ISSN 2330-717X

February 05: A Reminder Against Indian Tyranny – OpEd

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Every year on 05 February Pakistan and Kashmiri Diaspora around the world express solidarity with oppressed people of J&K to seek freedom and right to self-determination from Indian tyranny. According to Srinagar-based international law expert, Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain Kashmir Day has been observed historically right from 1932 to express camaraderie with Kashmiris’ struggle against the autocratic Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh. 

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According to Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Cell, in January 1932, “No Tax Campaign and processions against occupation of Dogra forces were started”. In one of the processions on 5 February 1932, in Rajouri Kashmir, eleven people embraced martyrdom when police opened fired on it. 

Officially, Pakistan began observing 5 February as Kashmir Solidarity Day in 2004. The official expression of solidarity and reiteration of political, diplomatic and moral support to Kashmiris by Pakistan has made the world to realize the endless gross violations of Human Rights by India. 

In February 2021, Democratic Assemblymen, Nader Sayegh and Nick Perry, sponsored a resolution which was passed by New York State’s Legislative Assembly to declare 5 February as Kashmir American Day, saying, “The State of New York endeavours to champion human rights including the freedom of religion, movement, and expression for all Kashmiri people, which are embedded within the United States Constitution”. Indian Embassy in United States while expressing concerns on the resolution, said that it will engage with elected representatives of New York State, further adding that it is an attempt to divide the people of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Despite all these efforts, India has unleashed an unprecedented level of crackdown on Kashmiris and has not budged from its subjugation for the last seven decades. There have been numerous reports by Human Rights organizations around the world, detailing the war crimes committed by Indian occupied forces. One of the heinous crimes is the dumping of bodies of local Kashmiris and various reports have revealed the presence of mass graves in the valley. In 2011, Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission, in its report revealed that thousands of bullet-riddled bodies are buried in dozens of unmarked graves across Kashmir.

After the revocation of Article 370 in August 2019, the restrictions, crackdown and violations, ranging from fake encounters, mass detentions, police brutality to the systemic abuse of human rights activists and journalists, clampdown on media, renaming roads, schools, public places and even the muzzling of poets have intensified. The trend shows that India, the unbridled world’s largest democracy, has revived the terrifying memories of Nazism. Against this form of suppression, the solidarity and expression in the form of official days, educate and make aware the common people regarding the unjust treatment of Kashmiris.  

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The Kashmiris have never felt helpless against the Indian occupation and they are of the view that “We are not allowed to breathe until and unless we breathe as per the rules and the wishes of the government”. Zabirah, a Kashmiri poet, said “The silencing of voices, the freedom to speak and vent grievances, all is gone, and it is suffocating”.

The Indian government, which has grown weary of persistent violence, has argued that it can better guarantee individual rights by taking firm control but it’s not viable and has grown the resentment among the locals and they even have taken arms to for armed struggle. 

Pakistan on the other hand has continuously raised the issue on global platforms and even pushed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) with the help of China to discuss and implement the long-standing resolutions on Kashmir. The Kashmir Solidarity Day is a reminder for Human Rights Organizations and global powers that their political and economic interests have turned Kashmir into a living hell where generations have gone through the unparalleled lawlessness.   

For occupied Kashmiris, life and peace can only materialize from the death of colonialism. In December 2021, Human Rights activists in Russell Tribunal on Kashmir stated that the situation in Kashmir has reached the threshold of genocide amidst the total defenselessness of the victims.

While Modi government by using various smokescreen tactics has tried to sweep Kashmir tragedy under the carpet, the criminal silence of international community has emboldened India to produce even more horrific acts of violence. Pakistan through Kashmir Solidarity Day has warned the global community that they no more can ignore Kashmir, and the time is now to act and resolve the issue forever. 

*Qudrat Ullah is a freelancer and media activist. He writes on political developments and security issues with special focus on South Asia and the region.

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