As the Indian cricket team was rattled by Protea Power on the 10th Feb in Pink ODI a strong crowd of 200 were picketing and protesting against the Indian team and their country for the gross Human Rights violation in the IoK Indian Occupied Kashmir. The protest was organized by Salman Khan Chairman of SAKAG South Africa Kashmiri Action Group.
It was a perfect day with and coinciding with the eve of the release of the Human Rights Champion Nelson Mandela after a long 27 years in prison. The sweet scent camaraderie of human right on the soil of Madiba’s land was in the air and the group of Kashmiri struggle sympathizers were joined by a zealous band from a local township to set up the perfect scene of humiliation and disgust towards the passing by Indian die-hard supporters.
The open-air bloody art museum filled with the posters of Indian union atrocities and brutal oppression was on display at the corner of Corlette Drive and Jacob Avenue. The Indian supporters hang their heads in shame and local Protea supporters were in a state of shock to see the level of savageness and the other side of self-portrayed Peaceful Gandhi birthplace. The band that came to sing liberation songs were irresistible to the passing by the crowd. It was a sheer display of comraderism by South Africans all around, as they were taking pictures of each poster for social media circulation and taking selfies with protesters in solidarity.
The issue of Kashmir is as old as the issue of Palestine. After the liquidation and departure of British Maharajah from the Indian subcontinent, India has been illegally occupying the beautiful land of Kashmiri people, a country the size of 86, 000 square kilometres and three times the size of Belgium. Kashmir used to be the sovereign state and after the illegal occupation by India in 1947, there is the total suspension of human and civilian rights. There are martial law and perpetual curfew to quell the Kashmiri uprising since 1947.
The Indian Prime Minister after invading Kashmir in 1947 could control the Kashmiri unrest and political uprising and took the matter to UNSC in 1948 to seek UN intervention. The UNSC after listening to the complaint laid by India issued a resolution 47 of 1947. Whereas it declared that Indians must vacate the land of Kashmiris and neither Indian nor Pakistan has any legal right on the land of Kashmiri people, and that the Indian government was ordained to call for free and fair plebiscite within three months. The PM Nehru accepted the unexpected UNSC resolution, but since then been it has been denied and all of the subsequent Indian governments have been circumventing the promised UNSC referendum where Kashmir is to be given a chance to decide on their right of Self-determination: “ Either to join India, Pakistan or be an independent state” by sham elections. UNSC resolution link https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/kashun47.htm
In this episode of seven decades, Kashmir has lost over 100 000 lives at the hand of the Indian army and thousands had been put behind the bars without any legal representation, rape has been used as the weapon of war and there are no civil liberties in Kashmir since 1947. The freedom of expression, association, and social and economic rights are non-existence. Indian has made several claims that Gulab Maharajah Hari Singh has signed an instrument of accession to India and before fleeing to India to avoid persecution by Kashmiri in 1947 uprising. We as Kashmiri human right defenders have demanded Indian to provide such signed documents, apparently Indian response is that they have lost the original signed document, well it does not exists. This claimed is validated by the Maharajah Hari Sing son Indian parliament that there was no signing of the instrument of accession by his father. HR Violation Amnesty international report https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2015/07/india-accountability-still-missing-for-human-rights-violations-in-jammu-and-kashmir/
The peaceful protester urging ANC led government not to forget our recent past whereas they mobilized the international community to resolve their human right issues and overthrow apartheid. We are asking the same solidarity as the world gave it them. ANC cannot be to the foreigner to the human right violation and redeem its values over economic ties. The annals of history have taught humankind that if you forget your history then history has no place for you in the chapters.
We urge South African and ANC led the government to send a Human Right fact-finding mission to IoK and do an independent assessment and investigate under the charter of Bill of Rights, AU human rights charter and UDHR Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Kashmiri need South Africa help to liberate them from the illegal occupation of India.
Salman Khan. Paul Harris Fellow
Founder and Chairman SAKAG South Africa Kashmiri Action Group.
082 691 6048.