The term of terrorism has been so confused that there is no exact definition of terrorism. The problem is confined to political terrorism which occurs when a group, whether holding governmental office or outside government, resolves to pursue a set of ideological objectives by methods which not only subvert or ignore the requirements of domestic and international law but also rely for their success primarily upon the use of violence or illegal practices. This definition permits regimes as well as opposition groups to be described as terrorists.
However, the term terrorism can be used by any entity for its own self-interest to achieve political, economic and social ends.
Since the US started a global war against terrorism, after the 9/11 tragedy, various political experts have opined that terrorism comes in a variety of forms such as religious terrorism, secular terrorism, military terrorism, state-sponsored terrorism and so on.
Bruce Hoffman, in his book ‘Inside Terrorism’ writes: “For the religious terrorism, violence is the foremost divine duty executed in direct response to some demand or imperative…the secular terrorist sense leads to a sanctioning of limitless violence against a virtually open-ended category of targets.”
By availing the golden opportunity of 9/11, India joined Bush’s anti-terrorism bandwagon and fully exploited the world phenomena of terrorism and the anti-Muslim approach of the US-led west in order to obtain her secret designs. New Delhi equated the war of liberation in Kashmir with terrorism. Since then, their forces have been employing military terrorism such as curfews, crackdowns, sieges, massacre and targeted killings to maintain alien rule on the controlled territories of Kashmir.
Since Indian extremist Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the leader of the ruling party BJP, became Indian prime minister, he started implementing the ideology of Hindutva ((Hindu Nationalism) by encouraging BJP-led, RSS and VHP which has been following fanatic policies internally and externally.
Their various malicious moves such as abrogation of the special status of the Jammu and Kashmir to turn Muslim majority into the minority in the Indian Held Kashmir, continued lockdown in the IOK, the martyrdom of thousands of the Kashmiris there, the introduction of new domicile law against the majority of Kashmiris, issuance of domicile certificates to 25000 non-Kashmiris, persecution of religious minorities especially Muslims, anti-Muslim laws-CAA/NRC, assaults on Muslims by the fanatic Hindus, blaming Indian Muslims and Pakistan for spreading coronavirus in India and the IOK etc., and intermittent shelling inside Pakistani side of Kashmir in relation to the Line of Control (LoC) might be noted as instances.
Despite the deployment of 900,000 troops in the IOK and intensification of firing by the Indian forces in wake of shortage of foods and even medicines for the patients, innocent Kashmiris are still violating the lockdown by protesting against Indian illegal actions. In order to conceal India’s state terrorism, Indian Controlled Kashmir has been cut off from the world due to lockdown. But, some reports and images are appearing in the world and social media, which show extrajudicial killings of innocent people by the ruthless Indian forces.
The dreadful practice of Indian state terrorism could be judged from the martyrdom of a 65 years old person Bashir Ahmed Khan on July 1, this year in front of his grandson by Indian troops in Sopore, Srinagar.
Local Kashmiris and family of the martyred said that the unarmed “Khan was dragged out of his car and shot dead by paramilitary troopers”. His three-year-old toddler grandson, who was travelling with him, was later pictured sitting on his chest.
The awful photo of the child, which appeared in the social media, shocked the international community.
Reacting to the incident, Amnesty India said, “It is a breach of the best interests of the child principle as required to be the basis of any action by authorities under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which India is a state party.”
A day after the horrifying event which triggered massive outrage and protests in Indian Kashmir, the UNO said that “whosoever responsible for the killing in Sopore, has to be made to account for it”
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated that the image of the three-year-old sitting on his grandfather’s “lifeless, bullet-ridden body exposed the real face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fascist India”.
Nevertheless, this merciless event displays that India does not have any qualms about murdering any Kashmiri civilians as part of extrajudicial killings.
During special operations-house to house search, India military and paramilitary troopers have martyred and injured tens of thousands the Kashmiris, including women and children. These cruelties have compelled the Kashmiri youngsters to pick arms and to target the Indian forces, sacrificing their lives for the right of self-determination, as recognized by the related UNO resolutions. Therefore, intermittent gunbattle between the freedom fighters and Indian military continues in various regions of the IOK.
It is regrettable that the US-led some major western courtiers are silent on the Indian state terrorism because of the anti-China factor, favoring New Delhi in wake of recent Sino-India border tensions regarding disputed territories of the eastern Ladakh.
Notably, when Indian troops destroy a village and conduct extrajudicial killings in the occupied Kashmir, these US-led countries call it an internal affair of the Indians and do not apply the term of state terrorism, but, when Mujahideen seek retaliation, it becomes a case of terrorism.
While the UN resolution 1541 on the ‘Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples’ adopted by the General Assembly in 1960 accepts the legitimacy of the right of self-determination and opposes repressive measures of all kinds against the freedom fighters by the colonial power. And UN resolution 2625 of 1970 authorized the dependent people to seek and even receive support from outside to fight against the repressive machinery. So, in the light of these resolutions, the insurgency in Kashmir cannot be called terrorism.
World’s history proves that in the 20th century, a majority of the Third World countries got independence after an armed struggle against the colonial powers. Even the independence of the US, the unification of Germany and Italy became possible after an armed struggle. So, the question arises that were the peoples of these countries terrorists at that time?
If any impartial observer studies the historical background of Kashmir and present war of liberation, he will definitely conclude that acts of barbarism, employed by Indian troopers on the Kashmiris to maintain Indian illegitimate occupation tantamount to alien rule. In these terms, Indian forces are the real terrorists.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations