By Agha Iqrar Haroon
If I say that genocide continues under the immoral silence in Donbas, Kashmir, Karabakh and Palestine, many writers would criticise me because we are still discussing and negotiating that what does genocide actually means?
Over eight million Kashmiris are caged in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) since August 5, 2019 having no opportunity of communicating with outside the valley. But politicians are discussing whether the communication blockade is partial and complete?
The communication shutdown has denied basic human rights of Kashmiris but the world is a silent spectator and even not ready to discuss the issue in the UN Security Council with open doors and we all know that in-camera sessions never bring any results or even any news about what was discussed inside closed doors actually?
The International Human Rights Watch Organizations have reported that pellet-gun, rapes, abductions, and arrests are being used as a tool for subjugation in IOJ&K and Kashmiris are facing genocide like situation. But who cares?
Pellet guns used against Kashmiris by Indian forces have snatched their eyes but failed to snatch their desires for freedom. Widows and Half-Widows (married women who do not know whether their husbands are alive or dead because they were abducted by Indian forces years ago) have refused to bow down in front of state terrorism and mothers of martyrs are offering their other sons to sacrifice their lives for their motherland under subjugation. But who cares?
Thousands of young and old Kashmiris have so far been killed, women and even young boys have been abused and raped, and children have been deprived of their right to live a normal life. But who cares?
Indian Occupied Kashmir is a story of constant failure of International peacekeepers including the United Nations that took responsibility for providing the right of self-determination to Kashmiris through its several resolutions.
Is it only Kashmir where we can see the failure of International peacekeepers or is it Palestine too?
Is it only Palestine where we can see the failure of International peacekeepers or is it Nagorno-Karabakh too?
Is it only Nagorno-Karabakh where we can see the failure of International peacekeepers or is it Crimea and Donbas too?
There are several conflicts but International organizations are silent and allowing aggressors to continue the genocide of oppressed and subjugated people, and let the powerful oppressors expand their dominance.
It’s unfortunate to say that the story of the criminal silence of the United Nations does not end in Kashmir and Palestine because bloodline is also seen in other conflict zones as well such as Eastern Ukraine in Donbas and also in Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia attacks Azerbaijani areas around 20 to 25 times every day but who cares?
In these four cases mentioned above —- artificial disputes were injected to create permanent conflicts.
These disputes are constantly being denied the attention of the United Nations and other peacekeeping organizations because some authoritative countries having the writ of “Veto Power” are behind these conflicts directly or indirectly.
Artificial disputes were injected to create permanent conflicts.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a territorial and ethnic conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts, which are de facto controlled by the self-declared Republic of Artsakh but are Internationally recognized as de jure part of Azerbaijan. Karabakh crisis has several similarities with the Kashmir issue as well as with injected conflict in Eastern Ukraine in Donbas etc.
The self-declared Republic of Artsakh of Nagorno-Karabakh has also several similarities with self-declared Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Eastern Ukraine. The self-declared Republic of Artsakh forcefully occupied areas in the middle of Azerbaijan while self-declared Donetsk and Lugansk regions occupied eastern areas of Ukraine by force. Both cases have direct and indirect links with the alleged involvement of the Russian Federation for making these territories as “conflict areas” and “disputed lands” while western powers including the British Empire did the same in Kashmir Valley and Palestine.
The most unfortunate point with regard to these conflicts is that oppressed nations are not standing together to fight for their rights because their foreign relations stop them to help each other openly except Pakistan and Azerbaijan. These two nations always stand together for each other by forgetting their diplomatic constraints because their bilateral relations are the most important factors of their ties. Pakistan is reluctant to raise voice for Ukraine because of its relations with Russia although Russia stood with India in Kashmir issue and accepted the Indian version that Kashmir is an internal matter of India although this position is contrary to the fact because the Kashmir issue is still pending in the United Nations as a disputed land/issue.
Ukraine does not support Pakistan openly on the Kashmir issue because it has strong bilateral relations with India.
Pakistan always stands for Palestine when the support is needed but the lukewarm response of other Middle Eastern countries over the Palestine issue is slicing Palestine into pieces and it looks that sooner or letter Palestine would become a city of Israel instead of a semi-independent state.
What do we know about the situation prevailing in IOJ&K for the last over 185 days after the abrogation of Article 370 (35-A) on August 5, 2019?
- Curfew and communication blockade still continues.
- Medical services still not available in IOJ&K.
