Kashmir; The Forgotten Past and Denied future -By Md. Abdur Rahman (Khoka)
In August of 1947, India and Pakistan became separate and independent nations based on two nations theory to avoid any sort of confliction between Hindu and Muslim although it is very unfortunate for the humanist across the world to observe such inhuman activities happening in Kashmir in the name of prevention of crime for which a very severe catastrophic effect has been experienced for the long time. But, It has to be acknowledged that theoretically India and Pakistan were divided along sectarian lines where Hindus were supposed to live in India, while Muslims lived in Pakistan. However, the dreadful racial decontamination has proved that it was not viable to simply draw a line on the map between followers of the two faiths because they had been living in mixed communities for centuries. In any way, Kashmir is a region situated in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. It includes the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir as well as the Pakistani states of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.
The Chinese regions of Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram are also included in Kashmir. Currently, the United Nations refers to this region as Jammu and Kashmir. Here, one thing must be kept in mind that British had ruled across Indian subcontinent for approximately two centuries by using the flawless sward that is absolutely divisional strategy. To go into the details of the negotiations, at first it is very crucial to look at very beginning for the severance of India. At the time of ending the British Raj, Maharaja Hari Singh of the generous state of Jammu and Kashmir refused to join his kingdom to either India or Pakistan although the maharaja himself was a Hindu. Based on his own decision, Hari Singh himself declared Jammu and Kashmir’s independence as a separate nation in 1947 although without any delay, Pakistan had launched a guerrilla war to free the majority-Muslim region from Hindu rule. On the other hand, Hari Singh appealed to India for aid, signing an agreement to accede to India in October of 1947 by realizing that he is going to face trial for the conspiracy against Pakistan although Indian troops cleared the Pakistani guerrillas from much of the area. At that time second world was about to finish and therefore United Nations has been formed to build peace across the world by understanding the devastating consequence of war. Then it was a quite natural to expect from UN taking some pragmatic steps to stop any sort of battleship between newly born Pakistan and India. So holding many meetings, organizing seminars or cease-fire and giving a careful look at the confliction, the newly-formed United Nations called for a referendum of Kashmir’s people in order to determine whether the majority wished to join with Pakistan or India.
However, unfortunately but truly, vote has never been taken. So the excruciating but ruthless activities are still seen to be continued in Kashmir. From this aforementioned negotiation, if one pivotal point is not highlighted then there will be a big mistake that India even though did not claim Kashmir as their part before the declaration of independence of Kashmir by Maharaja Hari Singh although 95% people are Muslim where only 4% Hindu among 4 million people in the Indian-controlled Kashmir Valley’s. But what we are observing in our own eyes! Don’t these inhuman activities create injustice to the innocent people of Kashmir? Is there any sensible person in the world who would support such kind of killing in Kashmir although it is being done by using the term “militant”?
Human rights are indiscriminately breached in Kashmir although human rights are indispensable rights and freedoms by which people are entitled to get these privileges regardless of their identity i.e. nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, language, or any other status and civil and political rights, such as the right to life, liberty and freedom of expression; and social, cultural and economic rights including the right to participate in culture, the right to food, and the right to work and receive an education are all included and well established across the present world in respect of it which are protected and upheld by many international and national laws and treaties although the rights of people very slightly differ from country to country or man to man. But those common rights must be ensured by hook or cook for all. Furthermore, these are drawn support by the 30 articles of the UDHR which establish the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights of all people. It is a vision for human dignity that transcends political boundaries and authority, committing governments to uphold the fundamental rights of each person but the human rights abuses in the Kashmir are an ongoing issue.
The abuses range from mass killings, enforced disappearances, torture, rape and sexual abuse to political repression and suppression of freedom of speech. However, Kashmir conflicts ebbs as new wave for getting independence by the death of Burhan Muzaffor Wani who has been got much support in his village of Tral, a cluster of traditional homes and mosques amid green fields and woods in a fold of the dry hills in the south of “the valley”, as the most famous, richest and strategically important part of the disputed Himalayan former princedom is known. But Indian always treated him as one of the influential militants although “Everyone in his village supports him, which is found from a recent report published by The Guardian” where it was said by a friend that requesting anonymity for fear of detention by security forces as a militant sympathizer. Furthermore, there should be a chronology of key events which is taken from BBC News given that are
1947 – End of British rule and partition of sub-continent into mainly Hindu India and Muslim-majority state of Pakistan and The Maharaja of Kashmir signs a treaty of accession with India after a Pakistani tribal army attacks. War breaks out between India and Pakistan over the region.
1948 – India raises Kashmir in the UN Security Council, which in Resolution 47 calls for a referendum on the status of the territory. The resolution also calls on Pakistan to withdraw its troops and India to cut its military presence to a minimum. A ceasefire comes into force, but Pakistan refuses to evacuate its troops. Kashmir is for practical purposes partitioned.
1951 – Elections in the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir back accession to India. India says this makes a referendum unnecessary. The UN and Pakistan say a referendum needs to take into account the views of voters throughout the former princely state.
1953 – The pro-Indian authorities dismiss and arrest Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah, leader of the governing National Conference, after he takes a pro-referendum stance and delays formal accession to India. A new Jammu and Kashmir government ratifies accession to India.
1957 – The constitution of Indian-administrated Jammu and Kashmir defines it as part of India.
1950s – China gradually occupies eastern Kashmir (Aksai Chin).
Indian War with China
1962 – China defeats India in a short war for control of Aksai Chin.
1963 – Pakistan cedes the Trans-Karakoram Tract of Kashmir to China.
1965 – A brief war between Indian and Pakistan over Kashmir ends in a ceasefire and a return to the previous positions.
