By Seymur Mammadov
Kashmir is a real battlefield between the leading countries of Asia – Pakistan and India. The main issue of concern to Kashmir people especially is when will the long-awaited peace and stability come in Kashmir, which is controlled by the Indian armed forces?
Protests, rallies, arrests still do not stop. Kashmiris are most concerned about their safety, the safety of their families. Kashmiris live in constant fear and are forced to comply with the rules of the game imposed on them from another world.
Kashmiris do not want to live in a world created on the blood of Kashmiris. And they want to live in a world where they feel safe and free. The world that Kashmiris have been dreaming of for many years is Pakistan.
Kashmiris want to return to their Muslim brothers living on the other side of Kashmir. Who will help Kashmiris reunite? Russia, China, USA, Europe? Could it be that authoritative international organizations – the UN, OIC, and PACE are capable of solving this overwhelming task for many countries?
Kashmiris do not want to live in a world created on the blood of Kashmiris.
It is difficult to answer these questions when there are no specific answers. But the only thing that inspires hope is that in international society there is a growing understanding of the need for pressure on the Indian authorities because of Kashmir, an early settlement of the Kashmir conflict.
Let’s start with Turkey, which is a strategic ally of Pakistan. After Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power, the support given to Islamabad in the Kashmir issue increased significantly.
The Turkish leader from the rostrum of authoritative international organizations strongly condemns the actions of the Indian authorities against Muslims in Kashmir.
The last time Erdogan made a public statement condemning India for infringing on the rights of Kashmiris in February 2020 during his visit to Pakistan. India, in turn, sent a note of protest to Turkey, which was expected for official Ankara.
We are going further. Iran also began to pay with the same coin as Turkey. But first of all, I note that India, under pressure from the United States, because of the threat of US sanctions, reduced trade with Iran and lost interest in the Port of Chabahar.
In the summer of 2019, India completely stopped importing crude oil from Iran, which had previously covered about 10% of the energy needs of the South Asian country. In terms of oil supplies to India, Iran ranked third, and inferior to Saudi Arabia and Iraq in this ranking. Iran understood that India was far from a reliable partner, which could fail them under US pressure.
Following the cessation of imports of Iranian oil, the rhetoric of Iranian officials on the Kashmir issue intensified. For example, in August 2019, Tehran demanded that India take measures to return the lives of ordinary citizens to Jammu and Kashmir to normal, expressing concern about restrictions for Muslims. Ayatollah Khamenei, in turn, expressed dissatisfaction with the situation of Muslims in Kashmir:
“We maintain good relations with the Government of India, but at the same time, we expect him to adopt a fair policy towards the noble inhabitants of Kashmir and not allow violence in regarding the Muslim population of this region”.
The Indian government must fight extremist Hinduism and their parties, Ayatollah Khamenei said on March 5, 2020 on his Twitter. Khamenei said:
“The hearts of Muslims around the world mourn over the massacre of Muslims in India. The government of India must confront extremist Hindus and their parties and stop the massacre of Muslims in order to prevent India from being isolated from the Islamic world ”.
Frankly, Iran has pursued a consistent policy towards supporting Kashmir since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iranian leaders make it clear that Iran-India relations cannot develop normally until the bloodshed in Kashmir is stopped. Back in February 2018, when discussing the problems that Muslims face all over the world, the Iranian supreme leader said that Kashmir is on a par with Afghanistan, Palestine, Bahrain and Yemen.
In Malaysia, there is also a growing understanding of the need to strengthen Pakistan’s support in the Kashmir issue. India is becoming the target of criticism from Malaysia, with which Pakistan has close ties. In the fall of 2019, a diplomatic scandal broke out between Malaysia and India, affecting trade relations between the two countries.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, during his speech in New York at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly on September 27, said that India had invaded and occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He also criticized India for abolishing the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
In India, it is hoped that with the new Prime Minister, Muhiddin Yassinay, bilateral cooperation will return to normal, that the new government will remain neutral in disputes between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. It is too early to say anything about what position the new Malaysian government will take regarding the Kashmir issue, but the presence of the Islamist party in the ruling coalition is seriously alarming the Indian authorities and there are already more and more voices in favor of the possibility that the new prime minister will continue the hens of his predecessor Mahathir Mohamad.
It is no secret to anyone that a great blow to India’s reputation in the world community has been inflicted by a law that infringes on Muslim law.
On December 11, the Indian Parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), according to which, representatives of religious minorities, including Hindu, Christian, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, can apply for Indian citizenship. However, this right does not apply to Muslims. After the adoption of this law, protests and demonstrations began in India, which continue to continue in some regions of India. In the Muslim world, this law was perceived as discrimination. In Afghan society, voices of support were heard in favor of Muslims, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, Abdulkalam Abdul Momen and the Minister of the Interior, Asaduzzaman Khan, canceled their trip to India amid violent protests. The world media were also not silent – they condemned the actions of the Indian authorities for interfaith clashes. Indian Prime Minister Modi was accused of undemocratic steps against members of a religious minority.
Recently, (on April 19), the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expresses deep concern following recent media accounts of rising anti-Muslim sentiments and Islamophobia within political and media circles and on mainstream and social media platforms, where Indian Muslim minority is blamed of spreading the coronavirus in the country.
Meanwhile, The Washington-based United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has released its annual report 2020, recommending India to be designated as the “Country of Particular Concern” for the first time since 2004.
Why is India escalating the situation in the Muslim world? After all, all these events that are taking place in Kashmir today do not in any way increase the reputation of India in the eyes of the world community. On the contrary, the reverse is happening, and India’s unstable Muslim policies are forcing some Muslim countries to lower relations with New Delhi. The main value of any state is security. The state is simply obligated to ensure the safety of its population. However, Muslims do not feel safe in India. Is it time to think about your duty and take care of the safety of Muslims?