- International media and international Human rights organizations confirm in their reports that women, girls, children and even young boys are sexually being abused by Indian law enforcing agencies
- Disappearance and abduction of youth continue.
- Serious humanitarian crisis has gripped IOJ&K as food stocks are inadequate.
- Tourism and hotel industry completely collapsed in IOJ&K.
- Orchards owned by Muslim Kashmiris have been catted down for imposing economic genocide.
- Night house-raids and picking up Kashmiri Muslims by law enforcing agencies continue.
- Estimated deaths due to the non-availability of medical services in the besieged valley have crossed the figure of 25,000 patients (deceased patients).
- Majority of educational institutions are still closed and Kashmiris have been denied of their basic rights of health and education.
- Almost all small and major sectors of life including business and commerce, education, transport, horticulture and tourism in IOJ&K are virtually defunct with unprecedented communications blockade adding more to the prevailing uncertainty.
- Transport sector is among the most affected sectors as 70,000 vehicles (buses, trucks, taxis, boats) remain halted since August 5, 2019.
- Tourism Industry collapsed due to the clampdown. All hotels and houseboats are almost empty and as such are running in huge losses.
- Cordon and Search operations are being conducted at various places in Jammu and Kashmir with the aim to trace the pro-freedom voices and silence them.
- Thousands of politicians, business leaders and young boys have been booked under the black law, PSA and shifted to jails in India’s UP and Haryana states.
- The entire valley is reeling under a silence that is anything but normal.
- Freedom of speech has been severely curtailed.
- Children are being picked up, detained and sometimes sexually tortured for days.
- Some children are sent back home in a state of terror and others continue to be in the custody of the security forces without any official entry being made of their detention.
- Families do not know whether their young men and boys are being detained in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan or Haryana.
- Women and girls live in constant fear of molestation and sexual abuse.
- Psychological stress caused by the continuing occupation has led to high levels of anxiety and depression levels, and the people consume anti-depressant drugs and carry them on their person at all times.
- Anyone can be detained anywhere and anytime even while crossing a road, playing football, sleeping or having tea in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
- The Indian security forces enjoy complete impunity and cases of encounters, enforced disappearances, sexual violence, illegal detentions, torture, entering houses at any time of day or night, breaking windows and destroying property are now normal in IOJ&K.
- People have lost faith in the judiciary. They say that even habeas corpus petitions are not being heard by the J&K High Court.
International Human Rights organizations like Human Rights Watch, United Nations, European Union Parliament, Open Society Foundations of George Soros and Genocide Watch have demanded that:
- Kashmiri people in IOJ&K must be given the right to self-determination in accordance with several UN Resolutions.
- Decision of inclusion of IOJ&K into the Indian Union must be reverted as India has no right to take a unilateral decision about the fate of Jammu and Kashmir.
- No steps should be taken about the future of Jammu & Kashmir without the consent of the people of IOJ&K.
- Restoration of the pre-August 5, 2019 situation with regard to Article 370 and 35A and implementation of the commitments India has made to the people of J&K and the United Nations.
- The reversal of the bifurcation of the territory as well as a reversal of its downgrading to the status of a ‘Union Territory’.
- Immediate scaling back of the troops (armed forces and paramilitaries) deployed in Jammu & Kashmir. Withdrawal of CRPF, BSF, ITBP and Indian Army troops deployed in all civilian areas.
- Dismantling of Interrogation Centres and Torture Cells.
- End intimidation and harassment of children and their parents, by police, paramilitary and military personnel.
- An immediate end to the practice of forcing children to report to police stations, and security barracks.
- Immediate action must be taken against those in the armed forces, police and paramilitary personnel indulging in the illegal practice of harassing and sexually abusing children.
- End to the illegal practice of torture (physical as well as psychological) being committed under the cover of ‘interrogation’ by the armed forces.
- Demand an end to the usage of pellet guns and tear gas, and the destruction of property by all armed forces personnel.
- Immediate restoration of communication infrastructure, all forms of mobile telephony (not just the token restoration of Post Paid connections) and the internet.
- Demand an end to censorship and restriction on the freedom of the press and an end to the harassment and intimidation of journalists, doctors, lawyers, and human rights activists.
- Immediate lifting of restrictions on civil society, and demand the immediate and unconditional release of all detainees, and demand that no further arrests be made.
- Demand a repeal of draconian measures like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Public Safety Act.
Human miseries are being denied attention because miseries have been enforced by powerful or are guarded by any of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. What to do to find a place for peace for those who are being purged in silence – An immoral silence which is deeper than the depth of an ocean.