and is losing its control over the state. Instead of crushing the freedom struggle, India has totally alienated the people of Jammu and Kashmir and it is witnessing Pakistani flags flying everywhere in the state. Even the bodies of Kashmiri martyrs are being buried wrapped in the Pakistani flag. This all indicates that India is finally losing in Jammu and Kashmir, as the people of the state have given an open verdict that they want nothing to do with the Indian Union.
To hide its losing battle in Jammu and Kashmir, India is now making futile efforts of deviating the attention of its own people, and the world community; by pressurising China to halt the progress on CPEC. India claims that it passes through the disputed area of Gilgit-Baltistan, and projects it as a part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. But in view of the ground realities in the occupied part of Jammu and Kashmir, it is better for India that, instead of adopting such diversionary strategies; it holds negotiations with Pakistan on priority to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in the light of the UNSC resolutions.
The writer is an ex-Army Colonel, a former Research Fellow of Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI), Islamabad and Senior Research Fellow, Strategic Vision Institute, Islamabad].
Published in Daily Times, September 15th 2018.