Kashmiri People have been Facing Basic Human Rights Violations
Muhammad Amir Siddique (Journalist Vienna, Austria)

Whenever I picked up my pen, I wrote for the humanity, peace, human rights and solidarity with innocent people. What my pen is writing today, it is about the human rights. Every year on 5th of Feb, Pakistanis, across the globe, express their solidarity with Kashmiri people. They gather and arrange different events like seminars: demonstrations and public rallies to bring the human rights violations in Indian lilegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (OJK) into the limelight and make efforts to wake up the world’s leaders from their deep slumber. What is Kashmir issue? Why do Pakistanis express their solidarity with Kashmiri people? Kashmir issue began after the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. As per Indian Independence Act of 1947, the rulers of princely states were given an option to either join India or Pakistan.

They were also allowed to remain independent with certain reservations. Because of its overwhelming majority Muslim population and geographic location, Kashmir must have joined Pakistan. However, the ruler of Kashmir at that time was Hari Singh. He was Hindu ruler while most of his Subjects were Muslim. He delayed the annexation with an aim to continuously rule the territory as an independent prince. But his hopes died when Muslims on the Western border of the state revolted; and when situation went out of his control, he fled to India and appealed its government for military assistance, Indian government exploited the situation and got an agreement signed by Hari Singh to annex Kashmir to India. Consequently, India sent her military forces to Kashmir to occupy it. As a result, first Kashmir war took place between India and Pakistan. India approached the UN asking it to intervene. The UN recommended holding a plebiscite to settle the question of whether the state would join India or Pakistan.

Nevertheless, till today, India has not acted upon the recommendation of UN, and Kashmir is still an unresolved issue between India and Pakistan For so many years, Kashmiri people have been facing basic human rights violations. The indigenous people of Kashmir are denied access to the local civilian courts to prosecute the Indian security forces for their involvement in human rights abuses against them. Here, it is important to mention that the Indian Government has not granted even a single prosecution of armed forces personnel till today. Also, there is no denying the fact that Indian armed forces are involved in excessive use of force to subside the uprising of Kashmiri people for their rights in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), Pellet shot gun is the most common weapon used by the Indian Security Forces. Torture is a common measure adopted by the Indian Forces in IIOJK to punish the Kashmiri people.

For instance, in 2017 a video went viral in which a Kashmiri man was seen tied to the front of the Indian Army moving Jeep. He was abused because he threw stones at the Army Vehicle during the protest. The biggest violation of human rights in IIOJK is the restriction of the right of freedom of expression. Journalists are detained and prevented from writing stories about the situation of Kashmir. No outside International media is allowed to function freely. It is common to suspend the internet and mobile services to keep Kashmiris in isolation and ensure no news of human rights abuses by the Armed Forces catch the attention of International Observers. Kashmir has been turned into a jail where the prominent members of the civil society are controlled and prevented from travelling abroad. The education of the Kashmiri people has been greatly affected since August 2019; owing to the conflicts between the Armed forces and protesters. The curfew by the Armed forces in the valley prevents students from attending their Education Institutes Curfew and continue communication blockage further aggravated the health issues; as patients generally remain unable to move and contact the hospital or doctors during the emergency.

Since 5 February 1990, Pakistanis have been celebrating this day as Kashmir Solidarity Day to support the people of Kashmir in their just struggle for freedom. It is known fact that Kashmir issue is linked to the stability in the region of South Asia. This issue is a bone of contention between two nuclear powers i.e. Pakistan and India. Unless the issue of Kashmir is resolved, peace and stability in South Asia cannot be achieved and it will remain a distant dream. Presently, Europe is itself experiencing the repercussions of a military conflict in the region.

So, now it is a high time for developed and leading nations of the world to pay their attention towards this unresolved issue and play their due part to resolve the disputes like Kashmir around the world. So that true stability and sustainable peace can be achieved in this beautiful world. I hope my writing will be understood by the people of world; and I wish it can become the voice of the innocent Kashmiri people.