1971-72 – Another Indo-Pakistani war ends in defeat for Pakistan and leads to the 1972 Simla Agreement. This turns the Kashmir ceasefire line into the Line of Control, pledges both sides to settle their differences through negotiations, and calls for a final settlement of the Kashmir dispute. The Agreement forms the basis of Pakistani-Indian relations thereafter.
Indian leader Indira Gandhi, left, and Pakistani President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto shake hands after agreeing to resolve disputes through talks
1974 – The Opposition Plebiscite Front in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir drops demand for a referendum in return for extensive autonomy in an agreement with the Indian government. Sheikh Abdullah becomes chief minister, and his political dynasty continues to dominate the National Conference and state after his death in 1982.
1984 – The Indian Army seizes control of the Siachen Glacier, an area not demarcated by the Line of Control. Pakistan makes frequent attempts to capture the area in the following decades.
Start of Insurgency
1987 – Disputed state elections in Indian-administrated Jammu and Kashmir give impetus to a pro-independence insurgency centred around the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF). India accuses Pakistan of fomenting the insurgency by despatching fighters across the Line of Control, which Pakistan denies.
1990 – The insurgency escalates after the Indian Army kills about 100 demonstrators at Gawakadal Bridge. Attacks and threats lead to the flight of almost all Hindus from the Kashmir Valley area of the state. India imposes Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir. Start of Insurgency
1990s – The insurgency continues, with Kashmiri militants training in Pakistan and India deploying hundreds of thousands of troops in Jammu and Kashmir. Violence against civilians by both sides is widespread.
1999 – India and Pakistan go to war again after militants cross from Pakistani-administered Kashmir into the Indian-administered Kargil district. India repulses the attack, accuses Pakistan of being behind it, and breaks off relations.
2001-2004 – Moves to boost relations between the two countries are punctuated by continuing violence, notably an attack on the parliament of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir in Srinagar in 2001.
2010 – Major protests erupt in the Kashmir Valley of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir over the summer after a demonstrator is killed by the Indian army. The protests abate in September after the government announce measures to ease tension.
2011 August – Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announces an amnesty for the 1,200 young men who threw stones at security forces during the anti-government protests in the Kashmir Valley the previous year.
Indian State Human Rights Commission confirms presence of more than 2,000 unidentified bodies in unmarked graves near the Line of Control. Activists say many may be people who disappeared after being arrested by security forces.
2011 September – Indian forces kill three Pakistani soldiers in firing across the Line of Control. India accuses Pakistan of opening fire first.
2013 February – Kashmiri Jaish-e-Mohammed member Mohammad Afzal Guru hanged over role in 2001 Indian parliament terror attack, prompting protests in which two young men are killed.
2013 September – Prime ministers of India and Pakistan meet and agree to try reduce the number of violent incidents at their disputed border in Kashmir.
2014 August – India cancels talks with Pakistan after accusing it of interfering in India’s internal affairs. The decision comes after Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Delhi consulted Kashmiri separatist leaders in advance of the talks.
During a visit to the disputed border state of Jammu and Kashmir, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi accuses Pakistan of waging a proxy war against India in Kashmir.
2014 October – Pakistan and India exchange strongly-worded warnings, after a flare-up of violence across their common border leaves at least 18 people dead.
BJP joins government
2015 March – India’s ruling BJP party is sworn into government in Indian-administered Kashmir for first time in coalition with local People’s Democratic Party, with the latter’s Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as chief minister.
2015 September – Muslim separatist leaders in Indian-administered Kashmir close shops, businesses and government departments in protest at the enforcement of a colonial-era ban on eating beef.
2015 November – One person dies in violent protests following a visit to Indian-administered Kashmir by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
2016 April – Mehbooba Mufti, the leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), becomes the first female chief minister of Indian-administered Kashmir following the death of her father and party founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
2016 July – Authorities impose an indefinite curfew in most parts of Indian-administered Kashmir after the killing of popular militant by security forces of Burhan Wani, a popular militant and top commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen group, sparks violent protests.
2016 August – A curfew in most parts of Indian-administered Kashmir is lifted but schools, shops and most banks remain shut and mobile and internet services remain suspended. At least 68 civilians and two security officials have died and more than 9,000 people injured in over 50 days of violence according to official tallies.
2016 September – India and Pakistan exchange a war of words after 18 Indian soldiers are killed in a raid by gunmen on an army base in Indian-administered Kashmir.
From such dealings, it has been found that how people of Kashmir are being suppressed just by mentioning lame excuse that Law and Enforcement Agencies are trying to protect militants’ activities. So it has to be considered the best of best solution to build peace across Kashmir for which India might have to provide their concentration on the direction of United Nations that the solution would lie on the result of plebiscite and it is the people of Kashmir who has only right to take the decision whether Kashmir will be a part of India or Pakistan or the Independent country and it is the art of democracy and this autonomous idea would have drawn support from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and many other human rights organizations including Pakistan. Furthermore, Mr. Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Chairperson of All Parties Hurriyat Conference said that “sincere” steps are needed to resolve the Kashmir issue while terming the issue as “bone of contention” between Pakistan and India and also insisted to hold referendum in Kashmir to resolve the issue . Here one thing which has to be ensured that human rights must be protected against the abuse of power.
Considering such key events and going into the details of the matter regarding Kashmir, it can easily be inferred that the future of this long-disputed region is unclear because of nuclear weapons which have been owned by both India and Pakistan and any future hot war over Kashmir could have devastating results for which people of such area must have to face a serious debacle consequence .Now it remains to be seen how India and Pakistan would take some pragmatic steps to avoid any sort of further conflict to protect the lives of people by the way of mutual understanding and respect ,otherwise everyone in Indian sub-continent would have to pay a heavy cost.
The writer is LLB (Hon’s) international program student at the University of London, UK.