Kashmir Solidarity Day: A Call for Justice and Human Dignity

by Syeda Tahreem Bukhari
February 5th, celebrated as Kashmir Solidarity Day since 1991 to express support and solidarity with Kashmiris subjected to Indian Illegal occupation. This day stands, as a stark reminder that the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir deserve to live in peace and dignity. It signifies Pakistan’s unwavering spirit to defend Kashmiris, fighting for their right to self-determination. The issue of Kashmir brought to the attention of the UN by India, thus recognizing Kashmir as an international dispute whose resolution depended on the will of its people through an UN-sanctioned plebiscite, as outlined in UN Security Council Resolution 47 of 1948. In its 1954 constitution, India recognized the unique status of the Kashmiri population and granted special semi-autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir, the sole Muslim-majority state in the country. By revoking Article 370, Kashmiris were stripped of their rights under the Modi regime. India increased its military presence in Kashmir, deploying and mobilizing a staggering 900,000 forces. Furthermore, India has enlisted over 130,000 police personnel in anti-resistance operations and established additional counterinsurgent agencies. The demographic shift in IIOJK by India is akin to Israel’s occupation tactics. In January 2022, vast tracts of land in the Gulmarg and Sonamarg regions of Occupied Kashmir were designated as ‘strategic areas’ and allocated to the Indian military. This action represents a flagrant breach of International Law concerning the disputed status of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The escalation of force and the impunity granted to Indian forces in IOJK have significantly intensified “Atrocity Crimes.” There have been numerous instances of extrajudicial and custodial killings, as well as the denial of burial rights to the families of civilians and insurgents alike. Humanitarian crisis in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir has become a new normal in India. The ongoing desperate humanitarian crisis in Palestine, coupled with the unperturbed silence maintained by the international community, has led people to lose faith in the credibility of these institutions. These protracted conflicts if left unresolved could erupt into an intifada at any stage. Learning from the Israel-Palestine war, where India is employing Israeli oppression tactics to silence Kashmiris via bulldozing their property, using GPS trackers against them for surveillance. UN experts raised concern against the genocide in Gaza calling the international community to intervene. While another genocide of Muslims is expected in India where Genocide Watch has even warned against it. Furthermore, when the mastermind of the Gujarat Genocide is the Prime Minister of India is actively engaged in turning India into a theological state. To avert another genocide of Muslims, the International community has to intervene to resolve this protracted conflict that has the potential to inflict unprecedented harm. The recent consecration ceremony of Ayodhya Ram Temple amid an upsurge in discrimination against religious minorities raised concerns regarding the deteriorating condition of minorities’ rights in India where Hindus have claim on worship places of Muslims in Varanasi and Mathura. India was earlier using bulldozer justice to silence the sane voices now they are bulldozing the holy places of Muslims. Recently, a 700-year-old Mosque bulldozed in Delhi, it would ignite another Hindu-Muslim riot. With an upsurge in systematic targeting of religious minorities by India, the world has to recognize the sufferings of Kashmiris, as it is no longer a territorial dispute between Pakistan and India but a humanitarian issue. Pakistan remains steadfast in ensuring that the people of Kashmir do not fade into the annals of our regional history. Pakistan pledges unwavering support for the rights of Kashmiri citizens and demand from international community to lend its moral, political, and diplomatic support to the courageous people of Kashmir.

Syeda Tahreem Bukhari

The author is a Research Officer at the Center for International Strategic Studies AJK. She tweets @Tehmii_Syed.

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Center for International Strategic Studies AJK, King Abdullah Campus Chatter kalas Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir